sabato, maggio 31, 2014


Spanish gov't confirms oil exploration off Canary Islands - PLEASE HELP SUPPORT SAYING NO TO DRILLING  off the coast of Fuerteventura 

More info here

lunedì, maggio 19, 2014

North Trust bar 2012 issues

In the picture above, a North Trustbar 2012 (bought may 2013) which has been used for something like 30 to 40 kite sessions. Beside the fact North is well known (as a german company) to make "bomb proof" kites, I cannot say the same for the trustbar (I got several different models, 2010, 2011 and 2012), especially in terms of durability (which by the way should be considered as an investment, security and moneywise). 
First, the very well known problem with the depower line, which wear too fast and its a pain in the ass when you need to change it. Looking around on the Net, it seems that one way to solve it is to put some wax on the rope to limit its consumption. Anyway, this should be a problem that North customer shouldn't solve on their own. 
Second, it seems that the Trustbar could potentially has some security issue with the fifth line as  the redline could get stucked in the vario cleat. I experienced just once in the hundreth of  session I had in the last three years, but still this could be lead to dangerous situation since 100% depower is not assured anymore in case the red line is not free to slide. North should be aware of this and improved the vario cleat design in the >2013 Trustbar model which now has a 5th line channel allowing the red line to pass into it. Still, <2012 as="" aware="" be="" compromise="" div="" issue="" it="" might="" of="" security.="" should="" this="" users="">
2012 vario cleat
                         2013 Vario cleat
Moreover, the velcro strap isn't really reliable, and the depower line often get tangled over the front lines. Still, 2013 model should have improved the stiffness of the depower line inserting a red plastic line.
Third point, and this is a quality issue,  is related to the EVA grip of the bar, which often peels off the bar itself. Mine started peeling off just after a few use, and now is completely unusable. It seems this is a common problem (see here) also in the 2013 bars, something that you wouldn't expect from a 400€ bar. Luckily I registered the product with North and have 6 months warranty extension. I sent an email to the reseller (Surfpirates) and they will send me a new bar (plain, of course) for free. But just in case I reordered a depower line too...

21.05.2014 Update #1
Just received a brand new 2014 plain trustbar directly from North. I will have now to substitute all lines (including the f**king depower one). I also discovered that one of the frontlines appears to be overstretched, I will probably have to change it.

30.05.2014 Update #2
Just found out that the irohead is completely oxidized. While hammering the f@@ing pin out of the pinhole (Thanks North to make things a little bit more practical) to  the ironheart broke in two pieces. No way. I got a new bar, lines, a new depower but I miss the iroheart, let's see if warranty claims will sort this out.

venerdì, maggio 16, 2014

GoPro Accessories: broken quick release buckle

So, just a couple of recomendation for your GoPro shooting when out in the water: always

 1) tether your camera to your board/helmet/kite
 2) use the buoy attacched to the back door (if possible)
 3) use the rubber locking plug which comes with the quick release buckle.

Nothing new I guess for you all, and everything is well described in the video tutorial from GoPro.

Not following the steps above could cause loosing your camera. Trust me, I'm experienced in that.

Never, *NEVER* trust a single protection mechanism (that's why the word "redundancy"). I lost two GoPro camera in the sea, and one got soaked in salt water - and it is always been my fault. I'm so excited to get into the water that I forget to proceed through the three steps above (again, redundancy) and one protection mechanism fails. And - believe me - it happens quite often.

Please, GoPro staff, I would prefer buying original accessories/mounting systems if they would only be more reliable than they actually are:

This buckle broke on its own. No crash, just the typical bumping of the surfboard when sliding on the water. Tether leash saved my 4th gen GoPro to be lost in the sea.

martedì, maggio 13, 2014

Wizmount backpack review

As you probably saw in the latest post, during the shooting in Fuerteventura I've been been using different mount systems for my GoPro Camera (I call it my 4th generation GoPro Hero camera since I already lost/break three of them). Most of the accessory can be easily found on the Internet, either original ("expensive") or "chinese" made (check out at which in my opinion are as good as the GoPro ones.

Recently I've been looking for a backpack mount too give my shooting a better look and a different POV. At the beginning I was thinking in building one on my own but my skills on DYI projects are poor and most of all I have very little time to spend on this stuff (by the way, if you have time check the following blog which is full of useful hacks for your GoPro camera). I moved to one of the few orderable on the internet, the Wizmount and the VuVantage. Final decision was for the first one, simply because it seems to be the most available on the online shops (spare parts too).

The Wizmount is a well built, lightweight backpack. The backplate is made out of rigid plastic, stiff enough to provide a decent attachment to the aluminium poles. When I put it on I barely feel its weight making it quite comfortable. The backpack is provided also with some extra pads on its back providing extra comfort for action sports shootings.

The camera mount is composed by three aluminium poles which can be attached together and can be fixed using specific joints. The poles slides in to for a telescopic system and can be rotated in virtually thousand of different shooting positions, and come with a specific GoPro attachment which permit to rotate you camera 360º and pivot it on the horizontal axis. Unfortunately Wizmount provides traditional screws which in my opinion are useless since to fix the camera you are supposed to use a screwdriver, something you can easily miss just before your shooting session. I substituted it with the traditional knobs from GoPro which are more practical.

I also strongly suggest you to buy or build a safety leash for your camera, especially if you practice water sports. It can be found online or if you want you can build it on your own (as I did) spending a few bucks in the local hardware store.

The cons: Though the Wizmount offers virtually thousand of different shooting positions, it is a pain in the ass to find the correct angle each time you want to shoot. I use it during my kiting sessions, and getting prepared could take you 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to strongly tighten the pole and the camera together or they can slide back, ruining your shootings without you can even realize anything till you end your session.

Overall, I am quite satisfied with the backpack. It provides a good POV for your shootings, at a decent price. There are in my opinion some improvements to be made from Wizmount, but it is definitely worth the money.

Laredo - WizMount


lunedì, maggio 12, 2014

One Year (or more) later...

I'm always surprised to see how much life changes in one year. If I look back to my latest post in this blog, dated on January 2013, I realize that in such a short timeframe lots of things have happened. You never get bored... even if it seems your day by day life is actually boring - you know, same work, same activities and on.

Well, my last year has been quite intense, my second son was born in august and from there on I forgot what the word sleeping really means. And guys, it is really harder to get into the water when you have to take care after two little devils. Their mother will certainly help, but it's not enough. I discovered the time available through out the day is alway shorter - like two or three hours out of 24 are always missing. But I will try to keep this up to date, as kite is still my passion.

I recently spent some holydays in Sotavento, Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) where I scored six out of six days with strong winds (average 27knots). Good weather, good friend and lot of fun. Check this video out, brought to you by Spaghetti Production as usual ;-)