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Old 04-27-2010, 04:16 PM
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Default Busted Move Sends Kite Looping Into Shore

How far offshore should you throw moves, like a handle pass kiteloop? Far enough to give you a chance to deal with things when they go wrong? Many may recognize the rider, he is a very capable kiter. Let's leave names out of this. Winds were around 20 kts., very slightly onshore from side shore so the kite went exactly where you would think it would. He landed within about 15 to 20 ft. of shore. Part of that likely was the photographer onshore, riders will ride close to them.

Everyone screws up or has things go wrong, we all need distance for those times. Had a lucky outcome this time. Wouldn't count on luck to intercede, nor skill obviously enough, what's left? Good judgment, it is the most reliable thing we can count on for ourselves and bystanders.

What do you think?

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Old 04-27-2010, 05:20 PM
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This isn't about slamming a single kiter, it's a wakeup call for all of us. This guy is one of the more skilled riders in the state, no names ok. If someone of his abilities can have this happen, anyone can. Lots of guys over the years have thrown moves close to shore and busted more than a few too. We've been lucky but luck doesn't last forever. This is a large, usually fairly thinly populated launch and yet bystanders can still unwittingly and unwilling become involved. Access pressures are heating up, we all know this.

Time to make a change to keep us riding. There are too many of us, complaints are building up, need to guide things to avoid problems for all of us. Think about your setup, your downwind buffer, check your gear, whatever it takes to avoid incidents, complaints and the opportunity to shut us down. A photographer on shore isn't a good reason to ride too close when others may be at risk. With those wind conditions, the same move a hundred yards offshore might have added several hundred feet to a thousand or more before the kite went ashore.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:28 PM
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I spoke to the rider, he said he was shaken up by what happened. He was concerned about the people down the beach, asked how they were and apologized. Once things were underway he wasn't able to release the kite to the leash in time. The kite was there in seconds. Once put in motion the outcome of the accident was unavoidable except by position, by riding further offshore. Also, with looping hybrids, sometimes the leash depowering function is disabled. Meaning even if you can drop it to the leash, it may no longer work. We talked about what could happen in something like this, he was aware of it and even more so now. He wants to push the sport by riding hard but he doesn't want this to result to harm to anyone, access or the sport. Few among us would I think, at the same time we have to work to avoid problems consciously particularly when we push it. Distance is your friend in kiting, big time. It can make the difference between a good story or a real bad session that lingers well beyond that day.

So, make sure you have a large downwind clear buffer when throwing tricks. This isn't about one guy, it is about something we all need to work on to avoid. Ask yourself "what if" and act to avoid problems. Work to not put bystanders at risk, I believe this rider will redouble his efforts to do just that. We all need to take this seriously regardless of our skill level and style of riding. Motivate guys at your launch to do the same, well all have a lot riding on this.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:27 PM
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that was pretty close. the guy sunbathing started to freak out. point well taken. what beach was this?
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:30 PM
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Don't want to get into beach names either. Point is this could happen to anyone under similar circumstances. That is the part we need to work on, avoiding the factors that can lead to something like this. Using lots of distance is a good start.
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