Monday, December 27, 2010

On the surfboard at Hampton in a cool 20 knots

Session 118, 27 December 2010

Kite: Switchblade 10
Wind: 20 knots, SW
Location: Hampton Beach
Time: 17:15 to 18:30

Another late sea breeze after a cold wet morning.  The sun was shining but it was still cool.  I put on my 1mm steamer and my vest and headed out for a session on the S-Quad surfboard.

It was nice riding the board powering over waves.  I kept the power on and jumped a few.  It feels weird jumping with a surfboard, and I am a cautious about a big crash.  The board is quite solid and the quad fins quite sharp.

Going upwind was easy.   The wind was stronger and more consistent past the breakwater.  I carved some turns to toeside and back on several occasions, watching to make sure the spreader bar did not release itself again.  Riding toeside with the seat harness is not easy.

There were only about 6 kiters about and no windsurfers.  Most people may be out of town for the Christmas holidays.

There was a reasonable swell rolling in, and occasionally breaking a long way out.  Returning to shore I could carve on and around the swell which was enjoyable.   I came downwind by cranking slalom turns.  It wasn't really possible to "park the kite" as there were no rideable waves.

I tried a couple of gibes and was able to swap my feet (sort of) on one, even though I was lying in the water.  On another attempt, my kite hit the water and almost jellyfished, but I was able to relaunch it eventually without twisted lines.  I had visions of self-rescue and drifting all the way back to shore, as I did during some of my first sessions at Hampton.

I take my hat off to those who ride surfboards strapless.  I find the straps very useful when getting going, and for powering over lips.  I keep my rear foot out most of the time now though.

After an hour my feet and hands were cold so I came in.  A great sea breeze.

Astute readers of this blog may notice that the address has just now changed to
This is largely cosmetic, nothing much else will change, and the old URLs (with .blogspot in them) will still redirect to the new address.

Here is my homework for gibing:

And for an alternative method of turning a directional board (and switching feet) -the Duck Tack

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