Monday, November 30, 2015

2015 11 29 - St Kilda standard

Got a late afternoon session in about 17 knots at St Kilda.  Had to work it a bit and go out a fair way to get decent wind.  Cut back into the kiddy pool to watch Ewan Jaspan pulling all his latest moves.  Damn impressive - not that I want to do wakestyle anytime soon - but good to watch close up.

2015 11 21 - Long way down

After Sandy point,everything was going to be a dissapointment.  The wind was patchy, the water was kinda brown and it was choppy as hell.  Its like a totally different sport !

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2015 11 14 - Second day - scratching out sessions

And more of the same - had a go on the sector 60, my surfboard, the x ride, James' kite, Tarren's kite.  Just enough to stay upwind but a fair bit of work.

2015 11 14 - Kiting weekend - 2nd day

The forecast for the Saturday looked like it would be consistent all day at around 15 knots - so we took our time in the morning.  We hit the beach around lunchtime, but the 15 knots was exactly that.  We had to rely on the motion of the water to stay upwind most of the time.  We had some good runs over multiple sessions - but it was impossible to beat the day before.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

2015 11 13 - Kiting weekend - epic downwinder

After another break it was time for the main event.  We debated about what we should do and came up with a down winder into the inlet.  With everyone being very capable kiters we were confident we could handle anything that conditions would throw at us.  Plus - if anything went wrong we could just go for a bit of a hike.

We dropped a car at the inlet, then setup and headed off.  We still had 25 knots or so wind - although in the inlet it was mostly offshore and a bit dodgy - but isn't it always !

Heading off we knew we were in for a treat.  The sea had turned angry - it was very hard to get out the back - but the flat water sections and the smaller waves rolling through were providing fantastic rides.  There were a stack of smiling faces all the way down.

After about 40 minutes I thought we needed to get a wiggle on - I still couldn't spot the entry to the inlet and it looked like it was miles away at what I later found out was Wilsons prom.

Then - we found the entry.  The tide was starting to go out, so we were greeted with some sections that we couldn't kite.  I did develop some mad skills later on to enable me to kite in virtually no water.... but more on that later.

The inlet mouth
Once inside the inlet there were magnificent flat water sections.  We all hit around 40km/h through this section - magic.  As Stu said - we were all "giggling like little girls".

Then....reality hit.... we had a lot of upwind to cut up into.  Fortunately the water was flat, but progress was a little slow.

Finally hit sections that we can cup up into.

Magic flatwater in the inlet.

Trying to get a good long reach, I thought I'd cut across some very shallow flat water.  I found that if I kept the kite fully powered I could fly along basically lying on my arse.  I was giggling while doing it - lucky I didn't hit any sticks.

2015 11 13 - Kiting weekend - Sandy point #2

The great people at the Sandy point shop sold us sausages that we cooked up on the barbie for a great lunch.  Fully recharged, we headed back down to the surf beach - the wind was still 25 knots or so, for the second session.  I took the surfboard out for a while, which was fun in the surf, but I find I actually get more and better waves with my xride. This is mostly due to the fact I can turn it quicker and jump on any wave I see.

I got totally crunched at one stage and lost my glasses - just part of the kiting tax!

I watched Stu Styles for some of this session - he looked like he was in heaven - finally into the waves and surfing "without the sh!t parts".

2015 11 13 - Kiting weekend - Sandy point #1

It had finally arrived !  We rejigged the kiting weekend this year to give us maximum opportunity of good wind - we didn't book anything until the final week to allow us to move location.  As it turned out, from the whole of eastern Aus to choose from - the best wind was virtually on our doorstop in Sandy point.  Having said that, fantastic wind was on Friday - so we all managed to take the day off and head down at 7am - aiming to be on the beach by 10 or so when the rain was forecast to stop.

James and I arrived at around 10 to honking wind and a touch of rain.  Soon after, Tarren and Stu Styles arrived - great to see Tarren back in Aus after his latest adventures in Greece.  It was a little overcast, but that didn't matter a thing - wind was the main thing and that was available in spades.  Sandy point surf beach is spectacular for many factors
1. the wind is strong and consistent
2. the waves are fantastic
3. the gradual slope of the beach provides awesome flat water

We were all in our element - Stu, James and I were mixing riding the fantastic surf with some flatwater sections, Tarren stayed mainly in the flat water pulling kiteloops in 2cm of water.
I had a ball surfing, had a crack at riding blind and landed some back 720s on my weaker side.  I'd totally forgotten how to ride blind after last summer so I'll need to work on that some more.  I was cautious at first as I'd had some strange sensations from my knee following the last big downwinder - but the more I kited the better it got.  Ripping first session for what was to be an awesome day.

James' kite in close up

Backroll transition with hand in water

Sometimes you just get crunched

Exhausted, I tried to ride the flat water until I caught an edge and got pulled up the beach.  Happy stack.