This was a day of firsts. It was the first time I was out in 2014, the first time I met Darin, the first time he flew a de-power kite, the first time either of us had tried McKenzie Slough and the first time I locked my keys in my vehicle while kiting. I wish I could say it was the first time I had ever locked my keys in my car but I cannot.
Darin had contacted me via this very blog to find out more about kiting and luckily we were able to connect. Having another kiter in the area is great. I know now of five others who kite. If you are kiting in the dakotas or live in the area and thinking kiting might be fun let me know. I would like to get more folks out there enjoying the wind.
He caught up with me just as I was finishing my pumping. I locked down my kite to the ice screw and then we went over some general set up and safety instructions. He got set up but was missing a harness. I couldn’t really make fun of him for that since I kind of needed a ride back to town when we were done. He was able to learn a little about set up and we locked him to the ice screw so he could fly the kite a bit. I think that was an eye opener for him having only flown trainers up until then. He noted the power was more than he expected. He was flying a 9m Slingshot (forgot the model) in 19 mph winds. The sun was out and it was about 40 degrees which is beautiful for this time of year.
Speaking of the conditions, this was the first time I had tried the McKenzie Slough area. I had been hesitant because it is part of a Wildlife Management Area and didn’t know if that was allowed. But I talked with an ND Game and Fish representative earlier in the week and got the verbal approval. The snow depth on most of the bigger lakes is bad. The warm weather and wind have left them looking like speed skating rinks. This slough has held the snow a little better. The area is large enough for a few kiters to play together. The road runs through the slough so access to the ice is easy. This spot is about eighteen miles East of Bismarck so it is much closer than many of the bigger lakes I had been using. That is an obvious bonus. I will be back.
As for my progression, I did try a few jumps and I’m getting more comfortable with the idea. I had to cut the session short so I didn’t get to practice as much as I would have liked. But it was a beautiful day and the snow was good so I can’t complain at all.
- If you are interested in getting started with power kites contact me
- The really good days are worth the wait
- Keep track of your keys