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How to Rescue a Kite in Offshore Spot?

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frankm1960
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Re: How to Rescue a Kite in Offshore Spot?

Postby frankm1960 » Tue May 14, 2013 3:34 am

This very thing happened to us at our local spot last September. In fact it happened two times out of three sessions, two weeks apart. First time was my friends 11m and the 2nd time it was his brand new 14m, both times was a strong SW wind. I was on my 7m fuel both times. (I'm a light weight).

Both times I stood helpless on the beach watching his kite drift very quickly down wind and both times he wanted me to fetch them but I told him I couldn't. I didn't know how and in my mind I didn't want to risk getting myself caught up in the lines trying.

Both times I suggested we pack up and drive around the lake (it's a big lake) to find it and that's what we did the first time but the second time he wasn't too happy so I drove around by myself trying to find it. I felt bad that I couldn't retrieve his kite but I have a feeling I made the right decision both times. There were no boats around, was basically entering fall season which was a shame cause there's normally tons of boats in the area.

He eventually found the 11m but as far as I know the 14m is still out there.

We don't kite together anymore. What can I say.

robg
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Re: How to Rescue a Kite in Offshore Spot?

Postby robg » Tue May 14, 2013 3:59 am

Frank

Not sure I would want to kite with a guy that loses his kite 2 out of 3 sessions anyway!

gazxtreme
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Re: How to Rescue a Kite in Offshore Spot?

Postby gazxtreme » Tue May 14, 2013 7:47 am

I recently tried this but I was at a spot where I was just in depth most of the way then down-wind about 700m was land so we were in a 3/4 enclosed bay. A lad had dislocated his shoulder and had to release. If his kite an I were heading out into the open sea I would probably had to have given up after 10 minutes as it was hard work, dangerous and tiring. I tried to pick the kite up inflated but there was no chance once I tried to boardstart, I was on a speed board too so it may have been different with a larger board. I ended up stopping and deflating the LE and winding the lines around the kite until the bar was with me, then I picked up the rolled up kite in my arms above the bar and did a tack into the bay to put his kite on land further down the bay but there was no way I could get up-wind with the wet kite, at one point I crashed my kite and got some of his lines tangled roun me before I decided to deflate it. In my opinion and speaking from someone who has their RYA safety boat cert and has in the past provided safety for the BKSA freestyle events I would not reccomend trying it, there is too much to go wrong. If you are unfortunate enough to have to use an offshore spot on a regular basis then I would suggest a few of you should club together and buy a small Zodiac or at least a sit on top kayak, I have used a sit on top for recovering kites and managed to pack down and recover a 12m kite with relative ease and paddle back. I would suggest that without a decent contingeny plan you are being irresponsible by kitesurfing in an offshore spot. Zodiac and outboard = $700, sit on top kayak = $200, it's a no brainer if you can split the cost between a few riders.

OzBungy
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Re: How to Rescue a Kite in Offshore Spot?

Postby OzBungy » Tue May 14, 2013 8:29 am

I have rescued kites twice and it is really difficult. I ended up grabbing a tip and dragging the downed mess to somewhere safe for the owners to retrieve.

The problem is that the downed kite is not going to sit there while you casually flip it over and ride away, and your kite and board are moving about while you're messing with the other kite and flying one-handed. The risk of getting tangled in the lines and bridles is huge.

I guess if you were planning to have to rescue kites (surfing in a group in an offshore) you could carry a spare leash with a quick release. Simply attach the leash to the pump leash and ride slowly away. You could release if it got too scary. Let me know if anyone tries this. I can't see me doing this anytime soon. :-?

It has never happened to me but I have seen plenty of guys getting into trouble when rescuing boards when they don't know how to do it. Imagine how much harder it is to do with a kite.

One thing I found when rescuing a windsurfer (and all his gear) is that it is best to not try and plane away when you have a heavy load. It is much easier to partially sit in the water and drag and slowly tow the load to somewhere safe. Hands are not strong enough to hold against the power of the kite and leashes and stuff break when loaded.

Most offshore beaches are not worth the effort to kite from. Go and do something else. If I saw a wave that looked so good I could not resist, and the wind was good enough to give it a go, then I would go for it. If I lost a kite then that's just part of the price of kiting. It could just have easily been destroyed crashing it onto a stick or a shell on the beach.

PS. I would get a new friend if he lost his kite two sessions out of three ... and got grumpy at me because of his incompetence.

sijandy
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Re: How to Rescue a Kite in Offshore Spot?

Postby sijandy » Tue May 14, 2013 11:05 am

frankm1960 - if your mate was that desperate to save his kites and you didn't want to risk your safety why didn't he take ur kite and get it himself?

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xenosd
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Re: How to Rescue a Kite in Offshore Spot?

Postby xenosd » Tue May 14, 2013 11:41 am

Last summer it happened to me, when a windsurfer got in my lines. Although there were a lot of people on the beach (>200) nobody helped me and I was really close to the shore but the kite kept pulling me in. I have released and had my kite with LE down around my hand, using it to help me swim. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't reach the shore (and it was about 50m) and I was exhausted. If it wasn't for my friend that came and saved my ass, I would have released my kite permanently. My advice is never to kite without someone to have an eye over you. Even a co kiter friend would do the job. :nono:

OzBungy
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Re: How to Rescue a Kite in Offshore Spot?

Postby OzBungy » Tue May 14, 2013 12:04 pm

You need to practice your self rescue techniques. You can swim in towing the kite or sail the downed kite. You can go upwind almost as well as a tiny dinghy if you do it properly. It's fun when you do it right.

supachip1
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Re: How to Rescue a Kite in Offshore Spot?

Postby supachip1 » Tue May 14, 2013 1:18 pm

i thought kiting in offshore wind was a big NO NO??, that is what i was taught...for obvious reasons..this being 1?..or not?

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xenosd
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Re: How to Rescue a Kite in Offshore Spot?

Postby xenosd » Tue May 14, 2013 4:01 pm

OzBungy wrote:You need to practice your self rescue techniques. You can swim in towing the kite or sail the downed kite. You can go upwind almost as well as a tiny dinghy if you do it properly. It's fun when you do it right.


Is there a video to check it? In which position does the kite meets the minimum drag power?

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xenosd
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Re: How to Rescue a Kite in Offshore Spot?

Postby xenosd » Tue May 14, 2013 4:03 pm

supachip1 wrote:i thought kiting in offshore wind was a big NO NO??, that is what i was taught...for obvious reasons..this being 1?..or not?


Obviously we re talking not for exactly offshore wind. Sometimes there is a small piece of land in the sea, creating a flat area with offshore conditions (but good quality of wind).


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