Sunday, January 20, 2008

Session 31: Another great day at Hampton

With a good southerly forecast for the day and blowing late in the morning, I headed to Hampton beach and got on the water at about 11am. The wind was consistent and in the range 20 to 25 knots, so conditions were really good.

After a goofy launch when I downed the kite I was up and going hard. Good speed and upwind tacks. The tightened footstraps were an improvement. I kited for about an hour then came in for a rest.

The wind kept on blowing and more kiters arrived and got going too, but it wasn't too crowded. I headed out for another session. I got hoiked off my board when doing a turn and couldn't really get back up wind to retrieve it, so I came in to shore waited for my board to wash in. A lapse of concentration saw me dive the kite into the beach too - yuk. Luckily there was no damage, they really are quite tough.

After untangling the lines I did a finals session getting upwind to the breakwater to get some real speed on the flatter water then came back downwind slalom to the beach. I tried a few more jumps without much success. I think I am starting with the kite too low. It is harder than it looks. I did get a little bit of air though.

I am finding "toe down riding" a bit disconcerting too so I intend to practice it some more.

Ivan showed up with his "surf style" board and departed to do a downwinder from Ricketts Point back to Hampton Beach, which he said would take about 2 hours.

I dropped my kite into SHQ to get the bridle lines checked for wear. After a couple of years use they may well need to be replaced.

I will try out a surf style board as they seem have advantages in a biggish swell and on light wind days.

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