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

Day 2: Extreme Kitesurfing cont’d

Posted by direwolff on February 7, 2005

Another crazy afternoon on the water. While we had hoped and expected the winds to drop a bit today, Mother Nature had other plans. Jeff was our “wind dummy” today, braving it out on his 6.5m kite. For those new to the sport of kitesurfing, you should understand that in the Bay area we generally ride any where from 10 meter sized kites to 16 meters. A 6.5m kite represents nearly three kite sizes smaller than what we’re accustomed to riding, because the winds here are that strong, gusting upwards of 35+ mph. While many consider kitesurfing an extreme sport, I’d say that what we’re experiencing here at Playa Copal is extreme kitesurfing…and then some…

After watching Jeff ride for a 40 mins, there was only so much I could stand. Sure he looked quite powered, and sure my smallest kite was an 8m, a size and half bigger than his, but this was no time to get squeamish. Fortunately, as I started to pump my kite it felt like the winds were dropping a bit (or was that the wishful thinking in me taking over my sensory perception ;-). Managed to get out there and for the next hour it was like riding a bucking bronco at the rodeo. Lots of gusts, a few of which were surely in the near 40 mph range…for which you just had to pray and hang on for those 3-4 seconds. Definitely saw the water up close and personal on more than one of those.

Finally, things steadied out, and while still a little gusty much less insane. Here’s Jeff and I riding on a smooth upwind line…

Of course, none of this stopped us from going for big air. If anything, this was one of those days to go for it because the gusts could really take you up a few more feet than usual without much effort. There was also plenty of time for getting goofy and creating mayhem as Scott and Jeff set out to demonstrate in this picture…

Today, the elapsed riding time was approximately 2 hours for me, perhaps about another hour for Jeff. Still can’t complain, but definitely getting a work out for my mind and body (since the rest of the non-riding time is spent reading. Feeling good in this neighborhood :-)

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