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RickI 08-25-2012 11:36 PM

TS Isaac Sessions
We had been getting squalls from Tropical Storm Isaac since yesterday, some nasty ones too. So, I was happily surprised to checkout the radar around midday today and see no inbound squalls. It looked like the clear area was several hours in duration. It turned out no squalls showed up, not even any rain that I can recall either. Miami and the Keys were getting some excessive squall activity.

You can see squalls moving across Miami-Dade County but the area off Palm Beach County was largely clear. It cleared up even more as the day wore on.

There was a good turnout of kiters, a good group too. They took pains to stay out of the guarded area, away from rafts of surfers moving through.
This dark bottomed cumulous (not storm) cloud dropped the wind significantly. I ended up wind waiting with a 14 m for a while.
The wind did fill in at times particularly once you were over a 1/4 mile offshore.
I was at the beach between 11:30 and 3:00 pm. Thing got better a bit later on.
I ran into Dylan riding boots and straps.
There were these nice trains of 4 ft. swells
The regular crew shows up.

So, that was a quick session. More wind, rain and squalls on the way. No way of telling whether there will be large enough holes betweens squalls tomorrow to allow kiting. There is a good chance at times it won't be rideable if not perhaps the whole day. We'll see, take care.

RickI 08-27-2012 10:00 AM

Hope everyone came through the weekend ok with minimal disruption at home. The feeder bands of Isaac are raking up the east coast and other areas right now. There are some powerful embedded squalls and high gusty winds for that matter.

We had some nasty wind spikes into the 50 mph range over the SE from some squalls and tornadoes in Lake Worth. It was still blowing close to 50 mph sustained at Fowey Rocks this morning with gusts into the 40's over large areas of the southern part of the state. It looks like Isaac is heading off to the NW. Good luck to the folks in Louisiana and other impacted areas.

It looks like much of the state will get hazardous weather out of this system. Don't be the guy to get lofted/dragged and into the news in a bad way at your launch.

Kite within your abilities, gear limitations and stay out of squalls!

RickI 08-27-2012 01:24 PM

Tropical Storm Isaac is moving northwestward towards Louisiana. I wish those folks and everyone else impacted by this system the best. Yesterday a few of us got out in some holes between feeder bands embedded with violent squalls. Some shots follow.
Bret rides by against a ragged sky. A new feeder band is inbound delaying my going out for almost an hour. Choose your weather, particularly in these sort of conditions.
It is best to have a large, clear hole between feeder bands as shown above to the east of "95.". You don't want to be too late getting off the water with an inbound squall. Too many kiters have been late coming in and have been badly lofted or dragged as a result.
I was able to get out between about 5 and 6:30 pm, missing some of the large clear holes unfortunately. Winds were about 25 to 38 kts., no shortage of wind as was the case at times the day before.
We went into weather waiting mode shortly after I arrived.
Sean and Bret had been riding exchanging an 8 m kite for a while before I arrived. This was shortly after I hit the beach and rigged up. A heavy squall blew through boosting wind, dumping tons of rain and dropping visibility. Sean, Roy and Bret hang out from left to right. Roy is a local kiter and Ocean Engineering student at FAU.
I didn't realize it but Bret with Adventure Sports Ft. Lauderdale is a gymnast. He can throw these backflips all day long from the look of it.
Surfs up, or more accurately near closed out conditions. Checkout the reduced visibility in the driving rain and wind.
That is my 9 m Vector, pretty wet with the driving rain.
Fortunately, that squall line passed over and we were able to launch and get out.
There is Sean a team rider with Best tearing it up with a strapless surfboard.

Sorry about the blurry images in this post. The wind blown salt cake was out of control. Rain-X usually covers things well for me. Next time I will just dunk the camera frequently. It would blur up in a minute or so after going into the water.
A fine thing about stronger wind is you can boost some nice jumps. I worked out past the first breaker line for the higher jumps to have some room to drift through if needed.
The good and the bad thing about going strapless is that you're strapless. I think Sean landed this one too!
Passing Bret while trying to work back offshore. The winds would shift from onshore to side on which along with the waves slowed working out past the first breaker line at times.
Making north to head out again.
Time to land and secure for the day before the next feeder band boosts the wind or changes the direction. We've had some hazardous squall spikes from squalls associated with this tropical system as is often the case.

I have some interesting vide footage that I will put into a clip and may process some more stills.

Good luck to all the folks down weather who have yet to deal with Isaac, particularly if it becomes a hurricane as currently predicted.

RickI 08-29-2012 03:37 PM

Best of luck to the folks dealing with now Hurricane Isaac. I hope the damage is as minimal as possible and recovery as quick as can be managed.

Here is a short late day video from last Sunday when the tropical storm was passing over Florida. The public beach had been closed and no lifeguards were on duty.

We focused on avoiding squalls and threatening feeder bands, kiting in the clear holes, then landing and securing well before the next feeder band came along. Riding in such conditions is dangerous obviously enough, squalls just push it over the edge. They can do unexpected things too so it is best to react early to secure. Ride within your abilities and experience, avoid squalls.

Thanks to Vic VW for the unexpected shoreside video and to Bret, Sean and Roy for being in the clip!


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