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 Post subject: PRO RIDER LOFTED!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 2:28 pm 
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Carrying on a tradition started by other prominent riders such as Neil Hutchinson, Dimitri Maramenides, Kent Marinkovic, Paul Menta and others, Shannon Best is the latest well known kiteboarder to share details of a kiteboarding incident/accident.

This isn't a "Best" thing or anything other than another well known rider deciding to try to help out other kiteboarders by passing along some hard won, often painful experience. Shannon could have kept this information to himself as so many other riders have done in the past but instead he elected to pass along the details as have the other riders listed, some more than once.

So, for well known kiteboarders, when you learn something important that will help to keep you whole and healthy, why not pass along your experiences along to the rest of us? Feel free to email information to me privately at <flkitesurfer@hotmail.com> or by PM to ricki.

Shannon's story about a recent, nasty lofting inland follows at:

http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=131

Under: PRO RIDER LOFTED!

N.B. - "LOFTING" = the state of involuntarily being picked up and hurled downwind by your kite when it is hit by a wind gust.

Thanks Shannon for passing along your experiences in the School Of Hard Knocks.


Last edited by RickI on Tue Jun 15, 2004 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

{ SHARE_ON_FACEBOOK } { SHARE_ON_TWITTER } { SHARE_ON_ORKUT } { SHARE_ON_DIGG } { SHARE_ON_MYSPACE } { SHARE_ON_DELICIOUS }
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 4:09 pm 
So, no leash then?

Hmm,


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 4:14 pm 
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thx Rick and Shannon for sharing it.
Good to hear Shannon is ok.
Excellent write up and pictures, Rick, great job!

Everyone should read this story, since you can be next....

Greets
Toby


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 7:25 pm 
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scary moment.... nicely written. Thanks.

mikey


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 7:49 pm 
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Location: UK Littlehampton www.Air-head.com
I am glad that things were not worse for Shannon, it is probably only his many years of kiting that stopped things from being different. I have seen him ride and there are few that are more experienced than he is.

All the best to him, I hope all is well. Nice write up Rick


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 8:29 pm 
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A couple of points come to mind based upon Shannon's experience.

1. Deciding when to stop the glide and free fall to earth. We are talking critical decisions made in seconds, probably in a state of shock with something looking like doom rushing towards you (trees, powerlines and a road). I would think doing this is an act of desperation and taken as an alternative to plowing into something worse further along the glide slope. I vaguely remember struggling to unhook (no QR in 2000) but my chicken loop was twisted hard on to the harness hook and wouldn't move. I was about 30 ft. up too but I would have gladly fallen free in a second, I think, IF I could have. Instead, I went for the full ride to impact. Falling to sand from 30 ft. or 10 m would never be easy but under these strained emergency conditions? We are talking bad choice or worse, CHOOSE NOW!

Avoidance of the lofting is the key.

I am reminded of the kiteboarder fatality in Spain in 2001. I understand the man was lofted from the water and blown over land. He gained altitude over land and eventually dropped from his kite bar and fell into the roof of a two and three story building. I would assume the prospect of flying further inland into buildings, powerlines, etc. was the worse of two bad choices. So, he fell to the roof and his death.

Avoidance again, is the key.

ANYTIME you have a kite up, you should assume that you might be lofted BECAUSE that is the reality of things. There are times when it is more likely however, such as in squalls. So avoid squalls for starters, with a vengence.


2. And kite leashes...I understand that Shannon had one at the time of the lofting. Consider, IF YOU DON'T have a leash, what then? You hang on to your expensive kite, of course. You may even be worried about harm and injury your runaway kite might cause if you release it. Either way, you delay. Time is the most valuable thing in your existance with an immenient lofting, it may come down to seconds to ...

- TOTALLY DEPOWER YOUR KITE TO THE LEASH and dodge a lofting and injury or death, or

- WAIT, and be hurled off downwind to bash into whatever.

These may be some of the most important seconds in your life this year. Have the option to "kill the jets on your rocket ship", i.e. depower the kite, or blast off.

The one most at risk for NOT having a leash, is the rider HIMSELF. Bystanders follow up in order of risk to the guy with the kite. Choose well guys, trouble can happen to the best of us.


Last edited by RickI on Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:04 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Lofting?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 8:35 pm 
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Glad to hear that Shannon is OK...that is a long way to fall for a well fed guy. I would also say he is one of only a few guys who have the presents of mind to unhook while under exteme pressure...most people end up pulling against the power, oversteering the kite and get life flighted away...with that said, here are a couple key points...

Mechanical Lift vs lofting
4 gears to the four line
depower, water or beach?

Lofting occasionally happens ie water spouts, dust devil ect...mechanical lift is a constant which happens for a reason...as wind hits land, buildings, mountains, it rises...it may infact rise at a rate greater than our drop rate. If you bring your kite up into rising wind, you may be going up, not down.
There will be a substantial power increase as you go from the trim loop to unhooked...especially in strong wind (4 gears to the four line)
In pressure situations, there is no advantage in going to shore to depower...depower in the water...fewer hard objects and people, but of course you need a safety system when depowering....weather is a big part of kiteboarding...for real answers to safe riding check out Secrets of Kiteboarding the DVD and Book...dealers welcome. http://www.kiteboardcenter.com


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 Post subject: Re: Lofting?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 8:47 pm 
John Holzhall wrote:
Glad to hear that Shannon is OK...that is a long way to fall for a well fed guy. I would also say he is one of only a few guys who have the presents of mind to unhook while under exteme pressure...most people end up pulling against the power, oversteering the kite and get life flighted away...with that said, here are a couple key points...

Mechanical Lift vs lofting
4 gears to the four line
depower, water or beach?

Lofting occasionally happens ie water spouts, dust devil ect...mechanical lift is a constant which happens for a reason...as wind hits land, buildings, mountains, it rises...it may infact rise at a rate greater than our drop rate. If you bring your kite up into rising wind, you may be going up, not down.
There will be a substantial power increase as you go from the trim loop to unhooked...especially in strong wind (4 gears to the four line)
In pressure situations, there is no advantage in going to shore to depower...depower in the water...fewer hard objects and people, but of course you need a safety system when depowering....weather is a big part of kiteboarding...for real answers to safe riding check out Secrets of Kiteboarding the DVD and Book...dealers welcome. http://www.kiteboardcenter.com


Hey,

(4 gears to the four line)
Are you from Mars or something? What the fuck?



All I know about lofting is this, it don't matter if your kite is high or low it don't matter if your depowered (sheeted out or not...

All this is just wishful thinking, when you get lofted your going up, your not able to steer the kite your just going up.

I got lofted had all kinds of time to fuck around, it didn't matter.

So go ahead a talk about prevention all you want, but when it happens you'd have better pull that shackle or your going up period.

Talks cheep lofting is beyond prevention beware you've been warned
fokiten

PS. on this no leash being more of a danger to the kiter:
All I can say is, I've no problem with saying "Good bye" none, zero, zip!
I support leashes but don't think i am safer with one than I am without one.
That's just my opinion.
peace


Last edited by fokiten on Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:54 pm 
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What kind of safety equipment could have helped at that last moment when Shannon was attempting to unhook?

The new Slingshot Surefire Spreader bar comes to mind. No, in no way affiliated w/ SS, don't even own a kite yet! Just wondering if this system would release under load?? - can't tell from the pictures.

Again, I'm sure he had other safety mechanisms to release the kite but of course didn't expect to be lofted...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:16 pm 
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toddjb123 wrote:
What kind of safety equipment could have helped at that last moment when Shannon was attempting to unhook?

The new Slingshot Surefire Spreader bar comes to mind. No, in no way affiliated w/ SS, don't even own a kite yet! Just wondering if this system would release under load?? - can't tell from the pictures.

Again, I'm sure he had other safety mechanisms to release the kite but of course didn't expect to be lofted...


Shannon was able to unhook however not everyone has been able to including myself some years back as detailed above. He also had one to two dedicated quick releases in line with his chickenloop on his Best control bar.

Being able to unhook or pull a QR was not a problem in this case but has been many times in the past. You can't find it in time, it doesn't work as intended, etc.. The problem was flying overland at 20 mph, 30 ft. off the ground towards some trees, powerlines and a road. Hit the trees and lines or fall to earth, hmmm, is there a third choice? Not once things are in motion sad to say.

What do you do if you drive off of a cliff?

Not much, the key is to not drive off the cliff in the first place. Avoid squalls.

Also, an impact vest and helmet might come in handy should you fall into something like this as quite a few riders have already worldwide (hint).


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