Wed pm, late December. Green arrows galore - best day on Seabreeze yet - 20's no gusts. Left wk early - week before xmas so things quiet, and most of the office at lunch every afternoon - so took the chance to get some action in.

Scootered home, picked up the loaded van, straight to Proto's and we're blowing up kites in Brighton before you know it. Sun shining. Wind blowing. Green cards and green arrows for the afternoon.

Getting my shortie on when the phone rings. "Private Number". That means I...don't I....

Well I did. "Just thought I'd let you know he's just walked into the office". Now "he", ie the boss, was supposed to be many hours away in a different state, on hols. NOT in the office. Fk. Fk. Fk.

Ok at this time of year - you don;t want to ck things up - half the office might well be p1ssed but you're not them and you work for someone different. So - over to Proto - who's enthusiastically pumping up the 14m...

OK, we had to leg it back. Drop Proto. Van back home. Quick change to suit. Back on Scooter. 45mins. At my desk. Calm.

He understood. Disappointed clearly. But not as disappointed as the next day - when we went for a re-run to find the wind was shitty, and the greatest fun we could get was by tormenting ourselves with the print-out from yesterday's Seabrook charts. Green arrows green arrows all the way through til 8 o' clock.

Not been a day like it since.


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Out at Dolls Point Saturday. Cuspy'd bought his brand new 12m Switchblade along so we were all gaggin for a go on that.
Wind was sh1tty to start, Cusp finding it hard to learn the new ways in shoddy conditions. But then it picked up and he got some of his money's worth. Proto had a go as well.

Cuspy was just picking up the kite to get set for me to have a go when some bloke said "Oi - there's a big Southerly coming in". At that moment Cusp was still trying to get the lines right so I didn't launch. Fortunately.

A minute later 30 knot gusts came in and swept sand over the beach. Very dramatic moment. Same bloke - thank god there's some sense on Dolls - screamed at some other bloke not to launch, while a way-overpowered 20m red was given a helping hand.

That was that.

The curse of. I didn't even get to fly the kite.

Don't like Dolls. Too many other kiters messing up and doing stupid stuff. Bloke with flouro yellow number spent most of the afternoon pissing off the sunbathers at the northern end of Dolls with lines and kites twisting all over the shop. This flour-guy's afternoon ended with a bollocking from some bloke whose girl had been hit by his kite.

Saw four kites drop badly on the beach. And in our midst is the casual bathers and family swimmers. Too hairy for me. Back to the north end of B-l-Sands, or give me Kurnell anyday.


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It was worth leaving the keyboard and getting down to Kurnell again.

Me 'n Proto had a few good runs. Incident free. The wind not as strong as Saturday - but just enough for the 14m. Even my 12m sort of flew.

So all in all a top weekend for the kite thing. Lots of excitement about Cuspoy floggin all his old gear and buying into a Cabrinha Switchblade. Met bloke on beach - Ad - flyi9ng a 16m - makes the whole thing look dead easy, loads of easy control, twice as much power/depower. Thinking of putting a 14 on the wedding list.

and to finish off previous comments...
The upshot was we spent over an hour f'in around trying to retrieve the board form the middle of Botany. The tide/wind was fortunately pushing it gradually inshore as it progressed towards the heads and the the big open sea.

We were saved from the wrath of Stevie at Kitepower by a bloke with a telescope. After the jetskiers did a shot job of not finding it, we were hollered over by bloke on balcony. He'd been watching the commotion, and gone and had a look through his scope. And could see exactly where the bugger - light blue - nice colour - was.

That was handy - then Proto bravely faced the shark-infested waters to swim out and retrieve it. He wa lucky the low tide kept them at bay.

Looking fwd to crackin this sport this summer.
Cuspy's last chance!!!
Tho Proto might be proving that wring at the moment!


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We broke the 3-month kite-drought yesterday, with a trip to Kurnell with ProtoCole and Cuspy, plus the kitechicks and new groupie - Archie.

The wind was 20-25 but quite gusty, westerly - so cross-shore at Kurnell. Pretty reasonable conditions.

Proto did alright. I did OK. Cuspy proved he was still on the cusp.

Til I saw Proto running back up the beach - - Cusp'd lost his board. Eh? He leashes on with one of those reel leashes. But he'd come a cropper in the middle of the Bay and the shoddily attached leash had come undone. I think maybe I have to take some of the blame for that. But anyway...

I had thought we'd covered most of the ground on kite-mishaps (read the previous 30 odd entries below!). Here was a new one. Cuspy got two jetskis to go in search but that was to no avail. And of course it wasn't just one of our old boards. No it was the Demo one we borrowed from Kitepower that morning. The one that had reluctantly been lent to us as the owner wasn't keen on his board being in Kurnell for the day.

[ I'll finish this later - as the butterfly effect has just been proved: The beans I had for brekkie appear to have brought us a single green arrow at the airport. And we're tracking above 5 at Kurnell. Plenty enough to torment me and Proto. And the two groupies for today...hopefully I'll be concluding this later with tales of upwind action and beautiful consistent 15 knot wind that came up behind that single green arrow.]


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Been a long time since I've been out with the kites. But I got rudely awoken by ProtoCole early morning Saturday with a "get up the wind's blowing". Within seconds I was regretting the 3am triple-gin tonics. Though a few hours later I was not regretting the wake-up call.

Had a FANTASTIC session. Totally rekindled my excitement for this emotional rollercoaster of a sport.

All the stars were aligned on Saturday...
...we had great wind, perfect knottage for me
...a low tide
...the clouds were hiding the blinding sun
...a Westerly so we could go to Kurnell for cross-shore. I like Kurnell no dogs or children or canoes or bathers or fishing boats with loudspeakers...


The gin wasn't doing me much good though so I was keen for ProtoCole take the first few runs. My stomach settled though and I had the best session ever - zipping across the water at great speed and some control as well! Back forth - all downwind - but it wasn't the day for learning the hardway. We were keen to have some fun. So there was plenty of walking back up the beach!

Proto was good and did two great recoveries relaunching in the water. I also managed one.

Obvious - but having good wind makes all the bloody difference. As the afternoon drifted by I went out again towards the end in dodgy gusty wind. And it was a crap sess. Obvious really.

Anyway. Back into it. Can't wait to get out there again and start properly trying for some upwind action.


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As I say, not just me. And also not just me who gets the shits over the shadows in the water cast by my board. And the other classic is the shark that keeps following me round, slightly downwind and downsun of me. My heart still misses beats when I see the shadow of my kite on the dark menacing water at the 'Nell. Clearly some of the side effects of pastimes-of-old catching up on me.

Here's what Keeny has to say about it all...

As for Kurnell, it has a tendancy that if the tide runs downwind you’ve got no hope of getting your kite relaunched because you can’t swim fast enough.....pommie p told me that when I got out and thought I’d all of a sudden turned into a useless kiter....very much relieved at hearing that! I did also have a minor panic attack because you can see through the water there and splashing around like an idiot being pulled further away from the other people I started to think OMG I could be on the wouldn’t matter if I couldn’t see the sharkies come get me but I would’ve on that day. At one point I freaked myself out because out of the corner of my eye the board in my hand was causing a shadow beneath me so I had to think happy thoughts to calm me down as the mind can play nasty tricks on you


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This is my toy of the day - google maps are now in Australia - here's the link to Botany Bay.

Here's the Bay and where we go...,151.193504&spn=0.077299,0.160795&t=k&hl=en

The airport to the north.

On the west of the Bay of Brighton-le-Sands, with Dolls Point in the bottom left corner.

Kurnell is the north facing beach in the bottom/right.

Cronulla beach and the Boat Harbour 4x4 park face south to the opensea.


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Kiting 2005 #14 (Sat 9 July): It's mid-winter in Sydney and a tad chilly. Sydneysiders are in denial though - and no houses or apartments have central heating. So I sit writing this close to the electric oil heater, with it pathetically trying to heat the living room.

Its a real shame I have to work. It's definitely getting in the way of my hobbies. And my marathon training is conflicting with my kitesurfing, as is my cycling. And this weekend so was my drinking. And ProtoCole's impending baby birth has screwed his Saturday mornings with antenatal baby classes filled with emotional videos.

But around all that stuff I've managed to get down to Botany Bay three times over the last two weekends. Lets go back to the I quote from Fat Chicken's other blog...

"...we did a great bike ride on Saturday. The forecast was rain but we decided we'd touch base at 5:45am. I looked outside and annoyingly the rain had stopped so there was no excuse to snuggle back up in bed. Having gone to bed at 1:30am I wasn't feeling that inspired. But I was driver and organiser so I could hardly drop out. Picked up J and Z on the way up to Kurungai National Park (1hr north of Sydney). Was starting to get light as we got there.

Fortunately the first few kms are down hill - from the entrance of the park heading in the direction of West Head. I came round gradually as the sun rose and a beautiful, stunning morning was upon us. The ride was short (50kms) but its reasonably tough because of the hills. The first highlight is the views from West Head over to Palm Beach - just beautiful, especially on a still early morning with the sun rising and not a soul or car around.

The second highlight is the breakfast at Akuna Bay Marina. The cafe's apparently just changed hands and they did us an awesome chicken/avocado etc open sandwich. Just enough fill to contemplate the never-ending ascent past the turn off to Cottage Point and back to the van.

I was dreaming of a snooze in the sun on the drive back, but got a call from "On the Cusp" who was off to Kurnell for a bit of kite-in-gale-action. So I obediently made my way down there...but that's for another blog..."

So here we are down in Kurnell and the day's hours of light are slipping away. OnTheCusp was out on the water and KeanKayla pointed out his flouro-yellow 12m snaking around downwind from us. And was it windy. Bloody hell. Really windy. Norwesterly, so perfect for Kronulla.

I watched OTC for a bit, while collecting my nerves. My legs were stiff, I was tired and it was VERY windy. My excuses were primed. But, NOOO, I must go out. It's never bloody windy and this was well over 20 - there were ten kiters out there having loads of fun doing exactly what I want to do. So I got the stuff out and starting pumping up my 12 Boxer.

I kept an eye on Cuspy and just as I'd finished pumping I noticed he was trying to land the kite. I legged it down the beach to help him (he'd drifted a few groins downwind) but a friendly windsurfer had helped him out.

But it was good Cuspy had landed as I now had him to help me launch. I'd been uncomfortable with the idea of doing it on my own. Having been out with ProtoCole most times since my heady early days of madness I've forgotten what it's like to set up alone and ask some random punter for a launch. So Cuspy's landing was what I needed. He was keen for a break and was more than willing to keep an eye on me as I went out. Phew.

So off I went. Bloody windy so I depowered the backlines before launch. Got out there, bodydragged away from shore and into the middle of the experts jumping around and the odd windsurfer zipping by.

Its funny how kiters cluster together dispute the obvious dangers. I can understand the comfort from being near others - the chance for a launch, and a landing, and friendly faces if you get in trouble. But I do worry about tangled lines and craziness - especially as the show-offs jump over the shoreline when others are launching - not all of whom (myself included) are 100% in control!
Anyway out I went. Bloody hell it was windy. The depowering meant that turning was muted. I had very little control. Overpowered I think they call it. I was being gently lofted as the gusts wafted over the Bay. It was easy to stand. Even on the small board I'd borrowed from Kitepower to trial. But not easy for me to control. I was shitting my pants out there. I messed around for a bit then made my way back into shore. I was just totally uncomfortable in that wind.

So it was over to Cuspy for him to show us some magic.

There was another chick out there as well as KK. Without tricks but she looked good. I'd be happy to be at her level right now. Very happy.

We took more boards home with us as we were planning an early one Sunday. The wind was promising us all sorts of fun. And did it blow. It was a classic winter kite day. Again seeking solace in thermos-tea. We even bothered to check out Boat Harbour, which was great to see - huge surf crashing around. The van got a bit of 4x4 action and covered in salt water and sand from the wind. ProtoCole and his enlargening wife joined us. Which was a shame as it doesn't enamour the better-halves when they get dragged around in shitty weather without even seeing any decent action.

So on to the weekend just gone. I'll be brief. I went cycling again. Proto and the Belly were at antenatalisms in the am so I cycled with J round Bellevue Hill and down to La Perouse. And then squeezed a couple of hours in the office in.

Then I got the call. Proto'd had enough of birthing vids and the wind was PERFECT. It was a hasty last-minute-one again and I was already preparing myself for disappointment. Which was prophetic. Raced down there. I forgot my 12m so we got out Proto's 14m - - that's the 14m lead balloon that we've had so little fun with in the past. But we were proven wrong ... after some adjustments the baby flew well. Proto did some good turns. It was my go .... as the clock ticked toward 5:30 .... the wind dropped. Oh well. Heydiho - it was good to see Proto out there and I reckon a victory just to get the 14 outta the bag and flying nicely.


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When the wind fails to blow - - often now winter's set in, or at least less predictably - - then I run around training for the Sydney Marathon. Having worked out the blog thing and quite enjoyed writing for Waiting for the Wind, I thought I'd pen my progress pounding the pavements. Read all about it at Marathon Musings at


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Kiting 2005 #13 (Sun 19 Jun): Sunday was the second kiteday of the weekend. Me 'n OnTheCusp went up to Palm Beach. Again it was s'posed to be an early start but one of us was in dire need of bacon sandwiches and other cures before we could begin. Not a problem though as the wind didn't really get going til late afternoon.

We met up with KeenKayla, who even out-geeks me I reckon on the kite-obsession thing. To the extent I think she may even be impressed with this whole blog thing (it being difficult to gain much enthusiasm from my mates). She arrived without water kites though which is a bit dubious. But is equally keen to run (fly) before she can walk, already talking about IKO instructor courses. I've been gibbering on for a while about the course in Boracay which teaches you up, but takes a month which would be difficult with work. Keeny tells us she's at the going upwind stage, and jumping but with no control, following on form her successful few weeks in Fiji, as opposed to OnTheCusp's windless week.

We had some fun with the land kites, I got to fly OnTheCusp's 4.5m for a while.

Wind was offshore, west to norwesterly, so for water action it was the Pittwater side. I had couple of goes but it wasn't quite blowing enough and the kite was prone to leadballooning, while I was a bit nervous about the proximity of the car park in what was direct onshore. Given my lack of ability on the upwind side that gives me little room for manoeuvre.

OnTheCusp did much better, living up to his name he showed us some reasonable upwind board action, returning to his point of departure at least twice.

It was a good day despite my not getting too much time in the water. Met some new people. Hanged out at what is admittedly a much prettier place than Kurnell. And finished with a top curry.

My discovery today is this site, where these blokes have put up the designs to make your own kite: (Cuspy - this could be something to do in the nowindtime we were discussing yesterday).

This is the other thing I've discovered today, a hybrid foil/inflatable kite. very cool??


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Spent the day with Cuspy. This time of year I'm being told that wind blows early in the morning, and not necessarily onshore (from the east). Which perhaps explains why my memories of last winter's kiting revolve around disappointment at Kurnell and Cronulla.

So winter's here - though to be fair winter in Sydney has temperatures of 18 degrees! But crappy wind.

So me & Cuspy were to meet early. The wind was blowing. Got in the van - - and, yes, it wouldn't be a kite-outing without some shoddy incident. I couldn't find the keys to the steering-wheel crook lock. An hour spent ransacking the van and the flat to no avail. Retracing my steps of the last week, the last time I remember having them was in Mudgee, about 3 hours from here! So no van for today.

So we went off Botany Bay way. Made that classic error of stopping at Kitepower in Sans Sousi. Wasted time. Got pure wallets prised open...I bit the bullet and decided I'd pay some more dues to safety...I bought my first helmet, and got a coil leash to replace my deadly catapulting surf-board leash. No I know all about the leashed/unleashed debate and that can be for another time. And nipped into the excellent bakery next door.

Some time later we actually got to Kurnell. Two kites up. Hoorah. The only two up in the Bay. And a third was just launching (foil kite, more on that later). So we fannied around setting up Cuspy's 16m Boxer, during which time the wind was dropping, dropping, dropping off. Cuspy got out there by the time it had dropped sub-10 knots. Crap. Bllocks. Typical. I had a brief go but there was not enough wind for us amateurs to get any board action (though a guy on a 13 with a MASSIVE board was having fun out there). I did get to use a 16m for the first time which was novelty. Heavy, difficult to manoevre. But, sorry Proto, not as difficult as the 14!

Nothing for it then but to call it a day. Had an equally miserable time trying to land-board over in Cronulla. Again 1st time for me so good to try these things at the very least.

Back to Kitepower then, for a really good discussion with one of the the employees there. Surprisingly friendly given our previous experiences with certain people in that shop. Lots of hype at the moment about the impending launch of Hellfish which is Best's new kite using Cuban Fibre which is some super-light material. Had a chat about that, and me getting a bigger kite. Seems its between a 15m Best Yarga, or wait out til the Hellfish launches and get one of those. While I can go out with Cuspy and use his 16 there's no urgency so might wait a month.


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Kiting 2005 #11 (Wed 18 May): Another blogtastic session on Sydney's Botany Bay - I'm reliving this one 12 days later so the detail may get a tad sketchy, but here goes: Me & N caught up early afternoon on a spontaneous decision. Winter's coming and the chances of good wind are gonna be fewer so we grabbed the opportunity.

N went out doing his magic. All good. Maybe vaguely upwind - N, were you? His launch was perfect - and was rewarded with applause from the European school party passing by. The wind was roughly southerly, ie cross-shore and toward the airport.

Then me and the trouble began. Well, not quite yet. I was straight up, looking/feeling good. Messed around for a while. Then I dropped the kite and couldn't relaunch. Well, the six weeks off since the shark episode were showing as I struggled in vain to relaunch the kite, while getting slowly dragged toward the airport (still a good few miles away). A long time later I was still doing the same. And a bit longer later there I was, still in the middle of Botany Bay, slowly getting dragged downwind, and still unable to relaunch. I tried and tried but couldn't get the bugger up.

Oh well, nothing for it but to pull the ejector switch - ie, to release the kite (releases three of the kite's four lines, for those unfamiliar with the intricate workings of these mechanisms). The intention being to then swim back to shore (the kite dragging behind, but now with no tension in the lines).

But instead, it seems that in my kafuffle trying to relaunch the bloody thing earlier, I'd accidentally dislodged the "fourth" line. So off the kite went, merrily blowing in the wind toward the airport. I valiantly tried to swim after it. For about 2 seconds. Off it flapped into the distance. Then I dithered and tried again. No chance, nothing for it then but to swim ashore. So some minutes later I was out of breath and feeling thoroughly pissed off as 400 quid's ($1000) of kite got smaller and smaller.

It's OK said N. "No worries" (not really, he's no Oz). "Don't worry", "the coastguard are on their way". Mmmm, what? Well the bloke in the ice-cream kiosk had kindly called the coastguard half an hour before as he'd thought I was in trouble - - which was very nice of him. It was a good job I hadn't been in trouble as otherwise I'd be shark fodder by now. But as it was I was happy they were coming as maybe they could get my kite for me. The bloke called them up to say it was no longer an emergency, but they didn't tell the boat, which was now (having gone first to the wrong side of the Bay) hanging around the spot I had been treading-water in 45 mins earlier.

Anyway to cut a long story short, we couldn't communicate with them, they disappeared, the kite continued to the airport, I started to worry (sh1t, what if this gets in the local papers?), N went to get the van so we could chase it (but couldn't start the van!!), I called the airport to find out whether we could retrieve it (told them it was an emergency at the perimeter, got passed around SEVEN departments and ended at voicemail - - what if it WAS a real emergency, hey Sydney Airport?), three airport vehicles arrived at the perimeter with flashing yellow lights, and eventually the coastguard got there too, we called them up, and another hour or so later were eating humble pie in the police office thanking them for retrieving the kite!

So there we have it, another day on the kites. It's no wonder it's taking so f'in long to master this sport!


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17 May: More sharks in Sydney

No kite action this weekend. But more shark tales...

Within hours of returning from Maroubra for a surf with N on Saturday, we got the SMS: There'd been a shark attack that morning in Bronte (a few beaches north). All over the papers etc - some local hero dude who went back in the water that afternoon. Well, no heroics from me & N. We'd avoided Botany Bay after last week's brush-by-biting (though admitedly, not because of it). And then funnily enough ended up in tasting-range of the local column-inch filler.

Got some "surfin" in though. I'm about 4 weeks into my new and first board. Long way to go I think. Not really stading yet, except for the odd nanosecond.

Sunday I was fearlessly facing the 7-footer again swimming the length of Bondi (about 1km) about 100 yards out from the surfers, thinking of nothing but sharks and freaking out at every dark shadow.


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An aside: R&J are exploring WA at the mo and have just reported in, with a tale worthy of publication on this catalogue of errors:

...we are now in Exmouth about 1400 ks from either Perth or Broome. Awesome conditions here - has been blowing 15-20knts most days. Had a couple of setbacks - poor launching sites mainly. However, got the kite out down at Carnarvon (great water and wind, but not v. pretty) and round the corner from here on the NW Cape - lovely beach, nice flat water, cross-shore 20 knots. Was getting into the groove again - up and down wind, even managed a wave to Jess on the shore. Then disaster struck - , just as I was the farthest out, getting ready to turn, one of the lines broke, so with my safety-first hat on, I let the bar go - then realised it was the F****ing safety that broke. Mad swimming ensued, but to no avail, the kite had the wind and current behind it, I had just the current. So my kite is now going on a safari down the edge of the ningaloo reef. Wind was pulling it in, tide pulling it out. Coastguard reckons its on its way to Indonesia


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Kiting 2005 #10 (Sat 9 Apr):

"Now that was one for the blog" I said after I'd regained my normal senses. There was still blood dribbling down my leg but ProtoCole had come over and assured me I had no big chunks of flesh missing from my arse, and that the scratches were merely superficial. Not that my heartbeat agreed with that appraisal.

It all seems rather silly now that I'm safely tucked up 20kms away and 26 storeys up from the dark shadowy sundown waters of Botany Bay. But when that "thing" made a grab for me 60ft from shore "silly" was the last thing on my mind. The kite was also low down the list, which is probably why it ended up spinning around it self and heading towards the rock groyne. What was on my mind was: What the fk is it; and If it's a shark should I stop flailing around madly and do that pretend-to-be-dead thing, or am I ok to carry on flapping?

Well I flailed around madly and - according to Proto's recounting of the scene of turmoil, squealed like a puppy that had just been trod on. Maybe that was exactly the frequency of sound that scares those Tiger Sharks away. Because I lived to muse over what really touched my leg and caused such cuts.

Well, the board could've caused the cuts as they were very straight lined, though somehow on the front of both legs and the back of one. Or maybe some metal railings or fences left behind by the builders. Or a chain with no buoy. Or. Or. Or some gigantic underwater octopus with long razor-like tentacles. Probably not a shark though.

I'd spent my day's adrenaline, but Proto was still up for going out again - though a km back up the beach from its lair. I'd had a good kite session by the way, before the incident pit opened: straight on the board and away, no pissing around. But some falling off still. Proto managed upwind action and one decent turn. He also got some Air - though of course not intentionally.

Can't wait to get out there again.


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Kiting 2005 #9 (Sat 19 Mar): Blowin' good (15-20 knots). Went to Botany Bay with N & G. Kitted up just south of the Long Reef shop (BRIGHTON-LE-SANDS). Reasonable board action, getting used to it - this really only being my second to third session out on the board properly. I had the hangover from hell so started to flag after an hour and a half's messing around. N went on for longer and managed his first upwind action, though strangely could only do it in one direction ie left foot first. Wind was blowing roughly cross shore from the south-west.

I found it strangely difficult to get up left-foot first. Right-foot first (ie towards the sea rather than the shore at Brighton on a southerly) was loads easier. I played around a lot with trying to stand better. Very conscious of a very poor stance, taking too much weight on the bar, and so not allowing sheeting-out and the kite to depower, hence slowing and dropping back into the water. Seems strangely difficult to manage this. N having the same problem. G took some video shots on an excellent zoom, and that confirmed it all - looking terrible - knees bent, leaning toward the kite, taking the power through my arms!

Much work to be done. But now it's a helluva lot more fun.


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Kiting 2005 #8 (Sat 12 Mar): AMAZING. Had an amazing sess with N down at Brighton-le-Sands. Great wind. I was on the board and FLYING. Pretty much went half the way from Brighton to Dolls Point. The wind was cross to on. More cross which was great. Mostly 18 knots (at the airport, not far from us).....GREEN arrows on

ProtoCole at Brighton le Sands (2005-03-12) Posted by Hello

I was on the board no problem. I stayed on the board for some really long runs. Messed around with my stance a bit with not much luck. Played with retaining momentum at the top of the window and the sides. Mostly left leg first, though did a bit the other way round - but that would sort of mean coming to shore more quickly. Tried - unsuccessfully - to go upwind. But I'm sure that's not far away now.

Top day out. Made such amazing progress in a short space of time, having been stuck for so long before that. Very comfortable flying the kite now - one handed, no handed!, whilst submerged in the water and blinded!

N did good as well - tried to get upwind bit also couldn't.



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Kiting 2005 #7 (Sat 5 Mar): My birthday outing - K treated me to a trip to BYRON BAY and I was taking full advantage of birthday-boy status so we spent Saturday afternoon playing with kites. Byron is a beautiful spot, the Bay has a wide sweeping beach, roughly north-east facing, with enough curve to turn noreasterlies into cross shore. We based ourselves on the easterly side, which unfortunately has a load of kids playing around & surf lessons in action, though later in the afternoon it cleared up a bit. There's another beach round the corner that is long and straight and faces south-east.

So it was very windy. I was nervous, and without my kite-buddy more cautious than usual. The waves made it look more scary. The wind was very gusty - sand blowing along the beach knots - so we waited around a while before launching. In the meantime I taught my beautiful assistant some of the theory.

Eventually I couldn't take it any more and we got out into the water. First go was the K&A tandem run. K did a fine job of launching the kite, then grabbed my back and I took her for a spin. That was good fun and there was enough wind for both of us to get some decent speed body dragging through the waves. We landed glitch-free, giving me the confidence to go it alone with the board.

Now at this stage I'd been on the board a few times, never in waves, and never managing to stay on it for too long.

I left the leash behind as I'm starting to get more paranoid about getting a fin in the back of my head - especially in choppy open waters. The water is reasonably shallow for far enough out to be able to stand and mess around. And I did that for a few seconds. Only a few outings ago I was struggling to get my feet in the slots. Now that - and flying the kite one-handed - is easy. Feet in. Swoop the kite down from 12 to the right and I'm off! Through the waves without losing the board, for three up/downs of the kite before I lose momentum. Much more of this before I lose the board and crash the kite.

But I got a relaunch and retrieved the board and went again.


A couple more goes of the same and I was a very happy chappy. Board action; in the waves; without a leash; good relaunches; and K's now proficient at launching and landing and she's had a taster of being in the water. A top day.


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Best of the web: Having spent the last week lost in the internet - here's my top kite sites:

1. where to go to find out where to go
2. top tips and a lot more - the best place for learning
3. the best place for kite banter & news
4. Kitesurf group on Yahoo the 2nd best place for banter & news
5. for wind around the world (only modelled, not real readings)
6. for wind forecasts in Oz

It's birthday time and I've done well so far - "The Complete Kiteboarding Guide" (DVD made by arrived in the post today. I'll post my review and top tips from this in the next week or so. And yesterday, the book "Kiteboarding Vision" turned up (published by the IKO guys). All very exciting. Clearly my lack of progress is being pitied by some and they're trying to help me on my way...!


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Kiting 2005 #6.1 (Sat 20 Feb): Staying the weekend at jervis Bay - so headed to the excellent St George's Basin for an afternoon session - in the pouring rain, but very decent wind. SANCTUARY POINT boat ramp is the launch spot - there's always two or three windsurfers there - but I've never seen kites.

The wind was direct Southerly - so roughly in the direction of the Erowal Bay boat ramp. Proto's folks were over from the UK and keen to see the son in action - so I let him go first. Proto had a fabulous session - performing well for the assembled umbrellas. They left to head back not long after.

So I stayed watching the master at work, as the thunder began and the mist dropped over the lake. Lost him. He was trying to make his way upwind - and did make it to roughly that level on the other side (Bream's Beach?). But not - and ended up at the Erowal Bay boat ramp.

Of course - as it came to my turn the weather took a turn for the worse, and the thunder started coming closer. We set up and waited. And waited. As it progressively got worse and the lightning nearer. Some wind came back, but lightening and kites are probably not a good mix - so after a cuppa tea in the disabled toilets, we eventually heeded Kate's advice and called it a day. The next few times with Proto - I'm going first!

Given I didn't get any further than donning my wetsuit this doesn't count as an outing.


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Kiting 2005 #6 (Sun 30 Jan): Sunday was kiteday. And in Sydney the wind was up. Me & ProtoCole on the strings. Kate in the van on the zoom lens. Went to Dolls Point for a bit of south to south-easterly 15 knots.

First up was PC - with a great performance for the paparazzi, putting all scepticism to rest, and resulting in the offer of a fine cuppa in reward. PC was in the water, smooth, easy launch, body drag out 100m, straight on the board and off. Turns. Sleek turns. Some cool manoeuvres swinging the kite overhead and skidding the board around. Excellent stuff. He's making good progress very fast.

Then there was me. Of course, in the true ways of the kite, the wind dropped a spot. But I shouldn't really be making excuses. The wind was good enough. Just I wasn't. I piddled around getting on the board. Falling off the board. On. Off. On. Off. Sinking the board. But not doing anything remotely photogenic. Ended up half a mile down the beach and no decent results. I'd say it was good practice though. And there was some movement made. The problem - again - is that I'm too chicken to go directly downwind and still tack sideways - not getting enough momentum. There was one moment when I went left (shoreward) rather than my usual right. And did get a decent amount of momentum, speed and thrill.

So Proto let me go again. He's clearly worried that I may lose interest if he gets too much better than me. No need to fear. So I went again. Scrappy session. And yet more blog-worthy antics...

The kite dropped, and I tried to relaunch. Having reasonable success but then decided that too close to the groin. So I started swinging it round toward the sea. The kite ended up downwind of a buoy, with the kite lines either side of it. The kite's on its back and pulling me toward the buoy. Calm. Control. I tried to get the kite to go right and the lines to lift over the buoy. No chance. We already know how fond they are of tangling amongst themselves...given the opportunity to tangle with a floating ball on a chain they jumped at it.

So the kite continued to pull downwind, dragging the buoy deep into the murky sharkpit of Botany Bay. And starting to take me down with it. So I very calmly pulled the safety and let the bar go down. Somehow the leash wriggled off me as I flailed around in the water, and the whole lot sunk. Bugger.

Well it's times like these that kitesurfing really comes into its own.

Or at least the limited buoyancy of the board does. There was no way I was diving down into that tangles murky seaweedy dark mess to retrieve my bar. So I started swimming toward the kite. Going through the should-I-leave-it question in my head. Well not possible really as all that string if it didn't kill me would certainly get tangled up in the next surfer kitesurfer or great white and I don't want that on my conscience.

Then I noticed International Rescue. Proto was front crawling toward me with a look of confusion on his face. I motioned for him to undo the kite. Which after a bit of a struggle he did - then he took it to shore.

So without the tension on the lines from the kite, the buoy bobbed up to the surface as did the bar. So it's a short swim to the bar and start winding in. I was slightly panicky that I'd get tangled in all the now-loose lines. String everywhere - around me and below me. So I started winding in. Fk how long it'll take at the other end, I wound and tied and tied stupid knots and wound for bloody ages till the whole lot was back on the bar and unhooked from the buoy. Then off to shore.

Now I forgot to mention that just after ProtoCole got to the kite the suburban-family-in-canoe went past. I pointed them away from us (tangle hazard) and they looked at us very strangely and carried on.

Well. Now they're coming towards me. Just after it's all done. All the hard work, they come toward me and ask me if I'd like to put the lines & board in their boat. I couldn't be arsed unleashing the board which was dragging behind me, but swimming with the bar in my hand was irritating so I chucked that to the kid, who got screamed at by father when he picked it out the water. odd. But never mind, at least swimming to shore will be slightly easier.

The point of that little tale is that Proto then told me (before I'd got my breath back) that he'd asked them to go and assist and they'd refused. So he said something cocky like "well we'll just leave him to drown then" so they said "ok, but he's not getting in the boat". Bstrds.

So shore I was at. Back to van. Cuppa tea. Untangle. Proto back out on the water. More cool manoeuvres from the lad, though wind dying now. Lots of good recoveries of the kite. Then my turn - naked (well, wetsuit-less) - but wind was shite by now. So back to van. Cuppa. And offski. Another great day in the sea.


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Kiting 2005 #4&5: An excellent weekend down in Jervis Bay with Proto & his kitemissus. Saturday the wind was not so great but we got some normal surfin' in first so it wasn't total disappointment. Great place to surf - to learn to surf - is Caves Beach, in the National Park down that way. So for Kites we went in the afternoon to to George's Bay....This is the best place yet in NSW I've found to kitesurf...perfect for mere novices like ourselves...we launched from XXX. There's plenty of other places to launch from depending on the wind direction. But this was good for us. Shallow water. A sort of lagoon with somewhere only a small exit to the sea so no chance of being eaten by sharks or ending up crossing the Tasman. So the Sat afternoon we pissed around a bit, but didn't get enough wind for any serious board action. Though good progress made by G and general messing about.

On to Sunday. I spent the night in the van. Lovin' the van by the way. Pic coming soon! We rose early from our super-quiet camp site (called XXX). And headed off to meet Jen and John down at Caves/the other one next to it again (called XXX). Well blow me. The waves are shit for surfin' cos....the wind's up!!! So smug as you like we left the others to their shit surfin' conditions and headed back to our launch on St George's Bay. Northerly (I think - must check...Proto??). Anyway wind heading in direction of the boat launch on other side of the Bay. So it was an afternoon of Georgian Crossings which were fun. Forget this tacking malarkey.

Proto was first. He's officially cracked it now. Doing all sorts of magic on the board. We had the binoculars so we could see where on the other side (about 1-2km away) he'd land so we could drive round and get him. That worked well so we repeated the routine again and again.

My trip was reasonably successfull (for my standards)...I'm still not quite there. Can't believe it, given how long I've been playing around with this sport for, though hey ho). Anyway I made the crossing tacking around, messing around for the first time in ages with not a care - no dogs, no kids, no other kitesurfers or fishermen or boats or sharks or crab traps or bouys or waves or groins. What a joy.

So, without exaggeration here's where I'm at: I can get on the board. I can stay on the board but not for very long. I spent some time trying to work out why - it seems I mostly put too much weight on the front which then sinks. I'm also a bit chicken about going directly downwind so end up going sideways and not getting enough speed/momentum. Ican fly the kite well without the board. But the biggest bug bear is when the kite crashes and lands upside down on the leading edge I can't bloody relaunch it. Well, true to form this happened about two-thirds the way across the Crossing. But all was OK. I sailed her in to the awaiting G & Proto....

My second crossing was similar although this time I dropped the kite - again only the once but once is enough and too much and generally the end of it for me. It dropped and landed and went limp and I realised the bladder must've burst. Bollocks. So I'm in the deep part of the Bay now. No probs: pull the release / start winding up / using the board for buoyancy / tiring though. But then my saviour came. Rich (or maybe Rob) I think his name was (Proto - is that right??). Anyway he's the windsurf dude and had been our only company out on the bay that afternoon. He'd noticed the kite no longer in the sky and come to investigate. Well he comes zoomin' up and taps on his board. “Looking tired". Well bloody fantastic. I sat on the board and got my breath back.Not that there was any drama but it was nice to have a rest. And roll up the kite sat on the windsurf board. Well the good news was there was no puncture - only the stopper thing had come out. We did that rolling up thing then the dude decided he would windsurf us both to shore. Very impressive I thought, but it proved too difficult so we waved some kids down in a passing dingy and they took me and my raveled up kite to shore.

G got a go as well on the crossing. Proto decided he'd swim behind her. D|ck head, but good exercise! He took the flippers. They both made it alive.

Top location. St Georges Bay. Good fun doing the crossings. Though who's the knobhead with the windometer with his cocky remarks about, “well I think you should do it like this, not like this“. Well, mate I think you should get off the shore with your windo thing and get in the water. Mate.

Can't wait to go back down that way. Top trip. Nice one P & G.

Click for large image

St George's Bay. Top Spot. That's me with the kite.

The pelicans at least were enjoying ProtoCole's antics

He's got the clobber sorted out if nothing else!

XXX put somethign here


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Blabbering on: So I know that what's needed is a decent few days of good consistent wind with no fking around, just pure unadulterated kitesurf action.

So I've decided that a holiday is gonna happen in the next three months. Alone if necessary. But definite. The only question is Where? Either Perth area - if cheap flights keep popping up from Jetstar. Or somewhere in Asia - Vietnam looks good. Maybe Boracay. Maybe somewhere else.


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Going back in time: Kitepower weekend in June 2004: Here's some pics from that weekend that Tim from Kitepower organised. Some beautful scenery. Shame about the wind!

Click for large image

Me in the sunset, knackered from relaunching. Beautiful location though

ProtoCole and Tim doing something vaguely useful!

Kite babe!

Bex on the water


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Kiting 2005 #3 (Sat 15 Jan): So after the week's debacles we decided Saturday would be fully dedicated to the cause. I had high hopes. Proto had high hopes and had spent all Friday night dreaming of air and bigger air. I'd just dreamt of getting properly on the board and managing to stay on it for more than a few seconds, and of course the great wind continuing.

I was ready and waiting at Proto's at 9:15am. We went through the obligatory faffing, shopping, indecision and general timewasting, before eventually heading to our now regular spot at BRIGHTON-LE-SANDS. We got into the water at 11:30am. Prematurely - there still being no wind. But at least the kites were "prepped" and we were raring to go for when the promised 1pm or 2pm breeze picked up. So cuppa tea time, read of the Herald, honey on crackers. Excellent.

G & Cuspy came to join us at 1. Cuspy's The Kitesurfin Guru so we've heard. At least that's what he's told me over the odd beer. I even saw some of it in action briefly once.

Well, needless to say we spent the next few hours launching and relaunching kites into a crappy 5-ish knot almost directly on-shore wind - in what all of a sudden became the most popular beach in Sydney for fearless inquisitive passers by and kids with kite-centric gravitational systems.

In the style of days-gone-by, we stuck with it against all evidence of its pointlessness. Even the guru couldn't get it up. In fact he was so bloody useless I've downgraded him to The Kitesurfer Formerly Known As The Guru, But Yet To Demonstrate Any Guru-Like Qualities.

Another shit day kitesurfing. And the first rip in my kite. But a nice cuppa and great tuna sarnies G. Oh - and thanks for the refund Steve!

And Proto said: Saturday.......ready and waiting on the sand by 10am, just a matter of time before the big blower is switched on to obey the forecast and kiting we will be.....still waiting at 4pm.....the usual story, very little wind arrived and after a few hours of forced kite throwing, thrashing and dive bomb crashing, we packed up and made a brew in the van.....oh well there is always tommorow...THATS KITING IN SYDNEY....forget the kiting dude magazine images, sydney kiting is the passion of patient gentleman.


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Kiting 2005 #2 (Thurs 13 Jan): So we went out again - the following day - expecting great things.

Unfortunately the only thing we're being taught is patience. And how to manage disappointment. The wind was shit. I'm struggling now even to rustle up the enthusiasm to write this.

Proto's account: Thursday: (shopping and parking the car ruled)....the
dangerous duo did iot again and missed the the time we were ready and contrary to the forcast, the wind had dropped (gutted).......oh well there is
always tommorow (Friday).

Friday: (complicated city chaos reigned)
kiting....oh well there is always tommorow (Saturday)


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Kiting 2005 #1 (Wed 12 Jan): Met NC down at Dolls Point. He'd gone down early to get a lesson with Tim - who'd generously said that NC was now far too good for lessons and that he should have his $140 back. NC picked up some top tips though - the main ones it seems to me is that (1) your leading leg should be straight, and other bent, with back straight, and body at 90 degress to the kite lines; and (2) when it comes to kite set up, take all 4 lines to a point and they should be the same size when firstly the bar is one-third away from fully-powered and secondly the main power/depower adjustor is at half-way.

So there was very good wind. Too good. Have a look at the wind chart here.

 (Sydney on 12 Jan)

There were only five kiters out - including the Oz national champion and Tim - and they both had there fair share of coing-a-cropper. Wind was off the scale and blowing a sand storm across the beach. So I didn't get on to the water. But it wa good to spend an hour or two watching the masters at work! Certainly inspiring.

NC's account of Wednesday's antics: After many dramas sourcing parking space for a car full of kitegear in smackhead central i.e. downtown darlinghurst/kings cross, Sydney, the morning dragged on waiting for 2pm then i could shoot off to the kiting mecca of kitepower and botany bay for a lesson with tim the calm kama kiting guru.

Following a few tips, i was off like a rocket, whipped along by the 25 knot near gale force winds....oh memories of scottish beeches came flooding back.

Awsome time had and 3 hours later and two lungsfull of sydneys finest vintage seawater i was 'stoked' and ready to take a break in anticipation of more kiting antics with Fat Chicken who was hot footing it from work to join me.

Disaster, the unthinkable happennned, the wind was too strong for us to go out. we couldnt believe it after so many dismal forced floppy kite days, how could it be too windy for kiting....oh well there is always tommorow (thursday)...


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New year update: It's been a long time. Far too long since I last blogged my kiting. I had rather geekily hoped to have logged and blogged every step of the way on the course to being a great kiteboarder. Well I've missed a bit, and what's more in the meantime I've discovered that the course is gonna be longer than I'd hoped as well.

But now it's a new year - and by the end of this year - 2005 - I want to have cracked this sport.

Between May and this last week there were many outings - mostly me 'n Proto to Kurnell or Brighton-le-Sands (both on Botany Bay, south of Sydney). Proto sneaked a lesson in once when he went up North but other than that we have been unguided, and left to our own rather haphazard devices. G's been along a few times too - and done some amazing air - albeit all of it totally unplanned, out of control, and raising the blood pressure of all around. The many comedy moments are too many.

Just before xmas we both got close to properly kitesurfing - by that I mean on the board and moving, though not necessarily for a long time (more than a few seconds in my case) and not with anything resembling cool or control. We've mostly been on my 12m Naish - with Proto; G's 14m and 10m occasionally coming out of the bags.

The hardest part has been the wind. The pair of us - against all conventional wisdom - battled on well beyond the summer in shitty wind berating the "fair weather" kiters who we no longer saw out on the beach. Well, we used up a lot of hours, and untangled a lot of string, and dropped kites like US military helicopters from the sky many many a time - but never really made big progress. Not til late November when the wind picked up. Remarkable what a difference it made!

Well - on to this year then.............


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Kiting 2005 #1 (8 Jan): Here's Proto's account...

Saturday the trio rise again for more kiting action. good wind and the trusty twelve rides again. botany bay with white caps, just the way we like it at last.
Camera in hand, bosy dragging and even a little board action. G body dragging Proto clamped to the harness handle, all was rosy.

Proto's second go: a few fine board moves, out into the bay and back to the beach, two successful runs out and back for a third. Getting close to the beach and indicision kicks in, should i land the kite or turn again to tease out another run. Before the answer to my turn or land turmoil travelled from around my head i felt the pull, and what a pull! Sudden silence, water draining from my shoes and the dark surface falling away from me.

I was going up, and up high, pulled effortlessly 30 feeet above the water and swung trapeze style over the sand. This is not good, its going to really hurt, 'i told you so' i could hear from my workmates.

And then the drop began, leggs despirately running in fresh air, swung out and around by the speed of the kite , the sand passing friom below to behind me and the water surface came quickly onto focus. Smashed into and along the glassy surface like a stone thats too big to skim, i crashed into the waste deep water, eyes closed for impact and ready to recieve the pain.....nothing, i was alright....i couldnt believe it, nor G, chicken and the silenced jaw dropped onlookers. Releived to be ok I was buzzing.....

a different story 10 minutes later once the realisation of what i had got away with sunk in.....


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