Just came back from a location with a very heavy shore-break dump. There was a kite-foiling event there and quite a few people could not get out due to heavy break and light and direct on-shore wind combination.
I managed to get out a few times, but found it very intimidating. It would be not be a problem with a twintip, but handling a foil while body dragging thru these breaking waves was quite a challenge,
which was amplified by light wind of 5-9 knots and a current moving in the same direction as wind (which led to losing tension in lines while body dragging out)
One guy had a foil-board ripped from his hands by a wave and broke a fuse. I have seen a successful team-work where one person was body dragging with a kite only and another swam out with a foil board.
What is your technique for dealing with this type of conditions? Obviously, the best thing is one is NOT to foil at such location
Last edited by fun2kite on Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sounds really difficult. Big dumping close to shore, sounds like 2 man approach is good.
Or good timing?
I was in Brazil and the waves are 1-1,5 m " beach break" breaking in confused way on gradually sloping sand, like a 50m break zone, sideshore ( longshore) current+ incoming tide current, winds a lowest 10-13 knots. Wind was actually 20-30 degrees off full on shore. It was 400m walk over shallow lagoon and hard sand to the waves and to drag out.
A few times it was 20 min struggle to drag out.
What I did:
Keep board on side under upwind arm. Nose forward. Use board as lateral resistance.
Keep body laid out in water between board and kite bar. face the waves.
Keep kite flying outwards, never ever let kite swing around.
As waves approach keep kite powered, grab board hard to side but keep the mast horizontal and board pointing into wave. Duck dive a little under. Hold the board pointing forward!!
Recover, keep dragging, keep ducking.
I might kick with my legs in deeper water, but I'll always try to start early in chest deep buy doing a fast pop-up start.
Many times I escaped out through breaking waves and white water over shallow sand reefs ( 60cm deep) by doing flying start and keeping foil high. Exciting to do!! Spectators amazed..
I'm on 93cm mast, moses 633 big wing.
The two things that make this easier for me are a low volume board and a big wing. Much easier to duck under the shore break with a low volume board and easier to to do a flying start with a big wing once there is a break in the waves.
Last one is timing the set waves and heading out during a lull if possible.
Its hard! real hard. Cross on, cross shore is far far easier. Onshore big swell is really really hard an sometimes impossible.
I do a lot of bashing out through the waves. Luckily for me its mostly cross on.
Here's what i do.
Look for a rip. If there's one use the rip to take you out.
Look for a lull in the sets.
When there's a lull go like f***.
Get to waist heigh then float the board upwind off you. ( if you get bashed buy a wave you get taken downwind).
Float it on its side pointing at teh waves,.
Hold the front strap and duck dive you and the board under the waves when the role through.
Then when you are at a depth you can body drag. Flip the board quickly downwind of you still floating sideways.
Body drag with an outstretched up above the front foot strap. This will get you moving deeper but you are not connected to the board.
If you are about to be smashed get the hell away from the board.
As soon as you are at start depth, start asafp and get the hell out back as fast as f***.
If you have options for onshore v Cross on. Choose cross on. You can use the kite power to push you through the surf while body dragging. With onshore you can't do that easily.
Lastly. Get out there and practice, try and see what conditions you and your floating axe can handle. You will find the limit!... As you get more experience that limit gets higher and higher.