Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hampton sea breeze far from the madding crowds

Session 133, 26 March 2011

Kite: Noise 12
Wind: 15 knots, SSW
Location: Hampton Beach
Time: 4:00 to 5:30 (1.5h)
Board: Naish Haize twin tip

The forecast sea breeze arrived a little later at Hampton - around 4pm.  I just bought a new wetsuit from SHQ - an NPX 3/2 for not-so-cold conditions.  It is a kitesurfing suit with "drains" at the bottom of the legs to stop water bags forming above your ankles when water jets up the legs under speed.  

The wind was not strong, but I decided to try out the new wetsuit and the Noise 12m in the lighter winds.   It was a nice session.  I flew the kite to create apparent wind and was going well and keeping upwind a little.  Its  strange how the run out against the waves is a much slower than the tack back it.  It just doesn't feel like the same wind!

The new wetsuit performed well.  It was warm but not too hot.  The water drains in the legs worked in a fashion, but the bottom of the legs still got "folded in" by water pressure jetting up them.  The water could work its way out though.  The wetsuit came with veclo straps and has webbing loops for them at the end of the legs.  I will try out the velcro straps next time.

I did one backroll and made it 75% around, as the wind did not boost me much off the small wave.

It was a nice day to focus on technique - flying the kite up and down to generate apparent wind and edging the board.  The wind picked up occasionally so I did few small jumps to.

The Noise 12m handled these conditions well.  It is very predictable and turns well and generated plenty of power.   The depower cleat below the bar can get a bit stuck, but once the cord is wet it easy to sort it out.

It certainly wasn't crowded today.  There was only 2 other kiters out, and for quite a while I was alone.  I enjoyed the sesssion.  You don't have to be always ripping in strong winds to have fun.

Object hazard at Hampton

There is an object hazard in the water close to the shore. Its timber and has a metal object attached to it. Presumably it drifted to shore and is now stuck there in the sand. It is marked by a small buoy. Watch out for it.


Russell said...

Hi - How do you rate the NPX suit? I'm thinking about a 4/3 NPX Assassin for winter here in Vic.

Cheers Russell

Peter Campbell said...

Russell, the NPX 3/2 has been great so far. It is very varm - almost as good as my Ripcurl 4/3 - but has better flexibility and is lighter. Used with the NPX buoyancy vest I think it will be good for all but the coldest of Victorian days.