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How dangerous is a kiter upwind?
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stevemadere



Joined: 15 Jun 2000
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:25 pm    Post subject: How dangerous is a kiter upwind? Reply with quote

I've heard several people now express safety concerns
about being in the lee of a kiter while passing. Since I see
so many people doing it every day at the event site,
I've got to wonder if it is really an issue.

I am curious to get opinions from people with some
real experience about whether it is truly dangerous
to pass close to a kiter on the lee side.


So...

What would happen if a fully powered kite
swept by you so that you got a direct hit from the lines?

Would you likely be injured at all?
Badly?
Killed?

How long are typical kite lines?
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fly50



Joined: 31 May 2000
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a kiter and a windsurfer in the Gorge. I have been hit by a fully powered kites lines and it did not hurt. I have also been hit by kites falling out of the sky and that didnt hurt either. The most likely way a falling kite would injure you is by knocking you off your board and onto your own gear, but it doesnt really hit you very hard. The kite weighs just a few pounds and is soft and is not usually full of air when it lands. The worst case scenario is that you could get tangled in kite lines on a downed kite and then it relaunches. That is very unlikely, but possible. I have been hit while kiting by a windsurfers mast on a blind jibe gone bad and that did hurt. When I kite, I try to stay as far away from windsurfers as possible out of respect. Have fun out there!
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bowtie



Joined: 02 Oct 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a situation in La Ventana, Mexico a few years back where a kiter and a windsurfer were engaged in an ongoing battle of on-water supremecy and the windsurfer purposely sailed real close to the leeward side of the kiter and his mast hit and broke one of the kite lines.
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puppydog



Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this post title is provocotive, like a push poll, I have been injured more from wsing than ksing, I think you need to worry less about others and keep an eye on yourself!
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ericandholly



Joined: 20 Jun 1999
Posts: 270

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

watch out for Alkita
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MalibuGuru



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 8688

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because of the nature of where I sail (tight slot) I've been hit 5 times by kites. They have hit my mast with their lines and kite. It is very unsafe, but I don't think life threatening. When hit at high speed your mast will blow back like you went under a low overpass. I always pull my feet out of the straps when a kite is passing close at high speed to avoid problems.

Where the space is open, you shouldn't have these problems, but on waves it is a serious issue.
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1175

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most smart kiters are scared to death of tangling their lines or kiteslines with another watergoer. Makes for unpredictable supermans and flayling lofts.
Most fly a higher kite to avoid downwind objects.
Kites are lightweight.
Lines are up to 600 lbs test, so don't thrash around just because one is near your body.
Maybe you should take a kite lesson and see things from the other side?
Any idiot operating any watercraft upwind of you can be a danger.
From Arneson to sailboats, from tankers to submarines, other windsurfers or waterskiers, you gotta be aware of their wherabouts and intentions to insure your own safety.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19732

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kite lines can cut to the bone. Novice kiters therefore have no business sailing close enough to other people to harm them with dropped lines. Any person from a bowler to a golfer to a windsurfer is almost always legally and morally liable if his toy injures someone.

Mike \m/
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ericandholly



Joined: 20 Jun 1999
Posts: 270

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

all novice kiters should carefully kite their way through the 40,000 kiters and sailors at the Event Site, including those washed up on the shore of the sand spit--you know, that one place where kiters are allowed to launch--doing multiple transitions and jumps to avoid everyone at all times, and work their way down wind to kite under, and only directly under, the HR bridge.
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stevemadere



Joined: 15 Jun 2000
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

puppydog wrote:
this post title is provocotive, like a push poll, I have been injured more from wsing than ksing, I think you need to worry less about others and keep an eye on yourself!


Hey, I'm not trying to cause trouble, just hoping to clear
up the FUD.

I have heard the "cheese slicer" analogy from several people
now (someone in this very thread claims the lines can cut
to the bone) and I wanted to find out if it is just someone's
imagination or a real threat.

If it is not a threat, I suggest the kiters take active steps to quell
this rumor (public safety demonstrations?) because it can't be
good for your sport to have
lots of people going around saying you are basically wielding
100 ft long knives over other people's heads.

That is probably why the knee-jerk reaction to KB in a new crowded
location is to ban it.

A good way to eliminate the FUD would be to get a
volunteer kiter to stand downwind of someone flying a
kite repeatedly into them and showing that it does not hurt.
Perhaps you could video tape it and post it on YouTube to put
the issue to rest once and for all.
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