Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Kitesurf foiling at St Kilda, making progress

Session 505. More good afternoon wind so I headed to St Kilda again, keen to backup foiling sessions. I decided to try my old Dakine seat harness this time too.

The wind was close to 20 knots so I took my 8m kite down, rigged up and headed out.  By the time I was on the water the wind dropped and I was under powered. 

It was difficult to get going.  After the power dive the kite needed to go backwards to keep powered so I was sinking back into the water.  I eventually got going with some good board speed and the apparent wind works to give you more speed.  Coming back there was less wind behind the seawall so I came into the beach and walked back for another run.

Low wind makes it hard when learning to foil as you need to focus too much on flying the kite and not enough on controlling the board and your forward balance.

On the second run I crashed, the spreader bar unhooked and I got yanked downwind.  I reconnected it but the wind wasn't strong enough to body drag upwind. I gave up and body dragged to shore.   Another kiter helped by getting the board flat on the water so it could sail in.  I swam out and got it without much hassle.  That was enough for the day.

What I learnt this session:
  • Wind speed 15 knots was not enough for my 8m kite
  • The seat harness was not a big success
  • No rear foot strap works well and doesn't impede water starts.
Next session I intend to:
  • Keep practicing micro flights to get comfortable with rising and slowing
  • Focus on keeping the kite high
  • Get the right kite size to match the wind (14.5m for 10 knots, 10m for 15 knots, 8m for 20 knots).

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