Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Week

There was no wind from Monday through Thursday but we may now get nearly a week of kiteable afternoons. The last three days there has been wind, but its direction hasn't been great, resulting in some strong gusts and sudden drops in wind. Below is a picture of the result of one of those drops. A multiple walk of shame after a downwinder from La Manga Dos and shooting the gap between the islands.

There have been lots of kites on the water, sometimes a dozen or more. The space we like to kite in is small so it gets pretty crowded out there. Once in a while we'll have a close call and even the occasional collision.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Next Blow Has Started

The weather hasn't been like Decembers of the past. It is still fairly warm, the wind isn't as strong, and the slack days are more numerous. The water is around 65 degrees, almost ten degrees warmer than at this time last year. I bought a dry suit this year in anticipation of frigid conditions and tried it out yesterday. I was toasty warm.
I don't think the wind ever got up to 20 knots yesterday - best for the bigger kites. Hopefully it will pick up more today and still more Saturday and Sunday. We went six days since the last windy session, way too long for this time of the year. Next week doesn't look any better.
I was using my 14M kite yesterday, the same one that I ripped the corner off of a while back. Helmut has a sewing machine and kite repair material with him and he did a great job at putting my kite back together even stronger than before. In the summer he does repairs for Kitty Hawk Kites in Hatteras.
Roberto is back from Brazil. He says the kiting is as good as they say it is - fantastic. He was there 3 months and kited 65 days. Warm steady winds with smooth waves.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Wind is Back !!

We had very little wind for a week. Then on Saturday the wind came back and it has been blowing great ever since. There have been lots of kites on the beach and out on the water.

We should get a couple more days out of this blow before it shuts down.
After a fine day on the water it is always nice to relax and watch the sun set.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Saturday Massacre

The wind blew great, a bunch of kiters showed up, and 6 kites got blown out or damaged in some way. I had a line break, resulting in too much pressure on the remaining connection points and a corner of my kite ripped right off. OOPS.

I don't know how many kites were at the beach but it was a lot, and it was a festive atmosphere. Glen and Sue showed up Friday and Helmut rolled into town yesterday so we will have kiters on the beach every day .

I was too busy to take any photos, but here is one from the other day when some students from Hermosillo showed up to take photos and do a report on sports in San Carlos.

Lupita y sus compañeras de clase

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving day had a lot of people on the beach and seven kites on the water. The wind was light and I needed my 14M kite. Most everyone else put up smaller kites and were struggling. Today promises to be better and Saturday and Sunday are predicted to have 20 knot winds.
The Sports Center located at the Hotel Paradiso continues to make life difficult for us kiters. Last year they put several buoys spread out in our "sweet spot" and this year they have a boat anchored right in the middle of it. It makes it particularly dangerous for beginners. The kiters provide a lot of entertainment and that brings a lot of people to the beach but the businesses there have never given us much support.

Saludos a Lupita.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Lousy Forecasts

We've been getting out on the water about half of the days, sometimes powered up, sometimes with barely enough wind. The forecasts haven't been much help. Today was supposed to be a good day but it is looking like it isn't going to materialize. Nothing much is forecast for the next couple of days but then Friday should start a three or four day blow. Stuart and family is in town so he's been getting out on the water but besides him, Omar, and myself it has been pretty quiet. Water temperature is still nearly 70, but will probably drop again soon.

The folks from http://xtremebigair.com/ will be coming down Dec. 27 and can bring anything that anyone may want to order. They seem to have great gear at great prices.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lousy Forecasts

Last week we kept getting forecasts calling for very little wind but we had several days of descent conditions. Then this week it was the opposite - good forecasts but little wind at the beach. Finally yesterday was okay, blowing 12 to 18 in the afternoon. Today should be even better. The forecast for the rest of the week looks lousy again.


Although we didn't get wind over the weekend, we still had reason to get out to the beach as the following photos show.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fun in the Sun and Wind

The wind hasn't been great, but it has been blowing enough to let us get out on the water for a while almost every day. Yesterday it blew over 20 knots for a couple of hours but the rest of the afternoon was variable. It was still a great day at the beach. The water is cooling off and I've started using my wetsuit but others are still kiting without one.

I got an email from Ricardo, he is working in Playa del Carmen and trying to cope with the lighter winds that they have there.

Helmut and Peggy should be arriving the first part of December as will be Glen and Sue. Dave and Jackie will also be coming down from Canada. Jean-Francois and Karen will visit in December as well.

Stuart should be here in a couple of days and is staying until the middle of January. Gerald will be back, but not until January.

Roberto is in Brazil and has gotten in 50 days of kiting in two months. He will be here around the 15th of December.

It will be great to have a bunch of people to kite with.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Wednesday was good, but the leading edge of my 10M Nemesis blew out. It is only a year old, but it is weak where the leading edge sleeve folds flat when I roll up the kite. It always folds along the same line and that weakened it enough that it just blew out. I just ordered a new kite. I am going to go with a 10M Cabrinha Swithchblade III. I'll repair the Nemesis to use as a spare.


Thursday blew strong, strongest before 3:00 pm gusting to 30 knots. Then it mellowed out. Today's forecast is for more strong wind and hopefully we will get enough wind Saturday as well.



Sunday, November 02, 2008

Still Early

We had a good string of windy days but it has quieted down again. Friday was very good - over 20 knots - but Saturday's wind never materialized, only 10 - 15 knots, despite a good forecast. Lots of kiters showed up and it got kind of crowded up at the gap because everybody was seeking more wind. I've got a feeling that a lot more kiters are going to be showing up this year, at least on the weekends.
Water is still warm and some days are still hot. I hope we get another good stretch of wind before the water gets cold. It will be coming all too soon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wind is Looking Great

Even on days not predicted to have wind, it has been blowing late in the day. It looks like we'll have wind all week. With warm flat water and hot days. Doesn't get much better than this.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Still Blowing

After three days of wind up to 30 knots, we have had two real sweet days of wind peaking out at 20 knots, and today should be the same. The forecast then calls for the wind to drop more, maybe too much, for the next several days. I finally got over my fear of throwing a kite loop and was amazed at how easy it was. I was using a 10M kite and it cranks around so quick that it really doesn't yank you too much. My landings weren't perfect, but only once did I dump the kite. I need to watch some videos and refine my technique. It is always so much fun to add a new trick!
Here is a link to a slideshow of all the photos on this blog:
Slideshow

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's Been Good

The predicted hurricane never made it here but the northwest winds have arrived. Sunday and yesterday we've had 20 to 30 knot winds. At times it's been a bit gusty and nasty but at the same time it's been great. Today is supposed to be another strong day and then we may get a couple of more mellow days. Russ and his kids are making a rare appearance on the beach. Russ gave most of us our first look at the sport several years ago when he brought down some big boards and two line kites from the Gorge. Equipment has changed a lot since then but some of that old stuff is still being used by some of the kiters here.

The water temperature is nice, still in the 80's. The wind chill can still have its effect and I've already started wearing a shorty wetsuit. It is a strong reminder of the cold conditions yet to come. I am thinking drysuit for this year. Last year the water got into the mid 50's by the end of December. Brrrrr.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday


Today was a good day on the water. Luque and I got out to the beach around 10:30 and it was already blowing. It blew all day. Seven kiters showed up and lots of people on the beach.

Hundreds of Divers

Saturday an attempt was made to break the Guinness Record for the most scuba divers involved in a single dive. They failed to get the response they wanted, but a couple of hundred divers did show up and the beach was full of people. Today, Sunday, they have scheduled a kiteboard exhibition for 3pm. I just heard about it yesterday and I know nothing about it but most of us kiters show up on Sundays anyways if there is any chance of wind. And today that is about all we have - a chance for wind. The forecast has been erratic. It predicts wind, and then no wind. The best news is that it is still calling for the wind to switch to the north, which means the season is near.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Maybe?

The wind has been switching to the northwest late in the afternoon with more frequency lately, but hardly enough to get excited about. Today it was blowing 10 to 12. Forecast looks like we might start getting more. I am hoping for something Sunday Monday and Tuesday. The weather forecast shows a change in wind direction is coming along with a change in temperature.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Great First Day

Tuesday the wind was predicted to blow strong northwest. It only got up to 20 knots or so but it was steady and the water was warm. It was a great session and everybody was on the water for a long time. And I mean everybody, or almost everybody. Christian and I showed up before one o'clock, soon followed by Omar and then Fernando and Nico from Hermosillo. Soon Luque and Ricardo showed up.
Finally, late in the day Scott and José Luis made it out to the beach. Not a bad showing for the first day. We were hoping for a repeat the next day but the wind didn't cooperate. Now the forecast calls for nothing for the next week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Almost Here

The season is coming to San Carlos. We have been having northwest winds almost daily, just not quite strong enough. Omar, from the Paridiso Hotel, has been getting out kiting on a big kite and big board but no one else has been tempted due to marginal conditions. Yesterday's forecast looked promising but all we got was 10 to 12 knots. Maybe it is time to break out the 30 meter kite again. Windguru is calling for decent wind on Tuesday. Scroll down after clicking on the Windguru link and you will see that the really good wind is in North Carolina. It has been good there all month.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rain

Today was rainy, but that didn't stop a few local kiters. Here is Phil, from the local kite shop, kiting in the bay side of West Dennis Beach.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Windy but Chilly

We have had decent wind here in Cape Cod the last week but some days have been cloudy, rainy, and chilly. Today there wasn't any wind, but we should have some tomorrow. Tomorrow is Sunday, so hopefully a bunch of kiters will show up. During the week it has been kind of lonely out there. The photo below was during a quiet day on the Atlantic side of the Cape.

Monday, September 01, 2008

North Winds

The past few days have been good out at Chapin Beach as the wind has been blowing from the north. Mornings have been best, blowing up to 20 or so. Today was Labor Day and we had as many as 50 kites on the water and a bunch of windsurfers. Forecast looks good for a couple more days.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two Days

The wind switched to the north on Tuesday, giving us a great day at Chapin Beach. That is two days in a row and a forecast that says we may have two more. Chapin has nice flat water in close until the tide gets too low when the sand flats go way out. There are waves on the outside but today they weren't all that great. The wind was best early, before noon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nice Day of Wind

We had a good day of wind today, Monday. Quite a few people showed up as there hasn't been much wind for a while. I thought that it was really sweet out there. Hopefully we will have more wind this week as they are predicting it to blow out of the north.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Still Looking for Wind

I am in Cape Cod, Mass. and will be here for another few weeks. So far the wind has been light and the forecast only calls for a possibility of wind the next couple of days. Looking at WindGuru I don't see much wind anywhere in this part of the country or in Mexico. Apart from a lack of wind, the weather has been great - warm, dry, and sunny. I guess I'll just have to enjoy doing other things until our season starts again in San Carlos in October.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Broken Record

Nice beach weather!

But no wind. Day after day we'll get a little breeze that never builds into anything kitable. Once in a while the forecast will promise something but then it doesn't materialize. Next week I'll be back in Cape Cod. The forecast there hasn't been exceptional either but at least there are a few kitable days each week. It will definitely be a lot cooler. It has been hot and humid here in San Carlos. Perfect for getting in the water, but not much good for anything else.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Few and Far Between

Our kitable days have been few and far between. Last Saturday it blew south for a few hours and Luque, Jeff, and I got out at Condos Pilar. Wednesday we actually had wind from the West that was enough to kite at La Manga. The forecast for today, Saturday, is again calling for a good southerly wind and Luque and myself are planning on checking out the conditions at Cochórit, near Empalme.
It seems like the summer winds are worse every year. There aren't a lot of convenient alternatives. Rocky Point seems to be a lot better but still only gets wind maybe three days a week. Even Progresso in the Yucatan isn't much better. Other than that, there isn't much wind in Mexico this time of the year. The popular summer kiting destinations include the Gorge, Hatteras, Dominican Republic, and Brazil.
Maybe next year.
I'll have to put up with these winds for another two weeks and then I'll return to Cape Cod.

Later

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Wind is Up North

The wind forecast for San Carlos keeps showing promise, but nothing materializes. Christian has been driving to Puerto Peñasco from Phoenix and finding some excellent conditions. This weekend the wind looks especially good for El Golfo.

I was real tempted to drive up from here to join him but it would be at least an eight hour drive and that is just too much for a short stay.

Maybe we'll have wind today.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

No Wind in San Carlos

It's been a couple of weeks since my last post. That is because we have had no wind, I've had computer problems, and I am getting ready to move out of the apartment that I have lived in for 8 years.
There is no wind in sight. We have been getting a nice mix of weather - sunny days, cloudy days, and rainy days, - but no windy days.
My computer is running like new. Dell has hidden files that allow you to reformat the hard drive and reinstall the operating system when things really go bad. It took a while to reinstall all my programs and data, but now that it is done my three year old computer runs like it was brand new.
I am going to miss having the Sea of Cortez right out my front door. I am not going to miss having Main Street right out my back door. My main reason for moving is that I was getting targeted for being robbed when I am out of town. Security systems proved ineffective and the police don't care. Being right on the main road it was obvious to everybody when I was out of town. So I am moving to a nicer, more secluded neighborhood. A much nicer house, but no more front yard that goes on forever.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cape Cod

I've been in Cape Cod for ten days or so but haven't been able to post anything here because the hard drive on my computer went out on me. I am finally back up and running, so here is an update on the kiting conditions. Wind has been good. Yesterday was great.
Above is a photo sent to me by Leigh of the action yesterday at West Dennis Beach. West Dennis Beach is one of the best places north of North Carolina for kiteboarding during the summer. The wind is about as strong as anywhere, there is a protective jetty that gives us a wide area of flat water, and there are very few sunbathers on the beach. We only had six or so kiters out at any one time yesterday so there is plenty of room. Part of the reason for this is that part of the parking lot is closed off to protect some nesting birds and we have to walk a long ways to reach the kite beach. There is also a fee to park, but since I live in the town I get a season permit.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot

Ten days in San Carlos and not even close to having enough wind to kite. Lots of heat. The Soggy Peso has been busy as the beach is the place to be. I've been out spearfishing a couple of times but the bands on my gun are old and keep breaking. I need to remember to store them in a baggie as they will deteriorate just being exposed to the air. The snorkeling was great anyways. We had several days of 30ft+ visibility off of Isla Venado.
The fishing reports haven't been too good lately, but lots of other sea life out there. A finback whale has been hanging out and there have been several sperm whales and a very large pod of pilot whales a ways off shore. I saw a sea turtle the other day when I was out on Bobby Haag's boat and the next day he got to swim with a whale shark just off of San Antonio Point.
The surface temperature is in the 80's but you don't have to dive very deep to find chilly water.
With all of the southerly winds we also get some Portuguese Man of Wars in the water and there are stingrays in the sand near the beach so you have to watch out when you go swimming.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Back From Grenada

Well, I am back in Tucson and getting ready to drive back down to San Carlos. Wind forecast doesn’t look all that great. I’ll be there less than two weeks and then I’ll go to Cape Cod for two weeks. The wind forecast is looking better over there.

Speaking of looking better – the wind prediction for the coming week in Grenada calls for very good wind. While I was there it barely got up to 20 knots a couple of times. The day I arrived people told me “You should have been here last week. It really blew.” Now it looks like they will have good wind all next week. Oh well.

The trip to Grenada was very nice, but not as nice as I had anticipated. The best was the people, the air and water temperature, the tropical flora, my accommodations, and the food.
The people were friendly to the point of treating me like family, especially in the country side. Up in the mountains I was invited to join in on meals by the river, parties at their houses and sent down the mountain loaded down with all kinds of fruits and vegetables with invitations to return and stay as long as I wanted.
Air and water temperatures were in the 80’s.
Even though it was the end of the dry season, there were tropical flowers in abundance. Nutmeg, cocoa, and banana trees covered the mountains.
I had rented a cottage at Coral Cove Cottages. It was great. Right in front of the best kiting spot on the island. I could set up on grass in front of a reef protected bay. The maid would bring fresh flowers for every room every day. It was $100 a day. The best deal on the island. The only drawback for me was no wireless internet service. I was able to contract with the local provider for dialup service but it was painfully slow.
I found the Red Crab Restaurant the first day I was there and went back often. The food was awesome.

Unfortunately, I happened to be there for two weeks of mediocre wind. I got out almost every day, but had to use my 14M kite and larger board. I was also kiting alone all but one day and had to watch out for several shallow reefs so I wasn’t trying anything new.
I only went snorkeling one day, as it was disappointing. There were coral reefs, but very unspectacular. I did see two big sea turtles while out kiting.
The second day I was there I asked a waitress at the restaurant what they called the native language. She told me English. No, no, I said. What is the language they use amongst themselves? English, she said. And English it was, but not anything that I could understand. I could understand most of the people if they were used to dealing with tourists and were talking directly to me. Otherwise they would quickly lose me and it was a bit frustrating.
The worst thing about the island was driving a car. The island is a volcanic island and the landscape was very rugged. The roads are winding, steep and extremely narrow. That doesn’t stop the locals from driving 50 miles an hour everywhere they go. It was scary. Not fun. I was looking forward to some nice days driving and exploring the island. I did spend two days doing that, accompanied by Esmon, the bartender at the Red Crab, who volunteered to be my tour guide. I couldn’t have found a better person to show me the island. However, I had to concentrate so hard on not getting run off the road that it was hard to enjoy the scenery and I would be exhausted by the end of the day.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Another Kiter!!!

Another kiter stopped by the other day. Ben is living on a sailboat not too far away and saw me out kiting so he drove his dingy over and went kiting. He was on a 10M Royal Kite and was amazingly powered up. He was ripping! I was on my 10M Nemesis but should have put up my 14. Derek showed me another spot, Westerhall Bay, to kite yesterday. He set up as well but had trouble with a new bladder that he had just installed and couldn't get it worked out. It was a shame because he doesn't get out too often as he works and has two young children and not much free time. I don't know how many years he has lived here but he told me that he has seen only six other people kiting on Grenada.


Saturday, May 31, 2008

Grenada

I am in Grenada, the “Spice Island.” The trip here was long but went smoothly. The new luggage rules mean you have to carry less or pay more. I managed to fit all my equipment and personal stuff within the total of 70 lbs in two checked bags and I loaded up a carry on bag. You are allowed 40 lbs in the carry on bag but the size limit makes it impossible to take full advantage of it.
It is hard to find flights without an overnight stop over so I took a 22 hour layover in Puerto Rico. I rented a car for the day but really didn’t have time to see much besides the area near San Juan.

Old San Juan was great! Historic buildings, a castle, a fort, lots of great restaurants, and a happening night life. It was also more expensive than I expected – but most places are getting expensive these days. The wind was blowing by 10 am and a few kiteboarders were out by one o’clock. I didn’t have time to get out on the water myself; that will have to wait until the next trip. Here are a few kiters right in front of downtown San Juan. There are lots of beaches to go to.



Grenada is beautiful. I haven’t seen much of it yet but it is tropical, lush, and a bit mountainous. The wind has been a little light the first two days; never getting past 12 to 18 knots. I am flying my 14M Rhino and a medium sized board and a big jump is only ten feet high; enough to have fun and practice some tricks. I am staying at the Coral Cove Cottages, which happens to be at the best beach for kiting. I haven’t seen anyone else out kiting but talked to Derek, from the Big Bamboo Surf Shop, and expect to see him out there once in a while. He used to teach kiting here and was very helpful.

Below is a picture of where I am staying, taken the first morning just after sunrise.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Condos Pilar

Today was the third (and last) day of some strong southerly winds. The wind seems best over by the Condos Pilar, at the east end of San Francisco Beach. The conditions are a lot different than what we get all winter over in front of the Soggy Peso. Lots of waves to play in, but they don't have very good shape for surfing. Here is a video of Jeff. The wind seemed strong, and was measuring over 20 knots at times, but he was a bit underpowered on his 9M kite.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Good Southerlies

We've only had a couple of kiteable days in the past week and a half or so. Today was the best wind in a while. Steady 14 to 18 knots from the southeast. It blew nicely from about 10:30 am to 4 pm over at Pilar. The warm moist air doesn't pack the power of the winter wind, and these southerlies kick up a lot of chop that you need to power through, meaning that I have to use a bigger kite. I am using a 14M Rhino and a medium sized board.
The prediction is for two more days of good wind from the south. Christian will be kiting at La Pinta in Rocky Point for the next couple of days, so it will be interesting to see how it blows there compared to here.
Christian has also been getting in some good days up at Mormon Lake, Arizona.
Although we are getting some good days, the windy season is really over. That means that it is time to look elsewhere for wind. So next week I am flying over to the spice island of Grenada to stay for two weeks.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Big Kite Season

The winds have gone away and the heat is fast approaching. We can still get out a couple of days a week on bigger kites. I've been doing okay on my 14M Rhino and middle sized board. The wind has been coming up around two in the afternoon and dying off after four. It is a shame that just as the temperatures get good, the wind changes. Hopefully we will have a good summer season of strong enough southerlies. Last year was kind of weak.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Moria and Scott

Most of the week had little wind which was a shame because a couple of good friends and kiteboarders, Moria and Scott, were here visiting. We did get out Thursday and Friday, and had a good time although the wind was light. Moria looked great and was tearing it up on a borrowed kite and board. Scott has been into the sport for a long time and his moves are smooth. His quiver consists of only two line kites and a big board. He had to use my stuff on this trip and it was the first time he had used a modern kite on the water. He got out the first day of wind and looked good but didn't bother go out the second day. Instead he took pictures and videos which was good for me as I am usually the one taking the photos. Below is me taking off and then me flying upside down.

By the way, Scott has a new book out, Pokin Round the Gorge. It is an uninhibited guide to the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. Check it out!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Great Weekend

The weekend turned out to be almost perfect with nice steady wind. Lots of kiters showed up and lots of spectators on the beach. I started out both days at La Manga. You can drive all the way past the Hangout, where we normally set up, and park at the point. Then you can cross the bridge with your gear and set up on the other side. The wind and the waves in front of the gap are great. When you have had enough, it is easy to kite into the entrance of the lagoon and walk across to the other bay. I crossed over one day by kiting between the islands but the wind was terrible and I had to go way down wind to find steady enough wind that I could approach the shore and work my way back upwind to the Hangout. Wasn't worth the effort.

I am still wearing my full wetsuit as the water is still below 70 degrees. Some of the local guys have been going without a wetsuit for a month. Jose Luis told me that he was out diving just the other day and at 20 feet the water was a chilly 59.
Some people seem to think that it has been windier and colder this month than normal for April but if you check my blog from April 2006 you will see that we had more wind and colder water that year.
The rest of this week looks weak. Light southerlies for the most part.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Good Wind

The wind has been decent all week even though the forecast looked lousy. One day it blew southwest and it was nice over by the condos Pilar and most other days picked up in the afternoon out at the usual kite spot. Today was strong, starting out at 14 to 17 knots, building up to over 25 knots for most of the day and then backing off a bit after 5 o'clock. The forecast had predicted a good day so several kiters showed up to take advantage of the wind.

Here is Jose Luis kiting in front of a bunch of pelicans.



It was also a good day to work on a tan before the wind picked up.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Not Much to Report

There are fewer and fewer good wind days here in San Carlos. A lot of days the wind will get up to 10 - 12 knots but not much higher, or not for very long. Eventually we will get out on those days on big kites and big boards when we get bored enough. There are also fewer and fewer people in town. Most of the winter visitors have left and summer vacations are still a couple of months away. The water temperature is stuck in the 60's and still feels cold on the windy days. I've used my shorty wetsuit a couple of times instead of the full suit but it was chilly. Days are nice, with temperatures usually getting into the 80's, sometimes higher.

I am expecting good wind on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and hopefully Saturday. Three days a week is about all that we can expect this time of the year.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The End Is Near

The end of the season is fast approaching, but you wouldn't have guessed it from the wind we had Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It blew hard. Gusting to 30 knots or more. The sand was blowing in our faces. Like it was February. Over the weekend several people came out to kite: Jeff, Carlos, the other Carlos, Scott, Luque, Fireman John, and Fernando and Nicolas from Hermosillo. The gusts were brutal but still a lot of fun.



Jeff tried kiting in the lagoon in back of the hotel. He managed to make a few passes but the wind was lousy and I doubt that he will bother to try it again. We've always wondered about it - now we know.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Trip Report

The North Flats
On the gulf, in front of the hotel


Playing in the waves, doing a down-winder


Holly Beach - not closed after all.


The trip to South Padre was a lot of fun although the wind didn't exactly cooperate. Several of us stayed at a Holiday Inn right on the beach and although the hotel was a bit shabby and a bit pricey it was a good choice just because it was on the beach. There was still a Spring Break crowd on the island when we first arrived but after our first weekend ended the crowds left and the place really emptied out.


The North Flats turned out to be the place to run into everybody that we knew. It is an area especially good for beginners because there is so much space and the water stays shallow for half a mile out. You can kite with the wind from just about any direction and the water is flat. It does tend to get gusty at times.
We spent one day playing in the waves on the gulf side and did a long down-winder from in front of the hotel all the way down to a spot across from the flats. The wind wasn't really strong enough and we had to work the kites a bit but it was still fun to do. We suffered from a lack of wind the whole stay; struggling to keep upwind in 10 to 14 knots, sometimes less.
We had been warned that Holly Beach, which is on the mainland side of the bay, was closed. We asked at the South Padre Kiteboard Shop and he confirmed that they were still working on getting it reopened. He was lying. It was open. It gets the strongest and the cleanest wind of all the spots in the area and the locals seem to not want to advertise it. It is the only spot that I have encountered in my travels where you consistently run into unfriendly kiters. If you go there, don't let them discourage you. It is a great spot. We only got to go there once, on the last day, on the way to the airport. Smooth water and even smoother wind. Almost heaven.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

South Padre

Christian, Britt, and I arrived in South Padre on Thursday and went out to the North Flats right away for a nice session. Just happened to park next to a van that turned out to be Stuart and Dave and next to them was a friend of theirs, Sean. Later that afternoon Lou showed up. Over the next couple of days we also kited with Glenn's brother and his wife and yesterday a truck pulled up next to us and it was Victor, from Tampico. Hopefully everyone will be out there for a good session today. The wind has been marginal most of the time, but enough to get out every day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Few Good Days

We had a few good days of wind last week but nothing since Sunday and this week looks dismal. The report really doesn't bother me too much since I am arriving in South Padre tomorrow for a week of kiting. I am not sure who all else will be there except for Christian and Britt, Lou, Stuart, Dave, and myself. Weather and wind predictions look very good. We are all staying at the Holiday Inn, right on the water.

I am going to try to make do with just two boards and one kite. I've gotten used to my 10M Nemesis enough that I can use it from 10 knots to 30. That should cover almost any wind that I would try to kite in.

To view the blog and photos from last year, go to http://kiteboard-mexico.blogspot.com/2007/04/south-padre.html and to http://kiteboard-mexico.blogspot.com/2007/04/back-from-great-trip.html

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The wind has been spotty the last ten days or so. Some afternoons it would pick up around 2:30 and blow just enough to get out and a couple of afternoons it has blown hard and gusty. We even had rain and hail one day.
Today is the beginning of the crowds for Semana Santa. They have cut back every year on the number of permits for events and food and beer stands and this year they have also really stepped up the police presence and law enforcement. They are even keeping the quad-runners off the beaches. It will still be busy and lots of people and traffic, but it should be mellower than previous years.
Roberto got back from Brazil and is down here for a month or more. It was starting to get pretty lonely out on the water as people have been leaving. Gerald left last week as did Helmut, and Jimmy will be packing up soon. Helmut and his wife, Peggy, were out every day there was wind. Peggy was our favorite cheerleader, always there to boost our enthusiasm and to help out whenever needed. I hope they come back next year.






Here is Helmut on the beach.



And here is Helmut floating in the sky.



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Flying High

Well, the wind never came in yesterday and today doesn't look any better which means that the whole week looks like a wash out. Normally we don't get more than a couple of days in a row without wind but this year hasn't been normal. Next week is both Spring Break for the University of Arizona and Semana Santa so it should be quite the party. The forecast says we should also have wind that week. Below is a video that Helmut took of me showing off how great my Best Nemesis Kite is for high floaty jumps.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Friday and Saturday were nice days out at the beach and we had several kiters show up for the Saturday session. More and more local Mexicans are getting into the sport and since they don't get out to the beach very often, they bring a lot of enthusiasm to the session. Sometimes it is as much fun to watch the other kiters as it is to get out on the water. Sunday was on off day but we are hoping to get a couple of days in today and tomorrow. Today started off with the the sea completely covered with fog.



Thursday, March 06, 2008

Nothing to Report

I know that it has been over a week since my last post but I've been in Arizona and haven't had anything to write about. My kiteboarding buddy, Christian, and I are starting a floor care business in San Carlos and this trip was mostly about that business. Today I will be driving back down to Mexico but won't make it in time to get a session in today. The wind hasn't been great lately and the forecast doesn't look much better. After some strong wind today and tomorrow they say it is going to shut off again for several days. South Padre is looking better all the time. Puerto Progreso in the Yucatan is very consistent this time of year as well. You can see reports for these places if you scroll down at my wind guru page.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

After a great weekend of kiting last week we had a few days off before the next good blow started up. During the break we saw air temperatures into the 90's, well above normal. Yesterday it was 86. This also means that the water temperature is also finally starting to warm up, although it is still in the low 60's.
This Saturday and Sunday had nice wind and then it got a little nasty on Monday. It was real gusty with sand blowing head high down the beach. It was still fun, though.

I've been flying my new kite in all conditions to get a feel for what it can do. The low end is incredible. It is a 10M Best Nemesis HP and I've had great sessions down to 10 knots. The high end has been a little disappointing as it gets to be over powered above 25 knots. The stated range for this kite is 13 to 33, and to be fair, I did still have a couple more adjustments at the kite that I could have used to depower it more. Today it is supposed to nuke again so I'll have a chance to try it again in 25+ knots. Boosting big air with this kite is the best that I've experienced. Hang time is great.

A few of us (6 so far) are making plans to go to South Padre last week in March and first week of April. I went last year and we all had a great time. Only problem is that access to the best kite spot on the bay, Holly Beach has been cut off. Hopefully the conditions will be good for wave riding as we are staying at the Holiday Inn right on the water on the Gulf side. If anyone else is interested in going and wants more details you can write me at kite420 @ gmail.com.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Presidents' Day Weekend


As predicted, Wednesday had little wind but then Thursday came with a kiteable south-easterly breeze. I didn't get out because I thought that the waves would be too much for my back as the water was pretty rough. Would have been fun, though, to kite our regular spot with wind from the opposite direction. A couple of kiters down early for the weekend did get out to enjoy it. The group from up north that arrived in force the next day got good wind the following four days before they had to go back home.

Friday a film crew from Mexico City, http://www.ifstudios.com.mx/index.php?goto=2&sub=1,
came to the beach to film us as part of an ad campaign that they are doing for the Mexican Tourism Council. The video crew was great with incredible equipment and even used a helicopter to video us out on the water. They were also taping lots of other activities staged just for them such as boating, kayaking, and jet skis and there were lots of spectators so it was a real festive atmosphere. Hopefully they will send me a clip or two that I can post on this blog.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kiters Coming

This week the wind has been up and down. Most days there has been enough to get out, although it has been gusty. I came down off a big jump and bruised my back on Wednesday and haven't been out since. I may take one more day off before getting back on the water. This coming Wednesday looks to be the only day this week that the wind is not going to blow. On Saturday a group of ten kiters from Arizona are coming down and will be staying at the Paradiso Hotel, which is right where we kite. It will be great to see a bunch of new people on the beach.



Here is a shot of Gerald. He has made some real progress and is getting lots more time on the board, but still has to walk back up wind some. He is an inspiration for a lot of people. If I remember correctly, he should be 78 years old this year.


And here is a photo of another nice day in San Carlos.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New Equipment

The wind died off for a whole week so I went up to Arizona to visit friends and take care of some business. Got back in time for the next sretch of wind but it only lasted three days and it shut off again. Now after another four days of windless days we are back to kiting again. Hopefully it lasts a while. I brought back with me a new board (2007 Sky Walker Dimitri Pro 131) and a new kite (Best Nemisis 10M 2008.) Both are great.
The number of kiters has been dropping as a few people have ended their vacations already. Some come for just a week or so but others had been here for a while. Dave and Jackie left as did Joe, and Glenn and Sue will be leaving shortly.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

We have had several days of nice wind but the forecast calls for very little action this coming week. The only good thing is that the warm days should heat the water up a little more. Next weekend there is a big kite expo at La Ventana in Baja. There will be competitions and most of the kite companies will be there with their latest gear available to demo. The only thing that they won't have is wind. The forecast looks terrible.

Lots of days the wind has been cold and gusty but that hasn't stopped us from enjoying the kiting and it hasn't stopped people from coming out to the Soggy Peso Bar to watch us. The flat water is great for trying out new tricks so the spectators get to see lots of great maneuvers and lots of great crashes. Everything takes place in a small area just off the beach because that is where the wind and flat water is due to the configuration of a spit of land connecting to an island off the point. We have to stay within 200 yards of shore or we would go behind the island and run out of wind.

Here is Joe, about to leave the beach for a session. He is still struggling a little bit with his technique and so was using a board leash. Unfortunately he got lofted out on the water and the board hit him near his ankle hard enough to do some real damage. He will be out of action for a few weeks. It has been a bad week for ankles as Glenn hurt his Saturday when coming into the beach. I haven't heard how bad it is but it looked like it will put him out of action for at least a little while.

Paula and Scott stopped in for a few days of kiting on their way to Ventana. The ferry was delayed due to high seas so they stayed longer than planned. Paula is an awesome kiter. She also let us try out the new Freak Dog kites. Nice kites. Thanks Paula.

Below is a photo of Paula's dog. He loves to bring her board up from the water for her when she is done with a session.