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 Post subject: Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 1:35 am 
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I think the ankle line wrap happens when you're treading water against the pull of the kite. It started to happen to me last self rescue (starting with my leash no less). The motion of treading must thread and re-thread foot though a loop of line which then tightens up with some tension.

Maybe there is some basic thing we should be doing to get away from lines immediately before trying to pull up the safety line to start wrapping. I'm thinking a few 'legless breast strokes' crosswind/upwind to ensure i'm free from loose lines, and a few more after retrieving the bar before wrapping. In the heat of the moment i'm in an adrenaline hurry, but remembering to take a deep breath and assess the situation is key before jumping into action.


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 Post subject: Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 8:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:54 am
Posts: 295
Location: Como Lake - Italy
The story is simple: me and my friend close to the shore, 5 minutes to swim or less to go home. No more wind, water like oil. I unhooked, winded the lines on my bar, got my kite and went home, end of my story. My friend (not an absolute beginner but neither an expert) did the same but he did not wind the lines, he simply swam toward the kite. The result is what you can see in the picture. Eventually, we had to rescue him with a boat since he was no more able to swim, his ankles were attached to the leading edge! I understood immediately he was not ok and I stayed in the water with him until the boat arrived (I'm the one in the water in the picture). My friend was luck, the wind did not pick up again, elsewhere I think he was in real troubles...


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 Post subject: Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:52 am
Posts: 445
Location: Tennessee
It is amazing how consistent the results are. Just swim to your kite with slack lines and you will see your legs wrapped up just like the pictures. It is also weird that you would think you would notice sooner, but you really don't until you have a significant amount of lines around your legs (even worse wearing a wetsuit). The good thing is that once you experience this, you will not likely swim into slack lines again. Its important to emphasize this to people who do not do deep water recoveries very often as they might experience this at a worse time than just a routine recovery.


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 Post subject: Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 2:27 pm
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I just opened this thread up and saw the pictures...

Been there done that. Probably 8 years ago, I was out and had two line break at the same time. I thought about ditching my kite, but didn't, some buddies were tow in surfing and they were bored and following me. I thought they could "rescue" my kite and so I kept treading water. about 1 minute into it, I realized they had no idea how to deal with my kite, so I jumped onto the back of their sled. once I jumped up I saw the tangle on my feet. I couldn't believe it, I had no idea while it was happening. Here's where it gets super scary, we were still in the impact zone with solid double overhead waves. We were just getting luck with nothing breaking on us at the time. When I saw the lines on my foot, I thought I might die then. I knew that if a wave hit the kite, I'd be ripped off the sled. my buddy drove slowly and luckly we made it to the outside with no waves hitting us. He had a rusty knife under the seat and I tore through those lines faster than I could have imagined. I seriously thought I was going to die that day.

Loose lines will kill you without you even knowing.


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 Post subject: Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 11:20 am 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:29 pm
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As a relative newbie, this is a really eye-opening thread to read. Such valuable advice. A similar thing happened to my friend a while back, and his ankles were in the same state as the ones in the photos here. Luckily he got sorted pretty sharpish, but it does make you think twice.


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 Post subject: Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:17 pm
Posts: 42
Knee injury

I am a month on from my first kitemare. I was riding with a buddy and lit on a 17 in around 15mph wind. A gust hit and I pointed down wind to ride it out with the kite at around 45 deg off the water. When I did I went over a piece of chop and my back leg (left) came out of the foot straps. I knew there was no recovery from this and tried to just fall over the front of the board but I hit another wave and this is where it starts to get hazy. I think that the board went forward and I fell off the back and as the board shot out from under me there was a loud pop and an explosion of pain from my right knee. Next thing I knew I was getting drug under water for longer than I have ever been drug before (probably not all that long but it felt like it). I was just starting to realize that it was time to release when I popped back up to the surface.

My kite was down I was 400 yds off shore, and 500 yards upwind from some pound pole fishing nets. From the pain in my knee I knew I wouldn't be riding back in. I floated on my impact vest and began the relaunch of my kite. Lucky for me with just a gentle tug the kite filled with air and I pushed it a bit hard to get it off the water so that I could have some power to get back in to shore. As I relaunched I gave a kick with my legs and felt another pop in my knee. I guess that is one way to get it back in place. I looked for my board and found it about 50 yds up wind behind me.

I started body dragging upwind to get to my board and with each pass I could feel my right foot flopping about. My buddy seeing me down and not back up in the air rode over to my boar and pushed it down wind to me saving me additional body dragging. Once I got my board I knew I had to get to shore. I just wasn't sure if I would be able to use my leg once I got there so I knew I had to at least drag into the shallows enough to be able to sit up and not get smacked by waves. That was the longest body drag back in I have ever had.

I saw a place on the beach free of people with a lot of downwind free space and headed for it. Once there I used the kite to drag me in to where I could sit up in the water and dumped the kite on the safety. My buddy came in and packed down my gear for me. I was able to put weight on my knee but not really bend it.

Four weeks later I still have swelling, there is instability in the knee and I go for an MRI soon to figure out what the damage actually is. The kite got put away wet and there was so much sand in it that I need to pull the bladder out and make sure that I got all the sand out of it that managed to make its way inside the air hole.

What went right:
Having a friend there saved me a lot of pain both in body dragging and in packing up.
The impact vest probably saved my life with the flotation it provided as I couldn't tread water with my knee in the shape it was in.
Staying calm and working through the issues to get a plan to get back to shore worked.
I kite with a nautilus marine radio so I could have radioed for help but it turned out I didn't need to.

What went wrong and lessons learned:
Pack down with all the sand and not putting the valve back in the air hole probably cost me a leading edge (yeah I know its a minor thing all things considered).
I had my hands full with the wind/kite combination I probably could have gone down a size.
Boots would have likely kept the accident from happening.
I am still not clear how I lost the back foot out of the bindings to start the whole thing.


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 Post subject: Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:17 pm
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Good to share your story. You certainly kept your cool under a heavy situation.
Riding a 17m in 15knots isnt quite lit, but perhaps your experience in gusty conditions is not as high.
If thats the case you might want to stick to flat water if possible. I hope your knee gets better.


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 Post subject: Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 1:00 am
Posts: 690
Location: Huguenot Park, FL.
So I see this quite a bit....... People launching right up wind of cars and other beach goers. Now most of the guys where we kite realize that launching too close upwind of solid objects will bite you some day. Over the years of kiting I have realized that there two groups of kiters that take unnecessary risk. It's the new guys that don't know what they don't know yet and the guys that have been kiting for many years and have become complacent about safety. Last week we had an example of what can happen. The wind was holding in the high teens to low 20s and about 15 kiters were on the beach or in the water. One guy was having his kite launched by a non kiter. MISTAKE ONE. The kite, a 13m Waroo, was released almost directly straight down wind. The kite looped repeatedly dragging the kiter toward the cars and the non kiter just stood there watching. No help there. Another kiter did see what was happening, ran over and grabbed the kite. The reason the kite looped? The lines were hooked up backwards! MISTAKE TWO. There was only one good thing about the situation. He had walked upwind about one and a half line lengths before launching. By the time the kite was under control it was right next to the cars.
DISTANCE = TIME What could have been a very bad accident turned out to be just a minor inconvience. That distance saved him from having a looping kite get into the cars and allowed time for help to get the kite. So here are my tips.

Don't let a non-kiter launch your kite.
Always use a tested kite leash.
Don't hook in until you have checked the lines. (Best if the lines are tight and the kite held at the edge of the window)
Don't launch directly up wind of solid objects. (Two line lengths minimum)

I watched the kiter out on the water later in the day and he seemed to be fairly expierenced.
I later found out that he was a trainer from somewhere else!

See? It can happen to anyone.

Last tip. Don't think you are beyond making a mistake.


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 Post subject: Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:08 pm
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What seems strange to me is the fact that non kiters take the responsibility of trying to launch you up. I personally select known fellow kiters to launch my kite.


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 Post subject: Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:27 am
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Location: Ford Lake, Michigan
xenosd wrote:
What seems strange to me is the fact that non kiters take the responsibility of trying to launch you up. I personally select known fellow kiters to launch my kite.


non kiters have zero clue.

So a fellow kite girl at the launch sees how windy it is and sees some spectators and thinks it would be a good idea to have one of them hold her down by the handpass loop while she walks out to the water. Spectators are clueless don't ask them to do anything don't even ask them to hand you your board, don't let them do ANYTHING.

The spectator comes right up to her grabs the bar by one end and kiteloops them both for a terrifying trip a trip to the hospital and a few stitches luckily nobody died.

Spectator obviously thought she wanted help with her control bar. They don't know the difference between a handle pass loop and a control bar.

Do no ask spectators for help. Do not ask them to hold your kite do not ask them to hold your board do not ask them to hold your beer.

It is ok for them to take pictures. That is the only thing you ever want a spectator to do.

I was out kiting last month solo and some spectators nearly called the sheriff. "We saw the wind pulled you in, the wind pull you out, sometimes the wind pulled you high up in the air but you couldn't get back to shore so we were about to call the sheriff."

They do not know anything.

No matter how terrifying the conditions are, it is always safer to launch and land solo than to ask for help from a bystander. And if it is too windy to launch solo just wait for a kiter, don't use a spectator.


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