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Hello All,

I have just arrived on the Island of Bonaire where I will meet Sky Solbach, World Cup and Gasstra International rider for two weeks of
training before I head home the second week of April. Since kiteboarding
is banned on most of bonaire, the only kiteboarding spot on the island offers strong offshore winds. We plan on traveling to near-by Aruba and
Curacao. I will take part in a crossing from Curacao to Aruba, a distance
of 120 miles. Everyone is planning on using double lines and we will have
a chase boat.

I have spent the last two weeks aboard the sailboat Sea Star. We sailed
to islands such as Margarita amd Los Roques. We also landed on a couple of islands that offered perfect shallow waters and beaches but we have
not had much wind and not much riding has taken place. During the period
when it was windy, I suffered and extermely brusied heel from one to many hard landing and a bad case of Caribean flue, not much fun. The fishing has been great, with lots of lobster and large 20-30 lbs. snapper.

Now that I have email access, I will try to post regular updates on these two weeks. Hanging around some of the pro riders, it is interesting to see how the riding has evolved. I have a feeling it is going to be an exciting year on the World Cup. Some of the latest new moves will truly take the
sport to the next level. The latest rage is unhooked one handed power loops with graps.

I am looking forward to retunring home and riding with everyone. It sounds like a lot of people are riding already. Ride safe and I hope to see a lot of you on the water soon.

Best Regards,

Joe Bidawid
Just curious, how did you happen to go on this trip and do the crossing? Is it Naish sponsered, or did some guys get together and organize it on your own? Sounds like a fun time, except for getting sick and the bruised heel...
Steve Martin
That was me. The fourm is not automatically logging me on even though I clicked on that option.
Between watching kiteboading DVDs for the past 4 weeks, Doing the neccesary workouts, and reading these posts I am so ready.

Sounds like everyone else is to.

Thanks for the Posts Joe and sorry to hear about the heel and teh flu

See ya when you get back.

Be safe


The Crossing is sponsored by a TV station on the island of Aruba. Organized by pro rider Peter Zveres and last update is that there will be no chase boat following but one is on stand by in aruba and will be dispached if something goes wrong with the 5 riders. It is Scheduled for this weekend. Will keep you posted.
Since my last update four days ago, there has been no wind. I am cross training and trying to spend as much time in the water doing other things.
Swam out to a famous blue hole that is normally hard to get to due to the swell and current, but the lack of wind and reverse swell had made it
accessible, spent two hours swimming with the largest fish I have ever
seen in my enire life. 5 foor barcudas, large turtles and giant size tarpan.
It is sheduled to blow on Wednesday. Will post an update at the end of the week. With as much riding as there is on Lake St. Claire right now,
Island life is beoming more and more stressful.
Hey Joe,

Sounds like a cool trip. Careful with those barracudas if you have any shiny piercings through your privates.

You got to just chill and enjoy it down there as much as possible while you can...hopefully you'll get some good riding in before you come back north...but don't worry dude you'll get plenty of riding up here this summer. If you want wind pop over to Costa Rica, it's been blowing in the 30's almost all winter!

I'm really interested to speak with you about your impressions of Margarita, and the nearby Venezuelan waters, your experience on the sailboat, etc. I'm thinking of doing something like that soon (running kitesurfing trips off a catamaran)

The crossing idea sounds pretty bold, especially without a chase boat close by. 120 miles is a long way to be holding one tack!

have a safe ride and SAIL FAST

I spent a considerable time this winter kitboarding off sailboats. It is not
the easiest thing to do but can be done safely with the help of another person. The expert on this is Detroit's Jared Roth. He would be a good guy to talk to about this but I will be happy to share my experiences with you next time we see each other.

Joe Bidawid
Wind has finally arrived after 8 days of no wind. Gusty and fickle but much welcomed. rode 14m underpowered yesterday and we expect the same today. The crossing to Aruba was cancelled due to the lack of wind. They hope to run it this weekend, unfortunalty, that is when I will be returning home. I have been passing the time with a lot of swimming and eating!

I checked my bar yesterday and was stunned to find out that every line had stretched making the kite feel twichey. Checking your bar is a really good thing to do. If one of your line, particularly the leading edge lines, is off as little as two inches, your kite will misbehave.

We expect 14m conditions on and off this week and I plan on getting some good riding in. Will try to recap the week before I leave. Looking forward to getting back home and riding with everyone.

Joe Bidawid
Hey Joe it's Jeff Ackerman
Good luck on the crossing and if you make it to Aruba - say hi to all the guys there for me: especially oscar, armando and his crew.

I've got a few more weeks of school left before I can start riding again.

Hope to ride with you asap.
Joe B. wrote: "I checked my bar yesterday and was stunned to find out that every line had stretched making the kite feel twichey. Checking your bar is a really good thing to do. If one of your lines, particularly the leading edge lines, is off as little as two inches, your kite will misbehave. "

That's excellent advice. It's also helpful to know that you seldom need to move your knots or anything like that. Here is what I do:

1. Put your harness around a fixed pole, parking meter, fence post etc.. and shackle/fix your loop to the harness as you would normally. Make sure this is secure, cause your gonna .....

2. Go to the free end and match up the front and back lines.

3. Use a screw driver through the loops on the ends of the lines to pull each line seperate from it's matching line. Check to see which one is shorter.

4. Pull hard and steady on the shorter line until it is even with the longer one. Stretch it until it matches the longer matching line.

5. Repeat with the other two lines.

6. When you are finished, your front lines should be even with eachother. Also, your back lines should be even with eachother.

I've taken out up to three inches of stretch mismatch using this method.

The logic is that the longer one is stretched so you also need to stretch the shorter one, not move the knots.

Q. What causes this?
A. More often than "knot", it's caused by always kiteboarding on the same tack. Same beach, same wind, same conditions day after day... You start making your agressive moves and rotations all in the same direction and your lines stretch on one side and not the other.

Next time you are sitting around waiting for wind... unwind and stretch out!

Mike Urban
Naish Midwest Team

(Also posted in the knowledge section.)
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