I crashed my 4m Peak today in 20kn winds (12-25kn lull to gust) and 2-3 feet of swell. My first crash. I learned a few lessons:
I crashed because I had looped it a bunch of times in the same direction on a waterstart and then I tried to get the outside lines uncrossed all at once by pinwheeling the kite. I knew it pinwheeled fast, but I wasn't prepared for how fast it was once it got going. I came out of the pinwheel with the kite headed down instead of up and couldn't correct it in time. The lesson here, for me anyway, is to uncross the lines with a series of loops instead of going for it all at once with a pinwheel.
Once it hit the water, it instantaneously turned into a wet pile of fabric. I was not very far offshore and I was pretty close to breaking waves (maybe waist-stomach high) so I didn't even try to relaunch. I just sat on my board and starting winding up my lines while kicking toward the kite to avoid tensioning the lines and pulling the kite under water. I stopped when I got to the rings, and I probably should have kept going a couple of more wraps.
Once I got to the kite, I tried to get the kite oriented so I could roll it up but it didn't work very well and, by this time, I had been pushed close to the break. Also, I felt the bridles hitting my legs underwater, which spooked me a little bit, so rather than take the time to roll it up I just gathered it the best I could and stuffed it in my mesh backpack. Given that the waves weren't that big and I probably had more time than I thought, it was a mistake not to do a tighter pack down.
By the time I got to the beach, the wind had dropped a little bit, so I decided to just take the backpack off, put up the 5m, and deal with the 4m lines at the end of the session. Being a novice foil kiter, when I came back to the 4m, it was a total rat's nest the likes of which I have never seen. It took me over an hour to get everything sorted, and I'm not exactly sure what I did, but, next time this happens, I will do everything in my power to roll the kite up as cleanly as possible so I don't have to deal with that again.