Here I thought that I should share my story and seek for advice.
Last sunday I went kiting: 15knots and some choppy waves, what appeared to be ideal conditions for kiting.
Just leaving the beach, I faced a wave (not too big: 1m20) and miscalculated its speed thinking I would be able to jump over it just before it breaks.
I was myself going quite fast, and when I realized my mistake and that I would hit it at the worst moment, it was already too late to turn back.
As the wave was already too steep to jump over, I decided at the last-minute to throw the kite into the window to give me power to pass through the wave and avoid getting caught into the washing machine. Tactic that resulted partially successfull without counting on the violence of the impact.
I unfortunately exposed my ear to the wave that slams my face on its side, and the shock/ pressure perforated my tympan.
For those of you who haven t experimented this type pain, it is close to unbearable, forcing me to go straight back to the beach, half-desoriented-KO, screaming, with blood coming out of the ear (btw nice show for the by-standers on the beach).
Huge thanks to the kite crowd on the beach that packed all my material as I was in big pain and heading to hospital.
Lesson number one: never fail respect to wave, regardless of their size!
Here comes my need for advices:
1. What shall I have done? Or in other words, what do you do when you face a wave at its worst breaking point with no option to flee away?
2. What do you do if you get caught into the washing machine?
I got traumatized by a story of a guy how got wrapped in his kitelines as a consequence of being caught by the washing maching, and he got dragged by one of his foot trapped in a line for quite long distance before he could cut the line with his knife. The guy went so traumatized that I doubt he will ever kitesurf again.
busted my eardrums plenty of times the worst part is you completely lose your balance. no way to avoid it completely unless you use hoodie, full helmet, vented ear plugs some kind of protection. You could have turned your head to face the wave and not caught it flat but honestly stuff like this happens.
edt wrote:You could have turned your head to face the wave and not caught it flat but honestly stuff like this happens.
Yeah, but then you can detach your retina. A friend of a friend was surfing, turned back towards the wave, hit the wall of water face first and detached his retina from the pressure on his eye.
I had a similar incident, going too fast towards a wave, but only jammed my knee a bit. Wave was coming, so I picked up speed, blasted over the top, but there was another smaller wave right behind it and had no time to react so came to a complete stop from about 15 knots of board speed.
I guess take it slow when heading out over waves is all you can do. Hope you have a quick recovery!
You can always "duckdive" if you're in straps. Bring the kite to 12, slow down, lead with your arm and force the board under the wave. Works well for most waves.
For a small wave like that though an ollie seems like it would've been the way to go........