Thirdcoast Kiteman

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About Thirdcoast Kiteman

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  • Birthday 10/01/1973

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Profile Information

  • Favorite Kite(s)
    HQ Hydra
  • Flying Since
  • Location
    Frankfort, Michigan
  • Country
    United States
  • Interests
    Kite Boarding
    Hiking & Camping
    Renewable Energy
  • Gender
  1. Kites on the Third Coast

    Pictures of kite flying on and around the great lakes.
  2. With the Gulf Coast threatened by the BP oil spill environmental disaster, there have been non-profits as well as concerned citizens who are applying their expertise in monitoring and mitigating this catastrophe. We found a very cool site where students launch high-altitude balloons as well as towed kites outfitted with cameras to get aerial imagery of the shifting slick in the Gulf, helping to monitor its position. This is a great example of how kiting technologies can be utilized for research, education, and environmental applications. Check it out at:
  3. Harness for snowkiting and landboarding

    Right on...I like a waist harness too, but I prefer the lower center of gravity of the climbing-harness style...I don't feel like I can be pulled off balance as easy. I don't see as many landboarders where I'm at in the U.S. as there are in the's like huge there!
  4. Updated Site to promote wind energy and go-green

    We recently updated our site with a page that promotes wind energy and the wind energy industry in our state of Michigan. We also launched a new page to promote green living, how to get involved, earn college degrees in sustainable design and engineering in Michigan, as well as local organizations doing cool stuff to promote the environment. If you know of Midwest regional organizations doing cool stuff to improve our quality of living and environment, let us know! Thanx,
  5. Harness for snowkiting and landboarding

    Well it's fall time and the leaves are turning - Lake Michigan is cold! So I've turned to landboarding until the snow comes. I'm using a harness made by Ozone that I like a lot. It not only secures you at the waist, but also around each leg - sort of like a climbing harness. The effect is that it won't ride up and makes getting air as comfy as launching in your sofa rocker. It's a D-Ring harness, which means that your chickenloop goes through it instead of a bar, which hooks onto the chickenloop. The harness fits nice over clothes, and adjust easily so you don't feel all bound up when in cold weather gear. I was at the airport in about 15kn wind having a blast, and felt like I had really good body control when getting air...the balance point of the harness was good and the straps around my legs felt real secure but didn't inhibit my range of motion at all. If you paraglide, the sensation of air time is similar. HQ makes a harness that doesn't ride up, but I don't think it's really meant for land or snow use. - I don't think it would fit over clothes very well. I can't wait for snow...riding up-hill in the back-country instead of hiking it sounds really good to me!
  6. I've recently flown a HUGE frame powerkite called "The Arbitrator." I've been thinking about rigging it for 4-lines, perhaps stacking 2 or 3 of them, and trying it out as a traction kite or a kite to use with my ATB (All Terrain Board). Has anyone tried this? Third Coast Kite and Hobby
  7. New NEO 11

    Just got the new NEO 11! I'm siked! Personally, I like the ram-air foil design because I like being able to fly the same kite on water or land, winter or summer. I know it's summer, but I can't wait to try it out this winter. Forget about lift-tickets and chair-lifts! Any one else fly ram-air foils?
  8. Arbitrator

    Any one out there flown an Arbitrator? It's a HUGE kite, and I'm repairing it and I believe the company that makes them is no longer in business. Just curious as to what people's experiences were with this kite.
  9. Best KAP rigs

    Who makes the best KAP rigs now adays? Most Durable? Most economical? Most adaptable/flexible?
  10. Speed Wing - Drachendomteur

    Love the video of the Speed Wing in flight! I need to get a camera rig for my kites...ah yes, more toys!
  11. Speed Wing - Drachendomteur

    Anyone still flying a Speed Wing? This was my first "high wind" kite...Simple and FAST! With only a single spreader, forming a simple triangle, this kite is nearly indestructible...though after years of abuse, it is not exactly in pristine shape anymore. But what makes this kite so great is the design. It has a thick reinforced piece of tube as the connector/nose of the leading edge spars, and being flexible, it absorbs impact without breaking....a triangle sail...and a single spreader (lower)...that's it! It also has an adjustable bridle, so you can tune it to spill or attack the wind. I've flown this kite in nearly gail force winds (heck! what am I saying, not nearly, but true Gail force!), and with a mere size of about 46in. x 24in., this hyper-bad boy pulled me across the field. This kite is crazy fast, so you have to have good skills, and don't fly over people, because this kite can go over 100mph and will seriously hurt someone. But, I've had this kite for years and it's still the one I pull out of the bag when the wind is howling and the daredevil in me can't resist putting a kite up. As a side note, this is a great design for a first build too!
  12. Trainer Kites

    When I first started kiteboarding, beginning with a trainer kite was really helpful. Though I had been flying kites for years, I was a bit aprehensive about bar controls, depowering, and relaunching. Most schools/instructors will start you with a trainer. They are from 1/2 to 1/3 the size of the kite you will be using to board with, but they still can generate a heap of power! The kite I started with was the Hydra 300. It's a foil kite made by HQ Kites and is a bit different from other foils in that it's a closed cell design; that allows for relaunches if crashed in the water (which was one area I was concerned about...what if I crash in the water, can I successfully relaunch?) Relaunching was accomplished by pulling on the center depower line, and that too required a small amount of can reverse lanuch (kite nose down)...once you've tried it a few times, you get it, and it's pretty easy...considering how many times I've crashed that kite on land and water, it's really nice being able to pull a center line, the kite rises, turns, you let go of the center line, and it takes off again. Playing with the Depower line was helpful too, if you get into trouble with a wind gust or lose control, you want to know what will happen in an emergency before you have a 7m kite over you. The last thing that was an adjustment was the turning speed...I was used to lightning turns from stunt kites, but kiteboard/trainer kite is a bit slower, and you have to anticipate your turn rate when your near the ground. Using a trainer was really, really helpful in gaining confidence with the kite (knowing I could control it, launch and land, and not get blown out to sea!), and even when you move on to a full size kite for boarding, they are still a lot of fun. We use ours for body-drags around the lake, and for body surfing waves, when the conditions are good, or even for kiting on land with roller-blades or all-terrain boards.
  13. Premier - Sweetie (Rokkaku)

    What a fun kite to fly and watch! The Sweetie (Rokkaku) by Premier is a smaller sized Rok at 46x56in. but flies just like one of the big boys. Kids would love this kite due to the Anime style graphics. I was flying her over the 4th of July weekend, and kids kept pointing at it saying "pokemon!" The Sweetie flies great and once it's in the air it is rock steady. rated at 5-18mph, it's flight characteristics can be adjusted by loosening or tightening the bow lines. The Sweetie has become one of my favorite kites because of it's awesome flight characteristics and it's cool anime graphics - A great kite for beginners and young kids, the Sweetie comes ready-to-fly with line and winder.
  14. HQ Tango

    The Tango by HQ is a very good light-wind kite. Rated 1-18mph, you need a bit more wind than 1mph without bridle adjustments. In winds above 10mph, the Tango generates more speed than pull, and is very quick and responsive. The frame is very light and sturdy with carbon construction, and though I've never crashed it (hard), I think it would withstand a fair bit of abuse from a beginner pilot. As such, I think it would make a good beginner kite, allowing for flying in lighter wind - reducing frustration. The Tango is a Ready-to-Fly kite that comes with 2x65ft (55lb.) Dyneema lines and straps. It is available in 2 colors - Fire and Ice. It's a fun kite to fly in light to moderate winds and is a good value for entry-level pilots and above.
  15. Starting kiteboarding

    At that weight - On water I'd use maybe a Haura XXL (TB Kiteboards) and on land perhaps a Taurus (Scrub Boards).