yes. all the time. Sometimes stupidly.....
sub 25 knots is pretty managable. 30+ knots solo kiting is getting pretty silly. but I still do it. Was out yesterday solo for a couple of hours in 3.5m swell 25-35 knots before the boys arrived.
That was adrenaline charged. but I backed it off to 90% dodged the train sized waves and found a spot with clean head to 1.5 head waves close to shore to play on. stayed within my limits and had a blast.
What I am trying to limit my self doing is solo sessions in extreme areas on secluded country beaches where there is nobody at all for miles.
Sometimes I will, but I find that I enjoy myself more when kiting with my good friends.I find that when kiting alone I don't push myself as hard as I do when with others.We feed off each others energy and are pushing the limits of one upping one another!
Yes..but usually on 'Sunday go to church' type low wind days (on my big speed). I normally stay in shallower water and / or closer to shore. Lucky at the moment to have a few spots close by in west Norfolk and it is nice to have a change from the busy days when there's a crowd on the water. I don't kite alone if it's really windy from the simple fact that if it is windy there will almost always be kiters there.
Thanks for your thoughts. Ultimately I do agree that not kiting alone is safer than kiting solo but like any sport, this one has its risks, which can be minimized. And ultimately each rider has to make his or her own choice. One interesting side note is that I think there is a huge difference between kiting in a crowd or kiting with a buddy system. Way too often I see people down or struggling in a crowd with no one stopping to check on them. Most people just wrongly assume that if a person is not in some dramatic death loop and that they are just bobbing there that they are ok. I think a buddy system, even if it is just two guys out in extreme conditions is way safer than a mellow 14m day on a crowded beach. All of us would be much safer if we spent just three seconds pointing to the person in our group who we are responsible for and vice versa before just racing off into the water.
I ride by myself about 50% of the time. The kite spot nearest my work, which is great for lunch sessions, is normally so gusty that no one besides myself ever rides there but I go out all the time. For self launching I either use the drag around method or simply ghost launch using a caribineer. The ghost launch/landing method is great as it works in all wind conditions and on small beaches. I'd say the number one rule is don't kite further from shore than you are willing to swim. Other than that enjoy Getting confident riding solo will get you more time on the water as often times you might score a session before the wind sensors even show it happening.
Riding by oneself is very peaceful as you don't have to worry about anyone else. It gives one the chance to focus and progress or just to have fun. Solo sessions can be quite meditative.
I ride alone/first out a lot. I don't work anymore and get out a lot, we had really cold weather this winter/spring and I must of had 30plus solo sessions in the cold.
Even when there are people around I self launch and land with a tether, as I don't like relying on others, plus you get to check the kite/lines are ok before you clip in. It's mostly x on where I ride and I ride surfboards but I like being on my own with the elements, I have sailed, windsurfed and kited for 35yrs and have a fair experience of what the sea is capable of. It may be more risky on your own, but on a busy day my beach can have 60 to 100 kites out, some with v poor kite discipline and barely in control with no edging upwind of you (people don't seem to learn how to edge anymore) and as such risk is relative and feel safer on my own, with few others.
Plus I don't do this sport to be social, I do it to escape the world and get in tune with the elements.
There are so many a-hole kiters at my local spot it's a total buzz kill.
Everyone screaming at one another, yelling, fist fights, arguments with local residents, parking issues, self-appointed kite-cops, etc.
I ride alone to get away from all that crap. I'd rather die in peace than live with BS.
I have a ton of solo sessions, live on a private-ish beach area and have a work schedule that lets me get out more than my friends.
conditions in florida don't usually make it dangerous, though, most sessions are 15 knots or less and it's always warm. big sandy beaches, never really any big waves. so it is pretty safe. most dangerous part is probably just self landing the kite, but the wind is usually light enough I can just drop it in front of a condo's wind shadow without having to worry
Most of my career i've kited alone in new sometimes unexplored spots. I am just a small girl and i've never had any problems. I follow a few simple rules:
Never kite deeper then you are willing to swim
Get out of the water if a storm is approaching
Make sure I have a clean safe self launching area with enough space to eject my kite if need be
and most importantly
Many times, if not most of the time. I often ride in light winds when there are no other people at the beach. I ride some surf spots where there are often no other people around.
I also do lots of coast runs where I ride for an hour or so upwind before riding back down. I am far away from other kiters. On some of them I wear a PFD and carry a SPOT tracker, usually not. Most of my coast runs have a logical physical barrier to work to. A headland and bay to stay inshore or a series of yachting markers.
Most definitely I never ride further from the beach than I am prepared to swim in. I can't understand why people do bay crossings or ride far out to sea. There's much more skill required to ride upwind along the coast than blasting straight out to sea and the view is much nicer along the shore.
I consider my gear expendable. I would have no hesitation in ditching a kite if I was in trouble.
When you think about it, what are people going to do for you? By the time they notice you're in trouble then you're probably well and truly drowned. Unless you get injured on the beach the chances are slim of help arriving in time to do something useful.