Forums > Kitesurfing General

Kitesurfing fatality, when is the last time you activated your QR while your kite was flying ?

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Created by cbulota 1 month ago, 27 Aug 2021
cbulota
WA, 1341 posts
27 Aug 2021 11:11AM
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www.nbcmiami.com/news/national-international/kite-surfer-dies-after-colliding-into-building-in-fort-lauderdale/2537028

By now, a lot of you probably heard about this recent kitesurfing fatality in Florida.

Many of the usual lessons to learn here (bad weather, on shore winds, proximity to obstacles, kite size selection (14m), etc.) especially as this time we have a video of what happened before the impact.

However, Two very important things stand out for me after watching the video

1) 12' Oclock is the most dangerous place to keep your kite when overpowered! Keep the kite low!

2) Don't hesitate if you are overpowered on land Release your safety system right now even if obstacles are around you ! We can clearly see in the video that the kitesurfer had at least 5-6 seconds to do this but didn't... Practice this as many times as you need to so it becomes a reflex. This could save your life.

If you haven't activated your quick release while your kite was flying in over a year, you are at risk of a serious accident like this. Safety skills need practice even for very experienced kiters.

Christian - KiteBud

Gazuki
WA, 1306 posts
27 Aug 2021 12:55PM
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Cabrina

listery
QLD, 82 posts
27 Aug 2021 3:29PM
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I had an old one jammed up with sand because I tether. So now I always activate it and hose it out after every sesh

Plummet
4813 posts
27 Aug 2021 3:09PM
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Nasty. Condolences to his family.

I would also add. Where's the helmet? would that have saved him also?

PS Having a low friction ring I release and re-attached every launch/land. I released in anger about 6 weeks ago.

riviere
WA, 54 posts
27 Aug 2021 3:57PM
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very sad, condolences to his familly.
very true christian a good reminder unfortunately.
all good advices.
i released a month ago, kite in the water. no worries.
will do it again at JUNO beach ( normandy ) this arvo, low tide, easy side shore wind, heaps of space, shallow water , no one around.
maybe I have a chat with some of the crew as well here.

weebitbreezy
531 posts
27 Aug 2021 5:16PM
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Select to expand quote
cbulota said..

2) Don't hesitate if you are overpowered on land Release your safety system right now even if obstacles are around you !



Out of interest, do you know the likelihood of injury to a bystander? I've decided a couple of times to ride it out when the downwind obstacles are small and squishy and so far have gotten away with it. I have seen a few people hit by kites in the past and none have had serious injuries (more shock than anything requiring treatment) so I'm wondering if worrying about people downwind should be a real fear in my mind or if I'm worrying more about access to the spot for all kitesurfers vs personal safety?

CH3MTR4IL5
WA, 308 posts
27 Aug 2021 7:48PM
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Thanks for sharing this Christian, its not something we talk about enough.... I kinda feel media descriptions tend to do the sport a disservice when they use the phrase 'very experienced kiter'. I've seen a few deaths in 20+ years of kiting, including good friends, and they have generally been in the intermediate category - getting good enough to be taking more risks and being out in more extreme conditions, but not yet 100% aware of the consequence of those risks.

Maybe that's a gross generalisation but what I have experienced anyway.

In terms of what will kill you - it can basically be summarised as a) being male and b) blunt force trauma :
bjsm.bmj.com/content/51/4/360.2
So if you can't stop being male then wear a helmet and an impact vest is your best mitigation.

As Christian says, being comfortable with your safety so that this is automatic and fluid is paramount. There is rarely a situation that doesn't give you a few seconds before you reach something really hard. If you don't have this kind of distance then you probably shouldn't be kiting there, or should be acutely aware of the risk you are taking on.

When I first get a new kite, I stand in the water and pull the safety from 12. That gets rid of the hesitation as to what the hell happens if you do it, and if you do it in the water you don't have to watch your new kite crashing into the beach when you're practicing.

Then on a LIGHT day, I lie on my stomach on the sand with my hands on the bar, and pull the safety (this is the position you will end up in if your kite is low and things go to **** - you will be dragging along in the sand and will need to bring your hands down to the release, locate it and pull it). Then I do the same thing lying on my back (which is another way you will get ragdolled).

That may sound excessive, but i am still here to preach it. It is a world of difference from the pulling your safety while standing upright. I have had to pull my safety on a few occasions and I am absolutely confident that i can do so quickly, and will do so without hesitating when i need to. If you don't have that belief, then you will do what looks to have happened in this video- try and hold on and death grip the bar instead of releasing.

@weebitbreezy - if you pull the safety your leash will quickly resolve this situation. if there are people nearby a kite falls lazily on someone's head rather than bashing into them with power. it is really hard to get into a situation where you need to pull your leash as well - generally it is only when you're in the water and the kite is pulling you under in big swell. in which case it will generally stay down! while theoretically possible i haven't seen a disconnected kite tangle someone up and cause injury - maybe Christian has hanging around at beginner beaches... a bigger risk is the kite tangling with another kite (basically what happened to Silke Gordt in 2002 and the reason we have safety releases now).

stay safe, mahalo

dafish
NSW, 1579 posts
28 Aug 2021 9:13AM
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Wow, that was hard to watch. As other mentioned, everything has so quickly, but in this instance as Christian mentions, the kite should have been steered down to the edge of the wind window. I too have a low friction ring on a slider and have used that setup for years. The release is tested every time I hook up. It becomes automatic. Not long ago I put a fixed hook on my harness for a twin tip session and my reactions were still the same when I landed, I would reach down and eject my chicken loop. I only realized later that this was a habit developed from a rope slider.
Also, when I had my kite school I drilled three steps into my students over and over again, and i would randomly ask them to perform these tasks without thinking, so it would hopefully become automatic.
1. let go of the bar
2. Hit your safety
3. Ditch the kite completely
Though I never asked them to ditch the kite, I would give them scenarios in which they would need to. I was surprised how many people would refuse to let go of the bar instantly, and they would think about for a few seconds. Those seconds are all it takes.
I could not stress these concepts enough and I would go over them again and again until it's automatic. 1,2,3....

Very sad to read this this morning....

ELINY
21 posts
28 Aug 2021 11:09AM
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Our recent T/S Henri had me flying a 6 mtr . At times could have used my 5 mtr. Always in big wind like that I release ,reset and ck everything before going in the water .Even being excited as I was I made a point to SLOW down and ck everything as I got ready .

Peahi
VIC, 1419 posts
30 Aug 2021 6:38PM
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Select to expand quote
dafish said..
Wow, that was hard to watch. As other mentioned, everything has so quickly, but in this instance as Christian mentions, the kite should have been steered down to the edge of the wind window. I too have a low friction ring on a slider and have used that setup for years. The release is tested every time I hook up. It becomes automatic. Not long ago I put a fixed hook on my harness for a twin tip session and my reactions were still the same when I landed, I would reach down and eject my chicken loop. I only realized later that this was a habit developed from a rope slider.
Also, when I had my kite school I drilled three steps into my students over and over again, and i would randomly ask them to perform these tasks without thinking, so it would hopefully become automatic.
1. let go of the bar
2. Hit your safety
3. Ditch the kite completely
Though I never asked them to ditch the kite, I would give them scenarios in which they would need to. I was surprised how many people would refuse to let go of the bar instantly, and they would think about for a few seconds. Those seconds are all it takes.
I could not stress these concepts enough and I would go over them again and again until it's automatic. 1,2,3....

Very sad to read this this morning....




+ 1 on all points, but I would add wtf is going on with using large kites in 25-30+kn unless you're planning on being king of smashed into something?

CH3MTR4IL5
WA, 308 posts
30 Aug 2021 8:42PM
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Select to expand quote
Peahi said..

+ 1 on all points, but I would add wtf is going on with using large kites in 25-30+kn unless you're planning on being king of smashed into something?


I guess when your 90th percentile highest wind speed is 15kts you probably don't have a 5m sitting in the garage for the half-dozen rideable hurricane storms...

dafish
NSW, 1579 posts
31 Aug 2021 8:00AM
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Select to expand quote
Peahi said..

dafish said..
Wow, that was hard to watch. As other mentioned, everything has so quickly, but in this instance as Christian mentions, the kite should have been steered down to the edge of the wind window. I too have a low friction ring on a slider and have used that setup for years. The release is tested every time I hook up. It becomes automatic. Not long ago I put a fixed hook on my harness for a twin tip session and my reactions were still the same when I landed, I would reach down and eject my chicken loop. I only realized later that this was a habit developed from a rope slider.
Also, when I had my kite school I drilled three steps into my students over and over again, and i would randomly ask them to perform these tasks without thinking, so it would hopefully become automatic.
1. let go of the bar
2. Hit your safety
3. Ditch the kite completely
Though I never asked them to ditch the kite, I would give them scenarios in which they would need to. I was surprised how many people would refuse to let go of the bar instantly, and they would think about for a few seconds. Those seconds are all it takes.
I could not stress these concepts enough and I would go over them again and again until it's automatic. 1,2,3....

Very sad to read this this morning....





+ 1 on all points, but I would add wtf is going on with using large kites in 25-30+kn unless you're planning on being king of smashed into something?


A friend of mine lives in Florida a bit south of Ft. Lauderdale. He too flies a Contra 14. Common size for the lighter warmer winds they get. I saw sat images of the micro burst, it wasn't foretasted. My friend is very safety conscious and does a lot of in depth studies on accidents and is still looking into this one, but although these bursts are not uncommon, there wasn't much info on the lack of forecast. He is a professional deep freediver and takes this safety stuff seriously.

Peahi
VIC, 1419 posts
31 Aug 2021 8:18PM
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Select to expand quote
dafish said..
A friend of mine lives in Florida a bit south of Ft. Lauderdale. He too flies a Contra 14. Common size for the lighter warmer winds they get. I saw sat images of the micro burst, it wasn't foretasted. My friend is very safety conscious and does a lot of in depth studies on accidents and is still looking into this one, but although these bursts are not uncommon, there wasn't much info on the lack of forecast. He is a professional deep freediver and takes this safety stuff seriously.


Conditions change quickly, but the low clouds and bending palm trees would make me very nervous to launch a big kite, not to mention the gusts created by sorrounding buildings

wishy
WA, 1484 posts
31 Aug 2021 8:02PM
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Listening to the ladies on the video, it sounds like he was an absolute frother. RIP legend.

vodka
12 posts
8 Sep 2021 5:55AM
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You know it always breaks my heart to see these reports. Ive been in the construction and concreteing game for decades now my whole family and ancestors did the same its just a real slap in the face everytime one of you guys throw yourselves for reasons i still dont understand at one of our buildings and then all the media focuses on is some COOL GUY ill never understand this insensent martyrdom you middle aged hooked in kooks have against our poor structures. Constantly trying to take away our power and homes even our vehicles even beach bars arent safe theres even been more strategical attacks where kooks have started hurling themselves at sandbags and seawalls the very things that keep our buildings safe. And if thats not enough youll even turn on eachother throwing yourselves in eachothers way or even ontop of unsuspecting walkers passing by. Then you all play the victim game that you were just doing what you love?!?

There needs to be a new law to control all of this. Until you learn to unhook your not allowed to fly any kites over 9m if you can throw a raley you can get your licence to use a 10m and once you can do a handle pass then your allowed to use lines that are longer then 12m. This would greatly neuter this onslaught of radicalised kooks who after so many years of rideing left to right and doing nothing other then doing 8m jumps then decides the only thing left to do is to go out in higher winds and bigger kites.

Please.... stop the carnage and just because the media doesnt report on it doesnt mean the poor buildings and theyre caretakers arent left to pick up the pieces and throw a bit of HB40 on it OR the poor panel beaters or sparkys. Your a hazard warry

MrFreeze
280 posts
8 Sep 2021 7:00AM
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vodka said..
You know it always breaks my heart to see these reports. Ive been in the construction and concreteing game for decades now my whole family and ancestors did the same its just a real slap in the face everytime one of you guys throw yourselves for reasons i still dont understand at one of our buildings and then all the media focuses on is some COOL GUY ill never understand this insensent martyrdom you middle aged hooked in kooks have against our poor structures. Constantly trying to take away our power and homes even our vehicles even beach bars arent safe theres even been more strategical attacks where kooks have started hurling themselves at sandbags and seawalls the very things that keep our buildings safe. And if thats not enough youll even turn on eachother throwing yourselves in eachothers way or even ontop of unsuspecting walkers passing by. Then you all play the victim game that you were just doing what you love?!?

There needs to be a new law to control all of this. Until you learn to unhook your not allowed to fly any kites over 9m if you can throw a raley you can get your licence to use a 10m and once you can do a handle pass then your allowed to use lines that are longer then 12m. This would greatly neuter this onslaught of radicalised kooks who after so many years of rideing left to right and doing nothing other then doing 8m jumps then decides the only thing left to do is to go out in higher winds and bigger kites.

Please.... stop the carnage and just because the media doesnt report on it doesnt mean the poor buildings and theyre caretakers arent left to pick up the pieces and throw a bit of HB40 on it OR the poor panel beaters or sparkys. Your a hazard warry


Hmmmmm. Hope you had a bib on whilst trying this dribble. Apt nick and I'm assuming way too much of it consumed by you on a regular basis.

Chris_M
2078 posts
8 Sep 2021 8:16AM
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Too soon, jerk

vodka
12 posts
8 Sep 2021 6:54PM
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Learn how to fly a kite unhooked or do everyone a favour and buy a boat



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"Kitesurfing fatality, when is the last time you activated your QR while your kite was flying ?" started by cbulota