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Good safety practises

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Postby jever98 » Fri Sep 06, 2002 10:22 am

Hi guys,

we always talk about shackles, leashes and helmets. I totally agree that these are very important, but by far not sufficient. Here are some things I have noticed and would like to discuss with you:

- Coloured bar ends: Almost all bars have a red and a different coloured end. A lot of people don't use them in the original (nautical) sense. I don't understand why people use the blue end of the Naish bar on the left side, when all colour coding (on the bar, the line ends, the pig tails) is RED = LEFT. It is safer when you ALWAYS use the red end on the left. It's as simple as that. I have seen enough people crash the kite on the beach because they held the bar the wrong way

- Use colour coded lines: So many people have crashed their kites because right/left and/or back/front lines have been swapped. Use different colours for front and back lines and different coloured back lines (e.g. red left back, blue right back, white front lines)

- Don't keep the kite in zenith on the beach: beginners are always told it is safest to keep the kite in zenith: Bulls**t!!! I have seen so many kites stalling from zenith, but hardly any if you keep it at 45 degrees to one side.

- Don't pull the kite up too quickly: a lot of people pull up the kite super quickly and wonder why they get pulled down the beach. Stupid and risky again

- Make sure the kite is in the right spot when launching: so often, you see people's kite launching too far up or down wind. Either they get a massive pull or the kite may fall to the ground. Stupid again

- Launch out to sea if possible: for example in Cabarete, most people launched their kites towards the land, standing near the water. If something goes wrong, you will be dragged into the trees or houses, damage your kite, and worst of all, risk taking somebody out

Open for discussion :smile:

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Postby RickI » Fri Sep 06, 2002 5:02 pm

Good points! I am always dismayed by riders, both inexperienced as well as experienced ones parking their kites at the vertical or zenith, particularly while onshore. The kiteboarders that do this for extended periods on land really blow me away. Remember my area is the one that tosses out 60 mph gusts every once in a while. The rest of the time the gusts are usually minor, deceptively so. In many areas you don't have regular strong gusts to compel you to do this differently. In places with high gusts they avoid this practice out of common necessity.

The approach I use is:

1. Set the kite up near the water and carefully preflight it.

2. Have an assisted launch or if necessary a solo launch. I am standing away from the water during launch.

3. I am unhooked and unsnap shackled during launch with my chicken loop pulled in and tied.

4. I bring the kite off the ground only 20 degrees or so in adequate wind, perhaps 45 degrees in lighter winds.

4. I walk down to the water under the pull of the kite and grab my board along the way. To do this I need to hook into the fixed harness line.

5. I drag offshore a ways, beyond the breakers if there are any before putting on the board.

6. It is easier to put your board on with the kite hooked in and parked near the zenith but is also more dangerous. It is a bit trickier but putting on your board with your kite at or below 45 degrees while offshore appears to be a safer way to go.

A good kiteboarding course should cover all these points, the ones you made and more. Hopefully expanded instruction will come about and be supported by kiteboarders in the near future.

Rick Iossi

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: RickI on 2002-09-06 18:13 ]</font>

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Postby Hernan » Sat Sep 07, 2002 12:08 am

In gusty winds or difficult launching a good (safe) way is launch shackled but with one hand at the bar and the other grabbing the release. You don t need both hands to steer the bar correctly.
(how many time you are riding one handed? So you got the skill)

I used to launch unhooked but you dont have enough control of the kite. The triming control of the depower helps in launching succesfully.

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