Monday, March 29, 2010

Mild to Wild; Saturday and Sunday Kite Sessions

Saturday there was barely enough wind to keep a kite in the air, but it was a good chance to test out the humongous 17 msq Cabrinha Contra that I bought from the ikitesurf classifieds last week. I also got a 14 msq Contra in the same cheap package, but I haven't tested that one yet. I'll probably just keep the one I like best.


Anyway, as I might have expected for a kite 5 msq larger than my regular 12 msq, the Contra turned slowly but pulled HARD, even in the mild 10 knot wind conditions. It required some adjustments to how I rode the board, too, like to turn the kite power into upwind drive I had to really pressure hard on the back section of the board. My pal Marc tried the kite for about 30 seconds but hardly got off the beach. He said he couldn't deal with how much bar pressure it took to turn the kite, since he is used to kites with 1:1 bar systems (no pulleys on the bar). The 2:1 "pulley bar" system I have on my kites makes it so you can steer and sheet the kite with smaller motions but with more resistance. I like it because it's more like windsurfing- you really feel the power you're dealing with and are less likely to accidentally stall or overpower the kite. Anyway, here's the video.

17 msq Kite Session, King Crimson from James Douglass on Vimeo.

Sunday there was about 15 knots from the Southeast, so everybody went to Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, in the lee of the inlet's North Jetty. The waves were up and there were tons of surfers, which made launching tense. I probably could have gone windsurfing with my 6.6 sail and 106 liter board, but I have to admit I haven't been doing that much lately because its so easy to ride my 12 msq kite and 137 cm board in those conditions. Riding the big waves on the outside would have been more fun on a windsurf, but I might have been pounded by the inside break on the way there. Tough call. Anyway, I went with the kite and had plenty of fun. Here's the video.

Kiteboarding in Waves at Fort Pierce Inlet State Park from James Douglass on Vimeo.


bil7y said...

Hi James I would be stoked if you should repost these on In the month of April I am running a contest for 2 winners to get $50 each. Totally legal to just copy paste your blog entries. By the way great entries and nice work pushing the go pro set up!

Boris T. said...

Nice blog man. 17m is a big kite, I got a 18m last year and still haven't worked up the confort level with it to really give it a go, been sticking with my 10m for too long.

Catapulting Aaron said...

Dude -- you're a kiter now! It always starts with that old "only for light wind days" thing, then you start dipping into your WS days!

Anyway, definitely does look cool skipping across that glassy water with the 'uge kite.

James Douglass said...

Billy- Mmmmmaybe...

Boris- Thanks. I'd try the 18 in low wind first, some time when your 10 is way underpowered.

Aaron- Yeah, I know. It's sad, really. It's just so stupidly easy to negotiate shorebreak, get powered, jump high, and do planing jibes on a kite that one starts to balk at windsurfing in conditions where it will be hard to do any of that. All I can say in my defense is at least I've stuck with my pledge never to buy a smaller kite than the 12 m I started with, and I've been putting a lot of miles on my 5.5 sail even though I'm usually the only windsurfer on the water when I'm using it. PS- Good luck on the vulcan!

kate loving shenk said...

Love your pictures. I happened to run into your blog when searching on James Douglass, the author. Fun to see what is revealed in these moments of Internet synchronicities!