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.


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