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Van Isle 2018

Windsurfing shop talk

by C36 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:40 pm

VI 1 - Mount Tzouhalem (2018 July 18)

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Afternoon ferry. Quick stop at Mount Tzouhalem for two short loops turned into a two hour epic ride when we dropped into a new bermed downhill run that took us to an unexpected corner of the mountain. Ended up doing a 'cool-down' on Danalzer from the cross. Ethan rode well and took it all in stride. Arrived at the lake to set up the tent in the trees upwind of the loop road and eat dinner in the dark. Happy to be safely here with four tires full of air!

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VI 2 - Nitinat Lake (2018 July 19)

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Happy Hour. Inflow all night then marine-layer-foil-weather that lasted the whole day. Eventually took to the water to get wet around 6 pm just as the wind eased and the sky turned light over the ocean and dark in the valley (bad). At first even the 115/6.9/28 wasn't enough. Then one ride. Then two. Then more. Funny how two guys learning to kite-foil seemed to make the open lake seem crowded (lack of control, proximity and crashes made for some unnerving moments) - pretty irresponsible. Still fun in the sun over happy hour.

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by C36 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:02 pm

VI 3 – Nitinat Lake – kite lesson 1 (2018 July 20)

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My turn. I promised Ethan I would take kite lessons after he had become an independent kiter and he is so off I went. I think Ethan may have been looking forward to this more than me. Funny to see Luce arrive at work by helicopter. Thanks to Kelanna (Peter and the rest of the Elevation crew) for making my introduction to kiting comfortable and fun! Dry land and body dragging (felt like trying to barefoot behind a not-strong-enough boat and a snorkel would have been handy) and got a feel for the kite. Got congratulatory waves from Johnny and Heather on the jet ski ride back up the lake. No tea bagging, no tomahawked kite, no broken ribs so it was a successful day. Kelanna made me blush by calling me ‘a natural’ (all that trainer kite work with Ethan helped me too). Thanks to Ethan for taking pictures.

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VI 4 – Nitinat Lake – windsurfing (2018 July 20)

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Afternoon cool-down session with Ethan who was just getting warmed up. Fun to see him launch, sail upwind of the schools and land. Well done. He was having so much fun he didn’t want to leave the water! Sailed down to take a couple of rides with Heather before heading in to cook dinner. Ice creams, internet and ‘bear run’ on our bikes in the dark back to camp.

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by ShonanDB » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:08 am

Dave, how is the learning curve? Were you able to get up and angle off the wind a bit? What size kite were you on? Lessons again today?
DB
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by LeopardSkin » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:17 am

From a windsurfer's perspective, kiting is easy to pick up. It took me 20 mins to get up on the board planing. No turning though.
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by C36 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:59 pm

ShonanDB wrote:Dave, how is the learning curve? Were you able to get up and angle off the wind a bit? What size kite were you on? Lessons again today?
DB

Learning curve is days (not years). First lesson was on 9 m (underpowered body dragging) yesterday was also 9 m (but more wind and using board). Today was 10 m (less wind, but getting slightly more efficient). Getting up the second day and better at angling the board off today (more later).

VI 5 – Nitinat Lake – kite lesson 2 (2018 July 21)

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Bad habits. Four decades of windsurfing (over sheeting) and wakeboarding (plowing the board) were both working against me. The kite took some hits today and I also accidently ‘boosted’ a few airs today (not cool). Plus I was getting too many seemingly conflicting instructions today. Still made gains but this was frustrating (worse yet to be standing on the beach watching the peak of the wind pass by). Kiteboarding immersion was starting to feel a little like a colonoscopy - necessary but slightly uncomfortable and not much fun. On the plus side Ethan told me I was trying to start with the board pointed too far upwind and not sending the kite enough to start. Also appreciated the decoding tips from KayKay and Dave B.

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VI 6 – Nitinat Lake – kite lesson 3 (2018 July 21)

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Rest. Ethan talked me into sticking with the program and I took in my second lesson of the day. Peter (who I know fairly well) told me straight up stop being afraid of the kite (helpful) and kiteboarding IS relaxing (not sure I entirely believe this although there were hints of it in this session). I felt the harness load with a light bar for the first time and I think I broke the 100m mark. That felt better. Finally got Ethan out on the water for a solo 12 m ‘glass off’ session as a reward for all of his patience today (best part of the day for me was watching him sail). Many thanks! Dinner on the beach, ice creams in town and ‘bear run’ through the dark woods back to the camp on bikes (again). Ethan said he is coming to expect at least one sketchy thing each day on summer holiday (funny that – I tend to think of them as ‘adventures’).

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by Faceplant » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:13 pm

Cool David! You are making the most of your summer! Enjoy!
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by LeopardSkin » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:23 pm

C36 wrote:... I also accidently ‘boosted’ a few airs today...


Next step: raleys!
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by Adrian L » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:00 pm

I am assuming you found internet at the hotel. How is it looking as far as pre Windfest week and campground availability? Gong show? Or not too bad? much thanks! The big fog bank lingering off the coast looks to be hanging round a few more days before the heat dissipates the fuel...
cheers.
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by C36 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:22 am

Adrian L wrote:I am assuming you found internet at the hotel. How is it looking as far as pre Windfest week and campground availability? Gong show? Or not too bad? much thanks! The big fog bank lingering off the coast looks to be hanging round a few more days before the heat dissipates the fuel...
cheers.

Campground thinned a little Sunday night and then packed up again on Monday so looks to be BUSY for Windfest. Internet is pay-for-use at the store (good service).

VI 7 – Nitinat Lake – kite lesson 4 (2018 July 22)

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The fixer. Took in the morning yoga class on the stage (to relax as I was told I was too tense and stiff and need to breathe and relax while kiteboarding – it helped). Arrived at Elevation to Peter saying I could go out with anyone today as all the problems were ‘fixed’. Was first on the water for my morning lesson just after the wind line rolled past with Peter (more work to be done). Learned to: load the chicken loop (harness) rather than oversheeting with my arms; point the board further off the wind (rather than pointing too high and plowing); ease out on the bar and keep the kite out in front of me instead of sending it back up too high or in reverse; and relaxed the lower body some instead of fighting it.

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VI 8 – Nitinat Lake – windsurfing (2018 July 22)

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Windsurfing snack. Ethan and I took to the water for a mid-day session together during my ‘lunchbreak’. Short but sweet (nice to do something that is more automatic). Fully loaded 5.3/115. Sailed up for my afternoon lesson and landed Ethan at Elevation.

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VI 9 – Nitinat Lake – kite lesson 5 (2018 July 23)

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That is kiteboarding. Got off to a strange start when I sent the kite into reverse and tomahawked it to the water just as the beginner kiter who had launch just behind tomahawked her kite to the water forward. It looked like they were going to tangle so I was told to eject the kite and release my leash. Ethan told me he went up to the van to grab the camera and was surprised to find me floating off the main kite beach sans-kite when he got back. Impressive to see Peter retrieve my kite from the beach and fly it out to me. Got kite back on and off we went. Learned to: ease out on the bar and keep the kite out in front of me instead of sending it back up to high or in revere; and relaxed the lower body some instead of fighting it. Funny part was the semi-sorted kite lines (and spooky kite) seemed to help me on the last few rides. Peter was pleased we seemed to build on the morning gains and after one pretty solid ride said, “Now that is kiteboarding!” After the lesson Ethan (kite) and I (windurfing) launched in the ‘spooky’ evening wind. Glad to see Ethan made the right decision to come in (although a little downwind) but there several other kiters swimming home at the end of the day. Found the owner of lost phone/wallet, dinner on the beach, ice creams in town and ‘bear run’ through the dark forest back the camp on our bikes again (likely the last time on this trip).

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by C36 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:50 am

VI 10 – Nitinat Lake – windsurfing (2018 July 23)

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Solid. Wind line showed up early about 9 am (good). Broke camp as the wind built. Happy to help CTK get mobile again (broken caliper bolt) with tools, bolt, and break fluid (he was pretty stoked too as he was travelling light sans-tools as he was on the island). Rigged 5.3/115 and walked to the beach with Ethan’s 9 m, but went back to the van for his 7 m as it was ‘on’! Ethan sampled surfboard with straps (and liked it) and I served as ground support exchanging boards at the waters edge then took to the water – big gear was too big. 4.5/92 was much better and the jump contest began – me (working with experience on ws gear) and Ethan (going with technology). Both left the water in a hotly contested battle. Lots of banter and smiles on the water! GREAT session! Tire check (all good), van wash, and dinner in Port Inferno (33 degrees). Sunset at Kennedy Lake, surf check at Long Beach and ocean-side camp site set-up at Bella Pacifica (for Ethan’s benefit).

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VI 11 – Long Beach - SUP (2018 July 24)

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Golden. Morning chores and errands while Ethan slept in. Happy to get a parking spot with the crew at Incinerator and a tour of the new ‘washrooms’ (stalls, change rooms, showers). Johnny said yesterday was the best Tofino session he had ever had. BWD said this morning was a little dumpy and was holding off for the 3:30 pm low tide. DavidM took to the water first through the fog and the rest followed. Started on the shoulders at tinnies and the sun burned off the fog. Then headed up to the crab trap as the mirage of a right looked to be firing today! I saw everyone in the crew catch memorable rides today! Lots to go around. The only downside was the inside sandbar was rather nasty (sand sucking pounders) and once outside you wanted to stay there. Great crew including a mix of regulars (BWD, Cindy, Udder, Rebaron, DavidM) and a couple of new additions (Ethan and Johhny) and great conditions made for a golden session! Counted eight surfers up at the crab trap after we left the water (more than I have ever seen sitting on that peak). I would like to think it was the stoke our crew shared up there that drew them up. Golden session for sure! Quick surf check/trainer kite session at South Chesterman (waist-high), grilled beef, halibut, backed potatoes and corn on the cob at the campsite. A day very well spent!

Quotes of the day:

Udder: “Wow!” (at seeing the almost barreling right at Esowista aka ‘the crab trap’)
Me: “I think we should go up for a look-see.”
Udder: “Yeah, I think we’ll be doing more than just looking.”

Johhny: “I’m glad I asked about the forecast!” (after dropping in on a few bombs)
Me: “I’m glad you’re here my friend.”

Me to Jesse: “Looks like the new (Fanatic) paddle works.” (while seeing Ethan rip right along a clean bomb from the backside of the wave – uber proud parent moment)

Brown Westfalia surfer couple: “We saw you guys ripping those rights up the beach while we were walking the dogs. It looked amazing!”

Green longboard Westfalia guy: “SUP’s were owning it today!”

Redbaron (Jesse): “Best swell in the last two years.” (and he has seen more than most)

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