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 Post subject: PRO RIDER LOFTED! - WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES ...
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 3:24 pm 
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I started this as a new thread in consideration of the slower connections out there due to all the images. This builds upon the thread at:

http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2304346

On the next day, June 10, 2004 after Shannon's lofting, some REALLY heavy weather came through, that makes 30 kt. gusts look like wimpy winds ...

NWS had this to say ...

Latest Severe Tstorm Warning by KTBW

... severe thunderstorms contain wind gusts of 60 mph or higher...and
hail the size of pennies or larger. move to a place of safety.


at: http://nws.noaa.gov/

I wonder if they are actually suggesting is to go out with a parachute like wind catching device the size of a car secured by 100 ft. lines and to wait for some violent 60 mph winds to come in ???

I was drving back to SE Florida through the central east coast area around Melbourne and saw this intense looking Shelf Cloud on the afternoon of June 10, 2004.

Image

Shelf clouds can be associated with violent gusty unstable weather. More about these weather systems at:
http://weathersavvy.com/Q-Shelf_Roll_Clouds1.html

NOTE: SEVERE GUSTS CAN BE ASSOCIATED WITH FAR LESS OBVIOUS AND THREATENING CLOUD SYSTEMS THAN SHELF CLOUDS. So, learn what unstable weather looks like in your area and be on the lookout for it.
AND ... YOU MAY NEVER KNOW WHAT A PENDING SQUALL WILL HIT YOU WITH UNTIL IT UPON YOU. So, avoid them all. We learned what can happen with an 18 m kite in 30 kt. winds, wonder what would happen in double that speed?!


Image
From: http://nws.noaa.gov/

This is an interesting color radar image for that afternoon last week. Note the abundant bright red lines strung in varoius areas around the state. These red zones have the potential to toss out high (60 mph) gusts, tornados and lightening. It is impressive that these intense weather bands were so extensively distributed over the state. REMEMBER: these severe weather bands can come up VERY rapidly in otherwise clear weather. Things are going fine and then BANG, LOFTED!

Image

A closer look at the shelf cloud near Melbourne, FL on Thursday, June 10, 2004..

Image
From: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/

A satellite image from the same afternoon. The abundant red areas represent strong weather systems.

Image
The following wind grahps are from: http://www.ikitesurf.com/
A strong squall gust spike near Jacksonville, FL on this afternoon.

Now, going back in time, what sort of winds can squalls kick out?

Image

Another squall gust spike and a powerful one around 50 mph back in 2001 in Jupiter!


Image

Another 70 mph squall gust spike in Jupiter in 2000. Note the highly confused wind direction arrows at the top of the chart. These indicated characteristic, violent and rapid wind direction shifts and even reversals that can come with squalls. Look for spikes and confused directions BEFORE heading to the beach to ride along with color weather radar. I was hit by a 50 to 60 mph gust and lofted earlier this same day in Boca Raton, FL to the south of Jupiter.

Image

Two strong squall gust spikes in 2001 at Crandon Park, Miami in excess of 50 mph each.

Remember the guy lofted over 800 ft. and 100 ft. high by a 51 kt. or 60 mph gust? We have squall gusts that high and higher not that uncommonly, particularly during the summer months.

MORAL: KITEBOARDING AND SQUALLS DON'T MIX. AVOID SQUALLS.
Be aware of the weather or potentially be lofted.

NOTE: MOST AREAS ON EARTH have some form of violent, gusty weather at various times of the year. Learn what it looks like in YOUR area and what signs preceed its arrival.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:21 am 
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Sounds like you folks in the squall state better mount some of them bicycle mirrors on your helmets (which of course you're wearing) so you can spot the oncoming hammer and sicles of death! Not unlike a big semi towing a double wide down the highway at 60 mph.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:28 pm 
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chemosavi wrote:
Sounds like you folks in the squall state better mount some of them bicycle mirrors on your helmets (which of course you're wearing) so you can spot the oncoming hammer and sicles of death! Not unlike a big semi towing a double wide down the highway at 60 mph.



Wrong answer. We ALL live in the squall state.


That is to say in areas that have the capacity to throw out unstable gusty winds at some time. The original post demonstrates how far things can go wrong with just a 30 kt. gust and even less when you think about it. The 30 kt. gust picked up a 194 lb. man and hurled him at high speed potentially well inexcess of 80 ft. horizontally and over 30 ft. off the ground. Makes you wonder what a slightly less powerful gust might do.

Of course higher gusts are not that uncommon under certain conditions in many parts of the world that I have encountered accident stories for to date, from Wales to France to Italy to Australia to New Zealand to Hawaii to Washington state to Mexico to Brasil to Cape Cod, etc. There is a whole world of weather out there and squalls are NOT the sole possession of Florida. Choose to believe the contrary at your peril.

How many areas can say that they NEVER have 30 kt. gusts?

The appearance of our squalls or unstable weather MAY be different from what others experience in other parts of the world. That is why I have asked on at least four occassions for input on what unstable weather looks like where others ride. The responses have been fairly limited.

Too bad, information like this could well save someone from injury in your country perhaps even someone you might know. One of the orginial threads that addresses this critical question appears at:

http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopi ... highlight=

Toss out ideas or wait for more accidental discoveries.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:43 pm 
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Jeez Rick, I didn't mean what I said as an answer to anything, more of a joke, but I'm sure glad you clarified where squalls can occur for the sake of riders in other places. Many, many thanks for that although in the ten years that I have been in the actual business of watching the weather where I live (northwestern Pacific, Canadian border) I have never seen a squall in the summer that resembles anything like the ones I used to see when I lived on the east coast. If someone else has I'd love to hear about it. Keep up the good fight Rick but don't lose your sense of proportion and humor; sometimes people are more likely to read a short post over a long one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:58 pm 
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chemosavi wrote:
Jeez Rick, I didn't mean what I said as an answer to anything, more of a joke, but I'm sure glad you clarified where squalls can occur for the sake of riders in other places. Many, many thanks for that although in the ten years that I have been in the actual business of watching the weather where I live (northwestern Pacific, Canadian border) I have never seen a squall in the summer that resembles anything like the ones I used to see when I lived on the east coast. If someone else has I'd love to hear about it. Keep up the good fight Rick but don't lose your sense of proportion and humor; sometimes people are more likely to read a short post over a long one.


Sorry, I misunderstood your intent!

I have been pushing the wx awareness thing for quite a while. Quite a few folks have concluded in the past that dangerous, gusty weather is unique to Florida, hence my reaction.

We are in squall season here currently with minimal useable winds. A while backthis time of year, we had an enthusiastic newbie rigged big and trying to milk 11 mph winds as a squall moved in. He was teabagged across the beach and lofted into the top of a palm tree. He then fell head first to impact the pavement below the tree. He entered into a several week coma and I have no idea if he ever came out of it or even survived. I sincerely hope he did recover but you don't always learn what happens in these cases.

Then there was the newbie in Spain that ignored advice from experienced riders NOT to launch with a pending squall. He was killed shortly there after.

There are lots more examples like this of course. Many people just don't know or worse don't really care.

Just trying to help stop more needless injury and pressure on access.

I agree, short posts ARE better. How to simplify kiteboarding, that's a tough one as we keep learning new ways to dash the fun and go south.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 5:51 pm 
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RickI wrote:
chemosavi wrote:
Jeez Rick, I didn't mean what I said as an answer to anything, more of a joke, but I'm sure glad you clarified where squalls can occur for the sake of riders in other places. Many, many thanks for that although in the ten years that I have been in the actual business of watching the weather where I live (northwestern Pacific, Canadian border) I have never seen a squall in the summer that resembles anything like the ones I used to see when I lived on the east coast. If someone else has I'd love to hear about it. Keep up the good fight Rick but don't lose your sense of proportion and humor; sometimes people are more likely to read a short post over a long one.


Sorry, I misunderstood your intent!

I have been pushing the wx awareness thing for quite a while. Quite a few folks have concluded in the past that dangerous, gusty weather is unique to Florida, hence my reaction.

We are in squall season here currently with minimal useable winds. A while backthis time of year, we had an enthusiastic newbie rigged big and trying to milk 11 mph winds as a squall moved in. He was teabagged across the beach and lofted into the top of a palm tree. He then fell head first to impact the pavement below the tree. He entered into a several week coma and I have no idea if he ever came out of it or even survived. I sincerely hope he did recover but you don't always learn what happens in these cases.

Then there was the newbie in Spain that ignored advice from experienced riders NOT to launch with a pending squall. He was killed shortly there after.

There are lots more examples like this of course. Many people just don't know or worse don't really care.

Just trying to help stop more needless injury and pressure on access.

I agree, short posts ARE better. How to simplify kiteboarding, that's a tough one as we keep learning new ways to dash the fun and go south.


Rick....were all these loftings before QR's that are standard on most rigs now? And what if you are caught in a squall off shore...do you just pull the QR and let go of the bar to depower the kite and swim in. In those kind of winds with an LEI will it still flip and turn and thus create drag? Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:54 pm 
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Rick....were all these loftings before QR's that are standard on most rigs now? And what if you are caught in a squall off shore...do you just pull the QR and let go of the bar to depower the kite and swim in. In those kind of winds with an LEI will it still flip and turn and thus create drag? Thanks
_________________
R Bruce Councell


Hello Bruce,

I suspect that loftings are fairly common, even today. The spectacular long distance loftings may be more rare, I hope, but they still will happen from time to time. Loftings are driven more by unstable weather conditions, susceptable technique and less by a lack of a good way out of the lofting once it has started, that is a functional QR.

Shannon was on brand new 2004 gear. I use the same stuff and have liked the QR performance to date although I have not been in an emergency situation with it yet. The thing about lofting and QRs, you have to react to pull it (FAST), be able to find it and finally it has to work as intended.

Shannon has excellent reactions and agility. You should see him toss off a rapid succession of wakestyle tricks. He is used to being airborne, flying along at high speed inverted, spinning, whatever and still keep his head and orientation.

Shannon became aware of his lofting only after he had moved 80 ft. downwind and was 30 ft. off the ground. He analyzed this situation and chose the only viable option open to him in that poor situation. As a result , he luckily wasn't seriously injured but easily could have been.

The French kiteboarding instructor that was lofted in Cabarete by the 51 kt. gust, only realized what had happen to him once he was 60 ft. off the ground and accelerating higher.

In each case, the reaction interval ate up valuable time to act and both of these individuals are probably faster than most in the reaction department. What good is a QR is you have already slammed in or are too high off the ground to safely fall to earth? Still, reliable QR have minimized and even avoided lofting injuries, so you must a have good one and be ready to pull it instantly. So practice.

Regarding your squall question. Guys have been blown tremendous distances while offshore after having been lofted. Also, you can be teabagged to 30 ft+ without too extreme a gust and falling from that height even over water can cause problems.

For my part, if I was late in reacting, I would put my hand on the Quick Release and depower by dropping the kite sooner than later. Swimming is easy, particularly if you have an impact vest on for rib protection. Even if your kite is partially loaded up it will be far less loaded than if it were still flying. A properly depowered kite shouldn't have the capacity to loft you. If you are alarmed by the force in the depowered kite secured by only one kite line in tension, you have the option of popping your kite leash QR. If you depowered in moderate to strong conditions there is a good chance that it might rip free automatically anyway.[/i]


Last edited by RickI on Fri Jun 18, 2004 7:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 9:29 pm 
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OK RickI....thanks for the info. I just recently got the new SS spreader bar and used it this weekend. Looks like the QR is designed to release under any load...I tested it by hanging from a tree in all kind of configurations and it worked fine. Also, I have had the kite leash rip off my wrist so I like the way the kite is now leashed to the spreader bar that is much more secure and allows it to rotate freely. Of course the SS bar already has a pin QR in the CL so a backup if one QR should fail. It seems the smartest thing to do is to make up your mind before every session to go immediately to the QR the moment you get lofted or preferably just before. That means a change in attitude from reactive to proactive. Thanks for all your imput and pics of the weather....very helpful


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