Day 19 – Less fin, more decisions

18 08 2010

Today was pretty unpleasant sailing and it is probably going to get worse tomorrow. I’m kiting almost directly downwind on a big board with big fins which is a bit like doing Formula 1, downhill……on ice!

My total distance today as the crow probably wasn’t all that much, but with me having to constantly tack back into the beach, I think I covered more mileage than it seemed.

The current combination of my big board and its big fins means that the board wants to drive upwind much more than I want it to.

The plan has always been to cut the fins when I got to this point, based on previous conversations with the board designers, so today was the day.

All 3 fins are now 6-8cm shorter than they were this morning and it will be interesting to see if I feel any difference tomorrow.

I stopped at Baua do Cunhau today for a look and break and it seemed like a perfect kite spot, with a combination of waves, flatwater and great wind angle.

After my break, I started to kite again, but the wind picked up to 20-25knots and I was still rigged on

the second knot (middle power setting) on my kite. I decided to come in and let it change it to the last knot (low power setting) so kited into the beach to change it.

With such strong winds, I had a few really nervous moments while trying to self land as I realized that there were powerlines just behind me and, I was trying to control a powered up kite.

During the self landing process, the clip for my leash completely bent which almost sent the kite into a loop heading straight for the powerlines!

To say I am lucky today is an understatement.

I ended up cutting the day 17km shorter that I had planned because there was a nearby surf factory that could cut and shape my fins and I was concerned about safety.

Although my legs feel OK today, even though it was slow going, I do think I would be much faster on a twin tip from now on.

My dilemma is that I started this as a one kite, one board mission, so switching out my board would invalidate this objective, however a twintip would be much safer and faster right now.

So I’m putting a question out to you, the readers, should I continue on my current board or switch to a twintip?

The decision is up to you  🙂




17 responses

18 08 2010

oh, but we’re not there to see how you’re doing to give you an accurate opinion 🙂 how much longer to go…? and did you break the current record already?

18 08 2010

I think that you could carry on with either board and no one would ever think the lesser of you mate! Its about the trip by kiteboard not one particular board. If you could have taken another board with you, now would be the time to swap, so do it. On the down side, if you run into light winds ( not likely ) then you will want the big board again for sure.

Could you try kiting down wind with the two side fins out? Say put them in your bag for later, from what i have seen the boards work pretty good downwind without the two side fins and they are just there to help with the upwind legs.

either way great going so far.


18 08 2010

I don’t think swapping boards would be a problem. Or you could try the big board without fins for going directly downwind? Go with the safest and most effective option.

18 08 2010

I’m with dan, cut one real short and leave it in the centre, that way you can flick round and just use the edge… or maybe we are both smoking something 😉

awesome trip and awesome updates, good luck!

18 08 2010

definitely change to a twin tip. It’ll be safer and stacks more fun as well


18 08 2010
craig knights

i agree with dan, try taking those side fins out, should make it a lot less railey at speed downwind, you can always put them back in..

i am curious about the wind direction once you get round that corner.

i vote for stay on the big board.. you never know when you might need it..

heater on, 3 duvets here in dunedin, brrrr

best of luck, Craig.

18 08 2010
James court

I think you should try your cut down fins first. I know on a windsurfer small changes in fin size make a huge difference and can completely change the feel of the board.
Really enjoying following your mission.

19 08 2010

hello ,
good trip !!!!!!
, if you are in barra do cunhau , go to see pousada barravilhachales , christian ou the school kiteboarding brasil to speak with roman or benoit


19 08 2010

It’s not about the board – it’s about the whole trip and you should do what will be more fun! Twin tip! The distance record will still stand and you’ll still be a hero!

19 08 2010

first try the fin modification… if not much better change quickly to TT.
no question: the wind will get stronger towards Jeri.
but have your big board somewhere where they could send it to you if you need it again…
the main goal is to make the whole trip it as safe for you as possible

19 08 2010

Do whatever works for you. Easy for the rest of us to make a decision – it’s not us having to live with it!

19 08 2010

tho i’ve never riden a board like yours. i’d try taking the fins out , or just using one.

can you get twin tip sizes fins locally to install on you board? or mayabe buy some similar ones and then cut the hell out of them so you only have 40-50mm fins? keep your long ones just in case you need them later.

I don’t think anyone gives 3 flying shits what board you are on. its an ammaising world record journey regardless. i think none of us would care if you had multiple kites and boards and a land support crew and changed at every stop. it would still be worthy indeed.

Lastly. do what ever is safest. you still need to finish. do the risk analysis and follow your gut. by the sounds of things your gut is saying twin tip.

19 08 2010
Alexandre Borges

Last time I watched youtube a French guy coming from Natal to São Luís had problems with wind in the last part of the trip thus arrived rigged.
For now a twintip is better, but there is this last risk to remember.

19 08 2010

Depends on if you are going to feel you coped out or not. I personally think Safety and fun trump arbitrary goals, but you have a very specific plan in your head so I’d probably try another day with either less or smaller fins before going down to a twin tip.

I think i’d be more nervous about using that leach to self land now that it’s bent (or using it at all) can you get a better self landing line in your bag? something with a stronger hook etc. ?

Good luck!

19 08 2010
Shane A

Hey, Big L

big board, small board, twintip, directional – its all still kiteboarding man. A kiteboard is a kiteboard, restricting the boardtype is like resticting the sport, there is no limitation to our sport. So many genre and so many directions.

If your riding straight downwind loose the fins and use the rail?

Keep chin up, keep pushing yourself. Understand your limits, understand your risk management and then go that little more.
2000 is just a number, psuh through it Bro.

Cheers Shane A ( see you on the snow, maybe?)

19 08 2010


i have been on the water every day on a 7/9m over the last week between Cumbuco and Balxxx. you can guarantee that the wind will be blowing hard by 9 or 10 and peak by mid afternoon at 25knots or more, e-v-e-r-y day. reading your message to Andreas, the wind will be mostly between side on and side shore for this last stretch, aka straight downwind.
the most logical move would be to move to a TT tomorrow. but i sense you have the accomplishment of finishing this with your original intentions in mind. this will be the hardest option and only you can judge if you are physically, financially and time pending, able to do it.

it all depends on what you want.

the mass downwinder sounds awesome. you know i’m in and we can try round up some troops.

19 08 2010

Go for the twin tip mate, I know you had the intention on using just one board, but there is no one else other than yourself saying you can’t use two boards. You want to go the distance, then your best bet now is the twin tip 🙂

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