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My first long swim

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Mossy 757
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Re: My first long swim

Postby Mossy 757 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:35 pm

TomW wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:32 pm
Ive been kiting since 2002 and this was first time i had this kind of situation.
Lol, I did this like 5 times in the first month I owned a foil kite.

It's definitely scary, but when you reduce it down to the basics, you're alone in the ocean with some stuff, and ideally you'll get all the stuff back to the beach, but getting your body back to the beach is pretty straightforward and easy if you're uninjured. When you start prioritizing the cost of your 'stuff' over the value of your safety/life, that's when these situations get dicey.

I know others have already said it, but always wear a PFD. Helps you swim longer and traps heat against your core in the cold weather.

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Re: My first long swim

Postby Strekke » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:39 pm

Always good these type of stories on the forum, helps learn from each other's mistakes.

I recognize the "oh the wind seems to be dying - it will probably pick up again / I have enough left for 1 more tack out and back"-scenario. I did the same thing last year, and no, the wind did not come back and the kite just dropped out of the sky... Lesson I learned: if the wind gets sketchy, head back to shore ASAP, and play around close to shore to see if it dies out completely, or comes back. Worst case scenario is shuts off completely, and you swim in 50-100m max. This is a new factor to take into account for all experienced kiters that start foiling imo: with regular kiting, the wind can die down unexpectedly, but rarely will it die down so fast/suddenly that your kite drops out of the sky completely; you might not make it back upwind, but should get to shore downlooping the kite or whatever. With foiling, the wind is often so low that with the same amount of knots reduced, you go from "flyable" to "hindenburg" in no time. Something to keep in mind at all times when foiling in the lower end!

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Re: My first long swim

Postby Dave_5280 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:34 am

I knew and instructor that clipped a short bodyboarding flipper to the back of his harness as a backup, to help him swim, after he had an equipment failure and a long swim in.

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Re: My first long swim

Postby f2020 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:18 am

I very often kite alone. About 100 times a year. When I do:
1 - I always wear a flotation device.
2 - I always kite with my iPhone on me (Waterproof iPhone 7 inside an Aquapac)
3 - With the function "find me friend" or the "kitetracker app" on, my other half can always know where I am and can send an alert if necessary.

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Re: My first long swim

Postby jakemoore » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:50 am

Glad to hear all ended well TomW!

I'm curious to know what kind of kite the rescuer had that was still in the air?

Also, could the tube kite realistically be used as a sail to pull back to shore?

My 9 Hyperlink pulls and relaunches in wind where my 9 Ultra will do neither. Yes I have found conditions where I was unable to relaunch. In the lightest winds priority is to keep the kite flying and hopefully body drag back to shore. Swimming with a foil kite is a real chore by the way. With a non-relaunchable foil kite I would prioritize to stay with the board rather than the kite. Also, sitting on the board sometimes can give enough resistance to relaunch and enough float to stay calm and rest.

In my few deep water packdowns I have not had the good fortune to wrap the bar without tangles in a way that would allow a drift launch. Definitely need to go slow and get all the lines on the bar so as not to get wrapped.

This guy looks like he has a sense of humor:


Two thoughts on this video from me, a rookie: 1) It looks like the board volume is holding him back in the water start and 2) is possible by keeping the kite high he could have body dragged in rather than swim, but the thought is clouded by stoke.

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Re: My first long swim

Postby slowboat » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:04 pm

Glad you made it in OK. Thanks for sharing; these reminders are helpful for everyone. There is a lot going on with kite down and a hydrofoil to manage but I think the biggest problem here was the line around the legs. That HAS to be avoided at all costs. If one is in real trouble, you can let everything go and free swim in. Yes, potentially expensive but not a life altering event. I always foil with a proper PFD and 2 working knives, keep myself in good swimming fitness and my living expenses budget includes replacing kiting equipment.

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Re: My first long swim

Postby nothing2seehere » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:09 pm

Done a very similar situation TomW but shorter, warmer swim.

Wind dropped but I wasn't too far out so I decided to body drag with the board. As I went over a bit of chop my chicken loop triggered as it caught on the edge of the board (sliding spreader harness moved it further round than normal). Dropped kite to reset but couldn't get it airborne again. Lost contact with board resetting the chicken loop (It washed up and I got it back a couple of days later). Was able to kick/self rescue drag back in.

I came across this video showing hydrofoil self rescue. It seems good to me but I don't know how well it would work with the non floaty style of board I now have:

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Re: My first long swim

Postby coffeeking » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:24 pm

hongchew wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:59 pm
A detachable board leash would've kept the board from drifting away, no?
I always kite with a board leash (reel leash) but it gets constant abuse because people claim it's riskier than no leash. I disagree, and will always use it, having had a similar situation back in about 2005 when the wind flipped 180 unexpectedly (not forecast) and dropped to near zero, while I was flying an 18.1 LEI on an outgoing 8 knot tide. I swam a long way with a deflated leading edge (at one point I lost sight of shore, then the tide went slack) and lost a board. When I got back to the beach I was lying there in the surf for a good 10 minutes recovering before I could wrap up the kite.

That said, I'm not sure I'd leash a foil to me, it has significantly more mass and worse parts to avoid.

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Re: My first long swim

Postby matth » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:52 pm

Dave_5280 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:34 am
I knew and instructor that clipped a short bodyboarding flipper to the back of his harness as a backup, to help him swim, after he had an equipment failure and a long swim in.
I guess it's really not a bad idea if you ride in offshore wind. Flippers do make swimming considerably more effective than just your feet.

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Re: My first long swim

Postby CaptainArgh » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:58 pm

Thanks for sharing the tale. Glad you made it back in one piece. Had to be scary.

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