Tuesday the spreader bar for my Dakine Fusion Seat Harness came. That's a contraption you strap on which allows you to anchor the pull of a large kite onto a low center of gravity on your body. I hadn't put the pieces together because I dreaded the assumed realization that it wouldn't fit. Urged out into the sun, wind and light rain by my kiteboarder-to-be friend this afternoon, I hooked it all up and... with one minor issue, it fit. Shazam!
Taking Yoda, our Hydra 350 from HQ, we hit a field next to the slammer here in Salem. The first feel was... hard to put into words. I've always loved flying kites, loved the feeling of the power. But up to this point, my kite flying was like chastely holding hands with a lover. Flying in the hook is like actually coming together as one. The feeling is just... amazing. It's a partnership, not a struggle as it has always felt. It was a visceral, seductive feel that was scary as hell and inviting at the same time.
The kite responds so much more sharply than when flying with the bar in your hands. How is that? You can steer with two fingers if you like! The wind was gusty and thready, and my legs stiff and unresponsive at first. But soon I started to give into it, giving up the fight and seeking to work with it.
Then a gust came up, caught me off guard, and threw my ass on the ground -- again. I actually bounced on my left shoulder, three times! Damn, that hurt. Luckily, I'm resilient. And well padded.