Saturday, May 09, 2015

Strong winds at small kites at Gnotuk

Session 334. Gnotuk delivered again.  I pumped up my 12m kite in about 15 knots then the wind increased just as I was about to connect the lines, so I put it away and got my 9.  I was well powered on the water - the wind was solid and dense.

A backroll kiteloop went wrong again and I crashed hard.  Talking to Stuart afterwards, maybe I'm not placing my hands together on the bar to minimise turning the kite . . .

I was able to manage the wind strength, but I was getting pulled off waves as I couldn't get depower the kite enough to surf them.  I swapped the Lithium 9 for my Crossbow 7 which was much better. Combined with the marvellous North Nugget board I could still go upwind with ease, but I was able to ride and enjoy the waves.

Mike was having some good runs too but was also feeling overpowered.  Stu and Grant came a bit later for some windsurfing.

I was watching another kiter who was stationary a fair way out, then he started body dragging in.  I kited over to him - he said he had lost his board.  I did a couple of runs out and back looking for it but the big swells prevented me seeing it.  Memo to less experienced kiters: don't go too far offshore until you are confident you can hang on to or recover your gear.

The strong winds provided a surprisingly good bay surf.  Another excellent session. 


Thursday, May 07, 2015

Dawn patrol kitesurfing at Hampton with some big jumps

Session 334.  I got down to Hampton early in the morning in the dark.  I donned my Ripcurl 4/3 wetsuit and headed for the beach.  Setting up in the morning twilight is strange. At one point it seemed like a light was turned on.

The wind was consistent at just under 20 knots and the weather looked reasonably clear. I took out my Lithium 9 in case stronger winds came in.  I was quite warm on the water wearing neoprene gloves and booties along with the wetsuit and helmet.  James joined me on the water then Stuart arrived.

The sun rose and shone briefly on the water as Melbourne's lights went out in the daylight.  Nice!

Some jumps went really high. It seemed the wind was stronger about 20m up and added extra boost!  I did landed a backroll kiteloops than crashed a few.  There was a short stretch of flat water behind the short groyne which was perfect for fast carved turns.

Stu #2 arrived and joined us and was enjoying surfing the rolling swells.

A good time was had by all.  We dodged the squalls that came later. . . 

We stopped for an excellent coffee and muffin in Hampton on the way home.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Aspendale delivers great winter wind kitesurfing

Session 333.  Stuart, Eric, James and I met at Aspendale at 7 a.m with some good wind blowing and squalls on the way.  It had backed off a bit so I headed out on my Lithium 12, but I was overpowered when the stronger gusts came through so I swapped it for my 9 which was much nicer in the waves.

I have just re-mounted the rear screw of my rear footstrap on the nugget after the screw was turn out when the board was towed recently.  I visited OKE surfboards for advice - they said to plug the old hole with 5 minute araldite and use the next hole for the screw.  

I also wore by Ocean Rodeo drysuit with the bunny suit under it.  It was nice when I got going but got quite hot and sweaty as the session progressed.  Dunking into the water doesn't really cool you off in a drysuit and it wasn't really that cold.

The waves were good and the wind quite punchy, it was just great to be on the water and in the air occasionally.  No tricks today, just enjoying the wild weather.