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(How not to?) Deal with 40 kt.+ sudden winds

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:56 pm
by RickI


The video provides a good review of techniques we learned in both hard and easy ways back in the two and four line LEI days for trying to manage in overpowered conditions. It recommends things equivalent to "keep it low and go" during launching. It talks about uplift lofting and thermal bubble phenomena with nice animated graphics to go with. It covers wind gradient and ways to avoid the dodgier areas. Things we have talked about on here for 15 to 18 years but nicely placed all in one short well edited video. That is all good and an asset to the sport.

The one curious thing, is that at no time is it recommended to just completely kill the kite's power, hit the primary quick release to fully depower the kite and be ready to hit the secondary and set the kite free if things still go south. I watched it a few times to see if I missed it but no, this imperative we have talked since near the start is missing. IF you have time to do what is recommended, you have time to punch out, hit your QR, so why wait if excessive gusts are coming? That is assuming you even know in advance, we often have no idea.

It says to "never stand waiting for your fate with the kite at 12 o'clock." We used to say words to that effect a lot back in the day. It does advocate keeping your kite low, even while being dragged at high speed, while still "waiting for your fate" when you could defuse the whole thing by hitting your QR, as the kites have long been designed for. Why is this?

The video talks about "white squalls" which may be microbursts, something we have talked about a good deal on here. They can shear off an entire forest of thick tree trunks, sink large sailing vessels, rip off roofs and destroy buildings with winds up to 170 mph over a narrow radius of a couple of miles but your going to keep your kite flying as you see white water approaching?


This microburst did what you see below with only 70 kt. winds estimated. They can go double that windspeed (with four times the power). Who wants to have their kite up for this? You should think about this carefully, now, not in the milliseconds of a high wind crisis.

Image


Many kiters including quite a few skilled ones have been harmed and killed by hanging on too long in excessively strong winds. Some have had their kites low too but too much wind is just that. If you are going to hang on, the techniques presented are sound BUT if the wind goes too high, you screw up, slip, get hit by another kite and get dragged or lofted high speed into whatever, what then? Punch out completely early, what has changed if anything? It is worth noting that the majority of kiting fatalities over the years have happened in 25 to 35 kt. winds, whether sudden or sustained. No need to go to 40 kts.+ for calamity in short. People may worry about swimming, sensible enough. If that is a concern they should have an impact vest on and don't go out further than they are able to swim in from, particularly in hypothermic conditions.

Some may be taking hazardous weather less seriously, a number of us are getting harmed in recent months in stronger conditions. We should take a hard look at things.

Re: (How not to?) Deal with 40 kt.+ sudden winds

Posted: Tue May 07, 2019 3:22 pm
by RickI
Punch out early. Someone is seriously saying to keep flying your kite if hit with 40 + knot winds and folks are saying, yes, that makes sense? Hit your QR, both if necessary and don't stand there "waiting on your fate." Companies have been working hard for almost 20 years to make QR that work to kill the kites power because ... ? Practice using it and early.

Re: (How not to?) Deal with 40 kt.+ sudden winds

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 3:09 am
by deniska
I think you misinterpret Anton's intentions..
Yes the video shows most techniques on the ground (cause it's easier to film) BUT most of this stuff is equally useful in deep water and the rest is sort of OK when you try to get out and land the kite while crazy powered.
Advising people to just flag out and swim is NOT great for all situations.. there could be swell, rocks, currents, etc...
Sometimes swimming 100 yards in those conditions can take forever or kill you..
Sometimes you want to try hang around for 5 min because someone else is landing, etc..
It's all subjective as we all try to get out of this with minimal impact...
Try to go close to the beach and maybe land the kite but keep one hand on QR is my strategy, usually..
Anton does not cover the basic QR stuff because he thinks it's an obvious option,already known by every kiter, imho...

Re: (How not to?) Deal with 40 kt.+ sudden winds

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 4:06 am
by RickI
I can't think on why any well experienced long term kiter would say to keep your kite flying in 40 kt.+ winds to the kiting population at large. If they were aware of all the fatalities and severe accidents and the blinding speed at which things happen at times in them, the best action is to act before things hit the fan consistently.

Similarly, well experienced kiters should know just how unprepared much of the riding population is to punch out, to hit the QR (s). Some do act in time, others late and many not at all. Many of the fatalities never bothered to hit the QR, things moved too fast, they were unprepared, etc.. It is a mistake to assume kiters will think of doing it and it doesn't need to be overtly stated particularly in such a clip.

The techniques he describes for dealing with overpowered conditions have been around for a long time and are worth repeating but not for such extreme winds, e.g. 40 kts.. They were developed out of necessity with low depower two and four line LEI kites back in the day. As I said, MOST fatalities have happened in kiting in far lower winds, 25 to 35 kts.. Some might have benefited from keeping their kite low, others were killed despite doing that. It seems likely most would have survived if they had hit their QR early however. Do you think the video techniques would have helped the kiter lofted over a nine story building in France, how about the guy lofted 100 m high and 500 m into a mountain, even with new gear in the later case?

Kiters should stay within the distance from shore they are able to swim in from. Wearing a flotation aid, impact vest is a good idea. I can swim many miles and for most of a day but I have worn an impact vest for the last 20 years while kiting. It is a no brainer. There are cases in which hitting the QR can present other issues it is true. Few seem more dire than being lofted into severe injury. We need to be aware of things around us, know what to look for and act early. Even microbursts can be anticipated at times particularly the wet variety which may come from thunderstorms just like dangerous squall gusts. You rarely know how strong gusts from a squall will be in advance, 25 kts. or in excess of 60 kts.+.

All this is very old news on kiteforum, just look at all the fatality and accident recaps. Anticipate the thunderstorms, squalls if you can, act early if you see white water approaching. What has changed?

Re: (How not to?) Deal with 40 kt.+ sudden winds

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 5:13 am
by deniska
RickI wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:06 am
Kiters should stay within the distance from shore they are able to swim in from. Wearing a flotation aid, impact vest is a good idea. I can swim many miles and for most of a day but I have worn an impact vest for the last 20 years while kiting. It is a no brainer.
Sure man, keep drinking your kool-aid..
I was in about 20kts on 15m soul today... jumping from 100 meters offshore will almost get you landed on the beach.. now had I dumped the kite and encountered a rip current, would I be ok?
We have a spot with strong tidal current that will blow you in the atlantic ocean in 10-15minutes if you try to swim it...(look up Breezy point, NY) You can swim many miles with your vest, but what good is it if you are blown away in the ocean and a tiny dot, cause you let your kite go? They will never find ya in time... no brainer...

Re: (How not to?) Deal with 40 kt.+ sudden winds

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 10:08 am
by Bille
deniska wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 5:13 am
RickI wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:06 am
Kiters should stay within the distance from shore they are able to swim in from. Wearing a flotation aid, impact vest is a good idea. I can swim many miles and for most of a day but I have worn an impact vest for the last 20 years while kiting. It is a no brainer.
Sure man, keep drinking your kool-aid..
I was in about 20kts on 15m soul today... jumping from 100 meters offshore will almost get you landed on the beach.. now had I dumped the kite and encountered a rip current, would I be ok?
We have a spot with strong tidal current that will blow you in the atlantic ocean in 10-15minutes if you try to swim it...(look up Breezy point, NY) You can swim many miles with your vest, but what good is it if you are blown away in the ocean and a tiny dot, cause you let your kite go? They will never find ya in time... no brainer...
Won't a flagged-out kite , used for self rescue ; pull Ya through that
current, your talking about , in a 40 , or even a 15 ? ----------------------- (yes)

Don't they make auto/self inflatable PFD's , that create almost NO
drag , (when not inflated) ? ----------------------------------------------- yes again !
Are they USCG-approved ? YEP !

https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/bass-pr ... -belt-pack

Basically deniska, you trying to talk people into dying ; cause Ya want
to look COOL . I'm beginning to see why i got off this forum
over a year ago , and stuck to flying Hang gliders and Paragliders ; the avid
flyers , only care about survival , and looking COOL was for the Dead people.
And i'll take some whiskey, with my kool-aid please ...

Bille

Re: (How not to?) Deal with 40 kt.+ sudden winds

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 11:15 am
by kite_hh
This seems like another generalized discussion which simply cannot lead to a consensus. There are too many factors (weather conditions, level of experience, physical condition, etc.) that influence a smart decision.

In some situations using the quick release (or both releases) is the only way to go, in some situations it is not optimal, in some it is not necessary, and in some it might even be dangerous.
I cannot make out a universal solution should the wind suddenly pick up to more than you expected it to be when you set out.

Maybe one can try to come up with a rule of thumb. The less proficient you feel with your equipment and your skill level, the more you need to make sure everything else won't be a problem. This doesn't mean a skilled rider shouldn't watch out for general conditions, but I hope we all agree that it makes a huge difference whether Kevin Langeree (a professional kiter with years of experience) goes out on the water compared to somebody that has just picked up his first kite.

Adhering to this rule of thumb will save you from getting into a situation where you would need the advice in the video. Should you be proficient in riding and have a decent kite control, some advice of what to do in sudden high wind scenarios can be helpful. Thinking stuff through before it happens can save you valuable time and make you calmer when you actually have to face that scenario.

Safe riding!

Re: (How not to?) Deal with 40 kt.+ sudden winds

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 12:04 pm
by Toby
well said kite_hh

it depends on the situations. Being far away from shore it is no good idea, since the kite can be your life saver.

On the beach, yep, immediately hit the QR and be ready to activate the leash QR too.

Never forget the death loop...happens quiet often. We ned to anticipate that every time we hit the first QR.

Re: (How not to?) Deal with 40 kt.+ sudden winds

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 1:08 pm
by Bille
It's doesn't just apply to riding in water ; just as important to be aware of what's
behind you , when riding on land or snow , as well. Last month i was on Jean
dry-lake bed, with my buggy, and a micro-burst hit up-wind of me, with dust flying
way more intense than a normal thermal would create. I was hooked into a
10m PL Venom ; it would have bin UGLY if i hadn't dropped the kite, and rolled it up
before i got hit with that blast of wind.

How many of you look up-wind , every time Ya make a tack or jibe on land , water
or snow ?
I do , (EVERY time) !
Basically i got to ; because i already lost a bunch of body-parts to Flying , and
i ain't too lucky ! :(

Bille

Re: (How not to?) Deal with 40 kt.+ sudden winds

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 3:02 pm
by deniska
Bille wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 10:08 am

Won't a flagged-out kite , used for self rescue ; pull Ya through that
current, your talking about , in a 40 , or even a 15 ? ----------------------- (yes)

Don't they make auto/self inflatable PFD's , that create almost NO
drag , (when not inflated) ? ----------------------------------------------- yes again !
Are they USCG-approved ? YEP !

https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/bass-pr ... -belt-pack

Basically deniska, you trying to talk people into dying ; cause Ya want
to look COOL . I'm beginning to see why i got off this forum
over a year ago , and stuck to flying Hang gliders and Paragliders ; the avid
flyers , only care about survival , and looking COOL was for the Dead people.
And i'll take some whiskey, with my kool-aid please ...

Bille
Why don't you show me how to use a flagged out foil kite for propulsion?
Have a 100-200m swim with that in 40kts and some current and then report, please.
use as many PDF as you like but if you get blown in the the ocean there is very slim chance they will find ya..
The universe is bigger than a couple of use cases that you guys deal at your local spots...
What works for you may not be the best advise for everyone