Sunday, January 28, 2007

What Good Kiters Look Like

Saturday we had 20-30mph winds on White Bear Lake. If you're not real familiar with windspeed, that means REALLY FRIGGIN WINDY. The wind was peeling the hardpack right off the lake. Nate, Jer, and I were stuck using my trainer since the inflatables would have been way to powerful and my 5m won't get back from the shop until Monday. The trainer had plenty of pull in those conditions, but its tiny size made it unpredictable and kind of hard to control. It was great to see some of the experienced guys really going big. I got some pics of Mike, who was willing to put on a show for the camera. Sure looks like fun... Hopefully it will be me soon.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snowkite Festival

This weekend was the Mille Lacs Snowkite fest, which draws kiters from all over the state, as well as some sponsored national riders. This year there was some doubt about both the snow cover at Mille Lacs and the wind forecast, though, so the crowd up there was smaller than usual. I wound up going by myself after a couple other kiters decided to stay down here, rather than risk getting there to find no snow. As it turned out, however, there was plenty of snow to ride on. When I got there in the morning, there was about 2 inches of packed, bonded snow that was great for edging. There was also more than enough wind. In fact, the winds were in the 20mph plus range and people were getting boosts on 3m trainers. I even caught a couple little boosts on my trainer before my arms got tired and Mike and Melissa were kind enough to let me borrow their 10M bow kite. It was a bit overpowered, but lots fun. As the day went on, the wind started peeling the snow off the lake, so that by 4pm there was enough exposed ice to make it hard for me to edge unless I was near shore. Still got lots of good ride time in, though, and got to see some really good kiters throwing some huge airs and sweet tricks. I only had my camera out for about 10 minutes, so there aren't many pics, but they'll have to do.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Huge Boost

Nate, Jeremy, and I headed back to Nokomis today to make use of the continuing 15-20mph winds. Day started off frustrating with lots of problems with kites and lines, which culminated in me cutting 4 of my bridle lines with my skate. I managed to tie them together as a band-aid fix and hit some boosts, though. That really helped the fustration. Then I got one boost that was unreal. I had a good gust of wind going and was moving pretty quick. I sent the kite high as hard as I could, then got yanked up. The first four or five feet were awesome. Then, another gust hit and I went up about another 5 feet. At this point, I was about 10 feet up and stopped paying attention to what I was doing with the kite. As a result, I pretty much got dropped on my @$#, rather than gently set down. Check the collage sequence for the pics. I now have a puffy elbow and lots of sore muscles, but it was awesome. Huge thanks to Jeremy for getting the pics.

Also, Congrats to Jeremy for getting a harness and some new skates. Kinda hate these addicting, expensive hobbies, but it's still fun to get new gear!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Awesome Kite Day

Today we had 20mph winds and decently smooth ice on Nokomis. My 5 meter foil was fully powered and absolutely awesome. Cruising at scary fast speeds across the ice, then sending the kite high to boost into the air. Consistently hitting 4' airs and had two that went really big. Not exactly sure how high, but they were definitely more than 4'. My face got sore from the perma grin and after almost three hours my arms did as well. For whatever reason I was even landing the jumps. Only one fall all day, and it was more like sitting down than falling. It was rediculously fun. There were a bunch of other kiters out there, including one who had a camera, so with any luck I'll be able to get copies of the pics.

Check out a video of one of the smaller jumps here: