Baldivis Kite Buggying on Vimeo

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Friday, 28 December 2012

Get Stuffed!

Another one of my Chrissie presents was a stuff sack for the Ozone Method 4m, so today I thought I would transfer the kite from it rucksack into the stuff sack...

As it is maxing at about 38-39 degrees at the moment I thought I would attempt it inside - not so easy when the kite is parapacked!

Got into a right tangle and then ended up outside in 35 degrees untangling the lines and re-packing it, at least it's now in the stuff-sack ready to go!

Looks tangled, but will un-pack perfectly
Packed and ready to go

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Grab bag of mounts...

One of my Christmas presents was the GoPro Grab bag of mounts...

My original mount was on my old helmet and the clip had broken - so this was perfect for my new helmet. I am looking forwards to getting out and making some new movies...

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas...

I hope you all have a happy buggy Christmas and a very buggy New Year...

Friday, 21 December 2012

Newbie in a kite buggy – semi-professional!

200th Post!

It is well over 12 months now since I started kite buggying and nearly 12 months since I started my blog. Reading back to the early days and my first tentative steps, that first downwind turn, my PB’s and the kites I have owned and sold, the distances travelled, the frustrations of winter and the OBE’s – it has been a blast!

I am still in my trusty Peter Lynn Comp XR+, mainly as I can’t afford anything better! And it is still doing the job, the tyres are bald and one is showing canvas, the bearings aren’t quite as smooth as they once were and the buggy is a lot dustier, it has a custom made belly pan to protect my … seat! – But it has taken me over 60kph and provided me with hours of enjoyment; though as I write this, it has been relegated to the shed as I am borrowing a Sysmic S2.

I still have my Ozone Flow 5m, this is the kite that is responsible for getting me hooked again and it comes out regularly as my low wind kite – fantastic construction, super stable and can generate a reasonable amount of speed. It has taken some knocks, as this is the kite I learnt to buggy with; it does look a bit worn but is an excellent all round kite.

Then I have my feisty Peter Lynn Core 3m, I bought this as my high wind kite to enable me to push my speed and this is the kite I got my PB with. It is on 20m lines and does need a fair breeze to get it going; otherwise it floats to the ground. And when it gets going it pulls and pulls, and can be pretty aggressive and scary – this kite was responsible for my first OBE as it lifted me un-gracefully and then dropped me. This may now have been superseded though…

I bought a second hand 8.5m Blade II as my low wind kite, it was in first class condition – I think I used it once before selling it on. It was bloody huge and slow and soon as the wind picked up started to become lifty – I’m not into buggy jumping or jumping out of buggies. So this now has a new home in Queensland.

Then it was the time for the Peter Lynn Vapor 2.7m – the fastest kite on the planet. This was an attempt to eventually replace the Core and push my speeds to the next level. An amazing kite, looked incredible, was very fast (as to be expected) and powerful. But could also be a bugger! This was the kite that caused my second OBE after a hot launch - in the end decided that this was too much kite for me and sold it on – practically as new.

Now I have another Ozone, a 4m Method, this is rapidly becoming my kite of choice and is replacing the 3m Core as my high wind kite. Superb Ozone construction, minimal bridals, super stable – with sports car performance. In low wind it lacks the grunt but as you work it the speed develops and give it a decent blow and it certainly performs but without any nasty surprises. I think this kite is going to take my buggying to the next level and how I would love to get the full quiver…

Bones has also lent be a 2m HQ Beamer as a seriously high wind kite, but this is yet to see the light of day.

Lake Walyungup is a great location to buggy and is good with the wind from pretty much any-direction. The surface is rock hard with a loose covering of sharp gravel, great for power-slides but chews the rubber off your tyres. We share it use with a model aero-club and the land yacht, but there is plenty of room. Given a good easterly or westerly then you can buggy all the way from the car-park!

The downside is the winter restriction which prevents vehicles driving onto the lake (the land yachts and model aero-club have vehicular access) which prevents us using it as well.

I would still like to try buggying on a beach – I have been told it’s a whole different experience. But with Lake Walyungup only 5 minutes from home I count my blessings. At some point I would like to go to Lake Lefroy and the beaches near Esperance – but in my opinion I have buggy heaven on my doorstep.

I am lucky to be able to get out most weekends usually early on a Sunday morning and most of the time the process of flying and buggying is instinctual with regular shots of adrenaline, this enables me to enjoy the whole experience. It has an addictive quality and if I miss out then I become sullen and depressed.

Throwing the kite around in the turns, power-sliding the buggy, pushing it to go harder and faster, kicking the rear end out to scrub the speed; all these are natural and require little or no thought, they just happen. I know my kites, I can tell what they are doing (even when I did an unintentional 360 the flow stayed in the air), where they are positioned through the pull through the harness and it only takes a quick glance to affirm this – yet there is not a better site than a kite against the perfect blue of the Western Australia sky.

None of this intuitive buggying takes away any of the pleasure but just goes to enhance the feelings and experiences of pushing your limits with the aid of the wind.

My other kit includes my Ozone SB harness, I have replaced the hooked spreader with a roller. This harness is great, comfortable to wear, spreads the load evenly and is the usual Ozone quality. Though does seem a little looser these days!

I have my GoPro HD Hero, which is a fantastic bit of kit, at present I just have my helmet mount and my custom buggy mount, as well as a tripod. It provides great HD video – which I like to watch again and again. I would love to be able to mount this on the kite and see that aerial footage.

My other couple of essentials are my ground stake and hammer (you need the hammer to get the stake into the ground!) and my Masters Mocha One – and of course the other items of morning tea! That all live in my little blue cool bag! Of course I have a few different spanners and a spare strop that usually all live in my Peter Lynn buggy bag.

I had forgotten the GPSr which attaches to the down tube of my PL with the Popeye the welder GPS holder. I use this to keep an eye on my speed (max), distance and average and always have some spare batteries. Along with this I often use the Endomondo sports tracker on my iphone to keep track of my tracks!

Where to from here?
A new buggy?
More Method’s?
Semi-professional? I joke about this with my kids; I am a semi-professional kite buggier! - No sponsorship deal on the horizon – but I would if I could!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Video - Time and Tide...

...wait for no man! 

"Hayling Island UK 9th Dec 2012... Great first session on this sandspit but a valuable lesson learnt in keeping an eye on the incoming tide."
Awesome bit of video.

These crazy dudes from the UK - apparently it was freezing and they were having such a good time they didn't keep an eye on the tide! I feel chilly at 6am when it's only 18 degrees and I'm just wearing shorts and a T-shirt!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Yesterday I had my first run out in the Sysmic S2 and I had to admit I loved it!

It was an evening session, I got down to the salt lake about 5.30 - it took me a bit longer to attach the rear axle and the bag than my PL comp - two more bolts than the comp and it is heavier, this was only my second attempt so think I will get quicker.

I made sure the four nuts and bolts holding the rear axle on were good and tight as I know Bones had an issue where he had lost two.

After about three-quarters of an hour I thought I should check them - glad I did as they all had worked loose! They have pretty standard nuts and bolts on them and the Sysmic Operation Manual suggest that you
"use some glue loktite 222 on the screw that you wont often screw/unscrew" 
this is not my bug so I wont be "gluing" anything!

But I do think I will get some Nyloc nuts for the rear axle bolts - that will stop them coming loose and Bones can continue to use them or not...

The winds were a south-westerly but with more south! So it limited the amount of lake available and forced me into some hard slow upwind runs, but despite that with a nicely powered 4m Ozone Method I did manage to hit the mid 50's and a moving average of 23kph - so very pleased. The S2 really let me hold down the power, by wedging myself against the rails and feels much more solid on the ground, while still being able to un-lock the back end to scrub off speed and slide. 

If I get some decent easterlies over the next couple of weeks I think I can improve on my PB with the S2 and the method, the big question is how will I feel going back to the PL comp?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


A big thank-you to Bones for letting me borrow his Sysmic S2 kite buggy, he is away for a couple of weeks and rather than it sit around un-used he has kindly lent it to me…

I am hoping I can do it justice and make the most of the opportunity by increasing my personal best – now I just need the wind and weather to cooperate. I have all my kites in the bag, the swanny is set to the right length, short, to match my legs! I have also dropped the tyre pressure as they were rock solid.

It also fits in the garage without taking up any-more room than the PL comp! And I have put something down to protect it from the concrete-

Side rail socks!

The wind is looking reasonable for later today, so after an early dinner I am heading to lake Walyungup to give it a try and don't worry Bones, I will look after it...

Monday, 17 December 2012

Should it stay or should it go?

I am considering selling my 3m Peter Lynn Core (again) -

I seriously do need some new tyres and don't have the cash to but any, I am looking at about $50 a pop for some 6 ply highway rated tyres. To replace the barrows that I have worn out!

And I am not sure how much use I am going to get out of it now I have the super smooth and fast 4m Ozone Method...

I have done the e-bay listing ready to go, I just need to see if my wife can save the day - as she is the financial guru in our house!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Video - Lighthouse to Leighton

The race is due to run again on Saturday and we may head to Freo to watch the finish - should be a spectacle to see all those kites - even if they are in the water!

2011 Lighthouse-to-Leighton Kite Race from Neil Peterson on Vimeo.

This is the longest open water event in the world - The 2012 Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton

Friday, 14 December 2012

Video - The Office!

Filmed at Hoylake in the North West of England - looks bloody cold! But a great video...

Thursday, 13 December 2012


I couldn't believe, on Tuesday arvo, after ordering it on Friday, my helmet and pads arrived from Chain Reaction Cycles - who are based in Northern Ireland!

Excellent service...

I had to open it just to check it was all correct! Just don't tell my Mrs. Or I will need full body armour! Just got to wait until Christmas now...

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Tyre trouble - pit-stop...

I can see canvas!
first bit of canvas showing
Before I started off last Sunday, when I was attaching the rear axle to the bug I noticed I could see the canvas starting to show through on my left rear tyre.

After a couple of hours of buggying and maybe a little bit of going sideways, it was really showing...

It got worse...
...and worse!
Thankfully this tyre has a tube, but I was worried a bit about it shredding. So an impromptu pit-stop in the middle of the salt-lake and Bones and I swapped it with the front, which is worn but nowhere near as much. Should last me a few more k's but I am hoping I have so Christmas money left to get some new tyres!

swapped to the front!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Lake Walyungup - officially open for business!

View Lake Walyungup in a larger mapa> in a larger map

As of the weekend Lake Walyungup was officially opened for access, allowing the model aircraft club and the land-yachts to drive onto the lake. The cars of the model aircraft club were there in dribs and drabs from about 7am and we saw the first of the land-yachts arriving about 10.45am.

There were not any issues with the model aircraft as we all managed to stay out of each others way as there is still plenty of room for us all to play with our toys. And we did need to scoot around the edge of their flying area to re-unite Rob with his stuff! 

 As long as we don't get any-more of this...

I am happy to continue to walk, or fly down the lake and have no urge to drive on (I am still young and fit enough to cope!) and I can carry my kit with me. I look forward to a long summer of kite buggying on Lake Walyungup...

Monday, 10 December 2012

Sunday at Lake Walyungup...

Had a great time on the salt lake on Sunday, the wind was an easterly and was blowing pretty strong when I got down there. I met Rob and Alfa75 in the car park at 6am!

On the lake decided to start off on the 3m Core and at times this was feeling over-powered and a little bit scary - I had left the 2m Beamer (that Bones has lent me) at home as hadn't thought I would need it. So decided to sit it out for a bit and have some breakfast while I waited for the wind to ease...

Had a few good runs on the Core and as the wind dropped off a little more decided it was time to pull the Ozone Method 4m. And I am so glad I did, it was nicely powered up most of the time and with the wind gusting as strong as it was before the stability and performance really came into it's own. A couple of times I let go of a handle so I could hold onto the side rail of the bug! The kite would just sit there and continue to do it's thing...

the cars of the model aero-club
Why didn't I put it up from the start? The rest of the time I spent cruising the length of the lake - the model aero-club were on there, but we could easily stay out of each others way. I did have a pit-stop to swap one of my rear tyres onto the front - more about that later.

After four hours in the buggy, over 60kph, a top speed of 54.8kph and moving average of 27.4kph (it did hit 28 at one point!), I was exhausted, so it was time to pack up, head home for a drink and a swim!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Tragic Accident involving a kite...

Taken from today's West Australian...

"A promising teenage soccer player was impaled through the eye by a kite being flown by a stranger in a freak accident as he walked home from soccer trials.

Iain Carmichael spent his 17th birthday on November 28 in the intensive care unit of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. On that day he woke from life support - a birthday present for which his family will be for ever thankful.

It certainly was not the present they were expecting two weeks ago when Iain, walking home from soccer trials in Secret Harbour, had a kite smash through his eye socket to his brain.

The family flying the kite rushed to help the teenager, who was instantly paralysed.

Iain was taken to Fremantle Hospital before being transferred to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital for specialist treatment. His eye miraculously appears to have suffered little damage but his family are anxiously waiting to see whether a grey patch on Iain's latest brain scans will bring good or bad news.

"The first few days in intensive care, we were just wrecked," his dad Robert Carmichael said.

"We just didn't know what damage had been done and now he's had a few brain scans but it's still a waiting game.

"They don't know if this grey patch is hiding behind the bleeding or it's just reappeared. It could be either brain cells repairing themselves or dead brain cells, we won't know until the next scan."

The right side of Iain's body remains paralysed but he has been able to give his family the odd smile and a few words.

Mr Carmichael said he hoped his son's strong fitness levels would work to his advantage as he continues to recover and was proud of what his son had achieved.

"He's fit and he's healthy and I'm glad he's done all that training to make himself strong," Mr Carmichael said.

The 17-year-old, who moved from Scotland to Perth with his family four years ago, graduated recently from Safety Bay Senior High School and was looking forward to pursuing to play soccer professionally.

A star player for Mandurah FC and his school's acclaimed soccer academy, he recently won the school's best and fairest player for the year and had interest from American colleges about soccer scholarship opportunities when he turned 18.

As a member of Football Tech's elite academy he was picked to travel to Brazil to train with Desportivo in 2010.

Iain was also toying with the idea of going back to Scotland to do further training ahead of possibly moving to America.

"He's a remarkable kid . . . there's a long way to go but we're very delighted about the progress he's making," Mr Carmichael said."

Picture courtesy of he West Australian

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas Shopping!

It's always good when Santa Claus brings you exactly what you asked for! So I have just completed my Christmas shopping...

I have bought a present for my wife to give me -

Brand-X X MKII Knee and shin guards
And for my Mum and Dad to give me - 
Brand-X X Elbow and forearm guards
And for my in-laws to give me - 

661 Comp shifted 2012 helmet
Isn't Christmas shopping for me easy, I'll do it all for you - just send me the money! All bought from Chain Reaction Cycles on-line (free delivery for spending over $100 and then $10 discount), in Northern Ireland!

And it means I will be fully protected for the New Year - I still have more things on my wish list if you are stuck for ideas!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Video - End of the world!

Not kite related but pretty funny...

Sunday Session...

The forecast is looking good for an early morning Sunday Session, with decent early morning easterlies...

Looks like the Ozone Method 4m will be getting a play again!