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Drone Surfing

If you happen to have a really expensive camera drone lying around and can´t think of anything else to do with it, why not attach a wakeboard rope and bar to it and go out for a wakeskate session! Before you get any idea though, this is not a cheap DJI Phantom drone – its a professional filming rig that might as well be worth what a boat would cost you.

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A new Rider is in Town

Christophe Tack winning in Leucate

Christophe Tack has won the PKRA single elimination in Leucate. The young Belgian is not only good, after all he placed Aaron Hadlow onto the second step of the podium, he also is quite a nice person with the right attitude as he shows in this video:

Mowgli’s Jungle: Chapter 01 from Sam Van Olmen on Vimeo.

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Are you riding F-One?

If you are, it is finally time for you to join the club of sensible-working-quick-release!
Yes after many years of having to depend on finding a tiny red tab to pull a velcro based quick release, F-One has decided to update their ancient system and now features a push away system which pretty much has become the standard in the kiteboarding industry.

How to update your new Push away quick release on your existing kitebar. from F-ONE KITE on Vimeo.

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5 line versus 4 line Kitesurfing

North Kiteboarding recently released a video promoting the advantages of the 5th line:

Clearly North would like you to believe that riding with a 5th line system is always better than using a 4 line bar. However, the video is not a good representation of both systems and I do wonder why North sells 4 line bars if they are that much worse.

We have been riding a lot of systems and the better part of the last 5 years it was all on our North Vegas kites that only fly on 5 lines. One issue that the video did not address is that of the kite rolling into its own lines. Now you might say that only happens to beginners but we can assure you, that from riding in waves and getting washed into your own luffing kite to misjudging a strong gust on a jump, anybody can get into that situation.

Once your 5th line wraps neatly over your rolled kite, relaunching is not a simple affair and will take a lot more time than a 4 line kite. The reason for that is that a four line kite will respond and relaunch just the same with its front and backlines crossed (after the roll) where as the 5 line system means you first need to get the 5th line off the canopy so that the kite can catch some wind and get into a relaunch position. We often see riders give up on that and rather pack down their kites or drift off hoping for help because they cannot free the line from the wrapped kite.

However, there is a solution to this – simply pull your quick release and let the kite flag out on the 5th line. Once its hanging off only that line, you can pull on one of the backlines while making sure you do not get tangled in it, and the kite will turn around catching the wind again. At this point you can put your quick release back together again and hook in to relaunch the kite. The 5th line will be wrapped around and behind the other 4 lines and although it looks like a mess, you can relaunch and fly the kite back to the beach. From there you will need to land and sort out the 5th line.

On a 4 line kite you could keep kiting with the crossed lines but here too it is advisable to get back to the beach as soon as possible to sort out the lines because of the added stress and wear at the areas of contact.

So which system is better?

It really depends on you preferences and the conditions you ride in. On a light wind day, a 5th line can make relaunching much easier and on a gusty day, a 4 line system can be a blessing. If you are using a camrig on your front lines, it is much easier and safer to mount than with a 5th line setup. What we do recommend though is to ensure that your 4 line system will flag out correctly on a single, front line. If a quick release only means that the kite will flag out on both front lines and therefore keeps flying, this can lead to dangerous situations since the kite never fully depowers.

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Are you wearing a GoPro camera?

It was not so long ago when getting a video of you kitesurfing meant to have somebody standing in shallow water or even on the beach and film you from a distance. But with the emergence of action cams and especially the wide spread success of the GoPro we can film our sessions from various points of view without any assistance.

However, on the search for even better POVs (points of view) more and more people use a variety of mounts for the camera and not always are these safe. Recently a motocross rider drilled a three-foot pole extension into his helmet, attached a GoPro camera to it, then wrenched his neck when the jury-rigged device whacked a tree. An Australian BASE jumper leaped from a ledge in Moab, Utah, did a flip, and released his parachute bridle when the lines wrapped around his chest cam. He fell to his death.

These incidents are not restricted to those sports, it spreads into all sports. The National Ski Areas Association reports that “Helmet cams are less of a problem, but we’ve seen chest-mounted cameras get caught up on chairlift safety bars.”

So can it happen in kitesurfing? Yes it can and it does which I have experienced myself. A popular GoPro mount is the Line Mount where the camera is attached to an “H” shaped mount that sits in between your front lines and is held in place through the tension in your lines. It can produce some incredible shots like this one I took while racing a windsurfer in Dakhla:

[image url=”http://www.alwayswindy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/IMGP0781.jpg” title=”Line Mount Kitesurfing” alt=”Line Mount Kitesurfing” raw=”true” alignment=”center” margin_left=”0″ margin_right=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ border=”mediumBorder” lightbox=”http://www.alwayswindy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/IMGP0781.jpg” icon=”magnify” iframe=”photo” width=”800″ height=”600″]

But things can go very wrong too. I was using the same setup while wave riding in Mui Ne, Vietnam and on surfing down a wave, the lines of my kite went slack. Since the line mount with the camera is heavy, it started to sag and swing around the lines which got tangled and caught around the camera and the mount. As the kite powered up and tightened the lines again, the kite was bent out of shape and was impossible to steer because one front line was shorter than the other. What was worse, the fifth line was caught in the mess as well so when I was being washed towards some rocks on the shore, I quick released my kite but it kept on flying and pulling although it was only connected to me via the fifth line. I had to release the fifth line too which saved me and trashed the kite on the rocks.

[image url=”http://www.alwayswindy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/gopro-mounts.jpg” title=”GoPro mounts” alt=”GoPro mounts” raw=”true” alignment=”center” margin_left=”0″ margin_right=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ border=”mediumBorder” lightbox=”http://www.alwayswindy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/gopro-mounts.jpg” icon=”magnify” iframe=”photo” width=”1050″ height=”368″]

Most other camera mounts that give you a “third person perspective” such as the extension bar by Hypoxic or also the helmet swivel mounts such as the Gospin360 are not so common in kitesurfing but I have seen them being used and I really recommend to be very careful while riding with them. As a kitesurfer we must always be aware that the kite lines and the angle at which we lean away or towards them is constantly changing. Anything protruding from your body can get tangled up in them and can then lead to accidents.

Everybody wants to be a hero and rightly so, after all, our sport is a very visual one and nothing can convey the feeling you have on the water like your own point of view. But it is important not to forget that we are practicing an extreme sport that deals with a lot of power and it is essential to be aware of potential dangers which can arise by adding more equipment to your regular riding gear. Ride safe!

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Save your Gadgets from Water while Kitesurfing

We have all been there before – you are at the beach and things simply get wet. Not a problem until your phone or the GoPro gets wet and all the rice in the world can’t save it from sea salt happily corroding the electronics and sending you off to by a new, expensive replacement.

Back in the stone age (my era) you could get a yellow, bulky Sony Walkman or more recently “ruggedized” versions of mobile phones that promise to be splash proof. Of course it’s rarely the fully equipped super phone but some dumbphone or a not top of the range smartphone.

But in recent years there have been lots of advances with hydrophobic coating and now its finally available for anybody at a very fair 20 USD per spray can. NeverWet can waterpoof absolutely anything and after watching this video you will be lining up to buy it:

It’s not out yet in Europe as far as I can tell but it won’t be long before every BnQ will be having this on their shelves.

For that price, I think it is well worth the investment to protect your mobile from the next toilet drop or kitesurf session, when you forget about carrying your phone in the boardshorts…

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ScottEVest Travel Vest – 50% off International Shipping – 27 March to 01 April 2013

We’ve blogged about the wonders of the ScottEVest before and we NEVER travel without ours!

With up to 25 hidden pockets (depending on the model) we’ve managed to carry an extra 5.5kgs each onto flights with absolutely no problem whatsoever.

FOR THIS WEEK ONLY SCOTTEVEST ARE OFFERING 50% OFF SHIPPING TO INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS.

So grab yourself this travel essential while the shipping is cheap!

Also see what else you can fit into your ScottEVest:

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • This deal applies only to non-U.S. addresses and lasts from 12:01 AM Greenwich Mean Time March 27th until 12:01 PM GMT on April 1st.  With customers all over the world, this was the best way to set up the dates/times of the sale.
  • The shipping price you see during checkout is the discounted price.  The 50% shipping deduction is taken before the shipping price is displayed, so your shipping cost is the amount that appears during checkout.  This discount applies to shipping costs only: there may be additional duties, tariffs or taxes charged by your country, but we have no control over that.
  • No promo code is required to save 50% off shipping… just check out as usual.  This means that you can use any other promo code you have (daily sale, etc.) to save on the products, and then save on the shipping!

Snowkiting or can you fly?

The summer is gone and the cold days are coming in but that does not mean the fun has to stop. Snowkiting is not only easy to learn but also a fantastic way to expand your kitesurfing skills on a 3D terrain. We will be in Erciyes, Turkey for most of March 2013 and if you have not yet tried it, why not join us this winter? Check it out!

[image url=”http://www.alwayswindy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/355637083_640.jpg” alignment=”center” margin_left=”0″ margin_right=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ border=”smallBorder” shadow=”7″ lightbox=”http://vimeo.com/51580942″ icon=”vimeo” iframe=”video” width=”640″ height=”360″]

Megaloop on Snow = Balls of Steel

Being a fan of megaloops I can say with experience and confidence, to pull the trigger on a megaloop over snow, at that altitude, is not a trivial feat. It definately makes us look forward to our Snowkiting trip in March to Mount Erciyes.

httpvh://vimeo.com/51880541

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Kiteboarding on the Cook IslandsKitesurfen auf Cook Island

Ever wondered how it would be to kiteboard on the Cook Islands? Here is a short but sweet video of Kitesurfer Katie Potter, enjoying the paradise life there.

httpv://vimeo.com/47849640