I got my first dose ever of kite-shock today. Low dark clouds but no showers or lightening in the local area. I pumped up on the sand, put on wetsuit and neoprene booties, unwound my lines, and self-launched (spin method) on the sand. Sand-skied maybe10 feet as the kite came up. Then the bar started popping little electrical shocks into my fingers and wouldn't stop. It reminded me of when my climbing helmet started buzzing in an electrical storm at 14k feet on South Maroon Bell. I didn't have a key to tie on my line, so I immediately landed the kite and rolled up. Spooked me so bad I just got back in my rubber-insulated car and got the heck outta there. Granted I slept like shit last night but I'm pretty sure this is an accurate account of what happened...
Comments? Just a little static buildup (like when you scoot across a carpet then shock your hand on the doorknob), or bullet dodged?
Ive had that happen on more than one occation. Had it a few times when ive not been able to touch the bar, and also once i had the charge build up in a jump, then discharge through my leg about a meter up. Felt like getting stabbed
Considering the number of kiters worldwide, I am surprised I have never heard of a serious lightening strike on someone while kiting (aside for the guys on the beach with their kite down). Does anyone know of any?
My neighbor was struck near Destin Florida while sitting on a beach chair. She survived, but not without complications.
Gear: SCREAMER 7/9/12/14 for Free Style. Not to forget the SCREAMER 10 LTD for my one go kite. SURF 8 & 12 for the waves. RENEGADE 6.5 and 9 for all around kiting. And some times I use my son's JUNIOR PRO 4 when it blows 45+ for the waves. Just try the EPICKITES and you will see for yourself.
Brand Affiliation: Owner of EPIC KITES
Location: OUTER BANKS (NC) USA. Owner of EPICKITES
I think something about the large rounded shape of the kite disperses the charges. It seems anecdotally that you are more likely to get hit by lightning after you land your kite than while you are flying it, that's how the guy in 2012 got struck he landed his kite, got struck his son who was a hundred yards away was still flying his kite and didn't get struck.
2005 cloudy and high humidity. I fly my kite with some friends help, suddently some sparks from the bar to the arness (with its sound). I couldn't touch the bar anymore, a friend, with shoes, took the bar to help land. Me terrified, end of the my story. While packing some others friends arrive to the spot to kite, and advise about the recent happened. One of them didnt care or not believe about the case. Go to the water 50 meters far away and come back almost off and crying. Hard sparks between his calves and the board.