Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Day 98 of the 2015 season: Grand Finale of the 2015 season

Scraping some ice/sleet/snow off of my windshield and loading up my gear, a rare occasion for sure.
An El Nino winter made this December extraordinary with 9 sessions this month. A record that will be hard to beat in the future.
Today was a fun day, especially when the winds cooperated. WSW winds from 12-30 mpg made it a challenge.
All was fun though, did a few toeside downwinders to the beach in the SW swell.
Boosting was tricky either to windy or not enough wind. Heading out some good ramps could be found for easy chop hop ollies to toeside. Overall a fun sesh a good closer to the 2015 record breaking season.
Mark, Craig, Mark, Eric, Alan and Keith, (spectated) all took advantaged of the windy conditions.

Gear:   11M Z and 140 Mako TT
TOW:  1:30 - 3:30
Water Conditions:   Nice SW swell to play in
Weather: A steady 39 degrees
Wind: WSW-SW winds 12-30 mph, very gusty conditions
Highlights: Last session of the 2015 season, almost made 100 sessions.
Includes  sessions of snow kiting, windsurfing and water kiting.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Day 97 of the 2015 season: El Niño - 7 days into a Michigan winter and still kiting on the soft water

Overpowering conditions for the 11M Z.
Played it conservative, a lot of upwind runs just to do the overpowered downwinders, just the way I like them to be. No trips to the slick with the wind direction being NNE.
One superman crash but no water in the suit type of crash.
Enjoyed over 2 hours of this with Craig, we got done by 4:30. 
Warm, dry and toasty in my O'Neill Boost drysuit

  Kite 11M Z / 140 Mako TT
TOW:  1:30 - 4:30
Water Conditions:   Typical Harsens with NNE
Weather: 38 - 42 degrees, mostly cloudy
Wind: Strong NNE to 30 plus estimated, should rigged the 9M
Highlights: Tested my lower temperature limits - toasty warm. And my favorite downwind riding.

Maximum Speed 21.9 MPH
Distance 28.9 mi.
Duration 02:13:28


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Day 96 of the 2015 season: December keeps on rocking, Christmas in July...

Wow! What a day, totally exhausted after the annual Christmas early morning hockey game
and yesterday's near epic day.
Although I didn't want to miss a 9M SW day, I made it work but I paid the price.
Bright sunny day, mid-40s, 9M winds and plenty of good company.

Christmas in July

Gear:  9M Z kite 140 / Mako TT
TOW:  1:00-2:00 1.0 quickie hour
Water Conditions:    Strong SW winds producing nice SW swells.
Weather: Mostly Sunny mid-40s
Wind:  Strong to 20-30 SW-WSW
Highlights: Carving the larger then normal swell

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 95 of the 2015 season: Crazy El Niño - Day 6 in this December streak

Fun day, up to 25 kiters out today. Barely a whitecap to be found but solid wind SE up high with a little swell to play on. And it got better as the day wore on.
Thank you Bob for letting me ride your 12M rally - it was good timing when I was on it - the kite pulled like a Harley Davidson lots of power.
It got to the point where I better get in and give him his kite back. 
Rigged my 11 Z and enjoyed another 1.5 hours of non-stop riding.

I'm down there somewhere

Gear:  Bob's 12M 2016 Rally from 2:00-3:00. 11M Z kite from 3:30-5:00
TOW: 2.5 hours total
Water Conditions:    First session barely a white cap. Second session bigger waves some white caps.
Weather: Mostly cloudy 50ish
Wind:  Up high winds were stronger peaking late in the second session up to 25mph.
Highlights:  Fun downwind carving from the point

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Day 94 of the 2015 season: Crazy El Niño - Day 5, December is unbelievable another 11M kiting day

 Recent MB action from drone POV - from Kurt

Recent MB action from drone POV - from Kurt

December is unbelievable another 11 M kiting day.
Cloudy, cold and breezy enough to make the second session one to remember.
Great SE swell in the bowl area, fun slashing the 2-3 footers, carving in and amongst them kind of like a miniature Lexington day although fewer and smaller. Still I was able to down-the-line a few of the bigger well organized swells.  Fun day any time of the season but it seems especially fun in December.
At least 12-15 kiters made it happen..

Gear:  Favorite 11M Z and Mako TT
TOW: 12:30-1:30 and  2:00-3:30
Water Conditions:   Nice swell  with the SE winds
Weather: Mostly cloudy 45ish
Wind: SE to 25
Highlights: fun swell to play in and boosting was as easy as can be

Monday, December 14, 2015

Day 93 of the 2015 season: Crazy El Niño - Day 4, December keeps on rolling: 9M crazy kite day at Metro Beach

I was getting to confident in my kiting abilities until today when 35 mph+ gusts made me realize that this could be a dangerous sport.
Spent an hour from 2:30-3:30 on the 9 meter kite in extreme conditions for my abilities. Just trying to stay out of serious trouble and ready to pull the quick release if needed. Finally a lull and I headed in with Mark holding me down...woohoo I survived!
Took a break and waited it out until things got sane. Craig was out on his 9 and was doing good.
I went back out and enjoyed gusty, lofty conditions practically fully depowered but at least in full control for this final session of the day.
Up to 12 kiters in this late season jamboree.

Gear:  9M Z Kite and TT 140 Mako board
TOW:  2:30 - 3:00 and 4:00 - 5:15
Water Conditions:   Wind driven waves 2-5 footers
Weather:  Cloudy with rain/wind squalls, 50 degrees plus
Wind:  SW heavy winds up to 35 plus - way overpowered at times on my 9
Highlights:  Another El Niño December day

Friday, December 11, 2015

Day 92 of the 2015 season: El Niño day 3 in December - Early morning session at Metrobeach

Another el Niño December day - 50 plus degrees at 9 o'clock, bright sunny skies and a SW wind howling sometimes above my 11M limit.
Confirmed that I could go up wind and then headed to the beach area to play in the shallow wavy area,  epic fun carving my favorite low aspect Z kite with the mako 140. 
Did this for an hour plus, when the winds became fluky I started heading back up wind and then played in the bowl area for awhile. Until several massive west wind gusts almost blew me off the water. Time to head in and it was a good judgement call for me as winds really got fluky on the inside launch area after that.
Others went out after that with some success on the outside but on the inside it was a lost cause with kites dropping and kiters walking in.

Gear:  11M Z Kite and TT 140 Mako board
TOW:  9:30 - 11:00
Water Conditions:   White capping with 2-3 footers
Weather:  Sunny, 50 degrees plus
Wind:  SW heavy winds up to 30 plus - way overpowered at times on my 11
Highlights:  I love the Z kite

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Day 91 of the 2015 season: El Niño day 2 in December - Kiting at Metro Beach with a 12M Naish Park

Almost a CC of yesterday.
Second el Niño day in December, definitely a first for my Michigan Waterman career.
Took out the 12M Naish Park a medium aspect Naish kite.
Although this kite had more power when diving it - perfect for high powered carving. It moves fast for a 12M kite creating more power then the Rally.  Impressed with the very light bar pressure.
It seemed under powered the whole time I was out. Definitely at its lower limit - but still I was impressed with the power it generated on the down strokes. Craig on his 12 said he had plenty of wind and actually used some depower on his up wind runs.
Still not what I'm looking for. It's a big wingspan kite and hard to flip it over on land or water. Almost the same wingspan as the Rally but with more depth to it. Need to test it some more before I can make the final judgement.

Gear:  12M Naish Park Kite and TT 140 Mako board
TOW:  3:15 - 5:00
Water Conditions:   Barely a white cap winds south up to 22mph
Weather:  Partly sunny near 50 degrees
Wind:  SSW aloft - barely a white cap
Highlights: Bought a rope spreader bar and loved it  - I need to shorten the rope quite a bit so I can depower the bar all the way and still hold onto it.

2015 Naish Park Kite

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Day 90 of the 2015 season :El Niño day 1 in December - Kiting with steady December winds at Metro Beach with 11M Rally Kite

I thought the season might of been over but El Niño is prolonging the 2015 season.
After a cold spell, a brief stint of snow kiting, even some downhill snowboarding
at Crystal Mt. The wind and decent temperatures returned - so took advantage of it.
First time out on the water in nearly 20 days.
Used the 11M 2015 Rally kite  - it was full of lady bugs from an Empire Beach lady bug infestation.
It still doesn't have the needed power when carving a turn. It's up For Sale in anyone is interested.

Gear:  11M Rally Kite and TT 140 Mako board
TOW:  12:30 - 2:00
Water Conditions:   Barely a white cap winds south up to 22mph
Weather:  Partly sunny near 50 degrees
Wind:  SSW aloft - barely a white cap
Highlights: Mark on his foil board

Friday, November 20, 2015

Day 89 of the 2015 Season: HI 9M Z session

Cold start but toasty warm in my new boost suit, hood and gloves.  
Decent day with 9M winds, gusty with some lulls.
Good jumps a few good hard driving down wind carving runs.
Never gained confidence in the wind. Twice tried to head across to the slicks but both times wind lulled.
Started at 10:30 and kited until the wind got fluky and light.
Mark, His Son, Jeff, Bob and myself, a good turnout for a cold Friday.

Lot's of chop hoping and boosts

Gear:  9M Z / Mako 140
TOW:  1030 - 12:00
Water Conditions:  Flat to nice chop hops conditions
Weather:  Bluebird day 36-45 degrees
Wind:  WSW cranking at times with big holes, enough to drop the kite twice.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Day 88 of the 2015 season: The forecast promised 20-30 at Metro Beach

Forecast did not come through as predicted.
A short 9M session from 10:30 - 11:30 then an hour lull just to fill in again briefly from 12:30 -1:30. Most of the kiting time was spent at the beach area.
Good 9M while it lasted. Others on 15+ sizes had it better.

Gear:  9M kite with 140 TT                                                
TOW: 10:00-11:00 and 12:30-1:30
Water Conditions:  SE winds produced some nice swell
Weather:  Started with some sun then some thick overcast
Wind:  SE peaking near 30

Stacking the boards

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Day 87 of the 2015 season: Marginal Metrobeach Kite Session

Marginal session with a rare ESE wind.
Worked my way up to the beach and played there. That's where I found some nice swell to play in.
Was able to carve and toeside for he most part - not much else for excitement.

Gear:  11M Z kite and TT 140        
TOW:  12:30 - 2:00
Water Conditions:      
Weather:  mid 50s, partly sunny
Wind: ESE to 22

Ollie up

Friday, November 13, 2015

Day 86 of the 2015 season: Windsurfing Red Bull style at HI

At the top of my upper limits today. Took J.P.'s suggestion and rigged a 4.0, (he was on a 4.4). There is a reason I shouldn't take JP's advice, he is always on a 1.5 to 2 sail sizes higher then I use.
I started with 4.0 came back in after an hour and rigged the 3.5. Which worked good, steady riding winds on the upper fringe for me except when the 40mph plus gusts came across and made it a challenge.
Challenging rides into wind - fun rides off the wind. Seemed like every time crossing the bay the swell conditions changed. Never a slogging moment and that's on a 3.5 in Michigan
First time on my 4.0 and 3.5 sails locally in years.
Overall a decent extreme day with cold temperatures of 40-42 degrees and winds 25-40 mph. Saw some snowflakes on the rockin ferry boat ride across the channel.
JP 4.0/4.4 - Craig enjoyed the 4.0 conditions and Chris did a non-stop session on his new 7M Naish Pivot Kite.
Others on 5.5M to 7M kite sizes.

Gear:   4.0 - 3.5 Ezzy sails, 100 liter RRD board
TOW:  1:45 - 2:45/ 4.0 sail and then  3:15 - 5:00 /3.5 sail
Water Conditions:   Challenging rides into wind - fun rides off the wind. Seemed like every time crossing the bay the swell conditions changed. Never a slogging moment and that's on a 3.5 in Michigan
Weather:  40ish degrees/some sun
Wind:  up to 40 plus mph

Rockin on the ferry

Friday, November 6, 2015

Day 85 of the 2015 season: Harsens kick-ass, marathon, multi-sports water day

A Millard Berry Production

Mark is ecstatic
Started the day with the 5.0 Ezzy and the 100 liter board. At first it wasn't enough, the winds were not cooperating. So I came in and rigged the 11 M Z kite and of course the wind pick up while doing so. Anchored the kite down and went back out on the 5.0. Good solid 5.0 conditions for the next 2 hours. Played in the OBX style conditions with the best windsurfing conditions I've had this year locally for me by far. Paul and I headed up to the middle-channel slick and along the way I found plenty of flat water venues across the bay in amongst the weed beds. Better than OBX conditions, with the wind direction coming right down the shoot all the nooks and crannies were filled in. Once at the slick there were some river swells to play on. Enjoying the moments when suddenly the wind shut down. Yes it was a tough slog back. Trying to head downwind in light air was a workout but managed to get back with no harm done.
Now it's time to take the kite out, it's rigged and ready. Started out a little light for the kite, played near the launch for awhile to gain confidence in the wind. Saw Eddie and Craig heading upwind to the slick and decided to head there too. It was a struggle, winds weren't solid enough to beeline upwind so it took quick awhile and eventually I gave up as I lost confidence in the wind. Craig and Eddie were already heading back.  As I headed back out of nowhere the wind speed spiked up to well overpowered conditions. Full depowered mode and unable to let the bar all the way up because of the new harness I was trying. To much throw and at times the bar got away from me so I had to jump up to grab it before the kite started crashing/looping. So sat in the water for awhile hoping it would lighten up a bit and finally it did but still overpowered. Tried to head in to land the kite but decided it was to dangerous it was safer to stay on the water and kite. So that I did and eventually it lighten up to where it was safe to kite as I know it.

Gear:  5.0 sail/100 liter board and 11M kite with TT board
TOW: 12:30-3:00 WS and 3:30-5:30 kiting
Water Conditions:  Seemed like flat water after the last session at Metro Beach
Weather: Near 60 degrees, nearly a bluebird day
Wind:  Mainly WSW 15-25 MPH then WNW to 35
Highlights: a large contingent of WS 'ers and 20 or so kiters

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Day 84 of the 2015 season: Harsens lights up with a bright sunny day

A fun session, we headed across the bay to the leeward side of the grassy area for some flat water. Ripping up the flats there enjoying every moment when the wind speed starting getting light. So we headed back to the launch area thinking that was it for the day, but a slight shift to the west and we were back in the fun zone. Kited until 11:30 and had to quit and go to Amber's Birthday party.
The rest of the crowd, Keith, Bob, Craig, Doug and newbie enjoyed it after I left. Found my lost love in the Z kite. I used it for the first time in quite awhile. Compared to the Rally it's so much more of an aggressive kite. When you need the power it's there with one quick dive of the kite. The rally seems to be lacking the quickness in the power zone. Time to rethink about the rally kite.

Gear:  11M "Z" and TT
TOW: 9:45 - 11:30
Water Conditions:  Seemed like flat water after the last session at Metro Beach
Weather: Near 60 degrees, bluebird day
Wind:  Mainly WSW 15-25 MPH
Highlights: Sun, warmth, cleaner water, decent winds

Keith doing what he loves to do

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Day 83 of the 2015 season: Mellow Metro-Beach Kite Session

A fun three hour non-stop session - nicely powered up until the end at 5:00.
The best winds were early during a heavy rain. I almost wanted to rig the 9M but I held on and stuck with the 11M and all was good. Most of the wind was up high so the lift was good.
Up to 7 kiters showed up and the early guys got the best of it.

Gear:  11 M Rally / Mako 140
TOW:  2:00 - 5:00
Water Conditions:  Typical LSC swell, throw I a heavy rain with the norm pollutents.
Weather:  Thick clouds, some rain, nearly 60 degrees.
Wind:  SSE 12-25 MPH

Metro-Beach wind data

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Day 82 of the 2015 season: The Empire beach strikes back with nice steady conditions

Rigged up the 11M Rally - self launch and enjoyed the steady SW winds in the 20-25 MPH range. Well powered up so I did the upwind run to Empire bluff and played in the inside smoothie waves as much as possible. Did that for 2 hours milking the downwind rides back. At 3:30 dark stormy clouds were moving in. So knowing the forecast was calling for storms with gusty winds I figured I better play it safe and head in. Derigged and put the kite away just before the onslaught of wind and rain.
A quick change in wind direction and temperatures from mid - 60s to 50 in a matter of seconds. Wind switch from SW to WNW with a 40 mph gust in an instant.  Lucky for me, although I really didn't want to get the kite wet.

Upwind overlook playground from Empire beach

Gear:  11 M Rally / Mako 140
TOW:  1:30-3:45
Water Conditions:  SW swell - well defined, water temps low 50s
Weather:  broken clouds with some sun
Wind:  SW fairly steady winds within the 20-25 range
Highlight:  smooth inside swell

A major gust blowing stuff off the wall and on to the walkway at Empire Beach

Friday, October 16, 2015

Day 81 of the 2015 season: Harsens Island Kiteboarding squally wind fields produced 10 - 35 mph winds

Friday at Harsens Island

Harsens Island Kiteboarding - squally wind/rain fields produced 10 - 35 mph winds in the 3 hour period I was there. But one hour from 4 to 5 the wind finally settled down and became fairly steady.

Gear:  11M and TT/Duke
TOW: 2:00-5:00
Water Conditions:  Typical Harsens Island with NW wind
Weather: mostly cloudy, rain and wind squalls, 50 degrees.
Wind:   Too much or too little -  about an hours worth of just right wind out of NNW to 30+ mph
Highlight: Eric's video "Friday at Harsens Island" with Doug, Eric, Steve, Jerry, Craig, Tom - am I missing anyone?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Day 80 of the 2015 season: Metro Beach Windsurfing with Southwesteries all day long

A step back in time where the windsurfers ruled.  Up to 12 windsurfers showed up on this southwesterly forecasted day. Forecast was pretty much on target with the wind direction swapping between SW and WSW most of the day.
Just before 2 a squall line came in with a burst of wind up near 40 mph. After that it was time to downsized from 5.7 to 4.5.

Gear:  5.7 and 4.5 Ezzy sails with 100 liter board
TOW: 12:30- 2:00 with 5.7 sail / 3:00-5:30 with 4.5 sail
Water Conditions:   LSC choppiness at it's finest
Weather: Sunny then mostly cloudy, mid 50s
Wind:    Somewhat gusty southwest winds to 35 MPH mostly ideal for windsurfing
Highlight: A nice WS day -  going back to the early 2000 era when WS ruled

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Day 79 of the 2015 season: It's' Harsens it must be Tuesday - Great solid day

Wow, such a sweet October so far.
Tuesdays at Harsens Island is becoming a regular occurrence.
A good solid day of heavy kiteboarding. Overpowered on the 11M as I headed upwind to the slick. Nicely powered on the drifting downwinder back making the upwind ride worth the challenge.
Schooled at lofting jumps and toeside to heelside ollies, hard carving with the 9M proved to be the best part of the day.
Chris, Craig, and several others along with the WS crew.
Dinner for a few of us at the Sans Souci Grill.
An excellent day!

Gear:  11M TT
TOW: 1:00-3:30 11M kite / 4:30-6:00, 9M kite
Water Conditions:   Typical Harsens - good chop hop conditions
Weather: Mostly cloudy, mid 50s
Wind:    West to 30 MPH
Highlight: Another good lofty day
Schooled: Toeside to heelside ollies

Monday, October 12, 2015

Day 78 of the 2015 season: Back at the home launch, Metro Beach fun lifty day.

A warm October week day brought out the crowds up to 15 kiters and 8 windsurfers.
The steady lofty winds made an excellent day for the kiters. Windsurfers were a hit and miss with the fluky occasional on the water winds.
I launched from the beach with a generally a steady wind up high. Kited there for 4.5 hours with one break when my kite fell and couldn't relaunch. Lucky for me I stayed near the beach and the wrap up, the walk and relaunch were irrelevant.
Fun day with the easy jumping lofty winds, jumps were so easy and effortlessly to do.

Gear:   11M Rally kite with140 TT
TOW:  1:30 - 5:00
Water Conditions:   Lofty conditions, hardly a white cap to be seen most of the time.
Weather: mostly sunny near mid-60s
Wind:   Wind was off the water, Mainly south winds with gusts to 25 mph up high
Highlight: The lofty conditions made for some big and easy jumps. Huge, (for me), 180 ollies to toeside

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Day 77 of the 2015 season: Caseville, not what I expected, practically flat water.....

Not what I expected at Caseville with the forecast calling for strong SW winds.
When I arrived it was mainly flat water with 9M conditions according to Larry.
He was on his 9M, Justin on a 9M and Joe on a 14M.
Rigged my 9M and launched from the beach in shadowy winds. Once out 100 yards there was plenty of wind up high to ride the 9M. I headed to the breakwall where the wind was better yet. Played in the super flat water with the wind up high for the complete 2 hours, carving, jumping and drifting rides downwind, excellent conditions for the 9M kite. Maybe worth the 4.5 hours drive time. From reports it was better than Metro Beach was.

Gear:   9M Z kite with140 TT
TOW:  12:30 - 2:30
Water Conditions:   Not what I expected - flat water was the rule
Weather: sunny near mid-60s
Wind:   Wind was off the water, Mainly SW winds with gusts to 30 mph up high
Highlight: slick at the break wall

Friday, October 9, 2015

Day 76 of the 2015 season: Harsens squeaks by with a marginal session saved by a decent session at the slick.

Bob, Mark, Mike, Craig and I enjoyed a marginal session with the best winds being at the slick.
The wind direction for the most part was not the best but we made it work.
The ride to the Middle Channel slick was attainable once the wind picked up enough to head upwind.
Craig and I as usual headed to the slick. Once at the slick I found the wind conditions there excellent for 45 minutes of play time.
Overall a fun decent session marginal at times but most often good enough for 4.5 hours of ride time.

Gear:   11 M Rally kite with140 TT and Duke surf board for a half hour
TOW:  12:30 - 3:00 and 4:00 - 6:00
Water Conditions:  Typical Harsens, water temperature still near 60 degrees
Weather: Mostly cloudy, with some peeks of sunlight
Wind:   Mainly north winds with gusts to 25 mph
Highlight: The middle channel slicks is where the best wind was

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Day 75 of the 2015 season: Lexington - An epic stretch of big winds and small gear all within 60 miles of home base

An epic stretch of big winds and small gear all within 60 miles of home base. This is probably a once in a life time event.

Harsens Island, Blue Lagoon and Lexington hit it 5 out of 5 days, a record for the local area.
All big winds with small gear. Epic conditions at all sites. Consistent north east winds up to 35-40 mph daily, partly sunny skies, temperatures ranged from 50-60. Plenty of like minded people to WS and KB with. It'll be remembered as the classic Great Lakes nor'easter in the fall of 2015.

Today, Lexington's wave riding was epic, winds and wave directions were epic. Great swell and great waves on the inside. Easy to drift and play in the waves, easy to carve off the wave faces. Just don't get caught in a lull while heading back out. I got crunched a few times in that situation but it's all good, considered it a learning  process.

One happy waterman - after 5 consistent days of my favorite sports 

Gear:   9 M kite and 140 TT
TOW:  1:30 - 3:00
Water Conditions:  On shore wave conditions with some nice waves to be found
Weather: partly cloudy, 50ish with rain by 2:30
Wind:   Mainly on shore east winds 15-30+ mph plus range
Highlight: Waves, waves and more waves

Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 74 of the 2015 season: Lexington Kiteboarding

And I thought yesterday was good.
Joined Chris, Keith, Craig and Jerry for a near epic day in Lexington.
A lot of nature's energy coming together to form wind and waves that were meant to play on.
Wow - near epic day today I had some of the best wave carving/riding ever. I did stuff I didn't know I could do. So much fun while not breaking any laws.
Butter smoothness in between the waves with wave faces to carve off of and down the line riding while drifting the kite....Mucho fun....

Gear:   9 M kite and 140 TT
TOW:  11:30 - 2:00 and 3:00 - 6:00 Kiting all day
Water Conditions:  On the inside, smoothness, 3-8 foot waves, it was like a slick in the wave troughs, some of the best waves and wind combinations to date
Weather: Sunny mid - 50s
Wind:   East Northeast 20-30+ mph
Highlight: Best KB wave day this year

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Day 73 of the 2015 season: Lexington Windsurfing - a mellow session with fun results

A fantastic day with nearly perfect wind/wave direction. The inside was consistent, every run in felt the same. I was able to find a nice wave and down the line backside ride it for 50-100 yards. The wind was also on the inside for easy jibing to head back out and do it again. A true northeast wind.
Add on an hour plus of KB carving the waves up with the TT Mako 140 board - too much fun.

Gear:  5.0 and 110 liter board / 9 M kite and 140 TT
TOW:  1:30 - 4:00 WS and 5:00 - 6:30 KB
Water Conditions:  On the inside, smoothness, 3-8 foot waves, it was like a slick in the wave troughs, some of the best waves and wind combinations I've ever had WS at Lexington
Weather: Sunny mid - 50s
Wind:   Northeast 20-30 mph plus
Highlight: Best WS day in the waves this year - actual down the line back side wave riding

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Day 72 of the 2015 season: Back to Blue Lagoon with the original WS group - Windsurfing and Kiting

Back to Blue Lagoon with some of the original WS group, Larry, Steve, Dean, Jeff, Dave and Myself Windsurfing. I have not been here in a few years due to the ban on watersports. But we are now allowed back in on a limited bases to pursue our watersports.
So I got a welcome back with strong on-shore winds, voodoo chop and a shard of glass in my foot, welcome to Blue Lagoon.
On this rare occasion WS was much better then KB. The wind down low was steadier and stronger or so it felt.
Had a good WS session got dialed in with some new, longer harness lines. Winds were mostly steady from NNE probably 15 to 30 mph. A few kiters came out and had complaints about the wind up high. They were trying to make 14s and 15s work but onshore winds were fluky. So I rigged my 11M rally and went out for an hour to tough, challenging conditions. Although the wind up high seemed ok it was the onshore direction and the resulting voodoo chop that made conditions for KB challenging.

SANG wind data

Gear:   4.5 Ezzy with 100 liter RRD
11M Rally with the140 Mako Twin Tip
TOW:  2:00 - 4:30 WS / 5:00 - 6:00 KB
Water Conditions:  Voodoo chop, onshore winds usually make for bad water conditions
Weather:  Low 60s some clouds
Wind:   NNE to 30 plus
Highlight: Windsurfing 2.5 hours and the windsurfing conditions were better then the kiteboarding conditions.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day 71 of the 2015 season: Harsens Island with the like minded

Headed to Harsens Island to catch the afternoon post frontal winds.
The Wind Alert forecast again was right on. Post frontal winds came as schedule, ramping up to 30 plus by 5:30.
You go to love this time of the year. Forecast for next several days are off the charts. High winds all over the area.

Beauty of a sunset

Gear:   11M Rally with the Duke direction board and 140 Mako Twin Tip
TOW:  3:30 - 7:00
Water Conditions:  Typical Harsens with a north wind
Weather:  Low 60s some clouds
Wind:   NNE to 30 plus
Highlight: everything was good - getting more time on the directional board 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Day 70 of the 2015 season: Timing is everything - Pinconning exactly as forecasted

Butter Smoothness Slicks
Sun setting early this time of year

Gear:   11M Rally with 140 TT 
TOW:   400 - 6:30
Water Conditions:  shallow slicks to OBX sound side water conditions
Weather:   60s late evening sun
Wind:   up to 25MPH NE
Highlight:  slick riding and big boosts.

Forecast was spot on. Good timing on my part traveling from Empire back downstate and just happened to be going by Pinconning at the right time.
Mainly rode the slicks but ventured further out a few times to OBX sound side conditions.
It was all very good.
This stoke will last quite awhile after this fabulous session.

Actual wind data from Saginaw Bay Bouy

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Day 69 of the 2015 season: Finally a kite session at Empire Beach - First of 2015

Empire Beach first sesh of 2015
Sketchy, narrow beaches to launch on but at least the crowds are gone. I found a wider spot on private beach front but still a very sketchy launch and landings with the waves and strong long shore currents.
The forecast was spot on for time, direction and wind speed. Had a pretty near steady 18-20 for the most part.
Started at 12 and took a break at 2:30.. After that the wind lightened up so I didn't chance it for a second session.
Took an upwind run to Treat Farm pointe and did a downwinder session back. Had some fabulous boosts on the tack outside, some fun 180 ollies heading in. Just enough wind to make it work any less and toeside would of been difficult.  Very scenic with the towering dunes right in front of me and the Caribbean blue sandy waters right below my feet.

Gear:    11M Rally with 140 TT 
TOW:   12:30 - 2:30
Water Conditions: Smaller 2-4 foot waves
Weather:   sunny, beautiful mid-70s
Wind:    SSW to 20
Highlight: Empire Beach classic SW day

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Day 68 of the 2015 season: Nearly a repeat at Frankfort

Topping the Frankfort Lighthouse

Carving hard in the harbor
Met up with Jerry and on the water by 11 with the 11M for me and 12M for Jerry.
I rigged the Rally for the light winds, first knot on the inside lines and last knot on the outside.
I did notice a slight difference on the lighter side of the wind and a big difference with the heavy wind, overpowered much sooner then I expected. Where as yesterday with the middle knot rigged I could handle much higher winds.
Jerry was tearing it up, all kinds of jumps, rolls, ollies and other maneuvers I can't  even describe.
We headed to the harbor and rode there for a while until the wind got to be to much for me  - so headed in wanting to rig my 9. As I derigged my 11M and took a lunch break the wind dropped off and was no longer good.
Although it worked perfect for Jerry. Here it was about 2:30 and he had to leave by 3. So he got the maximum out of it from 11:00 - 2:30  just as he planned.
Some board foils went out in the lighter wind and they had them going well. Another group took off for a down winder to Point Betsie just before the wind dropped.
I saw some 8M kiters in the surf earlier and others on 11 to 13M kites throughout the 2.5 hour session.

Frankfort Harbor from the Elberta Dunes

Gear:    11M Rally with 140 TT an
TOW:   11:30 - 2:00
Water Conditions: Smaller 2-4 foot waves starting out and then getting bigger 4-6 feet as wind picked up in the afternoon
Weather:   sunny 70s
Wind:    SSW to 30
Highlight: Met up with Jerry and he did time it perfectly

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Day 67 of the 2015 season: Frankfort Rocks and Rolls

Near Epic conditions with kite sizes ranging from 7M - 12M seen on the water.
I started out with the 11M Rally kite and finished on the 9M. 
Playing on the north side of harbor in the waves and then over to the harbor for some flat water fun.
A nice venue -  where you have the best of both harbor flat water and some of the best waves I've seen on Lake Michigan. The SUP Surfers were getting long rides on the inside.
Finally a good demo of the Rally and I liked it. I rigged it for medium winds, middle knot front lines and last knot outside lines. I was able to hold on to it at 30 mph plus. Good boost, good turning, thus good carving, good range, it does all the things the Z did with the exception of much better boost. I still don't like the higher aspect ratio versus the Z.  Nearly impossible to flip over in deep water if you need to do a self rescue.
Overview: fantastic day on the water. All aspects were coordinated; wind speed/direction, air/water temperature. A few more degrees of west might have been better yet.

Frankfort Airport wind data

Gear:    11M Rally and 9M Z with 140 TT and Duke Surf board
TOW:   11:30 - 6:00
Water Conditions: 8-10 footers at peak to harbor flat water
Weather:   sunny upper 70s
Wind:    SSW to estimated 40 mph
Highlight: good day in for testing  the Rally