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

Breeze on! Sat 14th [UPDATED @ 1.45pm]

*** ARVO UPDATE ***

It’s still windy and there are a few guys still out. It looks like it’s gone a little onshore. If you want to see who’s still there have a look at the DY -> Longy CAM in the WIND, SEA & FORECASTS menu at the top. I see Benny out.. he’s obviously feeling better :)

*** END UPDATE ***

Hi crew.

After a disappointing no show with the wind last night mother nature has come back with a half-decent southerly breeze for Saturday morning. I got here just before 8am and was surprised to see 2 keen chaps just heading out. Wind is a little patchy and gusty and there doesn’t seem to be much south of the pole at longy. The beach today at longy is packed with events on at Dee Why and long reef so take care if it swings more on shore and don’t take any risks close to shore.

Unsure how long the wind will stick about so get in early. I’m just leaving the beach and there is 3 guys out having fun on 10’s and 12’s. The water is super warm too.

Laters.
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ARTICLE : Hydrofoil Dreaming

Thanks to Vasco for submitting this article! What a great write up on a really interesting topic that I can’t wait to have a crack at. Please take the time to read and share about and feel free to comment at the bottom. If you have an article you’d like to post please email us at pete@kitesurfing.com.au

Hydrofoil Dreaming

Ever since I saw the surf movie “STEP INTO LIQUID” I have been dreaming of being able to kite with a hydrofoil. I couldn’t kite to save myself about 6 years ago, but the distant goal always was to glide above the waves … nothing but a dream back then. Today I am so much closer :). I have been closely following R&D on foilboards and waiting for the right set of conditions to align — time / money / opportunity / skill, etc. Every year at the beginning of the season I did a little investigating and this year I found the time was right. So I went in…:) – here’s a little account of my trip. You’re welcome to join me or laugh about it. Me, I’m already there :)

A little history – I paid my dues at Tuggerah Lakes in April and FROZE my butt off at that cold place trying to get on the board after a frustrating lesson by a certain instructor (we won’t go there), until a mate of mine came from Perth to spend the weekend with me and said: by the day’s end you’ll be on the board – and he was right, thanks Adam. Most of the progression from there to intermediate was at Boat Harbour on twin tips in and the upwind, toeside, backrolls etc. Being made fun of by the KKK crowd at Kurnell (all in the best possible taste :)) made me more determined every time. I moved to QLD at the end of 2010 to pursue the next stage – waves :)

Even though I can’t surf to save myself, paddling into waves that is, I quickly added to my twintip a couple of mutants like The Wave Dr and a Shinn Wave. I liked it so much that I bought my 1st surfboard – haven’t looked back since :) :) :). Each to his own but once you’ve gotten used to a surfboard and got the first ‘cut’ into a wave you never go back. Three years of learning how to even understand what to do in front of a wave and conquering the fear of the big sets got me to today. Now I live at the beach and go out most days weather permitting. The bigger the better, cross or even cross-off as the waves are cleaner.

Ok, the boring part is over.. let’s get into the good stuff:

THE PURCHASE
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My research: I contacted every shop I knew who could possibly sell foilboards, asked about prices and advice. As I also have a Marketing degree I am fairly unaffected by ‘sales pitches’ and Marketing jargon :) or at least I’d like to think I am. I am usually fairly thorough on my research and as I wasn’t satisfied with vague answers / promises / lack of real knowledge I did what I always do – I went global.

I found a website with information on foilboarding and not brand based, run by people like me that want to know about Hydrofoils for kitesurfing. From there I emailed: JC-Kiteboards, MHL Custom, Mosses and Wind and Sea in NZ. I also emailed a couple more brands but they never bothered to answer so I won’t even mention them, boohoo to you :).

Let’s not forget that apart from the cost of the gear itself I had to factor shipping costs. By far the most helpful were Wind and Sea in NZ, but they don’t manufacture so their prices were out of the question for brand new. The others were either too expensive to start with because 3 of them are French and all is in EUR and then by the time shipping was added I was out of the race. I then asked for ‘foil only’ costs + specs (design) for a suitable board. I intended to get a blank cut on the Gold Coast and add the foil here.

This is what made me decide on my supplier. Nick Leason from www.mhlcustom.com simply said: “Hey mate give me a few more dollars and have the full set up. Our boards are already reinforced and designed to handle the foil pressures and you’ll be much happier. Besides, if you take the full set I will pay for the postage”. I said: What :)??? This guys sounded great so I scheduled a call to have a chat so I satisfied the fact that I was about to send him a bit of $$. I couldn’t have been happier – Nic completely put me at ease, explained the ins and outs and the painstaking process I would have to go through to ‘get on the board’. He then sealed the deal by offering me a custom paint job.. I said what??? “Sure mate, I can do whatever you want on the board, he said smiling :)” so I sent him a photo of the latest Drifter I had just purchased and gave his team full creative freedom. I paid via Paypal and we kept in touch. The board was shipped in 1 week and it took 4 days to get here all the way from Puerto Rico… Nic had on purpose kept the design a secret for maximum effect, he knew full well I would be pleased.

Disclaimer: I have no association or financial interest with MHL Custom. This is simply an account of a pleasant experience. Have a look at who they are

Here she is:

I know, right? I can say I am super impressed. At under 7,5 kgs complete this board is a dream. Look at the Cabrinha Drifter 2014 Orange and you will understand Nic’s colour choice.

I couldn’t wait to try it. But before I take you through the laughing stage of the learning process I would like to tell you a bit more about the sales experience. Hold on, it won’t take long and it will help define why I am so happy with Nic and MHL.

So the board gets dropped off by DHL and I start opening the package. All seems well, good protection and packaging  .. until I get to the last paper wrapper. The top and bottom of the board are a testament of their craftsmanship. But then I unwrapped the paper on the sides and found 4 marks on it. DHL had dropped it in transit and managed to make a few dings and even a little possible crack on the carbon. I was devastated. In my opinion, whatever the solution I would end up with a board that had some marks on it, repaired or not.

So I took a dozen photos and emailed Nic. He simply said: I am really sorry to hear this mate, let me look at the photos. He got back to me in 5 minutes and said: Put some resin on it and go play in the water – I will make you another board and put it in the post asap. I am going to DHL but know I won’t get anywhere, too bad. You’re my client and I am going to make sure you are happy. I was very surprised about his reply as I know that I paid over 2k for it and he most certainly would be out of pocket.

So I decided to reciprocate – I told him I would find a good carbon technician and get it repaired. When my new board arrives I will take some photos and I will advise everyone I know that I have a demo board for anyone to try, and if they want to buy it they can contact Nic and purchase it directly from him. I figured one good service deserves another. He was quite happy with my offer, we agreed on a different design based on same colours.

And I went off to find a repairer.. I was referred to Polsy from Ding Repairs – another PRO in his craft. Gave him a call, nice manner, went to see him and he said “no worries mate, I’ll make it new again”. My reservations on that were that the clear cote over the carbon would be hard to make clear again, he (Polsy) wasn’t worried. Asked for 24hrs (how dare he :)) and the next morning it was ready, charged $40 and I went to pick it up. When I saw it I went “Shite, mate what a job” – it was immaculate. Another good chapter.

THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE
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Everything you’re told won’t prepare you for what is coming. You know how to kite, right? Wrong !!! How hard can it be? Frustrating :)

I live on the beach so I thought I would take it out, body drag past the waves and try it on the other side = mistake. Seen the Castle? “Tell him he’s dreamin’..” Yep, I was dreaming alright. Not only I had the swell to content with, the kite to provide pull, putting weight on the wrong foot, leaning far too much like a surfboard or twintip to provide resistance.. what EVA. It was hilarious.. nothing worked. I didn’t last 2 seconds on the board.. I fell forward, backwards, in every way possible.. over, and over, and over again. Frustrating doesn’t begin to describe it.. Session One was a right off. Even though I expected it I also secretly hoped that my skills weren’t THAT BAD (fool) heheheh.

I acknowledge that I was introducing far too many variables. Since I didn’t have a Jetski or Ski boat on hand to try a consistent pull and flat water river experience I decided to go to the Alley. I figured I have as much right to be a knob over there as any other twin tipper newbie since I’ve paid my dues many times over – best decision I made. Nic also saw some of my progress photos and gave me a VERY IMPORTANT tip: take your back foot off the strap and place it in front.. Man oh man, it made 80% difference. I guess it helps that I can ride a bit of strapless.

Lessons from **Round I**:

  • Reduce as many variables as possible
  • You must be at a good intermediate / advance level on kite skills, otherwise hydrofoil kiting may not be for you, YET :)

Session 2 – was much better instead of not being able to get up at all this time I managed to at least stay on the board long enough to fall to the other side, and face-plant :) :) :).. a lot.
But on the positive side, I had no waves to contend with and I could at least go in one. But I still wasn’t going upwind so the inevitable walk of shame was doing nothing for my self-esteem, especially not with all the people at the Alley laughing their heads off.

But things were better, much better. I went from shot 1to shot 2 in one afternoon, dozens of splashes later! I even managed a couple of very tiny glides like this – note: 3-4 seconds, then splash again :)

Lessons from ***Round II***

  • try to not use the board as resistance to get up – this will push the board sideways and make the wing pop out. Instead I think the trick is to use the kite to get on the board quite fast, while it is still flat. Then coordinate the forward pull to displace the board forward.
  • go downwind, go downwind, go downwind :)

At this stage I have to add that a couple of friends of mine also tried the board. One had never been on a foil but is a very good kiter and quite fit … he didn’t last 2 seconds on the board as it bucked him out. He tried and tried but couldn’t do much better. The other kiter is a pro, he has a board from Carafino but hadn’t used much or been on it for 2 years.. he also couldn’t do any better than I was. I felt sooo much better :) Amazing how other’s misery mitigates our shortcomings.

Lessons from ***Round III***

  • Slow down.. get the board barely moving by letting go of the bar. This allows better control on the board direction (left, right)
  • keep the power of the kite constant, avoid jerking the bar (yeah right).
  • Balance should be on the board, not using the kite to lean (like a twintip)

… and suddenly you’re gliding :) :) :) -it’s the most amazing feeling EVER – no drag, no noise.. eyrie

by the sessions end I was able to stay upwind and this may mean no more sore muscles of carrying the board up the beach.

Does this mean I ‘got it’? Nope, it doesn’t, not yet. But I am certainly pleased. Is it all that’s cracked up to be? HELL YEAH !!!

So, what next? Well, I am waiting for my new board to arrive next week, or at least before Xmas. I made a deal with MHL and will be trying their new design – it’s a real quad surfboard, fins and all. This means that by the time I get any good at it I will be able to take it overseas with me and foil or kitesurf depending on conditions, and get away with taking one board only.

I will leave you with a couple more visuals from Sessions III at the Alley and IV in waves.

The question is: should you foilboard? I think that if you’re the sort of person that doesn’t mind the ridicule of ‘learning’ again but have your eyes on the future – GO FOR IT. Have a look at racing world as there is a foil class now –

  

And just in case you think I’m nuts.. http://www.npsurf.com/blog/damien-leroy-introduces-sup-foil.html

(c) Vasco and kitesurfing.com.au

Sunday, was it that great?

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So guys, I called it on Sunday at about 11am. The swell was PUMPING and it is very rare to get such a big wave coming into Fishermans. Unfortunately even though it was windy enough to kite it wasn’t really windy enough to get stuck into that big swell and mother nature didn’t want to line up any good wind and waves to make them easy to surf on with a kite!

So, what was it like, well the photo here shows Jono heading out as chief tester of the conditions, there was a lot of water moving in the small bay but he seemed ok and managed to get out to white rock with little hassle, that little wave there on the corner of the reef at the launch site was jacking up to a good 4ft when we got there and proved a little troublesome for a few. (This opens up a few topics on conversation that I’ll talk about later) Chris in the foreground here was rigging up a 2045 model kite made of carbon nano-tubes and layered graphene sheets. He was excited at the prospect of big waves and light winds that always equal carnage.

After Jono had about 10mins under his belt without dying we decided it was probably OK to head out, so off we go, I headed pretty much straight out to Macaha to check it out, there is a LOT of water moving out here and the open ocean swell is like riding over houses. The set that I witnessed rolling in was like something from a movie, 3 8-10ft+ sets peeling right with glassy faces! I’ll be honest, 15konts on a 9m with that kind of movement didn’t sounds so flash so I hung about a bit and decided that dying today wasn’t the best idea so headed back into the bay to see if any of those waves were kitable. White Rock was too downwind and fat and the only thing that was nearly doable was the brown wave at the launch exit.

For a while there it was great, 3-4 of us out, no one in the way, every one was having a great time doing circuits to have a crack at a wave. Then it happened! The CROWDS!!

I’m all for everyone kiting at Fishermans, I love the buzz on the beach but there are times when an assessment has to be made. If you are going to just mow the lawn and cruise back and forth in a line please do so NOT IN FRONT OF THE ONLY WAVE THAT PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO KITE ON.

Fishermans is a great spot, it is a much better launch and go somewhere else spot than anything else. It also can be a bloody a dangerous one that doesn’t support many kiters safely. I’m not sure if in lessons these days they teach about looking for dangers but has everyone noticed the rock, trees, power lines, golf club, million $$ houses, boat ramp, flag pole, hang gliders, small beach etc etc.

Sitting on the beach just highlights how many close calls there are and they are all totally unavoidable if people look ahead, look before they turn and watch what others are doing. I heard a few people say that they weren’t too keen or good enough to get out past the wave and out to the left where there is better wind and less people. So everyone just ends up on top of each other. Recent events at Long Reef have highlighted to us the dangers and it has to stop if we want to continue to kite here. It isn’t just Fishermans, it is everywhere from Botany to longy, people mowing the lawn and just going in and out all on top of each other when there is a whole ocean to use.

Please guys, spread out. Launch, head upwind and find your own space, if you see people surfing waves and you are not just move away. If you are practicing jumps and rotations you need to plan for the fact you may loop the kite and end up way downwind etc etc.

Anyway, enough of that rant for today! Yesterday was good, it didn’t line up as good as it could have but there will be another day, like today maybe! It was really humid outside this morning and that may inhibit todays wind, the forecast is really north so lets hope it holds up. If it’s real North the options are slim, most places could be too gusty and with good a swell still going there could be a few kite repairs this week.

Another highlight of the day for me was someone asking if I was Pete from the website! for this sir you get a special mention! Sorry I’m really bad with names but thanks for the chat, it was great to see you out in the best spot cruising about all on your own trouble free away from crowds. When I make some stickers you’ll get one for free. :)

Laterz

Pedro

This is it! Wind and waves

OK guys. This could be it. I’m going to call it! There is a great forecast for wind from the north and looking at the cloud movement its a north trend that will be boosted by a sea breeze. Surf is UP with a solid 4ft+ ground swell pumping in. This could turn out to be the day of the year if your into surf and wind. Keep an eye on it.

Laterz
Pete

December 3rd Fishermans Session

Quite a few people managed to get out tonight for a good session with a decent breeze for once! I managed to rock up at about 5.30pm and met up with Matty Ma and Bill briefly who’d been out for the afternoon and were packed up and heading off. Chris, Alex, Christoph, Dave, Tom and Sonia all showed up and a few others.

Most the usual suspects were there but it did seem a little quiet for a decent breeze, maybe the lack of good wind has driven everyone down south!

One of our resident photogs was on hand to snap a few pics of myself and Gravy Davey mucking about. I was trying to do dark slides today and this resulted in multiple face plants and a good beating!

Here is a real quick selection of some of Grant’s pics, sorry most of them are of me! Grant will fix up some of the better ones and post them up soon.

VIDEO : Free your feet

I stumbled across this video today and I’m posting it up for 2 reasons. 1. I want to watch it later and I won’t loose the link :) and 2. It’s bloody awesome!

Some really good inspiration for some strapless tricks. I did note the guy is wearing a helmet too, this is probably a good idea as you are most likely to get a board in the bonce at some stage doing this! enjoy!

SOLD : 2013 NAISH PARK 10m – $1100

FOR SALE : 2013 NAISH PARK 10m – $1100

COLOUR: Blue and White

CONDITION: Excellent , still very crispy. Minor repair in the sheet cloth the size of a 5c Piece.

PRICE: $1100

COMES COMPLETE WITH;
-BAR AND LINES
-BAG
-LINE EXTENSIONS if requested
-Pump

BAR
2013 NAISH ATB BAR. Setup for freestyle and Wakestyle modifications to make it just that much sweeter a bar. NEAR NEW, only used 3 times.

Alex Harrison-Smith
0413403498

New FOR SALE Section & Rules.

Hi all,

We’ve had a few requests recently to advertise kite related gear from a few of our local crew. I’ve always been a bit iffy on filling the website with for sale spam but I feel there is a need for it and it is something that Rob always did via his newsletter. To this end we’ve added the FOR SALE section. This will be a list of items that we’ve advertised so you can have a quick look if anyone local is wanting to shift some gear that you are in need of.

Unfortunately this being Australia and the interweb we must have a few rules.. (more rules!!)

  1. Lets not take the p$ss. we’re not here to sell your pets and old smelly mattresses.
  2. Lets keep it kite community related.
  3. You should probably own the item you want us to advertise.
  4. I’m not going to write your advert. I don’t have time! you MUST email all relevant info to us the way you want it to show.
  5. You MUST include some decent photos (1024×786) and try to keep them under 500kb each (if you don’t know how to do this by now go back to pen and paper)
  6. You MUST include a phone number or email address AND be willing to have that posted on the net. (I can’t keep them hidden etc) We have a comments section if you want to use that to get peoples details etc.
  7. We accept NO responsibility for anything. It’s your gear not ours, we are not selling your gear just helping you advertise it.
  8. You should let us know that your stuff has sold, we WILL remove your ad after time, at least we will remove your contact details from it if we don’t delete it
  9. We are NOT replacing the seabreeze for sale section. I suggest you place your ad there also and maybe offer a better price for a local buyer.
  10. If I think your kit looks old and unsafe. IT IS!! Get it in your head no-body should be buying old unsafe gear, don’t even think about it. Cut it up with a knife and throw it in the tip or make a scarf out of it.
  11. Be descriptive, include the age, model, condition, colours, use, damage etc etc of any gear your trying to part with.
  12. Did I mention that we are NOT responsible for ANYTHING!!!

Ok, now we are all on the right page. Send your ads to pete@kitesurfing.com.au and we’ll try and get it up. If volumes get WAY too high then we’ll look at something else. Below is a template you can copy and paste into an email..

Thanks

Pete

 

FOR SALE :

item title

DESCRIPTION:

your description goes here. year, model, age, condition, colour, what is it, size, damage anything and everything.

LOCATION

Where is it?

PRICE

let’s be realistic here

POST OR PICKUP

Hey we are all local aren’t we?

CONTACT

phone or email