“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

Archive for February, 2005

“Marijuana Ingredient May Help Alzheimer’s”

Posted by direwolff on February 28, 2005

Too funny not to share given that it was reported by the uber conservative pseudo-news mouthpiece of our current administration FAUX News…no, no, I mean FOX…sorry, slipped there, you know I'm fluent in french, don't you? This story is kind of like one of those "I told you so"s by the merry pranksters that needed the test of time to demonstrate…

"New clues about Alzheimer's disease have emerged from a Spanish
study of marijuana. The drug's active ingredients — cannabinoids —
help prevent brain problems seen in Alzheimer's, say the scientists.
… Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of mental decline, or
dementia, in older adults. The new study didn't test cannabinoids on
people living with Alzheimer's disease. Instead, the researchers
focused on human brain tissue samples and conducted cannabinoid
experiments on rats. The findings showed that 'cannabinoids work both
to prevent inflammation and to protect the brain [which] may set the
stage for [their] use as a therapeutic approach for [Alzheimer's
disease].' A staff member at Madrid's Cajal Institute, de Ceballos
conducted the study with colleagues from nearby Complutense
University. Their results appear in the Feb. 23 edition of The
Journal of Neuroscience." (02/24/05),2933,148518,00.html

Let's see which is the first pharmaceutical company to latch on this and buy the legalization of marijuana…oops, I mean get legislators to legalize marijuana for the good of the people. This chapter in medical history ain't over yet.


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There’s more to a person than meets the blog…

Posted by direwolff on February 26, 2005

So in thinking of why I blog a few reasons come to mind. One is that I find it quite therapeutic to get my thoughts out there, and not necessarily because I’m seeking the approval of others but because I want to consider myself a genuine person willing to expose where he stands (or sits) in the world. It’s part of the “get to know me” philosophy which says that if you’re interested in finding out what I’m all about, what makes me tick, why I say and think the things I do, the best way to do this is by reading my blog. Lots of “I”s here, because afterall my blog is about me, and regardless of my chosen topics to write about are, they’re a reflection of what I’m thinking about.

From a reader’s perspective, they don’t have to like what I say, nor agree with it, and perhaps as a result of some of my comments, people who might have previously liked me may end up dropping me from their list of friends and acquaintances. In other cases, some who only peripherally cared about me, may find great affinity with my words and ideas, and decide there is more to me than met their eye. Who knows, and frankly who cares, this is just another means for people to get to know the mind behind the visual interpretation they get from a person. It’s no longer about just “here’s what this person looks like” but now we’re opening the less often explored component of people, the “here’s what this person thinks about”. The reader also now gets the opportunity of saying, “well gee, my thoughts aren’t so stupid (or bizarre, or ludicrous, or…etc…) afterall”.

Well, the next step in this exposure of the person for those who dare is the public exposure of their profile. This gets tougher because there are many parts of our lives that we do not want to intertwine, but what we have to realize is that in a world where we have something to hide, we are always at the mercy of those who find that something out. Not living earnestly and in a forthright manner can have greater risks and consequences, regardless of how undesirable or shameful aspects of our lives might actually be, than doing so. This isn’t to say that you have to expose every little bit about yourself to avoid embarassment, but that you have to truly come to terms with the things that make up your life and who you are in order to have the shield of unreproachability (is that even a word?). The shield that reduces one’s inherent hypocrisy quotient. It also enables you to shape the conversation about your life that you wish to share. The “who” you are.

With that, Tribe, the online community/classifieds marketplace has just released in pre-beta to approximately 1000 of its members, access to a new customizable profile. What intrigues me with it, is how people are beginning to shape the conversation about themselves with this. It’s kind of like an extension to the idea of their blog because it enables the blog to be a part of it, but not the only part. Letting people in on what subjects and interests they’re into, what discussion forums or tribes they participate or are interested in, what pictures or art make up their world. With upcoming modules that will allow them to import their existing blogs wherever these may lie or any other RSS feeds for that matter, it really begins to open up the idea of self expression online. It enables one to bring together all of their digital assets into cohesive whole where they can tell “their” story.

In a world where people are seeking ways to be heard over the noise of a highly controlled media with our government telling only their own version of the stories out there, people are desperately reaching out there to tell their story if for no other reason than to say “I’m not a statistic, I’m a person, and here’s who that person is“.

Posted in Online Community, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Searching for Meaning…

Posted by direwolff on February 25, 2005

Keyword search and contextual ad targeting suffer from a similar dilemma…”that a word does not a meaning make”. A dear friend provided a really powerful analogy here. If you’re trying to locate a song or a tune knowing a note from that musical composition will not likely yield a very good match to other songs that have that note. Sure, the desired song will certainly be in the list, but result is only narrowed to a slightly smaller unmanageable results set. What we really want is something that can recognize a part of a tune and come back with results that also have that part of the tune. This will hopefully yield a significantly narrower set of results from which to find the one we’re looking for.

This is the same case for search. When one is searching for information about a certain topic, unless we’re looking for proper names or company names, keyword search isn’t very useful. Even sentences, while better than a single word, still require an exact match to be found, but this doesn’t necessarily talk to the idea of finding things that have similar meanings. There’s a context issue as well that needs to be considered. All of this means of course that end-users will soon need to become more effective at specifying their search criteria and parameters, but the need for tools that helpp in this regard is still a wide open opportunity that today has not been addressed very well.

In looking at most, if not all, of the contextual ad targeting services, they all seem to miss the mark unless they pick out a proper name within the page that they are targeting against and include a targeted ad that supports that proper name. For contextual ad targeting to really fulfill the panacea of being truly useful (that is receiving clickthroughs of beyond 2-3%, I really believe that the contextual targeting tech has got to evolve…a lot!

Just some thoughts to share…’cause they’re on my mind :-)

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Kitesurfing Crissy…how “jonesing” do you have to be?

Posted by direwolff on February 24, 2005

crissy field

So yesterday afternoon the kitesurfing missives went out began. At 3:17pm the alert that the winds and the tides were in perfect harmony for an early season session was sent. These missives come in the form of e-mails that a crew of kitesurfers I know pass around to get the team highly motivated…knowing of course, that we do. While these are generally more apropos when the water is at a more manageable temperature, the crew is getting started early this season, and the water temperature seems to have become a secondary consideration.

So a few of the boys went out to Crissy and actually ended up riding out by the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. The summary update on the session from one of the crew was as follows:

“Shoulda come on down….It was butter….powered up 12s doing the south tower boogie with some mackin swells coming through.

easy on and off of the beach, but pretty fricken cold…


“12s” refers to the fact that they were riding 12m kites which is our favored sized kite for riding in the Bay area. The “butter” comment is referring to the smoothness of the water. In other words they had a blast from a riding perspective. This of course will make it difficult for the rest of us not to go on the next alert, but the “fricken cold” comment will at least keep some of us (read “at least me”) in check just a bit longer until the warmer air temperatures (to compensate for the cold water), begin to show themselves in March.

Posted in Kitesurfing & Extreme Sports | Leave a Comment »

“Let me Lead!”

Posted by direwolff on February 23, 2005

After having worked with many entrepreneurs in my life and having had the opportunity to see both good leaders and bad ones, there's one comment no leader should ever have to make…"let me lead".

In my youth how one became a leader was an abstract idea to me. Sure in some cases people voted for this person, in other cases it just seemed like every one followed one individual who perhaps had more charisma than others. As I got older and was more directly exposed to more leaders my thoughts slowly evolved on this subject. At first it seemed that what made a good leader was someone who was a domain expert, who knew all there was to know about the business, sport or country they would be leading. It seemed like this person also had to know every one else's jobs or roles better than the people actually performing those functions. The tough part with that idea conceptually was how was this possible. Every role had so many intricacies, how would any one ever be able to gain superlative experiences in all of these areas?

It wasn't until later in my working life, that I had the good fortune of being exposed to so many different types of leaders that my understanding for this role evolved considerably. What became clear was that the best leaders were not necessarily those who knew it all, not necessarily the domain experts, or at least not the ones within organizations that knew the most about the business they would be leading, but rather those with the true and earnest understanding for what I'll term, the "people matter".

The people matter refers to an understanding that people do matter and that success is defined by one's ability to draw the most out of people since they are so integrally important to the success of any organization. It wasn't that these leaders knew how to manipulate people, but more that they understood (or "got") people and had an earnest desire to help them succeed and to help them achieve their own goals in pursuit of the organizational goals. In some ways and in my early understanding of this concept, it seemed like it was their skillful handling of people that they had mastered, but later I understood this at a deeper level. It wasn't about skill, it was about being passionate about people and deriving great pleasure from working with them to accomplish things.

There was a common view of leaders with those on top of the pyramid, able to berate any one who didn't live up to their expectations, able to demand action and having people scurry to get it done because they were told to. That antiquated image of a leader no longer makes up the repetoire of leadership skills. The ability to demean and belittle people no longer gets the desired effect. The crushing of people's spirits into submission no longer gets the job done as it might have back in the '50s (as we were lead to believe from black and white movies with the "boss" being the cranky old guy who yells at every one around them). Today, it's the person who truly loves people and understands what makes them tick and how to bring that into alignment with the objectives of the organization, that's the person who can take the reins of an organization and drive a team to a successful outcome.

This outcome is reached because this love for people is reciprocated by the team's desire to achieve for the leader, to show him or her that their desire to make the organization, country or team succeed is as selfless to them as it appears to be for their leader. What's more is that the successful leader will enable the team members to make the decisions, to invest in those decisions, to stake themselves on those decisions, so that the team can feel a sense of accomplishment in line with helping the organization climb to its next level of growth. This all may sound idealistic, but in reality it's just hard to do. But for those very good leaders, what differentiates them is that they just seem able to do this without any noticeable effort, like it's their second nature.

So back to my initial comment about the words never to say as a leader, "let me lead". These words are never uttered by the successful leader, because they never need to say it. Let's consider the three ways one becomes a leader; (1) to be hired or elected, (2) to be picked as the 2nd in command and have the first in command (the leader) die to leave the organization, and (3) to be the founder or originator of the organization.

In the first instance this requires that the person displays what we might call leadership qualities, either by having previously had such a role, or already exemplifying those qualities which we associate with leadership. In this case, asking people to "let me lead" is tantamount to not having been able to live up to the expectations of those who elected or picked that person to lead. Asking the question is only acceptable in such instances where the reason this statement is being made is because one has not gotten the opportunity to even get started with the task due to mostly likely, an antagonistic political climate or disruptions not having to do with any actions of the leader.

In the second instance, the person was never voted or elected into the role, and perhaps was allowed to become a defacto leader. In such cases, the term leader is hardly applicable unless once in this role, the person lives up to it and by default does become a leader afterall. But in any event, the use of the statement in this scenario, "let me lead", is a plea from a person who should never have been put in the position to lead.

In the third instance, the person by default has the role of leader and can do one of two things, keep it or loose it. You can't gain what you already have. The use of the "let me lead" statement here is one of abject failure to carry out the task of leadership. At such time as one has to ask, all respect from the team disappears (if any remained prior to this statement), because leadership cannot be bestowed on the basis of this statement, it can only be held by those who are leaders, by their actions, their deeds, and by the desire of those supporting them.

In my career it has been my observation that every one of those who have ever made that statement have done so because of either a loss of confidence from their team or because they were not leaders to begin with. The statement in and of itself is the antithesis of the fact that leadership is about people matter. If anything, it reflects a lack of understanding for people matter and a self-centered view of that role that suggests that people don't matter and that respect does not need to be earned but can simply be given. This, a leader does not make.

Posted in Entrepreneurship | Leave a Comment »

He went out as he lived, on his own terms…Hunter S. R.I.P.

Posted by direwolff on February 21, 2005


How ironic that on my last post I would choose to quote Hunter S. Thompson, and here only a few days later it would be reported that the creator of gonzo journalism had committed suicide. A friend sent an e-mail about this calling Thompson a coward for this act of escapism, but I prefer to view it much as he lived his life…on his own terms. His life was a cause on to itself and he called out the inequities of the world as he saw them, no sugar coating, just the facts. He was a brave soul for his ability to share his opinions free of all convention, free of the chains which bind so many writers and reporters, and for that should be revered.

He was one of those people that helped me see early in life, the lies being perpetrated by our government in the name of some bizarre morality that they espoused. The lies about drugs also became clear. Not that I’m advocating the extremes to which Hunter S. took that drug use, but that no, one does not become unable to think, unable to be insightful, unable to see through the haze of government lies in general, as a result of using drugs. If anything, he proved that it more likely helped see through the scams being perpetrated in the name of the people of our country, he helped shine the light on the destroyers of our culture and on the hypocrisy they were perpetrating against its people. Well, he impacted my life in positive ways that I will never forget and can only shed a tear in fond remembrance of the first time I was exposed to his writings.

Here are a few links that talk more about him and show some of his work…

* A Salon Interview:

* Archives of his more recent articles on ESPN:

* MTV:

Not much else to say, except “thanks Hunter S. for your words and inspirations, especially when your words were meant to upset the apple cart. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and your insights, it helped.”

Posted in Feelings | Leave a Comment »

“‘Cause it just hasn’t gotten weird enough for me”

Posted by direwolff on February 17, 2005

Nothing like a good Hunter S. Thompson quote to keep things in perspective.

Looks like U.S. House of Representative James Moran, D-Va., may have read my blog posting from October 4th, 2004 titled "Cialis, Viagra, Levitra…oh-hey!". Of course he went down to the wrong conclusion but who can blame the poor sap, he's a congressman, and what can we expect from these guys.

If you have a sense of humor, there's an article that came out today on AdAge titled "CONGRESSMAN WORKS TO BAN ERECTILE DRUG ADS" and it's precious. I'm still debating in my own mind what aspect of this debtate is most precious. Is it the fact that Rep. Moran wants to have this 6:00am to 10:00pm ban on ads for these drugs because…

"There are things some parents don't want to discuss with their children while they're watching prime-time TV and when the ad says one of the side-effects is four-hour erections," said Mr. [Austin] Durrer [the congressman's spokesman]

…or is it the counter argument:

The proposed ban "ignores the fact that this advertising has had some very positive effects," Mr. [Dan] Jaffe [executive vice president for government relations of the Association of National Advertisers] said. "I think we have to be very careful what we do in those areas."

He quoted studies that show 130,000 men who saw their doctors regarding erectile dysfunction as a result of the pharmaceutical ads had been found to have related illnesses, such as diabetes and high-blood pressure. The proposed ban is "well-intentioned, but misguided," he said.

…nice counter argument dude :-) You know what's gonna come next, "yeah, we should have porn on TV during prime time (oops, we nearly have it already ;-) so that guys can see if they can get it up or need an erectile dysfuntion drug"…I can see it now.

The interesting thing is when you see how much money has been spent on advertising and the fact that this has come from the largest drug companies in our country.

Either way this goes, it's interesting to see the puritans (in the form of Democrats this time around, now that's a new one on me, but he is from Virginia) up against the purse holders, the buddies of the masters of the universe, the people who may decide this congressman's fate. Well, I'm gonna stay riveted to this fight, though it's kind of like the Superbowl was for me. Didn't care for the Eagles because of their cross-state rivalry with my 2nd favorite team, the Steelers, and always hated the New England Patriots (aka. "the Patsies") because of the AFC rivalry w/my first team, the New York Jets. Either way this goes, it's a looser when such standards are brought to bear.

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Maryalice’s trip to Antartica…

Posted by direwolff on February 15, 2005

Let me preface the following letter by saying that Emily is one of my dear friends with whom I enjoyed spending time down in Costa Rica. While down there she read the following letter from her grandma out loud and had us rolling by the end of it. What made this even more precious was that her grandmother is 80 years old …yes 80! After hearing it through I knew this deserved to be shared as it really is entertaining. Just hope I have this kind of spunk at her age. So with that introduction here goes…

Dear Family,

I think it is about time I reported in after my wonderful amazing, magical trip to Antarctica. Because it was just that I'm getting my pictures ready but they can't begin to tell the story. The air is so unsullied, so crystal clear- even when it is cloudy or dull. The sun never seemed to set, although we were given the exact hour, but it never got dark. To everyone who has been to Norway or Alaska- you know how that disrupts one's day. We would get up in the middle of the night, look out the porthole, see something interesting, dress and go up to catch a photo or just look.

The scenery was dramatic and beautiful and ever changing! The icebergs were awesome!!!! The lead scientist warned us that we would soon see an iceberg, but to resist going out to catch a picture, because ahead there would be many more exciting ones! How true that was. They are truly spectacular sights. We travelled among them for several days, and they were still dramatically different. At times we seemed to be entirely surrounded by them.

We had one very exciting morning, too. On this morning we were scheduled to go ashore to see a colony of 10,000 penguins. All the passengers were divided into four groups, and only 100 people are allowed ashore at any one time. It took quite a while to get all our gear on, and then having to get in line to get belted into a life jacket, get one's ticket for the [shore visit] was not a hastily achieved goal. This morning I was fortunate, as my group was next to last. (The groups were rotated each day). I went out on deck and took a panorama of the bay we were in — it was gorgeous. The next thing I knew, the horn was sounded , calling all the back. About five people in the first [group] had gotten on shore, they had to return immediately.

Just after I had finished my pictures, a huge mountain side of snow caved into the bay. A friend of mine heard the captain say, "We've got to get out of here, right now, or we'll be here for the next three weeks!" A few minutes later some was heard to say, "It is not encroaching too fast." And the captain replied "That's because I have moved the ship!" We were underway as they arrived at the ship. The current and the ice could have blocked our passage out! I am so glad I have before and after photos!

We had been told that everything we did was dependent on the weather and the ice, we were now true believers! We had been warned that we would have to be flexible and that we became. Crossing the Drake passage was rough and so many passengers were seasick, the Captain's cocktail party was postponed until the next day. The next day we had a surp rise trip to view the icebergs up close. It interfered with the party, so the dress code changed from whatever you happened to be wearing- boots and all, and the dinner after was served as you walked into the dining room–with late comers left to the second sitting.

We were told that when we got home, we would not be able to explain what was so wonderful about the trip. And that is absolutely true. We had all kinds of weather – snow, and gale force winds which make it seem frigid, but then the sun would come out and you could be out in a light sweater. It was hard to image that many of the places we sailed would be entirely iced over in a few months. With all the snowcaps, it was hard to believe that they have only about 8 inches of precipitation a year. We saw birds and whales and penguins and elephant seals, among other things. It was spectacular, and I urge all of you to try to make a voyage in the near future, as even with all the restrictions, I am afraid the pristine beauty will gradually be spoiled by our presence.

To top this off, I must relate the latest "Auntie Mame" entry in my travel log. It all began when Aleta loaned me a black t-shirt to take with me, lest I get cold. I, as usual, went with as little carry-on baggage as I could – a large purse and a belly pack for necessities. I knew that I would have my baggage in Buenos Aires could change for the trip to Ushuaia. I forgot that they would collect my baggage early (Midnight) for that trip, so I took out all my clothes for the morning and repacked all I could in my bag. My nightie would go in my purse. The following morning, (it was about 6 a.m.) I very efficiently got partially dressed, brushed my teeth, etc, and reached for my pants and — I found in my hand, a black t-shirt! I was a little shook-up. I had nothing to wear! I called the desk and got a young man, who said there was no way of retrieving my bag and that, of course, no store would be open for hours! He tried to contact the tour people, but they were busy preparing our departure. He said he would get back to me.

After a few minutes, I began to consider my predicament and went into the bathroom. It was a beautiful one – this was a 4-star establishment – all lovely tile, etc. And there was a second big bath towel! I draped it around me and it was big enough. With a few extra turnings at the waist, it would hold. Naturally the hotel logo was emblazoned on my belly, but it would do. So I called the desk, got a lady, this time, briefed her on the situation and told her I was exiting with the towel. When I got to pick up my boarding pass, I started to tell the agent that I had taken the towel, and she said she knew all about it.

So I got on the bus, went to the airport and found a seat. Shortly thereafter a lady I had never laid eyes on presented herself to me and said, "Would you please tell me why you are wearing a hotel towel?" I did, and the young man with her, said he would never have noticed it!

Another lady told me later, that she had noticed it and thought it was a strange skirt.. On the plane I sat with a man who had worked for the ship's owner for years. He was a jolly Brit and got a good laugh out of my attire. Well, our baggage did not arrive in our cabins until after dinner, so I met my new table mates, still emblazoned with the hotel logo. I created a lot of good-natured laughter, and met some interesting people because of it! Enough, with love, Maryalice

Posted in Just Fun | Leave a Comment »

Day 7: A day of reckoning

Posted by direwolff on February 12, 2005

Today was to be my last riding day before having to pack up and catch an early flight tomorrow morning. It started out somewhat auspiciously with northern winds clocking in at close to 40 mph…ouch! Basically, that meant we were spectating this morning. Fortunately, my trusty Atlas Shrugged just got into high gear at around page 400 and the conditions made it easy for me to focus my attention on this book instead.

Had a late lunch at around 2:00pm with the winds still showing no signs of calming, until finally around 2:30pm, when some unexplained atmospheric changes must have taken place and the winds came down to a manageable 27 to 30 mph. With this, Jeff offered me one of his 7.5m Cabrinha Nitro high aspect kites. It was just what the doctor ordered. After a smooth launch to make for yesterday’s fiasco, this became one of the best 2 hour sessions I’ve had all week…again ;-) The conditions seemed to never tire of getting better and better the whole time. The winds even began to get very steady and smooth, which made for that awesome feeling when you SEND IT!!!

Suffice it to say, by the end of the second hour, my arms put me on notice that this they would not be supporting this much fun for much longer. Still it was tough to get over the range and smoothness of every trick done in these conditions. Finally landed the kite at just around 5:15pm. As I finished however, Ken, one of Jeff’s other guests lost his board and was beginning to body drag back to shore about a mile down wind without a board. At exactly the same time John had dropped his kite and was having trouble relaunching it. As Jeff sped away to go help John, I pumped up my 11m one-pump to go help out Ken.

The happy ending was that John managed to relaunch his kite and get back to shore safely, while Ken was able to get to shore down wind where Emily was there to pick him up in the jeep. For my part, I never found Ken’s lost board as the sun had dropped and the water was reflecting poorly…but ended up landing my kite to Ken and Emily at the same spot where Ken came in as it was getting dark and getting back was going to take too long. Likely that the board will be found tomorrow when it washes up on shore.

Well, as they say, “all’s well that ends well”, and so with that I concluded 7 unforgetable kiting days at Playa Copal in Costa Rica, with a mix of crazy-windy days, spectacularly smooth days, and even a kitemare to keep me humble, only to end it all on a high note…now that’s what kitesurfing is all about.

Below are few shots from today’s sesh with sensations and views to remember…

“Space, the final frontier…now I know what it feels like.”

“Thanks for coming, and this concludes our kitesurfing session for this evening. — Jeff”

Posted in Kitesurfing & Extreme Sports | Leave a Comment »

Day 5: Ommmmmm…

Posted by direwolff on February 10, 2005

Last night two new guests from the Bay area joined the adventure. Brit and I were acquainted from Sherman Island kiting out by Rio Vista, his buddy John was a new acquaintance. Both were, needless to say, very psyched to experience Costa Rican kitesurfing.

We all got up pretty early, around 7:30am, and the conditions looked like yesterday’s afternoon weather…perfect 11m riding. Decided to by-pass breakfast and went right down to pump up. By 8:20am, I was out gettin’ my groove on :-) Didn’t last long on the 11m kite before the winds picked up and forced me to the smaller kite. No worries, spent 30 mins pumping up and getting a quick fix of fresh pineapples, then right back into the drink…but this time, the epic session lasted a full 2 hours. Only quit to get some rest for the afternoon session, otherwise it would have been easy to go for the full 3 hour sesion.

Had a relaxing and leisurely lunch, once again excellently prepared by Emily. It had the perfect consistency to put one in the right frame of mind. Ended up spending nearly 4 hours from 11:30am to 3:15pm recuperating. Had to even go so far as to take an Ibuprofen to get me past the sore muscles, but sure enough high tide was calling us out :-)

Here’s a small medley of pics from the spiritual ride. The “Om” title of this posting is related to what I was feeling shortly after the following pics were taken. As I said this word out loud, it resonnated finely with my environments and the echo of that sound and carried through the air in a mystical way. This was all made more surreal by the fact that as I said this I could see a school of fish in the clear water below me. Too much for the senses to experience all once.

“Who’s a happy camper?! — OK, enough smiles, I gotta get out there!”

“Jeff and Brit checking out the action from the perch at KiteHouse.”

Wish there was a way to bottle up these amazing sensations for all of you to just download and experience for yourself. Today was by far the best day to-date with a full day of epic wind conditions. Amazing, it just keeps getting better…

Posted in Kitesurfing & Extreme Sports | Leave a Comment »