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Old 09-29-2007, 10:11 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
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Default 2. Avoiding Suicidal Behavior - Safety Tip Of The Week

I am amazed and saddened to hear of riders still screwing around in squalls despite all the needless avoidable accidents and fatalities over the years. Every year riders kill themselves in squalls and yet people keep stepping up for their own turn. It is guaranteed that a percentage of riders going out in storms will be injured, just not all of them, volunteers?

Some squall myths:

1. I can handle it.

Not if it boosts to 60 to 70 mph, particularly if your flat kite malfunctions (it happens). Many riders have been killed in far less, around 40 to 45 mph and even less than that.

2. I'll just hit the quick release or emergency depower if I'm hit by a violent gust.

People in severe accidents almost NEVER do this successfully, over and over again. Lack of practice, can't find it in time, there is NO time to react (quite common) ONCE the gust is on you, you simply freeze an allow precious seconds to act slip away, the mechanism doesn't work as planned. By far the best course is to AVOID the violent weather. Once it is upon you the outcome is highly uncertain, over and over again.

3. If I'm far enough away from land, I'll be OK, regardless of the gusts.

Guys have been badly hurt just by hitting water, even drowning as in:
http://sbckiteboard.com/instructional?id=151



4. You can't avoid violent gusts, if it's blowing, I'm going.

Wrong and delusional at the same time. There are lots of EASY things riders can do to avoid violent weather particularly with all the excellent weather resources in the USA. What sort of chump just grabs any old kite and tries to go? You try to pick the best kite for the conditions, right? Knowledge and experience count, same applies to weather planning and monitoring. What's more, you can often see violent weather before it arrives if you bother to even look. So many never troubled themselves, while they had the option.

5. You can tell how bad the wind will be from a cloud by looking at it.

Sometimes yes and sometimes no, it is highly unreliable. One thing you almost NEVER know is how strong the winds will be that come with the squall. The wind may die entirely or just diminish, it may stay the same and even shift offshore or it may boost to 30 to 40 to 50 to 60 mph + likely with insufficient time to do anything about it once it gusts.

There are lots more myths and misconceptions out there.
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Last edited by RickI; 10-01-2007 at 01:52 PM.
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