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.