Kite: Switchblade 14
Wind: 25+ knots, SE
Location: Beaumaris, Ricketts Point
Time: 18:00 to 19:00
A reasonable south easterly came in late in the day so Stuart and I headed down to Beaumaris beach at Ricketts Point. I took some photos when I arrived then headed out with the 14, the S-Quad surf board and the seat harness. It was a bit cool so I wore my wetsuit.
I was keen to get out to work of a little of the extra ballast I had acquired from Christmas meals, even though I should in theory have been resting my strained back. I figured a short session with the seat harness would be OK.
It was good fun on the surfboard. I tried gibing and discovered its a black art. Its very difficult to switch your feet around while in motion and under power. I need to read up some more on this to get the technique right.
I did some "power turns" to toeside which were fun. On one occasion I overcooked it and crashed, then found myself getting dragged back to shore by my kite which was sitting vertically just on the water. I was unable to relaunch it, until I realised that one rear line was looped over the bar. Once freed, the kite flew again.
The board felt like a cork bobbing on the bay swell - a big difference from the carving twin tip. I was able to go upwind well and even depowered the kite when the wind picked up.
I rode toeside for a bit too - even though the seat harness is not ideal for this - you can't swivel the harness around to get the line pull on it more direct. The bar actually unhooked from the harness too, but I was able to reattach it with the kite above my head. Its always worth doing your harness up tight before you go out.
I had the best fun cranking slaloms - turn the kite - carve to toeside - turn the kite - carve to heelside - and repeat. This is good practice for surf riding as it hones board and kite handling skills, enabling quick takeoffs and "turn arounds". Its a nice way to go downwind too.
|Stuart coming in|
|Grant with his windsurfer|