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20
Jan

Island Paradise by Jason Frounfelker

Here is a great video that Jason Frounfelker put together of some of the Montana crew kiting a few of the spots around “Man-tana”.  Thanks Jason for letting me post this and putting together such a great short film.

“Just another weekend of wind and little snow. Thanks for all the good vibes and I hope to follow up with many more vids.” -Frouny

17
Jan

F.U.N Time by Pascal Joubert

Pascal put together this beautiful video of his kite adventures this past weekend.  I always love checking out what Pascal, Wayne and the other Jackson Hole Kiters are up to they put a capital “A’ on adventure.  Thank you Pascal for giving me permission to post this!

15
Jan

Young Girl, Big Air!

I think there comes a day, in most parents lives, when the inevitable happens, their child does something so amazing it both scares and thrills them beyond belief.  This was yesterday at Mount Haggin, MT for Packy and me.  The day started with the kids amped to kite, they got out of bed early and packed their own gear, it was amazing.  We rolled down US I-90, toward Butte, enjoying a friendly discussion on ethics, morality and politic, yes we are a bit geeky and after Rocker Packy declared we could only talk about kiting until we pulled into Haggin so the conversation went kitey, it was fun. Read more »

14
Jan

Another day in Paradise

It was another beautiful day in paradise.  Raynold’s Pass was blue bird, the wind was blowing and the people happy.  Here are some pictures I took of Joe and Packy, I am really enjoying my camera.  Packy took the shots of me.  I hope all of you flies have a very windy weekend. –Mel. Read more »

12
Jan

El Norte -Snowkiting Powder at Raynolds Pass 1/11/12

I’m feeling pretty luck today. After a super early start and a long drive to Raynold’s Pass it looked like I was in for a skunking.   There was no wind to be found, it had quit with the dawn and I had made the long trip based on what looked like solid information on the National Weather Service website. Not to be put off so easily, Joe Irons and I honed in on a north flow coming down the hill. It was not so much a wind but cold air spilling over the Continental Divide at the top of the pass.  Read more »

10
Jan

Adrenajen’s KITE POW- Things we Learn Along the Way.

KITE POW 2:  LINE LENGTH

Lets talk about Line Length!

Over the years I’ve been kiting, bars have come with anywhere between 20 & 30 meter lines and I was taught to use what I’ve got.  But my latest Best performance bar comes with 20m lines and 3m extensions giving the option of flying with different length lines.  My question was what length to use and when? Read more »

6
Jan

Ole’s Story – A Video Documentary

This video was posted today on the Southwest Montana Avalanche Report.  It is an amazing story that has transpired over the past 6 days.  Worth the view for sure, it tells the story of an amazing dog.

6
Jan

Speak to the Kite –Kite Whispering vs. Verbal Abuse

This past week something funny happened, the wind died.  Ordinarily that isn’t funny because it means an epic swim a very long waddle across the tundra with your kite under your arm.  This weekend was the tundra walk.  After our family regrouped at the Vee- dub-you-a (Volkswagen van) I walked up to my daughter who was still stubbornly trying to re-launch her kite.  As I approached her I realized she was saying some very colorful things to the kite as sweat fogged her goggles. Read more »

4
Jan

Ka’au

In 1988 I went to Hawaii for the first time with my then boyfriend and now husband, Packy.  Packy had some wild concept that I was indestructible so our first ocean swim was at Pupu kea (up current from Pipeline) in monster huge surf.  After extracting myself from the scariest 45 minutes of my young life I declared I need something a little less life threatening to make my first Hawaiian Holiday memorable. The following day my husband’s dear friend, Ka’au  picked us up for an ”epic” surf session at Ku’aloa, near Chinaman’s Hat on Oahu. Read more »

3
Jan

A Glide Guide with Billy Bordy

Here is a great video from kitesites featuring many of the cool and wonderful snowkiters at the Snowkite Masters last season.  Billy gives some excellent advice.

1
Jan

Teaching Kids to Kite, Part 2 –We are here to Pump you up!

Back in the late eighties and early nineties Saturday Night Live had a regular comedy skit featuring two overly pumped Austrian brothers named Hans and Franz. This was around the time Arnold Schwarzenegger was gaining big man notoriety so almost anything Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealson did in the guise of Hans and Franz was incredibly funny.  Each skit was punctuated with Hans and Franz proclaiming in unison:  “We are here to pump you up!” Read more »

31
Dec

Buggy and Landkite Events 2012

Our Friend Nic. O. has sent some dates for some landkite events, here is a rundown:

North American Buggy Expo or NABX

NABX Pre Event – Harper Dry Lake, CA – March 29 to April 02, 2012

NABX Main Event – Ivanpah Dry Lake, CA – April 03 to April 08, 2012

Please visit NABX for more info, direction, descriptions and itineraries for these two events.  Nic says they are amazing.

Wildwood Buggy Bash– Wildwood, NJ  – April 19 to 22, 2012.   This event is always great fun, it says so on their website!

Jekyll Island Buggy Expo or JIBE – Jekyll Island, Georgia – May 16 -19th, 2012.  Check back with Jibe these dates are not posted on their web site yet but have come to us via Nic, who is in the know.  This event looks like it would be great fun with miles and miles of white sand beach and warmer Georgia weather.

Sunset Beach, OR Buggy Blast or SOBB – This year SOBB was Sept 3 – 11, dates are not set for next year.  This event has some great YouTube posts that are great to look at. Just Google search SOBB Buggy and you will be able to get a feel for this amazing event.

Buggy Boogie Fall Thang – dates usually set in spring, previous year: Friday through Sunday – September 17th-18th & 19th. The spring version is the weekend after Memorial Day.  I am sorry there isn’t any links for this event directly but it is mentioned in some of the land board fourms.

Dead Bird Buggy Bash or DBBB–  “DBBB is a casual, no-schedule, no-races kite buggy regatta held each November over the Thanksgiving holiday in Galveston Texas. Started as an annual holiday retreat for local kite buggy riders, this growing event follows no criteria or format other than to enjoy kite buggying with friends new and old and promote kite traction in a friendly and safe environment. Buggy pilots, landborders, kitesurfers, sport kiters and traditional kite enthusiasts are all welcome. Be sure to attend the potluck dinner on the beach Thanksgiving day.”

The Powerkite Fourm is a great resource for all things landkiting.  For more information on these or any other events please visit them at: powerkiteforum.com

Good luck and happy kiting.

28
Dec

Teaching Kids to Kite, Part 1 -I Will do Anything to be With you, Even if I Have to tie you up.

This past spring I listed 2 small kites, a 3.5m and 5m, on Ikitesurf.com.  These kites were the Cabrinha Converts that my husband and I purchased and used to teach our children how to kite.  When I listed them I got 2 types of inquires, the first were from men who thought they would like to have a tiny kite just in case a hurricane whipped thru their favorite spot and the other was well meaning parents eager to get Jr. kiting.  I know it is not fair business practices but I quickly dismissed the over confident men with death wishes and responded to the parents, after all I have a soft spot in my heart for anyone who wants to share the stoke with their kids.  I became an email “pal” with two different fathers, as not only were they interested in the tiny kites but also advice on how to teach their kids. Read more »

28
Dec

Wyoming Kiting.

I love that the boys from Patagonia are getting turned on to snowkiting. It is such a beautiful sport and some of the things people are accomplishing with their kites is inspiring.

http://video.patagonia.com/video/Wyoming-Kiting

14
Dec

A Ride with Tyler Brown

Here is Tyler’s latest self edit with lots of great footage from last year, another teaser for this coming season!  Jacob Buzainis and several stops on last years North American Snowkite Tour  are featured.

13
Dec

Adrenajen’s KITE POW – Things we learn along the way.

POW= Pearls of Wisdom by Adrenajen

KITE POW 1: Leaky Valves
A common problem with inflateable kites is leaky valves.
Nothing is more frustrating than pumping up your kite to full pressure and then finding it is soft at the end of your session.  Or worse it falls out of the sky during your session.  Before pulling out all your bladders to look for holes, Check the valves!!!
This can be done easily by pumping up the kite and using a spray bottle with water and a little detergent to wet down around the valves. Read more »
13
Dec

This is Snowkiting (Something Stronger)

A little something to get us all excited for the winter.

8
Dec

Will You Marry me? -The Fear/Lust Connection and why Dudley Do-Right has Better Odds With the Ladies.

Last spring I told my husband I wanted a divorce so I could marry Reo Stevens, if Reo would have me.  Granted I said this after my husband sat on a picnic table at “Moke’s”, on the North Shore of Oahu, with a peanut gallery that included Filix Pivec (please go to his site, Jeff Pfeffer’s photos are worth the visit) and Top Hat and watched as I got drilled.  You see, I got a little big for my britches and lined myself up on a large set wave, took the drop and purled.  What happened next could be best described as a junk show with a joker (me) in its center.

Out of nowhere comes the cutest thing to plant his feet on a surfboard and grip a kite bar, Reo Stevens.  Reo rescued my hind end from a serious reef rash (and maybe death) by rounding up my board, freeing my bridle line from the wingtip, untangling me from my lines and calmly explaining to me how to fly my kite wrong-side out, it was lust at first fright.

In a college psychology class I read about a study that a psychologist name Arthur Aron conducted.  Arthur placed a beautiful woman at the end of a treacherous bridge spanning a very deep gorge.  The woman gave her number to two different groups of men after having a short conversation with them, the first group didn’t cross the bridge and the second group had crossed the bridge.  Here is where things got interesting, three times as many men who crossed the bridge called the beautiful woman back.  The scientists scratched their heads and asked themselves, “Why did this happen?”

As it turns out the hormonal fear cocktail our bodies produce is pretty darn similar to the lusty one.  So those bridge crossers rationalized that their shortness of breath, the racing heart rate, the sweaty palms and the upset stomach was lust for the woman, being scared silly had nothing to do with it (typical man).

This is great, I can’t be held responsible for wanting to marry Reo.  Guys like Reo are great  and a reason why I have come to lust kiting.  Besides occasionally scaring myself I have never seen a nicer group of people in my life.  Could you imagine a pro surfer rescuing some middle-aged haolie (freaking white lady) from getting drilled at Pipeline?  No, neither can I.  Kiter guys are nice, they are darn cute and it seems very charitable, all great reasons why more women should get into the sport. Just think about it, if you ask enough kiters to marry you, you may find the man of your dreams, or a least a decent backup plan.

7
Dec

North American Snow Kite Tour (NAST) Announces Dates for 2012 Events

The organizers of NAST have announced the dates for four Events this coming season:

Jackson Hole, WY, January 27-29, 2012.  A new event brought to us by the ever exciting and interesting crew of Jackson Hole Kiters this should be a blast!

US Open Snowkite Masters, Skyline, UT, February 2-5, 2012.  This event is the granddaddy of kite events in the western US.  Heather and Brian Schank of Windzup in Utah have been hosting this event for 10 years and it gets better every year.

Dillon, CO, February 10-12, 2012.  In it’s second year this event has all the elements of a fun weekend for everyone.

Superfly Open, Park City, February 17-19, 2012.  Last year’s event held at Strawberry Reservoir outside of Park City was an amazing event.  Riders shredded thigh deep powder in the morning and competed in the afternoon.

There are two more events that participated in the tour last year but are not posted on the NAST site, and have not been set out in emails from NAST:

Kite Soldiers, Fairfield, ID, February 23-26, 2012.  Monty and Trisha, the organizers of this event always do a great job making sure fun is had by all.  Each year features a poker run with routes for all skill levels and amazing prizes.  Last year they also featured competitive course racing and freestyle events.

Georgetown Lake Open, Georgetown Lake, MT, January 7-10, 2012.  Cole Russell of Underground Kite Sports has hosted this event for 5 years and it has helped the sport of kiting grow in Montana.  Cole puts on a smooth event with activities for all skill levels; it should be tons of fun again this year.

Each event will be unique and if last year was any indication a great place to connect with some amazing people.  Hope to see you there!  For more information visit The North American Snowkite Tour.

Last year was the inaugural year for the tour and all things went very well for this unique set of events with crowns awarded to the following individuals:

Tyler Brown (Men’s Ski)

Jacob Buzianis (Men’s Snowboard)

Melissa Cronin (Women’s Ski)

Lisa Kay (Women’s Snowboard)

Special mention goes to these youngsters:

Frances Cronin (2nd Women’s Ski at 13)

Luke Orton (5th Men’s Ski at 16)

6
Dec

Attempted Kite Murder and how to Correctly Clean up the Crime Scene.

Up until I started kiting I was blissfully ignorant of the dark side of my husband’s kiting personality.  As a frugal shopper who bought used kites and an ardent subscriber to the “braver than smart” life theory he has had lots of issues with maintaining kite health.  My husband may even deserve the nick-name I teasingly call him: “Kite Beater”, he has ripped, torn, had bridles pop off, run over lines with skis, cars, bikes, had dogs pounce, wrestled with cactus… (I think you get the picture).

In my first winter kiting I won a Best Waroo at the Snowkite Soldier Event  that Jacob Buzianis, an amazing pro snowkiter out of Utah, had donated, it was my first new kite and it was great.

So here is where things got a little tricky, I was the possessor of the nicest kite in our quiver and my husband couldn’t help himself, he “borrowed” the kite as soon as my back was turned and things didn’t go well on his three hour tour. The following is an approximation of an emotional conversation that took place, off and on, over several days as a result of borrowing the kite:

Husband:  I used your kite today and when I landed it, it got a small tear.  It is NO BIG DEAL.

Me: Oh, can I see it?

Husband: No, I already mailed it to Airtime to get fixed, I didn’t want you to miss any days when we are in Hood River next week.  It is NO BIG DEAL.

Me: Oh, thanks for taking care of the problem.

Little Birdie (a wife of one of our kite friends who was at the scene of the crime):  Oh my GAAWD, are you so bummed or what!?  I can’t believe what your husband did to your kite.

Me:  Really Little Birdie, it is NO BIG DEAL, it has already been mailed to Oregon for repair and I will not miss any kite days while we are there.

Me:  Honey, why is Little Birdie telling me you ruined my kite?

Husband:  It is NO BIG DEAL; the kite will be fine

Me (when I take the kite out of its bag in Hood River after picking it up from Airtime. You are free to imagine Hiroshima at this point):  NO F@%$! BIG DEAL!?

The kite did fly pretty well considering it had open-heart surgery. Two days latter, however, the kite blew up again (not related to the 1st repair) when my husband was el captain again.. On this second “NO BIG DEAL” there was a bit of poetic justice involved in the form of a swim across the Columbia River and a two-mile barefoot walk back to the van (I couldn’t find the key, really!), tail tucked and ego checked.

Back to Airtime the yellow kite went.  If this story read like a Visa add it would go like this:

Kite: Free1st kite repair: $150

Husband fibbing about kite damage: 1lb. of flesh

The look on Airtime’s sewer’s face when the kite is returned for more repairs: priceless

Ultimately the point of this whole sordid story is; yes, damaging your kite is a huge bummer but there are some amazing services to help with the big “NO BIG DEALS” and some field 1st aid that you can do that can save the life of the kite in a pinch.

Help with the big “NO BIG DEALS”:

Airtime, an Oregon based one stop kite and sail repair biz in Hood River, Oregon.  They have all sorts of goodies such as bladders and sail tape.

 Windfire Designs out of Florida, looks like they do amazing repair work.  Windfire also builds art kites, which are very fun to look at too..

Kitefix is a great site to help any kilter put together their kite 1st aide kit .

 Kite Gear Box also has sail tape in many colors sold by the foot and tonics and ointments to extend your kite’s life.