Thursday, November 29, 2018

Ricketts Point to Hampton kitesurfing downwinder

Session 462.  The wind looked good for a downwinder so we left a car at Hampton and drove to Ricketts Point.  Once on the water it dropped a bit, particularly closer to shore. Stu headed back in to the beach, Anthony was some distance behind.  Its hard to figure out what is going on without comms.

I wasn't able to stay upwind so I headed off with some reasonable speed, it was great to get going.  Looking back I could see the others following.  I was in a pocket of wind and kept going.

There was a race of large yachts in progress, I kept well away from them as they sailed upwind.

I was careful to not go behind the Cerberus wreck at Black Rock it.  The Sandringham Yacht club in the distance was a good target.  I kited around the breakwater and the out on a tack looking back.  I could see both kites coming in the far distance.

After several tacks they were close to the breakwater then the wind dropped so I headed to the beach.  Stu and Anthony came in, very happy to complete the run.  Stu has swapped his kite to the Lithium 12 so he had plenty of power. 

Anthony had to sine is 11 most of the way due to less wind.  Fickle conditions with around 15 knots. Its easier when a bit overpowered.

Grant (who had been windsurfing), Anthony and Stu

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Kitesurfing Aspendale with Quark stabiliser

Session 461. The water in the bay was dirty after strong winds and a lot of rain on Friday.  By Saturday the wind had moderated and the rain stopped.  I got down to Aspendale just as the crew were finishing up.  Better late than never.

Tarren have me a hand setting up the Beast line mount with the new Quark stabiliser and the GoPro.  The setup does weigh on the lines a bit and mounting it a bit further from you is better.  I was quite impressed with footage - a short video is below.

This setup will be good in big surf, maybe not so good for those doing lots of tricks on a twin tip.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Kitesurfing Brighton and Green Point with some good bay surf

Session 460.  A good 20 knot wind in the afternoon; the lads did a downwinder from Ricketts to Brighton.  I was tired and had a nap after some hard mountain biking in the morning so I missed it. I got down to Brighton later in the afternoon kited easily upwind to Green Point to catch some waves, then followed the reefs back down to Brighton.  The guys came past finishing the downwinder, lucky chaps!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Kitesurfing Beaumaris on the Wainman Passport in light wind

Session 459. It seemed like a good sea breeze at Ricketts Point but it conked out, I made it back to shore on the Wainman Passport and walked back to the yacht club beach.   I borrowed Stu's Lithium 12 which had more power for a short second outing.

I have to re-splice the damaged lines on my Ocean Rodeo 14.5 Flite, until then its out of action.

My car was recently ransacked outside my home in Surrey Hills and some lowlife stole my kite gear bag and yellow kite camera case. I am replacing the equipment lost. Be careful about leaving gear in your car between sessions . . .

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Kitesurfing my first seabreeze of 2018 at Hampton

Session 458.  The sea breeze is here!  A nice 30 minute kitesurfing session in a good breeze.  I took out my Wainman Passport board - its lighter than the Nugget and turns well on the swell, but it doesn't go upwind quite as well.  It will be great for bigger surf and waves when there is good wind.

Summer is coming with warmer conditions and some good sea breezes, bring it on!

Friday, November 02, 2018

Kitesurfing downwinder from Castaways to Peregian Beach

Session 457. Tired after our foil boarding on Lake Weyba but this was our last chance at a session late in the afternoon.  When I self launched my kite a front line snapped (it was looped over something) so I had to land the kite and re-rig.  There wasn't much light left so I tied a knot in the broken line, relaunched and headed off. 

However, the kite was not flying well with the left front line shortened. It turned to the right very fastbut stubbornly resisted turning to the left!  I got out behind the waves and headed after Adam.

I was reluctant to get into the surf with the kite control compromised so I scooted along behind the waves.

Coming into the Peregian Beach I dropped the kite, relaunched it, then dropped it again. I released the safety and floating in, releasing the second safety when the kite was filled by a wave.

A messy pack up of twisted lines and a soggy kite in the fading light, then we walked up through the small shopping centre and caught a bus back to Castaways, which was very convenient.

In hindsight, heading off with the kite line shortened was not a good idea, but Adam did his first downwinder and was very happy to complete it.

Breakthrough - up and going kitesurfing on a foil board!

Session 456. Breakthrough!  Enough wind on Friday for foil boarding on Lake Weyba. Adam and I met George from Adventure Sports Noosa at 1pm and pumped up our kites.  To launch we dragged our rigged kites out 100m from the shore to where the wind was.

Adam, George and Peter

The drift launch technique was to splash some water onto the wingtip into the wind and let the kite float off downwind until the lines tightened then launch the kite.

The key tips were:
  • Use the same kite size you would for a normal session for the wind speed - don't go for a smaller size (when you are more experienced you would use a smaller kite)
  • Dive the kite hard downwind and do a water start 
  • Keep the board oriented in direction of travel (not downwind)
  • Get on the board, keep it flat with your weight forward on the front foot, keep your forward knee bent
  • Place your rear foot close to the front foot 
  • Twist (rotate) the board upwind, keeping it flat with the nose on the water (avoid going downwind which depowers the kite which may then crash)
  • Get used to the forward motion with the board flat on the water - the drag of the water has a braking effect that keeps your speed down 
It was much easier using a "beginner foil" and a short mast - George had 35cm masts on both the foil boards. One was a Cabrinha Double Agent board an foil, the other was a Nobile board with a Naish surf foil.

During my previous attempts at foiling, I had not got comfortable moving with the board flat on the water - the long foil amplifies errors and seems to make the board to weird things such as tripping and pulling you over your toes or porpoising out of the water.

The short mast avoids these problems - it was easy to get the board going flat on the water and if it popped up it was only 35cm.

I was able to get going forwards quite easily, it was a great relief to achieve this without any major crashes and boosted my confidence a lot.

George was using Bluetooth helmet comms but the range was limited to 300 m.  I did some tacks to get further tips.

To get the board riding on its foil the steps were:
  • Increase board speed by powering the kite and steering upwind
  • Shift your rear foot towards the rear of the board 
  • Gradually transfer some weight to the rear foot until the board starts to rise on the foil
  • Fine tune your kite power  - too much power will increase your speed rapid, too little power and your board will drop back to the water surface
  • Keep steering upwind - you can go much further upwind than you think you can!
To slow down:
  • Transfer weight back onto the front foot to get the board board back on the water
  • Push your bar out to reduce power from the kite
This was  breakthrough moment similar to the first time I was able to hold ground upwind out an back!

Rising onto the foil the ride becomes incredibly smooth - like a magic carpet ride.

The speed increases on the foil but I didn't need to cut much power from the kite.

The board occassionaly slapped back down onto the water without causing too much concern.

George got me to swap boards with Adam and give him the radio helmet.  The Naish surf foil was faster and easier to get board up out of the water but I found it more difficult to moderate my speed.

The foil wanted to accelerate. I catapulted forwards off it a few times, but it was really nice to cruise on.

I did numerous tacks right across Lake Weyba - its much wider than it looks - over 2km across.  I was feeling confident on the foil, able to get up and going, stay upwind and also slowdown and stop.  I tried toeside riding and some gybes but decided to keep focusing on just riding the foil.

The wind speed eventually increased so I came in. 2 hours on the water and 28km

Really stoked to achieve some distance on the foil board and get up onto the foil.  The lesson and the beginner foil setup were well worth the money.

George said the Cabrinha board and foil are good for learning with a short mast - he has a second has medium size mast that I bought to use for my future efforts - but on checking my board once home I have the old model Double Agent with the mast welded to the fuselage.

After we finished we headed to Castaways to see if a downwinder was on.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Kitesurfing Noosa at the river mouth

Session 455. We tried to do a kitefoil lesson at Castaways Beach with George from Adventure Sports Noosa but there wasn't enough wind for learning. George was able to foil in the surf however.  I did a short run out and back but couldn't stay upwind in less than 10 knots.

George advised that the Noosa River mouth could be kited on an outgoing tide so Adam and I headed there and setup.  The outgoing tide adds a couple of extra knots to the apparent wind speed.

It was good to finally get on the water "at Noosa".  I did some runs across and back, then on a longer run my harness belt unclipped.  I was able to keep kiting and head back to land on the beach and reset my harness belt then get back across.  The beach on North Noosa is only accessible by a car ferry so I was mindful of not getting stranded there.

Heading back I noticed Adam had gone up into the inlet and dropped his kite on a sandbar. His 12m kite and boots were not a good combination in the light wind.

I packed up and was going to render assistance when Adam showed up after self rescuing and floating back down the river.

There were lots of people enjoying the sunset at Noosa.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Noosa kitesurfing - downwinder from Peregian Beach to Castaways Beach

Session 454. We very keen to do a downwinder along the Sunshine Coast so we setup a car shuffle from Peregian Beach to Castaways.  The wind and Peregian was light and the surf was big.  I was dubious about whether we could make it.  Stu Styles and Mike headed off; Stu disappeared into the distance but Mike ended up on the beach.

I decided to go to test the wind for the others.  I got going and was able to get my speed up but the broken waves were constantly pushing me in and I didn't have enough power to make it out the back.

I stayed on the same tack making ground on the flat water between waves then getting washed in by broken ones rolling in.  I had to sine the kite and concentrate, but I made it.  A couple of others followed and made it but several made the good choice to not attempt it.

With better wind the downwinders here would be sensational.

Those returning to Melbourne packed their bags for the flight home and we got a group shot to celebrate the trip.

Adam and I dropped a couple of guys at the airport, said farewell then picked up a smaller car for the next week in Noosa - hoping to get more wind and some good kitesurfing.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Noosa kitesurfing - hit the jackpot at the Gold Coast!

Session 453. We drove the the Gold Coast to catch a good Predictwind forecast.  Our kitesurfing buddy Franz who now lives in Brisbane advised us to kite at Narrowneck which is north of Main Beach.  The 2.5 hour drive was well worth it.

We arrived at 11 with over 15 knots of wind.  I have a great session on my Union 10 enjoying the scenery and cruising around.  It wasn't difficult keeping away from the flagged swimming areas.

Everyone got on the water with only one other kiter there.  The wind picked up at 1:00 so we had a break for food and drink then got our smaller kites to continue.  The wind speed increased over 30 knots and the waves got bigger too.  

I was well powered on my Union 8m kites tied on the lower knots.  Some webbing on my bar broke so I swapped to my spare bar (good to have a spare, check your gear!) and went out again with the wind up to and over 35 knots which was a blast.

We didn't get organised to do the downwinder to the Spit.  One guy cruised past on a foil surfboard, pumping it to get out then surfing in one a wave.  Looked really cool.

We drove back very tired and had a good pizza dinner at the Cinque Terra restaurant at Sunshine Beach then an early night.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Noosa kitesurfing - Sunshine Beach dawn patrol

Session 452. First kitesurfing session of our Noosa trip, a very early start on Saturday morning paid off with some wind at Sunshine Beach.  The Ocean Rodeo Flite 14.5 was great in the light wind conditions with the Nugget board.

Walking to the beach from our apartment was nice too.

There were some good sized waves and getting out through the break was not too difficult.

A whale breached just behind Adam when he was just off the rocks out from the "dog exercise area" of the beach!  

Mike also saw a couple of dolphins leaping out of the water.  

I took it easy and enjoyed the surf - my finger was fine, the nerves and are getting better and the sensation is improving.  

Everyone was keen and happy to get on the water for our first session.


Friday, October 26, 2018

Noosa kitesurfing - arrival, body surfing and visit to Kitethrills

The kitesurfing crew for this year's spring kitesurfing trip to Noosa all converged on the Sunshine Coast on Friday.  I flew into the Sunshine Coast with Dobbo, Mike and Stuart.  Others flew into Brisbane and drove up. 

Its an interesting flight into the airport with the canals and houses below and the surf beaches rolling in the distance. 

 It was hot and sunny at around 34C.   We got the hire car - a Hyundai iMax van - but the rear seats did not fold forward which was not ideal.

We drove to the beach at the southern side of the Maroochy River to check it out.  The wind was light, less than 10 knots and the mouth of the river was flowing fast.

We drove onto Currumundi Creek to visit Mike Walker at Kitethrills to hello and get some local advice.

Mike also runs trips to Mauritius which is on my list of places to go kitesurfing.  We had a great lunch and coffee at his cafe, then took our kite gear to the nearby beach.  There wasn't enough wind to kite so we surfed and body surfed.

It was a 50 minute drive up to our lodgings at Sunshine Beach.  The townhouse was excellent with just enough beds and lots of space for kite gear in the garage.  The lap pool was a bonus and we were in walking distance to the local shops and the beach.

We had dinner at the Sunshine Beach Surf Club which is a popular spot for a pub meal.

Some wind is coming in early tomorrow to it will be a dawn start.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Kitesurfing Seaford to Daveys Bay

Session 451.  Warmer weather and smooth wind made for nice kitesurfing at Seaford.  After some tacks I headed south for a tour and got to Daveys Bay on one tack.  It was nice cruising and having a look around.

Coming close to the shore at Daveys Bay I found that there was a lot of reef under the waves.  I came to shore and picked a good location to start my trip back heading towards Seaford Pier.

I finished with a nice run down surfing waves back.  The waves were not very big due as the wind was not strong.

The water and scenery was beautiful and it was a nice kitesurfing tour.

Davey Bay