KITEBOARDING SCENARIOS #3
You are an experienced kiteboarder and are flying a 15 m, four line inflatable with onshore 18 to 22 kt winds. You just launched your kite and are dragging along the sand waiting for your friends to launch. Your kite comes within 20 ft. (6 m), of the windward face of a six story building as you are dragging along. The next thing you know you are being dragged out of control towards the building at speed with your kite rapidly flying towards vertical or the zenith the closer you come to the building. You think you are going to be dragged into the side of the building when you suddenly are lofted free of the ground. You rapidly rise up off the ground until you are about 20 ft. (6 m) high. You start to panic, fail to control the kite, stall it and fall into the sand along the base of the building. You suffer some broken ribs, a concussion, cuts and bruises. You are not wearing a helmet or impact vest.
What should you do?
1. How to avoid the problem in the first place.
a. Once you launch go offshore without delay. NEVER fly a full sized traction kiteboarding kite on land for any longer than strictly necessary. Wait beyond 300 ft. (100 m) from shore, if you need to wait or delay launching.
b. Avoid onshore wind conditions. If you do fly in them be extra cautious.
c. Never allow your kite to come close, 50 to 100 ft. (15 to 30 m) of the windward face of a vertical surface (cliffs, buildings, dense trees, hills, walls, etc.), in onshore winds. If it looks like you are coming within that distance be prepared to activate your kite depowering leash rapidly.
d. Always wear adequate protective gear, helmet, impact vest, gloves, etc.
2. How to deal with the problem if it is too late to avoid it.
a. Once you are being dragged towards the building activate your depowering leash immediately.
b. Test your leash periodically and inspect it frequently to improve the chances for proper performance.
c. If you are lofted continue to fly the kite at all costs. Your chances of coming through uninjured at this point are not good but may be aided by the following.
d. If you maintain kite control you may glide out of the slipstream and be able to land, hard but potentially with minimal injury.
e. If necessary steer lightly to the left or right to glide out of the standing pressure wave generated by the face of the building. Once you start to fall you have left the slip stream but continue to fly out.
f. Be ready to depower your kite just before impact to disable the kite from dragging your into further problems should you hit hard and lose control.
3. KSI accounts, if any, that are related.
(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/ ... g%20Safety%
41. Incident # 6 02 1
19. Incident # 1 02 1
7. Incident # 5 01 1
Comments: Uplift lofting could be a relatively common problem considering the frequency of vertical surfaces near launches and onshore wind conditions. The winds donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to be very high to create such an incident. Twenty knots, perhaps even less could do it. With todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s larger kites and higher wind speeds flying up the windward face of the surface relative to the onshore wind speed, causing uplifting lofting is easy to do. You only need to come close enough. How close is close, that is hard to say. One hundred feet is a good practical distance to shoot for. So, you stall a kite on launch and you are dragged downwind, you carve a turn too near shore and let your kite go over the uplift zone, you bust a jump near shore and get dragged downwind, etc. It is easy to do, remember in kiteboarding Ã¢â‚¬Å“distance is your friendÃ¢â‚¬