All posts by jeremy

How To Predict The Wind

For those with flexible schedules this has been a great season so far for Kiteboarding. So what is the outlook for the second half? Well, Kiteboarder’s and fellow sailors; it looks good. Great news for us but not so much for those looking for calm days on the boat (which can be equally as fun)
There is no possible way to truly predict what will happen wind wise over the next few months. However, based on the patterns thus far. We may have even more wind coming this winter.
As we have discussed in past articles, our wind is mainly driven by  cold fronts and low pressure systems. Currently, there are many active low pressure systems and fronts that have been approaching from both the west coast and the North East. As we get deeper into winter. The temperature gradients will only grow stronger, creating more powerful cold fronts. 
So how can you plan your days to maximize enjoyment? Often, you can look at the weather map and start to see the systems long before the wind forecast sites start to predict with any accuracy. I can often see wind potential 10 days out. That said; nor you or the experts wil be able to predict wind speeds that far out. However, you can give yourself an idea of what’s coming and judge the potential of good wind. 
It will take lots of practice and along with a mental or physical storm journal to really learn the patterns. That said, to get started, look at the “frontal boundary map” on your favorite forecasting site. Look for cold fronts mainly in the Great Lakes to New England region. Next look at the gradient between the temperature in front of the cold front, behind he cold front and the current temp here at home. The stronger the gradient (larger the difference in temperature) the stronger the wind is likely to be. 
There are so many more factors than this but you can really get an idea of what’s coming this way. With a combination of local forecast and your growing knowledge, you can often second guess the computer generated wind models and get an idea of what to expect long ahead of time.

Here comes the wind!

November marks the beginning of so many different exciting things for so many Floridians. Most people find pleasure in the ability to simply sit outside without breaking a sweat and being eaten alive by bugs. Fisherman look forward to the return of larger pelagic fish and for others the season brings return of business to their family owned shop. However, I don’t think anyone is more excited for October in Florida than my fellow Kiteboarder’s. For Kiteboarder’s, October marks the beginning of the first wind bearing cold fronts. The wind generated by these fronts can create world class Kiting conditions. To get the most out of these approaching weather systems, Kiters will need to make some preparations.

 

During the summer months, light southerly sea breezes dominate. The equipment used for these conditions is usually quite large and bulky as it usually requires the kiter to use a larger kite and larger board in order to generate enough power to ride. During the fall and winter months, higher wind equipment will be needed. This usually consists of smaller kites and smaller boards. A smaller kite generates less lift and a smaller board does not plane as easily. This allows the rider to maintain lift and speed more effectively. A common misconception is that higher winds are more dangerous and more difficult. Actually, higher winds up to about 20 knots make kiting easier and in some cases even safer than lighter winds, given the kiter has the proper equipment and training for the conditions.

 

For kiters reading this article, I strongly recommend pumping up all of your smaller kites and letting them sit for a few hours. It is very common for the glue on the valves and seems to fail in the summer heat. it is a horrible feeling when those world class conditions make their appearance and you are stuck on the beach watching your kite deflate in front of you.

 

It is important to check that all of your emergency releases are functioning correctly. Even stainless steel and nylon release systems can become seized. I recommend going through the system and performing any recommended manufacture maintenance. This usually includes changing elastic parts and checking for build up of salt or corrosion.

 

Next, check all of the bolts on your board, especially the screws holding your bindings or straps. often, due to the summer heat and passage of time, the materials on the board will compress and this will cause the hardware on your foot straps and fins to become loose. I recommend removing any fasteners, adding some blue lock tight, and then tightening to proper torque.

 

If you find that any of your equipment is in disrepair our simply outdated, this is the best time of year to find deals on equipment. Manufactures are starting to release all of their 2018 equipment and 2017 equipment will be on closeout sales. As always, never kite outside of your abilities, and always be sure to give wide birth to other beach goers and water sports enthusiast. I hope you have a great start to the season!

– Jeremy Lund

Owner of NWK

Serving, Stuart, West Palm Beach, Jensen Beach

Kiteboarding for Kids

Kiteboarding is being transformed by our youth. As the sport becomes more accessible and grows in popularity, more parents are supporting their kids in this great sport.
I am often asked “What is the age limit for kiteboarding?.” To answer that question, there is no set minimum age. The most important attribute necessary to becoming a successful young Kiteboarder is maturity. However, I also recommend that children be at least 75 lbs DSC_9363cadafor added safety. I have instructed children weighing as little as 60 lbs but it requires special circumstances where specific equipment is used along with ideal weather conditions. When instructing children, I strongly emphasize that they understand and respect that kiteboarding is an extreme sport and there are risks involved. In addition, it is important for them to maintain a relaxed attitude when potential stressful situations occur. Kids looking to begin kiteboarding lessons should be very comfortable in the water, have strong swimming abilities and a respectful understanding of ocean dangers such as waves and currents.
The sport is growing rapidly allowing greater funding by sponsors for events and competitions.
The future for these young competitors looks great. This enables young Kiteboarders to compete in events such as racing, freestyle, big air and more.
My favorite part about teaching children is that they learn extremely fast. Sometimes I even have to alter my pace to slow them down. Some of my young students between the ages of 10 and 12 have actually become sponsored riders in less than two years. The combination of flexibly, fearlessness and their ability to learn motor skills gives them a strong advantage.
Teaching children requires a specialized approach. I suggest students start with a half day intro from a professional with previous experience teaching kids. This half day should be enough for them to get a strong taste of the sport and see if they are interested in continuing instruction. New Wave Kiteboarding provides a kids tailored half day hands-on approach lesson to give a general overview of the entire sport with a major focus on safety and dealing with potential undesired situations.
Our biggest challenge for the youth is accessibility at a young age. Kiteboarding can be very expensive and the initial investment in equipment can be large. It is important for the parents of young Kiteboarders to be supportive and stay involved in helping them purchase equipment and travel to kiting destinations.
Kiteboarding also teaches great discipline and focus and is a sport that will keep children healthy and fit. Kiteboarding is a very rewarding sport and once your child has mastered his/her skills, it is truly amazing to watch them fly on the water and have the time of their life.
By : Jeremy Lund
Owner and Coach @ New Wave Kiteboarding
Serving West Palm Beach, Stuart, Jensen, Jupiter and Juno Beach Florida

Spring Time in Florida – Kiteboarding Downwinders

Spring typically marks the beginning of frequent southerly trade winds for our area. These winds are my favorite! Southerly winds are consistent, warm and somewhat easy to predict. The nature of the direction also means the wind will be side or side on to the beach. For you non-sailors, this means the wind will be coming straight down the beach or at a slight angle towards the beach. This direction is perfect for Kiting as it allows for an easy tack to and from the beach. This wind direction also allows for great opportunities to ride downwind for miles and miles enjoying the warm southerly wind and the crystal blue water it brings with it. When it comes to Kiteboarding, most would agree that these “downwinders” are a highlight of the sport. Whether you plan to go half a mile or thirty, careful planning can help keep it fun and preserve access for our sport.

 

Location is obviously one of the first considerations. You have to think about every obstacle you may come across during your journey. For example; a pier, a reef, large breaking waves, swim zones (guarded areas), rocky beaches,…etc. You have to have an exit strategy for each one of these things. As you never know when the wind may die out or when you may have an equipment failure. Never blindly attempt a downwinder. You should ask local knowledge and physically examine the entire coastline you plan to ride. Once I rescued an individual two miles off the coast who had ridden beyond his rendezvous point. He did not pay attention to the curvature in the coast and had gone so far downwind that the wind was now blowing offshore (from land to sea). This made it impossible for him to return and fortunately we saw him in the distance and we were able to acquire a small boat and go get him. The point being; you have to think of everything on these downwind adventures down to the curvature of the land.

 

Bring extra safety equipment! Of course a PFD is always a good idea. But some extras would include a small marine radio or waterproof cellphone and cash for a cab incase you don’t make it all the way downwind to your awaiting vehicle. Always let someone know where you are headed, what you are flying, wearing, and your estimated timeline. If you do get stuck adrift you will be glad you did. Another good rule of thumb is not to go any further offshore than you know you can swim, you may have to!

 

One thing to be especially careful of, is not to ride through guarded beaches/swim areas. Make sure to follow the rules of normal water craft. You need to stay beyond the swim boundary markers and know where they are. Do not fly your kite over fellow beach goers and stay a good distance from surfers/swimmers. Not only does this help preserve access but its just good common courtesy. Also keep in mind; people who do not understand the sport may perceive certain things as unsafe even though we know they are. For example; riding closely downwind from a surfer or swimmer. We know as kiters that there is no way we could possibly endanger them due to the physics of the sport. However, to the untrained eye, it may look like you are endangering that person. So keep things like this in mind during your Kiting excursions.

 

Alright, now that we have discussed the basic safety protocols, here is a little secret about predicting south wind for your next adventure. South wind often blows even when its not supposed to, in order to predict this non-forecasted event look for the following. Light to medium morning winds blowing from the SSE, S or SSW direction, temperatures reaching at least 5-10 degrees higher than the sea surface tempurature, small flat bottom clouds over land and perfectly clear sky over the ocean. When you see these things the chances of a strong afternoon southerly breeze is very high. Even when it is not forecasted.

 

I hope this article gives you some great insight on the awaiting spring adventures Kiteboarding has to offer. As always never kite alone, make sure to take proper training and know your limits. If you would like to receive some training or join us on one of our downwind adventures please contact me through NewWaveKiteboarding.com

Kiteboarding lessons in West Palm Beach Florida

 

The Science of Kiteboarding and Kitesurfing

Whether you are an avid Kiteboarder or simply watching it from the beach for the first time, it is easy to be mesmerized by the sport. It is colorful, wild and yet strangely peaceful. As you sit there watching you may wonder, what makes it work? The truth is that even some avid Kiteboarders don’t truly understand why it works the way it does. In this article I am going to try and explain the mystery.

One of the most important aspects of the sport is apparent wind. This term is often used in all forms of sailing and flying. Apparent wind It is what makes Kiteboarding possible. Simply put, it is wind that you create with your own forward speed. For example;  lets say that you are on a Kiteboard moving at a 90 degree angle to the wind, at a speed of 10 knots and mother nature is providing 15 knots of wind (known as true wind). You would actually feel around 18 knots coming across you and your kite at an angle of 56 degrees. This calculated wind speed and angle is known as apparent wind. It is combination of your forward speed, actual wind speed and angle of attack (direction in relationship to the wind). If you turn more into the wind the apparent wind speed increases. If you turn more downwind the apparent windspeed decreases.

So now that you understand a little bit about apparent wind, lets discuss its effect on the kite. Like most sails the kite is a type of wing. Just like an airplane wing the more air you move across it the more lift it creates. Essentially the wind does not push the Kite, it pulls it. In fact, if you were to try to ride straight downwind (chasing the kite) you would actually loose power. This is because you would decrease the apparent wind significantly and the kite would no longer create lift.

Here is how it all comes together. Lets say Joe Kiter is at a stand still position getting ready to ride. His kite is just sitting at a 12:00 position and he has no forward speed. Since he is not moving, he has no apparent wind and the kite is not pulling hard enough to ride. In order to create the power to ride he must create it by steering the kite up and down. This is known as a power stroke and this is how Kiteboarder’s create enough apparent wind/power to start riding. As he moves the kite up and down the kite picks up speed and the apparent wind speed increases. As this happens he starts to get pulled faster and faster. Once his forward speed is fast enough he will no longer have to work the kite up and down because he will be creating enough apparent wind with just his forward movement across the water. At this stage he will “park” the kite at about 45 degrees off the horizon and continue to be pulled.

Although there is obviously a lot more to it. This is the basic concept of how Kiteboarding/Kitesurfing and all forms of sailing work. Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of how Kiteboarding is possible and leaves you curios to learn more about this great sport. If you are more of a visual person, check out my mobile app KiteboardCoach™. There are some great videos on there discussing this exact subject matter and many more.  As always, never attempt to teach yourself to Kiteboard. Make sure to get the proper training from a certified instructor.

By: Jeremy Lund

Lead Instructor and owner of New Wave Kiteboarding

Serving:

West Palm Beach, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Ft Pierce, Stuart & Delray, FL

How Kiteboarding Has Changed For The Better

Kiteboarding and other forms of “Traction Kiting”  have evolved a lot over the past 10 years. Kiteboarding used to be a sport that was almost impossible to conquer and was really not accessible to the average person. During the early days, Kiteboarding had a bad reputation for being accident prone and extremely dangerous. These days huge developments in safety and flying characteristics are making Kiteboarding possible and safer people with an average level of fitness and a eagerness to learn.

In the early days of the sport, once you launched the kite, it was almost fully powered and the only way to really get rid of the power was to land or ditch the kite. These days (with proper instruction) you can launch the kite and de-power it by almost %90 while its still flying. This means that whenever you need a break or have a wipeout, you can calmly fly the kite and take your time catching your breath or regrouping. What has made this possible is a change in the kite design allowing the user to have more control over the trailing edge of the kite. This process is called sheeting. it is very similar to the flaps on the wings of an airplane. When the kiter sheets in (pulls in on the bar), they are pulling in on the trailing edge and grabbing more wind. Sheeting out is the exact opposite. Over the past few years the range of motion on this feature has increased dramatically and has completely changed the sport. Not only making it safer but also easier and allowing the kites to have more wind range.

Another huge development in performance has been the safety release mechanisms. With modern equipment just letting go of the control bar will do the trick most of the time. The kite will remain attached to the harness but most of the power will be released from the kite. When that isn’t enough, there is a safety release located a few inches up from the Kiteboarders point of attachment to the harness. If something catastrophic happens, whether it be a equipment malfunction, pilot error or weather related incident, the kite flyer is able to activate this release by simply pushing out on it with one or two hands. This action will release the tension on 3 out of the 4 lines that are attaching the kiter to the kite. This process is called flagging the kite and the kite will be completely neutralized yet still connected to the kiter by one line. Over the years these release mechanisms have become smother, easier to activate and more effective.

Although these new developments have made Kiteboarding,Kitesurfing and other forms of Traction Kiting much more accessible, it is important to understand your limits. Kiteboarding is still not for everyone and at the end of the day is still considered an extreme sport. Many kite schools and instructors offer introductory programs which give you a good taste of the sport and a good understanding of all of the safety protocalls. This is a great way to determine if this sport is right for you.

 

By: Jeremy Lund

Owner and Lead Instructor of New Wave Kiteboarding

West Palm Beach, Fl

 

 

Kiteboarding vs Kitesurfing

Kiteboarding & Kitesurfing…what’s the difference?

I often receive calls from individuals asking me “what is the difference between Kiteboarding and Kitesurfing?” Generally, people use both terms loosely in reference to the same sport. However, there is a technical difference. Kiteboarding refers to using a “twin tip” board which is similar to a wakeboard and performs equally whether you are riding it with the left or right tip facing forward. This is the easiest style of board to ride and it performs best when the rider is jumping, doing tricks or just cruising around. Kitesurfing refers to using a directional board which is surfboard that is designed to handle the extra stress Kitesurfing. This board can only be ridden facing nose forward and specializes in wave riding. Regardless of whether you want to become a Kitesurfer or Kiteboarder, you will want to begin using a twin tip style board. This is the easiest and most forgiving board to use and will allow you to master your kite control and basic understanding of the sport. Before moving on to a directional board, you should master your ability to stay up wind, transition, get over medium size waves, perform small jumps and control your kite without looking at it. Basically, you should be able to label yourself as an intermediate Kiteboarder. This can take anywhere from 3 months to a year or more depending on how often you get out. Once you are ready to move on to Kitesurfing with a directional board, you will be faced with a decision, straps or no straps. This refers to whether or not you will use straps to secure yourself to the board. Strapless offers a unique, more relaxed feeling and allows you to move around the board as necessary for proper wave riding. If you feel comfortable enough with your kite skills, I recommend skipping the straps and learning strapless from the start. It may be slightly more difficult, but you will get through it and feel rewarded once you do. While mastering this board, it is recommended to practice on the flat days first. Practice your transitions as well as your ability to move around on the board. As your skills progress, slowly attempt to ride larger and larger surf. Due to the power of the kite, it is very easy to feel a false sense of security and overly comfortable in larger surf so a good rule of thumb is not to go out in surf you couldn’t handle swimming out in. Because there is a good chance you may end up swimming and it is very easy to forget this fact. Whether you want to master big jumps or conquer the surf, having the right equipment and a good understanding of how to use it is crucial. Make sure to know your limits and progress your skills with patience. Follow these rules and you will be rewarded with many days of safe Kiting!

Jeremy Lund

Lead instructor & owner of NewWaveKiteboarding.com

Palm Beach

561-633-9362

Florida Kiteboarding Season and Cold Fronts

Great news for Florida and Bahamian Kiteboarder’s! It is November again and the seasonal winds are starting to impact our area. This change in wind pattern is caused by the increasingly strong weather fronts that pass through our area. These fronts are somewhat predictable and produce wind ranging from 15-30+ knots. In this article I am going to discuss how you can better understand these systems and help plan your schedule to optimize your time on the water whether its kiting, fishing or both.

 

There are four types of fronts, warm fronts, cold fronts, occluded fronts and stationary fronts. Generally for our area the most powerful wind conditions will be associated with a strong, fast moving, cold front. Cold fronts are marked on the weather map by a long solid blue line with triangles attached to it. By looking at a weather map and comparing the temperature difference both ahead and behind the cold front, you can get a general idea of the cold front’s strength and therefore take a guess of the strength of the wind associated with it. Generally a greater temperature gradient will equate to higher wind.  Next, you can determine the front’s direction of travel by looking at the triangles; these triangle will point in the direction the front is headed. Typically in our area, but not always, a front approaching from the north or north east will create a south or south west wind as it approaches. As it passes a stronger northerly wind will occur. As the front progresses further south, the wind will usually switch to a more easterly direction. If the front approaches from a more westerly direction, we will typically get a north west wind. These north west winds are typically less favorable for kiting in our area as the winds are much colder and extremely gusty. However, as the front progresses further south, the wind typically switches to a more favorable northerly and eventually easterly flow. Depending on the strength of the cold front, it will often stall just to the south of our area and become stationary. As it does, the wind and seas will often relax. A stationary front is marked by a line of blue triangles pointing one direction and red domes pointing in the other direction. 

 

Another strong wind generator for our area is a warm front. These are marked with a red line and red domes facing in the direction of travel. These fronts typically form in our area after a cold front stalls, becomes stationary and then warm air starts to build up behind it. When this occurs, it can convert the stationary front into a warm front and will often bring a southerly wind to our area. These southerly winds are typically best when aided by a sea breeze. Therefore it is best to schedule your kiting on hot sunny afternoons when there is a strong thermal. This is usually marked by flat bottomed clouds over land and a clear blue sky at sea. During these events winds on and near the coast are expected to be between 15 and 25 knots.

 

There are many more types of weather phenomena that bring wind to our area from pressure gradients to low pressure systems. However warm and cold fronts are the most common wind generators. Hopefully this information gives you a better understating of our local wind patterns, gaining you more days on the water and less time looking out the window. Just remember that at the end of the day mother nature does whatever she wants and she will win every time.

 

Jeremy Lund

Lead instructor & owner of NewWaveKiteboarding.com

West Palm Beach

561-633-9362

Kiteboarding Palm Beach

During the South Florida windy season which runs from September through May. Palm Beach County Beaches become a playground for Kiteboarders and Kitesurfers. Long sandy beaches and windy yet mild Winter months make Juno Beach in northern Palm Beach County one of the top 10 places in the USA to Kiteboard.

What makes all this wind:

During the Fall, Spring and Winter months, cold fronts coming down from the north pass through the area. As they pass they bring strong winds and mild or sometimes cold temperatures with them.

On a windy day most local Kiteboarders can be found at Stairway 33 on Juno Beach. Juno offers kiting for multiple skill levels however the conditions are usually most favorable for intermediate through advanced riders. Beginners need to pick their day carefully and wait for days when the waves are small and the beaches are uncrowded. However New Wave Kiteboarding offers beginner- advanced lessons. New Wave Kiteboarding will take you to non crowded areas that offer flat water and a favorable learning environment.

Other Kiteboarding beaches in Palm Beach area include:

– Lake Worth Pier.  Notes; be sure to walk well north of the guarded area and be weary of severe turbulence created by the many nearby apartments/condos

– Palm Beach. Notes; there is no fresh water nearby and parking is $2.50-5 an hour. This spot is not recommended on the weekends as it is dangerously crowded with beach goers

– Stairway 33 in Jupiter/Juno beach. Notes; do not kite in guarded areas, can have large shore break, lots of other kiters.

– Hobesound Wildlife Refuge in Martin County. Notes; Advanced to expert conditions, 3 miles from the nearest life guard, Known for being “sharky”.

– Jeremy Lund
Team Rider for Cabrinha Kiteboarding, Kurtis USA, Hyperflex wetsuits, Quivers.com
Owner and Lead instructor of NewWaveKiteboarding.com

How to perform single and multiple rotations

Multiple Rotations

Before attempting to perform Double Backroll’s, 720’s, 1080’s, ETC. It is important to be able to comfortably land jumps both regular and goofy foot. Once this is mastered the next step is to master 360’s or Backroll’s.
Now that you have mastered Single Rotations lets take it to the next level by turning that 360 into a 720 and eventually a 1080.

The 720:

– With the Kite high (45 deg Plus), pop off the water
– While popping off of the water, tuck your elbows and shoulders in close to your body
– As you leave the water, turn your head quickly over your forward or back shoulder (depending on the direction you would like to spin)
– Keeping your head turned, allow your body to follow (first your shoulder, then your hips/waist, followed by your legs). You should now be rotating with your body in a tight, corkscrew position.
– When you are about 3/4 of the way through your second rotation, open up your shoulders and elbows, This will slow your rotation.
– Just prior to landing, let go with your back hand and turn your head back to the center of your body allowing your shoulder, hips and legs to follow. This will stop your rotation.
– Lightly pull on the forward hand, point the board downwind and spot your landing. Pulling on the forward hand will dive the kite building “apparent wind” and allowing you to get some more lift out of the kite while slightly accelerating so that you stay on plane when you land.

The 1080+:

Can be accomplished in two ways

Hooked in – Following the same steps as the 720, aggressively load and pop to achieve higher altitudes allowing more time for additional rotations.

Unhooked – Believe it or not, it is actually easier to rotate when “unhooked”. This, however, requires that the rider be comfortable riding unhooked. It is easier to rotate because you are able to bring your arms closer by hanging on to the bar above your head. Think of a figure skater, when they are spinning, they bring their arms above their head. This more compact body position will allow you to spin faster and achieving more rotations in less time. Due to the fact that it is difficult to widen your elbows and shoulder when unhooked, you will need to let go with your back hand, pushing your arm away from your body to stop the rotation. This should be done just before landing. Note, this is a risky but rewarding maneuver. Always let go if you are going to have a bad landing. This will allow the leash to de-power the kite.

Notes:

– When initially learning to do multiple rotations keep the kite high. As you become more proficient, practice bringing the kite lower and lower to ad style and speed to the trick.
– If you over rotate, just go with it. Try to complete an additional rotation. This is what I call a happy accident and you may land your first 1080 this way. Fighting it will almost certainly lead to a wipeout!
– If you become disoriented, try not to steer the bar. This could cause the kite to dive or loop, causing an extremely dangerous landing/wipeout.
– When first learning, put your kite on its “slowest” settings. This will make it easier to control the kite when spinning.
– Choose your conditions, 12 or 14 meter conditions are ideal because large kites move slower and are more forgiving.

– Jeremy Lund
Team Rider for Cabrinha Kiteboarding, Kurtis USA, Hyperflex wetsuits, Quivers.com
Owner and Lead instructor of NewWaveKiteboarding.com