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My first real self rescue today

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Mr_Weetabix
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My first real self rescue today

Postby Mr_Weetabix » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:04 am

So, after about a year and a half of on-and-off kitesurfing (I still don't get out nearly as much as I'd like, but I'm getting better), I had a couple of firsts today.

1) The QR on my '08 Crossbow released by accident. No idea how... I had a fairly ordinary wipeout because of a poorly judged landing, lost my grip on the bar, and it was gone - flagged on one front line. Shit happens, I guess. So...

2) I had to self rescue for real, from 600m offshore, on the wrong side of the reef... after always being able to relaunch the kite. Sure, I'd tried self rescue, but not this far out, not in a sizeable swell, and not with this particular kite.

Anyway, I thought I'd share what I learned. I'm sure that there are a lot of folks reading this who were the same as I was this morning... either have never self rescued, or have only practiced in reasonably calm water, within 50m of the beach.

a) Wrapping up the lines: I didn't. I pulled myself up one line to the kite, grabbed the kite, then hauled in the rats nest of lines as best I could. This got me to the kite quicker than wrapping up the lines on the bar. If I hadn't done this, the current might have taken me off the end of the beach, at which point I'd have a few k's of surfy rocks to land on before the big cruise over to Grenada. F*** that.

b) Holding the tips of the kite and using it as a sail didn't work... the kite folded, making it into a useless wet rag. But, following a bit of yelled advice from another, more competent kiter, I pulled myself up the LE to get a little closer to the middle (still holding the line to the "upper" tip), resting my torso on the lower end of the LE. I pulled the upper line, et voila... the kite billowed into a nice sail, and the buoyancy of the section of LE underneath me made staying afloat even easier. Result!

c) Board recovery. I have no idea how I'd have recovered the board if one of the guys hadn't grabbed it and dumped it on the beach for me. This is the case for board leashes, I guess (they still suck, incidentally). Kites cost more than most boards, and kites help you get back to land. Ergo, staying in contact with the kite is more important. Keeping a short length of chord on the harness might be the answer, at the cost of weighing yourself down with extra stuff.

d) Getting back through the surf. Every time a wave went over me, I eased off my hold on the upper wingtip, letting the wave break over the kite without stressing the canopy too much. Any other tips for next time?

Anyhow, no drama... I was lucky to be on a beach where the locals look out for the occasional token kook (guys, thanks for the help and advice... next time I might just accept the offer of a tow)! I'm certainly glad that I've self-rescued for real - sure makes crashing the kite less of a worry.

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Re: My first real self rescue today

Postby Windrider » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:22 am

Good job. I use the "kite raft" method of self rescue, too. I actually sit on the leading edge on the upside down kite (kite is belly up, leading edge to the wind) and pull the line on the downwind wingtip to raise the downwing wingtip up into the wind up to act as a mini-sail. I can sit on the inflated leading edge singing "This is a tale of the castaways..." (Gilligan's Island) as I sail to shore. Generally have my board sitting across my lap as I make way on the kite raft.

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Re: My first real self rescue today

Postby KiteboardingTampaBay » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:56 am

Bridled kites are definitely different than just grabbing the tips, each one is a little different to find the "sweet spot" where to hold the bridle, which is why its important to actually practice it.
IMO, the rescue handles are useless on anything but C's.
The trick to getting both wingtips is to grab one wingtip (or the bridle)
and shove the kite away from you, holding the LE under your arm until you get to the other tip.

Here's a few pics and a better explanation of self rescue, including upwind method for offshore winds:
http://kiteboardingtampabay.com/kiteboa ... escue.html

www.kiteboardingtampabay.com
Last edited by KiteboardingTampaBay on Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gbleck
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Re: My first real self rescue today

Postby gbleck » Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:29 am

Yea I use the kite raft on my cab for rescues too. Use the board as a ruder as well. Dumb question maybe but why didn't you just feed the line back out and relaunch the kite?

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Re: My first real self rescue today

Postby Windrider » Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:46 am

gbleck wrote:Yea I use the kite raft on my cab for rescues too. Use the board as a ruder as well. Dumb question maybe but why didn't you just feed the line back out and relaunch the kite?

Sounded like he had a mini-bird's nest tangle.

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Re: My first real self rescue today

Postby Kosh » Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:28 am

Not wrapping the lines around the bar is really dangerous and should be avoided, way too easy to get lines around your body.

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Re: My first real self rescue today

Postby gk76 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:23 am

Thanks for sharing, pictures would be great. The link to Tampabay did not work for me.

Have not practised self rescue since doing lessons.

gbleck
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Re: My first real self rescue today

Postby gbleck » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:07 pm

Windrider wrote:
gbleck wrote:Yea I use the kite raft on my cab for rescues too. Use the board as a ruder as well. Dumb question maybe but why didn't you just feed the line back out and relaunch the kite?

Sounded like he had a mini-bird's nest tangle.

Yea I suppose that could be it as the single center line doesn't have a stopper and can slide quite a ways. Trick is to keep some tension in the line and swim just a bit to the side as you retrieve the bar. That way the line plays out in an arch to the side of you and is less likely to get snarled and you can feed it out.

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Re: My first real self rescue today

Postby KiteboardingTampaBay » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:59 pm

Sorry about that link, I should have tested it..... :oops: (I'm a newbie :wink: ) It seems the editor in the forum cuts out some of the link unless you use the URL button.

Try this one:
http://kiteboardingtampabay.com/kiteboarding-self-rescue.html

if that doesn't work, follow this one and go to the safety section. :bye:
www.kiteboardingtampabay.com
Last edited by KiteboardingTampaBay on Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tomatkins
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Re: My first real self rescue today

Postby tomatkins » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:09 pm

gk76 wrote:Thanks for sharing, pictures would be great. The link to Tampabay did not work for me.

Have not practised self rescue since doing lessons.



Here is a link to the best discussion EVER on self-rescuing!

http://forum.bestkiteboarding.com/viewtopic.php?t=6877

Here is the picture I think you want.
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