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Arizona Lou Kiteboarder

Archived Blog 2010 Jun

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Note: While not kiteboarding, I plan to update my blog weekly (usually Wednesdays) - or when something special happens.

Tue 6/1 - Another epic day here at Kitty Hawk Kites in Rodanthe: I whiled away the morning checking on the wind and deciding where to go. The final decision was nowhere - conditions were good here at Kitty Hawk Kites.

Spent the night in Rodanthe

Wed 6/2 - This morning I made two lists of skills I would like to work on: One list for the twin-tip and another list for the surf board without foot straps.
- Performing a Windows XP system recovery on my eeePC 900HA today and if things don't go well, may not update my website for a while (sorry).

    Thu 6/3 Today I decided to focus on one skill per session. And, related, came up with a list of things I’d like to work on in three areas:
    • Twintip Skills (flat water)
    • Spins
    • Jump Start - eventually add kite loop
    • Down loop to toeside
    • Downloop to healside
    • Higher jumps
    • Jump Jibes
    • Strapless surfboard Skill (flat water)
    • Rapid fire foot switches
    • Downloop to carve
    • Ride straight down wind
    • Reverse-board startups
    • One-foot riding
    • Jump switch while riding reverse
    • Ocean/surf Skills
    • (Coming up when I think of ‘em)

- Kited at Kitty Hawk Kites this afternoon and evening. The first session was with my 8m Cabrinha Switchblade-2 and 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board. Worked on jumps and jump jibes. My jumps were higher and more consistent.
- I rode my 6m Best Nemesis for a short while to tune it with the hybrid bar I made. It needs a little longer steering lines (rear) so it does not over sheet.

Fri 6/4 - First downwinder to New Ilnet with Charles. Was mostly fully powered on my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and did a couple good jumps with my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board during the great 14.5-mile ride which took about 1:22 hours.

Sat 6/5 - Three sessions today: First time waist harness without a shirt! I thought I would last only a few minutes until my ribs started getting abraded, but I stayed out about 1 ½ hours with little noticeable consequences, except I’m probably a little tougher now.
- First time flying the Eclipse kite. I tried Dimitri’s 10m. It was interesting but did not seem outstanding to me and did not have enough bar throw for my liking.
- The third session was a fabulous Planet of the Apes run with Gareth and Nick - their first times. They were ecstatic and wanted to celebrate by buying me a beer. Since I don’t drink, they bought me an ice cream sandwich. It was my first trip through the dogleg canal on my strapless surf board. On the way there I practiced going straight downwind with my feet side by side with more weight on the nose of the board so the fins would not touch a shallow bottom. My practice paid off. Crossing the Real Slick my maximum speed was a record 27.5 mph, surf board, strapless using my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4. The 7-mile downwinder took 2 hours and I traveled 15.9 miles.
- I have started thinking about my winter van improvement project, which may be adding solar to the top. I figure 340 watts with slant sun exposure would probably be more than enough to run my refrigerator and computer at the same time

Sun 6/6 - Two great sessions today. The first was a Planet downwinder with Gareth and Nick again. It was totally different because I was riding my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board and could show them all the inlets, jumps etc. All three of us got “stuck” in the same inlet. Gareth and I had to tack back out, and Nick had to untangle and lay out his lines and re-launch his kite. Because of that it took us 2:37 hours and I traveled 24.1 miles to cover the 7 mile straight-line distance. I worked on my jumps.
- Record high wind-riding at Kitty Hawk Kites in winds gusting to 41 mph with the 6m Best Nemesis I bought for just such occasions, in this, my second session. I was the only one out there an was out for only a little over 15 minutes; did a few jumps, a few tacks and came back in. They cheered and gave me high fives. What a group and what a sport!
- Spent the night in Avon

Mon 6/7 - No kiting today but my van sparkles. First thing this morning I washed it with the usual fresh-water undercarriage rinse and headlight polishing - even washed the insides of the windows since an employee gave me a large paper wiping towel. He said he appreciated the financial information on the SMART STUFF page of my website.

Tue 6/8 - I spent about an hour purging various notes that I had recorded on my Sony ICD-R100 voice recorder, did a beach Sun/Run, got a “cooks tour” and hung out at the new Avon Atlantic Coast Café, using their free Internet, sent an email to Kitty Hawk Kites regarding a couple of problems at their Rodanthe kiteboarding facility. Within hours I received a phone call from John Harris, the owner who addressed my concerns. They certainly run a first-class business.


- Around 5pm I rode locally at Windmill Point for about a quarter hour with my 8m Cabrinha Switchblade-2 on my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board. I forgot to protect my right big toe so it started to rub against the foot strap so I cut it short, but at least I got out.
- Spent the night in the Wal-Mart parking lot, Kitty Hawk, NC.

- Thu 6/10 - More shopping up north before heading back down to Rodanthe: I bought br8ushes and paint scrapers for my Kitty Hawk Kites post nail project, a new spare tire (old one was complete deteriorated) and a pair of FRS Radios from Radio Shack, who had the best selection of anyone and allowed me to test them for clarity and features.
- One good kiteboarding session of about two hours at the Salvo Dayy Use Area (SDA) with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” strapless surfboard. I am afraid I am stuck with that board until my right foot heals. My challenge for the first part of the session was standing on one foot while riding. I tried it, probably 200 times different feet and different directions, with the maximum time on one foot of almost one half second. Going for a one-second record next time. Toward the last of the session I tried, mostly successful down loop jibe carves from healside to toeside. 16.6 miles and a top speed of 21.6 mph was not too bad for riding without footstraps.
- Spent the night in Avon. What a difference the new van battery makes - higher voltages and a lot of peace of mind!

- Fri 6/11 - no wind today. Tended to lots of business like a grazing lease for one of my Wittmann properties, checking and paying a credit card, catching up on this blog sunning etc. I configured pigtails to adapt my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 to the hybrid lines I created. The safety and control systems are superior to the Cabrinha IDS system that came with the kite. Topped off the evening at Avon’s Atlantic Coast Café catching up on this blog etc.


- Spending the night in Avon

Sat 6/12 - No kiteboarding today for lack of wind; visited and shopped in Avon at Ride Hatteras, Dollar Tree, Ace Hardware, Food lion, Avon Peer, Dare Building Supply in Rodanthe and Kitty Hawk Kites in Rodanthe; spent about two hours online taking care of emails, renewing my domain name (arizonaloukiteboarder.com ) and my web host (GoDaddy), both for three years. Went to the Atlantic beach in Rodanthe to tune 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 to my hybrid lines, but there was only 7 mph wind: not enough to keep the kite in the air.
- Spent the night in Rodanthe

Sun 6/13 - Midday briefing then awesome Planet Downwinder to Kitty Hawk Kites with Miguel and Mary - their first time. I never conducted the run where everyone took all the inlets and canals. It was awesome. I was on my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard without foot straps and nicely powered with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 with southwest winds. According to my GPS my top speed was 26.1 (on a starboard tack) - not too bad without foot straps mph and I traveled 16.5 miles in 2:07 hours.
- Toward evening Jonas helped me finish putting epoxy putty Fairing on all 13 sea wall post nail heads so kite lines will not catch when the lines come across the sea wall
- Spent night. In Rodanthe

Mon 6/14 - No wind today so I updated yesterday’s blog at the Rodanthe Forbes Candy shop, drove down to Avon, returned the epoxy marine putty, brushes, and paint scrapers left over from the Kitty Hawk Kite Sea Wall Post Nail Head Faring Project we completed yesterday, did a sun/run at the Avon Pier, did some grocery shopping and drove back to Rodanthe where I hung out Forbes until its 9 pm closing. Also Anne (my daughter) and I made final arrangements for my trip Thursday to Norfolk for Robby’s Friday morning graduation.
- I installed and updated my Garmin Map Source software, got it talking to my Foretrex 401 on which I loaded all my waypoints. I also added a new waypoint, haShake, so next time I take the New Inlet downwinder I can find the snake canal without getting stuck in a dead end one.
- Spent the night in Rodanthe.

Tue 6/15 - One kite session in marginal wind. Spent most of the morning at the Waves Atlantic Coast Café on the Internet and working on my website. About 2pm I went out to the beach north of Rampart Rd in Waves, laid in the sun, ran and then decided there was enough wind to put up my 14 m Cabrinha Contra and at least play with it on the beach. I got acquainted with Gene and Angela and took this as an opportunity to show off my sport. After I got the kite up in the air and did a few beach jumps and drags, I decided there might be enough wind to try the ocean. There was… barely, but I had to try as there was a whole cheering section waiting to see what would happen. What happened? I did a 1.8 mile downwinder to the south a little past S. Beach Ln and the last house in Salvo. I covered 3.54 miles in 39 minutes with a top speed of 16.2 mph. Gene tracked me down and gave me a ride back to my van, which I very much appreciated. I had located the launch place with my Garmin Nuvi 885 GPS receiver and, with out it would have had no idea where to find my van. A big thanks, Gene! I hope I learned my lesson and will pay more attention in the future because Gene will not always be around.
- In the evening, hanging around the Forbes Candy Store, in walked Vicki and her son Ian whom I met last year. They had been on my website in May and we had a good visit.
- Spent the night as a driveway guest of Gene, Angela and their group in Waves.

Wed 6/16 - No wind today (max average of 9k) at least not until late, so spent much of the day at the Forbes Candy Shop, with Brian, among others. He and I explored some HTML ideas (the language of the web) and then went to the little thrift store across the street. I looked for a dress suit and bought a couple books to use as dividers in my office drawer and a knee board for $2 which I repaired with ding stick and removed the strap anchors to make it more foot friendly for kiteboarding.
- I downloaded and installed the latest version of Notepad++. It highlights matching HTML tags which is very helpful when working with a website. Also I did the monthly BlogMenu Roll-Over/Update for May to June.
- I met Joel and Robi who will be operating the new Waves Village restaurant. They’re going to try to have me be their first customer!
- Beach 104 Radio Station interviewed me as part of their remote broadcast here at Kitty Hawk Kites’ Waves Village. Just when the day appeared to be over, an hour before sunset, the wind started building and kiteboarders showed up from nowhere. We were on 9 to 12 meter kites. Toward the last it started getting really windy along with rain. There was some lightning after we were all off the water. I went out with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and the first ride on my new knee board. It has a one half-inch spring-loaded fin. I was able to get up on it, ride and stay upwind pretty well, but blew every jibe attempt (just like happened when I first tried my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard without foot straps. Another first was being run over by a windsurfer. I had the right-of-way in every respect, being downwind and being overtaken. All that did not matter, as he got distracted and did not even see me until he hit me at full speed. I could have broken some bones or have been sliced and diced by his fin, but fortunately, I ended up with only a mild bruise on my left calf. Good thing I was riding without foot straps, as his board just hit my legs and knocked them out from under me.
- Spending the night at Rodanthe to monitor the possible winds early tomorrow morning.

Thu 6/17 - Almost a perfect day except for the wind. Before 8:00 this morning a couple people were out on their 9 and 12m kites. By the time I got around to it there was not enough for my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard without foot straps. Never got up but did get some practice re-launching my kite in low wind conditions. While my kite finished drying on the grassy area I completed my blog for yesterday at the Forbes Candy Shop.
- I canceled my plans to drive south to Avon for some shopping so I could leave early for Norfolk for Robby‘s graduation. The drive was perfect with no wrong turns and no traffic slowdowns. It is good to be with my daughter and her family again (Anne, Robby, Katie Rose and Brook).
- Spending the night on the Norfolk Naval Station.

Fri 6/18 - The big morning event was Robby’s graduation ceremony at the Joint Advanced War fighting School with a masters degree in Joint Advanced Warfare. It was interesting how there was an emphasis on strength to keep peace. The movers finally arrived this afternoon to take Robby & Anne's stuff to Altus, Oklahoma where Robby will be the DO (Director of Operations) for 97th Operational Support Squadron.
- I must be falling apart. My right ankle hurts when I walk (maybe due to doing beach jumps Tuesday with less than deep soft sand) and my cut right foot, after 50 days, is becoming increasingly tender. This evening I iced my ankle, soaked the cut in a hot Epsom salt solution and then iced it. If things do not improve in about a week I may return home to Phoenix early.
- After a little Kroger grocery shopping about supper time, I drove down to Kitty Hawk for the night in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Sat 6/19 - Spent much of the morning doctoring my right foot (ugh!) with Epsom salt hot water soaks and icing. This afternoon I spent a couple of hours at the Kill Devil Hills Library adding Jet Boil and my digital thermometer to my TECHNOLOGY web page, just in case anyone cares.
- About supper time I drove the additional 34 miles down to Rodanthe where I spent the night after updating my website at the Forbes Candy/Gift Shop and installing Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 6.0, which went unexpectedly smoothly.

Sun 6/20 - I am changing my Modus operandi as today I realized, today that I enjoy planning and scheduling things as much as I enjoy doing them. I came to that insight after following my schedule for today rather than getting out on the water when there was un-forecast wind. At least I rested and treated my right foot and ankle, got some sun and did a beach walk/run to strengthen my right ankle muscles. I also made some phone calls back to Phoenix to make sure everything is ok with my house and mail collection.
- In the brain department, I read some of a book about the Da Vinci Code and tried to program my Corner Office Calculator (see the bottom of my TECHNOLOGY page) and downloaded my checking account statement.

Mon 6/21 - I got up early (7:30) this morning, shaved, had a bite of breakfast, put a band aid on my R foot, put on sun screen, rigged my 14 and waited for the wind to pick back up. Only decreased, but I did get the beach sand cleaned off my kite.
- I spend some time at the Forbes Candy Shop and discovered my wireless weather station had enough range that I could monitor the wind and conditions at my van about 300 feet away across the Kitty Hawk parking lot. Also figured how to telephone Brazil for 4 cents per minute (15 cents to cell phones; 2 cents to major cities) and phoned Alberto there about the Oct/Nov kiteboarding trip. In addition, figured how to record a customized greeting depending on who is calling my Google Voice phone number.
- I drove down to Avon for shopping. On the way I did a sun and soft-sand barefoot (this time) beach walk/run, stopped at all the kiteboarding shops looking for a kiteboard travel bag that would accommodate my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard. In Avon I hung out at the Atlantic Coast Café, downloaded Google’s Picasa photo editing software, experimented with it a little, updated this blog and started resolving my checking account.
- Spending the night in Avon.

Tue 6/22 - One 2.3 hour kiteboarding session today. Did some grocery shopping at the Avon Food Lion, washed my van, the tires' white lettering and did a fresh-water undercarriage rinse at the Avon BP and then headed North to Rodanthe to help Eric replace the Danforth anchors with mushroom anchors (more foot friendly) for launch buoys and did a sun/run on the Waves beach.
- Kited for about two hours with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and spent some time on 3 of my boards: new kneeboard (riding it 10 minutes - standing up as always with one board reverse), Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard without foot straps (riding it an hour) and my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board (riding it an hour). By the time I got around to the twin-tip the bandage came off my right cut foot and riding that way set my healing foot back. Yup, I got too aggressive too early, although it was the first time I rode the twin-tip in over three weeks. My jumps even stunk with that board. Total session time was 2:20, maximum speed 26.8 mph and traveling 17.8 miles.

Wed 6/23 - Hooked up today with Oto, my friend who drove out from Chapel Hill, NC. We did the famous one-miloe downwinder from the first to second turnouts north of Avon (my GPS waypoints HANOR1 and HANOR2). He had not ridden for about a year and did quite well. We were both on 12m kites. I used my kneeboard - got so I could jibe it, mostly without falling. I did uneventful both a self launch and a self landing. The water and air temperatures and humidity are the highest I have ever experienced. It was a neat run.
- Spent the night in Avon

Thu 6/24 - Spent the morning doctoring my right foot (soaking, chilling and bandaging) and visiting the crew at the Ride Hatteras shop.
- First time riding a skim board - the 90 x 50cm (35.5 x 20") one I bought several years ago at Food Lion. About 4-6pm I did a solo 3.5 mile downwinder from Salvo to Kitty Hawk Kites on it with my 8m kite. The first 20 minutes or so I tried different jibes. The most successful seemed to be carving from healside to toeside and then switching my feet. The rest of the time (over 1.5 hours) I spent working on shove-it jibes (spin the board under your feet as you reverse direction). Got so I could do it most of the time without crashing and sometimes without getting my butt wet. Top speed was 18.5 mph!, covering 12.2 mi in 1:52.
- Spending the night in Avon after catching up on my blog at the Avon Atlantic Coast Café.

Fri 6/25 - No kiteboarding today. By the time I drove up to Salvo Day Use Area to meet Otho the wind was dying. Did a sun/run around solar noon with a pulse of 174. Got "lost" on way back to my van. Unless you use your brain and look back as you walk down to the beach from the sand dune it is easy to lose track of which path leads back to where you are parked. I had to walk a couple blocks in the noon-day heat to find the right street. It was HOT with a heat index of about 105 degrees.
- Took a shower at Kitty Hawk Kites, and spent much of the afternoon and evening in the Rodanthe Forbes Candy Store adding Facts, LOUisms SPIWKA and Traction Kite to my Definitions web page and researching luggage scales, among other things. Spent the night in Rodanthe.

Sat 6/26 - No kiteboarding today for me. Hung around Forbes Candy Shop in Rodanthe with Oto and then, because Forbes' WiFi was down, hung around the Atlantic Coast Café down the road in Waves where I ordered this micro luggage scale Luggage Scale to be shipped to Ride Hatteras. Also Oto came there with his wife, Jen and friend Bruna, new arrivals to the island. Good to see Jen again and to meet Bruna. Oto invited me to an evening fish BBQ but that did not work out because the wind came up enough that Oto went kiteboarding which put the BBQ too late for my digestive system. Flexibility is key to this sport you know.
- I met new kiteboarders from Montreal, Stephon & Agnes at Canadian Hole. Hopefully our paths will cross again and we will be able to ride together. They did not realize that we do not kiteboard at Canadian Hole.
- spent the night in Avon

Su 6/27 - On my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 I took two kiteboarders on their first Planet run - downwinder from Planet of the Apes: Oto, my friend from Chapel Hill, NC on his 12m kite and Bryan from Washington, DC.on his 14m kite. They only made it half way and took out at Salvo Day Use Area: Oto because he was "beaten up" and tired and Bryan because he forgot to fasten his safety leash and lost his kite. I, of course, made it all the way to Kitty Hawk Kites (KHK) in spite of having to wade in thigh-deep mud. Remind me not to take my surf board through the dogleg cannel as the fins hang up on the dense sea grass a couple inches below the water's surface. Boy the shower at Kitty Hawk Kites felt good after all the mud. I got my van stuck in the sand trying to back out of Planet, instead of turning around and driving out forward as I usually do.
- Spent the night in Rodanthe.

Mon 6/28 - Two kiteboarding sessions today. The first, a local session at KHK with my 8m kite and strapless surfboard, I spent about an hour working on jump switches and trying to ride while standing on one foot. I was successful for a maximum length of almost one second!
- The second session was a downwinder from KHK to New Inlet with Bryan Goldesberry of Kite World Magazine. Since I had done it one time before, I was the guide. It was the first time in weeks that I rode my twin-tip. My cut foot did ok with the foot straps on the 1:36 hour, 13.1 mile ride. Thanks to a waypoint I had added to my Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS receiver, we successfully maneuvered the challenging snake canal. A wrong canal would have been a dead end - a real mess. Speaking of messes, we got our kites tangled as we approached our destination and spent about 1 ¼ hours untangling our lines. I think it was my fault, but Bryan was a good sport about the whole thing. The downwinder was fabulous!

Tue 6/29 - Windy pretty much all day today. Around the middle of the day I did a solo downwinder from Salvo Day Use Area to KHK with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 on my Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard without foot straps. The goal was to ride the board in reverse with the fins out of the water, which I did for nearly the entire 3.5 miles. I even did a couple reverse-to-reverse jibes. I did spend a lot of time in the water, though. One time, when my board had floated downwind from me, I did an intentional superman right to the board.
- Later I went to Planet of the Apes to do a downwinder. When helping a gal help her boyfriend launch his kite we missed cues and the kite looped in our hands and my right center finger got cut by one of the lines. I don't think the boyfriend knew what he was doing and the girl friend didn't know what he or she was doing and I didn't know what either of them were trying to accomplish. Why didn't I just stand by and watch? That is not in my nature when I think I can help. My injury looked much worse than it really was, but, nun the less is going to be a bother to take care of.
- Did some grocery and band aid shopping, hung out at the Avon Atlantic Coast Café and spent the night in Avon.

Wed 6/30 - No wind today but some rain. While hanging around Ride Hatteras this morning I restored the image my C: drive that I made about three days ago to see how it is done and if it really works (It did, thank goodness - desktop and all). Also, from my Garmin Foretrex 401, imported my latest kiteboarding tracks and then drug all my tracks into Google Earth and later put them up on my website. Then did a little grocery shopping.
- Drove up to Rodanthe, designed the entry area for the new Good Winds Restaurant at the Waves Kiteboarding Center. The idea is to have a spectacular and breathtaking entry that leads one up to the restaurant on the second floor. Then in the evening did Toyota Sienna van research and decided that the one I would buy, if I buy a new one would be the XLE version.
- Got on Beach 104 Radio with Jody (from the morning show) again, doing a remote broadcast from KHK. What did I talk about? Kiteboarding! What a surprise, eh?
- Spent the night in Rodanthe.

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