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