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Thanks to Stringy and Tak! Dress for the swim.

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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Singlemalt

Since 21 Jun 2015
345 Posts
White Salmon
Obsessed



PostMon Apr 05, 21 11:37 am    Thanks to Stringy and Tak! Dress for the swim. Reply with quote

I had a total kitemare last Wednsday at Stevenson. My drysuit, booties, gloves and warm cap made all the difference. It could have been really bad.

Huge thanks to Stringy and Tak for all their help and support. They took my foil in to shore and checked on me throughout my long self rescue back to the Washington side.

And it started out so nice... perfect wind, sunny skies, warm enough to tempt me into a wet suit. instead, I layered up and put on the OR drysuit, hat, thick booties and 5 mm gloves. Saved my ass.

End of the first tack out, over by the outflow piling, I bobbled the first turn, stalled the foil and stepped off the front. No big deal, looking up at the kite, but the foil got up and followed me. Snuck up behind, tapped my on the helmet and nestled in between the left steering line and the center lines. The board nose dived, and the bar went right down the mast and wrapped the bar end at the fuselage and mast.

Crap. Instantly went from bad to worse, kite looping, dragging me and the foil tightly wrapped together.

Released the QR but that only bought me a couple feet of slack, the kite was already too wrapped to flag.

This is where Stringy and Tak show up. Tak pins the kite down while I went up the lines and got to the kite. After a struggle, I get the foil unwrapped and these guys take it to shore.

I doubt there are many guys who are capable of foiling with another foil, I can't thank you guys enough! Name your beverage, please.

Since I couldn't wrap lines as I went up to the kite, I now had a scary mess wrapped around my legs. I managed to get my spare leash hooked to the pump loop, one leg free and set up the kite to drag back to Washingon. I could kick with the left leg, paddle with the right hand and hold the bridle steady. If I kicked with the right leg, I jerked the kite bridle. I was wrapped up tight.

I didn't want to risk losing a glove to mess with the lines around my leg, I wasn't quite ready to go for the knife. I really just needed to be patient and keep swimming and dragging. I was warm, had flotation, kite power and could kinda swim. Tak and Stringy kept coming by to check on me and offer encouragement.

I went in the water at 2:45, kited over to the other side (3 minutes maybe) and was in the water until 4. I know because I asked the BN RR guys the time. (that's a whole 'nuther story, but they get huge thanks as well). I ended up just west of the RR bridge, on that little island, and waded to shore.

Joe the Kiter picked me up for a Prius ride back to the launch. Where I found my board waiting for me. So cool!

The drysuit, gloves, and booties made all the difference. I was tired but no signs of hypothermia. I've been processing this over the last few days, and I know how lucky I was. I might even tell my wife about it, one day.....nope.

Thanks again, guys! I've got beers in the truck!

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
3931 Posts
Camas
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PostMon Apr 05, 21 12:28 pm     Reply with quote

The Stevenson crew is the best! Tak, Stringy, Joe, I am honored to know and ride with you guys!!! Thumb's Up

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Sella

Since 21 Apr 2007
1762 Posts
Doin' The Dalles
FLY'IN HIGH PIE GUY



PostMon Apr 05, 21 12:34 pm     Reply with quote

Nice recap Malt. I watched a friend wrap his foil once at Stevie and it's a scary sight so having Stringy and Tak around to keep the peace is a big bonus.

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Wind Slither

Since 04 Mar 2005
2425 Posts
The 503
METAL



PostMon Apr 05, 21 1:09 pm     Reply with quote

Damn, scary!

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Sasquatch

Since 09 Mar 2005
1890 Posts
P-town
STACKED



PostMon Apr 05, 21 1:20 pm     Reply with quote

Singlemalt:

Thanks for the recap! Glad everyone is ok and everything is ok. You story is very timely with the nice weather we have been having. Great reminder to dress for the swim.

Stringy and Tak, the OG crew to the recue!

Alien

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Gman

Since 11 Feb 2006
4861 Posts
Portland
Unstrapped



PostMon Apr 05, 21 4:31 pm     Reply with quote

Teamwork makes the dream work!

good job and smart to dress for the swim - 70 degree weather will sucker you this time of year

way to stay calm and work it out!

Monday evening quarterback:
i would say if you get wrapped in the lines, spend a few extra moments working on that problem first and you can always buy new lines. Things i think about when i swim, more now that i'm foiler Laughing , barges (they move faster than you think), avoiding salmon nets and buoys, wing dams (these are extra nasty), pilings, docks and rescue boat drivers (sometimes you need to swim to avoid getting run over)

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stringy

Since 23 Jun 2006
1682 Posts
vancouver
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PostMon Apr 05, 21 5:21 pm     Reply with quote

bro we are all glad it worked out!
I've been in the drink doing the same as you did. been there done that. because of that experience I know it helps when we support others that go through a situation like that. I was covering a lot of ground downwind and caught you out of the corner of my eye. I saw tak over by you but couldn't tell if you were a windsurfer or one of those wingdingers, I cruised over and saw you getting ready for the self rescue. its a pretty easy decision to help with getting a board back to shore. it's alway more helpful to take a foilboard in if you are good with a fully inflated kite. just one less thing to worry about. You seemed to have it all worked out for self rescue so the obvious thing to do was to keep asking you questions like if you were cold. at all times you were coherent. Had you answered with delay and confusion we probably would have went with plan B of dragging you back in by kite. I was impressed with how long you were in the water for that rescue. I had gone back upwind to the boat dock and asked a boater if they could lend a hand but their boat wasn't running good so they couldn't. anytime I see a boat in the vicinity, I'll see if they can provide assistance. I saw that barge cornering around wind mountain and thought oh shit we got to expedite this process. I told tak and he's like don't say anything to him. don't want to start a panic. good decision as by the time the barge came through we were out of the channel. kiting a kind of a solo sport when you are out on a twintip or foil whatever you have under your feet to get that fix. but when it comes to everything else about this sport, its a supportive community that makes it all work.
Glad it worked out! Live to kite another day!!!

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
587 Posts

Addicted



PostMon Apr 05, 21 8:58 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing.

We all learn from these experiences.

A couple of thoughts (from the comfort of my armchair):

1) I totally agree with the comment regarding clean your lines up before self rescuing. If you have to cut your lines so be it. The last thing you want to do is snag some seaweed or a fishnet when you are tied up in your lines while self rescuing.

2) In consideration of your safety not fully releasing the kite --- Perhaps you could have climbed up your lines to a point where you could depower your kite with a single line. From there (while holding your single line) you might have been able to figure out how to unweave your bar. Especially since you were foiling I would guess that you were on a small kite.

3) EDIT - One more comment. After your kite has looped 5 or so times you have to expect your safety will not work. If you have the time (i.e. not in immediate danger) it makes sense to me to figure out which way your kite is looping and start spinning the bar the the same direction. Get your bar back in line so that you can control your kite.

Glad you're out safe and that you had the foresight to dress for the swim.

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wylieflyote

Since 30 Jun 2006
1561 Posts
Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
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PostTue Apr 06, 21 3:14 am     Reply with quote

Do any of you kind of forget you even have a knife? Confession: That's me.

Maybe I should make it a regular part of rigging, to bring the knife out and return it, but I can think of two times in 12 years where after a kitemare on the beach I remembered "Oh... I have a knife"
Once was Mosier with a very similar steering line trapped on fuselage multiple kiteloop.

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Kip Wylie

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Slappysan

Since 13 Jun 2012
285 Posts

Obsessed



PostTue Apr 06, 21 11:21 am     Reply with quote

wylieflyote wrote:
Do any of you kind of forget you even have a knife? Confession: That's me.


I carry an eezycut trilobyte, highly recommend having a decent knife and checking the blades for rust often. Most of those hidden knives in your harness are total crap.

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wylieflyote

Since 30 Jun 2006
1561 Posts
Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
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PostTue Apr 06, 21 3:15 pm     Reply with quote

Slappysan wrote:
wylieflyote wrote:
Do any of you kind of forget you even have a knife? Confession: That's me.


I carry an eezycut trilobyte, highly recommend having a decent knife and checking the blades for rust often. Most of those hidden knives in your harness are total crap.


Wow, that's serious stuff
"After diving, you must rinse the diving tool in fresh water, dry it, and not replace it until the pouch is dry as well."

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Kip Wylie

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
587 Posts

Addicted



PostTue Apr 06, 21 7:30 pm     Reply with quote

I've had to use my knife twice in the past 6 months.

... both times it was to cut off my tube on my kite pump because I had a leak Shocked

I've never had to cut my lines.

But, that being said I'm pretty happy with my setup.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006U9DWVY
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KLYTTVA

Knife is super sharp, yet it has a blunt end. It's stainless steel and so far has been standing up very well against the elements.

The retractable teather attaches to the knife. Idea being when you are getting banged around in the washing machine drug underwater by your kite as it is madly looping, when you drop you knife you have a chance to recover it and still use it for it's intended purpose.

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a.benjamin76

Since 27 Jul 2017
83 Posts

 



PostWed Apr 07, 21 6:31 am    OMG Reply with quote

Wow! Glad to hear you are ok. Major props to the gentlemen who stayed and helped you. I've always thought that if you have the skillset to not put yourself or the other person in danger, consider helping those out who are clearly in trouble on the water. Whether it's dragging in their board or the person or just letting them know verbally that you're there for them. Makes a big difference for folks. First thing i do when i see someone in distress is ask if they feel cold and look for signs of hypothermia. If so it's time for them to ditch all their gear, and drag them back to shore. Every single one of us has or will have a kite mare. Keep an eye out for one another. Great job!!

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Slappysan

Since 13 Jun 2012
285 Posts

Obsessed



PostWed Apr 07, 21 12:35 pm     Reply with quote

wylieflyote wrote:

"After diving, you must rinse the diving tool in fresh water, dry it, and not replace it until the pouch is dry as well."


It's not that bad, what I do is wash it like I would always wash my harness and then I can attach it to the pouch such that only the tip of the plastic is in the pouch and it's primarily the velcro holding it on and leave it to dry like that.

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moondog

Since 15 Aug 2007
627 Posts
white salmon
Addicted

CGKA Member


PostWed Apr 07, 21 2:13 pm     Reply with quote

I only had 2 kitemares last year. One was identical to Singlemalt’s but in August, death spirals wrapped around my foil and drifting for an hour to the Wunderbar. The second one was an exploding kite. In both I was dressed for the swim and the second I had 2 superstars drag me and my runaway kite in. In both cases I had a gorge posse looking out for a happy ending. Kudos to Tak and Stringy for saving the day, it takes a very high skill level to rescue foilers. I did a face plant yesterday in my 4/5 millimeter hooded wetsuit and imagined an hour in 45 degree water and decided to stay closer to shore!
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Mtjustice100

Since 14 Jun 2014
49 Posts

 



PostWed Apr 07, 21 6:49 pm     Reply with quote

Super sketchy! Sounds like some good Prep and even better homies saved the day! My 2 cents , if you can’t roll up your lines don’t try and get your kite. Learned that one the hard way too. I’d rather ditch it All than risk it powering up while I’m tangled. Also folks hot tip, always wrap up your lines Like your winding up a fishing pole, never end over end, but y’all know that one I’m sure. Stay safe friends.

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Slappysan

Since 13 Jun 2012
285 Posts

Obsessed



PostFri Apr 09, 21 9:48 am     Reply with quote

Mtjustice100 wrote:
if you can’t roll up your lines don’t try and get your kite. Learned that one the hard way too. I’d rather ditch it All than risk it powering up while I’m tangled.


I'm a big proponent of the direct to kite self rescue method. The sooner you get your hands on that leading edge the better IMO.

To use this technique you need to either wear floatation and swim without using your legs or simply line crawl all the way to the leading edge without kicking to avoid tangling your legs. I also personally always wear gloves to make line crawling much easier.

I find that period where you are rolling up the lines to be a very dangerous time, and often in high winds can be quite challenging and sometimes end up with 20 lbs of seaweed in the bar. By going directly to the LE up the flagging line you can be at the kite in under 1 minute.

Once I have a grip on the LE I actually remove all 4 lines from the kite. A kite without lines attached presents almost 0 danger. I wear a second kite leash I can use to clip on to the pump hook.

After that I will make the decision to drag in to shore directly with my lines trailing if there is no one else around wide open beach or quickly roll them up on the bar before dragging in.

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