How to avoid kite stalling after a fall

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wrighp5
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Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:46 pm

Hi, I am learning to transition/turn going from left to right, right/lft. Sometimes when I fall I end up downwind of the kite slightly with it at 12 oclock. This is causing the kite to stall and is on the verge of dropping into the water. The wind was gusting from about 12kts to 18knts so once up and riding it was ok. I am 14st riding a 11m kite. Is there a way to stop the kite stalling or rescuing it before it drops? I tend to sheet out so the kite fills and hope it catches to relaunch. I don't want a scenario of it dropping and a line going over the wrong side of the canopy which I saw happen to someone else. Would steering it gently right or left as it stalls help? thanks for any responses
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waverider
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Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:20 pm

It might help if you let the forum readers know what kite you're using.

Sometimes a bit of careful tuning or just pulling the stopper down will set a kite up to keep flying when you release the bar, the downside to that is you need to appreciate you've de-creased the amount of safety-de-power available. Most kites differ from each other so you may need help from someone who has sorted the problem with the same kite.

You refer to the kite "stalling", to me this means over-sheeting in which case the kite slides backwards. Or, are the rear lines so slack that wind hits the top of the canopy and forces the kite into a nose-dive. If thats the case you to tighten the rear lines up a bit.

Difficult to diagnose this problem without more information, and, it's often not a good idea to have your kite at 12 O'clock. They stall a lot.
wrighp5
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Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:49 pm

The kite is a little known French brand lidearth that are similar to fone, I doubt anyone in the uk has one! As I know I may fall when changing direction I keep hold of the bar and send it up to 12ish to save it hitting the water. This may be my over sheeting problem? Cheers
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waverider
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Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:13 am

That sounds like over-sheeting which creates what is known as "Back-stall". This is the kite trying to fly backwards.

Hanging on to the bar is usually a normal novice habit that you need to get out of. What might be a good idea is for you to practice leaving the kite to it's own devices in the air, maybe in shallows or on the beach. Let go the bar to see which way it stalls and tune the lines so the kite remains flying but don't expect too much when the kite is at 12 O'clock. Try to get into the habit of having your kite at 10 O'clock or 2 O'clock, never at 12 O'clock.

A nicely balanced kite will slowly fall to the sea or beach and sit on it's wing-tip waiting for you to direct it back into the sky.
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anthonylanglands
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Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:17 am

Ok your problem is .... your being to careful.
When the kite is up at 12 it is very easy to get downwind of it and loose tension in the lines thus making the kite drop back in/fall out of the window , plus it will be tending to lift you off the water and your loosing your edge abit too i would imagine.
All this is caused by you trying to do all the work with the kite , but being super careful at the same time and not wanting to do anything too drastic :)
To fix it you need more input from your board.
Say your on a righthand tac with the kite at about 2 o'clock edge quite hard upwind , use tricks like looking over your right shoulder upwind , digging your heels in with slightly more pressure on your back foot.
Hold this upwind turn until you feel all the power come out of the kite.( you'll slow almost to a stop)
Then fly the kite over to 11 as you transfer your weight over your old back foot (left foot) , keep your eyes looking in the direction you want to go , NOT AT THE KITE.
And then slighty drop the kite keeping the tension on the bar to your new riding postion of around 10 o'clock.
The way you move your body and where you have your eyes is so important .
I tell all my students , when starting out your hands and eyes should be connected ie where your hands are steering the kite your eyes need to follow .
My mantra here is Hands , Eyes , Butt and Board
Hands - gives you the steering
Eyes - puts your body in the correct postion
Butt - sets your edge
Board - focuses on you ankle to give you fine steering
Practice it on the Beach , or in your front room lol , like your a tree swaying in the wind really , bit zen ... but there you go , Hands up at chess height as if they where on the bar.
Sway to your right slightly at the same time moving youe head ova your right foot to end up looking over your right shoulder , then , moving your Hands,Eyes,Butt over your left leg (board) and turning your eyes to look over your left shoulder.
Now do the same movement with your eyes closed and feel what it does in your feet and where the weight transfers.
One thing is very true in Sports , where your eyes go ... you go. If you are having trouble underflying your kite or having in crash with slack lines it is because you are looking at the kite , get your eyes off the kite and look where you want to go :-D
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waverider
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Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:27 am

Nice Anthony, very nice and well explained, would have been good to have you around in 1998. The thing about the eyes, if you look at the rock, you'll hit it. And I hit that rock so many times before I learnt. :(
wrighp5
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Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:58 pm

Thanks for the tips, I'm not normally one for being careful but I think you r right, knowing I may crash when transitioning i'm expecting it and worried about the kite falling. I did not want to struggle relaunching as the wind was dropping and was out of my depth. Cheers
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waverider
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Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:01 pm

wrighp5 wrote:Thanks for the tips, I'm not normally one for being careful but I think you r right,
Don't make light of being careful, just last week a simple wrap-around produces an arm broken away just below the shoulder joint and i'll guess a good three months off work for an active-working man with no sick-pay other than SSP.
southseasailor
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Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:15 pm

Nasty break by the sound of it...poor bloke. Its healthy to have a certain amount of fear when kiting, I tend to weigh up the situation ie what the wind is up to...are there any squalls on the horizon, things like that. If in doubt I dont bother getting the gear out but head home instead.

I find, when falling off the board, that simply letting go of the bar; the kite tends to still fly quite well. I quickly look up to see where it is and reach up to steer it back up before it hits the water. If you grab the bar while falling off the kite could easily power dive right down and land heavily on its leading edge...do it hard enough and you could bust the leading edge open...the bladder will instantly burst open:(

I had a problem with my Best Taboo 12mtr, front stalling. I had just got it and was getting used to it, the winds were not great with lulls coming through at times. One guy on this site said to keep a little bar tension to prevent the 'overfly', works a treat. With a front stall (kites leading edge falling down) you can end up with the kite going down and through the lines. If this happens and you are in deep water, you can still fly it...just slower steering is the result. Dont be tempted to try clearing twisted lines in the shallows, its not worth it. Better to land and get it sorted out.

Its hard to not watch the kite when riding, takes practice of course. I tend to watch the kite out of the corner of my eye, basically where you look, is where you ride to. Quite a lot to take in, watching the wind and the gusts and getting ready to adjust the kites position so as not to get overpowered etc. Its a lot of fun...so much to learn:) take good care of your kite and lines...its always the little things that can get taken for granted that can get you hurt..when they break!

Its great to feel a buzz when kiting but the risks and dangers are never over till you have landed the kite and stowed it away.
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waverider
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Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:41 am

It's good to have someone like you on the forum Rob, sharing your learning experiences, learning by bumping into problems and identifying the problems as risk.

I think a lot of riders don't share their failures often enough, don't like to admit a novice period and go-on to being an expert in all things kitesurfing very quickly. A lot of riders don't know what there is to bite them in the ass after a few years of being an expert, the zero-to-hero type instructor is worst-case example and perpetuating the situation.

You don't have the problem that results from a stall that we have here in the UK on summer beach's. Although i'm only aware of a few near-miss situations we get kitesurfers mingling with the beach-public, launching, landing and flying their kite over peoples heads with what appears to be ignorance of a probable light-wind stall and the resulting injury to others.

Another problem more specific to summer is the rider with a big kite for light-wind fun, he has enough wind for the required lift and traction for a bit of fun but if the kite stalls and hits the sea it probably won't re-launch and no contingency plan is in place for that possibility.

A lot to learn and most of it is very boring.
southseasailor
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Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:35 am

Theres very little mention of recent accidents in kiting. Wonder why? the few detailed accounts on this site are good to read, certainly makes you appreciate just how nasty things can get in a short space of time.

Lucky here in the Islands, very few people to bother me where I set the kite up:) I did see how risky it is in the UK, setting up in a little park where the general public stroll along...with a dog or child in tow, blissfully unaware of the kite above them.

Theres some local interest in kiting, though I do my best to explain that while its a lot of fun..you cant hit an 'off' button where everything will be ok should they get into difficulty. Sure there is the quick release, but you still have to get the kite sorted out and get back to the shore etc.
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kite-uk
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Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:43 pm

some great adivce there. I find when I fall in I do depower or let go ASAP, Buggy days. my problem has been totaly wind related. Some times I surface and it's just up ahead other times it's off to one side about to ditch but I tend to be quick off the mark to grab the bar and yank it back into the zone. I think I have ditched a kite 3 times so far. So not too bad. I know of this back stall I have had it with foils when starting out and it tended to be when little wind and or brake lines not loose enough.

Not looked at this part of the forum me thinks a evening of reading is needed for me :-D some good stuff.
southseasailor
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Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:03 pm

I was told on this site, to pull on some depower when learning. Its easy to keep the bar in too close and get a backstall, which hinders your progress. It helped me quite a lot. Dont use all the depower though, leave some reserve in case the wind gets a bit strong.
Was out with my Flysurfer 12mtr yesterday late afternoon, you can backstall these to a degree but the 'jet flaps' near the trailing edge still promote plenty of lift. Great kite to use though...loads of power there.

Its goofd that your catching the kite before it hits the water, sounds like you are aware of whats going to happen. Saves a lot of time keeping it flying.
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kite-uk
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Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:23 pm

THat has only come about from 7 years on foils and Lei's in buggy's on land. With out doubt I wouldn't be able to be where I am kite wise on the water with out the back ground work over the years. I think for newbie's to learn to fly kite, stand on a board, Understand the wind and conditions all in one go is hard work!
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rakeem15
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Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:02 am

I think a lot of the problem with newbies is the 'on/off' approach to kite power - pulling right in then letting the bar go completely to de-power. Imagine doing this with the throttle on a car!

With time and practise when wiping out you start to learn to keep a hand on the bar and moderate the de-power rather than just letting go. And hey-presto, kite will stay in the air.

It really only takes a movement of a few inches within the sweetspot to control the power. It's when you under- (and over-) sheet the kite beyond this that you then get stalling/spilling of power.

But as I say...comes with practise (took me a good couple of years and I don't mind admitting it!).
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