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20 Years of Kiting!

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RickI
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20 Years of Kiting!

Postby RickI » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:42 pm

I just had my 20th year of riding last month, almost missed it. Paul Menta had his as well. There are a number on here who have been riding that long, some even longer. So, tell us and what is has been like!

It has been a long run of a lot of learning with substantially improving gear throughout. Starting out with few facts, a lot of reasoned ideas and then sessions in the school of hard knocks to sort out realities. I did have that short video from Wipika and in time Naish's "How to Rip." In large measure though, I did a lot of learning on here with early kiters around the world trying to figure things out. So many access challenges and countless great sessions. I started with 2 line Wipika Classics, moved to a wide variety of foils, back to LEI's including many four line C-Kites, then on to BOW kites and other varieties of high depower kites. Initially I had no QR and barely a functioning kite leash, then there were QR which weren't all that reliable for about four years, tech kept improving as the sport grew. Starting with massive directionals to work with chronic light winds here and weaker early kites, eventually moving to tt boards, back to surfboards, now foils, variation and experimentation. We have come a long way. Here's to our great sport, sustainable growth and good winds all around!

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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby Toby » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:20 pm

Wow Rick, congratulations!

Didn’t know you stared in 1998. Really a pioneer, as everyone is for me before 2000.

Amazing how time runs...

Hopefully you will have a special day session!

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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby FLandOBX » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:25 pm

Cool, RickI. Congratulations. I'm impressed when someone says "I started with 2 line Wipika Classics" (and "I had no QR"! :o !!!). We take for granted so many of the technological advances built into today's equipment. Sometimes, we forget about the scrapes and bruises that the sport's "pioneers" suffered to get us where we are today. Kiting is always an adventure, but in the 2-line/no QR days, it must have been really special. :thumb:

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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby or6 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:30 pm

Interesting, Rick. I started in 1998 as well, never realised, also on a 5 meter classic Wipika. My first board was a wakeboard, something with far too much rocker, but there wasn't anything else. I built my own bar, for some reason, maybe the weren't sold yet? I then changed to Peter Lynn waterfoils, and bought a 210 Brunotti High Wind, if I remember correctly. A year down the road, still couldn't really get upwind. Well maybe six months, I don't remember. Things started getting fun on my first proper twintip, the LF Pickleforck. Still have that board! Don't ride it though.

Yeah, we have come a long way. It was a challenge then, no clue what I was doing, but the community was like I still enjoy it now. We help each other out, give tips, and I still love going out, still can get a hard on for a good session.

The gear...no comparison. It's all so much easier and especially safer.

Like you, I changed to surfboards only. My knees can no longer cope with the impact of hard sessions on twintips.

I have picked up other sports, MTB in particular, but kiting is still everything to me. Still magical.

I vote for another twenty years, let's see what kites are like then!

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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby bay surfer » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:40 pm

20 yrs, It pays to be safe, Rick. The kooks out there have no Idea. Thanks

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RickI
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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby RickI » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:28 pm

Thank you Toby and for creating this great forum for the world so many years ago! If not for your site and others like it we would have been far slower in figuring out kiting with a lot more downside as a result. It was certainly more solitary in these parts in 1998-1999. I only saw one other kiter, the same guy, twice in nearly a year and a half. It was great to be able to swap ideas on the old egroups email lists, then much more easily and in depth on your site in 2001 on. Yes, time does fly and it doesn't really seem that long ago either. I was just looking over the column you created for me all those years ago, viewforum.php?f=131 Things have become easier and safer in some respects with better tech and awareness out there.

Yes, we had a great session. I took by kids ages 5 and 8 out on the kiteboard off Key West on Saturday, we had a blast!

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RickI
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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby RickI » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:33 pm

Thanks! Two line kites were interesting with a far more narrow wind range than you can realize today with BOW and high depower kites. Four and five kite quivers weren't that uncommon. You had a limited wind range if the upper end approached you put the kite down and edged as hard as you could. The trick was not being out if it gusted too high particularly with no QR or one that might not work. Many riders just unhooked, as long as the wind force wasn't too great and they acted early enough. It may have been our lower numbers but it seems like accidents really increased when four line LEI's came out with a larger wind range. We had to focus on weather conditions which came slow for a time. Lots of the early guys ended up in the hospital, some of us more than once. Some guys missed that part however and good for them!
FLandOBX wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:25 pm
Cool, RickI. Congratulations. I'm impressed when someone says "I started with 2 line Wipika Classics" (and "I had no QR"! :o !!!). We take for granted so many of the technological advances built into today's equipment. Sometimes, we forget about the scrapes and bruises that the sport's "pioneers" suffered to get us where we are today. Kiting is always an adventure, but in the 2-line/no QR days, it must have been really special. :thumb:

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RickI
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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby RickI » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:52 pm

Congratulations! Were you the lone ranger or were there other early kites in your area? I started with an 8.5 m Wipika Classic. It was so slow, but had nothing to compare it to at the time! I had one of those old mega rocker wakeboards too. I used to wonder, when is someone going to make these smaller boards for kiting? We were always looking for a "better" kite. I had a PL Arc for a while, that was an interesting kite particularly with the auto-zenith tendency. I went through a bunch of open and valved intake foils looking for something that would work in our light winds, not realizing that it didn't exist yet. I wasn't able to stay up wind, much anyway, with two line kites. I was amazed to see the Pete Cabrinha, Rush Randle, Don Montague stay upwind off Sprec's in 1999 and wonder, how do they do that? It came down to strong enough wind, edging hard and spending enough time in it to make it happen. Staying upwind and a great deal more became easy overnight with 4 line LEI kites. You made your own bar, well done. There was a lot of experimentation with bars, QR, depowering systems. I seem to recall a kite bar that was made out of a hockey stick.

I had two pickelforks, one I could ride and the other was only good for stronger wind. I wish I had kept one of those. My only kite a while later in light south Florida winds for 1 1/2 years was a 5 m Wipika. If not for a 7 1/2 ft. directional and 10 m line extensions it never would have worked out. My favorite board was probably that old 7 1/2 ft. Fox directional designed after Maui tow-in boards, 1998 vintage. What was your favorite early board?

Yes, helping each other online was such a big deal back in the day, still is really. It is even better at the beach once there were other kiters there. It is good to have other interests. If not for photography I suspect the amount of kiting would have fallen off a while back.

Yes, here's to another 20 years!
or6 wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:30 pm
Interesting, Rick. I started in 1998 as well, never realised, also on a 5 meter classic Wipika. My first board was a wakeboard, something with far too much rocker, but there wasn't anything else. I built my own bar, for some reason, maybe the weren't sold yet? I then changed to Peter Lynn waterfoils, and bought a 210 Brunotti High Wind, if I remember correctly. A year down the road, still couldn't really get upwind. Well maybe six months, I don't remember. Things started getting fun on my first proper twintip, the LF Pickleforck. Still have that board! Don't ride it though.

Yeah, we have come a long way. It was a challenge then, no clue what I was doing, but the community was like I still enjoy it now. We help each other out, give tips, and I still love going out, still can get a hard on for a good session.

The gear...no comparison. It's all so much easier and especially safer.

Like you, I changed to surfboards only. My knees can no longer cope with the impact of hard sessions on twintips.

I have picked up other sports, MTB in particular, but kiting is still everything to me. Still magical.

I vote for another twenty years, let's see what kites are like then!
Last edited by RickI on Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RickI
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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby RickI » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:55 pm

It certainly pays to try, when we think of it! I resolved to have fewer accidents/strains some years back and have been fairly successful. We can hope with awareness comes a great deal not the least of which is more secure access for the rest of us. Thanks!
bay surfer wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:40 pm
20 yrs, It pays to be safe, Rick. The kooks out there have no Idea. Thanks

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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby Rob_85 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:19 pm

I’ve been kiting 18 months, so a relative newbie. Here’s to the next 18.5 years and I hope I’m posting my 20th anniversary then!


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