Theatre Thursday: Decent Descent


Even if you haven’t ridden a long, snaking descent, you’ll know from watching the Tour de France and other races on TV that nothing is quicker going down one than a decent rider on a bicycle – remember Vincenzo Nibali’s winning attack in Il Lombardia last year when he zoomed past a couple of motos?

This video from Colombia shows the awkward moment when a pair of motorcyclists out on their bikes on a road near the capital Bogota were overtaken by a cyclist who’s clearly nailed his descending skills.

The biker in front is having none of it, though and gets back in front of the cyclist – not with the intention of giving him a tow, by the look of it – with the rider sensibly dropping back and expresses frustration to the other motorcyclist about his friend’s actions.

Of course, we couldn’t mention a descent in South America without flagging up one of our all-time favourite videos – the Brazilian rider who drafted a lorry … at 124kph.

Hyperlapse the end of shaky GoPro Footage


Microsoft have released test footage of a new app they are developing aimed at making hours of wobbly film into a beautiful timelapse which perhaps for once, your friends might actually enjoy.

The software creates a 3D map of the original footage and then analyses each frame of the video for shots that will link together smoothly. These ‘points’ are then connected together to create a slick, smooth timelapse.

It is a bit early to say how effective this will be in the surf, but it will certainly work great for the road trip and is definitely exciting.

The full algorithms and processes going on to make this happen are scientifically deep, so probably just best to get stuck into the footage…

The Cape Verde Kitesurf experience

So booked a holiday with planet Kitesurf to Cape Verde.

Flights for this holiday are either from glasgow or Manchester so I left glasgow yesterday after lunch and traveled south to stay/visit a friend an hour from the airport.


Alarm goes at 4am and I am driving to the airport dreading the reception I might get with Thomson airline (package holiday specialists) but as it turns out I am pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. Check in and the security are effortless, even with surfboard kite kit and sports goods. Terminal fine and food fine – wow put perception aside grumpy old man.

The flight is 6 hours but spent most of it asleep – or watching breaking bad on my iPad.
Landed and Cape Verde customs and passport control is pretty easy no issues and my driver is waiting for me – well walking to me as the the surfboard is giving it all away. Transfer to accom is 8 min. And this is my accommodation


View from window

Lounge with kit

Huge self service apartment B&B but bar and cafe downstairs. I walked up the beach to the Kitesurf centre I am based out of for the week – it is laid back with bar attached but I am chomping at the bits as the 25C weather and 22C water are beckoning but little wind. So I hit the bar and watch the sunset and have one of these …..

Friday dawns and the wind is already more than yesterday but not a lot.

I get a taxi with my kit to the centre at 9:30 as it opens and rig up my largest kite – the RRD obsession 9m and go out on my surfboard – a bit underpowered but a good 45min on the water before coming in as the wind drops to 12 knots…… Aaaargh.
Step 2 sees me renting a 12m north rebel from the centre and going out on the twintip board – it is alright but realise the rebel is completely crap at jumping – it floats fine but at 15 foot rather than 30ft up…..
I came in for lunch and the wind seemed to be going up so I rigged my new 8m Best TS 2014 kite and went out on the surfboard with a GoPro attached a sure recipe for calamity if ever there was one.
As an aside I would say leave the surfboard at home and bring a skimboard or big twintip instead – the waves at the moment are knee to waist high bumps and nothing you need to worry about. This is not Cape Town or tiree for sure….

But the kite (best TS V3 2014 8m) is everything I loved about my old Waroo but even better in every aspect. Light on the bar but fingertip control riding blindside and incredible responsive. Very good indication of power so never felt in danger of over sheeting and stalling the kite even though I was pretty underpowered.
Can’t wait to use it overpowered back home in scotland as it seems to be a boost machine with incredible range.

So used 3 kites today and beginning to realise that a perfect day here is not going to materialise and that the 6m is going to stay locked away in the room and unfortunately unused.

Let’s see what the weekend special is….!

Saturday turns out to be more of the same and the wind is lighter and gustier than I want but took the rear foot strap off the surfboard to start practising going strapless. Went out with the 9m and the wind seems fine and I film the whole thing on my GoPro so hopefully I can tell why I can do the 5 gybes no problem but fall off at other times. Then by afternoon I decide that I might as well get rid of both foot straps – it is liberating although going over waves requires a more delicate approach to easing off kite pressure to ensure the board and I stay together.

Later I see if I can get the twin tip going but still no good