Thursday, July 28, 2016

Day 41 of the 2016 season: Hoyles and the slick good

Wasn't the windiest of days but luckily I had my 13M Z. The 11 might had been a struggle to get to the slicks. Other kiters were on 12s - 15M sizes.
Fun day as the forecast came through and by 2:30 I was on the water with my 13M Z. At first it took a lot of work for me to get to the slick but once there with several others it was worth the struggle. Glassy water deep into the slick with good wind speed and direction made for some water ski conditions, great edging and boosting.
Did the downwind run back to Hoyles for a break at 4:30 and then at 5:00 back out to the slick with slightly higher winds and a few degrees more of east to the wind.
Overall a great day with mostly enough wind to carve but the 13 Z is a different kite when it comes to carving, not as quick turning.  Hmm.. maybe shorter lines are needed.

TOW:  4 hours from 2:30-4:30 and 5:00-7:00
Gear:  13M Z kite and TT
Water Conditions:   small organized chop in the open water and butter smooth in the slicks
Weather:  mid - 70s some clouds
Wind:   NE to ENE probable 25mph  at peak
Highlight: Slicks

Wind data from Killarney Beach

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Day 40 of the 2016 season: Surprise session on a new secluded Lane Road Beach near Pyramid Point

Didn't expect any TOW today as the forecast mentioned only lite lake breezes.
Secluded Beach
After my morning workouts of running and biking I noticed the trees and flags were moving favorable, indicating some wind was occurring.  I ran down to Empire beach to see white caps with WSW swells. I thought hmmm..... this is kitable. I couldn't kite Empire due to the crowded beach.
So I had a plan B. I headed over to Glen Arbor's Bay street launch site only to find the wind direction not good. So plan C went into effect, headed over to a beach off of Port Oneida road. Found it to be uncrowded, maybe secluded. Since it is a hike to get down to the beach most people avoided this beach. I hiked down the 100 steps to find a perfect venue. Ran back up got my 13 Z and headed back down to kite.
Here I have an 85 bluebird degree day, 70 degree plus water with an uncrowded beach. I rigged up and launched, barefooted, shorty wetsuit and helmetless. Awesome session, not quite fully powered all the time but just an awesome session due the location, Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore Park, warm water, a hot summer day, a secluded beach. I felt like I was in a secret spot that nobody knows about.

TOW: 2hours from 3:30 - 5:30
Gear:  13 M Z  and TT
Water Conditions:  small chop
Weather: Sunny, 85 degrees
Wind:  WSW is my guess up to 20 mph - side on direction
Highlight: Sometimes its not the high powered session that makes it an epic session.
This was a fun session powered enough to head up wind and carve back. Fun because a lot of pleasant variables happened at the right time to make this session what it was.

Grand Traverse Light wind data

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Day 39 of the 2016 season: Hard Luck Pointe Betsie fires up

It was meant to be a day at Frankfort, after waiting for wind I decided to follow the locales to Pt Betsie
Hard Luck Pointe Betsy fires up - I've had more kite trouble at this site. It's a sketchy launch, strong longshore currents, cobblestone rocks, deep water right off the beach, breaking waves right on the beach and beachgoers watching.
All of this added up on this day to possibly end my 2012 11 meter 2013 Z kite era.
I rigged my favorite kite the 11 Z, launched it in the air and headed out. Tried to time the shore break so to make it out safety.  As I put the board on my feet a quick moving  head high breaking wave smashed into me plummeting me. I put the kite quickly down in the water as I was getting rolled and twisted around in the surf. Well the same thing happened to the kite as it tumbled it got plummeted, shredded by the strong current pulling it and the crashing waves that buried it in water, sand and stones.

Maybe it's salvageable

After all the excitement I quickly wrapped up the shredded 11 and quickly rigged the 9 M Z.
I launched it with only a minor incident this time. Finally I got on the water to enjoy some massive easily head plus heights swell on the outside and cleaned up waves on the inside.
It turned out to be a great day carving in between the clean inside waves at the hard luck Point Bestie launch.

TOW: 2.5 hours from 4:00-6:30
Gear:  11M - 9M and TT
Water Conditions:  clean waves on the inside, massive SW swell on the outside
Weather:  Mostly cloudy mid 70s
Wind:  SSW is my guess up to 30 mph - side on direction
Highlight: plummeting my 11M in the impact zone and enjoying a great 9M wave carving session

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Day 38 of the 2016 season: Metrobeach near Epic conditions

A Sunday with sun, heat, wind and time for a near epic Metrobeach session.
I joined the crowd of about 15-20 kiters and up to 6 Windsurfers. A near epic day with steadily building winds from the south all day long. I couldn't outlast the wind, edging hard in the 30+ mph wind took a toll on my strength. It blew well into sunset. Great boosting day even tried a 360 in the air, ending with the kite crashing. Still need a lot of practice on this one. Got some record height on the 180 ollies.
Only regret is I didn't bring my windsurfing gear.
Best session in quite awhile!

TOW:  TOW 3:30 - 7:00 a non-stop, solid 3.5 hours session
Gear:  11M and TT
Water Conditions: choppy - vessel chop
Weather: Sunny mid-80s
Wind:  a solid steady build peaking over 35 mph by 5:30
Highlight: near epic conditions for Metrobeach

The kind of chart you love to ride

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Day 37 of the 2016 season: Tawas - not as expected

Road trip to Tawas Point, 6 hours of total drive time for 2.5 hours of marginal 13M kiting.
Fun crew of Keith and Craig, we took a gamble on a whimsical wind forecast along with local knowledge of the winds...hmmm....take note. Forecast actually came true but local knowledge didn't.
Could barely launch the 13 but once up there was enough to kite. After walking the kite upwind toward the windier point I was able to get in the water and ride upwind to the point and slicks.
Played for 1.5 hours in mediocre crowded conditions before the wind started to drop. Since it wasn't to good to start with a little bit of a drop and it was over for the day.
That's it, not a worthy day especially with the drive.

TOW:  TOW 2.0  hours from 2:00 - 4:00 - drive time 6 hours
Gear:  13M and TT
Water Conditions: nearly flat barely a whitecap
Weather: Sunny 80s
Wind:  very lite maybe southeast direction to 18 mph

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Day 36 of the 2016 season: Fought hard to make it work at Point Betsie

Fought hard to stay upwind, and finally gave in and landed the other side of light house. Couldn't land before lighthouse, to many tourists on beach.
SSW winds to 18 maybe. Went with forecast and the forecast never materialize.
1.5 hours of mowing lawn trying to stay upwind but slowly lost ground due to the strong current and mediocre winds.
Several Kiters on the beach waiting for decent wind.
A foil boarder did good with a 13M kite. Another 12 M kite was doing better then me, he was upwind when I got there. He was able to land his kite where he launched from.
I'm not sure I like this venue, aways had shifty wind sessions here and the current is strong so it takes you north of the lighthouse when winds are lite.

TOW:  1.5 hours
Gear:  13M and TT
Water Conditions: Nearly flat to 1foot chop
Weather: Sunny 80s
Wind: SSW to 18
Highlight: Ended up on the north side of the lighthouse

Friday, July 1, 2016

Day 35 of the 2016 season: Early soft session at the Cannary on Sleeping Bear Bay

Whitecaps in Sleeping Bear Bay

Forecast was right on with NW winds 15-25 early and then tapering off by noon, to bad I got a late start, I missed the best winds earlier. By the time I got out it was a  marginally session should of rigged my 13M and it would of been better. I missed a lot of clean wave action on the inside - beautiful clean waves on the inside that is - but not enough wind to play in most of the time when I was inside

TOW:  10:00 - 11:30
Gear: 11M and TT
Water Conditions:  2-4 foot swells with clean waves on the inside
Weather:   lower 60s, mostly sunny
Wind: NW peaking near 20 and slowing dying off
Highlight: Beautiful clean waves on the inside - but not enough wind to play in

Launch area