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 Post subject: Kite for 15 kt. GUSTING TO 45 kts.?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 11:27 am 
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from: http://kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=7528, checkout the photos while you are there.

naufragado wrote:
Wow! Classic aviation photos. I've heard people talking about how they can rip in 45+ kt. winds with a small kite. To keep things in perspective, I work for an airline that ceases operations in 50 kt. winds (something about cargo doors being ripped off of 24 ton aircraft). All I can say is that I'm more concerned about lightning than wind...


Run ins with squalls have happened to many kiteboarders all over the world already, some have been severely injured. Using a simple force relationship, if the windspeed triples (15 to 45 kts.) the force goes up roughly by a factor of NINE. That is enough force to fire you about 250 m or 800 ft. horizontally at very high speed or it was in one case in Cabarete last year.

Another index is area, in this same simple relationship you could also roughly equal the same increased force in the original wind speed of 15 kts. by using a kite NINE TIMES LARGER. So, instead of taking out your 16 m LEI in 15 kts. how about using a 144 square meter kite instead? Can you imagine the force in only 15 kts.? These relationships oversimplify things but they do convey the idea. Smaller gusts less than 30 kts., even 10 kts gusts can do harm if particularly if you don't use anti-lofting procedures.

Unstable weather isn't to be trusted. Too many riders have learned that the hard way already. IF riders think that they can handle it, tell us what sort of kite you would rig for 15 kt. gusting to 45 kts? Lightening has been a plague to aircraft for a long time, amazingly enough I haven't heard about a serious incident involving a kiteboarder, yet. I hope I never do and fingers crossed. If we aren't a bit more careful though about unstable weather or squalls, such an accident may well yet happen.

We need to avoid violent unstable weather including squalls.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 1:55 pm 
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I don't see how you could possibly handle that range, I was out in a pretty steady 12k recently, a squall gusted through at around 50k.

EVERYBODY on the water was lofted to a substantial height - a few cuts & bruises and damaged kit, luckily no serious injuries.

Also this last weekend, we went out in gusty 20-35k wind, very holey and hard work, only just managable, but 15 - 45 is tooo much gap!

Maybe some sort of autosheeting kite may come close, I don't see anything much handling that windrange at the mo IMO.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 2:38 pm 
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The point is, that currently, such a gust range, CAN'T be handled easily or safely. If you are properly rigged for 15 kts. and are hit by an unexpected gust of 45 kts the outcome won't be good. If you react in advance and activate your kite depowering leash you may be ok. The again, such a gust might even rip away a depowered kite's leash attachment from you.

If you react after the gust is on, who knows if you will be able to effectively depower your kite or send it flying off like a rabid bat out of hell downwind. There is a strong chance that by the time you have gotten over part of the shock, have a clue about what to do, you will have already slammed in VERY hard or are flying fast at altitude in a spectacular lofting. The end result of such major loftings is almost never certain and consider that you are probably flying at a speed close to that of the gust that lofted you, 45 kts.?!

Unstable weather, wx, squalls need to be avoided. Just like we avoid driving at high speed on iced over roads in gale force white out conditions. Sometimes we can handle but often we can't and then there is the uncertainty while we are flying at high speed to impact on ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 3:03 pm 
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15kts gusting 45kts is kitesurf to heaven territory!!! Not worth it that range is utterly crazy... Just avoid squalls, plain and simple, we can get some vicious squalls here sometimes but you can't miss them.... big black nasty clouds... but man you gotta love em for windsurfing..

DOOMSDAY


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 3:20 pm 
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You make a good point BA. In windsurfing as long as you have a small enough sail and there is no lightening, you can have fun trying to deal with extreme winds. Going out in almost anything can be a fun, interesting challenge. Of course you might get taken out just rigging up on the beach. I about had my nose smashed in by a boom reversal during rigging on the beach many years ago in high winds.

The thing is in coming from windsurfing, largely a two dimensional sport to kiteboarding, a three dimensional sport we have to learn to be careful. That third dimension that provides such a rush in kiteboarding can go too far when honking, unstable winds are blasting in. Up you go and when and where you come down, nobody knows! It was quite an education for me when they taught that in the school of hard knocks. I learned the lesson but only once I remembered how to think, later on.

So, if it is truly nuking out, dust off the windsurfing rig and have a go. Leave the kites at home.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 8:41 pm 
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Quote:
"RickI" wrote:
So, if it is truly nuking out, dust off the windsurfing rig and have a go. Leave the kites at home.


The way I see it, even in moderate conditions kiteboarding is an extreme SPORT (at least compared to windsurfing). It's unreasonable to expect to perform this extreme sport in extreme CONDITIONS.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 9:30 pm 
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kiteboarder@pacbell.net wrote:
Quote:
"RickI" wrote:
So, if it is truly nuking out, dust off the windsurfing rig and have a go. Leave the kites at home.


The way I see it, even in moderate conditions kiteboarding is an extreme SPORT (at least compared to windsurfing). It's unreasonable to expect to perform this extreme sport in extreme CONDITIONS.


Too true. I always say kiteboarding is the most dangerous thing that I do. I don't have your impecable safety record either. We had a guy get banged up pretty badly along with the van he hit, in only about 14 kts. in South Florida some months ago. I think it is healthy to approach kiteboarding with the respect, training and consideration consistent with an EXTREME SPORT.


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 Post subject: Hmm
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 10:09 pm 
When I read the posts I guess you are talking about LEI's when you ride foils isn't it just to let go of the bar and you'll fall down and the leash will turn the kite into a flapping stuff.. or just release the leash and the kite will fall down a little bit further of (i'm alone in the whole lake..)?

Not a LEI vs FOIL just a serious question.


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 Post subject: Re: Hmm
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 10:28 pm 
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No wrote:
When I read the posts I guess you are talking about LEI's when you ride foils isn't it just to let go of the bar and you'll fall down and the leash will turn the kite into a flapping stuff.. or just release the leash and the kite will fall down a little bit further of (i'm alone in the whole lake..)?

Not a LEI vs FOIL just a serious question.


My apologies, with time I have fallen into the tendency to consider LEIs mainly in commentary. This even though I have two foils or foil-like kites still for a total of ten over the years. Of course with our chronic light winds these days, the larger LEIs that I have get most of the use.

If you are hooked into a foil, that is configured with a depower, there is a good chance that you might not be able to unhook in time, same as with an LEI. If you are hooked into to the fixed line only on a foil, the same consideration applies again. That is not enough time or perhaps strength, awareness, etc. to successfully unhook.

I would not want to be out with a foil appropriate for 15 kts. and be suddenly hit by a 45 kt. gust. If you are able to release the bar and if you depower-brake system works as intended, you are right, it should have far less residual drag than a depowered LEI in such strong winds. I am not sure that the destinction is significant though.

Some input from comtemporary foil flyers that have been out in higher gust conditions and that have had to do emergency depowering would be helpful in this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 11:25 pm 
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Hmmm,
I ride both LEI and foils, and I've never been hit by a 45 knts gust...
That's why I'm still alive...
This is not a foil vs LEI issue, and it's my belief that you can't
handle such a wind range with any kind of power kite.

I own a 9.5 m² psycho, and I've already been riding in gusty winds.
Well, the truth is that you can handle a huge wind range with this kite.
But this handling is done by trimming the depower strap. Like all kites.
If the wind switch from 15 to 45 knots in a short time, then you simply can't manage this huge amount of power.... Like all kites !!!!!!!
If you're hit by a real gust, then you can be flying 15 m. high over the
sand ( or rocks, or a parking space.....) before thinking about pulling this depower strap a little bit...


I do understand that this is not a new foil vs LEI thread. :wink:
But I do believe that you can't handle such a wind range with any kind of kite.
Even a training kite can be dangerous in 45 knots !


Oli.


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