|April 2010 Sandy Hook Session|
Any day now it will be time to hit the water for me as I discussed in my last blog post. Picking the right day to get back on the water is very important, as I will discuss in this post the actual preparation of when to go kiteboarding. In order to kiteboard you need wind no matter what the temperature of the air and water is. In order to get an accurate forecast of the wind there are several different sources to use. The first source I use to get wind forecasts is http://www.ikitesurf.com/, for a annual subscription of around $100, this site offers current and past wind conditions and computer / human reviewed wind forecasts worldwide, where ever they have an installed sensor. Lucky for NJ kiteboarders there is a sensor installed right at Sandy Hook. There are free wind weather services too such as: http://www.windguru.cz/int/, http://www.noaa.gov/, and even http://www.weather.com. Although the wind reports from weather.com aren’t very detailed the general weather forecast is great. Every kiteboarding location has a certain wind direction in which it is the safest to ride in. In the case of Sandy Hook Northwest wind is usually the best case and wind from the southwest is the opposite. A cool website that tells you kiteboarding locations and what the best wind direction for that location is http://www.kitebeaches.com/. When kiteboarding the ideal wind direction is usually a wind that is parallel to the shore line called a side shore wind. Off shore wind, when the wind is blowing away from the beach is avoided and very dangerous unless a power boat is spotting. It sounds like a lot of watching and waiting for the forecast to be right but once you get the chance to hit the water everything up to that moment is forgotten and truly worth the effort it took.
|March 6th, 2010 Sandy Hook Session|
|March 6th, 2010 Cleaning off my boards after
the first session back in the water!
Thanks to the snow for holding my
boards up while I could hose them off.
Since my last blog post I didn’t get a snowboard or even a chance to try snow kiting, however I did get to enjoy the 60+ temperature days here in New Jersey! Since it is warming up it is almost time to get back on the water so snow kiting for me will have to wait till maybe next season. The Sandy Hook Bay water temperature today reported 40.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Sounds cold but with the right gear perfect time to get on the water. Cold water gear such as a drysuit or wetsuit make it possible to ride in the coldest conditions. The coldest condition I have kiteboarded in was probably in the Decemeber of 2009 at the hook. The water temperature was in between 32 – 35 degrees Fahrenheit, while the air temperature was in between 40 – 50 degrees minus the wind chill with the wind blowing 20 – 30 miles per hour. With the water temperature so cold I wore a 5/4/3mm thick wetsuit with a wetsuit hood, gloves, and booties. The combination of gear keeps your body so warm that it is amazing just how cold of conditions it is possible to ride in.
The picture to the right above was taken after my first session back in the water last year, March 6th 2010. This year looks like I may be able to beat that day if the weather stays warm like the last couple of days! Within the next few weeks I should be able to get in my first 2011 kiteboarding session!
More pictures from March 6th and 7th 2010: