Jamie-NYC wrote:I did more than just keep the kite overhead - I swung beneath it, leaving it well to windward of me.
Yep I have done this many many times, foils can come out of it alright but not often. They need to be literally directly above your head before it happens. Any tilt and they start to tilt and slide more to that side, the more they are tilted the quicker they go to that side. Then the kite will end up twisting or dropping through a bridle or something. It is best to start a drift with the kite down wind a bit so you can keep an eye on it and retension the lines if needed, but with it out of sight and overhead I have down this maybe 1000's of times successfully. Running downwind of the kite and pulling it in reverse will undoubtedly cause problems.
Jamie-NYC wrote:This was operator error, not a kite issue.
You are learning, don't worry about it!
Jamie-NYC wrote:Yes, the reason I needed help getting to shore was the weight of the kite - after 15+ minutes in the water, weighed maybe 25 pounds. A lot to swim against.
Yes it does get difficult. I have actually swum stupidly till a kite had pretty much completely filled with water. Surprisingly although it "seems" really hard to swim and almost impossible, it is actually mainly inertia of the water you fight against, once you get moving in a direction you can keep moving in that direction. It becomes very to and fro, pull and tug but you can move. What does become impossible to swim against is if you have a tangle and the kite is catching water like it would air when flying. This is like a sea anchor and nearly impossible to swim against. As often swimming with a foil will be because of a tangle you are best to pack up so as to avoid this "sea anchor" situation.
Jamie-NYC wrote: I have sorted lines on the water with LEI kites, and do know how to stay clear of lines in the water.
That is good, you can not wrap lines maybe 99 out of 100 times and there will be no issue. But that 1 time out of a 100 will make you wish you had done it the other 99 just so you did it that 1 time
nearly dieing is not fun.
Jamie-NYC wrote: Had I been far out, would have tried, obviously. Interesting about self-rescue flying from bridles - but with 18m? Don't think so.
Guys I know that have done it with 15 and 17m foils so it is not much extra for an 18. I would fly from the pulley lines , easier to hold, near where the front main and pulley lines meet you can vary tension on A and B nicely to fly by rotating your hands back and forth, you can steer by one arm in one out etc. I have done this many times on land just for fun and to check the kite out. Surprisingly in wind you can kite board, a kite is still easy to fly/hold directly on the bridles/mixer.
Jamie-NYC wrote: And how to relaunch after coiling lines, when kite will clearly be "wet."
You mean on bridles? or in general? well for both you are going to want to untangle it and get it TE down. If it gets water inside you need to get the kite up on a angle so it drains, with good control of the rear lines and maybe fronts. The A15 doesn't have as good drains as flysurfer, the tips on the A15 ain't permanently open and not as big so it takes longer. If you allow the kite to fly forward and collapse and maybe tangle again you can then have to repeat the whole process which you will avoid again if you don't give up on foils at that point
Jamie-NYC wrote:As to floatation, I solve some of that problem with my board. The board I found best matched to the A15 is a very old Jimmy Lewis directional from early kite days - likely 15 years old. It's a 7'4" twin-fin board, narrow, 3 straps. Craigslist, $80. Goes upwind like a rocket in 8.5 MPH wind, skipping off the tops of swells. Relatively floaty - can almost come to a stop on it and keep it floating. Great board. I think I'd be able to wrap the kite and wind some of the lines around to hold it on the board, then swim in with it. But for me it's big directionals only with the foil from here on out.
I mean flotation for your body, i.e. a vest. Some guys a claiming to sit on boards and pack up like that, which you can do but it would be more difficult than using a vest. I would just get confident enough with the kite that on simple tacks upwind you don't have to worry far from shore, then do jumps and other stuff close to shore so if something goes wrong you have less of a problem if something goes wrong.
Some of those old boards can be quite good
Doesn't have to be complicated for lightwind either, I know people that have gone to places they couldn't bring a board, bought a sheet of wood, a saw and some wax. Works really well apparently.