Friday, April 17, 2015

Nailed it again!

NW forecast but yellow arrows - worth a look. Head right down after lunch.

Bit light - rig the 16. Wind picks up... Too much now. Rig the 13... Almost too much but I know it's going to die late.

Nailed it again! Epic session for 2 hours, boosting good times! Til the wind dropped, but I'd had enough anyway...

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Tsu again.

Good forecast, headed down to Mie alone. With my refreshed local knowledge of how the wind rocks on in then buggers on off, I timed my arrival carefully and went out with what I hoped would be the best kite and board for most of the conditions...

Nailed it!

But either the mixer is out, or it was gustier than it seemed... Bit twitchy. Stunts weren't up to much. Fun, nonetheless.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

First in Mie for '15

Should be a good southerly come through today, so headed down to Mie.

Hmm. Very light when I arrived. Set up the 16... wind picked up. Oops. Hung on to it for a bit but I'll have more fun on a smaller kite... except the wife has wandered off with the car.

When she gets back, I set up the 10m XB but soon I'm just under powered . Sigh... To lazy to set up a third kite for the day.

Had fun though. Even got applause by some spectators when I got off the water... weird.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

... in which a kite gets away and creates "havoc" on the road

Another light session that picked up to just under epic conditions. Had fun til late, then...

Tether landing a Speed. It's possible, although not for the faint of heart. My technique relied on keeping the kite flying with the upper steering line until the last moment, then letting it mosey to the ground while I dashed forward and grabbed the tip. Like the sky diver said, "So far, so good".

Today, the kite surged in a gust just as it got within grabbing range, slipped through my fingers, collapsed, opened and flew up, over the zenith and nose-dived on the other side of the window. I jogged over to sort it out, but the kite had bounced the kite up and it was headed back to the other side again, fully loaded and...


Something snapped (CL it turns out) and the kite shot off downwind. I got a smack from the bar on the way through. Wind pushed it up over the trees, across the road and the bar snagged on the trees. Yikes...

Kite stuck in the trees on the other side of the road, lines strung taught across road. Got the lowest ones off ASAP despite complaints from the road users - sorry, didn't mean to keep you waiting a whole 60 seconds, wankers.

Top lines are high enough to let trucks under, and keep them out of my reach. New kiter with a Merc van helps me out. He gets a ladder, I climb it and hook the bridle with a leaf rake. Cut the pig tails just before a truck with exceedingly tall stuff on the back rounds the corner.

Now to get the kite out of the tree. Wont be jiggled or pulled out so I gotta climb the tree. Naturally, the bridle is wrapped around the highest point, so eventually my helper comes back with a saw blade (no handle) and I get to hacking. Got it down and balled up - no obvious damage.

Bar is still stuck up the tree. Won't be pulled out so up the ladder I go again. Lines disconnected at the bar (yah Flysurfer) and pulled back out through the trees.

Back at the club house, I do a quick untangle and lay out. Bridle sorted in about 10 minutes, no obvious damage again! Wrapped up nice and packed.

A nice balance of good and bad luck, I reckon.

EDIT : checked it out today - no more damage than it went into the trees with (a hole and 2 split seams) and I can't find the bridle line I thought I hacked into with the saw... huh. CL is stuffed though.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

... in which I have a good time

Gloves Man was at the beach when I arrived, despite little wind and a crappy forecast. I was hoping for afternoon thermals...

Started off really light and picked up nicely, we had fun.

I nailed foot-outs. I nailed multiple, phat rotations. I nailed foot-out rotations. Oh yes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

... in which I just can't choose the right kite

Gusty. Couldn't get the timing right for which kite to have in the air, for all but a short time.

Nitro just isn't working for me. Lovely, smooth and stable in its actual wind zone - but I'm underpowered, but too twitchy and hot when it's overpowered and I can park n' ride. Shame, cos it's an awesome bit o' kit.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

How Stella got her groove back

Never seen the movie, no idea what the title means, but I'm stealing it.

Decided that my sessions have been sucky because I've been going out trying to use the smallest kite I can. Went out today with the 21 and the Ol' Faithful the Flydoor... and the Fusion seat harness. Last time on the Star, I wasn't comfy being over-powered so it kinda sucked.

Today rocked. Rotations, grabbed, foot-outs... even with the smaller Limited. And some great hucking boosts. I got my technique back, even though it is technically wrong for what I want to do but it seems to work for me.

Started out ok-light, then died off... then came back and was good enough to switch to the Limited and rock on out 'til dark.

... could I have gotten away with the S3 15?

Wind was reported as 10 to 16 knots, gusts to 20. Woo!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Buyers remorse?

Think I missed a session post from a Saturday back...

So, I bought a Switch Nitro4 14m last week. It arrived last night and the wind looked good enough to at least give it a run on the beach today...

Hmm. Well, it's different. And different to what I remember of the Nitro3 14 too - more aggressive is how I would sum it up. Light wind relaunch was tricky and left me on the marina beach and a long walk.

Really hard to judge though as the wind was actually pretty shit - I swapped it out for the S3 21 and had trouble getting upwind at times too...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

No work, not much wind

Not working Saturday for a change, and the wind arrived which was nice.

Can't remember the details so well, but I do remember it being light but enough to satisfy...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

About damn time!

Started out light, some riding, some walking... Tried both the Flydoor and the Dialer - the 'door clearly has the better bottom end.

After a very lully ride out - thought I was going to have to swim in for a few minutes - I landed the kite and took the Dialer back to the shed, got a drink and the Limited and headed back for one last attempt.

The optimism paid off - the wind came up. I had a fun time on the Flydoor; the wider stance setting is good. Did some riding on the Limited too... still getting used to it; Adrian says its identical to the 2014 but I know it's not :D

So, grabs during rotations... Yeah that just happened.

But I tried a hand drag with loop, messed it up and looped the kite again to recover the dive - and got dragged through the water towards the shore :o as the kite climbed to zenith the lift got my feet under me as I narrowly missed ploughing a furrow with my nose up the beach. Yikes, and I thought I had them nailed, like backroll transitions.

Ran out of time, so had to pack it up. Shame.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Same as last week...

Just a little bit warmer. Gah. I need a lower ranking than crappy.

Friday, February 20, 2015

One of those days...

I question what the hell I'm doing.

Wind so strong I couldn't I could barely get upwind to the water but couldn't get up on a plane.


Sunday, February 15, 2015


Brilliant forecast ruined by reality. Squally, but got some riding in, primarily on the Flydoor, not really enough to do anything fun but it was worth pumping up the kite a second time, after I'd already decided to give it up...

Found a hole in the canopy of the XB... no biggie. New fin on the Flydoor *seems* to be smoother and gripper... Need to try wider stance still.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


And forgot this one too... Nothing much to note.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


Oops forgot to do this one....

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Finally some wind!

At lunch time, it looked like I was going to get stiffed but I was bored at home and went back to the lake around 2, as the wind looked like it was picking up.

It had. I went for the seat harness and the XB13 and the Limited hoping for a boost session. Would have been better if I wasn't so much out of practice...

Pretty gusty, but I was happy. Tried to do some kite loops tricks in the lulls - dark slide and hand drag loop - but discovered that perhaps the XB isn't the kite for that kind of stunt. I landed the hand drag - just - but dark slide become a body drag. I started to investigate how the XB loops and came to the conclusion that the best I can get is a fat loop that pulls horizontally.

Time for new gear...

The LE was leaking too, pretty sure the new higher flow valve wasn't seated right. Hmm.

Wind was 14 to 18 knots, gusts to 35 :o

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Le sigh yet again

Snowing like a bastard, but the wind came up for about 30 minutes, enough to get a feel - at last! - for the Dialer+Flite combo. Me likey!

Friday, January 23, 2015

What a

Fucking waste of time. 15 to 20 knots my ass. Gah.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

God, been over a month!

Determined to do do something with my day off. Forecast changed in the morning and it looked like I was going to get stiffed, but I wanted to swap the lines over on the S3 15 and 21, then test-fly the brummel spliced lines on the 15.

The wind died right as I go to the lake, but I waited it out and it picked up enough to get my hopes up.

Up with the 21 and the Dialer.... Walk upwind, ride downwind, rinse and repeat. After a half-dozen or more runs, the wind kicked up enough that I could make it back upwind a little, so I had a nice time getting back into it.

Those split toe boots... leave my big toe frozen and feeling like I'm constantly stubbing it. Do not like. I think with the whale scrotum they're too thick anyway.

The Neo Workman gloves did their thing again too, flawlessly. Good value, them. No forearm pump either, despite a month off!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

First in a while, last for some time?

Well the weather wasn't great but it was better than nothing. Weak, then lully. Sigh... got to scrape the rust off the Dialer though which was needed!

Bit cold... 4/3 and 2mm gloves kept me warm enough but my feet and face suffered. Especially walking on the stones. With my feet, not my face.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

More of the same... and that's a good thing. Unlike pumpkin pie which is crap.

Same as last time... except I gave up on the Bullet (and Miyachi wanted to charge me rental) and went with the Flydoor. Wind built until I could have fun on the Limited.

Can pretty much do rotations to full boost height, and am even dropping some grabs... might be able to work in a foot-out or board-off eventually. Still handed though - they're great on one tack, sucky on the other.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bullet? Bah!

Lightish winds forecast, but it's winter so the wind should have enough oomph. Went out with the Speed3 15 and the Bullet but struggled for a while. Gave up on the Bullet, finally deciding I hate it. Took it back and got the Flydoor... much better. 

Wind picked up, switched to the Limited and had a good ol' time playing silly buggers. Foot outs are easy when you don't have a harness getting in the way of your stomach, keeping your hand from your board. Grabbing the fins though hurts.

Good long session, gonna be sore tomorrow...

Weather was reported as 6 to 12 knots, 15 degrees C.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's Thursday... isn't it?

Missed the day before cos I forgot to check the weather. Today was supposed to be ok...

Looked good when I got to the beach, took the Speed3 15 and XB13 to the beach but the wind dropped off. I struggled for a while - was playing with the Naish Bullet 5'4" demo at the shop - then the wind picked up and I got onto the Limited for some boosting and footouts... whee!

Wind dropped again and I tried the Bullet, but I don't like it - seems hard to ride, compared to my Dialer.

Gave up and got packed up... then realized it was actually Wednesday and I am supposed to be going to work :o I was 10 minutes behind schedule but traffic went my way and I arrived on time... phew!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Shoulda flip-flopped

Great forecast, even though it was all NW. Got to the lake and there was nothing. And I mean n-o-t-h-i-n-g. Waited around and something arrived, so I got changed and took the 21 and 15m Speed3s over to the lake, with a plan to swap the 21 bar to the 15. Which I did.

Good to be back on the 15... wind picked right up as I launched it so it was full-on for a bit there. So much fun to jump! Punchy and gusty and became less fun as the wind shifted more to the west...

Came in and packed it up and got the 10m but after my first two tacks, the wind dropped right off. Gave up and went home.

Weather was reported as... tosh. Whatever it was, it was a pile of bollocks cos there was nothing when I arrived at 1:30 and I probably should have been on a 10m until the time I actually got on the 10m... then I should've been on the 15.

What I learned today...

  • 6m extensions are too long for the 15.

Friday, November 7, 2014


Actually looked enough wind to contemplate my 10m, and Miyachi had the Bandits there for demo so I borrowed the 8th edition 11m for a run. Ok powered, falling to under so I swapped it out for the XB. Bar pressure was light for sheeting, medium for turning but crisp. Flapping behind the LE robbed power when sheeted out. Vague at the zenith... didn't like it.

Had another good time on the Dialer, but fell and hit my spreader bar hook on the rail and damaged it. Dang, something else to repair but I expected to ding up my first board. And an excuse to check out a new board... or maybe a Dynabar.

Really seems I'm going to end up riding the Dialer in lighter wind and saving the TT for really good boosting day... shame I can't surf worth a damn.

Weather was reported as 12 to 16 knots, gusts to 22; 15 degrees at 55%.
Wind felt like just to under powered.

What I learned recently...

  • front foot pressure is important to make gybing your feet easy
  • still no clue on tacking

Thursday, November 6, 2014

From crap to cool

What started out as a shitty frustrating day of wind drops, tangles and swamped kites, ended up pretty bloody good. A cackle-fest on the Dialer... once the wind picked up before, during and after the rain. We rode til dark, what fun!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Farewell to Fusion?

God what crap wind. Up, down, shifted 90 degrees and back... had to walk up the beach both directions! It was so bad, even the super-stable XB hindenburged at one point.

But got to ride some in between all that. Was desperate to try out the new gear so I kept going even when I thought, "fuck this, I'm going home to finish the deck."

Got a good long blow before the rain came in. The Mystic Star seat/waist got pushed to the limit from light to way over. The new Limited had to deal with wind at 90 degrees to the chop. Both aquited themselves well.

The Star was no worse than the Fusion for wedgies, both ass and crotch. Spreader bar ride-up was better than both Fusion (probably) and Renegade, while it was easier to get it down by far. As for the back, comfort was overall better than both. When the wind is right, we'll see if I can board-off. I still think for over-powered boost-fests, I'll need a pure seat but it's good to know that I can consider the Mystic range now too... although, there's no real good place for a front leash point.

The Limited is at least as good as the 2014 but I don't have the skill to really comment.

... got some epic carves in on the Dialer... might I have started the nailing if it? Getting some air under the fins too.

The weather was borked.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pivot session

Oops nearly forgot this.

Wind was, I guessed, good enough for a 10m but only just. So I thought I'd ask for a ride on the Pivot that's in the shop, and go out on the directional.

Wind didn't really cooperate. All session it was gusty and up n' down. I got some riding on the Pivot - but only on the Dialer - then switched to the XB, then back again for a final buzz on the P.

Re. the Pivot. Pretty good for a 3-strut kite, no flapping at all and I'm pretty sure it never deformed. Didn't really get to fly it heavily loaded or over-powered though. Good low end when worked but it got jerky in the punchy gusts, and hindenburged two or three times in lulls. Great drive through the transitions on the Dialer, really pulled you through. I liked it but would want to try it more before I bought one. Love the bar! but the swivel... didn't.

Weather was reported as 16 knots, gusts to 30! 15°C at 40%...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Jolly good fun in... 5 knots?!?!

Better than the forecast and weather reports. Headed out on the 21 and was comfy powered, but then it picked up and it was getting hairy in the gusts. Ceased to be fun, and I wanted to ride the Dialer for some reason so I dropped the 21, got out the XB13 and swapped harnesses.

Good fun but damn, falling off that board is punishing! Got the fins clear of the water for some air, nice carves too. Getting there.

Weather was reported as 5 to 10 knots... bollocks. 18°C... perfectly comfy in my new Voodoo 2.5mm short leg spring suit, while the other guys are wearing 5mm steamers!!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

A big let down

Should have been good, but it was gusty and crap. The gusts would be been great on the 16m but the lulls were too often and too long...

Did some riding on the Dialer too and while that was good it wasn't great.

Getting sick of gusty crap.