AERIAL EXPERTISE: Kite surfer Ryan Bentley pulls an off the board trick at Town Beach yesterday. About 30 kite surfers took advantage of the ideal conditions.
AERIAL EXPERTISE: Kite surfer Ryan Bentley pulls an off the board trick at Town Beach yesterday. About 30 kite surfers took advantage of the ideal conditions. Tony Martin

Windy weather helps kite surfer leap 10.6m over wall

KURT Raymond doesn't suffer vertigo.

Big heights are what he's chasing.

And thanks to a nifty piece of new technology called the 'Woo' the kite surfer now knows just how much height he's getting.

"I jumped over the rock wall yesterday," Kurt said.

"That was 10.6 metres."

The Woo's 'accelerometers' measure jump heights and hang times, which kite surfers can upload online and compare to others.

Mr Raymond's data ranks him about 10th in Australia.

"There are only about 30 Australians registered though," he said.

"The highest in the world are jumping about 20.3m.

"You use the kite, to make sure the landing is soft."

Jason Lamb gets airborne off Town Beach, East Mackay.
Jason Lamb gets airborne off Town Beach, East Mackay.

With veteran kite surfer Mel Millen predicting more big winds to come this winter, that should offer Kurt plenty of fuel to improve his ranking.

"It's incredible what you can learn about wind and weather once you start," Mrs Millen said. "I'm constantly monitoring it.

"Anything between 15-25 knots would be unreal.

"(The wind today) it's a really good sign for winter, which is generally on or off around Mackay."

After suffering a wind drought during the summer, Mrs Millen said good winds had been popping up every couple of weekends.

"Kiters love the winter around here, the water is crystal clear and there are no stingers," she said.

She recommends Town Beach, where there were about 30 kiters at the weekend, and East Point as the best places to try the extreme sport in the area.

"Town Beach is world class. It offers great flat water conditions," she said.

"East Point offers the best of both worlds.

"You can ride in the river, the flatwater section or in the waves."

Liam Fulcher hones his kite-surfing skills.
Liam Fulcher hones his kite-surfing skills.

Kite surfing jargon

 Quiver: A collection of different kite types.

 Free rider: A casual rider who likes zipping back or forward and trying big jumps.

 Freestyle: A rider chasing height and high end tricks.

 Boost: To send the kite so the rider gets airborne.

 Offshore wind: Wind blowing at the water from the shore.

 Onshore wind: Wind blowing at the shore from the water.



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