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Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

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Herman
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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby Herman » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:32 am

I think Jatem’s general point of keeping hold of the bar while crashing is a good starting point and is the philosophy I started out with. But for me this has developed over the years. Firstly I fight to keep the kite in control where I want it. If that is not possible I sheet out and keep the bar still with even pressure in the hands so as not to steer the kite. If that is not possible I release the bar. With this philosophy I seem to find it more likely to find the kite sitting on a tip ready for immediate relaunch, which is important in waves, once I have finished crashing. Of course if you are overrunning the lines it is relatively easy to keep hold of the bar, then my main aim is to retain line tension and not get tangled. Naturally you don’t get to think this through during a crash, I am talking developing your instincts.

The reason I post this is for any Newbie looking in. Imho you do not want the instinct of keeping hold of the bar no matter what. This might reinforce the falling monkey instinct that could get you killed. It is very important to be able to let go of the bar if needed imho. Another of slappysans excellent videos illustrated this point a short while ago. I think that particular bar is a bit mischievous!

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby Hugh2 » Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:16 pm

Thanks for posting, Slappysan, that's a really scary video and some serious teabagging. I've luckily not experienced such a death loop in 15 years of kiting, but I have dropped my kite in waves and gotten rolled and come up disoriented with the kite down and caught by waves. Sadly I have only punched out completely once, the other times trying to keep control of the kite while being dragged. Even flagging out to one line sometimes will not save the kite and I've torn three completely in half this way. Kevin Langaree has a video recently showing where he downed his kite in waves in Cape Town and released it completely to gather it back on the shore. I realize you were farther out from shore, but I wish I could make that my first response when rolled in waves and it is obvious the kite will be caught by a big wave.

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby edt » Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:47 pm

There's nothing like deciding to just "ride it out" and try to fix the bar when one of the death loops throws you into the air and you land right inside your own lines. Didn't happen here, but it often happens when you are getting tea bagged in a death loop. That "surviving the death loop" video above is for entertainment purposes only, not to be taken seriously. In real life you throw the qr.

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby Slappysan » Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:00 pm

Erinhdisc wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:38 pm
This video shows the best method of dealing with looping kite in winds 30+. This has saved me, hope it saves others.
While in the video he does manage to backstall that 6m Bandit but I feel like the only reason that it works is because he's not in a real deathloop, he's only pulling the bar really hard on one side. By simulating the deathloop this way he's doing it with the bar fully sheeted in which means that he is able to pull both steering lines beyond normal sheeting range. In my case (as with most real world cases I would assume) you will end up having the pin/wrap with the bar sheeted out. When that happens the wrap is only causing the line to go to normal sheeting range because the bar is sheeted out so the two equal each other out. Now when you pull the opposite line to equal tension all you are doing is equivalent of pulling in the bar like normal and that's not going to cause a backstall in any decent amount of wind.
jatem wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:22 am
Looks like you grabbed the bar backwards after the fall, and tried to steer right with the orange side of the bar. I keep hold of the bar when I crash, so I don't grab the bar on the wrong side.
While I did grab the bar backwards my main initial goal was to pull hard on the side with the pin/wrap. When you do that it allows the pin/wrap to slip free because you are aligning the bar parallel with the lines so it can't bind them. The force of the first yank was enough that I had to abandon that quickly and focus on stopping the loop right away.
jakemoore wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:37 am
I'm guessing the GoPro makes the waves look smaller? Looks shoulder high where the wave hits the kite at 23 seconds? I hope it was an epic ride before the end.

I'm a fan of unhooking the chicken loop and holding it it my hand if the kite is down and Im in position for either me or the kite to get rolled in a wave.

... Sometimes it's easier to reset on shore. It works in our conditions as we are near shore on a sandy beach break - a 500 m swim at most.
While yes the GoPro does make the waves look smaller, this wasn't that big of a wave day and these are windswell so they are pretty gutless and break more randomly. There were what I'd call shoulder high sets further out from where I was (earlier in the session if you watched the full session log) but these are probably only waist high.

In a real wave that has the power to pick up your body and move you 20 feet in a few seconds that would make a lot of sense, I don't feel that kind of safety margin is needed in these waves that only move you 2-3 feet and more bob you up and down than move you latterally.
Hugh2 wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:16 pm
Kevin Langaree has a video recently showing where he downed his kite in waves in Cape Town and released it completely to gather it back on the shore. I realize you were farther out from shore, but I wish I could make that my first response when rolled in waves and it is obvious the kite will be caught by a big wave.
Yeah I watched that video of Kevin's and I will say that I was concerned for the people downwind of him when he did that. I think it could have gone a lot worse for the many people downwind. Kevin is also in legit waves too though and downed kites are a much bigger risk to both the pilot and bystanders in those conditions.

In this spot it's a clear 4 km downwind until shore so if I were to fully release it would be quite the hike to retrieve the kite. There are also windsurfers downwind of where we kite so it would be a risk to them. I'm not against it, but I do feel a responsibility to those downwind from me.

The biggest take away from this for me is that if you get the loop stable via equaling out the tension on both lines now you've essentially got a fully sheeted in and powered up kite, something that is rather dangerous. On top of that, once you let go of that opposite line your kite will resume looping. So what you can get is what I got, thrown up in the air and yarded downwind super fast.

I think it is important to separate the situation response by the conditions though. In a steady 20 knots with a 9m kite taking your time to sort things out is a lot less dangerous than out in 30 knots with a 6m kite. On top of that the wind had turned really gusty so that has a tendency to make the point that everything goes to shit be near the highest strength wind like it was in my case.

A huge factor is also space downwind. With 4 km of clean water between me and land even if I was bouncing downwind at 20 knots (which I was during those 4 sec it took me to activate my release) it would take several minutes of that before I got to land.

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby Hugh2 » Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:45 pm

Yeah I watched that video of Kevin's and I will say that I was concerned for the people downwind of him when he did that. I think it could have gone a lot worse for the many people downwind. Kevin is also in legit waves too though and downed kites are a much bigger risk to both the pilot and bystanders in those conditions.

In this spot it's a clear 4 km downwind until shore so if I were to fully release it would be quite the hike to retrieve the kite. There are also windsurfers downwind of where we kite so it would be a risk to them. I'm not against it, but I do feel a responsibility to those downwind from me.


Not sure if you have kited in Cape Town, but a day would not go by without several pilotless kites drifting down the waves till they get washed up on the beach, it is a minor hazard at Bloubergstrand, so no big deal. The major hazards are two-fold. If you are not jumping, having someone land on you. If you are jumping, having someone short tack downwind of you and nearly landing on them. I've had both several times.

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby BillyGoatGruff » Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:15 pm

Top Tip: Never...ever.. clip your leash to the handle on the back of a harness, clip to the front or near the spreader bar area. If you get teabagged or deathlooped when doing unhooked freestlye, you are double fooked as you will be dragged backwards & underwater.
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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby Chrism1133 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:44 am

One problem is he’s flying what looks to be a one strut in overpowered conditions- maybe this caused the bar wrap.

I would’ve hit the QR straight off, maybe got the board back, but he’s using the wrong kite and too late to release hence he gets thrown around.

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby edt » Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:47 am

Nothing wrong with his choice of kite or size. This video is an excellent example of a real life death loop. You think you'll be like that guy in "surviving the death loop" pulling lines and such, or maybe you think oh I'm too careful for it ever to happen to me but it happens anyway. In real life you can't see shit and have no idea where the bar is wrapped if it's the bar that's wrapped maybe it's the kite that has a problem, forget it. You're gonna get teabagged until you give up and hit the QR. That's real life.

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby TheJoe » Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:40 am

Its hard to train yourself to do it because we all ways think we can fix the problem. You have to flat ASAP once the kite starts looping. If you wait chances are the kite will not flag out from too much twisting of the lines. Then if that does not fix it you have to fully release the kite. Chances are you can not fix your wrapped lines because you can not see them. It only take one bad slam in a death loop to knock you out or force all the air out of your lungs at the wrong time causing you to inhale a bunch of water. Both can be very deadly.

I personally never leash my kite to the back of the harness. I learned a long time ago that you can not reach your release being pulled backwards thru the water let alone with the kite looping. Actually had a guy all most drown because of he could not reach his release as the kite dragged him about a mile downwind death looping. He is an amazing swimmer and kept calm enough to concentrate on keeping his head up to breath. Most people would panic in his situation. I think his leash broke and that is what finally stopped him.

I have had my share of close calls and I can say saving a kite is not worth the risk when its the kite or my life.

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Re: Dealing with a real world death loop in 30 knot conditions

Postby downunder » Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:38 am

In real life:

- the bar can get hooked on the spreader hook.

And that cannot be fixed.

Re leash, the back connection idea is to be pulled backwards which is not back breaking.

If one experienced both, front and back pull, I would opted for back, no matter what.

Either way, we going under water no mater where the connection is.


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