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.