Flew To SLC To Snowkite, Ended Up Sleeping Outside On Top Of Skyline Drive In -20F. Cold. Fun.

Skyline is the quintessential West coast snow kiting destination that deserves every ounce of its reputation. The scenery was amazing and the terrain was varied and extensive. Almost every day we wanted to ride there we were able to ride, except for when the storms were rolling through. Traveling with Zeb for 10 days was fantastic, he had already been to skyline countless times and he was pretty good at predicting the winds and the conditions at the top of the mountain. Zebulon is the only kiter I’ve ever met that is actually weirder than I am so it gives me immense satisfaction traveling with him. Whenever people are like ‘dude you are so weird’ I can always be like ‘Yes but my buddy Zebulon is even weirder, why he’s from the Crabnebula galaxy’.

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The trip started off pretty insanely when Zeb texted me that a woman had given birth on the flight he was on and he had gotten re-rerouted to Denver. Apparently this is a pretty uncommon occurrence as it ended up making the national news. The last time he had flown in an airplane the person in the seat behind him had stopped breathing so he had to give him CPR, that’s some bad flying karma. When I met Zeb in Salt Lake City my bags hadn’t made it there yet, so we had to wait a couple of hours till the next flight brought them in. We ended up getting a humongous Chevy Malibu rental car and Zeb had acquired conjunctivitis (pink eye) on the plane so we had a prescription for antibiotic eye drops called into the nearest pharmacy. Zeb had gotten one of the new Android phones and it ended up being a real boon to have with us on the trip, the phone impressed me so much that I can’t wait to get a google phone of my very own. It did voice activated navigation with real-time traffic updates so you can see how slow the Freeways are moving. I’ve been waiting a long time to get that functionality out of my phone, and it’s all free.
Continue reading “Flew To SLC To Snowkite, Ended Up Sleeping Outside On Top Of Skyline Drive In -20F. Cold. Fun.”

French Canadians Really Know How To Have A Good Time In The Carribean

I met Norm at one of my many trips to Hatteras that I take whenever I just can’t get my kite fix in Ithaca. I was down in NC for a couple of days riding by myself and I pulled into kite point and saw their larger than life camper retrofitted greyhound bus and the Flysurfer kite and I immediately struck up a conversation with Norm. I knew from my paddling experiences that French Canadians in general are some of the friendliest people you will meet in all of North America. Norm and his crew did not disappoint. He invited me to sleep in the driveway of their overpriced rental home which I gladly took them up on. It is quite fatiguing when you poach a sleeping spot under these million dollar homes thinking you’ll get woken up by the cops at any minute, but I could not afford one of those nice $150 tickets for sleeping in my van and being a world-class kite bum.

Photo by Thilde Jensen
Photo by Thilde Jensen

After a while my buddy Gregg showed up and he camped in their driveway with his minivan too. It was heaven, kiting all day then warm showers and our own toilet by the pool. We made all the Canadian’s dinner one night to show our gratitude and they were incredibly hospitable for the entire week. Norm even let me fly his Speed 3 15 demo he had borrowed from Ted. That demo kite inspired me to buy 2 new Speed 3’s for my quiver. After I returned, Norm invited me to tag along with them to the Caribbean for a week so I bought a ticket to fly out of Montreal and join them for a week of kiting madness.

Continue reading “French Canadians Really Know How To Have A Good Time In The Carribean”

Hatteras NC, The Best Place I Know To Be Endlessly Harassed By Gun Toting Government Officials

This trip down to the outer banks in 2009 could not have been more different from the solo trip I took down there about a month ago. A month ago I was incredibly emotional driving down there and it seemed like I could not stop crying. When I finally got there even though it was windy I didn’t want to ride. I finally forced myself to get up and go out and ride and then that place worked its magic on me. The cold water and wind was refreshing and soon I found myself remembering who I was. That whole week I spent alone drawing, reading, kiting and generally working on trying to improve myself and my outlook on life. The rangers harassed me constantly; they even went so far as to ask me if I had any weapons or drugs in the car. I thought it would be funny to reply “What do you need officer,” but decided against it. Everywhere I went the rangers would show up, it got to the point where I didn’t even want to talk to them; it was like a game, they would pull up in their big ranger truck and wherever I was at I would just leave. Feeling totally emotionally volatile and extremely vulnerable the last thing I wanted to do was deal with the law or get a ticket for something stupid, so I kept moving, never staying in one place for very long, riding when I could and hanging out in the van when it was raining.

Ride every day.
Ride every day.

Continue reading “Hatteras NC, The Best Place I Know To Be Endlessly Harassed By Gun Toting Government Officials”

10 Days Of Epic Kiting In Panama Followed By $1500 Of Damage To A Helicopter

bus
Public transportation.

I spent 9 days of kiting in very good conditions for 5-7 hours a day in 2007

I got to see over 30 stingrays flying through the water while kiting
I was stung by a couple of jellyfish
The stray dogs ate through my nice tent twice to eat my food
The same dog broke into the bathhouse and ate my soap twice, yuk!
On the last day I was there I broke the rear window of a very nice $500,000 helicopter and caused over $1500 in damage

Continue reading “10 Days Of Epic Kiting In Panama Followed By $1500 Of Damage To A Helicopter”

Snowkiting In Switzerland. A Chilling Tale Of High Mountain Adventures

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My trip to Switzerland in 2006 was amazing. It was interesting to see the vast startling contrast between America and the Swiss, which was exaggerated by my choice for departure from JFK. JFK is in a serious state of disrepair, it always feels like a war zone down there. The people who work there have seriously negative attitudes and I can only imagine what most of the airlines that fly through there think. Case in point our departing plane had been at the gate all day, but no one had some to clean it so we were 30 minutes late in boarding. Once we boarded there was no ground crew to see us off, so there was another hour we had to wait. This was a huge international flight as well with maybe 200 people on it, not just a puddle jumper. Everything in Switzerland was very nice and new and clean. The public transportation was amazing, I never found myself waiting more than 10 minutes for a train or a bus and the buses were all free. When I got back to NYC and had to get in my car and drive through rush hour NYC traffic you really start to appreciate how different America is from other countries in the world.

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Went To Nassau And Wanted To Kite But Mostly Flailed Around And Lost My Kiteboard

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As I got off the plane in Nassau in 2005 and was going through a motorized revolving door it abruptly came to a halt and I walked right into it. It took me a minute to realize I was bleeding all over the place from a cut on my head. This was pretty indicative of how the entire trip was going to go. John and I arrived early enough to head out on the water, the winds were marginal so I took the 17 Speed and the Flydoor. The winds were so marginal I got blown downwind for about 3 miles. There was not enough wind to jump so I just rode as best I could. John tried to go out on his 9 foil but there was not enough power to get up. At one point he crashed the kite into the middle of the road and the cars honked at him. I walked for about an hour then caught a ride back the last mile or so with a pickup truck full of construction workers. The buffet dinner at Orange Hill was spectacular even though the breakfast and lunch was pretty nominal. It was all you can eat for $20 and John and I gorged ourselves and went to bed at 7:41PM.

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Watch As This Clueless American Tries To Learn To Kite In The Dominican Republic

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How many kids does it take to carry Kyle’s kite?

The following is an account of 12 days I spent in the DR in 2004 with Kyle where I was desperately trying to learn to kite.

What day is it, I can’t remember and I don’t care. One day blurs into another. Eat, sleep, kite that has become the routine. I can’t remember why I do the eating and sleeping anymore except that I can’t kite if I don’t do the other two. I feel like I’m in a movie, beautiful women everywhere, there is sun and sand and little local DR kids that grab your kite and walk it back up the beach for you for 50 pesos. I’m making these kids downright rich as I’ve been going up and down the beach 7 times a day for about the last 12 days.

Just how much abuse can a body take anyway? Every day I look in the mirror and see a handful of new bruises. It’s so exhausting learning Kiteboarding that all I’ve done for the last 3 days is eat, sleep and board and hardly anything else. It is so brutal that I am sleeping almost 12 hours a day and often have to lay down for a nap in the middle of the day. I feel like a lame old man (no offense mom, dad and President Bush all of which love their naps). I can get up on the board consistently now and can stay up for a pretty long time, my major problems in the past have been that I have been way under-powered. I am flying the 13.5 meter kite in about 20-25 knots of wind every day and that is about the right size kite for me. For Ithaca I’m going to need a 25 meter kite I think seeing as how most of the time the winds are low there (under 10mph).

Continue reading “Watch As This Clueless American Tries To Learn To Kite In The Dominican Republic”