How to prevent the kite from losing pull whilst carving downwind 
Quote of the day:
"Carve every word before you let it fall."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Transcript from a kiteforum comment Mako King-riders pics
where I had pointed to a recently uploaded clip: Carve cruise

fernmanus wrote:

"Alex,
Looks like you were riding in fairly light wind. What size of FS Speed 3 were you flying? Did you notice any tip tuck as you carved downwind? From the video it appeared that you had a very nice flow going. Any tips or observations would be appreciated."

Hi Fern (or is it Manus?),

That was a 15 and a slightly hacked Mako Wide.
No tip tuck, or only just a bit that I deliberately allowed for quicker turning.
The very first recommendation I'd give anyone to feel the flow, is to come to a place like Bali . The glassy emerald water between the breaking waves makes the riding not only easy, but truly exhilarating.
What struck me when I first saw the video, is that I did not appear to work the kite at all; but that was not the case. The Speed3s, like the Psy4, but unlike the Speed2s, like to be worked in order to maintain the pull, which is particularly needed when gibing downwind.
The lesser the wind the earlier the kite has to be thrown in the opposite direction; board follows after, and then comes the moment you have to prevent tip tuck (or the kite falling out of the sky if you had a tube-kite). If you managed to get the kite down near the the water quick enough then work it up again, otherwise down-loop it to ensure you're maintaining the pull.
In a way, I deal with a downwind carve a bit like a jump of the horizontal kind, by loading the kite prior to the turn in order to gain max momentum. With foils in a jump as well you've got to be attentive to maintain lift in the kite throughout and after the jump.
In any case, it helps a lot to start the downwind carve with the kite as low as possible and then try to make it turn in a tight radius almost stalling the kite, in other words, don't let the kite anywhere near the zenith.
It is equally important to maintain the carve till you are again at the proper angle relative to the wind in order to restore the generous apparent wind every FS rider appreciates.

Cheers,
Alex

PS: It took me some time to understand how to do it with foils... The fact they naturally stay so much more forward in the window (or high near the zenith), made the completion of the carve that much harder. I actually got the trick of the gibing properly with tube kites. Finishing the job with foils is the hardest part compared to tube kites I tried (F-One M5 12, Naish Park 10, Airush VarialX 12, FS Cronix, all great kites btw).

PS2: Yet another tip to add to the above: before going downwind, release the depower strap to nearly full power in order to keep the kite deeper in the window without having to keep the bar to my chest.


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Boycotting BP. Is it the wisest thing to do to sort out the mess? 
There is a frantic exhortation going on to join the BP boycott.

http://www.facebook.com/BoycottBP?v=wall

Rushing to click "like" might be counterproductive.

As much as I am dismayed by the disaster, as much I don't think a boycott is a sensible solution for fixing the problem. BP is responsible for the spill (but not alone, there is Haliburton etc...) no doubt about that, and consequently will be the entity paying the enormous costs for the cleaning up the mess. A boycott will reduce their capacity to do that.

BP has 100 000 people working for them, who bear absolutely no responsibility for what had happened. Punishing them for something they couldn't have prevented in any way (when perhaps only a dozen of people in the chain of responsibilities are the culprits), and putting thousands jobs at stake will not help the hundreds of thousands of people of the Gulf of Mexico directly affected by the spill, on the contrary.

Furthermore, with the continued use of fossil and nuclear energies, the statistical odds are that it will come at a immense cost to our environment. What happened could happen (and will; it's only a matter of time) to any oil company. Just check the safety records of the other major companies. Amoco has certainly learnt the lesson from their catastrophe. BP will too and change their safety policies accordingly to improve safety, there is no doubt about that, but the risk will never vanish.

Finally, I'd be very hesitant to join a movement who might have a hidden agenda. Who's behind the idea? Who will it benefit ultimately? Those are questions that require answers before calling the movement genuine and join the shouting crowds.

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Breakfast thoughts. I love the Thai people. 
Evidently, for their known tolerance. They even tolerate me, the foreigner, whilst there are already far too many of us farangs (I nearly was going to say them farangs, as like each of us, I do not identify as a typical one). For that alone I am thankful.
Their gracious cheerfulness, their attentive kindness, their meaningful smile, their insatiable love for fun. All this is balm to my heart, and again and again makes me emotional. Every day, lovely experiences are relived with new and fresh colours. I can poke my silly, worn out and sometimes daring jokes to people from all walks of life; they are invariably well received, with laughter and often with a quicker wit in return.
Back in Europe, with similar attitude towards people that I would cross in my daily life, I'd be returned at best, a disdained stare (what's that senile moron trying to achieve?) and (not) at worst, a slap in my face.
We westerners are barbarian compared to them. We see things in black and white, as astutely remarked the very charming wife of one of my good albeit new friends here. And I'd say too often in black only.
We are arrogant, we pretend to teach them false values, as if they did not have their own. But we have never questioned the foundation of most of our supposed values, even though our "critical mind" is what is supposed to differentiate us from them. We think we are good at analysing, we do nothing useful with our conclusions, which is just as well since the are distorted most of the time.
They on the other hand are eminently pragmatic and down to earth, at that matter more. Things do work. Bureaucracy is reduced to the bare minimum. What a saving!
They rightly regard our social security as a disgrace. Its very existence is the undeniable confirmation that in the western model we are so proud of, no one cares about their closest relatives, feel no responsibility for them; the elderly parents, the ill, the out of job. Nobody realise that tax burden of the "state nanny" social model is far heavier to bear than taking care of your own people. BTW Thailand has the lowest rate of unemployment, because no job is considered as undignified, regardless of you qualifications, and they think twice before - as an example - of replacing airport helping staff by LCD info-panels which never give you the information you need.
Thai women definitely have their say as opposed to the misconception that we are led to believe. More on that in a future post.
My wish is that their values do not get sucked into our globalisation black hole.
I love their soi (street) dogs too. They are true friends. But that is also another story. I just want to say for now to NGO do-gooders: do not try neuter them, that's what will be done to you in your next life. Their sheer number only bother you, why should you interfere?

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Flysurfer Pulse 2 8m Review 
Quote of the day:
"I like people who have a pulse and aren't afraid to show it."
Stephan Jenkins

This isn't properly a blog, but an introduction for the upcoming offer for demo Pulse2s. Will be up soon on Homepage.

THE HYPE:
An optimised and thinner profile combine with a perfectly balanced distribution of power throughout the canopy and a completely new level of performance has been achieved. These improvements give the Pulse 2 superb depower, combined with extremely good light wind characteristics while remaining unmatched in handling response. Optimised outline means that the relaunch has become even more simple; with the kite leading edge down, simply pull on a leader line. The increased canopy stability decreases the risk of a front stall and the outline has given even more direct feedback on the bar. Turning speed has also been substantially increased, without annoying back stall. A big plus for wave riding and performing radical manoeuvres. The hard/soft steering allows riders to continuously adjust the bar feeling and pressure to their individual desire. The entire canopy has been stiffened, therefore making overflying and blowouts almost impossible. Thanks to the elastic cell connections, in normal wind conditions for each kite, the Pulse2 is virtually indestructible. Flysurfer also offer a six month free repair promise on top of that, so confident are they.

TEST TEAM NOTES:
OLI: I thought for a closed cell foil kite it was pretty quick to set-up, not like others I've ridden where you have to stand there for ages and it has to be inflated fully before launching. You could self launch it quite happily. It's quite soft to fly and it steered well. It was more like a bow than a C kite as it didn't really drive through the turns, but it was easy to position and move about. I thought it had good depower for a foil kite and would be a good single kite for all sports. I managed to get a good boost up on a jump even in the lighter winds. Normally with foils because of the limited depower they can quickly feel too much, but I never had that with the Flysurfer in the gusts.
WILL: You were staying upwind really well on it; it was only an eight and we were on tens and elevens.
OLI: Yeah I was surprised too, that's great low end power.
WILL: The bar is well constructed, tidy and the depower works really well. I just wasn't sure about the big plastic balls...
OLI: The bridle looked different to others I've seen lately with the brakes all coming down at one point together at the back. I think the safety on the foil is very good; it pulls on the front lines and locks, not like a lot of the bow kites where it over sheets using the front line. You're not going to end up with the bridle wrapping around the tips or anything like that. Not really sure how you'd get on re-launching a kite like that in waves though. I think any foil will suffer in those conditions.
OLI: It's not completely closed cell, it has those stiffeners in the some of the holes. Overall I think it's good for kitesurfing, good for snowkiting and landboarding and you could easily go out on your own with this. I found it turned smoothly and produced gradual power. Open cell kites are easier to use as they inflate a lot easier, and it was definitely fun to be kitesurfing on a foil. It's a jack of all trades. A good all-round kite

SUMMARY:
The Pulse had a nice soft flying feeling and accomplished everything well, without necessarily standing out in any one area. If you are an all-round kiter and you're willing to try a foil then this kite would be great for you, and if you kite on all terrains, then it really would be an excellent option.

SIZES:
6, 8, 10, 12 and 14m


Review by kiteworldmag.com.







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Quotes inspired by the waves 
The day's blog was going to be about measuring wind strenght and wave height. But procrastination is at work when, looking for the adequate quote of the day, I came across so many jewels that I just had to share just a few right now. That gives me another day to expand on the more tedious subjects.

"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf."
Jon Kabat-Zinn

"If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?"
Stephen Wright

"No wind, no waves."
Chinese Proverbs

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum."
Arthur C. Clarke

"Like as the waves make towards the pebbl'd shore, so do our minutes, hasten to their end."
William Shakespeare

"When you do dance, I wish you a wave o' the sea, that you might ever do nothing but that"
William Shakespeare

"It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up."
Muhammad Ali quotes (American Boxer and Activist, b.1942)
He must have read Shakespeare ;-)

"'O Tiger-lily,' said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind, 'I wish you could talk!' 'We can talk,' said the Tiger-lily: 'when there's anybody worth talking to"
Lewis Carroll

"The winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators."
Edward Gibbon

"The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea."
Vladimir Nabokov

"An injury engraves itself on metal; a benefit is written on the waves"
Jean Bertaut

"The waves of desire in the world-ocean are intoxicating wine."
Sri Guru Granth Sahib

"No rock so hard but that a little wave may beat admission in a thousand years."
Alfred Lord Tennyson

"It is pleasurable, when winds disturb the waves of a great sea, to gaze out from land upon the great trials of another"
Lucretius

"There's no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves"
Frank Herbert quotes (American science fiction Author and Writer 1920-1986)

"Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
Teilhard de Chardin (French Geologist, Priest, Philosopher and Mystic, 1881-1955)

...


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Lazy week in Langkawi 
Quote of the day:
"Festina lente (Latin - hasten slowly)"
Seutonius - Divus Augustus, 120 AD

22nd April
As I write this down, we are just off (one nautical miles away) Koh Ha Yai group of Islets with which we got familiar on the way down. But this time we will not be anchoring to cool off because we want to be moored in Chalong Bay this evening before sunset. This blog will be posted tonight, but surely not before a good Thai massage.
We are trucking at 7.5 knots, TTT's economy cruise speed in a flat sea, and the only wind we experience is the apparent one of our own making. It was not the case yesterday when we managed to sail engineless a good part of the leg from Koh Lipe to Koh Rok Noi at 6 knots in 10 knots of true wind. Max took the sails down as a precaution when thunderstorms were looming all aorund us and the sea got quite uncomfortable.
Not a lot of kiting accomplished and even less pictures taken.
The stopover in Langawi was not supposed to last more than a day or two, but the engine spares one should always have on board were half the price as in Phuket and it would have been silly not to wait a few more days for the part to come from the mainland to Kuah.

25th April
Posting the blog three days later than promised, from the Mando restaurant on Rawai beach. Max and Ina are gone to Hua Hin now, and I am staying to try to resolve a crucial problem: finding a berth for Two To Tango. I hadn't anticipated to return here so I did not think of booking at Yachthaven which is full with yachts "wintering" for the rainy season.
A few more pictures are being added to the Andaman blues gallery: http://www.nautikites.net/Andaman_Blues.html
Ooops. For some reason, the new pictures will not upload. I'll try again tomorrow.
Sebastian and Nick should have left Hua Hin for Bangkok today. Part 3 of their Thailand trip should be online.

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