- A couple of new precautions have been generated on the regular kitesurf list
recently. I thought that they deserved repeating on this list. The
precautions are supported by one kitesurfer fatality in the Netherlands and a
competitive kitesurfer getting lofted 150 to 200 feet off the ground recently.
They are as follows:
1. Kitesurfers should avoid coming near, say within a hundred feet, of
substantial vertical surfaces, such as buildings, cliffs, bluffs, etc., in
flyable onshore wind conditions. This would be to avoid getting caught in
the updraft flowing up the side of the structure along with the consequences
of coming down hard.
2. Avoid flying your kite near thermal generating conditions. Such
conditions may included heated dark fields, parking lots, large sandy areas,
rising masses or high ground i.e. hills, mountains or CONDOS OR OTHER TALL
BUILDINGS , clear skies with bright sun, cold fronts with high pressure
systems. Other likely thermal collectors to stay away from with a kite aloft
include large groups of trees, hot asphalt with cars, crop fields, etc.
essentially any large and dark area which can trap air PRIOR to the breeze
becoming strong enough to cause penetration and allow mixing. This
precaution would be to avoid suddenly getting lifted, perhaps to hundreds of
feet off the ground in an invisible thermal. Thermals are very common,
lofting kitesurfers are not, for whatever reason, so don't become too
intimidated. It just pays to be cautious. This precaution is admittedly
vague, largely because we are still learning about the phenomena. When in
doubt, don't fly. You could talk with local hang gliders and paragliders
about local thermal phenomena to gain more information. Also stay unhooked
while on land and at risk of getting lofted.
For further information on both of these conditions refer to the regular
kitesurf list under the keywords "thermal" and "flight caution"