Monday, April 14, 2008

To kite or not to kite...

Well, despite the fact that it's windy as shit, I had a hell lot of fun the last few days.

Up the coast saturday afternoon, lowers sunday early morning and late afternoon and lowers again today from 6.15 to 7.15 (still fully powered on 4.5) are the sessions logged on my file. Btw, my 08 QUOLI up to date is 90 out of 98 for a "mere" 92%...

In the break between sessions on sunday I drove to Hookipa where there were all possible photoshoots going off. Lots of people on the bluff, parking in overflow, helicopters hovering over the sailors, all the gotha of the windsurfing world was there.
Unfortunately the light was pretty bad, I'm sure it was a lot better today (monday).
Here are some pics I took and a little story in between them.
This is Diony bottom turning on a bomb.


Here's the story. During my morning session, I admired a kitesurfer doing turns on a wave that I:
1) have never seen any kitesurfers do before
2) have never seen any windsurfers do before
3) will never see any windsurfers do in the future.

Here's Browsinho.


That guy was shredding the waves apart. He was riding down the line regular stance (front side). Every bottom turn he had his body almost parallel to the water with his right hand deep in the water and the left one on the bar.
Every top turn he destroyed the lip still with one hand in the wave and one on the bar.
He looked like Kelly Slater.

Tiffany training a dog to do table tops.


I was so impressed by that kitesurfer that I got out of the water determined to try to get back into kitesurfing (maybe on the first day of light steady wind...).

Levi.


IMO, kitesurfers have a couple of significant advantages compared to windsurfers:
1) the "engine" is way lighter
2) they are not as "tightly" connected to their sails.

Browsinho.


Advantage 1 allows them to ride smaller, thinner boards.
Advantage 2 allows them to move their bodies way more freely. Even though the really good windsurfers can sometimes pull out top turns with their front hand in the water, they can't take a hand off the boom during the bottom turn.
Having the possibility to put one hand in the water during a turn is a huge, huge factor.
Having a sail (with a longer boom) connected directly to their boards greatly limits the range of movements of windsurfers compared to kitesufers.

The life guards rescued a windsurfer with a broken mast.


An injured sailor. Mystery Bob took this photo. I donwloaded it from its collection that you can admire in its entirety on this Hot Sails Maui forum thread.
Don't know yet who the sailor is, but I'm sure someone will soon post a comment. Good luck to him!


These feelings (about kitesurfing) were reinforced by seeing Robert Theriteahu ripping on his kite during the evening sesh. He was all smiles until he dropped the kite in the wave zone in a lull... and that was the start of his kitemare... I saw him swimming for 15 minutes and then I lost track of him...

KP.


So in terms of pure wave riding, thanks to the new completely de-powerable kites, I believe kitesurfers can rip harder than windsurfers. If you guys don't believe it, come check that guy out...
But they still have some disadvantages. Here are the usual ones:
1) it is recommended to have somebody launch and land your kite
2) if the lines get tangled out there, that's the end of the session
3) even though way safer than a few years ago, it's still more dangerous than windsurfing
4) when in trouble, a windsurfers just lets go off everything and then eventually swims back to its gear and waterstarts again into his session. Instead for a kitesurfer it's harder to do so, because if he does so then it's really easy to get tangles in the lines... specially in the waves. That's why you see kitesurfers still hanging on their bars even in the gnarliest wipeouts...
5) they need more space. That means that it's harder to share waves with others.

Jesse Brown going for a no feet goiter...


Mmm... what to do? Give kitesurfing another try or not?

Hey, there were some sets! I told you... a significant bump from the north...


Let's see if somebody adds some constructive contribution here. Please don't send any "kitesurfing sucks" or "windsurfing has been canceled" kind of comment, because as I stated already, stupidity is not welcome on this blog.

The wind was more than 30... so clearly Laird was out standup surfing...


That's it for tonight. Sorry for the quality of the photos. Unfortunately I accidentally had the camera set on the poorest quality...

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey GP,

Love the doggie style table top and no footed goiter!

Sure kitesurfing has some advantages, you can fit your entire quiver and boards into a Fiat Cinquecento; and have that smug expression on your face knowing that you're participating in a sport that is considered way cooler than that 80's sport called "windsurfing"!

Speaking of which, think of all the gas you'd be saving if you were able to squeeze all your equipment into a tiny vehicle. Go Green, Go Kitesurfing!

5 more days, Brah!

Ely from NYC

Ted said...

Kitesurfing is a lot of fun. Definitely not as "relaxed" as windsurfing though (like you said, you cant just let the gear go and recover it). The kite industry is making a big push toward wave kiting lately. There are more wave boards being made and the kites are more depowerable then they used to be thus allowing you to ride the wave more. The real advantage of kiting in waves over windsurfing is the ability to do downwinders where all you worry about is the next wave and not going back upwind. You got to ride a lot more waves in a shorter time period. Not sure if you guys in Hawaii have the same opportunity for downwinders like us in the mainland. We can do 10+ mile downwinders and never have to deal going upwind (unless of course you find a section that is really nice and you want to stay there for a bit). Cape Hatteras is the ultimate location for downwinders! Definitely give it another shot. Having more ways to ride waves only give you more opportunities to get more sessions! :) Not that you need a way to get more session on maui though

Alberto B. said...

I think there is not an universal answer to the hamletic dilemma, the key point is the importance everyone gives to the feelings a sport can communicate.
I mean: windsurfing communicates a great feeling of indipendence and freedom... you get your equipment and you can go everywhere until the wind blows. No human help or assistance is needed. You-thewind-thewaves-thesea, that's all. I think this is great, no matter if bottom turn is less radical than kitesurfing because the freedom sensation I get largely compensate it.

Then I imagine (I have never tried kitesurfing) that, despite the de-power of the nowadays kites, the kite still "lift" a bit the surfer because it needs to be tensioned to stay in the air. That can break the direct feeling of surfing the wave. Or not? Any kiter can speak about it?

Finally I think a lot of people and a lot of brands are prosing kitesurfing as the new TRENDY sport. Personally I do not like this, I can not conceive one choosing a sport only because it is trendy, and not for passion.

BYE
Alberto

Anonymous said...

I think windsurfing has more soul than kiting. I guess the kite industry is making kites that de-power more, but it still seems like they are wakeboarding more than surfing. I would like to see footage of that guy you speak of though. I have been windsurfing for so long, I feel like I need to support the sport of windsurfing in what seems like hard times for the sport. Besides the danger factor, and the hassle factor, the last thing I need to do right now is to get involved in another expensive sport. The financial cost is always something to consider as well...

Keep up the good work on the blog, I read it from work every time you update it.

~James

Anonymous said...

I'm a windsurfer, but I also love riding a surf board kiting, great feeling carving up waves, its super fun. But given a choice I'd rather windsurf some nice waves with a 4.5m.

Its all good!

cammar said...

Hi Ely,
I do squeeze already all my windsurfing and surfing gear (at least the one I think I'll need each day) in my 32mpg escort wagon.
See ya soon.

Ted,
we do have the possibility of doing downwinders too. Hookipa to Kite beach is at least 8-9 miles, I think. But it's not a continuous beach break like Hatteras, so you will have to move from reef to reef. And some reefs are not as good as others. In other words, not many people choose to do them.
Question, why can't you do downwinders with a windsurfers too in Hatteras??? You still have to have a ride back even with a kite...
The quantity of the sessions is definitely not a factor for me. Last year I was in the water 95% of the possible days (and the 5 remaining per cent was not because of the lack of right gear...). I've been wavesailing on longboards for four years now and I can be out there in wind so light that not even kites can fly.
It's the quality of the sessions that may improve or better the fact that I would be riding waves in one more different way.
"He looked like Kelly Slater"...

Alberto,
very good first point.
As for the kite pulling up... I can see you really read my book carefully... ;-) Did I write that there or did I tell you that just discussing with you when you were here?
Anyway, I have to take those words back... it's not like that anymore. At least it doesn't look like that anymore.
"He looked like Kelly Slater"...

James,
if you would have seen the helicopters and the amount of people and photographers on the bluff at Hookipa last Sunday and Monday, you would not say that windsurfing is having a hard time.
I haven't still seen such an amount of resources put into a kitesurfing photoshoot yet... but not even remotely!
IMO, the windsurfing industry is and will always be way bigger than the kitesurfing one, just because windsurfing is easier and less dangerous. Hence it can be done by a larger percentage of people, old and cripple people included (that for me is a super cool thing...). I recently taught a water start lesson to a guy with multiple sclerosis... how cool is that!
Good point on the expensiveness.
Trust me, that guys was riding that wave 100 times more like surfing than Kauli can even dream of. He was on a 6.0 (or smaller) surfboard. SURFBOARD.
"He looked like Kelly Slater"...

Anon,
thanks for your comment. It's definitely all good.

As for the fact that kitesurfing is considered cooler than windsurfing, that's a factor of no importance at all for me... I'm not an idiot that does what the industries/media wants him to do...

"He looked like Kelly Slater"... that's what really struck me!

Jeffrey, Glenn and Tom said...

I sailed at Sprecks Sunday and the Fire dept and helicopters were out looking for someone. Was that Robert T? They were taking it very seriously. I hope whoever it was got in OK.

cammar said...

Oh, for sure it wasn't Robert they were looking for!
He didn't look like he needed to be rescued at all.
We're talking lowers not Jaws... Sure, his lines were probably tangled, but even if he didn't manage to relaunch his kite an experienced guy like him would know how to self rescue himself back to shore.
And I saw him the day after happily at lowers again! This time windsurfing... ;-)
Anyway, yes let's hope that everything was fine for that rescue.

Anonymous said...

I don't see why you would want to look like Kelly Slater. Every type of craft surfs the waves differently. A longboard, shortboard, retro fish, stand-up, canoe, bodyboard, windsurf board, kite board all surf the wave differently its not that one is better its just what ever the conditions are best for and what you want to do. If you want to look like Kelly get out your shortboard and start practicing. When you windsurf you approach the wave different than a shortboard surfer and the guys who concentrate on that too much often look really weird on the wave. A couple thoughts on kiting as well, I think it looks way more fun than windsurfing or just about any other type of board in on shore conditions but in side or side off conditions the look like a tow surfer who forgot to let go of the ski. Ride the board how the board and the wave dictate not like some other craft.

Tim said...

the injured fella is phil horrocks.. (JP/NP) hopefully he is ok!

Andy said...

I'm not sure I would agree that windsurfing is easier than kitesurfing. Quite the opposite I would think, and a lot more hours to put into windsurfing to get decent at it than kitesurfing (are we distinguishing between kite surfing and kite boarding?). I think that a lot more people kitesurf because it's the trendy thing to do and because it's easier to do than to windsurf. I am a windsurfer and where I live, the windsurfers are in the minority. It doesn't bother me though, as I feel part of more of an elite group that is doing a more difficult sport than the masses that are kiteboarding. That said, I will still give kitesurfing a go at some point, so I can truly decide for myself which I prefer. At the moment though I am totally addicted to windsurfing, so it would be difficult to drag myself away from a great windsurf session to try kitesurfing (unless the wind is light).
Great blog by the way! Keeps me sane when I am at work!

alberto b. said...

Yeah, "the kite pulling up...". It seemed to me a not very original thought! ;-) I missed the copyright, but it was so logical..

Just as pure logic makes me think:

Q1: What if the guy was THE BEST kitesurfer on the earth?
Q2: What if the guy REALLY was Kelly Slater trying kite??

Alberto

Anonymous said...

I've been a windsurfer for 20+ years, and I'm intrigued with kiting. I have to disagree with you on a few things, Cammar. I think kiting is easier to learn, than windsurfing, and it is taking over windsurfing at the places I sail. Cape Cod mainly. I go to Maui every summer, and the main reason windsurfing is still king there is the great wind. But at most places in the world, including CC, there are many more days under 20mph, and therfore many
more oportunities to Kite. Oh yea, you can sail with a huge sail in light wind, but kiting looks like much more fun in light wind. Also I keep asking myself, when windsurfers go to kiting , they usually give up windsurfing, why?
I'm going to Hatteras in two weeks, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to take a kiting lesson.
Did I mention I'm 62 years old.
P.S Love the blog and your stoke,
I can only dream.
Paul

Filippo said...

Hey GP,
I have been reading you for a while, congratulations etc etc

SUP, kite I don't know, if you have fun go ahead what else? If you have the time ....there's people who like to concentrate only on one discipline and get the best out of it, other prefer to vary from one to another.

I have been windsurfing since 1982 and I see kite as cheating ....

Longboarding is the only alternative for me....

Telly Savallas said...

Easiest way to look like Kelly Slater: shave your head, dood.

fswp said...

quote:"Also I keep asking myself, when windsurfers go to kiting , they usually give up windsurfing, why?"

Don't know, but you're right, most of the windsurfers who start kiting, stop with surfing
BUT
what i also see is that after a few year's the sell their kites and rebuy their windsurfing gear :)

---
that's about all i can say about the topic, cause i don't kite, i surf :)
for me the greatest nogo is idd the extra financials you need

cammar said...

Anon,
I don't see why you would NOT want to look like Kelly Slater. What motivates me is to have fun. Every time I surf or windsurf I try to push myself a little more, because I know that hitting that lip a little harder or later will make me have even more fun. And I know that being able to surf like KS would be an unbelievable amount of fun... so I would LOVE to look like him. And I bet my cojones that 99.9% of the world surfers will love that too. Surfing like Kelly Slater?... Fuck, yeah!
Totally agree that one way of riding is not better of the others... I made using the right gear for the right conditions almost a philosophy of life (just come and chek my garage...). That's why I don't surf much in Maui... 'cause it's always bloddy windy!
"If you want to look like Kelly get out your shortboard and start practicing"... oh, now you said an absolute truth! My whole post though was not about how to become as good as KS surfing, but rather how the latest kitesurfing gear allows one to absolutely rip and about the good and bad aspects of kitesurfing...

Tim,
thanks for the info. Anybody has news? Unfortunately looks like there was a worse accident at Kuau the day before with a guy with a fractured leg... geez, that must have been a gnarly wipeout!

Andy,
I tought both sports, here's how I see it. From the first lesson to the point in which you can stay upwind, windsurfing is easier than kitesurfing. Once you're able to stay upwind, the progression in kitesurfing is ridicolously faster than windsurfing.
I used the word easier and it was the wrong one. I should have used... mmm let's see... less hassles (tangles), less intimidating, less out of controls moments...
The conditions make a huge difference. If I lived in a place with light and steady wind, I'd be all over kitesurfing.

Alberto,
Q1: it might well be.. I checked the kitesurfers today and none of them was doing anything not even remotely close to what that guy was doing. For sure that guy was a really good surfer. You could just tell.
Q2: could be... with a blonde, curly wig!

Paul,
see my answer to Andy above.
Learning kitesurfing at 62... way to go! Respect!

Yo Filippo,
it's all good, you do what you feel like doing...

Telly,
:-)

fswp,
I'm going to use your comment to make the american readers aware that often european windsurfers refere to windsurfing like surfing. I used to do the same when I lived in Italy... confusing, I know.

Ted said...

Hmmm, not sure why windsurfers aren't more into downwinders. My home spot is Cape Cod and I know of a few that do them on the outer beaches. For kiting, they are only natural since that is what you do with out trying when you are learning! But for Cape Hatteras, I don't think they are popular because when kiting you usually ride the inner break or shore break and you have to be able to change directions instantly and not lose your speed. I think trying to jibe constantly would be a pain and you would end up having to deal with the white water and shore break. I windsurfed for about 10 years before I started kiting. This is my 8th season kiting. Both sports are great its just like Paul said, the conditions on CC are more exciting for kiting (just my opinion). Our summer winds are generally 15-20mph which gets pretty boring on windsurfing gear. I usually get out windsurfing 2-3 times a year just to keep up my skills and its always a blast!

cammar said...

Ted,
what you say about shore breaks makes sense.
Agree: in 15-20 mph breezes windsurfing can get boring for some... if there's no waves!!!
For me windsurfing is kind of boring even in 30 mph if there's no waves... but I'm Maui spoiled.
Thank god for the south swells and for the maui speed challenge (stay tuned for the announcement of this year's new format) otherwise I would go nuts in summer time.

Anonymous said...

If you have the time, money, and it has caught your imagination why not try it and let us know how you think it compares with your other sports after you have some real experience.

Have to say though I'm really tired of hearing how much better kitesurfing is, shred like kelly (sorry you won't be, but you might have a great time trying) blah blah blah. Why do you feel you have to justify kitesurfing? Sounds a little defensive to me...

JSW-NYC said...

GP- Many good points here, but I would like to add two more.

1- Windsurfing is really surfing and sailing combined - it is about the wind and the water, it is a kind of transportation. Kiting is about something else - it is related to sailing, sure, but it is not like it. It is related to the water, but is is really in the air. It is flying. But it's not transportation (at this stage of the sport's development) - you can't go places with a kites. In this regard, the comparison is like a bicycle to a skateboard.

2- It lacks windsurfing's elegance. I don't really know what I mean by that, but I know it to be true.

I am jealous of the size of a kiters kit for sure, and have in the past considered envying the light wind performance. As a practical matter, though, I think longboarding in light wind is more fun, and MUCH more reliable. I think we are still at the beginning of something with the SUP boards - now we need some sails to match.

Finally, a windsurfer can launch anywhere. This is theoretically true for a kiter, but simply doesn't work out that way. You need an empty beach, or lots of shallow and flat water.

Thanks for the great Blog

-Jamie

Anonymous said...

Kitesurfers have sailed/surfed
mavericks.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0n9ACA0gro
what about windsurfers?

Carles Carrera said...

Great photos as usual!!!.

I agree with the main advantage of kitesurfing regarding the equipment volume and weight. Also surfing is more advantageous than windsurfing, but the real thing is that I think that kitesurfing loses a bit of the freedom spirit of windsurfing.

Apart of that funny look of the shorts over the neoprene suits. I can't understand that!!!

From Barcelona

Anonymous said...

Hey GP,
Nice post as always. The inverse situation to the 'pull up' of the kite is the down pressure of the mast foot in the windsurfer. This is like having a 'third leg' that adds stability when riding big and/or choppy waves. Like Alberto, I did not make this up myself, I think I heard it either from you or Robby Seeger.
Cheers!
Marcos

cammar said...

Anon,
if you're really tired of reading things written on this blog, there's a very easy way not to read them anymore...
I love when people tells me what I should or shouldn't write on my blog just because it touches their nerves... amazing how many masochists out there!
Justify? Defensive??? ... next, please.

Jamie,
as for your point 1 - I believe you can go places kitesurfing. Two years ago, the wind for the Maui Molokai challenge was light and only a bunch of kitesurfers could do it. Most of the windsurfers had to be rescued. I did it on my longboard together with Matt Schweitzer and it was a blast. Here's an
article I wrote for Windsurfing mag.
And even if you were right, we don't windsurf or kitesurf to go places, we do it 'cause it's fun.
Been SUP wavesailing for four years... it's a huge amount of fun. The perfect sails for that are CLEARLY the Superfreaks.
You're welcome for a great blog. ;-)

Anon,
your point being?
Oh, I see... that's your very profound way of telling us that kitesurfing is better than windsurfing... thanks! How old are you... three?

Hola Carles,
funny how most people thinks that the advantage of having light gear is for transportation mostly... for me that's very marginal (I live in Maui and don't travel much...). The weight advantage is in the water!

Marcos,
tremendous good point. If you heard that from me, this one I didn't make it up myself either... I heard it from Sean Ordonez...

fswp said...

ow, sorry, will try to pay attention to it...

quote carles: "Apart of that funny look of the shorts over the neoprene suits. I can't understand that!!!"

didn't understand it to, i asked a guy on the beach last year, he said it was to protect the neopreen :)
it's because they do a serious amount of scraping (is it scraping?) on beaches, climbers (again, don't know correct word, wave breaker perhaps?), etc ...
otherwise they have to renew their suit quit often...
that's what he told me..

Anonymous said...

"he said it was to protect the neopreen :)"
This is absolutely true. Specially at the beginning when kites had no depower, you got dragged a lot on the beach. I was dragged over some rocks with my 2-line Naish and ripped my new wetsuit. Started using short on top for a while. Now with the depowering kites not only you can ride waves, you also avoid getting dragged most of the time. So now the shorts on top are just an obsolete identity statement.
Marcos

Anonymous said...

GP, Who broke thier leg while wave sailing?
I only hear horror stories about that place. Heart attacks from exaustion swimming aganst the strong channel current.Shark,whale, fishermen,agro local incounters,not to mention ocasional swarms of down winding kiters with out a clue as to wave edicate! Lots of lost and never found gear,rescue after rescue nothing really that good!

I live in a world that is supported by kites and sails, with only a few exceptions all the partisipents of each activity are great and stoked folks. It seems like we are all getting along just fine.

There is a foot of fresh powder where I am this morning and I am just about to meet up with my bros.Some of us will be snow boarding and some sking. It's sort of like the kite/ sail thing we are each exercising our inalienable right to persue happiness!I gotta go and shovel out my truck and warm it up, lock it into four wheel drive and bust out of this drive way and go SCHRED!!! See ya (on the Rock and in the straps) in a few days.Ahoha,Olaf

Anonymous said...

"Kitesurfers have sailed/surfed
mavericks.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0n9ACA0gro
what about windsurfers?"

Yeah that was cool! They also surfed Jaws many times but in my opinion it was more about dropping in the shoulder that a 'legitimate' ride.
Windsurfers and tow surfer are really riping Jaws...
Marcos

cammar said...

Olaf,
Kuau is a demanding place that requires a lot of local knowledge, even more than Hookipa.
Not recommended to any visitors.
I think the injured was an Israeli guy, don't know his name.
Hope you had a successful happiness pursuit in the powder.

Anonymous said...

to windsurf or kite (or both?)?

I just happen to live, sail (I dabble in kiting, surfing, SUP and longboard wavesailing as well), and work on Hatteras Island myself, and I think there are advantages to both sports (kiting and windsurfing) in the waves. But before I compare the two, I just want to let people know that the new kites go and stay upwind really well, maybe even better than windsurfers. And windsurfers can, have done, and do downwinders -- they're normally just much shorter than one you'd do kiting because you can't go dead-downwind.

Okay, but now to the point: kites pull you up, windsurfing rigs push down on the board. So: for good waves bottom turns are better on windsurfers, topturns are better for kiters. On crappy waves, kitesurfing is much more manueverable on the wave. When it's big, kiters have the advantage in getting out because of being pulled up; but once on the wave kites can stall out and fall out of the sky so you can't really push that bottom turn as well, whereas the windsurf rig just buries the rail and pulls you up to the top of the wave and it doesn't matter whether there's wind on the inside or not. Windsurfers can ride backside (upwind) on a wave either towards the peak to get deeper into the wave or towards the shoulder if on the backside of the wave, whereas kiters are pretty-much limited to stalling out and waiting for the wave to move to them (when it's side-sideoff). Windsurfing is better from 25-50 (5.0-3.4), kiting is better -way better - from 13-20. oh, and arial-off-the-lips are sicker for windsurfing than in kiting because of the negative dangle factor with a kite, and nothing is more soulfully badass than a tweaked backloop on a windsurfer; but if you've ever been schlogging on a windboard and had a push a tweaked move over your head on a kite, it all evens out. kiting is sicker 'cause you can get barrels whereas if you've seen josh angulo upside-down under the lip you realize there's some things you can't do with a kite....and lastly, kiting is easier to learn than windsurfing, easier on the body than windsurfing, and you Can launch/land by yourself but you'd better not kite side-off by yourself and not until you're legit. but neither are necessarily better than the other.
Ultimately, it's a feel thing: with windsurfing you're directly connected to your gear, whereas with kiting the kite is, to an extent, just a slightly-attached motor that pulls you where you want to go. I love the feeling I get from windsurfing, but I'll rig up with a kiter any day and have no problems sharing waves with someone on a different vessel.

sorry to add yet another long thread to an already long discussion.... stuart proctor, avon nc

Jeff Weatherall said...

Look, kiteboarding is basically wakeboarding, with a kite substituted for the boat. I can tell you for a fact that many kiters I know came to the sport from wakeboarding. Don't believe it? Click my link, and see for yourself where kiting comes from. Now what does that tell you? Some people find a thrill in getting dragged around like a teabag in a big cuppa. Others find their thrill being whipped and beaten by a leather-clad dominatrix. After that pig post of yours, don't get any ideas, Cammar.

cammar said...

Stuart,
thanks a lot for a remarkable contribution. What do you think about the advantage of having the possibility of sticking one hand in the water in the bottom turn in kitesurfing? I think it's huge. That guy I saw was bottom turning like a slalom snowboarder...

Jeff,
thanks for the link, you guys do some pretty amazing jumps. Sure, I see what you mean about kite and wakeboarding. I personally hate ever sport that involves the use of an engine, specially in the water. To the point that even though I love riding waves, I refuse to do any tow-in surfing, because of the stinky smell and annoying noise of the jet-ski.

Anonymous said...

Hey GP - the whole dragging your hand in the water thing definitely brings kiting closer to surfing, but I don't know if it makes kiting or windsurfing any more dynamic than the other one. Robbie Naish's kiteboarding and windsurfing bottom turns are equally hard, full-g, and badass.

Kiters drag their hand the same way a windsurfer lays the rig all the way down to the water, turning their bodies back up to the wave.

I look at my favorite riders from both sports - felix pivek and ben wilson kiting and polakow and angulo for windsurfing (sorry for my choices, folks), and you can't really say that one sport can do something any more radically or 'stylie' than the other, and the power/style range is still super-broad for both sports. Also, more really good surfers are learning to kite (as apposed to windsurfing) as their high-wind alternative and it's bringing the overall level of game up more quickly in kiteboarding than it is in windsurfing. I feel many windsurfers don't know the waves as intimately as surfers, and so that will affect the style and progression of the sport in relation to kiting. Ultimately, though, you should ask Robbie or another crossover great (Sean, Cabrinha, etc) for their expert opinions and just settle the matter. I guess what I just want to see is kiters looking at windsurfers and being like "man, they rip" and for windsurfers to say the same thing about kiting - something that just doesn't happen enough here on the east coast (of the US), where there's still so much residual hatred and misunderstanding on both sides because people feel the need to be better than another person and Americans always feel like they have to be on the winning team (ergo the other has to be the loser). Last comment, and I'll be done: here on hatteras island, the overall level of kiting is higher than the overall level of windsurfing, largely because all of the top kiters also used to kill it windboarding. While wavesailing has always looked super-cool on maui, wavesailing is just now starting to get to a respectable level of cool again way over here on the EC. So far, kiteboarders here have been much more willing to progress gear/style wise, whereas windsurfing is still stuck on the astrorock and 30% carbon masts. Again, sorry for the longwindedness and thanks for the post and for the awesome blog. - stuart

cammar said...

Stuart,
please don't apologize from posting such a good comment again.
That's the kind of discussion I wanted to promote.

James Douglass said...

:) Heh heh. I guess this is a big question for all windsurfers.

http://jimbodouglass.blogspot.com/2008/01/to-kite-or-not-to-kite.html

I hope you do give it a try because I'd like to hear your take after you've done both.

cammar said...

Yo James,
I remember you did a similar post, I didn't remember the title... sorry, didn't mean to copy it!
Be sure that if I try kitesurfing again, you'll know it from this blog.
And I do want to try. But I want to do it in a day with a steady 12-14 knots breeze and completely flat on both north and south shores (hence, with nothing better to do). Trust me, there's very, very few of those days in Maui... thank god!

Anonymous said...

Hello
congratulations with your Blog!
Very well done, fun to read and watch! Keep up that vibe.
Any idea yet about who the mystery kiter is?
regards, Joe (BE)

cammar said...

Thanks Joe!.
Nope, no idea...

desenfeinat said...

hi jp, as a waterman you should off and on do some real kite "surfin" all these sports we do are just like music. suurf is the clasical mussic. the basics the essential. ...the rest are just styles. hiphop, sould, blues metal...who cares what you play.

just enjoy your wy. express yourself.

greetings from paradise.