*


All times are UTC + 1 hour



Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: KITEBOARDING SCENARIOS #5 - "Weather To Avoid"
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:23 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8316
Location: Florida
KITEBOARDING SCENARIOS #5

"Weather to Avoid"

You are on a week long kiteboarding trip to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, USA. The winds have been good for a few days and you are looking forward to yet another great day of sunny shredding in 15 to 20 kt. sideshore winds inside the barrier island. You are out on a 16 m four line inflatable kite. This is the first day that there have been intermittent rain showers and some minor variation in the wind. You disregard the weather conditions as you are on vacation and having too much fun. It is near the end of the day and you notice a dark grey cloud mass sliding in from the west but start to load up for your next jump and forget all about it.

You are styling, popping spins and inverted tricks for your friends and the ladies on the beach about 50 ft. to the east of you. You just launch another really nice jump when you hear a sudden strong blast of wind (see the 20 kt. gust in Figure 1 below). You are already flying but suddenly you fire forward in a very strong gust that has shifted direction to side onshore and gain altitude rapidly. The next thing you know you are flying overland and still gaining altitude. You are snap shackled in and debate about unhooking and dropping free of your kite. You are trying to figure out what to do but panic is starting to dominate your thoughts. You are heading rapidly towards a six story building and are fixating about slamming into it. You do remember to "fly the kite" or maintain kite control through all this. You then think about reversing your flight back toward the water through a transition-like move. You do this successfully, reversing your direction back towards the water but you gain even more altitude in the process. You guess that you must be about 50 ft. off the ground at this point. You are moving at high speed, something like 30 kts. towards the water and are starting to lose altitude quickly. You finally slam into the water, which turns out to be over a sand bar and quite shallow. Everything blacks out on impact as you lose consciousness. You are not wearing a helmet or impact pfd.

Bystanders run out to help, take you to shore, EMTs arrive and take you to the emergency room. You are diagnosed as having a severe concussion, with minor brain hemorrhaging and are kept in the hospital for observation and stabilization for four days. You are released but have fragmentary recollection of the accident as you suffered some amnesia. You luckily return to normal health and thinking ability in only about one month.


Figure 1: Weather Radar Image From Hatteras Just After the Lofting Accident
(From ikitesurf.com, Cape Hatteras Radar)




Figure 2: Wind graph Image From Hatteras Just After the Lofting Accident
(From ikitesurf.com, Cape Hatteras Windgraph )


What should you do?

1. How to avoid the problem in the first place.

Many riders have been lofted in sudden gusts, the KSI has many accounts about this. The reality at present is that if you are hooked or snap shackled in you will likely be lofted or possibly dragged if you are hit by a strong gust. Some riders have failed to let go of their control bar when hit by the gust and have still been lofted. Ideally if you are hit by a gust you let go of your bar, pop your quick release loop or snap shackle and deploy your kite depowering leash. This should end the incident at this point with no injury. Unfortunately in some cases by the time you are aware of what has happened you may be flying at speed well off the ground or have already impacted the ground.
It is a good policy to never be hooked or snap shackled in while near (within 200 ft. or more) of hard objects. Serious lofting incidents have occurred with riders being ripped from the water and slammed inland with gusts less than 9 kts. More spectacular loftings have occurred with wind gusts on the order of 50 kts. The point is that current safety systems do not provide fully reliable, safe management of these gust conditions, i.e. instant and total depowering under most conditions. The key therefore is to never expose yourself to unstable gusty weather. Practicing anti-lofting techniques would have likely spared many or even most of these riders. Please see "How To Try To Avoid Lofting" at: Kiteboarding Safety References

Make a habit of checking the weather radar on television or preferably online before going out. In the USA, ikitesurf.com has good weather radar images and also real time wind reports for many areas. See Figure 1 for an example of unstable, squally weather that should be avoided. It should be noted that this graphic presents an obvious, severe weather system. In reality far smaller and less colorful systems have caused serious lofting incidents in the past. More examples of actual weather graphics will appear in a new weather resource for kiteboarders in the near future. Also, the National Weather Service has excellent weather radar resources at: NWS

If there are storms or squalls in your area or heading your way as supported by visual observations or in real time wind reports, don't go kiteboarding. Look at Figure 2 below, if you see unstable gust spikes like this in your area, don't go kiteboarding.

Similar Internet resources exist in many other countries depicting radar and in some cases real time wind speeds. It would be good if readers would email some of the local weather sites that provide this sort of information in their areas outside of the USA to flkitesurfer@hotmail.com. These Internet weather site addresses in the final version of this KS. Riders should make a habit of looking in on these sites before riding. If no such sites exist in your area or if you don't have internet access, be very conservative in avoiding any visually apparent potentially, unstable weather. If you are out and you see dark clouds moving your way, come in without delay, anchor your kite and wait until and if things clear that day before going out again. Always practice anti-lofting techniques. New weather references for kiteboarders are in preparation that go further into observed and Internet weather interpretation and session planning.

Kiteboarders should wear basic safety gear at all times. Such gear includes a good quality, well fitting and padded helmet, impact pfd, gloves (sailboat gloves including kevlar panels are ideal) and a whistle.

Lastly, practice the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines located at Kiteboarding Safety References. The guidelines indicate that you should ride well offshore and never as close as 50 ft. away from the beach or other hard objects.
In this way you should avoid exposing yourself to this obvious hazard. Even more critically will be acting to protect bystanders if things go wrong.


2. How to deal with the problem if it is too late to avoid it.

a. If you see dark grey or black storm clouds moving into your area, beach, land your kite and thoroughly anchor it, and remove at least two lines from it, immediately. You should be on the sand with your kite properly disabled before any change in wind speed or direction or air temperature drop occurs.

b. If you have waited too long to get to shore and properly disable your kite it would be best to unhook or unshackle your chicken loop and keep your kite low and move into shore at best safe, speed. If you are hit by a gust, release your bar to activate your kite depowering leash. If you can walk in the shallows it might be best to activate your depowering leash early rather than later. Make sure your leash has been properly evaluated, see Kiteboarding Safety References some for ideas.

c. NOTE: For those kiteboarders that don't choose to use a kite depowering leash for whatever reason(s). Gusty winds are coming or have already arrived. You have a choice, hang on to your kite like grim death through whatever or release it and potentially destroy your expensive kite and possibly injure someone downwind. So, normally most riders take the hanging on like grim death option. By doing this you are serving yourself up on a platter for a serious lofting. If you have a kite leash you can easily preempt this situation but only if you have one rigged. If not, take your chances. Several riders in the KSI attribute kite leashes as saving them from being slammed into buildings, etc.

d. If you are lofted and have time to react, remember to fly the kite. Some riders have been able to improve things by reversing their direction of travel. This may result in your gaining altitude so be prepared for this. Excessive kite control inputs may result in poor kite response or possible stalling of the kite and should be avoided. If you are headed towards a hard object attempt to steer around or over it if possible. Hang gliders and paragliders flair or backwing their gliding surface just before landing to slow or stop their forward motion. No information has been reviewed that describes this being used in kiteboarding. It would consist of flying the kite up to the zenith as if you were trying to induce a jump. Ideally this would not be undertaken until the last instant before impact and when your speed over ground has been reduced. If someone tries this, hopefully in a very large clear area under controlled conditions, please let me know how it works out. In most cases, there will not be enough time for such analysis and flight control of the kite but perhaps in some extreme lofting cases there may be. For this reason and many others, unstable weather conditions that promote lofting should be avoided by kiteboarders.
It is important to note that the conditions described in this account are not unique to Cape Hatteras in any way. It has been stated previously by some locals that sqaulls are not particularly common there. The imagery from Cape Hatteras conveniently appeared while this account was being written so the setting was placed in that area. Unstable weather of this type occurs commonly throughout many other areas of the world. The geographic diversity of squall induced lofting accounts including Florida, California, England, Australia, New Zealand and other areas in the KSI supports this.

More weather references for kiteboarders are in preparation and will be released on this site in the near future.

3. KSI accounts, if any, that are related.

(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/ ... formation/)

1,1a,4,5,7,8,9,11,12,15,17,18,19,20,25,28,29,30,32,37,39a,41,42,




Originally posted at:
http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=1618

KITEBOARDING SCENARIOS #5

"Weather to Avoid"

You are on a week long kiteboarding trip to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, USA. The winds have been good for a few days and you are looking forward to yet another great day of sunny shredding in 15 to 20 kt. sideshore winds inside the barrier island. You are out on a 16 m four line inflatable kite. This is the first day that there have been intermittent rain showers and some minor variation in the wind. You disregard the weather conditions as you are on vacation and having too much fun. It is near the end of the day and you notice a dark grey cloud mass sliding in from the west but start to load up for your next jump and forget all about it.

You are styling, popping spins and inverted tricks for your friends and the ladies on the beach about 50 ft. to the east of you. You just launch another really nice jump when you hear a sudden strong blast of wind (see the 20 kt. gust in Figure 1 below). You are already flying but suddenly you fire forward in a very strong gust that has shifted direction to side onshore and gain altitude rapidly. The next thing you know you are flying overland and still gaining altitude. You are snap shackled in and debate about unhooking and dropping free of your kite. You are trying to figure out what to do but panic is starting to dominate your thoughts. You are heading rapidly towards a six story building and are fixating about slamming into it. You do remember to "fly the kite" or maintain kite control through all this. You then think about reversing your flight back toward the water through a transition-like move. You do this successfully, reversing your direction back towards the water but you gain even more altitude in the process. You guess that you must be about 50 ft. off the ground at this point. You are moving at high speed, something like 30 kts. towards the water and are starting to lose altitude quickly. You finally slam into the water, which turns out to be over a sand bar and quite shallow. Everything blacks out on impact as you lose consciousness. You are not wearing a helmet or impact pfd.

Bystanders run out to help, take you to shore, EMTs arrive and take you to the emergency room. You are diagnosed as having a severe concussion, with minor brain hemorrhaging and are kept in the hospital for observation and stabilization for four days. You are released but have fragmentary recollection of the accident as you suffered some amnesia. You luckily return to normal health and thinking ability in only about one month.


Figure 1: Weather Radar Image From Hatteras Just After the Lofting Accident
(From ikitesurf.com, Cape Hatteras Radar)




Figure 2: Wind graph Image From Hatteras Just After the Lofting Accident
(From ikitesurf.com, Cape Hatteras Windgraph )


What should you do?

1. How to avoid the problem in the first place.

Many riders have been lofted in sudden gusts, the KSI has many accounts about this. The reality at present is that if you are hooked or snap shackled in you will likely be lofted or possibly dragged if you are hit by a strong gust. Some riders have failed to let go of their control bar when hit by the gust and have still been lofted. Ideally if you are hit by a gust you let go of your bar, pop your quick release loop or snap shackle and deploy your kite depowering leash. This should end the incident at this point with no injury. Unfortunately in some cases by the time you are aware of what has happened you may be flying at speed well off the ground or have already impacted the ground.
It is a good policy to never be hooked or snap shackled in while near (within 200 ft. or more) of hard objects. Serious lofting incidents have occurred with riders being ripped from the water and slammed inland with gusts less than 9 kts. More spectacular loftings have occurred with wind gusts on the order of 50 kts. The point is that current safety systems do not provide fully reliable, safe management of these gust conditions, i.e. instant and total depowering under most conditions. The key therefore is to never expose yourself to unstable gusty weather. Practicing anti-lofting techniques would have likely spared many or even most of these riders. Please see "How To Try To Avoid Lofting" at: Kiteboarding Safety References

Make a habit of checking the weather radar on television or preferably online before going out. In the USA, ikitesurf.com has good weather radar images and also real time wind reports for many areas. See Figure 1 for an example of unstable, squally weather that should be avoided. It should be noted that this graphic presents an obvious, severe weather system. In reality far smaller and less colorful systems have caused serious lofting incidents in the past. More examples of actual weather graphics will appear in a new weather resource for kiteboarders in the near future. Also, the National Weather Service has excellent weather radar resources at: NWS

If there are storms or squalls in your area or heading your way as supported by visual observations or in real time wind reports, don't go kiteboarding. Look at Figure 2 below, if you see unstable gust spikes like this in your area, don't go kiteboarding.

Similar Internet resources exist in many other countries depicting radar and in some cases real time wind speeds. It would be good if readers would email some of the local weather sites that provide this sort of information in their areas outside of the USA to flkitesurfer@hotmail.com. These Internet weather site addresses in the final version of this KS. Riders should make a habit of looking in on these sites before riding. If no such sites exist in your area or if you don't have internet access, be very conservative in avoiding any visually apparent potentially, unstable weather. If you are out and you see dark clouds moving your way, come in without delay, anchor your kite and wait until and if things clear that day before going out again. Always practice anti-lofting techniques. New weather references for kiteboarders are in preparation that go further into observed and Internet weather interpretation and session planning.

Kiteboarders should wear basic safety gear at all times. Such gear includes a good quality, well fitting and padded helmet, impact pfd, gloves (sailboat gloves including kevlar panels are ideal) and a whistle.

Lastly, practice the Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines located at Kiteboarding Safety References. The guidelines indicate that you should ride well offshore and never as close as 50 ft. away from the beach or other hard objects.
In this way you should avoid exposing yourself to this obvious hazard. Even more critically will be acting to protect bystanders if things go wrong.


2. How to deal with the problem if it is too late to avoid it.

a. If you see dark grey or black storm clouds moving into your area, beach, land your kite and thoroughly anchor it, and remove at least two lines from it, immediately. You should be on the sand with your kite properly disabled before any change in wind speed or direction or air temperature drop occurs.

b. If you have waited too long to get to shore and properly disable your kite it would be best to unhook or unshackle your chicken loop and keep your kite low and move into shore at best safe, speed. If you are hit by a gust, release your bar to activate your kite depowering leash. If you can walk in the shallows it might be best to activate your depowering leash early rather than later. Make sure your leash has been properly evaluated, see Kiteboarding Safety References some for ideas.

c. NOTE: For those kiteboarders that don't choose to use a kite depowering leash for whatever reason(s). Gusty winds are coming or have already arrived. You have a choice, hang on to your kite like grim death through whatever or release it and potentially destroy your expensive kite and possibly injure someone downwind. So, normally most riders take the hanging on like grim death option. By doing this you are serving yourself up on a platter for a serious lofting. If you have a kite leash you can easily preempt this situation but only if you have one rigged. If not, take your chances. Several riders in the KSI attribute kite leashes as saving them from being slammed into buildings, etc.

d. If you are lofted and have time to react, remember to fly the kite. Some riders have been able to improve things by reversing their direction of travel. This may result in your gaining altitude so be prepared for this. Excessive kite control inputs may result in poor kite response or possible stalling of the kite and should be avoided. If you are headed towards a hard object attempt to steer around or over it if possible. Hang gliders and paragliders flair or backwing their gliding surface just before landing to slow or stop their forward motion. No information has been reviewed that describes this being used in kiteboarding. It would consist of flying the kite up to the zenith as if you were trying to induce a jump. Ideally this would not be undertaken until the last instant before impact and when your speed over ground has been reduced. If someone tries this, hopefully in a very large clear area under controlled conditions, please let me know how it works out. In most cases, there will not be enough time for such analysis and flight control of the kite but perhaps in some extreme lofting cases there may be. For this reason and many others, unstable weather conditions that promote lofting should be avoided by kiteboarders.
It is important to note that the conditions described in this account are not unique to Cape Hatteras in any way. It has been stated previously by some locals that sqaulls are not particularly common there. The imagery from Cape Hatteras conveniently appeared while this account was being written so the setting was placed in that area. Unstable weather of this type occurs commonly throughout many other areas of the world. The geographic diversity of squall induced lofting accounts including Florida, California, England, Australia, New Zealand and other areas in the KSI supports this.

More weather references for kiteboarders are in preparation and will be released on this site in the near future.

3. KSI accounts, if any, that are related.

(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/ ... formation/)

1,1a,4,5,7,8,9,11,12,15,17,18,19,20,25,28,29,30,32,37,39a,41,42,




Originally posted at:
http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=1618


{ SHARE_ON_FACEBOOK } { SHARE_ON_TWITTER } { SHARE_ON_ORKUT } { SHARE_ON_DIGG } { SHARE_ON_MYSPACE } { SHARE_ON_DELICIOUS }
Top
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC + 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group