I visiting the training beach at St Kilda with about 20-25 kph winds blowing. I sam my friend Geoff Butcher (also learning kiteboarding) there.
I felt a bit rusty getting going. Then I got up and heading left for some distance.
Heading back in (right) was still more difficult, but I got in one good run (the first one heading right).Observations:
- Once up, forgetting about the kite and concentrating too much on the board, so the kite crashes out.
- I sometimes ran out of power and sank back in (too much to the side of the wind window?)
- The kite sometimes scooted back to the right when I was heading left – need to focus on keeping in left quadrant when going left.
- I again sometimes gathering too much speed again and planing – eventually the board skittered out.
- Kite “jelly fished” – upside down and back to front (?). Very difficult to water relaunch. When I eventually did the rear and front lines were crossed on each site. Kite could still fly, but this was not ideal. I landed it and re-rigged.
- I headed quite a way out, then crashed and the harness became unhooked. Holding the bar just put the power on (no depower via harness pulling on front lines) so I let go of the kite. It then blew along the beach faster than I could swim after it. Another kiter helped out by going and jumping on it. I swam to shore (quite a way) then ran along the beach to get it. Lines tangled, kite OK. Carried the kite back along the beach.
- Not enough air in leading edge bladder – go “very firm”
Overall, a challenging session. Making some progress, but also encountering hurdles. Losing the kite is a real hassle, and relaunching it is not always easy.
I noticed some people use retractable board leashes. This is NOT recommended as the leash can yank the board towards you, which can then collide with you. If you use a leash, you MUST use a helmet to be safe.
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