Sunday, December 01, 2019

Epic kitesurfing downwinder Shallow Inlet to Darby Beach

Session 494. November 2019 kitesurfing weekend. A downwinder was planned from Shallow Inlet to Darby Beach on Wilsons Prom. I had previously kited most of the way down there and back in 2018.

Here is a video of the downwinder

We set up a car shuffle between Darby River and Shallow Inlet Caravan Park. I drove back and one of the last to launch.  The wind was solid 25 knots.  It was a slow trip with several kiters working their way down the inlet.  I tacked and waited for the others to catch up near the mouth.

Exiting the inlet mouth the wind was stronger and the waves were big. I followed a line between the first and second breaks, mainly concerned with not crashing. There would be no easy rescue here in event of a mishap, it would be a long walk out.

I made good progress dodging breakers and headed out the back a few times. Conditions were wild and woolly, I was nearly overpowered. I got caught by a few waves and lost my board then retrieved it from the surf.

The last time I was approaching the large rock spire and reefs not far from Darby Beach. The area looked dicey so I decided to sneak through a channel between the spire and the shore, hoping there was enough water.  I approached cautiously, finding enough water to get through with a big sigh of relief.

I finished in the waves close to shore approaching the big coastal hills of the Prom and pulled my safety to land the kite. The wind was still very strong.

No sign of any others coming for a while, then Mike appeared, very pleased to finish.  Stu Styles was next followed by Anthony, Stu Webb and James. I was worried that some of the other guys had followed and may have ended up on the remote beach.  I checked Whatsapp and got the message that they had reassessed at the mouth and decided to walk back, so all was good.

This was a cracking downwinder in "full conditions". I needed all my experience to make it.

And the track log stats

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Kitesurfing Sandy Point surf in light wind

Session 493. November 2019 kitesurfing weekend. There wasn't much wind at Sandy Point surf beach. I need to fix the lines on my Ocean Rodeo Flite 14.5 - it might have been big enough to get going. The Wave 12 didn't have enough grunt.

We headed to our accommodation at Walkerville North for some great Indian food provided by Dobbo and fantastic views across Waratah Bay to Wilsons Prom.

Kitesurfing Woodside beach, deep water and small waves

Session 492. November 2019 kitesurfing weekend. First location for our kiting wind trip was Woodside on the Ninety Mile beach. Its the first time I have kited there.


The waves were small and the water gets deep offshore quickly.  The Ninety Mile Beach is a lovely wild location to kite but I wouldn't fancy going for a long swim.

I have often thought about doing a long downwinder along the Ninety Mile.  A tour down to Seaspray our Loch Sport would be nice.

The wind was a bit lite though. It picked up after a stop for lunch but was cross shore so we headed to Sandy Point for an afternoon session.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

First sea breeze for Spring 2019 at Hampton

Session 491.  First sea breeze of late Spring (nearly Summer) at Hampton.  Nice consistent wind, cool water, and lots of Blue Blubber jellyfish about. 

I did some jumps and carved turns on the rollers.

There were lots of small yachts racing off Hampton.  I tacked past them as they were rounding a buoy near the marina. 

A few other kiters were on the water but it certainly wasn't crowded.  Summer is coming . . .

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Kitesurfing downwinder Aspendale to Frankston in a raging north westerly

Session 490. Got to Aspendale around 9 a.m. with Stu S and Stu W already out.  The wind was strong, around 25 knots. I setup my 8m Union, rear lines on the low power knots, and my downwinder backpack then got on the water. Wow, plenty of power.  I did a couple of tacks and the kite was fully lit on full depower. 

I headed downwind and saw the two Stu's walking up the beach with their kites in hand.  The wave were a good size but the wind made catching them difficult.  I got the hauled downwind with the kite high and stacked on a few waves so I stopped trying to catch them out the back and moved behind the first sandbar to get some smoother water.

It became an exercise in survival.  My 6m kite would have been perfect, but I was committed.  I saw one windsurfer out crashing over waves.  I more or less straight lined and kept my speed low, going fast meant rapid acceleration and a big stack.  It was a relief to get around Seaford pier then down Frankston.  I pulled the safety with the kite in the shore break and was able to secure it.

I packed the kite and untangled the lines up on the grass in a blissfully sheltered location.  Another squall came it, the weather was seriously gnarly.  

Great coffee and muffin at the Coffee Club then the train back to Aspendale.

The wind chart at Fawkner shows the wind got to 30 knots, gusting to 40, which explains why I was overpowered for the trip.  

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Kitesurfing Aspendale in a cool westerly

Session 489. Kiting again! A forecast for a good westerly got James, the two Stus and myself down to Aspendale at around 8:30.  The wind was good and picked up while I was getting ready so I used my Union 8.  The wind was strong but there were some lulls.  Really nice to be kitesurfing again in bay surf without booties in the sunshine.

I felt a bit rusty after some time off the water, kiting regularly is a good safety factor.

The wind dropped a bit and my kite started feeling odd and back stalled with high bar pressure so I came in early. Inspecting the kite revealed that it was soft - there appears to be a slow leak.

Westerly wind can be unpredictable, there were some big spikes and rain around noon.

We had coffee and a chat at the Two Cow Girls cafe after the session.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Kitesurfing Cocos Islands downwinder kitebeach to Jetty

Session 488. Adam and I both love downwinders so we finished our trip with downwind tour out to the blue holes then along past the lagoon, finishing at the beach south of the West Island Ferry Terminal.

Blue holes, turtles, flat water, sunshine and crystal clear water.  A great way to finish.

I jogged around to the ferry terminal and hitched a ride with a family heading back to the centre of the town, then was lucky to get a ride from Flynn who took me to kitebeach to get our ute.

Spot the turtles!