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venerdì, dicembre 16, 2011

I'm too lazy for this...

As usual, I've forget to update at least once per month this. Sorry (to me first), It has been a quite busy period, few times into the water (actually only two since October I guess) and lots of other stuff. Of course the weather has not helped too much. Usually this is the southern wind season in the Basque Country, means very strong winds and really gusty. We missed a couple of session in Laida besides the weather forecasts were showing a consistent 20 to 30kn SE winds. There have been also some days when the wind was definitely too strong (that's why I need to buy a 7m kite...).
Now, thank to La Niña we are having a quite hot winter, no snow over the Pyrenees and the Alps, high temperature also in Germany (just came back from a business trip). By the way it seem we will have big storms from now on...
In the moment I'm writing this, there's an hurricane out there:  SW winds with gusts up to 160km/h. I went to take some picture this morning and it was spectacular. 9mt waves and onshore winds... WOW. Nobody was out there of course, it's definitely too dangerous and you would need a 3mt kite. Unfortunately I'm busy also during the weekends and I really doubt I will have the chance to go kiting a little bit before the end of the year. That's sad, I still have to try my waveboard, a brand new Crazyfly 6'2" Thunder:


 That's it. Next post will be the year 2011 sailing statistics...

giovedì, ottobre 06, 2011

Broken board and some videos



Ok Guys,
I definitely finish to break my kite surf board, and this time it's my fault (although, as everyone now has been able to check the "smoking paper" building quality of the x-tech RRD Fatal wave, this should have been happened sooner or later). The obvious suggestion is - never ever - surf in a 10cm deep water, which may sound familiar to most of you, not to myself three days ago. I was surfing in very low wind condition in Laredo during mid tide, my 13sqm GIN ZuluIII and some 30cm mushing waves. Not so funny but the surfboard let me ride somehow decently. The sand bar in front of me didn't seem too deep.  But I was wrong. The fin stucked into the sand, my heavy foot pushing on the top of the deck, the cracking sound coming from the bottom and myself screaming how stupid I've been. That's all the story... and the results:



By the way, due to my usual September "lazyness" I didn't post anything for almost one month and a half. That does not mean that we didn't had any nice kite sessions. Actually my personal counter scores 4  rides (not that much though), two of which at the Pantano del Ebro. Summer is lasting too much this year, with temperatures that are still quite high. We are all waiting for the chilly north coast winds and waves.
I'll let you with to videos from the Spaghetti Production. Enjoy!



martedì, agosto 16, 2011

Kalenji Keymaze 700 + 2011 Rebel 10m

Holidays are almost come to an end. We had lots of windsurfing session here, with south westerly winds that allowed us to surf almost every day. It has been a great August time here at the Circeo / Baia Felix.

There are some good news here guys. If you read the latest post you've noticed that a friend of mine used a GPS device to track his windsurfing sessions. I bought the same device with hearth rate monitoring system and I will test it during one of my MTB session. Let's see how it works. For sure, it's also water resistant (IPX7) so I think I could use it (withouth th HR stuff of course) during my freeride kiting sessions. I will hopefully post some stuff here soon.

Yesterday I was surfing on the web and came to the surfpirates.de website which has some stuff on sale. Since the new 2012 North Kites are already available for ordering, there are some great discounts for 2011 gear. If you are not interested in having the newest stuff always ready in your quiver, it's time to spend some money and do some good business out there... I just ordered a brand new 10m Rebel, black one, for some 800€ (bar NOT included). It should arrive next week.
For sure: my 2010 10m Rebel with bar is available for sale for only 650€ shipping included. Drop me a private message if interested.


giovedì, agosto 04, 2011

Holidays!



Ok guys, I'm back to Italy on holiday since one week now, and I already scored four nice sessions (one with the kite, and three with the windsurf - yes, my beloved windsurf). The sun is finally shining over our heads, and it seems that summer time is bringing us some good thermal winds.
The best session I had can be described by the above picture: a friend of mine has a nice GPS watch and tracked down the Tuesday session. We sailed together to Torre Fico (upwind the harbor) in a nice landscape of Monte Circeo, our typical summer spot here in Italy. He's maximum speed was over 25 knots,  pretty good considering that he was sailing on a custom Temavento board and a 5.7m Naish sail. I was out with a 145 RRD X-Ride board which I borrowed (almost stole) and a 7.2m Point-7 AC-0 sail. The wind was not so strong, I didn't measure it but I bet it was not blowing more than 22 knots. Nice session, Maurizio... let's repeat (..but please remember to switch the GPS off when going home :-) )!

domenica, luglio 31, 2011

How to exchange the depower line on a 2010/11 North Trust Bar



Im writing this post because after days spent on the internet looking for some information related to the above subject, I've been able to find just a short video (see above) related to the 2009 bar which doesn't fit well to what I needed, especially bacause as you know in the latest release of the trust bar the North team added what they call "iron heart", a little piece of metal which connect the depower line to the chicken loop.  A heck of iron piece. So arm yourself with patience when trying to disconnect it.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not responsable for any mistake here. You are always responsable of what you are fixing. Don't blame on me if you do something wrong. Always check your depower line and bar before getting out to the water!

Before starting with the exchange please make sure you have one screwdriver (flat head) and eventually an hammer. Put the bar on a flat surface, detach the rear and front lines and extend them as you are going to connect them to your kite.

Once you've done this, start disconnecting the used depower line. Please make sure to remember all the passages since you won't have any problem at the time you'll need to reconnect everything. The best way is to let all the item in the same place (better if you are on a flat surface): the vario cleat, the stopper ball, the micro loop... just slide the depower line till the iron heart.

Now it comes the first problem (this is valid in my case, just read on). If you are not used to clear with fresh water you bar, you can find that the little "U" piece of metal that couple the plastic (black) part with the steel one completely stuck. Don't worry. Use the flat head screwdriver and with some little movements try to pull it out. I used an hammer in order to unstuck it (don't be too brute anyway since you can damage the iron heart); you can also use an awl and give two or three good hit on the other side, if you want.


Once you get it out, separate the plastic from the iron one. Separate the stopper ball and then the line fro the vario cleat. Well done, now you can change the depower line with the new one.

If you did everything correctly you can now follow all the passages back to the beginning. Insert the depower line (the splice must be inserted first, the pass the line through the splice). Remember to put the stopper ball and the sliding stopper in the correct position (the ball should be down the sliding stopper).
Now insert the depower line into the plastic part of the iron heart but wait,  don't close it with the U metal part.  Keep on going "back": the line should pass through the bar, again into the stopper ball, the sliding stopper, the vario cleat, then into the pulley and back to the vario (see the picture for your reference).


Ok, now the most difficult part: you need to pass the depower line through the trimline. I used and iron wire for this task: pass it through the trimline, insert it through the depower line, pass it again through the trimline. Now gently pull it till the depower line is inserted. Make a knot to fit it in the correct position.


The last part: sheet your bar all the way out as if you are depowering the kite. The depower line should have the same length (see picture). Now you can insert the plastic part into the metal one and insert the U metal ring to fix them togheter. You're done!

domenica, luglio 24, 2011

A new arrive: GIN ZULU III



I recently bought a new kite, a GIN Zulu III in a 13sqm size. Yesterday I tested it at the Pantano del Ebro spot, at around 1h and a half car ride from Bilbao, a typical summer spot in the Cantabria autonomous region here in Spain. The wind was not too strong and was really gusty but I had some fun anyway. As I recently sold my 2010 Cabrinha Crossbow to a friend of mine I needed a big sail to ride in low wind conditions. As I've been testing the previous GIN Zulu II model some time ago (check this post here) in a smaller size, I decided to give it a chance.

I must confess I've been impressed by the  GIN Zulu III. First of all, the kite construction is comparable if not better than most of more advertised kites. The canopy seems to be bomb proof, the bar is spectacular with its innovative safety system. The kite has 5 struts and a 4 lines system.
In action: it turns really quick even in this big measure, generating a lot of power and allowing the rider to easily pass wind holes. The kite responds quickly to bar pressure (I tried it in the "freestyle" configuration) and it's not as hard as the Crossbow (something which I really hated about the Cabrinha kite). My impression is that it also has a wide wind range, probably more than GIN itself advertise. I will check anyway and give some more feedback later on. Check the following video I recorded yesterday which shows the turning abilities of this wonderful kite.

video

An update about the wave board I recently sent to repair. I'm in contact with RRD to see if it's a construction problem. I sent them some pictures and a complete report of the damages. Let's see if they can sort this out.

giovedì, luglio 21, 2011

Muskiz - La Arena



While I'm fighting against RRD to have my board either substituted or repaired within the warranty terms, on the last Tuesday we had a nice session in Muskiz, La Arena beach, just at 10 minutes ride from Bilbao. Conditions were inconsistent, with the wind blowing from W/NW quite gusty (I would say 14 to 25kn) and 1.5mt waves in the outside. I got into the water late, waiting for some friend, but I must say it was quite funny. I borrowed a kite waveboard and noticed the differences from my RRD: the deck is definitely more robust, the board's weight is higher. I didn't care since you I couldn't feel the heavier board while in the water; moreover a higher weight helped me out in those typical "bump-and-jump" condition of the Cantabric sea.

Meanwhile I'm preparing for holidays. I will spend almost one month back to my home country. My kites (and my wife, of course) will join me during the trip. Please, keep your finger crossed for RRD warranty (I'm not too confident, anyway...). Stay tuned!

martedì, luglio 19, 2011

X-Tech construction: too fragile?


I'm writing this post because I'm pissed off. I've been using the RRD Board since two months, and I had to bring two timesit to fix some bad cracks I've seen at the end of the sessions. I'm guessing if the X-Tech construction is too fragile for a kite board. Yes, it is light, but two cracks in a row it's really too much. The first one could be due to a bad land after a jump - I can understand - but the second seems to have been caused by my heel right below the front pad. I went out last sunday and the conditions were kinda choppy. Even if I'm loosing weight I'm still a heavy guy, I know, but I would expect a stiffer deck for this boards, especially considering that it will be used mostly in hard conditions like what we had two days ago.
I'm fed up with having to pay 30€ each time I use it... :-(

martedì, giugno 28, 2011

Berria



Let's admit it: I love kitesurfing. I love the sensation of sliding over the water, powered by the force of mother nature only, the contact with the elements, the sun, the waves, the wind. The past Saturday  has been for sure one of the best kitesurfing moment in my entire existence - said with Homer Simpson words - "'TILL NOW". I will for sure remember it as one of the best experience I've ever had. Please don't get me wrong: life's too short, don't waste it and get all you can from it.
On Saturday weather forecasts were showing some strong NE wind components. I bet that Laredo was "fully booked", plenty of people, sails, few room to sail safe and no waves, so I decided to try a different spot: Berria. The beach of Berria stays just next to Santoña hill - basically next to Laredo - going west. Thanks to the mountain, when the wind blows from NE direction it accelerates (because of the Venturi's Effect),  so typically you got 3 to 5 more knots there. Somehow gusty on the seashore, but pretty consistent a few meters far away from it. The landscape is spectacular anyhow, so even if you don't sail I really suggest you to pay a visit. If you sail, well, you also got waves there since the beach faces north and there's not obstacles for the swells that are coming from , so you know...
I arrived there late with my wife, and got into the water as soon as I could inflate my 10sqm Rebel. Lots of windsurfers, just one kite was in the water. Small but funny waves let me properly (as a "wave beginner", of course) test my mono directional board. As usual I shoot and edited the video above: I can promise you won't waste more than 4 minutes of your time watching it. Enjoy!

sabato, giugno 18, 2011

The biggest wave I've ever ridden - Ben Wilson



wind is blowing quite strong out there, with pretty consistent swell coming in. Time for some action, so I'll be quick. Like Ben Wilson and that monstrous wave.

lunedì, maggio 30, 2011

martedì, maggio 24, 2011

New board in my quiver


...a RRD Fatal Wave 6'0", year 2010. As you may notice, it's a monodirectional board. I've had the pleasure to test it during the last kite session we had in Laredo: not the ideal conditions so far, low tide,  light wind (no more that 15kn onshore) and just 1m waves.

By the way, It has been one month since the last post in this blog. No excuses except my laziness. That does not mean that I didn't sail: as previously stated, thermal wind season started more than one month ago, with Laredo working pretty consistently. I'm recording all my 2011 kite sessions (yes, no windsurf anymore... did I tell you I'm selling almost all my windsurfing gear?) on My windsurfing Session site (check it, my nick is Surfcanarias) and up to now I scored 21.... not bad but surely I can be improve this.

Last but not least check the latest picture my friends took in Laredo. Some nice jumps, carves and on. Thanks Manu!

lunedì, aprile 25, 2011

An Inspiring short



This is what I call an "Inspiring video": 20 minutes that are worth spending. Nothing really related to Surfing, but I promise you won't be disappointed.

We had some good kite session here during the last two weeks. In Laredo the wind season just started, and we had some consistent days with some small waves too. I believe that the time to buy a monodirectional board has come. In my whishlist there is also space for a new kite - probably a smaller one, let's say a 7sqm wave - for those days where the wind is stronger than usual. I will probably sell my Crossbow, my too big, slow turning kite, so I would need a 12sqm kite for those light wind days. In one of the latest session I tried a Naish Torch from a friend of mine and I had very good sensations, rapid turns and quick response to the bar. I need to try more kite eventually, let's see if I'll be able to find the perfect match.
Resuming it all, the ideal equipment would be 13, 10 and 7sqm kites, twintip + monodirectional board. That all. Now I got a 13 sellable kite + a 10sqm Rebel (that I'm in love with) and a twintip... need to invest some money in.


That's why I'm selling my windsurfing gear! If anyone is interested here's what I still have:

- Hot Sails Maui Fire, 5.8, perfect conditions (used three times) year 2009
- Hot Sails Maui Big Waves Mast 430 RDM, 90% carbon, new (same as above, used three times only) year 2009

Drop me a private message if interested. The Equipment is available in Bilbao area, pictures are available on request.

giovedì, marzo 31, 2011

Fuerteventura - March 2011




We've just come back from Fuerteventura, Canary Island, where we spent one week off... I took the opportunity to try the KiteHero accessory with the GoPro and the video above is the result.
We've been quite lucky: the wind never stopped blowing during the whole week. I managed to kitesurf almost everyday, if we exclude the only day when the wind reached more than 30 knots (getting out with my 10sqm Rebel would have been really crazy).

Let me spend some word about this trip and off-season holiday. We booked the flight ticket, the hotel and car rental really late (just one week in advance). Price was quite ok, especially if we consider that due to the current geopolitical situation in North Africa and Egypt almost all tourists were diverted to Canary Island and most of the hotel are fully booked till October. We stayed at the Melia Gorriones which is in front of the spot, few hundred meters from the Rene Egli Wind and Kite center. The hotel is quite good, food is delicious (well, especially after 4h kitesurfing), some pools for the baby and your couple... maybe too far away from night life (Costa Calma is 10min from there by car, but if you really want to live the Spanish "marcha" you should go to Puerto del Rosario, 45min drive). If you like waveriding I strongly suggest you to go to the north part of the island to El Cotillo and to Corralejo (Flag beach). Unfortunately I discovered this two spots (especially the first one) only the last day we stayed on the island, and they are both incredible. I can't tell you more about flag beach since there were no wind that day. We moved to El Cotillo (which in reality is a small fisherman village) and there were 20/25 knots cross shore, and 2mt waves. It was too late to get into the water so I just stood at the cliff and watched the show.

domenica, febbraio 13, 2011

Broken Kite



I've been waiting for one month and finally, yes, the wind's back again. Unfortunately today a nasty gust lifted my kite... and broke it, somehow. I'm really pissed of...

mercoledì, febbraio 02, 2011

RC Helicopter and GoPro



Somebody sticked a GoPro Camera to a RC helicopter and took the video above. More or less this is something I would like to do with a Parrot Drone. Nice and interesting project.

I'm sorry but since the last sessions we had at the beginning of January, we didn't have any opportunity to get into water. No wind and very few waves. Luckily this week things will change a little bit, a consistent swell coming from the north is going to hit the Basque coastline. Time to get into the water again.

mercoledì, gennaio 26, 2011

Mavericks, Injured surfer



Talking about big wave riders: some days ago, Joacob Trette was found unconscious after wiping out at Mavericks, CA. Trette was rescued by a jet ski in the impact zone after being dragged by 25ft wave. Trette was taken to hospital and placed in an induced coma. He has since regained consciousness. 

Francisco Porcella


Tow in at Jaws 2 Nov 2010 from Happysurfer on Vimeo.


Let me spend some words on this guy here. Francisco was born in Sardinia, Italy. His father Pietro was one of the first windsurfer in Italy and it seems that his mother was windsurfing during her 9th month of pregnancy. Can we say that Francisco is one of the youngest windsurfer ever?
During year 2000 he convinced his parents to move to Maui and convert himself in a professional athlete. At age 25, he's a windsurfer, a surfer, and a big wave surfer (which is not the same).
Francisco is now probably the best Italian representative of the PWA tour. There's a reason for that. Just watch the video above...it's not windsurfing, I know, but if you manage to surf a 25ft monster waves you surely have all the skills needed to become a champion. Have fun!

martedì, gennaio 25, 2011

Kelly Slater and Pipes


Slater from Future Enigma on Vimeo.


No wind, no waves during the last two weeks. Let's delight our eyes with this video: Kelly demonstrate, once more, why he's considered the best surfer of all times.

giovedì, gennaio 20, 2011

Practicing SUP


Iniciaciòn SUP - Somo, Cantabria - 15.01.2011 from Francesco Fucelli on Vimeo.

Last Saturday Northwind Kite surf school organized a stand-up paddle surf course for beginner in Somo, Cantabria.Thanks to the sunny and warm day and to the fact the course was free of charge lots of people attended. The organization was almost perfect, lots of paddle board available. Instructors divided people in groups so everybody could paddle "out" (actually we stayed in the lagoon for obvious reasons) and have some fun for almost one hour and a half. The video above is the result of this day.
Drawback: I screwed my GoPro... water leaked somehow into the camera housing, salt did the rest.

sabato, gennaio 08, 2011

Great start


What a start! I was just back from Italy where I spent some days with my family and friends, and weather conditions gave me a wonderful surprise: the wind has been blowing strong during the last days allowing us to sail in Kanala and Laida beach.
Not everything went well, anyway: usually southern winds are really gusty there, so you can find yourself sailing with winds ranging from 15 to 30 or more knots. It could be a nightmare. Thanks to god, temperatures at least were higher than the average for the winter season, so I didn't need to wear neoprene gloves and shoes.

On the 5th we've been in Laida sailing with the 10sqm North Rebel kite. Flat water as usual, few kites in the lagoon (actually only two!) and all the space to jump and have fun. The session lasted only one hour and a half, then the wind dropped. Time to get back home.
On the 7th we decided for Kanala, two km upwind Laida (see map here). To get to the spot, you need to park your car on the side of the main road and follow the path down to the beach. There are several steps to get there: not a problem before you start your kite session, but a big issue when you're coming back tired and with all you gear. Get prepared! Since we didn't had any idea of the wind conditions, we brought two sails with us (for me there was a 13sqm Crossbow and a 10sqm rebel). Once arrived the wind was so gusty it was almost impossible to sail. I mounted the crossbow and waited patiently.... till some fresh wind appeared. Good. It was not the best session overall, of course, but ok, who complains? At least I can't say I did several steps for nothing...
On the 8th a common friend told us that a photo shooting session with the GIN kiteboarding team was scheduled in Laida. When we arrived, the wind was already blowing strong, but the tide was so low there were few space left to sail... if the spot get crowded as usual it could be dangerous to sail there.  So we decided for Kanala once again. This time conditions were almost OK. I went into the water for the first session, which lasted one hour and a half. Then the GIN team appeared on the spot, and I took the opportunity to shoot some pictures of those crazy guys. Once the cameras stopped we get back to the water: at half past three, almost low tide and a terrible gusty wind, I keep on sailing till it was possible. The last gust (>30kn) scared me a little, I think I made the highest jump ever... but it was too dangerous, time to pack everything and put an end to the session. What a wonderful start!