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 Post subject: Gliding Safety
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:27 am 
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I took the liberty of copying a thread from a Utah forum concerning gliding safety. Please feel free to add your thoughts on this subject.




Joined: 11 Apr 2005
Posts: 483
Location: Fruit Heights
Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:50 pm Post subject: Utah Gliding
I'm worried that this year has the potential for injury with more kiters gliding on older gear.
Don't f$%k around.
Get new lines often, and check your pig tails, and sewing around contact areas, and chicken loop,,,,,DAILY..
Our area is the pioneering area for US gliding. We should self police this.
One accident could close down all forest service access for years to come.

Hurt your self if you want, just don't affect my kiting future while your at it.

Current gliders need to take a stand on this subject.
(or just tell me to shut up...)

-Marty
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Jacob Buzianis



Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 157

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:12 pm Post subject:
DON'T SHUT UP ABOUT IT MARTY!

This is serious. I'm concerned about it also. I will join your police force.

Strongly Recommend to have and make sure on before gliding-

-Don't glide with a kite, harness, spreader bar, and kite bar that is more then two years old.

-Do not have any Fuzzy lines, knot lines, discoloring lines, homemade lines on your kite bar and kites including LEI and FOIL kite. Same for Chicken line, pigtails, bridles and leader lines

-Required to have a backup safety connecting to the chicken loop either hook on to your harness or rockclimbing

-NO tear, hole or patch up on your kite

-Test your kite before you glide like by doing hard kiteloop, turn your bar hard and fast, fly your kite aggressively to make sure your kite is working and responding how you want it to do.

- start out by doing small glide work your way up to bigger glide

-do some hard boost first before gliding

These Recommendation isn't going to make sure your kite is safe but it will reduce your chances of getting hurt.

If you have question or concerned about what I said or disagree with me please do give your concerned and disagreement.

These recommendation and requirement aren't going to keep you from getting killed or injured. Understand the RISK your are putting yourself into and understand there is a possibility you will get seriously injured or killed.

Kite safe and have fun
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bajabliss



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 16
Location: Dugway, UT
Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:18 pm Post subject: Ummm, what's gliding?
Am I the only one here that doesn't know what gliding is?
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Jacob Buzianis



Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 157

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:23 pm Post subject:
Bajabliss,

Come to Skyline one weekend. You will know what gliding is.
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Kenny



Joined: 11 Apr 2005
Posts: 647

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:58 pm Post subject:
I sold my SA2 that I used last season and all summer long and replaced it with a new kite.

Right now, most of us are not going that high, but the pros are going super high (over 300 feet) - check out the Snowkite Masters video from 12/1607. Makes the glides we are doing off Bosco look kind of puny. Still you can die dropping 50 feet if you land wrong.

Our kite gear is really not designed for flying. It doesn't have multiple redundancy like a paraglider. Until it does, I am not going to risk losing my life on super high glides. The thrill of going off Bosco or the hills at Strawberry is good enough for me.

By the way, gliding is flying your kite like a paraglider. You bomb down the hill gathering enough speed to give your kite lift, sheet in the bar and fly to the bottom of the hill.
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windzup



Joined: 11 Apr 2005
Posts: 221
Location: Mt. Pleasant, Utah
Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:59 am Post subject:
So last weekend at the Snowkite Summit the term safety came up... regarding all of Snowkiting. The amazing thing is that few if no Snowkiters have been seriously injured or killed due to Snowkiting. With that, we are lucky and as an industry want to prevent any future accidents, at least the ones we can see and avoid. Avalanches were one topic, and flying was another. No one has died yet while 'gliding' with kites. With that, only experienced kiters on the newest gear have attempted it in the past. A fear is that newcomers with less experience and using outdated or un-safe gear may become injured due to equipment failures... injuries that could needlessly mar the image of Snowkiting.

Gliding with kites comes from the similar concept sports of hang-gliding and paragliding. Gliding with kites is pretty redundant and just plain dumb, considering that hang and paragliding has already gone through a similar learning curve (death rate). The world has learned that to glide safely a larger canopy and shorter lines (shorter pendulum) are far safer and easier to manage.

That said, we are all curious to see how far we can take our Snowkite sport and we are all stoked to be in the air and feel the joy of flight. The kite designs are so good these days that smaller wings are now offering potential for high flights and good glides off of terrain. Technology is good enough to take us mere mortals far away from our skill and knowledge base.

Because pioneers like Chasta and Rob started flying huge with their kites, they started building kites 'SAFE' for high flights that they were doing. These Snowkites (produced by Ozone) are built to the same design parameters and high strength (12 G tested) as the Paragliders built to the same exact specs with the highest grade of materials available. The Frenzy is the first kite on the market, designed to fly safely!

Important FACT: Most kites are built with the lowest cost materials and are not designed to handle aviation!!! Don't put your life on anything less if you are going high! Materials can fail, lines can fail, pulleys can fail!!

Inflatables offer only single points of attachment, even with a bridle, there are only a few connection points on the canopy to divide the high wing loading that occurs when full body weight is on the kite. (in the air your Gravity/weight increases as you accelerate and gain speed). If any one point fails on an inflatable, the entire structure fails!

Foils (properly built anyway) divide the wing loading across the entire canopy, not just the leading edge, spreading the load across the entire surface. Each bridle line can hold 300 pounds of weight or more, and even if several lines failed, the canopy would still hold shape and divide the load. I have flown both kites and paragliders with broken bridle lines, and experienced no lack of control in the wing.

If your wing has pulleys, make sure they are high strength, and backed up. The Frenzy uses pulleys to control the canopy shape, these are sewn directly into Amsteel leaders, the strongest line on the market.

LINE SETS - Chasta gets 52 line sets a year in his contract with Ozone. He replaces them weekly or sooner if he feels he put too many high flights or powered sessions on one set. He replaces the lines the instant he feels they have been slightly compromised. Ozone tests Chastas leader lines (the Amsteel) which are rated to over 1200 pounds a piece... these lines have held their strength for an entire year, showing no signs of weakness. With that, Chasta (and anyone flying) replaces his bar at least once a year. (you can keep the bar and just upgrade to new leaders).

Chicken Loop - We have had a dear friend fall from the Sky in France several years ago.. it was Spring time on a kite he flew hard all season. The chicken line failed and he fell 60 feet from the sky!! It was on an off brand kite, not an Ozone. That prompted Ozone to switch all chicken loop lines to Beal ( a climbing rope!!) These have never failed, even several years later... these are the strongest chicken loop lines on the market and only Ozone is using them... because we believe in our/your safety in flight.

NEWNESS - Ever notice that the dozen guys on the planet that are doing high flights are all sponsored? The point is they are ALL on brand new gear all the time, maybe even upgrading mid-year. DO NOT FLY ON OLD GEAR>>> IT IS DUMB!!!

If you choose to 'glide' you need to know the risk and the endangerment you put the sport and yourself in. Gliding is independent of regular Snowkiting and requires specific gear above and beyond the average snowkite equipment. Buy new gear that is designed for the purpose and check it daily, replace it often!

Remember the ladder rule folks, ten feet high and you can die.

Windzup.... please stay alive!

Brian Schenck
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windzup



Joined: 11 Apr 2005
Posts: 221
Location: Mt. Pleasant, Utah
Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:10 am Post subject:
The previous post was NOT meant to be an Ozone advert. However, Ozone is the only manufacturer that I know of that designs and build kites to a paragliding standard.

Flysurfer are good kites also, they are well constructed foils designed on paragliding CAD software like Ozone is. But I do not know that they intentionally design any strength or back ups into the wing, to handle the load that gliding puts on a kite... nor can I attest for the quality control at their factory. I can say that Ozone uses the highest grade of materials and has the strictest quality control as they sew each wing and pre-inflate it in their own factory... not just mass produced for general use.

And even tho Ozone wings are built to fly, we highly recommend that you keep both feet on the ground at all times.

Windzup,
Brian
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windzup



Joined: 11 Apr 2005
Posts: 221
Location: Mt. Pleasant, Utah
Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:17 am Post subject:
PRE - GLIDE Kite TEST.

During R&D, Ozone designers put load meters on the kites and bars to see where the most strain is and what loads each part receives. We learned something very cool:

The most tension and power put on your lines is while edging hard at full speed... not while flying.

The Science: in the air you put One-G on your wing. That is your single body weight in relation to gravity, hanging from the kite. While kiting on the ground at high speeds, if you edge hard you place double and up to 3-G's on your kite, as you are pushing against the kites energy.

RESULT: Go for a fast run and edge as hard as you can. If your lines hold, then they should easily hold for jumping.

(Always walk up and down each line with bare hands on them to search for wear marks, burrs or cuts. Check pig tails and attachments for wear also)

Windzup


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2003 1:00 am
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Location: france
Do you think that adding one more front line to a Manta II is possible?
Does the Y at the end on the line can twist with another line ?
hummmm.....perhaps someonee tried this?

Having 2 lines is always better thant 1 for gliding you have 2 chances !


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:31 pm 
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Location: Traverse City, MI usa
I'm not a glider I live in MI, but the comment about no homemade lines kills me, I'll trust my (homemade) Q-lines anyday compared to spectra lines assembled in China. Chickin line should be replace with any wear, bars do wear and should be replaced.
Replacing Kites, Come on, ever see one fail mid air (they can deflate though). If you what to glide high get a glider, go low Gliding is problibly safer than regular jumping with a kite, But Hay what do I know.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:46 pm 
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Location: montana
I think Gliding on an inflatable is totally safe Alex Peterson has proved this many times over. The rest of the information is very accurate and needs attention. Seriously if you wanna do these big flights let the pro's do it and watch. If you still wanna participate in this death wish. Buy a paraglider much safer and you carry a reserve if something bad should happen.

I think its absolutely amazing that people can do this without getting killed but its only a matter of time.

Most of the guys you see doing these huge glides are industry pro's with long backgrounds of paragliding/hangliding/skydiving and fully understand the risk and rewards.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:14 pm 
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The cool thing about gliding is that you don't have to go 300 feet above the ground to have fun. A nice hillside will provide excellent glides that are 20 - 40 feet off the deck. Add a deep snowbase and the risk level goes down as well.


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 Post subject: Move past the dangle...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:57 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2005 7:28 pm
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Location: Western CO, Publisher of Drift Snowkite Magazine
Although watching Chasta and others glide is impressive at first blush, I think the appeal wanes quickly and I hope the sport of snowkiting moves past this soon.

Here is my reasoning...

1st. Gliding seems like more of a stunt than anything else. It is flying a kite like a glider, but it is still a kite and better suited for pulling than gliding. It is like driving a snowmobile across open water. Yeah. It can be done. It is even cool the first time you see it. But after that... Why? That's what boats are for and they do it much better!

2nd. After watching Rob Whittall glide at Skyline it became obvious that style and gliding seem to be diametrically opposed. Dangling just isn't stylish. When the designer of the kite and a great kiter looks kinda lame when he glides (spread eagle and kinda flailing) I think it points to a dead end. Nothing against Rob, of course.

3rd. I think the risk of gliding is too high. When the general public starts to associate snowkiting with gliding, I think we are setting the sport up for disaster. Cheap, used kites off eBay, no instruction, and a newb wanting to glide like he saw on YouTube can only end in disaster. I am glad the Ozone kites I fly are engineered to handle many of the same forces paragliders are designed to perform under, but I will make use of that quality in materials and build to ensure lots of days of safe kiting, not pushing my gear and life to the limits.

Kites are designed for pulling. Let them pull us on adventures, over terrain, through freestyle parks, and into big jumps. Keep the kite low and powered and let the speed it generates help you cheat gravity. Kitesurfing had a few seasons of the dangle, but it has evolved beyond this. I see snowkiting doing the same.

Our brothers in Northern Europe and their film "Something Stronger" are clearly on a path beyond gliding. I look to it for inspiration and in contrast the dangle looses all its appeal.

My 2 cents,
Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:50 am 
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I agree that something stronger is on the right path to progressing the sport in the right direction with unbelievable tricks and riding ability but cloud 9 has done a lot for snowkiting in the US with its own style, progression and mentality of pioneering new spots all over.

Back on Topic: Gliding is for those with years and years of time on the snow and with kites AND the best possible weather conditions must be available. As far as the amount of force being applied to your kite when comparing gliding to edging, I would much rather have a line snap while edging then gliding for obvious reasons and this should be highly considered even though the likelihood would be from edging I'm not willing to put my life on the line(Literally) for a $1000 kite.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:14 pm 
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Location: Western CO, Publisher of Drift Snowkite Magazine
Don't get me wrong. I don't think gliding should be banned! I just think/hope that the sport will evolve past gliding as a prominent feature of snowkiting. I am confident that gliding will always be around and I am sure that in the future much of the new school tricks will incorporate some glide because the scale of the tricks will be so huge, but who knows.

And don't think for a second that my mention of Something Stronger as an indicator of the future of the sport takes anything away from the great Project Cloud 9. I love it and its pioneering spirit!

Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:45 pm 
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Gliding is a unique aspect of snowkiting. It is one aspect that really can't be duplicated on the water. I doubt that we are going to evolve past gliding, rather what you will see is more precision gliding with kiteloops to add major directional moves while in the air. I have not seen Something Stronger, but the Euro clips I have seen show massive kiteloops thrown into glides and much higher and longer glides. Seems to me that the Euros are pushing gliding to new and more dangerous levels.

Quote:
1st. Gliding seems like more of a stunt than anything else. It is flying a kite like a glider, but it is still a kite and better suited for pulling than gliding. It is like driving a snowmobile across open water. Yeah. It can be done. It is even cool the first time you see it. But after that... Why? That's what boats are for and they do it much better!


Perhaps, a bit of perspective is needed here. Gliding allows a rider to fly down the hill and ride back without having to pack up the wing. You can't do that with a speed flyer, paraglider, or a parachute. It is not merely a stunt or a trick.


Quote:
2nd. After watching Rob Whittall glide at Skyline it became obvious that style and gliding seem to be diametrically opposed. Dangling just isn't stylish. When the designer of the kite and a great kiter looks kinda lame when he glides (spread eagle and kinda flailing) I think it points to a dead end. Nothing against Rob, of course.


A climbing harness solves the dangling issue.

Quote:
3rd. I think the risk of gliding is too high. When the general public starts to associate snowkiting with gliding, I think we are setting the sport up for disaster. Cheap, used kites off eBay, no instruction, and a newb wanting to glide like he saw on YouTube can only end in disaster. I am glad the Ozone kites I fly are engineered to handle many of the same forces paragliders are designed to perform under, but I will make use of that quality in materials and build to ensure lots of days of safe kiting, not pushing my gear and life to the limits.


I agree with you on this one. Fortunately, most newbies have a difficult time even getting up a snow-covered hill, let alone flying off. The biggest problem is not with newbies gliding on the snow, it is foot launching off of hills with a kite. Of course, you cannot prevent the "Darwin Effect". People will continue to do stupid stuff with kites (tow-ups, launching in too much wind, etc.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:18 am 
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Although there is a little gliding in Somthing Stronger, it has less prominence than many videos out there. I agree that gliding will always be part of snowkiting, but I hope that it remains a very small part reserved for very experienced kiters on top quality equipment.

Luckily there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the downhills without having to pack up a kite. In fact, I think our ability in snowkiting to play almost unfettered by gravity is a real strength. We can descend, traverse under full power, and cut back up a mountain all under kite power. Gliding is just one, high-risk way down.

The dangling I am talking about is a result of the harness, climbing or otherwise. It is being connected to the end of a long string that looks kinda silly. Action sports go through a refinement process where participants first concentrate on learning basic trick, then explore the range of possible tricks, then expand the scale of tricks, and finally do everything big and with style. Style usually is comprised of smooth, fluid, controlled motion. Dangling while gliding seems to be currently in direct contrast to style even when done by really good kiters.

There will always be idiots trying to make it into the Darwin Awards. I think it is important that we as pioneers in the sport of snowkiting work to simultaneously progress the sport and project a responsible image. We need more videos on YouTube of kiters ripping up the terrain and fewer of people gliding above it.

These are exciting times!

Dave


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