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Old 04-03-2006, 09:11 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Default Excesssively gusty winds ... ?

What do you consider to be excessively gusty and how do you deal with it?
Have you had any misadventures in gusty stuff, if so, what happened?

I am not necessarily talking about 20 mph gusts above background wind speed or obvious squall winds in this but the more routine up-down stuff. Of course if you have some major gust stories, toss 'em in.

Lots of our experience came from C kites that deal with gusts to a limited extent and then translate the additional force to the riders. What changes have you experienced so far with the new flat kites? (Hopefully not a sense of squall immunity.) I have a bad feeling that we may have some fairly spectacular squall related accidents in time with flat kites.
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  #2  
Old 04-03-2006, 09:21 AM
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C. Moore C. Moore is offline
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Rick,

I am sure Tom Stock will have a lot to say about this. He got caught in a squall last year and was dragged from the water, over the beach, and over a road. Thank god he walked away from it.

I haven't tested out the limit to really gusty conditions with my GK Sonic but I am sure I will have my day. :wink:

-Chris
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:41 AM
tomstock
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Yeah... not sure this is what you are looking for but since Chris brought it up:

The sky cleared and the wind died... then it changed directions and went from 12-16 side on to dead onshore at 30-40 mph (going from memory here may not be accurate). I was on an 18M kite and was underpowered for the 45 minutes before that gust.... This was also when i was less experienced and less aware of the signs of wind about to change direction.

I really would have been just fine if my quick release had worked. Instead, while pulling it with both hands as hard as I could, I got dragged 75 yards at top speed just skipping across the water. I was going to crash my kite but there were people standing on the beach and in the water. When I hit the beach I got lofted 6ft in the air and traveled about 30 feet between trees and signs, then hitting at full speed, falling on my side and my bar hit the ground and looped the kite. When it looped it shot me across a 2 lane road on my stomach, 6ft behind a passing car. As the kite stalled for a second after the loop I somehow managed to unhook. Actually i though was going to die and used all of my strength to get unhooked. I slid to a stop right at the treeline. This seemed like one of those chain of events that just keeps getting worse and worse... oh crap.. OH CRAP... OHHHHHH CRAAAAAAP..... OMG IM GONNA DIE.... OH MY GOD NOW I *AM* GONNA DIE... OH NO NOW I'M REALLY REALLY GONNA DIE HERE IT COMES...pause..... holy crap I'm ALIVE!!!!!!

While my awareness is partially to blame, my real blame is for the best quick release I was using. It came rigged backwards from the factory and I used it that way unknowingly. It has a design flaw which prevents it from releasing if not rigged just right. The thing is it will work under load, but not under a lot of load so you don't know until you REALLY need it. Just a month ago i saw someone with the same quick release... and it was also rigged backwards from the factory in what I call "death" mode. I fixed it and told them to get rid of it asap.

I hope nobody goes through that experience. I consider myself lucky to be alive.

The only damage was to two booties (my feet went through them when I landed, one ended up around my calf), some skin from road rash, and my harness was really chewed up from the road. Oh, and my pride.

One thing I learned... if the release fails, crash the kite immediately and unhook.
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:50 AM
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bryanleighty bryanleighty is offline
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Tom, which QR is that exactly?

I have an 04 best bars with the standard best QR (pull from right above the CL). The QR seems to work fine. never had to pull it in need, but just in test.

I also have an 05 best bar with QR on the CL.. same thing where it seems to work fine on my land tests.. never had to use it in need.

-B
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:17 AM
tomstock
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It's similar to the one on the swivel bar:
http://media.bestkiteboarding.com/ma...r04_manual.pdf

The correct way is to run the loop from chicken loop through the loop of the depower rope and insert the pin.

The wrong way is to run the depower rope loop through the chicken loop's loop. If you do it this way, it will WORK FINE until it's under heavy load. When that happens, the head of the pin gets pulled into the gap between the loops, making it IMPOSSIBLE to pull.

I released my kite on light wind days regularly to test my release... but when I was being dragged and lofted under full load the pin set and the release did not work. I've tested this release since then and confirmed the results with 100% certainty. If you rig that release backwards it will not work under load. Thats why best has switched to a different release (except for the swivel bar because they haven't come up with a solution yet).

I heard from Al that Noel confirmed that others had problems with these too... if you have one get rid of it and get the new one from best. It's that 04 release that is the death machine. i'm willing to bet yours is rigged backwards RIGHT NOW! It's actually easier to rig it backwards than the right way!
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:34 AM
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bryanleighty bryanleighty is offline
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yep.. thats the one i got on one of my bars..
i will check when i get home to see how I put it back together. I *think* I do it correctly...

better to get a new CL for 20 bucks.
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:42 AM
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I witnessed Tom's accident and he is very lucky to be alive. There was a passing car at the time which Tom missed by about 2'.

I recall that day was overcast with a few areas of dark clouds. The sky did clear prior to the accident, but if I am not mistaken there was a noticeable change in the air temp and some wispy fast moving low level clouds a few minutes before the wind shifted directions and started nuking.

I remember this because I was riding and made the descision to land the kite and by the time I was close to my vehicle and sat on the tailgate Tom was skipping across the water and heading to the beach. Once on the beach Tom looped the kite, skidded across the road on his spreader bar/stomach and stopped 25' short of the mangroves where his kite crashed.

When I got to Tom he was sitting upright, had the deer in headlights look on his face and was grateful to be alive.
That was a scary situation and thank God it turned out ok.

The lesson to be learned from this situation is to inspect, test and become familiar with your safety release system as if your life depended on it, it might. Mentally rehearsing where the release is and how to activate it while you are riding helps develop muscle memory and will prepare you for an emergency.

What do I consider gusty? A 15 mph or more increase in wind speed over the average or baseline reading.
Locally this is most common during the winter cold fronts and summer squalls.

Kite safe,

E
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:14 AM
Skyway Scott
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My "definition" of excessively gusty is when it is not fun to ride.
From my experience, this is when the the range of winds during riding commmonly double from lull to top end.

Examples... 10 to 20, 15 to 30, and 20 to 40. I have also ridden in 30 to 50.

By defintion, in these situations, the power you experience varies by a magnitude of 4 fold while riding. That makes for unusual riding, especially if you don't even sheet out the C-loop like myself (I know... weird)

I make this more manageable/fun by rigging the kite for the gusts and riding a large board to keep me afloat in the lulls. So on a day where it is 15 to 30 (alot, not just occassional puffs) I would rig an 10m kite and use my Underground 157. In the lulls I am riding underpowered but not losing ground, in the gusts I am holding on, and in the middle, I am quite happy.

Obviously the bow kites makes these days ALOT more manageable.
St. Pete, IMO, is a gusty place, so my 157 is my go to board.
Every one approaches riding different, so my way aint the "right way", but that's how I do it, Rick, I rig for the gusts and ride a slightly bigger board than the average guy. On a steady day, I rig bigger than most people.

The day Tom got dragged, I called Eagle's phone 10 minutes prior to the incident leaving him a message to please beware and tell others because doppler looked like HELL and it was obvious something was up. (Remember Brian?)
Immediately upon getting my message he called me back (that was about 10 minutes after Tom got whacked) We were ALL upset and concerned for Tom.

I spoke with Tom for at least an hour that day, letting him vent his angers (which is usually the result of fear) on me, instead of his girl. (I recommend you don't vent about getting whacked to your girl, she might ask you to stop kiting). I have been worked several times, so I knew he was scared/pissed and needed to talk. If you are not scared of wind events (especially after getting worked), you really should be.

After talking to Tom at length, it became clear his QR failed after multiple attempts at pulling it. This was discussed at length on our local forum.
In the final analysis, it was discovered that the QR allowed one to rig it backwards and that this may have been what happened. Tom is a very safety oriented rider,especially coming from a cave diving background. The QR failed several times that day.
I have a QR on my C-loop and a shackle (as backup).
My QR failed once, luckily the shackle worked. These events usually happen within seconds (or less). The further from shore you are when it happens, the better.
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:24 AM
tomstock
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Deer in headlights is right. I can't even begin to tell you HOW happy I felt when i sat up and realized I was alive and it was over. I was actually laughing when Eagle drove up to see if I was ok. Not because I thought anything was fun but because I was sooooooo happy to be alive, I felt like i had just skirted death or serious injury and I was damn happy about it.

It takes experience to be able to read the weather.. especially when it's the subtle hints like lulls and slight directional changes.. (like Eagle said he felt it and got off the water)... those are small warnings of something bigger to come. In some cases the sky clears before the BIG blow. Sometimes it's unnoticed until it's too late.

Anyway... check that release. If your weather awareness fails or has not yet been fully developed (as is/was my case), you need to be able to get that kite off quick, on the first try.

-tom
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  #10  
Old 04-03-2006, 11:42 AM
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bryanleighty bryanleighty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyway Scott
If you are not scared of wind events (especially after getting worked), you really should be.
Yep.

I got a nice little reminder about a month ago. Gusty conditions.. very choppy water.. one foot came out of a strap and in my efforts to correct this I oversteered the kite and got airborne and brought down in some super shallow water (Sandbar at Cypress).

Came down with a smack.. didnt break or twist anything .. just gave me a huge scare. (the pain came the next day). After the long board retreival I was shaken up and couldnt kite anymore that day. My next few times out I was so tenative about everything. Took a while to get back into a flow again. I can assume Tom that you went through a number of sessions to get back into it.

My friend got worked on a transition a couple weeks ago early in the day. He was shaken up a bit and was calling it quits for the day. I convinced him to go back out and regain his confidence. He did and ended up having a great afternoon.

It looks like we got through this season without anyone local getting injured to the point that they were unable to continue soon after. I know that EBone is our latest kitemare after a rigging problem went completely sour. I saw him a couple days later on the water and he was talking about how he just needed to get back out to work out the bad feelings from his accident.

-B
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