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