On our second downwinder yesterday, I ate shit in THE impact zone. Worst place it could happen over the whole 4 miles.
Kite in the water. All messed up.
Board. SEEEE YAAAAA! Gone
25 minutes in the water. The suit was getting flushed every 30 seconds. Freezing and fatiguing.
Thank God I wear a Life Preserver!
Lynch and Farly were staying close and doing the occasional passes. It certainly gave me confidence knowing that they were on standby.
I kept the kite attached. Huge waves would fill it and take me for a ride; an underwater, hold your breath with a hand on my safety, high speed, ride.
It was easy to stay off to the side so I wouldn't roll into my lines. This also minimized the tugging. However, this doesn't put your kite in a great launch position.
No matter, she was all messed up.
I dragged through the outer break. Getting tossed and rolled.
Then I got kind of lucky dragging on in. There are gigantic boulders and rocks at this stretch.
Then I got to another impact zone. Waived my arms so Lynch could find me. Popped my safety, (worked nice under considerable load - LF CPR). Ditched the kite, got f*cking tossed. Didn't hit anything solid. But I did get held down by two waves. Double hold down in a pfd!
Lynch zoomed in. I reached up, grabbed his harness, and he pulled us to the beach on his 7m. I was calling out the bigger waves so he knew when to power his kite, as we were both body surfing in the bigger waves.
I recovered my kite and board about a mile from one another. Man was it a long walk watching the best waves I had ever seen. Mind you, it went to about 15 degrees offshore when a front hit.
So anyway, to everybody heading out in the sh*t...
-Wear a thick suit. 6/5/4. (A drysuit would not have held up IMHO)
-Wear a Life Preserver! I may have expired without one.
-Nutrify between downwinders. I had a beer. No water or food. I was exhausted.
-Head out with Lynch or equivalent.
-Read that "Wave Day Safety 13/14/15"
Last, some waves are irresistible but must be resisted. The whole thing happened because I dropped in on a head and a half, mountainous, wave face. There was no way the kite could stay in the sky.
What a day. I think I had 4 of the top 10 waves of my life.