Sat Apr. 2nd

Kitesurfing or snowkiting...if the wind's blowin'...where you goin?

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Hugh
Chop Wrestler
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:33 pm

Re: Sat Apr. 2nd

Post by Hugh » Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:02 pm

Take a peak at the Windguru forecast for this weekend in Hatteras! We are headed out early to get some goodness on Thursday and Friday in preparation for the weekend.

Hugh
Chop Wrestler
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:33 pm

Re: Sat Apr. 2nd

Post by Hugh » Wed May 11, 2016 1:20 pm

We had a once-in-a-lifetime event at Cape Hatteras 14-23 April, with a five-day NEaster at the beginning of the trip. The NEaster started on the Wednesday, we arrived on Thursday 14th, and rode the length of Avon (me on 6m Cabo and Ken Moyer on 7.5m Kahoona, both on twintips). It was very difficult riding in choppy conditions with large swells starting to form. I got caught by one big one as it broke and dropped my kite, and struggled to relaunch, but eventually got it back. On Friday we rode from Ramp25 to 32, that is, from south of Salvo to north of Avon, with the swell bigger and more regular and some nice jumping and riding, same kites and boards. Saturday the wind came down a bit, so I was on 9m and Ken on 12m, and we repeated that run with me continuing on to the north side of Avon. Finally on Sunday it reached a crescendo, with us back on 6 and 7.5m kites and the waves literally towering over us. They were like mountains you climbed on the way out, with big involuntary jumps off the top into deep troughs on the other side. I tried riding one and it was downright scary, going way too fast for a twintip (in retrospect I might have been better off on a strapped directional). Luckily it did not break and slid under me. I later tried a smaller one and caught the tip and had a bad crash, but again luckily the wave did not break. This is all far out on the outside third sandbar where some of these monsters actually broke, although only the top half. They would break properly on the second sandbar, but those were frightful bone-breaking close-out waves and I just had to jump over them on the way out and avoid them on the way in. Ken was being sensible and riding the inside between the first sandbar and the beach. I eventually decided I was too scared to stay out there and we both quit early at Ramp27. In retrospect I wish I had kept going, but the conditions were so severe any mistake could be very costly, and it didn't seem bright to be out there alone. Instead we repaired to the sound and had a good session jumping all over the place, with Big Ken even riding his 5.5m Kahoona for only the second time (first time was in the big NWester at Clinton Lake earlier in the month), and the wind recordings were consistently north of 30. It's hard to estimate wave size, but I believe the swells on the outside when they tried to break on the third sandbar were close to 25 feet faces, perhaps 15 feet on the second sandbar, and six on the first. I've experienced some big swell at Cape Hatteras before, as well as in Cape Town, but these were the biggest swells I've ever kited.

The rest of our trip was pretty mellow, with a superb NEaster downwinder from Avon to Buxton on the Wednesday 22nd, me on 9m Pivot and strapless directional and Ken on my 12m Cabrinha Vector. To end the week the wind finally turned SW on Friday and we did a very mellow downwinder from Hatteras to Frisco along with lots of the local riders, albeit with big kites and directionals. We rode every day, from 6m to 16m. Frank Scotello got a Liquid Force foil board at the end of the week and is already able to ride comfortably. I'm not yet convinced I want to go that route, but it is tempting.

I did not run into the Madison/Chicago crowd, but I hope you all enjoyed the amazing conditions. I later heard the locals were riding the NEaster down between Frisco and Hatteras at the spot we call Isabel's for the hurricane a decade ago, in slightly off-shore conditions with much cleaner and more sensible waves, so maybe you were all down there. I wish I had known that at the time, I'd have enjoyed trying that, especially on the Saturday when the wind had a bit more east in it. Maybe next time. I can't wait for our summer Hatteras trip June, and then back again in October.

Hugh

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