Sunday, June 30, 2013

Random Post: Possible Image of Persistence Multi-Year Arctic Ice Formation: The remnant of the "Goat's Head"?

You can just make-out the Two horns on the right--looking to be in about the same twisted shape from the last time I remember seeing the Goat's Head nearly on-top of 90 Degrees North.

The image is from NASA Worldview at this link:,-48690.54186,322505.713709,138957.45814&products=baselayers,MODIS_Terra_CorrectedReflectance_Bands367~overlays,arctic_graticule_3413&time=2013-06-30&switch=arctic

I noticed that the link dropped the layer required to see the shape (it doesn't show-up in "true" colors).  Click on "Layers" on the left side of the screen, and select "Terra/MODIS Corrected Reflectance (3-6-7)" from the "Base" layers on the top of the pop-up.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Charger 10 Meter

Testing feeds . . . I FINALLY got this kite out in some real wind this past weekend.  A full review is forthcoming, but the summary is: "EPIC!!!"  Stay posted . . .

Friday, October 3, 2008

Testing out Answers, first winter swell coming in!

To start I have to give solid props to Gunnar now that I've ridden the Zero7 bar with the Synergy 12, and lately every other kite I have (including some Caution Answers) as well. I love the bar design--wide, simple, spinning, and more throw than I expected. When I get around to it I will add a couple of more inches to the throw, but most riders would be fine (or even prefer it) as is.

The hard-core locals had become somewhat more accepting now that I'm riding a surfboard strapless quite a bit, and A couple of weeks back one of the local Caution team riders asked me why I only ride Peter Lynn kites. I answered that though I love them, I would have more kite designs in my quiver if only I had an unlimited budget. He starts going on about how my riding is limited by the PL, and proceeds to offer me a 9M Answer, 7M Answer, a bar/line setup, and a pump (Eek!) for $100. How can I turn THAT down? I've ridden the 9M a few sessions and it's a piece of cake. You can do those super-quick turns and get the kite back around in less apparent wind when a Venom or Synergy would be pretty slow, but you definitely cannot surf down-the-line and ignore the kite like I love to do. Gotta keep an eye on that kite constantly too, and I have yet to try it in gusty winds. More possibilities, however, is always a good thing, and now I have that rain/storm winds tube kite I never got around to buying--and in the nick of time with our first storm of the season coming in tonight.

I am absolutely amazed at the reaction I'm getting riding a Caution. Everybody that ever ignored me with their nose turned-up at a "foil rider" is suddenly smiling, saying hello, and hooting it up out on the water. Several have come up smiling and said "well, isn't that just such a better kite than those Peter Lynn's?" Very funny to see such a strong reaction--as if I'd just been on the news for saving a baby from certain death--but I'm keeping mum about my "true" Arc feelings until I get a few more sessions and can fully tear-it-up with the Answer. Then, once everyone agrees that it has transformed my riding, I'll break out the Synergy on a windy day and demonstrate that I can do basically the exact same thing. Perhaps a few misconceptions will be cleared up ;-).

On the water we're finally starting to get some Gulf of Alaska swells. Yesterday I got about 1 1/2 hours riding right in town off 26th ave. beach in 1 1/2 overhead swell. It was sketchy, though, as the wind was extremely light near the shore and a couple of times I got caught inside after a wave closed-out behind me . . . Throwing/looping my V16 for all it's worth wasn't enough to get me past a slow/slogging downwind plane, and then the next 6-foot rush of whitewater would just slam me back towards the beach. Once I got a puff of wind, thought I could make the jump over a large breaker, and nearly cleared it. Alas, by board was up high, and from my waist-up I also cleared it, but it caught my butt as it broke and that was enough to take me down and into the washing machine like a rag doll in the blink of an eye.

This weekend the surf is holding at 10 feet plus/12 second gulf swell mixed with a 3-4 foot/20 second New Zealand swell and winds in the high teens to high 20's. It should be a wild weekend mixing it up with Synergies, Answers, Directionals, and surf boards, Wait, I forgot, DAMN! I have to work all weekend :-(. I have to take a break sometime, though, don't I . . . . ? I'll report on how things go in a couple of days.



Friday, April 4, 2008

Amazing spot discovered near Puerto Vallarta

Traig and I connected in Puerto Vallarta Wednesday and discovered an epic spot half way out from Bucerias to Punta De Mita. With a south swell picking up and pushing 2 or 3 feet OH, there were barreling rights and lefts for hundreds of yards off a couple of points. Add to that that the water was perfect aqua and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. We were standing there wishing the wind was stronger and then drove a few miles closer to Bucerias where we grabbed a Palapa at a public beach and ordered a couple of beers expecting to get skunked. Lo and behold the wind kicked in to about 15 gusting to high teens and we took turns riding his Xanadu fish light wind machine (actually my first time on that board, and I can confirm that everything he's said about it is true--a true lightwind machine with great surf possibilities). Kept thinking that I should've brought my board, but I'm glad I got a chance to ride this board and will definitely be getting one in the near future as my first serious dive into directional riding. Traig--getting only half of a riding fix due to my intransigence--kept recommending that I should consider grabbing the only other surf board on the beach. This happened to be the beach restaurant's menu, so, in the absence of a cameraman to capture the comedy of such a moment for posterity and disinclined to try and kite back to Puerto Vallarta to escape the Federales, I decided to ignore this advice ;-)

Unfortunately this was a close-out spot and at any rate the surf was half the size as further out in the bay, so we took a chance even though it was getting kind of late we headed back to the first spot. We snuck back into the "exclusive" and "private" condominium complex pulling off a Jedi Mind Trick and were both pretty sure the offshore wind coming off the 30 foot cliffs probably wasn't enough to get us out past the very sketchy reef out to that absolutely gorgeous break. But . . . . being like a couple of kids who just broke into Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium, we just had to try anyway. Somehow got the kite inflated and launched to a gathering crowd of gawking & very wealthy onlookers, and then Traig masterfully rode a single gust past the reef nasties and out to the impact zone. He caught the first wave very nicely, and then 4 or 5 more kitelooping downwind in maybe 8 knots. His walk back must have been at least a mile--probably more, but the crowd of bikinis hounding me with all of the standard "what is that" and "Wow, that is sooooo cool" Q & A made it all worthwhile . . . . . snicker snicker, at least for me I guess.

One thing is for sure, Punta De Mita has the potential for some of the most amazing kitesurfing conditions we've ever seen. We couldn't help wondering "what if we'd just stayed here in the first place" instead of making that sojourn to the other spot????? Who knows, but we swore that someday we'll ride that spot on a perfect day. Since all beaches are public in Mexico, the next time we'll hire a Ponga and cruise the coast until we find the PERFECT place to ride.



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Santa Cruz Season in Full Swing

The season has hit in a big way! The month of March has featured almost nothing but windy days and steady Overhead to 2XOH swell. After many more sessions on the Synergy it is even better than I originally thought--it has clearly improved my kitesurfing due to the greater responsiveness and range. Unlike previous new PL ARC models, I can't think of any areas of compromise in the design . . . It simply does everything better.

After beating my body back into fighting shape (probably doing what anyone reasonable would consider "over-training"), the six-pack is back, there's no more soreness left, and the last two days have been maybe the most skilled sessions of my life. Every time I make the short drive up the coast from Santa Cruz to Davenport/Scott/Waddell I'm just marveling at the perfection of our climate. So many sunny days with wind and surf: I'm definitely living in paradise :-). The experienced is enhanced further this time of year with the migrating whales starting to appear and heaps of dolphins swimming around outside the impact zone.

I know I've written of this many times, but more than ever before I'm now really towing-in to "catch" the wave and then surfing it whilst completely forgetting about the kite drifting over my head. Fortunately by holding it in a stall position it has so far always safely drifted until I cut back hard and re-tension the lines. I do now see more and more people experimenting with this style, but it just doesn't work as well with an LEI as total loss of line tension usually means it's Hindenburg time. So the LEI crowd is starting to enjoy using the kite as a spinnaker in stronger winds, by they dare not ride whole sections this way in light wind. Without a doubt, PL has a fundamental wave riding advantage due to this capability (not to say other brands don't have their advantages).

Peter Lynn Jr. has been coming down to Waddell on weekends as well and is really fun to ride with. I may be a pretty decent kitesurfer now, but watching Pete's it is clear he's on the level of the very best Santa Cruz world-class and pro riders. I hope I get there someday. One thing is for sure: if I don't, it won't be for lack of trying! It has been so great this month that I'm actually leaving my gear behind on my vacation to Puerto Vallarta tomorrow. I'll focus on family time on vacation as I'm getting far more than my fair share of epic kitesurfing at home.



Wednesday, February 27, 2008

First REAL Synergy 15 Session

Well, today was the day alright. We had a 2 foot south swell at 18 seconds mixed with 4-7 foot NW swell at 15 seconds, and the forecast was for winds to ramp-up into the 20's. It did not disappoint!

I was the first on the water at about 2:00 PM with mid teen winds gusting to high teens. Right away I had plenty of power to get upwind and ride the sets pushing 1.5x overhead. Throwing the kite for the bottom turn and snapping it back is smooth as butter, with the kite obviously resisting luffing and stalling far better than my Venom 16. Compared to the Venom, this kite is basically just more agile in every respect. Turning and acceleration felt like a full size smaller, and today I definitely noticed the impact of the VPC. Like the Scorpion, power build-up and maintenance through sharp turns is just obviously smoother than with the non-VPC models.

After about 45 minutes the wind came on stronger--now averaging about 20 and gusting to the upper 20's. And, though it was clearly gusty, control wasn't an issue with my long throw bar. This is definitely an ARC kite. With the power fully on now, I reverted to my favorite riding style: big airs and basically stalling the kite and forgetting about it while carving-out deep and sharp turns on the big sets and letting the wave drive my board rather than the wind. The mixed swell popped up some great rights and lefts and with only about 4 other kiters out it was "all you can eat" day. What a blast! BTW, you CAN stall this kite to achieve the above-mentioned riding style, but unless you have a long-throw it will be TOO stally as the kite likes looser lines to generate power from lift. One thing that is noticeably better with the Synergy than the Venom is how quickly it recovers from stall. I was able to carve right/left turns by stalling and re-accelerating the kite in a manner quite similar to my V10. No small feat.

I did many medium sized jumps into the critical part of the wave and was amazed at how quickly I was comfortable, consistent, controlled, and most impressively accurate in picking out exactly where I wanted to land and then sticking it right into carving the wave. Towards the end of my session I got over-powered on a port tack doing about mach 10 and decided "what the hell?" Flicked the kite back the other way full-force against the loaded board, let it accelerate with the bar all the way out, and pulled in tight right as I hit lift-off . . . . OH MY! Talk about airtime? This kite is the real deal. I'm not going to throw out numbers, but that was bar-none the highest, biggest hangtime, and greatest distance jump of my entire kitesurfing career. It's going to be a great spring and summer :-).



Sunday, February 24, 2008

Peter Lynn Synergy 15 Session 2/24/08

Yesterday I had my first properly powered session on my new Synergy. The pre-frontal wind was blow from low teens to upper twenties on the outside, but more like 4-25 on the beach in the straight sideshore angle and a 40 foot bluff behind my launch at Santa Maria in Santa Cruz . . . shifting 45 degrees suddenly, dropping out, rotors causing updrafts and major over-flies, your basic launch nightmare.

Somehow got it filled, launched, and to the water. I don't think any kite I've owned in the past would have had a chance, and needless to say I was all alone on the water. Once actually riding and out of the beach wind mess the kite handled the shifty/gusty winds like a champ. 12 to 28 in 2 seconds? Well, even on an Arc that gives you a bit of a yank, but with the long-throw and some edging it was totally doable.

I had a fun 1 hour session mostly focused on trying to work my way directly upwind about a mile to Pleasure Point break and navigating 8 foot wind swell mixed with maybe 3 foot long period. In 20 minutes I covered 3/4 of the distance, but then the wind mellowed and the sky looked extremely weird . . . not trusting the wind near the beach or the weather in general, I stayed away from the (anyway very sloppy) break and used my downwind space to carve some turns and launch some floaters.

So my best session yet, but still just testing the limits of the kite rather than the limits of my riding. So far the kite is winning this race :-). Later this week three days of NPH 15-25kt wind and 10 foot swell is forecast, so maybe I can FINALLY write a proper review of some wave sailing.

BTW, today was one of the craziest scenes I've ever seen on the Santa Cruz beaches. Breakers were pushing 30 feet plus and breaking up to nearly a mile offshore . . . mixed with every period, size, and from S to NW directions to create what looked like a boiling cauldron of an ocean . . . huge surges of whitewater dropped multi-ton redwood sections and big boulders onto East Cliff Drive where it bridges each of the lagoons East and West of my house. One of these is the spot where I launched yesterday. The beach stretches 150 yards from the road to the water--not enough to hold the ocean back. Wow!