You know the feeling when you havn’t been kiting for a while and then suddenly a day come when there is sun and wind… lots of wind! You can’t wait to get your ass to the water and have an awesome session! That day came to me yesterday. The forecast looked very promising in the morning, perfect conditions! The forecast for the afternoon showed that you could expect some serious strong wind coming in… Unfortunately I had to be in the school from morning to 1 pm. So when I finally was home after school, I grabbed my gear and rushed to the bus. To get to my local kite spot from the town where I live you have to change bus in another small town. So I jumped off the bus in the other small town and waited for the second bus, that didn’t come! I waited for 20 minutes, then I called the bus company. I was told that the bus already had left. Impossible, since I was at the bus stop at least 3 minutes before the time that the bus were suppose to leave. I got pissed off! the buses from the second bus stop only go once per hour, so I had two options. Either wait for 40 minutes or start walking to the kitespot, a walk that would have taken at least one hour… Then I got this “brilliant” idea. Why not walk to water and simply ride with my kite to the kitespot.
I started to walk. I reached the water about 15 minutes later, after crossing the highway and a field with fences and stinging nettles.
My plan was to perform a self launch with the kite, put my clothes and shoes in the kitebag and simply ride to the kitespot. So I rigged the kite and packed my bag. Everything was set! Only problem was that the wind was picking up and I could see some rain frontals out in the sea… I had to wait to a little bit. The front pasted and I saw my chance. I walked out in the water with the kite in my hand and my bag on my back. The self launch went well and I was up on the board, yeehaaa!
What I did not really take into account, or rather denied, was that I could get in trouble if the wind picked up a little… it was in my head of course, but it was a little too late to avert the insanity project… The problem was not only that the waves were pretty high and that the wind was strong and gusty. I could under no circumstances fall into the water since I had all my clothes in the bag on my back, including my iphone, keys, money, etc… The wind was so strong that the kite, a 9m Airush Varial X got bended and deformed due to the high wind pressure, though it was pumped to about 7.5 bar. When that happened, I had to bring down the kite to the surface and wait for the frontal to pass. I was on shallow water when this happened, so my bag was still quite dry.
Anyway, I continued my ride and everything went ok, until I reached a bay where I was forced to ride out several hundred metres to be able to pass a pier and a small lighthouse. I struggled to ride upwind in 3 metres high waves and was finally far out enough to be able to try to pass the lighthouse. However, a big fucking rain cloud was coming in and I thought to myself that this is a very bad idea, but this has to make or break!
Then it happened… The frontal was right over me and the wind was so strong that the kite got deformed again. I tried my best to ride downwind through the huge waves in high speed, but I had no chance to stay up on the board with the deformed and fully depowered above my head. I crashed into a wave and lost my board in the waves behind me. Trying to bodydrag upwind to reach the board would have been pointless in my situation, so I bodydragged downwind a few hundred meters until I reach the shallow water near the beach. I pulled the quick release and managed to reach my kite. I walked up on the beach and secured the kite with tons of sand. My board was lost in the ocean, but I figured that it would get washed ashore sooner or later. I was more worried about my bag, or rather all the stuff such as my iphone inside the bag, but it should be ok considering that I had put my iphone inside my jacket and the jacket inside a plastic bag. It is in this moment that it dawns on me, the bag is not on my back!!! I gaze out over the angry sea, but see nothing but water and waves… I also realize that one of my contact lenses is gone.
What to do now? Well, I got back in the water to search for my bag and my board. My worst fear was that the bag would have sunk to the bottom and I prayed to god that the pump still would be attached to the bag providing it with some buoyancy.
About an hour later I sight something black and round floating in the water, not to far from the beach, my bag!! Totally exhausted I waded through the water, up to the bag and lifted it up, what a feeling! I carried it back on land, like I was carrying a drowned person, the bag was safe! It turned out that one of the carrying straps had been ripped off when I crashed in the water and somehow it apperantly had slipped out from the other arm when I was tumbling around there for some seconds. Everything inside the bag was soaked, everything but a small piece of bread that was wrapped in a small plastic bag.
About 2 hours later I jump on a bus again, this time soaking wet and with an iphone that is completely dead!
I shake my head over my stupidity and I know that I only have myself to blame, but nothing bad without anything good. Now I have a good story to tell and the ground rule that you shouldn’t kite alone got another dimension for me. And hopefully some of you out there will learn something from a moron like me :)