Needless to say work has been a bit of the priority lately. It's the end of the season here on Martha's Vineyard and so everything seems to be going somewhere; Protector to San Francisco, J70's to MV Marine for gel coat repairs and Swan 601 to Loughborough Marine Interests for engine repairs and hauling.
So when Chris Museler texted me on Thursday proposing an "hour of power" in Mt Hope Bay I couldn't resist. Chris had run down to Sachussett Point to check it out but came racing back up Aquidneck Island with vague directions to a launch spot underneath the Mt Hope Bridge. I arrived to a little parking area directly under the bridge with a grinning Chris standing watching the breeze and tide. The tide was still coming in which wasn't the best scenario but the wind was building quickly as the low level cloud and fog were burning off. After quick debate on boards, kite sizes, etc. I tossed Chris the new(in packaging) 10 Meter TS as I opted for the 7 Meter. I had briefly debated the 9 Meter but with the clearing skies I knew the SW winds would be pumping soon enough and damn I was right! After a few seconds of digging through my spares to find a new end fitting for the kite pump I successfully pumped up the 7 Meter in 42 seconds. The new Twist Lock Valve is a huge improvement over the antiquated stopper ball valves and with the larger fittings it makes the pump up process significantly faster. The other nice new feature is the changes to the bridle layout and the introduction of the new slider pulleys. They significantly reduce the chafe on the bridle and they don't cease up like the blocks that are used on some kites.
The first thing I noticed about the 2014 Kites once they were in the air were how fast they moved and how easily they depowered with the new Redline Performance Bar. BEST has finally gone to the depower cleat and with the development of their Open C Design they maneuver like a C Kite but depower like an SLE. For me on the foilboard this was a really big gain. For the next hour we sent it all over the Bay grinning like fools. You can check out my track thanks to Charles Swanson at Velocitek and the awesome SpeedPuck they haven't sent me. Definitely the coolest GPS on the market.
I dropped the kite once while trying a foil to foil tack and unlike previous years TS Kites the 2014 relaunched in a snap even with the incoming tide.
I rode the 7 Meter on the foil fro just over an hour but as we hit the the beach to derig I couldn't resist taking the 10 Meter out for a quick rip on Chris' Gaastra board. I quickly ripped over to the sandbar just off Bristol and hit the slick with speed, dug the rail hard and released sending the kite into a massive loop as I sailed downwind landing about as smoothly as I have ever landed. As of right now I will attribute the soft landing to the new kites as I am not known for my soft landings.
Walking back to the cars the two of us couldn't help but laugh our asses off.
As I drove back to work I realized how much I needed that session. All of the sudden my worklist seemed to be in perspective, my priorities realized and my head clear.