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

Monday, September 5, 2016

Day 50 of the 2016 sesson: Nearly a sunset session st Empire Beach

Started the day at Frankfort, meeting Craig and Jerry Paul there. Waiting for the forecasted wind, which never materialized so we went to find wind. Headed to Pt. Betsy where it looked windier but we didn't want to risk launching here. On to Esch beach where it looked kitable but Craig didn't want to do the walk to find a decent launch. Finally to Empire beach where we decided to launch by the Bar Lake creek where there was a little more beach. I rigged my 13M Z first and immediately realized the light looking conditions were down low only.  Plenty of wind up top - could of used my 11. Powered down the 13 and it worked. Lofty conditions with the winds being up high - good jumps. Did an upwinder to the bluff so I could do a downwinder back - only problem was there hardly any waves on the inside. One of the flattest days I've kited here at Empire Beach.
Finally around 7:30 wind appeared to shift SSE so we came in and called it a day.

Beauty of a sunset at Empire Beach with 75 degrees

TOW:  5:30-7:30
Gear:   13M Z
Water Conditions:   SSW small swell, not much on the inside or outside
Weather: Clear to cloudy, 80ish degrees
Wind: 10-30 SSW
Highlights: Surprised to ride at all - very uncharacteristic flat water. Much more wind up top. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Day 49 of the 2016 season: A Fabulous Launch Site - Sleeping Bear Point - Sleeping Bear Bay

Make sure you take the right gear for the conditions. Quite the walk, searching for a bit of a solitude beach. With the high water levels uncrowded expansive beaches are at a premium. Found one with Scott's recommendation of heading to Sleeping Bear Point from the Cannery launch site. A good hike but well worth it. I always wanted to ride the point and this was a perfect setup. An expansive sandy beach with minimal debris.
Carried one kite, the 13M Z, rigged and on the water by 5:30.

TOW:  5:30-7:00
Gear:   13M Z
Water Conditions:   NE swell, clean waves inside
Weather: Bluebird 60ish degrees
Wind: 10-30 NE
Highlights: Some down the line carving in well spaced waves

A Fabulous launch site