On Saturday I managed to split a fin and the corner of my CrazyFly kiteboard after getting a little too close to the shoreline and running out of water.
This post is a bit of an experiment to see if my feedburner rss feed will now pull through images from this blog. It must require great patience to sit on the beach waiting for someone to do something exciting (or mildly good). Just seems like the perfect excuse for a POV camera. Same the day ended with me almost snapping a skeg off and splitting the laminate on the board – photos of the repair to follow.
A little video from kitesurfing this weekend and one from last weekend at the Chew Solo Open. The former is filmed using a W60 and the latter my iPhone4s. Given the quality of the iPhone I am starting to think that carrying just the iPhone and a GoPro for sports trips away is good enough – maybe the time to upgrade to the Pentax W90 is past? A decision that can wait for fund availability.
The basis of this experiment stems from my previous attempts to make a kite rig for a normal point and shoot camera. Now I have a boat I would like to film some sailing and needed to work out how to mount a camera onto the deck. The idea here is that a T-piece could be attached to the forestay bow plate and then sit flat on the deck.
Totally excessive geeking out with bigup respect to Mr Lawrence but I needed somewhere to write the course down when racing at Chew. The wooden side-decks were not an option so the hope was a small piece of acrylic from school would fit – too big. So rather than just cut it down we used our laser cutter and added the map – result…
On buying the boat I spent about a week setting up all the lines as per the hot boat setup shown on Contender UK. Lots of time was taken: making lovely seamless fid splices; running all the lines back to the trapeze elastic; and wasted contemplating whether I could make the centreboard hauls continuous.
So after much deliberation, procrastination and general indecision I have bought a new boat. I’m now the proud owner of Contender GB478. I decided that the only way to truly decide whether I would enjoy trapeze helming and cope with the gusty nature of westerlies and easterlies on Chew was to try. At £650 minus a few upgrades this boat was not going to break the bank and if I decide in 12 months that I want a upgrade/downgrade its not out of the question. At this point RS100s, Blazes and RS700s could all be back on the cards but until then Contenders it is!
Here are the sellers photos.
There is a current craze for recording yourself doing stuff and posting it to YouTube, Vimeo at al. While some of these videos are quite amazing and/or so obviously being used as commercial promotions I am not sure that all the ego-enhancing content produced is that good. That said, I cannot deny that it doesn’t have a place and that I don’t like reviewing my achievements or learning from previous attempts.
Having bought two different waterproof cameras (Sanya Xacti and Oregon ATC2K) in the past and been disappointed I was reluctant to spend out on the very popular GoPro in case I was yet again disappointed. I was also put of with the thought of traveling with more than one camera when Kitesurf gear readily raises the eyebrows of most departure checkins.
Just as I was giving up, I found an American company called CamRig producing a versatile mounting kit that can be used with many small compact cameras. I would have purchased straight away but with no UK importer I decided to try and make my own first using our school supply of acrylic offcuts!
Big respect goes to The Hulk who helped me build this rig. The first step was to produce something in card we could wrap around the camera to ensure it fitted OK. Once we had this sorted we set about folding the acrylic into shape. Here are some photos of the rig:
Here is the first test flight taken using a Pentax W60 which for its size is not that bad!
With 12 months off the water we expected very little from this session. However, never to be lacking in enthusiasm Bertie came armed with his new camera and couldn’t wait to get trigger happy recording video.
Our different approaches were clear to see from the offset and it was easy to see which one of us threw caution to the wind despite just having had a Shoulder operation! Bertie played it safe and jumped from the waves. I headed for the deep end, got popping and got mashed with a few unsightly landings.
It was surprisingly difficult to stand still in the waves with the tide pulling you about hence the sloshing motion sometimes seen via the lens, but it has encouraged me to get the homemade CamRig back out for another session.
There are so many possible sailing boats that one might want to own/sail. The major decisions are: number of crew; number of hulls; club rules and fleets; and budget. Once those major decisions are decided you can start to look at classes.
Laser: this boat is almost without fail the most popular performance single hander with number now up to the 200K mark. It is the obvious starting point for anyone looking to return to sailing and racing.
- PY: 1080
- Main Sail and No Trapeze
- Length: 4062mm
- Sail Area: 7.06m2
- Weight: 59kg
- 2nd Hand Cost: £500 to £2000 (according to ApolloDuck Aug 2011)
*** EDIT 29th Oct 2011 ***
So, I’m still looking at Boats and after some amazing kitesurf sessions in the last month have decided a budget of £500-£1000 is all I can a) afford and b) justify. I’m also a little concerned that a single man trapeze boat could be a little more than I could handle at this early stage. The lake I sail on can be gusty and with busy start lines I don’t want to be the one causing the accidents (top route to popularity). This has led me to think of other options:
- Blaze – 1046 – Expensive
- Finn – 1060 – Very few for sale (1 on AD 29th Oct 2011)
- Phantom – 1030
- RS300 – 1000 – Expensive
- Solo – 1153
Fancy Something Faster…
All important if you are looking at FAST boats is the Portsmouth Yardstick.
So, I’ve decided to start exploring my water-based roots and return to sailing, a sport I first tried in 1984/5 aged 13. Why you might ask? Well sometimes, when you don’t live on the coast Kitesurfing is just too much bloody trouble. First you need wind and it really needs to be above 12 knots or 15 mph to make it worthwhile. Then it needs to be coming in onto the beach at the right angle: anything with cross in it will work (cross shore, cross onshore); direct onshore is OK but the risks of being dumped on land are higher so care must be taken; and offshore is a real NO NO unless you have a rescue craft to hand. Once you have wind in the right direction you need to check out tides and other often seasonal restrictions – kitesurfers have quite a big foot print and with four 25m 200kg lines flying around we are generally unpopular with health and safety.