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Stevenson accident(s)
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stringy

Since 23 Jun 2006
1666 Posts
vancouver
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PostThu Aug 20, 20 2:15 pm    Stevenson accident(s) Reply with quote

Recently there have been pretty serious accidents at Stevenson.
2 major accidents in the past 2 weeks. Injuries weren’t life threatening, but could have been avoided.
Keep in mind that the launch here is advanced. Its not the cleanest wind since there is a huge shadow created by the tree. To make it worse, there’s a willow down where the kiter stands that prevents kiter positioning so it sometimes makes it challenging to get the kite in the best launch zone. This can sometimes cause the kites to back stall.
If you’re unfamiliar with how to resolve this during a launch, you need to learn it so you can respond and take action.
Last week, a kiter fractured 4 lower vertebrae on a good launch, however their kite fell back in the window and the kiter held the bar in, loading the kite then ultimately dragging the kiter across the rocks.
I heard yesterday a similar event occurred and the kiter ended up with a nasty head injury.
Stevenson is a small launch area and even smaller rigging area, but the community is very supportive and helpful here and will always launch and land kites. If you’re unfamiliar with the setup, come down and watch, then ask some local kiters questions. And have a good plan B in the event things go south on your launch.

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ldhr

Since 21 Jul 2009
1300 Posts
Hood River
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PostThu Aug 20, 20 2:36 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for the update!
I'm scratching my head wondering why the trees don't get removed or trimmed?
I would contribute to have many trees planted somewhere else to offset the loss of those trees.

I defer to the Stevie locals !

Last edited by ldhr on Fri Aug 21, 20 6:30 pm; edited 2 times in total

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dangler

Since 26 Feb 2006
1500 Posts
WINDY SPOTS
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PostThu Aug 20, 20 4:50 pm    trees Reply with quote

I would contribute to have many kiters removed to protect those trees. Don
t start talking about murdering venerable old trees that have been there long before kiting.

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dangler

Since 26 Feb 2006
1500 Posts
WINDY SPOTS
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PostThu Aug 20, 20 4:57 pm    trees Reply with quote

I would contribute to have many kiters removed to protect those trees. Don
t start talking about murdering venerable old trees that have been there long before kiting.

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wylieflyote

Since 30 Jun 2006
1515 Posts
Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
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PostThu Aug 20, 20 4:59 pm    Re: trees Reply with quote

dangler wrote:
I would contribute to have many kiters removed to protect those trees. Don
t start talking about murdering venerable old trees that have been there long before kiting.


That tree which is precious in my opinion was "girdled" a few years ago. Seemingly an attempt by some vandals towards killing it. Thankfully the tree struggled back, and is thriving.

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dangler

Since 26 Feb 2006
1500 Posts
WINDY SPOTS
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PostThu Aug 20, 20 5:04 pm    its not the trees Reply with quote

More to the point, it wasn't the trees, it was pilot error both times. Bottom line its a tough launch and should be treated with respect. Plenty of safer places to learn proficiency.
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Justsmile

Since 20 Jul 2009
1430 Posts
Not Portland
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PostThu Aug 20, 20 5:12 pm     Reply with quote

Crowd control. Feel bad for all. Yesterday’s will have a hell of a plastic surgery bill for the forehead. Nastyyyyyy!!!

I still pay for my little toe the rock gave a new direction too. Now part teradactil on my little toe !!

Don’t be that guy. Wear a helmet !!

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
3884 Posts
Camas
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PostThu Aug 20, 20 5:25 pm     Reply with quote

Did these accidents involve regulars, or new to Stevenson folks? I've seen some new folks launching all wrong for our launch the last couple of times I was there. I tried to help out with local information and was ignored.

On a brighter note, I had to ditch my kite there on Tuesday on the far side of the river. What a great local crew!!! I had numerous offers of help and Tim and Tomass (spelling?) took turns dragging me back to the launch while Chris the instructor on the jet-ski retrieved my kite. Thanks so much to everybody!!!!

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MikeZ

Since 17 Jul 2012
202 Posts
Beaverton / Seaside / Govy
Stoked



PostThu Aug 20, 20 5:27 pm    Re: trees Reply with quote

dangler wrote:
I would contribute to have many kiters removed to protect those trees. Don
t start talking about murdering venerable old trees that have been there long before kiting.

Preach, Dangler! I’m with you!

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
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Camas
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PostThu Aug 20, 20 6:01 pm     Reply with quote

ldhr wrote:
Thanks for the update!
I'm scratching my head wondering why the trees don't get removed or trimmed?
I would contribute to have many trees planted somewhere else to offset the loss of those trees.


It still would be an advanced launch without the tree. The tree can cause issues right when the launcher releases the kite if he/she and the kiter don't know how to launch there. Those issues though are generally pretty benign. Usually the kite will just roll over backwards and fall down the cliff into the water. The dangerous situations develop after the kite is up and out of the tree induced turbulence. If anything, the tree acts as a deterrent to new kiters and makes the launch safer by keeping the less skilled away. I absolutely believe you'd have more serious accidents without the tree there to make it obvious how difficult the launch is.

Now, the willows down at the point I wouldn't mind seeing them trimmed back a little...

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Freeride Kiting

Since 08 Jul 2011
658 Posts
Alaska / PNW / Baja
Instructor



PostThu Aug 20, 20 6:17 pm    Dang Reply with quote

The launch is static. It is what it is, regardless of conditions. We can't control it. It's the kiters who are the variable. It's sad when you try and help people new to the launch and you get ignored.

Sometimes it's nerves, some times it's pride. Either way you can never blame the natural environment.

Always a bummer when people get hurt

If you make the launch safer more and more less skilled kiters arrive and will at some point get hurt. Some changes make sense, balanced - some how to keep the launch and kiters owning their abilities. Even then. To err is human. Accidents will happen.

It's an ugly yin and yang.

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pollywog

Since 07 Aug 2009
269 Posts

Obsessed



PostThu Aug 20, 20 8:02 pm     Reply with quote

Every time I launch there I get a little puckered... been doing it for many seasons now but it is still one of the worst/more difficult. Thought you had the puff? Nope...
I actually don’t like watching others launch there as the stakes are high. I’d rather drift launch... and I hate that too! Don’t cut any of the trees or bushes! It will turn into a horror show of inexperienced kiters and it will only take one to get it shut down. Never underestimate the power of an ignoramus with means. Lawyers are always waiting like piranhas to feed on the idiots. Kiteboardings bar to entry seems to be lower....jack wagons abound.

Water that tree!!

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user124

Since 02 Aug 2012
349 Posts
Portland
Obsessed



PostThu Aug 20, 20 8:36 pm    twin tips Reply with quote

I'm curious what kind of boards the injured kiters were riding. It seems like even if rider skill is the same, danger is greatest with twin tips>surfboard>foil because of the kite size required for each. I'm always most nervous at Stevenson when I see someone with a twin tip and a huge kite for boosting - especially if they are a relative beginner.

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IWantToFly

Since 29 Jul 2019
16 Posts

 



PostThu Aug 20, 20 8:37 pm     Reply with quote

I was there for the first time a few weeks ago on an uncrowded day and very much appreciated the locals’ knowledge and help for a smooth launch and landing. I stopped by last Saturday and it was straight up kookville. Not a chance in hell was I going to involve myself in that chaos! Fun to watch, though.

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McLovin

Since 11 Sep 2017
152 Posts
Corbett
Stoked



PostThu Aug 20, 20 11:53 pm    Stevenson Landing Strip Reply with quote

Bummed to see people getting hurt...happened to be there for injury #1

Lots of helpful regulars quick to help out, but no one wants to see these preventable accidents bring down the stoke level...

It's a strip about 6 feet wide - so think of it like landing a jet on an aircraft carrier at night in the wind. For some experienced pilots its just another day at the office. But if that's not you there are many hazards just beyond the 6 foot safety strip. The tree, rocks, cars to name a few. Some of the small kites have an easier time finding the sweet spot but it can be tricky to land a bigger kite on such a small zone.

Guess the best idea would be to practice - if you can land your kite on a 6 foot wide carpet up a 22 foot hill ten times in a row then you will most likely be fine at Stevie.

Always ASK if you are not 100% - way better than trial & error...


Mc


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stringy

Since 23 Jun 2006
1666 Posts
vancouver
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PostFri Aug 21, 20 7:19 am     Reply with quote

I hope I wasn't coming across advocating removing any trees as this isn't my motive.
I prefer leaving the tree in place. it's amazing that while someone sabotaged the tree it has continued to thrive since.
as for the willow down by the launch. I was told by the port that this cannot be removed as it is some federal offense but they did say it could be trimmed back.
there are some smaller things we can do to make the launch better but really its a matter of kiter's experience and skill level. if you need help launching there hit me up. I tend to help when asked.

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
558 Posts

Addicted



PostFri Aug 21, 20 8:11 am    Re: Stevenson accident(s) Reply with quote

stringy wrote:
...and the kiter held the bar in, loading the kite then ultimately dragging the kiter across the rocks. ...


Always sad to hear about kite accidents. The problem for a newbie watching launches is that the rest of us make it look easy. It appears that the kite will just sit there stable in the wind until the kiter is ready to take off, then bam off the kiter goes... easy peasy.


The following are things a newbie might want to consider before launching:

1) Get your bearings. IF/When things go wrong what are your options?
- What's down wind of you?
- Are you standing barefoot on rocks? If you need to move quickly can you?
- What is the water level you are standing in? If you step back are you going to be swimming?
- Is the wind you are launching in clean?

2) If your kite stalls (falls back) due to a lull you have some options:
- Let the bar out (from stringy's description this was the kiter's first failure)
- Take some quick steps upwind and backwards. This will create apparent wind for your kite.

3) If your kite stalls back to the point you know you are going to get yanked consider your options:
- Where are you going to get yanked to? If you are going to get yanked into rocks or other objects be ready to hit your safety.
- Can you control where you will be yanked?
- - Steering the kite to safe(r) spots
- - Possibly (not usually preferential) pulling in on the bar and converting your yank into a controlled jump where you can land some place safe(r)


Practice these concepts (both physically and mentally) so they are second nature. Best to practice recovering from a kite stall in shallow water without anyone(thing) around.

Mentally prepare yourself before every launch:
- Where's your first safety? Is it a push or a twist? When's the last time you practiced?
- Where's your 2nd safety? Is it push or pull? Is it hooked in properly?

It may look easy.. but the kiters that make it look easy have prepared themselves.

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