In town the air was hot and the wind was blowing so I texted some friends about going kiting. I heard back from one right away. He picked me up after work and we headed to New Johns Lake NE of Wilton, ND. This is my first time kiteboarding since my trip to Texas back in April. The lake was pretty dead – just a couple boaters out. Winds were really gusting out of the SE. We left transportation at the West end of the lake and took off from a campsite at the east side. So our plan was to just go downwind from our starting point back to the public access. Speeds at the beach were 10-18 mph but I think they were stronger on the water as there was a little bit of a rise blocking the wind where we took the reading. I was on my Best Kahoona 13.5 and my friend was using a 19 Flysurfer. I took off first and he assisted my launch. Right away I felt overpowered so I brought it down and he grabbed the kite so I could make some adjustments. I changed the rigging on the kite by moving my steering lines down the pigtail on the kite – basically making the back lines longer. Then I relaunched with his help and that felt a lot better. I had some trouble getting a good start. It took me a little bit to get used to the gusty wind. I don’t know if I ever really will. After a bit I got up and had covered some good distance before crashing. I was getting downwind. In fact, I was going a lot faster than I wanted to. I was sort of on the edge of controlling my board although looking at me you probably wouldn’t have noticed the control. I knew I needed to get more on edge but the gusty winds made it hard to keep any consistency going. Once I got going pretty good the only trouble I had was losing the wind but still going fast on the board. So a couple times the kite went down and my speed carried me in front of the kite or downwind of it. This results in a nervous waiting game to see if the kite is going to roll. The first time it didn’t but the second time it did and I got my lines inside out. I tried to mess with my bar to get things straightened out with no luck. The kite was laying nice on the water at the edge of the window so it was ok. I thought about bringing it over head to the other side and dragging back to shore but didn’t want to chance something getting worse. So I crawled on top of the kite and intended to ride it to shore like a floaty toy. It was slow going and luckily some young guys in a boat picked me up and gave me a lift back to shore. That was nice because I was going to end up on the wrong side of the lake riding the waves. It wasn’t really a concern as we had a plan for a pick up in case that happened. A walk would have been in necessary but it wouldn’t have been to bad.
It was fun. I am not sure what I learned today so I don’t have a lot to pass on. I guess the one thing I would say is cover your bases before you start out like we did. No matter where we ended up we would have been ok.