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Sunday, 29 April 2012

Back in the bug...

After a 3 week hiatus because of holidays, lack of wind and a flat tire, today, I finally got out in the bug again.

walking from the car park to the flying area
The forecast was for increasing westerly's and decreasing showers. I was hoping that with the low winds early on I may finally get to fly the 8.5m Blade. Overnight we had had the first real rains of autumn and I thought that there maybe a few puddles to play in - boy was I wrong, Lake Walyungup was looking like a real lake!

So it was the 1km walk down to the flying area, paddling as I went and there was now no wind so I wasn't optimistic that even the Blade would fly.

The flying area

Did you know that the wind often increases ahead of a shower? I'm sure I did but seemed to have forgotten this - as the wind gradually increased and the clouds look more threatening, I thought I should get a kite out and have a go.

Started with the 5m Ozone Flow as it was quite blowy. Flew for about 5 minutes before the first few big drops of rain started to hit.

Got the kite packed away and was heading to the shelter of the container used by the land yacht guys, when it fully opened up, I was soaked before I got there. By the time I made it to the shelter the rain stopped and the wind dropped off again!

Headed back out to dry off and try again - this time with the Blade! I forgot what a big kite this is and how long the flying lines are! But it is great - I was a bit worried about how well it would fly as I have read that they can suffer with bridle stretch which requires some modification. The bridle on mine looks new and the kite flew well and held a perfect shape.

The wind was still a bit low but the kite did pull and I was surprised how quickly I could get it to turn on the brakes. A couple of times the wing tips folded because of the low winds but were easily shaken out and recovered. I even had the confidence to try a reverse launch and a few runs in the buggy before the wind picked up and looked over my shoulder and saw a rainbow...

This time I managed to pack the kite away and get under the shelter before another shower hit.

This one was heavier than before and I was amazed at how quickly the lake disappeared, behind the veil of rain and also under a layer of water!

Time for morning tea while I waited for it to pass. Which after 5-10 minutes it did - this time the wind stayed, don't you just love it when they get the forecast right?

The lake disappearing under a veil of rain
Started off again with the 5m Flow, blasting up and down the lake, through the puddles getting completely soaked and pebble-dashed (thinking I may need a splash-guard). The wind was pretty lumpy and gusty - so decided to pack the flow away and go for my weapon of choice, my 3m Core, this is quickly becoming my favorite kite.

The sky continued to clear the wind continued to blow, some of the water quickly disappeared. Had a great session then, just blasting up and down the lake, hitting the water, sliding the buggy and generally making the most of it.
Then I hit the wall, lack of food and drink and had been out long enough. Thought if my wife could brink some lunch and a cup of tea, after half an hour would of probably carried on playing - but didn't think there was much chance of that! So it was time to pack up and head back home.

Spent some time at home cleaning the bug and checking all the kites and lines were fully dry - ready for next time!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Tire trouble - part II

I have just spent two hours trying to put a tube into my tire! This time thanks to the advice from racekites and Extreme Kites it was a success.

I managed to get the tire off the rim by standing on it!

I got the tube in without any problems, but had a fight to get the tire back on the rim - but a video posted on extreme kites was very helpful...

I managed to get the tire back on using a hair dryer, washing-up liquid, some spoons and brute force...

But was then left with a big gap where I needed to get the tire centralized and back on the beading properly, I struggled with this for ages, posted on extreme kites, then had a flash of inspiration...

Using my 12v tire compressor hooked up to the car battery I kept inflating until pop! It was back on an looking good, ready for tomorrow morning!

I am leaving the other rear tire alone for now as it is still holding air!
What I used to put an inner tube in my tire!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Demo Kites

I am trying to get my hands on a couple of demo kites from extreme kites to fly and review. This is a fantastic service that they offer for $10 (+ a $50 deposit).

Peter Lynn Vapor

I am hoping to get my hands on a 4.5m Peter Lynn Vapor and a 4.2m HQ Prodigy - a couple of race kites! I think it would be great to fly these side by side and compare them. It would also be great to get my hands on something that is going to be challenging to fly and will push my limits and hopefully my PB.

HQ Prodigy
I'm still waiting to here from extreme kites - but as soon as I get my sticky mits on them you will know - Mmmm, race-kites!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Kite Buggy Road Trip

Some how I managed to delete this post!

Have started a thread on extreme kites, the plan is looking like we will head over at the end of September/beginning of November for a meet up with some land yachters and other buggers for a weekend of speed!
Picture from DJ_Sylk extreme kites

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Lest we forget...

The 25th of April is the day Australians take time out to remember those that have fought and died for Australia.

Now we call this wonderful country home  - we to, remember and honor them.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Sale or Swap!

I have decided to sell (or swap) my Blade III 8.5m! I bought this as a low wind kite but in the couple of months I have owned it I have never had the opportunity to fly it!

What I would like to get is a small racekites - a PL vapor 2.7m and for the blade to go to a home where it will be used and loved!

Just don't tell my wife!

More info here

Monday, 23 April 2012

NABX 2012 - videos and PTW's write-up

A couple of videos from NABX 2012, would love to go there one day it looks incredible, click here to read Popeyes memories of the event - brilliant!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Tire trouble!

I have been running with slow punctures in my rear tires for a couple of weeks and just topping them up with air as required. Today I finally managed to get round to buying a couple of inner-tubes from our local Masters store.

But do you think I can get the tires off the rims to put the new tubes in? No chance! I have broken the tip off one of my plastic tire leavers. Looks like I maybe just adding some air so that i can got to the salt lakes tomorrow morning!

I guess once I get them off it would be a good idea to know how to get them back on again! Sounds like a good excuse for a Sysmic! But don't think the wife will buy it!
Busted tire leaver!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

I'm Back...

...from our break in Singapore

and hoping to get out in the buggy over the weekend.

Monday, 16 April 2012

I had a dream...

I have just been courted by Ozone, Peter Lynn and HQ to become one of their team riders! With offers of a Sysmic S2, Yakuza GT's and Methods, Vapors and Reactors, Prodigy's and Toxic's. Promises of trips to NABX...

 They flew me to Europe and I got to try and fly and buggy, then had to make a decision - Ozone, Peter Lynn or HQ?

 Who would you choose? Who did I choose? Nobody, as I woke up!

 Counting down now, tomorrow I will be back in Perth and back on the Salt Lakes at the weekend...

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Review - Ozone Access SB Harness

I got my Ozone Access SB (Spreader Bar) Harness as a Christmas present last year. Before the harness I could only manage about two hours and I would have to give up. After 4 Months of buggying without a harness I swear my arms were both a couple of cm's longer than when I started kiting!
Mark's arms had grown longer since he started kiting!

The harness is designed like a rock climbing harness, with ergonomically designed leg straps to prevent it riding up. It has loads of padding in the legs and back-straps and the spreader is attached to the leg straps to prevent it tilting. Its is made from tough, but light-weight nylon and comes with a spliced Amsteel back leash line or cargo attachment for towing (designed for snow kiting).

This harness has completely changed the way I buggy, I did try a few different types before opting for the Ozone. It is comfortable, particularly when sat in the buggy and doesn't shift or ride up. It took me a few times to get the positioning right, ensuring that the back strap is low enough and tight enough. Once strapped in properly I hardly notice it is there.

Holding the power has now become a piece of cake, especially on those hard work up-wind runs, when I felt that both arms were going to be removed! The harness allows my body to take the strain and still allows me to feel in touch with what the kite is doing - I have even felt confident enough to fly one and sometimes no-handed!

Overall - the harness is extremely well made (like all ozone products seem to be), it is very comfortable to wear for long periods and does what it is supposed to do well. I am not particularly small around the waist but do have to have the harness almost on it's tightest. The only thing I have considered changing is maybe loose the spreader bar hook and buy a Peter Lynn Prodigy 360 spreader - but that will have to wait.

The harness works well in my buggy and is comfortable to wear sat down, it has given me the confidence and ability to keep pushing my speed, get rid of the kite killers and buggy longer and harder - and it all comes in a nice bag.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

76 kph!

The problem was, I was in my car in a 60 zone!

$150 fine and 2 demerits, not happy as I am usually so careful.

Easter Weekend

After the high of a fantastic buggy session on Friday and my new PB, the rest of the weekend was a blow-out (or not) in kiting terms!

I could have probably made the effort and tried the blade on Sunday morning, but the little wind there was, was more a North-Easterly which would of meant a long walk down to the decent part of the lake and another long walk back. And after the speed and power of Friday I couldn't face it!

I am looking forwards to trying the blade, but must admit I am a little nervous about it, it is one huge kite!

I am not going to get out in the buggy now for a couple of weeks as we are off to Singapore tomorrow, for 6 nights, staying with my brother-in-law and his family. After having 4 days off I am in work today - then off for over a week, can't be bad!

I have heard Singapore is good for shopping, especially electronics, I wonder if I can persuade my wife to let me have one of these...

Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday? Nah...

...It's awesome Friday!

Finally, today I managed to crack the 60kph barrier and got a new PB!

I was down at the salt lake by 8.30 this morning and hoping I was going to get chance to fly my new Blade 8.5m and the forecast was looking hopeful. But the wind was blowing a pretty consistent easterly so started off with the 5m Flow. It meant that I could buggy from the car park - I snuck past the model planes that were all grounded at that point onto the more southerly part of the lake.

Had some good runs with the Flow with the wind gradually increasing - stopped for a couple of hot-cross buns and decided to get the 3m Core out and try for some speed.

At first it was pretty hit and miss with the Core, but the wind continued to increase and so did my speed. Until I had what felt like a perfect run...

Slightly down wind, the bug felt rock solid and cruising, eased off at the end and looked down at the GPS - 60.2kph! I couldn't believe it! A few whoops of delight, that wasn't scary at all! Just the perfect run, everything felt right.

Had a few more runs after that using the whole length of the lake, as the model air-plane dudes had all moved on, then started to feel tired - must be as the adrenaline of that run had worn off! So buggied back towards the car park.

As I said it was not just good Friday but...
Awesome Friday!
Endomondo sports tracker

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Video - that is big!

Buggy video with a Fysurfer Speed 3 21m, some excellent precision flying and freestyle.

Video courtesy of Blown Away Kite School

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


I had my annual flu vaccination today, now I have a sore arm...

No seriously it really aches! Hope it's better by friday.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Don't you just love...

...long weekends?

It's Easter - a time of hot-cross buns and chocolate eggs and most importantly a long weekend! Four days off work, and I have some plans...

The rain of the last couple of days is going to clear and the wind forecast is looking hopeful! I am going to plan to hit the salt lakes Friday and Sunday mornings. Please insert a little victory dance here!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Not Aging Well!

Did I mention that it's my 41st birthday today...

Sunday Session

I headed down to the salt lakes yesterday morning as the wind forecast was looking OKish early on and building to howling in the afternoon. When I got down there at 8.30 there was not a breath of wind, I ended up walking the kilometre or so down to the wide open bit.

There is a wind speed/direction thingy on the container used by the land yachts and that wasn't moving - I thought it maybe a good chance to get the 8.5m blade out. Parked the buggy and walked over to the edge of the bush to inspect the ground! Then headed back to the bug ready to unpack a kite and woosh in came the wind!

It was going to be to much for the blade and unpacked the 3m Core! The wind was pretty off and on for the first hour with some major gusts and then nothing. Did pack the Core away and flew the 5m Flow over-powered and had some excellent runs. Then again the flow went away and out came the core - it was one of those sorts of days!

Alex and family came down at about 9.30 and again it was great to see another kite down there.

Got some decent speeds in the high 50's and some huge slides. Felt quite comfortable using both kites without the kite-killers, but as the morning progressed the wind and the gusts were getting stronger - so at around 11.30 decided that I had better play safe and tried to head back to the car park.

As I buggied away from the open area the wind felt pretty erratic in strength and direction and I eventually ended up with the kite parked in a big clump of the sea-rush. After untangling it, packed away and walked the rest of the way!

Today is my Birthday - but we celebrated yesterday. But I had to attach this picture of the card my girls gave me as it had me in absolute stitches...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

My birthday presents...

I knew about the blade, but the iPad 2 was a complete surprise! My wife amazes me!
Its not my birthday until tomorrow, but we are celebrating today, as we are all back at work and school Monday.