Sunday, February 15, 2009

Altona for the first time in 24 knots

Session 41. Speed, waves and jumping

  • Wind 25 knots southerly
  • Fine weather
  • Fairly busy

I finally made it to Altona Beach. After the tragic bushfires, some of which are still burning in Melbourne's water catchments and spreading smoke across the water, and a friend crashing badly in the A Grade bicycle race at Casey fields in the morning, it was great to get out on the water.

The wind speed was about 20 knots when I started, but I took out my Crossbow 12m as the forecast was for it to rise to 25-30 knots later in the afternoon.

Lot of people kiting on the water - 20 kites or more. But people all knew what they were doing, so it was good.

Closer to the shore, sandbanks create smooth water, so you can really get some speed up. However, the depth of the water varies, and depending on the tide you can suddenly find your board actually hitting sand. If you have a lot of speed, this could cause a big crash.

I took it easy for a while and then got out in the surf, kiting up to the end of the pier then back. The 1m surf provided some excitement and challenges. My board stopped in a couple of broken waves, but kiting between waves is a real blast.

I got one good jump in, landed it and kept going, which felt great.

Eventually I lost my board and was waiting for it to get washed in, but a friendly kiter brought it in for me.

I finished with some more fast flat water runs close to shore, then we hit the local pizza parlour before heading home.

Altona Beach feels like a small country seaside town. It is well worth a visit, the kiting is excellent, but as recommended, high and rising tide is best.

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