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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:12 pm 
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Location: Florida
Winter is here again, in the northern hemisphere anyway so wanted to bring this back to the top. The guys down south are moving into summer.

The recent fatality in Wisconsin and current speculation about what may have happened based upon limited information suggest hypothermia and time may have played a roll in this sad accident.

Kiting can leave a rider disabled in the water for a while. How long? You never know in advance. The wind dies, changes direction, kite hits the water and won't relaunch, line breaks, harness breaks, leading edge loses pressure (you should be able blow it back up to a point by mouth btw enough to relaunch in adequate wind in warmer water however) and quite a lot more. It isn't a matter of whether this stuff will happen but WHEN and how often.

So, the air and water temperature are 40 degrees. What sort of exposure clothing do you wear and what other precautions do you take? Having a partner(s) and someone on shore with a working cell phone makes good sense at a minimum. What about still colder conditions?

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

p.s. - I think appropriate flotation may be particularly important in cold water kiting. You don't need to be wasting energy trying to stay afloat and in extremes you may not be able to. I believe lack of flotation and adequate exposure clothing may have figured in similar sad accidents in the past.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:32 pm 
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Where I live, the coldest sea temperatures are about 8 degrees C at about the end of February. This is important because you can think in early March that winter is over, yet if you have to swim in it is the worst time of year to do it. Now it is 11 degrees C. When you get in trouble, it is the sea temperature you have to worry about.

I windsurf in the winter, use a 5mm wetsuit, hood and boots and do not go out in less than 6 degrees C, preferably 8+, air temperature. I do not wear gloves and if my hands keep getting too cold, I stop.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:44 pm 
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Location: Vermont, USA
Had an excellent 3 hour session yesterday, where the wind speed exceeded the water temp. Average of of 40 with gusts to around 50. Air at 35 f. Completely toasty. Full mitts of very stretchy neoprene (Neil Pryde). Several layers under the drysuit. Taped ankles to drysuit. Even did a nice swim when my 5 meter shredded in a gust. Onshore was also the call. I was never more than 5or 600 feet from the beach. Had a cooler of hot water waiting for my hands, but didn't need it. Spectacular session. cold wind has got some power! Oh yea, the crowds were missing for some reason...


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:58 am 
Cape Cod Kite Chick wrote:
Anybody that goes by the 100 rule here would miss 1/2 the season. :lame1: Kjelleren's post on the 1st page of this thread best reflects my experiences in cold weather kiting these last 3 winters here in New England. I could say more but it's all already been said in this thread.

Just wanted to say that some rules are meant to be broken and the 100 rule is one of them. If the right precautions are taken you can kite down to about 65: ~30 degree F water once the tide washes the ice cover out to sea (salt water freezes below 32F) and 35F air temp. Just yesterday it was only 35F and I was on my 6M which means the gusts were 30 and higher and the windchill was in the 20s. And there were 10 of us out, 2 of us being women.

Some of you guys need to toughen up. :strong:


Cape Cod Chick.
How many times have you survived a half hour swim/self rescue in the above mentioned conditions?
How do you personally toughen up for these conditions?
Do you spend time swimming in similar conditions while wearing you cold weather kiting gear to build up your stamina?

Or are you staying close enough to insure only a 2 minute swim in?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:56 am 
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Location: i m lost cause kiting adrenaline steal my soul with heart
i think that any kiter should use light / thin good guality lifesaver in case when unpredicatble about if bad something happen to kiter so cold weather make any kiter get tired faster when they swim toward shore
so lifesaver would be good benefit to help swimmer reach easy toward shore

i refuse to kite in ugly winter expect i use drysuit in fall and early spring
also cold weather make water to be hard ! if jump high and crash down hard water , ouch ! as i dislike , lol

have fun to be bravo- kiting 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:01 am 
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Location: Rochester, MI
I have no issues going out in the cold months as long as the air temp is above freezing. I don't really care to have my gear ice up while out there so that's why draw the line there.

Another thing I won't do is get very far from shore if the water is over my head. It's rare that even go into deeper water this time of the year due the availability of shallow flat areas on my local lake. The nice thing about the shallows is that rarely is your whole body in the water and if anything goes wrong all you have to do is walk in. Plus you stay warmer when your upper body is dry.

The most import thing is to dress for the worse. A winter steamer or drysuit is a must in 30-40 degree water. To many guys got out in suits that will keep them comfortable in the air out of the water but will provide very limited protection if they have to spend any time in the water.

I love riding when it is this cold, the wind is more powerful so it's always a small kite day and lake is just more peaceful with all the boat and pwc traffic gone.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:15 am 
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Location: The United Mistakes of America
I think there are really only two major rules:
1) Dress appropriately, head to toe.
2) Stay close. The closer you are, the quicker you can get out and get warm.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:30 am 
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Location: Pickering, ON
Tom183 wrote:
I think there are really only two major rules:
1) Dress appropriately, head to toe.
2) Stay close. The closer you are, the quicker you can get out and get warm.


3) Don't kite alone

A nice to have
4) If you can, kite in shallow water.

This time of year, I will drive a little farther to go in shallow water. The safety factor is higher.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 908
Location: rhode island
kite chick is right, of course.
what she failed to mention is folks must dress appropiately for the conditions (and eventual swim)
its not so much a matter of being tough ( i'm sure that was a joke)
folks south of the mason-dixon line give more thought to the SPF factor of their sunscreen and rightfully so.
while folks up north must consider the R rating of their drysuit.

the fact remains, the water north of the gulf stream seldom gets above 50F
right now in new england the average temp are 50 /50 for water and air.
... yet the season is in full swing.
were not tougher, we just adapt to our own particular needs.
-bill

if i lived in aruba, i'd set the bar at 80F water , 80F air and 20 kts.
but soon we may get ice and i can upgrade my dry-suit to a snow-suit
(if only they were water proof)



Skyway Scott wrote:
Cape Cod Kite Chick wrote:
Anybody that goes by the 100 rule here would miss 1/2 the season. :lame1: Kjelleren's post on the 1st page of this thread best reflects my experiences in cold weather kiting these last 3 winters here in New England. I could say more but it's all already been said in this thread.

Just wanted to say that some rules are meant to be broken and the 100 rule is one of them. If the right precautions are taken you can kite down to about 65: ~30 degree F water once the tide washes the ice cover out to sea (salt water freezes below 32F) and 35F air temp. Just yesterday it was only 35F and I was on my 6M which means the gusts were 30 and higher and the windchill was in the 20s. And there were 10 of us out, 2 of us being women.

Some of you guys need to toughen up. :strong:


Cape Cod Chick.
How many times have you survived a half hour swim/self rescue in the above mentioned conditions?
How do you personally toughen up for these conditions?
Do you spend time swimming in similar conditions while wearing you cold weather kiting gear to build up your stamina?

Or are you staying close enough to insure only a 2 minute swim in?


Last edited by zfennell on Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:20 pm 
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Posts: 35
Here in minnesota some of our best winds come in the spring and fall periods, when the water is likely to be around 35-40 degrees (F) and the air approximately the same.

Typically we wear dry suits during these times. 6mm booties are helpful. THick neoprene gloves helpful.

One trick we all use is to boil a few gallons of water at home, and dump them in a cooler. Leave that cooler out on the beach, close to the water. When hands or feet begin to feel numb, come in, and with the kite still in the air, dip the cold extremities in. Once your hands/feet get recharged, you can usually go out and handle another 30-45 minutes easy. Then, repeat the process. You won't believe how much better this makes it.

The rest of the cautions still apply -- stay close, kite with on-shore or side-on winds if possible. About 15 minutes in 35 degree water and you start freezing up, so you'd better have a plan to get in quick.

Best of luck.


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