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Arizona Lou

Blog Archive 2011 Jul

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Sun 7/3 - Wind is back - gusting to a little over 25 mph! Did two kiteboarding sessions today. The first one was local at 10:15 for about 2 hours from
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board. I did the full kite loop progression and awesome kiteboarder Harry demonstrated some jumps for me. During the session I covered 17.3 miles and had a maximum speed of 23.8 mph.
- The second session was the famous Planet of the Apes downwinder with these four first-timers from New York. They are all originally from Eastern Bloc countries. Two of them had kite problems, but we all made it to our destination one way or another, including Rich who hooked up with us at the launch site. He was on an eleven and was overpowered with his 11m kite to the point that he went on ahead. I had plenty of power on my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 riding my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board, and did all the canals and inlets.

Mon 7/4 - Happy Independence Day! This afternoon was the first time I have ever flown, or seen flown, an inflatable kite with a completely depressurized leading edge. I crashed my 6m Best Nemesis just before reaching our destination, the second turnout north of Avon (my GPS waypoint HANOR2). The center strut fill tube popped off in a different place than before. Somehow I got the kite quickly relaunched and, by keeping it in the full power position, was able to ride across the boat channel rather than swim. That one mile downwinder, where I traveled 5.15 miles, was my second session of the day and was from the first to second turnouts with newbies, Mark and Robert. They were pleased with their progress in getting up on their boards. I was pleased with my working on various kite loop maneuvers, underpowered and with my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board. I did the full kiteloop progression except the carve healside to toeside, which tends to be problematic for me.
- The first session of the day was about an hour at
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
. Christina was taking pictures with my camera from the north sea wall point so I wore my black hat rather than helmet. I did the full kiteloop progression except the carve healside to toeside.
- Spent the night in Rodanthe

Tue 7/5 - Two sessions today: The first was the Planet-of-the-Apes run from 11:30 to 1:30 with Kurt (his first time) on his 13.5 and twin tip. It was the first planet run for me using my new Epic Infinity (15m?) and twin tip. The kite appears to be pretty good for low winds, as it stayed in the air pretty well and never touched the water. However I had to walk out of about three inlets (never had to do that before) due to lack of wind for tacking back out. Most of my jibes were with kite loops and I tried to practice relaxing while doing them. I did take both canals.
- The wind picked up so my second session, with my 6m Best Nemesis and the same twintip board, was local at
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
at 6:20 pm for about 40 minutes. I did the full kite loop progression but my jumps were puny.
- I refilled the jerry can that supplies the water for my running water system that eliminates waste and spillage. The 6-gallons last me about nine days.

Wed 7/6 - Today Harry let me try his 13m Cabrinha Crossbow for about 20 minutes. His full quiver is Crossbows and he really likes them. Needless to say, he can make them sing. Me? I could not jump with the kite although I had plenty of power. Also it seemed to turn very slowly. In spite of the kite's totally different feel I did the full progression of kite loops.
- At noon for about 40 minutes I was fully powered on my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and did the full kiteloop progression. I was wearing my black hat instead of helmet so did not try any spins.
- I cant believe I slept for one hour in the afternoon! I must have been pretty tired.
- Before sunset I took my 6 and 130 out but forced myself to not do any kite loops due to a slight left wrist pain after the previous session - only underpowered jumps, carves and pops.
- I iced my wrist three times; no more pain; researched some weather terminology; spent the night in Rodanthe.

Thu 7/7 - One session later in the day when the wind picked up. Dimitri loaned me an Epic 9m Screamer to use until my replacement 8m Best Nemesis arrives. Before the wind picked up I did a sun/walk/run-the-steps of Waves Village.
- I spent 1:07 hours riding at
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
with Dimitri's Epic 9m Screamer and accomplished the full kite loop progression except a jump with reverse kite loop. The session ended after a failed carve healside-to-toeside with a kite loop. I did two things wrong: 1) made the kite loop too tentative (too big) so the kite looped in the middle of the power zone and 2) did not lean forward away from the pull of the kite enough. As a result I was slammed onto my back and tweaked my neck. It would have been pretty entertaining to the spectators if I had done it closer to shore.
- I iced my neck and it seemed to recover quite well; spent the night in north Avon.

Fri 7/8 - The weather radar showed I had about an hour to ride before weather moved in from the southwest, so I went out with Dimitri's Epic 9m Screamer and my 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board for an hour at 3:40. I felt a little cautious after my previous session so worked on surface kite loops to gain better control of the loops, stopping the loop where I wanted to and being careful not to accidentally make a double kite loop. I occasionally even looked at the kite while it looped. I went 9.20 miles.
- Spent the night in Waves

There was no wind for the following three days, so I mostly worked on no-wind projects.

Sat 7/9 - I disconnected the driver's side electric window control switches because a couple of them were malfunctioning and I did not want a shorted switch to burn out a window motor.
- Barton of
Hatteras Island Sail Shop in Waves, NC.
used his commercial grade heat sealer to reseal the end of the main bladder of Dimitri's Epic 9m Screamer, as the velcro closure did not hold and it blew out while the kite was sitting on the
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
grass area.
- I dried out both sides of my matterass in the sun, as it got wet in last night's downpour pour.
- Spent the night in north Avon

Sun 7/10 - Adapted the 110v charger brick for my jumper pack to work with my kite pump by drilling out the center of the brick's barrel connector. The brick should still work with the jumper pack also.
- Visited at the Avon Pier for a while and met Jack Kepler, "Hatteras Jack," who told me about Hatteras Island, Keeper of the Outer Banks by Ray McAllister, in which there is a section about Jack. That evening I found the book online with my Kindle, bought the book for $5.38 and it magically appeared on my Kindle. I started reading it, having never left my van. Cool!

Mon 7/11 - Phoned and went all around trying to locate a salvage power window control switch assembly for the driver's side of my van. Chrysler in Kitty Hawk can have on in three business days for $140 and Buxton NAPA can have one tomorrow for $80. Turns out that Jarvis at Cape Point Exon has a salvage 1999 Caravan. I took the switch from it and installed it in my van; cost me $25. Now all my windows work properly.
- Phoned in and was first on the Dave Ramsey Show this afternoon, disagreeing with Dave's frequent comment that the FICO score is an "I Love Debt" score. Of course he said that I was "completely wrong." I still do not agree with him, but we're still "friends" as he says.

Tue 7/12 - Three kiteboarding sessions today, all on Dimitri's Epic 9m Screamer! at 9:10 am I went out at
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
and practiced surface transissions with kite down loops and jumps until there was an unusual lull followed by a gust. My kite did a semi-Hendenburg and gave me a pretty good jerk. I came in, chilled the back of my neck then went out from 11am - 12:17 and did the full kite loop progression, minus the carve from healside to toeside. Then from 4-6:15 I made my third New Inlet downwinder, this time with Mike and Tony from Virginia Beach. They knew the ride well and are a lot better than me. They inspired me to try a couple spins and I did my first jump jibes with kite downloops in inlets. I recorded the track on my
Garmin 201 wrist-mounted GPS receiver
but, unfornately deleted the track before doing a track back or uploading it to my
EeePC 900HA netbook
- Spent the night in Rodanthe

Wed 7/13 - No wind today, but I did a lot of driving (four trips between Rodanthe and Avon) and had yummy blueberries for breakfast that Mike Norman (from yesterday's kiteboarding) hand picked. Before leaving
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
I dried out Dimitri's Epic 9m Screamer and borrowed Susan's RRD kite bar to measure its depower range, bar range etc. Then I drove down to Avon for groceries from Food Lion, a glasses case from Dollar Tree, two hours working on computer/web at Atlantic Coast Cafe (thank you for the WiFi), a light full-body workout and shower at the gym. Then drove back up to Rodanthe for a cameo "appearance" on Beach 104 FM with Jody. Then drove back to Avon for gas and to spend the night. Whew!

Thu 7/14 - Two ocean downwinders today from Ramp 34 north of Avon on NE winds with my surf board at 11:30am and 5:30 pm.
- On the first one, with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4, I took out early, after 7.6 miles, at the Buxton Motels because I was overpowered; maximum speed: 21.0 mph; traveled 13.0 miles.
- On the second one I made it the 8.7 miles all the way to my intended destination, the old Hatteras Light House site; maximum speed: 18.8 mph; made two jibes without falling; traveled 14.1 miles.

Fri 7/15 - I missed riding today as a result of trying to do every thing right: I drove all the way up to Rodanthe and picked up my new 8m Best Nemesis kite from the Best international HQ (warranty replacement for the defective one I bought in May), tried to return Dimitri's Epic 9m Screamer but Mickey was not around, and then tried to register online for the
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
Professional Air Sports Association
Instructor Certification Program

- spent the night in Hatteras Village.

Sat 7/16 - I found good waves at the Bath House south of Frisco, but there was not enough wind to take advantage of them. I did put up my 15m Epic Infinity for some beach jumps and then did a sun 'n run there.
- I'm getting all my ducks in a row in preparation for the
Professional Air Sports Association
Instructor Certification Program
: Went to
gym in Avon
for a light full-body workout and shower
- Drove up to Rodanthe for the night.

Mon through Fri this week I attended the PASA Instructor Certification Class conducted by Chris Moore at
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
and spent the nights in Rodanthe.

Mon 7/18 - Today was pretty much lecture, since it is the most efficient way to cover a lot of material.

Tue 7/19 - We met at 7:15 this morning to car pool to Jockey's Ridge at Kill Devil Hills, NC for hang gliding lessons to experience what it is like for a student to learn something new. I flared all five flights and landed three on my feet!
- This afternoon we observed Chris give Kimberly (completely new to kiteboarding) her first lesson, which started in the classroom, went to the simulator, to the beach and then onto the water.
- After the
Professional Air Sports Association
class we all went kiteboarding for almost two hours because the wind was up and Chris needed to observe our kiteboard skills to see if we were good enough to be instructors - we were. We gave lots of High Fives as we passed out each other on the water.

Wed 7/20 - This morning we observed Chris giving Kim her second lesson. In the afternoon we gave our students their first lessons. Tom and I were teamed up to teach new-to-kiteboarding students John Harris, David Lindsey and Brian Leisenring, our hang gliding instructor from yesterday. It was cool! John, who had flown smaller kites a lot, was really smooth, demonstrating the value of coming to lessons with kite flying skills. That sold me on the idea of encouraging students to get trainer kites.

Thu 7/21 - In a lecture setting this morning, Chris reviewed the lessons we taught and did a lot of learning theory. In the afternoon, we taught our students their second lesson. All of them did well!
- After class I rode for almost an hour: the first time out with my new 8m Best Nemesis replacement kite.
- Got to bed latest in months, staying up until almost midnight reading the PASA Instructor Manual in preparation for tomorrow's test.

Fri 7/22 - This morning we had a chance to experience HQ kites (foil kites for training, snow, land etc.) - pretty powerful, but typically not suited for water.
This afternoon was mostly lecture with presentations of weather and business matters, followed by the test. Everyone passed I got 90%! All that is left for our PASA Instructor Certification is to turn in things like lesson plans and proof of first class completion.
- It seems it took forever for Ben, Kurt and me to get on the water for a Planet of the Apes downwinder after class. Ben had to go get kites from his motel, we had to pack everything in my van and then stop by Ben's motel for his Go Pro camera - and then Kurt and Ben had to untangle their lines before they could rig. As a result we got on the water about 6:30 and headed downwind. Kurt was well, let's say overpowered, on his 13.5m Best Kahoona, his only kite. After I took the dogleg canal I noticed Kurt's kite tumbling and heading downwind without him. He had released his chicken loop safety but, unbeknown to him, his flagging safety line was not secure. As a result his kite embarked on a downwinder of its own. I chased his kite down and while I was hooking its flagging safety line to my harness, Ben came along, took my board and headed to
Salvo Day Use Area, south of Salvo, NC
with it. As a result of all this, I used my kite to do a one mile body/kite drag to SDA where I delivered Kurt's kite and retrieved my board. As you might expect, Kurt was nowhere to be seen. We left word with some helpful people at SDA and Ben and I headed on north, kiting toward
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
, a distance of 3.5 miles. We made it there about 9:30 pm, well after dark and later than I ever intend to be out kiteboarding. Kurt swam to SDA and hitched a ride to KHK, so it all ended well.
- Spent the night in Rodanthe

Sat 7/23 - At noon, riding for about an hour with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board at
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
for a photo shoot by Kurt, I wore my hat rather than helmet. His camera batteries ran down twice, so there may be no photos for my website. Had I known that, I would have let him use my camera instead. Thanks for the effort, Kurt.
- Kurt and I drove down to Hatteras Village at the southwestern tip of the island for a 4-mile, one-hour ocean downwinder at 6pm from the museum to the Bath House. I was on my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and my Naish Custom Fish 52 x 17.5 surfboard with the footstraps and Kurt was on his 13.5m and his twin tip board. I had trouble (riding healside toward the waves) keeping up with him until I switched to toeside toward the waves. Then he could not keep up with me! I actually rode in the surf some with a maximum speed of 21.0 mph on a wave I caught. This is probably my best ocean session yet!
- Spent the night in south Buxton, thinking about today when I rode the sound and ocean, both with side/onshore winds.

Sun 7/24 - Still down southwest, I rode from the Museum to the Bath House again with my Naish Custom Fish 52 x 17.5 surfboard with the footstraps, only this time with my 8m Best Nemesis. I had good power on the beach, but not so much on the water due to the ocean current. At the Bath House I did my highest and longest duration beach jump yet, but was humbled by ending up face down. The kite Hindenburged and a pulley broke (maybe related events). Randy captured my kite and Amy, Megan and their dad took me back to the museum.
- Spent the night in north Avon

Mon 7/25 - I keep telling people mine is a top-ranked website. This morning I decided to put my money where my mouth was and here is the result:

My Website Search Results
Google Hits Rank Search Term Used
288 million Top Van Life
21.6 million Top Arizona Lou
16.2 million Top AZ Lou
6.75 million Top Arizona Kitesurfer
3.99 million Top Arizona Lew
3.49 million Top AZ Lew
3.23 million Top Arizona Kiteboarder
2.06 million Top retire kiteboarding
1.2 million Top kiteboarder van
692 thousand Top retired kiteboarder
6.8 thousand Top Dave Ramsey kiteboarder
2.4 million Second kitesurfer van
1.655 million Second Helen Keller kiteboarder
1.2 million Second van kiteboarder
At 12:45 I went out with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 and 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board and was working up my kite loop/jump progression when one of the steering pulleys broke. I released the chicken loop and the Cabrinha IDS system settled the kite down into the water face down and into the wind just like we practiced in the
Professional Air Sports Association
Instructor Certification Program
. I walked in from .35 miles out. I replaced the remaining pulleys with expensive stainless steel bridal glides and in the evening, spent about 30 minutes untangling the kite lines.
- I refilled the jerry can that supplies the water for my running water system that eliminates waste and spillage. The 6-gallons lased ten days.
- Spent the night in Rodanthe

Tue 7/26 - With a light mostly onshore wind, had a pretty interesting session at
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
With my 15m Epic Infinity and Naish Custom Fish 52 x 17.5 surfboard with the footstraps. Most of the time I was the only person riding for the 1:40. I rode as far north as Rodanthe Watersports Camp Ground and as far south as the Real Slick (a range of 1.9 miles) and covered a distance of 13.0 miles in the process. My top GPS speed was 22.9 mph; almost double the wind speed.
- Spent the night in Rodanthe

Wed 7/27 - The most significant thing I did today with the little wind, was to wander around the island and do a sun/run at Canadian Hole, being miffed by Nick who told me I was not to park in my usual
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
parking spot. The worst part was he walked off and refused to discuss it with me. The second time he did that.
- Spent the night in Buxton

Thu 7/28 - Got my van's oil changed at Cape Point Exxon first thing this morning. Driving up their lift ramp, I made a mess, spilling my breakfast oatmeal onto the floor. Fortunately I had not added water yet, so it was just a dry mess. Still miffed, I hung around Canadian Hole for about five hours after the oil change: did a sun/swim and worked on my computer/website and figured all sorts of driving scenarios for visiting family on my way back home to Phoenix. Then I drove to Avon where I vacuumed out the van, including the spilled oatmeal, worked on my PASA lesson plans at the Atlantic Coast Cafe and worked out at
gym in Avon

- Spent the first part of the night in north Avon, then at 3:10 drove up to Rodanthe for the rest of the night. Why the nocturnal trip? The van's
didn't make it through the night (did an automatic
low-voltage disconnect
) because I had used my computer so much and it was so hot for the refrigerator and I had not driven my val much to recharge the LiFeMnPO before bedtime. Driving to Rodanthe charged the LiFeMnPO the same as idling the engine 20 minutes but would assure fresh air in the van rather than the possibility of the fresh air intake getting exhaust fumes, since there was no wind.

Fri 7/29 - All these days with no wind and no kiting are giving me some back pain (really!). Today I updated the maps on my new Garmin 885T GPS receiver; replaced the CR2025 battery, which I had on hand, in my Timex Iron Man sports watch.

Sat 7/30 - Still no wind, I started checking the wind forecast for Cheney Reservoir near Wichita, KS, for possible kiteboarding on the way home to Arizona; preparing for my drive home. Did final preparation for my island exit like washing the van engine and fresh-water undercarriage rinse.
- Spent the night in Rodanthe after showering.

Sun 7/31 - Off at 8:30 with two voice-operated
Garmin 885T
receivers: my old one and the replacement one. Since they are both voice activated, I talk to both at the same time and they respond pretty much in unison.
- Spent the night in a Winston-Salem, NC Discount Tire Company parking lot

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