Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Well, the impossible has occurred. Today I actually became waterlogged beyond comfort. As someone who is most comfortable when up to my eyeballs in splashing water, I never thought I'd see the day. After kiting twice in a row without noseplugs, however, I think I've finally found my limit. I had water up my nose, in my ears, down my throat, and just about everywhere else. Despite that, it was an awesome day. I took a 1.5 hour kiteboard lesson with Tighe from Lakawa. It was great, Tighe was really helpful, and I wound up scooting around Lake Waconia on my board. Using a jetski and an in-helmet communication system, we headed out to the middle of the lake to work on water launching, drift launching, body dragging. and actually boarding. It was great. I was really suprised by the body dragging - I had assumed it was a fairly leisurely activity in which I would sort of be gently towed along the lake by a kite that was depowered and in the neutral zone. That was definitely not what Tighe had me doing. I was skimming across the waves at about 15 mph, signing the kite for more power, and all the while trying to keep my swimsuit from falling off. It was really fun. Then we got the board out and started to work on that. There's a lot more to water kiting than snow and I had some trouble keeping both the kite and board doing what they were supposed to. Twice I completely nosedived the kite while cruising along because I was trying to get the board to edge and couldn't concentrate on both things at once. I'm looking forward to the day when it just becomes automatic. Speaking of automatic, I'm totally in love with the Slingshot T2. Whenever you let go of the bar, it automatically flys to the edge of the window and just hangs out there. WAY better than the TD's that would overfly the window and crash. Also, this kite doesn't seem to invert like the TD's do. The coolest thing, though, was that once the kite was on the water it would automatically turn on its side and scoot out to the edge of the wind window. Then it would just sit there waiting to be launched. I could crash and let go of the bar, the kite would move itself into launch position, then I could put on my board before even launching it. Pretty cool. Plus, they finally moved the safety loop down below the bar so your leash doesn't get twisted around it. Tighe also took some pics, which was really cool of him. With my life jacket riding up over the harness and the incredibly functional (but not so fashionable) com helmet I know I've never looked cooler, but at least its proof that I wasn't just floundering in the water all day.