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

Why it can pay off to understand the weather.

Hey all, it’s another amazing day in Sydney with sunshine and at 8am a steady nor-wester blowing. This is kind of how yesterday looked when I made the last post.

We were down at kurnell yesterday and did a little trip over to Towra, it was really nice over there but it didn’t last for too long after the wind started to gusty up to the point I got ripped off the water on a 9. Its been a long time since I’ve been totally spanked by a kite. I took this as a sign that it was probably time to switch to a smaller kite so we headed back knowing that the forecast was for a big westerly switch.

When back at the carpark I was about to whip the 7 out and took a look up at the sky, a BIG rolling fast moving bank of cloud heading in from the west. Hmm maybe its coming. Theae clouds when overhead looked like nothing I’d seen in a while, and as a rule if clouds look funky then something funky is going on up there. Big troughs of flat bottomed cloud banks that I really must look up.

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Taking my inner advice that things were probably about to all get ‘messy’ our little group decided that watching the impending carnage with a few beers could be better. I actually launched someone on a bws 8 and pointed him at the clouds and said you better watch that fella, he actually decided to take our advice and drop his kite again. I’m sure he’s happy he did  So off we pop to the bottle shop for 5 mins, on our return we notice a change in things, the trees are sideways, cats are airborne and the water! Fark! 45 knot squalls do something to water, it makes it separate from itself and turn into walls of spray. After a few holy shit moments we spot a kite loose about 200 meters out blowing downwind towards the oil pipe pier, we make a quick call to the cops to say there is a kite free, we find the owner on the beach and let the cops know not to panic as others will prob call in. This didn’t stop the boat, westpac chopper and 2 cop cars turning up tho!

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That’s the graphs from yesterday. It was WILD! BUT it was forecast and it was visible that it was coming. This is why it pays to be prepared, know the skys, read and understand what’s going on. You don’t need to be a weatherman but question change. Why is that big bank of cloud coming? Why is it lined up different from the current wind direction? Why did it just get cold or warmer. I feel this is something missing from a lot of todays kiters who get out of an office chair and go kiting because its ‘extreme’ the main emphasis is on the kiting, not the wind. Sure http://www.seabreeze.com.au  helps and we have more tools at our disposal that ever before. Learn the weather and become a true sailor! It takes time, I’m fortunate enough to have the background but even I’m rusty. In the next few weeks I’ll find some good basic weather stuff and throw it up and talk about the common local Sydney things that catch out people.

Anyway, when things settled it turned into an incredible sunset. Here are some pics and one of me taking a piss. Thanks Jess Digs. I think?

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Does winter get any better?

Sydney is being blessed by good fortune today. I’m down at Kurnell for a change its a really nice, sunny warm and windy day. Lots of kites out but not as busy as I thought. There is enough north in the wind to get out on the beaches too. I’m hoping to fly the drone here today and get some footage too. So to sum it up, its a cracker! Get out there if you can. Tomorrow is probably going to be a stonking westerly so watch out.

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Wind Warning for the West Tues-Wed

Powerful frontal systems headed our way over the next few days. Gusty squalls guaranteed and unlikely to resemble the consistency of what you see on the forecast. Not the best conditions for kiting  and definitely not a day for beginners to be flying any sort of kite on the water or even on the beach.

Oh, did I mention that the swell is also forecast to build to 5 metres@18 seconds by afternoon?

http://www.seabreeze.com.au/graphs/wa3.asp

Weather Prognosis

Laurie at Seabreeze.com.au has put up a post worth reading:

http://www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Kitesurfing/General/Winter-warning-for-new-kitesurfers/

 

BOM forecast is here:

http://www.bom.gov.au/wa/forecasts/geraldton.shtml
Gerostorm

Quad-copter footage at Long Reef

Hi All,

It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything up. Not much has been happening in the way of wind recently with only a few days kitable over the past few weeks. The dry spell has ended with a just about kitable SW’er blowing since Friday. I was lucky enough to get out and have a great session on Friday in the pissing rain, managed to jag a heap of good waves and a few big rain drops in the eye balls!

Saturday and Sunday saw some gusty and flukey conditions up on the beaches, down south at Dolls would probably have worked well or Boat Harbour. These lacking conditions were a perfect opportunity to get the new quad copter drone doo-dad out in some wind and have a crack at shooting some kiting. This is the first crack I’ve had out in a decent breeze and it handled it superbly.

Check out the footage that I whacked together. This is straight from the chopper with no extra stabilisation done to the footage.

Cheers