Sunday, July 05, 2020

Kitesurfshack launches summer range

This is a sponsored post

Kitesurfshack has launched its summer range of t-shirts as well as a variety of new products geared towards kitesurfers.  T-shirts which are all made using quality 100% preshrunk combed and ring-spun cotton

Kitesurfshack has launched a range of kitesurfing cushions with machine washable cases.

There’s also a fantastic range of kitesurfing mugs which make the perfect addition to your mug collection.

Checkout to see the full range of products including kitesurfing hoodies, phone cases, flip flops, pictures, tote bags and more.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Standup Paddle Boarding at Thirteenth beach - cool and punchy waves

Headed for the 13th Beach on the West Coast for a change of location with Mike. The waves were much bigger and punchy than the breaks around Shoreham and I found the SUP to be more tippy in the open ocean. 

There was a good rip so getting out the back was not too difficult. There were some surfers - they were quite spread out.

I caught some really nice waves that were fast and powerful.

I had some big wipeouts too, losing my paddle one.  I was looking around for it in the whitewash for a while before I spotted it washed up on the beach.

Stopped for a nice beer at the Bells Beach Brewery in Torquay on the way home.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Another nice kitesurfing session at Rye

Session 508. The strong northerly had subsided when I got down to Rye at 1:00 pm. There were a lot of kiters out in the cool refreshing wind.  I had a nice session on my 8m kite. I did a run down past the Rye pier and back.  Really good to be kiting, just being there.  

Stopped for a coffee and a late lunch in Rye, its good to see some shops and cafes open again. 

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Kitesurfing session at Brighton after COVID-19 restrictions eased

Session 507.  Kitesurfing again at last!  Headed to Brighton with a strong northerly blowing.  There were whitecaps further out so I took out my Union 8m kite and was very glad I did.  It was so good to be back on the water, just being there.

The wind was around 20 knots when I started. I tacked upwind past Brighton Marina with the wind increasing steadily.  Some big gusts around 30 knots were coming through so I headed back downwind doing slalom turns on the swell then headed in with the wind lifting sand off the beach. 

There were about 5 other kiters out, far from the madding crowd at Rosebud.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

COVID-19 restrictions eased in Victoria, kitesurfing is now permitted - follow the rules

Some COVID-19 restrictions were eased in Victoria, taking effect at midnight on Tuesday 12 May.

Kitesurfing is now permitted for sport and exercise, along with recreational boating, subject to the following principles:
  • you can keep your distance (at least 1.5 metres apart)
  • the maximum is 10 people in a group.
Travelling to a kitesurfing location is also allowed.

Recreational boating and fishing are also now permitted, subject to the same rules.

I am looking forward to getting back on the water.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Melbourne beach closures due to COVID-19 virus - impact on kitesurfing

NOTE: This article is being updated as directions change

Kiteboarding Victoria advised on 9 April that kitesurfers follow government rules and restrictions and stay at home to ensure they don't receive fines of up to $1652 or put others at risk such as emergency and rescue services during the stage 3 restrictions.

"A kitesurfer on the water is considered to be vessel and as such must adhere to all applicable rules and regulations". Maritime Safety Victoria.

The current ban on recreational boating therefore applies to kitesurfing.

15 April 2020. Some sources on social media claimed that kitesurfing (while adhering to social distancing) is no longer banned. There has been nothing issued in writing from the Police or the CHO to confirm this.


Increasing measures to keep people at home and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus have resulted in closures of beaches in and around Melbourne.

Most beaches close to Melbourne have been closed by local councils (list below). Signs at some beaches specify "Visitors are permitted to surf, swim, run, walk or exercise if you strictly follow social distancing requirements”. (Hampton beach 2 April).

Beach closed notice, Inverloch inlet, 1 April 2020

Police have been asking some people to leave beach areas.

Check current local council and directions from Chief Health Officer (Victoria) and Australian Government Dept of Health.

Park Victoria is the government authority that manages recreational activities on Port Phillip Bay. See Park Victoria COVID-19 page for updates.

On 31 March Parks Vic status was:

Some beaches remain accessible for exercise if social distancing requirements are strictly followed, but the message is clear – if you can stay home, you must stay home.

Commencing on the weekend of 3-4 April 2020 all recreational activities beyond basic exercise are not allowed.  This includes fishing, hunting, boating, camping and golf.

All kiters have a responsibility to follow the rules so we don't jeopardise the recreation that we all love.

Victoria Police have the power to issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses who don’t follow the directives of the Chief Health Officer.

There is a prohibition on social sport gatherings.

Non-essential travel is restricted across Australia

People who ignore government advice to stay at home need to consider:
  • Travel by car to go kitesurfing is non-essential domestic travel
  • If you get injured or require a rescue you will expose emergency services and medical workers to risk of COVID-19 infection from you
  • If you are taken to a hospital you expose medical staff and patients to COVID-19 risk too
The key message is STAY AT HOME to avoid transmission.

As at 31 March 2020, limited exercise such as going for a walk from your home is OK.

List of beach closures

City of Port Phillip, including
  • St Kilda
  • Elwood
  • Sandridge
  • Brighton
City of Bayside (30 Mar 2020 update), including
  • Brighton
  • Ricketts Point
  • Hampton
Frankston City Council: closed its beaches from midnight tonight until midnight on Sunday 29 March.

Mornington Peninsula Shire: all beaches (includes Rye, Rosebud)

Hobsons Bay City: all beaches (includes Altona, Williamstown)

City of Kingson: all beaches until 30 March (including Aspendale, Mentone)

Bass Coast Shire: beaches are closed, but people still allowed to people to surf, swim, run or walk as long as they did not congregate in groups.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Kitesurf foiling at St Kilda, staying upwind with some great runs

Session 506. Staying upwind on the foil, definitely a moment! 

Better wind at around 20 knots so I had good power from my 8m kite.  Nice sunny afternoon, there were few people about. No beginners on the edge, about 15 kiters to the West and around 10 in the Kiddie Pool.  There were also a couple of windsurfer foils and one guy with a wind wing.

I was able to get going with the board down and keep good control. Putting the rear foot forward definitely helps keeping the board down. No rear foot strap makes this easier too.

Shifting the rear foot back and transferring some weight and the board rises to give a "magic carpet ride".  I continued on past the breakwater into some swell and was able to maintain control.

The board touched down on some of the bigger swells without incident.  I noticed the foil wanting to turn with the bigger swells and start surfing!

I was using my waist harness - Ivan said they are fine for free style foiling.  Seat harnesses are now used by racers. The foil broached a couple of times without me crashing - I was able to keep cruising.

I found I was still going faster a couple of times (on both tacks) and couldn't slow down, even with the kite high, then crashed. Turning the board around is a hassle, getting it flat on the water then pivoting around its tail is probably the easiest and safest method.

I tried one turn on the water and got the board around but then fell off, its quite different to pivoting a surfboard.

I practicised body dragging with my arm braced on the board deck and the foil at 45 degrees - this is a good solid position, and its useful for positioning the board for a water start.

I broke the "don't kick near the board" rule and got a superficial cut above my reef booties.  Next time I will wear full booties and NOT kick near the board or foil.

It was very pleasing to get up and going on the foil on both tacks. The speed and smooth ride is amazing.  Going back to a "basic beginner" is an interesting experience too and I'm very happy with the progress I am making.

Not sure how much more solo kiting will be possible now with the coronavirus (COVID-19) advice to "stay at home". It was great to get out today.

What I learnt this session:
  • Body dragging with one hand bracing the board works well
  • DON'T kick around near the foil (under the board)
  • Getting the balance right comes with practice, my confidence is increasing
  • Larger swell is manageable
  • Controlling speed and stopping is still challenging when you get going really fast.
  • Wear full length booties for extra protection.
Next session I intend to:
  • Focus on keeping the kite high
  • Riding toeside in both directions (swapping feet while on a tack)
  • Heelside to toeside turn (board on the water)
  • Toeside to heelside turn (board on the water)

More tips and information on kite foiling see Kitesurfing a foil board - Kitesurfing Handbook