Erin Swain has been writing about her experiences learning to snowkite and is now transitioning to the water. We will continue to bring you updates from Erin about her experiences throughout the season. You can follow Erin’s blog at http://www.thekiteboarder.com/tag/erin-swain/
What an amazing session today! I arrived at Jockey’s Ridge with my dog Willy. This was the first time I brought him because I had the intention of staying in the same place. It was kind of light, so I pumped up my 12m and waited for Tami to show up.
It was like a switch flipped when she arrived. The wind picked up A LOT. Tami brought her 9, and I ran back to get my 7 from my car. I was still a little nervous to launch so close to land, so Tami said she didn’t mind walking out a little ways. There were a lot of people at Jockey’s Ridge that day, so we were the only ones kiting.
Tami launched me successfully and I popped up right away. I was really concentrating on my form, and the wind was strong enough were I could keep the kite parked. Tami calls it ‘Locked and Loaded.’ I like that term. It was the first time I actually laid back as much as Scott does. It was amazing the difference. The edge of my board dug into the water and I was tacking upwind!
I tacked back and forth but was struggling on my right side. I got far downwind and had to walk back upwind. I tacked back and forth several times and noticed Tami talking to another girl on the beach. This was her friend Debbie. Debbie started giving me great advice and encouragement as I got closer to shore.
Debbie told me to keep more weight in my back leg and edge harder. I was really stoked as Debbie told me how great I was doing. She totally encouraged me to keep trying so I did. I tacked back and forth and felt really confident and comfortable. After a while, I got tired so I went back to shore and had Debbie land me. I introduced myself and just like that: Another Girl Kite Bud!
Tami was rockin it out in the water, staying upwind and looking great! Debbie helped me tune my bar and I instantly noticed the difference on my kite. Before my right line was longer and I had to favor the left side to keep the kite straight when it was above me. I instantly saw the lines were even, and my kite flew much better.
I did have a bad tack where the front of my board submerged and I fell and crashed the kite, but I relaunched it really quickly. This made me remember to keep the weight on my back leg straight away.
I did great and something actually clicked about staying upwind. I dunno if it was all the girls out there encouraging one another, but this kite session rocked! We all had so much fun and were representing chicks in kiting! I hope we have more sessions like that. Until next time…