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.


Filed Under:

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


Filed Under:

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.


Filed Under:

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


Filed Under:

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.


Filed Under:

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)


Filed Under:

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)...


Filed Under:

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.............


Filed Under:

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.....


Filed Under: