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Getting worked in big surf.....

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Re: Getting worked in big surf.....

Postby lbatbeach » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:32 pm

Nice explanation by BW. Thx for posting. That had been my strategy for years. As soon as I would go upside down, I would just let go. This seems to work well when the kite is powered and high in the window. But if the kite is low, letting go generally leads to the kite ending up in the wash.

I am thinking now that going for the kite loop as soon as possible after wave hitting is a better call. Every situation will be different but if you can loop the kite and pull yourself out, you might avoid going upside down in the wash in the first place. I agree also that no leash is a good option in big surf. My kite blew out not on the initial wave but later in the set. I had punched out by then but the leash held enough of the kite that it still got shredded.

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Re: Getting worked in big surf.....

Postby Saami » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:15 pm

longwhitecloud wrote:i'm about to tie some kiteline to my spreader bar for a leash point on the front, cos my kite tried to drown me one time and i could not get to release with it pulling me backwards

anyone got anything i should know/look out for with this?
I am not sure that that is a good idea.

In normal conditions (i.e., when riding small waves, or when you are being dragged behind a kite on the surface of the water), then I agree that it makes sense to have your leash attached to your front. That does make it easier to reach the release, if needed.

However, think of the forces involved when you are underneath the water and a big wave catches your kite. Being dragged backwards underneath the water by your leash is not pleasant; but at least your body is designed to fold that way (doubled over with your face towards your knees). I have had the unpleasant experience of being dragged violently underneath water in the other direction - i.e., with the front of my pelvis leading the way, and my upper body being folded backwards so that the back of my head was almost touching my heels (or so it felt). Let me tell you, that was painful. My back hurt for quite a while after that - it's simply not designed to bend that way. I'd much rather get folded over the other way... So, for me, I'm sticking to keeping my leash attached to the back of my harness when in big waves.

As for the rest of this thread, I agree with trying to keep your kite flying at all costs. If I'm not sure what is going on with the kite, I try to loop it right away - anything to keep it in the air.

The other thing I have learned is to relax. Once a big wave has you (and your kite is in the water), there is very little you can do. Don't waste oxygen by fighting the force of the wave, and don't try to swim for the surface until the wave let's go of you and the whitewater dies down. I try to simply relax my body, hold my arms around my head to protect it in case I get slammed into the bottom, and count slowly. It may feel like an eternity, but you should reach the surface within 45 seconds even in huge waves (and usually in as little as 5 to 12 seconds). You can hold your breath that long, if you relax and remain calm.

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Re: Getting worked in big surf.....

Postby Saami » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:07 am

I think I should add that if the waves get big enough, you may want to consider skipping your leash altogether - especially if there is any kind of onshore component to the wind. In those cases the risks of a leash may outweigh the possible benefits. I've started to unclip my leash before trying to catch some waves (anything bigger than double overhead, in my case), unless the wind is side-off and I feel confident that the kite won't be caught by any wave even if it goes down.

Of course, you have to consider what is downwind of you. If it is a beach with families and kids (unusual when there is wind and big surf, but I guess anything is possible), then you may want to re-evaluate.

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Re: Getting worked in big surf.....

Postby jaystore » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:42 pm

We designed DYNABAR with big wave riders support.
Attach your leash to front sliding ring on dyneema (on the right where the label is attached to), attach CL to hook and in case of danger pull red release ball and you detach hook and leash at the same time. Red ball is easy to find also when rolled by big wave because located at the known place on your spreader bar pad.
You could also attach leash to the steel "hook locker" in the middle and use standard release on CL and leash.


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Re: Getting worked in big surf.....

Postby polarstorm » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:27 am

lbatbeach wrote:Naishdude, that is a very good idea when riding big surf. I have been drug by my leash upside down and it is not fun. .
Some great advice, I also agree with longwhitecloud that you need to observe the wave pattern and variation for a while to know what to expect.. here's some snaps of me, punch through or punch out.. another consideration is the board and the fins on a surfboard can be very dangerous under a ton of water falling on you.. the surf bounced the board up into the air there. Being ultraaware is critical, I would say even conservative in your riding, respect the power at hand..

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