Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hampton after work and some big air

Session 45
  • Wind: 20 to 25 knots, southerly
  • Max speed: 37.5 km/h
  • Trip: 27.9 km
  • Time: 01:20
  • Kite: Crossbow 12m
Headed down to Hampton after work as the wind had sprung up late in the afternoon. It seemed a bit to strong for the 14m kite so I took out the 12. Heading out into the waves, there were some good ones to launch off. I got some big air this session. It felt like 3 to 4 meters. Up up and away! Reasonable control for the descent and a fairly gentle touch down. A couple of jumps at speed which landed with speed too.

Sore forearms afterwards - I really noticed the bar pressure of the Crossbow today.

I had my camera mounted to my helmet but it seems to have played up and not recorded. Overall, a great session. Skills progressions I am working on are toe down riding - which feels quite weird, controlled kiteloops, and jumping. Stuart recommended doing backflips too, which he says are easy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hampton on my new Naish Haze 144 board

Session 44
  • Wind: 17 to 20knots, southerly
  • Max speed: 37.5 km/h
  • Trip: 27.9 km
  • Time: 01:20
  • Kite: Switchblade 14m
The southerlies have dropped off over the last couple of weeks, so it was great to get out in the afternoon in a reasonable wind. This was my first time on my new Naish Haze 144 board which I just bought on eBay from a guy who had bought it in Hawaii but not got around to learning kitesurfing.

It was superb. Great upwind ability - very stable and a positive edge. It is wider than my Cabrinha board, has positive foot straps and pads, and fantastic speed.

My 14m kite had heaps of power. I did my biggest ever jump lauching off a 1m wave with the power on. It felt like I was plucked up with great power by the hand of another being. Floating, flying, followed by a gentle touch down. A bit scary too - so much speed and so much height.

I got upwind behind the breakwater to crank some high speeds in the flatwater, then back out into the stiff breeze. A few jellyfish about too.

Jumping then landing and keeping going is a real buzz. The trick is to not forget the kite. I am learning to bring it down from overhead so that it keeps flying and some momentum is retained. With the excitement of jumping, it is easy to forget the kite, like the problem I had when learning and the kite would dive back down and hit the water.

On a reach now I fly the kite on autopilot, not needing to look at it. It is a bit like learning to change gears in manual car without thnking about it.

Jumping introduces a new movement of the kite - overhead, then back into the power zone.