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Riding in offshore winds

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JGTR
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Re: Riding in offshore winds

Postby JGTR » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:22 pm

OMG, I hope people don't read this and think what you are saying is acceptable :o

FYI I always go out with the assumption that I will with a high probability remain connected to my kite!!

I appreciate that in the event of you becoming detached from your kite the wind direction is maybe less important than the distance you have to swim to reach the shore but off shore winds are DANGEROUS. Most people remain connected to their kite and this is the reason why off shore winds are dangerous, the slim possibility that you become detached from the kite whether accidentally or on purpose is not an excuse.

As with all kiting your worst case exit plan is to ditch the kite and swim in but this should always be your final option. The problem with OS winds is that you can very quickly get blown out further than you can swim if you spend too long trying to relaunch a kite/looking for a board/untangling a 5th line wrap so your theory is clearly flawed:-

Sure you can stay within swimming distance but OS winds will blow you out further than you can swim before you realise, especially as most people will spend the extra time trying to relaunch their kite rather than risk losing it.

Need a break now, getting wound up by this BS

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Saami
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Re: Riding in offshore winds

Postby Saami » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:11 pm

JGTR wrote:FYI I always go out with the assumption that I will with a high probability remain connected to my kite!!

I agree - of course you can reasonably assume that you will in 99%+ of your sessions remain attached to a functioning kite until you return to shore. I was merely saying that that can't be the basis for your exit plan. Rather, you have to plan for that one freak time when something goes seriously wrong or you lose your kite. Consequently, you should never allow yourself to ride further from the shore than you can swim, even when kiting in on-shore wind. Do you agree, so far?

OK. Assuming that you agree with me so far - do you also agree that you should stick to the same basis of planning ("never ride further from shore than you can swim, even if there is a boat") even when the wind turns from on-shore to side-shore?

Now, consider a situation with off-shore wind. Can you see that as long as you actually stick to the same rule ("never ride further from shore than you can swim, even if there is a boat"), you can remain reasonably safe?

Of course, the moment you violate your plan (by tacking far out to sea, or by not paying attention to currents, or by caring more about your gear than your life), you may no longer have a viable exit strategy.

JGTR wrote:Most people remain connected to their kite and this is the reason why off shore winds are dangerous

Yes, as I said, you have to be ready to ditch your gear! If your kite is down and you can't get it to relaunch, and you are getting close to the point where you know that you will have trouble swimming in, then you must be ready and willing to let go of your kite and start swimming.

I don't agree that kiting in off-shore wind has to be more dangerous than kiting in on-shore wind. It is no more fair to say that than to say that off-piste snowboarding is always more dangerous than riding on a prepared slope; that racing a car on a track is always more dangerous than driving on a highway; or that cave-diving always is more dangerous than open-water diving. Yes, in all cases you are adding an element of risk, but risk can be managed. In reality, it boils down to the rider. It is fully possible to kite in a way in on-shore winds (e.g., long tacks out so sea without paying attention to conditions) that is more dangerous than careful kiting in off-shore winds. Similarly, the cavediver who carefully plans his dive and monitors conditions may remain safer than the happy-go-lucky diver on an open-water dive who doesn't pay attention; similar to how careful off-piste snowboarding is not necessarily more dangerous than kiting on groomed slopes. Things can be done well or poorly no matter what the conditions.

It is all a question of proper risk assessment and proper planning. With good planning and a sensible approach, kiting in off-shore conditions can be done safely.

JGTR
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Re: Riding in offshore winds

Postby JGTR » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:04 pm

you should never allow yourself to ride further from the shore than you can swim


Agree

when the wind turns from on-shore to side-shore?



Still agree

with off-shore wind. Can you see that as long as you actually stick to the same rule


No. See below

If your kite is down and you can't get it to relaunch, and you are getting close to the point where you know that you will have trouble swimming in


Too late.

I don't agree that kiting in off-shore wind has to be more dangerous than kiting in on-shore wind.


Well I suppose if my psycho ex girlfriend is on the beach then yes :thumb:

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fishy
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Re: Riding in offshore winds

Postby fishy » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:31 pm

Personally I'd never kite in off shore conditions, unless there was boat cover.

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Re: Riding in offshore winds

Postby Nico » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:47 am

One eye is offshore coastline.
Never stoped anybody coming out though.
Pity!
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knotwindy
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Re: Riding in offshore winds

Postby knotwindy » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:42 am

this is one of those moments

if you think you can not ride safely in off shore winds, you are probably right
if you think you can ride safely in off shore winds, you are probably right
:thumb:

JGTR
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Re: Riding in offshore winds

Postby JGTR » Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:25 pm

knotwindy wrote:this is one of those moments

if you think you can not ride safely in off shore winds, you are probably right
if you think you can ride safely in off shore winds, you are probably right
:thumb:


Yeah maybe

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edt
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Re: Riding in offshore winds

Postby edt » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:04 pm

I think the two main dangers with offshore kiting are 1) visibility and 2) cold

Normally flotation is not a problem, even if your kite bladder explodes you still have your wetsuit, but if you lose your kite it impossible for a search party to see you.

Worst case scenario is kiting alone in offshore conditions, the wind dies, so you start swimming back, but there's a current you swim against so it's night before you know it. Onshore kiting is a lot safer because if the wind dies you can just grab onto your kite and wait to get blown to shore. But in offshore kiting, once the wind drops you have to swim. Once night falls, the temperature will drop and your thermal protection for daytime won't be enough. If you are lucky you will be able to navigate by the stars or moon and swim back, but if it's cloudy or foggy you will have to spend the night out. Remember that people are unable to swim or walk in straight lines without a reference to guide them. If you look at where people who have been lost in the woods walk it is always a giant circle. I'm not sure why but it's something survivalists know about. Swimmers lost at sea need a reference point of some sort or they will just swim in giant circles. So if you can see the shore you can swim for it but at night if you can't navigate by the stars because it's cloudy you are going to have to wait until dawn.

Because of this I always carry one of those mini compasses. I don't kite in offshore conditions, but I'm paranoid enough to imagine floating out in the sea at night and the search party has given up until morning to be so depressing that I always carry one, just so I can start swimming back to the beach if things go wrong even if it's foggy.

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dyyylan
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Re: Riding in offshore winds

Postby dyyylan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:03 pm

We don't really ever get offshore winds here unless it's from a storm going through, when you wouldn't really want to kite anyway.

Our wind isn't very strong in FL either, so if the direction is wrong (straight onshore, or any kind of offshore) it's just going to be really difficult and annoying to stay upwind. I've ridden in side-off here before when it was around 20 knots and it ends up being like 10 gusting 20 knots because of the turbulence. that's just not fun to ride in..

Ive also ridden in dead offshore wind in hatteras near kitty hawk, because you can walk 200 yards out to clean wind, and it's knee to waist deep for hundreds of more yards, so its not really dangerous.

other than situations like that i wouldn't really ride it because it's just shitty conditions. i have no problem ditching the kite if i couldnt get back, etc but i'd rather just wait a day or two for conditions that are actually fun to ride in


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