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-   -   Lucky to be alive...kitemare gone really bad. (

Skyway Scott 02-27-2008 02:15 PM

What was interesting about this situation relative to most kitemares is just how much time Bill had. I would say 12 to 15 seconds. Most kitemares are 2 seconds or shorter in duration, then someone hits something and it's over.
So, given Bill's take on (no) time, I think the lesson here is that safety stuff should be very easily accessible and easy to trigger (quickly). Most of it is neither, unfortunately.

Distance definitely bought Bill a ton of time. As it turned out, it didn't matter much on the gear he had. A full two minutes wouldn't have mattered, I don't think. :(

inferno 02-27-2008 02:40 PM

one lesson to take away from this...

it is highly recomended that in higher wind to always be leashed to an outside line, or a single front line (like the new SS i think), if anything goes wrong and your kite starts looping, as long as you can hit the release before to many loops you will flag the kite out to one line (preferable an outside line.....)

i assume you were leashed to both front lines?

RickI 02-27-2008 02:43 PM

Glad you came through OK. Gear needs regular and careful inspection, PM and even replacement. Just put an article up that goes into some of these aspects at:

amber 02-27-2008 02:48 PM

If you have a slingshot leash, try turning it upside down. if there isn't a good attachment point on that end, you can pick up a cheap marine grade clasp at west marine.

glad you're ok. i've got a 2006 waroo and I pray that my bridles are ok. i know i don't test it the way you guys do though. I hate how the leash gets all wrapped funny when attached to my outside line and i crash and loop. Oh well. Better safe than sorry... i'll probably avoid hooking it to the "suicide point". I guess that if we put a positive spin on all of this, as long as you're "ok", its a good reminder to everyone that kitemares don't discriminate against age, athleticism, expertise,equipment, gender, etc.

Don't be suprised next time you see Toby running down the beach in his rainbow thong. He's always looking out for the rest of us. Even when he's busy at the backside...

Good luck getting better. If you decide not to race, we still need volunteers in order to make it a success. Let us know if you're interested

<jason 02-27-2008 02:57 PM

Scary to even imagine going through that...
Hey I just wanted to chime in as well to say im glad your ok... relatively speaking...:confused:

Also happy to hear their was people there to help you out...
hope u heal good and fast....


Coach 02-27-2008 03:35 PM

Alright reason for posting was to simply thank the guys who came to my aide and let them know how thankful I am. What happened to me could have happened to anyone from newbie to experienced safe rider with years of experience - like me. It could not have been predicted or prevented in that the bridle lines to this kite were intact and not comprised to the naked eye. IF there is a tool out there that measures the strength and integrity of bridle and/or flying lines, let me know. IF there is, I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANY RIDER IN THE AREA USE ONE. You can't predict something like this. I take great care of all of my gear and inspect it regularly, particularly, my bar/lines/larksheads leaders, bridle attachment points, etc. Probably more than most. And, those of you who know me I am sure don't view me as a kook, dangerous on inexperienced rider. I am an educated person and a world class athlete who played professional tennis and coached on tour for over 20 years between the two. I am not a moron. So, please - if you have something productive and not critical to say, something about gear or lines, etc, let me know. But don't evaluate me as a rider, nor my practices as a rider - unless you know me and ride with me. IF there is a way to practice self rescue under these conditions, when a 12 meter kite has a bridle line snap and begins to loop at an insane rate at 20-25 knots and you are unable to break away the kite, in this situation, let me know. Otherwise, don't pass judgement on something you could never know about unless you went through it yourself. Thanks.

Tom Stock 02-27-2008 03:52 PM

Bill you are wasting your breath. There are always a bunch of reasons why it won't happen to them (only because it hasn't yet).

I had a very similar experience 3+ years ago and it was one of the happiest days of my life ... when I realized I was still alive.

Really surprised you are not dead after hearing the story in detail.

Man am I glad that tree was there.

Drink a tall one and plant a tree in thanks.

Unimog Bob 02-27-2008 03:58 PM

Hey Bill,
I'm glad to hear you are on the mend. I was glad to do what I could to help. I know you would have done the same for any of us. I wish there was more we could have done. It was tough to watch knowing there was nothing we could do to reach you in time to stop you. You fought like hell to get loose the whole way. I'll be looking forward to riding with you again soon.

Skyway Scott 02-27-2008 04:07 PM

Bill. I don't think anyone is being critical of you. I sure hope you don't think I am. Basically I am saying safety gear sucks and 2 minutes wouldn't have afforded you time to "get out". I think a few others are saying that they would recommend checking lines etc. as a precaution to other forum readers (not you). That's how I read it anyway. I realize how frustrating it is too get screwed by your kite when you didn't do much/nothing wrong. I would have knifed and burned that thing by now myself.

I have gone on three rides similar to yours. I wasn't at fault on any of them, imo. (Two of them had back line OS leash attachments).
I think our safety gear is still in the dark ages. The industry isn't too concerned with safety or setting standards, so what happens is we are left guessing what is safer than something else. It's obvious to me if we had great safety gear that yesterday wouldn't have happened and you wouldn't think we are being critical. The gear was just lacking, not you.

Coach 02-27-2008 04:08 PM

Thanks Tom and Bob...I appreciate it. I didn't mean to sound like a dick to anyone else. Still a little bit groggy and not used to being inside all day. Sucks. Yeah, Tom, I have rewound the situation in my head over and over again. Scott said he thought it lasted 10 to 12 seconds. I have to think it was longer, based on the distance, the speed at which I was being dragged AND the fact that Bob told me that the kite hit the water twice for about 2-3 seconds, over the distance of at least 700 yards - I checked it out on Google Earth. I had enough time to realize when the kite wasn't going to stay in the water and the direction I was heading - I even thought about the traffic believe it or not - that I was f'd. There was nothing stopping that kite.

I am going to hammer a flippin cross on that tree and do a better job celebrating Arbor Day in the future.

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