Monday, August 31, 2015

Day 63 of the 2015 season: Esch Beach again - New Kite

Another Esch Beach day - Practically the only spot near me where you find less people and a wide enough beach to launch a kite.
A decent day since it's been a week of no kiting and I was very anxious to try out the new kite.
Winds were fluky on the inside and gusty outside. I went from fully depowered to no depower mode throughout the session.
The Rally seems to have a better lower end then my Z, it seems to rotate slower. It seemed alright in the fully depowered mode with the higher winds which I would guess was up to 28 MPH.  Self launching it was the same as my Z. Lofting seemed similar but chop hopping, I definitely see more power there.
One thing I didn't like was when the kite was at 12 o'clock it wanted to overfly. My Z didn't do that even in fluky wind. Might of been the conditions near the shore since the winds were side shore toward the end of the session. Brian suggest a different setting on the outside lines. I was set at the middle knot he suggest last knot down.
Overall I feel it wasn't optimal conditions for comparison to my Z. So waiting a better day.....

New 2015 11M Slingshot Rally Kite

TOW:  4:30 - 6:00
Gear:  TT 140 Mako board and new 11M Rally
Water Conditions:  Small waves water temperature upper 60s
Weather: Bluebird day, near 80 degrees
Wind: gusty SW-S to 28 at best
Highlight: New kite
Schooled: Learning the new Rally kite

Monday, August 24, 2015

Day 62 0f the 2015 season: That's 3 in a row at Esch Beach - Kite Surfing

For the 3rd day in a row and 5 out of the last 6 days kite boarding was the rule.
Today turned out pretty good considering almost onshore, gusty extremely challenging  conditions with some sun, rain and ice balls thrown in the mixed. Knarly conditions on the outside but the inside was nearly perfect - the way the wind direction lined up with the shallow water swells was fun
A quickie session due to the cold air temperatures. Feeling a lot like late September.

TOW:   11:30 - 12:30
Gear:  9M and TT
Water Conditions:   Knarly conditions  - on shore wind and waves
Weather: mid-50s mostly cloudy
Wind: 20-35 WSW
Highlight:  wind and waves lined up for some down the line wave riding

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Day 61 of the 2015 season: Esch Beach Is habit forming

Esch Beach again - it's habit forming when the wind is right.
I tried to launch the 11M at Empire Beach but it just didn't work out. Not enough beach area making it a sketchy launch. Discovered a tear in my canopy at launch so I immediately landed it "hard" and blew out a canopy section. So derigged and decided to head to Esch beach and use my 9M.
Turned out to be the right decision the 9M worked just fine. Lots of beach launch area to safely launch.
Enjoyed a couple of hours playing in the bigger post frontal winds and swells.

TOW:    430 - 700
Gear:   9m 140 Mako
Water Conditions:  2-4 foot swells
Weather:  Suns out mid-70s after an all day rain.
Wind:  15-30 WSW post frontal wind
Highlights:  A desolate launch no-one around

Launching the 9 meter at a desolate Esch Beach

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Day 60 of the 2015 season: Esch Beach Classic Day

Esch Beach,  A Classic Southwest day - windy and warm are the proper ingredients
This is what I love about this area.  A classic southwest day - windy and warm are the proper ingredients to make this type of day happen. Didn't expect this today. The actual wind speed exceeded the forecasted wind speed.
A fun session on what started out as a desolate stretch of beach, that is until the throngs of beach tourist started arriving. Cant blame them they came for the sunny warm weather on their day off.
Two hours of TT riding with some of the biggest boosts to date and then got out the new directional board and rode it with the straps on. Wanted to get the feel for it  - couldn't switch feet so I had to toeside and heelside only. I enjoyed the ride, although I played it conservatively. It's gonna take some practice to get the necessary skills. And I must admit I love my TT...

TOW:    12:30 - 3:30 
Gear:   11m 140 Mako and  the Duke directional board with straps
Water Conditions:  Small 1-2 footers with smooth waves on the inside
Weather:  80s Sunny Classic Southwest windy day
Wind:  12-25 SW
Highlight:    Biggest boosts to date and direction board riding with straps

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Day 59 of the 2015 season: EPIC Metro Beach Windsurfing and Epic Harsens Island Kiteboarding

More windsurfers then kite boarders - that was due to the wind direction

Windsurfing at Metro Beach from 12:30 - 2:00

Epic conditions and epic venues.
I could of quit windsurfing at 2 pm and would of been smiling, but I got greedy and decided to hit up the island for more. The end results were an Epic day for both windsurfing and kite boarding.
Many windsurfers at Metro Beach the most I've seen there in a long time, (felt like an OBX reunion).  The conditions were as good as it gets for Metro Beach for the windsurfing crowd. Perfectly dialed in with steady 5.0 conditions for the time I was there.
Harsens was also epic with strong punchy winds between 20-35 mph.
Should of rigged the 9M kite but held on to the 11M and enjoyed the lofty conditions.

Kiteboarding at Harsens Island 3:30-7:30

TOW:  MB WS 12:30-2:00. Harsens KB 3:30-7:30
Gear:  5.0/100 and 11M/140 Water Conditions:  Larger organized swells due to higher winds
Weather: Sunny 70ish
Wind: WSW to 40
Highlight:  Epic day a both venues
Schooled:  I can still WS, pulled of the usual assortment of jibes and tacks.



One of the local experts  at Harsens Island.
That's me with the yellow kite in the background.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Day 58 of the 2015 season: Early morning and afternoon sessions at Metro Beach

Launch area all to myself from 8 o'clock until 9:30

First session of the day:
It's early morning, extremely sunny, warm with south winds to 20 a decent combination for some kiting.
Launched from the day sail area and kited for almost an hour before wind got marginal - decided to head over to the beach to launch with the new Duke directional board. After several attempts at the beach decided to give up for now - just to lite to stay up wind even with the bigger board.

Second session of the day:
It's now about 3:00 and I'm back at the beach for more action.
Keith and I launching at the beach in marginal conditions. Quickly the wind started filling in enough to stay up wind and give us 45 minutes of riding. A lull hit in what appeared to be a storm heading toward us. We hurried to de-rig before the storm hit us, but it went around and north of us. As this happened the wind kicked into the 20-30 range. So we hurried and re-rigged and got to ride for about 45 more minutes. Then it lightend up enough and I called it a day.

TOW:   8:15-9:30 AM session and back on the water at 4:00-5:30 for an afternoon session
Gear:   11M and 140 board
Water Conditions:  Typical LSC conditions at Metro Beach
Weather:  80s, sunny and warm
Wind:  SSE to 20, 1st sesh and to 30 for 2nd session - squally winds
Highlight:   Marginal early morning session with warm air shorty worn. Marginal afternoon session with a 45 minute blast of heavier winds.
Schooled: Learned a thing watching Keith boost

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Day 57 of the 2015 season: Esch Beach is a great venue while other beaches are to small to rig

Esch Beach has the space for rigging and launching, A much bigger beach area then Empire Beach.
Otter Creek empties into the lake near this beach and that makes for a larger sandy beach area. Also that also makes it attractive for beach tourist.
A decent session, some overpowered conditions for a while but still a fun session. Smooth inside waves made it fun for carving downwind.
First session from 12:00 - 3:00 took a break and then the second session cut short by storm clouds

TOW:  12:00-3:00 and 3:30-4:30
Gear:  11M 140 Mako
Water Conditions: 2-4 foot swells
Weather: 80's mostly sunny
Wind: 15-30 SW
Highlight:  Warm, windy, sunny conditions

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Day 56 of the 2015 season: One of my favorite Leelanau County launche sites

Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Bay, Glen Haven's Cannery launch site.
One of my many favorite Leelanau County launches on a N- NE-NW - I don't get here often enough.
I was able to find a launchable beach site, with the higher water levels - a good beach is hard to find.
With solid NW winds in the 15-25 range suddenly turning on. The inside swells building and nicely forming on the 100 yard inside sections. Shallow inside water with a strong longshore current made butter smooth conditions between the nicely space waves ramping up in the shallows. One of my best sessions carving amongst the butter waves, 8 or 9 carve turns trying to time it right for the wave hit and then work my way upwind to do it again for over 2 hours.
Kiting with a guy named Neil. He is living and traveling on his sailboat which he has moored in a local marina for the summer. In the winters he sails to Florida and does the same thing there thru-out the winter.

TOW:  3:00-5:30
Gear:  11M and 140 board
Water Conditions: Large inside area with smoothness in amongst the well formed waves 
Weather:  A delightful mid-70s, sunny day
Wind: 15-25 from the NNW
Highlight:  Fun wave carving
Schooled: Wave carving - note to self get a wave board

Sleeping Bear Bay

Leyland wind data

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Day 55 of the 2015 season: UP surprise kite session - Munising Bay with10-20 MPH winds

Launch Site
TOW:  3:00-4:30 a quickie rushed session
Gear:  11M and 140 board.
Water Conditions: Minising Bay - OBX style conditions  - 60 degree waters
Weather:  A delightful mid-70s, sunny UP day
Wind: 10-18 from the NE funneling thru Grand Island and the mainland
Highlight:  Fun experience 3 of the Great Lakes accomplished this year so far.
Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior
Schooled:  Pure enjoyment