Here's another long journey foil tale for you all to enjoy. On Friday I decided to head out for another long ride during another light south wind day. If you read my previous post from Thursday you'll know that I learned my lesson about heading straight to the water, especially with the swell larger than the day before. I stood at the shoreline with my kite up and board in hand timing the sets. Once I saw a clearing I set my way out, and began riding no problem. Everything was off to such a smooth start!
As I began my ride I decided that today I would head South upwind along the coast. The goal was to make it to Crystal Cove where we scattered my mothers ashes and pay her a visit. As I began riding past the Huntington Pier the outside swell grew in size. I was intrigued at how large these rolling hills of water were so far out past the break. I came equipped this day with a longer mast to help for the larger swell and chop as I made my way upwind. Starting a long ride with an up wind destination isn't as fun in the beginning, but I knew coming back would literally be a breeze. I'd basically ride along the coast until I got just behind the break, then tack back out away from the shore line. This was becoming pretty tedious on the legs, but once I passed the Newport pier the coast line swept in making it an easy ride down to Crystal Cove. Once I got there I rode and sent some love to my mom. It was beautiful seeing the cliffs along the coast line and how clear the water was. I was filled with happiness to be in this moment doing what I love in a spot that meant so much to me. After a final good bye pat upon the water I began my venture back home.
Riding down wind is a blast on the foil. Everything is so quiet and calm as you cruise your way back. It was so calm that I was able to play music from my phone inside my wetsuit and jam my way back home. My line on my way back had me heading along the coast line while slowly heading farther out to sea. I didn't mind as it set me up to shoot past all the piers without having to be too close.
As I made my way past Huntington Pier I figured I'd keep riding to Long Beach. Everything seemed in order to make my way there no problem. What I didn't realize while riding the wind had tapered off significantly. I hadn't noticed because I wasn't doing any transitions and was using the apparent wind from the the speed of my foil. As I made my way down I decided to turn to shore to get a little closer for the rest of my ride down to Long Beach. When I brought my kite up to turn I felt little to no pressure in my lines. As my board speed came to a halt I felt no wind to my back. The wind had dropped too low single digits, and I was quite a distance from the shoreline. My kite slowly began to fall from the sky as everything seemed to hit zero. I was able to relaunch my kite to just have it fall from the sky again. 'Here we go' I said to myself preparing for the long swim.
I began going through the motions of my self rescue. With little to no wind wrapping your lines and getting to your kite is quite easy. The unfortunate part of doing a self rescue with no wind is not having the ability to use your downed kite as a sail to bring you in. I attempted to open the sail to help blow me in, but I was kick paddling faster than the wind could blow my kite. So I balled my kite up as small as I could to reduce drag, and began the long kick paddle back to shore with board in hand. This part wasn't too bad, but I knew the tough part would be getting in with the large surf.
As I began closing in on the outside break I wanted to make sure I had all my gear in order. The last thing I wanted was to get caught in a wave entangled with my board or kite. I began checking my bar and lines, and found that I hadn't quite got all the lines wrapped on to my bar. About 20 feet of line had wound itself around my leg and around the mast of my foil. If I would have swam in and been caught by a wave I would have been tethered to all my gear creating a pretty nasty situation. I got the line off my leg and board and fully wrapped my bar. I was now sitting just on the outside of the break, and began timing the sets. My goal was to wait until the last set wave came and swim in behind it to prevent myself from being tossed with a wave. I found my moment and began to swim and pull my gear in.
I was making great progress when the lifeguards made their way over on the jet ski. I gave them the OK signal that I was fine as I continued to swim. The guard, wanting to help, offered me a ride on the back of the ski. We stalled for a moment discussing our exit plan, but as we sat there the sets began to roll back in. We both saw the set wave closing in on his ski and he told me to drop the kite and get myself and board on his float. Once I was on the wave was right on us. The guard had to gun it to keep the ski from getting tossed, but that ripped me off the back with board in hand. I was at the crest of the wave about to go over. I knew the board was holding me back so I tossed it with the wave and swam across the top. I'm now treading water between the sets with the ski just out in front. He sets the ski closer as the next wave comes closing in. I swam up and grabbed the float on the back. As soon as I had hold of the handles he guns it avoid the next wave coming at us. We make it over the set and set course to shore. Making it in I watch as my kite gets pummeled in wave after wave. Finally I am back to shore.
Once I made my way in I had drawn quite the crowd of on lookers. Relieved and slightly embarrassed, I made my way to the life guard truck on the shoreline. It was a guard that kites himself here in Huntington, and we both shared a laugh over my experience. He knew that I lived a few towers down so he gave me a ride back to my street in the back of the truck.
I tell you these stories because it goes to show that even with experience things can still happen. I was fully aware that by doing this long ride I may need to swim, but I wasn't anticipating the wind to die as quickly as it did. If you find yourself in a self rescue situation be sure to reevaluate as you go through your steps. I'm glad I took several moments during my self rescue to assess and reassess my situation. Making sure to check my lines before entering the break was crucial to my safety. Understanding that I could time the sets to avoid being thrown over the falls was also a key moment. By understanding the entirety of my situation I was able to make it back safe and sound. I urge all of you to do the same when venturing out. Know the variables so that you can address them before they are an issue.
I will be back on the Vlog tomorrow for all of you with more fun kiteboarding topics! Happy kiting everyone!
10 years ago today I started kiteboarding. I had no clue at the time where this sport would take me over the next decade. Over the years this sport has given me so much to be thankful for. I've made life long friendships, started a business, and became involved in one of the most well known kite brands. Today in the Vlog I share my experiences over the years, and how I got to this point in kiteboarding. I also included some old photos from the past decade to show where it all started. Hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane with me. Happy kiting!
Let me tell you about my foil excursion from my home spot of Huntington Beach to the oil island of Long Beach then back home. Over last week we had phenomenal wind, but the last several days we have gotten lazy Southern breezes. The first day of no wind I took it to rest and relax, but yesterday my anxiousness got the best of me. I wanted something to do so I figured I'd do something kite related, but conditions were not necessarily inviting. Our wind here in Huntington was barley blowing above 10 MPH from the South. To add to the already poor conditions a rather large South swell was beginning to kick in. I knew I'd look like a kook going down there with these conditions so I decided to dress the part. I dressed like the kookiest individual I know, Chip Ripperson. I had on my mesh Hawaiian shirt over my wetsuit with a hat that read 'Mahalo Kooks' and very large water sunglasses. As I made my way down to the water I was drawing quite a good amount of attention. Most of my neighbors were heading out to surf, and here I am walking down dressed like a kook holding the kookiest water device known to surfers, a foil board. If you know what Kook of the Day is on Instagram my goal was to either make it on there or make it out to ride. I unfortunately only accomplished one of those goals.
As I got down to the water it felt like the wind was pretty close to non existent, but I didn't care. I was going out there no matter what, and I was going to have a good time doing it. As I got my kite up the wind felt reasonable, and I got a bit over confident. I figured I had enough power to body drag out regardless of whether the sets were coming in or not. So instead of waiting to time out the sets I went straight to the water. If you've ever body dragged in light wind you know it can be quite a task. Well when you toss in a pretty decent shore break dressed like an idiot it becomes exponentially more difficult. The Hawaiian shirt was causing a decent amount of drag and became very heavy negating the buoyancy of my wetsuit. Along with having no power in the kite this made for an awesome pair up going out to the waves. Every surfer in the water stared at me in pure distain as I body dragged passed them.
After a decent amount of effort I got to a spot that was deep enough for my foil. I looped my kite and was riding immediately, piece of cake. My ego and confidence quickly diminished as I looked forward. Not timing the sets had me riding straight into a walled out wave with no sign of exit down wind. I thought I'd just jump it as I usually do. Unfortunately, I forgot that I didn't need to just clear the board from the wave, but the foil below me. As I got some height and though all was good I felt my legs being yanked very aggressively downward. The wave grabbed my foil and took it, along with me, over the falls. Time sort of slows down when you're in a wave whirlpool with a foil flying around your body. You have time to think how dumb of an idea this was, and what your hospital experience may be like. I covered my face with one hand and kept the other hand on my bar hoping my kite was still in the air. I some how got out of the wave with kite still flying, and unscathed by my foil. I wasn't out of the woods quite yet though. I fell right in the break, and the next wave was coming. Usually in this situation I'd just use the power of my kite to loop to shore and be out of harms way. With the wind I had today my power was limited and the waves were much more powerful. As I took the next set on the head I blindly looped my kite hoping to pop out of the white wash, and it worked. I made it back to shore to grab my board.
Now bound and determined to redeem myself in front of all the surfers and beach goers I set out for my next attempt. This time being a bit more cautious of the waves I timed the sets, and nailed my next start. As I got out passed the waves I sighed in relief and finally caught my breath. It was now time for my journey, but where was I going to go? I stayed in Huntington for the first few tacks getting comfortable with my line, and knowing where I could travel. At first I thought I'd ride upwind to Newport then cruise down back to Huntington. After doing several tacks up past the pier I didn't want to work hard in the beginning. I noticed my angle going down wind was nearly a perfect shot straight to Sunset so I began my trek. My line was so comfortable I didn't need to do anything. My kite just sat slightly down wind of me while I cruised down the beach. It was such an easy ride that by the time I got into Sunset I figured, why stop? Long Beach was on the horizon so I traveled onward. It felt like I was just sailing the coast line on my one person sail boat. Cruising the waters taking in the views, I could see the mountains with their snow capped peaks. It was a calm enjoyable ride all the way down.
As I made my way back from Long Beach to Huntington the swell on the outside was getting noticeably larger. Learning my lesson from earlier and seeing more surfers in the water I'd have to time my approach. While riding up through Dog Beach of Huntington I could see the sets pounding along moving at a decent speed. If I didn't come in at the right angle I wouldn't have the speed to out run these waves. Upon my approach upwind toward the beach I knew I was in a precarious spot. I saw a wave over my shoulder beginning to take shape. I quickly tacked my board up into it and turned back out. This was my shot to get back in. I was going to chase that wave all the way to shore. I quickly jibed after my tack to race in behind the set. As I began my approach to the shore I could see the next wave closing in behind me. I couldn't slow down with the chance of the next wave taking me out, but had a field of people and surfer in the water in front of me. Carefully but quickly I navigated my way passed the individuals with the wave on my tail. I did it, I made it to the sand!
All in all it was a really fun experience even with being tossed around in the beginning. I probably would have never done something like this if it weren't for our current situation so there's silver linings to everything. I traced my ride with an app on my phone called Relive and have the video below for you to check out my ride. Hope you enjoyed this story of my boredom and pursuit of relieving it. Happy kiting everyone!
In today's Vlog I talk about our pesky underwater rivals in Belmont Shore. If you are a Belmont regular you are all too familiar with who I am referring to as you probably have encountered one before. If you are new to the sport and our area I am talk about our frienemy the stingray! In today's vlog I dive a little deeper into who these little guys are, and why they frequent are area. I also give advice on how to treat your sting by using a Ray Rx bag, and tips to avoiding these guys. I had a lot of fun researching this, and wanted to add a lot more but the video was over 20 minutes haha. If you are interested in more information I'm going to include the links below where I found my research. Enjoy today's video!!!
Stingray Sting Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539785/
Round Ray Information: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/urobatis-halleri/
Cal State Long Beach Marine Biology: http://www.csulb.edu/shark-lab/stingray-facts
Ray Rx Bags can be bought from: https://www.nolimitkiteboarding.com/#/
No weather report today or vlog post, but here is the review for the 2020 Rebel and Jaime Textreme. If you want to check out more reviews like this click here!
For more information please see the link below:
COVID 19 UPDATE: 12:39 PM
The county of LA has shut down all beach access starting today March 27 to April 19 2020. For more information please refer to the order below
Jesse gives a weather update along with the current COVID-19 situation. Before getting into the topic of the day he is interrupted by an uninvited guest. Stay tuned though at the end for a look at a new eyewear company Stern Optics! You can check out their products here:
'Hey everyone! Hope you've been enjoying the vlogs and other videos! Doing a lot of filming and editing today for tomorrow's Vlog and other future videos that I can't wait to share with all of you.
Today's post were keeping it to the original blog post as I know most of you want to just head straight to the water. Starting with weather we have clear skies and mild temperatures. Wind is already blowing 10 MPH side offshore from the West/Northwest. According to our table We will begin to see the wind become more Westerly around 1:00 hitting 15MPH then ramping up for an entire afternoon of wind. Everything is lining up for a really solid spring wind day so get out there if you can.
As of writing this post here is the current information about our beaches and how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting them.
Today in the Vlog Jesse learns how to read a calendar and gives an update to the COVID-19 situation.