Saturday, December 30, 2006

Storm Winds Whip Bay Area - Christmas Kiting

News Video - Storm Winds - Bay Area 12/27/2006 A winter storm rolled through the SF Bay area just after Christmas this year. Wind speeds held steady along the coast at 50+ MPH, with waves nominally 20 to 27 feet. Gusts in the Tahoe Ski area were reported at 90 - 115 MPH at ridge tops! All this made for a windy day inside the bay as well. In the morning, 3rd was blowing 40 knots with gusts consistently at 50.

Wind Chart - Storm Winds - Bay Area 12/27/2006 Kon Othmer and I made it out to 3rd Avenue in the afternoon as the winds backed off a bit. We first tried lauching FLAT kites on the mud flat - me with a Best Waroo 9, and Kon with a 12 Switchblade.

Flat?!? - On peak gusts, the kites literally flattened - hard to describe, but when direct downwind, the kites would compress, leading edge pointed downward, making them look like ram air kites.

We decided to rerig with smaller kites - this time me with my trusty Torch 8 C-kite, and Kon a 9 Waroo, and also this time at lower beach where there was a wind shadow - in this case a good one that shielded us from peak gusts. I launched Kon first, then self launched my 8. We both made it out and had fun til the sunset with winds lulling to 20 with gusts to 30.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Video - How to self launch a Bow kite

Here is a great clip of Paul Franco kiting Kite Beach Maui. Filmed by helicopter by, it gives a great vantage point on how to self launch a bow kite, for all of us addicts that ignore the buddy system and kite solo.

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