I went down to Bellingham WA yesterday on a quick road trip and got to try out the Blade Fat Lady 17m kite at Locust Beach. I’ve been wanting to kite at Locust for a while, but I’m never there when it’s windy and have time to ride so I made it happen on this trip. Andy from Kite Paddle Surf Bellingham lent me a Blade Fat Lady and a Liquid Force LFX board to use so I didn’t have to shlep my gear down. I’ve spent a lot of time this summer sitting on the beach with my 10m kite watching 3 or 4 guys with big kites ride while the rest of us sat and waited for the wind to build – something that didn’t always happen…=-( So a light wind setup has been on my mind lately.
The Fat Lady was a very powerful easy to fly kite that was stable enough for me to mess around with the bindings on the borrowed board without having to give it much thought. Out on the water it turned well for a huge kite and it was easy to jump for some fun floaty air. A big kite, like a big truck, is powerful and will never be as sporty/maneuverable as a much smaller kite. On the other hand there is no point being out on the water if the kite you are flying is a total dog. So my main concern was answering the question – would I be happy to fly the Fat Lady on a light wind day or would I be thinking this is lame and wishing I was on a different kite? Bottom line I was quite impressed with this kite. Enough so that I bought one and took it home with me.
I hadn’t planned to spend anymore $$$ on kiting gear this year, but driving to Lake Nitnaht or Baja and sitting on the beach isn’t fun and it’s expensive in it’s own right. I’m setup now so that if there is any wind at all I can be out kiting. That should increase my time on the water by 20%-30% easily which is well worth the cost. This is a 2012 model kite so I’ll just factor it in against next year’s gear budget!…=-)
The riding at Locust Beach was fun. The water is very shallow so even if you are 200-500m from shore you can simply stand up and walk around. It would be an ideal spot to learn how to kiteboard since you can walk back upwind or stand up and figure something out without continually moving downwind.
I enjoyed the Liquid Force LFX board, but I can’t give it much of a review as I was really focused on the kite this session. I really should have used an OR Mako to keep all my variables constant and just test one item at a time, but trips to Bellingham are not very frequent and I wanted to make the most of my time. I’ll definitely try the FX again next time I have an opportunity.