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How much is too much?

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Postby Flyboy » Thu Nov 28, 2002 4:55 am

Just got back from visiting my kiting cousins in FL.

Fort De Soto rocks! Sunday 17th was 30 - 40 knots NW. Like the other kiters I sat around on the beach watching the windsurfers on 3.2 to 4.0 sails ripping it up. Eventually, we couldn't stand it any longer & started pumping.

I went out with my 6.3 AB & found it completely kiteable: depower the kite, keep a handle on your speed, & avoid abrupt kite movements. I kited pretty conservatively, but I imagine with more experience in those conditions you could get pretty dialled in to the speed of the kite & the huge power generated.

Up to now I was very sceptical about guys claiming to go out in huge winds - now I know it can be done. Any other high wind experiences out there?

One word of caution: I wouldn't recommend it anywhere near hard, imoveable objects: rocks. jetties, trees, buildings etc.

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Local Beach: Laguna de Tecocomulco, Hidalgo, Mexico. Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico.
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Postby Andres_Santacruz » Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:40 am

i have heard from a guy first hand that he has been out in 50 knots with a flysurfer maniac 5.0, this guy is pretty much an expert, and is not a bullshitter, but i mean, kiting in these winds must be truly extreme. I mean, imagine the water spray, the sand hitting your legs on the beach, the amount of chop, the wind pushing you when you jump, etc!


Postby Guest » Thu Nov 28, 2002 8:02 am

Short lines, moderate aspect kite, lotsa fun!


Postby Guest » Thu Nov 28, 2002 9:36 am

the AB 6,3 in high twinds up to 10 Bft. is quiet easy to ride, but it is very fast.

Shure you have to avoid abrupt moves at the bar and jumping is possible.

But - as the 6,3 has a very good lift you have to careful not to snatch it during the jump - it is very fast and reactful - if so you will fall down like stone.



Postby Guest » Thu Nov 28, 2002 10:14 am

I have been using Takoon 5/6,8 flat in 30-38 knots wind several times. It,s very good for riding waves, but I don,t want to rotate or make any advanced tricks in high winds like that.

Last time about 3 weeks ago I was kiting in Hanko Finland. Water + 4 degrees air + 4 degrees, wind 15-18 m/s and waves between 2,5 to 4 metres. No other kites out but maby 10 windsurfers and 4 surfers.

There is even a little bit of video, which you can find in

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Postby BLOWN AWAY » Thu Nov 28, 2002 11:01 am

Man you guys are getting me all excited with this high wind stuff... small kites and short lines.

I have yet to sample the wild west coast here in Auckland... there will be plenty of days with those wild winds hopefully... so far just been on the gusty inland places...



Postby Guest » Thu Nov 28, 2002 12:01 pm

If you train in relatively constant highwind conditions than even extremely gusty highwinds (switching from 5 to 8 bf in one second) are kiteable

The highest and most extreme conditions i was out so far was 2 months ago in 93 km/h (in the gusts) winds with a PL Arc 460 on 20 m lines on our local lake (Lake neusiedl / Austria)

In the gusts the water surface was covered with flying water that hit my face like ice cristaly or needles - a very unique experience i will not forget fo a long time

A few others were out on inflatables (size 5 flat)

Winds like this are extremely gusty here and even the windsurfer had severe troubles not to be blown of their boards with their 3.x sails.

All Kiters that were out had no troubles staying upwind, and after some time we even started Jumping, but it was next to impossible to time the jumps due to the extreme gusts (including wind direction changes up to 15 degrees - the kite is suddenly deep in or suddenly out of the powerzone - well the cracks among you get the picture how heavy the conditions were)

With lots of highwind experience gained in rocksteady 7bf maroccan winds it was surprisingly kiteable - hardcore, extreme, dangerous etc. but kiteable, only thing you had to do was to move the kite quick (not too hard with a 460 arc....) to filter out the gusts by positioning the kite before the gust hit or was over

The most experienced local kiters (most of them +3 years, + 1000 hrs. total on the water) went out.

Bad thing was that we had to stop a few less experienced guys from trying to follow our lead

I must admit I was shocked to see how many people were willing to go out in these conditions with kites in size 7.5 - still many people seem to have no idea that lift and windspeed are NOT proportional - a big danger for newbies watching very experienced Riders who make everything look easy and managable - so the question is if it is wise to go out in these conditions and act as a "bad example" for less experienced Riders (you know the old "if they can do it i can do it" thing that kills too many people who dont know their personal limits)

PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS (highwind kiting) UNLESS YOU ARE AN EXTREMELY EXPERIENCED KITER (+1000 hrs on the water in more moderate conditions)

Use a Helmet, Impact Vest, Shoes, Gloves AND quickrelease WITH a permanent trigger leash for the Quick release attached to your hand.

WHY permanent Trigger? In conditions like this you have only around one second to release before you get propelled to nearly windspeed, so please be careful If you decide to go out in highwind conditions (anything above 40km/h or 25 knots or 5bf) Even the smallest kitesurfable kite has the potential to kill yourself by getting smashed into any possible downwind obstacle with impact speed close to windspeed

Greetings to all highwind kiters out there - please be careful


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Postby Foxyfly » Thu Nov 28, 2002 1:46 pm

I once used a 3.5m Flysurfer Maniac in 42-45mph on 12m lines it flew like a mad Squirrel but, i could sail on a 150axkiteloose, but i think a 5 would of been better ( It wasnt a serious session, we just did it to see if it was possible)

I think once it gets above 35mph id rather stay on the beach, i like pushing the limits and i like being out amongst the windsurfers, but when it stops being fun and your just hanging on, whats the point !
I like big kites in 20mph winds.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Foxyfly on 2002-11-28 13:53 ]</font>


Postby Guest » Thu Nov 28, 2002 2:02 pm

I agree on the small surfaces :smile:, but tend to use longer lines (30m) when high winds.
you will experience less problems with gusts, and since the small kites are so fast no real need for shorter lines there.
it seems that the smaller rhino II's will be delivered with 35m lines.
Anyone agree or disagree?
Would like to hear comment on this.


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Postby Mr Jo Macdonald » Thu Nov 28, 2002 2:27 pm

So what sort of precautions are you people kiting 40-50 knots taking apart from using small kites and wearing safety gear?
How much obstacle free downwind area do you think you need?

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