Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I need a bigger surfboard

Brilliant forecast. Total let down. Well, not total cos I stayed at the Yacht Harbor for 3 hours and did manage to hit some good "waves" but it was up and down again, and I spent a lot of time going downwind and being annoyed. Wanted a break from the foil and wanted to ride the waves, but the weather had other ideas. . . .

Sunday, May 1, 2016

What a surprise

In a good way this time. Slight puff of wind, hoped to ride the foil . . . but the wind suddenly picked up and stuck around. Huh. Laid out the 15 and went out on the TT for a jumping good time. Apparently I'm a bit rusty.

Wind dropped a little so I went out on the foil and had some of the most perfect rides, until I fell and landed on my face. Felt like someone kicked me in the face. Gave up and went home before they could do it again.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Oh it's a holiday is it?

After turning up to the kind and finding it closed--despite having made a booking the day before--I went to the lake anyway in the hope that Miyachi's wife could look after the boy.

Although I had a sneaking suspicion that it wasn't going to be worth all the messing around . . .

. . . and I was right :( gusty crappy wind. Never the right amount to be of any use. Bloody annoying.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

More is more

Super-light wind forecast, but I like foiling so that's fine. Took the 21 and the 15 over to the lake and . . . oh now it's picking up.

Lay out the 15. Oh it's still picking up. Pack that up and get the 12.

Go out on the foil--cos it's the only board I have--but I'm a little over-powered. Decide I want to play jumps, so I go back for my Flydoor that's in the shed.

So that was fun. Till the windsurfer kook bears down on me from his port tack, without blinking or making like he'll move, so I jump downwind of him as far as possible but he decides to bear off at me and crash, like it's my fault. Tosser.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Missed most of the rain

Sloped off to Mie early in the morning (9am) to catch the wind before the rain and hang out with Jun. It was li-iiight as but we did well, then it picked up some and I tried to ride the Duke. Didn't work so I went home.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Duking it out

12 to 16 knots, gusts to 24. So apparently that is what makes a great session in the Duke and the adequate Park 10. Had a good 3 hours bombing around, "surfing" the swell and carving around. Good foot changes, with the foil in mind.

Park is better than the Pivot regarding the gust handling, but is less reactive to inputs and inclined to go out of control if you sheet right out and it accelerates a la the old GT. Maybe the rear lines were too long. . . . So I'd have one if it were free, but I wouldn't pay for it. Still searching for a wave kite.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Just messin' with me

Forecast was for better wind than yesterday, and it was good when I arrived and set up. Went out and had fun on the 14 and the TT for a while, but then decided I was sick of the bar pressure, barely passable jumps and wanted my Duke. Decided I could ride the 10 so swapped bar and line, then went back out.

Naturally, the wind dropped. Two crappy tacks then I gave up and so did the wind. Total die off...packed up the tubes and contemplated going home for some Assassin's Creed.

Then it picked up a little, and I contemplated the foil. Set it up and toddled over to the lake with the two smaller Speeds...

And naturally, it started howling. Over-powered session on the foil for an hour, until it died right off again. Managed some foot changes nicely, even one on a semi-foil. Hmm...

It was ok, but I didn't get what I wanted when I wanted it.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Whoa, where did that come from?

Crappy forecast, but it turned out pretty good.

I'd set up the foil, but didn't need it. Went out with the 14 to make sure I had power, as I really wanted to ride the Duke.

Got my wish. Picked up to the point where I almost thought about getting a smaller kite or board, but depowered fully and just hung on. It was good. Tack and jibes were fine, which is nice. Board is a hack n' slash machine, might need more fins cos I'm lazy and aren't loading up the back end in turns, and it's getting loose. Or maybe that's a good thing...

So anyway, was fun.

Monday, April 11, 2016


. . . that was without a doubt the biggest waste of time in a very long time. 15 knots gusting to 36.  Ha ha.

Really wanted to ride the Mako and practice feet changes and tacks but it wasn't happening.

The Pivot is the nastiest twitchiest unstable bag of crap I've had the misfortune to fly in gusty conditions. Putting the XB up right after it was night and day :o

Tried to get the RPM up in a lull, but then it tried to drag me down the beach so we gave up on that. Sigh.

Took me a long time to be convinced that I was wasting my time, but at least I was sure of my decision when I packed up. Bloody hell.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


. . . that was a surprise.

Absolutely nothing when I got there, but everyone was sticking around so I did to and it came up some. The other foiler went out on a Chromo 15 but I suspect he was over-powered for a while, because I was. Then it slowly dropped off til we all gave up.

I had a nice time but had zero successful tack, almost no successful pre-jibe foot changes but mostly managed the post-jibe changes, however badly. . . .

Friday, April 8, 2016

Pushing the envelope

Kid's in day care, forecast for the weekend looks naff, may as well try ride the very little we have today...

Went with the 21 cos I wanted more power to try tacks etc. Wind is SFA but the 21 stays up and I can body drag so here we go...a-and here we go! Up and riding...

Get about a half hour then a lull hits, kite luffs but I semi-catch it and keep it from bow-tying, but it touches down and takes water into a tip...makes a tough and trying couple of minutes, but a gust comes and I get it back up. Ride a little more then it drops a little again so I head back to the launch spot.

Stand around for a bit, then it comes back up so I relaunch and head back out. Wind is a little better, and it even approaches too much (14 knots) for a few minutes before settling back to good enough.

Manage a handful or successful foot changes, both post-heel-to-toe transition and pre-toe-to-heel, on my good side. Managed a single tack, but that's it. Figured how to ride with both feet forward so that'll come in handy, but I really want a voluminous 3-strap board...

Decide my time is up and ride right up to the beach just as the wind fails again. 4 to 8 knots :o

Monday, April 4, 2016

First it sucks, then it blows

Forecast was supposed to be good, but it really sucked.

I went out with the S3 15 and the foil, but it was so light the kite was just staying in the air. I could ride though so that was nice.

Getting really bloody sick of being unable to transition without falling in the water first :( or having to ride topside. Even if I can do it for miles . . .

Wind started to pick up, so I went out on the TT but it sucked worse. Came back in, landed the kite and thought about packing up. Then one of the guys came over and set up, and it looked like the wind was really coming so I went back out . . .

And had a great little boostathon for what must have been an hour, cos I was late to pick the boy up :o

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Lighter but better...?!

One more time to Tsu. Forecast was for lighter wind but it turned out pretty good, actually. My timing was better, to catch the squalls, so I had a nice time on the foil until the wind filled in a bit, then I played silly buggers on the TT. Gravy.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

April fooled by the wind

New work schedule gave me the afternoon off . . . off to Tsu!

Gah. Wind died as I was on the way over the hills, down from 16 to 10 knots. Went out with the 15 and took the TT to the shore just in case, but I only got some gentle riding on the foil till it dropped off again. Oh well.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Foils foil Murphy

The forecast was for light wind but looked like it'd be consistent, so I went to the lake. What a surprise, I went with the foil.

Took the 21 and 12 to the lake, and I thought there'd be enough wind for a ride with the 12. Waddle out, try to ride...not happening. Back to the beach. As I'm setting up the 21 I'm betting Murphy will turn up the wind in a few minutes after I get out on the water...

Yup. Back to the beach, pack up the 21 and go back out on the 12. Very light, but I have a nice time for over an hour.

Still miles away from making a tack but I'm not sure I want to go strapless...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

One hit wonder

Should have been cracking, but it was gusty crap. Tried the TT but gave up and built the foil. That was a bit weak too, but a rain front came through and I got 5 minutes of great boosts--totally way over-powered but it didn't last. Sigh.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Git yer Dukes up!

Took the Duke to the beach because I wanted a change, and am determined to give it a good run.

Wind was up, but it was gusty as hell, and the wind was so shit that everyone buggered off and left the lake all to me alone. Then it picked up and I had 2 good hours of blasting around on the Duke.

So, ride it off the back foot, with power, and it's sweet. Like, really good. I got to thinking and treated it like a Vanguard and it was gravy. Needs more body English to carve well but when you do, it rewards. Jumps nice too and I managed gybes and tacks easily, so it must be the straps ruining my style on the Foil :D

Still want a bigger one though. With channels...Adrian?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Maybe good, maybe bad...

Whoops, forgot to fill this out so my memory is a bit vague, but I remember it was light and I didn't want to risk the 21, so I went with the 15 to see what it's bottom end was with the foil. Not bad, but the problem is the kite isn't swift enough to work to build speed. Seems like the 12 is the limit for that, and if it's lighter then go for the 21 and change early...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Look where you're going. Early...

Carefully timed my trip over to Tsu, narrowly avoided a traffic jam on the highway, but it looked like I'd missed the wind. It'd dropped from 10 knots to 00.2m/s... o_0

Checked the radar forecast again, and thought I'd wait it out till 3, as there's a dark line on the horizon where the wind should be... It pays off, as the wind comes in and ripples the water, and I can see some white-caps out there. I gear up, build the board, strap myself into the harness...and dither about which kite to use. Not supposed to pick up, but I don't want to be over-powered on the foil.

Went with the 12. Couldn't get up on the board at first (3 to 6 knots according to the club weather station), took a break for a few minutes, then tried again as the wind picked up a little. Better.

Wind gradually picked up to the point I thought about getting the TT but then dropped again till it died about 5pm. So, 8 to 12 knots, gusts to 20 apparently.

Tried the fuselage on the shorter setting. I spent less time bouncing right out of the water and more time having fun. Like, tack after tack of going heel to toe, then back to heel...without falling :o so that was pretty rad. Had a LOT of fun riding the swell. I KNOW I'm riding the swell, cos if I'm not on the ball of my balance, I wobble badly as I lose pull from the kite. And bouncing off the swell is neat-o.

Even managed a surface foot switch...took like 20 seconds to shuffle around the board and straps, but I got there in the end.

Speaking of straps, I think it's time to lose at least the back one. Fell over and tweaked my ankles--both of them. The tried to heel-to-toe on my goofy side and screwed the balance; the board fell downwind, I fell upwind and...ouch.

Speaking of falling and ouch, finally fell on the fins. Wasn't going fast enough and not enough power in the kite to get over them. Wing in the ribs, stabilizer into my calf. The latter is very painful still...

Speaking of latter, that's not the time to get your head around. SO much smoother and easier whipping the head around and waiting for the body to follow.

No more, I promise.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Always seem to on about the foil

REALLY wanted to get out on the Duke and see if I can make it work, but the wind just didn't co-operate. Ended up back on the foil...again.

Wind was all up and down, gusty and rough so I didn't really have a lot of fun. Lots of porpoising up and down, no good carves. Sigh...I think the longer fuse is the problem.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

In remembrance of Dialer

Wind again today, started light and built a little.

Had the mast cut down (again) and the bottom squared off, holes recapped, as the previous incarnation was . . . borked. Used the new, longer fuselage.

So far so good--no collisions with the bottom and it's still straight.

As for the feel . . . well, there "skating over stones" feeling is gone, it's slower to respond but more reactive to swells that cause it to pitch, tracks a little straighter, faster and smoother, needs more speed to plane but lifts more . . . didn't notice the difference in the length of mast.

That was nice. The wind picked up and I wanted to ride the nice waves properly, so I ditched the foil and rode the Fish. Gawd it's horrible . . . slippery, twitchy, won't go upwind, spray every where all up the legs. Sigh, I miss my Dialer.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Really cold, couldn't find my flow. Still better than sitting at home feeling crook.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mo' riding mo' video

Ugh, so sick but...must...ride...foil...must...be competent...before...summer...

Take the 15 and the 12 to the beach, but opt for the 12 as it's supposed to be pick up...it does, and it also dies right off, but in between and after I have a good time riding and hamming it up for the ROAM2. Expect video after the .dmg for Final Cut takes 6 months to mount and install.

Weather report said 5 to 15 knots, gusts to 20. But that was 20km north in Hikone; I think we had 8 to 16, dropping to 3 or 4 in that big lull...

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pride Goeth

Good forecast in the morning, dying off in the p.m... I bum-rushed the ocean beach at Tsu when the wife finished her horsing around in the morning. Got there about 1, set the board up as the other guys were leaving. Decided on the 12m Speed3 because...well, James inspired me and I wanted to check it's range.

Mmm, might be a bit much. Whee! boing test has a lot of pop...suck it up bitch!

Turns out to be good, but oh my! the turbulence in the ocean is more aggressive than the lake swell; I get bounced around and have a hard time foiling out.

Struggle out, get away from the waves and have a nice time for about an hour. I make barely any gybes though, and I feel very out of sorts...

Decide on a break to mount the camera (says GoPro in the tags, but is actually the ROAM2), as I figure I've gathered all the mojo I'm going to.

Oh shit, the wind has dropped and continues to drop until I'm floundering and swearing...not a good look. Give up in disgust.

Weather report says 15 falling to 8 knots; the station at the yacht club was saying 14 when I arrived and SFA when I left. Range on the 12 is good, but it needs extensions.

Enjoy the vid... No audio because iMovie iSucks.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

I am a practitioner of the dark arts!

Well, a novitiate anyway. Foil boards are the voodoo black magic of the kite world. 

The forecast looked weak, but was supposed to pick up from 3. It didn't, but I got onto the water anyway cos I wanted to push the bottom end of the foil board and see just how low you can go.


If the weather report is to be believed, it was 3.2 building to 8.2 knots, gusts to 12.4.  I think we got a lot more steady wind closer to sunset, as it picked up some and Hiro came to play.

So, pretty freakin' low.

When the 21 would sit at the zenith ok, and I could body drag slowly, that meant I would be up riding :o When the kite would luff and drop back in the window, I could get up on the board but had to work the kite (ho ho ho) to get moving, but usually meant it was tough getting up on a foil. It was the point when the kite wouldn't stall in a loop that it was all on like donkey kong...

Still, there wasn't a white cap in sight and I was going upwind a little more with each tack... Black magic, I tell you! Amazing feeling, gliding over the almost flat water.

So I'm guessing that 5 knots is the easy bottom end, and the apparent wind built up mad; easier riding the apparent wind than over-powered. I dunno if the 21 is necessary, as its slowness was troublesome and I got over-powered at 12 knots (!)--it was almost impossible to keep a constant height foil, power was on and off too much. By the time I packed up, I might have been ok on a TT...maybe.

In the middle of all that, I managed several times to do some total foiling gybes, ride toe-side the whole tack then carve back the other way! Woohoo! Didn't expect to be doing that for a while yet. Tried some jumps, but very half-assed due to fear of luffing the kite and totally crap timing...

Naturally, I had the camera, had it charged, but didn't think it worth putting on the lines. How wrong I was!

Abracadabra, bitches!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Alrigh' alrigh'

Yet again, wind didn't live up to the forecast and it was up n' down the whole session, from being unable to relaunch the kite to being worried about being over-powered...

The wind situation was clear when I arrived at the lake; few whitecaps or trees moving around violently. Never mind, I've got a foil. With a bent fuselage.

It was overcast and snowing, so I wrapped up in the whale scrot and jammed the helmet on my hooded head. I went with the SB 14 cos I wanted to try a lower AR kite, but noticed in the session how it made nicer power when turning, and didn't get soggy at the bottom in lightest wind. Hmm...

Great riding today--when the wind was up. Bit of fighting to get up on the foil when it was light but goddam, I could barely keep the kite in the sky. In fact, at one time I couldn't relaunch it til the wind picked up.

Managed a couple of gybes on the foil, but sunk as I can't ride toeside. S-turns on my good side go well enough that I can get into the shallows near the beach on the foil, then bail.

So, good speed and height control, although my goofy lags behind by a session or two.

Sun came out so I got a bit pickled in the suit...

Monday, February 15, 2016

It's a good news, bad news kinda thing

Sun's out, wind like yesterday but a work day so I got the lake to myself. Cold though, and my gears still wet so I go with the 6/5/4 suit. Ugh.

Got to the beach with the Duke, Fun Foil, and 10m XB but it was howling so I went back for the 7m kiddie's toy. So small, thin, tiny, far away from the bar!

Was fine for a bit, then the wind dropped so I was working it hard. Not so bad, I could get consistent pull out of it that way, but it was hardwork.

Went back in for the 10m. That was better, had some good foiling runs and tried some gybes and S-turns, which was fun. Got to surf a wave accidentally too, until I ran out of speed and pull and sank.

Nailed the bottom HARD at speed, twice...fuselage is bent again. But I got some epically nice rides after that, long foils at constant speed and carving turns.... Huh.

So, plan B rev. 2: ride it as-is until I can foil consistently without slamming into the bottom, then cut it down for the extended fuselage. Tempted to get some aluminum stock and shift the mast mount point too... we'll call that plan C.

There was something else I meant to add, but have forgotten. Oh well.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lotsa wind but not much riding

Went out with the 10 and the TT for a few jumps, but blimey, wind is bit.... Came up earlier than it should have so that's better than not but it's very bloody gusty, but strong, and the waves...made foiling tough, as I couldn't maintain speed or power easily and had to contend with decent (for the lake) sized waves. Boing, boing.

Impressed "that guy" by gybing. He can't at all so I'm cool.

Attempting to ride the TT at the end of the session ho ho ho...

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Getting better. 6 hours in. . . .

Should have been a cracking forecast but it was crappy. Took the 15 and 21 to the beach but chickened out because the wind was up. Got the 16m XB . . . dude it su-uuucks! Too slow to be useful in the light wind, too much power when the wind picked up, which of course it did. Had fits trying to get up the beach and keep the kite in the sky. Then the wind cranked up. . . .

Got the 10m but of course, the wind dropped. Got to see what it was like riding a fast, small kite and trying to build apparent wind. Hard!

Went back on the 16 and had a nice time for a while, good long runs with smooth foiling, then the wind dropped right off and I gave up on the whole thing.

Did get to try with the rear foot unstrapped, as the screw worked itself out. Not sure I like it.

Good news, the fuse has stopped bending despite how many times I nailed the bottom! Oh myyy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Suddenly clicked

Got some long tacks running off upwind, with some very long runs flying the foil, standing tall and steady. Woohoo! Goofy feels horrible, out of control and twitchy, but actually getting longer runs on the foil that side. Had a play with transitions and did some accidental S-turns. Good day!

Not sure I like the SB with the foil . . . the XBs are better.