17/26 New Things Challenge: Kite Surfing in St Kilda

Last time I was in Australia I tried surfing a few times and I sucked. Back home in Kent I tried windsurfing and I sucked. So on this trip I thought I’d give Kite Surfing a go and guess what? I didn’t suck!

Kite surfing is a popular water sport at Melbourne’s city beaches in St Kilda. The bad thing about Melbourne’s beaches compared to Sydney is the waves… in that there aren’t really any, so you can’t go normal surfing. The good news however  is there’s not many sharks either!

kite surfing st kilda

Despite sucking at surfing and the last kite I flew being shaped as Mr Blobby (I was 6), I decided it would be a good idea to kite surf, so I booked a 2 hour lesson with Kite Republic, Kiteboarding school in West Beach, St Kilda after I saw them advertising a Groupon offer. (Always worth checking Groupon).

Joining me for my surf lesson was Dan who I actually met previously when I didn’t speed mate. I was very grateful to have Dan with me, also a complete newbie to Kite surfing! We met Anouk our wonderful teacher from the Netherlands, and struggled into our wetsuits, buoyancy aids, helmets and belt through legs thingys – we really weren’t sure what to expect!

dan2

For the first half and hour it was all about getting the kite flying technique right and we did this practicing on a small training kite. Dan and I did pretty well learning to fly the kite, making quick sharp turns and getting it to go where we wanted it. But then we moved onto the BIG kite surfing kite! A kite surfing kite can be anything from 10 to 15 meters squared and you can really feel its power! Luckily we also learnt the 3 things to do in an emergency if your kite is pulling you say: away into the ocean, into the road with oncoming traffic or into the propellers of a boat!

kite surfing

Once we mastered (kind of) flying the huge, massive kite, Anouk took us into the water. Although we didn’t use the kiteboard (Anouk recommended 5 hours of kite surfing lessons before you tried that) we did get a sense of using the kite in the water; taking its mammoth power to pull (all three of us at some point) rapidly through the water. Which is as fun as it sounds!

All in all I really enjoyed Kite surfing and I didn’t suck at it! Dan and I are keen to get some more lessons to see if we’d be any good on the board as well, or if it’s just flying kite we’re good at! We’ll have to see…

kitesurf

Thanks to the people at Kite Republic for an awesome evening kite surfing!

Making my way north of the river hone I also had my first ever (and possibly last) hot chocolate from 7eleven that counts as no.18, right?!

Feature Image Courtesy of: http://www.seabreeze.com.au/

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