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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!

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