The winter on Vancouver Island this year has been a harsh one, relatively speaking. Uncharacteristically low temperatures, snow, and fickle wind/surf have dampened my usual high levels of stoke to get on the water for the first time in my life. My personal logged sessions of windsurfing, kiteboarding, and SUPing has been have been at an all time low. Our weather has been good for nothing really, and the winter has felt long, but I've noticed a wee change afoot. The first, very tentative signs of spring are noticeable if you are alert for them. The cherry blossoms are hinting at a triumphant return, as are the buds of leaves on the trees. As much as I love the winter energy that brings ocean swell and gale force winds to the Island, I live for the rebirth that is Spring. Last Friday finally offered up a fun, if very gusty session of kiting off of Clover Point and Cook St. I shot photos earlier in the day then had my own session a bit later.
Strapless riding has been something I've been slowly improving on in my kiteboarding and three local kiteboarders, Erik Frang, Reece Myerscough, and Graham Harney (not pictured in this post, but watch this space!), have offered huge inspiration in their very different yet equally impressive approaches to the art of riding unstrapped. Because I still windsurf, I find my nervous system is often giving me old, familiar (and erroneous) input cues while I'm engaged in kiting, sometimes making the learning curve a little more sine-wavey. Flying the kite in the correct position while trying to keep an airborne, strapless board glued to your feet like a gecko on a wall has proven to be much more difficult than I'd imagined. I love the new challenge however!