Island hopping

DPP07DE0A02013801After a winter in the Southern Hemisphere, Island hopping in autumn up North sounded like a great idea…
For a moment there, I sounded like a trust fund sponsored kid… Ok reality check, I had to travel to Italy and a quick 4 day get away in Sardinia was on the cards (man that ferry is expensive and uncomfortable!) To that add a cheap flight to Fuerteventura to visit my friend and team manager Gunnar Biniasch for a week. Borrowed cars, and inflatable mattresses… that sounds more like it! But hey I ain’t complaining!

Sardinia
The Sardinian trip really was a last minute decision, and of course with only 4 days there, I was taking chances to encounter kiteable conditions. Armed with one Peter Lynn Fury 15, and a 10, 5 / 9 / 7 Peter Lynn Swell, I felt like I could deal with whatever Eolio threw at me.

With pretty dismal weather forecast, I was looking at 4 days of eating and sight seeing (Cloudy windless weather predicted). This time however, the guru got it wrong and the wind blew 3 out of 4 days.
Staying once again near San Teodoro,  I got to catch up with my friend Emerico and crew from the Wetdreams kite school and shop at La Cinta. It was nice to find them more relaxed with the end of season in sight and being able to enjoy some water time together.
3 days of fun conditions! The 15m Fury did come in handy coupled with my Underground FLX 135 while the wind hovered around 10 / 12 knots. But once it picked up the Swells‘ got unpacked and I got to ride the 9m and the new 10,5 m enjoying them as free-ride kites.

 

The Swell 10,5m

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Let me first come clean; I am not a fan of big kites. And I will admit that I am a spoiled kiter with 7m conditions at home far too regularly. Of course if the wind is on the low end of the scale, I would rather have a big kite than sit on the beach thinking about it. However, given the choice, I prefer a 7m session any day!
But… the 10,5m is surprisingly fast and was still fun on a twintip. At the spot “La Caletta” I was staying upwind and jumping while most other kiters on 11m and 12m were struggling. The 10,5m Swell generates a lot of apparent wind due to its maneuverability giving it an awesome low end.
I look forward to trying it out in the waves back in South Africa on those low wind days.

The FLX 135
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During the whole winter in Cape Town, I mostly rode waves. So it took a little to readjust to a twintip. The Underground 135 FLX (That I’ve had for the last 6 months) is a great free ride board with loads of flex and a super smooth ride. It absorbs all those nasty hard landings sparing your knees. With it’s flat rocker, it performs great in marginal conditions. A great board for the Med.

Fuerte

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It had been 5 years since my last visit to Fuerteventura. Great to be reunited with my team mate (manager) Gunnar Biniasch. It was also great to revisit those spots: Flag Beach, Cotillo beach, Cottillo Lagoons. But to also get to ride some waves as I had previously visited only in the summer. We were also on a mission to shoot some video footage with the New 2015 Peter Lynn Escape which Gunnar will be editing over the next few weeks.

After a quick catch up, a good night’s sleep and a re acclimatization to island vibes (took 5 minutes) we headed to the beach to try the new Escape.
The accessible spots are crowded and some of the water users are on the dangerous side, not all of them having absorbed the wisdom and calm the ocean seems to give me. So after surviving a head on collision with a windsurfer (accidents happen to everyone) I managed to claim my space and have some fun

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The 2015 “Escape”
IMG_3131EOnce again Peter Lynn have produced a 4 strut kite which is has an amazing “ease of use” component that makes getting on this kite an absolute delight.
After 5 minutes on the kite I was throwing my limited range of Twintip tricks with ease and landing them. It is a kite I would recommend to anyone wanting to progress in their kiting as it is so forgiving and is super stable.
Great all rounder.

The last day was spent riding waves off a reef to the right of Flag beach which was fun once I had worked out where all the rocks were… As the sun set on the Island hop I packed my bags and chilled out with Gunnar reminiscing on old days and dreaming of days ahead. I got so chilled that i managed to leave my board bag behind and had to rely on Gunnar’s F1 driving skills to do a return trip home from the airport to get my board bag to me with 5 minutes of check in time to spare. The reward for that brain fart was to get the very lastseats at the back of the plane, the ones reserved for midgets and amputees, right in front of the toilets.

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I would like to Thank Tania Romagnoli for all the pics and supplying accommodation in Sardinia. (and dealing with the plane seats from hell).
Emerico in San Teodoro for supplying advice and good energy.
Gunnar Bianisch for supplying accommodation and toys in Fuerte. Without you guys these trips would be impossible.

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I will be spending the rest of October in Italy Demoing The Escape and Swell kites and will then be heading back to Cannon Rocks to sink my teeth in the upcoming summer

 

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Cape town Winter Kiting

G0010936EI will admit, it wasn’t by choice that I ended up in Cape Town for 3 months slap bang in the middle of winter! June, July, August.
But sometimes, work has to take the driving seat.

I remember spending a winter trying to kite in Cape Town about 10 years ago. It was wet, and cold… And I also remembered being disgusted with the kiting conditions. Then again i thought, How bad could it really have been?

There are some radical differences with kiting Cape Town in winter as opposed to summer: The wind mostly comes from the opposite direction, it brings rain, squalls, frontal systems passing through, cold and there are also lots of no wind days

Yeah well it seems that I remembered right.

IMG_20140704_132536Cape Town Winter kiting ain’t for the faint hearted. When there is wind, it is gusty, often cross off, the temperatures are cold and the swell is generally big.

With the equipment having evolved a fair amount in 10 years, conditions where more manageable. I mostly rode waves with my Peter Lynn Swell handling all the conditions it encountered. My Underground Mazu prototype got ridden as a thruster fin set up. I will go back to a quad and make some notes.

There were a few positive things…

Every so often you get a good session, and with wind from the right, for wave riding it favors my strong side.
The kiting crowds of the summer days were non existent. I actually had a few solo sessions. At most you had 10 kiters in the water.

The waves can be really nice.
And on the odd occasion you score a really good day, with sunshine and all

KiteSurfing @ Tableview 2014 (413)E

photo by Denwin Lewis

KiteSurfing @ Tableview 2014 (329)E

Photo by Denwin Lewis

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Photo by Denwin Lewis

Photo by Denwin Lewis

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As August hit, the Whales showed up lying in really shallow. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many encounters in one session!

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I got to spend some time with some friends including Anthony Berzack (featured in some of the pics). He’s been flying the demo Swells and really enjoying them.

I wouldn’t do another winter here out of choice… but there’s still some good sessions to be had. Enjoy the pics, next stop… Cannon Rocks!! Thanks to Denwin Lewis for sharing his photos.

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Italian Kite Festival

IMG_7049Every year, there’s an unusual gathering on the Italian kiting scene. It’s called Foilpride. Getting its name from a mostly foil kites dedicated forum driven by a bunch of very passionate people, it brings together an explosive mix of characters from all over Italy.

Finding myself at the end of an unusual stay in Italy (for the season), I was curious to attend. I put the idea to Peter Lynn headquarters and they decided to send some kites to demo at the event.

And so I headed to Capalbio camping in the hope to find some wind and some open minded kiters. (I had a range of kites with me from Twinskins to LEIs.)

The beach was tightly packed with foils and Tube kites of every brand, and the wind was on the light side… And to my delight the participants were eager to meet, try and share ideas.

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Sure there was the usual “brand pimping” going on, but then again is it possible to have a kite event without it?
All in good faith as the spirit of fun and unifying passion gladly prevailed.
Kiting was king and the food of course…

So people tried kites, swopped boards, laughed, crashed, swam, flew and had a grand time. It was also nice to catch up with some old acquaintances and making new friends along the way.
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Saturday gave us the strongest breeze (13 t0 16 knots) and I managed to put a 15m Phantom up. We even got a 9m Swell into the action, showing off its bottom end.

Sunday was definitely lighter and the Fury lite 15 and 17 were constantly on the water swapping hands.
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I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and sharing stories with these “addict”.
A big thank you to the organizers for putting such a wonderful event together.

Perhaps next time in Cannon Rocks?

Enjoy the Gallery, thanks to Tania Romagnoli for taking pics… again…

Ced

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