Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bracing kitesurfing conditions upwind at Brighton

Session 187. Saturday 25 August 2012

Stuart, Tarren and I headed down to Hampton in the morning, but there was no wind.  We drove around to Brighton and watched for a while.  To our great relief the wind picked up to over 15 knots to we kitted up and headed out.   It took a bit longer for me to set up my kitecam, boardcam and helmet cam, as well as fitting fins to the Sector 60.  Once on the water, Stuart was off shore with his kite down and winding it in - he had snapped a line he recently replaced.  Tarrren took his board in, then he sailed his kite back to shore.  

The water was very cold.  Even wearing booties my feet got cold.  It would have been nice to have a drysuit!  

The Sector 60 board was hooting along with my Switchblade 10m kite, but my gybes were very rusty after several recent great sessions on the surfboard.  The Sector 60 turns quite differently, and the more wind the easier it is to gybe.  I tried a couple of pre-gybe turns but lost to much boardspeed and plopped in.  

Here is a video of the session, taken with two Contour ROAM cameras, one on the board and the other on my helmet.

There was a wind hole about 200 meters offshore, where I turned and came back in.  Then the wind picked up a bit so I did a couple of upwind tacks and cleared the Brighton breakwater and headed right up to Elwood.  I hit some wood once.  Some wood and debris seems to have been washed into the bay by recent heavy rains and is floating around. It is hard to see.

I did a very fast downwind leg back to Brighton then came in.   The Sector 60 board is great for these conditions.  I could have gone to St Kilda quite easily if I wanted too.

Kitecam photos - slideshow

GPS Log 
Note that there are maximum speed reading anomalies

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Short, sweet and nippy kitesurfing at Hampton

Session 186. Saturday 18 August 2012 

Big storms rolled through all morning with strong winds, big gusts and some heavy rain.   After midday the rain stopped and conditions stabilised.  I got down to the beach mid afternoon to find nice wind a about 6 kiters out at Hampton.  

There was a bit of swell but not as big as it can be at Hampton.  I did a nice run out and peeked around Green Point to the city then came back to Hampton.  I cranked a few giant slalom turns to come back into the beach and had some nice runs past the groyne and into the small surf.  

I noticed that turns with very fast board speed resulted in me catching up with kite, which then lost some power.  Slower faster turns keep the power delivery smoother.

Riding toeside was easy in the conditions.   I came in when the wind dropped and packed up. 

Got some nice shots with a helmet cam (Contour ROAM) and kitecam.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wild winds in Victoria

There was some very cold and wild weather with very strong winds yesterday (Thursday 9 August) in Melbourne and elsewhere across Victoria.

Caution is indicated for kitesurfing and windsurfing!

See also: Squalls race through city as hail looms, The Age

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Kitesurfing Frankston before the winter storm

Session 185. Sunday 5 August 2012 

At last, some more wind!  A good westerly was on so Stuart and I headed for Frankston and got on the water about 9:30am.  The water was very clear and noticeably warmer than last time. There was even some nice sunshine.  It was great to fly my 10m Switchblade again, I like it. 

The small bay surf was fun on the surfboard.  I did several gybes - its starting to come together with a bit of practice.  I am doing a "pre jibe" (switch feet before turning) when riding toeside and a "post gybe" (switch feet after turning) when riding heelside.

The wind was over 20 knots for the first 20 minutes, then it backed off a bit.  A couple of guys were doing a downwinder to Frankston so I kept my eye out for them.

Stuart headed off after a lull, and I took off to do a short downwinder past the pier.

It was nice riding the small surf along the sandbar of the beach, then I tacked out past the pier keeping a wary eye on it.  I came back into the beach and followed it down towards the Nepean Highway, realising that landing options were not so good.  The beach was narrow with a wire fence close to the water.

Right near the road it widened a little however, and the wind obligingly dropped so I got the kite down without any trouble.  I packed it away then walked the considerable distance back to the car.

Some more kiters had shown up by then and the wind was good again.  I could see some squalls in the distance ahead of the large front that was forecast.  Later in the afternoon it arrived, as you can see by the wind graphs.  This highlights the need for great caution when kiting in winter storm conditions.