Sunday, September 20, 2009

BarefootTRUTH, Kiteboarding and Blacksmiths

Sam here:

I left late Friday night after loading up with food from the Cafeteria at Kirpalu…I was hoping to beat traffic but I timed to the minuet to hit the traffic from the Tanglewood concert so after 45 min sitting in the car it was 12am and I was getting on the interstate headed for Cape Cod to meet up with Garret the Harmonica player for BFT, fellow Slacker, Surfer and aspiring Kite boarder. I got to Cape Cod at 230am and tried to find pubic beach access , I must have forgot I was on the East Coast…by 330am I settled for parking next to a vacant building which thankfully obstructed all the near by lights. I settled in to my passenger side converted to a bed and promptly fell asleep. Woke up early the next morning and drove to the venue for the Outdoor concert that afternoon. Spent the morning reading “Iron John” by Robert Bly. I spent most of the afternoon listing to the opening acts and hoola-hooping. Met up with Garret around 3, we promptly set up I line and played. We almost arranged to get a line set up on stage but that fell through as BFT was playing with another musician and he did not what to complicate the already delayed start.
I ended up setting a line up and teaching 30 people to slackline including Garret’s family. I met some real cool people Brendan, Ryan and many others. I also got a good 2 hour session in… staying on the line well over 20 mins working transitions, arm balances and boarder stance.
Next day I was headed to the ocean to surf with Garret if the waves are good and if they aren’t I will be learning to kite surf near South Cape Beach.

Garret called letting me know the conditions were flat and that he would make a few calls to track down I good place for me to teach myself how to kite board (always take classes before attempting to kite board). There are lots of safety protocols to be aware of! Having said that I figure my 5 years of Snowkiting should at least be able to get me started safely. And thanks to a local 61 year old kiter Frank and his friend Sandy I was able to safely launch.
East Coast beach parking is a beech. I found an overflow lot 4 miles from the kite beach so I unpacked all my gear from the car.
• Ozone 12m Lite Instinct Green Powerkite
• Ozone Snowkite Harness
• 2/3 Shorty Wetsuit
• Neoprene Socks
• Twisted 130 board
• My bike
• BOB Bike trailer
• Ozone Duel action pump

I replaced the rear skewer on my bike with the special one for the BOB loaded the BOB with all the gear locked the car and I was off. Within 1 mile I was faced with an unknown distance of un-rideable sand surrounded by poison ivy and thorny rose bushes. I decided to push thankfully it was only a few 100 yards before I was on semi-solid trail again.
Keeping the kite at 10 o’clock I waded out into the water placed the board (thanks WindZup for express shipping me a board) on my feet…diving the kite down then up through the power zone I was pulled up and planed out instantly I immediately changed the orientation of the board from facing down wind to cross wind and carved into the liquid ground and I was off heading out across the bay with no idea how to do a wet re-launch, self rescue, tact up wind, turn around, body drag upwind, deal with boat traffic and many other things I did not even know I should know:)! I had 5 good runs before I was running out of beach to land on now 1 mile downwind from where I started… luckily it was Sunday and there were experienced kiters lining the beach. I was able to signal someone on shore for a safe and controlled landing. I was getting pretty cold so I packed up my lines and started my mile long walk back to my bike….

Day 2

After a great night of meeting new friends and impromptu slackling and acro yoga lessons, it was Monday morning and I was packing my bike for the long ride back to the beach. The wind was picking up and I was prepared for a full day of learning. On my way back up the beach from my first run I met George Pare of Coggeshall Farm (see 3 part you tube series below) I asked George cuz he was the only kiter out on Monday morning... How do you stay up wind 5 mins into has explanation I could see he was searching for an example and to my surprise he said "well it takes quite a bit of muscle memory...have you ever Slacklined?" I explained who I was and mid way through he exclaimed "no way you are part of YogaSlackers I have watched a lot of your videos" He sent me off with some advice and his friend Meg unfortunately George have 6 hours of kite lessons ahead of him:) I spent 9 hours in my wet suite that day even opting to ride my bike back 1.5 miles to avoid the monstrous mosquitoes. I learned how to stay up wind on Megs 155cm board it was far easier then my aggressive 13ocm board. The most challenging part of the day was a wet launch in deep water and losing my board in deep water. I am looking forward to kiteboarding more as George and I have plans to do some Island hopping via kite with AARN Body Packs the best kite pack out there.

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