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The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice!

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Hampton
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Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice!

Postby Hampton » Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:47 am

1) Many years ago, re-launched C-kite in power zone, straight up. Kite went up, I went down wind and then stopped. My board had a traditional leash and hit me in the back of the head. Trip to emergency room and 12 stitches. Felt my own skull with my fingers. Had to kite in. I could have died.

2) Gusty day, 16m C-kite (Naish X4). Wind dropped, kite fell and rolled into power zone. Wind picked back up with lines wrapped and tangled. Kite re-launched, spun, and I released it, but everything was tangled. Released kite leash and kite hit tree. I was too close to a cement picnic table by the time I released the leash. It happened very fast. I almost died.

3) Mild winter day, waiting for front to pass. 16m C-kite in waves. Saw front coming. Went to beach. VERY experienced friend reached for kite and missed. Front hit and I kept kite low and released immediately. Kite had already drug me 200 yards. Kite landed on brick out-house and power line. Went back out with 8m kite. I almost died.

4) Mild Summer Day - 8 kts. Had 20m kite rigged with new 5th line (home made). Saw small front coming. Expected 12 kts. Went out. Got 18 kts. Came to beach. Kept kite low. Released. 5th line was too short. Kite bent in half and started dragging me down the beach with the bar out of reach. I was going parallel to water line. Kite went up, came down, up, down, up, down, then up and over! I was constantly trying to release from leash. Wouldn't release under load. Kite lofted me and threw me like a rag doll. Kite hit tall condominium and fell to ground. I landed hard on beach, but ok. I should have died.

5) 25m kite in 10 kts in waves. Wind died, kite fell. I couldn't re-launch it. I was trying to gather the lines while swimming. I got tangled. It got worse and worse. Shore was 100 feet away. Kite was pulling lines tight around my legs. I was reaching for knife when good friend's younger brother grabbed the kite in the shallow surf. I was scared to death. Took hours to untangle lines. I almost died.

LESSONS:
1) Don't use a heavy, coiled board leash. (You already know this, but it was years ago.)
2) I modify all of my chicken loops to hold a stainless steel ring. I use a quick release hook on my spreader bar. THIS IS A VERY EFFECTIVE QUICK RELEASE!
3) You need to be able to release from your leash too. TANGLES HAPPEN!
4) Don't be so addicted that you go out on crummy days or in bad locations. Sit the really gusty days out. GUSTY days have almost killed me at least 3 times. 35 kt storms are better than 8 G 20! Read the weather! Watch the skies. Take a break when it's marginal.
5) Practice your releases under huge pressure. Make sure the kite loses power. Practice putting it back together in deep water, or while floating in shallow water but not touching the bottom.

All of these happened over 3 years ago. 3 years ago, I switched from old-fashioned C-kites with limited range to the then-new hybrids with greater range and better safety stuff. Now, I'm using bow-style, fully bridled kites with big range. I'm not saying anything bad about C-kites, just bad things about older kites with limited range. Use current equipment with big wind range.

christophnz
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Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice!

Postby christophnz » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:28 am

adamj2281 wrote:
kitezilla wrote:Adam,

You said: "and I was instructed to have the leash attached to the depower line. "

Was that advice given by a kiteboarding instructor?


That's what the Liquid Force manual said as well, I meant the trim line, just so I don't confuse anyone. The manual says that will provide 90% depower, and to hook it the oh s*it handle for 100% depower.

I'm just saying when attached to the trim line it feels like it has a lot more than 10% of its power, maybe I will just start hooking it to the oh sh*t instead


Once kite is released onto the leash the depower line should pull all the way through about 60cm-80cm. Kite will fall and rest in the downward position in the power zone. THis is where the 10% of power is coming from as the kite will not layout flat like it would when its released onto the ohhshit handel. Clipping to the ohh shit handel will allow the bar to travel up you lines to the kite and will make relaunching very difficult but will depower the kite completely.

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Kelp!

Postby jomoj » Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:27 pm

just a quick one on a situation to be aware of:

Situation: local beach, wind cross shore, light about 14kts topping out at 16. Big bundles of kelp washed up on the shoreline after a recent storm. Wind died completely, kite dropped and got rolled in a wave so i was trying to sort it out and relaunch before entering the kelp zone while being pushed downwind by a rip. Didn't manage and the lines got snagged in the kelp. I pulled the safety so kite went onto the 5th line and swam up to pull the kite in, didn't wind the lines onto the bar since I was near shore and they'd already got kelp wrapped over them. As i was approaching the kite, the wind picked up suddenly and with the lines trapped, it powered up and partially relaunched then turned over on its nose.

Anyway, I was able to grab it and swim in then make the kite safe and sort out the nightmare of seaweed and lines - the weight of the stuff was incredible and I had to haul great armfuls of it onto the beach to extricate the lines - took about 40 minutes and some deep breathing to keep myself calm. The moral of the story is:

a) stay well away from kelp
b) be aware that if you do get stuff wrapped on your lines it can create tension and cause the kite to power up, even if flagged. I was lucky in that the wind wasn't strong. Not sure if doing a full packdown would have been a better decision or even possible seeing as there was already stuff on the lines.

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gridlok
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Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice!

Postby gridlok » Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:38 pm

Board Leashes are pretty dangerous. You can make a ghetto Gojo out of a $1 floaty that cuts your body dragging time in half for board retrieval.



I know that kiteboard does not even look like its worth the $1 to save it ... but it rides a lot better than it looks.

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K-School SafetyFirst
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Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice!

Postby K-School SafetyFirst » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:34 pm

Practice works:
I had practiced the Safety Reflex (activating the quick release blindly, quickly).
A few weeks ago after a failed trick, I saw that my board was located between the lines.
It took me about 0.15 seconds to decide to release,
and then 0.1 seconds to find the QR and do it.
The deciding process went like this:
1- "The board is between the lines - that's no good"
2- "No-good means quick release immediately"

Part 2 comes from practicing. The thing that mostly turns dangerous situations into accidents, is seeing that something is wrong, and then waiting to see what will happen. "Maybe I can get into control again". Sure it's interesting to watch a kite power up with a board between the lines. It takes a decision to stop the experiment.
The deciding part is the most important.
Once you've decided to quick-release, you're almost done.

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Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice!

Postby KiteCulture » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:53 pm

practice does work. As an instructor, I practice pulling the release on a fiends harness. This came in handy this winter. Student turned the kite, got lines slack and the outside line wrapped around the bar causing a tight loop with lots of pull. We teach underpowered and I'm holding on to the harness. Anyway, we're both getting dragged (LOTS of room downwind) and I was able to reach up and pop the QR.

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K-School SafetyFirst
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Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice!

Postby K-School SafetyFirst » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:03 pm

Good tip!

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Toby
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Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice!

Postby Toby » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:28 pm

always a classic and always worth to repeat:

distance is your friend !!!

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Kamikuza
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Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice!

Postby Kamikuza » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:17 am

Leave your bling in the car ...

I usually wear a wedding ring all the time but hot humid summers in Japan means the skin underneath it goes funny :-? so I take it off for weeks at a time.
If I hadn't done that, god knows what would have happened if I'd had it on when I broke my wrist - my hand & fingers swelled up a whole lot and I have only just recently been able to get the ring on again! As it was, the place where it usually was bruised and went all weird ...

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Re: The Safety Topic: please post your experience and advice!

Postby kiteingcolin1 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:38 pm

All my near death calls happened on 4 line kites before the large de-power range kites of the 07 period were mainstream,
to many to recite, but one that cost me many months off work, and many hours on the surgeons table putting my leg back together, main reason was rushing to get out in mega gusty winds, and simply taking my eye of the ball when reaching down to pick up my board, I simply pulled on the bar whilst bending down which instantly lofted me high and towards the shoreline at high speed I hit the sea wall hard, helmet saved my head, impact jacket saved a bone or two, but nearly lost my foot as it became detached from the leg bones, and the broken sharp bones cut the ligaments and soft tissue, yuck and arghhh, nice surgeons made me scream even more as they pushed it back in place before 5 hrs of screws plates and sewing,
my latest injury was caused by over doing it, very tired and no strength left I just would not give in as the conditions were perfect, sunny, warm ,steady 25 mph, 3ft crests, 20 ft butter smooth flat sections,
jump after jump after jump, hours of energy sapping action, no strength to lift up my legs above myself, I just love to fully invert on a big jump, then during just one more go-------SNAP------ the noise through my body was internally very loud, then the sickening pain, I had snapped a stomach muscle, 8 months off the water, could not sneeze for a month, not funny!! Avoided an operation, but this was a hidden injury,
so I felt like a wimp as I looked normal and after 3 months I could windsurf no problem, but kiteboarding was very painful,

so go in when your tired
avoid small de-power kites, pre 06 stuff
don’t rush
avoid gusty winds when distance is not your friend
wear the right gear for the conditions
sail with someone else or with a watcher
don’t believe your safety will help you out in all bad experiences, my lofting was all to quick, and when you get lofted you simply don’t think release.


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