Saturday, November 29, 2008

New 14m kite in lighter wind off Hampton

After a long break - too long - due to work and other commitments, I got back on the water with my new 14m Cabrinha Switchblade. I bought the kite for those fairly frequent lighter wind days, and today was one of those. The wind was blowing SW at about 15 knots.

Here is a photo of the kite on the nature strip.

After scratching my head a little to rig the kite (the front and rear lines were connected, and they are a bit different from my older Crossbows), I got the kite up and was immediately kiting.

For a large kite, the new 14 turned well. As I got out a bit the wind increased and I was able to get going better. Not quite enough wind to stay right upwind though, so I continued with some runs further out, tacking back in towards Brighton Beach. There were a couple of guys a bit further out, but it turned out they were on a long downwinder to St Kilda. Good job I didn't follow them, or maybe they would have given me a lift back . . .

It was great to be out on the water again. Quite a lot of speed. My smaller board (the Litewave Tsunami) seemed a little hard to keep going - I was wondering if my larger one would have been better - most likely it would be for lighter wind conditions.

The new IDS control system was interesting to land. Pop the quick release and the kite just falls out of the sky slowly. But you can't control it, so I pulled in on the line to get to the front bridles and gently flip the kite so it landed edge down into the wind.

Maybe this quick release landing method is really on good for extreme conditions and beginners. You still have to secure the kite when it lands.

Here are my GPS logs for this session.