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

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Day 66 of the 2015 season: Lexington lights up - wind and waves align for wave carving bliss

Started with the 4.0 and 85 liter - Craig, Millard, John, Chris and Jeff  had 4.2 to 4.6s. I couldn't get the 4.0 dialed in. I think the 4.5 would of been a better choice. After trying to make it work with the twitchiness of the sail, either overpowered or underpowered it was just a pain in the ass luckily I had other options. So I then went the easy route and rigged the 9M kite.
A decent day mostly at the end of the depower line but still a very manageable day. The NE winds and the inside swell lined up perfectly for letting the kite drift and going down the line on the waves.

Port Sanilac data
Gear:   85 liter and 4.0 sail / 9 M with Twin Tip Mako
TOW:  12:00 - 2:30 / 3:30 - 4:30
Water Conditions:  Best swells I've seen in a long time
Weather:  60ish, mostly sunny
Wind:   NE to NNW to 30 mph plus
Highlight:  The wind direction and waves matched nicely for the first 2 hours then around 3:30 the wind turned more north and didn't complement the swell as good.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Day 65 of the 2015 season: Another one crossed of the bucket list

We had this day all planned out and thankfully the forecasted wind cooperated although another 5-10mph would of helped.
Met up with Craig at Frankfort for a day of kiting.
Before he arrived and the winds inside were still light I blew up my inflatable SUP and SUP surfed for an hour or so. Had fun catching some 2-4 foot inside well organized surfable waves - this could be an addicting sport.
When Craig arrived we rigged our big kites on the not so crowded Frankfort beach, little did we know how crowded it would become in a few hours. We launched and kited on the north side of the breakwall for awhile in marginally light winds, at one point I actually tried to head in it was that light. When I did get to the inside it was as fluky and the kite dropped, couldn't relaunch, people in the way etc..... finally got it back up in the air and decided to head back out.  Luckily it did pick up a tad and I was able to gain upwind ground. Meanwhile Craig was still out doing good considering the conditions.
Played on the north side for awhile then decided to head to the inside of the harbor. Once in the harbor the wind was still borderline most of the time and going toeside was difficult but other times it worked. Spent a few hours playing in the harbor with some butter smoothness and some small chop for chop hops. Finally headed back out to north side due to wind getting lighter. Got to the crowded beach with fluky winds and a difficult landing.
We took a break, derigged and got out of the beach crowd.
We then headed over to the other side at Elberta. Launched in the harbor and did a evening quickie session with 45 minutes of powered conditions.
I counted 9 kiters at peak and 20 plus surfers on the waves.
Then a well earned happy hour and dinner up the road at the Cabbage Patch eatery.

For a current live view of Frankfort Harbor click here

Frankfort Harbor  

TOW:  11:00 -3:30 and 5:00 - 6:00
Gear:   11M Rally, 11M Z, TT, Naish Nalu SUP board
Water Conditions:  some nice swells/voodoo swell/butter smooth flat water
Weather:  mid-80s
Wind:   12-25 SSW
Highlight:  The Frankfort Harbor, SUP surfing at Frankfort Beach, 80 degrees at midnight in Empire.

Frankfort area wind data

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Day 64 of of the 2015 season: Kiting at Point Betsie

Another challenging day with mostly side shore to side off wind toward the end. I would call it a marginally day with some highlights of good wind. One of those days where you build some confidence in the wind only to have it let you down by lulling. Luckily I could stay up wind during the steady periods and work my way downwind during the lulls. 4 other kiters showing up at Kite Point as they call it.  All were on 14s or bigger and still they had a challenging time.
Point Betsie isn't what it use to be. The higher water levels have taken away the most of the sandy beach and left impossible stones to launch and walk on. Really tough to self launch with the deeper water and side shore winds. The one good thing about Point Betsie is the way it juts out into Lake Michigan - I suspect it gets more wind then other nearby launch sites.

Halloween colors

Gear:   11M Rally kite and TT 140 Mako
TOW:  1:30 - 4:30 with a few lulls -  waited on the beach for lulls to end
Water Conditions:  started fairly flat and as the day progressed the waves picked up 2-4 footers
Weather:  Bluebird day, near 85 degrees - wore a shorty
Wind:   S-SSW-S  - again a gusty challenging day
Highlight:  Decent lifts with the new kite. Questionable lite wind pivoting of the Rally.