Friday, January 1, 2010

OP'd Kiting Session

My 12 msq kite is supposed to work from about 11-20 knots, but I try to switch to windsurfing around 15 knots because kiting in more than 15 scares me. Wednesday I underestimated the breeze and ended up kiting in the upper end of the 11-20 range.

To a point, excess wind is easier to handle with a kite than a windsurf sail. The crazy power is available if you swoop the kite into the power zone or sheet-in for a jump, but as long as you fly the kite conservatively you can ride slowly and in control without having to muscle it around like you would with a sail. I was ok like that until near the end of the session, when I started having to baby the kite at the edge of wind window with the bar sheeted almost all the way out (below).

Leading up to that, though, I got some good (by my standards) jumps. My dad was filming.

The song in this video is by Elastica.

Windy Kiteboarding at Edisto Island, SC from James Douglass on Vimeo.

I think I'll stick with my 15-knot switching-to-windsurfing threshold, but at least now I know that I can handle up to around 20 on the kite if I have to.


Frank said...

Hi James nice video. Over my years of windsurfing I still do not know what scars me more. Being way over powered or out on a sinker and the wind goes to zero.
Both are a struggle and Anna(wife) reminds me that I am not young anymore. I have always wanted to try wave sailing at Port Aransas but Anna says I have waited to long and should have try when I was young.Glad you are having fun. Happy health Year

James Douglass said...

Hey Frank- Yeah, it's tough to find the right balance of power. Though I wavesail with an 83l sinker when I know there's enough wind, I more often use a 106l board that I can uphaul if necessary.

If you want to try wavesailing, you should definitely go for it. Just pick a day with relatively small waves and sideshore wind and spend most of your time offshore from where the waves are actually breaking. Some people I know here in Florida use the Kona 10'5" and 11'5" longboards for wavesailing. Those make it a lot easier to get out through the waves and stay upwind.

Frank said...

I did have a Kona One but traded with a beginner who had a JP xcite 145. He wanted the longboard for lake sailing. I sail in the bay most of the time so I plan most of the time and also have formula equipment for light days.

James Douglass said...

Frank- I hear ya. The Kona is a lot to lug around if you don't really need it.