Thursday, June 30, 2016

Day 34 of the 2016 season: A first time session at the famous Tawas Point

A peaceful 2.5.hour session at the Tawas Point slick. After years of trying to get in a kite session at this popular spot it finally came together. I windsurfed here in the 90s but never could make it click for kiting.  Finally it happened, as I was driving to Empire I got the forecast that Tawas might be a possibility this afternoon, thanks Mark of MCK. So I took the 23 exit to the right off of I-75. As I drove up the coast line I could catch glimpses of the water capping.  
Yea, first timer session for me at Tawas Point and it lived up to all the talk. I've heard about this place. Launched at the beach and made an easy upwind run to the slick. Shallow warm water with a small sand spit breaking up the rough open water. A small drag strip  probably 200 yards long but an awesome venue. It does go on downwind for quite a ways but the further down wind you go the less butter you have.
Played for 2.5 hours with endless, carving and monster jumps for me that is. Shared it with one other kiter and Mark of MCK teaching a new kiter.
Reminisced with Jeff Smith GLK's, who I had as an instructor and probably the World's best kite instructor and saw Mark's MCK, student get a first ride.

Desolate, peaceful beach - no crowds today

TOW:  Nonstop session 2:00 - 4:30
Gear: 11M and TT
Water Conditions:  Slicks at the point
Weather:   a cool 70 degrees, sunny
Wind: South up to 22 MPH
Highlight: Monster jumps in the slicks

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Day 33 of the 2016 season: Lexington comes alive with 11M kite action, slicks and clean waves

Finally a session that put a smile on my face. Started out on the lite side but quickly picked up to near epic conditions. Just the conditions we desire. Good winds to carve in the slicks, ride some down wind swells, and catch some clean waves on the north side with the kiting legend Brian Lafeve.
Great day exchanging jumps with Craig in the slicks and watching Shawn showing off to the Amish folks on the jetty.

Look how flat it is - yet waves were to be found near the jetty break and the north side

TOW:  Nonstop 3:00 - 6:00
Gear: 11M and TT
Water Conditions:  From flat water next to the jetty to clean waves
Weather:   a cool 60 degrees transition from  cloudy to sunny
Wind:  N-NE to 25-30 MPH
Highlight:   Shh.... don't tell anyone else - slicks and waves all at one place

Monday, June 27, 2016

Day 32 of the 2016 season: Odd day at HI - not use to a practically complete 180 degree wind switch throughout the day

Odd day at HI  - not use to a practically complete 180 degree wind switch throughout the day.
Lite winds started from the WSW and eventually clocking to the NE late in the day.
On the 13M all day and actually surprised it work, barely a whitecap at times. Other times I was severely overpowered.
Craig and I took a trip to the middle channel slick. Once there we realized there wasn't enough north in the wind direction to make it good. Still had a few good down wind runs close to the weed beds where it was flat.
Overall good day, used the surfboard with straps in the lighter conditions. Then switched to the TT
when the wind picked up.
About a dozen kiters showed up for the fun sessions. Kite sizes ranged from 17M - 11M.

Beauty of a 9:15 pm 80 degree sunset

TOW:  4:00 - 7:00 and 8:00- 9:00
Gear: 13M Z Kite with Mako direction board and TT
Water Conditions: Flat to choppy
Weather:  Near 90 degrees and sunny
Wind: From SW to NE 8-30mph through out the day
Highlight:   Kited conservatively due to the knee soreness

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Day 31 of the 2016 season: A long wait finally paid off

Waiting around a few hours paid off. Wind came up from the SE enough for the 13 M Z kite. Not the steadies you would expect but enough up high to play with. Slowly the wind built until a  SW surge came in around 6pm. That was fun for about 20 minutes, that's when it surged again and filled in. All the big kites scrambled to get in including me on my 13M. Deceided to call it a day at that time. Didn't want to over work my knee injury from last weeks windsurfing mishap.
Overall a good day for me, it's been awhile since I had one of these.
Kites sizes ranged from 19 to 12 through out the afternoon.

TOW:  4:30 - 6:30
Gear: 13M Z kite and TT
Water Conditions: boat chop, wave chop, kiteboard chop, disorganized chop, voodoo chop
Weather:  near 90 degrees and sunny
Wind: variable winds from lulls of calmness to surges of 30mph from the SE to SW
Highlight:  big boosting, long hang time, some downwind carving

Monday, June 20, 2016

Day 30 of the 2016 season: Windsurfing: Near Epic conditions with a once a year day

Summer Solstice session - I planned on a long day of windsurfing and kiteboarding.
Session ending foot caught in the foot strap incident. Resulted in a twisting of the left foot and knee beyond my limits and the results were stretched interior ligaments. My guess that is - rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication and we'll see how that works.
Hated to miss the rest of that one epic day a year but I didn't want to make it worst so I'm playing it smart, (for once). I must rest and heal in time for the next sessions.

Near EPIC Metro Beach Conditions

TOW:  10:30-12:45
Gear:  5.7 100 liter RRD FSW board
Water Conditions: actually some nice chop hopping swell on the outside and the jibeatorium in the bowl was lite up with flat water and steady winds
Weather:  90 plus air temp water 70s, hot sun
Wind:  pretty solid WSW 20-30 for most of the time I was out
Highlight:  adrenal glands working OT - I needed a good shot of this
Schooled:  windsurfing is fun although more physically demanding then kiteboarding

Taking an ice break

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Day 29 of the 2016 season: The forecast never developed for Saginaw bay

Today's session was not worthy of the 4 hour drive from home to Linwood and back.
1st session marginal at best, went out on the 9M in dying winds and came in after an hour of kiting in heavy rain. Wind became more north and lighter, thought about rigging the 13M but even that wouldn't have been enough. Eventually rigged the 11M and went out for another marginally session. Occasionally the wind picked up and gave me hope to hit the slick only to let down as it lightened up and I lost ground. Really pissed off at myself for not rigging the 13M...oh well live and learn.

Gear: 9M and 11M Z kites and TT board
TOW:1:00-2:00 9M session / 3:15-5:30 11M session
Weather: heavy rain during first hour session, clearing up and eventually sunny for second session
Water:  flat in weedy/slick areas and OBX conditions for the open water
Wind: NNE  generally, 10-20 up high, puffy conditions
Highlights: none  - I should of had my 13M for the second session

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Day 28 of the 2016 season: Elk Rapids - Not what the forecst predicted.

I thought today would be a good day to try a new venue so I headed to the Elk Rapids city beach.
Nice sandy beach with grassy rigging area, I imagine on a hot summers day you couldn't safely launch a kite here due to the popularity of this beautiful area.
When I got there about 11:30 it felt very windy, I was thinking 9M. Lucky for
me I rigged the 11M and luckier yet I had a 13M to rig. Session saver 13M made the day.
I had the beach all to myself, with 52 degrees, occasional drizzle, and a very drab grey looking sky.
Water was not to bad, temperature wise but the air was cold, luckily I had all the cold weather gear to wear.
Nice sandy beach, grassy rigging area but many rocks just a few inches under the water - scary kiting close to shore. Had some nice organized swell to play on further out. Other then that not to exciting to be out today.

Gear: 11M and 13M Z kites and TT board
TOW: 12:30 - 3:15
Weather: grey clouds and low 50s glad I had my drysuit, hood and gloves
Water:  choppy conditions
Wind: WNW  generally, 15-20 up high, puffy conditions
Highlights: some nice swell to slash up