Video: Old School session in Off Shore winds in Sardinia

With a new set up of kites, boards and accessories in Sardinia from Peter Lynn Kiteboarding, Axis Kiteboarding and Underwave, I’ve been trying to explore all the different aspects of Kiteboarding I enjoy.

I would say the main areas I thrive on is wave riding, looping and old school / airstyle.

Sardinia this year hasn’t really produced everything I expected in terms of conditions. A few mistral winds and a few South Easterlies, but meagre food for windy souls. The wind never strong enough to throw loops, and waves, well it’s the Med. So old school it has been!

Being on the North East coast, means that the mistral (North West) is off shore. You can either drive to the north side of the island or brave the off shore winds.
Off shore is obviously inherently dangerous, so you need back up. Also it is extremely gusty, often going from 10 to 25 knots in a flash. However the water is really clean and flat and is amazing for photographs if you can handle the wind. Throw in a lot of beach users totally unaware of kiteboarding and it makes for interesting sessions.

So Thanks to Wet Dreams Kite school for providing the back up and to Robby Fontanesi for filming with my go pro with the Extreme Xccessories extension pole and capturing his particular session.


The Peter Lynn Escape v7

I’ve always enjoyed every aspect of Kiteboarding. I think it goes back to my addiction to power kiting.
As a result,  you will find me on a twin tip, on a strapless surfboard, on wake skate in strong winds in soft winds in waves on flat, getting stoke just from being out there and having fun whatever the conditions. (haven’t tried foiling cause it’s so big and I have the luxury of riding windy spots most of the time)

In the past I used to enjoy my Peter Lynn “Swell” as a “do it all” kite, it rides magnificently in the waves, but it jumps and loops and does all the other stuff pretty well too.
But then came an Escape v5 prototype. More C shaped than its previous incarnations, it had something different from the Swell that got me hooked. It was that vertical lift, and the smoothness in the loops. I just had to admit that for megalooping it did have an edge.

After working with the designer on the V5 and the V6, I just had to have it in my quiver.


The tradition has been carried into the “Escape V7”

It is such a smooth kite! you notice it immediately in flight. Compare it with most other kites in the sky and you will notice that it has less flutter and that the canopy looks smoother in the air. As a result it is a super stable kite, super predictable. Besides those attributes, the fixed bridle gives it that connected feeling in whatever input you throw at it and the bar feel is just perfect, not too heavy, not too light.

Last year I ended up with an 11m Escape v6 in Sardinia and absolutely loved the kite for airstyle and general free ride. This year I will be there with Escape v7 13m, 11m and 9m. I already had a few session on the 13m and was pleasantly surprised at the manoeuvrability of the kite for its size.

For my weight I’ve always maintained the the best size boosting kite would be an 8 and with the addition of 8m and 10m, I finally have that size to throw around! I’ve had a few outings with it and YES, it is as I expected.
It feels like a 7m but has more hang time. I have not been overpowered on it yet, so still to find its top end, but the loops have been an absolute blast!

The “Escape v7” as just been tweaked. There is no radical change in the kite, but yes it’s smoother and even less flutter in those big loops. I’ve also been messing around with line length and getting some great results for different applications especially for radical megaloops.

I strongly suggest you try this kite for yourself.


Thanks for the pics to M. Borsato


Riding waves in Off Shore Winds

I spent last Week End in Cape St Francis. For those who don’t know, it is famous for it’s wave, (and yes I did dust the old Waveski and got a few good rides in ). So if you ain’t scoring wind, you got the option of an awesome wave with friendly locals as long as you respect their spot and play according to the rules (Not all visitors seem to understand that)

I was on a mission to kite it, to see how the wind was on the South Westerly direction knowing it would be pretty off shore.

Riding real waves in those conditions  is challenging for a few reasons:

Firstly the wind is invariably gusty as it comes over land.

Secondly the timing and way of rinding the wave has to adapt to deal with the wind direction and where the kite sits in the window whilst on the wave.

The first day I went further down around the bay where the wind is a more friendly cross off shore to a spot called “Ducks”. The waves break on sandbanks and are pretty fast and gnarly. You also got some rip currents which can create chop on the wave. The wind as expected, was gusty but manageable for an experienced rider. The close outs did catch me a few times, but I also got some nice runs and turns. The beautiful backdrop of the Cape St Francis lighthouse makes for a good picture.

On the Sunday, with the wind still around, I tried seals point where it is totally off shore.  I realised that my board was lacking a little bit of volume to get me through the dead spots in the wind, so if I’d had the choice, I would have used a board with a little more volume.My Peter Lynn Kiteboarding “Swell” handled nicely as it has great drifting capabilities, I think without a good drifting kite, I would have battled in those off shore conditions. Another observation is that when the wind drops on you, you need to be able towork the kite to generate power. A quick and responsive kite definitely helps.
It was amazing to be riding such clean waves, but challenging to time the turns on the beach break. You almost need to turn a little late to catch the lip coming down so you stay on the wave.
The spot is also a little daunting because of dealing with off shore conditions, and I definitely only recommend it to very experienced kiters with the option of a rescue craft should things go wrong. (I had someone with a JetSki on standby)

During the Week End I came to these conclusions:

  • A slightly more buoyant board is an advantage as it allows you to surf the wave through the luls.
  • You need a kite that drifts nicely and is super stable even when depowered.
  • The timing of your bottom and top turns needs to adapt with the off shore wind so as to connect the lip of the wave.
  • Kite placement and anticipation is super important otherwise it wants to pull you over the wave.
  • Riding forehand (facing the wave) is a serious advantage to hold the power of the kite.

I Look forward to some more session there.

Thanks Manuela Borsato for the pics.


Cedric Vandenschrik Kiteboarding adventures