[/color]e) Wind dropouts and gear failure
ALL kiters experiences a few gear failures (eg broken lines) and COMPLETE wind dropouts every year. Inflatables can be "sailed" (self-rescued) or swum to shore. If things are REALLY bad, the inflatable structure can support your weight, eg viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2368004
In contrast, ALL ram airs eventually become hopelessly waterlogged, un-relaunchable, and unable to support body weight.
The following is an example of "diraklib's" experience with ram airs in wind dropouts:
diraklib wrote:"the SA-19 is huge and can whack you silly if you let it get down wind of you in a low wind launch. It is downright scary - be ready with the QR at all times if not up and riding!!! I can't say I agree with claims that you can ride the SA-19 in anything lower than a steady 8 knots. I made a personal choice to not ride the SA-19 any more. It went down twice in lulls and managed to bow-tie on the way down - there was no way to relaunch. I was not as lucky as others that self rescued. My kite was full of water by the time I dragged my very tired and frustrated a$$ to shore. It sounds simple, "wrap the lines around the bar, fold the kite in half, roll it up on your board and paddle in"... noooo... there are lines everywhere under water that wrap around your feet as you are trying to manipulate the kite. You just pray that a gust won't pop the kite up and slice of an appendage. The kite ... is just too scary when it goes down. My attitude now is - if my LEI won't fly, I shouldn't be on the water. Anyone interested in a slightly used SA2-19m??? Cheap???"
For the full epiphany, checkout viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2360979&start=40
The following is the experience of "pmaggie" with ram airs in wind dropouts:
pmaggie wrote:I rode foils only a few times, so these are really my two cents. The problem I experieced with foils in very light wind when they suddenly fall. In my home spot, in very light wind days, sometimes the wind really goes to zero for 1 minute or so. When this happen, both foils and inflatables suddenly fall. In this cases, my inflatable, since it's far heavier than a foil, fall directly into the water with no line tangling and I just have to wait for a gust to relaunch (when possible, that means about 7 knots for my Core 17). When a foil falls with no wind, being very light, it's common that its lines roll over it and became completely tangled. At that point, it's not that easy to relaunch.
The other big problem with foils in very light wind is when the wind completely stops. With an inflatable, you just get your kite and swim attached to your little floating boat. With a foil, you have 20 sqm of tissue to carry home with you!
For the full story, checkout: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2376332
Here is the experience of "FredBGG" with a line failure:
FredBGG wrote:The other day I had a front line fail.
Wind was slightly off shore...
I really needed a tow to the beach.
I had the kite safely on the 5th line folded in half (flysurfer Foil)
I waved down two kiters.... both expert judging by their riding.
Both refused to help.
One even yelled if you can't relaunch it's your problem.
Anyway after a difficult ordeal in the surf and current I got back to the beach.
I had to rest a bit but my board was still out there.
For the full admission viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2362065
The problem here isn't with the other kiters, it's with Fred's choice of kite. If Fred had an inflatable, he would have been able to "self-rescue" by grabbing the tips and "sailing" to shore. The other kiters refusing to help is understandable: Fred opted for less safe equipment. It's his problem and he shouldn't impose on others to make up for his equipment deficiencies. Also, towing a ram air to shore is like towing a sleeping bag full of water - difficult and dangerous.