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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 2:33 am 
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KITEBOARDING SCENARIOS #4

"Not My Problem...Yet"

You have been off the water for weeks waiting for wind and it is finally here. It is blowing nicely side shore about 15 to 20 kts. You head down to the nearest launch for 30 miles to meet a dozen guys in the regular crew and have a long overdue shredding session. As you are walking downwind of the crowded bather area to an almost empty area a few hundred feet away you see a couple of kiteboarders standing on the beach. The appear to be newbies flying a 10 m 2002 four line inflatable without harnesses or the kite depowering leash attached. They are just upwind of the crowded bathing area and keep crashing the kite to the beach. There is a new guy selling kiteboarding gear out his van and these guys, like a few others you have seen in the past, appear to be brand new customers. You stop for a second and think about talking with these guys but figure it is the first good wind day for a while and these guys aren't your problem. You head down the beach, rig up and go offshore and tear it up with your friends.

After a while you notice some squall clouds moving in and decide to head in well in advance, land and derig your kite pending possible unstable winds slamming into your area. As you are heading in you see the two newbies still onshore but now crashing their kite down in and among other beach goers. They seem to be laughing hysterically and waving the bystanders out of the way. Between pelting beach goers with the kite they have it parked straight overhead at the zenith or vertical. You come into the shallows in the nearly empty area downwind, have an assisted landing and start to secure your gear. The squall hits a bit later and the wind gusts up to 25 to 30 kts for a short period of time fortunately your gear was well anchored in advance of the squall.

About 15 minutes after the squall passes, you hear a couple of sirens heading to the crowded area upwind of you. You walk down to see what is going on. You see one of the newbies lying down unconscious and bleeding from a head wound. Also you see a nearly hysterical family surrounding a teenage girl with a bad cut to her neck. Both injured parties are under the care of EMTs. Apparently the newbie had the kite parked at the zenith when the squall winds hit, didn't let go initially and was lofted. He let go of the bar on impact and the runaway kite lines wrapped around the girl. She furiously clawed at the lines and managed to get them off of her before the kite fully powered back up.

The newbie recovers with from a concussion with some memory loss. The girl also recovers but will need cosmetic surgery to deal with the prominent cut on her neck. It was a slow news week so the incident was picked up in both the local newspapers and TV news. The city has halted all kitesurfing at this launch indefinitely. The next nearest good launch is about an hour away by car.

What should you do?

1. How to avoid the problem in the first place.

a. We are all in this sport together, like it or not. Whether you know the guys at your launch or not their misdeeds can end your access as surely as if you caused it yourself. If you see people doing unsafe things or are too close to bystanders, please talk with them. If you have friends in the area, bring them along as a group substantially amplifies peer pressure. Kiteboarders flying upwind and close to bystanders are all too common. NO ONE should be on land for an extended period with a full sized kiteboarding kite in the air. If they need to practice they should be using a trainer kite otherwise they should be in the water body dragging or on a board. Incidents and accidents are inevitable under these conditions. It is worth your while to get involved, even if it takes away from your time on the water. Talk tactfully and effectively to try to attain positive results. If we are effective in building a sense of kiteboarding community and self policing, most access issues will fade into the past. If we don't bother the future is likely to be very rocky in many areas. The above scenario has frequently been described and is no doubt relatively common in various areas around the world. No gusts or squalls are needed to generate the same outcome as described in this sceanrio. Normal winds are plenty adequate to do the level of harm and more than described in this scenario.

b. This sport is potentially very dangerous to poorly informed participants and to bystanders. Retailers need to do the responsible thing and compel new gear purchasers to take adequate lessons. Th It doesn't take ESP to see that doing anything less than this will lead to accidents, incidents, lost access, some law suits and ultimately, lost revenues. So, for the guy selling gear out of his van to whomever has the money it would be worth your while to talk with him. If talking doesn't work, bringing pressure to bear through official channels would be appropriate (i.e. occupational licenses, zoning requirements, etc.). Talking with all riders and potential riders in your area to boycott this retailer would also be in your best interest.

c. Join and support your local kiteboarding club or association. Get into the habit of greeting new riders that show up at your launch. Get a feel for where they are in the sport and advise them if necessary to protect your access. If we act as a group and look out for our own things will go a lot smoother than they appear to be headed at present in many areas. Talking with local lifeguards about launch specific guidelines and potentially designating a kiteboarding launch/access corridor may be a good preemptive move against future restrictions.

2. How to deal with the problem if it is too late to avoid it.

If you don't act to talk with these guys and get them to move downwind into the empty beach area or preferably into getting adequate lessons, there is very little that you can do. All you can try to do is to do damage control after the accidents have occurred. Contacting your local kiteboarding association for assistance would be a good idea. If you don't have one, seriously consider forming a kiteboarding club or association. Ideas in this regard are given in the AKA Kiteboarding website at: http://aka.kite.org/ The damage has already been done but following through on the actions described in "b." above would be worthwhile.

3. KSI accounts, if any, that are related.

(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/ ... formation/)

43. Incident 6 02 3
29a. Incident 3 02 02


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 8:03 am 
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Thx Rick for your effort.

I never can understand guys flying their kites on the land. The most accidents happen on land, but some need to do their show. Talking to these guys is worth it mostly of the time, but others don't care.
Then it is just a matter of time and they will learn their lesson. What they don't understand, that they won't be the only one getting hurt.

So all guys reading this, please make sure that you don't fly it on land for more than 1 minute. You can test the power before going out, but never when dark clouds the way. You will always have the time to wait a while, your life should be worth it.
Then if you want to play with the kite, do it in the water with lots of sace downwind, and no onshore or offshore winds.

If you see anyone violating this, talk to them, but make sure you are polite, otherwise the other guy won't listen at all.
Explain the situations and what can happen.
Maybe it is a wise thing to do by putting up an information sheet which are the rules for the local kitebeach, so you can walk to someone and tell him, that he should read the rules before something happens.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 12:56 pm 
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Hello Toby,

Excellent idea. The Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines have lots of tips that if followed should avoid some of the serious accidents and incidents that have been reported. The bottom of the guidelines has a space for insertion of local instructions. We need to approach this sport in a different more cautious way if we want to avoid more casualties. Otherwise, we will continue to have more incidents, accidents and restrictions. Please get involved at your local launch, it is worth it.

The following comes in both one page and multiple page formats and are located at:

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

SAFE KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES - June 20, 2002

These safe kiteboarding guidelines have been prepared to attempt to improve kiteboarder and bystander safety. These procedures have been derived from other guidelines from around the world and from lessons learned from actual accidents and incidents. Kiteboarding can be potentially dangerous both to the rider and to bystanders, particularly if practiced without adequate training, knowledge and caution. Riders must accept that even if these guidelines are followed that accidents, incidents and/or injury may occur. Kiteboarders should follow these guidelines, area specific guidelines if applicable and other prudent and safe practices in an attempt to maintain safety and continued access to beaches for kiteboarding. Using good judgment is key to kiteboarding safely. These guidelines are updated regularly so please check the FKA website for the latest version.

GENERAL SAFETY GUIDELINES

1. Readily help other riders with launching and landing. Whether you are starting out or are almost a pro, your help may avoid a serious incident/accident and possible restrictions. Riders are solely responsible for their safety and that of effected bystanders. If you are new to an area or visiting, seek out local kiteboarders, shops and/or associations for local guidelines and rules before riding.

2. All kiteboarders, particularly beginners should seek adequate professional instruction. Beginners must avoid crowded areas as most bystanders aren't aware the potential hazards. Beginners should body drag out at least 300 ft. (60m) from shore prior to water starting.

3. Know your equipment's limitations as well as your own. If you aren't 100% healthy OR IN DOUBT, DON'T FLY! Always maintain an energy reserve while out kiteboarding. Hydrate regularly and wear exposure clothing as appropriate. Don't kiteboard alone or further from shore than you are readily able to swim in from.

4. Make sure you have proper safety equipment, i.e. a functional and strong kite depowering leash, a good well fitting helmet, impact vest, gloves, whistle and hook knife. A kite depowering safety leash must be attached to your body. Rigging with a quick release chicken loop and static line is recommended.

5. Give way to the public on the beach and in the water at ALL TIMES. Be courteous and polite to bystanders. Complaints have led to restrictions on kiteboarding in some areas.



6. Is the weather acceptable, free of storm clouds and excessive gusty winds? If storm clouds are moving in, land and disable your kite well in advance of any change in wind or temperature. Are seas and wind condition within your experience, ability and appropriate for your gear? Offshore and onshore winds should be avoided. REMEMBER: TWICE THE WIND - FOUR TIMES THE POWER!

PREFLIGHT CHECKLIST

1. Make sure your launch is open, FREE OF DOWNWIND BYSTANDERS, hard objects, nearby power lines, buildings and walls, within at least 100 ft. (30 m), and preferably 200 ft. (60 m). Avoid kiteboarding near airports and in low flight path areas.

2. Check your kite for tears or leaky bladders. If you have leaky bladders or tears in your kite, repair them before flying.

3. Check ALL webbing, pigtails, bridles, the chicken loop and leaders for knots, wear or abrasions. If the line sheathing shows any breaks, replace them. The pigtails should be replaced no less frequently than every 6 months on inflatable kites.

4. Make sure your flying lines are equal as they will stretch unevenly with use. If they have knots that can't be easily untied, replace your flight lines.

5. If solo launching make sure your kite is properly anchored with sand and is draped downwind to avoid premature launch. Rig your kite for solo launch at the last minute and launch without delay as serious accidents have happened in only minutes during this stage. If you leave the kite unattended, disabled by disconnecting all lines from one side and roll your lines when not in use. Solo launching and landing are NOT recommended.

6. Walk down your lines and examine them carefully. Just before launch pick your bar up and carefully look down the lines for twists and tangles that could cause the kite to be dangerously uncontrollable. While you are holding your bar up look down the lines, shake your bar to make sure the center lines are connected to the leading edge of the kite. Be particularly careful, slow and methodical in high winds.

LAUNCHING AND GETTING UNDERWAY

1. Avoid hooking or snap shackling in while onshore or near hard objects. Pull in your trim strap or rope entirely or to a point that will allow stable kite flight with existing wind conditions, to properly depower the kite before launching and so that you can readily hold the bar and release it if necessary.

2. Announce your intention to launch and then launch promptly. The kite should be launched towards or preferably from the water. Assisted launches are always preferred.

3. To try to avoid lofting or involuntary lifting. DO NOT BRING YOUR KITE OVERHEAD or near neutral or the zenith, within 200 ft. (60 m) of ANY HARD OBJECT (on water or land).

4. Go offshore at least 300 ft. WITHOUT DELAY after launch. Stay beyond 300 ft. until time to come in. If there are substantial waves where you need to put on your board consider body dragging outside the breaker zone first. Be aware of and properly react in advance of low flying aircraft coming into your area.

5. Yield the right of way to all others in the water. Riders must yield to others when jumping, maneuvering, or riding on port tack (left hand forward). Kiteboarders should not jump within a buffer zone of at least two hundred feet (60 m) of others and objects that are downwind. Incoming riders give way to those launching.

LANDING

1. Approach the shore slowly with caution. Take care to avoid causing an accidental jump in well powered conditions by slowing suddenly while approaching the shore. Keep your kite low to try avoid lofting.

2. Arrange for assisted landings at least 200 ft. (60 m) from bystanders, power lines and vertical surfaces. Do not use non-kiteboarders for assisted launches or landings. If in doubt, safely solo depower your kite in the shallows away from shore and bystanders.

3. Properly anchor your kite, disconnect and wind up your kite lines. The kite should be placed in a safe area well out of bystander and vehicular traffic.

© FKA, Inc. 2002

LOCAL KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES FOR ______________________________
(e.g. necessary area specific precautions and restrictions )
1.

2.

3.

An example follows:

LOCAL KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES FOR BOCA RATON, FL

The following guidelines have been prepared to aid kiteboarding safety and access privileges at the City of Boca Raton Beach in the vicinity of Spanish River Blvd. These practices and other appropriate procedures should be followed while kiteboarding off this beach.

1. New kitesurfers must seek adequate, proper instruction BEFORE or while kiteboarding here.

2. Launch and land north of lifeguard stand #20 located due east of Spanish River Blvd. No launching or landing is permitted at guarded beaches.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 3:10 pm 
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Hi RickI....

Could you or anyone else for that matter give some guidelines for landing kites solo.
Theres usually someone about, but i've just started the road to kitesurfing and wonder the best way to de-rig the kite on your own.

If anyone can provide some USEFULL tips/guidelines it would be appreciated.

Cheers

Rickster


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 6:29 pm 
I am just starting out and have had to occasionally land the kite on my own. I think that the best way to do this is to land the kite in the water gently at the edge of the wind window. Then depower it using your leash and just wind up the lines with the leash side 15 feet or so out of sync with the other side of the kite (so it won't power up again). THen grab the kite by the leading edge when its close enough and walk it on shore and secure it.

There might be a better/safer way, but I don't know it :smile:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2002 10:13 pm 
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to do it as explained above is the safest way.
You also can fly it down to the window (like you would start/land the kite with some help) then steer it all the way down and let go of the bar using the safety. Then the kite will turn into the wind and lay down.
Run to it and secure it.

CAUTION:
- don't do this in strong winds
- practice it before with some guys helping
- don't steer it down at the wrong side, then the kite will catch all the wind and fly away.

Cheers
Toby


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2002 5:23 pm 
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Normally, landing your kite in the shallows, free of any bystanders is a safer way to go for both you and your kite. If you chose to solo land out of the water do so without delay and with a large clear area downwind (200 ft. or more), free of bystanders and obstructions. I normally bring the kite to the zenith or vertical, release my snap shackle, grab my leash to backup the harness attachment and drop the bar. The kite normally falls straight down and impacts at low speed. Some folks like to fly the kite to the edge of the wind window first but everytime I do this the kite spirals at speed up and over into the center of the window. So, from personal experience I don't recommend doing this. Please perform the practical leash test listed at:

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

to improve the odds that your leash will work.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2002 12:29 pm 
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The only way we have found to deal with this problem is to set up a club. each club member is recommended a course by one of us all being trained instructors at a cut price cost. They are then encouraged to take out the right insurance and for the first few times out go out with the regular guys so we can show them where to go and the safe practice of the sport thus insuring that we do not get banned from every spot. In really extreme cases where an individual will not concide and has to fly there kite 30 kts of wind the only way to deal with it is cut his/her lines! i know this is extreme but do you want to be banned from your fav spot??


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2002 3:54 am 
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Yours is a good suggestion and I think in many areas it should make all the difference. Building a sense of community among kiteboarders and peer pressure to go at things correctly is one of our most effective tools. In some areas, human nature and all its shortcomings are very strong and may defeat such efforts.

I heard a story a few hours ago from a head lifeguard from a local beach. It involved an advanced rider coming in close to shore who then proceeded to JUMP OVER SOME BATHERS repeatedly. The state of denial and irresponsible behavior in this sport can still astonish me. We are at the mercy of the wind, sudden gusts, lulls, etc. NO ONE can reliably or safely do something like this, e.g. this guys was incredibly foolish and has driven the first solid coffin nail into access at this local beach.

Add to that riders routinely coming in close to bathers underway, flying their kites in lofting position for extended periods on the beach, things are primed for some very serious and terminal accidents in many areas. That is accidents that will kill access for this sport, not necessarily riders or bystanders. All these comments focus on experienced riders to this point. Toss in the newbies experimenting near bystanders and things go a bit closer to the edge. From what I see and hear about, I am very concerned about maintaining access for this sport and by current indications, irresponsible human nature is going to flambé access in many areas. This despite associations like the FKA and other well intended efforts. It is depressing to say the least.

Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2002 12:49 am 
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We practice VERY similar methods here as described by 'Freerider', with the exception of cutting peoples lines. Since alot of us here do ride in winds up to 40'ish, and do so quite well, it would be way out of line to come up and cut my lines when I am rigging just because the conditions are beyond YOUR ability. Granted, if it's a new guy and all, MAYBE, but never just ANY guy trying to ride in 30+

:wink:

Pea's Out!

Johnny


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