Sunday, February 18, 2018

Session 12 of the 2018 season: A Classis Skate Kite session at South River Road DNR

Fun skate session with Tim, 12M and Don, 8M foil. Had to search for clean, smooth ice. Found some out always and rode there for quite awhile. First time skate kiting with fellow skaters.
Set up a slalom course and figure eight course. Mucho fun session with sunny, warm, 35 degrees. Perfect wind speed and direction.
20 miles of skate kiting

TOB:   Skate Kite from 1:00-3:00
Gear:   Hockey skates and a 3M 2 line foil kite 
Surface conditions: Rough ice but after exploring upwind a good size plate of black ice was found. A dusting of snow fell during the night and remained on the ice through the day.
Wind: 10-20 SSE direction
Weather:  Bluebird day 35 degrees
Highlights: A fun day joined by fellow skate kiters Tim and later om Don. Rode 20 miles on the hockey skates. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Session 11 0f the 2018 season: Snowkite with frozen granular conditions

Generally frozen granular snow conditions. 
Thawed and refrozen snowpack spotty at best. Nice little 10-20 yard speed strip of frozen granular snow along the beach. Also found the “wave” spot where the snow was deep and wind blown into the 3-4 feet high water eroded cliffs along the shoreline. "Ride it like a wave"
By far not the best conditions but probably the last Snowkite session on LSC this season. With a warming trend forecasted for the next 10 days that’ll probably thaw most of the ice.
Gear for the day, 13M Z kite and TT

TOB:   1:15-3:00 
Gear:    13M Z kite and TT
Surface conditions: Frozen Granular (corn snow)
Wind: 10-20 SSW
Weather:   Mostly overcast 31 degrees 
Highlights: The wave

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Session 10 of the 2018 season: Metrobeach Snowkite with acres of untouched cement style snow

Happy Valentines Day - sunny, warm,  heavy, wet, deep, snow.
Warm spring conditions with tons of heavy wet snow. More of a snowboarding workout then anything else.

Gear:   13M Z kite
Surface conditions: up to 10 inches of heavy wet snow 
Wind: S 10-20 
Weather:  42 degrees and bluebird skies 
Highlights:  heavy wet snow equals a heavy wet workout. I wore myself out pushing that heavy stuff around. Craig (12M) and Sean (14M)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Session 9 of the 2018 season: Metrobeach Snowkite Session

Expected better conditions with the fresh snow but I found it was almost the same
as Monday’s session but harder to see with less sunlight.
Rode upwind to the spillway and discovered a possible summertime slick on the leeside of the marina breakwall.
Rode in to it to check it out and discovered a deep powder stash.
Downwinder back to the launch in light winds and finished up by 4:30. By then Craig was there wrapping it up. I would call it a better then marginal day with the wind, same with the surface snow conditions.
Several other kiters were also out today.

Gear:   11M Z1 
Surface conditions:   Snow covered with some thin spots 
Wind: WSW 10-20 
Weather:  22 degrees and mostly cloudy 
Highlights:  Rode west upwind to the spillway area and down winded it back 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Session 8 of the 2018 season: Metrobeach afternoon freshie snowkite ssession

TOB:   3:30-5:00
Gear:   11M Z1 and TT Burton
Surface conditions:  Snow covered, some thin spots with black ice underneath, some old hardpack and some new freshies 1-3 inches worth.
Wind: Mainly SW 10-20 felt steady
Weather: Mostly sunny
Highlights: Could this be my first Snowkite session at MB in 2 years, could that be?

Joined up with craig and allen for a better then expected 1.5 hour 1 session.
Fun session with lots of turns and downwind runs. 
Consistent winds and surface conditions.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Session 7 of the 2018 season: Cass Lake with steady SW winds and a lack of snow cover

TOB:    2:30-3:30
Gear:    11M Z1 kite and TT
Surface conditions:     1-2 inches of powder to windblown bare ice
Wind:   steady 15-20 from the SW
Weather:  25° , bluebird day
Highlights: Started out with decent conditions but the steady winds scoured most of the freshies into drifts leaving icy bare spots.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Session 6 of the 2018 season: Snowkiting Lake Cadillac, with a wind scoured surface

TOB:   1:15-2:30
Gear:   Burton TT, 11M Z1 kite
Surface conditions:   Wind scoured of any decent snow
Wind:  SW steady 15-20mph
Weather: 100% cloudy,  30°  

Highlights:  Lack of snow, bare ice spots and warming temperatures resulted in poor snowkiting conditions. Met up with Mark at Katie’s waterfront apartment and kited out of the backyard on Lake Cadillac. SW winds were in the steady 20s, temps near 30 and a dusting of freezing drizzle that fell earlier that morning.
Rigged the 11M and searched for some good snowpack on the lake. 
Gave up after and hour of searching. Fierce winds on Sunday scoured the lake of precious snow.
It was a tiring session with constant edging on ice and sparse snow drifts that were crusted with frozen drizzle.
It’s been a darn good week of excessive consumption on the snowboard, (binge kiting/snowboarding).
6 snowkiting sessions and 5 downhill snowboarding sessions most sessions with fresh powder.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Session 5 of the 2018 season: A rodeo at Little Glen with 10-40 mph winds

TOB:   3:00-4:30
Gear:   Burton TT, 7M Naish kite
Surface conditions:    Deep heavy windblown powder 
Wind:  SW gusty 10-40 mph
Weather: 90% cloudy,  30°  
Highlights: Another brutal day, although it’s warm, 30° at launch time. Winds gusting from 15-40 from the SW, 3 inches of additional snow but l don’t think that mattered, plenty of windblown heavy packed powder on Little Glen Lake. Decided to rig the 7M kite after the last few days with the 9M which was a handful. 
Rode for 1.5 hours until I was exhausted from the heavy snow. Quite the workout just rigging the kite in knee deep snow like this.

Overall a brutally fun session, lots of carving up the snowscape only to have it quickly resurfaced.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Session 4 of the 2018 season: Another brutally, cold, complete whiteouts, challanging snowkite session

TOB:  3:15-4:45 
Gear: 11M Z1 kite with TT snowboard 
Surface conditions:  Deep windblown powder - too deep sometimes
Wind:  10-30 mph from the NW
Weather: 8 degrees and a black and white environment
Highlights:  With 3 days of nearly constant lake snows the windblown powder was bottomless. 
At times during the vertigo I couldn't figure out if I was moving, or how fast I was moving. No reference points could be spotted due to being in the white room. I would hit a deep drift and bury the board and coming to a crashing halt. A workout of a session, totally spent every once of energy I had after this session. And then had to walk the 100 yards back to the car in thigh to waist deep snow drifts...And this is fun?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Session 3 of the 2018 season: Brutal snowkite session on Little Glen Lake

TOB:  4:00-5:30
Gear: 9M Z kite with TT snowboard 
Wind:  20-30 mph from the NNW 
Surface conditions: Deep wind packed powder almost never scrapping bottom
Weather: 10 degrees with brutal wind, heavy snow and blowing snow with whiteouts and vertigo conditions
Highlights: A grey and black northern Michigan typical conditions. About the only highlight was the down wind carving runs.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Session 2 of the 2018 season: Nearly perfect snowkite session on Lake Mitchell

Carving endless turns on the downwind runs

TOB:  2:00-4:00
Gear: 9M Z kite with TT snowboard 
Surface conditions: A nice hard packed base of an inch or two, nicely formed 6-10 inch powdery windblown snow drifts and of course some wind scoured bare ice spots.  
Wind:  15-35 mph from the SW 
Weather: 16 degrees and bluebird, wind and blowing snow at times made conditions brutal
Highlights: Nearly epic day of snowkiting, enough snow cover and wind to make endless carving turns. SW winds gusting to 35mph made it challenging. But the downwind drifting the kite and carving the turns was epic. 

Just me and my shadow

Monday, January 1, 2018

Session 1 of the 2018 season: Happy New Year Orchard Lake Snowkite

TOB:  1:30-2:45 
Gear: 11M Z1 kite with TT snowboard 
Surface conditions: Smooth ice with a dusting of snow, bare ice and some 2-3 inches of powdery drifts   
Wind:  10-25 mph from the NW
Weather: 10 degrees and bluebird
Highlights: A workout trying to hold an edge on ice with a bare minimal snow cover.
Mark came out a did a first time session, definitely not good conditions for your first time out. He got a taste for and he'll be back.

Check out the Orchard Lake Snowkite Session