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Kite 2012

Kitesurfing News Year 2012-2016!

Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category

Navis Boards “Foucan” 132×41 Review

Posted by kite2012 On August - 28 - 2012

Navis Boards is a small company in Sweden that has challenged the big dragons on the kiteboard market. The boards from Navis Boards stand out from the crowd in two ways that are obvious at the first glance. The boards alone are handmade and made purely from environmentally friendly materials which give them their nice woodish look. So what about the performance then? I have already been riding the board named “Bolt” for some time. An allround medium sized board that is suitable for the beginner as well as the intermediate rider, a compromise between a lightwind board and a freestyle board. “Foucan” on the other hand is a board aimed for the more advanced rider that prefer a smaller and stiffer board that allows him to perform tricks with ease. You might have you heard the name Foucan from the somewhat odd sport named Le-Parkour. In this field Foucan is the name of a guy that is known for his outstanding skills in Le-Parkour, hence “Foucan” is a board designed with this guy in mind, a board for the one that likes to have fun on the water while jumping around and performing tricks. Anyway, let´s take a closer look on the characteristics and performances of the “Foucan”!

Flexibility

The Foucan is a stiff board. Not super stiff, but stiff enough to make it easy to achieve good pop, great for unhooked tricks and all kind of tricks, such as the backroll, where you need to set yourself in a rotation. Foucan is designed with Navis Boards new unique “spring technology” which further improves the pop force. This technology can be seen as the black arcs on the board. These arcs are working both as reinforcement for the board while providing the board with extra spring effect.

Upwind abilities

The size of the Foucan is 132×41 (136×42 is also available). Shorter boards are not known to make it easier to go upwind, but the width of the board weigh up its shorter length and it can be compared to a 135×40 board if you just look at the area of the board. In other words, the upwind abilities are actually pretty good, especially in strong wind where you really can carve the board deep in the water and achieve a good amount of resistance.

Chop/Waves

The Foucan is designed to be used in flat and choppy water. The rocker of the board is slightly curved which comes handy once you hit choppy water. The Foucan also performs well in waves with fine comfort compared to some other boards. Ride in high speed and the board tends to spray some water in small waves. This is however not a major problem, just approach the waves in a sharper angle with more pressure on the back foot and you’ll more or less solve this little issue.

Jumping

To jump with the Foucan is a pleasure. The light weight (2.55kg for the 132×41 board) and short length of the board makes it easy to stay balanced in the air, so you can say goodbye to unwanted rotations in the air. The stiffness of the board also helps you to explode up from the water during the takeoff.

Stability & Grip

The width of the board improve the stability when you´re landing a trick or when you´re going downwind. The tips of the board are thinner than the center of the board which also makes them a bit more flexible which is nice when you land tricks and jumps since the tips act as shock absorbers. The “liquid super strong rails” are a bit rounded (this can be customized upon request), but sharp enough to deliver good grip during turns. The new dual concave rocker further increase the stability and board control.

Conclusion

“Foucan” is a board designed primarily for the intermediate to advanced freestyle rider. At the same time, the board characteristics such as the light weight, the small size and the flex make it an excellent board for old school tricks.  Ride the “Foucan” in medium to strong wind and flat water to fully take advantageous of its high performance characteristics. The price for the board with fins, pads and board handle included is €505.00. This equals approximately $630, about the same price level as the cheapest factory made boards on the market. Considering that “Foucan” is handmade with excellent board properties with a really nice finish make this board very affordable!

Click on this link for another small review about Navis Boards.

Kitesurfers, protect your eyes!

Posted by kite2012 On August - 25 - 2012

Kitesurfing in the sea a sunny day is great feeling, something you can do over and over for years without getting bored! To use sunscreen is obvious to most of us, forget it one day and you will be reminded to use  it during your next session when you watch your red face in the mirror the day after. Though what many surfers tend to forget is to protect their eyes…  More and more people are reporting that they are getting issues with their eyes after years of kitesurfing. Cataract, black spots and lines and blurry areas that appear in the eye’s field of view are some of the first symptoms which are caused from the suns UV-rays.

We live longer today than we did in the past, which of course might be a result to the high number of people that develop cataracts at a higher age. Diseases such as diabetes and genetic factors are also causes that can lead to cataract. But we also know that a long-term exposure to UV-rays promote the formation of cataract in the human eye.

It is easy to be wise after the event. Wearing sunglasses with straps while you’re kitesurfing may not make you look like the coolest guy in the water, especially if you use those sunglasses that actually are made to be used for watersports, you know those that will make you look like a german freak. So it´s understandable that you don’t bring the sunglasses out in the water. You may think that red and sore eyes after a long day in the water is not a big deal, a good sleep and the eyes are back to normal the day after, but it´s not so cool to develop cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae, pterygia and photokeratitis in an early age or even get blind if things turn out really bad. So it can be a smart thing to wear sunglasses even if you´ll look like a bit retarded.

Protect your eyes!

The message should hopefully already be clear to you by now. The cumulative effects of spending long hours in the sun without adequate eye protection can increase the likelihood of developing eye disorders. Unlike our skin types which are more or less sensitive to sun it doesn’t matter to which ethnic group you belong to when it comes to eye damages caused by UV-rays.

In fact you should wear sunglasses every day, even on cludy days. Snow, water, sand and pavement reflect UV rays, increasing the amount reaching your eyes and skin.

When it comes to choice of sunglasses it doens’t really matter which brand or style you choose as long as they block both UV-A and UV-B radiation. But for obvious reasons it is not appropriate to wear your $200 Ray Ban sunglasses while you´re kitesurfing.

The absolutely best choice is to use googles that have a huge lens to optimize the field of view while they also block UV-rays from all incoming angles. This is maybe a bit overkill, but can be a good choice if you already have developed some kind of eye disorder.

 

 

 

 

 

Seaspecs is another expensive option. They are made for watersports and provide a good protection against UV-rays. They all look the same, quite ugly in my opinion, but they come at least in a wide range of different colors so you can pick black pair so you don’t look to goofy. Seaspecs redesigned their old model, which is a pity, I really liked those!

 

 

 

 

 

DirtyDog is another company that make sunglasses for all kind of sport activities. They have a collection of sunglasses made especially for water sports which actually don’t look to bad and you can buy them for a decent price! Dirty Dogs so called wet glasses models comes with polarized lenses that are treated for water runoff.

 

 

The one on a low budget can always buy a pair super cheap sunglasses made in polycarbonate with full UV protection. Simply make a hole in each of the arms and attach on a piece of elastic chord. You can these for $5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

UV contact lenses is a great innovation for all of us that uses contact lenses. The problem is just that they don’t cover the whole eye, hence parts of your eyes will still be exposed for the harmful UV-rays. However, use them in combination with sunglasses and you have a really good protection!

 

 

Conclusion

Exposure to UV radiation has cumulative effects on the eyes. Damage today leads to eye problems tomorrow. So be smart, use protection and enjoy kitesurfing until you get old!

Kitesurfing in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Posted by PDCKiteboarding On August - 19 - 2012

Looking for a great Kiteboarding holidays? Amazing Scuba diving for no wind days? Crazy night life or relaxing family Resorts?
Welcome to the unmatchable Carribean destination: Playa del Carmen.

Playa del Carmen, Quinatana Roo state, Mexico.

Playa Del Carmen is right in the middle of The Riviera Maya, also known as the Mayan Riviera,  a tourism district following the coastal Highway 307 which parallels the Caribbean coastline of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, located on the eastern portion of the Yucatan peninsula.

Originally a small fishing town, Playa del Carmen, or just “Playa” as called by the Locals, became a world famous Scuba Diving destination right on top of the second longest barrier reef system in the world and  rapidly  developped over the past few  years with many new luxury residential condominium buildings, restaurants, boutiques and entertainment venues.

This is the place for sailing, Jet skiing, snorkeling,scuba diving , swimming in cenotes, swimming with dolphins, zip lining, horse riding, guided jungle tours and recently KITEBOARDING.

KITESURFING SPOTS in Playa del Carmen area:

SANDOS PLAYACAR RESORT/PDC KITEBOARDING SCHOOL:

The beach of the Sandos Playacar Resort in playacar Hotel Zone is the main Kiteboarding Spot in the Area and also the only Authorized Kite beach and School of Playa del Carmen.
Starting from the Sandos Playacar Resort toward south, you will find a designated  mile long white sandy Kiteboarding  beach with no rocks, no obstacles and a lot of space to rig and launch/Land your Kites.

Sandos Playacar Kiteboarding Spot and PDCK teaching area.

Right on spot is PDC KITEBOARDING SCHOOL, the only Authorized kiteboarding School of Playa del Carmen, which offers IKO beginner courses with International certifications, Equipment rental and supervision, Equipment sale and Demos.

Sandos Playacar Resort, PDC Kiteboarding Authorized area.

The staff is very friendly and speaks up to 6 different languages.

On site you will find toilets, Shower and fresh water tank to rinse your gear off.
The Resort offers 12% discount on your online Resort booking if you come for Kiteboarding. Ask PDC Kiteboarding to get the “Promotional Code”.
WHEN TO COME:

The Wind season is from October till the end of May ( Sometime mid June). You should be able to ride 4/5 days a week during this period.

Playa del Carmen wind statistics. Mexico.

Windguru forecast: http://www.windguru.cz/es/index.php?sc=133819

Wind is usually from 13 to 22 Knots on the Caribbean coast and works with NE, E, SE and S.
NE wind is usually the best as it is a bit colder, denser and pulls much more.
When the wind turns North (Called here “El Norte”), it blows from 25 to 35+ knots, and then you need to go to Isla Blanca Lagoon north of Cancun(ask PDC Kiteboarding about Lagoon excursion).

EPIC Kiteboarding Center at Sandos Playacar Resort

 

ACCOMODATION IN Playa Del Carmen FOR KITEBOARDERS:

  • If you are coming to learn and take your IKO certification course, if you like All inclusive Resorts, if you to have your family doing their own activities few feet away from the Kite area or if you just want to be as closed as possible from the Kiteboarding School and spot, the best option for you is to stay at the Sandos Playacar Resort which is right next to the spot.

Also, as a Kiteboarder, you can get 12 % of your All Inclusive Resort booking with the special promotional code. Get in touch with pdckiteboarding@gmail.com to get the code.

  • If you prefer small hotels downtown (only 7min by taxi to get to the Kite school/spot), there are hundreds of them right in the center of PDC.

Have a look at “La rana Cansada”, http://www.ranacansada.com/.

KITEBOARDING SCHOOL IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN:

PDC KITEBOARDING, www.pdckiteboarding.com.

Info at pdckiteboarding@gmail.com.

PDC Kiteboarding School and EPIC Demo center

FLIGHT INFORMATION:

From Europe the cheapest is to fly from Brussels Airport, Belgium with www.jetairfly.com , straight to Cancun.
Plenty of flights from USA and CANADA.

Looking for a custom made surf board?

Posted by kite2012 On August - 15 - 2012

If you wanna stand out from the crowd when it comes to your surf board, then you might wanna check out Loyd Surfboards. Originally, Loyd Surfboards was only a small surf shop in the Pismo Beach area, California. The year was 1974, and back then a man named Aaron Loyd made incredible boards that not only surfed the waves in perfection, but were designed to really catch ones eyes!

In 2004 Aarons son Gabriel, which at the time already mastered the skills needed to create and design amazing boards, partnered up and created “Loyd” surfboards, under their new logo. Gabriel litterally grew up in a surf board factory and hence possessed his fathers knowledge in how to create sick surf boards. Loyd is now producing some of the coolest and best custom boards in the world, both surfboards and kiteboards.

As far as I know Loyd isn’t producing any twintip boards that are common among many kitesurfers around the world, but I can recommend you to check out www.navisboards.com if you´re looking to buy a really nice and durable twintip board.

Here is a small video from Loyd Surfboards.

Navis Boards in Africa

Posted by kite2012 On June - 26 - 2012

Here is a little promo video from Navis Boards, filmed in El Gouna in Egypt and in Dakhla in Marocco. Moreover, the only video I found this morning that is worth watching. I have a Navis board myself and I like it a lot! If you ever get the chance to try one in flat water and light wind, you´ll understand why :)

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Navis Boards – the best upwind board on the market?

Posted by kite2012 On June - 3 - 2012

Navis Boards is a new brand on the market that manufactures kite boards. Navis Boards differs from many other manufacturers in many ways. It´s not just the wooden look of the boards, but there unique characteristics and the possibility to customize the design and the shape of the board. All this to a price that can compete with most other kite boards on the market.

Navis Boards has a range of different boards in their portfolio. “Lewis” – the full carbon, high-performance kiteboard, “Hulk” – the light wind board and the “Bolt” – the all-round kiteboard. Navis Boards also sell longboards for skating.

I had the opportunity to test the 136×41 “Bolt” for about two weeks under various conditions, from choppy water and strong wind to flat water in light wind. These are my reflections.

At a glance

The board itself has a really nice design. The board has a core of  tri-axial glass fiber reinforced Paulownia wood which gives the board a smooth and exclusive wooden look, just like a sailing boat made from hardwood.

The color of the rail can be chosen from 6 different colors which is nice since you also have the possibility to add your logo or some other graphics to the board, hence it´s possible to choose a color that match your logo.

There are also three different colors on the fins to choose from.

The pads are soft and comfortable with straps that allow you to adjust them so much that they even fit my big 11 inch feet when wearing 7mm boots.

Performance

+ Flexibility – The Bolt is without doubt a very flexible board. I’m one of those maniacs that like to jump insanely high and it´s not always that my landings are perfectly smooth. So the flexibility comes in handy since it helps to absorb and soften hard landings.
+ Upwind – the upwind performances are simply amazing! I´m used to ride a 134×39 F-One SK8, not a bad board at all, but I need at least 1-2 m/s more wind to be able to even ride with the F-One compared to the Bolt. I had a session when I barely could stay up on the F-One board, riding upwind was more or less impossible. I swapped to the Bolt and was amazed over the huge difference. The Bolt has of course a little bigger area than my F-One, but it is also lighter, much lighter. The light weight in combination with the rocker make the Bolt outstanding in light wind! Ask anyone who have tried a bolt and they’ll for sure tell you about the ease to ride upwind even in light wind.
+ Choppy water – Here the rocker comes in handy again. The Bolt is forgiving and handles choppy water as good as any other twin tip board.

Pop – the pop is probably the only “weak” side with the Bolt. It´s not that the pop is bad. It´s fully possible to achieve good pop, but the flexibility of the board makes it slightly harder to pop comparing to stiffer boards. It´s all about compromises. A stiffer board delivers more pop than a more flexible board, but my opinion is that the other performances of the Bolt more than counterbalances the pop. However, if you really demand a board that deliver maximum pop, then you have the possibility to order a board that is a bit stiffer, by using another choice of reinforcement material. The board will not necessarily be thicker. The possibilities to customize your board from Navis Boards actually also includes the shape!

Construction

As already mentioned the board has a core made of tri-axial glass fiber reinforced Paulownia wood. The core is in turn layered with super strong plastic walls and UV- and impact resistant top sheet. This construction makes the Bolt extremely durable and it’s a board that can handle tough conditions, altough its low weight. Yet the flexibility is one of its kind. Navis Board offer a 2 year guarantee on their boards which is another proof of its indestructible construction.

 

Conclusion

The Bolt is a great all-round kiteboard. Perfect for beginners as well as more advanced riders. I can guarantee that you´ll be the one that still can ride upwind when all the other go back on land when the wind drops. The rocker and the flexibility provides a smooth ride, saving your knees and giving you extra soft landings. It´s easy to carve through the water and it delivers a pop that most riders probably are happy with. This is a board that I really can recommend to any rider out there!

Fore more information about Navis Boards, visit www.navisboards.com

 

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How to make your kite last longer

Posted by kite2012 On February - 7 - 2012

How to make your kite last longer

I wish that I could have read these tips right when I started my kitesurfing career, so that I wouldn’t have had to learn them all myself by wasting my own kites. Anyway, I still think it doesn’t hurt to get reminded about how to treat your kites for maximum endurance even though you´re an experienced rider. Feel free to add more tips!

So here are my 10 top tips for anyone who wants to keep his beloved kite happy and in good condition for a looong time!

 

 

1.    Sand. Sand is every kite’s worst enemy. Before packing together your kite, make sure to remove all or at least as much as possible of the sand from the kite. Sand wears out materials, increases the risk of occurrence of holes and tears up the canopy and other fabric material

2.    Do not pack down a wet kite. To wash your kite is not always necessary (but certainly not wrong). But if you wash your after each session, make sure it dries properly before packing it down. To pack down a wet kite is usually not a problem as long as you pack it up again shortly after. Beware though that it doesn’t take many days for a wet kite to get discolored (some kites are more sensible than other to discoloration) and in the long run start mold and smell bad.

3.    Rig and pump the kite as close to the water as possible. By walking with an inflated kite over a long distance you increase the risk of scratching your kite on the ground and the lines might get stuck in branches, stones, bushes etc.

4.    The Pump. When packing down your pump, get in the habit to remove the hose. By constantly letting the hose stay connected to the pump you´ll quickly end up having bendings and after a while even holes in the hose.

5.    The control bar and the lines. Keep your lines free from knots and always wash your bar in fresh water if you´ve been kiting in salt water. A knot on a line decrease its strength by more than 50%, which increases the risk that you snap it when you least want it to happen. The reason to why you should wash the control bar (and the lines) in fresh water is because salt water breakes down the lines over time.

6.    Avoid launching the kite yourself. Launching a kite by letting it “walk” along the ground wears it more than necessary. If you do a self-launch, use a “dogbone” or walk out in the water and launch the kite from there.

7.    Avoid twisting the bladder. Make sure that the kite is flat and completely rolled out before you start pumping it. To let the kite “roll up” by itself when you pump, you might if you´re unlucky, twist the bladder inside the tube. Also, do not stick the nozzle of the pump to deep in the valve since this can stretch out the valve opening.

8.    Use your kitebag. Always pack down your kite in its bag when you´re about to transport it. Do not just throw it into the trunk on your car where board fins and other sharp objects easily can make cuts your kite.

9.    Beware for waves. If you’ve dropped your kite in the water where it gets awash with waves, let it go. This is of course nothing you want to do if not absolutely necessary, but be aware that big breaking waves can stretch out the canopy or even rip your kite apart.

10.    Sun and wind. Do not leave your kite to flutter in the wind and do not leave it in the sun longer than necessary. Too much sun makes the material brittle and the colors get bleached. Letting the canopy fluttering in the wind will wear the canopy in the long run.

11.    If you notice that a line, pigtail, bridle, chicken loop or whatever is getting a bit worn out, replace it! To snap a line or break a bridle out in the sea can lead to much worse damage on your kite as it might start looping and only God knows where deathloops will end.

ruined kite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of these points may be difficult to follow to the letter. This is however not the idea, but by keeping these small tips in mind you will hopefully be able to keep your kite in a better condition and prevent it to get exposed to unnecessary wear.

Happy kiting!

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Sensi Graves Bikinis

Posted by kite2012 On February - 4 - 2012

Sensi Graves is a full time kiteboarder that constantly was looking for a swimsuit that could perform on the same high level as she do in the water, but nowhere could she find a swimsuit or bikini that hold things in place yet sexy and comfortable. After countless of slip-ups and tops lost in the water she decided to design her own suit with the functionality and that is required if you kiteboard while still remanining a sensual and chick look. The result was Sensi Bikinis!

Sensi’s collection of swimsuits and bikinis are feminine, strong, supportive and comes in a design that goes well along with the fun and action that kiteboarding can be associated with.

Sensi’s bikins are made to make things stay in place so that you can concentrate on the kiteboarding rather than constantly pulling down your bikini bottom peace over your caudal half or adjusting the bra.

Sensi’s bikinis are actually so nice that you don’t really have to be a kitesurfer to look sexy in them! Here is a small selection of Sensi’s collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensis full collection of bikins can be found at www.sensibikinis.com

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Mike Blomvall

Posted by kite2012 On January - 3 - 2012

Mike Blomvall a.k.a. Mike The Knife is one of the best riders in Sweden. He is also a team tider for Nobile.

Mike wasn’t fully satisfied with Nobiles collection of board, so together they developed a new board called 50Fifty. The 50Fifty is a wakestyle-inspired, aggressive freestyle board designed for those who desire huge POP, super soft landings and tons of control. For 2012 this board is constructed with Pre-stress technology which means that the board provides “limitless” pop and is an excellent weapon for those who are into crazy tricks and wants to take their kite boarding progression to a new level.

For more info about Mike Blomvall check out his new website www.mikeblomvall.com

Here is Nobiles latest video featuring Mike in Turkey, enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wainman Joke

Posted by kite2012 On December - 15 - 2011

Anyone who has been kitesurfing for some time, is probably familiar with the name Wainman. Lou Wainman was one of the pioneers of kite surfing and has promoted the development of complicated tricks. You will probably find some ambitious kiters, who in 2005 told us that Lou Wainman should not be modeled. The man was just a cool type, although usually somehow trapped in his own world. Quite common for well known companies today are that their founders are a bit crazy and “odd”, Lou Wainman is not an exception.Wainman recently sent me a package with the “Joke” board. First, it should be noted that included in the package was a board bag and a bag for the straps and pads were there even was a screwdriver for the assembly, as if the customer is clearly in focus and is so caring for him. After a quick installation of the soft-grip pads and straps then it was time for Joke to convince me on the water.

Striking is the high bending of the Joke. It quickly becomes clear that the Joke is designed also for fixed bindings and to manage lots of tension. Moreover, on the bottom of board are small channels that allow you to get along entirely without fins, thus Joke should be perfect an ideal toy for the slider and obstacles. Due to the high bending it takes a little more pressure on the board to specify and manage to point out the direction you´re going in. But once the joke is on the plane, that´s when he shows his potential. It has very high returning force, allowing the surfer to take height, especially during unhooked jumps. After landings in hooked jumps only a short adjustment period is needed to find the edge and quickly get the balance in the water. Super tight corners can be taken with the Joke and it is a true friend when it comes to carving. Riding toeside or blind is a pleasure, and the board is easy to rotate back on the surface.

Conclusion: The Joke is clearly aimed to the dedicated riders who want to be able to shoot themself up from the water with power when riding unhooked. For hooked jumps, it also offers good performance. The soft pads come to great use when landing, acting as shock absorbers that save your knees. The Joke is the perfect board for whoever who wants to be on the road even with boots and wants to rock out one or another obstacle. For beginners, the Joke is not recommended, the planing is not optimal and a bit more wind is required for riding upwind.

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How To Stay Warm In Cold Temperature

Posted by kite2012 On December - 13 - 2011

How To Stay Warm When It’s Freezing Cold In The Water And Air?

Not all of us are lucky enough to live where it is warm all year round. I live where it currently is about 5 degrees in the air and probably not much warmer in the water. Most people gave up their kitesurfing season for this year in October, but we are a few dedicated guys that still defie the cold to get our necessary dose of kite surfing. Question is how the hell do we handle the cold? Me myself hate cold and I freeze very easily, which means that I have been forced to develop some survival strategies to keep myself warm. Here are my hottest my tips!

1. Basic Equipment
A varm wetsuit is a must, preferable a new one. I use Prolimit Maverick 6/5 DL, a soft and smooth wetsuit in double neopren.

Boots! I use Prolimits 6mm Predator Boots. They are expensive, but warm and comfortable, and they do give you a pretty good board feeling.

Gloves! This is a problem. I use one of the best gloves from Prolimit, 3 mm thick and 98% water proof, but this is far from enough. Gloves without fingers are warmer, but then you’ll get clumsy instead. Luckily there are a solution… read on ;)

Hood! A hood is probably the most important equipment you can use. The best are those that are integrated with the wetsuit which prevents cold water from running down your neck and back. If you don’t have a wetsuit with integrated hood, then get a hood with a big collar to keep it tight along your neck.

 

 

 

 

2. Extra Equipment

You can get along fine with the basic equipment as long as the temperature is above 10 degrees, but it’s not enough for colder temperatures. Here are some extra equipment that are really nice the temp drops below 10 degrees.

Thermal Underwear. A thermal underwear layer under your wetsuit makes a huge different! Doesn’t have to be something fancy, a cheap pair will do fine! I even use two layers of underwear for my legs. Would do it for my chest as well, if there was space enough.

Heater Vest. Heater vest deliver heat to your lower back keeping your kidneys warm, the organs in your body with the highest blood flow, hence keeping the kidneys warm will make sure that the blood going to your extremites are warm, or at least warmer than if you wouldn’t have a heater vest.

Neopren Cap. Before you put on your hood, put a neopren cap on your head! Again multiple layers are the key to keep the heat.

Hand warmers! Put them in your gloves and you’ll be able to keep your fingers tips warm. There are two different types on the market. Those where you open up a small bag called little heaters warmers. These bags keep the heat for several hours, but they have one big drawback, they don’t like water. So they work great as long as you can keep your hands dry, which I figured is pretty hard when you’re kitesurfing. The second alternative is those where you crack a little metal plate that are kept in a bag with some fluid. These work flawlessly, only problem is that they don’t last very long, about 30 minutes or so. But they are cheap and one could easily afford 3-4 pairs without making a big dent in your wallet.

Thermal Underwear

 

 

 

 

3. Strategy

Another tip to keep yourself warm is simply to not get cold. Before you go to the spot, get dressed. Put on your thermal underwear, jump in your wetsuit and put heater in your car on max! Once you get to the spot, keep your gear on by all time. Keep your gloves on as you rig the kite. Once in the water kite hard, make your body work as you would go to the gym, the fysical activity greatly helps you to stay warm.

That’s about it. Have a great winter!

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Second hand kite? Think twice before you buy!

Posted by kite2012 On December - 12 - 2011

Thought about buying a second hand kite? If you like me are a poor student without a fat salery that drops down in the end every month, then buying a brand new kite might not even be an option.

I have bought several second hand kites throughout my kite career. I have usually been happy with my kites, but I bought some really crappy stuff a few times. If the person that sells the kite lives in another state or even country, then maybe you don’t feel for spending hours in a car + expensive gasoline to go and buy the kites when it´s easier to ask the seller to just send the kites by mail. The drawback with this is of course that you can’t check the kites and you have to rely on photos and words from the seller. In most cases this is fine. Kitesurfers are in general an honest race and will let you know in what condition the kites are if you don’t have the possibility to check the kites in forehand. However, there are always a few that withholds deficiencies with the kites they are selling. I am now going to tell you about my last buy, that could have cost me a visit at the hospital.

2010 Slingshot RPM 8m and 12m with two bars.
That’s whas the title of the ad. The two kites had apperantly been used abroad in some warm country during the winter in 2010 and were well used, but in good condition. The 8m kite was repaired in the canopy, but that was all. The seller also pointed out that they were holding the air. The price was ok too, $990 for them both with shipping included. Here are some images that I got from the seller.

slingshot rpm 8mslingshot rpm 10mslingshot rpm control bars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks pretty nice huh? But once I got them, the kites turned out to be salty and the metal pieces on the bars were rusty and sandy, the safety release was completely stuck on one of the bars. However, I could deal with that. Some fresh water for the kites and oil for the bars fixed made them look nicer.

So one day it was blowing about 25 knots and gusty like hell. I decided to try the 10m kite. I pumped it up and got out in the water. About 30 minutes later I notice how the kite is acting flapping and very hard to keep stable, it wants to go left even though I steer right. I go back onland, bring down the kite and notice how it is soft, apperantly it´s leaking somewhere. In almost all cases kites that are leaking air are leaking from the LE bladder, so I pumped it up again and closed the valves to the struts just to be able to exclude the struts from the air leakage investigation. 5-10 minutes later I give an OK-sign to my buddy to launch my kite. Now I did expect to launch the kite smooth and controlled in the edge of the wind window up to 12 o´clock. Instead it quickly turns to the left and rushes through the power zone. I barely had time to react before I was torn up several meters in the air. I remember that I stayed in the air long enough to have time to think “This can not end well … it is now I will break a bone”, but luckily I landed in shallow water and soft sand. For once I was launching the kite when I was standing in the water, otherwise I normally stand on land when I launch the kite. This is something to keep in mind, if you ever feel uncomfy with launching the kite or if you aren’t 100% whether the kite is correctly set up and in good condition, do not launch on land! If something goes wrong would you rather crash on land among stones, trees, building, people… than in water? Just don’t be stupid lazy and put yourself in to danger when you easily can prevent it. Ok, back to me. So, it turned out that one of the struts was leaking air and was almost completely drained with air when I launched the kite, which made the kite almost uncontrollable, imagine driving a car with a flat tire.

Once back home I took out the strut bladder and noticed that there was a big fucking hole, which was poorly repaired. Was a little bit pissed of of course, but didn’t bother to contact the seller, I fixed the hole and waited for another windy day.

So came another day, when it was blowing even more, around 25-30 knots and 4 degrees celsius in the air and maybe 6-7 degrees in the water. Not the most perfect conditions, but I just had to kitesurf this day and knew from before that the 8m kite at least was holding the air, time to try it! Once on the spot, the kite was pumped up, the lines where lined up and all I had to do was to attach the lines to the kite. While doing this I notice that the right wing tip had a blue short line attached to the attachment point. I did suspect that the red line was missing on the left wing tip, but I wanted to kite so badly that I decided to believe that the blue short line simply was there for no reason, so I removed it, to make the steering lines in equal length…

wingtip_leftIt was time to launch. Do you think I went out in the water? Hell no, I stood on land and made thumb up to the guy holding the kite… Have you ever launched a kite in strong wind with the bar sheeted in to the max? Even if you havn’t you can probably guess what happens. The blue line should of course not be removed and doing so results in way to short steering lines, just like you have full power and a bit more when the bar is sheeted out to the max.

So what happened? I launched the kite, but instead of going to the edge of the wind window above my head it stayed in the power zone, about 60 degrees from the ground. The kite immediately started to pull me forward, I took a few steps and then got airborn. I released the bar, but this didn’t depower the kite, now I only had full power in the kite. I landed with my feet in the ground and slided on my feet about 15 meters before I came to a stop only a meter from a fence. The ground was a muddy mess from an earlier storm and heavy rains so I got covered in mudd, it sprayed up in my face and in my eyes as I slided through the mudd.

Miraculously, neither me or the kite got hurt. I did learn another lesson and hopefully will I be more careful in the future. I´ve seen many accidents that occur on land. You learn from them, but they are sometimes painful.

With this said I hope that you as reader, especially if you are a beginner, have learned something. If you buy second hand kites or other gear, check them carefully and don’t tempt fate if you´re somewhat doubtful with your gear, wind conditions or whatever. Kite safe and don’t hurt yourself due to stupidity.

Related External Links

Airush 2012

Posted by kite2012 On December - 4 - 2011

It seems like 2012 can be Airush’s year! Airush has released many new products for year 2012 and they seem to be a success so far according to reviews and videos that are floating around on the web. So what’s new for 2012? Well, there is a lot, to much for me to cover everything in this post. However, Airush has products that are something extra, the smartbar III, Varial X and the Protoy board. Let´s take a look at them!

Smartbar III

The 2012 Smartbar is a highly tunable bar with some of the smartest features on the market today. A clean, yet very functional bar. Airush has integrated the Brain Quick Release with an extentable bar and other improved features, such as:

  1. Float Integration (to prevent the bar from sinking if you drop it into the water)
  2. EVA Grip
  3. 2012 Brain Quick Release
  4. Union Rivet
  5. OS Handles
  6. Extendable Length Bar
  7. Active Removable Stopper Ball
  8. Depower Strap
  9. E-Z 4-5 Line Conversion
  10. Multiple Length Options (3 meter extension lines comes with the bar)

Varial X

Mark Pattison, the designer of Varial X says that the goal with this kite was to take the depower, relaunching and forward speed from the previous Varial, and combine this with the unhooked performance, direct steering and highend of Vapor X. The result was the Varial X, a concept that is called SL-C i.e. a hybrid between a SLE kite and a C-kite. A kite for those who are looking for the unhooked, boosting and direct steering that comes with a C-kite, yet with a clean 4 line setup.

The Varial X sits further forward in the wind window than the Vapor X and it also flies faster through the wind window. When you sheet in the bar to the bottom the kite with surge forward to the edge of the wind window. This is something that gives you a great vertical height when jumping. The Varial X needs airspeed to develop power, so you can’t really park it and expect that the kite will act as a truck. The kite is constantly seeking its way forward to the edge of the wind window which might punish those who prefer to just park and ride, but in turn reward those with good flying techniques.

Protoy Board

Airush combines super slick design with the latest patented ACTIVE.

The Protoy board is as flexible as a PU (PolyUrethane) board, but made in high modulus carbon fibre, which gives the board much more reflex and at the same time makes it stronger.

The ACTIVE technology doesn’t prevent the board from flexing, but it prevent the board from breaking under extreme loads, for instance if you land hard after a jump.

Airush claims that this board is 20% lighter than a standard sandwich construction.

The image to the left shows an exploded view of the Protoy board.

  1. Diamond grooved EVA ultragrip traction
  2. Lightweight spray finished, sanded back.
  3. 40 GM protective layer
  4. 101 GM T700 Carbon biaxial lightweight carbon outer skin.
  5. High strength, optimum flexibility and lightening fast response.
  6. Heavy duty double glass reinforcement in heel area.
  7. Corecell san foam high density layer for strength and reduced weight over wood.
  8. 40 GM lightweight base layer for sandwich.
  9. Patented active stringer.
  10. High density foam reinfocement in fin areas.
  11. Corecell san foam high density layer for bottom deck.

The protoy board also comes with a surfinz adjustable box system and a carbon reinforced hexcore fin set.

I know, lot’s of techniqual stuff here… Perhaps just easier to watch this movie and form your own opinion :)

Reo Stevens and Keahi De Aboitiz kitesurf Indo GoPro HD

Posted by kite2012 On November - 18 - 2011

Reo Stevens and Keahi De Aboitiz have not only found a great spot in Indonesia for strapless waveriding, but have also been a creative while filming with their GoPro HD camera. The GoPro is attached on a stick and as you can see in the video clip it’s possible to achieve some great shots by filming in this innovative style!