I agree, kiteboarding can be "dangerously easy" in appearance. It is similar to flying or driving a car in that respect. The "operation" is simple. Trying to avoid problems (other cars, bad weather, running out of fuel, etc.), is where all the knowledge and thinking come into play.
As to promoting "propaganda," I usually try to avoid falling into that trap. Sometimes successfully, perhaps at other times not. Still we REALLY need to talk this stuff over to TRY to avoid more repetition. Should we just rant and rave or try to toss out some considered ideas to try to avoid problems?
Regarding the whole "Low & Go" thing, that has been my take on avoiding many of the lofting accidents that I have evaluated, along with selecting acceptable weather, launch characteristics, buffer zones, etc., etc.. Admittedly, I have never seen many of those launch areas. I once was treated to a nice 100 ft.+ dragging at high speed years ago across sand with a small two line kite. I went off and cross wind to the ocean as opposed to downwind and into a building. I am not sure if that will always be the case even with side to side onshore winds particularly if you are majorily overpowered. Still emergencies will differ it is best to plan and rehearse according to your own local conditions.
I used the Low and Go approach or would have at many launches around Florida, Cape Hatteras, Maryland, Corpus Christi, Bimini, the Berry Islands, Bonaire, St. Martin, Puerto Rico, Antigua, Tortola, Anegada, Sand Cay, Cabarete, Grand Cayman, Nova Scotia, Cancun, Lake Arenal, Tarameundo, (only scoped out the last four for kiteboarding unfortunately).
I wouldn't promote it if I didn't believe in it and use it myself. Still, it may not be good for all launches so carefully consider what works in your area. Launching and landing "unhooked" is an important measure to work on as well regardless of where you choose to place your kite.
Still, excessively gusty conditions are rare in Florida and I wasn't using this approach the last time I was in Maui in 1999 with 20 to 45 mph winds during a given day. So, in such extreme conditions maybe you keep it as low as feasible to avoid snaring the landscape. That is why the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines say:
" Kiteboarders should consider these ideas, area specific guidelines if applicable along with other prudent and safe practices appropriate for local conditions. ... Seek local, competent knowledge regarding safe local practices as special precautions may be indicated beyond those discussed here."
because it IS NOT feasible to anticipate all conditions that might be encountered worldwide in short document.
You may not be able to keep your kite low if winds are excessively gusty, too low in windspeed or if you choose to launch with a cluttered buffer zone, with a slippery surface. Choosing to kiteboard in such conditions may automatically increase your risk of course. The guidelines don't even support launching on a slippery surface with rocks downwind. Kiteboarders need to carefully build experience and knowledge of local conditions and kiteboarding.
There is no central "cookbook" that anticipates ALL conditions and appropriate precautions successfully to my knowlege. We do need to keep talking about this stuff intelligently and productively. To do otherwise is to contribute to more avoidable accidents, incidents and threats to access.
Last edited by RickI
on Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:34 am, edited 4 times in total.