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Reminder about Safety

Kitesurfing shop talk

by Faceplant » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:25 pm

Had a close call today during a botched attempt at self launch. Normally at the ferry terminal I set up a tether and use my bumper. For some reason I decided to try a beach launch from the parking lot. Not going to get into the details, but ended up getting yarded and dragged 15 meters, gained control of kite and made my way out to the water. No damage.

Don't forget how unforgiving this sport is when things go wrong.

Looking back I made 3 decisions that could have cost me.


Cash told me afterwards that he drift launched (since it was high tide). Something I've never done, but will consider next time.
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by Alton » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:34 pm

Faceplant wrote:Cash told me afterwards that he drift launched (since it was high tide). Something I've never done, but will consider next time.

Even drift launches go bad. This season I had to abort 3 out of 5 drift launch attempts.
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by tweegster » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:33 pm

That launch at FT could have been bad by the sounds of it. Wind is so gusty down low, so in a pinch I usually drift launch too. Less hard obsticles downwind. Best bet is to rig faster than your buddy :lol:

My 15 likes to wrap the bridal over its wingtip when self launching from sand. Always good to start a session with a couple kiteloops.

Summer session in white rock after work today. Ie. Light but nice to get out in the sun. No gloves with some regrets.

:mrgreen:
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by Will » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:44 am

When doing any self launch/drift launch, always have your safety eject constantly on your mind.
Even practice grabbing it without looking at it before you attempt your launch so you are extra ready to release.

It will be the difference between getting dragged across land, and just having to reel in your kite and reset.

A couple falls ago, in a 45kn + storm @ BB, my new-to-me 7m rebel went crazy after launch. It flipped over and was going to head straight into the power-zone down wind of me :shock: . Luckily I was ready, and popped the eject before the kite even pulled me off my feet. If I hadn't done that, I would have been launched and dragged into those huge logs, which I am sure would not have ended well.
A shout out to Cash, who was there, and rushed over and grabbed the back of my harness out of instinct to try and save me from a bad time if I didn't manage to eject.
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by Faceplant » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:15 pm

Yes, we are all taught to check our safety systems. In 30+kt days I pull my release make sure it is good put it back together and check my leash to make sure it comes apart. We become comfortable and complacent though. Being yarded is the worst thing to happen, and the outcome only depends on how close you are to hard objects. I got super lucky. I got yarded off my feet, landed on my side and was dragged 15 meters all in the matter of 3 seconds. My biggest mistake was not going over the safety release procedure prior to launch. That should be our first reaction without even thinking of it. I got lucky. I dragged 15 meters and while dragging (huge error) I decided to regain control of the kite and bring it to 12. Like we do when you crash on the water. The only difference is I was being dragged across the road. I was lucky enough to get the kite to 12 and stopped dragging a few meters before the logs. If I would have been dragged across the logs, who knows what kind of injuries I would have. People die in this sport. It's a wakeup call, and wanted to share so it serves as a reminder to everyone. No one needs to pay the ultimate price, especially when it is totally avoidable.
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by jumpjyber » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:17 pm

Yes, you can never be too safe out ther my friends
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by Skautik » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:09 pm

Self launch on FT just sounds like a bad idea. Glad you're ok.

Week ago I was on San Andres and decided to go on small island near by. When I arrived at the beach of little Island the beach was in shadow and kite fell of the sky. Big waves prevent the drift launch. Went on the front of the island and self launch was very sketchy as I would have to stand in shallow rock/reef/barnacle situation. Tried it tethered launch but dry stick in the send wouldn't hold the kite. Ended up jamming the stick in to the roots of old palm stump. The sketchiest launch ever but made it :D Definitely safer to risk loosing the kite then being dragged in the reef :D
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by Don_C » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:29 pm

There is are sorts of things that can catch the lines when self launching at the ferry terminal.

One technique I have used in other really tight, sketchy, hot launch self launches is to launch unhooked. Just hold on to the quick release loop with one hand and use the other to launch. If something goes wrong you just need to let the loop go. It is an instant release. Much faster and more reliable than using the quick release. When the kite is flying just put the loop on your hook. Best to practice this in light wind a few times before doing it in a gnarly situation.

Thinking of unhooked. It is good to occasionally practice flying unhooked while holding the qr loop. That way you are prepared if the loop ever accidentally jumps off the hook, which it will at some point in your kiting career. And, you will feel more comfortable doing an unhooked launch.
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