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Since we've had a flat spell, I've had some time to think while biking around the beautiful hills of Santa Cruz....the other day I was thinking about the typical kite life progression most of us go through......here's my summary:
* Curious - you are in your teens/20's/30's, are active and like mother nature....one of your friends introduces the concept
* Early beginner - you take some lessons, from school or friend, and all you can think about is kiting...you body drag and pay some dues in the water....work and relationships all pay a toll as you are obsessed with getting better and spending time where it may be windy
* Beginner - you feel the stoke of harnessing that godly power and you plane for a few blissful minutes....now you become an amateur meteorologist... no clue how to go upwind yet
* Advance beginner - you start to go upwind pretty well, experiment with toe side...you think you are a rock star when you make simple transitions and maybe by mistake a small jump happens where you don't eat shit...your boss wonders why you have such a nice tan and why you look so fit....you significant other wonders why you don't want to make plans with anyone from March-August
* Early Intermediate - you start doing some simple freestyle tricks and think that a simple rotation is super sick....You claim every new move on Facebook and start to document how rad you are via go-pro and high end DSLR...you start to explore other spots in the bay
* Intermediate - you get control of your jumping and start to think about true inversions - front rolls and back rolls are in your line of sight.....you may have a solid kitemare by this point as you pull on the wrong side of the bar during a trick....you are now on a performance plan @ work
* Advanced intermediate - you start to contemplate tricks into your transitions, and begin to experiment with kite rotations.....your friends talk about this thing called waves and you are curious....you car pool to Waddell and get super rad in the surf....a salty dude with a beard and flames on his kite yells at you and tells you to go down there....you are not sure what he's talking about and can't wait to return to your friendly spot where everyone knows how rad you are....You realize that your significant other has to go as they are a drag on your progression...or they need to learn how to kite stat....
The non-windy season comes and you start to loose your mind...your boss is amazed how much face time he sees with you...and your relationships seem to improve...until a storm comes and your buddies tell you about a mystical place called the Harbor in HMB.....you drop everything and are ok changing on highway 1 in an insane wind strorm...you feel like the luckiest person in the world to have found the sport....
Your friends ask you to go skiing/snowboarding, and you bring your kites along because it might blow......
Then you discover boots for the next year and start to do hooked in freestyle and claim wake tricks.....then you unhook, goodbye another 2-3 years......they you try a directional.....
Oh crap, my boss is calling, better get off BAK.
Get sum, Z
Pretty darn close but it's really sad if it takes that long to stick a surfboard under your feet. One relationship gone, I'm sure in part because of kiting, but on to a girl that loves going to the beach with me— she's a keeper. I'm somewhere around early intermediate and hopeful that the two near-kitemare situations I prevented from escalating are all I will encounter (but that's wishful thinking).
I've had a few times out at third that I stare down at my chicken loop and really contemplate unhooking but haven't yet. Spent a lot of time getting my directional skills down and finally moving on to strapping the old TT back on and getting some air. Waves have to be in my near future… they've just GOT to be.
Sold all my gear; ebbs and flows; see you next season.
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
— Albert Einstein
seriously. Going under the bridge is better than sticking your first back roll.
Also, nuke day at OB while you still have some pretty good swell at the end of the winter/early spring.
Kites: 2017 F-One Bandit: 8m. 2017 F-One Breeze 11m.
Board: 2015 F-One 5'10 Mitu Surf/Foil convertible
Harness: Manera Exoharness.
Wetsuit: Manera 5/4/3 X10D
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