Showing posts from 2014

30 Dec 2014 - Wind pigs celebrate

A honking early morning breeze got James, Pete, Athol, Mike and I out of bed and down to Aspendale for one of the best sessions of the year.  The wind was somewhere between 25 and 35 knots, small kite territory.  I managed to spend the first hour jumping around, then the wind went more westerly and the surf sprang up so I got a full hour surf session in too.  Glorious !

James got into a bit of trouble at one stage, luckily Athol was on the beach and able to assist with a landing.  It might be pertinent to move further down to the Aspendale carpark rather than Roycroft st - there really is not much downwind leniency from that spot.

I managed to crash a few jumps pretty hard, my bottom right shin hurts a little bit now which I'm hoping will wear off to let me revel in more of this glorious wind.  I think I've discovered my kiting limits though - that 2 hour session has wiped me out for most of the day.  Feeling totally fatigued, but with a big shit eating grin at the same time.

26 Dec 2014 - Frankston to Mentone downwinder

After no opportunity to kite for a couple of days, I couldn't wait to get out.  We organised a few people to meet up and do a downwinder.  7 people ended up coming along - Pete, James, Stu, Anthony, Paul, Eric and myself.  We dropped cars at Mentone and were greeted by a good 18 knots, and drove down to Frankston.

Paul unfortunately had a bridle malfunction at Frankston, but otherwise we all launched and headed off just fine.  I had James' twintip to give him a go on my surfboard, it was a great cross between my current board with a little more length like my older boards, so rotations felt just fine.  Excellent fun cruising in the small surf without any regard for staying upwind.

Saw a couple getting nude in the small surf - good on them !

Stu Styles was trying his new nugget and headed miles out to sea - it only emerged later that transitions weren't going so well.  James and I traded boards around Aspendale, it was strange to get back on the surfboard but a hell of a …

19 Dec 2014 - Bookending the day

Hit Port melbourne to put a superb bookend on the day after the morning session.  Met Dan at last, and worked hard to keep a line in around 16 knots.  There is quite an updraft near the spirit that let you get a little bit of air, otherwise it was hard work but always a blast to be on the water.

19 Dec 2014 - Dawn patrol at St Kilda

Great morning session at St Kilda with Tarren and James.  Hit the beach at 6:30 and kited through to around 8:30.  Wind was between 15 and 18 knots - there were a couple of good little moments in there.  I tried unhooked raleys - but the kite fell from the sky almost straight away.

Both James and I had to stop kiting, as we were pissing ourselves laughing after Tarren misjudged some trick and rode two loops up the beach on his stomach.

Fantastic way to start the day.

14 Dec 2014 - If you don't stack....

...your not trying hard enough.

I must have been trying plenty hard today cause I had heaps of stacks.  Absolutely heaps.
Met up with Tarren down at Hampton to what looked like 18 knots or so.  Lots of racing kites and hydrofoils around, I quickly setup next to some very nice looking girls on the beach and headed out - kiting is obviously a priority.  Once out the wind was fantastic, a perfect Hampton day, very consistent 20 knots or so, able to go upwind with ease and lots of space.

I tried most of what I had in the to do list.  Reestablished a few old favourites, but had a bit of trouble landing the frontroll consistently.  Tried backroll to toeside, landed one on both sides, stacked about 3243.  Tried toeside backroll, landed 2, stoked.  Got one darkslide in with a very low loop that felt like I was up above the kite in the loop, scary with a hard landing that I sort of landed.  Tried riding blind, got more of a feel of whats required but cant say I'm any closer.

Pete joined …

06 Dec 2014 - Elevator anyone ?

Met up with Tarren, Pete and eventually James down at Mentone for a session in very frontal SE winds.  At first the wind was around 20 knots and kind of fun, fairly strong and a good chance to get some nice jumps in.  The wind picked up and was quite up and down - got quite a bit of secondary lift on the jumps which led to not landing much at all - but incredible hang time.  Some of the jumps hit the apex and just seemed to stay there for a very long time - kind of scary.  It was over 25 knots by the end, sand going everywhere down the beach, and being late for our family christmas party - I had to run for it.

01 Dec 2014 - Surrey hills rescue crew

After a couple of sweaty days, I couldn't wait for an after work session to lower my core temperature.  Headed down to Mentone for a 7pm session, meeting up with Pete and Stu Styles.  Stu was having a great time - first time that he was really staying upwind and doing well.  It was all looking great, got rigged with shorts on, on my very first run out I see Stu Styles has wrapped his kite around the marker with the big x on the top.  Luckily he'd pulled the safety, I pulled in close by to give advice and help out.  Within seconds my board is wrapped hard in his lines.  Having seen he was still in some difficulty, I grabbed his board, kited in with it, landed and swam out to assist.  He'd freed the kite from the marker, we grabbed the kite, lines and board and I showed him how to sail in on his kite.  By the time we'd got in, Pete grasped what had happened and had paddled out to free his bar from the x - Stu had untied his lines to free the kite.  I cut the line from m…

27 Nov 2014 - spoilt brats

Tarren, James and I hit St Kilda in the afternoon.  Big aspirations of heading across to Williamstown soon evaporated, the wind was just not quite enough - somewhere between 16 and 17 knots.  I tried some of the stuff on my to do list - backroll to toeside/faceplant that just never really worked, riding blind that kind of did.  The tip about putting your leading hand on the back of the bar was a winner, and doing a karate kick and looking down into the water.  Kind of weird but it worked.  I stuffed up heaps of jumps, the wind was just so light that there was not much hold in the jumps at all.  Totally spoiled from the Paynesville trip !  I got one really nice darkslide in, and one howler...back down to 50% !

2014-11-17 Sandy point magic part 2

The magic of Hydralite, bounty and snakes had me back on the water in no time for more awesome wave action.  Nailed some good waves, hit some backloops of the lip and had a spectacular crash while doing a forward loop.  One of the lines wrapped around the top of my finger - which could have been awful, but I managed to slip it off before anything bad happened.  Another invert and another end of the session.  Like always, I'd thought a minute before about heading in as I was getting very tired - that's when dumb shit tends to happen.

2014-11-17 Sandy point - magic in the waves

We headed to Sandy point to ensure we got enough wind for our final session.  We weren't dissapointed, we arrived and it was howling-probably around 28 knots.  It was blowing south westerly, so the inlet was a bit gusty, we headed to the surf beach and were greeted with perfect conditions.

I had a fantastic time in the surf, trying to grab as many waves as possible.  Magnificent fun, nice waves, perfect flat water between them.  I didn't try any crazy tricks, I'm a bit wary of ditching the kite in the waves and getting it destroyed.  Didnt stop me ditching it while turning on a wave, the kite inverted to end the session.

2014-11-16 - Paynesville fun pigs

We decided to forgo dinner and hit Paynesville main beach for the last session of the day - at around 630.  The wind appeared strong, but was very dodgy.  There was just enough to get out, and the only place that wind was really blowing was close to Raymond island in the channel.  With boats, piers and marginal wind we packed it up after about 15 minutes.

2014-11-16 Paynesville - Spot X with the whole crew

It finally blew up a little bit so that everyone could get on the water, kites, sailboards, the whole shooting match.  I haven't laughed so much for ages - it was hilarious doing little races, trying to scare people, dodging between kites and sails.  It was a heap of fun - it lasted about 30 minutes but it was probably the highlight of the day.

2014-11-16 Paynesville spot x on the sector 60

What a difference a massive upwind machine makes.  With just enough wind and a sector 60, I was able to go upwind and check out a bit more of the lake system.  Its a lot of fun on the board, super stable but very hard to gybe - certainly takes a bit of getting used to.  Also had a challenge upon return, Amelia had ditched her kite, so I had to find her board and return it - a tricky proposition on such a big board.

16 Nov 2014 - Paynesville - spot X

Through the power of google maps, we found a great little sand spit on the Banksia peninsula that we thought would get some good wind when the south westerly came through.  We took Grant's boat around as backup - which turned out to be a very handy move.  The spot was very fickle - there would be just enough wind to hold a line that would just dissapear - so much so that most of the kiters had to be rescued at some stage during the day.

The first session was just enough wind to hold a line, I had to continually look off into the south to ensure enough wind was coming through to stay upwind.

15 Nov 2014 - Kind of like kiting

Luckily enough, Grant bought his boat down to Paynesville, so we went for a tour and also managed to do some wakeboarding.  Very similar to water skiing and kiting, it was a lot of fun on beautiful flat water.

14 Nov 2014 - Paynesville - Grab the shopping - and go for a quick kite

After the ripping session of the morning, we thought we'd top it off with a shot on the main street of Paynesville.  Its a very small beach, with trees and obstacles everywhere, we were warned off it by some locals given that someone had put a kite in the powerlines earlier in the year.  It was a bit sketchy - there is no margin for error in the launch, and a heap of obstacles on the water, piers, lulls around obstacles, a river - definitely no place for beginners.  I had a good session on the surfboard hitting gybes early then hitting faceplants later (as is the way).  The wind kicked up a bit so I came in and grabbed the twin tip for a bit of jumping action.  That was going fine but unfortunately Amelia got into a little bit of trouble, so I had to ditch the kite and run to grab her...she had dumped her kite in the rivermouth.  She's very resilient though - and was not phased at all, even given that she's washed up on a pier with the kite kind of trailing down the river…

14 Nov 2014 - Paynesville - let the games begin

The start of the kitesurfing weekend, and what a hell of a start it was.  I headed down in Petes car with James, to meet up with Tarren, Amelia, Grant and Stu Styles at Paynesville.  Pete managed to fit in a newspaper interview and a session on 774 on the way down - nothing like multitasking !
We arrived in Paynesville and after picking up the keys, checking out the amazing house (right on the waterway, fantastic setup) and chatting to a local guy, we got the lowdown that Newlands arm was the place to go.  We headed out there and were treated to a steaming 30+ knot breeze.

The setup at Newlands arm is not quite ideal.  It looks fantastic from the shore, nice grassed area to setup on, but it is very protected from the wind (hence very flukey) and the rocky shore - with associated oysters - not terribly inviting.  Once on the water, all was amazing. I setup my 7 and the wind was steaming in - it must have been anywhere from 30 to 40 knots.  Not quite the arse clenching power of Inverl…