A short walk through the past. PLUS: Tell us what you’d like to see on the Kitesurfing.com.au site

Hi crew, Well, the kitesurfing.com.au site has been around for nearly 10 years now (though I’ve been posting kitesurfing photos on the web since 2001).

In the early days from 2001 – 2005 there was “KitePix”, which was just a subdomain of one of my other pages where I’d toss up the odd photo gallery. Believe it or not, it’s still online: http://www.smallwood.com.au/index2.htm

KitesurfingPage2006 Tom Kitepix Chris Tom5 Tom4 Tom3 Tom2

(With a few exceptions) almost every one of those photos on every one of those pages was taken with FILM or transparencies, then printed and scanned and uploaded via an internet connection that was probably running at about 128kb/s, at best. The water shots were all done with a Nikonos 3 water camera, vintage 1975 that contained no light meter, no through the lens focussing (you had to pick your distance, set it and then wait until your subject arrived at that distance, then push the shutter). The light was set by knowing what film you had, what time it was, which way you were facing and what month of the year it was and how much cloud there was. You had a leeway of about 1.5 f/stops to get it right. Still, the hit rate was pretty good!               http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/htmls/models/htmls/nikonos13.htm

I originally registered kitesurfing.com.au on 19 May2001, then just let it sit around for a few years without knowing what I’d do with it. Finally, digital cameras came on the scene in a big way in 2004. I got a Nikon D100 and in July 2005 started posting photos on the kitesurfing.com.au  site. Ironically — not having any idea that I’d one day be living here, the first post on the site was a photo gallery of the 2005 AKSA Nationals which took place here in Geraldton WA.

You can view the first kitesurfing.com.au post on the WayBackMachine archives here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20050712020534/http://www.kitesurfing.com.au/

The first proper page with links and background images and all that went up sometime later that year.

Then, there’s a big gap when there are no archives and the next archive appears in August 2006:

https://web.archive.org/web/20060820190254/http://kitesurfing.com.au/

A very young-looking Coert throwing some spray at Wanda in 2006

This post contains some of the very first photos of StandUp Paddleboarding, at the 2006 Mambo. Amazing how big it’s become in such a short time. If you feel like sampling more of the historical posts, you can find them at: ttps://web.archive.org/web/*/kitesurfing.com.au

Well, a lot of years passed and we packed up and moved west. At about that time some religious zealot hacked the page and deleted all the content and nothing much happened for a few months.

Then Mr. Pete took over things and gave the site a bit of class and brought things into the 21 century, which is what you see today. So, now that things have settled in a bit perhaps now it’s time to find out more about what you’d like to be seeing on the page going foward. I haven’t looked at the page stats in quite some time. At one stage we were getting upwards of 1,000 unique visitors a week and average visits of around 8 minutes. Those number aren’t huge, but those visit times are good, suggesting that what was there was valuable enough for people to stick around.

SO, here we are in almost July 2014 and it’s time to take a pulse of the community again and find out just what you’d like to see on the site.

Pete and I would love to hear from you.

To give you some ideas, here are some possible suggestions:

  • More photos?
  • More videos?
  • More “How-To” articles
  • More Weather Reports
  • Wind Alerts
  • Stuff to buy?
  • Product Reviews?
  • Visitor stories?
  • Travel stories?
  • Location  reports/analysis of specific Kite Spots?
  • More photos of Pete having a pee?

TALK TO US! SEND US YOUR IDEAS. 

Email us by clicking this LINK .

THANKS, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Rob and Pete

Blast from the past : A Picnic Point Mission!

Ok, for the last of the ‘Blast from the past’ posts for a while I’ve dug up a vid that I made waaaay back. I sort of remember these times. I was riding a 10m Turbo Diesel back then that I remember correctly was a total handful and really powerful, it was a good kite when it wasn’t inverted and trying to kill you! Emily (if you remember her) was still here and Aya was just learning. Those that remember Das Manly Kite Haus should also remember ‘Arnie’ or Andre the giant and Gav who is still riding the 14m GK Sonic light wind wonder kite.

Picnic Point is up at the Entrance on the central coast. It’s one of the only spots that really works in winter time and can produce some bonkers westerly conditions with epic flat, cold water.

I remember this day as we all bunked off work to head up there for the day on a mid-week mission. It really was cold! I’ve not been up to Picnic Point for a while but the last time I was there the field where we used to launch from is quite overgrown now and the weed in the lake can be a problem. Still it’s a good spot. Actually, I do remember the last time I was there now. It was my birthday in May last year and TwoFin and I both had to buy twin tips so we didn’t have to kite on surfboards all day!

Here is a map of where Picnic Point is for those that don’t know.

[googlemap src=”https://maps.google.com/maps?q=The+Entrance,+New+South+Wales,+Australia&hl=en&ll=-33.324504,151.491165&spn=0.189909,0.358086&sll=-33.823368,151.307831&sspn=0.188814,0.358086&oq=the+entrance&hnear=The+Entrance+New+South+Wales,+Australia&t=m&z=12″ width=”100%” height=”400″ align=”aligncenter”]

Blast from the past : A kite trip to Fiji in 2008

I love digging through old stuff. Another blast from the past was a holiday I took back in 2008 to Fiji with Glenn from Xshore. The trip was stunning with some incredible locations.

A few of the local crew were there also, BVZ (retired), Aya and Shane.

Fiji really is a top location for a kite holiday if you are lucky with wind. I’d love to hit up more waves if I go there next time.

This video is only part 1, Old youTube time limits must have been why the whole thing isn’t there. I’m going to have to dig for part 2!

 

Blast from the past : Long Reef video

Whilst at Longy this morning I looked at the lagoon that is pretty empty and a term popped into my head I’d not heard in ages. ‘The Lagoon of death!” I then remembered that I’d filmed a video way back in 2007 at Long Reef. A bit of digging on the old YouTube and I’ve found its still there. This was before the days HD video on YouTube but I’ve got the HD copy somewhere so maybe I’ll see if I can upload it. Anyway, it’s always good to look back at the old crew (some are still around) Aya, Chris, Mark B, Andre, TwoFin, Gavin and Frankie (Doing what Frankie does best. Massive jumps) and some very strange and still awesome music!

I remember this day being about 25knots southerly and pretty cold. Everyone is in wetsuits except the dog. :)

Enjoy

ARCHIVE : HAWKS NEST LONG WEEKEND OCT 2006

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Whoa. What a weekend. All planned nearly on at the last minute (as usual). Initial idea was a camping trip, then, Selena and Chris booked a house that included some available beds and floor space on a first-come basis. Everybody managed to get in except Simon and Tracey, (sorry guys) who camped across the road at Jimmys.

Loads of new arrivals on the crew lately. Final crew count was around 15 I’d say (plus gremmies Amelie and Robert) . Seems kitesurfing is the thing for South Africans this year. Let’s see… Paul, Bobbie Jo, Arthur, plus the existing SA crew of Tam, Gregg, Coert and Ant… plus Terry, a student who joined us with GF Dee on Saturday for a lesson, that makes nine. Guess you guys are the majority now, eh? ;-) Oh, and none of these guys except Bobbie Jo and Paul knew each other before kitesurfing …How’s that for coincidence?

Saturday morning was a leisurely brekkie followed by a wind check visit to Jimmys. Turns out there was a windsurfing comp on up the other end with about 100 windsurfers. Luckily, they stayed plenty downwind of us. Late arvo we got about 15-18 knots of SSW and a chance for a fun session on flat water, despite some rain, so no pics. Perfect conditions for everyone from complete beginners to experts.

Saturday night was the requisite visit to the Tea Gardens Pub.

Sunday was a late start and eventual trek up the beach to Little Gibber Headland/Sandy Point. Beau, Gregg and I got a few head high fun waves in the surf while everyone else worked on their tans getting ready for the wind.

 

Round 4 o’clock the nor’easter kicked in, another crew from Newcastle turned up and headed off before us.  Tony, Beau, Gregg, Chris, Simon, Scotty and I made up the ‘boarded’ crew and Paul decided to body drag it. Brave man. I heard on Tuesday that the Newie crew had seen a couple of Whities on the way down. All I saw was a huge pod of about 100 dolphins, jumping all around, some completely out of the water, less than 3m away. Some of the biggest dolphins I’ve ever seen, many of ‘em more than 3m long. The dolphin experience is always cool–no matter how many times you’ve seen it or experienced being in the middle of it, you never tire of it and they never lose their ability hold you in awe of how cool they are.

On the way down, took our time riding waves, jumping off big ramps out the back in perfect 15-18 knot nor’easters.  Huge airs, loads of big cutties on the waves, magnificent conditions. Google Earth says 11.2km beginning to end. If you assume about .5 km per tack and maybe 80 tacks, I’d say all up we probably kited 40 km or more in about 2.5 hours, finishing up at the Hawks Nest Surf Club right on dark.

The girls revelled in driving the 4WDs down the beach as the support crew and did and exemplary job, stopping to shoot video numerous times along the way.  Many thanks to Bobbie Jo, Selena, Tam, Alison and Tracey. Well done girls.

Monday, after the traditional chow down on about 110 of Selenas legendary pancakes, we stopped off in Umina where half an hour after our arrival we were greeted with a 25knot southerly that blew the rest of the day. The pictures tell the story. Arthur flew an inflatable kite for the first time on Saturday and by Sunday was up and riding on the board. Congratulations and welcome aboard mate. Your life will change forever now…

Great weekend all. Thanks to everyone who made it along for the great company. Great vibe all around, everyone reasonably well-behaved (as much as you’d want anyway) and only one complaint from a grouchy neighbour at 1am on Friday night, but he came out and had a friendly chat with us on Monday.

Everyone who didn’t make it—dang. Ya missed a good one. Til next time.

Cheers,

Rob

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ARCHIVE : THE RANDOMS

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Ok, Here is everything that we’ve managed to salvage from the old website. Totally un-vetted, feel free to tag, share on FB, comment and have some fun with these.

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ARCHIVE : XMAS 2005

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I just had a quick look at these pics and I can derive the following from them. It was Xmas in 2005 in Sydney, it was hot, it was sunny, there was no wind, the guys were at Dee Why and they had a stupidly large kite! Oh and Rob had a mo. Love it.

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ARCHIVE : WICKED WANDA WAVE SESSION 2006

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From March 2006 I’ve found this gem. Rob and the crew over at Wanda in Sydney’s South kitesurfing what looks like a great day. Found this blurb about it too.

Wow. What a day. Tom rings and says “Hey, nor’easter — let’s go to Wanda!” So, packed the car and we’re off. Perfect conditions with sideshore wind and 15-20 knots. The photos tell the rest of the story: Yellow helmet, red board is Johnny B Good Meyer; blue board, red boardies and sunnies is Rob Smallwood;unhooked surfboard rider is Russell Pell. Didn’t get the name of the other blokes. Tom was absolutely ripping but was the only person photographing so we don’t have any shots of him, though I got some great video. Will try and add some frame grabs from the video later. As is always the case, the best waves happend when no one was filming. (currently accepting photography aprenticeship applications from cute chicks who wanna learn to kite… ;-) ) Photos below were taken at the end of the session when the surf had subsided quite a bit. The first session the waves were probably twice the size of these and, egads, were there some scary ones… Tom got one of the first, that I saw from behind, conservatively estimating the back of the wave at 4m. I couldn’t even see his kite behind the wave as he went screaming and hooting down the face. I got one shortly afterwards that I thought was going to completely anihilate me — nearly bailed in the middle of the wave when I looked up and saw the lip about the throw out over me but somehow managed to escape it. And as usual, Johnny B Good nearly got munched at least a dozen times but escaped by the skin of his teeth with only milliseconds to spare in every instance. Ya just have to wanda, I mean, wonder: How DOES he do it???

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ARCHIVE : TARA’S 30th BIRTHDAY

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Our good friend Tara and her 30th Birthday Pics. Wish I’d been about to know them all back then. Glad I know them now. Looks like the party was at party central a.k.a Rob’s flat on Dee Why Beach back form July 2005.

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ARCHIVE : SNOW SESSION 2006?

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In the Archive here we’ve dug up some photos of a trip to the snow. I’m taking a punt at 2005/2006. No Kites to be seen tho. maybe its too early!

 

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