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First Kitemare
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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dobermankby

Since 07 Jul 2021
17 Posts

 



PostSun Apr 03, 22 4:41 pm    First Kitemare Reply with quote

Even though I only kited about 5 minutes today, I learned a lot of lessons. Iverson was very strong and insanely gusty today. I knew as soon as I launched that it was too much for my 8m and for my skill level. I should've landed right back and packed up, but I decided to give it a go. Big mistake.
I got on the water, but was staying really close to shore (<100 ft) since the conditions were pretty sketchy. 5-10 minutes into it, my chicken loop came out of my harness hook without me touching it. This had happened once more last summer when I was practicing (wasn't even able to water start back then). I had assumed I'd done something wrong (touched it or didn't secure the chicken loop properly). Today it happened again. I'm 95% confident that I secured it properly, but there's a 5% chance that I might have forgotten to put the donkey dick over the hook.
Kite flagged out, but it was still pulling pretty strong. I was trying to pull on the flag line with little success due to the kite still having a lot of power and gloves making it hard to get a grip on the line. As I was struggling, I somehow managed to wrap the flag line around my wrist. I was actually specifically paying attention to not doing that, because I knew wrapping body parts in lines can be very dangerous during self-rescue, but I did it anyway. That's when I started to panic. It wasn't hurting much yet, but I wasn't sure how much extra power the kite could generate if a big gust hit and whether it could mess up my wrist. After trying to unwrap myself for a few minutes, I realized this wasn't gonna work because of the way it was wrapped around my wrist and the velcro of my gloves, the amount of tension, being in deep water and not being able to grip the line due to having gloves. Since I was pretty close to shore (one thing I did right today) I started to just swim to shore somewhere shallow enough where I can stand up on my feet and untangle myself. At the same, time I was checking my harness knife and getting ready to use it if needed. After a few minutes of this, I was finally able to stand up. At the same time a fellow kiter also came to my help and held the kite. It was over.

I have a few questions:

1. Why do you guys think my chicken loop came out? Is this a thing? Or does this never happen, which means maybe I did forget to secure the donkey dick, or got a faulty component.
2. Do the gloves really make it hard to get a grip on the line during self-rescue due to neoprene being so smooth and slippery? If so, that's a big concern about winter riding. Or did it feel this way because there was just too much tension?
3. [most important] What are the best practices to make sure the lines don't get wrapped around my legs/wrists during deep water self-rescue?

Thanks!

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flipper

Since 17 Oct 2011
308 Posts

Obsessed



PostSun Apr 03, 22 6:20 pm     Reply with quote

Happened to me multiple times while riding. donkey dick gets soft after awhile. You can buy a replacement dick.

I always devalue my kite to zero dollars in my mind. First thought when shit is going sideways, I release to my leash. Then I can reassemble if possible.

If I get line wrapped around me, I will cut quickly because you can’t mess around in high wind.

I want my kite to self rescue, so keep that in mind if you’re way out.

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shred_da_gorge

Since 12 Nov 2008
1133 Posts
Local, not Low Cal
XTreme Poster



PostSun Apr 03, 22 7:28 pm     Reply with quote

Expect early season conditions to be gusty. I'm kiting in SF bay area currently and we've had a few coast guard rescues and some kitemares with newer kiters.

I switched to a slider and haven't had an accidental release yet. A few summers ago I was slightly overpowered and had an accidental release. Long story short I nearly lost my finger as I was trying to reattach the loop in the water and the kite drifted back into the wind window (or rather I drifted upwind of it). A friend dragged me to safety, but I did double-check my kite knife to find it rusted, and there are some good recommendations for a replacement here if you search.

I had also just taken the straps off my surfboard and didn't have a loop to hold it with my spare leash, and was in boardshorts because the air was warm but didn't dress for the swim (or drag, more appropriately).

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Wind Slither

Since 04 Mar 2005
2498 Posts
The 503
METAL



PostMon Apr 04, 22 6:20 am    Re: First Kitemare Reply with quote

dobermankby wrote:

1. Why do you guys think my chicken loop came out? Is this a thing? Or does this never happen, which means maybe I did forget to secure the donkey dick, or got a faulty component.

I had this happen once on a very gusty day, but for the last many years I go with a slider rope with 2 rings vs. a hook so there's no chance of an unintended release.


2. Do the gloves really make it hard to get a grip on the line during self-rescue due to neoprene being so smooth and slippery? If so, that's a big concern about winter riding. Or did it feel this way because there was just too much tension?

I've done the hand over hand with gloves and I think it's usually better than ice cold bare hands. If your kite properly flagged out it shouldn't be too tough. You want to reel in one of the front lines. I'm usually on the beach, a kite on the water is going to drag more.

3. [most important] What are the best practices to make sure the lines don't get wrapped around my legs/wrists during deep water self-rescue?

Always keep tension in your lines by swimming away from the kite. This can get spooky going down in the impact zone in big surf and onshore winds.

Thanks!

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
4092 Posts
Camas
XTreme Poster

CGKA Member


PostMon Apr 04, 22 8:40 am     Reply with quote

shred_da_gorge wrote:
A friend dragged me to safety, but I did double-check my kite knife to find it rusted, and there are some good recommendations for a replacement here if you search.


Always, always, always test your knife by trying to cut kite line prior to trusting your life to it. It always amazes me how many "kite" knives won't cut kite line. If it's not a double razor blade design, odds are it won't cut kite line. It's a good idea to carry a dive knife as well in case you get caught in a net or ropes, but most dive knives won't cut kite line with anything approaching the ease required in an emergency situation.

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shred_da_gorge

Since 12 Nov 2008
1133 Posts
Local, not Low Cal
XTreme Poster



PostMon Apr 04, 22 12:23 pm     Reply with quote

So true! For as long as I've been kiting, that day was a trifecta of stupidity (with probably a dash of arrogance).

The funny part was that I was having such a great session up past Wells when suddenly my board shorts came unfastened! I tried to fasten them in the water but they wouldn't keep, so I ended up doing a one-handed down-winder to the beach. Then I said to myself, "man I'm having too much fun... just one more run!" When I relaunched and got back up by the bridge the wind had turned itself up a notch...

When shit goes wrong, your experience only really comes into play in how you handle it... and how well you've prepared yourself to. Good on you, dobermankby, for asking about lessons learned!

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leithaus

Since 20 Aug 2020
13 Posts
PDX
 



PostMon Apr 04, 22 12:32 pm     Reply with quote

I had this happen with my Ozone bar kind of frequently as I was starting out. The safety would just release and I was self-rescuing. I thought it was because I was a beginner and didn't do something right during my rigging. But, after the third time I decided to investigate and talk to a more experienced kiter. They took one look at my short donkey dick and told me to get a longer dick.

I know that sounds funny.

I replaced it with a longer donkey dick I haven't had any unexpected loop releases.

AND my life and kiting is significantly improved with a longer dick.

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
4092 Posts
Camas
XTreme Poster

CGKA Member


PostMon Apr 04, 22 1:46 pm     Reply with quote

leithaus wrote:
I had this happen with my Ozone bar kind of frequently as I was starting out. The safety would just release and I was self-rescuing. I thought it was because I was a beginner and didn't do something right during my rigging. But, after the third time I decided to investigate and talk to a more experienced kiter. They took one look at my short donkey dick and told me to get a longer dick.

I know that sounds funny.

I replaced it with a longer donkey dick I haven't had any unexpected loop releases.

AND my life and kiting is significantly improved with a longer dick.

Laughing Laughing Laughing
Sometimes it's OK to call it a chicken bone... Wink

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shred_da_gorge

Since 12 Nov 2008
1133 Posts
Local, not Low Cal
XTreme Poster



PostTue Apr 05, 22 8:58 am     Reply with quote

Man, I told my wife I've already switched to using a slider rope, but for some reason she keeps telling me the same thing anyway!

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leithaus

Since 20 Aug 2020
13 Posts
PDX
 



PostTue Apr 05, 22 11:16 am     Reply with quote

My vote for a new name of this component would be Loop-Stick

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Slappysan

Since 13 Jun 2012
301 Posts

Obsessed



PostTue Apr 05, 22 11:24 am     Reply with quote

Personally I find climbing kite lines much easier with gloves on than with bare hands and always wear gloves, even in the summer.

I'm still a little curious how your flag line, that was taut with lots of power from the kite still pulling while flagged managed to wrap around your wrist.

When your CL released, how far up your lines did it travel?

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dangler

Since 26 Feb 2006
1674 Posts
WINDY SPOTS
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PostTue Apr 05, 22 1:16 pm    KITEMARES!!! Reply with quote

I stopped counting after number eleventy seven
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Last edited by dangler on Wed Apr 06, 22 8:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
629 Posts

Addicted



PostTue Apr 05, 22 6:30 pm    Re: First Kitemare Reply with quote

dobermankby wrote:

I have a few questions:

1. Why do you guys think my chicken loop came out? Is this a thing? Or does this never happen, which means maybe I did forget to secure the donkey dick, or got a faulty component.


You might look for a different chicken loop. Not sure about your brand, but Slingshot makes chicken loops in different sizes. Look for a "small" such as https://www.kitepaddlesurf.com/products/2019-slingshot-sentinel-small-chicken-loop

dobermankby wrote:

2. Do the gloves really make it hard to get a grip on the line during self-rescue due to neoprene being so smooth and slippery? If so, that's a big concern about winter riding. Or did it feel this way because there was just too much tension?


In my opinion you should not be climbing your lines in high winds. Instead, wrap your bar. Pull yourself to your bar, then use the slack you created to add a wrap to your bar. Occasionally wrap your lines perpendicularly (the short circumference around your bar) by rolling your bar to provide yourself a lock point.


dobermankby wrote:

3. [most important] What are the best practices to make sure the lines don't get wrapped around my legs/wrists during deep water self-rescue?


Most Important - in my opinion you likely did not require a self rescue. After your chicken loop popped off you should have swam to your bar (carefully staying away from slacked lines). Upon getting to your bar swim away perpendicular from your kite. This way when you finally get tension to your kite your kite is not in the "hot" position. Rather it is in the landing position. Sort out your lines. If you determine you have knots you can not get out then it is finally time to consider a self rescue.

If you do have to self rescue, use the technique I described in item 2 so there are not any slacked lines to get caught up in. First wrap one line around your bar until your kite is flagged. Then even out your other 3 lines so they have equal slack. Then wrap all 4 lines evenly onto your bar. If you find your short line is not short enough and your kite starts getting power simply add a few more wraps on your short line only. Then continue back to wrapping all 4 lines equally.

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Kiting starts at 40MPH

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sfbomber

Since 27 Jun 2012
108 Posts

Stoked



PostTue Apr 05, 22 7:04 pm     Reply with quote

1. Why do you guys think my chicken loop came out?
A: During a lull, with no tension on the loop, with gravity it will fall out. I prefer kiting without chicken bones so I am used to this.

2. Do the gloves really make it hard to get a grip on the line during self-rescue due to neoprene being so smooth and slippery? If so, that's a big concern about winter riding. Or did it feel this way because there was just too much tension?
A: I was too scared to wear gloves for about a decade. With frozen hands I started wearing the antiglove by xcel, before finally settling on the Darkfin Black OPS glove. If I don't have enough dexterity to do something with a glove one handed, then it doesn't feel safe to wear kiting.
3. [most important] What are the best practices to make sure the lines don't get wrapped around my legs/wrists during deep water self-rescue?
A: Keep upwind of your lines and keep tension in your lines. As soon as you have no tension in your lines, that is when a knife is your best friend. During a self rescue, which I practice annually, I wrap one line to keep tension between my bar and the kite. Then I proceed to wrap the other lines. If I feel any line around a body part, it gets my immediate attention. Try to stay upwind of your lines. I once had to help a guy whose kite went down and he ended up near shore in a rats nest of kite lines.

Listen to your gut. It said 8M was too big, next time don't question it. If you don't feel comfortable looping a kite, than you rigged too big of a kite.

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markamcclure

Since 20 May 2011
134 Posts
Portland, OR
Stoked



PostWed Apr 06, 22 6:12 am     Reply with quote

Glad you are OK. I have had the chicken loop fall off harness hook due to slack (during a DW turn on a swell). Now I use a smaller chicken loop and try to keep tension on lines.

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knotwindy

Since 25 Sep 2011
570 Posts

Addicted



PostWed Apr 06, 22 6:22 am     Reply with quote

Unless you are doing unhooked tricks (which it doesn’t sound like or you would be used to flying a kite this way), lose the hook.
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scottnorby

Since 23 Sep 2005
530 Posts
Cascadia - Seattle - Encinitas
Addicted



PostSun Apr 10, 22 6:53 pm     Reply with quote

…….consider winging

its fun in bronco wind like that

but cheers to making it out of that situation

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