Kite: Noise 12
Wind: 20 knots, W
Time: 9:15am to 10:30am
Board: Naish Haize twin tip
I arrived early at Hampton at about 8:45 and dodged the cyclists on Beach Road to check out the beach. Stuart was already rigging up and headed out in about 15 knots. The wind looked a bit sketchy and I had missed my morning coffee so I was feeling a bit sluggish. The wind picked up a bit though so I scooted back to my car parked up a side street near Hampton Beach (parking is prohibited from 6-10am).
It was great to be on the water again with some wind. The wreck is now gone from the water which is nice. I headed across to the breakwall and back for a couple of runs, working the kite to just stay upwind. Stuart came in and headed home early.
I stayed kiting to maximise my time on the water. Just when I thought the wind was going to drop right out, whoosh - in came 20+ knots. I even de-powered my Noise 12 for a while and did some good jumps. By this time I was the only one on the water which was nice.
With more wind I was able to go upwind past the Sandringham marina rock wall for a view up to Black Rock, then all the back to Middle Brighton for some small waves. There was some nasty reef popping up close to shore there though.
Having worked a good distance upwind, I then did some toe-side riding and powered "slalom turns" from heelside to toe-side and back again. It was nice to get out of the "heel-side rut" for a while.
Jump transitions are still eluding me though. I get some air, but when I try to send the kite in the new direction I just tea-bag under it. I need to fly it more aggressively, but I am not sure where. Perhaps into a kite loop or a down loop? I have looked at a few videos but can't quite figure this out. Its tricky.
I came right into near the marina then took a spill and lost my board. There was not quite enough wind to body drag back to it. I got very close so I put the kite down, swam a few strokes, grabbed it, then relaunched the kite. There was not enough wind to get back out though so I came into shore and landed the kite a bit awkwardly when the wind dropped right out.
It was a really good session . Distance, speed, some jumps and nice wind.
I tried some new "wetsuit gloves" made for canoeing too. The worked well and kept my hands warm. They have a bit of a curve in the fingers so you don't have to fight the neoprene to hang on to the bar.
I had a nice toasted sandwich and coffee in the nearby Biskit cafe - which I can recommend for the food, coffee and bayside view. I spoke to a guy in a wetsuit - who turned out to be a diver doing some rescue diver training with a group just off Middle Brighton beach. He said there was not much on the bottom, but there are a lot of sea urchins 30m out and deeper. Yikes! So be careful at Hampton and Brighton.
|View from Biskit Cafe|
|1.5 hours kitesurfing, coffee and toasted sandwich = happy|
|The right place at the right time for the wind|