First Turn at KB4C
Things have been going off here in Hood River, OR. The REAL team, comprised of Jason Slezak, Dominique Granger, Chris Stuckey, Sensi Graves and myself, have been taking advantage of the great conditions. We awoke on the first day to great wind here in the Hood. We all shook the rust off and got a warm up session at the sandbar, prepping for the marathon the next day. It was good to get in the water, and even better to be back in the Hood!
The next day started with a little skate session at the local skate park. The park is amazing, lines galore! Sure makes me happy that I spent so much time skating in Hatteras.
After our session at the skate park the team headed off to the Event site to start KB4C. Everyone was excited for the event and there was 130+ people registered for the event. Team REAL Wind Ninjas showed up in full force and quickly got on the water. The wind for the day was rather gusty and made it quite interesting, kites going down left and right and even some tangles.
They set up a very challenging course for this years event, but that didn't seem to deter the ninjas! They managed to put in 23 laps during the 6 hours on the water, earning them 3rd place in the event. It was great to see the whole team come together and really push it, in a new kite spot.
The event was amazing and they raised over $100,000 for cancer research, treatment, and prevention. A big thanks to Tonia Farman for organizing such a great event for everyone!
After the event we headed over to the sand bar to do some shooting for Stance Magazine. The crew consisted of Eric Rienstra, Sam Medyesky, Jon VanMaslen, and I. The wind was great and everyone was stoked to get some hits on the sliders.
The next day saw much of the same, we headed down to the sand bar for some more shooting. Billy Parker and Matt Sexton showed up after a long drive from Florida. They brought a 55ft transforming rail with them across the country. We took a few minutes to decide how we wanted to set it up and everyone hit the water in full force. We ended up getting some great shots and everyone was really stoked on the session.
Today saw some very different conditions, the wind looked rather holey here in Hood River so we decided to head off to Rufus. We showed up to the parking lot to find everyone hiding in their cars from the wind. We stepped out and it felt like we were in a hurricane. It was blowing 35-50 with over-head river swell, pretty much as insane as it gets.
We got everyone on the water Sensi and Stuckey were switching off on the 4.5m, Dom rode a 5m, and Jason and I traded out the 7m Envy. I can't even to begin to explain how insane it was. I pulled my biggest jump and kiteloop in the same session. Billy, Eric and Jon were going ballistic, throwing the biggest kite loops I've ever seen.
The day will go down as one of my most memorable sessions of my kiting career. It was like nowhere I've ever been the insane wind, giant river swell, and the martian landscape. It's a spot I hope I can come back to again. We drove home frothing from our session in the shadow of Mount. Hood. There is some kind of magic out here, a kind you have to experience for yourself!