Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day 61 of the 2014 season: Veterns Day session at Metro Beach - steady as it gets

Happy Veteran's Day!

Metro Beach - steady as it gets. In fully powered mode for 2 hours not moving the depower line at all for the session. Better wind up high today, nary a white cap to be seen until 3:30 that is when a wind shift came in and winds increased by 10-15 MPH. By then I was done and off the water. Wished I had my 5.7 sail rigged to compliment the decent kite boarding day. JAB did  - he rigged the 7.0 and when the real wind came up he was on it.
Big crowd on hand as everyone wanted a last shot at warm weather TOW. 
Also quite possibly the last day of local kiting this season for me.

For winter blog click on the link below

Mellow Day - 1st session
MAX SPEED 20.32 mph
SKI DISTANCE 17.25 miles
Highlight of the day:  toeside to heelside ollies - better jumping getting the kite lofting involved now
TOW:   11:45 from 1:30  and 2:00 3:00
Gear:  11M and 140 Mako
Water Conditions: from flat water in the bowl to chop hoping conditions
Weather:   A remarkable 60 degrees and sunny   
Wind:  12-20 MPH generally from the SSW  
Schooled:  toeside to heelside ollies and getting the kite lofting involved in my jumps

A John Simpson Photograph
Mellow day for cruising  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Day 60 of the 2014 season: Carbon Copy of yesterday

Carbon Copy of Metro Beach on Saturday 11-08 except warmer temperatures 45 degrees instead of 41 degrees and dry.
Arrived by 1:15 with several kiters on the water with 10-15 M kites - Craig and Chris doing the loop, playing by the beach. Rigged my 11M and headed out to join the others. Solid sometimes overpowered with the 11M so I just held on and rode through the gusts.
Did the loop upwind to the bowl and downwind carving to the beach and back up to the shoal for the pinch back to the bowl. Where I could play in the flat water for awhile and then start the loop again.

Highlight of the day:  More toeside 180s - decent pops with some lofting of the kite                   
TOW:   2.5 hours 2:00 - 4:30
Gear: 11M 140 Board
Water Conditions: from flat water in the bowl to some swell at the shoal
Weather:   45 degrees, cloudy but dry
Wind: 12-25 from the SSW
Schooled:   jumping and 180 ollies

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Day 59 of the 2014 season: Metro Beach as forecasted

Metro Beach was the spot today, with the forecasted southwestern winds to 25. It was solid for me from 10:15 - 12:00. Took a break at 12:00 and by the time I went back out the wind as forecasted started to clock to the west and lighten up.
Good crowd for a brutal weather-wise day. But this is what is to be expected this time of year.
5-8 kiters and 2 windsurfers. Including Keith, Craig, Chris, JAB and myself.
These TOW days are narrowing down. With the forecast for the middle of next week to be colder. Temperatures forecasted to mid to low 30s for the highs will probably form some ice on the water and that'll be it for the season. No worry the snow guns will fire up and soon the ski hills will be open. And hopefully the ice will form for some ice kiting.

Highlight of the day: several successful toeside to heelside ollies - been working on theses for weeks
TOW:   1:45 from 10:15 - 12:00
Gear:  11M and 140 Mako
Water Conditions: from flat water in the bowl to some nice swell at the shoal
Weather:   41 degrees was the highest I saw on my van thermometer, low clouds, lite rain.
Wind:  12-25 MPH generally from the SW  
Schooled:  toeside to heelside ollies

LSC Buoy data

MB 11/8/14 tracks

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Day 58 0f the 2014 season: Election Day 2014 - And the results are in

Thought we were skunked but the switch was finally turned on for good at 1:00 and it got better from that point on .
Unlike several other teasers earlier in the day this one was the real deal.
I finally got on the water by 1:30 and lasted to 4:30 with half the time being at the fringe of overpowered. Enjoyed the time on the water with air ollies, toeside riding and downwind carving. Never trusting the wind enough to go downwind of the launch.
Good crowd on hand for such a cold, ugly day - it's the wind and nothing else.
12-16 Kiters and 5-8 Windsurfers.

Highlight of the day: Good chop for my small jumps and ollies
TOW:   nearly 3 hours
Gear:  11M kite, (9M would have worked) and 140 board 
Water Conditions: Normal LSC chop with the occasional well formed swell
Weather:  Cloudy, lite rain, 50-55 degrees and dropping
Wind:    SW to SSW when it got serious SSW was the direction
Schooled: 180 air ollies, heel side to toe side

LSC Buoy Data 11-4-14


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Day 57 of the 2014 season: Iffy forecast becomes a good solid marathon day

Even though the forecast looked sketchy Keith convinced me to head out to the Island. And I'm glad I did. Thank You Keith...
Rigged the 11M and rode like there was no tomorrow. On the water having a blast from 1:00 - 5:15, with a half hour break for some fluids. Covered 41.5 miles and every mile was well spent. Chop hopping, toe siding, ollie ups and carve city.
Last run was up to the channel slick until some duck hunters announce their location by firing a few shots over my head. Cut that short and carved my way back downwind.
7 hardcore kiters appeared by days end. Keith, Craig, Mark, Trish, Scott, Tom and 1 more.

Dressed for 48 degrees


Highlight of the day: Marathon session - enjoyed every second of it
TOW:   3:45
Gear:  11M, Mako Board until fin fell of then went to 150 ignition board
Water Conditions: Choppy, flat and everything in between
Weather: cloudy,  48-50 degrees air temp
Wind:   W to WNW to NW 12-30 MPH
Schooled:  180 Ollies, load and pops

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day 56 of the 2014 season: MetroBeach - Comquered the skunk

Forecasted winds for MetroBeach were supposed to be decent. All local wind data reported current winds as decent. Got to MetroBeach while rain was falling with zero wind, rain stopped and still zero wind. Left and ran some errands, came back and still not much wind.
Finally a lite breeze was stirring. Then after 15 minutes it started gradually increasing and in 5 more minutes I was rigging my 9 meter. What a quick change, winds aloft were even heavier, lucky I rigged the 9M.
Launched at 12:30 and kited until 3:00 when the switched was turned of. Limped my way downwind to the beach and landed the kite. Started to de-rig when the wind suddenly came back up. What to do now?
Re-rig or continue to de-rig completely and walk back to launch site. I decided to re-rig and kite back up wind to the launch. Perfect - kited back up wind and made it just as the wind slacked off again.
Turned out to be decent day with over 3 hours of kite time from 12:30 - 4:30.

LSC Buoy Data

Highlight of the day: Solid day with a 45 minute break at the beach
TOW:   About 3.0 hours from 12:30-4:30
Gear: 9M/140 board
Water Conditions: Typical LSC chop, water at 51 degrees
Weather: 60s, Mostly cloudy, some rain
Wind:  SW to W 10-25
Schooled: Load and pops are getting etched into the memory banks

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Day 55 of the 2014 season: Surf Palace Rocks - AKA Caseville

The Surf Palace delivers - wind, waves, sun, October warmth, windsurfing, kite boarding, happy hour and dinner. It doesn't get any better then this.
Jeannie's "Surf Palace" with easy rigging on the grass and easy launching from the back yard sandy beach.
Jeannie and Brian were excellent hosts inviting me to "The Surf Palace" and showing me what it has to offer. Mucho Thanks!

Jeannie catching the wind on the way in

Saginaw Bay Wind Data
Highlight of the day: Hanging with J & B, muti-water sports day. Up wind ride to Larry R's Sandcastle
TOW:   About 3.5 hours from 12:00-4:30
Gear: 5.7/100 liter and 11M/140 board
Water Conditions:  Best at the surf palace. Organized swell with some spotty but easily sailable winds on the water. Steadier wind higher up for kite action.
Weather: 60s, 100% sunny
Wind:  WSW to W 10-25
Schooled: WS getting the feel for the new Ezzy Elite 5.7, and load and pop jumps Kiteboarding.

MAX SPEED 20.14 mph: AVERAGE SPEED 13.87 mph: DISTANCE 30 miles

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 54 of the 2014 season: Another lite up session at Harsens Island

Met up with Keith and Craig - all of us on 9M kites and our Mako boards.
My first and only session from 11:30-1:30 was fun. although not the ideal wind direction but still plenty of fun for all. Worked my way up to the channel. Once there I had perfect rippled flat water on the leeward side of the weeds feet from the shore line. I tried a few speed runs, it was so smooth with the flat water and howling winds, I took several runs and created a new speed record for myself for on the water Kiteboarding. Even did some waterskiing slalom course runs.
After that I carved my way back in some tiny waves and called it a day
Several others arrived by 1:30 all rigged they headed to the channel and beyond.
Keith and Craig took on another session as I derigged and dragged my tired body home.
Excellent day, I was toasty warm with dry suit, gloves, hood and helmet.

LSC Buoy Data 10-21-14

Highlight of the day:  Speed runs on rippled water at middle channel - All time water kiteboard record set 27.15 MPH.
TOW:  2.00 hours
Gear:  9M 140 board
Water Conditions:  Small waves to flat water ripple
Weather:  Cloudy, upper 40s air and lower 50s water
Wind:  Generally NNE to 30 - some gustiness near the leeward side
Schooled:  Load and pop feast, High speed runs and plenty of carving

Harsens 10/22/14
MAX SPEED 27.15 mph
DISTANCE 20.41 miles


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 53 of the 2014 season: "Da Island" lites up

Cold, cloudy, gray, some rain but most importantly winds.
Full drysuit with hood and gloves made me feel toasty warm.
Keith, John, Harry, Jeff, Tom and a few others made the trip and were well rewarded.
First ride out I started an upwinder to the middle channel half way there for some reason the  kite crashed, tangled and rolled. Eventually got it to fly back wounded with twisted outside lines. Once back on land re-rigged and set back out for the channel.

MAX SPEED 20.27 mph
DISTANCE 27.86 miles

Highlight of the day:  The butter smooth middle channel carving bliss
TOW:  3.0 hours kiting, almost 30 miles
Gear:   9M 140 Mako
Water Conditions:  Voodoo chop to flat water bliss, mid 50s temp wise
Weather:   Mostly cloudy, 50
Wind:   On shore NNW 20-30 MPH
Schooled:    Still Loading and popping practice, definitely had the chop for it today.

Mitchells Bay Data

Friday, October 17, 2014

Day 52 of the 2014 season: A well spent day at the Metro Beach funpark

Tom and Keith on the water
A decent Friday, 10 plus kiters and 8 plus windsurfers.
A good turnout, Kite sizes from 9-15 and sail sizes from 5.5, 6.5.
Good steady 10-20 kiting winds from 11:30-1:30.
And at 3:30 did a light windsurf session on the 101/5.7 .

Highlight of the day:  Just typical Metro Beach riding
TOW:  2.0 hours kiting and 1 hour lite wind WS
Gear:   11 M 140 Mako and 5.7 Ezzy with 101 board
Water Conditions:  Typical SW LSC chop
Weather:   Mostly cloudy, low 60s
Wind:   On shore SW 10-25 MPH
Schooled:    Still working on loading and popping

LCS buoy data 10/17/14

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Day 51 of the 2014 season: Quickie session at Maple Bay Lagoon

Gnarly, unlaunchable at my favorite Empire Beach launch due to high on-shore winds and waves. With no margin for errors it wasn't a good option. So decided Maple Bay would be a good choice.
Drove over to east bay and did the hike fully dressed down to Maple Bay. Rigged and made a bee line to the lagoon ASAP. Found the lagoon half over washed, but there was still some butter to be found.  That's where I enjoyed some deep edging and hard carving. Rode in and out over the sandbar out to the swell and back into the rippled lagoon.
A quickie fun session on the 9M kite sometimes way overpowered but most of the time it was perfect 9M.
This is the best for me this year as far as riding the lagoon.  Two other attempts had the lagoon completely overwashed or wind direction wasn't just right.

Tracks for the day

Inside the protected Lagoon


Highlight of the day:  Flat water butter
TOW:  1.0 hour quickie session
Gear:   9 M 140 Mako
Water Conditions:  From gnarly to speed ripples
Weather:   Mostly cloudy, 40's
Wind:   On shore WNW 10-30 MPH
Schooled:    Deep carving turns in the lagoon

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Day 50 of the 2014 season: Metro Beach Marathon Sessions

Not a bad day weather-wise, usually this time of year wind comes at a price.
Partly sunny and windy for the 3rd day in a row at Metro Beach.
At one o'clock started out with the 5.0 on the 100 liter board with shifty winds from 0-30 MPH from the southwest.
That lasted about an hour, the gusty winds made it way to much of an effort to enjoy.
Came in and joined Keith and Dave at the beach to kite  - rigged the 11 M with the 140 Mako board.
Rode from 3:00 until 5:15 in gusty conditions some times over powered with the 11 M. Chris eventually came out on his 12 M, Craig with his 9 M, John on his 12 M.
Came in derigged the kite and then decided to rig my new 5.7 Ezzy Elite sail. Didn't think I would get many rides in the fluky and now lite south winds, but wow I was surprised, either the sail is that good or I caught the tail end of some heavier wind. It worked excellent matched with my 100 liter board.
Played with this from 6 - 7 and enjoyed the new sail with the light winds.
It was good to see all the WS'fers back in full force.

Metro Beach Vista

Highlight of the day:  Fun sessions on both kite and WS with new 5.7 sail
TOW:  4.5 hours
Gear:   5.0, 5.7, 100 liter and 11 M kit with 140 Mako board
Water Conditions:  upper 50s with typical LSC chop
Weather:    Partly sunny mid 50s
Wind:  SW to 30 with wind clocking to south by end of the day
Schooled:   KS: A little bit of load and pop and 180 ollies.
WS threw out every move I know on the new Ezzy Elite 5.7.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Day 49 of the 2014 season: Quickie kite session at Metro Beach - should I go or should I stay

Debating, should I go or should I stay. Once I saw the hail and grapple warning I decided to wait the radar out. Once the storms passed I headed to the beach.
Light winds had most people grounded by my arrival time at 2:30.
The sun then came out it and it looked like the day was done for wind. Hung out for awhile and the wind spiked up and people started to scramble to head back out. I decided to rig the 9M kite since my windsurfing muscles were sore.
Once on the water the wind spiked up more to 30 MPH plus. So I just held on and waited for the punchy winds to lighten up. Eventually winds were to punchy, gusty and  fluky and it wasn't worth the effort.. Came in and called it a day.
It was good to see a lot of windsurfers on the water - perhaps I should have gone 4.5 windsurfing instead...

Highlight of the day:  Not much, mowed the lawn in way overpowered conditions
TOW:   1 plus hour (3:30 - 4:45)
Gear:   9M 140 Mako
Water Conditions:  Typical LCS chop
Weather:     50 degrees, partly sunny
Wind:  10-30 mph from WSW
Schooled:   Overpowered on the 9 meter

Friday, October 3, 2014

Day 48 of the 2014 season: Metro Beach - Rocking steady

Second Session south winds

It was a rare 2014 Windsurf session at the local watering hole. So windy that I didn't back in my van for fear of loosing my hatch door if opened into the wind. 
It was a warm early October day with a low pressure system and its associated front barreling down the great state of Michigan.
During the morning in the warm sector of the front it was one of the best windsurfing days I have had locally this year. SSE winds to 35 MPH and never a lull for the first 2 sessions.   

Third session SW winds

Third Session with the wind slacking off

Keith and I had 2 good sessions both before noon. Started out with a cool looking  reddish/orange tropical looking sky as the sun rose up. Eventually a heavy overcast with some heavy rain took over. But the wind remained rock steady 4.0-4.5 conditions. The 3rd session had the wind switch to southwest and become fluky.
My hands are worn out, I'm so use to kiting that I have the sissy hands of a kiter. Also the next day brought on some pain in the seldom used windsurfing muscles.Windsurfers 6, kiteboards 0, retroed back to the early 2000s with all windsurfers and no kiters.

Wind Data 10-3-14
Highlight of the day: Steady winds from 8:30
12:00. Also some of the fastest tracks I ever recorded with an average speed of 17.5 MPH.
TOW:   3 hours
Gear:   4.5 Ezzy with 84 liter JP FSW
Water Conditions: From voodoo chop to some nice rollers for slashing
Weather:     65 degrees, partly sunny, rain to mostly cloudy
Wind:  25-35 mph from SSE-S-SW-WSW
Schooled:   Some fantastic jumping

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Day 47 of the 2014 season: Welcome to Caseville Beach - Worth the 5 hours of drive time

A new Venue:

Welcome to Caseville Beach - Cold, rainy, drizzle, foggy but most importantly windy, warm water
and some nice onshore wind/swell. Also include a nice sandy beach with plenty of space to launch. Hatteras style shallows with smooth 2-3 foot waves on the inside. Excellent venue for easy kiting. With NNW winds I kited on an opposite tack of what I'm accustomed to. I was able to jump ollie to toeside with ease. Also load and pop on the opposite tack was a new experience.
Thanks to Larry R. for the hospitality and free T-shirt featuring Thumbs Up Kiteboarding.

Saginaw Bay data

Highlight of the day: 180 heel side to toeside ollies in the air
TOW:   3 hours between noon and 4:00
Gear:   11M and Mako
Water Conditions: Onshore winds, onshore 2-3 foot swells with plenty of smooth spots in the shallower areas. Water temp in the lower 60s.
Weather:     Air 50 degrees, fog, drizzle, rain
Wind:   NW-NNW to 25
Schooled:   Load and pop on opposite tack. Airborne 180 ollies all new for me.

View from inside the warm van

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 46 of the 2014 season: First Session for Marysville this season

Jeff and I decided it was the place to be since Metro Beach was to lite to windsurf but perfect for kiting and crowded as usually with kiters.
A mediocre windsurfing session at Marysville. With the winds varying  from 5-35 MPH in the 2.0 hour session on the St Clair River.

Gear for the day

Highlight of the day: Some of the biggest river swell I've ever seen here
TOW:   2.0 hours with 1 hour of planning time
Gear:   4.5 sail and 85 to 100 liter board.
Conditions:   uncontrollable to perfect to slogging
Weather:    Summer like 80 and sunny
Wind:  Winds varied from 5-35 MPH
Schooled:  River swells

Jeff derigging at the end of the session

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 45 of the 2014 season: Waiting it out at Lexington

Waiting for wind at Lexington. The forecast was looking good but actual winds were playing hard to get.
Arrived at 11:30 just as the wind died off and Keith was heading in, to lite for his 12M kite.
Ok -so  I thought I'll rig my new 5.7 and give it a lite wind try.  And yes it was lite, once out beyond the break wall the wind was spotty. I was able to gain some speed and apparent wind by riding the swell in. But that was it - came in and waited. There was decent wind reports from Port Sanilac and Harbor Beach but not much here at Lexington.
Finally at 3:00 Keith felt it was windy enough so he launch and did all right. I immediately rig my 11M and did the same. Also Jerry rigged his 17M and we all kited until 5:00 with somewhat consistent winds 12-18 MPH at best. At times it was hard to gain upwind position  and to keep it going on toeside. Other times there would be enough to get upwind and make room to play in the 2-4 foot swells.
Overall maybe a marginal day but as always fun was had.

Highlight of the day:  It's been 10 days - just good to get out
TOW:   3:30 - 5:00
Gear:   11M and 150 to 140 board
Conditions:   Mellow - surprising few caps and some smooth 2-4 foot swell at the break
Weather:    Mid - 50s cloudy to sunny
Wind:  NNW-N-NNE 10-20 MPH
Schooled:  Load and pop

Port Sanilac - not what we had at Lexington.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Day 44 of the 2014 season: New Venue - Solid Winds - Esch Beach

Esch Beach Location

 #3 in 3 days.....by far the best of the 3

Esch Beach Vista

Looking for better on-shore lake breeze today, Empire not quite enough. So time to travel to another venue.
First stop Esch Beach and last stop.  Perfect conditions side shore SSW winds to 22 MPH.
Rigged up by 3:30 and had non-stop action until wind dropped at 5:00.
Came in and cleaned the weeds of my lines and called it a day, a very satisfying day after 2 days of marginally conditions at Empire.
Esch Beach rundown, nice open beach lots of wide sandy areas. While other beaches are being washed away Esch Beach appears to be the recipient of the washed away sand.
This spot would be a good launch spot for a downwinder to Empire.
Down side many floating dune grasses that have been eroded away from other beaches.

Highlight of the day:    Unexpected good wind day  - Empire lite - Esch  Beach perfect.                      
TOW:  Solid non-stop (3:30-5:00)
Gear:  11 M Mako 140 board
Conditions:  Not much in organized waves - surprising more like LSC chop
Weather:   Sunny, mid-70s
Wind: SSW 18-22 MPH
Schooled: Load and pop, upwind runs and carving down the line 5 feet from shore
Sorry Chuckster - Keep your swimsuit on


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day 43 of the 2014 season: No cappin but kitable - barely

Barely rideable, in fact intermittent conditions with a few walks on the beach back to launch site.
Still an enjoyable session, good day to experimented with kite fine tuning, I shortened the  steering lines and lengthened the leading edge lines. Didn't notice much of a difference, except seemed harder to go up wind with lines in this position. Hmmm.. got to read up on fine tuning.

One of the very few carved turns pulled off today


Highlight of the day:      Lite wind day, surprise I could kite                          
TOW:  intermittently time on the water between lulls and walk backs (2:30-5:30)
Gear:  11 M and Mako 140
Conditions:  very lite wind, very few caps, 1 foot chop at best
Weather:   Sunny, low 70s
Wind: SSW 8-18 MPH
Schooled: Mowing machine - although the flatter water as fun

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Day 42 of the 2014 season: Empire Mellow session

Very serious look here
Not what I come to expect at Empire beach with WSW 10-20 MPH winds. The waves were not as decent as a SSW wind but nevertheless a day on the water is good. Especially when the forecast said 10-15. A sort but mellow session with emphasis on load and pop practice.

Highlight of the day:  Didn't
expect a session today with 10-15 forecasted       
TOW:  1.5 hours 3:30-5:00
Gear:  11M with 140 Mako
Conditions:  2-3 foot chop
Weather:   mostly sunny 60s
Wind: WSW winds from 10-20
Schooled:   load and pop

Customary gear for the day picture

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Day 41 of the 2014 season: Stormy Empire winds

Forecast has been downgraded from 15-20 to 10-15 SSW.
Some of the stoke is gone but maybe with the stormy forecast I'll get some storm winds and that's exactly what happen - good steady winds.  From 1:00-2:30 as a big stormed slowly move across the lake and the winds were steady from the SSW, when the menacing looking storm clouds got close it put an end of session.

Playing in the waves


Highlight of the day:  nice shore break to play and learn        
TOW:  1.5 hours
Gear:  11M with 140 Mako
Conditions:  2-5 footers with smooth troughs on the inside
Weather:   Cloudy 70s
Wind: SSW winds from 10-25
Schooled:   Wave riding lessons and chop hop lessons

Storm clouds ending the fun for now

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Day 40 of the 2014 season: Epic Empire Kite session

This smile says it all, photo bombed by Chris ripping in the background

Great sailing with Chris, he finally got a chance to sail a classic Empire when it's at it's best.
2 epic sessions first with the 11M well powered for the entire upwind run to the bluff and blissfulness on the downwind run back. The second session with the 9M perfectly powered. Played in the swell until I was ready to crawl in.
Chris held steady on his 12 meter Naish and 130 Mako Carbon fakeo. Although he did toughed it out with the strapless for few runs.

1st session Upwind/Downwind riding

Highlight of the day:  Epic, Classic,  Empire                             
TOW:  Nearly 4 plus hours of bliss
Gear:  11M first session, 9M second session
Conditions:  2-4 footers with smooth troughs on the inside
Weather:   Partly sunny upper 70s
Wind: SSW winds from 15-25
Schooled:   Wave riding

Being chased by a beautiful 2-3 footer smoothie on the inside.
Similar to 2 other Empire sessions this year