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Stevenson accident(s)
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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Ryan

Since 14 Jul 2005
512 Posts
Oregon
Addicted



PostFri Aug 21, 20 10:14 am    some additional thoughts Reply with quote

This is a bummer to hear of injuries. Having taught my two kids to kite and knowing the launch/land time is the most dangerous I typically do the following with them:

- launch with your kite depowered. Pull in 3-6 inches of depower. This reduces the potential to have the kite yank you, reduces the chances of back stall as the kite will move forward in the wind window, and generally reducing the 'pull' while launching.

- know where and how to 'eject' from the kite. I go through this often with my kids. I know some who launch with one hand on the 'eject button'. This forces a one hand launch which is less than ideal but readies the kiter for a potential bad launch.

- make sure you have the full depower range of your bar.

- when in doubt....sheet out.

- When at Stevenson, make sure the person launching your kite is familiar with the location and where to launch the kite from.

My 2cents

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
558 Posts

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PostFri Aug 21, 20 10:35 am     Reply with quote

One more thing...


When your kite backstalls and you are about to get yanked you only have two choices:

1) Release - Which is dangerous for anyone below you, and is tough on kites.
2) Steer the Kite.

Option 2 is the preferable choice in most cases.
When choosing option 2 you need to be prepared for what is going to happen.

When your kite finally quits back stalling it will be deep in the wind window. As it gains forward momentum again it will shoot up in the direction it is pointing. For example, if your kite was pointing towards 2:00 when it stalled it will naturally shoot towards 2:00 pulling you in the same direction.

Your bar will suddenly become very heavy possibly even yanking the bar out of your hands. It is important to do the following things:
1) Hang onto the bar. This is very very important (and difficult).
2) Sheet the bar out to reduce the power.
3) Steer the kite. This will be difficult because the tension on the bar will be greater than normal and the kite will be less reactive than normal. The tension is due to the force coming from the kite. The lack of reactiveness is because your kite is sheeted out. Be prepared to have to turn much harder than normal to control the kite.
4) The most important thing is to get the kite stable in the air within the normal flying zone. Often when people get yanked they lose control of the kite which puts the kite into an uncontrollable loop situation. ALWAYS CONTROL THE KITE. Getting yanked once is better than getting yanked continuously.

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cathy o.

Since 11 Aug 2014
64 Posts

 



PostFri Aug 21, 20 11:28 am    RE: Stevenson accident(s) Reply with quote

Add me to the list of Stevie's Launch Casualties...
My kite actually front-stalled? Maybe? Easterlies if I remember. Got a super clean launch, kite up at noon, grabbed my board, started to walk and steer kite towards water looked up and my kite was falling out of the sky (Hindenburg). It landed in the water just past and below the big rock. Fine, I thought. I’ll just drag out and drift launch. Well, the kite was on it’s leading edge and starting to ‘fill’ and move, I started walking out and then BAM! my kite caught a gust on the water and yanked me completely off my feet, fortunately into the (shallow) water. But my foot got slammed against a rock and I ended up with a 5th metatarsal fracture. Fortunately, I had a full wetsuit and impact vest on as I continued to ‘drag out’ wondering WTF just happened…

I was not expecting that gust to be so powerful. My lines must have been a bit ‘loose’ before the gust? Kite was too far in the power zone and I needed to steer it south? Didn’t go back there for a year! I too am always ‘puckered’ when I launch there and consider it a ‘great day’ if I launch and land safely. Regardless, shit happens fast there.

For the record, I really appreciate the veteran locals who offer to help launch there. I have turned down launching others because I’m ‘not qualified’ IMO. I’m happy to land kites though! I’m a light-weight and usually always have to ‘take a few steps’ when I steer my kite up after launch. Wondering if I need to de-power the kite to help with that?

Thanks again Stevie’s crew!

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
558 Posts

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PostFri Aug 21, 20 12:35 pm    Re: RE: Stevenson accident(s) Reply with quote

cathy o. wrote:
I have turned down launching others because I’m ‘not qualified’ IMO


This is also a good point for launches like Stevenson and Arlington.

The Launcher should deliver a slow lift off.

Holding the kite on the lower 1/3rd section of the kite with one hand you should be able to float the kite. If you can't easily hold the kite with one hand in the air you do not have the correct angle. The kite should feel like it is floating there without your help (wingtip not touching the ground). Adjust your position upwind or downwind until you can float the kite with one hand in the air.

Things that cause bad launches:
1) bridle connector looped around itself causing one of the lines to be shorter.
2) depower line not fully seated causing it to pop to full power upon lift off
3) incorrect angle causing the kite to either launch hot or fall over on itself.

A slow lift off will allow for the launcher and kiter to recognize and resolve these issues before liftoff.

*Also, the kiter has to hold his/her position firm during this slow lift off. If the kiter let's his/her kite pull them towards the launcher this technique will not work.

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
558 Posts

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PostFri Aug 21, 20 1:15 pm    Re: RE: Stevenson accident(s) Reply with quote

cathy o. wrote:
My kite actually front-stalled...kite up at noon


Cause / Effect.

Never keep your kite at noon. If a lull comes you can't control it. If a gust comes it will lift you.

If your kite had been at 2:00 (towards the water on easterly) your kite would have simply floated down to the water. In the event it started to roll you could have simply pulled your steering lines to keep your kite aligned and tensioned.

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blancoh2o

Since 15 Mar 2005
1132 Posts
Oregon
Phishy



PostFri Aug 21, 20 8:36 pm     Reply with quote

First of all, I am sorry to read that anyone was injured there.
Hopefully they both will have full recoveries and heal up soon.

Yes, Stevenson is an different launch from most others but once you know it’s idiosyncrasies it’s not too bad. Especially since they have made so many improvements.
We used have to negotiate a maze of rocks, steps, bushes and other snags one the way to the water’s edge and we practically couldn’t see the person holding our kite to lunch it. We practically had our lives in the hands of the launcher.
I am not saying it’s perfect but it’s come a long ways from year’s past.
For anyone going there and are not regulars.....please listen and let the locals help you out. Most of them have learned the hard way or from near misses.

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KB4C!!!!!!!!!!!!


https://secure.givelively.org/donate/project-koru/kiteboard-4-cancer-2020/steve-fisher-1

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pollywog

Since 07 Aug 2009
269 Posts

Obsessed



PostSat Aug 22, 20 5:53 pm     Reply with quote

Look for Dangler! Dude knows that launch like the back of his hand.
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wylieflyote

Since 30 Jun 2006
1515 Posts
Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
XTreme Poster



PostSat Aug 22, 20 8:42 pm     Reply with quote

pollywog wrote:
Look for Dangler! Dude knows that launch like the back of his hand.


HA!! He sure does. One time a few years ago he's launching my kite... "Wait a minute!"... He runs to his car, gets a kite patch, repairs my Cloud, launches the kite. All this while I'm standing down there with my thumb in the air.
Cool guy.

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Kip Wylie

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