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Another UK Fatality

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UKSurf
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Re: Another UK Fatality

Postby UKSurf » Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:15 pm

longwhitecloud wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:53 am
Wave closeouts are maximum 5-7 seconds hold down and that is real bad ones.... huge waves Imo people often drown from panic.. running out of energy very very quickly fighting instead of relaxing as they are smashed in the impact zone or just wasting going backwards fighting rips or sweeps. Getting wrapped in lines in a kite specific complication to consider. Imo the most dangerous kite waveriding is in huge waves with moderate winds. There is no sense in saying floatation isnt going to help unless you are dealing with a super unluckly situation where you cannot dive out the way of lines wrapping around you.. but even a harness/wetsuit floatation makes this very very hard. .. maybe not even possible.

Keep a level head, understand and be highly experienced the surf zone or you shoildnt be there ( be an experienced surfer/ clubbie) and make good decisions.. it is sometimes easy to get out on a kite with really big swells but you have to have a plan and train for not having your kite in the air any longer... also having a higher level attitude of not f=%%ing up in the first place is vital.
From my own limited experience I totally agree, it was the panic that nearly got me not the conditions. Panic = Rapid Exhaustion = Drowning.

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Re: Another UK Fatality

Postby longwhitecloud » Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:47 am

dont even underestimate 5 second hold down.

your heart rate is already going super fast draining oxygen fast due to the cardio of kiting - you might have already been kiting for hours too - being super drained - you might feel the buzz but know you dont have the batteries left if you get in the shit - food/drink knowing when you are done. , then your lungs can be physically pressed out by the wave

so 5 seconds is like a minute+ sitting on your sofa probablty way worse.

but if you do the super relax thing as you are in the impact zone getting smashed you will save oxygen... you fight it by swimming hard to surface straight away - you get very rapid oxygen depletion. the impact zone only lasts seconds usually before the worst of it washes through - then make your way.

in underwater breath hold swimming - success is from using as little oxygen as possible - hardly stroking

do not do underwater breath holding without a competent person able to pull you out at any time (even in the bath) - shallow water blackout is very real and you are going to drown as soon as you go unconscious! has happened to so many gurus

identify heavy impact zones before you ride - they are the areas that break very steeply

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Re: Another UK Fatality

Postby sarc » Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:13 am

I would like to share my experience in overhead waves
Never ever use boots in any significant wave. You need to be able to get out of straps in a microsecond, plus you will likely damage a knee sooner or later anyways if you use boots in waves
If you go down in big waves release everything right away and just think about yourself not the gear
If you go over the falls pinch your nose, the water impact can force the air out of your lungs without you even realizing it
Recognize if you are caught in a wash cycle where the rip current brings you back to the next wave in never ending cycle - you WILL drown! Often there's no time to get out of the rip by swimming perpendicular to it, too many wash cycles will exhaust you and you will drown. The only way out is to body surf the wave out of the rip - scary proposition for big waves but if you are in a wash cycle it's the only way out that I know. (Fun fact: once I saw a board stuck in a wash cycle for 10 minutes! I think current played a factor that day)
Realize that the worst possible hold down is less than 20 seconds, if you keep your breath you will be fine as long as you completely released both kite and board and are not in a wash cycle.
Use a kayak PFD they are cheap, comfortable and great impact protectors
Never clip your leash on the back of the harness, always use a short freeride leash connected to the front of your harness (I have been dragged underwater by kite in waves and the water resistance is amazing)
Never ever ever kite alone or in offshore wind
Triple check your equipment and if you have a frayed line or something, today is not the day to go out in waves
Know what the tide and currents are doing
Carry 2 hook knives

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Re: Another UK Fatality

Postby longwhitecloud » Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:49 am

"Recognize if you are caught in a wash cycle where the rip current brings you back to the next wave in never ending cycle - you WILL drown! Often there's no time to get out of the rip by swimming perpendicular to it, too many wash cycles will exhaust you and you will drown. The only way out is to body surf the wave out of the rip - scary proposition for big waves but if you are in a wash cycle it's the only way out that I know."

Some good advice here but be careful what advice you give. This is wrong advice and again goes against what is taught in surf lifesaving.

The first factor is dont panic- if you are thinking you are going to drown because you are in a "wash cycle "(not a term i have ever heard before unless applying to a washing machine) that is not good!

I have friends that have spent 45mins in 10 ft Hawaiian (3-4 time overhead) chillaxing making their way back in based on sensible decisions, i have done many big swims.

"Often there's no time to get out of the rip by swimming perpendicular to it," just not true.

"The only way out is to body surf the wave out of the rip"

Nah.... rips are created by low resistance paths for water to head back out after waves break in the impact zone. They can be identified by darker patchy areas without heavy breaking waves - fatter pea rollers if at all. You do not want to attempt to swim back here, the waves that may be breaking here fat mush... are unlikely to drive you forwards in a bad rip. Goes against all live saving advice. You need to get yourself back into the impact zone (the most violent breaking waves part.)... out of the rip, where the water will be shallower and so the waves will be breaking hard flowing back to shore including the volume of water. Body surf in, get smashed on the way but drive forwards.


The best advice is don't go if you don't know.

this is an area where i want to be careful what advice i give too as there are other factors that can be involved too - eg near outgoing tide estuary entrances.
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Matteo V
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Re: Another UK Fatality

Postby Matteo V » Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:59 am

Matty V wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:57 am
Not sure the discussion about doing board off practicality vs pdf vs inflato belt really has its place in this thread.

Poor bloke has died, have a bit of respect and if you and Rick want to get into it start a new thread.
I don't necessarily agree, but it is true as has been shown in the past.

Remember the helmet thread? The most forceful argument made against helmets was citing the insensitivity of trying to point out safety mistakes made made by the deceased.

That thread established that criticism of the deceased's mistakes, and learning from them via discussing them, is an offense that will get the topic locked.

Again, I do not agree with the above, but the president has been set. Has said policy changed?

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Re: Another UK Fatality

Postby UKSurf » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:02 pm

longwhitecloud wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:49 am
I have friends that have spent 45mins in 10 ft Hawaiian (3-4 time overhead) chillaxing making their way back in based on sensible decisions, i have done many big swims.
I remember seeing a video of Jesse Richman talking about big wave kitesurfing and how his training focused on staying relaxed - I think this saved me from possibly drowning. My own experience made me realise that the fear of drowning is what is most likely to drown you in surf. My decision to just relax and try to wait and see where the waves took me totally changed the situation. I realised the conditions were not that dangerous andI could stay out in them indefinitely as long as I was careful not to expend too much energy. Eventually I was swept away from whatever was holding me where they were breaking and after that I was pretty quickly washed back on the beach. If anyone is ever caught in waves I would suggest doing what your friend did and just chill out and see what happens, the waves are going to take you where ever they want anyhow.
Last edited by UKSurf on Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Another UK Fatality

Postby iriejohn » Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:35 pm

Matteo V wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:59 am
Again, I do not agree with the above, but the president has been set. Has said policy changed?
Now that's a delicious malapropism that I've never seen before! :lol:

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Re: Another UK Fatality

Postby Matteo V » Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:02 pm

iriejohn wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:35 pm
Matteo V wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:59 am
Again, I do not agree with the above, but the president has been set. Has said policy changed?
Now that's a delicious malapropism that I've never seen before! :lol:
Yes, talk to text. It's nice that you are, once again, at my service. At least to the degree to which you are capable, though proof reading is still very much appreciated.

Any other thoughts on what I posit? :?:

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Re: Another UK Fatality

Postby robclaisse » Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:24 pm

Though this thread has ended up being a discussion on safety devices and getting held down in waves - it doesn't look like that is what actually happened here. The preliminary post mortem shows it wasn't drowning and his friends there that day didn't see him held down and he was even that far off the beach, in quite moderate waves. He was also an experienced kitesurfer. It looks like it was something else, so at this point, there is little use in trying to guess the reason because it's not that straight forward. I believe the further inquest into his death will report back in January.

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Re: Another UK Fatality

Postby sarc » Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:36 pm

All above - I was writing for the living, personally I read all accident reports carefully and learn as much as I can. This is what for example aircraft pilots do. I do not see this as disrespecting the victim.

Longwhitecloud - what you say is true in case of typical groundswell for example (are you located in Australia? That would be typical there). In my experience in Euro or Asia conditions the rip tide / wash cycle can occur right in the middle of high waves and in fact can be what makes the waves break (that's what happened to me, and fortunately I made the decision to body surf the high waves while I still had some strength left. Tried swimming in the whitewater / chop / rinse cycles for several minutes going absolutely nowhwere).

Please take this in the spirit of learning as much as possible and protecting other riders and their families.
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