Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Visit With Jimmy Lewis - King of Kiteboards

A Visit With the KING of KITEBOARDs - Jimmy Lewis

Today we (Aaron, Chris, Natasha, Julia, and Bill) made a pilgrimage to visit the KING - The King of kiteboards -- Jimmy Lewis. We drove on up to Haiku where Jimmy gave us a tutorial on his custom board designs and a tour of his shop.
Bill, Jimmy and Chris at the Jimmy Lewis workshop Aaron led the charge this time as it was finally his turn to order his own custom 'Bitch Witch' (a board) - designed for wave riding.

Compared to the Jimmy that I ride (a Model III), the Bitch Witch has a narrower (7" wide BW vs. 8" wide Model III) tail which allows it to sink a bit in bottom turns to edge through the waves.

Arron and Julia picking up thier new baby from Dr. Jimmy
Aaron and Julia discussing the finer points of Aaron's new baby with doctor Jimmy... - contact me in the Dominican for lessons, or info on Jimmy Lewis boards After a tour of the shop, Natasha, (who I brought into the sport in 2001 -- and who now is an IKO certified instructor teaching primarily in the Dominican Republic) decided that she wanted this special Jimmy board...

Natasha gets SPANKED So Chris takes the liberty of spanking her with it!!

Natasha can be found in several places -- feel free to write her at if you are headed to the Dominican Republic and interested in Kiteboarding lessons.

Its been great to see her progress from the time I introduced her to the sport in 2001. Natasha gets SPANKED

You can see more of her in the kiteboading video "Unhooked 2" from Tronolone Productions ( as well as in kiteboarding magazine - KBMag ( Have a look.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Late Day Monday May 8th - 3rd

Today was the day I tuned the GK. at the 'default' setting, I would have been extremely overpowered today. At the ball stop, in 'depowered mode' i was still getting lifted vertically on gusts on my first attempt. I brouhgt the kite down and pulled the deposer line in about 7 INCHES - pretty far. I also moved the small plastic pin inside the line far enough to define a reasonable range for my arm length.
Wind at Waddell May 7th 2006
Althought the tuning left the back lines slack at 'full power' the kite flew well. It definitely absorbs gusts better than a standard 4 or 5 line kite. The kite handled well in winds in teh 25 - 30 range. I could tell on some tiny jumps that this kite will definitely FLY with much less bar pressure and less 'swing' compared to the standard kites I am used to. Very floaty when in the air..

Monday, May 08, 2006

Sunday May 7 at Waddell

Kiting today at Waddell was at the same time fun and scary as I have only been on the water a handful of times this year, mostly in flattish water. Today there were both strong winds and great surf - 6 foot waves closing out near shore.

Wind at Waddell May 7th 2006 I got set to kite around 3 PM. By that time, the wind had picked up to roughly 20 MPH with gusts to 25. I tried to launch my new GK 11. Without having tested it out on flat water, I was in for some trouble. During launch it was clear that one of my struts had deflated. It was also apparent that my depower setting was not quite right. The kite was too strong after launch and I was getting lifted vertically on gusts while standing still with the kite at top dead center.

I tried to get out anyway, and put the kite toward the water to drag me out through the waves.

After getting my board (125) on my feet, I was immediately hit by a wave. The whitewash pushed me back toward shore with a burst that was strong enoug to depower my kite, which hit the beach. Once the waves started hitting the kite (with an empty strut) i was doomed, as my kite filled with water and sand. Luckily Sabrina saw the launch and came out to hold my kite stable while I detached.

I launched my Naish Boxer 9 (25 meter lines) right away. That combo worked, as the wind picked up with gusts to 30. The 9 was enough to lift me over the waves and kite on the outside. To make my next gig easier, these are lessons learned..

1) get toward the upwind side of waddell to launch. easier to get through the waves there.
2) dont launch til at least waist deep and launch fast to power up to get through the white wash and NOT get pushed back / deflate.
3) the GK needs to be tuned on flat water first. The line in the depower cleat needs to be pulled pretty far down to fly it in 30 mph winds. I should get a black eprmanant marker and mark the line in the cleat for various wind speeds.
4) remember the lines on this kite are LONG so not as responsive as the naish rigging with 20 and 25's. I need to order some 25 meter lines.