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Stopping death loop when can't reach a single line

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szert
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Stopping death loop when can't reach a single line

Postby szert » Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:09 am

I'm usually able to see retrospectively what could have I done better after my kiting troubles. But this incident I can't see too much. Maybe folks here can give some advice.

Downwinder, fairly powered on a 9m.

I was getting quite far from shore actually to signal my buddy that we should ride closer to shore. Anything happens so far out it's quite a pain to get back on land.

Obviously it was just when I felt something weird happening on my bar. Bar pressure suddenly eased a bit for a moment.

I knew something is off but I wasn't sure what so I tried to keep my kite in the air. It started looping then it crashed. I tried to relaunch a couple of times but it resulted more looping. It kept looping while it was down so I ejected and started to self rescue.

I got to my bar and started to wrap the lines but the kite started to loop again pulling me a lot. I remembered one of the YouTube videos on how to stop looping but I couldn't reach any single line as the lines were already twisted all the way up far. The pull from the looping was so strong I had no chance wrapping up more and reaching the kite.

I accepted that I will be dragged to shore (2+ kms) by a looping kite. I layed on my board, even edged a bit to get to shore sooner (side on shore wind)

On the bright side it was much faster than sailing by laying on the kite :))) I think it looped a couple of hundred times.

The scary part was when reached shore and the kite was still looping crazy. Fortunately a kiter was on the deserted beach just there. She tried to catch my weaponized kite. That was the moment I almost ejected the leash, I was so worried of injuring her. Luckily she was able to grab the kite after a few attempts.

After catching breath I found that one of bridle lines snapped. And it seems the bar stuck before completely reaching the depower position after QR activation I am guessing because the lines were already twisted a lot when I ejected.

Miraculously the kite survived (this Airush DNA is a tank) and I kept my board too. It took ages to untangle the lines.

I can only think of two lessons learned but I feel they couldn't stop this happening.

1. Eject sooner if the kite looping (?) UPDATE: actually it might be wiser to stop the looping before ejecting while still can reach the steering lines

2. Don't go too far from shore

3. UPDATE: release the safety leash and let the kite go if failed to stop the looping. At least when it already pulled me close to shore. It is much less dangerous when not loaded. It would have likely just collapsed by the waves or stopped by an object on the beach

Bridle lines had no visible wear btw, that I check regularly.

Advice is welcome.

How to handle when bar stuck before reaching full depower position?

Is there a way to stop the looping even when you can't reach a single line?

What to do when kite is looping on the beach ?
Last edited by szert on Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

szert
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Re: Stopping death loop when can't reach a single line

Postby szert » Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:37 am

Actually I just rewatched this great video:


I should have not eject in first place. It is very counter intuitive but that way I could have reached one of the steering lines to stop the looping.

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Re: Stopping death loop when can't reach a single line

Postby longwhitecloud » Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:21 am

In high wind there may be very little you can do. Many people have been dragged and drowned from this aspect of kite design that enables the bridle to wrap around the kite tip.

On one hand I am sure that high depower kites with the use of bridles have saved lives but that doesnt mean that this isnt a very important design feature in reducing the risk.

I personally don't think most kite companies necessarily understand or design for reducing this risk.

It can happen with fix line kites (no bridles) with accidental bar line wraps/half hitches/ bridles stuck on valves (my neo did this and tried to mess me up (wrong place for a valve!) and even full kite wraps resulting a in a spin (very very rare but possible)


The design factors that designers may incorporate to reducing this risk may not factor in slow leaks / deflating kites thus allowing wraps of the bridle where it was not previously so easily possible.

Long bridles are more risky. Pump your kites hard.

I still do not trust bridle kites so much riding in very high winds and have always felt safer with fixed line 5th line kites.

The effectiveness of the purchase as a result of bridles also introduces a factor that can result in oversheeting a kite more easily . This is especially important to know if you are into kitelooping. You may have seen Lewis crash horrifically in the KOTA, now I don't know 100% this is the reason but with my expereince it looked like that - backstall - no catch - horrific crash - but that is another issue I guess.


I have gone on over the years how kite companies need to consider that introducing new design features can also have negative safety design factors and consider that in their design and engineering. If you are selling small kites for high winds, you must be testing them in high winds and introducing all possible factors in order to test them for safety as becasue as we know - if it can happen - it will.

I hope they are listening.

______________________

In the meantimne - advice >>>

make sure kite is pumped hard
check you bridles have minimum chance of catching being caught if self launching
Getting someone to launch you is better but ONLY if they know what they are doing - these days teh launcher needs to know to check no bridles are caught before letting go, I have seen some one close to being killed because the laucher did not check.
Lauching unhooked is a thing but you need to some training in it first - like not holding on hard !
Release when it doesnt risk others sooner than later - the more spins your kite does - the less likely you are ever going to counteract the pull on one side at twh twisted lines lock the lines
Do actual kite release practice - lighting quick reactions help
Consider that at any time your kite may malfunction in some way and not be able to pull you around any more
Choose kite designs/ brands that have been designed with reducing the risk of death loops happening.
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Re: Stopping death loop when can't reach a single line

Postby Jamesconn300 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:32 am

Wow so glad your safe...

question: since the kite was looping in one direction, won't the lines become so braided that they choke the kite? I have no idea and I'm just speculating/trying to imagine, but if the kite loops so many times in one direction is it possible for the kite to become deformed that is slows the loops or stops them? I'm thinking the outside lines get so tight it screws with the shape of the kite? no? does the looping get worse? Is my logic opposite from the truth?
It's hard to explain what I imagine happening after a kite looping in the same direction for so long.

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Re: Stopping death loop when can't reach a single line

Postby Mike101 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:03 am

Not really. I've also been pulled half a km on an out of control looping kite.

I also use 5 line fixed kites for winds above 40knt for this very reason.

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Re: Stopping death loop when can't reach a single line

Postby Herman » Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:33 am

My personal philosophy is that a kite needs tension on at least one line to produce real power. No tension, the kite is just a rag blowing in the wind, ok it has a bit of structure so not quite true.

If there is plenty of space with little prospect of organising significant assistance, I would completely release as soon as I arrived at the shallows and hope the kite would sit rather than tumble. This would have allowed the lady kiter on the beach to just pick up an unarmed kite - with a bit of luck, if you could not get ashore quickly enough to make the interception.

Where I normally ride I don’t see many others and rarely beginners and so I have not witnessed many loose kites but all those I have seen have eventually sat somewhere. Obviously release as the kite is on the downward arc if possible.

PS I realise this is a difficult decision to make because it feels like abdicating responsibility!! Cannot say it covers all scenarios, it is just my thoughts! Sadly it would not be sensible to practice the above unless you have a very organised crew.
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szert
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Re: Stopping death loop when can't reach a single line

Postby szert » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:15 am

I was hoping exactly the same while it kept looping. It actually stopped a couple of times for a few seconds then it carried on. Actually I think when it stopped it was more because of the waves.

The braid went up ca. 3-5 meters from the kite but it was still looping. I regret I didn't take a photo of the lines before untangling, it was so tightly braided for 15+ meters :)))
Jamesconn300 wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:32 am
Wow so glad your safe...

question: since the kite was looping in one direction, won't the lines become so braided that they choke the kite? I have no idea and I'm just speculating/trying to imagine, but if the kite loops so many times in one direction is it possible for the kite to become deformed that is slows the loops or stops them? I'm thinking the outside lines get so tight it screws with the shape of the kite? no? does the looping get worse? Is my logic opposite from the truth?
It's hard to explain what I imagine happening after a kite looping in the same direction for so long.

szert
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Re: Stopping death loop when can't reach a single line

Postby szert » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:27 am

What keeps me bugging that the issue was not that the bar didn't reach all the way up to full depower position. Unfortunately I couldn't inspect it properly on the beach because the lines were so tangled.

Isn't it possible that this kind of bridle line snap can cause the depower not working fully? I.e. all four lines still connected but one of the center lines is connected only at one single tow point to the kite instead of three.
20201113_061020.jpg
It happened with me once the bridle line snapped similarly with a different kite and different bar. The wind was lower so no looping but the kite kept pulling quite a bit even after ejecting.

Is it possible that this kind of line break changes the kite behaviour in such way that it stays more powered after ejection than usual ?

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Re: Stopping death loop when can't reach a single line

Postby leeuwen » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:28 am

Although it feels unnatural I agree with Herman and release in the shallows.
I once picked up a released kite on the beach with 50+ knots. It was just slowly going downwind and pretty safe/easy to do (it ended up in the “parked” position sliding on the beach)

Also if your bridles snap you are going to be in trouble and I am not sure you can prevent it from looping.
Maybe you can backstall it but your still in trouble since you won’t be able to recover from it.
So I personally would only go out significantly from shore with at least 3 kiters, preferably more.
When in trouble one can stay with the downed kiter and another can get help. (It is near impossible to find someone for rescue services unassisted by a big marker like a kite in the air)
When you are just a duo you could also end up with the 2 kites crashing into each other so a third person is essential again preferably 4.

Last but not least: in regards to the snapped bridle:
Make sure pulleys run absolutely smooth. As stuck pulley can rip through a bridle in no time.
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Re: Stopping death loop when can't reach a single line

Postby leeuwen » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:36 am

szert wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:27 am
Is it possible that this kind of line break changes the kite behaviour in such way that it stays more powered after ejection than usual ?
Depends, if the side with the flag out line is the one with the broken bridle it won’t be working as expected. How that exactly pans out is anyone’s guess.

However safety can also be affected by many twists in the line.
The more loops it had the more resistance the flag out will get.
Eg if you would never untwist the center lines you can fly the kite perfectly fine but the flag out might not work.
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