Video : Kai Lenny v Team Oracle race

A cool video showing the incredible speed of the 72ft Americas Cup boat Oracle up on Foils. This video does make me question a few things. Why wasn’t Kai on a race board or a foil board for the race? Maybe he’d win!! What’s your view?

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Review : 2013 Blade Trigger 9m

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“The 5th generation Trigger went through a bold reconstruction of the profile shape, which positions the kite to sit further in the edge of the window, causing more vertical pop, significant increase in hangtime and much better upwind performance. Still maintaining its reputation of ridiculously quick turning speed and powerful delivery gives the proper Blade-edge to riders who don’t fear going all out on the water. Don’t expect a park and ride kite. The Trigger would be insulted if used in such ways. The high performance characteristics let you position this kite exactly where and when you want it.”

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Well that is the blurb from blade kites, how does the 9m trigger stack up to in some of the toughest conditions and does it travel well?

In the 2013 Torres Crossing Kite Expedition Blade kites blew everyone away by producing 24 custom printed PINK kites in only a few weeks. This was an amazing feat and all credit goes to Blade kites for getting on board, pulling out the stops and getting us pimped out for the trip. So how did they fair up?

For the entire 400km crossing I used a single 9m Trigger unstrapped on a surfboard, The Trigger saw conditions ranging from < 15knots to 35 knot rain squalls. Long 100km upwind legs and a dead downwind leg of 110km.

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I’ll stick on record right now that the kite is a good kite, it’s quite an intuitive kite to fly and gives more than adequate feedback back through the bar to know where it is and what its up to without visually looking at it all time. This is nice when riding one handed, toeside & unstrapped on a surfboard in 3m breaking swell whilst trying to keep an eye on other people. Not once did the kite want to fly itself up high or drop downwards into the water. Bar pressure is very nice, there is some without it being too much to cause fatigue for extended durations. I’m not a fan of kites with no bar pressure, it can lead to all sorts of rookie style errors with kites flying all over the place.

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As stated the kite does want to fly forward, you’ve got to let it go there, find the sweet spot on the bar and it’ll haul you upwind as well as any other but that can cause problems when wanting to crack off dead downwind. In the normal bridal setting you’ve got to work hard to keep the kite back in the window, it won’t park and ride unless you’re really lucky. Give it one wiff of an edge downwind and it’s off trying to find the edge of the window and you’re no longer going downwind. I found oversheeting the kite will slow it down a little when slightly depowered and helps to keep it deep in the window and the 12m’s seemed not as hungry for the windows edge from an outsiders view.

One thing I did find curious about the Trigger was the knots on the steering lines on the kite. There is 2 and on mine they were a good 4+ inches apart. This is a quite a big gap and testing both led to either being over sheeted or under powered. I tied another knot between the 2 stock knots and this proved perfect for the whole trip! A few others were complaining about similar things and followed suit on the 12m Triggers too.

Let’s talk about the bar.. Hmm the bar. I’ll come out with it blunt. It’s crap, maybe that’s a bit harsh. All the running gear on the bar is good quality, credit goes in here for keeping it simple, a lot of big brand kite bars are way too complicated. The Trigger setup is good with depower of a decent cleat and pulley at the top of the chicken loop rope, not my personal preference as I have short arms and like to adjust depower when unhooked but it’s something that I’ve now adapted to with my usual brand. When depowered the tail of the rope does wrap up around the chicken loop rope and it a little frustrating but is manageable. Lines seem reasonable quality and the safety system works well. The bit I don’t like is the actual bar itself. Firstly the grip, it is WAY too abrasive and hard, it has a diamond like studded finish that is very hard. I kite a lot and have tough hands but in one day this bar ripped a callus off that has been there for years and was so bad I swapped to another bar that I usually fly and continued gloveless for another 4 days without so much as a blister. There also seems to be a bend in the bar, maybe more of a slight curve. I’m curious to know why this is, surely its more expensive to make and I see no real advantage. When riding toeside for an extended period I found that it twisted my wrist just the wrong way as to cause me some pain, with the wrist twisted a little its just not as mechanically efficient to hang from it for so long.

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Build quality seems on par with most other brands. It’s not a leader but it’s certainly not the worst. The single point inflation system is ok, the hoses seemed quite plasticy and tended to kink a little but sorted themselves out eventually and the clips seemed to work. The ‘old style’ inflation valves with the balls inside them are a PITA. They were never very good and it’s surprising to see them still in use, the small valve also does make pump up a little slower. It’s certainly not a deal breaker but worth thinking about when looking at $$ value.

 The pumps are standard cheapies with a metal shaft, we broke quite a few handles and when pumping up hard (oh these kites need to be rock hard to work well) you can feel the handles bending.

The bags also are not too bad, I managed to get 2 kites, harness and a whole bunch of other stuff in one 12m bag (without bars) and it came in at around the 10-11kg mark. (handy for travel & a bar weighs ~1kg)

There were a number of other little niggles that really started to bug me on the trip. I launched a lot of kites in the week for other people in all sorts of totally non IKO approved ways and locations :) and it’s the bridals! The 12m’s did it a lot, we only flew a few 9m’s so I’m unsure if is a common thing but the bridal seems to be configured just so that the front one will hook around the tip and not release. Countless times we were screwing about in sharky water trying to untangle the things. Maybe by adjusting the length of that V this problem could be rectified.

Over the course of the week landing on coral beaches, squalls, constant loading and unloading from boats, crashing into things and generally not nice conditions for a kite we had one LE pop from landing onto dead coral on the beach, one kite totally shredded from crashing into a reef and one mysterious strut valve blowout on a LE on the last day when the kite was on the beach. This is from a sample of 24 kites where 16+ were abused daily. This is pretty good by all accounts.

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Roundup.

Good

Performance is great, feedback and bar pressure are good.
Quality is OK
Top and bottom and on par with others for the size.
14 kiters of all abilities didn’t complain and had no issues flying them
It got me safely 400km from Aus to PNG unstrapped and for that I thank Blade Kites.

Not so good

The bar grip and the curved bar.
Pump up system not the best on the market
Bridals that hook up all the time
Pump could be better quality

 

About the reviewer.

Pete has been kitesurfing for over 7 years and has a background in world championship level sailing. Currently a Team Rider for WindSurfnSnow Watersports in Sydney.

 

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NSWKBA Season Opener 2013 – Northern Beaches Style

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Hi All,

The great guys over at NSWKBA.com.au are hosting the 2013 North Side season opener at Narrabeen on Oct 13th. Looks like there will be a Big Air Comp, Demo kites, Clinics and more. There is – as always – a BBQ, music and bar. Hosted at the Narrabeen Surf club this event should be great! If it’s like last year we had cranking surf and brilliant wind. Good on ya NSWKBA.

kitesurfing.com.au will be in attendance to help raise profile for the site and take some photos etc. Hopefully Pete is all fixed up and can get out for the big air comp!

Be there or be the odd one out!

Pete

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Geraldton gets an early start to the windy season this year… +R.I.P. 9m REV2. Thanks for the good times!

Well, blow me down! Had a walk down to the beach this afternoon about 3pm and low and behold–two days in a row, there’s a seabreeze! Easy 15 knots, perhaps even a bit more at first, and straight cross-shore, and smoooooth as!

Rushed back to the house to grab the gear and then back to the beach only to discover I’d left my pump hose in the garage. Bolt back, grab the hose and pumped up the 9m and off I went. A bit uneasy as it was the first time I’d kited this spot and not a soul in sight anywhere. Flat water and not too deep so wasn’t that worried. Managed about four runs out past the end of the reef and back again and about 100m out on the way back, BANG! No idea, but then looked up to see the kite falling out of the sky! Dang! Swam in, towing the kite, by now full of water. Pulled it up on to the beach to discover that the bladder had manage to make it’s way out through the zipper hold and exploded. At the end of the season earlier in the year, had repaired one of the pesky valve seats and must not have closed the zipper properly. And all that work… So, at this stage, looks like it will probably be retired.  Been a good kite, despite the infamous P-Line issues and otherwise no complaints about it at all. R.I.P. 9m REV2. Thanks for all the good times. Wind only lasted another hour or so anyway and couldn’t be bothered to pump up the other kite.

Drummonds2b

Drummonds1b

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SB1

WIND WARNING AUG 17th

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DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!

Hi Guys, Yep it’s WINDY. Amazeballs. We are all gagging for a bit of Northerly wind action! There is a big crew heading out to Kurnell this morning and I’m sure the Northern Beaches will have a busy Fishermans Beach. It should be 20-25knots and all very nice.

BUT

This loveliness will not hang around all day, IT’S NOT A SEABREEZE! It is a weather system bringing us this wind and all good things will come to a total abrupt ending and swing dead offshore and turn into gusty offshore conditions. There will probably not be any real signs in the sky to indicate this change, if we are lucky you might see some clouds coming from inland first but I doubt it.

Keep it safe.. Have fun..

BREEZE ON!!

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SOLD : 2013 CABRINHA DRIFTER 9m FOR SALE – $1100

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To make way for 2014 equipment the webadmin of kitesurfing.com.au Pete is shifting his almost new 2013 gear! (Don’t ask) What this means is bargains for all!

There is a 6month old Cabrinha Drifter 9m in Green currently available. This kite is in perfect condition and has seen one season (of not so windy) Northern Beaches action.

These kites are fantastic, incredibly stable, lightweight, fast and rock solid in gusty conditions. The drifter is Cab’s ‘surf’ orientated kite but they handle any conditions. The bar system on the cab’s has come along leaps and bounds since I last used a Cabrinha and the build quality in second to none. If you want to go kiting, have simple pump up, setup, launch and just ride these are the kites for you.

Kite comes with all the usual bits: kite, pump (the best), bar, bag. Always folded correctly and stored dry (It hardly ever gets wet!)

Those that know me know I respect my gear and the condition of this kite reflects that.

$1100 (rrp is over $2100)

contact pete@kitesurfing.com.au

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SOLD : 2013 CABRINHA CHAOS 11m FOR SALE – $1100

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One of the perks of running the website is that I have the opportunity to help me sell some stuff. Sorry if this upsets anyone, we aren’t really a for sale board (seabreeze is good for that) but I can offer a good deal to any kitesufing.com.au members on some excellent gear.

I have to sell my 2013 Cabrinha gear to make way for 2014 gear. All this gear has been fantastic for the short 6 months that I’ve owned it. Anyone who knows me knows that I look after my equipment and I’m not a freshman.

This kite is a 2013 Chaos 11m, it is hardly used! I purchased this with the sad reality that it wasn’t going to be very windy on the Northern Beaches and low and behold it was!

This kite really impressed me with its consistent pull and stability in any conditions. Great for freestyle and as it turns out down the line wave riding where the preference is to unhook and surf rather than flinging the kite back and forward.

This kite is like new and comes with all the usual bits, bag, bar, kite and even an unused pump in a bag (which BTW is currently the best pump on the market by far)

$1100 (rrp is over $2100!)

Contact pete@kitesurfing.com.au

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Some swell this week; maybe a bit of wind.

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Wind was forecast to hit 15 knots on Sunday–which it did–for about half an hour. But the surf was decent. Well, decent in that it had some size to it. A bit too much actually.

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WOOAAHH IT’S WINDY!

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Hey Guys, Did you look outside yet? It’s windy. REAL WINDY!!

Have you seen the seabreeze charts today. I’ll go on record here as calling it pretty insane out there. lots of brown arrows all up the Sydney coast today and the forecast is for more!

It’s Westerly and it’s going to be super gusty. You’ll never get a clean 40-50 knots of breeze so if you are going out get your smallest handkerchief and your special brown trousers out. As always EXPERIENCED KITERS ONLY & THE FOOLISH for the next few days. These westerlies come out of nowhere!

 

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