"Im not worried about sideoff conditions"

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"Im not worried about sideoff conditions"

Postby Misfit » Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:11 am

Hey All,
Yesterday in South Haven I arrived at the beach with 15 mph of wind blowing sideoff. I walked up to a group of locals standing around talking about what to do. I told em that I was going to put up my 20. A couple of guys told me that they were worried about the sideoff wind. Arrogantly, I told em that I wasn't worried about it and that if I dropped my kite I would just swim it in. WELL.............. I was doing a toeside turn close to shore to go back out and my chicken loop safety deployed. This released it from my harness and ripped the bar from my hands. To make things worse, in my frenzy to get off the beach I forgot to hook up my leash. Now my kite was floating out to the center of lake michigan without any way to retrieve it. To make a long story short, I finally got to my kite about 45 minutes later (from a boat) when it was about 3/4 of a mile out and comletely wrapped in my lines. The moral of this story is dont be a dumbass like I was! Seriously, there are several things that went wrong here that could have been avoided:
1. Don't kite in sideoff conditions without a chase boat
2. Check your bar and safetys before you go out to ensure they are working properly
3. Wear a leash
4. Take your time to ensure everything is set up and flying right before leaving the beach
5. Don't get cocky. things can go wrong for any kiter regardless of skill level.

I just wanted to share my experience so maybe someone can avoid the amount of chafe I experienced yesterday.

Also, thanks to the locals that helped me get my kite back.

Shamefully,
Cory
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Postby STF » Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:54 pm

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:



Glad you got the kite back at least.
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Postby Chris@sharkless » Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:32 am

Sweet you got it back, I got calls about a lot kite in south haven, then a couple kiters called me, Dennis and Chris B (alpha Helix), that you got your kite back. Was bummed I had to miss the action but had PASA stuff I had to take care of. South Haven was windy Sunday, Mikey and Jimbo took out 5m and 6m kites.

Anyways.
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Postby V » Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:40 am

Cory, that blows! Glad you got it though, especially with the lack of boats on the water. You're on lucky dude! It was probably better to detach completely since I doubt with the head wind you would be able to swim in. It would be along swim for sure.
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Postby seblue » Sun May 16, 2010 11:53 pm

Thats too bad
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Postby Misfit » Mon May 17, 2010 4:55 am

Glad someone found this one. I think about this every time Someone posts about riding in offshore conditions. This happend to me about 5 years ago. When it happened I had been kiting for 5 seasons and had just gotten back from two summers in Hatteras where kiting sideoff was (and is) common. I learned from that day and hope that others that read this do the same. Sideoff is dangerous.

Later

Cory
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Postby maly » Mon May 17, 2010 9:42 am

I'm so glad that a veteran posts something like that , it takes a man to admit publicly to a stupid mistake like that, great lesson for all of us.
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Postby skysurfr » Mon May 17, 2010 9:32 pm

:D
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Postby Stang » Tue May 18, 2010 4:41 pm

Good (re)post...I read the whole thing before realizing this was 5 years old. However, it did remind me of a situation that happened last year while i was out in Montauk New York (the tip of Long Island). I thought it wise to follow your post with a reminder of the necessity to call the local coast guard / police department immediately, if you are unable to retrieve your kite. The purpose of this call is not to have them retrieve it for you, but to make them aware that there is not a "missing" kiter associated with the kite.

A situation occurred in Montauk, at the end of last season, where a kiter was enjoying the waves on a slightly side off day. The kiter was very experienced and normally would have no problems in the given conditions. Somehow, the kiter lost his kite and board. Landing on the beach, frustrated, and without gear, the guy went home to watch TV and slam beers. While he was getting slammed in the comforts of his home, the coast guard and local police get notified by a bystander, that there is some gear floating just off the shore. The coast guard recovers the kite, but without a "body" were forced to launch a "search and rescue". The search involved multiple helicopters and recovery boats, while the local police searched all the nearby beaches. After a few hours of searching, the coast guard recovered the lost board, which contained this guy's phone number. They call the number, and discover the owner of the gear sitting at home watching TV. I can imagine the coast guard was thrilled that this guy was not sitting at the bottom of Long Island Sound, but i would also expect they were pretty pissed to have been wasting their time and resources on a useless search.

Estimates I heard, put the cost of this search into the low hundreds of thousands of $$$ (that is in the 6 digit range for those who are counting). I am not sure if this guy was given an invoice for the expense he created (i hope so). Regardless, it all could have been avoided with a simple 30 second call to the local police or coast guard station.
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Postby Misfit » Tue May 18, 2010 11:17 pm

Great story and great reminder!

Cory
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Postby Misfit » Tue May 18, 2010 11:18 pm

Hey Mike,
Remember this?
:D
Cory
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Postby skysurfr » Wed May 19, 2010 9:08 am

Yup.

I was the one saying... "I'm not sure I'd do that if I were you...." then I drove off to Saugatuck looking for more on shore winds. I think I found it, rode for about 2 hours, came back..... while you were on a boat ride!

LOL!
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Postby 4w7s » Wed May 19, 2010 9:30 am

Cory,
Thanks for an honest and candid account of your experience. The only reason to feel any shame about it would be unwillingness to share the story and cover up your mistake. Obviously you learned a huge lesson and hopefully others will benefit from it.

Kiting in off-shore wind, even 10 degrees cross-off, is suicide. If something goes wrong (and it will - Murphy's Law) you either lose your kite, your board, and have a long swim in IF you are lucky.

There are places where the combination of off-shore wind and off-shore currents will render you completely helpless.

If you do not have the proper wetsuit on a small misjudgment of suitability of conditions quickly turns into a kitemare.

And...the wiind can switch quickly. In Muskegon we have a classic set of conditions where the wind blows from the NNW and when a storm cell passes inland the wind abruptly shifts to the NE (OFF-SHORE) - next stop on this ride is the south end of the lake. I've been caught by it and many of my seasoned friends who know this phenomenon have been caught by it, thankfully close to shore and without serious consequence. Some of those days we have been riding buddy system, others solo. That's when it's a real problem. Don't hesitate to hail a boat ot call for help if you see this happening.

There is no shame in staying alive to make better decisions tomorrow.

Be smart everybody, know and understand the wind, listen to the locals, ride safe.

PS..the only safe conditions to kite in off-shore wind is in a place like the sound in Hatteras or Laguna Madre in Texas where you can stand annd walk for miles. You could still lose your kite and your board (happens all the time there) but at least you can walk back to shore safely.
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Postby skysurfr » Wed May 19, 2010 3:23 pm

Is it in the DR where they see a certain cloud and then blow a chonch shell warning horn to signal the wind is about to switch offshore?

Everyone then comes racing in.
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