Big Gusts 3

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What happened?

I understand this experienced kiter launched a 16m EH freestyle kite in about 9 to 10 kts. on a lake in Quebec. A large black storm cloud moved in and brought stronger winds with it gusting into the 30's. The rider was rigged big with a C kite and ignored the changing weather, as long as he was allowed to anyway, sigh. The guy was progressively overpowered as you can see until eventually, he was yanked into land in no time at all. He seemed to be preoccupied with being heavily powered to overpowered for about 30 seconds prior to getting dragged on his edge into shore. This should have been enough time to release. It took less than two seconds to slam into shore after he lost his edge which was sufficiently violent to likely block his releasing at that late time. He may have tried to pull his quick release but it has been said, perhaps in the wrong direction for successful operation?! We need to practice this stuff often before we might ever need it.

What can we learn?

  • Do proper weather planning and monitoring. Act EARLY to avoid deteriorating weather before it hits.
  • Properly maintain and regularly practice emergency depowering. DO NOT expect to be able to figure this out during an emergency.
  • Use adequate distance.
  • Don't rig to big.
  • Use proper safety gear.
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