Monday, February 20, 2012

Port Melbourne to St Kilda - speed and gybes

Session 170 - 20 February 2012

There was a nice 20 knot sea breeze on late in the day.  Launched at Port Melbourne, far from the madding crowds.  Two tacks on the Sector 60 and I was past the pier, one more tack could have got me to St Kilda!  I think I could have even got to Elwood.  Still amazed at the upwind capability of this board.

I had a breakthrough on my first turns.  I did a successful gybe to the right (my strong turn) followed by my FIRST successful gybe to the left!  Woo hoo!

I headed to St Kilda and did some nice speed runs into the flatter water behind the breakwater, faster than all the twin tips and surfboard kiters who were out.  The lower wind behind the breakwater made gybing much harder though.  

I did a ripping speed run back toward Port Melbourne, then quite a few runs in the bay surf and some more gybes.  It is great to be making some progression.

Some things I have noticed that help:
  • Need to turn the board to get around, particulary on the weaker side (left for me)
  • I consolidate my riding toeside after the turn, then bring my rear foot forward, and can now ride with it placed there.
  • I am paying attention to keeping pressure on the new front foot, then bringing the other foot back.
  • Relax if the feet are not in the foot straps.  Get comfortable and then slot them in later.
  • Loosening the front foot before the turn helps get it out later (this is essential).
  • Feel for the balance point
  • Commit to moving the forward foot back.
And some issues:
  • I think I could get the foot switch happening earlier
  • The kite sometimes comes down too low when around on toeside
Overall, a great session with good wind.  I made several successful gybes which was very satisfying.  No tech today - it was nice to be just out there.

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