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Stay tuned for an older story, but a new entry entitled "Learning how to fly"
Posted by: Chris Hess
coming soon

Keswick March 5th 2012 Kite Fun, Races and new Russian friends
Posted by: Chris Hess

сегодня быть веселье день. Today was a fun day is what i just wrote .. i hope ... This was an awesome day in kite land .. the winds were up, the surface conditions were great, and the kite community had gatherd. I had just found out that there was going to be kite races this day and i wanted to take part in it ... ive never been in a race ,, the usual kiting i do are with one , or two good friends .. kiting in a huge venue .. loads of room to kite, lines dont cross with anothers kiters lines, ever ... i usualy have kilometres of room to kite with no fear of running into another kiter, skidoo or ice hut ...just open space and kite zen.. Well on this day , i was surounded with more kiters that you can shake a ski at. i was asked what level i kited at? .. ive never been asked this question before ... well i kite .. and .. like to go fast ... i guess ive been kiting for 6-7 years now .. OK  .. you are intermediate . i was told ... ok .. i guess i am ... well i received my little red ribbon so i can be recognised as a kiter in the race ... i lined up with a group of kiters ,, my 10.5m Smart kite way up high as the winds were quite frisky and i felt a little overpowered , but i can handle it ...

we all took off and i made my way behind the pack .. getting what i thought is important .. an upwind advantage .. a little slower , but making progress .. i past the fella in front of me .. allas , im not the last in the pack , once  im past a little.. i bring my kite down into the power zone and vavoom .. im off like  a fire cracker .. i know the kite im using is an awesome kite and Concept Air dont fool around making mediocre foils... i bring in the bar on the de-power kite and i am off .... i get the best upwind advantage and go way past the other kiters tack ..

 i want to make my way with 4 tacks to the upwind marker .. i turn into my first tack and upwind i go now...a little slower of a tack, but progress.. i turn into my second tack .. a cross wind tack once again .. i kick it into high gear .. this is a fast tack ... i am not paying attention to where the other kiters are .. just keeping my stride and trying to make as much upwind progress on the next tack . wow i can make the upwind turn marker .. im close .. the winds are strong and i feel myself slipping away from making that critical turn ... i lean back,, and dig in and make the turn ...  i take a look and see where i am against the rest of the pack .. wow im the first around the mark .. im actualy boat lenghts ahead of the pack as they still have to make their upwind tacks to the marker i just turned.. l  i know now the next tack is a downwind breeze of  tack... I turn and crank in the power of the de-power bar and im a rocket ... power and stability is the key on this tack .. just power thru and lean .. dont loose speed .. always gain momentum ...i cant even see the next marker and just head in the general direction i think its in .. actualy i had used a landmark to make sure i was online without loosing my bering ... im way ahead of the pack that are still fighting upwind .. i am about 3/4 of the way on this tack when the next kiter tunrs the first marker... im about to do a power 180 spin , kick the kite in the oposite direction while im still going full throttle .. i turn and anticipate the marker turn without stopping and wasting any time and or velocity .. i am kicking it on the last leg ...a crosswind tack .. this is fast , but not as fast as the last tack .. i lean way back and i can see the finish marker in the distance by the parking lot of kiters cars on the frozen water of Lake Simcoe .. the last flag/marker is a Russian flag .. i kick it up another notch .. im leaving fire behind my skis on the ice ... i see the flag .. i aim for it .. a few minutes latter i am passing right by the kite marker and slapping the hard wind swept flag with my hand ... i am here .. i am first ... wow .. i am feeling good ...  i look behind and i am way ahead of the gang .. they are still making the second flag marker turn ... my kite worked great, my skis were true ... and my legs held out .. i wait by the finish line and see the photagrapher snap some shots ... i wait ... a little more ...i am overwhelmed that i was first ..  i was determined to make my mark , to prove myself .. i could have been last ,,, i could have failed .. wiped out,  been in the middle of the pack .. average ... i am glad my best friend Andrew was not there .. cause .. i would have been second ....

kiters arrive and Denys , my new Russian friend gets closer to me and says in the best Russian accent .. " you arrre fast ...you are very fast"  

I am speedkiter ...

 

 

                                


Kite Zen and The Georgian Bay Jan 29th 2010
Posted by: Chris Hess

 

Saturday, January 30th 2010 I awoke with the excitement of the kiting day ahead. We are kitting the majestic Georgian Bay, in my old stomping ground of Dillon Ontario, near Parry Sound. It was one of the coldest mornings yet this year with the temperatures dipping close to the –25. Way colder once you add the wind chill bringing the temps to likely – 35. It was very cold. Cars would not start. The smoke from woodstoves came out of the chimney to immediately fall to the ground … the trees were cracking… the deep snow on the ground absorbing all sound like acoustic panels in a recording studio. Very quiet very cold …

This is the perfect kite day for me … My brother Patrick and girlfriend Rachel are here as well, on the farm preparing and layering up for the cold fun that lays ahead. Bear the dog is coming along for the fun of the day. I feel bad for him that he is locked up all day while I am @ work so this is a treat for him. He can run free between the Islands that he knows as his backyard.


The wind was blowing the snow off the 70-foot evergreens that surround the first house on the farm property as we pack up for our adventure. A 10-minute drive and we are at our landing, the place where our fun begins. I get the last of my gear on while the wind and snow blows across the vehicle turnaround right beside the frozen lake.


We make our way out onto the lake and start to walk past the rock cliff that is blocking our needed wind. The wind gave us our perfect day, greeting us with a blast of cold that would freeze a person solid if they were not prepared. I set up a 2.5 m trainer kite for Rachel so she can get the hang of it … and set up a 4.5m kite for Pat … I take the 4.5m out for a ride in the big wind and have a little fun with it in our small Bay. This is going to be a very good kite day as all the right parameters are in place. Wind, good solid ice and kiting gear ... and very warm clothes that ice climbers use to top out on the coldest peaks of K2 or Everest. I am prepared.


I give Pat my 4.5 M kite so he can go and take a spin … and give Rachel a few kitting tips from which she masters the kite in seconds. Like a pro, Pat has his game on and gets out taking a few runs … I set up my big 10.5m kite in the hopes that its not too large and that I will not be carried away to the other side of the bay.


The Smart 10.5m Kite is actually the perfect kite for these conditions. I make my way out of the Bay, Bear the dog following behind … This is my dogs backyard and he knows the lay of the land very well … We have explored these landscapes many times in Winter, summer spring and fall … so I have no worries about letting him run free. He keeps an eye on me as he sniffs from one island to another, following the faded footprints and scent of wildlife like wolves and rabbit, foxes and other animals scouring the land in search of precious nutrition that is scarce out here this time of year.

The perfect wind brings me up to a nice cruising speed as I make my way out to the big outside forum where you can see forever. This is Georgian Bay. As I fly past the last multi million dollar cottage on its very own private island (this one owned by Irwin toys family) I get hit by a massive wind … this is there the wind is unbroken, undisturbed by the landscape … I am out in Zen land now. I make a turn slightly upwind towards Red Rock Light house about 7 km offshore. As I skim along the perfect ice I can see a very wide dark spot, a pressure crack ahead of me and I slow myself down from the 80-90 km per hour to a dead standstill about 30 feet away from this dark abyss… Hum. Its about 5 feet wide and dark and wet … this must be open water. Very disappointing … I must get past this pressure crack. But I am alone out here and if I happen to fall thru it’s going to take all my energy to get me out of this cold and watery grave. Plus I am about 7 km from the comfort of a warm woodstove. A mighty risk to take on my own … I decide to make my way back to our bay and collect my friend Andrew… I tell him the conditions are perfect. But fail to mention the big wet gap of the pressure crack …

Well in no time Andrew and I are out in the big white expanse and make our way out to the dark ominous crack on the ice shelf …We both are hitting well over 60-70 km per hour on our journey to this point …… We look at each other and contemplate the negatives of falling thru the ice on this very cold and windy day … but we decide to venture on. I have complete trust that my bud would fish me out if I ever fell thru and he the same confidence in me. I decide to make a run for it across this 5 foot gap … I get about 500 feet away from it. And start to gather speed as to have enough velocity to skim across … as I approach I get a little nervous, but a split second latter I am on the dark spot. The water grabbing onto my skis like the strong hands of a frozen devil from below, instantly slowing me down … from mach speed to stall … I can feel the back of my skis start to sink as I think … OK. Here we go for a swim … in minus 20. Miles offshore … crap!!… All of a sudden my back skis hit hard solid ice below the water and I am thru the watery pressure crack onto the other ice floe. Wow. My heart beating ferociously, I stop and Watch as Andrew is coming full force to join me … he crosses with ease but I am sure with the same thoughts of how cold this water would be against our skin.


We are both over this cold obstacle and decide we cannot slow down or fall, as we don’t know how thick the ice is below our feet. One only needs about 2 –3 inches of ice to support a kilter, but if that kiter falls and impacts the ice. They risk falling thru. It does happen on thin ice on occasion ...One does not want to put them selves in this position … but here we are Andrew and I build up speed with our fast high end Concept Air kites reaching speeds of over 60-80km per hour – going like a frozen bat out of frozen hell … I look at him and know below the face mask and layers of frost bite protection that he is smiling ear to ear. Because I am as well …this is where, if your passion is this, that you realize Heaven is on this frozen earth. Well temporarily this time of year. We start to make our way to the Red Rock lighthouse at very fast paces, gliding effortlessly. The ice and wind are so perfect that the kite flies itself and the sport becomes an so relaxed that you can enjoy your surroundings … We are miles offshore now and zip out here for a long while … the sun just about to set on the westerly horizon, giving the landscape a special glory hour glow that makes every snow crystal sparkle like a diamond. Wow so much to take in. this is my Zen. After what seemed to be hours of time we decide to head back before the day’s light expired on us making our return journey even more challenging… … We could not leave this spot and kept kitting till our feet literally fell off. The winds, ice and scenery were so majestic that I could not stop …… more time past and at this point we decide to get back to the security of our little bay, nestled along the dark shore that seems to be one mass of land from our perspective. Time stands still out here. It’s a desolate place that if someone were to drop you off in it. One would think there would be no escape from this place … this is where I am most happy and relaxed and at peace with myself …all other life challenges seem so insignificant once you are out here, in this position and mind frame having to rely on your core power and skills to let you live another day to get out and do it all over again. Because this is where you find peace, and discover the beauty of this landscape, in this disposable, socio-economical world that we frequent for a very short time. In the great picture of things, we are only here for a blink of an eye as far as out planet is concerned and then we are gone for others to follow in our footsteps till their blink has come and gone … and our planet turns on with or without us …


So go enjoy your time now, because tomorrow, it may be someone else’s time to blink …



Written by Chris Hess Jan 30th 2010 for www.speedkiter.com


 

 


Late Start to Speed Rank page.
Posted by: Chris Hess

Hey all you kiters in kite land, Chris has handed the main workload of this site over to his good friend me, Andrew. I want to get a speed rank page up and going again so please send in your speeds with what equipment you were using ex)kite and skies or board, and the wind and ice condition to acm19830602@hotmail.com and ill be sure to post them.

send along a pic of it and ill post that too.

As for prizes this year i wont be able to fullfill that, next year for sure. Sorry

Thanks Andrew


First time pass Oak Is. only locals know what that is.
Posted by: Chris Hess

There was 5 of us out flying, One brand new to the sport, 2 with about 2-3 years of flying and two that kinda knew what there doing (Andrew & Chris). We all met at my old cottage, and left from my bay to fly. (There will be pictures of this outing in the photo gallery). Chris was flying his 10.5 smart as always, it really is a good kite, but i still like my 6 m leader when he flys that 10.5, Chris brother was there with his Girlfriend and she was flying a kite for the first time, i love to see new people introduced to the sport, an then  my girlfriend who knows how to buggy, but was on skis for one of the first times, she was making it up wind really good considering the kite she had, and in those winds, thats why she has a nice new 8.5 smart kite on the way, yea!  We tried the buggy but there was too much snow to be able to roll properly, so she switched to the skis, i helped her out a bit untill she started moving and felt comfortable, and then i got my kite up and went and flew with chris. It was not the greastest wind on the inside of the islands and i was kinda bummed that the winds weren't co-operating, then chris yelled at me and said that there was wind out past Oak Is. so we managed to get out there barley, just because the wind would dissapear then appear then gone again, untill we got out past the Island out in to the open, and wow what  great conditions, prefect ice , i mean perfect, not a crack or deviation in it at all, and just an inch of snow, and very consistant wind, i figure we hit about 60km/hr that day.   Check out the pics in the Photogallery .


Crazy first flight of the year
Posted by: Chris Hess

It was our first flight of the season, it was Dec 28/09 i was supposed to be working for a full day ,but i managed to get off at noon and fly .The funy thing is that where we set up to fly is right in front of where i work (i work at a marina) so i had to tell the truth to my boss that i was actually going to fly my kite. Luckly she was cool with it. Now the guy i work with didnt let me off so easily he was poking fun of  me all morning, but it was worth it.

So the winds were average, i decided to put up my 6m leader, and i made it about two tacks before i had to tear down, it lifted me and i had no up wind control, no fun, so i walked back inside to get the 4m, and by the time i came back out, it was too windy for that, so i ended up flying the 2.2, and boy if you haven't felt the power of a 2.2 leader from concept air then you should buy one and try, WOW is what i have to say. The winds were about 60 km/hr and very gusty,  i figure i was cliping about 50km/hr not the fastest but fun none the least. Chris was right behind me when he saw me go down i start to twril like a top then the 2.2 lifted me about 15 feet according to chris, and he said it reminded him of those maple keys, you know the ones that you drop from a hieght and they look like mini helicopters. That was me! I made it about 4 rotaions then slammed pretty hard to my side. Once i landed i was laughing, i couldn't see a thing around me i was maybe about 100 feet from the shore and the white outs made everything disapear. I made a tack straight home and packed up and called it a day.

The end.


Another Year is approaching
Posted by: Chris Hess
Its Been A long summer, waiting for the cold to come to freeze our playground. I hope everyone is geared for this season and hopefully you have some new kites to use. I want to invite everyone to come to Parry Sound this year and see what we have to offer for kiting. It is growing more and more every year up here. Check out the pics and videos on the website. I have posted my fastest run ever 105 km/hr. using a simple beamer 1.8 in 80 km winds gusting up to 100-120 km/hr, this run was done in Parry Sound at the salt docks, so please come fly in Parry Sound. You won't regret it. Lots of fun. Thanks Andrew

Speed kiter oct 2009
Posted by: Chris Hess
Hey kiters , well ... now living in Woodbridge and working hard for Fender Inc. havnt had allot of time to think about kiting, but i miss the frozen expanse ... you and your kite miles offshore, mild clowdy day .... dont matter how cold because you are ready ... and the perfect surface to jet on .... this is bliss,zen, shangri la .... your living it  .... see you on the frozen expanse ... Chris Hess

Speedkiter has moved to Toronto
Posted by: Chris Hess
Hey All you kiters, I have moved South to Gormley on a 100acre property that is a perfect spot for kititng before the big freezes ..... if anyone wants to come over and play call me @ 705-795-5982.... I am by woodbine and Stoufville road .....kite fast    

Dillon to Parry Sound March22nd 2008 A wild trip
Posted by: Chris Hess

Trip log, Stardate March 24th 2008

 

Saturday March 22nd morning,  Andrew, Terry and I start out for a kite trek From Dillon to Parry Sound… about 26km as the crow flies …

We have done this trip many times and it’s a great little journey with wonderful scenery and mostly large ice covered expanse.

 

We started our journey by launching our kites right in our little Bay near Dillon , Ontario . Andrew, Terry and I got our kites set up and going ,

Terry having some difficulties at first with his kite …the winds were shifty and weird to start off …

 broken wind provided us with the momentum to escape the little bay …

 I flew a Smart 10.5m kite to start off with...Way too big of a kite …

but having a few other kite choices on my back …

Andrew was flying his 6m Leader and Terry was putting up a 7m + Flexifoil …

 

We got out to Oak and did some tacks waiting for Terry to solve his kite ……

 

The going was great once we were on our downwind cross tacks . Terry pumping hard Andrew cruising like a rocket and by this time I had my 4.5 M Smart up to replace the overpowered  10.5m … whew …

what a large canvas it is … was a little big for a long kite trek ..

so I decided that a little underpowered would be better …

 

We get in between Red Rock Light house and Snug Harbour Light house

when we hit a huge expanse of pack ice … frozen tombstones and daggers sticking up, ready to mess you up… We go as far around this untamed ice to avoid incident …but have to at some point enter the unfriendly ice zone ……

 a few minutes into our pack ice corridor, Terry hits a ski snag and loses a ski and wipes out hard …he spins a couple of times and comes to a stop in the graveyard of ice tombstones.  

 We have a kite code that if you are OK after a fall or tumble, to put up one

arm to state to kite friends ALL IS WELL … Terry’s arm didn’t come up,

so I headed towards him to check on the situation …            

As I Got close to him I asked Are you OK .. and he replied..

I ‘m All F**ked up …

Oh Shit was the first words to my brain   

 I was thinking OK Andrew and I are going to have to get him out .. …

Make a slide splint out of our skis , lash them together … ..

 I thought Terry had broken his leg or something ..Flashback to a few years back when Terry and I attempted a trip where I twisted my ankle very bad .. 20km into a 110km trip .. I was remembering this event and having

 Empathy for him …. A little times passes and Terry gets to his knees and

stands up .. I was so relieved .. He is a resilient machine as I know of him from

ice and rock climbing together . I have seen him hold onto the smallest little rocks to gain a hard boulder climb .but ice is still hard …

 

He voices for Andrew and I to keep going and finish the journey and he would head into Snug Harbor to get home …. I was ready to pack it in and call it a day .. but Terry insisted that he was OK and to go on and kite the trek …

Andrew and I continued on our way kiting slowly towards the pancake Islands circumnavigating the push ice as much as possible ... Once closer to Snug Harbor , the ice flattened out and we were able to gain some speed once

again …

 

Past the pancakes towards the little light house we were on a great passage,

the winds were perfect and the legs holding out .. yet another pressure crack

to get thru by the light house. An easy one it was this time. The ice was well locked in …

 Time stands still for me when I am on a journey such as this… just me and

the kite and the ice … I love the big frozen expanse ….

 

We get into the narrows by Davies Island near the Northern Killbear Park ,

when the winds starts to twist on us … my kite, Andrews .. We had to skirt along the far shore to get our needed winds …

On one kite twist … I took my skis off to fix lines and sort kite .. and began

to realize the ice below was whining from the waves below it .. you would hear and see the ice crack beneath your feet … for hundreds of feet …cracking between your legs , just like in a cartoon, but the ice was thick enough, not to become float ice and break up, and me the coyote with a wet umbrella …

 it was very nerve wracking and made me hurry to get my kite back up

and me on skis ..

 

We eventually get out of this narrow .. and can see the light house @ Killbear point .. as well as the open water on either side of our channel …

This is a very bad spot of currents between two big bodies of water .. Andrew kites in for a closer look .and I can see him suddenly crash his kite slightly and back step … he never crashes a kite .. he built up speed and motioned to get away from there …

As he was approaching the middle point between the open waters .. he discovered a crack that he can see was only about 2 inches thick  

his weight standing there on skis was already starting to push water thru …

 very very scary moment for him ..

 

We escaped to the northern side of the point and tore down our kites .. and walked over the landmass for about 300m to the other side , where we were greeted by a nice, no wind, exposed sandy beach …and a view of our last stretch of kite skiing for our journey ..

Wow what a nice calm spot to sit and hydrate and rest basking in the March

sun … it was gratifying to get passed the point and see ice to kite and not

more open water totest our mind and skills  

We rested well and get our gear together for the last leg …

I put up the 4m Leader for my last run … it was on the edge of

overpowered for me .. but fun even with mushy weak legs …

Andrew flying his trusty 6m Leader took off like a rocket again ..

hard to keep up with him most days now … He seemed to have refined his

 kite skills perfect and qwick this winter.     We kite like mad to the salt docks realizing that once there , we have no ride to get home … and by chance

a new kite friend was at our landing to see if any crazy kiters were out …

We were very relieved and thankful that Larry was there to cart our tired

bodies home ..

 

Andrew logged over 100km from 900am to 400pm on Saturday March 22nd 2008,

and hit 70km p/h 

And I, about 75km logged and much slower than he  … but good fast runs ..

Another great kite trip to remember ….

 

 

    

               

                


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