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 Post subject: Re: Severe Storm Lofting In Florida - Video
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:18 pm 
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Looking at the wind chart and hearing Rick's account, this seems to be a case of gusts taking the wind from the teens to the fifties in a matter of minutes. My old 5th line F One kites did fine at self landing in bursts from 20 up to 35. It would be presumptive to say I know how they would have reacted in this circumstance (but you have to let go of the bar in order for the safety to engage. Only time I ever got dragged was in 30 plus side-on in Sheboygan when I was stupid enough to keep that death grip on the bar).

No, 5th lines aren't perfect and I'm riding a bow (switch 2) that has relatively lousy self landing capacity these days. Rides much better but at the expense of landing. I can see that newer bow control strategies are incorporating 5th line style safety. I wouldn't ride anything as changeable as the conditions in his accident without converting my bar set-up. But I can really identify with the notion that its summer, not much wind, in most circumstances the bow has seemed to have enough depower to handle anything I've gotten into, so I'm not out to second guess the decision to be riding.

Neither am I knocking the no-sympathy votes that essentially are saying that the individual pays the price of their decision. As to comments about knuckle dragging in FL, those might have been a little over the top but don't go to the internet kitchen ( or into extreme sports ) if you can't handle the heat.

I can appreciate that folks are worried that nanny government will come crashing down on kiteboarding, but, despite the widespread images of this accident, there are plenty of positive images of kiteboarding making the rounds. And it is generally universally pleasing to tourist and local observors who don't kite as long as we're polite on the beach and careful with other boaters who are intrigued but don't always get how kites work.

There is footage of people wrapped around phone poles in their cars every night on the news. Particularly gory examples tend to make their way around the country and the internet, and noone is talking about banning cars -- except the global warming set -- but I digress.

More on point, in terms of extreme pursuit, Drudge and others had the link to skydiver who filmed his own freefall in which the chute failed a few weeks back. Now, I don't frequent skydiving forums but I haven't seen a rush of commentary in the popular press about banning skydiving or requiring government inspection of every chute packing. If people are proposing kiteboard bans over this, its because they already had some beef against the sport, so we gotta keep minding our manners but also remember that some folks just don't like seeing other folks having a good time.

Anyway, the TV reporter kept referring to folks being out there parasailing, so we kiteboarders got nothin to worry about, right ...

but seriously, the news account said something to the effect that the local authorities were getting tired of having to deal with this. I think that there may be some modest truth in that but it was part of the news story spin as well. What does government think, what is government doing is an unfortunate hook in virtually every story. For once in its history I'd say the NY times did a decent job of getting the other perspective from folks who practice the sport and that balanced the misfortune of the story.

I can think it is fair for officials to be slightly miffed that folks would get themselves hurt when emergency personnel are on alert for harm from accidental rather than intentional confrontation of the forces of nature. But most kiteboarding accidents don't seem to place responders at risk or require the expenditure of vast sums or unreasonable diversion of resources -- as are required to search and research folks lost climbing mountains in questionable or changeable weather. Rather there is an implicit bargain with society that if you engage in extreme sports, especially at extreme times, that emergency response might be tempered by triage from high demand or concern for risk to responders.


"holes in his knees" - oh bummer man. That must have really hurt although sounds like the body was in shock so it wasn't so unbearable at the moment. MY wet suit took the knee damage in the incident I mentioned above and I wouldn't even want to think about how it might have felt without a wet suit. I think lucky to be alive is the way to look it, but I feel lucky to kiteboard every day I'm out there, so it is not like there is no balance to this risk.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Severe Storm Lofting In Florida - Video
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:11 pm 
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All : My thoughts and prayers are with Kevin.
When i first played this video I started shaking. This exact same thing happen to me a couple of months ago at Sandy Hook NJ. I tried to self launch in storm like conditions. As i brought the kite up slowly I thought i saw that one of my lines was looped probably by the wind. I had seen gusts come in before but i Waited and i thought the wind had settled. A gust came in (25,35?). That is the last moment my brain registered anything until i landed.No one, I mean NO ONE has ANY idea how fast the kite can shoot you diagonally across unless you experienced it your self. Take a look at the video. It literally felt like i got shot out of a cannon. This was a nanosecond event. THERE WAS NO -NO recollection of getting launched, just the landing which i thought broke every bone in my chest and rattled my head so bad i could not think. I got EXTREMELY lucky and landed in the sand 100+ feet where i started and then got dragged. The kite was about to take off again and I was well on my way on to the road and/or power lines but I was able to sit up and release. This was a SPLIT SECOND DECISION and the kite/wind allowed me to do that. KEVIN HAD NO SUCH CHANCE. Seriously my brain has no recollection of getting launched just the landing that is how fast it took me. I have blurry feeling that my legs were completely parallel to the ground. It was so difficult to explain to any kiters the speed of these events now they can see it.

I kitesurfed the same day when the wind subsided (my brother came to give me a launch ) but It took weeks to get back to kite with any style or security. I felt like a beginner and any kind of gust terrified me. PS: the kite lines were also stretched after the event which did not help matters. My left shoulder is ripped and i have to go for surgery next month. A VERY VERY SMALL price to pay.

Lesson:
1. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the kite or the wind. It is more powerful then you can ever imagine or have experienced. Don't give your self so much credit to think that you can handle anything nature or the kite can throw at you. Huge mistake.
2. "OH SHIT" CAN HAPPEN IN SPLIT SECONDS WITH NO TIME TO REACT. In difficult conditions be aware of the worst case scenario and give your self the space to survive it.
4. Know the area and the possibility of squalls or huge gusts . Do not go out there if the conditions are so unpredictable especially if you are a novice. Squalls come in quickly but if you know the environment that gives them birth you can avoid being caught in one.

***I guess there are more BUT again do not underestimate nature or the kite and don't OVER ESTIMATE your Skills or strength.


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 Post subject: Re: Severe Storm Lofting In Florida - Video
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:28 pm 
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dracates wrote:
This exact same thing happen to me a couple of months ago at Sandy Hook NJ. I tried to self launch in storm like conditions.


Sorry to hear about your accident & I hope your shoulder gets better soon.

I've got to say though: Self launching in storm conditions? Surely the risk factor is massively increased when you self launch in crazy winds? I've ridden in some very stormy winds but I would never, ever consider self-launching in them and I always keep the kite low to the ground to avoid a lofting. In fact I get very twitchy if I have to move my kite to 12 o'clock when I'm on the land, whatever the wind is doing - I guess that comes from learning on kites that used to spank you in a second rather than today's bow/SLE kites which I think give people a false feeling of safety.

I guess you can add some more points to your list: 5) NEVER self-launch in high winds. and 6) ALWAYS keep your kite low when on the land, whatever you think the wind is doing.


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 Post subject: Re: Severe Storm Lofting In Florida - Video
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:50 pm 
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MarcusH, i agree with you on all except keeping the kite low and I feel I need to warn the readers. When I got launched I was inches off the ground and at the edge of the window and like i said it took me so fast i had no recollection of being lifted and shot like a bullet. I believe my trajectory was at the edge of the window. I don't think i ever made it in the power zone. I'm not sure but that might laso be the case for Kevin .
So a word of caution keeping the kite low is probably better then at 12 BUT I speak from experience it might not keep you from being shot like a rocket. I think one needs to think real fast when the conditions are changing to extremes and decide to let go and release! you might be dragged but not launched. I had a few seconds when i lifted the kite real slow and realized something was wrong to let go and release. I would LOVE to hear exactly what happen from Kevin then we can maybe come up with a solution. I am now VERY cautious of how close i man to objects when the wind is nutty.


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 Post subject: Re: Severe Storm Lofting In Florida - Video
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:29 pm 
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I have to say as a newbie (one solo sesh w/ no instructor) I went out two days ago when we started getting the effects of Fay onshore up here in GA. Wind was a perfect steady 15+ but there was a massive dark cloud approaching the beach. I waited it out while some guys stayed out and put up after the storm passed (only to watch the wind die and not get to ride or even fly the kite). However, when my wife asked me if that was irritating my only thoughts were about the consequences of making a poor decision to go out and ending up way overpowered (and of course this video replaying in my mind).

I wish the guy a speedy recovery and I hope that others will think twice about going out when conditions are even iffy (storm cells approaching visibly or on radar).


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 Post subject: Re: Severe Storm Lofting In Florida - Video
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:59 pm 
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Good news...

Kite-surfer who hit building improving, mom says

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/08/20/ki ... index.html

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- The condition of a kite-surfer thrown airborne into a Fort Lauderdale building by strong winds this week has improved, his mother said Wednesday.


Wind lifted Kevin Kearney over a Fort Lauderdale beach before slamming him into a building Monday.

Broward General Medical Center upgraded Kevin Kearney's condition from critical to serious Wednesday morning, said his mother, Alicia Paradise-Garza.

Monday's incident, which a television crew captured on video as Tropical Storm Fay approached Florida, left the 28-year-old Kearney with spinal fractures, brain swelling, a broken rib and a broken ankle, among other injuries.

Kearney was harnessed to a kite, or sail, along a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, beach when strong wind caught the kite, sending him into the air, WFOR-TV reported. Watch wind lift Kearney into the air »

WFOR video shows Kearney rise into the air before slamming into the beach and being dragged for a brief time along the sand.

The kite then lifted into the air again, slamming him into a nearby building, WFOR reported.

Paradise-Garza said Wednesday her son is able to walk but has spent a lot of time sedated at the hospital so his injuries could be treated.

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She said Kearney has no recollection of what happened, and that no one has yet shown him the footage of Monday's incident.

In a statement given to the news media the family said Kearney, a Fort Lauderdale resident, is an "experienced kite-boarder."

Kite-surfers stand on boards while winds catch their kites and move them across water. The video showed no board at Kearney's feet while he was airborne.

Kearney's friends said his harness had emergency releases, but that it is possible things happened too fast for him to unhook his clasps, WFOR reported


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 Post subject: Re: Severe Storm Lofting In Florida - Video
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:42 pm 
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MarcusH wrote:
I guess you can add some more points to your list: 5) NEVER self-launch in high winds. and 6) ALWAYS keep your kite low when on the land, whatever you think the wind is doing.


hmm.. i usually kite-surf on open beaches with a strapless surfboard. i play around a lot and crash my kite in the surf regularly. it was blowing 25knot gusting a bit more yesterday. i rolled my kite on two less than elegant occasions yesterday. i was way downwind of the pack. twice i self landed my kite, fixed the lines, and self launched. been kiting 4 years or so. self launch all the time. under 35knots i have no problems with it. so,, rule 5 won't work for me. sorry no offence. now if i had to launch in a crowded or tight area, rule 5 would work for me. rule 6 works for me at all times.

i fly oldskool 4 lines Cs. self landing means spinning the kite down (on a rear line) and untangling before relaunch.. self launch for me means folding the tip and sanding it. always double check your lines when you self launch in high winds could make for a good rule #7.


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 Post subject: Re: Severe Storm Lofting In Florida - Video
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:45 pm 
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zerium wrote:
I have to say as a newbie (one solo sesh w/ no instructor) I went out two days ago when we started getting the effects of Fay onshore up here in GA. Wind was a perfect steady 15+ but there was a massive dark cloud approaching the beach. I waited it out while some guys stayed out and put up after the storm passed (only to watch the wind die and not get to ride or even fly the kite). However, when my wife asked me if that was irritating my only thoughts were about the consequences of making a poor decision to go out and ending up way overpowered (and of course this video replaying in my mind).

I wish the guy a speedy recovery and I hope that others will think twice about going out when conditions are even iffy (storm cells approaching visibly or on radar).



good call. you will get your share of perfect sessions in September, October, and November!


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