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Old 08-08-2004, 07:35 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Default SQUALLS - IDEAS ON AVOIDING THEM (Updated 6.11.08)

We lust for wind. Sometimes we get more than we can handle, mother nature is like that. When it happens things can get ugly, gear can get trashed and so can riders.

First some pictures ...

A shelf cloud in Holland. These clouds can bring sudden gusts, tornados, microburst, wind direction shifts and more irregular weather.

Another shelf cloud from a tropical depression in Cabarete, DR
(CLICK photo for Full Sized Image)

A summer squall in the Bahamas bringing violent wind spikes, direction reversals followed by the shutting off of wind in general

A pretty fluffy cloud likely containing a supercell(s) with the capacity to throw out microbursts, tornados and high, violent wind gusts off Boca Raton, FL, USA at dusk.

LOTS of other variations out there, we are talking about an entire WORLD of weather, right? Get to know what goes on in your area.

So, what is the problem? Good useable winds, perhaps even on the lighter side, rigged big - right and suddenly, KA-POW, a very strong gust slams in! Say 15 kts. to 40 kts. or even 10 kts. to 50 kts. This can happen in many areas of the world. The force exerted by your kite can increase by SEVEN TO TWENTY-FIVE TIMES IN THESE GUST RANGES!!! Serious stuff, more power than we can safetly handle.

Hey, I've got a BOW kite, flat kite or Super-Depower C kite, I can handle it. Not if you don't react properly in time or if your system is poorly maintained or if it malfunctions or if after activation you STILL have too much kite area up. Kiteboarders using the newer designs in higher winds have been injured and even killed largely due to choosing to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Choose your kiting weather well and monitor it while you are out.

If something like this hits and you have a kite up it is UNCERTAIN how things will play out. You might be able to depower your kite and keep it. Your kite might be ripped away from you and threaten someone else downwind or simply get trashed on a powerline or building. Or, you might not be able to depower or unhook, LOTS HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO, and you are going for a ride. Possibly lofted high, long and fast or dragged, short, fast and hard. Either way, serious injury may happen and has already happened to other riders.
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Last edited by ricki; 09-20-2018 at 07:10 PM.
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