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Offshore windshift ---> Lost Kite

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dr.
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Re: Offshore windshift ---> Lost Kite

Postby dr. » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:34 pm

Safe_Cracker wrote: My bet would be to ditch that octopus because that is exactly what it would be like a huge mess waiting to tangle you up, possibly drowning you? :roll:


Polo...
Hi,

If you can do a safety packdown properly as is the standard procedure when getting kitesurfing lessons then you shouldn't end up as described above.

I totally agree with Sarcasm, there are many factors that can go against you on a swim in that people don't seem to take account of.

I have also surfed for a number of years and over those years i have had the odd leash snap on me. In a stiff offshore breeze, with waves pounding around you, watching your surfboard disappear into the surf can bring on an awful feeling when faced with the reality of a long swim in.

Regards, Dara

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Re: Offshore windshift ---> Lost Kite

Postby RickI » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:47 pm

There have been other cases of wind shifts causing grief, far greater than happened in this case. Stoli in Connecticut was reportedly very close to shore when predicted, strong frontal winds arrived and gusted what was side on to side off winds. He stayed with his kite for a while, later setting it adrift, he sadly died from hypothermia many hours later. He was the subject of the largest air and sea search in that area ever. He was likely overflown by aircraft and passed by vessels many times through the night. Without reflective tape or other more visible means of attracting attention he was on his own, despite this massive search. Perhaps if he had stayed with the kite making a larger visible target he might have been found in time. Hanging on to it while still standing on shore in the face of the strong gusts launched this sad event in the first place however.

The powerful front could have been easily predicted from forecasts and upweather realtime wind reports. There was also a line of clouds accompanying the frontal boundary, not a nasty squall line in this case however. We're wind junkies, we should try to know what is likely to come and when. Why just wind wait on the beach trusting to luck, why not clue into when it is likely to come and in what form in advance? It is pretty easy to do as a rule.

There was another case of a girl expiring from hypothermia lying on her kite when a weather system and changes in the shoreline created side off conditions. She was a new kiter and may have lacked sufficient experience and exposure clothing to manage all that transpired that day.

I believe all kiters should possess the knowledge and ability to bring themselves and their gear into shore under most realistic conditions. Never go further out that you can bring yourself back in from, is a good adage. Using the kite to sail in to shore should be common knowledge and practiced. You normally travel close to perpendicular to the wind when sailing it. If this gets you to shore allowing for current and land boundaries (like an island) great, if not, better have a plan b and be ready to kick it into gear. If the wind is too offshore to permit this, then having the ability to tow the lot in should be present in realistic conditions. Wearing a flotation aid suitable for the rigors of kiting, like a good impact vest, is a good idea for all kiters. Shit happens over time, count on it.

Conditions and reactions will vary, there are rules of thumb and some exceptions depending on the nature of what mess you drop yourself into. As always, avoiding the problem in the first place through proper planning, monitoring of conditions, having kiting buddies, etc. is the way to go.

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Re: Offshore windshift ---> Lost Kite

Postby sarcasm » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:14 pm

Tautologies,

I hear you about the island and not wanting to miss it.
Florida is a gigantic peninsula. Odds are high if you swim back in, you will make it to land along it's coastline, somewhere.

I don't know how far out this SS guy was when he ditched his gear. But one thing is very possible given that decision. His gear (especially lines) now have an excellent opportunity now to kill large numbers of sea critters. The lines can easily entangle large animals like turtles.

I have spent tens of years on the water in Florida. For a stage there it was my job. This doesn't mean I am "right", it means tons of things have gone wrong for me over the years. At one point we capsized a research boat and several of us spent the night in the water around the Ten Thousand Islands. This time of year, hypothermia isn't really going to get you (I was cold... don't get me wrong). We all made it through the night, no worries and were found.

I have 100% confidence in our CG units here. They didn't charge us to bring us in.

The Stoli story was tragic. The water was much, much colder in his situation. I have to assume hypothermia set in with him very rapidly before the Rescue teams could find him.
I agree every situation is different. And the fact is, it's your life when/if this happens. It's your choice what to do.

I thought we were discussing this situation, in Fl., in the summer, 3 hours sun left - etc.
I will always stay with my gear given the Florida environment in which I ride.
If I were somewhere with zero rescue support and it was an island, with 40 degree water, etc., the thought process would be different. I think that's obvious.

One thing that we can take out of this for sure, many of us should probably be wearing flotation if riding in the Gulf/Ocean and out far enough from shore. I haven't been doing this and need to this coming season. Last season I had my CL fail and it took me over an hour to swim in (35 knot, side shore wind) with my kite. I was less than a 1/4 mile out. I was surprised how long it took.
Needless to say, I was very tired when I got in. :(

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Re: Offshore windshift ---> Lost Kite

Postby jteabird » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:43 pm

Was the coast guard called after he ditched his kite?? He should have ditched his kite and called the coast guard to prevent injury from a loose kite and lines.. Or in Maui there are ligeguards with waverunners... Irresponsible to just let the kite drift..

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Re: Offshore windshift ---> Lost Kite

Postby RickI » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:28 pm

Any news on this kite?

As an aside, I can recall in the bad old days when kiters sent stuff flying off all over the place. Lots of kiters took their leashes off and rode without them. One of the worse areas where this was consistently done that comes to mind was kitebeach on the northernshore of Maui. A lot of early wakestyle development happened there before leashes that worked were developed and then popularized. Did a lot of brainstorming with some folks over there to try to figure out how to alter this. It took the loss of Silke and a change in riding style to help compel the change and sharply reduce the number of runaway kites.

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Re: Offshore windshift ---> Lost Kite

Postby piggy » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:49 am

i couldnt help myself but i heard something about A PROTOTYPE SLINSGHOT RAPTOR KITE...is this a new kite SS is bringing out...any news???

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Re: Offshore windshift ---> Lost Kite

Postby Billy_Goat » Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:14 am

RickI wrote: Did a lot of brainstorming with some folks over there to try to figure out how to alter this. It took the loss of Silke and a change in riding style to help compel the change and sharply reduce the number of runaway kites.
This guy is such a chump !, I don't ride there, so how did you help "change the riding style" ??

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Re: Offshore windshift ---> Lost Kite

Postby JS » Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:18 am

If you're blowing away from shore and it's uncertain that you could swim back, then stay with your gear and pray that search and rescue find you, if they even know you're missing.

But, if you're confident you could swim to shore without your gear, then know when to cut your losses and let your stuff go - contrary to a lot of well-meaning but dangerous advice in this thread. Every second that you spend trying to get your gear rolled up or sorted could add a lot of extra time to your swim home. And if conditions worsen, it could become impossible to make headway with your stuff at all.

Good luck,
James

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Re: Offshore windshift ---> Lost Kite

Postby RickI » Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:54 am

Good advice James. It pays to think about this stuff in advance, consider what you might do.

The widespread "change in riding style" was wakestyle kiting, starting about six to seven years ago. I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Despite brainstorming back and forth for over a year, we never did come up with any thing that had any positive effect for that problem along the Northshore. It took the death of a well liked pro rider and guys tiring of chasing runaway kites learning handle passes worldwide to motivate leash modification and eventual widespread use. This is history kiters should know.

Hamish himself interestingly enough had a lot to do with the adoption of leash use for wakestyle kiting. He was the first guy I photographed using a leash for those style of tricks back in 2003.

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Re: Offshore windshift ---> Lost Kite

Postby tautologies » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:36 pm

sarcasm wrote: I don't know how far out this SS guy was when he ditched his gear. But one thing is very possible given that decision. His gear (especially lines) now have an excellent opportunity now to kill large numbers of sea critters. The lines can easily entangle large animals like turtles.
I agree 100%. We really have to be responsible users of water. There is much plastic floating in and around the Hawaiian waters it is scary. We should not add to the problem.
I have spent tens of years on the water in Florida. For a stage there it was my job. This doesn't mean I am "right", it means tons of things have gone wrong for me over the years. At one point we capsized a research boat and several of us spent the night in the water around the Ten Thousand Islands. This time of year, hypothermia isn't really going to get you (I was cold... don't get me wrong). We all made it through the night, no worries and were found.


I am glad I have not been in a situation like that. Doesn't sound like a lot of fun.
I have 100% confidence in our CG units here. They didn't charge us to bring us in.

The Stoli story was tragic. The water was much, much colder in his situation. I have to assume hypothermia set in with him very rapidly before the Rescue teams could find him.
I agree every situation is different. And the fact is, it's your life when/if this happens. It's your choice what to do.

I thought we were discussing this situation, in Fl., in the summer, 3 hours sun left - etc.
I will always stay with my gear given the Florida environment in which I ride.
If I were somewhere with zero rescue support and it was an island, with 40 degree water, etc., the thought process would be different. I think that's obvious.

One thing that we can take out of this for sure, many of us should probably be wearing flotation if riding in the Gulf/Ocean and out far enough from shore. I haven't been doing this and need to this coming season. Last season I had my CL fail and it took me over an hour to swim in (35 knot, side shore wind) with my kite. I was less than a 1/4 mile out. I was surprised how long it took.
Needless to say, I was very tired when I got in. :(
I think we agree, but the reason why I mentioned that situations are different is that I've seen people on auto pilot in terms of what to do when relaunching, and working with a downed kite...it makes me think we have to be more specific in terms of stating that you also need to use your head and evaluate the situation, that some situations require other strategies for success.

As a general rule I would not let go of my rig..but like has been mentioned earlier situations might be different. I got caught in a squall where the wind after dying turned off shore..with a strong sideshore current...I resolved it by diving down and tying my kite to the reef until I could get the self rescue sorted....


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