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Kite U.S. Forums > KiteMI & Ontario Canada Forum > Where are you riding on the Great Lakes?
DavidCanadian
This might seem like a dumb question, but some beginners can use your advice (experts only please) on safety matters.

If the forcast says thunderstorms during the time you want to go kiteboarding, is it advisable to try and get out when you hear thunder? or when you see lightning? or does the large body of water dissipate the harm? Or is it only harmful if it hits your kite like edison. lol What are some expert rules? I know we all want to try to get every opportunity.

???
DavidCanadian
opps, that was Benjamin Franklin's kite, LOL. appartently, lightning will kill you or paralyze/drown you if struck approx 90Meters from you. And Michigan has one of the highest reports of lightning injuries and deaths. "Google"
Turtle
I don't have time today to make it to Harsen's, but if I did it would be my choice. Since its prior to Memorial Day I am going to try and get a session in at Metro (from the Beach) on the SW around 2pm to 5pm.

Ride the Lightning!

John
kedow
While lightening certainly can be a concern, personally I try to get off the water well before lightening is in the vicinity.

I'd be more concerned with the unpredictible nature of the winds around a thunderstorm. A great session can be turned into a bit of a nightmare if the wind suddenly rises by 10 -20 kts over a 30 second period.

Bottom line, if you see a Thunderstorm tracking towards you or within 5 miles, its time to take a rest.

Ed
edt
no kiter has ever been killed by lightning, but about a half dozen die each year from gusts and about one gets eaten by a shark every other year

I've always wondered if this is because you can see and hear lightning so kiters avoid it, or because the shape of the kite is so well rounded, and the lines so non-conductive that lightning doesn't like striking kiters
FellowCountryMan
I've been shocked ( twice ) and have witnessed other kiter's getting shocked when thunderstorms are in the area. I can't explain the physics behind it but I can confirm it's not a very good feeling. I've also never witnessed a kite in the sky during an actual thunderstorm but who am I to say it can't be done. I've seen some guys come close but Mother Nature has always helped them get their kites out of the sky ( see Ed's post ). So with that being said I say if your up for the task then go for it.
jitters
spoken like a true liberal fellow californian!!!
Brar
QUOTE(jitters @ May 24 2011, 01:53 AM) *
spoken like a true liberal fellow californian!!!


ha ha so what part of Toms sentences were liberal and which ones were
californian ...... or is 'Liberal Californian' an oxymoron.
jitters
what did you call me angry.gif
sojopo
I have heard of things like "St Elmos Fire" on ships where the static electricity generated from the rigging can discharge in the form of lights. Getting a shock from a kite could be a result of picking up such static electricity?
biohorn
I have had static shock once in Miami at Hobie Beach. The storm front was a good 1/2 mile off. For those of you who have experienced it, it was similar to mountain climbing static charge build up. Lightning can strike far from a storm.

As Tom says, it is not fun.

Take your kite down and take a nap:

This is what we did on Monday as the big storm cels came through.
Thomas61
QUOTE(FellowCountryMan @ May 23 2011, 04:22 PM) *
I've been shocked ( twice ) and have witnessed other kiter's getting shocked when thunderstorms are in the area. I can't explain the physics behind it but I can confirm it's not a very good feeling. I've also never witnessed a kite in the sky during an actual thunderstorm but who am I to say it can't be done. I've seen some guys come close but Mother Nature has always helped them get their kites out of the sky ( see Ed's post ). So with that being said I say if your up for the task then go for it.



Tommyboy! Are you REALLY telling a beginner that if he is up for riding in a lightning storm then he should go for it? ohmy.gif

David, One of the FIRST things you are (should be) taught when learning to kite is that you should NEVER go out in thunder/lightning storms! Not only does it suck to get shocked, but the fact that there is unpredictable weather nearby while you have a GIANT kite in the air, should be enough to not take the chance.

Everyone remembers the vid of that idiot in FLA a few years ago right? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LTwMtLSLM8

That guy luckily survived after a long stay in the hospital, but not everyone is so lucky.

The reason you don't kite in this weather is because the wind can increase 10 fold (in terms of power) within seconds. I'd hate to have a 9 meter up when the wind goes from steady 20 to 50 in the blink of an eye.

Watch out for black clouds, storm fronts, lightning and thunder. (Riding in just rain all good...AND super fun..especially in the ocean with big waves smile.gif)

My good deed for the day.

Cheers!

TJI
FellowCountryMan
Tommy my approach is to share what I know and have experienced and let them make the decision themselves.
biohorn
Looking at a few videos of extreme weather shifts in your region might also be helpful.
If you see this coming, get out of the way! Fronts many times will bring a 180 shift in wind direction and sudden, huge increases in wind speed.


MI Shelf Cloud 2010
Thomas61
QUOTE(FellowCountryMan @ May 31 2011, 01:46 AM) *
Tommy my approach is to share what I know and have experienced and let them make the decision themselves.


While I respect and understand where you're coming from, I still think we (experienced kiters) should discourage, not encourage, beginners to kite in storms.

Just because you have never been tea bagged into a parking lot, or building, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

People will always make their own choices, but I think we have a duty to persuade beginners to absolutely NOT go out in thunderstorms. Beginner kiting 101.

When I was living in Florida a few years back there were at least 5 people that were seriously injured, or killed from kiting in storms. Most of them beginners trying to eek out a session because they had the, "hey, its windy and I really want to kite" mentality. So maybe I'm more sensitive to the subject than most.

Cheers

PS Missed you at the shack the other day Tommyboy! Not the same around here with out seeing you first AND last on the water. smile.gif
FellowCountryMan
Tommy I see your point and will no longer tell kiters if you feel it's safe to go out after everything you have been told then go for it.

This conversation has me thinking about a incident that happened last year. A beginner showed up at Metro late just as storms where approaching. Everybody was off the water and he rigged his kite as all the experienced kiters where breaking down. I approached him and asked if he knew that a storm cell was approaching and very close to which he confirmed he was aware of it but felt he had time and would be ok. I pointed out that every other kiter was not only off the water but putting their gear away but he still felt he was going to be ok. I then showed him the storm cell on live radar around Van Dyke and told him once again it was a bad idea due to frontal winds and lightning but he still insisted he would be ok. So off he went and about the time he got to the sand bar the wind line from the frontal winds could be seen rapidly approaching. I yelled to him to drop his kite away from shore and pull his safety but he insisted on taking the first gust and learning this one the hard way. Fortunately for him he was able to eject and seperate himself from the kite avoiding injury.

So my point to all this is that experience has not only taught me that it's a bad idea to kite when storms are approaching but no matter how hard you try you just can't convince some people that what they are about to do is a bad idea.
Thomas61
QUOTE(FellowCountryMan @ Jun 7 2011, 06:58 PM) *
Tommy I see your point and will no longer tell kiters if you feel it's safe to go out after everything you have been told then go for it.

This conversation has me thinking about a incident that happened last year. A beginner showed up at Metro late just as storms where approaching. Everybody was off the water and he rigged his kite as all the experienced kiters where breaking down. I approached him and asked if he knew that a storm cell was approaching and very close to which he confirmed he was aware of it but felt he had time and would be ok. I pointed out that every other kiter was not only off the water but putting their gear away but he still felt he was going to be ok. I then showed him the storm cell on live radar around Van Dyke and told him once again it was a bad idea due to frontal winds and lightning but he still insisted he would be ok. So off he went and about the time he got to the sand bar the wind line from the frontal winds could be seen rapidly approaching. I yelled to him to drop his kite away from shore and pull his safety but he insisted on taking the first gust and learning this one the hard way. Fortunately for him he was able to eject and seperate himself from the kite avoiding injury.

So my point to all this is that experience has not only taught me that it's a bad idea to kite when storms are approaching but no matter how hard you try you just can't convince some people that what they are about to do is a bad idea.



Who launched his kite? tongue.gif
FellowCountryMan
I plead the 5th.
Cruz
Nine nine nn in nnnnin nine nine nine nine nnnnnninennninen ninety-nine times. blink.gif
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