Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kitesurfing Frankston on my Sector 60 with a couple of poleys

Session 197
There was only 10 knots of wind at Inverloch in the morning so we had a relaxed breakfast while we checked out detailed wind forecasts with Predictwind.  It looked like we might get some wind at Frankston so we stopped there on the way home.

We were in luck!  There was a nice 20 knots blowing side onshore.  We got on the water with haste and had a ball.  There was enough swell to slow me down on my Sector 60 raceboard a bit.  I tried a few jumps off the swell and got a bit of air, but the board is big and heavy.

I got up close to Stu and Grant on their windsurfers to get some helmetcam footage you can view in the video below.  They certainly get up some good speed and the large boards cut through the swell nicely.

Tarren had a go on the Sector 60 and took off upwind while I used his twin tip and tried some bigger boosts.  Twin tips have  a whole different feel, and seem now to be a bit limiting.

Back on the Sector 60 I did some fast downwind reaches which were a lot of fun.

The wind lasted about 2 hours then stopped, which was perfect for our session.  Predictwind really delivered the goods for us again.

Once again, we had to location with its lovely clean water to ourselves.  It was a fun session with the mix of kites, boards and windsurfers.




Saturday, November 24, 2012

Nice kitesurfing session at Inverloch surf beach

Session 196 Saturday 24 November 2012

The first day of our "blokes kitesurfing weekend".

We had a nice morning surfing at Inverloch. Stuart borrowed my mini-mal surfboard while I took out my waveski (goat boat). I got some nice long rides on good sized waves near the Anderson Inlet mouth.

A stronger westerly came in around noon.  I launched my kite and got a quick reminder why kiting in offshore wind is not a good idea.  The kite fell right out of the sky when the wind abruptly cut out - it was far too gusty coming off the land.

After lunch we headed back to the main surf beach and waited for the wind.  It was very calm with only a gentle 6-8 knot breeze blowing.  We had a go of Franz's 6m land kite and land board.  The kite has good power but it turns quite slow.  It was hard to get going on a tack on the landboard too.  

The wind forecast for 6 pm didn't let us down.  About 17 knots came in at 5:45. We had a great session in the small surf. I was enjoying my S-Quad surfboard, especially now I can reliably gybe it.  James was able to cope with the small surf as he learns to go upwind.  

Franz, Stuart, Tarren and I were all enjoying the consistent wind, small surf and clear water.   All five of us were having a ball.  

We were keen to do a downwinder to the Sailing Club but the wind konked out after about an hour.

Stuart S & Grant were not so lucky.  The waited at the Sailing Club with their windsurfers for the wind to funnel down the inlet, but it didn't get above 10 knots. Stu did a short run across and back but couldn't get planing.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sweet kitesurfing session at Hampton, summer is coming

Session 195

A first touch of summer at Hampton beach this afternoon. Sunny, warm water and a smooth sea breeze.  It was great conditions for my new Airush Lithium 12 and my surfboard. I had enough power to go upwind and the kite handled really well under the conditions.  I still can't get over how smooth the bar is.  I flew with it well sheeted most of the time.  It is great to have a kite that performs well in light winds.

I also tried out the backpack mount I made for the Contour ROAM camera for the first time.  I found the aluminium riser bars were clunking into the back of my helmet occasionally so I will add some rubber padding to them.  It also flips forward a bit so I might try a waist belt to stabilise it further.

The mounting bracket rotated and eventually came loose and slipped off the top and down the side.  The velcro straps used for securing don't hold it firm enough, so I might have to add use some duct tape when I fit it again.  Otherwise, it worked OK.

I made most of my gybe turns on the surfboard so I am feeling quite good about that.  Stuart had a go on his old surfboard, strapless. He got up and going but said he found the water start tricky. I am still using my footstraps, although I am thinking of taking them off again.

It wasn't too crowded. There was only about 10 other kiters out.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kitesurfing replaced by windsurfing at 2016 Rio Olympics

The International Sailing Kitesurfing announced in May 2012 that Kiteboarding would replace Windsurfing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. At the time, I commented that this decision was unfair to Windsurfing, which had been in the Olympics since 1984 for men and 1992 for women.

Now, ISAF has reversed that decision and dropped Kitesurfing to reinstate Windsurfing!

It is not clear to me why have flip-flopped on this, nor is it clear why both sports cannot be included, which would surely be the best option.

Kitesurfing could be "demonstration sport" at Rio in addition to the well established Windsurfing events.

It would seem that there is lots of "politics" about how international organisations such as the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and International Windsurfing Association (IWA) are going about their business.

I was not intending to compete, but I pity those who have already started training up for the possibility, and buying kiteboarding race gear.

I love kitesurfing for its action, challenge, adrenalin and sometimes the solitude.  Sporting governing bodies should be careful they don't intrude on this.


Friday, November 09, 2012

Kai Lenny visits The Zu Boardsports

I met Kai Lenny when he visited Melbourne and stopped by at The Zu Boardsports in St Kilda.  Kai is the 2012 SUP racing world champion at the age of 20, which is a remarkable achievement.

It was great to hear him talk about his water sports, including Stand Up Paddleboard surfing (SUP), windsurfing, kitesurfing and big wave surfing.  Kai said the doesn't really have a favourite, he just loves to be on the water.

He is also involved is SUP board development with his relationship with Naish, who also sponsor him.

Kai talking at The Zu Boardsports

Kai was certainly popular with the many local Melbourne SUPers, kitesurfers and windsurfers who came to meet him, including some youngsters getting into windsurfing.

Kai is based in Maui, but travels with world to compete and do the watersports he loves.

Here are some inspiring video of Kai in action.

Kitesurfing Off of Icebergs and SUPing Tidal Waves in Alaska

Kai Lenny's 4 in 1: surf, stand up, windsurf, kitesurf in one day !

See also

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Kitesurfing Hurricane Sandy

The world now knows all about the fury of Hurricane Sandy and the damage it caused.  However, some bold kitesurfers took advantage of the (very strong) wind!

Note that the location for this video was Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts so the wind would not have been at full strength.

Also note that kitesurfing in any storm front can be very dangerous!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Late afternoon kitesurfing at Inverloch

Session 194.

After a fine sunny and calm day it looked like there would be no kitesurfing. However, later in the afternoon a light breeze arrived so Stuart and I headed to the inlet.

I pumped up my new Airush Lithium 12 and got it flying. I was immediately impressed by how well it flew in around 10 knots. It turned fast without a hint of back stall and was generating good power. It looks and feels more like a 10m kite and is surprisingly compact. 

I was able to hold ground on the Sector 60 and get some good speed!  Stuart had a go and was ripping too. One other kiter had a go on his twin tip but ended up downwind.

The wind picked up a bit and I was really hooting, and able to gybe in both directions on the run across the channel. It was too shallow upwind as the main channel for the inlet has now shifted to the east shore, so I stayed in front of the sailing club. We kited until sunset, very happy to sneak in this unexpected session.

A learner ditched his kite just as we finished and was drifting towards the pier so we swam out and helped him to shore.