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Tips for kiting in high wind

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Windrider
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Postby Windrider » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:50 pm

Would something like an auto-quick-release help? Such a device was being discussed / brainstormed on another thread. If you had this device, you could simply let go of the bar, and the kite would pull with enough abrupt force against the chicken loop or harness hook that it would trigger the auto release. Then you would only be connected to your kite via the kite leash.

Would that be a good thing to have?

phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=481799#481799

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MissionMan
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Postby MissionMan » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:53 pm

BigR wrote:just to clear things up

I kite both FL and the Gorge Alot

Yeah, winds and gusts highs are higher in the Gorge

BUT

The DIFFERENTIAL GUSTS ARE COMPLETELY staggeringly higher in FL.

Gorge will go 30 to 50, so what? You are already rigged for it usually on your smallest kite anyways 7 or 9m.

FL will go from 12-15 to 50-60+++ when you do hit a real squall line or frontal boundary, oppppps . I wasn't expecting that, especially on my 12 or 16m!
I think the big difference here is we are not talking about rigging to plan on a squall. I.e. you wouldn't rig a 5m because you know a squall is coming so you can ride it. The guys are talking about riding high gusty wind. I don't think its fair to say anyone rides squalls, squalls are about survival, nothing more, nothing less.

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RickI
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Postby RickI » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:06 am


Running to open water to weather a storm has been the thing to do for centuries, a lee shore being exactly what any competent sailor avoids at all cost.


That's been true for millennia with sailing craft. When was the last time your vessel was ripped from the water and hurled skyward 50 ft., or flung into the air 500 ft. to slam into shore?

We're talking about kiting, not conventional vessels. This has no bearing on what we're talking about.


From wind records, I fell into a 50 kt. squall gust once up from 15 kts. What sort have gust range do you bluewater lake sailors deal with?

Squalls and injured kiters is far from a Florida problem. Squall injuries and fatalities have happened across the globe. The photo post before this should help understanding of this simple fact.

Sustained high wind kiting is a far different proposition from intentionally exposing yourself to powerful squall gusts. Some do the later, some make it, some don't.

BigR
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Postby BigR » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:09 am

BigR wrote:
just to clear things up

I kite both FL and the Gorge Alot

Yeah, winds and gusts highs are higher in the Gorge

BUT

The DIFFERENTIAL GUSTS ARE COMPLETELY staggeringly higher in FL.

Gorge will go 30 to 50, so what? You are already rigged for it usually on your smallest kite anyways 7 or 9m.

FL will go from 12-15 to 50-60+++ when you do hit a real squall line or frontal boundary, oppppps . I wasn't expecting that, especially on my 12 or 16m!


I think the big difference here is we are not talking about rigging to plan on a squall. I.e. you wouldn't rig a 5m because you know a squall is coming so you can ride it. The guys are talking about riding high gusty wind. I don't think its fair to say anyone rides squalls, squalls are about survival, nothing more, nothing less.

Exactly right

The Gorge it's anticipated

FL its like where did that gust come from?


I Think doppler radar can sometimes give you a good clue if you look at it first

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Dax
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Postby Dax » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:58 am

Yeah y'all should stop kiting in Florida then. ;)

I have kited in the Keys and know that squalls are nuts... They also seemed pretty predictable and avoidable, so I'd say Rick has a good point in reminding people to keep vigilant about checking forecasts. and keep an eye on what's coming at yeah from behind.

The Gorge, not as bad... I agree with BigR for the most part, 90% of the time we are kiting in high winds that we know will be high winds all day.

Sometimes the wind will jump from very light, 12-15 knots, up to 30 knots or more. That's why I NEVER rig bigger than 11m in the Gorge. If its that light I ride around on a skim board until the wind comes up, because it almost always does.

There are squalls and spikes here too though. I have experienced wind speed jumps from 15-20 to 40+. Maybe only happens a few times a year, but it happens. My recommendation comes more from my experience dealing with squalls here than in Florida. Would I rather hang out in the nice soft water, or attempt a landing on the rocky banks of the Gorge right when the wind is ramping up...

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Dax
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Postby Dax » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:09 am

MissionMan wrote:
BigR wrote:just to clear things up

I kite both FL and the Gorge Alot

Yeah, winds and gusts highs are higher in the Gorge

BUT

The DIFFERENTIAL GUSTS ARE COMPLETELY staggeringly higher in FL.

Gorge will go 30 to 50, so what? You are already rigged for it usually on your smallest kite anyways 7 or 9m.

FL will go from 12-15 to 50-60+++ when you do hit a real squall line or frontal boundary, oppppps . I wasn't expecting that, especially on my 12 or 16m!
I think the big difference here is we are not talking about rigging to plan on a squall. I.e. you wouldn't rig a 5m because you know a squall is coming so you can ride it. The guys are talking about riding high gusty wind. I don't think its fair to say anyone rides squalls, squalls are about survival, nothing more, nothing less.
Yeah just release that shit... no trying to actually kite. What brought this topic up was statements that made it sound like kiting in nuking winds would kill you no matter what. Or people saying they never rigged smaller than a 12 because small kites were too fast and dangerous.

Kiting in strong winds is more dangerous than light winds, but done with the right knowledge, abilities, and pre-caution can be very fun and rewarding!

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Postby sflinux » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:21 am

I agree with a lot of the information here.
One point that seems to be missing is the importance to keep your kite low in the window. Launch the kite low facing the water, keep it low, and move towards the water. Don't launch the kite facing land, then bring it to zenith to get it to point towards the water. Keeping the kite away from zenith while near land should be avoided. Keeping the kite away from zenith during squalls should be avoided too, to avoid loftings. I keep my kite low near the water, and try to edge out the gust with my board. If a strong gust comes pulling me off my edge, I can steer the kite so it quickly crashes, and pull the quick release shortly afterward.
In high winds, rig small kite, efficient board. Don't go farther from shore than you are able to swim in. If things get gnarly, put the kite to leash while in the water. If solo retrieving the kite while in the water becomes hazardous, release it. Make sure nobody is downwind of you before you do.
Also, make sure your front lines are strong and have no wear/tear. I tend to brake my lines in strong winds, while trying to edge out the gusts.
With a small kite, always be mindful of what the kite is doing. One small input mistake can loop it, never underestimate the power generated by looping a kite in high winds.

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jatkinson
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Postby jatkinson » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:28 am

Great thread Dax. I started a thread like that on our local forum a couple of years ago.

The one thing that I would add is that while it is great to ride with other people you need to be able to take care of yourself.

At all times be aware that it can go tits up in a second leaving you with a long swim. Don't depend on others to get you in, you MUST be able to do that yourself if required.

Bring on the storms!

JJ

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RickI
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Postby RickI » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:29 am

If you keep up this "nuclear squalls only occur in Florida" crap you're going to force me to list, laboriously as many squall wind spike records and accidents that I can come up with in a reasonable period of time. This misconception has been around for years and that is how far back I have the records. Look at the spikes in Seattle, the Great Lakes, CT, Michigan, New York, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, all over the Caribbean ... it keeps going. These aren't just spikes on a display, kiters have been munched in them.

Please spare us both the ordeal, ok?

Another thing to remember in higher wind kiting is properly trimming your kite and being careful if overpowered or simply pushing your bar out too far. It becomes easy to induce involuntary kite loops like this particularly with your hands near the ends of the bar as others have said.

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Windrider
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Postby Windrider » Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:04 am

No one wants to comment on the auto-quick-release concept? It's not a product pitch of any sort. I am soliciting interest and brainstorming ideas with the hope that it will trigger someone to actually develop it. If there is no interest, it will never be developed. And there will be no version 1 to refine into subsequent versions that would work much better than we can imagine.


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