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Author: Subject: Kona/Big Island?
Ashe




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[*] posted on 3-13-2008 at 09:35 AM
Kona/Big Island?


I'm going to be there for a week over the summer. Between the tough times I read about kiters having from the gov't on other islands, and what I've read about the winds around the Kona area, it's sounding like it may not be worth it and should find other ways to enjoy Hawaii this trip.

Right now, I'm geared for inland kiting, so I'd be having to invest in closed cells before Memorial Day. Also, I'd probably have to get back down to Florida for another batch of lessons, as my first couple forays out in Melbourne Beach didn't go so well.

However, I doubt most of the travel guides went to much length to deeply research local kite scenes - and we all know Flysurfer has changed the light wind game in the past couple years, so I was wondering if anyone on the board has any experience kiting the big island or the kona coast and can offer their opinion?

Ashe




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bigkahuna




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[*] posted on 3-13-2008 at 02:04 PM


Hi Ashe,

Of all the islands in Hawaii, kite surfing on Big Island is the most difficult, dangerous and challenging. First, BI doesn't have any real beaches, so you have to launch off razor sharp lava rocks. Second, the Kona side of the island is in the Lee of two 14,000 foot volcanos, so the only winds Kona gets are winter storms and thermals. And third, the few guys I know who kite BI only kite the thermals and in order to do this you have to really know your local weather patterns. If you screw up and go outside the thermal effect, next stop is Tahiti. Seriously, the waters to the West of Kona are known as the Alinui Ha Ha Channel, one of the most treacherous and dangerous stretches of water on the planet (normal channel conditions are near-hurricane winds and seas year round). Kitesurfing BI is for expert kiters only and then only with the guidance of someone with local knowledge. I lived on BI for a year with my wife's family while we were living in Hawaii and have enormous respect for the local watermen. I'm a pretty experienced surfer, but got the sh*t kicked out of me on numerous occasions on BI.

Keep in mind that BI is the youngest of the islands and it is by no means an amusement park. Even hiking on BI can become deadly. There were some euro tourists that were hiking the volcano area a couple years back. They must have ventured a bit too far off the main trail because their bodies were found a couple days later, their bodies had been "cooked".

BTW, there is no where on the island to kite mountain board, in fact, there really isn't anywhere in the state to do it.

So what to do on Big Island? For me, I kick back with my brother inlaws and drink beer a lot... ;) Seriously, sight seeing on the island is awesome. There are three ways to get to Hilo on the other side of the island that are worth seeing: The North route takes you past the Hamakua Coast, one of the prettiest coastlines on the planet. The South route takes you past the volcanoes and South Point, definitely worth the trip. The middle route (old "saddle back road") takes you up in elevation between the two volcanoes. Drive slow on this one, you don't want to get in an accident up there! You used to be able to take a 4x4 up to the summit of Mauna Kea (elev. 14,000 feet) but they may have closed the access road. It's a rough drive, but very cool. Bring sweaters / winter clothes if you attempt this. It will likely be below freezing up there.

Visit Hilo and see how Big Island used to be. Wednesday is the farmer's market, be sure to buy some local papaya and "apple bananas". The best fresh fruit and vegetables I've ever eaten.

The deep sea fishing off Kona is the best in the state. A guy snagged a 600 pound Ahi (yellow fin tuna) while I was there.

If you absolutely have to try to kite there, drop me an email and I'll put you in touch with some guys who do it there. But unless you're really comfortable with your kite and ocean survival skills, you'd be better off either not even trying or flying to Maui for a day to do it.
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Ashe




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[*] posted on 3-14-2008 at 02:00 PM


Thanks for the reply, BigKahuna. Since I'm a land-locked kiter with only a couple kitesurfing lessons under his belt, I think I'll just leave the free space in my luggage and the kites in my garage.

Ashe




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USA_Eli_A


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[*] posted on 3-14-2008 at 02:10 PM


4 of my friends had to look hard for land kiting, but did in fact find some spots on the big island. some were on private land, but they were able to ask permission. You'll have to look hard, but they kited all week on land there.
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bigkahuna




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[*] posted on 3-14-2008 at 04:13 PM


My guess is that they went up to "Parker Ranch" near Kamuela? That's the only big open area I know of on the island.
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USA_Eli_A


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[*] posted on 3-14-2008 at 04:30 PM


bingo bingo bingo. that's it "Parker Ranch"

in fact, there was just a commercial filmed there with landboarding in it. you might have notice helicopters flying around kites.

what's up with Parker's Ranch
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bigkahuna




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[*] posted on 3-14-2008 at 04:53 PM


The sad side to the story is that they are selling off what used to be the largest cattle ranch in the country. Yeah, that's right, a little known fact is that Parker Ranch at one time was the largest ranch anywhere. It's now being sold off for new home construction. I have no idea who you would need to talk to to get permission now a days. My step son was a paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) up there, but my guess is that some rich developer from California is probably the major owner now a days...
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Crash


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[*] posted on 3-14-2008 at 08:33 PM


while in Kona after driving down from the 1400 ft ,there was a huge cliff with a lookout from the road ,can't remember the name BK .....Ashe, when in Kona you'll love the rocks at low tide ,walk around and you'll love what ya see.I was stuck in sand feet from high tide coming in on Kawai with a rental Blazzer.It was night and I was blown away with how clear the sky was ,you could see the gasses and stars so clear when ,I looked down and saw these neon purple lights blinking along the shoreline ,when I looked closer,there were millions of little shrimp mating.Ashe,Hike to the waterfalls and see as much as ya can ,you won't miss your kite for a week.I went cave diving,surfing,hiking ,kyaking.theres "Sooooooooo....Much to see.Stay well and bring a good camera......Big Kahuna.This Phantom is wider than my house,he he ,I didn't know I had Quadrifoil 33m or 100ft lines as a back up .I set up ,raised her ,then had to get my daughter from school so see what the weekend brings,I threw new lines on all my kites today and "REALLY EXCITED" with this kite ,It's "HUGE".Thanks.......Now whats that cliffs name ,I know you know,It's a cove or little bay were a guy was kitesurfing in summer,I wouldn't in winter.Waters Ruff in winter.



Terry...aka...Cr@sh
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bigkahuna




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[*] posted on 3-15-2008 at 03:50 AM


If you think that Phantom 15 is big, imagine what the Guerilla II 22 meter was like! Had one of those too...

Ashe - you're gonna love BI. I always enjoy my visits, plenty to do or not do (if you catch my drift)...
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