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Bruce
Hey guys,

This is an old topic, but I was wondering if there were any new solutions. I'm an OK kiter. I'll kite at any opportunity and I don't mind kiting alone. My issue is, I lose my board alot. Luckily so far, I've always found it. For example, last Wednesday at Metro Beach, I kited for 20 minutes, lost my board during a big gust and spent 1 hour finding it. The same thing happened this year twice before, once in St. Ignace (cold water) and once in Cancun. Last fall during a gail, great kiting by the way, I lost my board and before I could find it the sheriff was pulling me out of the water.

Typically the situation is strong wind, waves 2 ft or bigger. I'm moving along fast, get in a nice jump, I'm off balance and maybe kick the board off in the air. Or I'm just cruising along and a wave trips me and because of my speed I travel another 30 ft boardless.

I'll body drag until I eventually get to it (sometimes fast, sometimes an hour) or I'll find it washed up on shore.

I've lost a lot of good kiting time because I can't see the board in the waves!

I won't use a leash. A GoJoe2 looks like it will work, but it will make water launches more difficult. I read one guy suggest using a kid's water wing, which I think will work.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks.
edt
QUOTE(Bruce @ Jun 5 2011, 11:02 PM) *
I've lost a lot of good kiting time because I can't see the board in the waves!


theoretically what you are supposed to do as soon as you lose your board is to spot it on the water, right before you crash so it is easy to respot once you body drag.

in practice you are upside down sideways or backwards and have no idea which way is up let alone can turn your head the right way to spot the board
mnpaslay
Check you body dragging technique. You should be able to usually get your board in 1 or 2 drags. Keep the kite low with the bar pulled in to power the kite, but not so low you are getting water in your mouth. Make you body low and in a line, you are like a daggerboard...then look upwind. Also, if it gets hard to walk around in less deep water, just start body dragging, sometimes it is faster than walking...

Also, when you switch directions move the kite slowly or at the edge, so you don't loose any upwind ground...
wolfie
Also, make sure you stay on your tack for a long enough time. If you take short tacks back and forth it will take you longer to get to the board.

Occasionally conditions can make it really tough to get to your board too. I jumped the other day at Sterling and lost my board in the air and landed really far downwind from it. The waves and the light wind were making it next to impossible for me to get to the board. It took me about 20 minutes or so... it was ridiculous.

My guess is you need to tack longer. Keep your body rigid and concentrate on going upwind.
wolfie
I just re-read your post and noticed that one of the times you couldn't get to your board was during a gail. That makes sense. If it's cranking like that you just get blown down wind (maybe if you have a small enough kite and good skills this isn't the case, but it's certainly the case for me!)
FellowCountryMan
On some sessions I have spent as much time body dragging for boards as ridding. Just work on your technique and don't worry about it because sometimes it takes longer to retrive your board than others. In terms of keeping track of your board all I can recommend is using light colored boards. My current board is black and it can be difficult to see at times.

Nick... Did you get stung by the Man O War while body dragging?
mta
A couple of times I have jumped (pitching the kite) and tried to get an elevated view of the water around me, of course I don't get all the way out of the water but twice I've spotted my board this way which helped me get to

my board more quickly and efficiently.

May not always work but worth trying. It looks alot like my avatar picture! haha!
mnpaslay
I was not body dragging when I got stung by the man of war (not recommended). It was right as I started going again after falling. I was working on gybing on my strapless surfboard and had just messed up going right foot forward and had gotten back to my board.

What I do now as I approach my surfboard is flip up my feet and yell, "Monkey Feet!" to harness the powers of the monkeys and use my feet and toes to spin the board and get it into position. I'm getting pretty good at that and spend very little time getting going again. So, I apporach my board with my kite at 1-2 o'clock in normal body drag position, then i flip my feet up to go feet first, do my monkey war cry (it really helps), and then when my feet are good I move the kite from 1-2 across to 10-11 to go in the opposite direction. As I started going forward I got stung (ouch). I figure the bugger was right in front of me...I never saw him...as as I went his tentacles must have grazed my belly under my harness. I was not sure if it was trapped or not, so I rode into the beach and landed my kite. The other regulars there pointed at the welt on my belly and said, "man or war!" Then, they gave me a beer and we all exchanged war stories. Some of them have gotten them stuck in their lines above the bar and the dangling tentacles continue to sting them...not cool...

At first I was angry at the man of war, whom I'm going to call "Stingy," but then I realized Stingy is just trying to coach me on my strapless gybing technique. Stingy was implementing punishment for my failed Gybe Technique. With Stingy's help I will get Gybing down in no time, Stingy is a great kiteboarding coach and available to any that wish to visit Kailua, HI.
FellowCountryMan
See Bruce all you need to do is practice in waters where there's consequences for being in too long.
Cruz
All great tips. Especially taking longer tacs. I usually just start body draggin' immediately, even if I haven't marked it visually. Bobbing around trying to spot it causes you to lose precious ground. It's always behind you. And you have some idea how far. Plus it is much easier to spot it if it is in front or lateral to you than it is when behind.

I would also like to add that you must make yourself as erect as possible until you see her right in front of you. No pun intended.
edt
QUOTE(Cruz @ Jun 9 2011, 01:40 PM) *
I usually just start body draggin' immediately, even if I haven't marked it visually. Bobbing around trying to spot it causes you to lose precious ground. It's always behind you.


if you loop and lose your board on a hot landing it will be in front. I dunno about body dragging immediately. Spotting your board seems like a really good idea.
mnpaslay
I got stung again yesterday...good motivation! Except, this time I was in the water holding a kite that had a line break and tangle that was keeping the kite powered up, even thought the rider had it leashed to 1 line. I was holding the kite and a man of war washed up onto my freaking arm...not cool Stingy, not cool....

It was not as painful though, so I'm hoping getting an immunity...
Bruce
I'm glad I dont' have to worry about Man of War washing up against me. blink.gif

My body dragging technique does need improvement. When I'm dragging for my board, I drink way too much lake water with the waves and the spray. I think, because I keep my kite too low (almost stalled on the water at the edge of the wind window). Keeping my kite higher would keep my head more out of the water.

I still want to improve the visibility of my board. The problem is worse when the board is upside down. I've read that the straps add drag so it doesn't move down wind as quickly.

It just came to me! I only have a problem when the wind is really cranking and I'm kiting alone. I'll buy the GoJoe2 and use it in those conditions. It mounts with the grab handle screws, easy enough to install and remove. I'd remove it for most kiting because its big and it looks gay. dry.gif

Thanks for all of your advice!
jitters
in that case, just buy one from brar, he has a matching gojoe for his nose plug.. you know what they say ....you gotta have your gojo for some mojo
mnpaslay
If you are going under then kite is definitely too low, I keep in similar to where it is when I ride, maybe slightly lower. I was trying some new things last friday and I lost my board a ton of times, including face down. Most of those times I could get to in 2 body drags (tacks). A lot of times as I fall I go right into a body drag, knowing I will need to. As someone else mentioned, longer tacks will get you more upwind. If I see I'm really far away from my board I will do longer tack, I would say 30 seconds - 1 min. I'm usually faster at getting the board in higher wind, usually higher wind allows you to go upwind better and blows you board downwind faster. May want to check that you are going upwind when you are body dragging, remember get yourself low in the water and as straight a line as possible. Then, really look upwind, where you look really affects your direction of travel. That is true when body dragging as well as riding...

I did get really far away from my board and had to spend maybe 10 min body dragging, I lost it in a crash trying a backroll and my kite looped, which took me very far downwind. Then, another rider was in the way and going to hit my kite so I had to go even farther downwind...at least I didn't get stung that day!
Julien
Originally, I used to keep the kite low... Drunk a lot of water and couldn't really go up wind too good. Putting the kite at 10/11 really changed things for me. Got my head out of the water and I'm now able to get up wind much more efficiently. Might change depending on the kite, so try different kite positions...
I had a board with a black side and since I have one with a white side, it's much easier to spot the board.
Early on, I used to loose my board a lot. I had improvised a GoJoe type of thing with one of my kids floater... Bright orange, cheap.. Just unscrewed the handle on one side and slid it in...
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