Freezing water soaked through the leather on the inside of my neoprene gloves. The bone-chilling cold numbed my fingers. I knew that my hands were holding the bar but I couldn’t feel it. The left side of my face seemed to be covered with icing. Every body part would rather be in the hot tub. The November wind was strong and fancy.
Two years after we took a beginners Kite surfing class in North Carolina we’re back to the Outer Banks (OBX) for Kite surfing in Hatteras. But this time for a winter surfing vacation.
After this first chilly day with strong wind we had an even colder day with less wind. Both days we went to a small beach on the Sound side (Pamlico Sound is the lagoon) North of Avon. The beach is just big enough for launching and landing the kite. We just kited for a short time. Really! Too! Cold!!
Then we had two rainy days with either no wind or storm. We used the time to defrost ourselves in the hot tub. To be prepared for more freezing kite sessions I bought neoprene mittens. Separable fingers are actually not needed for kite surfing itself, only for setting up the kite and getting into the harness. So now my fingers are allowed to cuddle and keep each other warm.
On day five, we went to Kite Point, a Kite spot South of Avon. It’s also on the Sound side but with a bigger launching area. The wind was soft and steady. Little white caps bounced on small waves. I was happy to have my neoprene hood and the new mittens. The hood keeps the head warm and prevents water from running into the wetsuit. The mittens are awesome. Water finds its way inside but it’s warmed up fast by my fingers. Together with neoprene socks in neoprene shoes I am well prepared for kiting in cold weather.
I’m still working on staying upwind and on simple turns. Quite frustrating that I still can’t do those. Walking back upwind is exhausting and if there is no one around to help with landing, I sometimes have to land the kite on the water which leads to a big line muddle. Guess, self-landing on land is also something I should work on.
On day five, I successfully turned once. It may not have been the most technically sophisticated turn, but who cares?
Day six I did not kite at all, just watched Bastian kiting in the sunset. Hatteras is a great place for beautiful sunset kite sessions.
Day seven, I turned once like I never did anything else!! And I think I did stay upwind for a bit. But the huddle from changing directions always costs me a lot of height. Through all this excitement about turning and staying upwind, I left the neoprene hood on the beach once and promptly lost my board so that I had to body drag for a while. GOSH!! Freezing! Cold! water ran inside my wetsuit.
So, that’s it so far. Two turns, a little bit of staying upwind and perfect appreciation of the right kite clothing pieces.
More to come in a few days.