Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jen's Good Video of My Bad Kiteboarding

This was taken Monday.

I wasn't wearing a lifejacket or a helmet because my instructor had kinda dismissed their value when I brought them to the beach. But in consideration of everyone else's concerns, and my own, I wore them when I went out again today. The vest (a Kokatat kayaking pfd) didn't interfere at all, and actually helped a lot when I was doing water-relaunches.

Thanks to watching the video from Monday, today I was able to correct some bad stuff I was doing, like making too-short strokes with the kite and not edging the board properly. With longer strokes, all the way from 12:00 to 3:00 or 9:00 and back, I was able to get going faster, then keep going better. I still crashed my kite a few times, and had to walk back upwind once at the beginning, but then after that I was able to stay upwind and ride pretty well on both tacks. I felt proud when the sun was setting and I returned to the same spot on the beach I had launched from with a relatively dry kite. Stoke!

The wind was only around 11 or 12 knots, so I was happy with how well the kite gear performed. I think it will nicely fill the 10-15 knot range that I've mentally set aside for it. The riding sensation is really different than windsurfing. It's like being towed by a power in the sky, versus having the power integral to your craft. For just going back and forth like I was doing today, I wouldn't say it's any more fun than windsurfing. I would have had just as much fun on big freeride or formula windsurfing gear, but it would have been harder to carry to the beach, launch through the shorebreak, and de-rig in the mosquito-infested parking lot at sunset.

Anyway, my opinion of kiteboarding so far is that it's a lot scarier to learn than windsurfing, but also a lot easier and quicker to learn. Light-wind kiting is more fun than non-planing windsurfing, similarly fun to early-planing windsurfing, and not as much fun as high-wind wave or bump-and-jump windsurfing. I'm glad I have multiple options available to me now, at least.

I'll be taking a break from both sports for a while, focusing on exciting field work on a research vessel in the Florida Keys. Early next week I'll blog about how that went. It could either be marine biology bliss, or a miserable sea-sickness fest.


Catherine said...

Pretty impressive - you, the music, and the kite.

Jennifer said...

Nah you were awesome... especially since it was what your second or third time?!

Chris said...

Awesome is the right word for this one, i totally loved this video, you totally rock!

cabrinha covert IDS