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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8254
Location: Florida
Unstable, squally weather can be hazardous to kiteboarders,
for example ... (NOTE***)

Getting dragged to a fatal impact by a 40 mph storm related gust in Spain this week.
Getting lofted over 800 ft. horizontally in Cabarete at high speed in a 60
mph storm related gust.
Two riders in Miami being sent to the hospital following loftings in storm related gusts
that were likely less than 20 mph above background wind speed
Sending lots of riders to the hospital with a variety of injuries over the
years. Just look in the KSI.
Lots of power and surprises lurking in squalls and storms and more than
virtually anyone can handle, no matter how good they are. Oh, and then
there is the lightening but that is another story.

So: a 10 mph gust can loft a rider particularly if they set themselves up
for it.
a 20 mph gust makes it a bit more certain and is less likely to be
blocked by technique
a 60 mph gust takes all the guesswork out of it, someone is going to
the hospital, IF they are very lucky.


Question: Why are riders still being injured and causing incidents in
unstable weather?

Click on the following links to graphics to fill in the gaps from
ikitesurf.com. These guys have put together an outstanding wind record
archive that tells this tale in spades. Other similar resources exist in other countries. In the absence of similar internet windspeed, radar and prediction sites, be particularly careful with regard to squalls.

The time periods shown represent lots of lulls and frequent squalls for Florida. Wind starved kiteboarders are ripe for the plucking or more accurately lofting when tempted to go riding when it would be far wiser to stay at home.

Crandon Park, Miami August 2002

Summary: Gusts over 10 mph on 7 events on 19 days recorded or 9 for the
month on average
Gusts over 60 mph on 2 events of 19 days recorded or 3 for the month on
average

Crandon Park, Miami, September 2001

Summary: Gusts over 10 mph on 7 events on 11 days recorded or 21 for the
month on average
Gusts over 60 mph on 2 events of 11 days recorded or 6 for the month on
average

Jupiter, August 2002

Summary: Gusts over 10 mph on 10 events on 27 days recorded
Gusts over 20 mph on 5 events of 27 days recorded

Jupiter, September 2001

Summary: Gusts over 10 mph on 13 events on 29 days recorded
Gusts over 20 mph on 5 events of 29 days recorded

Sanibel Island, August 2002

Summary: Gusts over 10 mph on 18 events on 21 days recorded or 24 for the
month on average
Gusts over 20 mph on 10 events of 21 days recorded or 13 for the month on
average

Sanibel Island, September 2001

Summary: Gusts over 10 mph on 13 events on 21 days recorded or 17 for the
month on average
Gusts over 20 mph on 8 events of 21 days recorded or 10 for the month on
average

I pulled together graphics for South Florida for the east and west coast but
please help yourselves in evaluating other parts of the state, country and world.
This is by no means a South Florida phenomena alone. The ikitesurf.com
sites marked by an " * " seem to have easier to read wind graphics in this
regard. I have included both last month and this month for last year. Both
months are quite active for unstable squally weather with frequent calms unlike some other times
of the year. So consider September 2001 a preview of what might happen this
year. Early indications support that conclusion.

So what we can handle it right? Not really, not when the nasty stuff comes
barreling in. So what do you do? Some ideas and suggestions appear in the
following documents located at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/ ... EFERENCES/

under:

2. SAFE KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES - June 20, 2002.doc

4. LOFTING AND HOW TO TRY TO AVOID IT

and Weather and Kiteboarding w-photos 8-7-02.doc
(in General References)

So look it over and let's talk about it both here and at your local launch.
We really need to get the word out to riders about these simple, logical
precautions. Things like not parking their kite over head on or near the
beach while waiting obliviously for that nice gust to loft them into
something hard downwind. Or, to rip their kite leash off in a squally gust
and send an out of control runaway kite as happened recently to a bunch of
Crandon riders. Runaway kites can move vans, potentially cut people in very
serious ways, cut off power and all sorts of things that we can all live
better without.

Rick Iossi

(NOTE***)
The following article appears with functioning links to gust/storm graphics
as pfd and Word files at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/ ... EFERENCES/



Copyright Rick Iossi 2002


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 2185
Location: Spain/Italy
Hi Rick,
I think there are also 2 wrong attitudes we have towards lofting.
One is the beginner's attitude who just doesn't know how potentially dangerous and unexpected it can be. Perhaps more safety related instructions/guidelines from kite manufacturers, instructors is needed.

The second is that once you get used to kiting you can easily get overconfident, especially if you usually go out in pretty constant conditions and basically end up using your equipment thinking "won't happen to me".

These both happened to me.

Best advice I ever recieved about how to avoid lofting was:
Always expect it
If in doubt, never hook/shackle in on land
Always launch the kite seaward
Don't keep the kite at zenith or even pass the kite past zenith on land
Your hands are the ultimate quick release

I got this advice from a forum, not from my instructor or from watching people who have been kiting for years, see what I mean?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 1:59 pm 
Be weary of wind switches. I was teaching someone on the beach with a traction kite in 6-8 knots a couple of months ago (6 metre kite). The wind died and as I finished packing up, it picked up in the opposite direction to about 10 knots

I started unpacking, but decided to hold off and see what the wind was doing as a precaution. It paid off. About 5 minutes later the wind lifted suddenly to about 45 (average wind reading on my metre - wind range 40-49) knots, which would have been dangerous with a 6 metre foil.

Other thing to watch for is changes of wind direction, particularly when holding the kite at the edge of the window. I watched someone holding a kite at the edge of the window when the wind switched 90 degree's (directly behind the kite) and sent it directly towards him. The inexperienced kiter tried to controlt he kite (futile trying to control a kite upwind from you) and the kite collided with him tangling him in the lines. Fortunately some kiters saw it happening and reached him by the time it tangled with him, and managed to release him and put the kite on the ground. The better route in this scenario is to unhook (or disconnect if you have a snap shackle) and let the bar go while in the process moving out of the way of the kite, preferably running (kites move quickly). A burst bladder (worst case scenario) is better than the potential injuries. I have unintentially tested this through being in that position, and the kite does come down pretty hard, but its generally safe.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8254
Location: Florida
Hello Jo,

You are right, the forums do provide excellent information exchange on techniques, ideas, problems, etc. It would be great if more riders were plugged in to avoid going to the school of hard knocks without some of the help available here.

I agree, wind reversals are something to be avoided. One of my favorites is an offshore wind reversal. If you are in the water and your kite stalls, you may have some trouble getting back to shore quickly.

I just heard about a nice 60 mph wind spike this afternoon in Miami. We are bathing in the residue of Eduard as it falls apart. Tropical systems are often good for a serious dose of violent, unexpected weather.

http://www.iwindsurf.com/windandwhere.i ... siteID=255

Rick Iossi


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:36 am 
Imagethis is very cool idea at iwindsirf.com!
alot of people around here dont listen when i warn them of riding in squally weather.Image keep gambling with it long enough and it will bite you.Image
thanks for sharing your findinggs at iwindsurf with us. helps me to prove the point to a few of the hardhead ones.Image
stay safe and stay wet.Image
im out of here. time for sleep.

KC
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2002 8:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 2374
Location: AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Hey Dude cool Graphics!!!

As for squalls. Common in winter westerlies here in Auckland. Not that much here in the way of Thunder but and easily doubling and perhaps tripling of windspeed (sudden change from 15 to 40 knots)... and horizontial cold rain...

Windsurfers best friend, kitesurfers worst nightmare... My friend Tim (aklbob) experienced a quadrupling of the wind speed out at a known gusty location in west Auckland...

If you see one coming land your gear... best remedy!!

BLOWN AWAY :smile:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2002 11:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 6
I was kiting with 5 other people last year in 15knt onshore wind and badest looking black clouds I've ever seen, a squall hit at
45-50knots. People on the beach saw water spouts out the back and one of the boys at 100ft in the air. I don't know how high I went but water felt like cement when I hit it. This was a lesson learned for us but not every ones going to live if they have to learn the hard way. While some kiters are still out riping it up in dicey conditions I'm packing up,exercise caution with these
conditions.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2002 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8254
Location: Florida
That was some session Glad everyone made it through in one piece. I heard from a local kiteboarder yesterday that just made it in before a nice 40 to 50 mph squall hit a couple of days ago. Kiteboarders really need to avoid squalls.

I am curious where were you riding?

Thanks,
Rick Iossi


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