Sunday, May 26, 2019

Kitesurfing in cooler weather at Seaford, mishap while launching

Session 474. Headed to Seaford with a forecast of good NW wind.  There was plenty when we got there and not much beach.  I rushed setting up then got a  launch from James with me in the water and the kite on the beach.  The sun was directly behind the kite so I couldn't see the lines or the rigging.  Big mistake.  When James let the kite go the kite looped and dragged me onto the beach then crashed into the dunes. I pulled the safety. There was a tangle in bridle that caused this.

Here is a video of the drama ** to come

Luckily the kite was not damaged.

Contributing factors to this mishap were:
  • Haven't kited for a while (rusty)
  • In a hurry to launch
  • Didn't double check the lines and rigging
  • Launching with the kite towards land (much safer to launch with it over water)
  • Launching into the sun (couldn't see the lines)
  • Narrow beach, not much room (may beaches along the Bay aee eroding due to sea level changes).
It was a relief to get onto the water and offshore.  I settled down and did a few runs and caught some waves.  Coming back in the kite felt odd.  On the shore it back stalled so I attempted to land it.  It was out of control again so I crash landed it a second time.  The bladder was deflated, which eventually means you can't control the kite.

I assumed that there was a small hole in the bladder from the first crash, but I pumped up the kite later at home and it was fine.  So I didn't tighten the valve properly (In a hurry to launch).

The wind dropped a bit so I switched to my 10m kite and had an enjoyable session in the waves and was feeling much better for it.

I used a chest harness for the Gopro.  It works well and the camera is easy to adjust and turn on and off.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Kitesurfing tour at Elwood

Session 473.  A solo session off Elwood in fresh conditions.  The launch at the beach is tight, there are power lines close by. 

I cruised up past St Kilda Marina up towards St Kilda pier then back.  I don't often kite close to shore in this areas so it was a good opportunity for some sightseeing.  There were a few small reefs to watch out for.

On the return tack I cruised up to Brighton Marina then did a fast run back to Elwood.

Nice to do some touring and have a look around.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Kitesurfing Hampton to Green Point

Session 472. On the water about 3 p.m, there wind was strong enough to go upwind so I headed for Green Point.  There were no good waves there however so I head back surfing the swells.  Paul and Greg were out on their foil boards having a good time. We were the only three kiters out.

Its getting colder now. I am looking forward to some bigger waves.

Afterwards I visited James and Heather and Sandringham Yacht Club, they are nearly ready to head off for some more adventure sailing after doing some repairs.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Kitesurfing weekend with howling wind and giant surf at Sandy Point

Session 471. Eight keen kitesurfers converged at Sandy Point for another kitesurfing weekend.  Stu W, Stu S, Tarren, James, Dobbo, Adam, Anthony and myself.

Very strong 30+ knot wind on Saturday provided epic surf conditions. I did a couple of  sessions on my 8m Union kite.  It was good having plenty of power as the waves were huge, so big that I didn't make it right out the back.

I swapped to my 6m Wave for the third session, it had plenty of power and was better for riding the waves.  Definitely a small kite day!

The wind was around 23 knots on Sunday and the surf a bit more manageable, I got out the back and rode some big waves several times.  Traversing out the back I thought I was past the break, then a monster loomed up.  There was no way I could over or behind it so I rode it in.  Massive power in the wave then I got munched but I kept my kite flying.

Lots of tired and happy faces over lunch, then I headed home.

In my estimation Sandy Point is the best kitesurfing beach in Victoria.  Its wide and has nice shallow flat sections before the surf and you can pick your way out in big surf then catch some big waves.

More video footage to follow . . .

Saturday Session 1

Saturday Session 2

Saturday Session 3

Sunday Session 1

Sunday Session 2

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Kitesurfing a northerly on a hot summer day at Frankston

Session 470. Kitesurfing again after a long break, feeling better after a protracted chest cough.  A nice session in a northerly at Frankston. Rode some big swells and tested out my GoPro with the Quark stabiliser.  Check out the video.

 So nice to be on the water again!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Kitesurfing scary big waves at Gunnamatta

Session 469. Gunnamatta has been on my go to list for ages.  Jeff Steele advised that late afternoon the wind should be good to a group of four headed there.  The waves were very big but the wind was light at 15 knots when I arrived at 4:30.  The wind improved around 5:15, Jeff decided to try it out. 

I got my gear and walked onto the beach watching Jeff heading down a big wave that closed out. He got munched and his kite went down. His lines tangled around another guy (surfer) who was in the water but he swam in OK. Jeff later said he hit something (weed?) and his board stopped dead.

I was cautious heading out and picked a gap. Even so, climbing up a couple of big waves was exciting, then past some surfers to clean deep water out the back.  I did a couple of runs in to check it out and get back upwind, then I headed in.  The swell steadily built as I got in a scary big wave which was a great ride.  

I got in ahead of a big wave on my second ride in.  The wind was dropping a bit so I headed in, not wanting to have a long swim in.  The others came in not long after struggling with the strong rip heading west along the beach.

Its been a while since my last session. I got a bad cough early in January and saw the doctor.  One round of antibiotics didn't fix it so I took a second course.  The cough was still persisting though.  I am now now on a third course of antibiotics and taking it easy.  Great to be on the water again after several weeks of feeling terrible.

The combination of big waves, deep water, very strong rips and ocean frontage makes Gunnamatta a very serious location - its not a place for beginners or even intermediates.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Back to the future on a twin tip at St Kilda in 25 knots

Session 468. Arrive at St Kilda with the foilboard at 4:45 pm keen for more practice but the seabreeze was honking at around 25 knots.  The waves looked too big for easy foiling. 

I have had a nasty chest cold for several days but was feeling better today and really keen for some kitesurfing.

Paul from The Zu Boardsports lent me a Airush Switch twin tip board, I pumped up my Union 8 and asked a guy with a harness on to launch my kite.  He didn't know how to with my lines upwind and got them tangled, so I ended up self launching.

Once out past the beginner kites close to the shore I found the board really nice. It edged well and was smooth in the water without sinking in much.  Its been a few years since I used a twin tip so I spent some time getting used to it.

Jumping was weird, I seemed to lose forwards momentum half way though the jump. I tacked out to the channel the Spirit of Tasmania uses then returned.  Surfing the bay swell was strange too, the board turns well but bogs down on waves without the kite pulling.  I rode toeside both directions which was OK but I felt "locked in" to the stance.

I kited past some moored yachts into the Kiddies Pool to play dodgem cars with the 15+ other kiters who were fanging around there.  It takes a bit of concentration with kiters jumping (some close the the pier) and all vying for a fairly small patch of water.

An enjoyable session - something different.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Kitesurfing crosswinder tour Ricketts to Aspendale and return

Session 467. First day of the new year and a good seabreeze in the afternoon.  I have got a nasty chest cough and wasn't feeling too well but this was an opportunity to good to miss.

Got out from Ricketts then a few tacks to get around the reefs, following by a long haul to Aspendale, almost as far as Gnotuk Ave.   The bay surf was great all the way down to Mordialloc pier.

A great way to start the new year!

This video shows some of the action - but its not motion stabilised, next time I will use my Quark stabliser!

Having a rest tomorrow, the chest cough has got a hold of me.