I never seem to fail to be surprised by the Prodigy no matter what conditions I go out in.
So yesterday was morning lessons at the school and unfortunately after 3 successful days of good teaching winds we had a big wind of 31 gusting 47 come through so after snapping a trainer kite line and bending an aluminium bar during the morning session on a 1m foil the students kind of got it that the conditions were too much to be putting them on a 5m in the water. When I said unfortunately the wind was too strong it was actually pretty fortunate for me as I yet had to submit a speed for this month on the GPS speed table.
The downside was the usual speed spot was not an ideal angle and the open sea at Walney Island was kind of 4-6’ whitewater swell with a strong rip to the south. Couldn’t miss the chance to go out in them winds though and I had only been on the 7m Prodigy once.
The biggest kite on the water was a 9m Warroo and that guy was 17-18 stone and built like a brick sh$***, as I was setting up my 7m he came in and changed down to his 7m also. Luckily there were only a handful managing the conditions and 8 or so windsurfers so not too many to slalom around at my potential 40 knots speed. The gusts were massive and it was hard work even walking 20m to get into the water. Once in the water there was the task of tacking up-wind to the far north of the beach to begin the starboard tack cross-downwind speed run. There were too many on the water to wait for it to be a clear run all the way and thre was no point waiting for a flat spot although there were some between waves, “what’s the worse that can happen.?
Amazing that although the reach was too far off wind even for a speed run the Prodigy kept a good tension in the lines to allow to maintain good steering, some kites I’ve used in the past won’t drift or tolerate an slack, wave riders will love this kite for drift.
It was a battle in the gusts but from 31knots to 47 knots it’s kind of expected, I have not felt so bad in less wind on the 9.5m but the 7m is very responsive and obviously more prone to heavy gusts lurching. I never felt out of control at any point and gained some really good runs enough to get me 8th place for the monthly world rankings on the GPS table, speed riding in the open sea is not easy but can be made comfortable if your kite behaves itself, it’s not easy to ramp off a wave and land with success at close to 40 knots but not having to fight the kite helped to focus more on the board. I am enjoying teaching on the Prodigy and loving them as a speed/high wind kite too. To say a 17 stone hulk was on the same sized kite as me and overpowered speaks volumes for the manageable wind range of the Prodigy too, I am a mere 11.5 stone.