Wednesday, April 23, 2014

You chose... wisely.

Good forecast, wind was better... lots of running around getting a babysitter and it meant I had to cut my session short to go back, but at least I got some time on the water.

Started off lightish and I hummed and barred about whether or not to go with the 19 and cross my fingers that it doesn't pick up too much... go with the Psycho4 19.

Was light but riding fine. Fun with stunts... wind picked up and it became more of a huck-fest, but the Psycho is just so powerful that I got pulled off my edge unless I was careful - a few lo-ooong low floats across the lake resulted.

Could have stayed for another couple of hours easy... would have had to swap kites though.

Mood of the session was ohh? ohh! ooooh!

Weather was reported as 10 to 18 knots, gusts to 22; 16˚C at 49%.
Wind felt like... well, slightly underpowered but going upwind ok, to rethinking the 19 in favor of a smaller faster, more fun kite.

What I learned today was...

  • Need to tickle up the Psycho4 - bar and bridles.
  • M-U-S-T sort out the Speeds!!!
  • Love the Limited!
  • Loops on the Psycho - lift and pull OMG!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I didn't set up the 10m.

Forecast looked good. Got the chores done then went down the lake. Miyachi watched the little guy and I went out...

Took the 10m and 7m to the lake as there were gusts blowing sand around. Thought about setting up the 10m...

Thank Jesus! I didn't set up the 10m.

As I was about to start pumping the 7m, I heard a "Help-u me" from behind and turned to see  Niki-san sliding towards me with his kite at the zenith, horribly over-powered. I grabbed the back of his harness and we walked/levitated back up the beach so he could dig himself into the sand and lower the kite to land it.

An auspicious start! Went out on the 7m and it was ok for a while, then it dropped, then it picked up.

Thank Jesus! I didn't set up the 10m.

Yeah, so, at first I had a hard time getting the big air but then I dialed in the board and kite and... yeah, fuckin' whee! That was good for a while then the wind picked up some more and gets gusty with it... start getting dropped and missing landings - need to learn - sorry man-up - to loop it.

Had to go to work so I came in after 90 minutes... long hard 90 minutes though!

Weather was reported as 14 to 12 to 15 knots (LOL) with gusts to 28 (at least); 13˚C at 68%.
Wind felt like 25 knots dropping to 20, gusts to more than 30. The last 20 minutes were pushing the 7m over its limit... awesome! So it was WOOHOO for 20 minutes, Hohum for 10, AWW YEEAAAAH for 30 and OMFG for the last 20.

What I learned today...
  • I probably could do with a 5m.
  • Thank Jesus! I didn't set up the 10m.
  • Should have taken the Mako with me, but the Limited did well in the waves anyway.
  • Need to learn how to loop.
  • Thank Jesus!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Winter blast brings frozen face

Forecast looked cracking, wind looked good, got to the lake and... lame, it's dropped. Take my 13m over to the lake and as I'm setting up I think Hmm, maybe the 10m but by the time I launch it's dropped again.

Up and down all afternoon. Had a few big smiles from massive long glides in the gusts but otherwise the wind was up n' down the whole time.

Weather reported as 14-18-14-12 knots, gusts to 36 (!) 6˚C at 75%.
Wind felt like a little over-powered, a little nicely powered, a lot of under powered.

What I learned today...

  • It was damn cold. I thought my face had frozen at one point... but the rest of me was fine!
  • Need to work out how best to boost off the Limited in the choppy water...

Friday, April 4, 2014


Forecast was awesome, and the first 30 seconds I was worried the 10 would be too big... nope.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Back home to the lully crap

Forecast looked kickin' so I was hoping to get out on my new Limited for some whoopee... was looking grand when I arrived and lasted right until I set up and launched. Dang.

Tried to get out on the Dialer but I just couldn't ride the thing... got the Flydoor... equally slow and draggy feeling. A quicker on the Limited... yeah, just a tad less low end.

Reorganize the gear depo on the beach. Ditch the Dialer and get the S3 12.

Well, whaddya know? Foils for the win again. Cruise around some then pop a jump and well I can see how That Other Kite is making it look easy. A more intense session concentrating on the kite skills to make the most of the light wind but I had a pretty good time...

The Limited shines on the lake too. Slices through the chop and reengages the edge instantly. Responsive but not harsh at all. What a fantastic bit of kit!

Weather was reported as 15 to 10 knots, 11˚C at 65%.
Wind felt like I should have been riding upwind easier considering the jumps but perhaps that's because foil.

What I learned today...
  • I forgot how to ride a directional :o
  • Speed3... what a kite!
  • Limited... OMFG what a board!
  • That sunblock from the skin doctor is fucking shit. I'm sunburned now >:(

Thursday, March 13, 2014

But... the forecast was the same as yesterday!

Got skunked as the wind dropped while trying to ride the Nitro and then the Flite. Had a nice chat to Brendan, who turned up and set up but wisely, didn't bother...

Vanguard really is a fantastic board...!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Good show, old chap

It was that kind of forecast again, and there was wind in thw , ever so slightly in the morning and that meant, last time, that a good day would follow.

And so it was. Put on a good show for Dad, who came to watch and had a good time myself.

Wind was a bit up and down so it was a mixed bag of boosts and attempts at stunts... but it was a hoot.

Eventually I pushed my luck with a poorly timed loop transition and managed to land with my board square to the wind, digging the toe side edge and face planting with a goodly power in the kite... thought I'd taken the skin off my face I hit the water so fast :o and now ( the next day) my neck is stiff and sore :(

Weather was reported as 19 knots...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Oh please... please...

Same as yesterday, except less wind. The most exciting things that happened was the topless hippy chick sunbathing in the dunes, the hottie jiggling sorry jogging in a bikini, and the accidental dog fight.


Weather was reported as 20kph at 18˚C.
Wind felt like way underpowered to just riding. Yawn.

What I learned today...

  • 3m extensions on the Flite actually make a difference, but the bottom end isn't improved by much. Definite must have in the kite though... now, where to buy.
  • I need help with my addiction.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Other end of the scale

Desperate for a ride, I went to South Beach and set up the Nitro3 to test the low end.

Was interesting, but wasn't a lot of fun. Put in 3 hours of riding the flattest water between the widest breaks in the waves, then walking out a bit, then riding again.

Now, if I can just get the Nitro out in the wind it was designed for...

Weather was reported as 18kph.
Wind felt like underpowered (duh) to almost powered in the "gusts".

What I learned today...
  • Shortening the rear lines on the Nitro by an inch improved the feel at the bar and got some grunt into it, without losing the upwind ability. Don't forget to remove that knot!
  • Really responds well to being worked and building the apparent wind... shame the water isn't co-operating...
  • Popped a few jumps - pretty impressed how well up it goes despite the lack of wind, and how easy it is to time the redirects. Good jumping kite... wonder if it would have gone absolutely mental with the tuned line at Waikuku.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Nitro at Waikuku

Due to circumstances, I had to use a different part of the beach than usual - Waikuku :o there's an estuary there that the .kml file said was usable at all tides but that's horseshit. So the beach was the only option til the tide came up.

Wind looked light for the guys on 10m kites, so I thought I could get away with the Nitro v3 14m on it's first run, with the small Vanguard... pumped up in a protected area behind the dunes and carried the kite out to launch on the beach. Would have been easier to fly the kite there :-/

Easy launch, feels like I got some power so should be good to go... head out to the water, start fine and - yikes, that's a big wave! Bit of a battle getting out through the breakers; got knocked off once, dropped over a wave and fell over... nearly had the kite tumbled by a wave when I dropped it on the water.

God, it's gnarly out here! The choppiest and sharpest breaking waves I've ever encountered. I get out the back but I'm just mowing the lawn. Boosts are bit lame but it's interesting to try out the Nitro.

Get sick of riding back n' forth and notice there's a kite out on the estuary now, so I head over there. Walk over the spit and jump in...

Better. Flatter water, bigger boosts but the kite... well, I guess it's over-powered. Nothing fancy, cos the water is only a foot or so deep :o

After a while, the wind suddenly drops and the other 3 locals make a bee-line for the set up point so I follow them in...

Not bad, I guess but I'd have had more fun on the Mako, playing in the waves.

Weather was reported as 30kph at 4pm, 20˚C.
Wind felt like I dunno... the trim was never touched on the Nitro and I never felt over-powered but I wasn't working the kite hard.

What I learned today...
  • Vanguard - god-like. No issues with the chop and slop waves, no bogging or sinking even with the new kite I wasn't used to. Great planing when the wind died too... just a fantastic board.
Thoughts on the Nitro 3 14m
  • Wind range seems great.
  •  Boosts and floats as well as the XBows, although today the XB would probably have been a more violent rip off the water.
  • Flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flap flappity flap.
  • Folded a wind tip, while loading a down loop :(
  • Bit vague through the bar, and doesn't like being told to turn when sheeted out.
  • Might be something to do with the light bar pressure.
  • Really flies of the front lines, eh Eppo.
  • Very short run in light wind - seems to have a great bottom end.
  • Need to try it when it's not horrendously over-powered.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fancy-schmancy, look at me...

Another day of hitting the estuary in time for the tide. Wind was almost as good as yesterday, to start out with, but fell off and continued to do so all afternoon, until at about the 3 hour mark I had to work the kite... but still got back to my starting point!

So the boosts were just meh and I started to do some rotations... getting back in the groove, as it were. A few fails, noticeably trying to do multiples when the wind wasn't strong, but no slams as bad as jumping out of straps... BOOM! the mud goes flying.

Another great day, really satisfying to get back into the air style... just wish I could reach my feet :o

Weather was reported as 24kph falling to 20, at 21˚C.
Wind felt like almost over-powered falling to having to work the kite... but still getting back up wind enough. Damn, that's a good board!

What I learned today...
  • It's so weird to be on the same size kite - or smaller! - as everyone else.
  • Bottom end of the Vanguard seems to be pretty darn good... so hard to tell eh. I mean, I'm working the kite and don't have the power to actually complete any tricks, but I can still get back to my starting point. I'm sure the "flat" water helps... although I wonder what effect the in-going/out-going tide has...
  • Using a flatter board to boost from ensures you don't jam the edge and get ripped off the board... and you seem to go higher. I'm still getting used to boosting off flat water... certainly much easier to go higher from a "kicker".
  • There was one more thing that kept popping into my head but now I've forgotten...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Straight jackin'!

Got to the estuary before the tide peaked - skillful work on my part! Wind is doing it's thing, feels good. VERY gusty and gnarly on the launch site...

But once on the water it's a huck-fest... for the next 3 hours. Nothing fancy, just boost and glide and enjoy the view!

Spot who I thought was Adrian out on the water, also doing the boost... when he parked up, I took a break and had a chat.

Most boosts successful... now I'm feeling battered but happy ;)

Weather was reported as 43kph and falling... are they sure it's not actually knots? Max of 20˚C.
Wind felt like woohaa!

What I learned today...
  • Yes if you redirect too soon you can send the kite back a little and recover your glide.
  • Today wouldn't have been possible without a seat harness... guess there's still room for one in my gear pile.
  • There's never a camera around when you want one...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Toys galore!

Same plan - if there's any wind, hit the estuary at high tide. There is some, but it looks like 17m weather. Called Adrian at Axis before I hit the water and he said he was busy but come and pick some boards up from his house... on it!

So we get talking and showing off the wares and I have to turn down some boards cos I don't have space in the car... but wave mutant thing, I'll be back for you. I set of with a Vanguard 137x42, Ultra 144x45 and a prototype light wind thing slightly larger than the Ultra.

Back to the estuary... wind is up a bit, should be fine on the 13m. Head off with the Vanguard to see how a small board goes in ok wind.

Well... I love it! Spray is pretty much nil, bottom end is actually pretty good for such a small board. Carves nice, goes edge-to-edge quick and sticks like shit on a blanket, pops happily and yes the funky channels actually work.

Can't remember the sequence of gear, but I changed kites and boards - 10m and the Ultra I ended up finishing my session with. Greatly prefer the Vanguard I think, probably due to the size and smoothness of the edge... the Ultra feels more draggy and locked on the edge like the Flydoor with the fin.... didn't stop me riding it for another hour or so.

Got a few ok jumps and one nice elevator ride... had a lot of fun but still not back in the groove.

Weather was reported as up to 31kph from the NE. LOL again.
Wind felt like slightly over-powered on the 13 to fine on the 10 dropping to slightly underpowered.

What I learned today...
  • Where to begin :o
  • Vanguard will be my next board for sure!
  • The straps and pads... money!
  • Carbon - you sexy beast!
  • Adrian is my new bestest friend...

Monday, February 24, 2014

10m weather... crikey!

Determined to get out to the estuary at high tide and just wait for the wind... Nice sunny day and whaddyaknow, the wind is coming! From the best direction, even...

Start out on the 13m but soon I'm more powered than I'm comfy with so I change it out for the 10m. Good move... lots of fun! Not up to best standard but had a nice time.

When I was driving away, I got a call from Adrian of Axis setting up a meet. Haul ass back to the estuary... very nice to meet him and eye up his boards...

Weather was reported as 30kph i.e., about 18 knots. LOL!
Wind felt like comfortably powered on 10m, whatever that is :o

What I learned today....

  • Should've had my seat harness with me.
  • Need to work on my rotations.
  • Gotta get a SurfLock :o

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Back on The Big Stinky

Itching to get on the water, I headed out to the Estuary for high tide, regardless of the forecast. Looked ok, and the other guy there headed out so I thought I'd back him up. We did ok for a 1/2 hour of lame lawn mowing then it got gusty and shifty.

I gave up, he kept trying with lots of kites falling out of the sky.

Naturally, as we'd just finished loading our cars, the wind picked up from the NE... and I'm beginning to regret not going out again cos it looks like it's still blowing :(

Wind felt like 15 knots dropping to 10, lulls to nothing.

What I learned today...

  • Flat water much good. Bottom end so drop.
  • Jumping more difficult... but load n' pops go big.
  • Sun is terribly strong - feeling burnt through my hat :o
  • SunDog glasses are the goods - so like!
  • The bottom is less gooey and dirty - your feet don't come up with black mud stuck all over them... but it's still squelchy.
  • Launching on grass is a bit rough - you really shouldn't slide as the kite powers into the sky :o

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A nice send-off

Forecast looked grand, lots of red arrows. Got to the lake and had a hard time deciding between 10m and 13m... went with the 10 and the Flydoor and the Origin.

Went out first on the Origin and it was fine. Then the wind dropped and I grabbed the Flydoor... urgh, that felt so wrong. I wonder if that center fin should be removed!

Came in for a break and took the Flydoor back and got the Dialer, but the wind had picked up so I went back out on the Origin. Wind is still iffy, and everyone else gives up... just as the wind picks up :D have some good fun then!

Very bloody tired after 3 hours on the water... no wonder I can barely move my legs. Next session will be in NZ... although the forecast looks like crap there :(

Weather was reported as 17 to 20 knots then falling to 14, gusts no more than 40 and that was at midnight; 7.5˚C at 52%.
Wind felt like meh powered to giggles powered.

What I learned today...
  • Many different ways how not to set up a boost... thankfully, I didn't get spanked on any of them but came down hard on my bad ankle once. Ouchie.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Some is better than none!

So, the forecast was for yellow in Hikone and blue in Otsu.. that means we'd probably get lighter wind here. Looked ok on the web cam and when I arrived, but when I put the kite up and got on the water it was all show and no go.

Dicked around for a while, got some runs in and did some floating around waiting. It was ok - better than sitting around at home...

Weather was reported as 9-12 knots, gusts to 26 at 5am so not real useful that eh; 7˚C at 48% - jeez, it's like summer!
Wind felt like just powered 45%, barely or not powered 50%, maybe-I-need-the-Origin-after-all 5%.

What I learned today...
  • The Regular S3 12 is actually pretty good too... and I'm now confident again in using such a small kite. Well, for now...
  • Like a regular kite, I don't like being over-powered on the Dialer and so far my zone of comfort is pretty narrow on the board... the Speed3 of course builds apparent wind nicely when looped but that can get quite gnarly in the gusts.
  • S3 12 seems to do ok for me on the directional... when the wind was enough to be powered, it floated ok-ish without deforming and the power came back on nicely when just sheeting in - better than the XB? Turned ok too - the ol' stall, rotate and zoom out the other style.
  • I have gone WAY backwards at getting up on the board :o man-oh-man, what a kook.
  • Fast n' ugly footwork is more effective than slow and perfect, in the gybes...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Better 'n yesterday and the snow wasn't so bad at all

So, the wind is up again. Looks like the same as yesterday...

Unbelievably, the Whale Scrot is dry :o so it's warm getting into that. Go with the 13 again, and the waist harness. Seem to have more power than yesterday but the waist is bugging me...

No fun boosts, some nice rotations but the waves are nice so I opt for the Dialer... long ol' session on that boy, trying to figure out how to do the nice carves. "Waves" were really nice and clean all along the beach... loverly!

Had a hard time with gybes and switching feet but nailed almost every switch to toe-side then carve... weird.

Snow poked me in the eyes a few times but it didn't stick around for long. 2.5 hour session - not bad!

Weather was reported as 14 to 16 knots, gusts to 26. 3˚C at 55%.
Wind felt like ok powered on the Origin to slightly over-powered on the Dialer.

What I learned today...
  • Probably better to use a smaller kite and be fully trimmed for max AoA than a bigger kite and trimmed in... loose too much steering input it seems.
  • I can carve heel to toe much better and constantly on my goofy side :o WTF is up with that?
  • Really need to learn how to start to the right as well as I can to the left...
  • Even with the holes, I like the WorkMan gloves more but my hands are still worn out :) happy.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Not bad. Not great though...

Good forecast, slightly not living up to the hype.

Rode the Origin ok and had a play on the Dialer but wasn't really feeling it. Did a lot of rotations for some reason...

Wind was cross-on from the NW and I ended up over the "windsurfer side" of the river... had a little fun popping over the river wall.

Switched boards a lot to make the most of the wind... really tired now. Not a bad session eh.

Weather was reported as 14 to 15 knots; gusts to 30 at 2am (bah!) at 5.7˚C and 71%.
Wind felt like ok powered lulling to just riding with gusts to mmm ok.

What I learned today...

  • Those XCEL gloves are warm but wa-aay too thick - can barely bend my fingers in them, nor now - forearms were burning and now are non-responsive... the $9 WorkMan gloves are better :o
  • Put the Sprint2/Boston/whatever-the-heck-it's-called valve in the 13 - easy enough job - and it's even better than the original!
  • Threads are a bit stiff... wonder if they're just a tad off but snug is good and it held air good. No sign of damage that I can see.
  • There's a way to turn the Dialer that feels like a real sharp carve on a TT but doesn't require a lot of weight on my bad ankle.
  • Need some repairs to the Impervious...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wind burn, sun burn, hail burn? Ouch.

So it's been a while. Forecast talked big and for a change could back it up... sand was flying.

Was 10m weather when I arrived then it picked up so I went out with the 7m. First launch was hairy, so I put it down with Miyachi's help and we waited...

The hail had died off some and the gusts were less vicious so we tried again.

At first, the hail in my eyes was killing me and I nearly gave up on the whole shenanigans cos I couldn't see and my eyes kept hurting even after I shut them :o but just as I thought I couldn't take it any longer, the hail stopped.

As always, with 10 or 7m weather it was gusty as hell so although the jumps were epic at times, the landing left a lot to be desired... I really gotta learn to loop for landings - this years goal.

Wanted to get some Mako-fun in so switched boards... whee!

Wind's starting to get nasty again, my legs are tired so I pack it in.

Which is probably just as well cos the cops, fire-fighters, lake police boat, and SAR helicopters are starting to freak me out... turns out a fisherman's boat was found capsized so they're out searching for the guy. Doesn't look good...

Weather was reported as 22 to 24 knots, gusts to 40...! 4˚C at 63%.
Wind felt like comfy powered to well-powered with a few moments of uh-oh... but I was pretty cautious with the kite most of the time.

What I learned today...

  • Wear. The. Glasses.
  • Seat harness is comfy. New speeder works fine.
  • The waist with the clip has gouged a hole in The Impervious. Gah. Something else to fix.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rain... no problem.

Snow... no problem.
Hail... problem. Right in the eyeballs!...

Before that bout of hail though, the wind was pretty good. Which is really good cos there was family stuff I really should have been doing...

Started off just right for the 10m, got a bit light, picked up, then went ape-shit. At first I felt a bit meh about the whole thing but eventually got into the groove - hard work with all the gear on!

Bit gusty for my taste for stunts - I got lobbed and dunked a few times, so couldn't rely on the wind to be consistent enough not to mess with me, but it was steady enough for boosting hard. Got a few that put smiles on my face... still think it's easier to go higher with the seat harness...

Came in for a break - like I said, hard work. Was sweating under my suit... ew. Got a bottle of water and the Mako, cos I was having a nice time slashing the waves...

Aw yeah! I took some fins off and it's much better ride as a mutant now. Gotta get it out in real waves!

Back in, finished my bottle then went out for a mega-boost session. Some real doozies... bet they'd really rock if I wasn't 20kg heavier with a 6/5 suit and 10L of water in my boots :D

Really tired now, come in and call it a day...

It was fine for about an hour (was worried about sunburn) then it started raining, snowing then hailing for the rest of my 3-hour session. Pretty epic day, I'm happy. Nice to be whoo-haa-ing jumps again.

Weather was reported as 12 to 20 knots, gusts to 40 :o 3˚C at 78%.
Wind felt like comfortably underpowered (i.e. riding but thinking about taking a break) to really should have taken a break.

What I learned today...
  • Might have a leak in my 10m... Miyachi is checking out the LE.
  • Seat harness needs some stretching - it seems to have shrunk without use :o
  • Waist harness was hard on the back today, just couldn't get it to stay put.
  • Landing feet first - if the water is shallow, even chest deep, you can hit the bottom. It's jarring.
  • Mako so good the way I have it set up now! Carves like a beast but isn't a pig in sliding transition cos of all the finnage. 
  • Boosts well about my average height - yes you gotta actively fly the kite. When you get that elevator feeling of going straight up after you've hit your pendulum apex, bring it just back above you to control the descent till you need to finally redirect properly...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Lame gusting to crap. Whoopee.

Forecast looked ok and the wind was ok when I arrived, but instead of building, it dropped off.

Played with the settings on the Flite but again, tough to notice any difference... trying to decide what kites to take to NZ next month.

Weather was reported as 12 to 10 knots, gusts no more than 18 at 1pm; 6˚C at 57%.
Wind felt like crap... was holding ground ok to begin with, then the wind dropped a little and I was holding ground on the Dialer, then I was going downwind and walking. Lame.

What I learned today...
  • I need to put the 21 back together and risk riding that again /rolleyes.
  • Would have been a good day to try out that race board...

Monday, January 13, 2014

That does it! I'm going to give you a jolly good thrashing!

Started off so well... got going with the Speed3 12 DLX and the Flydoor while the others were struggling on 12m, 10m and directionals... had about an hour of fun till a down loop transition saw the kite go flying downwind... mufuggin pigtails snapped again! I thought.

The reality was much worse... ALL the bridles on the RHS have been ripped off at the LCL and the LHS is much the same, with the added joy that there about a whole cell has been ripped off the kite.

Fuck. It's not like I was stressing the kite, what the actual fuck! So that's three out of 4 of my Speeds waiting repair...

Thinking of selling all my Flysurfers and being shot of them...

Got the XB13 and went to pump it up... but the adapter on the hose broke. Yes, the new hose that's about 6 months old. Back over to the carpark to get my 3-year-old pump's hose...

Kinda underpowered... lame jumps so I went for rotations... bit rusty eh.

Last one on the water again. What a day, eh.

Weather was reported as 15 to 11 knots, gusts no more that 24 (3 hours before I went out); 3˚C at 60%.
Wind felt like powered enough to not walk on the S3 12 while working and then having fun, to losing ground on the 13 and having to walk a couple of times... the Speed3 is the better kite.

What I learned today...
  • Maybe Flysurfers really aren't for me :(
  • Which is a real shame cos the bottom end of the 12 is stunningly good.
  • I've forgotten how good the Flydoor is...
  • and I've forgotten how to do front-rolls.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A long 2 hours...

Good forecast, good wind. Started on the 10m but the gusts to 36 knots at 2:40 were too much to handle so I got out the 7m XB for the first time. Lulled a lot in the last 30 minutes of the two-hour session so that sucked, but the first 45 minutes out on each kite was good.

No massive boosts - think I need to get the seat harness out to hold it all down. The waist harness did a lot of riding up too which was annoying.

Only 2 hours, but I'm knackered...

Weather was reported as 18 to 22 knots, gusts to 36; 6˚C at 65%.
Wind felt like totally underpowered 10%, just underpowered 50%, happy powered 30% OOH YEAH 18% and Imma gunna die 2%.

What I learned today...
  • Front foot further forward to flatten the board for better low-wind performance on the Dialer. Maybe :o
  • Really fuckin hard to fix a waist harness when it's ridden up and you're trying to keep hold of a surfboard in the fuckin surf.
  • Really need to sack up and loop the smaller kites on the landings cos getting dropped sucks.
  • 7m loops fast but doesn't pull like a beast.
  • Didn't need the 6/5 suit today either, despite the snow.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Deeeeluxe delight!

Well, wind really delivered today. Got to the beach about 2pm and it was up - 8 and 9m kites out. A few spots of rain but I gamble on that blowing over and take out the Speed3 12 Deluxe for its first flight.

Mmm, in need to tuning the lines. And untwisting the centers! Prone to back stall... yup, small Speed - but I'm finding it easier to keep it on the boil and working. Turns better too IMO...

Wind is ok, having some fun. Picks up in the middle and really goes mad, then falls off again but I have a great time for three hours... mostly alone on the water as some guy has put his kite in a tree and everyone is helping.

Once again, an accident completely avoidable by simply pulling the QR first, and not holding on to the bar for grim death. I didn't see what lead up to it, but I saw the kite take off across the beach and his kite disappear into the trees. Mountains of time to QR... idiots.

And then, when I'm packing up, Taki strolls over to the beach and offers - repeatedly - to carry my surfboard back for me. This is the guy who walks up the beach dragging his brand new board behind him on its leash, and slammed a borrowed kite into the bushes and trash kites on the other side of the beach... FFS.

Weather was reported as 18 to 15 knots, gusts to 28; 6˚C at 66%.
Wind felt like comfy powered to over-powered but loving it.

What I learned today...
  • Fully pre-inflate the smaller Speeds... less pull on take-off.
  • 4/3 suit is the bomb, but the water pools at the top of the boots - need another drain hole up in there.
  • My timing was off, so the boosts weren't as huge as they should have been... that, or I'm just used to "that" much now.
  • Down-looping... watch that shit! 12 is s-o-o-o fast through the window, the pull so aggressive... it's a wild ride.
  • No thrust bearing on the CL is horrid.
  • The alu-block is horrid.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

That's one...

Wasn't really expecting to get a ride in, but I needed to take some pics of the Speed3 and Psycho4 I was to sell, so I took advantage of the sunshine and headed off to the beach. The Hard Ass crew was there waiting for the wind... I flew the kite in light wind but it's picking up, oh myyy!

So I gear up and take the Flite across the road. Hmm, Junkie Sensei is having a hard time with the Turbine... so I go back and get the XB13.

Bit underpowered for a couple of tacks then it picks up and I have enough to play with. Try some kite loops to get a feel... then do the boost thing.

Wind drops off after a while so I try the Dialer but that's not working either. Must be time to pack it in...

Weather was reported as 11 to 9 knots... gusts no more than 24; 5˚C at 80%.
Wind felt like comfy powered to under powered on the 13... say 12 to 18 knots?

What I learned today...
  • Switch 4/3 suit is just fine for these conditions.
  • 13 was the perfect choice... I'm beginning to see the wisdom in not using big kites :o
  • Need another drain hole in the suit above the boot line.
  • Hard to fly a kite and take photos at the same time :o
  • You can loop an XB so that it creates lift and you can loop it so it does nothing much... it's a fine line between the two.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Not bad - about time!

Forecast should have been good but the webcam looked like shit. Checked GPV and it said from 2pm, so I dashed to Immigration and got home just before 2. Check the cam - whoa, there's wind and someone launching! Haul ass...

Bah, it's raining. I forgot to check the rain. From the look of the clouds, it might clear... gear up! Bit of a fight to get into the 6/5/4 AmpIII... yikes.

Gah, the wind has died. Much head scratching... I'll go with the Flite.

By the time I set up and launch, the wind has picked up again. A couple of walks, and then there's enough to ride upwind... mostly.

Bit rusty! Oddly enough, now I can gybe easily port to starboard, but not my "natural" way. Having a great time out there...

Wind keeps building. But it's gusty. But it's not so bad... switch to the Origin, but it's not consistent enough. My forearms are shot, it's gonna get dark soon so I pack it in...

Wind wasn't great but it was good enough. One more session to break a 100 this year.

Oh had to QR right on the shore, as a loop to get power caught a gust and I got rocketed at the shore... board and kite fine, I just splashed down then reset the kite.

Weather was reported as 13 to 16 knots, gusts to 26; 5˚C at 79%.
Wind felt like 8 to 18 knots, gusts to 25.

What I learned today...
  • NPX boots aren't as grippy as flesh on the soft foam pad for the back foot but are fine on the front foot, with the adhesive "wax", on the Dialer.
  • It's remarkable what you can recover from, if you continue to fight to hold onto the board.
  • Flite is a great kite to "surf" with - turns well enough to get around and power you out of the carve quite nicely.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Season of Crap unexpectedly delivers crap

Forecast was good, webcam looked good... but it was gusty as hell. I got 45 solid minutes of riding, the 45 minutes getting into and out of the lake trying to deal with gusty conditions.

Not much else to say, really. I hate this season.

Weather was reported as 16 to 12 knots, gusts no more than 30; 7˚C at 61%.
Wind felt like 45% under-powered, 50% powered and 5% Imma gunna die!

What I learned today...
  • You really have to just go with the smaller kite so you don't completely ruin it and then just live with working the hell outa it.
  • Good to get back on the Dialer...
  • The slippers were fine until I was in the water, then my feet were noticeably cold.
  • The Switch 4/3 wetsuit was fine... back of my upper arms were, as always, cold. What's up with that?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Took one for the team...

Can sum this session up in one picture, right HERE.

But I had to push out to try and get some pictures for OR . . . I think they want an article out of me :o 16 minutes worth of pictures (one shot per second) and 1/2 of that is me launching and walking up the beach.

Bah. At least I didn't have to swim/tow the kite in, like I thought I was going to have to do when the wind died...

The least boring photos have been uploaded HERE.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Broken the dry spell!

Red arrows forecast in Mie... work in the PM so I headed over early - leave home at 9:50, get there about 10 past 11. Yup, looks good, here we go with the 10!

Start was a bit iffy, but it picked up for a while and I had a lot of fun boosting n' stuff. Then it dropped off a bit so I played the waves, before taking a break to sort my harness, have a drink. It's 12:40 so I go back out.

Wind is up n' down again... the first half was better but I manage to ride a wave into the beach for about 150m, making a half dozen turns :D it was good.

Off the water finally when the wind really turns to custard... home by 3:30, on time for work. Worked out well.

Moment of the day was the long surf in... just like I meant to :)
Song stuck in my head was "Yes, I can boogie" by Bacarra. Thanks, wife.

Weather was reported as 18 to 20 knots, gusts to 36; 17˚C at 75%. I measured 16 to 24 knots at the start.
Wind felt like 30 minutes of look out! 60 minutes of verah nace, 30 minutes of ho-hum.

What I learned today...
  • Wearing something like a rash guard under a wetsuit isn't the best idea. Yeah, it's toasty-warm but I do believe it causes the harness to move.
  • When the harness rides up into armpits, and won't stay down, it's a good bet that the PowerBelt has come undone.
  • Doing a backroll up a wave, then landing back on it and surfing it out is fuckin' cool... until you face-plant a second later.
  • Distance is your friend... nose-diving your board just after you've dived the kite hard and it's head right into the wharf - I probably should have left even more space cos as I went under the waves, I was thinking "uh oh" but all's well that ends well...