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Tips for kiting in high wind

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Tips for kiting in high wind

Postby Dax » Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:36 am

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. :thumb:

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Postby kiteile » Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:44 am

Wear a helmet and an impact vest.

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Postby trettrettret » Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:49 am

I only have one addition: Be fit! Don't go if your physical condition is not 100%.

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Postby simonm » Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:02 am

1. Ensure that your high wind kite has great stability. Many very small kites don't have the greatest stability (which often makes them super fast and fun to fly). However, when conditions are heavy, stability counts.

2. Kite with a good crew. People you can trust will watch your back and vice versa.

3. Be conservative. Some days it is best just to call an early happy hour rather than risking overly severe conditions.

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Postby Vinny » Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:15 am

Lay your lines directly upwind of your kite, not across the wind. This will help prevent rats nests forming as you are rigging your kite.

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Postby TheRussian » Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:34 am

aside from remebering spectacles, testicles & wallet - I am 95kgs, like riding well powered and use a small board (4'10 surfboard) in 30knots+

Physical fitness is the prime consideration & not fatigued/morning after, etc. Also dont take daft risks (or moreso than going out in the first place) and keep an eye upwind as to the weather systems that are coming your way - if the sky looks nasty & the temperature changes, get in to the beach and get your kite down pronto - that has saved me a few times

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Postby reinis » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:08 am

keep an eye over your shoulder for any different type of clouds that might be approaching. in strong winds they are pretty good at covering distance :lol:

and i would like to emphasize the fitness thing :idea: in strong winds it`s very important because you lose strength really fast.

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Postby panchito » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:25 am

Most important for me would be :

1) Never kite alone and only with people you know & trust
2) Know very well the spot & conditions
3) Never take a kite you don´t feel 100% confident ( test kite and or from your buddy )
4) check out that your equipment is 100% ok , no tears , rips etc

Oh... and this one goes for the tourists in Tarifa ....

5) if you see the locals getting out of the water and landing their kites DO THE SAME ... I have seen so many f*** up kite / kiters cause of this

We do kite quite a lot with 30 + knots around here ... specially when we get our Winter storms but we have to keep an eye on the evolution of the clouds and if the wind pick up suddenly is time to finish your session !!!


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Postby Scribbler » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:32 am

x) Carry a line-knife and know how to get to it quick.

Good thread Dax.

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Postby pingo » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:12 am

Check your lines shortly before launch. High winds are drilling the lines together near the attachment point at the kite within minutes. This will shorten your lines dangerously.

Also don't leave your kite more then a few minutes unattended at the beach. High winds will slowly blow away the sand in front of and from above your kite and suddenly the kite will take-off alone.....I saw it (with around 35 knots)! Horrible because often the bar is already attached to the kite and the outcome will be very dangerous for bystanders.

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