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Old 11-16-2007, 10:18 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Steve Edeiken is well known and respected in the kite flying community. As a mark of respect, that American Kitefliers Association (AKA) established the annual Steve Edeiken Award. Dave Gomberg and Peter Lynn comment on safety considerations for flying of very large kites at: http://www.gombergkites.com/faq/faq-s.html

Regarding kiteboarding, there have been other unexpected launches over the years. In very strong, gusty winds it can be challenging to bury your kite with enough sand. The vibrating of the kite can dig the kite out from under the burden all too readily. The kite lines can readily tangle while strumming in the high wind potentially making the kite overpowered and uncontrollable upon launch. Kites have flown free from the surface and have injured bystanders in years past.

This is the third kiter to have been lost in excessively gusty winds due to tangles within the last few months, including other sad losses in Spain and Hungary. The circumstances of the tangling varied widely in all three cases. The common factor in all of them was high, likely too high wind for kiting within a reasonable degree of safety.

Some considerations come to mind.

1. Don't kite in excessively strong or gusty wind. This seems trite, but it is not, people need to take a hard, cold look at this consideration before rigging up. In some cases it may be for the last time, so think about it. At least two guys have died rigging up in excessively gusty conditions and waiting for a while with ensuing fatal tangles. If in doubt, don't rig up.

2. It is a good idea in stronger winds to attach and carefully preflight your lines last, just before launch. Leaving them on the ground creates a tangle hazard and the bar can "fly" the kite to some degree if it comes free from the ground. The lines and bar of the runaway kite can be hazardous as well.

3. Anchor your kite with enough sand. If in doubt, deflate the leading edge and roll it up until you are ready to head out. Don't leave the kite lying around to be deteriorated by strumming in high wind and possibly to cause problems if it launches on its own.

4. The kiter and assistant should carefully preflight the kite before release. If necessary a third person to walk down the lines preflighting them before kite release.

5. Carry hook knive(s). You may not be able to use them in all emergencies but if you don't carry any they will do you no good whatsoever.

6. Avoid line tangles while in the water at all costs. Wind and wave loads can impart enormous line tensions to cut or simply drown kiters. Stalling a kite over head is one way to get tangled another is to move towards the kite with it on the water and many other ways.

Kiting can be tricky, doing it in very strong conditions can shrink the margin for error to unexceptable levels at times.
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Last edited by RickI; 03-17-2015 at 08:13 PM.
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