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!

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.

Excellence Quote

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

– Will Durant (occasionally misattributed to Aristotle but actually Durant summarizing Aristotle)

Because everyone needs an inspirational quote every once in a while.  And this one works for me today because I had to convince myself that I should workout today even though its yoga day of P90x (not my favorite as it always seems to take FOREVER).

Kiting is fun!

So, I realize that the title of this post may seem super obvious.  Of course kiting is fun.  Anyone who has tried it knows that.  And why else would I have moved to the Outer Banks for kiting?  Why else would my life revolve around the wind forecast?  Why else would going kiting trump doing basically everything else – laundry, cleaning my apartment, meeting up with friends for dinner, reading a new book by my favorite author, living in a spot where I can get good Indian take-out, etc.  OK – a lot of things trump doing laundry and cleaning my apartment, but the others on the list are valid. 

But, despite the fact that I clearly love kiting, it’s important for me to remind myself sometimes that kiting is supposed to be fun.   I occasionally get too caught up in landing the next trick, re-landing some trick that I’ve gotten a handful of times but can’t seem to stop again, or just being a bit more stylish in my kiting.  I get frustrated when these things take longer than I’d like and kiting starts to feel like work.  That’s about the point that I have to remind myself that kiting is fun and that kiting does not always have to be working on a new trick, but can also be a fun cruise-y day.  Because, the truth is that nothing beats the feeling of gliding over the water during a beautiful sunset.  Nothing beats chasing birds off a sandbar with white puffy clouds on the horizon.  Nothing beats heading out in the ocean and catching a wave (and then running from it when it turns out to be a lot bigger than it originally seemed).   Don’t get me wrong – I love to work on new tricks.  I love breaking it down into parts and pushing myself to try something new and just a bit scary.  I love the feeling of being surprised that I actually landed something I’ve been working on for a while.  I even love the crashes and the bruises.  And working on new things is what keeps kiting interesting and exciting.  But, sometimes, I need to take a day or two off from progression and do something else to remind myself that kiting can just be about having fun.

This past week, I needed that reminder and I got it thanks to two awesome sessions.  Sunday dawned with NE wind and decent sized waves, so a bunch of us headed out for a fun ocean downwinder.  The waves were fun.  I was on a surfboard.  I caught some good waves (and got munched by a couple as well).  It was a total change of pace from trying to do freestyle, freestyle, and more freestyle.  Instead, I got to play in the terrain park that is the ocean and remember that mixing it up is really good.

Then, Monday it was off to kite Hatteras Inlet with my friend Billy (and with boat support thanks to Captain Billy – it was a very Billy day).  We launched from a little sandbar island and played in the slick and the kickers around the island (with the warning that if something went wrong, to aim for the channel where Capt Billy could rescue us – luckily, this wasn’t needed).  Then, we were off to Ocracoke to find some butter slicks, chase birds in a sandbar cove (there were tons of them and they were beautiful all flying away), and jump in front of the ferries.  It was just a cruise and boost and fun kind of day, in a gorgeous spot where there were a whopping total of three kites.

Anyway…so, kiting is fun!  Now, if we could just get some wind…