Saturday, August 27, 2016

Kitesurfing Brighton in north westerly with several foils out

Session 382. Watched the wind during the day as a northerly came and went.  Later in the afternoon it swung to NW and increased so I headed to Brighton, getting on the water at around 4:30.  There were about six other kiters out, three of them on foil boards and having a good time.

I was well powered on the Nugget and my Union 10 for several runs tacking up towards the Brighton Baths and the marina, dodging the two nasty hard to spot reefs.  I did some nice jumps - the Union likes to fly - and some downloop slalom turns to get back.

The wind softened a little so I swapped my board for the Sector 60 and did some cruising. It was slow going out into the chop which the foils slice through then very fast on the way back.

The water was not too cold and the sunshine was nice, with great views across the bay and back to the city.

Looks like I am going to have to put more time into using my foil board - these conditions were perfect as the swell was small and there was no shorebreak.  Next time . . .


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Winter kitesurfing at Seaford slow start, cracking finish

Session 381. Soft wind for our early start.  I was holding ground for the first 30 minutes on my trusty Nugget with the superb Ocean Rodeo Flite 14.5, it really is a sensational kite to fly.  Stuart and Tarren walked back up the beach a couple of times.  Then the wind picked up further out and I was flying with the kite depowered!

The small surf was nice and it certainly wasn't crowded.  There was some big swell further out that was good for jumping off and riding back in.

The water was clear and cold but I was quite warm with my Ripcurl 4/3 wetsuit, booties, gloves and helmet.

Everyone ended up well powered, towards the end the wind picked up more so I came in overpowered.  I released the safety and my kite headed for the shubbery!  But no damage was done.  I need to practice safety landings more to ensure the kite lands where I want it too . . .

Had a great coffee with Tarren at the Seaford Beach cafe afterwards - its a great spot with views across the bay.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Winter kitesurfing at Aspendale with good wind and waves

Session 380. Aspendale delivered today!  A good westerly that was gusty in the morning moderated during the afternoon.

It was cold and raining when I arrived so I sat in the car for a while checking out the wind and weather on my phone.

The crew all converged on Aspendale - Mike, Anthony, Stu W, Stu S and James.

I use my Union 8m kite as it looked like more strong winds were on the way.  It was the right choice as I well powered most of the time and could ride the waves well, some of which were a reasonable size.  My drysuit was nice and warm.

I dropped my kite close to shore and didn't relaunch it quick enough, so I swam in, untangle the lines and relaunched.  There was still plenty of wind so I made it back to Gnotuk.

Another group of kitesurfers came through doing a downwinder - which I was also thinking of doing.

Smiles all round after this session.  Lot of kitesurfing and some nice waves.  I was quite pumped at the end and stopped for a great coffee and snack at the Siesta Cafe in Mordialloc.

GPS log

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A warning about strong winter winds 55+ knots

Winter is here and along with it some very strong northerlies with Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay being pummeled with 30+ knot winds with gusts up to 55 knots!

Source: Baywinds 
Waves breaking over Mornington Pier 12 July 2016. Source: ABC
Waves breaking over Mornington Pier 12 July 2016. Source: Mornington Peninsula Leader

Less experience kitesurfers should avoid these conditions, particularly at offshore wind locations such as Brighton Beach.  If you end up in the water or you ditch your kite you will blown out into the middle of the bay, lose your gear and require a rescue.

Going south to Sorrento is a better option, but you need good skills and a small kite (6m to 8m) to handle wind above 30 knots..

As a refresher - read this article about Kitesurfing storm fronts and Winter wind

Discretion is the better part of valor!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Kitesurfing strong gusty northerly at Brighton

Session 379.  Back from NZ yesterday, really keen for some kitesurfing.  The wind obliged today with a northerly in the afternoon.  Stu W and I headed down for some Winter fun and weren't disappointed.

This was my first session on the replacement Airush 10m Union that Ivan from The Zu Boardsports gave me as a replacement for my damaged kite.  Great service!

The wind was strong and gusty.  A couple of times there were holes with almost no wind.  There were only 3 of us out for most of the time.  About four other kiters showed up towards the end when, unfortunately for them, the wind was dropping and some rain arrived.

The other kiter had a foilboard but left it on the beach after a short attempt to use it.  Not good conditions for learning.

As I was leaving a kiter rescued another kiter (with his kite packed down) by dragging him in close to the reef.  Not a good day for equipment failure either.

The water was chilly but not too cold.

I did some nice jumps but felt a bit rusty.  So good to be kiting again.  Speed, bay swell and some boosts; great fun.  Its hard now to imagine life without kiting.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Kitesurfing in glorious winter sun at Mornington

Session 378. First kitesurfing session at Mornington. The northerly was stronger here than at Frankston.  I arrived at around 4pm after another family bike ride.  Stu S, Stuart W and James were already on the water and the wind was good. Joy oh joy!

Getting off the beach was tricky - there is a reef at either end of the short beach.  I walked back towards the pier to get a better tack then took after in pursuit of Stu S who was exploring up the shoreline.  We kited up as far as Sunnyside beach past the mansions perched high on the bluffs.

Coming back we surfed some of the rollers. I headed towards the pier. Lots of mooring there so I didn't go in close.  Lots of fun in the good sized bay surf that was rolling in.  The next beach up had some good waves and the reefs were not so gnarly.

Great winter sun again - a golden yellow light.  The sunset was superb with the You Yangs visible across the bay in the distance.

A great spot, but not for beginners.

Getting out pat the reefs, 

Sunnyside beach

Melbourne city skyline in the distance, due North

GPS log