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toby wilson 04-16-2007 12:49 PM

Erick's first downwinder
So Erick and I went to Treasure Island to do a downwinder to Bongos on Sunday. We got there and rode for a while with a bunch of the other locals. Got to try the Nano 9 and that kite is SUPER stable and QUICK! Anyway so we go to launch for the downwinder and Erick says “okay, launch me”. It looked like my 12M Thruster lines were over the Nano ones so I said “no, let me launch first, my lines are over yours". So I get all set to launch, Erick starts to move into position as do I and I see the Nano start to move. I’m like “Erick!!! You are dragging the Nano with the Thruster lines!!!” Skyway Scott walked over and started laughing…I had hooked into the NANO bar!!! DUH!!!

So I hook into the Thruster bar, Erick launches me, SW Scott launches him and we’re finally off on an Eclipse/Mako downwinder!!! Erick’s first by the way and in conditions that were not too favorable for a first time downwinder but Erick tore it up the whole way!!! CRAZY chop/waves, at LEAST head high if not overhead in some places…big boosts off of waves and I was finally landing some bigger ones!!! So we get into the beach and there is this family there. I am LITT OUTTA MY MIND, had to body drag into the beach and then laid on my back just to hold the kite down fully depowered. The gusts were hitting so hard that the kite was picking me up off of my back at some points. So what does Erick do? He takes time out for a photo shoot with the 2 little kids in the family while I am getting lofted behind him. I think I’ll start calling him Hollywood Erick from now on…then the family starts to walk away and Erick is about to self-land. I’m like “let them catch our kites!!”

So we finally get the Father in the family instructed in detail on catching a kite, he did a perfect job of it and I grabbed it from him and set it down and caught the Nano from Erick. I get a thought…then ask Erick “you DID remember to leave your keys here didn’t you???”. You guessed it!!! Erick has that “OH, SH!T” look on his face.

As if things couldn't get any better, some bum walks up the beach, picks up a plastic trash can and walks over to my Thruster like he's gonna put the trash can on top of it. I'm like "Don't put that there man!" JUST in time. The guy that caught my kite stopped him from putting it on my kite at the last minute. THEN, MR. I'M GONNA STEAL A PIZZA FROM THE RACE AFTER PARTY shows up and won't leave us alone, following us on his crusty old bike. By the way, he still has his rhinestone flip flops!!!

Then Dennis (Russky) comes riding in and had a friendly chuckle about our misfortune. I think he finally decided to ride on down to PAG. So for Erick and I, it’s getting colder and the sun is going down so I head off to go find a pay phone to call Amber on. I find one at 7-11 and another at McDonalds and try to call Amber collect first, then my Parents with no luck. So I just say to myself “F*%& it, I’m gonna walk!” So I start walking and hitch-hiking soaking wet in some pretty darn cold wind. After a few minutes of unsuccessful hitching I realize that my hair is blown all over the place, I'm in a shortie, LS rash guard and board shorts, bare feet and a full beard. I look just like 99% of the bums on St. Pete Beach!!! Noone is gonna pick my gnarly ass up! :)

Just as I get to the light on St. Pete Beach near “SHHH, DON’T TELL MAMA” (porn shop) and “Mermaids” (exotic dancers) I am getting REALLY cold and think to myself “I just wish someone would pass driving home”. No sooner to I think that than I look up and see guess who driving by??? My roommate MIRA!!! So Mira picks me up and drives me to TI to get my truck.

When I get back, Erick is NOWHERE to be found!!! I’m like “where’s Erick?” The kites were still inflated on the beach and I could just imagine how cold he had to be by then. At least I was walking…

Then “Hey dude!!!” Erick comes running around the corner soaking wet and shivering. “I met this really cool windsurfer who invited me to chill out and wait for you in the pool's jacuzzi at the resort next door!!!” I could have strangled him to death right then and there...J/K!

Then, to add insult to injury I get to my 12 Thruster to wrap it up and the canopy has a small “L” shaped tear in it. Oh well, the downwinder was a classic one and I’ll just remember to let Erick drive upwind next time so I can sit in the Jacuzzi while he freezes his @$$ off in the cold and wind!!! :D

invisible 04-16-2007 01:40 PM

Hmm exotic dancers in bikinis made me remember something...

I was riding at EB the other day and one of our talented female riders (won't mention names out of respect) rode by in some little black bikini thing. Being used to seeing old men in rashguard covered beer bellies, it caught me off guard and when I did a double take I swear i almost crashed my kite! If we had more girls kiting we'd all be riding like a bunch of kooks crossing lines and falling all over the place. Pathetic.

It was sort of embarassing actually. :mrgreen:

Not as embarassing as sitting in the hot tub with some dude you just met on the beach!!! WHOAH!

toby wilson 04-16-2007 01:49 PM

I don't think she'll take it that way. If you weren't looking you should have been at the Backside!!! :)

Got some pics of her we'll put up on the pic sites with her permission...smokin'!

Kamikazi 04-17-2007 05:54 AM

Good story...bad call!
Everything worked out OK but it was very risky letting someone land your kite. It could have been a disaster in those winds. Im glad it worked out but do not recommend anyone ever just let a bystander land a kite, no matter how much "training" you give them on the beach.
I thought you knew better than that. If you want, I will teach you how to self land. It very easy and much safer.


inferno 04-17-2007 06:18 AM

i rode IRB solo on sun around 5-8pm, wind was anywhere from 25-35, occasional gusting to 40 near the end (i know this cause i was occasionally litt on my 9m roo and im 200lbs :) ), when i finished i just walked over to one of the signs on the beach, wrapped the leash around it and clipped it to the CL, put the kite down on its wing tip and walked over to it.... its that easy....
most people dont know how to do this but you should learn, there is almost always something to tie your CL to.... ive done it on my 13m in about solid 25 as well....

invisible 04-17-2007 10:06 AM

Not sure I would try that with a hybrid... not all of them depower as much as a waroo but it would probably work for a few of them. I also use that method 90% of the time. I launch that way too. In a pinch I've burried my board and connected it to the handle. Definately don't do this if you can't fully depower the kite.

As a last ditch option, I would generally rather release my kite on one of the back lines than get a spectator involved. If it's really windy, gently crash it first and then release... less spinning.

In most cases in a lot of wind it's a good idea to crash it before you do anything...

But, when there are two of us, we usually catch each other. We flip a coin to see who's gonna catch first. Not recommended for beginners!

We don't do any of this around people on the beach of course.. things can and do go wrong once in awhile.

bayflite 04-18-2007 06:38 AM

Christoph(from germany) lands by stalling hiz kite.
You basically get the kite straight overhead then grab the outside lines by the tips of the floaties and pull.
Kite stalls all the way to the ground straight downwind then you flag it. Kinda scary the first time you try it. I recomend having someone hold your harness the first try. Not sure if it works with bow/sle. Works great with the PL venom.

inferno 04-18-2007 07:03 AM

works with the waroo in light wind, but i would never try that on any kite in med to high wind....
(except a foil)

toby wilson 04-18-2007 09:38 AM


Originally Posted by Kamikazi (Post 18261)
Good story...bad call!
Everything worked out OK but it was very risky letting someone land your kite. It could have been a disaster in those winds. Im glad it worked out but do not recommend anyone ever just let a bystander land a kite, no matter how much "training" you give them on the beach.
I thought you knew better than that. If you want, I will teach you how to self land. It very easy and much safer.


I learned to self land long ago but thanks for the offer. Everyone takes their own calculated risks and uses their best judgement out there. In my opinion, the winds were too high for me to safely attempt a self-landing of a Thruster much less have another rider attempt catching it with a kite in the air. So I pulled the Father of the family aside, took the time to carefully explain what he should expect in assisting me and all was VERY smooth. It is the people who don't make things clear to their assistants that have the issues. I am confident that I could teach an ape to catch my kite if I had to. If that is one of your personal limitations, sobeit but in that scenario I will ask if someone is comfortable helping me and take a minute to properly instruct them how to catch my kite any day. Just personal preference I guess.

TampaBay Noob 04-18-2007 09:47 AM


Originally Posted by toby wilson (Post 18315)
Just personal preference I guess.

I've done it as well....launching too. No problems whatsoever if you take the time to properly instruct the individual. It's not rocket science and in sunday's wind, self landing would have been a very bad idea.

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