FKA Kiteboarding Forums  

Go Back   FKA Kiteboarding Forums > MAIN FORUM > Lessons From The Hard Side
Connect with Facebook

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-07-2004, 09:15 AM
administrator administrator is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 170
Default PRO RIDER LOFTED!

Shannon Best went out off Delray Beach, FL, USA on Wedesday, June 9, 2004 at 5 pm in light 11 kts., side onshore, conditions with a Best Nemesis 18 m LEI kite with a chicken loop bar and leash. He was just powered up at 194 lbs. He didn't see any threatening clouds at time of launch.


A view to the NE from about 7 miles to the south towards the area of and around the time of the lofting. Clouds are present but don't look particularly threatening in this livecam photo.
From: http://www.video-monitoring.com/boca/default.htm


Rain clouds moving to the NW on color weather radar.

He had noticed a slight buildup in wind speed but assumed it would last for about five minutes and drop off. At this point he was the only rider left on the water although there were about ten to fifteen guys onshore in the launch area. Eyewitnesses on shore saw a cloud with a rain line approaching fast from the SE.


Above two images from: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/

At around 5:30 pm, a squall or storm came in fast and heavy from the Southeast, suddenly increasing wind up to around 30 kts. plus as he was riding north, looking away from the squall. The duration of the squall was about ten minutes.


The wind record for the squall at around 5:30 pm at a location about 7 miles to the South.
From: http://www.video-monitoring.com/boca/default.htm

Shannon was about 750 ft. offshore when the wind built up. He was immediately dragged downwind, so he boosted a couple of “whopping big” jumps approaching 10 second hang times and about a 300 ft. glide distance to try to dissapate the kite load.

By then he realized that he couldn't tack back to the launch area and he wanted to avoid swim areas. So he came into an uncrowded section of the beach where he thought it would be safe to land. Given the late hour, most people had already left the beach. The squall gusts were still building as he was being dragged on his feet over the sand. So he decided to just unhook in case it picked up any more so he could release the kite. As he pulled down the bar to unhook standing by the edge of the water, he was lofted off the ground into the air. The next thing he knew he was about 30 ft. off the ground and about 80 ft. downwind flying to the NW on a diagonal up the beach and towards a line of wooden beach lounge chairs.



Shannon estimated his speed over ground to be about 20 mph. At this point he decided to drop his control bar and free fall to the sand beach before he came any closer to the trees bordering the beach to the west. He fell to the sand about 35 ft. short of a large wooden lifeguard stand while his kite draped over some trees beyond stand. He had traveled over an approximate 100 ft. lateral distance from lofting to free fall to earth.


Full size: http://gallery.kiteforum.com/albums/...ng_Diagram.jpg
An annotated photograph of the lofting scene taken several days AFTER the incident.

He then just sat on the ground and waited for his friends to run up while he did a body check. He impacted one leg, bruising it heavily. Fortunately, X-Rays didn't show any fractures to be present.
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-24-2004, 09:55 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,324
Default

I asked Shannon what he took away from this experience. He said to never underestimate the power of the wind (and WEATHER). Shannon knows what it is like to be injured and to be forced to take time off the water. For that reason, if he had an indication of events to come, he would have depowered his kite while still in the water and away from shore. He thought that he could unhook and still be standing on the ground. He felt that it is possible that an even higher gust hit when he pulled down the bar to unhook, powering up the kite just as the stronger wind hit. Shannon generally tries to be a bit underpowered when he chooses a kite as the improved efficiency and control makes it possible to do tricks more effectively than when overpowered. He estimated that he would normally pick the 18 m Nemesis for max winds up to around 15 kts. sustained for optimal control and trick performance. Shannon ended up trying to cope with winds double that speed and possibly more.

Squalls are hazardous and have resulted in some fatalities and many serious injuries among kiteboarders. Once winds gust beyond a certain level, our ability to continue to stay on the surface and cope dissappears. In the lofting in Cabarete, a kiteboarding instructor was lofted by a 51 kt. gust with his kite relatively low and almost in the hands of an assistant when the squall hit. As a result the rider was lofted over 800 ft. horizontally and 100 ft. high. In such overpowered conditions it is probably easy to have a low kite rocket higher off the ground due to uneven bar pressure before you even realize it. This kiteboarder steered his 11.9 m RRD kite lightly toward a pine tree, hitting at a high rate of speed presumably and suffered limited injuries miraculously. More in the KSI under: 32. Incident# 3 3 02 in the 2002 volume. Such strong gusts and sometimes more occur with some frequency during the summer months in South Florida in squalls. Above a certain windspeed, skill becomes almost irrelavent as physics takes over, IF you still have a kite up in the air and are not in a position to instantly depower your kite. It is hard to edge to compensate for an overpowered kite if you are airborne.

Some ideas on how to try to avoid something like this follow:

1. Check weather radar, forecast and hazardous weather (wx) warnings before going out, such as at: http://nws.noaa.gov/ and for unstable winds (excessively gusty or changing in direction) at: http://www.ikitesurf.com/

2. Checkout the sky in all directions for signs of unstable weather before you launch and regularly while you are riding. It is easy to forget to do this but in squall season it is an important step.

3. If you see a squall moving in, often marked by black clouds BUT not always in all areas, get into shore quickly, bring down and fully secure your kite BEFORE any change in temperature, windspeed, direction, etc.. KNOW what unstable weather can look like in YOUR area. A lot may ride on this basic but highly important knowledge.

4. If you are too late to land your kite, depower your kite immediately using your kite leash, even if you have to swim a ways into shore. DO NOT GO TO SHORE AND STAND AROUND WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO CATCH YOUR KITE. People have been killed for making this mistake. When in doubt, COMPLETELY depower your kite by pulling your Quick Release and dropping your bar, while you still have the option.

5. Use the most reliable and well maintained quick release that you can find. Relying upon being able to manually unhook has not be possible in many loftings in the past. You need a quick release mechanism but it needs to be easily found and WORK. This has not always been the case.
Frequently physically and mentally rehearse activating your Quick Release, an emergency is no time to figure out how to activate this device. Your reactions need to be immediate and spot on. Finding and releasing your QR should be second nature to improve the odds of coming through a bad go to.

6. Use a good helmet and impact vest, they might help if something like this grabs you. If you don't have them on, the benefit is obvious, NONE. Trouble can catch up with the BEST of us, have a care out there.

More ideas on how to try to avoid being lofted appear at:

http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2300704


Moral: This could happen to anyone once exposed to unstable weather. Squalls are bad news, avoid them.


Thanks to Shannon for sharing his experience with us.

It would be good if other promenient riders passed along some of their hard won lessons to the rest of us. You folks paid the price, often in pain, why not try to create something positive out of a bad experience? Feel free to email me at <flkitesurfer@hotmail.com or PM me at ricki to pass along what you have learned. Thanks!
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-24-2004, 09:56 PM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,324
Default

Additional comments and ideas appear at:

http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2304346

and at

http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewt...=2304400&start
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-24-2005, 07:34 AM
RickI's Avatar
RickI RickI is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,324
Default

I started this as a new thread in consideration of the slower connections out there due to all the images. This builds upon the thread at:

http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2304346

On the next day, June 10, 2004 after Shannon's lofting, some REALLY heavy weather really came through, that makes 30 kt. gusts look like wimpy winds ...

NWS had this to say ...

Latest Severe Tstorm Warning by KTBW

... severe thunderstorms contain wind gusts of 60 mph or higher...and
hail the size of pennies or larger. move to a place of safety.


at: http://nws.noaa.gov/

I wonder if they are actually suggesting is to go out with a parachute like wind catching device the size of a car secured by 100 ft. lines and to wait for some violent 60 mph winds to come in ???

I was drving back to SE Florida through the central east coast area around Melbourne and saw this intense looking Shelf Cloud on the afternoon of June 10, 2004.



Shelf clouds can be associated with violent gusty unstable weather. More about these weather systems at:
http://weathersavvy.com/Q-Shelf_Roll_Clouds1.html

NOTE: SEVERE GUSTS CAN BE ASSOCIATED WITH FAR LESS OBVIOUS AND THREATENING CLOUD SYSTEMS THAN SHELF CLOUDS. So, learn what unstable weather looks like in your area and be on the lookout for it.
AND ... YOU MAY NEVER KNOW WHAT A PENDING SQUALL WILL HIT YOU WITH UNTIL IT UPON YOU. So, avoid them all. We learned what can happen with an 18 m kite in 30 kt. winds, wonder what would happen in double that speed?!


From: http://nws.noaa.gov/

This is an interesting color radar image for that afternoon last week. Note the abundant bright red lines strung in varoius areas around the state. These red zones have the potential to toss out high (60 mph) gusts, tornados and lightening. It is impressive that these intense weather bands were so extensively distributed over the state. REMEMBER: these severe weather bans can come up VERY rapidly in otherwise clear weather. Things are going fine and then BANG, LOFTED!



A closer look at the shelf cloud near Melbourne, FL on Thursday, June 10, 2004..


From: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/

A satellite image from the same afternoon. The abundant red areas represent strong weather systems.


The following wind grahps are from: http://www.ikitesurf.com/
A strong squall gust spike near Jacksonville, FL on this afternoon.

Now, going back in time, what sort of winds can squalls kick out?



Another squall gust spike and a powerful one around 50 mph back in 2001 in Jupiter!




Another 70 mph squall gust spike in Jupiter in 2000. Note the highly confused wind direction arrows at the top of the chart. These indicated characteristic, violent and rapid wind direction shifts and even reversals that can come with squalls. Look for spikes and confused directions BEFORE heading to the beach to ride along with color weather radar. I was hit by a 50 to 60 mph gust and lofted earlier this same day in Boca Raton, FL to the south of Jupiter.



Two strong squall gust spikes in 2001 at Crandon Park, Miami in excess of 50 mph each.

Remember the guy lofted over 800 ft. and 100 ft. high by a 51 kt. or 60 mph gust? We have squall gusts that high and higher not that uncommonly, particularly during the summer months.

MORAL: KITEBOARDING AND SQUALLS DON'T MIX. AVOID SQUALLS.
Be aware of the weather or potentially be lofted.

NOTE: MOST AREAS ON EARTH have some form of violent, gusty weather at various times of the year. Learn what it looks like in YOUR area and what signs preceed its arrival.
__________________
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Do not advertise outside of [COM] Forums.
Do not show disrespect for others in your postings.
Users can be denied access to this Site without warning.
FKA, Inc., it’s officers and moderators are not responsible
for the content of the postings and any links or pictures posted.

Report Problems by PM to “administrator” or via email to flkitesurfer@hotmail.com

Copyright FKA, Inc. 2004, All Rights Reserved.