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  #11  
Old 07-19-2009, 05:06 PM
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No, it's a very intelligent question, with an inherently bad answer, for now. There are so many different systems out there today. With old traditional C kites you just flagged your kite by one line and you were there. You had removed as much power as possible by Emergency Depowering. As long as you actual flagged it, lots failed to make it that far for many reasons making the traditional C kite less safe than current designs.

Ok, so what do you do with flat (BOW, SLE, hybrid) kites? You remove as much power as possible from your kite in the best proven way possible as fast as possible.

1. If your kite flags well off one line, do that.

2. Not all kites are equipped to be flagged anymore, no reride leash or O'shit handles. In those cases, one approach that has been discussed is to bring the kite down close to the water to the side of the wind window. Push the bar out to depower the flat kite but not enough to cause it to tumble downwind.

3. In either case be ready to set the kite free with your leash attachment if necessary.

Some flat kites that can still be flagged spin, in really strong wind they may spin a lot. I know this may drag you a bit in the water at lower wind speeds but does it ever become dangerous? I keep asking various manufacturers and keep coming up with a variety of responses.
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  #12  
Old 07-30-2009, 01:27 PM
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I was speaking to Dale about the pathway I originally depicted, he indicated that it missed part of the original path. Initially, he was lofted almost NNW, he tried to pull on the left side of his bar to return to the water to the west unsuccessfully. The wind clocked to west and to the northwest during which time he pulled more on the right side of the bar to try to fly back over the water to the south as he traveled east. The corrected, approx. pathway shows up below and in the original posting above.



The horizontal distance increased about 100 ft. for an overall range of about 1200 ft.

All this in only about a 30 mph squall gust. Once again, avoid squalls.
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:53 AM
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The end of the dry season for wind in Florida is still some weeks off. Looks like there is some wind in the forecast this weekend related to a tropical wave passing over. A lot of squalls are predicted too. We'll see what happens it is too early to say much more than that at this point.

Most people haven't been as fortunate as Dale in loftings far less extreme than this one. Stay out of squalls, land and secure well in advance of their arrival through proper weather planning and monitoring. Some ideas along those lines appear below.




Kiteboarding Weather Planning And Monitoring Considerations

1. Marine/Water & Hazard Forecasts
Check reliable forecasts (predicted winds, direction, HAZARD FORECASTS, temperatures, anticipated changes, cold fronts, tropical or strong systems). Anticipate changes donít fall into them. Not all private weather sites are reliable, use what works well in your area. Will your kite size work for the day or will you need to increase or decrease size at some point. How about exposure clothing, is there a sudden temperature drop inbound?
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/

2. Radar and Satellite Maps
Is stormy weather (often bright colored masses), squall lines, isolated storm clouds or feeder bands inbound? Looping weather images can show CURRENT trends and speed. Does it look they will arrive during your session? Temper this with LOCAL knowledge as conditions can change radically in only an hour sometimes, systems can accelerate or stall, etc..
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/radar_tab.php
http://www.weather.gov/sat_tab.php?image=ir

3. Synoptic/Frontal Weather Maps
Are there significant weather systems inbound, cold fronts, tropical systems, strong high/low pressure, got tight pressure isobars for strong wind? Look at these maps on loop again to learn about CURRENT trends and speed.
http://www.weather.gov/outlook_tab.php

4. Real time winds
How are winds upweather or the direction of the prevailing system, spikes/gusty and shifting winds inbound? Frequently you can see a preview of what the front will bring to your area, hundreds of miles upweather in advance. Itís a free look at what may be the future, why not take it? If unstable weather is coming avoid it until it passes.
http://www.ikitesurf.com/windandwhere.iws?regionID=201

5. Wind Useable or NOT?
If you decide to go, STAY AWARE, at all times of the weather. Things like cloud lines, funnel clouds, wind direction and velocity, white caps, mist, temperature changes. Typical weather patterns can be recognized within given seasons. Learn what to look for and when to react. Good chance you are a wind junkie already so play the complete roll and tune into wx. Measure wind speed at the launch along with other visual indicators such as white caps, tree and flag movement and ask how other kiters are doing on their respective kite sizes before selecting yours. If you expect a weather change to occur, don't be on the water if something violent comes through. Sometimes the hazardous period can be short so just wait it out.

6. At the beach & riding
Checkout wind speed, direction, sky and water conditions at the launch and during your session. Is the wind useable, are sky conditions stable or threatening? What do threatening sky conditions look like in your area? You should know. Are there dark clouds and/or a wind/whitewater inbound? What about funnel clouds or waterspouts, are there small points showing up at the bottom of clouds? Always be aware of your surroundings, weather changes, ANTICIPATE & REACT early.

7. Squall is almost here!
Land, thoroughly secure gear early, before significant wind, temperature changes or threatening weather arrives. Systems can move 50 mph + hitting with minimal warning. If caught on the water, consider totally or emergency depowering early, waiting too long has taken riders. Be ready to release your kite leash if your kite powers up again. Riding out far from shore may work for ships. Ships donít get ripped 50í+ from the water and blown at high speed downwind. DON'T WAIT, act early to kill the power of the kite even if it means swimming in after. Your strong swimming skills and impact vest should make that a manageable process.
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  #14  
Old 12-17-2009, 09:41 AM
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Thought this deserved a second look. There seems to be an excessive reliance on kite technology to deal with excessive winds out there. We don't always do what we need to in time in a high wind emergency. They are best avoided.
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