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kitesurfing waves in offshore conditions

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liv2surf
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kitesurfing waves in offshore conditions

Postby liv2surf » Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:49 am

I am going on a week-long trip to an island-like surf spot with waves and offshore conditions. I think it is directly offshore at the spot with the best waves (but it may be side-off). What is it like kiting in off-shore conditions, what is different and what does one need to do differently. What would be different if it was side-off vs off-shore. (I guess I have kites when the wind turned slightly side-off and it wasn't all that wierd.

Will take surfboards but also intend to bring my kite gear since I live to kite waves now (been kiting 4 years).

I know one needs to get back to the beach and if you break down things are tougher. There is a boat on the beach in case of emergencies. Any pointers appreciated.

surfingwithkites
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Postby surfingwithkites » Fri Aug 10, 2007 8:43 am

Think safety first. When shit goes wrong and it is really offshore you can be lucky to just lose your kite. Boat rescues take time and are not always reliable. Stay close to shore and have a plan as to whether you will bail your gear and swim in or stick with it and wait for rescue. Be really aware of currents. Swimming is a really slow method of travel and it can take hours to cover the ground it takes minutes to kite. Two minutes out, two hours in. At least.

Riding wise, if it is truly straight offshore then kiting will be pointless. Just go for a surf. You need to be able to keep the kite from pulling you out the back and it is sometimes surprising how a slight change in angle makes all the difference in the world one way or the other.

In general, the more offshore it is, the higher you keep the kite on the bottom turn. If you have the kite low and send it back on the bottom turn you will just get yanked out the back on your off the top. Start it high, barely flick it back, and reset it forward while still in your bottom turn so it is already forward when you hit the lip. Then just try to keep it forward. It gets touchy and the tendancy is to end up going fast down the line doing nothing. At really offshore spots like yards or one eye you see most riders just hanging on doing speed runs and very long turns or attempting a big hit and then getting stuck at the top and either doing a long lateral floater or getting yanked out the back. Or they try to pull in the tube and the off shores pull them through the back of the wave. Actual performance in offshore wind angles is usually really low. Side or slight side off is what you want.

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liv2surf
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Local Beach: Waddell Creek, Scott Creek, Miramar-Half Moon Bay, Coyote Point, Pillar Point Harbor-HMB
Style: waves & foil
Gear: Cabrinha Drifters 7, 9, 11. Firewire Dominator surfboard (quad), no straps. SS SpacePickle adapted to foil (LF Foilfish foil), two foot hooks, front and back.
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Location: Central Coast, CA
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Postby liv2surf » Fri Aug 10, 2007 2:42 pm

swk,

thanks for the great points. very helpful analysis re: safety, performance and technique for kiting waves in off-shore conditions.

Kevin Salter
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Postby Kevin Salter » Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:15 pm

You need a bit of cross off to kite, 45 cross off works well and will hold the waves up so the top of the wave is powerful.

In these conditions I leave the kite parked fairly low towards the shore when wave riding, bottom turning away from the kite so that the kite actually travels right to the edge of the window ( towards the shore) before the top turn, this way the kite doesnt pull much at all coming out of the top turn.
I ride like this frontside on lefts and rights no problems, and I imagine if you bottom turn backhand it would be easier, cos you would be facing the kite more.
To ride like this you need a board and wave combo that allows you to bottom turn without kite power and have enough drive off the bottom to hit the pocket at the top.

The apparant wind up the face of the wave can be horrendous in cross off, so the above technique eliminates getting blown out the back of the wave due to overpowering the kite.

If you crash sent the kite out to sea so that you dont get rolled by the wave into the lines, and if you ride without a board leash, consider using one cos if it all gets ugly you can ditch the kite and paddle back to shore.

I use a short board leash that goes to the back of my harness, I dont reccomend leg ropes cos your legs tend to flick around in a crash which can slingshot the board toward you, but this has never happened to me with a short leash to the back of my harness.

Anyway charge hard, cross offs rule imo :thumb: :thumb:

flyakite
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Postby flyakite » Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:07 am

Surfed on an island off of mex years ago. Prevailing wind was 30-35mph offshore. Made for some long deep barrels, but direct off wind would not be good. If your headed there be careful!Explore the whole island. More than likely it will be kiteable somewhere there.

sisky
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Postby sisky » Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:19 pm

Just have you crap together. I kite at a wave spot that is side-off to off shore. once things go wrong you have only a fraction of the time to react and figure things out. I have seen people close to shore, drop thier kite, and end up doing a 5 hour tour of the bay because they got blown out to sea by trying to relaunch a kite that was hopelessly twised by getting flogged in a wave, Their tour started first by swiming and then by walking back when they finally reached the beach about 4 kilometers away.

I had a valve pop on me some how the other day there and ended up doing a little tour myself, and i almost lost my surfboard that was getting blown out to sea....

anyways, have fun... it not all that bad... and it will be the best waves you can possibly have kiting in that kind of wind....

surfingwithkites
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Postby surfingwithkites » Sun Aug 12, 2007 7:25 pm

just depends on the spot. Lots of islands have no safety bays and once offshore you are done. Almost happened to Felix in Reunion, almost happened to Reo in Cocos-keeling, happened to a windsurfer last year in mauritius. Seen people need rescuing here even.

kiteboardkorea
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Postby kiteboardkorea » Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:01 am

surfingwithkites wrote:just depends on the spot. Lots of islands have no safety bays and once offshore you are done. Almost happened to Felix in Reunion, almost happened to Reo in Cocos-keeling, happened to a windsurfer last year in mauritius. Seen people need rescuing here even.


Last I heard FELIX always kites with his passport :thumb: ,

next stop in offshore conditions is more than likely to be another country...

all else fails ditch the kite and use your surf board for what is was made for,

paddle, paddle , paddle


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