TALES from the DELTA
I've held off kiting in the Delta because I knew I would be addicted instantly and jonesing for it like my last candy bar in the middle of a camping trip. I purposely held off the treat so that I could savor it when the conditions were just to my liking.
As I was driving up to the Delta Friday midday, I was full of apprehension and uncertainty. I didn't know if I could handle the wind, if I had the right equipment or what. I did know what the launch looked like, though and that helped. I got intermittent medium wind signs while looking out the window on the drive up with my windows rolled up and the air conditioner on. I had the three dollars for the bridge that afternoon and I had the four dollars to get into the campground; boy do I hate paying money to go kiting but I definetely got my seven dollars out of the wind that day and more. I did the dance at the shack, payed my money, wrote down my license plate and pulled down to lower Sherman Island . I selected a parking spot out-of-the-way and took a walk down the path to the waters edge where the kiters were. I wanted to get a look-see of the wind, to feel it, check out what the other kiters were doing, and ask questions about emergency landing spots which went over like a fart in church.
Well, as I looked at the wind it was in transition between really good 10m or so-so 8m, too many really good kiters were rigging eights. I dug in for a while helping launch and land and getting a feel for the procedures at this site.
After a while the hot guys came and went on their eights and it seemed 10 was the call, so I rigged a 9.6. After launching without incident and making my way to the water, I first placed my board by the water's edge so I would not have to deal with it climbing out of the launch. I walked out as far as I could into the water and upwind to have a good run at getting out on the first shot. I've never been able to windsurf in between the islands that run up to the West, so I wanted to get in there, but with kiting, oh my goodness what a joy, it's so easy to go between the islands and soo much fun
I watched a guy that used to have dreadlocks boost over the toolies and that looked like so much fun. I had to give it go. I spent Friday afternoon boosting over the toolies having a ball. I ended this session after three hours with a face plant and kite crash but it was all good - the toolies tickled.
I was back the next day, it was a whole new day. The river was crowded and I rigged my 9.6 and went right back out there. Boy we had problems at the launch area with crowding, but I set my kite up and got out there anyway. The second island up was crowded and the hotshots were out there ripping from water to land carving up a little hill right by the water's edge. Some would boost off the top of the back to the water.
Oh, my god, I thought, I have got to get in on that. I did get in the lineup, got right up to it, but never hit it. There were boats in there with people, and women laying around setting and drinking and listening to music, watching the guys hit the dirt hill and boosting the toolies, it looked like a lot of fun, hell it was a lot of fun. I had a hard time believing I was bust n to starboard, that's not my usual side but that's where the girls were! Boosting the toolies . I had a ball!
So it's a week later, I got a new L.M.G. board that I am dying to try. I got there at about one o'clock, rig my 12 nitro and make my way out of the pit. I gotta go way up wind and out to have time to put my feet in the straps, they're new don't you know? Things are a little tight, but the board was a blast. It did everything I asked and more. The more push the higher up wind it went, talk about Mad Pop. This board banged big.
I love that board does what ever you tell it, and more.
I couldn't get near the toolies today, it was crowded with hotshots again, doing board offs and spins. But I love that board, I love the delta, the long drive, the warm temperature, the people, the water conditions, and the variety of the Delta. I hope when I go to Berkeley the guys yell at me to go back to the Delta, instead of the other way around!