Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I am the lawnmower man

There was even grass clippings in the water.

Missed a 16 knot plus session on Tuesday at Mie, today's forecast looked the same so hopefully...

Got over there just before 2... hmm, 12 knots on the yacht club. Feels like too much for the 21 so I go for the 16m XB. Go out on the Dialer; would be having fun but there's so much weed or grass in the water, it's wrapping the fins and creating so much drag I just can't ride...

Decide to put extensions on the 16 and try the TT: 6m left-overs from the old S3 21. Yeah, kinda works... mow the lawn mostly but hey it's summer - what can you do. Wouldn't riding at all without extensions...

Weather was reported as 14 to 10 knots; gusts to 18 at 2pm, 29 degrees C at 80%.
Wind felt like I should have been riding upwind - just - but wasn't.

What I learned today...
  • Extensions work.
  • Grass in the water sucks!
  • Old skool spreader bar pad is the shizzle.

Monday, July 28, 2014

End of month pile-up

Forecast changed overnight... light wind forecast but same in Hikone and Otsu, which usually means rideable wind.

Got down the lake at 1:30, set up the S3 21. Out on the Dialer... easily riding but not going upwind. Do some walking until about 3 when the wind pick up. Switch to the Limited at 3:45... gah. Have as much fun as I can til just after 4, when I get off and head to work... just as the wind is cranking up :(

Weather was reported as 8 to 10 knots (balls), gusts to 18; 30 degrees C at 50%. Hmm.
Wind felt like I should have been going upwind to I should have been getting a smaller kite.

What I learned today...

  • Wear the goddamn wetsuit. Power wedgies blow.
  • Actually do need a spreader bar pad - not for the spreader bar, for the loops the webbing goes through. Ouchie.
  • My elbows are killing me :(

Sunday, July 27, 2014

And that's 5. Well, gosh...

Supposed to be the day today, forecast looks good... even looks good when I get to the beach. Early for once...

Should have gone for a bigger kite, but there you go. Went out on the Dialer but just wasn't in the mood. Changed it for my first Flydoor but that was too heavy and dull. Went and got the new one but that equally didn't spin my wheels. Tried to ride the Limited all the time but that was an exercise in frustration.

I did try a few very lame, very low kite loops to see if it would kill me. It didn't but the sun burn might... damn, I gotta put that stuff on in layers before I get anywhere near the lake :(

Weather was reported as 9-6-12-12-12-10 knots, gusts to 20. 28 degrees at 58%.
Wind felt like mostly underpowered with gusts to meh.

What I learned today...
  • If it looks like a 13 day, rig the 16... cos summer SUCKS.
  • Seems I've gone off my Flydoor - feels draggy, hard bloody work and just not fun any more :( maybe time to change the stance. What am I going to do when underpowered?
  • Put the damn short john wetsuit on. Wedgie central...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Oh stop - 4 now?

Well, it was better than yesterday but just not enough to ride the Limited upwind easily... but it were better n' nowt!

Weather was reported as 9 to 12 knots, gusts to 20 after I left :-/

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

3rd for the month?


Forecast was for crap and I only drove by on the way home from the hardware store cos why not. There was a bit of wind and so again, why not.

Bit of riding around to keep my hand in... lots of walking. Ah well...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Weak-ass typhoon is weak-ass.

Went to the lake expecting to ride the 21 AT BEST and having a back seat of things to meddle with to fill the afternoon. Instead, the wind was up, steady and rising. Huh...

Went out on the 16 and the Limited, and actually had a bit of fun.
The wind kept picking up and so I went and got the 13.
The wind kept picking up and so I went and got the 10...!

So that was a nice surprise. I got a little underpowered on the TT so I thought I'd change it out for the Dialer, but only got one good tack till the wind lulled enough for me to realize that I couldn't handle any walking so I decided to call it a day.

Pretty good day considering the crap forecast; the typhoon might have nailed the southern parts but we got almost none of the weather...

Weather was reported as 9 to 12 knots (LOL) gusts to 20; 29˚ at 67%.
Wind felt like 15 to 20 knots fairly steady. Picked up steadily, held, then dropped off...

What I learned today...
  • Relearned - the 16 isn't that much of a dog as I remembered. 'Specially not after months of flying the 21!
  • Find the top end of the Limited is... limited. Bottom end if fabulous so I can't complain too much but I think I might try moving the pads to the heel-side just a tad, as they're now centered or a little to the toe-side, it seems....
  • I so prefer to be just powered on a smaller kite now, and seem to jump just as high.
  • Now I need to stop being a chicken shit and start stunting it up.
  • Loops on the XBs are tricky... sheeting all in chokes the shit out of it, sheeting right out is violent - in the middle somewhere is better.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Forecast was good but it failed to deliver. I barely got to ride and it was all downwinders but strangely satisfying.

Especially when the cool kids couldn't keep their kites in the air... once slamming down a few feet from my head when I'd fallen into the water. Gimp.

Weather was reported as 8 to 10 knots, gusts to 15. 27 degrees at 66%.

What I learned today...
  • There's a rip on a seam and a hole in the canopy... poor old S3 21 is showing its age.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

And now it's time for a bucket of sangria...

Light wind expected, but it was same in Hikone and Otsu and that usually means it's rideable.

Well, it was for a half hour or so but then it was up and down and gusty nasty - got lobbed and backrolled the "jump" riding it out - and then lulled to nothing.

So it sucked, but I hung around for as long as possible, being a sad desperate tosser. Sigh.

Weather was reported as 10 to 12 knots; 26˚C at 66%.
Wind felt like crap.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Skirting the shore

Not some clever pun about summer fashions on the girls but a statement of the distance of my tacks today...!

Forecast was worse the risk of a day without responsibilities... looked ok-ish for the 13 when I arrived at 12 but I knew it was supposed to pick up so I risked the "small" kite.

Hard work to start with, working the kite to get moving and upwind. Gets easier, and more fun.

2 hours later, I'm pretty done - arms etc sore from working the kite hard, legs etc sore from doing stuff... time to call it quits and head to work.

Wind was 8 to 16 knots when I arrived and was pushing 20 when I left. It was good... except for the sunburn.

Forgot to add: SOME-THING-IS-TOUCH-ING-ME!!!

Stood on something slippery, thick and muscled that squirmed underfoot and gave me the heebie-jeebies... I jumped and squeaked like Grant Imahara.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Improvement impresses

Another light wind day scheduled... but the wind picked up gradually and it turned out to be oddly fun, doing rotations and getting real close to perfecting back roll transitions after some pfaffing around on the Dialer.

Having to go to work meant I cut it short as the wind was picking right up... sigh.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


A few tacks were had but it was just too light to ride much, and it was up n' down playing silly buggers with my lust.

Weather was reported as 8 to 12 knots, 24 degrees at 65%.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Too light

Wind was up, the forecast wasn't. A few of us had gathered... to be disappointed. Riding a few tacks but walking til it drops right off and dies. Oh well, at least I got out of the house for a bit.

What I learned today...
  • Need to pre-stretch my DIY pigtails... yikes!
  • Need to do the mixer!
  • Need to learn how to make a directional go upwind when the wind is light.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Forgot but not forgotten

Eep, forgot to fill this out...

Good ride on the 21 and the Limited. Wind picked up til I was uncomfy so I swapped for the XB but then the wind dropped. A few tacks on the Dialer but it was a waste of time so I packed up and went to work...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Worth the effort

Had the day off and looking at the forecast wasn't really sure I wanted to bother with the trip... ended up glad I did though, despite having to avoid the lo-oong traffic jams on the highway by taking the "local" roads.

Thought the wind was good enough when I arrived for the S3 12 and a boost session, but I was wrong. A couple of tacks were a waste of time.

Out with the 21. Ride for a bit but then it drops. I messed with untangling the twisted mini-5th and by the time I'd done that, I was thinking the wind had picked up some.

Yeah, it had. Gradually went from holding ground to fully depowered kite.

So that was fun... gave up when I was too tired.

Weather was reported as 12 to 16 knots, gusts to 25 :o 27 degrees C at 75%.
Wind felt like underpowered a lot to approaching uncomfortably over-powered. 25 knots might explain that...!

What I learned today...
  • Have to sort the 15 out!!!
  • hop-to-toeside carve transitions - need more board input, it seems.
  • Orange and peach frozen sherbets are in season! w00t.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Moby Dick gets me moving

Another afternoon off... same plan as yesterday, without the having-to-go-to-work at the end of it...

Yeah, it's light. Time for the Moby Dick to come out and play again. Try the Limited - not much joy. Try the Flydoor - better. Wind drops, I take a break and bring the Dialer back.

Wind picks up, have some fun on the Flydoor... harness bugs me though and while I'm enjoying the stunting, I wish I had the seat harness on.

Pick up the Dialer to change it up and head out... I can ride it, but I'm not carving anything - kite too slow! Play with changing footing and stuff... pretty good fun actually.

Get off the water and head home... pretty good day, actually!

Weather was reported as 6 to 12 knots; gusts no more than 18 at 10am; 19 degrees C at 64%.
Wind felt like more powered than was comfortable with the waist harness...

What I learned today...
  • Back/Front rolls - the S3 21 just lifts you way the hell up in the sky and you dangle around looking upwind for ages :)
  • Need a seat harness for that mad power of the 21.
  • ... maybe the 15 would have been better...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Republican Jesus* back in the game.

Got the afternoon off, the forecast looked ok so I headed to the lake. Took the S3 21, with the supplies to get it back in the air, just in case the wind wasn't happening.

It wasn't, so I replaced the broken bridle lines and replaced the pulleys. Determined to test fly it, I changed and went over the beach.

Spent another half-hour maybe sorting out the bridle - clearly, when the Z-line broke it looped through the B and C bridles and then I did knotted the two broken bits together when I packed it up... slow and steady sorts it out.

Inflates and launches fine, everything seems to work. A few crappy tacks then I have to go work...

Find a shop with blue Monster and orange juice ice on the way, so I'm double-happy ;)

Weather was reported as 14 falling to 8 knots... it was mostly unridable by the time I got the gear out though :-/

What I learned today...
  • Still a few kinks to work out of the S3 21... notably, the too-short mini-5th.
  • Sunblock time.
  • Found another lose thread on the Switch wetsuit... between that and the hole in the Hyperflex, I'm a bit frustrated. Might have to brave the cold water in the short john.
* Big, fat, white, slow and saves! sessions.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Directional practice was good...

Hmm. It seems we're not past the gusty lame season yet...

Got an hours fun on the Dialer, but the rest of it was crap. Gusts too much for the 13 but in-between, not enough for the 13. Set the 10 up cos I thought I would be able to use it but... only on the Dialer.


Tried some kite loop preparation OMG what a waste of time with the 13... forgot the 60cm bar and it just doesn't work on the 48cm.

Weather was reported as 13 to 10 knots, gusts to 22; 20˚C at 54%.
Wind felt like crap. Uncontrolled in the gusts, just enough some of the time and not enough the rest.

What I learned today...
  • Fuckin' making an LEI go upwind is a lot more work than the Speed3, especially the additional bar pressure. I'm unfit, again.
  • Dialer turns better with more aggressive weight shifts, front and rear...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Gusty but crappy.

There's the full gamut.

Tsu again. Forecast was good and the wind arrived; it was just late - as in, when I was packing up.

So I went out on the Speed3 12 at 2pm but wasn't having joy. At 3 I changed to the Pscyho4 19... better. But over-powered in the gusts and being blown downwind, yet I can't really jump properly. So it was a bit crappy...

Got lazy on the landing, just thought I'd pull the safety but I misjudged the distance to a log and ripped the kite :( the old "I've decided to sell this kite" curse strikes again. Not a biggee but damn annoying...

Weather was reported as 12 to 14 knots, gusts to 22. 22˚C at 41%.
Wind felt like a little overpowered in the gusts and underpowered at the other end.

What I learned today...
  • Choose your landing spots and methods more carefully.
  • Choose your kite more carefully - 13m XB would have been better.
  • Might be time to dig out the t-shirt and short john suit.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Gusty but scary. And fun. But scary. And fun.

Was out about lunchtime and noticed the wind was up. Huh, should've paid closer attention to the forecast. Run around organizing stuff.

Get to the lake just after 2. Wind looks ok, JMA seems to say it'll drop later so I'll go with the S3 12 and take the XB 10 just in case.

Head out with the 12... ah, this should be fun!

And so it was...! Some rather big boosts - I could see the whole of the roof at the club house, and that's a 3 story building :o about 2m up over the road too.

With the wind though came the gusts... poor kite took a beating in the punchy shifts. Yikes...

Get dropped a few times when the wind just dies at the top of a jump. Get lobbed a few times when rotations go screwy... after a particularly big lobbing, I must have unhooked myself cos a few minutes later the bar goes flying out of my hands and the kite ends up in a mess... kinda fly it back to shore, dump it and recover.

Head back out, a little less sure. Wind has dropped a little and is a little more stable, but now I'm screwing up jumps to port, like the bad old days - nearly rotating backwards without meaning too... bad combination of kicker and wind angle?

Dunno. I'm starting to fade so call it a day... and what a day!

Weather was reported as 20 falling to 8 knots, gusts to 28; 18˚C at 58%.
Wind felt like a moment of "Imma gunna die", lotsa moments of AWWW YEAH and a few moments of woohaa.

What I learned today...
  • Kite handles real funny when wet.
  • Elevator rides are fun but scary. Especially when the lift stops.
  • So-ooo out of practice! But at least my fitness isn't as bad as it was.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Gusty but epic!

Good looking forecast today for the afternoon... hit the lake after lunch.

Take the 12m Speed3 to the lake and the Flite. But the wind is good! Too good for the 12m and the waist harness so I go back for the seat and 10m XB, just in case.

Nope don't need the 10, the 12 is boosting epic! So that's nice. Wind is a bit gusty... some nasty moments with the kite but if I keep on top of it, it's all good. Lots of great jumps and some nice rotations, although I did balls up a front spin transition and tip tangle the kite... lucky.

3 and half hours! Bloody good effort on my part... I'm going to pay for it tomorrow though.

Moment of the day was boosting off a wave, down-looping the transition and carving down the wave, running out in front of it then carving back up to boost out the top of the same wave! What fun!

Weather was reported as 10 to 14 knots, gusts to 22; 18˚C at 40%.
Wind felt like more than that! 20 to 25 I thought, in the good bits.

What I learned today...
  • Don't eat lunch so soon before putting on a harness.
  • Need drain holes in the legs of the Cyclone2.
  • Adjust the straps on the Limited.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Gusty but good!

Forecast was iffy at Tsu but I was going anyway... the other problem was it's Golden Week holidays so the roads and beach will be packed.

Yup, the morons are digging clams out of the sand all along the beach - thousands of people in the middle of the beach. Thankfully, it's a big beach.

The wind looks good enough for another Speed3 12 day, and the water looks really flat. Huh.

One tack, two tacks, tangle a tip once, twice and... floating in. Gah, it's really gusty out here. Struggle after relaunching the kite to get back moving at all, but I guess it's just wet cos eventually I get it sorted.

Actually, despite the gusts, it's a pretty good session. Some nice jumps, fun in the waves etc. Even the kite stalling in a lull in the middle while I was standing on the beach wasn't too much of an issue. I had a great 3 hours straight on the water... and didn't get burned :)

Weather was reported as 9-16-15-12 knots, gusts to 26 at 3pm. 18˚C at 62% and... no rain!
Wind felt like never over-powered, and a little under-powered most of the time. Jumps meant I had to work to get back upwind and I spent a lot of time "downwind" in the pier corner.

What I learned today...
  • Tsu can be gusty too :(
  • New Hyperflex wetsuit is lovely but that gusset at the back will piss me off when I'm the only one around.
  • The leaders on the kite need replacing too - I can imagine those buggers snapping as well. Sigh.

Damn working. Just... damn it.

Rush after work to get to the beach for the fading light, and the forecast fading wind. Was still pretty good when I arrived, so I took the XB10 and the S3 12 across to the lake after the fasting wet suiting up in history.

Hmm, I think I could risk the 12 and be ok and maybe get a longer ride when the wind drops but... dang, I grabbed the P4 19 instead! So I set up the 10m...

Well, it was ok for about a half hour, then it sucked. So I went back across the road for the 12... it was ok for about an hour then it sucked.

But altogether it was better than nothing.

Weather was reported as 12 to 13 knots, gusts no more than 28 which was at 12 so that's irrelevant. 15˚C at 55%.
Wind felt like ok powered falling to having to walk. Maybe, 15 knots with peaks to 20 at the start

What I learned today...
  • Some stitching has come undone on my Switch wetsuit :(
  • I love the S3 12 - it's the only Flysurfer that's never disappointed me in some way, usually by something breaking and the resultant mess putting holes or tears in the canopy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Here comes the rain

Southerlies again, so off to Mie and the Yacht Harbor. Rain forecast but it's light so I may get away with it.

Nope. Wind is good but it's hosing down. Wait, what's that off in the distance...? A sail? Dang, if the pole dancers are out what excuse do I have?

Set up as the rain drops a bit and it seems good. Easy rider time. Waves are crappy and mushy, not much good for boosting off :(

Good play time; would have been a good session to try some kite loop tricks but I was feeling like a real pussy today and just couldn't commit. Did some spiffy rotations though.

90 minute session, then the wind dropped and didn't come back. So I got a soggy kite to deal with tomorrow but it was worth it.

Weather was reported as 19 falling to 13 knots; gusts to 28. 15˚C at 92% and 2 to 5mm of rain.
Wind felt like just powered to underpowered but getting back to my start, before just giving up.

What I learned today...
  • I don't have a tow point to attach the SurfSafe too...?!?
  • Need to suck it up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

You chose... wisely.

Good forecast, wind was better... lots of running around getting a babysitter and it meant I had to cut my session short to go back, but at least I got some time on the water.

Started off lightish and I hummed and barred about whether or not to go with the 19 and cross my fingers that it doesn't pick up too much... go with the Psycho4 19.

Was light but riding fine. Fun with stunts... wind picked up and it became more of a huck-fest, but the Psycho is just so powerful that I got pulled off my edge unless I was careful - a few lo-ooong low floats across the lake resulted.

Could have stayed for another couple of hours easy... would have had to swap kites though.

Mood of the session was ohh? ohh! ooooh!

Weather was reported as 10 to 18 knots, gusts to 22; 16˚C at 49%.
Wind felt like... well, slightly underpowered but going upwind ok, to rethinking the 19 in favor of a smaller faster, more fun kite.

What I learned today was...

  • Need to tickle up the Psycho4 - bar and bridles.
  • M-U-S-T sort out the Speeds!!!
  • Love the Limited!
  • Loops on the Psycho - lift and pull OMG!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I didn't set up the 10m.

Forecast looked good. Got the chores done then went down the lake. Miyachi watched the little guy and I went out...

Took the 10m and 7m to the lake as there were gusts blowing sand around. Thought about setting up the 10m...

Thank Jesus! I didn't set up the 10m.

As I was about to start pumping the 7m, I heard a "Help-u me" from behind and turned to see  Niki-san sliding towards me with his kite at the zenith, horribly over-powered. I grabbed the back of his harness and we walked/levitated back up the beach so he could dig himself into the sand and lower the kite to land it.

An auspicious start! Went out on the 7m and it was ok for a while, then it dropped, then it picked up.

Thank Jesus! I didn't set up the 10m.

Yeah, so, at first I had a hard time getting the big air but then I dialed in the board and kite and... yeah, fuckin' whee! That was good for a while then the wind picked up some more and gets gusty with it... start getting dropped and missing landings - need to learn - sorry man-up - to loop it.

Had to go to work so I came in after 90 minutes... long hard 90 minutes though!

Weather was reported as 14 to 12 to 15 knots (LOL) with gusts to 28 (at least); 13˚C at 68%.
Wind felt like 25 knots dropping to 20, gusts to more than 30. The last 20 minutes were pushing the 7m over its limit... awesome! So it was WOOHOO for 20 minutes, Hohum for 10, AWW YEEAAAAH for 30 and OMFG for the last 20.

What I learned today...
  • I probably could do with a 5m.
  • Thank Jesus! I didn't set up the 10m.
  • Should have taken the Mako with me, but the Limited did well in the waves anyway.
  • Need to learn how to loop.
  • Thank Jesus!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Winter blast brings frozen face

Forecast looked cracking, wind looked good, got to the lake and... lame, it's dropped. Take my 13m over to the lake and as I'm setting up I think Hmm, maybe the 10m but by the time I launch it's dropped again.

Up and down all afternoon. Had a few big smiles from massive long glides in the gusts but otherwise the wind was up n' down the whole time.

Weather reported as 14-18-14-12 knots, gusts to 36 (!) 6˚C at 75%.
Wind felt like a little over-powered, a little nicely powered, a lot of under powered.

What I learned today...

  • It was damn cold. I thought my face had frozen at one point... but the rest of me was fine!
  • Need to work out how best to boost off the Limited in the choppy water...

Friday, April 4, 2014


Forecast was awesome, and the first 30 seconds I was worried the 10 would be too big... nope.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Back home to the lully crap

Forecast looked kickin' so I was hoping to get out on my new Limited for some whoopee... was looking grand when I arrived and lasted right until I set up and launched. Dang.

Tried to get out on the Dialer but I just couldn't ride the thing... got the Flydoor... equally slow and draggy feeling. A quicker on the Limited... yeah, just a tad less low end.

Reorganize the gear depo on the beach. Ditch the Dialer and get the S3 12.

Well, whaddya know? Foils for the win again. Cruise around some then pop a jump and well I can see how That Other Kite is making it look easy. A more intense session concentrating on the kite skills to make the most of the light wind but I had a pretty good time...

The Limited shines on the lake too. Slices through the chop and reengages the edge instantly. Responsive but not harsh at all. What a fantastic bit of kit!

Weather was reported as 15 to 10 knots, 11˚C at 65%.
Wind felt like I should have been riding upwind easier considering the jumps but perhaps that's because foil.

What I learned today...
  • I forgot how to ride a directional :o
  • Speed3... what a kite!
  • Limited... OMFG what a board!
  • That sunblock from the skin doctor is fucking shit. I'm sunburned now >:(

Thursday, March 13, 2014

But... the forecast was the same as yesterday!

Got skunked as the wind dropped while trying to ride the Nitro and then the Flite. Had a nice chat to Brendan, who turned up and set up but wisely, didn't bother...

Vanguard really is a fantastic board...!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Good show, old chap

It was that kind of forecast again, and there was wind in thw , ever so slightly in the morning and that meant, last time, that a good day would follow.

And so it was. Put on a good show for Dad, who came to watch and had a good time myself.

Wind was a bit up and down so it was a mixed bag of boosts and attempts at stunts... but it was a hoot.

Eventually I pushed my luck with a poorly timed loop transition and managed to land with my board square to the wind, digging the toe side edge and face planting with a goodly power in the kite... thought I'd taken the skin off my face I hit the water so fast :o and now ( the next day) my neck is stiff and sore :(

Weather was reported as 19 knots...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Oh please... please...

Same as yesterday, except less wind. The most exciting things that happened was the topless hippy chick sunbathing in the dunes, the hottie jiggling sorry jogging in a bikini, and the accidental dog fight.


Weather was reported as 20kph at 18˚C.
Wind felt like way underpowered to just riding. Yawn.

What I learned today...

  • 3m extensions on the Flite actually make a difference, but the bottom end isn't improved by much. Definite must have in the kite though... now, where to buy.
  • I need help with my addiction.