Archive for the ‘Jake VanderZee’ Category

With the heat wave passing through Michigan we have started looking for fun ways to cool off. So far the guys in the warehouse have gone through 2 cases of icy pops. This was one of the videos we ran across that is actually safe to share. And besides it is just kind of funny. Time to go make an AC and drick some, well “sodas” to beat the heat.

We were headed out on a family vacation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the week and I wanted to bring a paddle board from the shop. My first go-to choice was the Bic ACE-Tec 11’6″, however Bree turned me down since our entire SUP rental fleet was booked for the week. Well, that left the Imagine Surfer or one of the many wood laminated JP Australia boards that everyone is hot for since they are lightweight and faster on the water. I, however, knew I would be having the family and others riding the board and opted for the plastic Imagine Surfer. At only 9’9″ in length, I was a little concerned that my heavy 260lb build would sink the board, but I gambled and threw it on the car.

After a 12 hour car ride that would normally take 6 if you don’t have a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old when traveling, needless to say I was all up for unpacking and a beer or two when I got to Drummond Island and the family cottage. If you are familiar with Drummond Island, you know that the shoreline is all very rocky, something I wasn’t expecting, and I knew right away that the plastic construction of the Imagine Surfer was the right call! Paddling was going to have to wait until the following day.


Dr. Joe will take away the pain

The Impact of Weight when Kiteboarding

Hi, I’m Jake and I like to eat and kiteboard. Oh, and yeah- I weigh 260 lbs.

To give you a little background, in 2006 I blew out my foot while kiteboarding. Actually, I was trying to do a hooked in back-roll kite-loop that went horribly wrong… Well, 4 months on crutches and 3 months of physical therapy later, I was able to walk- well sort of.

It was another year and a half until I tried kiteboarding again in 2008. In that year and a half I gained 40 lbs working a desk job and eating and drinking a lot of beer! Yum. Well…


If your first question to this title is “what are foil kites?” you have a few things to learn… here are the basics.

Two types of Kites used for Kiteboarding or Snowkiting

There are essentially 2 different types of kiteboarding/snowkiting kites; foils and inflatables.

Inflatable Kiteboarding Kites:

Kiteboarding kites on the beachInflatables are what most people have learned to kiteboard with in the water. They are easier to relaunch, and now-a-days have a ton of depower. You know you are looking at an inflatable kite if it has a rigid structure that is created from a leading edge and struts. This is often noticeable on the beach because the kiteboarding kite will actually hold its shape and the struts will point into the air while it is resting on the beach. Like I said, most kites sold in the industry that are used on the water are inflatable kites, with the exception of notable brands like Ozone Kites, HQ Power kites and Fly-Surfer Kites, who all produce the 2nd style kite, the power foil.

Foil Kiteboarding/Snow Kiting Kites:

HQ Apex foil power kiteA foil kite is most noticeably different from an inflatable kite with the lack of any actual hard structure that holds the shape of the kite. A foil kite keeps its shape with a series of cloth ribs that hold a top canopy to a lower canopy, along with a very complicated series of strings called a bridle (NOT “bridal”) that work together to hold the canopies flat when the kite is filled with air, just like a parachute. The foil kite has been around way longer than its counterpart the inflatable. Knowing this, you may say, “Heck, I am going to buy all new foils to kiteboard with since the technology has been developed over a longer period of time, so it has to be better.” Well, hold on and keep reading- there are pros and cons to why foil kites are not usually the best kite for use on the water. A lot of that has to do with the differences of a closed cell vs. an open cell design, a difference that can mean life or death. Foil kites also have a tendency to last 2-3 times as long as an inflatable if cared for correctly. This is mostly based on the fact that you are not pressurizing the kite to hold a structure every time you use it, like you do with an inflatable.