It's been a (way too) long time since I last posted in my blog... As I wrote last time, I injured my knee and had to have surgery at the end of January. After two months of intensive physiotherapy, I'm back to work but still no back on my board and kites. That will only happen in July, which seems a long way to go, after already 6 months with no session...
But, hey, it allowed me to take more time to enjoy my baby daughter, now 5 months old! Anyway, I decided to do a little post today to publish a great video edit done by Alex Robin during the french Snowkite Championship in my homespot, the Col des Supeyres. Enjoy!
About two weeks ago I went back to Beauduc for three days... I couldn't help feeling that I had to make the most of these sessions, since it would probably be the last time I would come for a while.
As it has turned out, I was right... On a sad note, because I hurt my knee soon after (and it might turn out to need some fixing, it will all depend on my next medical visit), and on a much happier one, because I'm about a month away from becoming a father, and no way in hell I'm gonna be very far from home this close to the date!
Anyhow, back to Beauduc: this was also the first opportunity to try my new bed setup (I "transformed" the Kangoo into a quick setting "camping car") and it is so much more confortable than the tent, specially in windy nights and hot mornings!
For the kiting conditions, me and Gab where offered strong winds all through the 3 days (I mostly used my 9m), West in the first day and North tendencies the following two. With the Indian Summer conditions, it was a perfect way to close the season for me. And the best moment of all was a solo ride upwind until I was riding completely offshore just some meters away from the beach, with an amazing return at sunset playing in the small waves with side-off winds... Good memories to last for a while!
The last few days of vacations were spent in a very cool camping site by the lake, in Serre-Ponçon. This was a place I'd heard about a lot from friends (mostly kiters), that told me about the nice thermal effect you get in the Summer, accelerated by the relief of the surrounding mountains.
The Serre-Ponçon lake is also supposed to be one of biggest artificial lakes in Europe. Although the local "kite beach" is small and tends to become overcrowded really fast when conditions are good, it's easy to get away to "calmer" waters, by going upwind or to the side of the launching site.
As most (if not all) lakes and other inland spots, the wind is a bit irregular, but the scenery in Serre Ponçon is so amazing and photogenic that you forget about it!
As an added bonus, we had a Zodiac available, so we could afford to kite downwind and then just hop on the boat and go up again to the point of departure, to start again... No need to take the kite off the air (just as long as the navigator keeps a steady route with the boat)!
A bit by accident (and thanks to a friend), I discovered a new spot that works with South winds and only 30 minutes away from home... Is it a real alternative or not? I went there a couple of days ago to check it out for the first time, and it seemed to have some potential. Further testing will be needed... The name is, at the very least, unsettling: the "Devil's Farm"...
A weekend in Beauduc is almost always a promise of a good time... This was one of those times, mixing good conditions with a big bunch of friends, some of which I hadn't seen for more than 2 years!
To say that the wind was variable through the weekend is an understatement, since I managed to use all my kites (a 12m, a 9m and a 5.5m) and also try again a 6m Slingshot RPM and a 9m North Vegas (great kites!). And when the wind dialed down, I could have "stolen" a Flysurfer 19m for a little ride, but ended up being too lazy...
Due to the new regulations on our favorite Summer spot, Beauduc doesn't feel so much as an "Into the Wild" kind of place as it used too, but it still has it's magic, allowing us to completely disconnect from the daily routine...
As more and more of my kiting friends, I'm getting into strapless surf and, even if for the time being I feel like I'm back at the beginnings, it really opens up a new world! I guess that with some training and a good dose of patience, I'll soon be looking at waves in a different perspective.
(a big thanks for Olive and Patrick for the very cool photos in this post)