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nearly got caught up in lines...

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keithspark
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nearly got caught up in lines...

Postby keithspark » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:17 pm

Hi, I dont post much but read the forum a lot.

Iv been up and running for about a year and a half now, pretty much
a beginner/intermediate weekend warrier, outwith work hours if theres wind im out.

I was out friday (a mate and another kiter were on the water) and found myself in a strange
situation that iv never expereinced before.

Conditions were pretty gnarly, around about 22kts with strong sudden gusts to 30's cross on,
im 80 kgs, vegas 9m (5 lines).

basically I cocked up a back rotation ,landed uncontrollably
with way too much horizontal momentum, skimmed directly downwind passed my now ditched kite (narrowly avoided running straight into it), eventually sank just in front and to the left side, only about
10 feet from the kite (felt bizarre to be looking at the outside of the canopy on the water :o ).

So the lines are now in a big U shape under no tension, i know the waves and incoming tide
will be drifting the lines towards me under the water, and the kite is
already showing signs of auto re-launching (its gusty). Im starting to worry about
possibly getting wrapped up in all those loose lines when the kite re-launches.
Fortunately the kite took off to the right side of the window , and i avoided getting caught
up in any lines, but took one hell of a dunt and superman'd out the water when tension was regained.

So , after post session analysis i came to the conclusion that this is a very easy situation for a
beginner or even intermediate kiter (taking there first steps into jumps/rotations etc) to get in to,
and one that should be avoided at all costs. Im sure there are many kiters out there who havent
even considered this situation (as I didnt).

I know every situation is unique, but anyone have some good advice as to what would be the safest way out of this predicament?

whilst bobing alongside the kite (the calm before the storm) would you :

1. have pulled the safety?
not sure that wouldv prevented me getting tangled in lines,

2. pull safety and release kite completely?
still possability of getting tangled not to mention a flailing bar, however was reasonably
close to shore, or atleast to shallow water. Could'v thrown the bar as far away from me
as possible (towards kite) for good measure,

3. swim towards the kite, hoping to reach it before it re-launches and then self rescue?
given i was so close to it,

4. swim directly away from the kite (and lines)?
to maximise distance as quickly as possible,

5. other ?

If the kite had launched to the left of the window I couldv easily got caught up in the lines, i dread to think of the mayhem that could'v ensued. i just cannot
imagine finding (let alone operating successfully) that little knife in my harness whilst getting dragged through the surf.

ps - incidently, i had a quick look around for help , and neither of the other 2 kiters even realised
i had a problem, (not having a go at them, it happend so fast), it just goes to show that regardless
of how many others are out, the speed that a dangerous situation can arise means you really are on your own out there most of the time, self proficiancy is pretty important.

keith

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Re: nearly got caught up in lines...

Postby g00se » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:41 pm

Did the same a few times when I was first learning sent jumps a few years back. Got it all wrong and pendulumed under the kite, ended up downwind of it, not a great feeling when you're learning.

I wouldn't swim towards the kite unless you're very confident it won't take off before you get there.

If the lines are coming towards you, duck under the water and swim away from them (just be careful of surfacing in the middle of them).

Think this sort of situation happens to wave riders more. Wave forces you towards the kite, rolling you in the lines. They'd be best placed to offer you tips I guess.

keithspark
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gott bay - tiree
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el cotillo - ftva
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Re: nearly got caught up in lines...

Postby keithspark » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:54 pm

guess this must happen a lot more than i realised, just never witnessed it before,


ye my instict was to get as far away from the kite as poss, but i couldnt see the lines (brown choppy water),

was thinking that i might have been better plummeting straight into kite, atleast i could hold it down...

keith

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Re: nearly got caught up in lines...

Postby Youtch » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:41 pm

This is one of the things I always feared for wave riding.

I do not understand how people do not get completly tangled in the lines when they get caught by the waves washing machines.

I have experienced some washing machines in bodyboard, where at some point you can barely tell where is the way out of the water or toward the sand, no to mention how you almost loose your swimsuit.

The same scenario with bars and lines seems like surreal to me.

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Re: nearly got caught up in lines...

Postby Vinny » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:15 pm

No 4 along with having my harness knife out and ready to use.

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Re: nearly got caught up in lines...

Postby sarc » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:42 pm

If any doubt at all, I'd release the chicken loop safety first. Swim away from kite is now automatic reflex for me. Fully release including the safety leash is often a good idea in waves unless there are others in the water who could (unknowingly) get tangled in your kite's lines! Often I release safety leash but hold it in my hand (in ways the pin could not cut me even if sudden jerk) so I can let go in a microsecond if I need to. Then slowly float back to shore.

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Re: nearly got caught up in lines...

Postby DrLightWind » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:49 pm

This is one of the danger of kiteboarding and there is no time for releasing the chicken loop,
because line tension as below can happen so fast unexpectedly that there isn't time to react :evil:
This kind of issue can happen in many ways as you see the following.
It happened to me about 2 years ago when my evil 5th lines were twisted and couldn't relaunch
to fly or drag back to the shore while rescuing myself and wrapping up the lines to the bar.
A guy zoomed through the lines between my kite and where I was almost cut off 4 fingers.

Seems like one of my friend wasn't that lucky as you and me,
as it happened to one of my friend years back when a beginner lofted downwind into his kite.
He was rescuing himself and reeling up his lines on the water when unexpectedly the lines got tensioned
while suddenly his little finger was cut off :duh:
Thanks for Gebi who gave the emergency while the ambulance came :cooltext:
while I was riding and unaware of it.

DrLW

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Re: nearly got caught up in lines...

Postby edt » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:05 pm

People get caught in their lines all the time. What usually happens is they get caught in the lines, throw the quick release, find out they are still getting dragged and that's it, end of story, they keep getting dragged until they get rescued or the kite pops.

I think one thing to remember is that there are two ways to flag out a kite. The first way is to throw the quick release. This releases tension from every line except for one line, either the 5th line on a 5 line kite or a center line on 4 line kite.

Instead of releasing tension on all lines except for one, you can also flag out the kite by pulling in only one line until it is the only line with tension. This method is good to remember when your spreader bar hook gets wrapped with lines and you can't throw the quick release or your leg gets wrapped or in your case, the lines are all over the place in the water. Pull in 10 meters worth of line and the kite will flag. After the kite has flagged out, you should find it easy to continue pulling in that line until you reach the kite, and can swim in, or sort it out while the kite is flagged this way and keep riding.

I know it's not always possible to pull in this much line especially if the kite is already deathlooping, but there are still a lot of situations where it's useful, like your case. And of course be careful when pulling in this much line.

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Saami
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Re: nearly got caught up in lines...

Postby Saami » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:43 pm

keithspark wrote:whilst bobing alongside the kite (the calm before the storm) would you :

1. have pulled the safety?
2. pull safety and release kite completely?
3. swim towards the kite, hoping to reach it before it re-launches and then self rescue?
4. swim directly away from the kite (and lines)?
5. other ?
5. other: Placed my line cutter between my teeth (preparing for the worst). After that I would have slowly swum backwards away from the kite, trying to keep away from lines, until the lines were under tension again. While swimming I would have used big slow breaststroke kicks only (no arm movement at all), to reduce the risk of getting a line wrapped around a limb, and I would have done it on my back so that I could keep an eye on the kite and so that I could keep at least one hand above the surface of the water at all times. A dolphin kick with your feet together would probably be even better than slow breaststroke kicks at preventing lines from getting caught around your feet, but I find it hard to maintain good flotation with that kick.

Placing the knife between my teeth is also the first thing I do whenever I have to self-rescue through breaking waves. No matter how careful I try to be about wrapping up and securing lines, I have several times ended up with loops of line around a hand or a foot. I really, really don't like when that happens... I want to be ready to take action the second that things go really bad. With the knife between my teeth, I think I would be able to reach it quickly.

I like this model: Safety cutter rescue hook

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Re: nearly got caught up in lines...

Postby Saami » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:08 pm

edt wrote:Instead of releasing tension on all lines except for one, you can also flag out the kite by pulling in only one line until it is the only line with tension. This method is good to remember when your spreader bar hook gets wrapped with lines and you can't throw the quick release or your leg gets wrapped or in your case, the lines are all over the place in the water. Pull in 10 meters worth of line and the kite will flag. After the kite has flagged out, you should find it easy to continue pulling in that line until you reach the kite, and can swim in, or sort it out while the kite is flagged this way and keep riding.

I know it's not always possible to pull in this much line especially if the kite is already deathlooping, but there are still a lot of situations where it's useful, like your case. And of course be careful when pulling in this much line.
This is good advise for flagging your kite.

The last point - to be careful - is worth emphasizing. Don't forget about all that line floating around, after you reach the kite! Once you have the kite in your hands, things may seem like they are under control again but before you do anything else (such as heading back towards the beach), do make sure to wind up as much line as you possibly can, and secure the line with some type of knots onto your bar. It can be tempting to leave a bit of line floating around and simply start heading back towards the beach, but that floating line tends to want to auto-wrap itself around anything that happens to be in the water - such as yourself. By the time you reach shore, any spare line in the water could have tied your legs together, or worse. If there is any type of shorebreak on top of that, that could leave you in bigger trouble than you started with.


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