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

Posts Tagged ‘kiteboarding’

A brrr-y cold day at Ocean Beach

Posted by direwolff on March 10, 2010

After what had to be an epic Spring day with temperatures in the 60s this past Sunday at Stinson Beach, the temperatures dropped rapidly and we have been rewarded with 50 degree temperatures, cloudy, haily and some times sunny skies over the past two days.  While yesterday was futile because of how the winds would either nuke to 9m kiting weather them simply die or have hail pouring down on us for 10 mins before starting the cycle all over again, today it was clearly small kite day at Ocean Beach.  Over 20 kiters came out to meet the winds, with most of them riding anywhere from 6m to 8m kites.  Oh yeah, and it was f-en cold!

Over 20 kitesurfers out at Ocean Beach

I arrived at the beach in time to get an afternoon session at around 3:30pm, but after standing around for 15 mins or so contemplating it, I lost the psychological edge which comes from just getting your gear out of the car, getting dressed quickly and getting out there.  Soon I was whining like a little girl, talking about how cold it was and watching all my friends arrive one-by-one and getting out there with nothing but a comment or two about the wind and cold.  Before I knew it, I was back in my car warming up, then jumping back out to get a couple of shots on my camera phone so I could feel good in having captured the moment for posterity.

Marcello Segura getting ready to ride an 8m kite

Finally, with my tail between my legs, I scampered away knowing that a fun session had been missed.  As I looked over the surf, you could tell that while the inside and middle had that washing machine effect that shows up at Ocean Beach pretty regularly in the mid-afternoon, the outside had some crisp set-ups with overhead sets.  The sets were close together which offers little room for error, but they were so nicely lined up that the rides to expect out there would have been divine.  Oh well, after being so spoiled on Sunday, I guess my jones wasn’t sufficient to break my will to stay warm.  Until the next time.

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Moving from 2009 to 2010 Motivated to Get Back to My Kite Blogging Ways

Posted by direwolff on January 18, 2010

Just a heads up that after nearly a year hiatus from blogging here, seeing all of the new cool kites that are being released into this 2010 season, and the fact that the San Francisco Bay Area has been getting some crazy winds of late, this has all conspired to get me back into blogging about our local kite scene.  Already since December, there have been several north wind days at Crissy Field and we’re currently experiencing some storm conditions that are bringing in south winds to the coast.  Half Moon Bay brought some joy to kiters both yesterday and today, while Ocean Beach got a bunch of us out there today.

As well, I just changed my quiver from Eclipse to Dimitri Maramenides’ new kite line, Epic Kites.  While he may not describe them in this way, the Epic Streamer is the next gen of what was the Eclipse Thruster, while the Epic Renegade is the next gen of what was the Eclipse Kima.  Having ridden the Eclipse kites last season, what I have experienced so far has been quite an improvement to an already good design.  He has also come out with a special treat in a kite called the Epic Streamer Limited Edition which only comes in a 10m version, but is more powered than the equivalent sized Streamer.  As for the bar, don’t get me started, simply said, it ROCKS in its simplicity and smart design.  My quiver this season are 6m & 9m Renegades and the 10m Streamer LTD.

Managed to get a 30 minute session on the a north wind day at Crissy las weekend and can just say that it’s a power machine with great grunt on the low-end and feels like it’s begging for me to let it send me into the air.  Sort of like a Ferrari begging for you to take it into the 125+mph zone, if you know what I mean.  Unfortunately, I was riding my strapless surfboard so I couldn’t let’er go, but I could feel what that puppy wanted to do.  Can’t wait to get it out with my twin tip to see what kind of air time it’s going to provide.

Today, managed to ride one of those weird south wind sessions at Ocean Beach.  It was a hard core ride due to the rain, slightly gusty winds and some mid-sized swell, but from a direction that we don’t get very often there.  Definitely fun while it lasted, which again was only about 30 minutes for me before the winds just shut off like a light switch.  For this session, I took out my virgin Renegade 9m and was not disappointed.  Fast turning, exceedingly responsive, and with plenty of power at every stroke.  Any time the wind dropped off a tad, all it took was a down stroke to get some good power back into the kite to avoid any slowing in the waves.  Wish I could have been out longer to get a better feel for the kite’s range but I now have tasted blood and am looking forward to my next session on this kite.  It’s definitely the wave kite to beat this season.  I’m expecting some solid competition in this segment from the RRD Religion which was just announced as their wave kite and has a nice, though different shape.  Will give that kite a fair review as well, as soon as I get to try it.

Looks like kitesurfing season is going to be a blast with this early start in January, things are only looking up from here.  This rain is also bringing lots of snow to the Lake Tahoe resorts, so I may slip out for some snowboarding, and who knows maybe take the kites along to put them through their paces on snow.

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Taking the fish tale thing to a whale-sized level

Posted by direwolff on November 10, 2008

This is totally insane.  For all of us who have been riding in the SF Bay area riding along side seal, dolphins and at times sharks, this one takes the cake…

Took place somewhere in Australia.  See the newspaper link here.

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye…the SF Bay Classic & Ultra Nectar Challenge coming up July 12 & 13

Posted by direwolff on June 28, 2008

For those of you not familiar with this race, it’s pretty nuts. Last year very few people completed it because the upwind leg can be impossible on light winds. This two races in one event is fun and challenging. The SF Bay Challenge leg of the race goes from a start line parallel to the St. Francis Yacht Club, upwind to the Golden Gate Bridge, then downwind to Berkeley. From Berkeley back up to Crissy Field is the Ultra Nectar Challenge. This race requires a bit more endurance than the RONSTAN Bay Challenge, but can be equally fun. This race will also include Formula racers.

Sorry, I can’t explain what happened to item 9 below.

Here are the details from the freshly released Notice of Race (which you can also directly access here):

SF Bay Classic & UN Challenge
St. Francis Yacht Club
July 12-13, 2008
NOTICE OF RACE

1.0 RULES
1.1 The regatta will be governed by the rules as defined in The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), except as any of these are altered by the Sailing Instructions.
1.2 RRS 40.1 will be changed as follows: Competitors are required to wear a wetsuit at all times while racing.
1.3 Competitors in the Formula class must display sail numbers on both sides of all sails.
1.4 Competitors in the Kite class must wear a numbered jersey.

2.0 ELIGIBILITY AND ENTRY
2.1 The following classes are invited to participate: Formula and Kite.
2.2 Eligible boats may enter by completing the online entry form. Entries must be completed by July 9, 2008 to avoid late fee.

3.0 FEES
3.1 Entry fee is $85, less $5 with proof of current USSA or USWA membership, if received by July 9.
3.2 Entry fee is $95, less $5 with proof of current USSA or USWA membership, if received after July 9.

4.0 SCHEDULE
4.1 Late Registration: Saturday, July 12 from 1000 hours to 1030 hours.
4.2 Racing will be held on Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13.
4.3 The scheduled time of the Warning Signal for the first race on Saturday is 1130 hours. A Sailors’ Meeting will be held at 1030 hours on Saturday, July 12.
4.4 The scheduled time of the Warning Signal for the first race on Sunday is 1200 hours. A Sailors’ Meeting will be held at 1100 hours on Sunday, July 13.
4.5 Sailors and their guests are invited to attend a social hosted by on Saturday evening and a trophy ceremony following the conclusion of racing on Sunday.

5.0 SAILING INSTRUCTIONS
The Sailing Instructions will be available at the check-in before the Sailors’ Meeting, while an unofficial copy may be found at www.stfyc.com.

6.0 RACING AREA
The intended course racing area will be set on the City Front utilizing inflatable marks. The intended area for the distance race will be from the City Front to the Berkeley Pier and back.

7.0 SCORING
7.1 One race shall constitute a series.
7.2 Kite and Formula classes will sail two distance races on Saturday, and three course races on Sunday. The distance races will be scored separately from the course racing. All course races will count towards a boats final course racing score.

8.0 DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY
Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. See rule 4, decision to race. The organizing authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta.

10. FURTHER INFORMATION
For further information please contact the St Francis Yacht Club race office at 415.563.6363, email raceoffice@stfyc.com , or visit www.stfyc.com.

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RONSTAN Bay Challenge – Kite Class: A good time had by all

Posted by direwolff on June 1, 2008

The Kite Class of the RONSTAN Bay Challenge was very exciting. There’s also a Formula Windsurfing Class, but as a participant in the kitesurfing race, it’s tough to keep up with the windsurfing action since they start the race 5 minutes before us and go much faster. Special thanks shout out to both the St. Francis Yacht Club race committee for managing this event and all of the volunteers who participated in the effort. Also, thanks to RONSTAN for their long time support of such a great event.

The event is broken down into two days, with the first being the long distance race which goes from Crissy Field, west towards the Golden Gate Bridge approximately a half mile to a windward mark, then back down wind (east) all the way to Berkeley for the leeward mark, then back up the St. Francis Yacht Club for the finish. The weather was very uncooperative with light winds under 20 kts for the down wind leg, and foggy skies the whole race. The upwind leg showed signs of life with winds ranging up to the low 20 kts.

There were lots of choices to be made in terms of how best to reach Berkeley and the different strategies paid off in different ways. The top three racers split at Alcatraz with one of the favorites, Shawn Richman, staying close to Angel Island the whole way down, while Chip Wasson and Anthony Chavez stayed on the city front side. Shawn’s down wind strategy paid off in spades giving him what seemed like an early 1 to 2 mile lead by the time he crossed the Berkeley marker. Nils Stolzlechner and John Gomes like Shawn, also went down on the north side of Alcatraz and were eventually joined by Chip and Anthony rounding the leeward mark. At this point, Shawn’s board became a hindrance and Chip, Nils and John were all able to catch him on the up wind leg between Berkeley and the St. Francis Yacht Club finish line to claim 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ahead of Shawn’s 4th place and Anthony’s close 5th place finish. The standings for Saturday’s race are as follows:

Overall
Position Skipper Finish Time
1. Chip Wasson 14:22:32.0
2. Nils Stolzlechner 14:25:24.0
3. John Gomes 14:27:07.0
4. Shawn Richman 14:30:57.0
5. Anthony Chavez 14:32:34.0
6. Chris Brown 14:37:29.0
7. Pierre Wolff (me) 14:41:00.0
8. Bret Herscher 14:45:03.0
9. Steve Gibson 14:45:14.0
10. Gabe Brown 14:56:41.0
11. Vlad Moroz 15:06:47.0
12. Tim Jackson 15:21:23.0
DNF Bill Kiriakis
DNS Raymond Dieter

Start Time was 13:10:00.0
DNF = Did Not Finish
DNS = Did Not Start

Bill Kiriakis who got a DNF had actually passed both Chris Brown and I on the upwind leg but suffered a fallen kite incident from which he could not recover as we passed by him. Sadly, he was only 4 reaches away from the finish line. Also noteworthy is that the top 3 finishers were all using boards designed and built by Nils.

While I had been advised that we might get strong winds on the way back up wind, I still elected to ride the Eclipse 14m Thruster and didn’t regret it one bit. It was nicely powered on the way back only requiring me to sheet in 1/3 of the way a couple of times, and provided plenty of kick on the down wind leg to even pass a couple of the racers around me.

Sunday brought the course racing legs of the RONSTAN Bay Challenge. This consisted of three races encompassing two laps each with markers that went from Crissy Field to approximately a quarter mile from the Golden Gate Bridge. Starting position is key to doing well in this race and it’s very tricky timing. This is similar to the Thursday Night Cabrinha Race Series most of us also participate in, so the riders were all experienced racers.

This event was dominated by the three favorites, Shawn Richman (19 year old kitesurfing prodigy who moved from Maui to attend U.C. Santa Cruz), Anthony Chavez and Chip Wasson. These three riders took turns at coming in 1st, 2nd or 3rd, with Shawn getting two wins and a 2nd place to win the overall event, Anthony taking 2nd, 3rd and 1st place finishes, while Chip took in 3rd, 2nd and 3rd place finishes. It certainly seemed like Shawn was riding with a mission after having been caught from behind in the previous day’s long distance event.

The Standings for Sunday’s course races were as follows:

Overall
Position Skipper Race 1 | Race 2 | Race 3
1. Shawn Richman 1 | 1 | 2
2. Anthony Chavez 2 | 3 | 1
3. Chip Wasson 3 | 2 | 3
4. John Gomes 6 | 5 | 4
5. Nils Stolzlechner 4 | 6 | 7
6. Bill Kiriakis 5 | 7 | 5
7. Pierre Wolff (me) 10 | 4 | 6
8. Bret Herscher 9 | 8 | 9
9. Steve Gibson 8 | 9 | 10
10. Geoff Headington 7 | DNF | 8
11. Tim Jackson 12 | 10 | 11
12. Raymond Dieter 11 | 11 | 12

The winds were howling at 25-27 kts accompanied by an ebb tide which made for perfect racing conditions. General strategy on where to make jibes played a major role in these races as well as the impact of small mistakes like falling off one’s board during a jibe, or spacing out and missing the location of the finish line altogether, as happened to me in the first race in what led to my 10th place finish…d’oh! Where some riders dominated on the up wind legs, others had a clear advantage on the down wind legs. When all is said and done, everyone had an enjoyable time racing under sunny skies.

For this race, I tried to go with the Eclipse 12m Thruster, but the winds were just too overpowering and since my 10m has yet to arrive, I settled into my 10m Best Bularoo which worked like a charm in what was sometimes very gusty conditions. Something about the nice long throw on the Bularoo bar which really opens up the range of this kite.

After the races, Bill our other friend Charlie, who unfortunately couldn’t race due to an arm injury that he’s allowing himself to heal from, and I went out under the Golden Gate Bridge to catch shoulder high swell. Steady rollers going from the top of the south tower down to the east side of the north tower. Amazingly well shaped swell. We lasted about 45 minutes before yelling “uncle” as our legs were mush from close to two hours of racing followed by this surfing session. Nice way to end the weekend :)

*** Update 6/2/08 @ 9:05am: There was a photographer on the start boat named Sergei Zavarin who took a bunch of pictures of the event. Unfortunately, because they’re for sale I can’t link to them, but you can view them for free on his SmugMug page at http://ultimate-yachtshots.smugmug.com/?preview=1.

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Eclipse Kites, a layman’s review

Posted by direwolff on May 28, 2008

This past Saturday, my buddy Charlie and I had a chance to borrow and ride our friend Gabe’s Eclipse Thruster 14m and Eclipse Nano 12m kites back to back, with a third session on our respective mainstay kites, which for me is the Best Bularoo ’07 10m. Oh yeah, and made a new friend along the way. But first, the kites.

I started on the Thruster at around 2:25pm in what were relatively low winds for Crissy Field on a flood tide. Here’s what the day’s wind graph looked like:

The 14m Thruster handled these conditions like a champ (note the dip to an average of below 10 kts at around 2:40pm). It felt powered the whole ride, and at times even went into near over-powered situations in the gusts (hard to tell from the graph above, but the other side of the Bay is quite a bit more powered than where the meter readings are coming from). The Thruster stays further ahead of the window and was just pulling me ahead faster rather than off the edge of the directional board as the Bularoo tends to do when over powered. So long as I kept a good streamlined body position and handled the speed it never felt like there would be a need to downwind to slow down. For the Cabrinha Race Series at Crissy Field, this kite is going to be very interesting. The kite also wanted to be moved to avoid allowing it to get into its low-end. Moving the kite created tremendous effective wind and I never felt that it would drop out of the sky on the heavy lulls we experienced. The low-end did feel a bit weaker and less stable than my Bularoo, but I attribute this more to the higher aspect ratio of this kite.

After about 40-45 minutes, Charlie and I switched kites. The Nano is a completely different type of kite. First off, it’s much more medium-to-low aspect, which is quickly noticeable by its profile. The Nano is considered Eclipse’s true wave kite and for good reason. The turning speed on this kite was unreal and the effective wind it generates was significantly more powerful than the Thruster’s. It feels like it’s always ready for a fast turn, to the point that it’s a bit twitchy for my style of riding and in the locations that I frequent. I do enjoy riding waves a lot, but unlike the serious wave riders, I still prefer a more stable kite that I don’t have to move as much. Having said that, it was amazing how a 12m kite was just as powerful as a 14m of a different design. Lest you think this has something to do with the Eclipse riding small, another friend was out on his 14m Ocean Rodeo Rise and he was just as powered as we were on the Thruster.

If I was going to start to do more strapless wave riding and was a regular stance rider, the Nano would probably be the smarter kite to ride, but as a goofy footer who likes to use a seat harness and gets a little lazy, the stability of the Thruster is much more welcomed.

As the winds picked up, Charlie and I moved back to our smaller kites. The big difference I could feel (besides the obvious size differences), was that the Bullie a bit more stable, but would quickly loose ground on an upwind tack compared to the Thruster. Actually, when Charlie, whom I can easily out upwind because of my quad fin board, was leaving me in the dust when he was on the Thruster and I was on the Nano. He had at least a 2 to 5 degree advantage which may not make much of a difference over a few feet, but makes a heck of a difference over a quarter or half mile reach. I’m really looking forward to trying the 10m Thruster and experience the combination of its smaller kite turning speed with its upwindability.

The one significant down side I see with the Eclipse kites is their bar, in two regards. First, the throw is very short relative to the Best bars. What’s nice about the long throw is that you can dump 100% of the power which is very handy in strong gusty conditions which we often have to deal with in the Bay area. Second, the locking device to shorten the throw is very clumsy. Best and Slingshot long ago figured out a very simple stopper system that can be moved with one hand under most circumstances. The Eclipse mechanism requires more steps than should be necessary. While the shorter throw would normally be a big issue to me, with the kite upwinding as it does, I’m confident that it’s just a matter of getting used to this because I shouldn’t get yanked off my edge in the direction the kite pulls.

Now for my new acquaintance. As I was walking to my car after the cold Crissy Field shower, I saw this guy that looked familiar but couldn’t place him. And then it struck me. Several friends (most recently fellow Seesmic co-conspirator, Cathy Brooks) had mentioned to me that the well known international blogger Loic Le Meur of Le Web and Seesmic fame was a kiteboarder at Crissy, but for some reason we had never run into each other. Well, that all changed on Saturday. We had actually been riding near each other for part of our last session, so conversation was easy and pretty much kiting oriented. Put two kiters in the same room and no matter what they do outside of this sport will remain a mystery to by-standers as all they will talk about is the latest session…or the one before that. It was no different between us that day :) As an ol’ hand on the Bay area kiting scene I was able to share some of the webcam links we use to track local conditions. You’ll see these now appearing on his del.icio.us page. Always fun to meet a fellow addict, and it’s clear that Loic fits that bill well.

*** Update 5/28/08, late evening: Forgot to mention that I was so psyched after riding the Thruster that I ordered 10 & 14m kites.  Can’t wait to ride’em :)

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Kitesurfing Ad in Tel Aviv…COOL!

Posted by direwolff on May 2, 2008

A buddy of mine took this picture of a billboard in Tel Aviv advertising kitesurfing just outside of his hotel there.

Gotta love that! :)  SEND IT!!!

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Bularoo Update…

Posted by direwolff on May 1, 2008

As you may recall from my previous post on this matter, “Best Bularoo Quiver; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly“, I mentioned the mishap that happened with my 10m Bularoo that was suffering from two slow leaks. The good news is that my dealer, Live2kite.com, replaced it without incident and told me that he would take care of this with Best. The bad news is that today is day number 4 of riding the new kite, and again a slow leak seems to have manifested itself. This time I was in very intense waters just outside of the Golden Gate Bridge, with big swells and somewhat gusty winds averaging 21kts (16-26kt range). After falling off a swell, while holding my kite up above me and reaching for my board I noticed the kite nearly fold up then straighten out again. This sometimes happens if a big gust hits it followed by a big lull. But something about the way it folded didn’t feel right.

I immediately signaled to my buddy Bill that I was going to head back to shore, and we both motored down wind. It took about 15 minutes to get back to Crissy Field and sure enough upon landing the kite and checking the main bladder it had lost tons of air. The leading edge was very soft and I was very lucky to have made it back to shore when I did or I would have surely experienced another kitemare. This is nuts!!! As I let it sit for a bit longer, more air escaped so that it was nearly all flat within another hour. This is the second brand new Bularoo 10m kite I’ve gotten in a month that’s had this happen to it. I’m pumping it up to the recommended 10psi and making sure every valve is properly closed (especially these days since my last incidents).

Well, I need to get to the bottom of this and find out what’s going on here. I’d hate to believe that Best is selling defective kites. I’m a big fan and have lots of other friends riding their other kites. One of my buddies is riding the Bullies too and two days ago he felt one of his end rib bladders was low. Not good. I’ll update this post with what I learn, but suffice it to say, I “ain’t” happy. Given the conditions and situations we get into up here in Nor Cal, having unreliable kites is not only disconcerting but downright dangerous and the last thing you want on your mind as you get out to sea.

*** UPDATE 5/2/08: After the Cabrinha Thursday Night Race Series at Crissy Field last night, the racers are invited to unwind at St. Francis Yacht Club adjacent to the park. While there, I met a young guy whose name escapes me, but he flies a Best Nemesis XP quiver. We got to talking about the slow leak issue I’ve been facing and he explained that it’s a known problem. What’s happening is that the small plugs for the valves on the struts are actually a tiny bit too small. Under air pressure from being pumped up, they tend to release air. This was also happening to his kites. He explained what he learned from another friend.

Pull the plugs off the velcro and the plastic ring that keeps them attached to the valve. Find a pencil or something that can be inserted into the hollow end of the plug that will stretch this. Next, boil some water, then drop the plugs in (I’d recommend one at a time since it doesn’t take long to soften a plug) for a minute. While soft from having been in the hot water, insert the pencil or other device into the hollow end of the plug so that it’s forced to stretch just a tiny bit (the pencil seemed to work best as it barely fit and provided just enough stretch for the plug). Stretching the plug too much will mean that it won’t be able to fit in the valve when you put it all back together, so err on the side of less stretching, not more. After putting the pencil into the plug, then dip the two into cold water to harden the plastic. Consider twisting the pencil while inside the plug before dipping in the cold water just to make sure that the plug is legitimately stretched. That’s it. Then put the plugs back in the velcro and in the plastic holder that’s attached to the valve, and you should be good to go.

Yesterday I pumped my kite up to check on it before fixing it, and it deflated sufficiently to notice within 10 mins. and by 30 mins. it had lost a lot of air. After fixing it today, I left it out for 3 hours and no air had escaped. This afternoon, with a bit of confidence under my belt, I went out to Crissy Field again in 25 kt winds and it held up perfectly. Checked all the ribs and the leading edge, and everything appeared to hold up fine. While I’m no fan of buying a new kite that I then have to work on, I’m just happy to gain some peace of mind from having this issue resolved. I wish Best Kiteboarding would take the time to make this information available as it’s my understanding that this problem is not occurring with Bularoos only, but with all of their kites. Nothing on their web site or their forums explicitly addresses this issue, and from what I understand from the guy who shared this, he has discussed it with Shannon Best to no avail. Sad but true.

*** UPDATE 5/17/08: So the saga continues. Well, I had a re-occurrence of the slow leak issue on 5/15 after 45 mins of riding. Just had a sneaking suspicion I should come in just to check things out despite not having had recent problems since applying “the fix”. Well, sure enough it was slow leaking again. Anyway, on the second page of the thread where we have been discussing this issue on the Best Kiteboarding forums, you should be able to find a link to the instructions from Best on fixing this problem w/zipties, and another forum participant actually put up some pics of where the zipties should be applied. Check out: http://forum.bestkiteboarding.com/viewtopic.php?t=4621&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15 for more info.

Posted in Kitesurfing & Extreme Sports, reviews | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

Preparing for the U.S. Kite Board Racing Championship 2008

Posted by direwolff on April 25, 2008

Well, the preparations for the U.S. Kiteboard Nationals being held this year here in San Francisco, are under way. Last night was the first meeting of the organizing committee and it really sounds like it’s going to be an even better event than last year’s. As a kitesurfing addict myself, thought it was worthwhile to channel some of that energy in a positive way for the sport in general, and in this spirit I accepted John Gomes’ (head honcho and responsible for making this a great event last year) invitation to be part of the organizing committee.

The event is expected to host somewhere between 80 and 100 riders from all over the world, who will travel to the San Francisco Bay Area to participate. Team riders from many of the top kitesurfing companies will be here ready to mix it up for what will be an exciting week of wind action in the San Francisco Bay, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club.

Last year’s event was the first Kitesurfing Nationals and drew an excellent field of riders. Word spread, and we’re likely to see increasing numbers of riders showing up for the event.

This year’s event will be taking place the week of June 9th, 2008. Check here (https://app1.regatta-manager.com/Regatta/RegattaPage.do?page=home&clubContext=stfrancisyc&regattaContext=kitenats08), for registration information.

What’s important to note about this event is that it’s being run like professional sailing regattas with similar rules so that kites can simply be considered a different class of vessel. This really lifts this sport to a new level, not reached so far by many of the other racing events out there. The hope is that in subsequent years, this event can be held in other locations around the country and eventually around the world, so as to spread the sport’s popularity and get more people exposed to its breathtaking nature. Who knows, maybe some day it will be worthy of Olympic attention.

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The Kiddie Pool: a Stinson Beach locals kitesurfing video – 2007

Posted by direwolff on April 5, 2008

Dave Renaud, Stinson regular kitesurfer, spent some time in the water last season shooting the following video for fun.  He did an awesome job and captured the addiction we’re constantly subjected to.  Not to mention, he made most of us look much better than we really ride :)  I was fortunate enough to make a few appearances throughout the video (the guy w/the yellow shorts w/the blue stripe down the side).

While it was great to see the Stinson crew out there having a blast in this video, I was brought back down to earth when I also saw one of the crew, Steve Shannon, who recently suffered a terrible tragedy and sadly is no longer with us.  He will be sorely missed.

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