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safest way to race train in winter

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MaximumAC
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safest way to race train in winter

Postby MaximumAC » Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:40 pm

I've started "race style" foiling this summer and would like to continue working on skills throughout the fall and winter when our wind is generally better. Given the faster speeds and consequently longer distances covered what would make for the safest setup in cold water? Historically I've foiled a 633 while wearing a 5/4/3 or an Ocean Rodeo drysuit and stayed pretty close to home. Clearly staying close-ish to land and carrying a radio of some sort are important, but how best to prepare for a long swim in?

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Re: safest way to race train in winter

Postby dave1986 » Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:45 pm

I carry one of these PLBs.
Wear an impact vest or floatation vest
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IMG-20210801-WA0005.jpeg

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Peter_Frank
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Re: safest way to race train in winter

Postby Peter_Frank » Sat Aug 07, 2021 10:23 pm

I can only speak for my friends, racing all winter:

Have a mobile with you, for two reasons -
1. If you are REALLY far out, you can call for some friends to come and pick you up, or the local harbour, or simply a friend that you are about to paddle ashore, so they can check up on you.
2. If in bigger trouble, you can call for rescue, but should be the last solution of course.

If not used to it, practice your packdown when warmer, having gloves on, so you are sure how to roll the kite, and lay on it on the board, and paddle.
One thing is doing it without gloves, but with gloves and cold it can be a lot more tricky.

Otherwise simply a really warm suit and gloves and shoes and hood of course.

Be prepared that you WILL get some calls for rescue, eventhough you are not in trouble, when you paddle ashore - and a boat or even a chopper might come, as they are obligated to react on every call, even if not in trouble, as non surfers have no idea :naughty:

Some bright coloured lycra or neoprene jacket over your west, so you can be seen if in major trouble.
This will lead to even more "not needed" calls for rescue yes, but thats how it is.

8) Peter
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Re: safest way to race train in winter

Postby Jyoder » Sat Aug 07, 2021 10:47 pm

Why do you need a big area, or to go far? You can work on technique and drills in a tiny area. Unless you’re trying to judge angles and lines from far away…

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Re: safest way to race train in winter

Postby dave1986 » Sun Aug 08, 2021 6:52 am

Peter_Frank wrote:
Sat Aug 07, 2021 10:23 pm
I can only speak for my friends, racing all winter:

Have a mobile with you, for two reasons -
1. If you are REALLY far out, you can call for some friends to come and pick you up, or the local harbour, or simply a friend that you are about to paddle ashore, so they can check up on you.
2. If in bigger trouble, you can call for rescue, but should be the last solution of course.
Many locations, particularly by the coast don't always have reliable mobile phone signal, particularly if you're some distance out to sea.

PLB's are designed specifically for alerting coastguards to emergency or rescue situations. They don't require mobile network coverage and work anywhere in the world as they use a GPS receiver for accurate positioning as well as frequencies: 406MHz & 121.5MHz.

The model I use is much smaller than a mobile phone (just bigger than a box of matches), it's got a Battery lifetime of 7 years (or 24 hours if activated). Batteries can be replaced after 7 years.

If activated the coastguard are alerted of your position, and your personal details for rescue.

For full peace of mind for rescue and convenience I would recommend a PLB rather than a mobile phone.

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Re: safest way to race train in winter

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Aug 08, 2021 7:44 am

Okay, but it was my impression the OP asked more about all practical considerations, than rescue units.

In the old days mobiles didn't work out to sea, but here in Denmark there is signal 80 kilometer (50 miles) out nowadays, amazing.
So for typical much shorter race distances no problem with signal here.

I would prefer to be able to call and say I'll be late because of a long swim coming up.

You can still have a PLB to be sure it works of course.

8) Peter

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Re: safest way to race train in winter

Postby andreigapejev » Mon Aug 09, 2021 8:36 pm

Soon there will be lots of Esim watch models. Seems ideal for calling help

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Re: safest way to race train in winter

Postby tkaraszewski » Mon Aug 09, 2021 9:20 pm

Whether you have working cellular coverage varies by location. Depending on location, a mobile phone may be a better or worse solution than an emergency beacon. If you have signal, the phone is more versatile - you can call emergency services, but you can also call a friend who can pick you up when you're not in immediate danger, but are stranded far from where you started. If you do not have signal, a mobile phone doesn't do you any good, and you need some sort of emergency beacon. I use a SPOT tracker in the Caribbean, which works over satellite, and thus with no mobile signal, but also allows me to signal either emergency services or my own contact list to come find me.

But I don't know how necessary this really is depending on location. Race courses of just about 1 nautical mile in length are common. You can do all the practice necessary to race in a 0.5 x 1.0 nautical mile area. Depending on wind direction, this can put you up to a mile offshore, but typically only in direct onshore conditions.

I agree to wear a life vest and let someone know where you'll be kiting, and having a mobile phone certainly can't hurt.

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Re: safest way to race train in winter

Postby joekitetime » Wed Aug 11, 2021 3:32 pm

I would chime in and agree with a comment above which is first and foremost: why go so far out that you raise the risk unnecessarily? Personally I've swam in many times (having started kiting back in the 2 line wipika days) and for the most part I foil assuming I'll be swimming in (although I honestly rarely even get wet). But the point is the very first line of defense is to stay close to and upwind of the launch. This works very well too in that is forces jibes and tacks very often. We get good at reaches for sure, but the jibes and tacks are what needs to be practiced, not long long reaches.

Other than that, the noted tips above seem good. Be warm, have a floaty board, be good at packing up gear and have a system down pat.

Just yesterday I was out in light wind and some knucklehead dropped his kite 50 yards from shore. He was screaming at me as I went by thinking I was gonna flip his kite for him "help, help, I'm in trouble". Dude had no clue how to get out of the most mild situation I think I'd ever seen. Don't be that guy! (and you aren't being that you are already in the mode of how to avoid that crap)...

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MaximumAC
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Re: safest way to race train in winter

Postby MaximumAC » Wed Aug 11, 2021 5:28 pm

I'm not suggesting traveling particularly far from my launch, but even a modest distance out to deeper water and better wind would result in a lengthy swim and wade in to land. My post was indeed meant to be about the practical aspects of warm suits that are conducive to race foiling but also would allow several hours worth of safety and warmth (not because I intend to swim for several hours, but to prepare for worst case scenario). I currently carry a Garmin inReach satellite two-way that has limited texting features and has an SOS button. I've discovered though that this doesn't do much for me if it's not life and death. I've seen pics of pros riding with Motorola two-way VHF radios and have wondered if this would be a good way to communicate with my family.

That yellow PLB is very interesting. Even smaller than my inReach I think.


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