It’s been a little while because…

It’s been a little while since I’ve written because: 

1)    I went to Seattle for a friend’s wedding and got my fix of fall trees, rain, and cooler weather (especially appreciated with a cup of hot chocolate in a hot tub overlooking a lake).  I got to catch up with lots of old friends and enjoy a brief visit to colder weather (yes…I know, Seattle isn’t exactly frigid but I had to break out sweaters and coats).  And I got to see seals in the wild (or they might have been sea lions – I can’t tell the difference).

2)    I came back to the Outer Banks via a couple days in Baltimore where I spent a little time visiting my parents and a little time napping on the couch with their cats. 

3)    Then I was in the Outer Banks for a whopping 2 days packing up my apartment, doing a bit of work, and, most importantly, packing for BRAZIL!!!!  We escaped Hatteras before Sandy washed out the road and I’m now in Rio waiting my final connection to Fortaleza!  I’m a bit tired (and probably a bit stinky since I’ve been traveling for over 24 hours), but its warm here and I can’t wait to get on the water!


Random Tuesday

A couple of random little (and bigger) things:

1. Wahoo! Yesterday I landed pop to wrapped for the first time again!  And yes, “first time again” sounds like an oxymoron.  But, I landed the trick one time several months again, but never again.  So yesterday felt like a first time again.  Made the light wind session totally and completely worth it.

2. And what is this?  Me on the new 2013 Obsession!  I’m in love all over again!

3. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about a fun day of kiting at the Hatteras Inlet.  Here’s a bit of footage from that day – one of me jumping a little Slick at Ocracoke and below is one taken from a remote control plane. 

Felix quote!

I’m guessing all of you have heard – Felix Baumgart jumped out of a hot air balloon at over 128,000 ft.  I watched live on Discovery and it was unbelievable!  So today’s quote (a day later than normal) comes from Felix. 

“Fear has become a friend of mine,” he said in a statement. “It’s what prevents me from stepping too far over the line. On a mission like this, you need to be mentally fit and have total control over what you do, and I’m preparing very thoroughly.”

Felix trained for this for over 5 six years.  He’s made over 2,500 jumps including base jumps from all sorts of buildings.  He’s nicknames Fearless Felix.  But even Fearless Felix ended up almost bailing from the project during his training because his spacesuit made him claustrophobic.  But a sports psychologist and other experts helped him work through it.  And it goes to show how much, if you really want something and have a little help, you can do whatever you set your mind to (as corny as it is to say that).

My next vehicle?

Maybe its time to add a new vehicle to my collection…and this one would be awesome!

 OK…so anyone who knows me knows I’m joking (my vehicle collection consists of a Honda Civic which I love primarily because it just goes and I don’t need to think about it).  But the Gibbs quadski, discussed in the NY Times today, would be an awesome kiting vehicle.  It starts as an ATV that works on sand, but then it converts to a jetski.  How awesome would that be for getting out to Kite Point?

P.S. Why oh why is SW wind scheduled to come back just as I leave town?  And I know I’m not really allowed to complain when I’m heading to Brazil soon, but I would love another SW day or two on the Outer Banks!  Oh well – at least there is also supposed to be wind on Tuesday so I get to try another strapless session!

Packing for a kite trip

I’m off to Brazil at the end of October for a couple weeks with some friends to enjoy some awesome kiting!  I can’t wait – warm, windy, flat water and waves – it should be pretty hard to beat.  But, this means that I start making lists, lots of lists about what to bring.  Kite trips are tricky.  You want to make sure you have everything you might need, but you also are trying to avoid airline luggage overage fees and you don’t want to drag around more than you actually need.  So, here’s what I typically bring on kite trips:

  • Travel bag – Lots of people travel with golf bags to try to fool the airlines.  I try to go as small and light-weight as possible (I really hate paying airline fees).  The Dakine Outlaw bag is my current pick.  It has backpack straps which is nice for carrying it on and off of random boats and the like.  The downside is that it does not have wheels, so you have to be prepared to lug it around.
  • Individual kite bags – I usually don’t bring my actual kite bags (unless I’m planning on selling my gear), but instead bring Dakine stuff sacks.  They are lighter and smaller, but still have one backpack strap so work for carrying individual kites to the beach.
  • Kites – Try to ask around before you leave about what sizes you actually should bring.  For Brazil, I get to go smaller than usual (probably going to bring my 5m, 7m, and 9m kites
  • Bar and lines – I alwaysbring two sets of bars and lines.  I figure I can repair kites or ride a different size, but if a bar breaks, then I’m in trouble.
  • Board – Remember to at least take off your fins before you pack it (but remember to pack them with the screws).  I sometimes bring a couple extra screws with me – easier than trying to match screws at some random tiny island in the Caribbean.  RRD makes awesome pads and straps because the screw is built into the foostrap (no screws to lose).
  • Harness – Don’t think there is much more to say on this one.
  • Pump – I usually bring one with me and ditch it at the end of the trip (somehow my gear always seems to grow so this means it all actually fits into the bag at the end of the trip).
  • Leashes – I bring two (see bar and lines discussion above).
  • Screwdriver – I have a swiss army knife that has a Philips head (as well as a bottle opener, wine opener, knife, etc).
  • Kite repair kit – Usually this includes some sail tape, maybe some stronger leading edge repair stuff, bladder repair patches, zip ties, some duct tape, and anything else I think I might need.
  • Long sleeve rashguard – I usually travel in the winter time when I have reverted to being very, very white.  And I usually travel to warm, tropical places that have very strong sun.  I don’t like to miss sessions because I’m sunburnt, which is why I always bring a long sleeve rashguard (and sometimes even bring leggings as well – I’ve had my legs get pretty sunburnt too).
  • Rubber – Think about whether you need any neoprene.  I almost always travel with my Mystic Metalite shortie (even if I’m going to the Caribbean) – sunset sessions can get a little chilly even in warm locations.
  • Booties – I try not to need these, but if I’m planning on teaching or if the spot is notorious for coral or other bad things, I’ll sometimes add them into my bag.
  • Sunscreen – I bring lots and lots.  Sunscreen is often either not readily available, not available in higher SPF, or super expensive in places outside of the US. 

Hope this helps anyone else who is traveling!  I can’t wait to be in Brazil!

A little 2012 nostalgia

Most people tend to post a picture of themselves with their new quiver, but I never did that with my lovely kites from this past year.  Instead, I’ll go the opposite route and post a picture of them now as a way to say thanks to all of my gear for all of the good times. 

From the Caribbean to the Outer Banks, you have served me well.  You kept me above the water (mostly – the other times it was really my fault) in nice wind and gusty wind.  We played together in slicks, waves, and ugly, nasty chop.  You survived the occasional (or occasionally not so occasional) massive tomahawk and other slightly intense crashes.  For any of you that are moving on, you should not feel like you are being replaced, but instead that you are moving on to new loving homes that will really appreciate you (2013 kites – don’t say anything now…its not polite to gloat).  Thanks again for all of the fun times (and maybe we’ll get to play again one or two more times if the wind ever makes it above 11 mph during daylight hours).

P.S. My boots board and my new-to-me surfboard have lodged complaints that they are not pictured and not mentioned.  Sorry to those two boards – only so much gear fits in my tiny car at once.