Kiteboarding the first

Haha! I got a kite up! -does a little dance-

Finally the wind is up! It was up two days ago and I called Pascal (my kiteboarding contact) and he was on the mainland buying kites! Wha! Such unluck!

So yesterday I’m up at dawn like usual and the wind is up again. But this time I finally get the call I’ve been waiting almost 2 months for. It is on!

Pascal called me at 9:30 but we weren’t going to meet until 1:30 so I got to bounce around the house for a while waiting for the time to come. Couldn’t wait the full time as it turns out and I headed out 1/2 hour early.

Stolen From LaurenceThe ride was really fun. Nature put on a good show yesterday. Dark clouds dominated the sky and the wind was whipping at the jungle. The island was in a rainless storm. It was very cool. The colours were great. (note I have no pictures of the entire day because I was affraid to leave the camera unatended on the beach). It became pretty obvious on the way out to Mae Haad (the place with the island connected only by a stretch of sand) that it was REALLY windy.

I got to Mae Haad without letting the excitement make my driving too reckless and walk-jogged out to the head of the sandbar where the kiteboarders meet. There was Pascal, in a sweater. In the water was Frankie leaping huge distances into the air, landing perfectly and firing on.

Quick intro, sans pictures unfortunately. Pascal owns the kiteboarding shop/school on the island. He is shorter than I am, about the same build, but much more fit. That means he’s pretty small. Frankie is much taller than I am, of a bigger build, and also very fit. That means he’s fairly large. They are both really fun to be around. And since they are kiteboarders on Koh Phangan they are both french (if you’re a restraunteur you’r english and it your a diver you’re scandanavian).

I’ve gotten to hang out with them a bit before. I talk to Pascal on the phone and by email occasianally about the wind and I let him know when I’m not going to be in town. Frankie taught me and a couple of luckless americans the rigging about a week ago on a windless day. We also spent an afternoon drinking beer at Mae Haad waiting for wind that never came.

So I walk up to Pascal (they are clearly much more than 1/2 hour early) with what I’m sure is a huge grin. He tells me that there is too much wind today! Too much! And that he isn’t even going to get one of the new kites up today because of the wind. Grah! Frah! Anyway he says we can wait and see if the wind goes down a little. Time to hit the bar again.

The ride up was a good show. But Mae Haad was fantastic. I really should have brought the camera. The tide was over the sand-spit and big waves from both bays where breaking over it in opposite directions at the same time: smash! It looked great, I wondered if there was anyone stranded on Koh Ma. This was actually another reason we were waiting. They use the spit alot for teaching so we had to wait for the tide to come down and things to settle down a little.

Anyway Frankie got exhausted before long and pretty soon I was surrounded by 1/2 dozen happy french kiteboarders. It was fun. Most of the conversations where in french uneless I managed to start something with Pascal or Frankie. But nature was putting on a good show to fill in the gaps and it was fun trying to comprehend some of the conversation.

B&W SunsetSo anyway eventually the tide went down a little and the waves started breaking way back at the entrance to the bays, leaving the water relatively calm. I guess the wind went down a little but I didn’t notice it. At any rate. It was finally time to play.

I didn’t get a board yesterday. It was mostly learning to control the kite (which I have a head-start on) and getting used to the pull and some of the theory.

The highlight was body drags. We would walk out onto the spit, thigh deep in churning, mad water. Then walk out into the bay into waist, and then chest, and then Frankie dragging me – deep water. Then we give the kite some power and tack back and forth into the beach (well you can’t tack without a keel but you get the idea). This was much fun, although the treck out was arduous. Especially trying to keep up with the big Frencheman.

We did some take-offs and landings, I did one solo trip out to the spit and back and that was the day. It was so much fun and I am so eagre to be out there again.

The wind looks good again today and it will probably stay high for the next little while. Of course I have the cousin with the WORST TIMING EVER PETE! So Sarah and I are off to Bangkok today. Which should generate some fodder for the journal, alot of fodder for the flickr account, as well as a laptop and some new lenses.

Yes yesterday was a good day!


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