Sunday, February 28, 2010

Skyline SnowKite Masters Goes Off!

Event Site 10,000 ft.

It's always strange traveling from one spot, to another; so many things can change.  Never has this difference been more apparent than the transition from San Diego to Utah.  After taking a short flight over we met up with fellow Liquid Force members Arla Funk and Gregg (Tekko) Gnecco.  They have the hook-up when it comes to the whole snowkiting scene, so it was nice to have them rolling with us to the event.  We awoke the first day of the contest with news of wind up at Skyline, we packed the cars and headed off for the event.  When we first showed up the wind was a bit light, we took the time to set up a few flags and get some kites inflated.  Everyone was mingling with all the old faces, and a ton of new ones too. 

Geared up and ready.

Couldn't be happier.

The weather was beautiful, blue bird and fresh snow everywhere.  Within a few hours the wind had picked up enough for us to ride twelves.  I took the 12m Havoc and Tekko took the 12m Envy.  We started with some warm up tacks back and forth in-front of the event site.  The snow there had been ridden the day before and was all rutted up, so we decided to go scouting for the some of the freshy fresh.

Riding in at the event site.

It wasn't long before we were climbing the ridge in the back, it's a strange feeling being pulled up a hill by a kite.  Once we got to the top the wind filled in even more and the snow was untouched.  I was riding a 159 LF/DeCosse Alliance snowkite board.  The board is amazing it rides just like a twin tip, I felt like I was riding on the water.  The longer side cut and stiff flex made load and pop tricks effortless.  

Solid wood core.

We sessioned the top of the ridge for a solid two hours.  There were lips to boot of of everywhere, tons of fresh powder for wakestyle, and a huge hill that you could glide off of.   The setup there is mind blowing!

Back country railey.

Kiters galore

Shortly after our first session Arla and Sensi arrived and were super excited to get some kites up.  We setup a 10m Havoc and 10m Envy and it wasn't long before we were all riding up the ridge.  By the time we got up there all the other kiters had gone in, which left it all to us.

Arla gettin' some.

  We rode for about and hour and then the wind started to fade.  Me and Sensi managed to get ourselves stuck down in a bowl and lost all our wind.  It went from the most fun session to the worst really quick once we realized that we were hiking out.  Fourty-five minutes later and a lesson learned we arrived back at the parking lot exhausted.  The day ended with a beautiful sunset we were all glad to get in warm cars and head out of the night.

Evening afterglow

After a great nights sleep we headed back towards the event site.  The wind seemed still in the valley but after climbing up to 10,000 ft the wind was on.  It was coming from a slightly different direction, which opened up a whole new area of fresh snow.  It was quite a bit windier than the first day so the girls took it easy while we put up eights.  Me and Tekko rode to the top of the ridge and shot some photos off this natural kicker.


It wasn't long before the landing was scrapped, so we headed off in search of new terrain.  We found some giant gaping holes in the top of the ridge, we stopped to session the downwind side of one.  I was riding in and sliding the lip of the bowl which was about 15 ft. off the bottom. 

No where near as scary looking as it was.

The wind started to calm down and we headed down to get the girls out riding.  We gave them the eights and we took out the tens.  With everyone on the snow, I headed over to the rails that they had setup.  There was a 20 ft. flat bar and a nice a-frame.  Swave a filmer for Snowkite Cinema was there taking shots for his new movie Project Blizzard, hopefully I can score some clips.  

As the sun dropped in the sky so did the temperature, and we quickly got down off the mountain.  We ate dinner and talked about all the amazing riding we had over the past few days. That was hands down the best snowkiting I've ever scored, and I am looking forward to spending some time in Utah and getting more time on the snow.  I will be heading to the Super Fly Open in the next week with the LF team.  Hopefully we will score some nice shots and video, and some places on the podium wouldn't be bad either.  More of my Utah adventures to come!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

First Boat Set with Liquid Force.

With my days winding down here in San Diego, I've been trying to do something new almost everyday. Yesterday I finally got to go wakeboarding behind a real boat.  We headed up to Encinitas to meet up with Kevin and Bo at Liquid Force Headquarters.  They wrapped up at work and we headed up to the bay for a quick sunset set.  When we arrived we had to put the boat in and prep everything for the session. Seemed reminiscent to the setup I do before I hit the water kiting at the REAL Slick.

BBQ anyone?

Look at the glass!!!!

We got the boat in and got all the gear ready, for some reason I was really nervous.  Everyone had always told me that the boat is super hard and the falls are harder.  Once I hit the water it all started to make sense.  

After a few laps my confidence was up and I managed to land a few tantrums, front and backside flat 3's, and even managed to pull out a fs 5.  I can't believe how amazing it is to get behind one of these puppies.  The wake is perfect and it's so consistent.  


Ba Boom!

Sensi gearing up

With the setting sun, we decided to call it a night.  We pulled the boat out of the salt water and started the cleaning.  Turns out wake boats arn't made for salt water, makes packing up a kite seem like a breeze.  I can't wait until the next time I can get out behind a boat.  Like Kevin said, "Wakeboarding is a sport of the privileged.".  I'm just happy that I got to finally get out on a real wake!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Feelin the Dragon love

After a couple of phone calls and a meeting, its official.  I will be riding and representing for Dragon Optics, along with Liquid Force, REAL Watersports, Oneill, and Dakine in the upcoming year.  I'm super stoked on the shades and goggles.  I'm rocking the Expierence and the Murdock in shades, and the Mace in the snow. I am super happy to have a great company on board; it's especially nice to see more big industry companies getting involved in kiteboarding.   Look for big things to happen in 2010. As always there's plenty more to come.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Balboa Park and Torrey Pines

I've been taking full advantage or the beautiful weather here in Southern California.  I've been getting out into the world, somewhere new, almost everyday.  Heres some of the pictures I've been taking.  Enjoy.

Feelin' Spiritual

Biggest tree I've seen since the Redwoods

Trendy Lights

Hard Rock Lobby


Balboa Botanical Gardens

Sculpture Park

Purps Anyone?

Scenic Overlook


Balboa Museum of Man

Straight out of a Star Wars movie.

Enjoying the view?

Beautiful day's end.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Random SD Shots pt. II

Couple more shots snapped off