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.