Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kitecam at Hampton

Session 40.

I took out the 14m Switchblade out in 18 knots, with the kitecam fitted. I got some good speed and few jumps in. I crashed the kite a couple of times and relaunched it as you can see in the video.

I was also tried out a new Cabrinha board with the lace up foot straps (sync bindings). Ivan suggested that my old long Cabrinha board is too narrow and too stiff, while my newer Litewave board is to small for my size, so a board sized between them would be ideal.

I had a bit of difficulty staying upwind, but then the wind speed increased.

Looking out to the breakwater

Wind chart

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Surfing the waves at Hampton

Session 39.

A strong southerly change came through in the afternoon cooling off another hot day. Checking the Bay Winds site on my phone (via WAP) showed wind around 30 knots, so I headed down to Hampton after work, rather than going bike racing at Sandown (the rot has set in . . . fancy goofing of a bike race!)

Got on the water through the large shore break just after 6pm straight out into big waves - but the wind had dropped. I swapped to my 14m kite, and was rewarded with more wind and heaps more power. The 14m Switchblade flys very smoothly. I depowered to get better control. I was able to get some fast runs in behind the marina wall, further up the beach than I had before.

Then the wind dropped again, despite what looked like a front in the distance. I continued working the surf area with Ivan and few others, finishing about 8pm.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cape Paterson - not enough wind

Session 38.

I visited my friend Simon staying at the Cape Paterson caravan park. I took my kite gear hoping for to kitesurf either at Inverloch or at the Cape itself.

The main beach has a gently surf and a nice reef at the western end. The breeze seemed OK on Saturday afternoon so Simon helped me launch my 14m kite.

But there was not enough wind. I was able to get out a bit and come back, but could not go upwind. After a couple of walks back along the beach, with bemused lifesavers peering down from their club house, I packed up.

I had a similar session on Sunday, but this time the promising breeze vanished as I got on the water, so I blew in to the beach just short of the rocky reef section to the east.

It is a nice spot, but not really suitable for beginnners.

Here is the satellite location map:

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Jumping and speed at Hampton

Session 37 stats:
  • Max speed 45.9 km/h, distance 24.74km, duration 1h50 approx.
  • Wind 20-23 knots, southerly

I was going for a bike race at Sandown this evening, but the wind was good. Racing into a strong wind can be frustrating. Particularly if you are in a bunch that won't chase. So I decided to go kiting at Hampton. I got on the water at about 6pm. Not much of a summer so far - it was really quite cool. My 1mm wetsuit kept me just warm enough.

The wind was good and strong. Easy to go upwind so I headed up to the breakwater in search of some flat water. About 5 or 6 other kiters about and a couple of windsurfers. Everybody was proficient.

I concentrated on going upwind for a while and kept my speed down. I then did some faster runs chasing onto the back of then over the surprisingly large swells that were rolling in.

I did my best ever jump launching off a wave and flying the kite high. Hangtime! It seemed like a long time, but I didn't go too high. The kite tends to stall when you pendulum under it, so the next progressing will be to fly it somewhere, or maybe even kiteloop it.

I did some toe down riding too - which feels quite wierd. A lot more practice required on this. There are heaps of progressions in this sport.

I finished with a longer run out looking back down to Brighton and the city. What a blast. It brought back memories of my first successful long run - which was in the same location and about to the same place. The wind dropped off a bit so I made it back just above the rock groyne then got to the beach.

Ivan was setting up his kite after a hard day at the SHQ office, but the wind picked up for him when he got on the water.

My hands and fingers got quite sore from the cold and bar pressure. I am considering trying some neoprene diving gloves. I think I will also get a 4/3 surfing wetsuit for when it gets cooler.

I had fitted the kitecam, but it had no batteries so no footage this time. At the end of the session the screw mount was a little loose and it had shifted direction. Next time . . . there will be some video action!