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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Lake Walyungup - Restrictions

Further to my previous run in with the Rangers (Ok it was more a friendly chat), I have now spoken to the DEC and have had clarification of the issue…

Land Yachting has also occurred mainly in summer when the dry lake bed is able to be driven on… DEC gives approval to undertake these recreational activities… Model aircraft flying and land yachting are only permitted in a designated area under dry lake bed conditions.”
Rockingham Lakes Regional Park, Proposed Final Management Plan 2010

Consequently, there is a seasonal restriction on access to Lake Walyungup and this is to prevent damage to the surface of the lake. The main issue being vehicles driving onto the lake, the locks have been changed on the access gates!

I have spoken to the DEC and even though as kite buggiers we don’t drive on to the lake, the restriction covers the land yachts and kite buggies are classed as the same. I do understand that they are unable to allow one group access and not another. The model aero-club also has restricted access and will now be flying close to the car-park.

Access during this time could lead to a fine or at worst a complete ban on use of the lake. So for the time being we are going to have to wear it and find other locations to buggy, which is pretty frustrating as the wind forecast for Sunday is looking good…

My plan now is to find an alternative location and I have a couple of places I need to check out, as well as keep playing lotto…

A couple of hectares of land; cleared, flattened and we have a purpose built buggy park which could be used whatever direction the wind is blowing – keep dreaming!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Brsikites News

Thanks to Jas at Briskites my Blog has got a mention in the their Briskites News section. I am a regular visitor to the Briskites website - I bought my Comp XR+ from there and will be looking at more purchases in the near future.

Either one of these -
A Peter Lynn Wide Axle
And ultimately one of these (Briskites it's the Only Australian Stockist of Sysmic's - stop drooling!)

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

My PB on video!

This is not a repost!

After watching Bones' video yesterday on the big screen - I think from 28 secs to 37 secs was my PB of 60.2kph, from good Friday!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Video - Another one from Lake Walyungup

Video from Bones and his wife, though does have a some of me! Here is the story -

"Featuring some of my first efforts learning to buggy, with cameos by gum-nuts doing his usual constant 55km/h for every run, and my wife flying a 4.4m Reactor II in 3.5knots...

Midway through there is a noticeable upgrade in camera and kite, but a downgrade in wind."

Sunday, 27 May 2012


I bought some non-slip tape from Bunnings. After cleaning all the old stuff off, and then using nail-varnish remover to get rid of the old adhesive I applied the new tape..

Looks much better and should help keep my feet in the pegs.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Quality Time…

I spent some quality time the other day with my kites - unpacking, checking them over and then repacking them away. So that next time the wind is good I am ready to go with out any knots or tangles.

The need for this came about when I last tried to fly the Blade, and I unpacked it to find the lines in a complete twist. I had quickly packed it away the last time I flew it, ahead of a rain-storm and obviously hadn’t done a very good job – then trying to sort it out on the salt lake with a couple of beefy Rangers breathing down my neck was impossible!

All my kites are in excellent condition and after a couple of hints (thank-you Bones), including one from the team at Peter Lynn kites I found the Velcro to hold the bridles on my Core – hidden inside the openings to the cells!
Velcro tab

Now all I need is the go-ahead from the DEC, some wind and we are ready to go…

Maybe a couple of vapors and a Sysmic S2, wouldn’t go amiss – I’m not sure if my wife reads my blog but - hint, hint!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Lake Walyungup - Seasonal Restrictions?

This morning, when I was setting up to buggy, a couple of rangers came over to talk to me. There are apparently seasonal restrictions in place which apply to kites and buggys as well as the land yachts, which prevent us from buggying during the winter - due to safety concerns, but the ranger wasn't sure?

The cars are allowed to drive on the lake, even when it is inundated, for the model aero clubs, but land yachts, kite buggies etc are restricted.

I have emailed the local council and also DEC for confirmation about this, if I haven't heard anything more by the end of the week I will follow up with a letter.

Looks like no buggying until I get an answer...

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Tire trouble - part III

After trying to decide wether to go for barrows' or midi's another problem hit...

Literally, a piece of metal on the freeway and a hole in the sidewall of my car tire - annoying!

Barrow's Vs Midi's

After completely trashing my tires on the salt lake, I think it is time I bought some new ones.

I have standard barrows on at the moment but am considering getting some midi's - my dilemma is will they make any noticeable difference, improved traction which may result in increased drag and slow me down?

I fancy a set of midi's as they look nice, but the barrows will be cheaper and I don't want to affect my performance!

After some posts on three forums - the Pom's and the Yanks say go for barrows,, power kite forum and the Aussies say go for midi's, extreme kites.

The Aussies argue that the midi's are going to more hard-wearing than barrows (they also look good!), I think at the end of the day it will come down to funds available!

I think I will go with the majority and go for another set of barrows, cheaper to start with and replace, and as I am constantly trying to edge more speed out of the comp I need every advantage I can get! Ultimately I need a wide axle or a better buggy so that I can push that bit harder.
I am still dreaming of a Sysmic S2 - on barrows!

Sunday, 20 May 2012


No wind at all this weekend - annoying!

Forecast looks good for Wednesday, but I'm going to be at work - maybe!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Video & Song - Shoot the breeze

Here is the story...

"A couple of months ago, Steffen Born asked if I could write a song for the Nasa Star 2 kite. I'd had a previous idea about writing a song about kite buggying and making a music clip to go with it, but I only had got as far as a riff and a couple lines of verse. I had not written anything for the last three years, but this was an offer and challenge I was very pleased to accept. Several hours of guitar playing and as many again of trying to get the lyrics to make sense and 'Shoot the Breeze' materialized. I know that the saying "shoot the breeze' means to talk idly, but I figure if whitewater kayakers can 'shoot the rapids', surely us kiters can 'shoot the breeze'. Of course, once I had the song, I had to make the video! So here it is."

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Divided Affections

I have been lusting after a Sysmic S2 kite buggy for some time now, but now I feel my affections wavering and I am passing lustful glances in another direction…

XXtreme ApeXX
One Sexy Bug!

"XXtreme buggy’s are created and designed, in the Netherlands, by Ruud van Engelen.

The XXtreme XXracer and the XXtreme ApeXX are both buggy’s for competitive racing. The ApeXX is on the cutting edge of design in front of the fast developments which occur nowadays in the international competition scene.
Both of the buggy’s are build to give every pilot excellent comfort, sitting position and road handling. The buggy’s are therefore ideal to every pilot’s demands, also with intensive usage. All modification made, for example different sizes of wheels and skates have no influence on the geometrics of whole buggy.

This concepts is still unique in the buggy scene. Here are some concepts which make the XXtreme buggy’s so special: Stiffnes of the frame is a thing we put a lot of effort in. The stiffer a frame is , the more “feel” or “control” the pilot will have, especially with high speeds and in bends the XX-buggy will have a better grip then the conventional buggy’s.

The result of this is that race tracks can be ridden more effectively and faster. The cross in the back of the frame is also a very important part of this design…. Some facts: Xxtreme was the first one who used the so called “swanneck” downtube Xxtreme was the first one who used the “bend” in the sidebars, see xxracer.

Xxtreme was the first one that used and invented the special siderails as seen on the Apexx. All this is just a small summary from al creations that came from the Xxtreme Factorys many tried to copied it, but nobody succeed!"

Ooo Yeah!

For more information go to

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Newbie in a Kite Buggy – The Sequel!

Earlier this week I was re-reading some of the stuff I had written in my blog and particularly my Tale of a Newbie in a Kite Buggy

I have now been buggying for nearly 10 months and when I look back to when I started and those first tentative steps, the concentration and effort that was required to roll those first few meters, successfully pulling off that first down-wind turn. The frustrations of stacking the kite and getting the lines and bridle tangled and the exhilaration of flying with the kite powered and increasing my speed.

Eventually venturing from the relatively confined area near the car park to the wide open spaces of the lake – and being able to buggy down there rather than having to walk.

I started off with my humble Peter Lynn Comp XR+ and the 5m Ozone Flow and since then have added a 3m Peter Lynn Core (my preferred kite) and a huge 8.5m Flexifoil Blade III to my quiver and am now looking at getting my hands on some race kites.

I had my first (and so far only) OBE, thanks to a seriously over-powered Core and have gradually pushed my speed up to just over 60kph I regularly hit the mid to high 50’s.

I am now flying hooked in and what a difference that has made to my buggying, I am now able to hold a lot more power and can buggy longer and faster – how did I manage before? When cruising I can now fly one or no handed!

My buggy is still the standard Peter Lynn Comp XR+, I have added a home made belly-pan and foot-straps. The rear tires are now bald and have had punctures repaired – the surface of the salt lake has scrubbed them smooth coupled with my love of sliding! This buggy continues to take everything I put it through and has been a great place to start – ultimately as I continue to push my speed and limits I am going to need to upgrade and I have my eyes on the Sysmic S2.

Flying the kites in conjunction with piloting the buggy has become instinctive, I no longer need to be watching the kite to see where it is and what it is doing – the force is strong with this one! I can throw the kite around to get the most out of it, flip it through 180 degrees and use it to pull me through a power-slide…

And boy, do I like going sideways? Wether it is kicking the rear end out, setting the buggy sideways to scrub speed or throwing it hard in to a glorious huge power-slide – it is always guaranteed to bring a huge smile to my face! And remove another layer of rubber from my tires.

I am quite happy cruising around taking things easy and enjoying the ride, but of course there is also the part of me that likes to keep pushing harder and faster. I use my Garmin Etrex GPS to keep an idea of my speed and the Endomondo sports tracker app to track my route.

There are also now a couple of other guys who come down to the salt lake regularly and it is always good to have some company and I love seeing other kites down there. But also love a solitary session when I have the lake to myself! I am very lucky to have such an amazing place to buggy so close to home.

I think that in the 9-10 months I have been doing this that I have clocked approx 100 hours in the buggy! The fact that I dream about buggying – I reckon I am truly addicted!

As somebody once said to me welcome to tree watchers anonymous!

Monday, 14 May 2012

The pen is mightier than the kite?

I have always had a passion for writing about what inspires and interests me and hopefully some of that comes across in this blog. When I’m not in the bug I am often thinking what I can write about next.

I love writing and reviewing my kit and have added my reviews to various forums as well…

Racekites reviews – the latest and some old ones!

I have also had a couple of none kite related articles published in magazines - 
On The Road
Great Walks

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Spontaneous Saturday Session

My original plan was to go on Sunday, as usual, but when I woke up this morning the wind was blowing. All clear off my wife and I was set...

Down there at 7.30, great easterlies started off on the 5m flow but soon changed down to the 3m core. The lake is much drier, loads of cars down there but hardly any of the model aero planes flying, I think it was just to windy. I kept to the southerly part of the lake.

No PBs but a great session, tried to get a picture of the kite and the moon, but it proved a bit difficult!

As I was heading back the wind changed to more northerly but made it a good way to the car park before I packed up...

Pictures taken with my iPhone!

Global Audience

I have just added a very nifty gadget to my blog...

Its over there on the right hand side, now you can view my blog in any language - all thanks to the boffin's at Google!

I'm still getting hits from all over the world...

There is also Malaysia, China, Latvia, Romania, Spain, United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands and New Zealand to add to the list! Thank-you for your ongoing support.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Video - 242 days

242 days since Popeye the Welder buggied on a beach!

I've never buggied on a beach - but I have got the fantastic salt lake a stones throw from home. The problem with the beaches in this part of the world are they are all soft, white sand, covered in women clad in bikinis - nightmare I know! But it would make for a bumpy ride...

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Lotto update...

We won!


Reinvested for the Saturday $20 million super-draw - keeping everything crossed!


Should I sell it or should I keep it?

My Blade 8.5m is listed for sale on various forums, as I want to buy a small(ish) race-kite. Yesterday I had someone express some interest in buying it and then lay awake in the night thinking that I don't want to sell my Blade!

Separation anxiety!

But I do want some race-kites, shall I sell it or should I keep it?

I guess as I have had no further interest I will be keeping it! Which fills my heart with joy - how am I going to get my hands on a race-kite?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

70 Million worth of dreams

Today is AusLotto's $70 million super-draw - what would you do with a share of $70 million?

A complete set of Peter Lynn Vapors -
A Sysmic S2 kite Buggy - 

One of theses to film my antics -

And one of these to carry it all around in - 

Of course, give up work (and become a kite bum!), pay off the mortgage - all the usual stuff!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

17th Wedding Anniversary

What's one of the best things to do on your wedding anniversary?

A morning kite buggy session at lake Walyungup! With my wife's approval of course...

Endomondo sports tracker

South Westerly's, with clearing showers, that later swung around to southerly's and the 3m Core was powered up nicely. Was joined by Bones and Alfa75 who I know from extreme kites and there were 4 kites in the air (with Bones's wife static flying) - have to say I loved seeing all the kites down there.

It was an awesome session, about 40kms traveled and a top speed of 56.5kph. Came home completely pebble dashed and would have been tempted to go on longer if another shower hadn't come along. The buggy's been hosed down and the kites are airing in the garage.

Happy anniversary honey...
Mark and Mandy - 6th May 1995

Friday, 4 May 2012

Adverse Weather Conditions!

As a dedicated kite buggier I am always checking out the weather forecast, looking ahead at the weekend when I am next going to get out. Yesterday the wind forecast for Sunday was non-existent...

Today the wind forecast for Sunday looked slightly better, with winds increasing - but it wasn't going to be record breaking! (though check out Monday and Tuesday!)...

But look at today's rain radar - we are having a very large delivery of the wet stuff! And that is set to continue tomorrow, with showers clearing on Sunday, so looks like if there is wind on Sunday I am going to get wet - either from the rain or blasting through puddles!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Blade III 8.5m - first flight

I have owned my Flexifoil Blade III 8.5m a couple of months now and only got to fly it for the first time on Sunday and then it nearly didn't happen...

I bought this monster as a low wind kite and because I've always wanted a Blade! It was bought second hand from extreme kites and comes in it's original ruck-sack and stuff sack. Initial inspection of the kite was good, it looks like the bridle is new, though was a bit twisted in places, the sail fabric was immaculate there is just some dried grass over the mesh covers to the cells. The handles and lines look hardly used.

The lines are 30m and when it arrived they were handle wrapped so I spent a great deal of time untwisting them and then re para-packing the kite (see here), I always get in a tangle with handle wrapping! the bags have some dirt but are otherwise huge and I love the fact it comes in it's own stuff sack.

I know the Blades reputation and have seen the videos on You Tube so there were a couple of things that I had some anxiety about before I got to fly this kite...

These are very lifty and powerful kites and have a reputation of biting and the spitting out unfortunate kiters!

Also the Blade III had a issue with bridle stretch that can distort the sail shape and effect flight - this can be corrected through re-tuning the bridle or by buying a bridle adjustment.
I was fairly confident the bridle would be OK as it looks new, but still had some nerves as I didn't want to disappear over the horizon!

Down on the Salt Lake Sunday morning, we had lots of rain the night before so there were large areas with a covering of water. More showers were forecast and with westerly winds increasing through the morning.

I started with the 5m Flow,but that was packed away rapidly as a heavy shower hit! Once that passed I thought now or never!

Staked out the handles then took the long walk, down wind, as the the 30m of lines unfurled from the bag. Unfolded the kite and I had forgotten how big this thing is!

Back to the handles, a quick tug and it sailed gracefully into the air and I was dragged (on my feet) about 10m! Wow - what a powerful kite. My usual technique is to put it through a few turns and figure 8's to get used to the power and speed of the kite - I was not disappointed, the kite held it's shape well, generated lots of power and most surprisingly turned pretty quickly for such a beast!

While the wind was pretty gentle thought I should try it in the buggy, as this is what I bought it for. I had about five minutes of gentle buggying until the wind completely dropped and the blade floated gently down. There were no nasty surprises, the wing tips folded a couple of times and were easily shaken out - this was more due to the very low wind rather than anything else.

Hung around for 10 minutes or so cursing the wind (or lack of it and it must have worked), until a more steady breeze picked up ahead of  some very dark and threatening clouds.

The kite was back in the air and flying (and pulling) happily - back into the buggy and off with some more speed now. The kite was pulling well and the speed increased, keeping it low in the window flipped it 180 degrees and made a perfect turn, with a nice slide thrown in!

A few more runs up and down the length of the lake, with the kite performing brilliantly - no scary moments just great fun, then the wind increased and a few spots of rain started...

The kite powered-up and the speed increased, but I wanted to stop and pack away before another drenching. A down-wind slide to scrub some speed and de-power the kite, as I started to bring it up to the zenith. The kite didn't want to de-power with the wind increasing - full on power-slide, pushed the kite higher into the window, started going backwards and then managed to turn around and stop the bug.

Hard on the brakes and the kite drifted down all sweet and innocent! Packed the kite away and got under shelter before the full force of another shower hit! After that it was back on the 5m and before I Knew it out came the 3m Core!

The blade is an awesome kite - I knew it was going to be powerful, but was pleasantly surprised at the speed of it's turns. Still think I am going to sell it as I have vapors and prodigy's on the brain!