Tuesday, December 30, 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.

Friday, December 26, 2014

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 lot more flotation as the wind backed off quite a lot.  I'd considered going to Beaumaris to join the last big downwinder track log but decided against it given the wind was backing off.  Had to downloop constantly to get back in to shore, very happy to have completed another fun down winder.

Love the silhouette on this one

What the hell is that ?

Stu and James in the background

Note - nudies on the loose (top middle)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

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.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

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 us late in the session, both Tarren and I were all smiles.  Tarren seemed to be landing everything which was great.  He did attempt a trick that would probably be called "watch me kiteloop when I don't know where the hell I am", god knows how he managed to ride away unscathed from that chaos.  As I was packing up a couple of beautiful Columbian girls came and had a chat, I was very happy to give them a lift to Brighton to top off a magic day.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

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.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

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 my board - it had wedged in hard and may have even severed one of the lines - thank goodness for the line knife in my harness.  Setup the kite and had some fun runs in the little surf.  Had to give Pete the line knife to cut the bar free from the pole - I reckon the lines around the top will stay as a reminder for quite some time !
Pete and I got in another 30 minutes before it really started to fade out - great to get a cool down and have some unplanned adventure into the mix.

The scoreboard is still heavily leaning toward the Beaumaris rescue crew after the Paynesville trip, but at least the Surrey Hills crew has now scored a win (....actually, we could probably claim one rescue of Amelia from Paynesville as well....)