Louis Self
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Arizona Lou

Trips

Next Trips: We are planning our 2017 Comedy Tour for May, June, July and into August. We'll take a month, doing comedy, driving the southern route to
OBX
Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina
, where we will spend June producing stand-up comedy shows and doing some kiteboarding. Then head back home to Phoenix, doing more comedy, taking the northern route. Our hand is close to as good as it is going to get, considering we almost lost some fingers in July, 2015 (PHOTOS)

Contents: (reverse chronological order)

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Kiteboarding / Comedy / SUP Injury Dominican Republic Summer, 2015

MORE COMING SOON - Arizona Lou about lost some fingers doing SUP in the Dominican Republic.

July 5th found us flying for our first visit to the Dominican Republic (see blog for details). It was our first time there.
- We spent the first two weeks in Cabarete at Kite Beach Inn, right in the middle of it all. We made a couple trips to the Boca River for flat water riding and then did ocean downwinders to Kite Beach in Cabarete. In spite of a few kite bladder problems with our 14m Epic Screamer, we had a good time. The beach, there does get a little narrow this time of the year.
- Our goal was to become an international comedian. Instead, we became an international flop - at least at the Voy Voy restaurant. We made two appearances there, thanks to Danny, a local entertainer that took us under his wing and got us on. Thanks, Danny, you're a good guy. However, we were evidently not up to the challenge of doing English comedy in front of a mostly Spanish audience. Our second appearance at Voy Voy, there was a large round table right in front of us with about six people talking LOUDLY in Spanish during our whole set. We felt like telling them to be polite, shut up, listen and laugh, but did not know how in... Spanish. In hindsight, We would find one of them who spoke some English and enlist their help. Crowd work might have paid off here. Live and learn!

I should have stuck with kiteboarding. Instead I decided to do something stupid and dangerous...Stand Up Paddlboarding (SUP) in the morning before the winds picked up. I got my fingers cought in a roap and about lost three of 'em. After two days in the hospital reading books about comedy on my cell phone, I cam away smarter, with my fingers sewed on... and a new comedy routine.
Hand
Click to read the details and see some more PHOTOS.
- The flight back to the US was overbooked and I volunteered to be bumped...

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Kiteboarding / Comedy Road Trip, Spring, 2015

On April 23rd we headed out from our home in Phoenix in our shiny new repainted van with its two new back-up cameras. We took the southern route, along I-10 in order to add three states, four cities and five venues to our comedy log. We cut the trip down to two months, having bought airline tickets to the Dominican Republic for July.
Date City Day Appearance Venues
4/23/15 Tucson, AZ Th Laffs Comedy Cafe
4/26/15 Lewisville, TX (Dallas) Su T's Bar & Grill
4/28/15 Atlanta, GA Tu Laughing Skull Comedy
4/28/15 Atlanta, GA Tu Limerick Junction
4/29/15 Charleston, SC We Wolf Tracks Bar & Grill
Lou's 149th appearance: The Laughing Skull Lounge in Atlanta, GA   5:34
Lou's 163rd appearance: Comedy-n-Sunset produced by Lou     23:54 min

As usual, kiteboarding was a big part of our stay on
OBX
Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina
, but when it came down to brass tacks, comedy won. Starting the Comedy-n-Sunset show at 7:30 each night seemed to give it more consistency than around sunset, as I did last year. That meant as the days got longer, I had to come up with more material: a good thing.

poster poster
With our WIND CAGE invention (right) we have made quality audio recordings in over 20 mph winds. We cover our Sony stereo microphone with a
dead cat
a furry microphone cover designed to reduce unwanted wind noise
and put the whole thing inside the cage, which has zip-tie hinges and a magnetic latch.

June 6th I drove up and joined Butch on the Manteo Harbor for my first JetPac experience. Most of these videos were taken from a quadcopter drone and produced by Scott Cahoon of "Hatteras Island Phantom Photography." The JetPak is like having 250 horsepower strapped to your back!

Learning the JetPak controls from Butch on the pontoon boat
FlyBoard
Are you ready?
FlyBoard
Start your engine for your first try - Butch controlling the throttle        1:07 min
I Can Fly! The power module (white on the right) is a 250hp Jet Ski engine hooked to a fire hose.
FlyBoard
OBX JetPacking with Arizona Lou           5:08; produced by Scott Cahoon
Butch shows off a little while Arizona Lou has a rest         24 second video
Lou at his highest         12 second video
Lou Biffing it (crashing) and making like a submarine - five times!        54 sec

Of course I stopped by the Wake Zone cable park in Oklahoma City for a couple of hours and a few rounds.

Everyone else started with a butt-scoot.
FlyBoard
Jump start; a little hop; coasting in to shore. 32 second video edited on Windows Movie Maker by Lou Self

Leaving Oklahome City, I spent the night in Yukon, west of there to be on my way home in the morning. It turns out that it was windy the next morning so I drove back into Oklahoma City and kiteboarded on Lake Hefner for about an hour. This was my first time on the lake, and I was the only one. The wind was unusually consistent for an inland lake. I also met an older kiteboarder, Dan, and a storm chaser/kiteboarder, Asa Voyles. He has a really interesting van!

I found "The best place in town to take a leak..." and got my oil changed there: Quality Lube & Tire in Tucumcari, NM. At least that is what it says on the T shirt they gave me.

I stopped by Payson, AZ and visited with my X. Rose Anne and I had a good visit for about two hours, catching up on all sorts of things, including quilting, comedy, socializing, JetPaking, our kids, finance, politics and her pets. We still have a lot in common.

I arrived in Phoenix about 2pm, Saturday, June 20th, stopped by by 24-Hour Fitness for a full-body workout and by Fry's Food for a couple grocery items... then home, sweet home, to act like a normal person for a while.

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Kiteboarding / Comedy Road Trip 2014

Since we added comedy to this year's road trip, we extended it to FOUR MONTHS! Driving from Phoenix out to the east coast for kiteboarding, we did a lot of comedy - mostly near I-40. Memphis, TN to Durham, NC is about a 750 mile drive. We did it in about 2400 miles, going back and forth to get in as many nights of open mic comedy as possible.

Once on
OBX
Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina
, we added kiteboarding to our activities. We had a lot of good sessions with a lot of our friends, but more on Pamlico Sound and not as much on the Atlantic Ocean as usual.
- We found no stand-up comedy on OBX, so naturally had to do something about it. We spread the word, put out fliers and started Comedy-n-Sunset - mostly at Canadian Hole (signed as Haulover Day Use Area) south of Avon. Our biggest audience was 30. Thirty-one if you count the park ranger who interrupted the show because he did not realize we had our ducks in a row, knew the rules and was following them. Look at our brushes with the law: this one and one following (involving a sheriff's deputy).
- We met a lot of nice people and performed our comedy in an unbelievable variety of locations, including a campground various parks, a realty get-together, a kiteboarding facility, a restaurant and a senior center.
poster

The last of June we drove up for a family cousins reunion in Spring Arbor, Michigan, doing comedy all the way up and all the way back down to the OBX. In the process we added four states and Washington, DC to our list of comedy appearances. The aspiring comedy community is certainly supportive, sometimes intimidating and a pleasure to work with.

- On the way north to Michigan we visited with our daughter and her family in Falls Church, VA near DC. Their house was our home base for a few days doing comedy in the Washington DC area. Thanks, Anne and Robby! The Patomac River was spectacular! The old C&O Canal that parallels the river showed how people lived in earlier days.
The Potomac & happy group in a selfie: Lou; Katie; Anne Robby
Zip Group
One of 74 locks on the old C&O Canal
I-64

- While we were heading back to OBX and doing comedy in Washington DC on Independence Day, Hurricane Arthur was attacking Hatteras Island. The greatest damage was in Rodanthe and was from the Pamlico Sound surge. At the Kitty Hawk Kites facility in Rodanthe, it took out many of the ground floor walls and all the instructors' lockers, giving a whole new meaning to breezeway. What destruction!

Huricane damage

- Back on Hatteras Island we made a few more comedy appearances including producing seven additional Comedy-n-Sunset shows at the Haulover Day Use Area south of Avon.
20:44 minutes (3:33-19:56 for Lou's 16:03-minute set)
#66 Arizona Lou's final Tuesday 2014 OBX show!!


- August 1st, Heading back toward home in Phoenix via the northern route, we visited our son, his wife and brand new daughter and did comedy along the way, which included producing a benefit for VFW Post 8677 in the St Louis area where I was the whole show of 28 minutes of comedy. There I met Rich Hehmann face-to-face for the first time. We have known each other for years through my website and emails. He is an MD, flies gliders and gave me a cooks tour of their glider port northeast of St Louis.

- We spent the night of August 14th in University City MO. only six miles from Ferguson, when the riots were exploding. However we saw nothing out of the ordinary but DID hear about it on the news. The next night we did comedy at Fitz's Root Beer in University City, MO and had the biggest root beer float ever. Also the most expensive, tipping the till at $6.57.
The biggest root beer float!
Zip Group
Fitz's bottling their orange soda. Photos by Louis Self
Fitz's
5:37 minutes                   Uptown Arts & Arts Bar
#80 Lou's Kansas City debut w new material on inventing
- Arrived back at Home Sweet Home in Phoenix late aternoon, August 22nd, 2014.

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Maui, Feb, 2014

Around the last of February and the first of March, we went to Maui for 18 days for wind and waves to learn how to put them together for kiteboarding. Fishermen say, "The wind is getting worse!" Kiteboarders say, "You mean better?" Unfortunately Hawaii didn't have the usual wind this winter, so we drove to Jaws and did SUP, in addition to the few days of kiteboarding.

Surfer catching a wave at JAWS, Maui, Hawaii: Photo: Louis Self
NC-12 flooding
Out of five surfers, one caught this wave at JAWS; 35-sec video by Louis Self

- We DID buy a Hawaiian shirt there. - our most expensive Hawaiian shirt ever - the only one. To find one we liked we had to go to some of the up-scale stores - for thrift store - Goodwill. We understand the really cool dudes unbutton their shirts at the top to show off their harry chest. Well, when it comes to a harry CHEST, we flunk the TEST. Since the shirt cost 9 bucks, we were a happy camper and had more money left to spend on other things - that don't take wind - like SUP. You ask, What is that? SUP stands for Stand-up Paddleboarding. We can think of other things it could stand for, but they'd probably be obscene. With SUP you stand up on a big surf board and paddle around looking for waves. The cool dudes SUP wearing a rash guard or no shirt at all - but, of course, never a Hawaiian shirt... unbuttoned at the top.
Kahului Harbor with 27 surfers, after Arizona Lou first road a wave all the way in - 561 feet of SUP!       Photo taken from the SSE by Louis Self
NC-12 flooding
Kahului Harbor surf action. Watch the guy in white. 35-sec video by Louis Self
A
- Our last Saturday there, in the Kahului Harbor, we finally rode our first wave. You ask, How long did it take? For us to catch that wave, it took 4 years, but we rode the wave 561 feet. In our quest, we got really skilled at falling off - never the same way twice... never gracefully. Going from our knees to standing on the board was our biggest challenge. Maybe not. The biggest challenge was when a wave would come... STAYING up.
- We DID have a perfect disaster. Our last Sunday in Maui, it was windy for once so we were kiteboarding over the bone yard. You ask, What's the boneyard? The boneyard is a spotty area where the coral reef is just below the surface. It is like big, rough rocks. We were on our 5'2 surf board, without footstraps. -And that, friends, is STUPID. We blew a jibe and provided small donations of our skin to the marine life - from our arms, knees and another body part we don't talk much about - left thigh. The fish said, "Thank you for the food." And that was PERFECT SCHEDULING - to get hurt the LAST ride of our LAST day there. Before our next kiteboarding, We'll be healing - and trying to be funny with our stand-up comedy or not!. Hopefully before we do something else equally stupid.
- While on Maui, two weeks, we participated in the open mic at Stella Blues in Kahie: our fifth and sixth Onstage Appearances

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CC
Corpus Christi, TX
,
SPI
South Padre Island, Texas
,
WSB
WSB Radio/Television in Atlanta, GA
,
OBX
Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina
,
D.C
Falls Church, VA near Washington, D.C.
&
Hut
Hutchinson, Kansas
Apr-Aug 2013

- We got out taxes done and all our ducks in a row including some house cleaning and vacuuming, to head our van toward Corpus Christi, Texas on Sunday, April 14th. After a half mile we realized that we had missed packing two bananas which were still on our kitchen counter. It is lucky we noticed so soon and retrieved the bananas, otherwise thousands of gnats would have had a Big Banana Party while we were gone.
- Somewhere at each of our kiteboarding destinations along the way, we managed to occasionally go to gyms and fly our
Nano
fourth type of RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
.

Corpus Christi, TX Apr 14-25: Here's how the drive looked: Drive to Corpus Christi, TX from home in Phoenix:
2013 Overall Avg
mph
Moving Avg
mph
Total
Time
Miles
Today
Total
Miles
Forecast
Low Temp
Night
Location
Su Apr 14 47.7 61.6 8:35 409.7 409.7 64° F El Paso, TX
Mo Apr 15 54.8 67.6 9:32 521.5 931.2 64° F South San Antonio, TX
Tu Apr 16 ?? 61.0 4:17 147.5 1078.7 73 deg. Wildcat Park, destination
Upon arrival, our kiteboarding got off to a reasonably good start at Wildcat with booties and footstraps on our Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard under our 12m Epic Screamer - the booties after listening to all the local's stories of their encounters with oysters.
- During the Corpus stay we mostly spent the nights in our van in Walmart parking lots at Flower Bluff or Staples Street. Courtesy of the Silver Sneakers Program we frequently worked out, Jacuzied and showered at the Corpus Christi YMCA.
- Kiteboarding included J P Luby Beach on the gulf, Oleander Point on the bay (windsurfer, Chip, was very helpful) Packery Channel Park, western Mustang Island launch site (where we met Rob from New Orleans), and Packery Beach where we saw friends, Marvin and John.
- Locations that we scoped out, did not ride, but would like to next trip to Corpus are North Beach and Port Aransas Beach.
- Heli: We flew our
Nano
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
at the Portland, TX Community Center a few times and also found that the large hilly grassy area at Cole Park was a good place to fly our
Nano
fourth type of RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
when the wind was not blowing much. Corpus also furnishes Wi-Fi there, which is usually up and running.
- Injuries? The most significant thing in that department was tweaking our back when we overcorrected and stupidly did a kite loop straight downwind at Oleander Point, April 18th. You'd think we would know better.
- On the way out of town we drove up to Port Aranasas, took a picture of a huge sand-sculpture, part of an event, and scoped out possible riding locations for sometime when there is wind.

South Padre Island, TX (SPI), Apr 25-May 9: For details check here in our Blog. IKitesurf proved helpful but the wind wasn't great. Our van had a transmission sensor problem which Dan diagnosed and fixed. we flew our
Nano
fourth type of RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
in some grassy areas that we found in Port Isabelle when there we were waiting for our van to be fixed or when we was there for groceries when there was little wind.
- We got in some good and bad sessions on the Gulf of Mexico. We had a Fantastic KITEboarding day - not so much the conditions but that we conquered the monster inside us, which was the result of our previous day's bad gulf experience. Sony ICD-PX312 digital recorder
- Our trigger for heading for OBX was three consecutive days with a forecast high there of 70° F, so May 9th we started planning our escape to the north, having to lengthen our stay due to a combination of Hobby King and USPS fowl-ups.
- On our way north, May 10th, we stopped by our cousin's Frank and Donna in west Corpus for a short and pleasant catch-up visit. Donna thought our van was cool and Frank thought the food at the China Bear restaurant where he and I ate supper was good. I thought it was AWESOME, with seven double-sided buffet tables. Riding in Frank's car was a fun experience.

Atlanta, GA May 13-14: What a neat stop! On Tuesday, after we updated our website at the Atlanta Peach Branch Library we drove a few blocks to WSB, where we joined our favorite talk show host, Clark Howard and crew for their hour-long pre-show meeting. we showed Clark 11 seconds of kiteboarding, chimed in on a couple of topics they were discussing for the the day's program and got an updated picture with him for our SMART STUFF web page.

OBX
Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina
May 15-Aug 3: We had an excellent time kiteboarding, which included lots of Planet Of The Apes downwinders and the normal wind chasing.
Tips from Harry;             Sandy
big wave
Our Idol, Harry Andrews - and he's so young - only 58                       Video by Sandy Andrews
Listening to Harry's jump tips. Photo by Sandy Andrews
Truck Tricycle
Our jumps did improve, but not this one.                        Viedo by Sandy Andrews

- We hooked up with Tim Mcgrath, a race car mechanic from Texas. Our kiteboarding levels are similar so we hung out for weeks, sharing rides, downwinders, some
SUP
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
when the wind was not blowing and philosophies. He was infatuated by our Speedos. We did not get in as much ocean time as we wanted, so guess what we'll be dong next year?
- June 29th was a special day. I never thought I'd feel like sitting on the sidelines instead of KITEBOARDING when the wind was blowing, but I did today - for only a couple of hours. After a mostly gusty, overpowered, session at
KHK
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
with our 8m Best Nemesis on our 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board for a half hour and then on our Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard with only the front footstrap for about 15 minutes, not doing real great on either board, I had that sitting-around feeling. While the feeling lasted and the wind was still blowing I looked for the error in our checkbook, flew our
Nano
fourth RC micro helicopter: Blade Nano CPx that has a tail rotor, no flybar and true collective positive and negative pitch
around inside the KHK stores and was preparing to fix supper. Then a group said they were doing a downwinder to New Inlet and that I could join them if I liked. The feeling was banished and I scurried around to join them.
- They were almost a mile ahead of me when I got out on the water with our 6m Best Nemesis and 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board. It was catch-up time. I over-sheeted the kite, trucked straight downwind at about 15 mph and eventually even took the lead for a little while. This is probably the most fun I have ever had with our 6m kite and sharing the experience with our friends.

D.C
Falls Church, VA near Washington, D.C.
: August 3rd we headed north to visit our daaughter and her family, Anne, Robby, Katie and Brooke. They are doing well and we had a good visit. Robby is in the Air Force and going to school at or near the Pentagon.

Hut
Hutchinson, Kansas
: Aug 8: We stopped by Hutchinson for four days and had a good visit with our older brother, Stan, visited the YMCA a few times and then headed home

Home, sweet home; Aug 15th.

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Fall Road Trip 2012

Our first fall kiteboarding road trip (rescheduled from the spring due to PVP surgery and PE hospitalization in March) involved these six major destinations:

back to beginning of Fall Road Trip 2012
Colorado Springs Aug 2012: We stopped by Colorado Springs and nearby Manitou Springs to visit
family
Aunt Laura and Cousin Herald and his wife, Naomi
on the way to
Hatteras
Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina
, got reacquainted and talked about old times. The most fun part of the visit was the zip lines which are on their property in Manitou Springs. We zipped all around! Herald and Naomi were most gracious hosts who also gave us our first water aerobics experience. Considerably more of a cardio workout than we would have guessed. More trip details here on our August blog. Then we headed out Hatteras...
This was the cheerful zip group on our second day.
Zip Group
Some of the spectacular beauty along Interstate 64 on the drive to
Hatteras
Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina
I-64

back to beginning of Fall Road Trip 2012

Hatteras Island Sep 2012: The two most significant things about our two-month stay on
Hatteras
Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina
was the lack of wind and Hurricane Sandy. We did get in some good riding, but it was almost all local, with few downwinders, no Planet of the Apes run and little ocean riding. We did replace our three-year-old long-surviving 12m Cabrinha Switchblade 4 kite with an Epic Screamer of the same size. Also we reconfigured the safety system of our RRD control bar with an optional single front line flagging system, thus increasing the safety factor and lessening the chance of surf damaging the kite. Then we headed out to Kentucky...
Click on this picture to see more OBX photos from Hurricane Sandy.
Avon Pier & big wave from Hurricane Sandy! Photo by Louis Self
big wave
IMPACT! Photo by Louis Self
Truck Tricycle
NC-12 & Pamlico Sound are one and the same: Photo: Louis Self
NC-12 flooding
Waves Crashing At Avon Pier 13-sec video by Louis Self
NC-12 & OBX after Hurricane Sandy: Photo courtesy of Charlotte Observer.
NC-12 at S-Turns
Alternate ferry from Rodanthe to Stumpy Point: Photo by Louis Self.
NC-12 at S-Turns

back to beginning of Fall Road Trip 2012
Oneida Baptist Institute (OBI) Nov 2012: we arrived in Oneida, KY on a Saturday to visit our son, Scott for two enjoyable days. He took me on sort of a tour of OBI to meet and visit with a lot of friends, including Mrs. Lawson, Eric, Jim and Dr. Paul Davidson, the president of OBI. Also Big Dave and his assistant diagnosed the AC compressor as the cause of all our van's excessive engine noise, so we got it replaced at the HotRod Car Care center in Manchester, KY. There was frost on the ground and some beautiful fall colors when we headed our van toward Alabama...

back to beginning of Fall Road Trip 2012
Unclaimed Baggage Center Nov 2012: We stopped by Scottsboro, AL just to see this amazing store. They collect all the luggage and things that people lose on airplanes and sell it. Their store departments include: laptops, e-readers, cameras, luggage, suits, fine jewelry, shoes, skis, clothing, housewares and stationary.

Store Map

back to beginning of Fall Road Trip 2012
South Padre Island Aug 2012: We only spent a little over a week kiteboarding here, but got in some good riding, all on Laguna Madre this year, and saw lots of friends. The highest kiteboarding wind for our entire fall trip was a north wind in the upper 30's with a gust of 43.6 mph on Nov 11th. When riding in that kind of wind we didn't do anything gnarly - just some jumps and jibes. We got our van heater worked on and out radio antenna replaced at Dan's Auto in Port Isabelle on our way north.

back to beginning of Fall Road Trip 2012
Texas Ski Ranch Nov 2012: Through our website here, we got acquainted with two kiteboarders. We spent several delightful days with PASA-certified kiteboard instructor, Adam, and his family in Robstown, TX and then with his student, Philip in Fredricksburg, TX. Philip and we attempted wakeboarding behind a jet ski on Canyon Lake. Thanksgiving day was a wonderful with him, his family and parents.
- Between the two visits we spent an afternoon and evening at the Texas Ski Ranch. We took advantage of their 20 mph cable tow for four sessions, which included over 13 miles, a couple of seated starts, a couple of jump-starts, a couple of face plants, some pretty good carves, little pops and a board switch, sort of.
Arizona Lou rounding the drive tower at Texas Ski Ranch: Photo by Glen
big wave
Let go of the tow rope and coast in: Photo by Glen
Truck Tricycle
Tow rope is engaged and Lou Starts out: 10 sec. video by Glen
A puny pop; rounding the drive tower; edging to the outside: 20sec by Glen

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Maui, Hawaii Jul/Aug 2012

Maui beaconed to us when we discovered a few empty weeks between our Kansas (see Cheney, below) and
Hatteras
Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina
trips, and our Locations research disclosed that some of Maui's best winds are in July and August. We flew into Kahului Airport (OGG) July 22nd and stayed nearby in Wailuku for 18 days of wind, which never stopped (returning to Phoenix on August 8th). We kiteboarded every day just west of Kanaha Beach Park. We explored other kiteboard areas on the north shore near the waist of Maui but they all had issues, such as a rocky shore, a narrow beach or more gusty winds. Actually gusty winds is par for the course. The winds were typically gusty. The trade winds this time of the year are augmented by a high pressure that seems to hover north of the Hawaiian Islands. For a few days the winds got an additional kick from a trough (low pressure area) that passed to the south.
- We used our 8m Best Nemesis kite mostly, but also used our our 6m Best Nemesis and three-year-old 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 which is still hanging in there.
- For variety, and to keep progressing in our skills we typically had two sessions a day: one with our 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board and the other with our Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard without footstraps. The surfboard was sometimes a challenge when the waves got up to shoulder high, although they were not breaking onto the shore. Our jibes improved and we became a little more comfortable in the waves. On the twintip we did some good jumps and a couple pretty good jump jibes with kite loops.
- They say they have really good waves in the winter. Ah: Next trip!
More pictures may be comming...

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Cheney Resevoir Jun 2012

This is one of the largest lakes in Kansas and one of the best for kiteboarding. It was windy in June during our 50-year junior college class reunion at Central Christian College in McPherson, KS and also during our subsequent visit with
Stan
Stanley, our older brother who is a machinist for Eaton Corporation in Hutchinson, KS
. in Hutchinson, KS, so we drove down to Cheney on a Thursday, June 13th and also Tuesday, June 19th. The winds averaged 25 and 30 mph respectively. We used our 12, 8 and 6m kites and met a lot of swell kiteboarders (what else is new?). Mike Blair from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) made the old guy (that would be us) sort the star of an excellently narrated video showing kiteboarding at Cheney. Driving down to Altus, OK to visit
Anne's
our daughter, two granddaughters Katie Rose and Brooke (Robby, her husband, is deployed by the Air Force)
for a week rounded out the trip.
Video produced & written by Mike Blair, KDWPT, 2:56 minutes
Brooke (granddaughter) and her marble machine. Video by Louis Self, 51 sec.

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Philippine Islands, Jan 2012

What a better excuse to go kiteboarding in the Philippines than to visit our
niece
the youngest of our younger brother, George
who is in the Peace Corps there. Of course Boracay Island, billed as one of the best kiteboarding places in Southeast Asia helped. The best winds there being in January sealed the trip from January 22nd to February 20th.
60 kites looking south from Bulabog Beach, Boracay Island as the tide has started to come in - Photos by Louis Self - camera: Samsung Galaxy S II phone
(Broadband Photo)
See Busy Bulabog Beach at low tide with the debris left by high tide
Bulabog Beach

- The planning process started to boggle our little brain so we made a Boracay Book, a loose-leaf binder to get our arms around the calendar, trip insurance, passport/visa, various airplanes, boats, tricycles, busses, Jeepneys, vans, luggage rules and limitations, hotels, schedules, kite shops, currency exchange rates, etc. The book must have done the trick, as there were no unexpected events of any consequence. To get there we flew on Hawaiian Airlines from Phoenix (PHX) to Honolulu (HNL), then to Manila (MNL) for the night, then the next day on Philippine Airlines to the Kalibo Airport (KLO) on Pianai Island, then took a van/bus for about three hours to the Jetty Port of Cataclan, then a banca boat to the boat station on Boracay Island, then a tricycle to the end of Bulabog Road, then, finally, walked along Bulabog Beach to Surfers Home, our hotel.
The only way to little Boracay Island is by Banca Boat
Banca Boat
This is not the narrowest street we used
Narrow Street
Surfers Home welcome by the security guard
Surfers Home Welcome

- Kiteboarding was on the agenda for the first 22 days in the Philippines. 18 of those days being on Bulabog Beach on Boracay Island with its ten shops, spending the 17 nights at Surfers Home. The conditions were interesting: The wind was mostly steady but on-shore. The reef and tides influenced the riding. At low tide there was a fairly wide beach and water you can stand up in almost out to the reef, although you do need booties if you are planning on walking around out there. At high tide, the water was too deep to stand on the bottom and there was little or no beach for rigging kites. Kites were launched right up almost against the palm trees. Also, unless the beach is constantly cleaned, huge amounts of debris (palm and coconut tree parts mostly) wash up from the windward islands. Once you get out though you can expect excellent semi-flat-water kiteboarding, as attested by the droves of kiteboarders. Trips around Boracay and to De Mall (largely unpaved) were an experience. We made a couple trips to Union Beach on Panay Island.
Tricycles are the main people (up to 12) mover on the island
Tricycles
Tricycle configured as a truck
Truck Tricycle
- The next five days were on Union Beach on Panay Island. The wind here is a better direction (usually side-on shore) but about two MPH less than on Bulabog Beach. Another factor is that there is little water off the beach during low tide. The beach is much wider and longer. Excellent people at the Blue Orange Villa
We'll just string another wire on Boracay!
Truck Tricycle
These tropical schools have no windows.
Narrow Street
- Then we took the 8-hour tricycle/van/SuperCat trek to bustling Bacolod City to spend the last six days (five nights) seeing some of the sights and culture on Negros Island with
Stacie
our niece in the Peace Corps here in the Philippines
.
Bacolod Jeepneys provide an inexpensive, non-governmental and very efficient transportation system.
Tricycles
The Ruins: Built in the early 1900s by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson.
Truck Tricycle
While in Bacolod we had a chance to:
- We found the Philippine people to be friendly, helpful and always wearing a smile.

Some of the Hiligaynon/Ilonggo (Western Negros Island dialect, including Bacolod City) words we learned are:
thank yousalamat
here's my paymentbayad ko
stop herelugar lang palihog
good morningmaayong aga
good noon hourmaayong ugto
good afternoonmaayong hapon
good evening 6pm-maayong gab-i
Look for more information HERE on our Shops & Links web page and for trip details in our Blog from Jan 22 to Feb 20, 2012. Total cost of trip excluding most meals: $2258.82 - not bad for a month!

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San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico Oct 10, 2011

We got a phone call from our friend, Christian Canese, saying let's go to Mexico in two days. The lack of advanced notice does not show Chris' lack of planning, but the nature of the wind there.
- At 5:00 the morning of October 8th Christian left his Sunny Slope home in his SUV with our friend Steve and with and us following in a rental car (because our van was having transmission problems). We were on the water in the beautiful warm wind by mid afternoon.

- What a good trip! We met old friends there and made some new ones. Steve and Chris had to get back home, so they drove back on Tuesday while we stayed for one additional day of good wind, driving back solo on Wednesday. Steve said the main reason he got into kiteboarding was because of us and our website. And now he is better than us. What a good feeling! You can get more information on the trip HERE in our blog.

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OBX 2011

Although we arrived (May 24th after a malfunctioning drawbridge) later than usual and later than we intended due to the eight sutures (see SPI trip below), we still had some good days of wind and riding. The non-windy days we did plenty of socializing and work on our website and other projects.
- We got on the Atlantic Ocean only a few times, but then with our Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard WITH the footstraps. We were a little more comfortable and did reasonably well and even got into the surf a little.
- Pulleys seemed to be the weak link this trip. We replace over six of them on the Cabrinha 12m and Best 6m. After having to swim in three times, we added safety lines to ALL our pulleys, so a pulley could break without the kite falling out of the sky out of control.
- We bought an Epic Infinity as our new low-wind kite. Dimitri refuses to reveal the kite's size (maybe he doesn't really know), but the consensus is that it is a 15m. With only three struts, it seems to do well. we were able keep it in the air and ride on Pamlico Sound when others were giving their kites saltwater baths.
- In June we improved our skills with an advanced lesson from Brian of
KHK
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.
. At the end of the lesson we improved our jumps and kite loops little and were able to combine them for a jump jibe with a kite loop. Unfortunately we were not able to get any of these exciting maneuvers on camera. For the lesson we had engineered our own version of a radio helmet: FRS radios in pouches attached to each side of our hockey helmet. The system worked better than the commercially available radio helmets that we have used in the past. Don't tell anyone, but non-lubricated condoms worked perfectly for waterproofing.
- We took the June
PASA
Professional Air Sports Association
ICP
Instructor Certification Program
Class and became a certified kiteboard instructor. What a good group (pictured above), representing three states and three countries. We watched demonstrations, learned a lot, did a lot of teaching and some demonstrating of our own. A highlight for us was having John Harris as a practice student. We have been trying, for years, to get him into kiteboarding and we finally did it. As owner of Kitty Hawk Kites, we hope he will find time in his busy schedule to have some fun with the sport. More details in our blog for the class
- We headed toward home the first of August, stopping several days in Hutchinson Kansas to visit
Stan
our older brother who is a machinist for Eaton, Corp.
and several days in Altus, Oklahoma to visit
Anne's
our daughter, her husband, Robby and their two daughters Katie Rose and Brooke
, arriving back home in Phoenix on August 13th. It is good to be home, but there is sure a lot of catching up to do!

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South Padre Island 2011

Got in some good riding, mostly with our 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 or 8m kite on our 130 cm Lite Wave Stealth twin-tip board on Laguna Madre. we did a few runs on the Gulf of Mexico, for the first time with our Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard after adding the footstraps.
- we bought a new 8m Best Nemesis to replace our 8m Cabrinha Switchblade-2 after its trailing edge fabric started coming apart just sitting in the wind on the beach at the North Flats. Because the Nemesis requires extra high pressure, we bought a two-stage electric kite pump, which starts with a "turbine" and finishes with pistons.
- we got off from Phoenix April 23rd, about a month later than expected due to taxes and other things that came up. May 10th we had planned to leave SPI and start driving toward OBX for the
PASA
Professional Air Sports Association
ICP
Instructor Certification Program
after a late afternoon session on Laguna Madre. The last tack of that last session, we impacted the edge of our board with our right shin and ended up getting eight sutures in the Brownsville Emergency Room. Considering all these things we decided to add three days to our driving by returning home to Phoenix for a week before heading to OBX.

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Renaissance Festival, Apache Junction 3/6/2011

George (my younger brother), Cindy (his wife) and I went to the Renaissance Festival this afternoon (about 60 miles east of my house). There were thousands of people there. There were lots of theaters, shows, vendors and people wearing period clothing. Highlights for me were the Nunny-Nunny show (risque humor from the viewpoint of nuns) and my first try at trampoline bungee jumping. It took some guts, but I tried both forward and backward flips and now am ready (I hope) to try some while kiteboarding.

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Hawaii 2010

How can you turn down an invitation by Bobby Bluehouse to kiteboard in Hawaii for two weeks in December! Nature did not cooperate as all but the first day wind was almost nonexistent so we were forced into other activities like the Indo Board, stand-up paddling, surfing, getting on each others' nerves and working on our business and website respectively.

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Brazil 2010

The first part of November was our third kiteboarding trip to Brazil and the second one under the auspices of Kite Adventures. Five of us from three different countries were on the November 7-16 Brazilian Downwinder with some of the best kiteboarding on our globe. Check out some of our videos from our previous Brazil trip. More details here in our Blog. Total cost of the 10-day trip excluding meals: $3,971.06

       

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Spring 2010 to SPI & OBX

Disappointing due to low winds and some injuries, but still a good kiteboarding trip. The winds were lower than usual for the whole trip, so our stays at both destinations were shortened, resulting in 101 days (3.6 months) away from home including driving days and two visits to my daughter and her family in Norfolk.

On SPI we took a spin lesson so felt more comfortable trying spins. The winds never favored the Brownsville Ship Channel, though.

In the injury department, our hand got cut as it found an oister bed at Kite Point, our foot got a deep cut when we stepped on a KHK anchor and a finger was injured by someone's kite line. However it was not all bad news as at OBX our surfboard skills improved with our Naish Custom Fish 5’2” x 17.5” surfboard without foot straps due to the cut foot which precluded using footstraps, jumps, spins etc. for a month.

We did not get on the ocean much, but when we did it was with our surfboard and no footstraps!

New personal records included top speed records of 34.0 mph on our twintip with footstraps and 27.5 mph without footstraps on our surfboard, both records at the Planet of the Apes slick. We did our first downwinder to New Inlet (our GPS waypoint haNew).

We became famous (not really) by talking, twice, about kiteboarding on the Beach 104 Radio Station. Of course, during the trip we met a lot of great people from all over the world, including old and new friends.

       

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Saint Lucia 2/2010

A last minute tropical kiteboarding trip (Feb 4-18, 2010): The Winds were NOT awesome as we expected in February, but it was beautiful place and the temperatures hovered near the 80's day and night! We only kited 13 sessions: eight (53%) out of the 15 days.

Accommodations were graciously and reasonably provided by Sammy and Esther Brice at their Hewanorra Gardens with kitchens and available bicycles to ride a mile to either of the two main kiteboarding locations.

We rented a car two different days and saw some sights with our hotel neighbors from Ireland and Canada. We missed the zip line experience by about a half hour. More info on our blog for the respective dates.


        The first half of August,2009 I spent kiteboarding at Belmont Beach in the LA area (my GPS waypoint LBELMO). See my blog for August, 2009 for details.


        October 4th, 2009 was my first time kiteboarding in Arizona - Lake Pleasant about an hour NW of my house in Phoenix. Did it again the 28th. As you might guess, kiteboarding in the Arizona lakes is not a lot of fun with the gusty winds and poor launches. See my October, 2009 blog if you want to torture yourself with more details.

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Outer Banks, 2009

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Brazil: October, 2006

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