Saturday, February 02, 2013

Kitesurfing at Brighton - fun in the sun

Session 220. The seabreeze came in stronger than forecast this afternoon, as is often the case.  I met Tony and Stu down at Brighton - a couple of friends who are learning kitesurfing - and gave them some tips as they practiced flying Stu's kite - a Switchblade 10.

They were both going well, taking in turns to fly the kite up and down the edge of the wind window and across it.   They were also trying out short power dives to pull them from a sitting to standing position.   Both are flying the kite well.  Their next lesson is body dragging in the water.

I took the surboard out with my Lithium 12 and it was nice.  Warm clean water and strong sushine.  After a couple of runs I noticed a guy lose his board and end up downwind, so I retrieved it and took it too him.

I find its easiest to grab the handle of the board with my thumbs and pin it up to the bar so that I have both hands free for control.  However, I was not game to try this toeside so I stopped, switched the board, then got going again.

There were about a dozen other kiters about.  One show pony boosted (jumped) just ahead of my as I was in the water about to depart from close to the shore.  I had to fly my kite to take evasive action as he very nearly landed on my lines, then his kite nearly crossed mine.  Its silly to jump so close to shore and its quite unsafe to jump so close to another kiter (or anybody else for that matter).

My right gybe (foot swap after) is now very reliable, and my left gybe (foot swap before) is also good.  I was carving a few turns on the bay swell and did a few downloop turns to show Tony and Stu how you can turn the board like surfing (they are both keen surfers).

I tried out my new GPS today - a Garmin Forerunner 310XT - which you wear like a watch.   It worked well, and has the advantage that you can view data (including the time) while you are on the water.  The casing is sealed so the unit is completely waterproof - there are no gaskets or seals for plugs/usb cables.

The data is downloaded using Garmin's wireless Ant technology which requires an USB Ant dongle that was supplied with the unit.   It downloads automatically when in range, and you can set it to clear the track log after download.

A special clip charges the unit by contacting two metal pins on rear of the GPS.

I rigged up a "safety leash wrist strap" using some cord and a rubber wristband to avoid losing the GPS if the watch band or watch pins break.  Its attached to both sections of the band.

For more information on kitesurfing GPS units see GPS for kitesurfing - Kitesurfing Handbook 

GPS log


Chris Watkins said...

I like the safety leash wrist strap.

Peter Campbell said...

Chris, the safety leash works well but is a bit crude - nylon cord and bike innertube bracelet. I might try and get a coloured plastic bracelet - the Livestrong ones are probably going very cheap now!