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Old 09-25-2015, 01:41 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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I've been talking about lockout as it relates to kiteboarding kites either being tethered or towed for over a dozen years. Coming from hang gliding in the early 1990's I had a sharp and personal feeling for lockout and the violent feeling of helplessness and sudden injury it can signal. Once I started reading about kiters doing it and getting killed and maimed in various parts of the world, it seemed important to talk about it. Guys are still doing tow-ups and tethered man lifting today. That is human nature but I would like to think, not from lack of knowledge or awareness. So, look over this post and think about the consequences of using our kitesurfing gear in ways it was never intended to be used.

What is "lockout?"

It is when your kite is flying in a direction away from the tether or tow line. As the line tension increases so does the warping of the kite
increasing the magnitude and force of the turn in that direction. The kite is literally pulled at high speed into the surface as a result likely
independent of control inputs the kiter might make. This can happen at blinding speed, faster than most can react. When we kitesurf
we manage the changes in line tension far more effectively than possible when tied to a tether or tow-line which can easily and
overwhelmingly oppose that control slamming you into the surface.
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