Okay Tom123 is a douchebag who thinks kiting in 30 knots or more of wind is basically going to kill you no matter what. I really can't stand the way he posted all over a tragedy thread in an attempt to drive home his argument.
But on one of those threads somebody said they'd like to hear some tips on kiting in high winds, and staying safe. My friends and I kite 30 knots and more regularly and in fact I just came off the water from a 30 knot sesh. I am sure others around the world could say the same, so lets hear your tips too.
here are mine:
- Kiting in high wind is not safe, it is more dangerous than lighter winds. I would suggest you not venture into higher winds until you are a solid kiter.
- Don't kite in high winds if you rarely kite. You can be a weekend warrior but make sure its every weekend.
- Fly as small of a kite as possible, you don't need much when its windy... Realistically a 5m or smaller will work in winds over 30 knots for average sized people. It takes more skill to make a smaller kite work when you are not completely powered, but better to learn this skill then risk a bigger kite.
- You should have experience with self rescuing, long swims, deploying your kite to your leash.
- Always fly with your hands in the center of the bar. This minimizes the chance of putting too much input into the steering and unintentionally steering the kite or looping it.
- If you are a bigger, consider a bigger board instead of a bigger kite.
- Getting completely overpowered with your kite at neutral so you can't land safely is your biggest risk in high winds, so again go as small as kite as possible.
- Know your quick releases, if you can't completely kill the kite with one quick release you need a new safety system.
- Avoid gnarly launches, you want wide open spaces, plenty of room for error.
- Ask other kiters about the wind, find out what size people are riding on and if its working (this is day one stuff, but thought it'd be good to add here.)
- Always plan on the wind coming up, gets back to rigging small... if the wind does come up, plan on it coming up more... if you can't handle it, get out.
- Squalls suck, but coming in and attempting emergency landing during one is way worse than sticking it out in the water. Just put your kite at neutral and wait it out. If you need to pull your release and kill your kite.
- Extra safety gear, maybe not a bad idea.
- If your instinct tells you don't go, then don't go. If its too windy for your smallest kite, then don't go. Don't go on a bigger kite than everyone else because that's all you got.
- Shorter lines can help take the sting off an accidental send through the window, consider a 20m line set for those real windy days.
- Strong winds are not a time to learn new tricks... if you are a newbie to strong winds, maybe just stick to riding around and carving, safe stuff. Once you are ready to start trying tricks, realize that strong winds make everything a lot more extreme. Everything is faster, and higher, and more powerful.
Just my 2 cents... oh yeah and when its good, its pronounced: nuke-tacular.