Friday, January 11, 2008

Session 29: Ripping at Hampton

A strong wind forecast of 30 knots came through at about 1pm, breaking the recent three day opressive heatwave of 40 degrees plus. I got down to Hampton at about 3pm. The wind was strong but perhaps not 30. I elected to give the 7m kite a go in case the wind picked up or big gusts came through.

I got up and going, but the kite was a bit underpowered. Also, it flys so fast compared to the 12m kite. I had to fly it to generate more power and also go downwind a bit. Great to get going though. Unfortunately I dunked the kite a coulple of times, then couldn't relaunch it off Brighton.

Speaking to Ivan from SHQ, he advises putting in as much pressure as the pump will allow to make sure the leading edge keeps its shape.

Another drift in to the beach. This time I tried he self rescue techique and wound one of the rear leaders around the bar and eventually got to the kite. I managed to get through some keen surfers in the swell at the beach, but then found alarmingly that I had heaps of line wrapped around my right ankle! The amazing thing was there were so many loops it was like I had attempted to do this. I thought about cutting the lines, but the kite was under control with me holding he tip and I was able to secure it on the beach immediately.

I then set about dealing with huge tangle - which took me about half an hour to resolve. Back at the car, the wind was still strong so I took out the 12m kite. Finally, some good wind! Great to get some speed up, go upwind and get some turns happening in the swell. Interestingly, the wind was 20 knots but a Southerly, which seemed to be easier to get out from behind the breakwater.

No dunkings, no swimming and some slowish turns. I tried the "one hand technique" briefly but found that I wanted to keep both hands on the bar to allow up and down direction for the kite. I was contemplating trying some small jumps - or at least board edging - but was a bit hesitant.

I would have finished at about 7:30pm, very happy and pumped.

It was sensational to feel the power of the wind and the kite and really lean against it. I think the larger board helped in the chop too.

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