Re: [ksurf] Wave riding guidelines discussion
- Number 24 read 1-23 again :)
number 25 have fun
ARCS & FARCS
----- Original Message -----
From: "mrjomacdonald" <mrjomacdonald@...>
Sent: Sunday, September 01, 2002 6:50 PM
Subject: [ksurf] Wave riding guidelines discussion
> Wave riding guidelines discussion
> I would like to get some kite wave riding guidelines together for
> kiters who want to start playing in the waves.
> These are my thought and ideas on the basis of my wave riding +
> windsurfing experience. As I don't have any direct experience of
> kitesurfing in serious waves, feedback, suggestions, additions,
> criticism and words of wisdom from experienced kite flying wave
> riders is essential, so people with such experience please say your
> These are my ideas:
> 1. Know your limits. Don't try it in anything bigger than waist
> height until you're hot in easier (flat, choppy, hip high waves)
> conditions and can fly a kite in your sleep, big waves can hit with a
> force of more than 3 tons per square foot when they break.
> 2. Before you go out, sit on the beach and watch the waves for a
> while, especially if you're at a spot you don't know. Remember that
> from the beach the waves will look smaller than they actually are
> when you're out there.
> 3. Before going in ask locals for advice, a beach break is a lot
> friendlier than a shallow reef break. A wave will break in water
> roughly 1.3 times the height of the wave face, so this can give you
> an idea of how deep the water is. Some reef breaks can actually suck
> most of the water away from the wave's path and this can be unnerving
> when you're on the wave because it will hurt if you fall. Many great
> spots have sharp rocky shores, it's your life and your equipment.
> 4. Avoid spots/days with waves that closeout (the whole bar
> crashes down simultaneously) especially big closeouts, they are nasty.
> 5. Check your equipment, which should be perfect, and warm up
> before you go in.
> 6. Always try to keep your kite flying and if it does go down
> relaunch as quick as you can. Be good at it in flat water before you
> try it in waves.
> 7. Sideshore, side onshore and side offshore are best for wave
> riding, jumping and if there's nothing else, in that order. Straight
> onshore is much harder to go out in because the wind and waves will
> push you back towards the beach all the time, there will probably be
> a strong current in the same direction and you will have to kite
> upwind right away so only try it if you're powered up.
> 8. Unless there's onshore wind, waves usually come in sets of 3-
> 5 or more, (in onshore wind it will probably just be a mess), if it's
> your first time in serious waves or you're going to try anything
> flash, wait for the last wave of the set to do your thing. This way
> if you goof it you should (hopefully) have enough time to get your
> act together before the next set hits you. If you fall on the first
> wave of a set you'll get pounded by the rest of the set and be wiser
> for it. You can jump the waves as you go out and surf them as you
> come in.
> 9. Don't panic in a wipeout, try to be aware of where your
> equipment is, a last look before you go down is good if you get the
> chance. When you do fall, try to fall over/through the wave and not
> down its face.
> 10. Waves further out to sea are a lot calmer than near the
> beach. When starting out from the beach, watch the waves, wait for
> the calm after a set has finished breaking, then go out quick, if
> possible straight out (side shore wind is easiest). Get through the
> shore break then stay out in the real waves, they're bigger too.
> After the shore break (going out) is the impact zone where the bigger
> waves break and you don't want to hang around here too long either.
> Don't get into the shore break again until it's time to come in,
> which is before you get tired and start making mistakes. Riding a
> wave in is a good way to get back to the beach.
> 11. If a wave is too big for you, run (kite) away from it, he who
> turns and kites away rides to surf another wave.
> 12. Keep an eye on big waves coming in when you're playing in
> their garden. Every once in a while a freak wave can come in which is
> a lot bigger than the rest and it will probably break earlier too. A
> wave doesn't have to be really big to hit hard, the thickness and
> speed of a wave, as well as the way/how fast it jacks up when it hits
> the shallows can turn a smooth ocean roller into a spitting, awesome
> 13. If you don't have any experience with waves, (maybe you kite
> on a lake) try surfing them with a surfboard or bodyboard first, this
> will give you an idea of how powerful they are and how a board can
> react in waves.
> 14. Respect surfers, they are a lot less manoeuvrable than you
> and have been surfing waves for a lot longer too (in Hawaii since the
> 15th century).
> 15. Some riders wear floatation vests, others don't. A floaty pfd
> will mean a wave can get a better hold of you and a wipeout can last
> longer, but if you do get knocked unconscious it can save your life.
> Try going out in the waves without your kite and try both ways then
> decide, it's your life.
> 16. If you use a board leash, use a helmet too.
> The above is all pretty standard windsurfing/surfing wave riding
> stuff and what I've learnt at my expense.
> The following points are the more specific kite flying/wave riding
> points I'm not too sure about and probably what need changing most,
> because they're just theory.
> 17. Avoid sushi rolls at all costs, this is when you fall into a
> wave down its face with your lines slack/kite down and the wave rolls
> you in your lines, if the kite powers up or gets dragged down by the
> waves it will not be funny at all. If you're kite is down avoid
> getting tangled in your lines at all costs. If you do get tangled in
> your lines and things look like they could get nasty, or already are,
> cut your lines as fast as you can. Carry a hook knife.
> 18. Avoid flying your kite seawards straight in front of you
> (wave wise) this would mean offshore wind anyway (ideal surfing
> conditions) so you shouldn't be doing it in the first place, because
> if you and the kite fall and the kite gets submerged by the waves, it
> will be pushed towards you and you will be in the midst of your
> lines. If you are worried about getting caught in your lines, swim
> towards/into the waves and crosswise away from where the waves are
> dragging your lines which will be towards the beach. Dive under a
> wave so it doesn't sweep you away.
> 19. Use floating lines and bar. Unless they are actually being
> swirled in a wave, to avoid the lines you can dive under them if all
> else fails, just be careful not to surface in their midst.
> 20. To get past a wave that's coming for you when you're on your
> board, you can jump over it (using your legs to lift your board over
> the wave as you hit it if you don't want to rocket skywards on every
> wave you hit), dive the kite down a bit to build up speed and ride
> straight through with the nose of your board it if the wave's not too
> big, or if you don't like the look of it, change course and ride past
> it or over a section that hasn't broken yet (remember that it might
> start breaking by the time you get there) or through the part that's
> already broken. White water and bubbling foam will play havoc with
> the way your board rides so watch it. If you hit the wave with the
> edge of the board the wave will grab it a lot more than if you hit
> with the nose. Use your kite to lift you/jump out of rough situations.
> 21. You can jump a lot higher in waves than in flat water, so
> watch your landings. When in the air look to see when and where
> you'll be landing. Landing a high jump with your board flat is the
> easiest way to break your board or ankles. Use the kite to slow your
> descent, try to land on the back of the board and use your legs as
> shock absorbers. Be careful if jumping near the shore because the
> backwash of a wave, especially a big one can drag a lot of water off
> the beach and any left behind may be a lot shallower than you think.
> If you're too close to the beach when landing a jump, kick your board
> off and land on your feet.
> 22. A low AR kite is a lot easier and faster to relaunch in waves
> than a high AR kite.
> 23. On light wind days you can use a floaty directional to surf
> waves even when you're underpowered.
> Remember, waves are beautiful graceful creatures but they're not your
> friends and have no qualms about trashing you and/or your gear.
> Respect them always, they are a lot stronger than you will ever be.
> Hang loose
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