Monday, January 10, 2011


This is just a quick post to identify the irony of the fact that it was Super Cross at 270* at the North Shore Motocross track today. I got up this morning and cleaned the house while watching the chatterbox for signs of life. It looked like most were going to head to Nanakuli. I was up for that, but my timing was poor. All in all, I had obligations that clogged up my day until around noon. After that I was clear to fly! So, I did what any good flyer among us would do -- I made some phone calls.

I called Alex and Jeff and it was reported that Nanakuli was possibly the best site for the day. As I was gearing up for that, Harvey called me and enticed me into thinking that the North Shore might be good again today -- as it had been yesterday. I could not help but compare the 10 minute, shaded, downhill hike at Kahuku to the 45 minute uphill in the sun hike at Nanakuli. I admit, I have never flown Nanakuli, but I had never flown the North Shore either. I finally decided on a twenty minute drive and a ten minute hike on the North Shore, all the while pining in my head about the loss of a good thermic day at Nanakuli.

It was about this time that I talked to Jeff and he told me that it might not be exactly EPIC at Nanakuli. Some folks had flown and made altitude, while others sank out. All in all, I figured if I was going to possibly sink out at a new location -- it would be better to do so without the hour plus drive and the 45 minute hike -- I would sink out on the North Shore! With some of the best surfing in the world, scantily clad Brazilians, breaching whales, and Harvey (Knight of the North); I braved the perils of the west wind!

Between the time that I decided to go with Harvey and the time it took me to drive to the North Shore, Alex called and said that he was done at Nanakuli and on his way to a new mistress of the air. I reported that Harvey and I were on our way up and that it looked good(ish).

Well, Harvey and I did not slay any dragons today, that is for sure. In fact, we both had long sledders. It is a point of irony for me that the Kahuku Motocross track launch was in fact Super-cross by the time we got up there. The wind had turned more west and it was a bit sketchy. So, Harvey launched and found that it was indeed sketchy, and he decided to prudently land. I launched shortly after Harvey, and having the same realization, landed shortly thereafter.

It was simply too strong and turbulent without sufficient lift for the location. But, all was not lost, and Alex, Scrappy, Jared and I decided to do a little scouting for a west launch -- we discovered a nice trail above Waimea and fought our way through some hairy and heavy California Grass (did you know that California Grass can grow to over 8 feet tall?) in an effort to find something. Ultimately, we ended up in defeat, covered in California grass seeds and itching from head to toe. It is worth mentioning that if you ever get caught in California grass above your head, a very effective method for trail making (as long as you do not land on the rusted husk of a VW or on a feral pig -- Very Bad) is to launch yourself backwards into a wall of grass (thanks Scrappy). As your body flails to the ground, you immediately make a 5 ft section of new trail. Lather, Rinse, Repeat, and you can cover 50 feet of trail in 75 minutes!

It was a good day to fly, and a good day to hang with good friends!

Here is a quick video of the Super-Cross conditions: Video


Alex said...

Duck, great story, and fun video. With that kind of enthusiasm I know you will be skying out over the North Shore one day soon. LarryMc called me today and said the wind had clocked around to NW again as the front zoomed through. But it was already 5:30, so I guess that's too late of a window. Next time! We have lots more fronts in store this winter, so hopefully we'll have more NW windows after each one passes.

Thom said...

Thanks Duck,

One of these days we will get this one too.

You did the right move. Nan was on and off like a light switch. Only FlyStrong, Alex, Jared and Forest had mentionable flights, the rest, well, we didn't hike down.