A big thanks to the guys at Extreme Kites
of St. Augustine, FL, USA for organizing
this great event! For storm refugees from South Florida, no power thanks to
Hurricane Wilma, it was a welcome get away.
Zooming in from space to St. Augustine.
The venue, just north of Matanzas Inlet. Wide open sandy beaches, few bystanders, shallow waters with little
or a lot of waves depending on where you are and WIND! It is a park so have a care out there and be sure to
check with the guys at Extreme Kites for guidelines to keep us flying there. Last fall this coast had the
state record for honking strong winds for almost an entire month. Checkout ikitesurf
for last October, smoking by Florida standards!
We even had WIND for the event with no squalls in sight. A bit more wind on Saturday, shown above less
some of the actual gusts, than on Sunday shown below. It was a good set of conditions to evaluate the
flat/bow and C kites in.
A view of the centuries old fort, Castillo de San Marcos. St. Augustine is an OLD place. It was first discovered
by the Spanish in 1513 and passed back in forth between the British, Spanish and Americans in sucessive
centuries. More about the colorful history of this place HERE
The locals are low key, friendly and helpful (Thanks Joey!).
The organizers included Daryl of Extreme Kites, flying into sheltered waters ...
to throw one and look down over the inlet.
Pat also of EK working hard assisted by his lovely daughter. Eddie, Paul, Linda, Jim and more!
You pass right by the shop on the way to the launch on SR A1A. The area reminds me a lot of the
Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Let's get rigged up.
A bunch of kites were available for demo, including Cabrinha Crossbows, Swtichblades, SS Turbo Diesel,
Ocean Rodeo's One Kite. There was a Wipika Indy along with a bunch of new C kites like RRD and Slingshot
kites. A bunch of photos of the kites appear in this writeup.
There likely would have been even more demo kites and guys from South Florida but for the hurricane
gas shortage (HINT: make it to Port St. Lucie and you could have easily gotten all the gas you needed).
On Sunday, I didn't rig a kite up but changed from kite to kite all day. Fun times! I started with the
Cabrinha Crossbow. I flew 9, 12 and 16 m Crossbows and in the SAME wind, shown below. I moved on to a 12 m
Switchblade later on. I weigh 195 lbs. and was on a 130 cm TT board. Thanks to Paul from Jacksonville for
providing all the demo kites and to his wife Linda for tirelessly launching and landing kites all day!
These were the winds on Sunday, when I was able to try out the variety of bow and flat kites organized by
Extreme Kites and all the reps for the event.
Starting off with the Cabrinha higher aspect 12 m Crossbow.
A view over the trailing edge of a traditional C kite and a Crossbow.
Cabrinha Switchblade on the left and Crossbow on the right in flight.
A closer view of a medium aspedct Switchblade 12 m. One of the things that sets "Bow" kites apart from
bridled "flat" kites is the trailing edge. It distorts or turns concave dramatically impacting the kite
power and facilitating the automatic depowering when the bar is dropped and expanded wind range. The
bridles and kite shape of the other flat kites also impart expanded riding properties.
Here is a look at the Cabrinha control bar. One of the balls depowers the kite while the other depowers it
through the trimstrap. To almost completely depower the kite just let go of the bar.
Gul shown again demonstrating some excellent board skills on a skimboard. I would have sworn
his feet were superglued to this thing.
Paul catered all the demo Cabrinha kites and provides kiteboarding instruction in the Jacksonville area.
Your wives, girlfriends, SO's and kids will enjoy "Old Town" in St. Aug. Tons of shops and restaurants
with an old world feel. It isn't hard to imagine you are out of the country someplace at a wind destination
as you walk along the old buildings with the wind blowing through the trees.
There was a Wipika Indy there as well but unfortunately, I was never able to take it for a whirl.
A shot of the control bar which also includes a trim strap in the hands of a new Wipika team rider based in Florida's Panhandle.
More to come with photos of the SS Turbo Diesel, Ocean Rodeo One Kite, control bars and other demo
kites at the event, some kite impressions, along with more action photos!