My first intro to kiting was in the Columbia Gorge when I saw Cory Roeseler kited by me at Swell City heading down to the Marina. It was unreal!. This was in the late 80's. The next exposer was in Maui in 99. I was there for the month and for the first couple weeks I did not see anyone who could actually do it. The kites were Wipika 2 liners. One day while windsurfing in Kihei, Elloitt Leboe unrolled a flexifoil kite and set up. I watched. It was so good! He jumped to the moon!!!!
I started with a 2 line Naish AR 3.5 9m, Naish 7'6 Sky Pirate and a video. No such thing as a trainer kite. The big deal was the 4 line kit for the AR 3.5, which started the depower era for me. That summer (2000) the second big thing in kiting came out(first was the original kite) the Naish AR 5. Moving from directionals to TT's, JL pickle forks, LW Dave TT's with boots,Hanna crew asymmetrical's etc.
I like to think I invented drift launching. We do not have a beach at most of my local spots so it was that or wait for someone to help launch your kite.
The next big thing was of course the bow kite. Thats where we are now. I think we are in a period of great equipment that is being refined for ease of use and safety.
It was a great time to be in close to the ground floor. I went to Maui the fall of 2000 and kited with the legends of the sport, Lou,Flash, Elliott and Chris Gilbert( Julie too!).
Ride a C kite if you get the chance. If you really want to experience a flash back and have a stopper on your CL(Slingshot),put it all the way in and edge baby!(dont be near anything...lol). It was fun,still is ,always will be!
Here is the video "upwind- launch of a sport" that I uploaded to the pirate bay. Torrent file. Sorry if people don't like that website. I never had any problems. Great vid, worth a watch and you can see some of the crazy ideas people started with. http://thepiratebay.sx/torrent/7915650/ ... of_a_sport
It is always nice to look back and remember all the fun we had the last two decades. But where do you belive the future is taking us? Is the next big thing comming in freestyle, waves, big air, race, foil, slalom ? What will be THE thing the media will look at kiting at in the future ?
F One foil kites. We started on these in NY in 2000. They were three line foil kites with the third line being used for relaunch. I had a 5m, 7m and 9m. The 9 had 40 meter lines.
They also made a 170 cm twin tip. I rode that board for a while and cut it down with a circular saw down to a 150cm.
Those kites were hilarious. Someone would hold the kite and bridal fly it straight downwind until the kite filled up and then they would let er rip. The rider would get dragged until the kite hit 12:00
I remember back in the early days that 80% of those who tried kiting got scared away.There was no room for error.Saw more people getting dragged hundreds of feet,some cuts,abrasions,broken bones.Sadly also knew personally 3 that died. Now every kook can learn and enjoy! Still see many getting dragged around though,the more things change the more they stay the same!
Upwind video pretty much nails it. Missing in that is the Peter Lynn stuff which was in the same time frame as Cory Roessler stuff in NZ. PL and crew was doing amazing stuff in those early days too. Too bad they didn't get on the LEI gig soon enough. The pro rider was Kane Hartel I think.
I had a cquad 4.2 in 1999 and learned on that to ride upwind that summer on a 6ft directional. It took a while but man it was adrenaline like i never felt since. Next kite was a 16m airblast ...woohooo