Friday, February 21st 2014 was one for the ages.
I've been on somewhat of a personal quest the last few years and saw the winds for this day and was excited. Solid red on I-kitesurf, meant for big winds. We had a lot of snow recently, but also had a short warm up with rain and I was unsure of the snow/ice conditions. I was hoping for very little snow left, and a smooth surface. Wish granted.
On this particular day, I actually warned other riders to NOT go out unless they were an expert skier and had a 6m or smaller. Only 3 of us (Matt, Kyle and I/me) were out on Mendota and that was a good thing. It was fast and WINDY. Any crashes at high speeds would have hurt and I had my binding cranked to a DIN of 13. NO way was I releasing unless it was a hard crash.
After my initial nervousness, I got into a great groove and it was just incredible how much ground I could cover in a short time frame. It was cool riding 50mph+ and it would feel like an afternoon cruise. To hit 60 though required concentration (pull in on the bar when the gust hits and hold on baby) to make sure everything was working together. I know I can go faster and hit over 70 in perfect conditions. Pure glassy ice, really strong winds and a big lake should do the trick. This was the 1 day this year that everything fell into place. Looks like I'll have to wait until next year to try to get over 70. This was a really fun day.
At one point, Matt and I were riding at full speed right next to each other which was awesome, but being downwind of him slightly, I hoped and prayed neither of us would crash.
I almost put up my 4m RPM but really wanted to try the brand new (still in plastic) 2014 - 6m Slingshot Rally and glad I did. That kite was really stable in those winds which was a great test for how it handles. I know i can go faster if we get the perfect "storm" conditions next year.
Next year, we need to set up some races on days like this and get a lot better footage. Who's in?