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> Safe Launching & Landing guidelines
Tim Blanchard
post Jul 25 2005, 10:38 AM
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During our lighter wind months I see alot of sketchy launches and landings that do not result in disaster for the simple reason that the wind is light. As we will soon be back into our stronger wind season it is time for people to start making intelligent decisions when it comes to landing and launching. In high winds there is ZERO room for error.

No-Brainer guidelines:

1. If you consitently ride, launch, land with solid objects downwind of you closer than 2 line lengths at anytime, it is just a matter of time before you make a small mistake, or the kite luffs out on you and to get dragging into a solid object. I am sorry but I will not feel sorry for any kiter that gets hurt in this manner that has put himself into this situation intentionally by not taking 30 seconds to walk upwind to give themself a buffer zone of ABSOLUTE MINIMUM OF 2 LINELENGTHS

2. Never have a beginner or non-kiter launch you. At every beach on lake st.clair due to the shallow water you can walk your gear out into the water and drift launch. If you are not fimiliar with drift launching, ask at the beach any of the experienced riders and they will give you a hand and show you how.

3. If there is no one to catch your kite there is a very simple, tangle free way to land your kite. Bring you kite to the side of the wind so that the line with you safety attached is farthest away from the water (safety on right front line, lower kite on left side of wind window). With the kite 15-30ft above the water, turn the bar hard so it slams into the water. Just as the kite is about to hit let go of the bar and the safety will release and the kite will be dead and floating leading edge down and should just sit there. Now walk up you safety line all the way to the kite and pop the leading edge valve to completely kill it. Practice tis in light winds so that when the situation happpens in high winds and you need to dtich your kite you are confortable with this technique. Everyone will have to do this at some time in there kiting career.

That is all for now. Over half of all kiting accidents happen on landing and launching. The last thing I want is a local kiter to get hurt. I am starting to get pissed with the some of the things I have been seeing at the beach and I will let you know if you are being a danger to yourself and others.

The situation at other beaches in Ontario is getting to the point where the locals are almost to the point of cutting the lines of newbies that are showing up with attitude and not following simple safe kiting guidelines and the advice of the seasoned kiters. I hope that never happens on St.Clair.

Following these simple guidelines will eliminate almost every potentially dangerous situation you will encounter in kiting. Use your head, don't lose it.

Tim Blanchard
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FellowCountryMan
post Jul 25 2005, 05:26 PM
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Tim I'm with you in hoping that problems on the launch never lead to a kiter having his lines cut. I cannot see anything good coming from those actions because lets face if he was not willing to listen to some advice he is not going to let it end there. I think a better approach would be to call the local authorities and explain the situation and let them decide what to do.

I think Steve's post brings up an interesting question. What should a beginer do when a experienced kiter chooses to put them in danger by not using common sense? Will the experienced kiter listen or will he blow him off? I ask this question because It has happend to me on three seperate occasions this year.

Tommy
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