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20 Years of Kiting!

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Peter_Frank
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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby Peter_Frank » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:34 pm

Wow, you are right, it has been some really "round" anniversaries lately for many of us.

For me it has been 4o years of windsurfing now, 30 years of surfing (okay a bit more now but 30 looks better), and 20 years of kitesurfing :D

Amazing that it still gives the same stoke as back in the days :naughty:

Love the sea and air and all the elements, both when calm and brutal with each their own beauty and attractions :rollgrin:

xxxx-surfing is life :thumb:

8) Peter

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RickI
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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby RickI » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:04 am

matt-0 kite Concept Air and Mosquito, some solid early kites. Michael with Concept used to be real active on the egroups lists trying to move things forward. A number of folks in my area used his kites. I recall visiting Cabarete in 2000 with Mosquito's being the only traction kites in use there. I rigged some kite depower/leashes on my early F one foil kites, the idea of going without one wasn't too appetizing. I hear you on the walk of shame. It is ironic that once I could stay upwind (with four line LEI kites) I largely stopped doing downwinders, because I could! So much great history, keep it coming!

Thank you lindseym for keeping things flying on the West Coast. I am still learning after all this time, there is still more to know.

Dave_5280 your large stunt kite sounds like a vintage experience, what year was that? The real early guys, pre-Wipika worked with stunt deltas like that. It was before my time! I miss the wingtip folded over solo launching technique with C-kites, it allowed a fair amount of control. Despite that I wouldn't trade back from BOW and high depower kites for it.

A really early kiteboard fabricator, well done knyfe! I came close to buying a C-Quad a few times lured but what I hoped would be a lightwind marvel (which didn't really exist yet). I was the opposite on directionals staying with them about 2 years longer than many guys in favor of twin tip boards. The long direction made sense for our chronic light winds here vs. a (too) short tt board.

Wow, you had a lot of experience with the PL kites or6 . I tried a Guerilla once in MD and was impressed by its performance. A 5 meter Classic (closer to 7 m in flat area) in Tenerife, with all that nuclear wind on a two line with no depower?! How did that work for you? I took the same kite (Trip Forman's old kite) to Maui in 1999 for winds ranging from 20 to 45 mph. I never took it out of the suitcase in favor of Wipika 3.5 and 4 m kites which the locals were using.

I remember X-Shooter and your spinable Kite bar with a Wichard quick release Toby. It had a strong following at the time. It is ironic that most bars weren't that supportive of spinning with tricks in the early days.

Thanks for all your great input over the years Clew In. Some of us may have started on the early side but concerned people discussing and working to figure things out over the years regardless of when they started, are the ones who have moved things forward. Thanks to one and all for that.

Peter_Frank you have provided so much excellent advice and analysis over the years, many thanks for that! The ocean and the great things we get up to there are very motivating to want more. I suspect a lot of us crossed over from other water activities. Ironically diving for over 45 years and more recently hang gliding and windsurfing helped me with the quest to try to understand kiting and spot the pitfalls before plunging into them in the early days.

I know there are lots of other early kiters out there, so let's hear from you. Thanks!

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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby 14ToeSide » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:48 am

I think SUPRA May have been kiting before the late 90’s.

Just sayin!!

14

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RickI
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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby RickI » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:10 pm

I don't recall the VHS cassette video included with the early Wipika kites being as detailed as this Matt Pendle clip but some of the content was included. For those who haven't enjoyed the wonders of the Wipika Classic kites, this may provide some perspectives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1SZb2euYw0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1SZb2euYw0

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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby fernmanus » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:40 pm

Congratulations to Rick, Paul, Peter, and others that have lived to tell the stories of early days kiting. The early gear was dangerous and the learning curve was high. 2 line kites have been mentioned, but don’t forget fixed chicken loops, wrist leashes (there is nothing better than getting dragged by one wrist while your kite is in a death loop 💀), snap shackles, and board leashes. A lot of riders were making homemade safety gear, I remember going to Marine Products on a regular basis in order to fabricate the latest DYI safety release.
Here are a few more early day gear mentions - Flexifoil Blade Ram Air kite made famous by Lou Wainman and Elliot Leboe. Lightwave Dave came out with the first production twintip in 2000, he hand delivered one to me on Oahu in December. Some Production kite models were more R&D than useable, did any of you own a Naish X10 or V4 30m? Or the Flysurfer 26m Psycho 2?
When I think back, I feel grateful to be alive. :thumb:

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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby Toby » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:10 am

Didn’t know LW Dave did the first production TT.
Good to know.

I tried the Naish V4 25...and remember launching it as well...LE was huuuuge.

Yes, I remember the death looping AR3.5 9m on my wrist leash! Luckily the line snapped and me then running like crazy to catch it again. Worked out well.

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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby RickI » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:41 am

Thanks Kenny you too, you have posted a ton of great content on here for a very long time. I recall my first wrist leash was so prone to be yanked free it was almost like not wearing one in the first place. One of the earlier kites had no instructions because the manufacturers had concluded they increased liability?! I recall MKM being pulled towards shore in the early 2000's by a looping kite wrist leash but he got it sorted out before landfall. That same day a guy was lofted 15 ft. past me into the hood of a car by a mere 32 mph. squall gust doing some serious body work damage, to the car as he landed board first. I got one of early LWDave's long TT boards in Peter Nordby's charity action at an early kite event in St. Augustine. It was good for lightwind for some years. I used to have five AR5's but otherwise missed most of the Naish kites. I think I sold my old 16.9 m Airblast to you in the early 2000's? It was larger than my hang glider with a flat area of 23 m^2! It worked out well for you in snow kiting at the time? I am grateful to be alive too and more than once!

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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby mike dubs » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:53 am

Had my 19th anniversary last week.

Yep, I started on the 2 line Wipika, no instructions but had seen a half page in a windsurf magazine about needing to sine the kite...! Got dragged and Beaten up on it and a 7’6’’ surfboard with glassed on straps for a year before I could return to my start point.

My life changed when I got the LW 169? Twin tip too, along with watching Frank Olry.

Then I saw Lou and went straight out and got wakeboard and boots.

Next milestone was ‘08 when I rode a strapless surfboard and not been in a strap since.

Mike

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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby or6 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:33 am

For some insight in your predecessors, or a trip down memory lane: check out 'Upwind, launch of a sport'. Easily found on the internet, it's about the first (1999) King of the Air. Awesome fun to watch.

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Re: 20 Years of Kiting!

Postby Toby » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:03 am



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