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Long downwinders

Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:08 pm
by ChrisG
If I were to possibly to a long downwinder 500km +-
What sort of training would I need??
What kite would I use with the least strain on my arms?
How many people would be a safe group?
Would I be able to go straight downwind for so long or will I have to go at an angle??
And what other questions should I ask??

Please reply as this has been a dream of mine for a long time and I wanna start preparing etc.


Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:10 pm
by Paco
You would need 500 km of windy cost.....

Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:34 pm
by randykato
Paco wrote:You would need 500 km of windy cost.....
....or a nice series of islands :D

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:12 am
by Phillipp
I would recommend a bow style kite. Reason being that that type of kite has a much bigger wind range. Given it took a kiter 10 hours to do 140 miles I would assume you will be quite a long time on the water trying to do 500km. Wind conditions are likely to change during the hours you will be riding. So unless you have someone on a boat or driving along the coast to support you with other kite sizes, you will potentially struggle at times.

There have been quite a few posts on bar pressure of Bow-style kites. Once you get used to them and tune them right it should not be a real problem. The high bar pressure is mainly a result from riding a Bow kite in very low winds. It forces you to keep the bar close to your body requiring some extra arm excercise.

In a month time there will be some 'power-lock' options in the market allowing you to permanently hook in. Otherwise you could use the old main-loop (like a windsurf main loop).

I would recommend a boat unless you have beaches that you can access any time. If it's a rocky coast it could get a bit scary. I would also recommend taking one of those AQUAPAC along for your mobile phone. They are great and allow you to take your mobile phone onto the water and use it without getting it wet. You can hang it around your neck and stuff it under an impact vest (that would also help you with some additonal floatation).

I would also consider one of these backpacks that carry fluids (water or similar).

Let us know how you go and where you are planning to ride.



Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:46 am
by ian c
I can tell you that long distance kiting is a lot to do with luck on the conditions during your departure window

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:58 am
by Larpy
I have a place where this would work but you might have to change kites and you would need to use 4x4 for support. Doable. You wouldn't go straight down wind you would cut back and forth and either wave ride or jump and do tricks. Unless you were unhooked the whole time your arms wouldn't be the part of your body that would get tired.

Re: Long downwinders

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:44 pm
by RickI
ChrisG wrote:If I were to possibly to a long downwinder 500km +-
What sort of training would I need??
What kite would I use with the least strain on my arms?
How many people would be a safe group?
Would I be able to go straight downwind for so long or will I have to go at an angle??
And what other questions should I ask??

Please reply as this has been a dream of mine for a long time and I wanna start preparing etc.

It is hard to say what the limit might be for a days riding. Some have estimated something approaching 200 miles or about 320 km. We seem to average around 10 to 12 knots with some long distance runs, in waves of course. If you undertook your run in sheltered, calm waters with some good wind you might be able to knock it out in a couple of long fairly grueling days. Then again, planning for a longer duration run would be more realistic.

As far as training, I would say progressive longer kiteboarding runs for starters. Supplement that with cardio and some weight training. If you have any current healing injuries or weaknesses in effected areas, I would try to work them out.

I would try out the smallest kite that keeps you going at a reasonable clip using a board that doesn't require you to edge much. I would make sure your control bar has a powerlock or at least a fixed harness line to reduce arm loading. A longer board with directional characteristics could help. I would pay attention to the foot straps to make sure they fit very well, are well padded and comfortable. Riding powered up will not be likely to help you keep riding through 8 to 10 hour days.

A couple of the greater challenges include using the same muscles in all probability for a very long time. In transit injuries or even irritations could create some real problems. Actual kiteboarding and some specific work in the gym could help to improve endurance.

I would target having 2 to 4 riders and winds for a beam reach or riding slightly off the wind. The winds would need to be predictably stable for the planned duration of the run and a bit longer. Some places have fairly reliable consistent winds independent of cold fronts and other migrating weather systems. I would put someone knowledgeable and experienced in charge of weather/sea condition planning and monitoring. You don't want to have to tack much IF you are going for distance in a reasonable period of time. You should plan for at least one reliable chase boat, some communications would be good, signaling gear, impact vests, good GLOVES and hydration packs. Depending on the temperature you may need to fill up your packs with fluids regularly. Diet is important, consisting of ...? I would talk to some people that are familiar with that for athletes in distance events.

Mental conditioning is important as well if you are going to do this run fairly quickly as an endurance trip. Nothing breeds success like confidence built through experience, i.e. progressive training distance runs. Doing something because you know you can do it with reasonable preparation helps as well.

There is more than this to plan for but here's a start anyway.

Have fun and post pictures!

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:31 pm
by Darktanyan
Baja 1000

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:35 pm
by Paco
I´d buy:

one AZIMUT 120"
and a full quiver of 2006 rhinos

and get the azimut to follow me from the canary islands to brazil!!!

YEAH MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DO an atlantic crossing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

During the night you can just get your thai cheff to cook you something nice and a russian whore to give you a nice massage so you are ready to kite the next day!

Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:51 pm
by ToastSYN
Ok first, why do you want to do 500km.
I've done a 32km downwinder before and it was quite enough for me. It also last 4 hours and during which we went through 3 rain storms and winds ranging from 25-35mph. I did it with 2 other guys and we all were experienced by that point. The day we did this was during a NE storm system and it blew for 3 days like this and we headed out on the second day knowing we wouldn't have to worry about wind....or so we thought.
The wind varied more than I would have liked it to but I was fine on my 8.5 nitro with 17 meter lines and a SS SX122. I was way overpowered in gusts though and forced to go downwind to avoid becoming airborne.

If your serious about this you might want to get a small group and try around the same distance as I did but depending on the wind prepare to ditch halfway if you need to. On the particular trip I mentioned before we forced ourselves all the way to the end when we should have quit about 3/4 of the way. If your heading down a coast drop a car or 2 off along the way so you have ditch points or take a cell so you can call for pick ups.

I attached a picture to show the best wind direction for distance downwinders. If its strait sideshore and your even attempting to tact your wasting energy. With that wind direction your not stuck doing a starboard tack for 8 hours. Also the camel back is a great idea, I love mine and I also put my waterproof mp3 player in there which helps keep me going. A note for the MP3 player, load it with bob marley or something mellow and just cruise. I think you should pick a smaller distance to do first though 500 km is a long way.

If your planning on any sort of downwinder always plan for the worst.
And always watch out for the Killer US Navy Dolphin Squad

Good luck,