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How to avoid getting lofted?

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  • kitesrfer@aol.com
    Lofting seems to be a reality for kitesurfers, fortunately for whatever reasons, a rare one though. This may be due to critical timing of the gusts, while
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 28, 2001
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      Lofting seems to be a reality for kitesurfers, fortunately for whatever
      reasons, a rare one though. This may be due to critical timing of the gusts,
      while being off the water and more vulnerable to being moved along further
      and/or higher. Who really knows at this point. I have put together a set of
      precautions that seem to make sense. Input is welcome, particularly from
      kitesurfers who have been lofted. Gusts are the most common cause of course,
      more rare causes could include the apparent dust devil that occurred in Spain
      with Robert Sanchez's fatal accident and the thermal bubble that lofted Eric
      in Oahu to an incredible 225 ft.

      1. Pick your weather carefully. If the weather radar, wind plots imply
      squalls or unduly gusty weather or if obvious storm clouds or other signs of
      unstable weather are moving in, it would be a good idea not to go kitesurfing.

      2. If you are stationary in the water or on land, try to keep your kite at
      the edge of the wind window and near the surface.

      3. If you are near hard objects or if pronounced gusty conditions are
      developing, stay unhooked and be prepared to let go or use a snapshackle to
      secure your chicken loop. If you do use a snapshackle, rehearse mentally,
      frequently, " if I get lofted, pull the snapshackle release cord". Of course
      if you are already high over land, this one is a very tough judgment call as
      riding things out may be the wiser course.

      4. Avoid onshore winds or kitesurfing within 300 ft. upwind of hard objects.
      If you go out in offshore winds, kitesurf more than 300 ft. offshore until
      it is time to come in. I would come in without delay, keeping the kite low
      and be prepared to let go of your bar if lofted. Do not jump within 300 ft.
      of shore or hard downwind objects.

      5. Try to use shorter line sets if you are expecting stronger winds.

      6. Always wear a helmet!

      7. Do not come within 100' of substantial vertical surfaces or walls with
      onshore winds to avoid potentially being lifted.

      8. Do not fly your kite near thermal generating conditions. Please see
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/message/34927 for more info on
      thermals.

      Of course, kitesurfers can break all of the above guidelines and perhaps be
      perfectly OK for hundreds of hours on the water. One kitesurfer I know made
      it through two years of going out in virtually every kind of weather
      including two hurricanes, before he smacked into a bad landing onshore.
      Unfortunately, sad experience has shown that given enough time, bad things
      have a way of catching up with us if we go a little too extreme, too often.

      What do you folks think?

      Rick
    • Julian
      Good list Rick! I would just add what the buggy men say, When in doubt, DON T go out! Fly safe, Julian.
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 28, 2001
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        Good list Rick!

        I would just add what the buggy men say, "When in doubt, DON'T go out!"

        Fly safe,
        Julian.

        > Lofting seems to be a reality for kitesurfers, fortunately for whatever
        > reasons, a rare one though. This may be due to critical timing of the gusts,
        > while being off the water and more vulnerable to being moved along further
        > and/or higher. Who really knows at this point. I have put together a set of
        > precautions that seem to make sense. Input is welcome, particularly from
        > kitesurfers who have been lofted. Gusts are the most common cause of course,
        > more rare causes could include the apparent dust devil that occurred in Spain
        > with Robert Sanchez's fatal accident and the thermal bubble that lofted Eric
        > in Oahu to an incredible 225 ft.
        >
        > 1. Pick your weather carefully. If the weather radar, wind plots imply
        > squalls or unduly gusty weather or if obvious storm clouds or other signs of
        > unstable weather are moving in, it would be a good idea not to go kitesurfing.
        >
        > 2. If you are stationary in the water or on land, try to keep your kite at
        > the edge of the wind window and near the surface.
        >
        > 3. If you are near hard objects or if pronounced gusty conditions are
        > developing, stay unhooked and be prepared to let go or use a snapshackle to
        > secure your chicken loop. If you do use a snapshackle, rehearse mentally,
        > frequently, " if I get lofted, pull the snapshackle release cord". Of course
        > if you are already high over land, this one is a very tough judgment call as
        > riding things out may be the wiser course.
        >
        > 4. Avoid onshore winds or kitesurfing within 300 ft. upwind of hard objects.
        > If you go out in offshore winds, kitesurf more than 300 ft. offshore until
        > it is time to come in. I would come in without delay, keeping the kite low
        > and be prepared to let go of your bar if lofted. Do not jump within 300 ft.
        > of shore or hard downwind objects.
        >
        > 5. Try to use shorter line sets if you are expecting stronger winds.
        >
        > 6. Always wear a helmet!
        >
        > 7. Do not come within 100' of substantial vertical surfaces or walls with
        > onshore winds to avoid potentially being lifted.
        >
        > 8. Do not fly your kite near thermal generating conditions. Please see
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/message/34927 for more info on
        > thermals.
        >
        > Of course, kitesurfers can break all of the above guidelines and perhaps be
        > perfectly OK for hundreds of hours on the water. One kitesurfer I know made
        > it through two years of going out in virtually every kind of weather
        > including two hurricanes, before he smacked into a bad landing onshore.
        > Unfortunately, sad experience has shown that given enough time, bad things
        > have a way of catching up with us if we go a little too extreme, too often.
        >
        > What do you folks think?
        >
        > Rick
        >
        >
        > Support your local kitesurf association !
        >
        >
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        >
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        >
        >
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