Hurricane Matthew grazed the east coast of Florida as a category 3 hurricane. On Friday October 8th, as Matthew was directly to the east of St Petersburg, we received 30 to 40 kts of wind out of the NW. The ocean was super choppy due to the strong consistent wind. One of the few places to get flat water on a day like this is the west side of the Skyway Bridge.
The Skyway was crowded all day with experienced kiters looking to go out and jump as high as possible. There was consistently about 20 to 30 people out on the water at any given time and about 10 to 20 kites left on the beach. Like any other windy day, the best place to ride was either downwind or far upwind. If you rode in the middle, you would be in traffic with a bunch of other kiteboarders. Escape the crowds and find your own spot to ride and you will have a lot more fun!
I found a sweet little spot downwind away from the other kiteboarders to stay out of anyones way. I rigged a 10m Cabrinha FX with a 139cm Cabrinha Ace board and was at the upper limits of this kites wind range. This is the best looping kite I have flown so even in extreme wind, I still felt comfortable pulling the trigger on kite loops. What I love most about the Cabrinha FX is that you can boost high with this kite and maintain complete control. Here’s a short video from later in the day riding with Doug Robinson.