Saturday, December 31, 2016

Day 82 of the 2016 season: So now I can say I kited on New Year's Eve

The last session of the 2016 season.

Stoked to get on the water after the ice recently blew away and with 3 snowkite session under my belt. Just yesterday I had a Kitewing/ice skate session on the ice at the swamp.
With the temps in the lower 40s, a strong SW wind today and a lot of chatter going on. That got me out to the beach after some noon family activities. It appeared windy enough for my 6.5 kite. So I rigged it and launched at 3. It appears I lost my sea legs pretty quick. First launch I took a dive...a head first underwater dive, instant ice cream headache. Finally I got going for 15-20 minutes of glory before the wind started to die off.
Luckily I was way upwind by then and and it didnt present a problem.
A few strong gusts were good enough to keep me out on the water.
Soon it got to lite for my 6.5 and I had to call it quits.
About 10 kiters showed up sized from my 6.5M to 12M.
Overall it was just a mellow session on the water. The 6.5 worked good in place of my 9M. I'm really liking this little fellow for the upper limit of my 9M winds.
So now I can say I kited on New Year's Eve.

TOW:  (Time on the water) Barely made it from 3:00 - 4:00
Gear:   6.5 M LF with TT board
Water Conditions:  1-3 foot chop   
Weather: 43 air degrees with water being about the same, mostly cloudy by the time I started
Wind: SW to WSW 30 plus at the start dropping within the hour 10-20 from the west
Highlights:  First ever New Years Eve water session

Hardy New Year's Eve crew

Friday, December 30, 2016

Kitewing ice skate session at the swamp
Kitewing is a wing shaped kite. Many people call it “the wing” for short, just because of its shape. You can use Kitewing with your skis, snowboard, mountainboard, skates or in-line skates etc. Many say it is like a mix of kite surfing and wind surfing.
Most riders learn to cruise with the wing in half an hour. At the same time there seems to be no limit to the amazing jumps and tricks that are being developed by many keen riders around the globe at the moment: Speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mp/h) and 5 m high, 40 m long jumps on flat surface are not unusual.
We at Kitewing Sports Ltd. believe that the combination of it being easy and challenging at the same time is the reason for the rapidly growing popularity of this new action sport.

TOW:  One hour 2-3 o'clock
Gear:   Kitewing 4.8M and hockey skates                            
Water Conditions:  (ice conditions)  many smooth areas
Weather: mid 30s and party cloudy
Wind: WNW to 20
Highlights:  First KW session on the season

TRACK Kitewing skates 12/30
MAX SPEED 16.72 mph
DISTANCE: 8.51 miles

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Day 81 of the 2016 season: Snowkiting - Fresh Tracks on Lake Mitchell

Fresh Tracks on Lake Cadillac, up to a foot deep with slush as a base in the deep powdered areas.
That means some deep ruts which equated to unridable conditions. So the more I rode in the same area the ruttier it got. Still it's a big inland lake with plenty of room to set new tracks.
Overall a great day with decent enough wind to keep the kite in the air.
Just enough wind for the 13 and at times a little bit of blowing snow to clean the palette.

The Mighty Z
Lake Cadillac snowkite 12/22/16

Monday, December 19, 2016

Day 80 of the 2016 season: Lil' Glen Lake, my definition of extreme snowkiting

My definition of extreme snow-kiting

My definition of extreme snow-kiting.
Fierce winds to 40 plus, snow devils, and mid-teens made it an interesting snowkite sesh on Little Glen Lake. Met Pete who just got done kiting with his 12M.....whoa......How did he survive? 
I'm glad I rigged my 6.5. At times I was fully depowered and doing survival mode kiting.
Overall a quickie fun sesh with good snow cover, up to a foot of wind blown packed powder.
Was able to do some straight downwind runs carving turns, just like downhill snowboarding.

TOB: 2:00-3:00
Gear:  6.5M LF kite and Burton Hero board
Water Conditions:  (snow conditions) wind blown pack powder
Weather: mid -teens and some sun
Wind: 20-40 mph SE to S, not enough fetch from that direction to smooth out the gustiness
Highlights: Glad I rig 6.5, nice powder conditions with fierce winds

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Day 79 of the 2016 season: First snowkiting session of the season

First snowkite session of this winter season. Marginal winds but surprisingly it was enough
to make it work. Craig on his 12M and me on my 13M. Some wind scoured bare spots
to 8 inches of refrozen powder in a limited area. Any more kiters may have been a problem.
Some quick turning downwind carving, toesides, butters, ollies enough wind for all of that. 

GPS tracks

TOB:   2:30-3:45
Gear:  13M Z kite (short line bar) and Burton Hero board
Water Conditions:  (snow conditions) up to 8 inches to wind scoured areas
Weather: mid-20s mostly cloudy
Wind: WSW to 25mph estimated
Highlights: first snowkite session of the season 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Day 78 of the 2016 season: Back to Back HI for a repeat of yesterday

A repeat of yesterday with the exception of the middle channel slick was better with the WNW winds. In fact Craig and I spent over an hour playing in the slicks. Eventually the wind turned more toward the west and it was harder to hug the shore/shallow area of slick. But still well worth the tough ride to it.
Using the 6.5 again while others were on 9M - it's a fun, snappy kite. Plenty of power to do everything I wanted it to do. Felt like it upwinds better then my Z kites.
Another cold, 40-42 degree day, not feeling it at all with the Patagonia suit.
A peak of 8-10 kiters showing up.
Overall another nearly epic Harsens Island session.

Looking cold out there

  1:30 - 3:30            
Gear:  6.5, TT Mako
Wind: WNW to 30+
Water Conditions: organized small swell with most of the time spent at the slick
Weather: 41 degrees, 50/50 sunny/clouds
Highlights: loving the 6.5, a very snappy handling kite

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Day 77 of the 2016 season: Cold HI with 20-30 mph WSW winds

Welcome to December 2016:
I'm astonished, at 41 degrees, cloudy, up to 30mph winds and wind chills in the 20s, not feeling of the cold whatsoever.
Four hours of riding, jumping, carving in the weed beds, upwinders and downwinders, TT and surfboard, 9M to 6.5M. Near epic conditions for December 1 in Michigan.
Up to a dozen kiters and 1 lone windsurfer.

A photo by DV

Actual wind data from Mitchell Bay
TOW:   12:30-2:30 (9M) and 3:00-5:00  (6.5M)        
Gear:  9M Z1, TT and 6.5M, Mako TT and Mako Duke directional board with straps
Water Conditions: mostly organized small swell with some slicks to be found on the lee side of bay
Weather: 41 degrees, 98% cloudy
Wind: Generally WSW to 30+ lofty conditions 
Highlights: Using the 6.5 in 9M conditions

Monday, November 28, 2016

Day 76 0f the 2016 season: After a false start the wind finally showed up - with a solid rain kite session

Arriving at Metrobeach by 11 o'clock to what we thought were good enough winds. Rigged up my 11 others rigged 12s or bigger. Saw some others struggling on the water so I decided to take out the bigger direction board. I played on the directional for awhile in marginal winds as I watched Craig walking back to shore with his kite. Soon after it wasn't enough for my kit so I headed in.
We waited around, got lunch and finally the wind turned on at 2:00 so at 2:30 I went out and enjoyed an excellent 2 hours of loftiness on the TT and the last .5 hour on the directional board as it got lighter.
About 6 kiters showed up with a cool 44 degrees at 5 o'clock.

TOW:   2:30 - 5:00                        
Gear:  11M Z1, TT and Mako directional board with straps
Water Conditions: choppy,  some unusual SE swells to play on
Weather: rain heavy at times, 44 degrees when I got off the water
Wind:  to 30 mph from SSE (135 degrees)
Highlights: very lofty conditions, long floater jumps

Metro Beach session from 2:30 - 5:00

Friday, November 18, 2016

Day 75 of the 2016 season: Frankfort with Gnarly conditions and a bad call at the end

Not to many days in November that warm up to 65-70 degrees especially in late November. Also my first session at Frankfort this season.
A quickie session due to the gnarly conditions at Frankfort beach.
Several kiters out on 9s to 17s. With 12 being the average size.
Rigged my 11 during a lull and headed out during a puff.
Enjoying the ride on the north side of the harbor, some shoulder high clean swells to play on. Had to avoid the surfers and fight the gustiness of the south winds on the inside but all was good..
Wind data from thr Frankfort Light
Suddenly out of nowhere a heavy rain squall appeared and ramped the winds up to 30-40 mph. Struggled on the wild ride out during the heavy rain squall, but the toeside rides in with excess wind were worth the effort.  Just as the swell kicked up quickly to well over head height the wind lulled. Most kiters struggled in along with myself.
Landing my kite in the rain while others went back out as the wind again ramped up.
I was either going call it quits or rig my 9M. With the rain still falling, did I want to get 2 kites wet and sandy?
So I ended up wrapping up my 11 and calling it quits.  After that I was very disappointed in my call. I missed another 1.5 hours of good 9M or 6.5M conditions - should of, could of but didn't. I watched as the winds looked steady and guys on 8-12s were ripping it up. Not happy with my decision...but oh well live and learn...

South entrance light

TOW:   2:45-3:45                          
Gear:  11M Z1 and TT
Water Conditions:    shoulder high to over head high mostly clean
Weather:   65-70 degrees partly cloudy to heavy rain squalls
Wind:  20-40 mph S to SW to S
Highlights: head high clean swells inside - gnarly conditions during a rain squall

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Day 74 of the 2016 season: Caseville, near epic conditions!

What a day!  With near epic conditions for me.
Upon arrival we found Chris taking a break in the parking lot and saying conditions were not as expected, with plenty of holes and massive gusts.
Craig an I rigged our 9s to match Chris's 9 and by the time I launched and took my first tack I was saying I could be on my 6.5. I held on over powered for the first hour hoping for the wind to drop a tad. Finally it felt like it did drop but still I was at the end of my depower line the entire session.
Stayed mostly on lee side of breakwall where cleaner swells and the slicks were.
Fun jumping, slashing, carving and the slick was fabulous. A fun day where the 4 hours of drive time paid good feeling dividends.
Craig, Chris, Pablo, myself and 2 other kiters enjoying the conditions.

Caseville wind data 20-35 mph

TOW:    1:45-4:30
Gear:  9M Z kite and TT board
Water Conditions:  flat water slicks, some knee hip high clean swell and ugly LSC style chop outside and upwind of breakwall
Weather:   50ish degree air with bluebird skies
Wind:  Mainly SW 20-35 mph. Some holes, some gustiness
Highlights: a near epic day with plenty of wind to do whatever my capabilities allowed

TRACK Caseville 11/13
MAX SPEED  23.44 mph
SKI DISTANCE  33.84 miles

TRACK Caseville 11/13
MAX SPEED  23.44 mph
SKI DISTANCE  33.84 miles

Friday, November 11, 2016

Day 73 of the 2016 season: HI with a rare 6.5 kite session

A rare 6.5 kite session on the LF solo kite. (I know it sounds like a windsurfing rig size).
The 6.5 was plenty of fun and enough power to do all that I could do.
Others were on 9.0 with the same results.
Kiting with Craig, John, Jerry, Mark and a few more.

TOW:    2:15-4:30 -  31.5 GPS miles
Gear:  6.5 LF Solo kite and TT board
Water Conditions:  Some holes/gustiness
Weather:   40ish degree air with bluebird
Wind:  Mainly NNE to 30+
Highlights: a great boosting day
with plenty of wind to do it all

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Day 72 of the 2016 season: Metrobeach fires up to near epic conditions

Started on 11M Z1 and finished on the 9M Z.
An above average November day with not a cloud in the sky and nearing 60 degrees.
A near epic Metro Beach day with strong mainly SW winds.

   11:30-1:30 and 3:00-5:00
Gear:  11M Z1, 9MZ, TT board
Water Conditions:  Some holes/gustiness
Weather:   60ish degree air with bluebird
Wind:  Mainly SW and WSW to 30+
Highlights: some nice playful swells and a great boosting day
with plenty of wind to do it all

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Day 71 of the 2016 season: November finally gets some wind - Harsens breaks the streak

November finally gets some wind - 10 days of downtime in the peak fall season finally comes to an end. A cold, chilly, cloudy morning session at Harsens Island turns into a bluebird afternoon session breaking the streak. Keith already on the water when I arrived with both of us on the 9Ms for the morning session then during a lull at noon I rigged up the 11M. Craig came and rigged his 12M and then Jerry with his 12M. Had another 2 hours on the 11M with the 2nd hour lightening up and me switching to my directional board.
An early trip to the slick where conditions were decent nearest the point, some hunters hiding in the weeds spoiled that only fun section of the slick.
Overall decent day with the Patagonia suit working wonders to keep me warm.

TRACK Harsens Island 11/9
MAX SPEED 21.14 mph
SKI DISTANCE 52.60 miles

TOW:    9:45 - 2:30 with a 1 hour break - 52 miles of riding
Gear:   9M Z 9:30 - 11:30, 11M Z1 12:30-2:30,   TT and directional board
Water Conditions:  Typical H.I.
Weather:   mid 40s to 50 degree air and cloudy to bluebird
Wind:  N to 30  
Highlights: Fun day with a record breaking 52 miles logged

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Day 70 0f the 2016 season: H.I. comes through -Took a risk with a so-so forecast and it paid off good dividends

A nearly 3 hour session with a spooky forecast that didn't promise much. I took a risk and did the 1 hour drive and the dividends paid off. Mainly used the direction surf board with the straps on. Needed to get some time on this surf board and since the conditions started out light I took the "big" board out.
Enjoyed the first hour of marginally winds - trying to dial in the Duke. Easily staying upwind in the lighter air. Not quite enough for some hard driving carving.
Eventually the wind ramped up and I needed almost fully depower mode for the 13. Upwinding was easier yet, I could of made the slick in one tack.
Finally I was able to enjoy some downwind runs slashing some water both toeside and heelside. Jumping with this light weight board was really easy - lofting to some record heights.
Ben the windsurfer was the only other person there - along with some duck hunters hiding in the reed beds.
Overall - the session well worth the drive time.

Gear for the day

TOW:   2:00 - 5:00
Gear:     13 M Z and Directional with straps
Water Conditions:  small chop all around
Weather:  Mid - 40s thick overcast with occasional drizzle
Wind:   NNE-NE 10-25
Highlights: Mainly used the directional surf board with straps on.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Day 69 of the 2016 season: A real dawn patrol at Metro Beach

Arriving at Metro Beach with starry skies at 7 a.m. I rigged up the 11M Z1 at first light and launched at 7:45 a.m. Sunrise was at 8:01 a.m.
The forecast was for decent SW winds until 11 then tapering off.  Forecast was practically spot on.
Chris, Mark and I were first on the water and by 9:30 I counted 13 kiters on the water.

The earlier birds caught the winds

TOW:   7:45 - 9:30
Gear:     11 M Z1 and TT
Water Conditions:  small chop inside with some bigger swell off the shoal
Weather:  beauty of an October morning - 60ish
Wind:   SW 10-20
Highlights:  fun session watching the sun rise, tremendous jumps, and playing in some nice swell off the point in the shoal area with Chris.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Day 68 of the 2016 season: Belle River - 2002 was the last time I windsurfed here

Its been at least 14 years since I last windsurfed here. Many changes since then - what use to be an undeveloped trash strewn area is now a nice beach/launch site well maintained by the city of Belle River.
A nice 3 hour session, after launching from the beach into the voodoo chop I had to make my way downwind to kite on the east side of the breakwall where the unruly swell really cleaned up. Had fun there riding in mini-Lexington type of conditions.
Riding with Mark K, Mark, Douglas and Bha Vim.

View of the Belle River site

TOW:  2:30 - 5:00
Gear:    11M Z1 and TT
Water Conditions: Voodoo chop at the launch to cleaner conditions at lee side of breakwall
Weather: thick overcast mid-40s
Wind:  from 10-25mph, generally out of the NW
Highlights: Nice waist high cleaned up conditions on the east side of the breakwall

Belle River wind data

Monday, October 24, 2016

Day 67 of the 2016 season: Harsens Island - Near epic action at the slicks (First use of Pataginia Kite Suit)

Got a late start, helping Mike launch and adjusting my new Patagonia dry suit.
Once on the water I found holey conditions with trouble gaining ground to head to the slick.
Mark and Craig were there already. I headed way out of the bay into the open water to find steadier winds, but still it was hard heading upwind for some reason. Finally after a half hour plus I got to the middle channel. Jerry arrived at the slick the same time I did, hmmm... and he started well after I started.

I found some Epic conditions there. The wind appeared to be from the NNW and I was able to go deep into the middle channel to some of the smoothest slick conditions I ever had.

The four of us were stoked with those conditions, eventually Mark headed back and after that Jerry headed back...not sure why they headed back?
Craig and I enjoyed the easy, pleasy conditions, jumping, boosting and ollies.
After awhile Craig headed back so I enjoyed another few runs through the slick before I noticed the wind was slacking off. Headed back to the launch with the light winds and called it a day.
Loved the new kite suit  - bone dry afterwards.

Slick Paradise

TOW:  12:00-2:30
Gear:    11M Z1 and TT
Water Conditions: Kited mainly at the middle channel slick
Weather: partly sunny 50ish degrees
Wind:  from 10-25mph, generally out of the NNW
Highlights: the slick was awesome

Friday, October 21, 2016

Day 66 of the 2016 season: Lexington fires up - the swell was wrapping around the jetty creating some of the best waves of the season

With the swell wrapping around the jetty creating some of the best organized, cleanest waves of the
season the only problem was the wind was gusty and punchy. Craig, Jerry and I had no complaints. We were still able to enjoy the waves on most runs. Drifting the kite and riding, turning, slashing downhill toeside to heelside felt like a snowboard session on the groomers.
Overall a near epic Lexington day.

TOW:  11:00 - 2:00
Gear:    9M Z kite and TT
Water Conditions: Clean waves, head high plus on the inside and voodoo chop on the outside.
Weather:  overcast, 50ish degrees
Wind:  NNE sometimes shifting N to NNW, gusty and punchy on the outside, gustier and punchier on the inside
Highlights: Best wave session of the year for Lexington
Winds were up to 30 plus

30 miles of bliss Lexington 10/21/16
MAX SPEED : 26.23 mph
AVERAGE SPEED: 11.65 mph
DISTANCE: 29.97 miles

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Day 65 of the 2016 season: Sunrising lauching at Metrobeach

Near epic Metrobeach conditions, a little gustiness kept it from being an epic session.
Rigged the 11M Z1 at dawn and was on the water a few minutes after sunrise.
Chris and another already ripping it up when I arrived.
Near epic Metrobeach conditions for the first session from 8-10,  eventually flying well overpowered by 10. Came in took a break, rigged the 9 and by 11 was back out enjoying near epic conditions with the 9M Z. Great day with everyone enjoying the near epic conditions.

Wind data for the day

This is a sunrise session at Metrobeach

TOW:  8:00-10:00 and 11:00-1:00
Gear:    11M Z1 and 9M Z with TT board
Water Conditions:  choppy with some organized 1-3 foot swell off the pointe shoal
Weather:  mostly sunny, low 70s
Wind:  S to SW winds to 40mph
Highlights:  fun all around session.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Day 64 of the 2016 season: Up high with steady breezes at Metro Beach

Warm and breezy, a MetroBeach session where there were good winds up high with barely a whitecap to be found.

Wind data  - can't believe it was kitable with theses lite winds

TOW:  2:30 - 4:30
Gear:    13M Z and TT
Water Conditions:  Barely a whitecap
Weather:  Sunny, low 70s
Wind:  South winds to 22mph mainly up high
Highlights:  fun boosting session with enough wind up high for the 13M to carve up some turns

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Day 63 of the 2016 season: Road trip to Tawas - another marginal day

Six hours of drive time for 2.5 hours of marginal kite time. hmmm... ya wonder when will we learn?
Leaving late didn't help matters - they say we missed the best winds earlier.
Craig and I left at 10:15 arriving around 1:15. We rigged and launched during a lull. We ending up walking our kites upwind toward the point because of the lite conditions. At least half way through the walk the wind got stronger so we were able to finish the upwind run riding.
The point was crowded, a weekend day off with wind and up to 30 kiters on the by some accounts.
Had some good rides but could of used a bit more for the style of riding I like.
Overall - it was another "not worth the drive" session to Tawas. I'm 1 for 3 at Tawas this season.
Great Pizza and beer dinner with Craig at a local downtown Tawas restaurant.

TOW:  2:00 - 4:15
Gear:    11M Z1 and TT
Water Conditions:  Small chop to flat water
Weather:  Cloudy, low 60s
Wind:  Mainly south winds 10 - 22
Highlights:  Another Marginal day

Tawas Point wind data

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day 62 of the 2016 season: Wimpy Harsens Island Session

The morning wind forecast was pretty much correct. Windiest early in the morning and tapering off by 11 o'clock. It wasn't a promising forecast but as always I was hoping for maybe a tad higher then forecasted. 
We rig our 11 and 12 M kites and eventually headed to the slick. Wasting a lot of time getting there only to find the slick conditions were not as expected, to much west out in the open water.
We tried to make it work there, in the fluky holey conditions, it just didn't happen.  The wind was appearing to dwindle so we headed back in very lite conditions. Once near the launch the wind spiked up so we played a little bit more until we couldn't stay upwind any more.
A 2 hour mediocre session. A few jumps, a few hard carving turns in the flat water section but that was it - a wimpy session.

TOW:  8:30 - 10:30
Gear:    11M Z1 and TT
Water Conditions:  Small chop to flat water
Weather:  Mostly sunny, low 50s
Wind: NNW to WNW  10-25 mph

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Day 61 of the 2016 season: A new venue and I love it - Platte River

Needed a good launch for the westerly winds. I remembered this place from my windsurfing days, and a good place it is. After parking it's a short walk to the beach launch, plenty of beach for rigging and launching. Kited with 3 locals on 13.5M, 12M and a 10M. Enjoyed the shallow, no breakers crashing on you as you try to launch - launch site. I would say almost slick type of conditions on the inside. Outside I had waist high clean waves at the second sandbar.
A quickie, exploratory 11 M Z1 session -  due to the winds dropping.
First sub 48 degree session this fall wore all the rubber and was toasty warm.

TOW: 12:30-1:30
Gear:   11M Z1 and TT
Water Conditions: inside sandbar was practically a slick. Outside sandbar had some nice waist high breakers
Weather: upper 40s, mostly cloudy
Wind:  WNW winds 25 down to 15
Highlights: Excellent venue for W to NW winds - I'll be back here for sure

Friday, October 7, 2016

Day 60 of the 2016 season: Empire Beach

Empire Beach all to myself a rarity
Started out with the 11M Z1 and quickly realized once the kite was up in the air the wind was 9M or less.
Quickly rigged the 9M Z and headed out at 11 o'clock.
Wow! Still overpowered and gusty. I pulled the depower line all the way out and still had to edge hard in the gusts.  Some clean swells on the inside where most of the gustiness was. On the outside generally unruly, gnarly conditions.
Kited non-stop until 12:30 when a squall line of clouds came in and switched the winds to onshore. Along with higher winds speeds of 35 plus was my estimate. Couldn't safety kite with the stronger winds and no more room to depower. Came in and called it a day.

Wind data from Frankfort

TOW: 11:00-12:30  
Gear:   9M and TT
Water Conditions: gnarly
Weather: lower 60s mostly cloudy
Wind:  15-40 S-SW-WSW gusty
Highlights: gnarly conditions with wind switching to onshore direction and increasing

Friday, September 30, 2016

Day 59 of the 2016 season: Pinconning slicks and OBX style kiteboarding

A calculated gamble with the forecast.
With the one and a half hour drive to Pinconning paying off. Drizzle to a hard rain a falling the entire session, but 11M down to 9 M conditions made it worth it.
A complete solo session no one around, a few went to Hoyles but no
one showed at Pinconning.

TOW: 11:30-1:00 11M Z1 and 1:30-3:00 9M Z
Gear: 11M Z1, 9M Z TT and directional board
Weather: ugly, almost a constant rain. Drizzle to downpours
Water: slicks inside and OBX style on the outside
Winds: 15-30 mph fro NE
Highlights: boosting and water ski carving in the slicks

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Day 58 of the 2016 season: Lexington with waves and marginal winds

Got to Lex early expecting an all day session.
Keith rigged and tested the waters early at 11 o'clock or so. Didn't look windy but his knowledge got him out and he was powered up. He came in and offered his Rebel to me for testing. I got a few short underpowered rides on it before dropping it in the shore break near the rocks and trees. Needless to say Keith came running over to save the day and his kite. Than You Keith - your favorite beers are being chilled.
So the lull lasted until 2:30 when again Keith tested the winds and declared it was enough. He went out and did good. We all rigged, Chris, Craig and Myself, 12s and 11. We all enjoyed up/down holey conditions as much as you can enjoy those conditions. Sometimes you would have the wind and the clean waves both at the same time.

Cloudy and raining

TOW: Finally got on the water from 3:30 -6:00
Gear:    11M Z1 and TT
Water Conditions:  some nice clean head high waves with marginal 11M winds
Weather:  ugly, cloudy some rain
Wind:  ENE to 25mph maybe - hard to judge
Highlights: Tried Keith's 12M North Rebel kite and quickly dropped it in the water.
A marginal sesh with decent waves but most of the time wind wasn't
enough to play in them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Day 57 of the 2016 season: A wild rodeo session - winds gusting from 10-35 mph

A type of session that depletes any confidence you had. Overpowered gusting conditions on the 11 so I rigged the 9 and still the gusts were overpowering. Punchy gusts practically pulling the bar out of my hands. More of surviving sailing than anything else. The first half hour on the 11 was nearly perfect but after that it wasn't enjoyable often enough to justify being on the water. Lucky for me I had someplace to be by 3:00 so I called it quits at 2:00.

T.O.W.  11:30-12:30 11M Z1 and 1:00-2:00 9M Z
Gear:    11M Z1 and 9M Z
Water Conditions: 2-5 foot voo-doo chop with some organized swell for slashing
Weather:  nearly a bluebird day, mid 60s
Wind:  SW to WSW generally gusty from 10-35 mph
Highlights: a ride fit for a rodeo show, overpowered on the 11m and the 9M

Monday, September 26, 2016

Day 56 of the 2016 season: Harsens Island near EPIC session

Near epic HI session with Craig, Chris, Mark and a few others.
Not a day for the middle channel slicks but still a fun day, some flat water could be found if you crossed the bay and rode on the lee side of the weeds.
I followed Craig beyond the middle channel and into Little Mascomoot bay, I think that's where we were. Not quite sure why he went there, maybe seeking some unknown slicks. Smoother shallow water was found but not the glassed out slicks we desired.
Overall a near epic HI day.

Chris riding until sundown

TOW:   2:00 - 6:00,  4 hours of non-stop action
Gear:     11M Z1 and TT board
Water Conditions: Typical HI
Weather:   mid-60s, 90% clear
Wind:   10-35 from the WSW
Highlights: Nice big boosting conditions/slashing conditions

Friday, September 23, 2016

Day 55 of the 2016 season: Lexinginton session with an added Near Epic downwinder to finished the day off

Path of downwinder

Forecast looked promising for a classic nor'easter at Lexington. It was plenty windy enough for my
Lexington wind data
9M Z when I arrived so I rigged and launched and enjoyed a half hour of good 9M conditions. Making one downwind down the line wave run. After that I struggled to get back upwind as the wind was dissipating quickly. Came in and rigged the 13M Z, having better results with the bigger kite.
Eventually the wind speed started picking up I signaled to Craig and he got back out on his 12, Chris showed up on his 12 and strapless Mako Duke.
At Chris's insistence of "lets do a downy" I caved in and accepted the challenge, although I didn't trust the wind,  we were heading to Port Sanilac. Chris, Craig and myself got to Sanilac and it looked and felted windier. So I rig my 11 Z1 and Chris, Craig on 12s.
Launched in the Harbor and enjoyed some slicks as we waited for Chris. 
WE left the harbor and started the downwinder. Good runs some down the line waves close to the inside, after spotting boulders and rocks I shied away form the close inside turns.
After 1.5 hours and 20 miles we reached the Lexington Harbor.
It turned out to be a fun near epic downwinder - I thought I could of used more wind I was surprised how good it was with what seemed like just enough wind.  A couple of times I couldn't get out of a jam due to lite conditions but overall a near epic experience. Thanks to Chris for his insistence of doing the downwinder.
Topped it off with dinner and beers at the Theater Inn with Alan, Billy and Craig

GPS data

T.O.W. 10:30 - 11:00 9M Z,  12:00 - 3:00, 13M Z,  3:45 - 5:15 downwinder 11M Z1
Gear:   All 3 kites rigged and used 
Water Conditions: slicks near the breakwall to mellow waves during the downwinder
Weather:  mostly sunny, mid 60s
Wind:  N-NNE 15-30 mph
Highlights: Downwinder from Port Sanilac to Lexington on 11M Z1 kite

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Day 54 of the 2016 season: Lexington - lite breeze with strapped surf board and the 13M Z kite

Another day with travel and lite wind results. Actually the forecast wasn't that promising so we took a gamble.
Lexington was reading 15-20 and that got Craig and I committed. 
It felt like it was 12-18 mph at best.
Got out the strapped Mako Duke surf board and used it with my 13M Z kite. Really just mowing the lawn but a good opportunity to get use to the surf board. just going heelside out and toeside in no switching the feet attempted. Needed practice and I got on the water...

TOW:    Barley an hour 3:30-4:30 (had to record this session because of the rare use of the Duke board
Gear:     Mako Duke strapped board with 13 M Z kite
Water Conditions:  Inside flat out side 1-2 foot swell
Weather:   upper 60s and sunny
Wind:   12-18 mph from the NNE
Highlights: Rode the surfboard with straps in a light breeze with the 13M kite.

Wind Data from Port Sanilac looks like the wind we had at Lexington. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Day 53 of the 2016 season: Caseville yawner

Joined up with Craig for a spur of moment decision to do a rode trip to Caseville.
A two hour drive only to be greeted by a SSW breeze of unimpressive speed and direction. Not the best direction for Caseville to work.
Based on the forecast the wind was to clock more westerly with decent speeds throughout the afternoon. 
The 3 of us rigged, Larry, Craig and myself, 12s and 11. I launched first and struggled to get out to the cleaner winds - it actually looked windy enough and the wind speed was reported to be 18 plus mph. Once on the outside it was better but not steady. I played along the breakwall for awhile and then headed upwind following Craig and Larry. Not quite enough wind to make good time upwind for me, so I decided to turn around and do a downwinder back. The ride downwind was probably the best part of the day. I was able to carve on some small swell most of the way back. Eventually the wind dropped so I bee lined it in back to the beach, followed by Craig and Larry soon afterward. That was it, we waited but the wind didn't cooperate so we decided to derig and go out for beers and dinner with Debbie, Larry, Craig and myself.

TOW:    1:00 - 3:00
Gear:     11M and 140 TT
Water Conditions:   Flat to small swell and chop
Weather:   70s and  mostly cloudy
Wind:   SSW to lower 20s

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Day 52 of the 2016 season: A quicky session - as good as it gets at Metro Beach

A quick decision of timing, between the rain ending and the wind picking up.
I was constantly monitoring the conditions, when the rain stopped and the wind fired up I headed to the beach. Rigged in record time and on the water by 9 rode until 10. Just as I planned it - I got home and was ready for a wedding by 11:00. Executed it almost perfectly...

TOW:   Precisely from 9:00 - 10:00
Gear:    11M Z1 and TT
Water Conditions:  SSW swell with some good ramps for jumping
Weather:  Sun appearing 75ish degrees
Wind:  SSW to 30 mph
Highlights:  good boosting day, good carving downwind riding day, as good as it gets at Metro Beach

Data from MB

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Day 51 of the 2016 sesson: Ludington road trip resulting in an rewarding downwinder

After much debate the 3 of us decided to head to Ludington from Empire, were the forecast looked so much better.
An 80 mile 1.5 hour trip from Empire but well worth it for Craig, Jerry and myself.
We rigged at the Ludington Beach and took a side trip to the harbor before beginning the downwinder. At the start the wind was very lite but we were committed and already to far downwind of our launch site. Still enough wind to drift the kite as I rode the inside waves but not much slashing or hard driving turning - love the drift on this kite. Finally about half way the wind kicked in and made the conditions better. Now able to slash on the wave faces and do some aggressive turns on the inside clean waves. In return I wore myself out enjoying it to much without pacing myself. So the last couple of miles I just cruised in enjoying a few inside trips.
Great Day with Craig and Jerry and then meeting up with Kim, Jerry, Chuckie and Michelle for beer and dinner at the James Brewery in town.

TOW:  1:45 - to 3:30
Gear:   11M Z1
Water Conditions:   SSW swell
Weather: Clear to cloudy, 80ish degrees
Wind: 10-30 SSW
Highlights: Nice spot to kite we played in the harbor before we did the downwinder.

Ludington Harbor and Downwinder tracks
MAX SPEED 22.38 mph
DISTANCE  23.31 miles

Ludington downwind to Big Sable Point
MAX SPEED  18.78 mph
AVERAGE SPEED  12.61 mph
DURATION          1:06 hour
DISTANCE 13.38 mile
crow flight 6.2 miles

Wind data from Big Sable

Storm approaching ended a second chance of a downwinder