Hi all, so I moved to Maui 6 months back and prior to this I would mainly kite in more protected lake style places. I have had a couple of instances here were I have fallen off my board and been unable to body drag back to it. The main reason for this is apart from the yellow fins the whole base is black and I lose sight of the board easily. I am fully capable of body dragging and have no issues getting to my board when I can see it. I love this board and would like to keep using it and am considering getting a gojoe purely to make the board easy to see as the top of the board is orange and obviously the gojoe is bright as well.
From what I have read so far the only real negative is that you don’t look cool . (Trust me I didn’t look cool body dragging back for a mile like a big fishing lure either when I lost it)
I try to kite on Kihei side as I don’t like the Kanaha crowds and often it’s only me and maybe another kilter or 2 ( I don’t know anyone yet that I go with)
So what I would like to know does anyone use or recommend the gojoe?
Can anyone offer any real negatives other than looking like a loser ?
Absolutely. I used one this year on holiday besause last year I lost probably 8 hours of wind after losing my board twice. I got the board back in both case as wind was cross on but had to look for it for hours.
One trick I used this year was to under inflate it when riding in surf. I found that fully inflated go joe was driving my board downwind too fast, so while learning I'd lose too much ground ever time I lose the board. Under inflated it may not fully work and not right your board top side up but would still make the board easy to spot. I only used it under inflated where I could stand up in shallow surf break as board was running away downwind from me as soon as I stand up. Once I managed to start surfing deeper out I needed full inflation.
There is one problem with goejoe. It has some stupid Ingrave symbol on the upper surface of the plastic base. This takes the skin of your knuckles very effectively when you hold the board by the handle. It is actually very annoying and painful if you are a beginner and or need to carry or body surf with board.
My experience is they need to be inflated properly to work properly (flip the board over). If under inflated I found it tended to sit a little slanted on the water and wasn't really that much more visible.
The only downsides I noticed when I still used mine were that you were more likely to catch the edge of a bit of chop as you rode along (unless your board is quite wide) and they are a little more difficult to get your feet into the footstraps because they add a level of float.
I'm all in favour of them. They are a great tool that works very well in the right conditions - particularly if you kite in places with a lot of water flow (river estuarys, high tidal current areas and the like) where the board can travel upwind faster than your can body drag upwind. No matter how "uncool" you may worry it looks, its always going to look better than walking up and down the beach looking for a board.
The main reason for this is apart from the yellow fins the whole base is black and I lose sight of the board easily.
May seem obvious but it works: Simply spray paint the bottom of your board a bright colour.
I've done this on one of my carbon boards (with straps) because they are notoriously difficult to spot in the chop.
Alternatively consider riding with bindings (boots).
In my local spot the water is quite murky so boards like crazyfly raptors ltd can be quite tricky to recover, specially when the sun is lower. Ive never used the gojoe, but kids buoy (that around the arm type) do the trick pretty well, specially if you find a orange or yellow one. And it is 10 times cheaper, and its really light. Only make sure that you find one that keeps sealed when inflated. Just attach it around the handle and go.
By the way im going to Maui in April, how is the wind at that time of the year? What kite sizes do you use?
kids buoy (that around the arm type) do the trick pretty well, specially if you find a orange or yellow one. And it is 10 times cheaper, and its really light. Only make sure that you find one that keeps sealed when inflated. Just attach it around the handle and go.
In my experience, this does not work well. Same for the wheelbarrow inner tube. It won't prevent the board to flip over. I ended up buying not only one but 2 Go-Joes for my two boards. I was tired to look for my board, while floating around in the surf, not being able to locate it.
All my boards get a spray paint job along the way as I really don’t waste time on the water looking for the board. Especially the carbon is difficult in the wash. I use the bright orange street paint and cover it with clear top. Typically I do the find only on the bottom and big stripes on the top. Oh an yes I really do t care how my boards look as long as they function as intended.
I also just bought a go joe for my son but that’s more for bringing it back to him.
I also have trouble spotting my CF Raptor LTD in dark waters and overcast weather, so painting the fins bright orange helps a lot! No need to buy new ones, just remove, spray them on and screw them back to the board.