On 2003-01-03 17:04, Anonymous wrote:
Going cruising for long distances with a ram air is asking for trouble. In complete wind dropouts or catastrophic gear failure, NO ram air will stay floating on the ocean for more than an hour before it becomes hopelessly water-logged. If you are miles from shore, your best chance is with an inflatable; at least you can use it as a floatation device or grab the tips and "sail" in. It's BS to say a ram is better on cruises because it will stay up longer than an inflatable in wind drop outs - this is definitely not the case for 2003 inflatables.
Right on, my very words too - you can not seriously say that RAM airs are safer for long distance ?
(they might be better regarding pure speed, but this is another topic)
I think this is the point that is really obvious - and why many RAM kiters often kite near the coast, and not in heavy surf as much as others.
And leaks in a LEI ?
It happens - but very rare (and some have even been kiting for years without one single leak) - and it don't happen when out on the water, thats for sure.
Only if you treat if bad on land by hitting something sharp or pointy.
This will happen for some of course - but it is not a safety issue IMO.
This was my main reason for changing - having seen foils being down for 15 min. for some reason (and tried it myself), and then not being able to get up again - but you have to swim ashore, or get help from outside if the wind is sideshore (tried that once - a windsurfer came by, and tried to help relaunch the foil - but to no use, as it was soaked from the inside at that time.
It took hours to get ashore, even with help from other windsurfers, just because I was unlucky to get too much water inside at a crash.
This will never happen with LEI's, not even in waves...
In huge waves LEI's might break though - but again, this is another talk.
The thing is, that you know for sure, that it will not happen with LEI's, unless you have a material failure.
And this happens so rare - that you can easily live with that.
And even in this case - you can, as mentioned, drag yourself ashore by the kitetips.
But going out and fearing that your kite might take in water - or tangle - so you can't relaunch any more, and return back in - is a nightmare for many kiters !
Not all of course, as some are kiting nearer the coast than others.
And if the wind drops out - well, even if it completely drops out so all kites go down - you just sit down and wait for it to come up again so you can relaunch your LEI.
This is great, that you can feel so sure and safe and relaxed - no stress when this happens.