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 Post subject: Why Bother With Downwinders?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:37 am 
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Location: Florida
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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image
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!


Last edited by RickI on Sun Aug 28, 2005 4:24 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:37 am 
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"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?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 4:14 am 
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Location: Mauritius, waterman since 1960
Hi Rick.
My last one was pretty tiring, where I spent about 2,5 Hrs fighting my way upwind through chop, currents, and gusts in overpowered conditions, to return downwind again with the kite almost overhead as the wind just kept increasing throughout.
The downwind took 15 mins to cover the same distance.
I am not too keen to start that again.
Regards
Nico


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 4:15 am 
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Location: Mauritius, waterman since 1960
Hi Rick.
My last one was pretty tiring, where I spent about 2,5 Hrs fighting my way upwind through chop, currents, and gusts in overpowered conditions, to return downwind again with the kite almost overhead as the wind just kept increasing throughout.
The downwind took 15 mins to cover the same distance.
I am not too keen to start that again.
Regards
Nico


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 6:23 am 
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Location: Small village
RickI wrote:
"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?


Hi Rick,

Do you take advantage of the small changes in wind direction to increse your upwind efficiency ?

Using this technique, you can go upwind better, with less effort.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 12:55 pm 
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Nico wrote:
Hi Rick.
My last one was pretty tiring, where I spent about 2,5 Hrs fighting my way upwind through chop, currents, and gusts in overpowered conditions, to return downwind again with the kite almost overhead as the wind just kept increasing throughout.
The downwind took 15 mins to cover the same distance.
I am not too keen to start that again.
Regards
Nico


Hello Nico,

You hit it on the head, there are fun roundwinders and then there are those that are a pain. The problem is sometimes you may not have a lot of choice in doing one on the odd occassion. Chop, adverse current, a poor wind direction, an injury can all make it a pain in the butt making you keep asking "when is this going to be over?!" Most of us have had those sort of sessions at sometime.

When things come together it can be fun though. Who knows someday it may come in handy and in the meantime it is something different with no worries about driving back.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 12:57 pm 
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abel wrote:
RickI wrote:
"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?


Hi Rick,

Do you take advantage of the small changes in wind direction to increse your upwind efficiency ?

Using this technique, you can go upwind better, with less effort.


Hello Abel,

Excellent point. I mentioned riding further offshore with slightly stronger winds for that reason. Also when the wind shifts away from side onshore to closer to onshore you can make more ground upwind. It is a good thing to use.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:44 pm 
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Location: my own little world
I'll take the cake.

You can keep the gruel.

sure going upwind can be challenging,
and it is a good skill to have
but honestly, I'd rather ride waves
especially if its just enough to go

beating upwind is only good for me
when I'm coming back up to the point
after a good ride down the line

usually you dont see people hooting and smiling beating upwind
most look like they are squeezing out a dry turd
a situation that feels better after its over


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 3:06 pm 
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Going upwind, yesterday anyway was fairly easy. It isn't always like that particularly with smaller boards (i.e. don't even try it unless you are really dialed in).

The somewhat hairy part, particularly with a bit of fatigue from the trip upwind was running downwind in the mid 20 mph range. You don't have much to lean against are balanced forward on the board and not really edging. A wipeout in which only one foot comes out of the board could really hurt. You can't park the kite and ride near downwind so you have to sinusoid it gently and time your power stroke with gusts. It took some exertion to manage all of that. If I had more time I would have tacked more against the wind than run straight down it. It is fun to go that fast and slide in and around waves, just not a lot of fun to wipeout!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:26 pm 
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Location: Gorge
When I'm in South Padre we take the taxi
upwind.

5 miles down wind and $4 cab ride back.

Pinching sucks. But dwelling for a time
where the waves are good is worth it.

How many riders and gear can you stuff
in one taxi? 8!

-Hein


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