Monday, October 31, 2011

Cruising the inlet on the surfboard at Inverloch

Session 155, Monday 31 October 2011

Not much wind about today, but a sea breeze came in late afternoon.  I drove to the inlet (sailing club) to check it out.  A couple of kiters were cruising further downwind and a couple more arrived and setup.

The wind was light - around 15 knots - but I decided there was enough to power the 12m Noise and my surfboard.

It was nice to do some runs on the surfboard getting a feel for it.  The fore and aft balancing is more challenging, especially with the rear foot out of the footstrap.  I switch my feet for the left tack as this is my rusty side for toeside riding.  I tried gybing for the right tack and almost got it once.  Its certainly tricky.

I was able to ride toeside for one tack too when the wind picked up a bit.   Stuart was able to just stay upwind as well.  The tide was on the way out so some sandbars emerged as we kited.

I got a couple of nice speed runs in when the wind picked up briefly, which was good fun.

Location: Inverloch surf beach
Kite: Noise 12m
Wind: 15+ knots, S
Time: 5:00 to 6:00
Board: Cabrinha S-quad

Sunday, October 30, 2011

In the surf at Inverloch

Session 154, Sunday 30 October 2011

There were some good sized waves and good wind at the surf beach later in the afternoon so the three amigos headed out for another session.  I decided to take the surf board, which I haven't used for quite a while.

The wind was a consistent 20+ knots so I had plenty of power.  Getting out was not too diffcult with the extra flotation of the directional board.  It bobs around like a cork in comparison to the twin-tip board.

I did some longish tacks and stopped to switch my feet.  I caught a few nice waves coming back in, and made my way upwind along the beach.

I decided to practice toeside riding to get back, which was OK.  Its a lot harder to get out over waves when riding toeside though.

I got hit by a set of big waves heading out later in the session, but was able to keep my kite flying and get dragged through them.  The footstraps are definately an advantage for my skill level.  I felt like a beginner again.

Its nice to try something different though - there is only so much fanging on flat water you can do without getting a bit bored.


Location: Inverloch surf beach
Kite: Switchblade 10
Wind: 20+ knots, S
Time: 5:00 to 6:00
Board: Cabrinha S-quad

Inverloch surf beach to inlet downwinder - woo hoo!

Session 153, Sunday 30 October 2011

We nailed it. Some good wind blowing around midday so we rigged up at the surf beach and started kiting. It was great fun in the surf with some good waves about. After we all got settled we headed for the inlet across the mouth. Tarren stopped for a while with his kite above his head. We found out later that he unscrewed a loose fin from his board and put it in his pocket before continuing.

We headed for the point at the other side then back. We walked across a sandbar to get some flatter water. I clocked a good maximum - 46.9 km/h - on one of my fast runs.

It was more congested in the inlet but still good going. I was happy to make it to the sailing club rather tired but very satisfied. The consensus among myself, Stuart and Tarren was that the surf was the best fun.



Kite: Switchblade 10
Wind: 20+ knots, S
Location: Inverloch, surf beach
Time: `12:15 to 1:45
Board: Naish Haize twin tip



A sweet southerly in the surf at Inverloch

Session 152 Saturday 29 October 2011

Kite: Noise 12
Wind: 20+ knots, S
Location: Inverloch, surf beach
Time: 5:15 to 6:15
Board: Naish Haize twin tip

We are down at Inverloch for a few days kiting.  There was no wind when we arrived early in the afternoon so we spent some time on the beach with the kids, and I caught a few small waves on by goat boat (wave ski).

Later in the afternoon, Stu and Tarren were flying an Ozone Imp 2m trainer kite on the beach.  I noticed them pack and leave as the breeze strengthened. Game on.

We dashed back to the nearby house, grabbed our gear and scooted back to the beach.  We got on the water without delay and enjoyed an hour of a good southerly 15 to 20 knots. The water is lovely and clean and the scenery was superb.  Uncrowded too - we had the place to ourselves and nearly all the beach goers had departed due to the wind.

The wind had a few "holes in it" so after a few longish offshore winds we kept a bit closer to the shore.  Somebody flicked a switch at 6:15 and the wind stopped so we came in, very happy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Good wind at Mentone and my biggest jump to date

Session 151 Tuesday 25 October 2011

Kite: Switchblade 10
Wind: 20+ knots, SE
Location: Mentone
Time: 4:45 to 5:15
Board: Naish Haize twin tip

Distance: 23.56km

Great conditions and Mentone today.  A strong and consistent South Easterly created a small swell.  I did some very big/high jumps launching off steep waves and boosting up.  Landed all of them nicely too, apart from one big pendulum towards the end of the day.

A strong gust plucked my skyward when I launched of a steep wave taking me to great heights (over 5 metres at least).

Its a bit weird on a big jump.  Everything goes quiet as you go downwind and the water looks a long way away.  The Switchblade 10s flight is very predictable though.

I travelled upwind on several tacks almost as far as Mordialloc pier.  It was nice to cover some new areas.  It was fun on the rollers coming back in, and on the small surf closer to the shore.

On the way back I did some slalom "fast carves to toeside" followed by a "fast carve back to heelside".  There was enough wind to try several jump transitions too - some of which worked well.  I find its a bit difficult to get a lot of air once the board speed is almost nothing though.

There was only about 5 other kiters out so everyone had lots of space.  Ivan headed for Flinders earlier but I didn't have time to go there.

All photos

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Brighton in yet another northerly

Session 150 Thursday 21 October 2011

Kite: Switchblade 10
Wind: 20+ knots, N
Location: Brighton
Time: 11:00 to 12:00
Board: Naish Haize twin tip

The forecast for some reasonable north winds looked better than nothing, so Carrado and I headed down the Brighton Beach.  There were a few kitesurfers out and the wind was strong enough for me to choose my 10m kite. I am glad I did, as I has to depower it occasionally.

Carrado headed out but was not used the gusty conditions.  He came back in and then rested on the beach.   I got some biggish air on jumps when gusts plucked me up while airborne.  It was sunny and warm too.  But it is usually a scary and unpredictable place to kite in a northerly.

Bring on the sea breezes.

Carrado with his kite

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sailing for a change

There was some wind forecast for Saturday 15 October. Brendan, and friend with a lovely 25 foot wooden boat, was going out for a sail and invited me so I tagged along.

Carrado, a visiting Italian kitesurfer who contacted me via this blog, came along with his girlfriend too.

It was nice sailing out in 15 knots.  We heaved to and had some lunch out past the shipping channel.  On the way back the wind picked up to 25+ knots, which was quite exciting.  The boat handled it well and was sailing fast.

Stuart was kitesurfing at St Kilda and said people had to drop their large kites quickly when the storm front arrived.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Kitesurfing on the butter at St Kilda

Session 149, Sunday 9 October 2011

Kite: Noise 12
Wind: 18 knots, W
Location: St Kilda
Time: 4:30 to 5:30
Board: Naish Haize twin tip

Did a nice mountain bike ride at Lorne in the morning - with the wind howling offshore as a storms ripped through.  Alas, not much wind on the surf beaches as we drove home.  Back in Melbourne, the wind picked up later in the day, so I was lucky to sneak in a nice session at St Kilda.

I spent most of my time in the kiddies pool and in the small surf/swell inside the marina.  The wind was good.  I focused on upwind technique and a few jumps.  It wasn't too crowded for a change - there were  only about 6 to 10 riders out - and they all knew what they were doing.

One session away from 150!  Maybe its time for a big kiteloop . . .

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Kitesurfing 747 pilot Claire Bunton

Here is an interesting video ad (via Dan Harris) about accomplished kitesurfer Claire Bunton who is also a Captain on the British Airway’s B747 fleet.

Flying is in Claire’s blood. One of her ancestors is Amy Johnson, the pioneering British aviator. Her father and grandfather were also in aviation. She and her husband Kevin first learnt to kite surf for their first wedding anniversary in 1999, when the sport was just getting started.

By 2002 she was competing in the UK and internationally winning the BKSA championship and ranked number two in the world at the PKRA World Tour. During this time she was still flying for British Airways and had taken her command on the airline’s B747 ‘jumbo’ fleet.

The kite surfing footage was shot in West Sussex (East Preston).

Sunday, October 02, 2011

In the kiddies pool at St Kilda

Session 148, Sunday 2 October 2011

Kite: Switchblade 10
Wind: 20 knots, S
Location: St Kilda
Time: 4:30 to 5:30
Board: Naish Haize twin tip

I managed to get a short session in today at St Kilda on my way home from the Transform Australia weekend conference at Geelong.  It was really nice to get out on the water after 2 days inside.

I used the new kite compressor pump at The Zu Boardsports to inflate my kite - thanks guys!

I got going in the kiddies pool, which was a little crowded, but there was not quite enough wind for my 10m kite, so I headed out past the breakwater after a few runs.   There was good wind out there, and a nice rolling swell to cruise down on the way back in.

No tricks today - there wasn't really enough wind.  Another kiter (Peter, recently joined KBV) was out there with me for a couple of runs.  Then I noticed him heading in and the wind dropping, so I headed in too.  I had to loop the kite a few times to keep going, then made it to shore on a brief stronger gust.

I landed my kite and walked back along the beach.  The sea breezes have not really started in earnest yet, but this one was good while it lasted.