Kiting #8 (22 Mar): So another session. My first in Aus and a big set back, but hopefully with some potential. So I called up kitepower down at DOLLS POINT, near BRIGHTON-LE-SANDS in southern SYDNEY) having decided that I'd go for a lesson to push me forward a bit quicker - and given that my confidence had waned a touch having not been on the water now for about seven weeks. Lesson booked. I call them the morning of Saturday to check out the conditions - but leave the conversation with my kite-confidence utterly destroyed. Asked me loads of tricky questions (maybe not that tricky, but I certainly didn't know the answers that were wanted). I had my previous instruction slagged off and the sanity of me having been out on the water questioned.

So I was well and truly knocked down, and feeling like I was back in Nelson again.

So I dragged myself off to my lesson anyway - with Ben-I'm-one-of-only-5-level-two-instructors-in-Australia. Now I'm sure he is, and admittedly he seemed to know his stuff and went into safety, self-rescue and the general theory in detail I hadn't considerer before. But he was still pretty smug about it, and seemed to relish knocking me back to lesson one despite my few lessons in NZ and my crazy sessions out at Nelson, Anglesey and Queenstown. Though I thought I'd best not dwell too much on some of the finer detail of those.

After two and a half hours (to be fair to Ben he did give me half an hour more than I paid for - 140 bucks by the way) my big toe hadn't even touched the water. And I never did get in the water that day. Spent the whole time on process. All good stuff really, and I did leave the day with a tad more confidence than I started it, but coming from a low point that was not too hard. I'll try and describe the rather complicated self-rescue technique when I write next. But, suffice to say, I've booked myself in for another session next week. Sensibly I'm sure I'll make shit-loads more progress forking out for a few lessons and humility, than struggling on my own for the next few months. I've got to keep my eye on my target for the year - that I'll be kitesurfing properly (ie able to jump) by 31 December.........

The school:
Ben's a Brit and I I'd recommend him for anyone who wanted to do this thing safely. He's been kitesurfing for 4.5yrs and scratched his foot once (last week!). Apparently there's been 20 or so deaths in the sport in as many months. Not good stats.