Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gotta see this...

OK, somebody posted this on the Lakawa forum and it's pretty darn cool. I'ts basically an ad for subaru, but it's still amazing. Here's the link. You'll have to copy and paste the address because I'm not smart enough to put a real functioning link here.

Oh, and if you don't believe that the guy's really making those jumps, check him out on this:

Monday, January 28, 2008

Off the hook!

The really good kiters spend a fair bit of time riding "unhooked" (using only arms to hold on, not their harness) so that they can do some awesome spins and cool tricks. I found out yesterday that this style of riding is no longer just for the ultra-good riders - it's also for those dumb enough to forget their harness at home. Yes, I headed out for a quick session on White Bear Lake yesterday sans harness. I drove up, drove out to a good spot on the lake, set up the big kite, and only when I was about to launch did I realize I was going to be having some really tired arms. I have a 15m kite (really big) and the winds were 8-12mph (moderate) and those combined to show me that my arms that are really out of shape. I did get in about 40 minutes of riding, with frequent rest stops, but I eventually had to put the kite down because I was afraid a gust would come, yank the bar out of my hands, and send me running after it down the lake like the fool that I was. On the upside, the riding I did was fantastic. There wasn't alot of snow, but enough that my skiis could hook up. It was a beautiful day and it was really cool just being on the lake. The lake was full of people doing everything from ice skating and snowmobiling to snowshoeing and fishing. Cool day, sore arms.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

How Swede It Is

Caleb, Jackie, Nicole, Nora, and I headed out to Swede lake today to check out a Snow Kite festival that was going on out there. There were probably 50 cars there and well over 60 people. As soon as you got near the lake you could see kites zipping around everywhere. I don't think there was ever a time when there weren't at least a dozen in the air. To make it even cooler, there was a terrain park set up out on the lake that included a wooden ramp that was about 9' tall. Kiters were flying off of it and over the crowd of people gathered at its base. It was really cool to see. I didn't spend much time watching, however, because Caleb, Jackie, and Nicole were all out for their first time kiting. All three of them did great - they each mastered the 3.6m trainer kite (even in really unsteady winds) and moved up to the 5m. By the end of the day Caleb was making short runs on his snowboard, Jackie had a couple good runs on her skiis, and Nicole was zipping around like a pro. If we'd have had more time I'm sure all three of them would have been practicing boosting. It was really fun to watch. I do have to apologize for not taking advantage of the amazing photo ops that were everywhere and people flying all around - all 3 newbies were progressing so fast I barely had time to pick up the camera. Nora got some good pics and videos (as usual), so check her blog for better pics.

As an added bonus to a great day, I got to try out the 4wd on my new truck! After 13 years of rear wheel drive, it sure was nice to be able to scoot across the snowy lake without worrying about getting stuck.

Great day, great time. Huge props to Caleb, Jackie, and Nicole for absolutely rocking!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Amazing kite day

I headed out to White Bear Lake for a couple hours on New Years Eve and was treated to one of my best kite sessions yet! Steady 15mph (or so) winds, untracked powder snow, and a bunch of other kiters out buzzing around. For a while the wind was actually fast enough that my lines were whistling when I was standing still. Pretty cool. I didn't do any huge boosts, but I took my time getting comfortable with some 3-4 footers. I also got some practice in with high-speed, one-handed runs as I zipped across the lake. In a switch from my normal wind luck, I managed to get there right as it picked up and rode until I was exhausted. I got in about 2 hours of continuous riding on my 15m and finally quit when my legs were burning and my feet were frozen. For the first time ever, the wind died as I was putting my kite away instead of when I was setting it up. It was great.

Unfortunately, I got very few pictures. By the time that I was done kiting and had my camera out the wind was dying fast and there weren't many kites left. It's a shame because there were some great riders out there (like Kurt) who were really hitting some sweet tricks. That aside, it was an awesome day.