Thursday, January 17, 2008

Another day at the office...

Well it has been a few more days since I last wrote and we have had a mixture of conditions since. I woke up really early three days ago and looked out the window. It was grey outside with Table Mountain and Capetown immersed in a thick, wintery cloud. The wind was blowing through the house relentlessly and with every gust the blinds hissed, the doors rumbled and the furniture on the balcony got whipped around like fallen leaves.

The wind was coming from the North West as opposed to the regular South East bringing in a cold front that makes Capetown feel like an autumn day in England. The great thing about kiting however is the variety. No one day is ever the same and when something as unusual as a strong North Wester hits Capetown in the summer for me that is not a opportunity to be missed. I skipped breakfast that morning, took out my trusty 8m Naish Torch 3 and hit the water while people were barely just stirring for work. The cloudy sky made the water black and it felt massively sharky. At first I was too busy looking down to see what could be lurking beneath me to remember I was actually kiting, but a quick trip of the rail and a dunking under the water soon woke me up. I decided that even though it was early for me shark feeding time was probably two hours ago and the lack of seals suggested that they had eaten their fill and that was enough to snap me back into the here and now. I was fully powered on my 8m. It was pretty gusty, but it was good. The water was refreshing and with the wind blowing from the North West it made it easier for me to practise my moves to blind as it meant that I was doing them on the way in and could do them between the little waves streaming through. The thing with blind moves is that I never have them 100% consistent. I have to practise them on a regular basis to make sure I don’t lose my ability to pull them off. If its perfect conditions and flat water I can probably pull them off the majority of the time, but with some time off and in choppy conditions once again I’m back to a 50% success rate. Raileys to blind were not a problem, but downloops to blind and backs to blind were what I was working on. By late morning I had done 2 or 3 hours on the water and I went in for a break. Strangely the wind stayed strong and I was able to have another session later in the day when John Coomber and Alex Larkin were out practising kite loops.

The following day the wind was in a transition. It didn’t pick up until 5pm, so there was plenty of time for shopping in the local malls before hitting the water as the sun was going down. Once again I was on the 8m but this time with a cloudless sky and head high waves in the bigger sets were rolling lazily through.

Yesterday we hit langebaan where the water is flat. After being here over a week now I feel ready to start working on the mobes again. Langebaan is the perfect place for building up your confidence as it minimises the variables reducing the number of things that can go wrong. Plus there is always something confidence inspiring when you know you can stand up if you need to relaunch your kite. This is exactly what is necessary when the move involved means charging along at full speed, popping as hard as you can, rotating 360 degrees and at the same time spinning upside down to enable yourself to pass the bar. There is inevitably going to be some level of carnage and a big crash involved. Once again we scored 8m weather and we all had a successful kite mission completed by 5pm that evening! Sweet! Today my shoulders are aching like hell along with my calfs. Its been another tragedy with the wetsuit tan and I look like farmer giles! Later we are off to a lake in the mountains for some more mobe action. Lets hope its windy because it’s a hell, hot drive to get there and complete baroness once you arrive. Keep you posted! x

All photos by Ian Edmondson at

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