Thursday, June 07, 2007

Surfboard vs. Twin Tip

When I started kiting, many folks were using directional boards - small surfboards with straps. Just as I stepped on the learning curve, I was excited to see the move toward twin tips - one less thing to deal with as I never had to 'jibe' and could ride heel side all the time. But it's time for a change - back to basics.

Lou Wainman giving me the scoop on footstrap positioning for a surfboardTo commemorate the MaiTai Kite Camp, Jimmy Lewis made me a cool 5' 6" small surfboard with straps - and for further encouragement, kiting pioneer Lou Wainman stepped in to give me pointers on how to set it up for my stance. It was an honor for met to meet the man who has been in more kiting videos than any other waterman I know of.

GPS map of path UPWIND with a Jimmy Lewis Surfboard - click and download the Adobe viewer to see the path travelledSurfboards are fun to ride with a kite. A smooth, curvy, floaty, ride. Upwind performance is awesome. These pictures compare surfboard and twin tip sessions on days with identical wind and tide conditions.

GPS map of kiting w a twin tip - much less 'upwind' vs the surfboard - click and download the adobe player and watch the path travelledThe first snapshot is the path I rode with my surfboard, and the next is a ride on my twin tip. One picture is wider for obvious reasons. A click on either pic will take you to motionbased to 'follow the little red dot' of the actual ride tracked by GPS that day.

cruising with a new Jimmy Lewis Surfboard

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Blogger direwolff said...

Hey Bill, thanks for putting up all of those great event pics at They really rocked. As for the surfboard, I picked it up this year as well and found that after committing a week or so I had it basically down, and after committing two months to it, I now almost prefer it...especially in the waves at Waddell, OB or Stinson. Even at Crissy, I enjoy it as my knees take much less abuse and I can upwind very rapdily to the north tower of the Golden Gate Br. Then, chasing down the ferries to ride their wake is like a perpetual wave that is awesome to cruise on.

Anyway, don't be discouraged, it's well worth it. Also, being able to move between the surfboard and your twin tip expands the sport for you.

Man, after seeing those pics I really wish I had blown off my wife's alumnus event which was not nearly as fun and exciting. Oh well, still got plenty of days in the water, just none in my swim trunks ;)

12:25 AM  
Blogger kiteVC said...

Pierre, do you jibe or just rode toe side? when you jibe, how is teh foot placement sequence different than a windsurf jibe?

7:45 AM  
Blogger Joe Agliozzo said...

I have been riding a surfboard this year as well and as a lifelong surfer (riding waves with a kite is the reason I got into kitesurfing), it is for me way more fun than a twintip. I am currently just riding toeside rather than jibing but am working on jibing (strapless at first).

One caution, surboards are more bouyant than TT's so if you jump a wave, etc. be careful when landing - you can land very hard and if you happen to have a foot slip out of a strap and off your board in the air, you can hurt yourself.

I was in San Quintin on Memorial day and had that exact scenario (fortunately day 6 of a 6 day trip), when I landed one footed (my front foot), my knee bent inwards and I snapped my medial collateral ligament. Now out of the water for 6 weeks at least.

When I get back on the water, I think I am going to dump the straps altogether and just ride strapless. I have done some of this in flatter water and it isn't that hard, and from what I hear (and have experienced), the potential for injury is much lower.

Since surfboards are not really designed for jumping anyway there is not much of a tradeoff to going strapless. You can still pop some air by pressuring the board.

Love to get in the loop on any of your future trips to Maui, looks like a great time (took my first lessons on Kite Beach in Maui, ah what a memory).

10:16 AM  
Blogger Joe Agliozzo said...

Addition post to include photo of surfing with kites!

10:42 AM  
Blogger kiteVC said...

thenks for the heads up on the injury. definitely someting i want to avoid. i may take my foot straps off completely and just learn that way.

10:58 AM  
Blogger VPP said...

Good to know that some people provide good information about the sport kitesurf. I found one site , which has good information about kitesurfing too.


3:36 PM  

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