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Off shore winds, yes or no?

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BOEMIX
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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby BOEMIX » Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:52 pm

I'm just coming back from a session where the wind went from side to offshore.

biggest problem I found is when the wind drops or gets ultra gusty (usually with offshore winds) wing does not slog good enough to come back to shore safely.

In the end I came back to shore but 2-3 km away from the starting point, so only do it if the wind is stable enough.

If there is enough wind to get on foil then I see no problem.

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby matth » Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:55 pm

Flag53 wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:21 am
As mentioned,

This question only applies to Wing Surf ( not Kiting or kite foiling ) and where’s there’s enough volume in the board to paddle back.

Thanks for the replies guys 👍
Paddeling into the wind and chop towing a wing can't be that easy????

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby kollac » Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:53 pm

matth wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:55 pm
Flag53 wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:21 am
As mentioned,

This question only applies to Wing Surf ( not Kiting or kite foiling ) and where’s there’s enough volume in the board to paddle back.

Thanks for the replies guys 👍
Paddeling into the wind and chop towing a wing can't be that easy????
In theory, if you're not too far offshore there is a chance there isn't much of a chop - I kite on a large lake (1000+ km2) so this may not apply in the ocean :)

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby OzBungy » Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:07 pm

It's not a problem. About 2/3 of my sessions have been with offshore or cross-offshore wind. To an extent that was one of the reasons I started winging.

Surfers have been surfing in offshore conditions for decades. It's not much more difficult to paddle in with a wing on your back.

The basic rule still applies, don't go out further than you're prepared to swim in.

One issue I had to deal with is that I was using a beach with cliffs. The clean wind is a bit further offshore. I could slog out from the beach then ride in the clean wind. At the end of the session sometimes I had to paddle in through the wind shadow.

We are in a fairly hard lockdown at the moment and I only have access to one kite beach and that beach is only suitable for kiting in a limited range of winds. I was able to wing in the offshore conditions, and have since found a whole range of non-kiting beaches I can wing from.

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby Flag53 » Sat Oct 03, 2020 7:21 am

Thanks for all of your replies guys 👍

fluidity
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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby fluidity » Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:16 pm

Slappysan wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:29 am
It sure looks nice in this video:


But seriously though, it's all up to the rider and I think it's pretty much the same for kiting or winging, with the one main difference being that considering offshore wind will be gusty you might have an easier time with winging.

Things to consider before you go out though:
- are you willing to let your wing/kite go? if you get in trouble you'll very likely have to ditch it to swim in
- floatation? what if your board leash breaks?
- rescue costs? even if you don't need a rescue once people on the beach see you go down for more than 5 minutes they will probably call the coast guard to come get you and you might be on the hook for the bill
Those are awesome conditions for offshore wind winging! Waves in, wind out. Baring personal injury, self rescue looks easy by simply surfing those waves in. I wish all decisions were so simple.
It's important to note though, that around cities and areas with tall trees that these all slow down and create turbulence and a false sense of security in wind speed closer to the shore. Further out wind can be much stronger. I used to windsurf sometimes in an off shore and the last part of getting back to the beach was always the hardest with flakey inconsistent gusty winds. I'd usually have to pump the sail for those last 20 meters.

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bragnouff
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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby bragnouff » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:30 pm

OzBungy wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:07 pm
Surfers have been surfing in offshore conditions for decades. It's not much more difficult to paddle in with a wing on your back.
Surfers typically draw the line at about 25kts... And in that much wind, the wing would still add a non negligible amount of drag, making that swim back to shore quite an ordeal.
It's all very spot dependent though. There's a difference between patchy gusts close to a sheltered shore, and the kind of offshore winds you'd have in south of France.

In any case, there's a fair bit of risk analysis, spot assessment to be done, contingency plan, etc... And it is expected that people coming into wingsurfing without a wind related background will screw up with offshore winds.

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby OzBungy » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:37 am

If it's blowing 25 knots then arguably you shouldn't need to be paddling in. Just ride in.

I've been doing my offshore riding where the coast curves around. If I couldn't ride or paddle in to my starting point I could ride crosswind to the shore a kilometre down and walk back.

The worst case scenario would have me drift ashore 10-15km down the coast. That's pretty crap but it's not life threatening. I always wear my Apple watch as backup and could call people to come and get me if I need to. I could even catch a train or bus back.

I generally wear a fairly substantial wetsuit. If I get hot I jump in the water. I'd rather be a little warm than risk dying of hypothermia. On a 45C day it's actually cooler to be wearing a wet wetsuit than to be dry in shorts.

Rule 1 of all "extreme" sports is to have an escape route and a plan to execute self-rescue. It doesn't have to be elaborate, just have an idea of what you're going to do if things don't go to plan.

I was out yesterday in cross-offshore gusty conditions. It was easy to foil and make ground upwind during the gusts, and virtually stationary during the lulls. The first run I chased the wind about 1000m out. On return trip it looked like I might have to land at a bay, or even ride a km or so down the coast. A few gusts saved me and I had a pleasant stroll back the start point.

Subsequent runs were short out and back rides with a bit of paddle in practice. It was quite fun and great exercise. I tried a couple of different techniques.

The key technique is to run the leash over my shoulder and around my waist. I can secure the slack either under a knew or hip. That keeps the wing secure and up out of the water and frees my arms for paddling.

One technique was kneeling on the board with the wing resting on top of my calves. I could do a strong two-armed life-guard style paddle that was quite easy and fast.

The other was using the centre strut of the wing as a paddle. Kneel up high and just paddle like a canoe. It is very effective for short paddles and position adjustments. It's a bit cumbersome for long paddles.

One problem in gusty wind is that the wing can blow over while paddling. It's easier to let it blow and just keep paddling.

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby Slyde » Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:15 am

If you have experience, have a board that will float you and are patient you will almost always find there is gust that allows you to ride close enough to the beach to paddle the rest of the way in. You've just got to be prepared to cruise around waiting for the right gust. Light winds more dodgy than stronger winds. Done it many times.

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Re: Off shore winds, yes or no?

Postby OzBungy » Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:45 am

One thing to be wary of is target fixation, defeatism, or being locked in to one course of action.

During yesterday's session one of my landing options was the other side of a rocky headland. There is no way I could do the walk of shame along the beach or in the shallows from there.

When that became a possible option I decided to ride in as far as I could, then paddle back to the stretch of beach I wanted to be on. Fortunately the gusts inshore were strong enough to get me to shore in a convenient place.

Thinking of it now, there's no reason I could not have landed the other side of the headland, packed the wing, and carried everything back. It would have been a pain. The path up the cliff is steep. It would be doable and it's part of the cost of pushing the limits of what your skills can do with the equipment you have and the conditions.

I've carried a packed kite and SUP foil over a km. My record is a 2km walk with my kite foil and kite after the wind stopped during a coast run.

I've done a bit of trekking in Nepal, and a heap of bivouac paragliding in the Indian Himalayas. The constant comment from the locals is "slowly, slowly, slowly". One thing I've learned from those experiences is that you can achieve all sorts of things if you pace yourself and tolerate a little discomfort. You see that everywhere you go in the subcontinent.


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