Kitesurfing the Massive storm that hit Auckland.

Massive storm hits Auckland.
This is the 2nd 'Once in a hundred years' storm this year!

What a wild week!

Wind hitting 97 knots!

A Months rainfall arrives in a day!

What an incredible week. From one Thursday to another we received some of the most incredible conditions here at Orewa Beach. This was for me a great way to get back into the Winter Kiteboarding groove after my trip to Europe.

As it turns out the conditions in Europe have been pretty crappy for the 3 weeks since we left. I was talking at length to one of the founding partners of a new brand of Kiteboarding equipment and they were suffering in 14deg temperatures at the moment. But more on that a bit later.

Tuesday - A day of damage and destruction
So from Thursday to Thursday the wind was pushing into Orewa nice and hard and many Kiteboarders scored some great riding.
The wind pulsed and increased every day or so until the Tuesday when just after lunch time it went off the dial.
Having scored a couple of epic sessions already, when Tuesday rolled round I was slow off the mark and arrived at the beach around 11:30am to see the wind gusting 35-40knots in building rapidly. Armie was charging around on his wave board and surviving. He'd already destroyed one bar and line set trying to hold down his 9m and was back out on a borrowed 7m.
Conditions were insane and became totally unrideable.

The TV news footage of the devastation that occurred over the next 12 hrs was incredible to watch.
10's of thousands of people without electricity and millions upon millions of dollars damage.
The wind reached a peak of 97 knots at Tiri Tiri on the Whangaparaoa.

But it wasn't all bad....

The storm had a long reach from the east and built waves to 4m on the east coast.
As the storm passed the wind shifted more to the SE and dropped.
Wednesday morning arrived.... BIG WEDNESDAY! I was so amped to see the conditions at the beach and 5 kites were out already. You dream about big wave hitting Orewa, and today they had arrived. The wind was totally cross shore from the Whangaparoa side and ripped across the huge waves making for exceptional wave riding conditions.
I rigged my 10m Bularoo and headed out over a pretty big shorebreak into the screaming side shore wind.

Ok, so I underestimated the wind and the 35 knot reading from Tiri was looking pretty accurate to me now I'm out amongst it.
The shore break I was battling was taller than I was.
Funny how the waves always look smaller from the beach.

I edged my way our of increasingly larger and larger waves. My confidence waning the further into the storm I headed.

There were a few kiters out and the conditions were serious. A couple of windsurfers were out too.
Remember the wind was cross shore so tacking out, the waves were fair rushing at you.
I ventured out to what seemed like a mile out to sea (although I could see guys even further out) and decided to try ride a couple of non-set waves.
Absolutely powered up to the max on my 10m bow was unsettling, taking off down a wave that was double over head was surreal. Now I pride myself on my wave riding having surfed for many years.

Today charging down the face of chunky wind swept ocean swell I could feel the twintip reaching maximum speed, and laying into a toe side carve to head back up the face while feeling somewhat out of control sure brought on the adrenaline.

Add to that Armie the hippy screaming down the face of a larger monster behind me on a dedicated strapped wave board and you get the picture of the session going down.
He shot a couple of high speed carves across the face and peeled off the top before the close out.

A nailed a couple of big waves and slashed a few solid carves as I dialed into the conditions.
The wind then started to get a bit angry again and the tidal surges were something to experience.

It was one of the biggest days I have seen at Orewa and glad I rode it. Even if I was feeling in awe of the conditions.
After the session i took a few photos from the Northern End of Orewa, and you can get a little of the vidbe of the storm we rode on BIG WEDNESDAY.

I'm sure everyone who rode it has a story to tell over a few beers.

Next time I'll have a wave board and an even smaller kite.

Thursday - Cross Offshore winds and 1-2m waves!
Another great day of wind and looking much less than the previous session, but still windy.
Not wanting to be caught out I again rigged my 10m.
Launched in less than 10 knots of wind to quickly find the cross off shore wind above me sitting around 25knots.
The waves were much smaller today and you could ride down the faces come off the bottom turn toe side and carve fast heavy turns into the breaking lip.
Only the set wave were were big enough to be worth taking down the line. But when you got a good one you could park the kite on the beach side and ride toe side down the beach to the North. With the wind slightly offshore the waves looked fantastic.

What an amazing week!