Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2016 01 26 - Mentone ESE is a gusty beast

Met Stu and Tony down the beach on a hot Australia day with a welcome cross shore breeze.  We had to act quick as it was forecast to go more easterly, which everyone knows gets gusty as hell at Mentone. Pete and Tarren soon joined us and it was game on.
It was beautiful on the water - refreshing and clear - and I dived straight into the tricks.  Landed a frontroll 540 transition - stoked.  Got the backroll to toeside sorted on the left, landed some on the right, landed a lot of toeside backroll to heelside going right.  Great day out.
Tarren survived a near popping experience of wrapping his lines around his kite and blowing towards ricketts point - lucky escape.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

2016 01 23 - Tarren's place

Eric, Pete, Tarren and I met up at Tarren's place.  It had rained the day before so we figured Aspendale would be the go - clean, flat water.  It was magnificent.  The wind was just enough - we could have done with a few more knots but still a lot of fun.  I worked on unhooked - and found out that it you dont have the kite set right it can be a real pain, every time I unhooked the kite just dropped out of the sky.  I tried the roast beef grab, got real close but I'll have to work on my flexibility.  Nailed the double grabs - not that hard.  Then worked on front roll 540 transition, landing toeside.  I was able to land it pretty consistently, just need to work on having enough power to steam out of it.  Sorted out the start from the board on the water - just jumping up onto it and heading off.  Not hard in flat water.
Very decent long session - and I think we've uncovered a new great spot - there is fantastic flat water beside the pier.

2016 01 16 - Squished into Hampton

I'm not sure what genius decided that the official kiting area at Hampton should be squished between the 2 groynes - but it sure gets busy with a couple of kites on a south westerly there.  We had a great turnout of good folks, Tony, Anthony, Stu, Job, James, Dobbo, Athol and Grant operating in stealth mode.  Wind was pretty good - not cranking but enough - to try the newly released excel spreadsheet of every trick in the world.  I worked on all manner of transitional tricks, toeside based jumps, heelside and goodness knows what else.  Ended up eating a whole lot of water.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

2016 01 15 - Variable port

Bit up and down at Port with Tarren.

2016 01 14 - Epic adventure

With a 25 knot + wind forecast, headed down to Hampton to hook up with James and Stu for a small kite session.  It had been blowing all night with intermittent rain, so the expectations were high for great wind and nice waves.  Stepping out of the car I couldn't get the grin off my face - it was absolutely perfect for a kick rs session.
Took the 7 out and was immediately greeted with some big surf out the back.  Took a while to get used to the little kite, but after a couple of runs felt right at home.  Fantastic big air opportunities launching off the swell behind the groynes.
We mucked around in the main kiting section - sweet waves rolling in with very little chop and only about 5 kiters.  After a while we headed down to Green point to check if it was peeling off the point down there.  The surf just south of green point was even bigger which was fun, but north of the point it was kind of rubbish.  After one or two gos I pulled the pin, it was still a bit of a battle to tack back, given the gusty wind and big swell.   Stu was a bit challenged getting upwind on his toeside tack so I circled back and tried to tell him on the water that he would have to transition.  I can't imagine he heard me, but he stopped riding toeside and went magically upwind.  I had another slight panic after riding a great wave in, trying to cut out through the shore break and saw Stu fall off right on green point near the rocks.  He had recovered before I could reach him - luckily - it would be an awful place to wash up.
We headed back and had a ball in the hampton surf for another half hour before the big clouds started to roll in.  Massive grins after an epic session.

2016 01 08 - St Kilda - back to it

Met up with James and Bruce at St Kilda for a fun session in great wind.  Did a quick tour down to South Melbourne and back with James - still a favourite little place to kite in the waves.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 01 02 - Western port tour

Stu Styles came up with a fantastic idea to do a trip from Flinders downwind to Balnarring.  With such an interesting tour, filled with some great little surf breaks, there was naturally a lot of interest.  We had Stu, Pete, Eric, Anthony, Tarren, Mike and myself all raring to go at Balnarring.  Having arrived there seemed enough wind to do a there and back session - saving us the hassle of driving cars around for an hour - more kiting and less driving is always a winner so we setup and set off.

The wind was a very consistent 22 knots or thereabouts - enough to make me wonder about taking the small kite.  Turns out the 10 was perfect for the session, enough depower for the stronger sections and enough pull when I got a bit too close to the rocks.

We waited at Balnarring until everyone was on the water then set off to Flinders.  Great to be on the water and setting off with such a good and capable crew.  Point Leo was the first good stop - we took turns tucking in to the flat water just behind the rocks on the point - magnificent fun.  It was still low tide at this stage but you could see where the waves were breaking - offering some great potential for the trip back.

We continued towards Flinders and hit up the Pines next.  There were a few kiters here already taking advantage of the wide beach and relatively flat water closer to shore.  A good setup that I'd never really considered before.

On heading round the corner to the Farm I realised that we hadn't seen Pete for a while.  I checked in with most folks and no-one knew where he was.  The last I'd seen him was when I'd helped Eric retrieve his board at Pt Leo.  Stu and I went on a bit of a search and rescue session, heading back past the Pines towards Pt Leo.  After about 15 mins of panic, we headed towards Flinders again, figuring that Pete was most likely to have motored ahead on his own.  About 5 mins later I spotted his kite way off in the distance - thank goodness - I had no desire to push the emergency session so early.  Tarren headed back about now.

From the Pines onwards it was hard work - having to tack pretty hard to get a line to Flinders.  Saw one guy snorkelling a fair way off the beach south of Flinders - balls of steel if you ask me - and just beside him in the water was a dead seal.  Crazy.

Mike and I were on the same tack and hit Flinders at around the same time.  There was no real room to land, so we decided to head back.  Nice and coasty heading back, jumps and toeside wave riding were the order of the day.  I decided to wait for Stu, Eric and Anthony for the trip back - cause I figured that Stu knows all the breaks and would be able to direct us to the best spots.  There wasn't many waves to be had on the way back - and Eric and Anthony were way out in the channel as Anthony had broken a footstrap and was headed back.

Stu and I picked up Mike and headed in to the breaks at Point Leo.  GOLD !  The waves were forming nicely, wind was up and we had an absolute ball surfing everything from 2nd reef through.  Magnificent fun.  My massive smile turned to dismay when Eric kitelooped past me without a board, he'd had a big stack and lost his board somewhere way out to sea.  Mike and I looked around whilst grabbing waves but nothing to be seen anywhere.

We continued surfing until fatigue set in - then headed back to Balnarring.  Big smiles greeted all of us on the beach - amazing session.  On picking up Eric his lucky star had arrived too - his board washed in 50m from where he was located.  Fish and chips topped off a magnificent day.  I'll be back to Point Leo in a SE - its a magnificent setup.

Setting off - Mike and Erics kites beside me

Pete's and Stu's kite setting up

Tarren and Mike with Somers in the background

Eric and Stu setting off

Anthony in the overtaking lane

Shot taken right in the middle of a forward 360

Backroll transition with hand in the water

Showing Mike how to stack with conviction

Front grab

Near the Flinders pier

Stu in the background on the way back from Flinders.  If you look in the background you can make out Eric and Anthony - way out in the channel.

Best waves (and best flatwater) were around Pt Leo - second reef had some nice waves going on by the time we returned and the tide was a bit higher

Tucking in to one and praying for a barrel

I'll be back to Point Leo - particularly if the surf and wind are up