Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Session 33: Jumping!

Hampton beach at about 20 knots was on again at about 5pm today (Tue 12/2/08) after a couple of out and backs to get going I tried some jumps. This time I succeeded. Initially I was carried in the air for about 3 - 4 meters just off the water.

It definately helps when you get airborne first off a wave, then fly the kite back to vertical and pull the power on. It was a bit daunting to do this right out from shore as a wipeout and tangled kite would mean probably a half hour swim in, so I kept my jumping moves closer to the shore.

I got one really good jump in (probably not very high, but it felt fantastic) when I launched off a wave and swung the kite back to vertical quickly with the power on. The touch down was not too rough, but it is easy to lose the board. Ivan advised me afterwards to turn both feet out in the loops to lock them into the board when in the air.

I augured in on one fast return leg chasing a speedy windsurfer and nearly stopped another kiter coming towards me in his tracks. He jumped over my horizontal lines though without too much trouble, then I retrieved my board and got going again.

I took my GPS out again and logged 29.4km for this session. I didn't reset the maximum speed though. Here is the track log.

I was out for about 1.5 hours. There were about 10 to 15 other kiters out too.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Session 32: Good wind and some jumping practice

Got on the water at Hampton Beach just after 5 pm with a good wind blowing at around 20 knots. Cranked a lot of speed leaning right out and carving upwind with the power on.

There were about 15 kites out. I did a reach out past the Middle Brighton headland and enjoyed the view. Not a good place to ditch the kite or lose your board though. It would be a hell of a swim in.

There is something really cool about having that kite flying and boosting you across the water.

I kept the power on going over a few large waves and was plucked airborne for a short distance which was a great feeling.

I also tried a couple of edge releases and was lifted just off the water too. Jumping is much harder than it looks. There is some real skill involved in setting up the jump and executing it, which surprises me as I thought all you had to do was "send the kite back" and up you went.

I lost my board a couple of times augering into waves. Upwind body dragging is not hugely successful, so I let the kite touch the water at the edge of the wind window and swam some strokes to get the board. Relaunching the kite from this position was easy. I also saw another kitesurfer swimming back for his board with his kite parked directly overhead, which is better than landing it on the water.

Tired after about 1.5 hours so I came in and landed the kite on the near empty beach and headed home.

Kitesurfer in Geraldton WA rescues father and two sons

Here is a remarkable story of kiteboarder Matty Kalajzich's brave rescue of a father swept offshore holding on to two kids who couldn't swim at Geraldton in 30 knot winds.

In an act of great bravery, Matt used his kite to body drag one of the kids to shore, then the Dad and remaining child.

Source: Kitesurfer saves drowning family, via Seabreeze.com.au