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