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Last time I was at Alameda I felt like I was going upwind better while riding toward shore (which also happens to be my natural stance).
This was on a flood tide. Would this make it easier?
Going the other direction it seemed like I had to battle waves or chop or something. If it was ebbing, would that direction be easier? Would the waves be smaller?
I notice the same thing sometimes at Sherman. One tack you are kind of riding with the chop the other way you are riding into the chop which can complicate things. I don't think you are imagining things in that regard. I do think the waves do different things during different times of the tides. Does it say something about the tides on the locations section of this web site?
I think Blair's right. When things add up, like which direction is your natural stance and if you're riding into the chop or not can make a difference in your upwind efficiency. At Alameda, the currents are pretty mellow, so I'm not sure if they play much of a part if it's flooding or ebbing. The main thing is you're going upwind!
I have a related question -- yesterday I took advantage of steady, mellow wind and low tide at Sherman to start trying a few jumps. I found that I could only launch on my transitions when I was going away from shore/with the waves. The other direction, against the waves/towards shore, I can do little ramp jumps using the waves to get air, but I can't get air on my transitions. Is it maybe that I'm trying to hard to go upwind in that direction. It seems like I have plenty of speed.
I don't really have a strong side, board wise, so I don't think that's the issue.
BTW, my Rage II 14m is wonderful in this aspect of learning to KB, especially because it seems to have the ability to relaunch itself every time I drop it. I don't even have the Jumpstart set up. The fear of trying something new because you're worried about not being able to relaunch the kite just isn't there.
That and the fact that I got an extra 1/2 hour of kiting after the wind dropped off and all the 12m folks headed for the beach.
I've noticed this too. The conclusion I came up with is it has to do with the wind direction and how the kite sits in the wind window. I'm sure it is a combination of things. Because kiting is a 3D phenomenon, and where the tide is pushing you relative to the kite, is going to change how the kite sits in the wind window.
Looking at the shape of my kite at both sides of the wind window, it is obvious to me that the kite could catch more wind one direction versus the other. I have become aware to the fact that the angle of my leader lines (relative to my tack) is different when comparing tacks. The angle of your leader lines maps out the wind window and is indicative of how to point your board in a tack. This is very obvious on a peter lynn kite, not as obvious on a lei. When tacking, I find it more informative to look at the angle of my leader lines, rather than on a fixed point on shore. That way as the wind window moves (changes direction, expands in gusts, or contracts in lulls) you can control your momentum by adjusting the angle at which you edge your board relative to the leader lines.
I think I'll need to get a degree in physics first. One can't even say "the angle of your leader lines", because it's a compound angle. Then there's even trying to look at your lines, when you've got to keep your eyes on the kite, the waves, and other kiters around you.
[quote="Pablito(guest)"] The fear of trying something new because you're worried about not being able to relaunch the kite just isn't there.
I can relaunch the kite just fine (although we all know that swimming is not as fun as kiting) what i'm worried about is getting yarded when i try something new. one or two of my 360 (hooked) attemts have turned into 360 kite loops. yippie!
Pat of it is the optical illusion of being closer to the beach. It appears that you are going upwind better because of the reference and the side o characteristic of the wind.
Sort of like thinking the moon is really big when it is just rising but smaller when overhead. Roll up a piece of paper and look at the moon without the horizon as reference and it looks smaller.
And then there is all the other stuff....
Blair, keep your hands close to the center of the bar to minimize steering input while trying rotation tricks. Also remember that unless you're doing a transition, you'll want to send your kite back forward before landing, which you'll develop a sense eventually for just how much to send it forward. Too much and you can easily run the risk of a major yarding (face plant, ear slap, bruised or broken ribs, etc.) and not enough can cause you to Hinderburg the kite (major inconvenience).
I haven't even THOUGHT about trying a 360 yet... In fact, I haven't even come close to actually landing a jump yet, just coming down on my butt.
Does anyone else notice how QUIET it gets when you leave the water? It's like time stops.