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I did a Sherman evening downwinder and I had my best session on the water so far. I was going upwind, I was making transitions smoothly staying on plane. I had a sweet smile on my face. I made at least 20 tacks back and forth across the river equating to just over 2 hours of ride time. It was awesome! I was also proud that the kite only hit the water once when it luffed and fell from the sky. I had a good day.
I'm sorry if it sounds like I am tooting my own horn, I am just excited so I can't contain myself.
My plan is one more downwinder and then I plan to launch from the beach.
Kiting is starting to become FUN! :D
See you out there,
That's awesome! As with many things, when you start to get good at it is when you start to have fun. Glad to hear you're putting some time in. Remember what I said about that - you've got to get lots of days in to progress.
Glade to hear it's starting to click for you, keep it up!
Well monday I went to Sherman again and did my first launch from the beach and made it back with the wind fading. After it picked up again I went out on the 10m and had my first walk of shame back along the levee. With all the positives the last few times out that was a decent blow to the 'ole kiting ego. Maybe another downwinder will be good for me.
I had a pretty nice drag of shame last weekend!
keep at it. Ollie gave good advise. Practice practice practice. Time it the best tool. Why do we keep at it while were new? It's not fun at that stage. Just wait it'll feel great the first time you make it back to the beach.
Thanks for the support Dewey. I'm definitely having fun, even the mach1 death run towards the rocks, road, and playpen hazards was fun in some weird crazy way.
Oh yeah....I remember that one day where the switch switched for me - that is such a WOW experience and you don't want to to stop ever.
that's when it started for me really to become difficult to focus on things like eating, drinking, working, even guys were not interesting for a while.
It was all about the kiting-exciting, the Megafun!
(It still is...but after almost 5 years I calmed down a bit, eat, drink and work again normally and found the best guy on the planet - a kiter)
Practice practice practice is the best advice indeed, but you will never lose it again. Once you got it you got it
Yeah bro, glad to hear that you had one of "those" moments....one of the great things about this sport is that there are SOOO many switches. I clearly remember:
1. First time I got a long ride on the board
2. First time I returned to the shack where I started @ alameda
3. First time I went toe-side
4. First time I jumped
5. First time I landed a fat kiteloop
6. First time I landed a railey
7. First time I landed an S bend
8. First tiem I really rode a wave..........many more.....
This sport is flippin' sick.....
Good winds + waves, Zeev.
Clear out your schedule for the next 8 weeks. This is the point where you will become obsessed with getting on the water. Winter is long, so try to get lots of time in.
Having spent several frustrating days early this spring launching from the beach, I have a few points that may help you:
1) Pay attention to the tide, check the tide links on this site to plan your sessions. While it's true that "any time you kite, you learn something", you will never, ever get your first upwind session on a flood tide. You will feel even more frustrated and not know what you are doing wrong. I'm not saying to stay home if it's flooding, just make sure you know when it's happening and set your expectations appropriately.
2) Body drag out from the launch beach to past the second beach the first few times (you can walk at low tide, but beware the glass, etc), and then when you are starting to learn to stay upwind, always do it when it is flooding. This will save you alot of walking back from the playpen, and possibly avoid you getting blown back onto the beach in a gust.
3) Personally, I think learning kiters should avoid the beach entirely during busy weekend hours. There are lots of cool people there who will help you, but there are also stresser dickheads who will make you feel like an idiot. You don't want to be hurried in any aspect of launching there, because it will just hamper your progress or worse.
On weekends mid-day, I launch from Little Baja, where there's a great group of beginning kiters and no space issues. I know some of the folks on this site think the spot is dangerous, but the reality of your learning curve is that you are going to be coming in on the levee someplace one way or another when you're first learning; you might as well have some empathetic people around who will watch out for you. The strech of levee from the Playpen eastward is a kiter's no man's land; even if you launch from the beach, you should learn how to spot little Baja from the water, and head there to land if you end up on a downwinder. There's a sandbag ramp out of the water (safer by several degrees than the rocks), and on the weekends there's almost always a friendly face on the other side of the levee to catch your kite. If not, well, at least you don't have to drop your kite in the water or cross the road, and the grass area on the other side of the levee is a safe area to self-land (just keep your kite away fromm the barb wire along the road).
I stayed upwind at Sherman for the first time this year in April, and now I'm landing jumps. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not a tugboat in front of you on downwind death ride.
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