When you can do roundwinders or roundtrip runs. Downwinders have been popular for many years and can be blast still something different can be good at times too. I headed out today with a 13 m kite side onshore wind, from the SE. We are still being influenced by Hurricane Katrina off to the west hence the slightly larger than normal gust range. There were no squalls on the color radar or in bound on the ocean all day so it was a good day to ride. The waves were about 3 to 4 ft. with 6 foot waves in the odd breaker zone.
It wasn't that hard to move upwind with tacking and it had been quite a while since I had been south down the coast so I had at it. It worked out pretty well with heading a 1/4 to 1/2 mile upwind followed by a sizzor tack offshore about the same distance.
The overall distance of travel upwind was about 9.5 miles combined with tacks and the return trip I would guess the overall distance to be about 25 to 28 miles.
Near the halfway point of the roundwinder.
The trip upwind took about two and a quarter hours with all the tacking and beating upwind. I stopped off at kitebeach in Pompano, said hi to the guys then relaunched and headed out. I ran downwind for the trip back ripping fast pretty much downwind by sinusoiding the kite. The return took only 25 minutes!
"Round-winders" do take a bit more energy and seamanship than the normal downwinder. Still, it can be a challenge and a pretty good workout too. You may need a bit longer board with a good edge to help with riding closer to the wind. You run at least 100 yards off of guarded beaches to avoid causing problems for access. The wind is stronger away from land effects about 1/4 to 1/2 mile offshore so the running is a bit faster and closer to the wind there. Avoiding any or extended rest breaks can also add to the challenge. It is good to use fairly new stuff free of wear. I was looking at my chicken loop line after the run when I was doing some pretty powered up stuff, thinking that things looks worn. It broke shortly afterward, fortunately at the end of the run! I had used that bar less than 20 times, oh well.
What other sort of "round-winder" experiences have folks had out there?