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Thoughts on dangerous launch location

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KiteboardingTampaBay
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Re: Thoughts on dangerous launch location

Postby KiteboardingTampaBay » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:48 pm

If you're worried about the wind going from 12 to 15, you should find a more forgiving place to ride. There's not much room for error there, especially launching or landing. You'd be better off to release the kite well away from shore, and practice your self-rescue back to the beach.
The layout is similar to the North Skyway Bridge, but we have Interstate 275 with 70 mph traffic downwind. I've seen a few kitemares and kites cross the road with my own eyes, and heard of about about 10 injury-type kitemares there. I truly thought I was witnessing one guy dragging to his death after tea-bagging for about 100 yards and hitting the rocks. He did release the kite, but it crossed over a 4 foot fence, guardrails, across all traffic lanes, and caught on a car on the southbound traffic lanes. I had lost a clear line of sight and thought he had gone into the road too. It's burned into my mind forever, and definitely the scariest kitemare I've even seen. Another guy had his waist harness twist around on him and deathlooped pulling him backwards for a good distance. He was saved by a small palm tree that caught his kite or he could have been in the road too.

Over the past few years, Skyway has become the prime spot for lessons and gear sales on the beach, and it looks like Surf Expo out there. As I said in another post, its a huge problem here and the best way to limit risk to injuries and access is for them to go somewhere else before they screw it up for everyone. Imagine you're driving on the interstate and a kite wraps around your car. :o

Either way, props for even asking about the safety of the spot you're riding. Most people just play monkey see, monkey do, and end up getting hurt, or another spot closed to kiting.
If you make it up to Tampa Bay, check out Fort Desoto Park (East Beach), or Lassing Park. They're awesome spots that are great for beginners, and I'd be happy to meet up and ride with ya anytime. :thumb:
Happy Kiting!

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lovethepirk
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Re: Thoughts on dangerous launch location

Postby lovethepirk » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:52 am

I'll hit you up when I make my way to Tampa sometime, thanks for the offer. :thumb:

Yes it is Ft. Myers and the guys I met there were real nice, even had a couple cold ones with them after the session. Thanks for the feedback...I think I'm just going to stay away from there, may try sanibel lighthouse once I am better. The drive home I just kept thinking about how dangerous I thought that location was...

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Re: Thoughts on dangerous launch location

Postby BWD » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:39 am

I rode a couple days around there once, on the causeway.
I hate Florida hassles especially tolls, but that bad dream of a launch makes the $6 toll look cheap to me! Out on the causeway it's better but still sketch for a novice. Want fun? Make it up to captiva or boca grande, pay the yuppy tax. Worth it I think.

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Re: Thoughts on dangerous launch location

Postby Laughingman » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:46 am

lovethepirk wrote:I'll hit you up when I make my way to Tampa sometime, thanks for the offer. :thumb:

Yes it is Ft. Myers and the guys I met there were real nice, even had a couple cold ones with them after the session. Thanks for the feedback...I think I'm just going to stay away from there, may try sanibel lighthouse once I am better. The drive home I just kept thinking about how dangerous I thought that location was...
Get a few years of experience before you try the light house, turbid, shark invested waters with major rip currents are not for novice kites.

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lovethepirk
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Re: Thoughts on dangerous launch location

Postby lovethepirk » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:25 am

Laughingman wrote: Get a few years of experience before you try the light house, turbid, shark invested waters with major rip currents are not for novice kites.
10-4 on that, thanks for the caution, a guy there told me the currents have carried some boards away never to be found so I'll heed your warning about not going until I'm much better....btw have you seen sharks there? The gulf seems to keep the jellies and sharks at a minimum on this coast.

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Re: Thoughts on dangerous launch location

Postby KYLakeKiter » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:25 am

Debated on commenting on this all day, but I guess I will. I would recommend looking at any launch from the worst case perspective.

In September I had a random lofting accident on a lightwind day on a 17m kite hit by a 35+kt gust. I had been launching near the location of my accident for about 3 years without incident. The only reason I am still alive is that my leg hit the tree first and not my head. 8 days before my accident, a guy got drug onto a road in San Francisco. Shit happens, so be ready for it.

We all accept certain risks. Just be educated about the risks you are taking, and adjust accordingly. For risky launches, maybe some days they are ok, and other days not. How well you predict, or guess at what mother nature is going to give you may determine your fate.

Sorry to sound like a buzz kill. No one appreciates a challenging launch more than me, but now I am more respectful (skeart).

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Re: Thoughts on dangerous launch location

Postby Do-it » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:54 pm

If you have to ask you already know the answer.

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Laughingman
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Re: Thoughts on dangerous launch location

Postby Laughingman » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:32 pm

lovethepirk wrote:
Laughingman wrote: Get a few years of experience before you try the light house, turbid, shark invested waters with major rip currents are not for novice kites.
10-4 on that, thanks for the caution, a guy there told me the currents have carried some boards away never to be found so I'll heed your warning about not going until I'm much better....btw have you seen sharks there? The gulf seems to keep the jellies and sharks at a minimum on this coast.
Oh yah, caught a few sharks not far off the point. Little ones but you can bet there are bigger ones as well.
But generally... if you are in the ocean you are likely within sensing distance of more then a few sharks. I just don't like that the water there is so turbid, prime hunting grounds for shark... i'd stick to the inner bay.

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Re: Thoughts on dangerous launch location

Postby NHKitesurfer » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:10 pm

I've seen serious injuries on a sandbar 1/2 mile out. Any launch can be dangerous or completely safe depending on conditions, rider ability and the condition of ones gear.

KiteboardingTampaBay
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Re: Thoughts on dangerous launch location

Postby KiteboardingTampaBay » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:32 pm

We had an experienced kiter break his neck on a sandbar. Shallow water is often more risky that deep water. Blown out knees are always a concern, so don't always land on your feet. One of my pro kiter friends says its always better to hit the water moving, so get used to laying out rather than feet first. Once you break that instinct and practice it, crashing is usually less painful.

Today's fun fact is that Tampa Bay is the Bull Shark capital of the USA.

Best shark fishing in town- Skyway Bridge area. :o


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