New Zealand Beach Kite

Together Dan Eaton from Powerkiteshop and Dave Stratton from the design team of G2A take a 38 hour journey for the trip of a lifetime to see some of the best riding locations in the world and meet one of the guys who pioneered the sport of kite traction. They were not to be disappointed!.............

That 38 hour trip took in stops at Los Angeles and Auckland with the final hop to Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand getting in at 6am.

Our first stop was a few days over at the Peter Lynn Research and Development Centre to test out some prototype kites and vehicles – already we felt humble and privileged and generally well chuffed but then, it was nothing like what we felt when we saw the test area!

104 kilometres of smooth sand sitting there waiting to be used. Dave got to grips with some serious speed action whereas I couldn’t help some smooth freestyle manoeuvres.

Everything just flowed. Euphoria was that good we were giggling like kids. Either Dave or I had flown before in such ideal conditions.

Dave Stratton New Zealand Kite

Despite a whole country out there to explore we were hooked and rode for virtually 5 days straight - opting for nothing more than quick rehydration and a slap on of the UV oil.

Moving down south to Ashburton we took a visit to see Peter Lynn - the designer, the manufacturer, and one of the guys who has been promoting the sport of kite traction for the past 15 years and the creator of the world's first practical recreational production kite buggy back in 1990.

Staying at Peter's house and seeing the Factory was an experience in itself - the staff, the way they operate, the menagerie of prototype toys and gadgets lying around probably never to be seen again, then those that will, the products that will be seen in 2004 and beyond!

We even managed to check out the place where it all started - Argyle Park.

Peter took us to the field telling us how he took his sailboat and attached wheels to the bottom of it because his local lake was frozen over.

Discussing Board Design Kite New Zealand

By the end of the second week – we were noticing an atmosphere, many of the local flyers were getting excited, little did we know, but we’d only turned up when the years best buggying meet up at 'the moose' on the North Island was to be held. That was too good to miss and soon enough we were back on the plane flying up to Muriwai.

Muriwai is a fantastic 50 km/h beach which backs onto miles of dunes.

Taking a ride from the local shop in the compulsory 4x4 jeep we found ourselves open-mouthed gaping at the huge stretching beach that began the annual "moose nuke"!

It was a massive 50km distance enduro just to get to the actual event.

Most went via kite powered vehicle it was again too good an opportunity to miss after all we’d come to powerkite.

Pilots took to buggies, riders on boards and a group of surfs did the coastal jaunt via the water!

Muriwai Look Out Kite

After this adventure and strenuous boarding session up the beach we arrived at the campsite. Now when they said "bring everything you need to survive" they were not wrong - you could quite easily come to grief out here - vast desert - no wildlife or vegetation - a dangerous climate and a 50km/h walk back if you are stranded.

Washed up on the beach were numerous cars, bombs and stuff even cows, the terrain was demanding, the atmosphere was good and incredibly fun natured within the group.

Despite all of this you knew this was not a place to take lightly and not one to be on your own in.

As it was we were the only people with Phantom prototypes so this obviously created an interest.

Together with the smooth onshore winds we were managing to get some really good height, predictable control and major speed runs with the new depowerable kites – While Dave chased the buggiers giving them a run for their money I managed to get airs over the 4x4 jeep. Days end, the sun was setting and we chilled, huddled around the campfire we all settled for our night in the dunes.

Dan Eaton New Zealand Airdeck Kite

This is the land of extremes, after a freezing cold night in a tent the sun came out above the dunes and fried the moose crew even before breakfast!

The wind however was smooth and warm which fired everyone to get going and out onto the dunes for some serious buggying action.

We followed Muriwai's local kite shop owners Perrin Melchior and Kent McNish out into the dunes to show us what buggying was like 'New Zealand Style!' Drop-offs, spins and jumps with buggies were on the agenda as well as a trek along the beach.

Kent managed to bend his bigfoot wheeled buggy after a 60ft dune descent and I managed to break the footpegs and forks off Perrin's five wheeler buggy after traversing some moguls - sorry Perrin!

Later in the day we met up with another legend Charlie Watson who wrote the "The Guide to Western Circuit Hard Core Kite Buggy Riding" which was an inspiration to kite buggy freestyle throughout the world - Charlie took us around all the locations where all the photography was shot for “the guide” and we managed to see the man himself in action ripping it up on all the locations we had only seen in black and white.

Dan Buggying in the Dunes

The moose meet ended up a fantastic and perfect day with everyone leaving and hyped up talking of the next one. Everyone was interchanging their personal amazing experiences on the return run. It was Great.

We flew back to Ashburton on the South Island to Peter's headquarters knowing we’d seen some of the best buggying action and location in the world. The hardest part of all was returning those much loved Phantom Prototypes.

Unfortunately for us it was time to go and leave the hot weather and good winds behind - a fantastic journey taking us to places in New Zealand that we wouldn’t have found ourselves and enabling us to enjoy kiting in never to be forgotten terrain. - its no wonder so many people talk about this country, its kiting and kite history and its no wonder why so many people go back!!!.....

Report : Dan Eaton (Powerkiteshop)

Kent McNish Dune Buggying Landing

Photos: Dan Eaton and Dave Stratton









Muriwai Phantom Flying