Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mattias & Ben

Friday 3rd July (15m / 2h) SE 13-16Kn Elliott Heads. Another day with wind for Mattias. Setup the 10m and did a couple of tacks early with a few minor boosts. Pretty light though and had to pump the kite to get going. Swapped over to Mattias and he spent the time in the bottom bend at 1/2 tide going back and forth. He is getting upwind on the final part of the tack but loses a lot on the turn and restarts. Just about there though. Unfortunately the bottom bend was also the most downwind of everyone and other beginner kiters ended up down there eventually to make it a little congested. Mattias got tangled up in another kiter and somehow the kites went between the lines. at least both came down without incident and we were able to get Mattias going pretty quick. Wind died off so that after Mattias had finished there wan't much out there for me. Took the board and kite back to the heads by barely cutting upwind.

Monday 13th July (1h)  SW 10-14Kn Elliott Heads. Met a Spaniard traveller down at Elliott. He'd already been out but the tide was running low and there wasn't much water left. Launched and went over to the channel, but was pretty blustery. Right at the mouth looked the best but covered pretty heavily be a wind shadow.  Tried between some sand banks in the river but hard to make headway on the run-out tide. Popped back into the pond on the way back in and it was Ok, but super shallow.

Sunday 19th July (1.5h) ESE 15-18Kn Archie's. I'd thought Ben would be here by the Sunday afternoon and the wind looked good for a session down the beach. He'd missed the connecting flight to Bundy, so I went down at about 2pm for a kite. Wind started pretty SE but swung slowly around to ESE. Some nice boosts on the 14m into the breakers, then runs down the line with the wind change. Fun little session.

Monday 20th July (2h / 15m) SE 15-18Kn Elliott Heads. Started the day with a session down at archies with the trainer kite, but the wind was coming more south over the trees to be a bit of a nuisance. Took a quick go of the 14m to see how strong it was and felt good enough for a few jumps. Came in ad took Ben through flying the big kite from behind me, but he occasionally got the direction wrong to steer the kite, enough for both him and me to decide not to strap him in solo. Went back out for another quick spurt, then another session as they went for lunch. Good runs up to the middle sandbar going out the front with turns around the rocky stick. Good boosts out into the channel.

Tuesday 28th July (5h) SSE 15-20Kn Elliott Heads. Day looked good on the weather maps for a while and I'd been keen to get down for a big session. Forgot about the tides and was a little disappointed in the lack of water, so I took all my gear over to the south channel and set up over there. The wind angle made an awesome smooth run on the steep southern banks leading to the fallen tree, and I spent most of the first hour cruising with a couple of boost attempts over the channel buoy.
Wardy joined my after the tide had turned and spent another 1/2 hr or so with a bit more courage to try some tricks.

Wardy headed back for some food through the north channel, and I thought it must have meant that the northern mouth was opening up too. I walked the kite and gear back, but was disappointed that it still hadn't filled in. Went out in the shallow northern channel, but it was too shallow to do anything meaningful so I kept going out into the ocean. There was a nice little pocket out the front of the rock bar that wasn't sweeping down the beach as far that made a nice little wave run. I'd built up a bit more confidence in boosting going right, so using that on the waves with a building 18-20Kn wind was pretty fun.

Parked the 14m and contemplated lunch, but since it was 2:45pm I decided to hang around until Ben got there. Took my time putting up the 10m and packing down the 14m aa the wind was get a constant 20Kn. I'd launched Ian and had talked about his ocean rodeo board, so I joined him over at Coonarr for another little session. After he had a break on the beach, I tacked up over the top of the island to work the little pocket I'd found earlier to see the difference in kites. Fell off again going around the point as I was heading downwind. It seems that going downwind in open water has little holes that I'm digging into so I tried riding more on my back foot to slow down and make it safer. Still not a fan of going downwind. Kite performed better on the waves, but not as much as I'd imagined. Happy that I did that test.

I met Ian back at the Heads and had a go on the ocean rodeo board. Super smooth through the chop and really comfy on my ankles that had been getting sorer as the day progressed. Out on the waves it felt a bit hard to lift over incoming waves, but had super soft landings on the other side. Quite impressed. Boosts were achievable but I could notice the weight in the board. Once again landings were really easy. Would be an excellent cruising board.

Finished with another hour boosting and backrolling with Ben in the before calling it a day at about 5pm.

Wednesday 29th July (1h) SE 15-18Kn Kelly's Beach. Another strong day, but an afternoon meeting meant I'd need to be brief. Decided to go down the front (since it was pretty much low tide) and kite down near the basin rocks. Set up at money's creek and worked my way downwind looking for a good spot to catch the swell lines into shore. The pick was off the exposed rocks / reef just down from the basin rocks and blasting into the shallows near the moon rocks. Hit a couple of nice kickers on the way out going right to go even higher than yesterday. The swell didn't really form up into surfable waves, but was an Ok angle. Would have been nice to see a GPS plot of that session. Hopefully watch arrives back soon ...

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Kiting in the Channel

Since my watch is down I'll have to revert back to writing up kiting reports again.

Sunday (15m). 14-16 SE Elliott Heads. Spent most of the time teaching Mattias on the 10m. Took a quick run and managed to barely tack upwind. Some good glides into the new section opening up downstream of the pond, but didn't really do much.

Monday (30m). 13-16 SSE Elliott heads. Another teaching day and Mattias is getting up both directions, although still favoring going left. Fisherman everywhere in the main channel so we spent most of the time over in the pond bounded in by another fisherman on the point blocking off access to the new flat section heading down the river. Even less upwind and called it pretty early to swap over with Mattias. Scott came down also and tried out the new harness with the 14m and surfboard. He got a couple of tacks going in the pond, but kept bottoming out, so he went over to the channel with Wardy and Rob. I also had a go in the channel with the surfboard. Got up and going on the first run, but struggled going right wit the wind dying off. It seems that getting up and going with a surfboard in lighter winds than the twin tip is not so easy. Still hopeful it's just technique and possibly board choice that's holding us back.

Thursday (30m, 10m) 12-20 Kn SW Elliott heads. Unexpectedly windy so we headed down at about 10:30 to check it out. I tried it out first and got upwind quite well on the 10m with a couple of boosts. Changed over and the gusty conditions with more wind didn't really suit Mattias and he possibly performed worse than on Monday. After 1/2 hr we swapped back over and he was too cold to continue. I took the kite to the pond where Rob was travelling pretty well on his 12m. Managed a couple of powered boosts and backrolls to make a pretty decent 1/2 hour session. Went back concerned that Mattias hadn't showed up out at the pond and packed down for lunch.

Went down again in the afternoon with Scott and although we took the 14 & 10 out of the car, it felt like it was going to drop so eventually just took the 14m & twintip over to the channel. Managed to do a couple of runs when the wind was up, but the lulls were down to 10Kn and made the session a bit of a wash. Swapped over to Scott but he couldn't get more than a couple of metres. Went back pretty despondent that the wind was on the way out.

The channel was also quite shallow on both sides. I was expecting a steep dropoff on the southern side, but I was able to stand waist deep ~5m off the bank after a crash. The northern side is fairly gentle and gives quite a nice shallow area for practicing if the tide is pushing the right way. The whole inlet to the north of the island had been sealed, so I'm not sure where all the water is escaping. Maybe we need a big downpour for the river to carve out some sand?


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Heroes Charge Hard Crusades 02

After over 3 weeks out of the game, I decided to put together the second recorded hard crusade from Heroes Charge and upload it. Pretty happy with starting this game as the first Let's Play format as there were a couple of times I could remove "Üm"s, "äh"s and long pauses because the screen wasn't changing that much.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

How (not) to do backrolls

I've been landing backrolls for about a month, but there's still stuff going wrong with them that I'd like to get cleaned up before moving on to more serious tricks. Managed to film 2 interesting failures on Sunday:
1. Popped pretty high and just finished up the rotation way too early. I've done this before, but it's hard to predict exactly how high I'm going to go. It's really dialling in the pop that's the problem, but I could also work on estimating how high I've gone and whether I need to speed up or slow down the rotation.
2. I caught myself moving the bar pretty aggressively after takeoff and tried to correct. Honestly thought I'd looped it, but it turns out I had corrected fine; the kite just happened to head to 12 in a tight send. Not much I could do but keep rotating and eventually landed pretty easily. The kite was too far above to ride away from it, but I was happy to be on back on (in) the water.

 This was the first video I'd seen of my own backrolls and I was hoping they were more of a vertical rotation than other I'd seen. Turns out the pop is quite good and I'm getting enough height to look at more rotations or more twists. I've also been studying Caleb's goto trick and it's really a backroll with tailgrab and landing switch. The height is what makes it look awesome, so I think I'm pretty close.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Heroes Charge - Hard Crusades

I'm playing more and more mobile games. Heroes Charge is one with a fair bit of busy work but enclosed within is a great little tactical challenge: Crusades. Here's a 3 part series on the strategies used to conquer Hard Crusade at a lower team level.

Sunset Medina

Boosting practice in ~20Kn winds. We played Funky Cold Medina in a random tangent at work (as you do), so it seemed to fit in some quirky, mixed up memory of that day.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Leader line replacement for F.One 2014 Bandit 7

Finally got the replacement leader lines for my 14m 2014 Bandit. I seemed to need a lot more pressure than expected to remove the float and get the assembly all apart so I thought I'd document the replacement process:

 - Removing the float: The float covers another knotted line for adjusting the back line length. Because it is doubled up under the float, I had to pull pretty hard to remove the float up along the line. One side was so tight that I had to pull the broken leader line down with a set of pliers while forcing the float up the line. The side with the bar was a little easier to hold onto, but it was still tight.

 - Removing the plastic tubing: There is also a piece of plastic tubing at the bottom of the float closest to the bar. This can come out before you pull the float up or will pop out once the float has been removed. It doesn't seem to be necessary to hold the internal knots in place as it is looser than expected. It looks like it stops the line tidy straps from digging into the float. They can easily slide off the bottom of the line once it has been removed from the bar.

 - Undo the back lines: Each back line is attached to the leader line with a larks head knot. Undo this and separate the leader line from the back line. The float can either stay up on the back line or come off completely now.

 - Undo the leader line from the bar: There should be easily enough slack now to remove the looped leader line from the aluminium eyelet on the bar.

Replacement process

Shown is the bar, the replacement leader line, the plastic tubing the float and the back line 

 - Add the plastic tubing: The replacement set came with an additional plastic tubing piece but was not the same size as the original. This might be for a different size float, so I removed it and preferred the original plastic tubing as I knew it would fit snug in the float once it was back together. This step is needed now because it is easier to attach the leader line to the bar without the float.

 - Slide the plastic tubing over both the end of the leader line and the line tidy elastic cord. It should sit between the elastic cord binding and the knotted adjustment line

 - Attach the leader line to the bar: Push the end  of the leader line through the eyelet of the bar, open up the loop and thread the rest of the leader line through to make a lark's head knot.

The direction you thread through shouldn't matter too much in the end, but I tried to keep both lines threaded in from underneath so that I can check the knot while on the water. I have a suspicion my line broke due to sand getting in under the knot as the aluminium was scoured quite heavily.

 - Add the float to the back line: Thread the back line through the middle of the float. You may need to straighten out the back line's larks head to get it to smoothly fit through. On
e side I needed to poke it a touch, to get through the middle bend. This is done now so that it makes pulling through the top of the leader line easier.

 - Move the float to the top leader line: Recreate the larks head in the back line and loop it over the top of the leader line to pull it through. I found that attaching the larks head down on the single strand of silver cord made it easier to pull through. Once through, reset the larks head back to the monkey fist at the end of the leader line.

 - Move the float over the adjustment knots: All that is left is to now place the float down over the adjustment knots. This step may require some force. Make sure that the float is facing the right way (curving in). Push the float all the way down to about 5cm from the bar. Keep moving the plastic tubing out of the way.

Since the end of the knotted top leader line will be pushed back up the float I decided to bind it to itself with cotton. I'm expecting the cotton to break or be easily removable later on and is NOT to hold strain, it just has to hold the end in place until I can get the float into position. The other side seemed to have enough room in the float to not warrant the cotton.

 - Push tubing into place: As the float descends over the adjustment knots, it will eventually push the plastic tubing down toward the bar. Once the float is in its final position push the tubing back into the float so that it sits flush with the bottom of the float. My larger tubing fitted snugly so that it wouldn't move easily.  

All done! Check the lines thoroughly with strain to make sure all the larks heads are holding.

17m boosts

Archie's NNW ~13-17Kn (45min)

Lots of wind during the week, but only could get out on Wednesday. Not strong enough for Ben's 12m, and with my 14 still out of action I tried out the 17m Zephyr. Even harder for Sandy to launch than my 14m, but luckily the sand bank was sloped enough that it could be simply held against it to get enough curl for a clean launch.

Enough to easily get going, but the direction made it spoil over the land giving gusty pockets to keep you on your toes. Tacked upwind to Money's creek, then stayed around there to try some boosts. With the slower turns it was even harder to predict a wave, but managed a couple of decent floaters.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Around the Island

Went down on Friday after work to see if my leader lines had arrived. I had also packed Ben's 12 but it was too windy for that. Met up with Wardy, but no lines :/. Spent the afternoon watching and launching / landing othrs with smaller kit. 3rd day when there was too much wind. Still happy about the multitude of days that I have been able to get out in because of the larger kite though.

Saturday was blowing even more, possibly 25+Knots. Everyone was in after a big session when I got there, but most were windsurfers. There's a distinct lack of regulars out or floating about on such a primed windy weekend. Another front came in to take the wind up near 35Knots:

Elliott Heads ESE 15-18Kn (45mins)

Headed down to Elliott again on Sunday morning as I had expected to have the rest of the day filled. I had contemplated taking out the 17m as it was possibly only 12Kn at the start, but I'd left it in the shed. The breeze picked up though so I was in the water by 7:50 on a clean 15+ wind with Ben's 12m.

I tried a couple of boosts down in the lee channel. Pretty fun to get back into super flat water but the channel felt a little cramped. Tried riding toe-side but could only managed a broad reach. Will have to seriously work on how to twist my back foot all the way around to get anything like upwind. Wardy was popping from toeside on the Friday so there's a LOT more I need to find.

Tacked easily up to the river mouth to work on more boosts. I'm boosting higher and cleaner in the first couple I do, but then am either rotating or not timing it right when I'm trying to improve later in the session. Accidentally landed a 360, and I'd expect that adding rotaiton is going to be pretty simple. Controlling it will be another matter though.

Headed back after a really nice session and caught a fin on the shallows with my last turn for home and dumped the kite into the water. Really annoyed that I'd have to pack up a wet kite after such a good session.

Elliott Heads ESE 13-18Kn (2hrs)

Turned out not going up the farm Sunday afternoon so I headed down to Elliott again for a big session (this time with the 17m definitely in the car). Looked a solid 18+ so I took out the 12m again. Managed a couple of boossts before Ian got up and going so I headed with him over to Coonarr. Ian didn't manage to get out the front, so I thought I may as well try going around the island. I was tacking well upwind and the open sea was fairly sedate, so it turned out to be pretty easy getting above the rocky point and heading downwind along the eastern island beach.

I'm struggling to do anything meaningful going downwind. I lose a heap of kite power doing anything less than a broad reach, and sometimes have to work to even keep the kite flying. I have heard of people doing long downwinders but to me they are worse than tacking hard upwind. I'd much rather spend the time going directly cross wind or slightly upwind while working waves or jump points than endure a long downwinder.

Finished up the first session with a couple more boosts in the river mouth. Once again I found the first ones to be the most successful so I'm overthinking the send or the launch.

The wind was building in front of a large dark cloud, so I came in pretty happy with the whole session and stoked I got around the island. Chatted for 20 minutes and the wind didn't escalate and the front looked like it was sliding inland, so I headed out a gain for a quick burst. Others were out too, but once a lighter leading cloud shot over the river we all headed back in. I was on my last run in when the wind dropped completely before picking up slightly from the SW. I had to safety back to shore and pack up in the rain. Pretty annoyed at reading the weather wrong, but it was a fun little session.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Borrowed Kite

Archie's NW 15-19Kn (15m)
Was hoping for the leader lines to be in by Thursday, but Ben came down anyway to go for a final run before his trip South. Managed to get out on his 12m for a little bit before he packed up. Still blustery coming over the land before coming almost directly down the beach at Archie's. Kinda boosted, but had far more success in the Elliott a couple of weekends ago with consistent wind.