I was out in 4-6 knots with my Black Tip 21.8.
The whole incident happened in shallow water far away from shore so it
was very safe and the incident was an excellent learning experience. The
kite would fall easily in such light wind so I needed to occasionally
fly it back and forth just to keep it in the air. At the beginning of a
flying cycle, a gust came (maybe around 8 - 10 knots) and the
combination of the the kite at the start of the flying cycle and the
gust make an "unintentional" jump and the kite just lift me 5'+ out of
1- When you are busy doing something (trying to keep the kite in the air
in this case), you don't see when the gust come
2- When you get lofted, you don't really know UNTIL you are off the
3- Lofting happens VERY QUICK so there is nothing your brain can do
until you are back on the ground/water again (this was a very safe
environment, but I started thinking the worst and trying to unhook just
as a precaution, but by the time the signal get to my hands, my body has
already slammed back onto the water) . I think the only thing I can
probably do is to just release the bar, definitely too quick to unhook
and surely way too quick to take the hands out of the bar to find to the
shackle and pull the release. Of course for a higher loft, you may have
enough time to do something but by then you are probably 20'+ in the air...
I WILL NEVER HOOK IN ON LAND after this experience.
P.S., For LEI, I think 5-6 knots is the limit as lower than that it's
more a struggle trying to keep the kite in the air.