Saturday, February 23, 2019

Kitesurfing scary big waves at Gunnamatta

Session 469. Gunnamatta has been on my go to list for ages.  Jeff Steele advised that late afternoon the wind should be good to a group of four headed there.  The waves were very big but the wind was light at 15 knots when I arrived at 4:30.  The wind improved around 5:15, Jeff decided to try it out. 

I got my gear and walked onto the beach watching Jeff heading down a big wave that closed out. He got munched and his kite went down. His lines tangled around another guy (surfer) who was in the water but he swam in OK. Jeff later said he hit something (weed?) and his board stopped dead.

I was cautious heading out and picked a gap. Even so, climbing up a couple of big waves was exciting, then past some surfers to clean deep water out the back.  I did a couple of runs in to check it out and get back upwind, then I headed in.  The swell steadily built as I got in a scary big wave which was a great ride.  

I got in ahead of a big wave on my second ride in.  The wind was dropping a bit so I headed in, not wanting to have a long swim in.  The others came in not long after struggling with the strong rip heading west along the beach.

Its been a while since my last session. I got a bad cough early in January and saw the doctor.  One round of antibiotics didn't fix it so I took a second course.  The cough was still persisting though.  I am now now on a third course of antibiotics and taking it easy.  Great to be on the water again after several weeks of feeling terrible.

The combination of big waves, deep water, very strong rips and ocean frontage makes Gunnamatta a very serious location - its not a place for beginners or even intermediates.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Back to the future on a twin tip at St Kilda in 25 knots

Session 468. Arrive at St Kilda with the foilboard at 4:45 pm keen for more practice but the seabreeze was honking at around 25 knots.  The waves looked too big for easy foiling. 

I have had a nasty chest cold for several days but was feeling better today and really keen for some kitesurfing.

Paul from The Zu Boardsports lent me a Airush Switch twin tip board, I pumped up my Union 8 and asked a guy with a harness on to launch my kite.  He didn't know how to with my lines upwind and got them tangled, so I ended up self launching.

Once out past the beginner kites close to the shore I found the board really nice. It edged well and was smooth in the water without sinking in much.  Its been a few years since I used a twin tip so I spent some time getting used to it.

Jumping was weird, I seemed to lose forwards momentum half way though the jump. I tacked out to the channel the Spirit of Tasmania uses then returned.  Surfing the bay swell was strange too, the board turns well but bogs down on waves without the kite pulling.  I rode toeside both directions which was OK but I felt "locked in" to the stance.

I kited past some moored yachts into the Kiddies Pool to play dodgem cars with the 15+ other kiters who were fanging around there.  It takes a bit of concentration with kiters jumping (some close the the pier) and all vying for a fairly small patch of water.

An enjoyable session - something different.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Kitesurfing crosswinder tour Ricketts to Aspendale and return

Session 467. First day of the new year and a good seabreeze in the afternoon.  I have got a nasty chest cough and wasn't feeling too well but this was an opportunity to good to miss.

Got out from Ricketts then a few tacks to get around the reefs, following by a long haul to Aspendale, almost as far as Gnotuk Ave.   The bay surf was great all the way down to Mordialloc pier.

A great way to start the new year!

This video shows some of the action - but its not motion stabilised, next time I will use my Quark stabliser!

Having a rest tomorrow, the chest cough has got a hold of me.