Sunday, October 30, 2005
Firstly I went for a swim at Petit Port, this time with a wetsuit. Got an ice cream headache, so I stuck on a swimming cap. Then decided that the goggles would have to go, as they are blue tinted to too great a degree and fog too easily. When I finally did get to swim, the swell was really big and I got the heebie-geebies – I don’t really want to get dashed against the rocks, especially with no one around to help. Tried KAPing instead, but the wind was too turbulent around the cliffs. The KAP group theme this month is “Motion”, so maybe I’ll try to get some images of those horses running along the beach that I’ve been meaning to shoot for ages.
Oh, and secondly, Dan called up today to say he was going out to check the wind. I though tit was going to be unsurfable Southerlies today, so that came as a surprise. So we all went down and rigged up at Grand Roques. First ten minutes was great and I was really getting upwind. Then it started getting really gusty, to the point where the wind just died completely and then I was hoiked off my board – most undignified (not that any of the kitesurfing I do qualifies for any sort of dignity bonus). Won’t forget my boots again, it was like walking on … well it was actually walking on sharp pebbles. Ow.
After the surfing, we headed down to Dan’s house, where Lucy and Meriel were playing with the kids. As Dan said, it’s a kind of kitesurf widows’ benevolence thing.
The board construction is taking a back seat while I wait for deck pads. Surfstore gave me some bum ones, so I’m off looking for more elsewhere and sending theirs back.
In other news Brooks pointed out today a couple of World Wide Panorama entries that are really something else. I’ve recently stopped posting bumf from the interweb, but these are exceptionally good:
Dog composite pano and Child in a playground composite pano.
This is surely something that could produce awesome images from a KAP rig.
Ignore them and be blander for the ignorance.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Didn't get to KAP, mind - bummer.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
After helping James Gentles (but only by giving him the dubious benefit of my experience and opinion), I got the new Gentled AUTO in the post.
I've been neglecting my KAP recently, partly because of the kitesurfing and partly because I'm running out of original landmarks and good weather - not to mention the fact that we're not finding ourselves down on the beach with nothing to do. It's not summer anymore, y'know. So this gave me an incentive to get out to the (IMO) unfortunately named Fort Pezeries to take some shots of the fort and it's nearby slipway.
The wind was a good F5 and 3 sections of tail gave me enough stability once the kite got out of the wind shadow of the headland - you know that feeling of attaching your camera and rig to a bucking and diving kite ... well, maybe you don't, but hey.
As per usual I could have used some more height to get the Fort in full-frame, but I got a couple of decent shots along with the one I wanted of the slipway shown here. I later tried to stitch a pano together, but it was like pulling teeth and all I got was this. To be honest any slipway would have done, I just wanted to take a pic of one to see if slipways looked as good from the air as they do from the ground - and I think they do, so I'll be doing that again, time willing.
Anyway, to conclude, this AUTO thing was excellent, instead of the usual mucking about with a rubber band or a long timer interval with the associated "is it on? is it not?" problems, I got a no hassle setup with a velcro attachement, then I just turned on the camera and flicked the switch on the AUTO to start it capturing - easy peesy Japaneesy.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I've just stuck two battens of a suitable height to the floor (to give me the rocker), covered it all with a polythene dust sheet, put the laminated board on top, then covered the board with the dust sheet and then put the weights (bricks) on top. The majority of the weight from the bricks is placed at the point where I intend the outer footstrap bolts to go, this way I'll get a gentle progressive, almost eliptical rocker. I've used the poly sheet before in a test and it provides a cheap, perfect and very thin protective layer to stop the epoxy sticking where it shouldn't.
I did lightly brush (or rather spread) some epoxy on all ply contact surfaces before adding the epoxy/silica mix, so hopefully it'll bond well. The only bummer is that halfway through the process, my one-pump system started acting up, so I had to estimate the volumes of hardener & resin towards the end. I was doing so well, it'd be a bummer if the whole thing was messed up by faulty measuring pumps. I have a feeling it's going to be ok.
The laying up took longer than I thought (naturally), but without the aid of one of those epoxy squeegies (spreading tool), it would have been a nightmare. As it was, the epoxy got everywhere - but fortunately I'd covered everything with a polythene dust sheet. It seems that with all the best intentions in the world you can set out determined not to get the stuff on your hands and by the end of it you are practically hand painting the room with it.
Anyway it's done now, so I'll leave it well alone for a couple of days, possibly longer until it's properly cured. I had a bit of trouble with the "one pump" epoxy setup I had and the mixtures of resin and hardener weren't entirely consistent throughout, so fingers crossed that it actually works.
Next step will be to drill out the footstrap and fin holes, fill them with an epoxy/microbaloons mix and wait for it to cure before drilling out the holes, then I'm practically done.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
The picture top left is the small rocker table I fashioned while the plys were wrapped in plastic with bricks on top to weigh them down in the middle during curing (DURING CURING - excellent).
The board sprung back a bit when I removed the bricks (albeit twenty four hours too soon), but only by about a third and I imagine that this was also in part due to the small size of the test board. You can see the rocker I was left with in the top right shot and another view in the bottom left.
I filled up some of the holes with the remainder of the epoxy and bonding additive and drilled it out (bottom left shot) to accept a countersunk bolt - worked fine.
Now I have to decide if I plough on with the real thing or if I do another test, this time with the outside coat. It's a tricky one to call - on the one hand I don't want to waste my time (although I am rather good at that), and on the other I don't want to mess the whole thing up by not knowing what I'm doing.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
I've learned to always have more gloves to hand (heh), and never start the proces unprepared. Also I bought the "Glass Fibre Handbook" off Amazon the other day, full of stuff including a frustratingly small chapter on sandwich construction - basically foam and glass fibre (presumably carbon fibre would work in a similar way). Man, there's a lot to learn, as usual ...
Friday, October 14, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Saturday, October 08, 2005
In other news, went to Ladies with Mike. Waited an hour fro the wind to pick up as it was supposed to. It only just made it enough to get going on the 15 and when I finally did a few runs, the wind dropped with the kite way up high - so the kite dropped, wrapped itself in the 5th line and there weren't no wind to relaunch it, so we packed up and went home. Bummer.
Still, Thursday looks good. Nice.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
I'm becoming more and more convinced that the 5th line system installed on my kites is detracting from their power. I posted up a thread on the kiteboarder forum and there's one guy there who agrees with me. The up side is that, in the right conditions, there's a possibilty that I can fly the bigger kites in a higher wind than I first thought. Concerns for safety, however, mean that I can't just rig up the 15 whenever I please, I'm going to have to continue like this for a while.
Anyway I really liked the big board and it turns on a penny - worryingly saw a large rock revealed by a trough between waves, but the board reacted almost faster than I could think (if that's possible). I didn't really notice any advantage in the upwind, however, but maybe it's the board, the wind or just me, time will tell. It's certainly a different style of riding. The best thing for me was that I got really into riding over medium sized waves, dipping the kite for more power as I went over the edge of each wave - that's where I was losing speed before. I'm also better at predicting when to lean back as the kite pulls while sining, that way I don't lose so much ground downwind.
As for the board, I bought some epoxy today (expensive stuff) in order to bond the ply together. I'm erring towards using the original method of bricks and wedges to get the rocker, after having previously been through all sorts of loony ideas. After scanning through 1000 of the 1600 posts on teh Yahoo kiteboardbuilder group's message board, I keep toying with the idea of glass fibre. One step at a time, I think.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The Fins are on order from Omnitech - tracker fins, 2". I've ordered six, four for the ply board one pair for the Mauricio Pro. The straps will be my old Wipika ones and the deck pads will either be £20 from online order, or a cut up camping mat (yet to be decided).
As for the board, maybe shorter and a little wider - I don't know, it'll probably be decided as I cut the thing out. Also to be decided is whether or not to use epoxy (more expensive) or just do waterproof wood glue (tempting). If I use epoxy, there's the additional temptation to add a layer of glass fibre.
In addition to all this I'm wondering whether or not to drill out the center ply of the laminate to reduce weight as per Ben VInes board. It makes sense, but I'm worried it might make the board quite weak, especially if it's to be 141cm long.
Another question is whether to add some kind of cushioning or reinforcement to the area around the heels, where most pressure will be excerted. But then I'm only roughing this board, so why bother - I don't want to lose sight of the fun element, I just want to build it and take it out.
Monday, October 03, 2005
It'll be 3 ply using 4mm marine ply sandwiched together with epoxy resin. Hopefully glass fibre rails will reinforce the edges, but I've never done this before, so we'll have to see ...
I’ll be using (or so the current intention goes) 3 sheets of 4mm marine ply laminated together with an epoxy resin and placed on wedges with bricks to weigh the board down, creating a rocker of 5-6 cm at the tips, leaving a flat section in the middle. Images of the design to follow.
My only decisions are what size to make the board (I reckon 145cm x 38 cm) where to get the fins from, whether or not to reinforce the edges with glass fibre and whether or not to add a design. I might even consider sticking a piece of fabric to the base of the board with epoxy.
The 8’x4’ sheet of marine ply is on the way, now I have to source the epoxy, glass fibre, footpads, stainless steel bolts to countersink into the underside and the fins.
What’s going to happen – no one knows.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Wind died later on, so I tried the new F-one board, but it was too rough for me and the wind had died too much to carry on - shame. I'll wait to try it at ladies under "laboratory conditions".
Am now seriously considering making a board from ply. Mmmmmmm.