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Beginner with ultra long lines - intervene or not?

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H2O-beneath
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Beginner with ultra long lines - intervene or not?

Postby H2O-beneath » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:32 pm

Hi,
New here, first post.
I was kiting on the French Atlantic coast yesterday. 7pm in the evening, a guy prepares his gear and asks my son to launch his kite. There were only a few kites on the beach, my son couldn’t find the guy’s kite at first. Reason: the guy had 50m lines on an 8m kite! We were on 12/14. He explained that he compensates the smaller kite with longer lines... We went “ok, whatever works for you”, thinking he knew what he was doing. We found out that he was a beginner. He got dragged on 50m when launching the kite (he was in shallow water though), getting dragged downwinds massively when trying to go upwinds. The wind was steady and getting weaker. The beach was almost empty.
We didn’t intervene, the guy didn’t put anybody except himself in jeopardy. What would be the best thing to do?
1/ who am I to judge another guy’s line length?
2/ nicely suggest that it might not be such good idea to do this
3/ stop him

Thanks
H2O-beneath

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edt
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Re: Beginner with ultra long lines - intervene or not?

Postby edt » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:37 pm

never judge someone else's line length. Weak wind he ain't gonna hurt himself.

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Re: Beginner with ultra long lines - intervene or not?

Postby Matteo V » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:44 pm

Sounds like it all worked out. The beginner did not get hurt, you did not get hurt, and no beach goers got hurt. Likely the kiter learned their lesson too.

Definitely do things differently if more dangerous conditions exist. But in the end, you have to decide how forcefull you are going to be to save an idiot and/or your kite spot.

If you would have known the guy was a beginner, I would have asked him if he would like you to show him some trainer kite tricks that would help his skills out on the water. If you can get him to agree, pull out your trainer and show him basics of loops and maybe even simulating a backroll (trainer kiter just turns around with bar in their hand). This will give you a much better assessment of the situation and give you more of a basis to be sure of your safety advice. Then offer to "check out" his kite by flying it on the beach, but only on standard length lines. Say you are willing to put longer lines on it once you make sure line lengths and bridals are ok. Personally, I will give up a full day of kiting to help someone not get hurt or get my spot banned.

H2O-beneath
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Re: Beginner with ultra long lines - intervene or not?

Postby H2O-beneath » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:03 pm

Thanks for your replies. We don’t know the end of the story. The guy disappeared into the sunset and we left. A forrest was within reach of his lines and the amount of uncontrolled downwind dragging left us with doubts about our passivity.
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knotwindy
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Re: Beginner with ultra long lines - intervene or not?

Postby knotwindy » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:12 pm

New face on the beach, asks me to launch him, I always ask “have you launched here before, this spot can be a bit tricky if you don’t know it?” Easy way to start a conversation to see if he has a clue and protect the beach access.
Did he ask anything beyond can you launch me?

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Re: Beginner with ultra long lines - intervene or not?

Postby tautologies » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:46 pm

Go with your conscience. Personally I would probably do 2. After doing what Knotwindy suggests, gently ask him what he was trying to achieve and then say it doesn't make much sense. Unless he puts other people in danger (or himself in an obviously dangerous situation), and he knows the risk, I would not interfere.
Btw 50m lines sound like a drunken-good-idea. It makes no sense.

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Re: Beginner with ultra long lines - intervene or not?

Postby FLandOBX » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:47 pm

"Intervene" is a strong word for suggestions about someone's equipment choice. I like to offer assistance ("need any help?" or "let me know if you need any help"), but I wouldn't intervene unless someone was in a crisis and about to get hurt or hurt someone else.

I know an older guy who is an exceptional kiter. He always rigs a bigger kite than everyone else and pulls off unbelievable airstyle tricks. He doesn't look like a kiter at all (older, overweight, out of shape). Somebody always wants to give him "advice" about his kite size when he starts rigging a huge kite. He just smiles and goes about his business. Then he hits the water and everyone stops and watches in disbelief. You just never know for sure. :thumb:
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Re: Beginner with ultra long lines - intervene or not?

Postby Beardytello » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:01 am

FLandOBX wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:47 pm
"Intervene" is a strong word for suggestions about someone's equipment choice. I like to offer assistance ("need any help?" or "let me know if you need any help"), but I wouldn't intervene unless someone was in a crisis and about to get hurt or hurt someone else.

I know an older guy who is an exceptional kiter. He always rigs a bigger kite than everyone else and pulls off unbelievable airstyle tricks. He doesn't look like a kiter at all (older, overweight, out of shape). Somebody always wants to give him "advice" about his kite size when he starts rigging a huge kite. He just smiles and goes about his business. Then he hits the water and everyone stops and watches in disbelief. You just never know for sure. :thumb:
Lol, I get this all the time, I'm not a kiter build at all (6'2 ex rugby player) not out of shape but I'm heavy AF! I'm rigging at least a 14m when the 70kg guys are riding 10's, they always take the piss saying how it's like a paraglider :lol:

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Re: Beginner with ultra long lines - intervene or not?

Postby Havre » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:58 am

In situations like that I always ask myself how I would feel if something went wrong. Then I evaluate the probability of that happening.

In this case the probability of something bad happening sounds low. I have seen similar things with friends trying to teach themselves to kite etc. - completely clueless, but it has always been with weak wind and on safe beaches so why not - not all can afford lessons... in this case he had clearly made a decision to use long lines and a reason why so I would have done the same as you - said nothing.

Then there have been other situations not related to kitesurfing where I have recommended people to stop doing what they are doing. Where due to ignorance of the risks involved there was a clear risk of injury or even death.

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Re: Beginner with ultra long lines - intervene or not?

Postby PeaBody » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:57 pm

I have said to people before when asking for a launch if they 'were going to be alright on that kite', similar situation to one of the other posters... I was pumping up my 9m and this guy asked for a launch, it was a 12m, I just said "are you going to be alright on that, I am pumping up a 9m" (he was lighter than me), he said "yeah that guys on a 14m" (but the way he said it was like defensive / attack), the guy on the 14m was clearly slightly larger / heavier but was definitely an air-style type rider. I just said ok and launched him, I could tell instantly he was overpowered because of the arm right out and the terrible poo stance... not much more you can do!


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