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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Kite killers

I have been flying hooked in for the last 3 months ever since I had my Ozone Access SB harness for Christmas. I took the KK's off my 5m Flow and put them on my 3m Core a while back, as that was my scary kite!

Today as I was loading the buggy and kites into the car, ready for tomorrow, I couldn't remember the last time I had to use them. In some ways they have become a hindrance and get in the way.

So I have ditched them, taken them off and they are now in the bottom of the kite bag!

So if you see a middle aged bloke running across the salt lake tomorrow, chasing a red, white and black kite...

That will be me!

Friday, 30 March 2012

New Kite Curse!

I am having a Blade III 8.5m for my birthday, it has been sat in my wardrobe for the last couple of weeks and I have had strict instructions not to fly it (by my gorgeous wife). I am going to be lucky enough to get it on Sunday (even though my birthday is not until Monday) because I am working on my Birthday!

But what happens when you get a large new kite and you want low winds...

New Kite curse + Blade III 8.5m = howling winds!

Looks like it is going to be more of a 3m Core kinda day - and the arvo more like a plastic shopping bag kinda day!

If anybody needs any ideas for presents, I have got a list?

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Video - Peter Lynn Speed Buggy

Brian Holgates 2nd World Record attempt -

"They were calling for rain in the morning but it didn’t show up till around 4. The winds were light and multi directional at first. Then it started to pick up. It eventually became sustained at around 25-30 gusting to 40mph.

So I went out an started my runs. My first couple runs were a little slow. Hit around 56mph. Came back to camp and made some adjustments, then went back out. The winds were starting to luff out with an occasional good gust. I was on what wound up being my last run and hit a gust. I was only able to get to 76mph before I sheared my left axle bolt. I slid for about 100 feet before stopping. No harm done though. The buggy is heavy enough it didn’t roll. Didn’t break the record but I now have my camera angles dialed in."

Borrowed from

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


After using the fantastic GPSlogbooks on Friday morning to track my course, I suddenly had a panic on Monday morning that it will have used up a large percentage plus more of my mobile internet data usage and I would be looking at a big lump on my bill!

But no need to worry - I've still go hours and hours of browsing left! That was after 2 hours plus of tracking - good eh?

Monday, 26 March 2012

How to crack the 60?

I have been thinking what it will take for me to crack 60kph after my failure on Friday and seeing as it my birthday in a week how about...
Some of these...

Or maybe some of these...

This may help...

Definitely some of these!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

No buggying...

So we went on a family bike ride!


My Blog has had over 500 hits from all over the world - thank-you for looking in and seeing whats happening in this small corner of Western Australia.
Stats for the last week
I would love to hear you comments and also find out who is buggying in Russia, the Czech Republic and China!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Racing Slicks?

Over the last few weeks I have been noticing my rear tyres have been deflating between sessions, pump them up before I go out and they are OK, leave them alone for a few days or a week and they are flat. So today thought I would have a look and see if I could find the problem...

Off it comes...

Topping it up...

First tiny bubbles...


ready to go back on...


So it looks like it probably has about 12-15 places (micro-punctures?) where it is leaking air. I think I have just killed them by sliding on the rough surface of the lake. I don't think they are going to be fixable, I think it's a new set I need! I think for the time being I am just going to have to manage until I can source some locally...

Friday, 23 March 2012

New PB!

I have had the day of work today so headed down to the Lake Walyungup as we had some decent easterly's forecast. I was down there and flying by 8.30 and it was a 3m kinda day - in fact at times the 3m Core was a bit over-powered.

I think I have now got a good feeling for this kite and am getting my confidence in flying it harder. There were a couple of times when my backside left the seat as I pushed the kite higher in the window to slow down, but otherwise I gave it a good hammering!

I had a good hour using the full length of the lake and gradually pushing harder and faster. Had a blast heading over a small (30cm) hump and bouncing around. At 9.30 stopped for morning tea - Masters Mocha Chill, a banana, no brownies but I did have a couple of hot cross buns. At this point Bones turned up with his new and very shiny buggy!

Then it was time to push on and it was quick and getting quicker - 55, 56, 58, 59.4 and then did it I cracked my personal best - 59.9kph (that is a whole 0.1kph faster)! That 60kph is elusive! Definitely no Brian Holgate!

But still it's the fastest I have been and got a whoop of joy when I saw it. Had some more runs at it to try and push it that little bit faster, but couldn't go any quicker. I did manage to get on two wheels while sliding it though!

The wind kept howling, and I could feel myself getting tired and my reflexes getting a bit slower, things were beginning to get a bit scary, so at that point called it quits and headed home..

I did use GPSLogbooks today and you can see my course here - kite buggying at lake Walyungup and the cool thing was I got a message from Gav from extreme kites to say that he was watching it live! A fantastic 3 hours in the buggy.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Tracking - GPS Logbooks

I have been recommended another tracking app, described as a Black Box in an iPhone. GPS logbooks was originally designed for pilots to record flights live, which can then be viewed in realtime and full 3D using the Google earth plug-in in on your desktop.

Flights can also be edited and shared with the world on

It records altitude, heading and speed – you can also add comments and descriptions and more features are due to be added in the future.

It’s not only for pilots, it’s recommended for anybody who gets out there and wants to log their adventure – parachute jump, bungee jump, roller coaster ride, ski run, marathon, bike race, family drive, mountain climb and of course kite buggying!

I have tried it once, but somehow had managed to turn the GPS off on my iPhone! So it spent the whole session searching for satellites – but next time I’m out I will have another go. The results on the website look great with the tracks overlaid on Google earth.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Wind Forecasts

Estimating the wind speed is a valuable tool for kiting, primarily to ensure your safety and in doing so ensure that you are using the right tool (kite) for the job. This is based on what kites you own, your weight and level of experience.

The websites (and I usually check all three as their forecasts can vary) I use for forecasting the wind and making that decision whether I load up the car are... 

It is also essential to know your kites wind range, your limitations – in and out of the buggy and if in doubt get out!

This is a good guide to estimating the wind speed on the ground

I always look at the trees to see how much they are moving, when I started to fly kites again somebody once said "welcome to tree watchers anonymous!" and that is so true!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Toxic Dreams

I would love to get my hands on some of these...

The new ultimate buggy kite from HQ, the Toxic - stable, fast and pulls like a train! Everything I have heard about these kites is good. The 8m in black looks incredible, the 2m has a huge wind range, I need a full quiver of Toxics! - I had better start saving, now where did I put my piggy bank...

Monday, 19 March 2012

What's Rain?

I know the east coast of Australia is suffering with lots of rain and flooding, but over here on the west - especially South of Perth we haven't seen rain since the beginning of February (Feb 3rd to be exact!), when we we were hit by the tail end of cyclone Iggy. That's 6 weeks!

Sunny conditions have been forecast for the next 7 days, but we should get some reasonable wind thanks to cyclone Lua, that hit the North West over the weekend (thankfully no injuries and only minor damage reported).

My kids are asking "What's rain?".


On March 6th 2012 American Brian Holgate became the fastest man on three wheels by cracking the world kite buggy speed record on Ivanpah dry Lake, Nevada.

In a purpose built, streamline, Peter Lynn Speed Buggy and flying a Peter Lynn Vapor 2.7m he reached 135.34kph or 84.1mph!

Peter Lynn Speed Buggy

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Kite Buggying Resources

Here are a list of some of the other sites I frequent when not out in the buggy... UK based forum, with reviews and how to guides. Australian site, includes forums, reviews, news, weather, and check out the huge gallery. Australian site for all wind based activities, includes weather and forums. Apparently the biggest kiting community in the world and presently off-line as it's been hacked! the Kite traction sports community. For all things kite buggy - including custom made buggies. Basically I want a Sysmic S1!

A couple of other Blogs- Auto-Photos kite biking blog - the quickest kite-biker in the world Rob is a Jersey, UK based kite buggier - he's keeps getting more kites and more speed!

Sysmic S1 kite buggy - my dream machine!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Friday, 16 March 2012

NABX 2012

From the 3rd April to the 8th April - welcome to the worlds biggest buggying event NABX, the North American Buggy eXpo.

Started in 1994 on Ivavpah Dry Lake, Nevada- anybody interested in kite sports has gathered for a week of wind powered buggying and racing.

This years theme is Old School/New School...

"So if you are a beginner or avid kite traction enthusiast, motivated sports spectator, intrigued journalist or interested sponsor, come join us in the open desert for a fun-packed, high speed, kite powered adventure."

Unfortunately I'm not going...

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Perfect Buggy Session...

What makes the perfect buggy session?

Is it about hitting a new speed PB?

Is it about how far you have traveled?

Is it about the perfect wind?

Or is there something else?

For me it's about the zone and getting into it!

The wind was by no means perfect, started off on the 3m until that drifted gently to the ground. Then out with the 5m, some times it was nicely powered and I was motoring - other times I was barely coasting and it was on and off like that all morning.

I didn't get close to my PB, I new it was unlikely when I had to pack the 3m Core away. There was a couple of times with the 5m Flow I thought this could be close, but it wasn't meant to be.

So I traveled further than I have done previously, but I was out there for three and a half hours and had a good length of the lake to play in.

What did it for me was there was nothing but the kite, buggy, lake and wind - all I thought about for those few hours was buggying, sliding, the wind. Alex a local kite boarder turned up after I had been down there an hour. Seeing those two kites highlighted against that perfect blue sky with a 3/4 moon between them was awesome.

Hitting those turns hard, sliding in a huge cloud of dust and ending up going backwards. Positioning the kite and buggy to get the most out the wind. Planning my course and when and where to turn.

No work, no "whats for dinner?", no "how much?", no list of jobs that need to be done...

Nothing but kite, buggy, wind...

The Zone!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Kite Buggying Essentials

Here is my recipe for the perfect kite buggy session...

1 Masters Mocha Chill (light)
1 Banana

and some homemade Poppy and Sams Chocolate Brownies - sorry I didn't save any! But here is the recipe-

Don't forget to mix well, with a buggy, a few kites and if available a decent bit of wind and you to will have the perfect kite buggy experience!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Going Global

Thanks everybody for supporting my Blog, it's great to see that kite buggying is such an international sport.

Glad to see the Aussies in front!

Buggy Belly Pan

My first attempt at a belly-pan was made using some clear acrylic bought from a local hardware store. I made a template from some cardboard.

It didn't really work that well and in the end never even made it out of the garage!

 Though it did help pass some time on a windless day!

After some research on the forums and elsewhere on the net I eventually tracked down a template for a belly-pan. It was for a flexi bug, but as they are pretty similar to the Peter Lynn thought it would work...

I found (well was given) some perfect material from one of the stores guys at work. It is the plastic that sits between pallets.

It was easy to cut and shaped well to the underside of the bug, attached with cable-ties.

The first time I took it out, it kept dragging on the ground...

A few minor adjustments and a couple more cable-ties and now it is perfect. Best of all I have another sheet of plastic ready to make another - and maybe a splash guard ready for the winter!

Yeah, all it needs now is some stickers!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

130+ days and I still haven't won!

I have been entering this everyday, still waiting to win...
The GoPro everything we make daily giveaway.

and here is why I want one -

Buggy Addiction

No wind and stinking hot - it's going to hit 40 degrees today = no buggying!

This is the first week in a long time that I am not going to get out in the buggy with the kites. Starting to feel depressed, getting the shakes, feeling hot and cold, nausea, loss of appetite - think I maybe addicted!

May aim to get a session in during the week - ssshhh, don't tell work!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Review - a blast from the past!

I have always loved writing and back in the day (2006) I organised this event and wrote this review. Its still on  racekites you just have to search around a bit! Would love to have the opportunity to do this with some buggies...

Group Board Test

There are loads of boards on the market, from loads of different manufacturers, to suit all styles of riding and all budgets. How do you choose?

We have been lucky enough to get a large selection of boards from a wide variety of companies to test and review. They have been put through their paces downhill/freeriding and with a selection of experienced riders with kites.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Buggy locations - Lake Lefroy, WA

View Lake lefroy in a larger map

I hope to make it to another, bigger, salt lake in WA in the near future - Lake Lefroy near Kalgoorlie. It is a 7 hour drive from me so going to have to make a weekend of it. Map and image courtesy of DJ_Sylk on extreme kites


This is what happened to me just over a month ago...

I got down to the salt lakes nice and early as we had some decent wind forecast and I wanted to put the new 3m core through its paces and hopefully get a new PB.

The core is great, give it some decent wind and it wants to pull, it's quick through the air and the turns are quick and precise. As this was only my second or third go out with the core I thought I would build up slowly, making sure I could scrub the speed when needed. This was more important today as the wind was a SW-erly so didn't have the full length of the lake to play in.

I was gradually building up speed and confidence when the GPS flashed low battery and typically I had no spares! I did manage to match my PB before it died completely...

But still no 60kph!

Still kept on going and was having a great time, the core was performing brilliantly and I was motoring (have you guessed what happens next?).

The wind seemed pretty constant, with the forecast being 27-30kph, well within the cores limits (max recommended is 20knts or 37kph). There were a few gusts which just increased the speed! The next gust stayed and another one just added to it, started to slow the buggy and took the kite higher into the window - did I say the core is quick? Well it shot up and took me with it! I looked down and the buggy appeared to be 1-2 meters below, but i don't really know as my perspective was pretty skewed! I really didn't want to land on the bug as that was going to hurt...

No worries there! As I landed about 4m from the now stopped bug! Thankfully, I did still have some luck on my side and was on one of the softer parts of the lake. No cuts or grazes, jarred my neck and shoulder, and bruised my ego (and my arse, as I landed on my foot!). So glad I was wearing the helmet.

Left a nice dent in the ground...

Then I staked the kite out and took a bit of a time out to recover. At this point checked the real-time wind forecast, the current speed was 38.9 with gusts of 48.2kph.

Decided that discretion was the better part of valor (whatever that means) and with the wind still howling like a banshee, decided to pack up and go home.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Secret Art of Para-Packing

After the tangles I spent ages sorting out yesterday I thought I should introduce you to the secret world of para-packers!

Ever since I first started flying kites back in 2004 (in good ole Blighty!), I have managed to get into a knot – then have had to call on my wife to come and untie me. Every time I came to set up the lines would be twisted and knotted and I would spend the first 20 minutes sorting everything out – and we all know how sacred our flying time is?

I know this failure was down to poor technique, not unwinding them the opposite way I wound them – or something?

Then after many secret meetings, secret hand-shakes and embarrassing initiations I was introduced to the art of para-packing – or maybe it was down to this article, my recollection is hazy, my mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be!

My days of knots and tangles became a distant memory, only remembered in nightmares! To this day I still para-pack and I can be set up and flying in minutes when I arrive on site without any tangles – what usually slows me down is squeezing into my harness when I am being to lazy to loosen it enough!

The technique is simple –

With the kite staked out, head to the kite fold it up and put it into the bag

Walk back to the stake and make a deep dark hole – this is where you are going to put the lines.

Grab the lines and start stuffing them into the hole, I find it easier to keep a bit of tension on the lines with my left hand (which is holding the bag) and stuff with my right hand.

It looks messy but keep going until all the lines are in the bag, then tuck the handles down the side and tidy up any loose bits.

To un-pack - stake out the handles, walk down wind with the kite in the bag and, the lines will unfurl, shake out any tangles as you go. Un-fold the kite and it ready to go. To easy!

Don’t forget you can only tell somebody about this if they know the secret handshake…

For my latest update on parapacking look here...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Un-twist and Shout!

I have just spent the best part of an hour un-plaiting and un-twisting the lines of my new Blade!

Did you know it has got 40m lines - that's a lot of un-plaiting and a lot of un-twisting! All packed away nicely now ready for my birthday (3 weeks on Monday!).

 It's a great looking kite and boy, is it big!

Ideas for those low wind days

How about some Frisbee?

These guys are incredible, I drive over that bridge, at the end of the vid, everyday!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

That's just wrong!

Posted by benklaasen on racekites

Back in the door whacked tired after a brilliant day on the beach flying in all sorts of conditions, when my missus says "your g-string is hanging out". What the hell? I wear boxers. This photo makes it all clear...

Boo to climbing rock for such a naff harness design.

Check out Bens Blog here

View full thread here

Look whats arrived today...

So I am now expecting high winds for the next two weeks!

Was hoping to be able to look at it properly, but it's 39 degrees at present so will wait for it to cool off!

The beast is here!

Monday, 5 March 2012

I feel the need...

… the need for speed!

Over the last few months I have been trying to push my speed to crack that 60kph barrier and still haven’t got there – yet!

My personal best is 59.8kph, so am pretty close, but those last few k’s seem elusive and I know once I do 60 then I will be looking at going faster – 65 will be my next goal as that is 40mph, then who knows!

What has enabled me to push harder and faster is that I have learnt to slow and stop the buggy quickly! Knowing that I can control it has given me the confidence to push harder. Scrubbing some speed by flicking the rear end out, turning up-wind and ultimately a huge, grin inducing power slide.

I love sliding it –weight back to get the front under-steering to help scrub some speed and de-power the kite, flick the kite 180 degrees so it’s facing the other way, then shift my weight slightly forwards and the back comes unstuck, some opposite lock and off we go again – usually in a huge cloud of dust.

My need for speed has required a smaller kite with a higher aspect ratio, led to flying both of my kites over-powered and ultimately a OBE with the over-powered 3m Core lifting me clear out of the buggy and dropping me onto the ground about 3-4m from where the buggy came to stop. That knocked my confidence and slowed me down – but I am working my way back up and regularly hit the mid 50’s.

The speed and acceleration of this wind-powered buggy still amazes me, drop the kite into the power-zone and it shoots off. Start to put the kite through a sine-wave and it steps up a gear, add a gust and use the kites lateral pull (I don’t own any race kites) to take you down-wind and now it is really moving, cant check the GPS as too busy flying and holding that power, another gust and sh*t!

Flick it down wind to de-power the kite as I let it drift up in the window and slow down, then harder up wind to scrub more speed – then (you guessed it) a big slide to a stop to check the GPS…

Maybe it’s not all about how fast I can go, but that adrenaline rush, the joy of being outside and having a brief mastery of the elements…

But you wait until I crack 60kph and I hope I get my victory dance on video!