Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some good jumps in a new vest at Hampton

Session 71, Tuesday 29 December 2009

Kite: Switchblade 14m
Location: Hampton
Wind: 20 knots S
Duration: 4:30 to 5:30 - 1 hour

Looks like the wind drought is over and the wind god is smiling - for now anyway. A good southerly sprang up in the afternoon so I headed down to Hampton. It is still quiet around town to driving down is very quick.

Impact vest

I stopped at SHQ on the way and bought this vest for protection while jumping. It has good protection on the front, back and sides and is less bulky than the canoeing PFD vest that I used a lot when learning, and for downwinders.

Note: The vest contains a specific warning that it is not an EN393 Bouyancy Device, and that it is not a life jacket. It is not approved by the U.S. Coast Guard of the Canadian Department of Transport or any other agency.

It is designed for tournament water skiers who find PFD jackets too bulky.

A rescue cord

I also tried out a "rescue cord" device I rigged. It is a some venetian blind cord tied to a ring on the harness with a small carabiner on the other end. I tucked it in a neoprene pocket secured on the webbing that attaches the spreader bar. The idea is to use the cord to secure an errant board and tow it, rather than try and scoop it up or do a water launch holding the board, which I have found to be extremely difficult.

Extreme caution must be exercised with a second board in two to prevent it being whip lashed into you if the kite gives you a good yank (the reason why board leashes are strongly discouraged).

It was not a great success as the zip holding the cord worked its way open and the cord then dangled behind trailing in my wake until I stowed it away again.

Today's kiting session.

I took out the Switchblade 10m which was great to fly after so many outings on the 14m. It turns fast and had plenty of power in the 20 knots wind. I did a couple of runs in the flat water behind the sea wall, then some runs out further, landing a few good jumps.

The timing is critical - you need speed, some tension in the lines, then send the kite just before you hit the top of a wave. Then keep the power on and fly the kite back in the direction you are travelling. A few times I have let the kite go too far backwards and "tea bagged" under it, which can result in landing awkwardly on your back. Hence the impact vest.

It worked well - it was comfortable to wear and certainly adds some warmth to the 1mm suit I wear.

After some really fast runs over some big swells, I headed for the surf section between the two groynes, but noticed the board behaving oddly on the right tack. On the beach I discovered that one fin was dangling by a single screw and had rotated around, having lost the other screw. Found just in time.

I had checked the screws a while ago, but one has worked loose since. Tip: check your kit regularly to avoid issues like this. It could be a disaster on a big trip if you didn't have any spares.

I walked back up the beach, had a brief chat to Rick who had just come in from his best ever session.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hampton again in lighter wind

Session 70, Sunday 27 December 2009

Kite: Switchblade 14m
Location: Hampton
Wind: 15 knots S
Duration: 4:30 to 5:30 - 1 hours

Some wind sprang up mid afternoon so I headed down the Hampton. The wind seemed to be dropping a bit from the 17 knots on the wind graph so I took out the 14m kite.

Enough power for some good runs and a few jumps. But just enough really. Out for about an hour, practising upwind technique. Thinking about trying a back roll, but the prospect is daunting.

Spoke to Ivan on the beach about boards. He said to give the twintip a try in the surf before buying a dedicated surf board. The fibreglass ones break apparently, and epoxy boards would need to have stick on foot loops added.

Rick was about with his 14m Switchblade too. A good day for the bigger kites.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Upwind from Hampton to Black Rock

Session 69, Saturday 26 December 2009

Close up kitecam shot

Kite: Switchblade 14m
Location: Hampton
Wind: 23 knots SW
Duration: 1:30 to 4:00 - 2.5 hours

GPS log
Max speed 44.0 km/h
Trip odom 47.3km
Time: 2:45
Average speed 17.1 km/h

The wind picked up in the early afternoon, and Lena and Chloe were keen to visit the beach. Chloe was keen to try out her new scooter, and Sam (the dog) was desperate for a walk.

It was about 15 knots when I arrived so I rigged up the 14m kite, and fitted my Pentax Optio W80 in the purpose built cradle I get from Seabreaze. The camera takes photos at intervals - I have set it to 15 seconds and keeps on firing.

There were a few small whitecaps and the kite was well powered up so I headed out for a long run to gaze at the city, then back to the breakwater. A run past a couple of moored boats on the flat water, then back out. It was easy to go upwind so I decided I would attempt a small tour to Black Rock.

I came into the small surf a couple of times, suprising sunbathers on the beach, and after a few tacks made it all the way up to Half Moon Bay. There was a bit of flatter water behind the rusting nearly submerged Cerberus wreck. I did a few jumps, but was mindful of not dunking the kite.

Heading downwind on the way back was fantastic, heaps of speed and well powered up. The wind speed had increased to a bit over 20 knots. I was practising slalom moves on the ways and skipping over a few too.

Rounding the breakwater I did a fast run in behind it then augered in and crashed the kite. There was not enough wind to fly it well so I ended up ditching it and swimming back for my board. I got going again, did a few more jumps, then came in to shore.

The beach was a buzz with kiters by now, all grabbing some wind while it is there.

Overall, a great session. Covered a lot of distance, landed quite a few good

2009-12-26 Kitesurfing at Hampton with kitecam

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kitesurfing the surf and reefs of Port Melbourne

Session 68, Sunday 20 December 2009

Kite: Switchblade 14m
Location: St Kilda
Wind: 20 knots S
Duration: 4:30 to 6:00 - 1.5 hours

Tarren and I hit the jackpot at Port Melbourne during the late afternoon. The wind was picking up to 15 knots. I was collecting a new time trial bike (yes, another bike) from the Freedom Machine in Port Melbourne. Lena and Chloe had come along to go to the beach.

Tarren and I met on the Port Melbourne beach at about 4:30 - with the Spirit of Tasmania ferry loading up at Station Pier for its overnight trip across Bass Strait. There is a good amount of sand for launching (more than Sandridge beach) and there were not too many people about.

It is a great place to kitesurf, but not for beginners. There are reefs at each end of the beach, with a good surf running over and between them. We approached the ferry to within about 100m just near a small rotunda on a pier, then zipped back towards the Port Melbourne Yacht Club. I did a couple of runs a bit further out past the Yacht Club to the surf near the small pier to the east.

I did a few jumps too, and did a big pendulum on one of them. Slalom in the surf was a lot of fun. Occasionally as set of waves would come in. Leaning back works to keep the board tip from digging into broken waves, but not always. Some broken waves seem to swallow the board and can stop you in your tracks.

Any more than 4 kiters at this beach would be problematic. Tarren and I had the place to ourselves, then another guy showed up as we were packing up.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A good breeze at St Kilda after a lean spell

Session 66, Saturday 19 December 2009

Kite: Switchblade 14m
Location: St Kilda
Wind: 15 knots S
Duration: 2 sessions - 10:00 to 10:30 and 2:15 to 3:30

It has been a rather poor season for wind so far in Melbourne and on Port Phillip Bay. Stuart and had headed down to South Melbourne beach on Friday after work but the forecast wind did not arrive.

We were suffering cabin fever by the weekend and itching for some more wind, which arrived on early Saturday morning. Stuart and Tarren nailed it at about 9am. I caught the tail end at 10:00am and had a good run right over to the Kerferd Road Pier.

It was great to get out carving on the green water for 30 minutes before the wind dropped again. I did some kiteloops on the beach for practice. Stuart and Tarren left. I hung out for about an hour but the wind did not return and the Baywinds site showed little at South Channel, so I headed into Port Melbourne for a look around and some lunch.

I visited the Kite Republic shop - which is quite small but did have some gear. Then I called in at the Freedom Machine bike shop, where I found a nice Giant time trial bike which I bought for a good price.

Returning the beach, the wind had picked up to 15 knots so I headed out for a second session. It was good kiting. I did a couple of runs past the breakwater into the swell, then headed back in past the boats to the inner marina "small surf zone". It was good fun ripping in over and along the small surf, turning very close to shore, then back out to the boats.

It certainly gets busy in this area, you really have to watch who is coming at you and keep your kite at the right height.

I then cranked up some speed and headed back out to the breakwater. I did a couple of big jumps off the small swell, landing OK. There was a yacht race coming in so I was careful to avoid them as they headed in to the harbour.

I came it at about 3:30 as I had to get home to mind Chloe. It was time for a rest anyway as my hands were getting a bit sore. On the way in through the "beginners zone" I scooted through the many kites flying high. I passed close to one, thought I was clear, but just clipped it. Mine kept going but the other kite dunked. Sorry dude. No excuses offered - I should have been more careful.

Looking at Google maps - you can actually see some kitesurfers in the water at St Kilda on the map images! Here are a couple of the shots.

Overall shot showing kiters and windsurfers

Close up of kitesurfer; note shadow of kite

Kitesurfer turning (L) and another close to the beach (R)

Kites on the beach and a couple just offshore

Fawkner beacon wind chart.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Late afternoon at Hampton in the evening light

Session 65, Tuesday 8 December 2009

Kite: Switchblade 14m
Location: Hampton
Wind: 12 to 20 knots S
Duration: 1.5 hours 6:00 to 7:30

Some good wind was forecast for the afternoon so Tarren, Stuart and I took our kiting gear into town hoping go kiting after work.

We arrived at Hampton at about 5:30 with very little wind, but it was nice on the beach. The late afternoon sun was yellow, the water was clear, and we had the beach to ourselves.

I flew my 14m kite on the beach for a while waiting for the wind to pick up. Eventually it did a little so I did a couple of tacks then walked back. Stuart and Tarren both had a go of the 14m kite too, and were able to stay upwind better, being lighter.

Then it came in stronger so we all headed out. The wind was better off shore so I headed out for some fantastic views back to Melbourne, with the yellow sunlight illuminating the shore and the city. The air was clear due to the recent rains so the You Yangs and even Portarlington were clearly visible. I didn't see any jellyfish either.

I was trending downwind then it picked up to around 20 knots and I was able to get upwind back to the beach and even managed a few jumps. Heading back out the wind dropped again so eventually I came in downwind at Middle Brighton beach, dodging a few fishermen and then landing my kite on the concrete walkway.

I deflated the kite and walked back, tired but feeling good.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some good jumps at Hampton among jellyfish

Session 64, Sunday 29 November 2009

Kite: Switchblade 10m
Location: Hampton
Wind: 25 to 30 knots S
Duration: 2 hours 4:00 to 6:00

Got down to Hampton at about 3:45 and a good wind was blowing at last. There has been a lean spell of good wind over the last fortnight or so.

There were about a dozen kites out and quite a few pole dancers (windsurfers). The vibe was good and everyone was having a good time.

I kited upwind to the marina breakwater in a moderate swell and did some fast runs on the flat water inside, but the Southerly wind dropped out a bit behind the marina, so this was not a great place to be.

I then did some very fast runs back to shore. No GPS but they were definitely quick. I did a few jumps on the left tack and found it quite easy to get some air.

About halfway through this session I dunked the kite attempting a kite down turn and it inverted. I could relaunch it but it flew with a wrap on the leading edge, not generating much power. After a period of dragging back to shore I tried some kiteloops which got me up an going. After putting the kite on the water I successfully sorted out the inversion by pulling in the front lines and got up and going again, with one outer line twisted over a rear line. I returned to shore to sort this out.

I tried carving among the waves both out an in, arcing the board to accommodate peaks and troughs, which worked well.

I was not feeling to confident toe down riding - this needs more practice. No backrolls yet either. But I did get some big air and landed fairly well. Only one thud when the kite flew back too far.

There were plenty of jellyfish about but they were mostly well under the surface. I didn't get stung by any.

I finished the session with some kiting in the 0.3m swell that was breaking onto the shore. All in all a really enjoyable session.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Return to St Kilda for some flat water fun

Session 63, Monday 16 November 2009

Kite: Switchblade 10m
Location: St Kilda
Wind: 25 to 30 knots S
Duration: 1 hour 5:10 to 6:00

The forecast was for a strong southerly all day, and blow it did. I packed my kiting gear in the car and parked near Burnley railway station so I could duck out after work. I got to the beach with the wind blowing at around 25 knots so it was an easy decision to take out the 10m kite.

This was my first return to St Kilda after my earliest learning periods, during which I never really got to kite their properly.

After negotiating some learners close to shore I got out into the largish swell and headed out about 800m. Nice scenery looking back at the shore. After a couple of tacks I was at the breakwater, with a few large jellyfish about. I was able to kite into the flat water behind the rock wall with the wind still pumping over it to power my kite.

Then I scooted just downwind of the permanent moorings, passing a couple of yachts on swing moorings, to the flat water close to shore. There were about 8 other kiters in this fairly confined space but they all knew what they were doing. Even so, it pays to watch your kite closely and make sure you dip your kite down when you pass downwind of another kiter; who should fly their kite high.

There was a small surf where the swell gets under the pier so there is a mix of flat water and some rolling waves. They are big enough to snag your board if you don't watch out. I did a few jumps, but was mainly focussed on keeping the kite flying and not wiping out. It really is a blast coming into shore then fanging back out.

I did a run downwind past the learners, then repeated the circuit out to the breakwater and back in, which is a fun loop. My board snagged a wave and I tumbled off it. Body dragging upwind was not too effective (kite too low?). When I got close to the board I threw the bar than swam a few strokes to get it.

Relaunching the kite I discovered that one side of my spreader bar had released from the harness so the depower lines were pulling me sideways. It was tricky to reconnect the bar while hanging on to the board and contending with the small surf. Eventually I got it sorted and did a few runs then headed back to the beach. The Switchblade 10m kite doesn't seem to want to flatten onto the water and is a dream to relaunch.

Tip: make sure your harness is done up well and the spreader bar is tight - reef in the webbing to do this. It will loosen up a bit when it gets wet too.

The wind strength increased to a powerful 28 to 30 knots, enough to make me consider depowering the kite. I landed and returned to the car, with the wind whipping sand off the beach. After getting changed hastily I proceeded to a Bush Search and Rescue committee meeting and dinner in Williamstown.

I had been considering kiting across to Williamstown, but was glad I didn't. The swell was even bigger when the wind strength increased and it would be a long tack over big waves to get over there. The landing sites along the Williamstown foreshore are very limited so I was considering heading for one of the beaches on the southern side of the promontory.

This trip is on the list of things to do - but with a buddy, a phone and a PLB.

Overall a good session - quite challenging but very rewarding.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Afternoon session at Inverloch in 35+ knots

Session 62, Tuesday 3 November 2009

Kite: Crossbow 7m
Location: Inverloch, Inlet.
Wind: 35+ knots W
Duration: 1 hours 1:30 to 2:30

Returning to the inlet, the wind was stronger than when we had left. White capped waver were prominent and the wind right on the launch site was gusting up to 42km/h. Stuart and Tarren helped me launch the Crossbow 7m kite for another trial run.

I depowered the kite a little as there was too much power at times. The kite flew very fast in the strong wind which was still very gusty. Crossign to a sandbar I was tempted to go right across, but the waves on the sandbar were very choppy and there was only one windsurfer about and no kites.

I did several runs back to the beach and managed a few reasonable jumps. I also attempted a few transition turns, finishing the jumps and entering into the turn. It was not a day to be too adventurous however, as a crash would mean a wrecked kite, a long swim, or both.

Just after Stuart caught my kite, the wind appeared to increase by another 5 knots, so I was happy to stop. This left one keen windsurfer on the water who was also struggling with the conditions.

Overall, a really good session for honing skills for coping with extreme conditions and having a bit of fun. However, it was difficult to get much speed due to the chop in the water.

Here is the wind observations at Wilson Promontory around the time of this sesion, which would be more exposed than Inverloch.

Date Time
Wind speed (knots)
Gust (knots)

A roaring westerly at Inverloch

Session 61, Tuesday 3 November 2009

Kite: Crossbow 7m
Location: Inverloch, Pensioners Point.
Wind: 30+ knots W
Duration: 1 hours 9:00 to 10:00

The forecast was for good wind today, and it was blowing in the morning. Stuart, Tarren and I went down to Pensioners Point in Anderson Inlet and checked out the surf beach too. We decided to give Pensioners a try as there were more options there.

Rigging up, the wind was coming from the west (off the land) and swirling about dramatically. It was also gusting up to over 30 knots at times.

I decided to give the Crossbow 7m a go due to the high wind speed. Stuart and Tarren looked on. The channel was not flowing very quickly. There was more than enough wind to power the 7m kite. I did several runs to a sandbar across the channel and back, managing to stay a little upwind. I was very wary of crashing the kite as once over the other side, it would be very difficult to get back.

The wind gusts were dramatic, but the superb de-power of the Crossbow enabled me to handle them.

Then the wind dropped, so I did some runs downwind across the channel up into the inlet. I passed the jetty and was over the other side, sizing up a run back to the kite beach when my kite inverted on a turn and crashed. I think there was a hole in the wind right when I was turning the kite which contributed to the problem.

The kite crashed and flopped like a jellyfish, with me drifting towards a large sandbar in the middle of the inlet. I kept reefing in the lines and eventually relaunched it with the front and rear lines crossed once. I walked along the sandbar then kited back to the beach on the town side, relieved that a major epic was avoided.

Stuart and Tarren arrived in the car, with the bad news that my kite bag had disappeared from the launch site, presumable blown into the inlet. This was a problem as it had my car keys in it. Tip for the day - always weigh down gear with a lot of sand.

Then a huge stroke of luck. A French kiter came up with the bag, saying a windsurfer had found it floating nearby in the inlet, about 2km from our launch site. Amazingly, the keys were not wet.

Stuart then had a go of the 7m kite, followed by Tarren. Both enjoyed the session but remarked on how variable the wind was. At least we got some use from the 7m kite, which most of the time sits in my "quiver" idle. There were about another 6 kiters out at this time, going right across the inlet, mostly on 9m kites. The wind had backed off a little in strength but was still very gusty.

We decided a break for lunch was in order so we returned to the house.

Here is the wind chart for South Channel to illustrate how gusty the wind was there.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Struggling for wind at Inverloch

Session 60: Saturday 31 October 2009

Kite: Switchblade 14m
Location: Inverloch inlet
Wind: 12 knots SW
Duration: 1 hours 4:00 to 5:00

The first day of a 4 day stay at Inverloch. We headed down to Anderson Inlet when the breeze came in during the afternoon. It looked promising as we rigged up and hit the water hoping for the wind to pick up.

It blew at around 12 knots. I could get up and going on the 14m Switchblade but could not quite stay up wind. The tide was out which made it interesting as I kited into some very shallow water and ended up skidding on sand a few times.

There were about 15 kiters all scratching around for some wind, to no avail. After about an hour the wind dropped right off so we walked/headed back in.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sandridge beach in 20 knots for a blast

Session 59: Sunday 25 October 2009

Kite: Switchblade 10m
Location: Port Melbourne
Wind: 20 knots SSE
Duration: 1 hours 3:00 to 4:00

After a bike race in the morning, some good wind was blowing SSE in the afternoon, so I headed down to Sandridge Beach in Port Melbourne on Stuart's advice.

There were quite a few kiters out at St Kilda where I stopped for a look. I haven't kited there since my learner days (e.g. Session 6 - 8) so I was tempted to go out, but decided to visit Port Melbourne instead.

Sandridge beach is small and tucked away past the Tasmania ferry terminal. The parking is free and there is a nice beach. A few signs get in the way for launching though.

Link to Google map

There were four other kiters in having a ball in the strong wind and the small surf. I took out my new 10m Switchblade for the first time. It had heaps of power in the 20+ knots and turns very fast. Wayne, another kiter, helped me launch then it was on.

The surf was really good fun. Cranking speed on the flatwater between waves, popping off them, then surfing in on them. With only 5 of us it was not too crowded. I did a tack right over to the old pier. Another kiter tacked upwind then disappeared around the headland to the West heading towards the main Yarra channel. Next time.

After an hour we all came in for a rest and some biscuits. I had some chores for the afternoon so I departed after launching their kites.

This beach is best kited in a SSE wind to avoid the industrial headland disturbing the breeze. Not a ideal place for beginners either due to the rock groynes and the surf.

As an aside, this morning I listened to some fools on talkback radio saying they hated wind farms and how they were "terrible" things that were not effective. What a load of nonsense. Wind power is an amazing resource, and is produced the majority of renewable energy in Australia at this time.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

First good session for the season at Hampton Beach

Session 58: Saturday 24 October 2009

Kite: Switchblade 14m
Location: Hampton Beach
Wind: 15 knots SSE
Duration: 1 hours 5:30 to 6:30

The wind was light on for most of Saturday but was picking up later in the afternoon, so Stuart and I decided to give it a go. No other kites about when we arrived, and the Fawkner beacon wind reading was 15 knots SSE so we decided to have a go.

Once out a bit and clear of the sea wall and boat harbour, the wind did lift. I did some really nice runs out a long way, with marvellous views of Melbourne's CBD in the distance. I could see some kiters out at Brighton too.

Once again, the 14m kite proved its worth. I was able to stay upwind with a bit of effort, and a few stronger gusts of wind got me moving nicely.

Surprisingly, there were quite a few jelly fish about in the water - something Stuart said you usually see in March. Is climate change (and/or overfishing of pelagic fish) causing a change in the Bay's ecology? I don't fancy floating around with these beasties.

After about an hour the wind dropped off so I came back in. It was an excellent session - good revision for the upcoming season.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Not quite enough wind but a good outing anyway

Session 57: Saturday 17 October 2009

Kite: Switchblade 14m
Location: Hampton Beach
Wind: Less than 14 knots South Westerley
Duration: 1 hours 2:00 to 3:45

Back from overseas and really keen to do some kitesurfing. Stuart and I headed down to Hampton Beach with the wind on the up. When we arrived mid afternoon there were no kites out but a lot of yachts and some good wind.

We got onto the water but the wind dropped, or maybe it was not as strong as we thought. Lovely to be out just the same. The 14m kite was working, but I couldn't go upwind. So I did some tacks and came into Middle Brighton Beach.

The wind was stronger right next to the beach - it was being boosted by the proximity of the ridge behind the beach I think.

A boisterous Rhodesian Ridgeback dog was chasing me as I tacked parallel to the beach and was barking frantically when I came in. I thought he might chomp me but he backed off.

After the hordes of Europe, this outing felt like a wilderness experience.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kitesurfing GPS

I have had a few questions about the GPS I use for logging my kiting sessions. Currently, I am using a Garmin Foretrex 101 pictured below.

I don't quite trust the waterproofing, so I have taken the wrist band off and put in it a waterproof pouch, which I then put in the front pocket of my buoyancy vest. If I don't wear my vest I cannot use it, so I have also purchased a Pacqua waterproof arm pouch.

If you want to get serious and try for a speed record, you can read about which GPS units to use the Navi GT31 or Navi GT11 ) is recommended, at GPS-kitesurfing.com. You can also upload your track logs to this site and compare with others how you are going.

For more information see GPS for kitesurfing - Kitesurfing Handbook

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Bass Strait crossed by kitesurfing - a world first

Bass Straight, the stretch of water that separates Tasmania from the Australian mainland, has been crossed by kitesurfing for the first time.

Ben Morrison-Jack and James Weight, both aged 33, completed the 260km journey from Stanley, landing at Apollo Bay in Victoria's southwest early on Wednesday night. The trip took just under 12 hours,

  • Departure: leaving Stanley in Tasmania's north at 7am (AEST).
  • Arrival: Apollo Bay, Victoria
  • Duration: 12 hours (approx)
  • Distance: 260km (approx)
  • Support boat was used

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Brighton in a gusty strong northerly

Session 56: Saturday 22 August 2009

Kite: Switchblade 14m
Location: Brighton Beach
Wind: 25+ knots Westerley
Duration: 2 hours 2:00 to 3:45

A brisk northerly was blowing so Stuart and I headed down to Brighton Beach for some winter kitesurfing. There were about a dozen kiters out when we arrived just before 2pm, and the wind looked strong. I was tossing up between using my new 10m kite or the 14, but the wind then dropped so I took the 14 down to the beach.

First time at Brighton for kitesurfing. On the water, nice and warm in my new Ripcurl Ebomb 4/3 GB Steamer seam sealed wetsuit. The wind was a bit light on for the first 15 minutes. I was able to keep the 14 going, while others with smaller kites ended up downwind.

Then it picked up to 25+ and things got very exciting. The swell increased and the wind had some real punch, with gusts coming through. I depowered the kite using the centerline adjustment strap about 50%, then up to 100%, and concentrated on keeping the kite high and going upwind. I was able to head north up towards the Brighton Baths, then came back to the beach on some very fast runs.

I did some high jumps, and was concentrating on keeping control and not getting boosted too high. One jump on a right tack saw me really take off, then pendulum under the kite and land on my back with a thump. This happens when you let the kite reverse direction, so for a cleaner landing, fly it back in the direction of travel.

No kite down powered turns today. I was keen not to loose control of the 14 in the strong wind. I crashed and relaunched it a couple of times while trying jumps.

Brighton is a nice place to kite. Heading west I was on a line to the You Yangs in the distance. The view to the city and back to the beach is good.

The wetsuit gloves kept my hands quite warm, so I was able to stay out for about 2 hours. A few large yachts came into shore on a tack, a bit too close to the Brighton Reef I thought. I kited near a couple but kept a wary distance.

Then a small boat under power came chugging in and tossed a kiteboard in the water. I headed over to it and attempted to take it to shore, but picking it up and doing a water start proved very difficult. It is hard to control the bar and hang on to a board. I body dragged it in for a while. Then the boat returned and picked it up, heading off toward Sandringham pointing in that direction.

There was a kiter on the beach waiting for it, but it would have taken a while to wash in.

Overall, a really good session. Brisk, invigorating and heaps of speed. No GPS though as I left by vest behind. I am going to get a waterproof pouch with an arm mount.