Talk:Landing a Kite Safely
Kite Landing Kitemare...
I wanted to share this nasty story with other beginners who might encounter the situation I experienced two weeks ago.
I was working on my water starts at Kitebeach in Maui and had drifted a ways downwind and was body dragging back towards shore as I saw two kitesurfers (one with a helmet and one without) walking up the beach. I gave the "I want to land signal" and the fellow without the helmet walked to the edge of the water as I was slowly lowering my kite (8.0 Meter kite in about 20 mph) to his grasp. So far so good you say....
Well, that's when things went sideways. Believe it or not, this fellow let my kite land right at his feet it was nearly directly downwind (very deep in the wind window if not directly downwind), and then he turned and walked away heading upwind. What the .....says I and decided to relaunch the kite and take it out over the water and land it there. Well, the kite relaunched and quicker than I can say "hating it". I was 25 feet off the water. It was simply amazing how rapidly my 200 lbs. became airborne. At the apex of the loft, I let go of the bar and in slow motion watched my glide path which began only 60 feet from the edge of the beach head me straight for the beach. Fortunately, I landed in about 1 foot of water and sort of came in on my right side. Nothing broken, but I do have some seriously bruised ribs. I was able to pull my center lines and capture my kite and limp back upwind to my starting point. Needless to say, I was unable to find the dirtbag that walked away from my kite catch. I really cannot imagine how anyone could do that.
I have learned a couple of things. First, if I EVER find myself with the kite in the hotzone and I am anywhere near the beach, I will release the safety and start all over again. I have been off the water during Prime summer kiting season here on Maui for 2 weeks and I fear it may be yet another before I am able to continue this ardous learning process.
Anyway, if any of you find yourself on either end of this story in the future, please do not leave a kiter trying to land in such danger and if you are in the water and someone walks away from you, release your safety and have a talk with the person who left you in danger after you capture your kite. These critters are POWERFUL and lift you quicker than you can let go of the bar.
Wishing you all the best, Aloha, greg