Friday, April 22, 2011

Flailing at Hampton then redemption

Session 134, Friday 22 April 2011

Kite: Noise 12
Wind: 15-20 knots, WSW
Location: Hampton Beach
Time: 9:00 to 1:30p
Board: S-Quad and Naish Haize twin tip

I was really hanging out for a kiting session after a couple of weeks of little or no wind.  Put this in your diary: in mid-April, someone turns the wind-switch off in Melbourne.

There was a good westerly and south westerly forecast today.  When Stuart and arrived at Hampton it was on.

I decided to take out the S-Quad surfboard for a run.  Things didn't go well.  First I crashed the kite on the beach starting my first run.  Overzealous on the power stroke and maybe unused to the wind direction.  I re-rigged it.  Then I got going - sort of - and headed over to towards the marina, where I ran out of wind and came back to shore downwind.

Leaving the beach

A very wet kite

The beach

Spectators on the groyne

The marina

It was one of those days when you needed to get out to get the good wind.  

This session was very frustrating.  I crashed the kite several times and re-rigged it.  A couple of crashes were due to the donkey dick popping out. It is too short on my early version of the Noise - they have lengthened it on the production models.   When re-hooking the chicken loop the kite fell out of the sky.

Once I relaunched with the bridle lines looped and knotted so it crashed promptly.  Memo to self: check your bridle as well as the lines when re-rigging after a crash and tangle.

I was having some trouble with the surfboard too.  Its been a while since I have used it, and I found myself pulled over forwards a few times, and also, surprisingly, bogging in to the water while trying to go upwind.  The leg leash is a pain too.  I might leave it off when in the bay.  I still can't gibe turn so switching feet is frustrating too.   

In short, I felt like a beginner all over again.  Towards midday the wind picked up and I was able to get some good runs in.   Stuart headed home, but I stayed and took the twin tip out to redeem my session.  This went well.  I was well powered and headed down to Green Point through the surf on the reefs and back past the breakwater.  I was certainly tired at the end of this, but satisfied.

Note that the boat wreck is still in the water close to the shore at Hampton, and are very hard to see.  Be careful - there is a nasty piece of timber sticking up.   Apparently someone beached the boat while under the influence on their way into the marina.  It is a significant hazard and should be removed.


John the kitesurf enthusiast said...

Thanks for letting us know your experiences. I know this game is not that easy. And I really appreciate your passion towards kite boarding.

Peter Campbell said...

Thanks John. You too have a nice blog/website with some good information.