You have carelessly stayed offshore too long and have allowed an unforecasted squall to come too close. A black squall line is coming into shore the wind was a nice 15 kts. for which you were about perfectly setup for in terms of your kite, lines and board. The wind is building, gusting up to 25 kts. and rising rapidly in short bursts, ONSHORE. Last week a squall came in just like this and the wind passed 50 kts. in one gust.
You are riding closer to shore doing the odd teabag and have approached to about 75 m or about 250 ft. from the cobble beach and are moving closer rapidly. There is no one nearby onshore to catch your kite. You have drifted down from your launch into an area with a seawall 20 m or about 60 ft. up the beach from the water. There is a large crowd of people moving off the beach and not too far beyond this seawall. The seas are relatively calm and there are no bathers in the area.
The wind seems like it is about to gust very strongly in at anytime ...
WHAT WOULD YOU DO at this point?
Last edited by RickI on Fri Feb 28, 2003 10:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Rick, you forgot "with a famished big bugger of a great white nippin at your fins just waitin for you to pop that shackle in time for dinner and a old age nun's outing running into the sea for a refreshing dip with their 5 sunday school classes, rubber rings 'n all"
On a more serious note, if I hadn't been savy enough to avoid it in the first place, first and foremost by launching a LOT further away from the seawall and powerlines, before I got 75m close to the shore I would let the kite go to the leash and let it drag me in.
If it wasn't for the sea wall and power lines and nasty weather was coming in I'd bodydrag in with the kite parked at the edge of the window, unhooking before I reached the beach, + let it go to the leash in the shallows. My board would wash up soon after if I lost touch with it.
Don't forget to close your eyes!
Seriously, though, I would employ my kite leash and start reeling in the kite as quickly as possible, hoping that I get to my kite before the beach does. Assuming 30m lines, 150 feet of drifting isn't much, but as long as the big one doesn't hit, there should be time to reel up the lines.
I am traveling currently but wanted to stop by and say hello. To make this seem just a bit more related to real events, this scenario has similarities to at least two fatalities and several serious incidents.
Wouldn't it be better to kick this idea of solo landing, in the water around now and perhaps even practice it banking against the day when it may provide one of the few options open to you. Others have been there before us already. Please think it over.
I would let go of my board, and dive the kite down low - so I would get bodydragged on the water - to get more left or right to find the point on the shore where I could be more safe, when approaching the shore.
OR - if you were too close to shore, and hell broke loose - one could also dive the kite in the water so it stays sideways with one tip down.
This would break your speed down, and give you more time.
Then, still at a distance from the shore (or immediately if very close), I would dive the kite in the water, and open my release so the safety line takes the kite.
And then just hope that I can get over the rocks or seawall or whatever is on the shoreline.
Keeping an eye on my safety release, if necessary to fully unleash and swim to rescue yourself.
I would under no circumstances keep the kite high - as you will get lifted and smashed insanely, in the squall and when you reach the seawall (=lift straight up).
And the kite tumbling when letting go of the depower is no problem on water, like on land (and your safety release is still present, if it is).
You most likely have to say goodbye to your kite it seems, if the seawall or rocks tears it up - but that a small price for life, is'nt it ?
i'm not sure if i unterstand the whole scenario completely.
as far as i get it, i just would hook of (or pull the QR) and let the bar go,
kite dangling from the leash.
when there's strong onshore winds, i'll get to the shore by myself.
just start winding my lines and drift ...
or is there some kind of rocks/reef ready to kill my kite as soon as it drifts on there ?
if that's the fact, i'd totally mess up my lines trying to pull myself as fast as possible towards the kite in a race against time wether i reach the kite first or the reef does . . .
thanks or the ideas and discussion guys. i will relate this to actual severe accidents by speifics once i get home. this is coming to you via a tv?! Strange new stuff out there.
Keep the ideas and comments coming. It never even occurred to me before, but many riders may not have carefully thought about how to depower their kite. That is the machine that causes so much joy/jumps, moves mini vans and can loft guys 800 ft.+.
WE NEED TO HAVE A VARIETY OF WAYS OF PUTTING ON THE BRAKES!