Had my ass handed to me on-land. Thoughts?



Shoot the breeze and stay in the loop with the unhinged and unhooked word on the street.
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P-Ride
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Had my ass handed to me on-land. Thoughts?

Post by P-Ride »

Hi Guys, I posted previously about my first kitesurfing course - due next month - coming from the position of being a keen snowboarder.

My first purchase was a Flexifoil Rage 3.5m, which we've taken out a few times; and I recently got a Trampa board with skate-trucks - which hasn't been used yet, apart from a ride down my road to check how it handled (awesome!)

A friend who lives far away was sponsored by Ozone and was kind enough to give me some tips recently.

He told me that mastering flying the kite is the most important thing; and that it would be wise to put my Trampa board to one side and focus on learning how to control the kite as well as possible before getting on it and before taking my course. He said many make the mistake of buying a kite and board together, which means they don't learn the kite as well - and, I guess, may find themselves out of depth?

Last weekend myself and a friend took my Flexifoil out. We've flown it together each time it's been out, which is probably six or seven times now.

The wind was 23mph with 40mph gusts, which I thought might be quite fun. It was more than I expected.

I'm around 14.5 stone and my friend is 13 stone (we're both keen boxers), which - apparently - is utterly insignificant to a power-kite when it gets going!

We knew the wind was strong and - with help of his brother - set it up, pointing towards the ground.

As soon as he flipped it over, the kite shot up; and I took it straight to 180 degrees above me to avoid being thrown.

I like to think of myself as a fairly confident guy, but I was genuinely rather intimidated, as I could feel the power in the kite 180 degrees above me; knowing that as soon as it dropped slightly forwards I was going to be pulled very hard. Even with the kite above me, when I jumped I was hanging in the air - which is not what a Rage is meant to do!

I braced myself, but sure enough, I was launched through the air like a missile. It happened again and I had to bring it crashing by dropping the handles, then pulling one side down (probably not orthodox, but it's what came to mind!).

Scott went up next. He got launched at 30/40 degrees like a ragdoll too! The elastic cord on the brake-line snapped and we had to tie it for him, then do another emergency stop.

So, I guess my question is, what would you guys (the experts) have done in this situation?

Is 23mph with 40mph gusts too much? Could you have handled the kite better with superior technique (and what sort of techniques?)

Heaven forbid what a Blade would have been like!

My confidence has certainly been dented with this experience, which tells me I need to get out again repeatedly to build it up.

I do wonder on earth having a 12 metre kite out with sea wind will be like in comparison?!

Any thoughts on rationalising our experience; and how/why flying a giant kite at sea will not be murder are appreciated!

CookieMonster
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:22 pm
Location: A Poole Harbour Escape :)

Re: Had my ass handed to me on-land. Thoughts?

Post by CookieMonster »

Hi P-Ride,

Gusty weather is not ideal for kiting, I don't bother to kite when gusts are more than 10 knots above the average as its not fun and you cannot really do much and the strong gusts can catch you unaware in danger of getting lofted.

Definately get your lessons as they will teach you all about the stuff you need to know about flying kites safely, which you may feel a bit 'dented' but being shown properly how to fly and the safety systems you will get your confidence.

You will also learn that most kiters do not have just one kite. If you go and watch on strong windy day there will be people on smaller kite 6,7,9 metre kite.

But good lesson you have learnt is that no matter how strong you may be mother nature can still spank you if do not respect her.

southseasailor
Posts: 954
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:40 am

Re: Had my ass handed to me on-land. Thoughts?

Post by southseasailor »

The little Parafoils are handy for getting you kite flying skills, you will find kitesurfing kites easier to fly in some ways. I found them to be easy enough, had loads of time on a 3 mtr 'foil' that I bought back in 1998. I sold this to a guy who was far heavier than me and it put him on his arse a few times. I never had any issues with it, suspect he was going out in too strong a wind.

So yeah, Foils are great fun and are quite potent. Looking at the profile a Foil has its more efficient than a typical single skin inflatable (LEI..Leading Edge Inflatable) take that profile with its 'cambers' and wang it around through the air and you get plenty of power.

I got a 12mtr Foil :) its a 'Flysurfer' so is designed for kitesurfing. Its got a shed load of power in the right wind, I have to reach up and pull the depower a lot sooner than on an LEI kite. Foils this size are harder to land safely than an LEI, its ok if the wind is not too strong but muck the process up and it can spank you big time. Luckily I can pull the safety release and as the kite flags out on the leash it does a couple of death rolls as it comes down.

I like the Flysurfer, the procedures for launching and landing are different to the LEI's, well when operating on your own that is. Dont have to worry about punctures and all that nonsense. I wouldnt use one as a learner though, learning is hard enough without working out how to relaunch a downed Foil (its fairly easy but can take a while if the kites really messed up on the water)

I have tried landboarding, but after getting 'highsided' over the board and landing on my hip (I was in that much pain I though my hip or leg was badly broken..luckily it was bruised bone) I wont be doing it again, but like the idea of a buggy though...hmmm? :wink:

Tone
Posts: 1996
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 3:09 pm

Re: Had my ass handed to me on-land. Thoughts?

Post by Tone »

Morning,

For sure using small foils is a great way to get the feel for what kind of power kites can produce.

The thing about small foils is that they can produce a disproportionate amount of power considering the size. The reason behind this is that due to their small size but high efficiency they can travel through the wind window at crazy speeds, which given a high windspeed will produce a crazy power spike.

I remember a friend of mine (a girl) buying a 3m Flexifoil Blade 3 - she weighed 7 stone. In anything more than about 10mph she couldn't fly it. The problem she had was that the kite moved so fast that she didn't have enough ballast to keep handle launching the kite. Kitesurfing kites are designed to provide consistent power, sure if you whip the kite through the window at high speed you will get an interesting result (look up kiteloops for a classic example of this)

When we kitesurf we also don't launch the kite straight down wind. Due to the power required to kitesurf, launching a kite dead downwind can and does end in tears. Kitesurfing kites are depowerable which helps control the most dangerous aspect of kitesurfing, launching and landing.

Finally, 23-40 is not kite weather. Get that kite out in a nice 15-20 mph and you will learn a lot faster and not crash as much!

Tony

waverider
Posts: 9610
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2004 2:14 pm
Location: Big-Blue-Beach, Newgale, Pembrokeshire.

Re: Had my ass handed to me on-land. Thoughts?

Post by waverider »

Tone wrote:The thing about small foils is that they can produce a disproportionate amount of power considering the size. The reason behind this is that due to their small size but high efficiency they can travel through the wind window at crazy speeds, which given a high windspeed will produce a crazy power spike.



For this reason alone i've always been negative about using small kites for training and agreed with the opinion of others that a larger kite in the appropriate wind-speed delivers a more positive experience to a student.

lard
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:02 pm
Location: Wallingford, Oxfordshire

Re: Had my ass handed to me on-land. Thoughts?

Post by lard »

waverider wrote:For this reason alone i've always been negative about using small kites for training and agreed with the opinion of others that a larger kite in the appropriate wind-speed delivers a more positive experience to a student.


Sound advice Waverider. A larger foil in lighter winds will be much slower and easier to control which is what you need when trying to master fig-8 turns etc. I learnt on a 4m Radsail and it was much nicer to fly than the 2m Ozone Samurai I also had, which incidentally gave my then GF (now wife) a right old spanking down at West Wittering. Proper sand in the teeth and ears job. I tried hard not to laugh, honest I did......

southseasailor
Posts: 954
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:40 am

Re: Had my ass handed to me on-land. Thoughts?

Post by southseasailor »

My first Foil was a 'Kicker 10' and had just the two lines with wrist straps..easier on you than the handles like on my Flexifoil Buzz 3.5mtr.
When flying the Kicker I was intrigued at the notion that some folk were using boards on water. Quite a treat to be doing this some 14yrs later, albeit with modern kites and board.

blue_eyes
Posts: 723
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:58 pm

Re: Had my ass handed to me on-land. Thoughts?

Post by blue_eyes »

I taught my girlfriend on a 1m foil but not in the strongest but the lightest winds ,so she learnt how to keep the kite flying in next to no wind..it didn't matter about how strong the wind was she learnt how to fly the kite..there is no real advantage to learning in high winds..learn in lighter winds and move up in wind strengh as you gain experience in kite control...IMHO....on the flipside when you have control higher winds can be great fun :-D

BrightonSurf
Posts: 701
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:31 pm

Re: Had my ass handed to me on-land. Thoughts?

Post by BrightonSurf »

Inland winds can be very gusty which can make it alot more difficult/dangerous. 23mph to 40mph gusts is way too much and could injure you.stick to a force 3/4 max until you are very confident in your flying skills. You will also learn alot more about where the power is generated in lighter winds since you will notice where it is light and strong. The power of the kite increases very quickly with the windspeed, the power in the kite is more than quadrupling between 23mph and 40mph. If you are not good at judging wind speeds buy a wind meter it might save you a trip to the hospital and remember it is windier where the kite flies than on the ground.

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