Sunday, September 16, 2007
These are some pics from Waconia yesterday. Notice the shot of Tighe on the jetski with a student holding the kite (upside down) on the back. It's a great system that allows you to move back upwind pretty easily. In addition to the pics, I got to meet a bunch of local kiters and got some good beta on everything from launch techniques to kite models. David was kind enough to spend about an hour with me giving me some tips and helping me learn to water launch my kite (I was using one of Tighe's kites last time). The problem was that my ATL reverse-launch somehow got strung incorrectly, so my kite would only turn right once it was up. It took a long time to find the problem, but we eventually got it sorted. Then, Tighe was good enough to drive me out to the middle of the lake on the jetski so that I could practice without worrying about being dragged onto shore or into a dock. Unfortunately, I totally wasted Tighe's time because I failed to notice that one of my kite's wingtips was dragging in water the whole way out. The lines coming off that tip created a tangle like you wouldn't believe. To make matters worse, when I was untangling that knot I dropped my control bar into the lake. I dove in after that while Tighe worked on the original knot. By this time, however, there were more tangles in the lines that I had to try to undo from the bar. All the while, I was keeping Tighe from getting back to the lesson that he was supposed to be teaching. Finally, I just called it, got back on the jetski, and caught a ride to shore so that at least my line issues didn't have to take up any more of Tighe's time. The lines got even more messed up riding back, and it took me about 40 minutes to finally get them straightened out. At that point I just packed it in, took a few pics, and headed out.
Despite all of the line issues, the real problem wasn't with the gear, it was with me. I hate to admit it, but all of these issues were a direct result of the fact that I'm just not comfortable kiting yet. To be painfully honest, I'm scared of my kite. There's no logical reason for it, and I can't even say what I'm scared about, but there was a level of apprehension that was causing me to do everything only 1/2 heartedly. That's how all of the mistakes happened. I've had similar spells kayaking, and I've found that normally what I need to do is just go out and throw myself into what I'm worried about, get thrashed, and roll up. After that, my confidence shoots back up and I can get back to thinking about the things I need to. So, I've decided that my next kiting day will be different. I'm going to head up to Mille Lacs and just work all of the fear and uncertainty out of me. I might not even bring the board - just go out and put the kite and myself through every imaginable scenario until that one part of my brain is finally satisfied and I can actually start devoting my thoughts to what I need to do to kite well instead of what I'm afraid might happen if I don't.