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Author: Subject: Unintended Air
Memopad


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[*] posted on 2-12-2018 at 05:33 AM
Unintended Air


I had my first unintended airtime yesterday :o I was flying on a smaller inland lake surrounded by hills, and the wind was being a bit punchy in the gusts. It was probably blowing from 5-15kts. I was flying the Summit v3 12m.

I was cruising by my girlfriend who's just starting to get the hang of kiting, so I was watching her and not really paying attention to what I was doing. I was coasting forward on my skis, probably moving 10-15mph with the kite above me around 12 o'clock high moving into the wind. Gust hit and picked me up probably under 5 feet but it was a pretty big surprise lol. I landed sideways and bonked my head pretty good. Thank god for helmets and soft snow, probably would've been seeing stars on ice.

No harm done, but a great reminder to always pay attention and not take conditions or kites for granted. I've got some bad habits including parking kites directly above my head. Probably because I've gotten away with it thus far. Time to change up some of my bad habits :thumbup:




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Windstruck


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[*] posted on 2-12-2018 at 06:26 AM


Glad you are OK! The poor Summit was only doing what it was supposed to do.



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Memopad


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[*] posted on 2-12-2018 at 07:10 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Windstruck  
Glad you are OK! The poor Summit was only doing what it was supposed to do.


Total user error on my part. The summit is still one of my favorite kites!




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jeffnyc




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[*] posted on 2-12-2018 at 01:48 PM


Glad you had some snow there! A couple weeks ago I had abkayak demonstrate some jumps for me on land board - not because I want to do airs, but because I want to know how to control everything when it inevitably does happen. Next mellow day I'm going to try a few small hops to get used to the feeling. Glad it was a small reminder, and not a Windstruck sized freak gasoline accident!
As a general rule of thumb, thermals get stronger mid to later in the day (surfaces have longer to heat up and sun is stronger, so air bubbles get more intense as they pop off). I haven't had any experience looking for them on the ground in the middle of a frozen lake (yet - hoping to this weekend!), but you can look for indicators: trees moving, or stuff in the air - snow, plastic bags, dust, leaves. Circling birds are fantastic, you can trace a line down to the ground to see where the thermal is coming from. And a lot of times they will pop off the same area like clockwork. Again, no idea how helpful any of that is in the middle of a frozen lake while you're trying to concentrate on a million other kite related things...




Kite: Speed3 15 + 21 | Phantom I 12m | Charger 10m | Eskimo III 14.5 + IV 8.5 | NRG 12m | Flux 5m | Bullet 4.5 + 2.5 | Blurr 3.5 + 2.5 | Rage 2.5 | Beamer 1.8 | Sensei III 3m
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Feyd


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[*] posted on 2-12-2018 at 03:50 PM


This is why we never loiter at 12:00. Gusts and rotors inland can pull you up suddenly and unfortunately drop you the same way.

10 and 2(ish) are where we tend to place the kite if sitting still. Lower if the gust factor is higher. A gust hits in that position you merely get yarded sideways a bit. :P

Thermals are not much of an issue in the winter as they are rare and very light. Most thermic activity stops midday in the winter. However, in the morning and afternoon, we often rely on it when there is no wind in the forecast. For example, the sun rises and heats the mountain range on the west side of the valley. The airmass on the east side of the western hills rises. Meanwhile, the cold airmass in the shadows on the East side rolls in to fill the void. At noon, it tends to equalize. Then in the afternoon, the Eastern hills are getting warmed as the shadow from the western hills cool things, causing the same effect but in the other direction.

Visual signs on snow include trees (if near them) snow airborne and surface. Surface snow is like watching wave action on water. But it is different depending on where the sun is. For example, you look for the grey colored mass moving across the surface if the sun is in front of you. White colored mass if the sun is at your back.
On the clean ice, dead leaves are good indicators.




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Memopad


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[*] posted on 2-13-2018 at 06:17 AM


I'm pretty bad about loitering the kite at 12:00. I know I'm not supposed to do it, but most of my kite days on my main lake are pretty benign conditions and steady winds. That's led to me being overly complacent :thumbup: I will say I almost never park the chrono 18 over head though. The power in that kite is nutso, and even at 5mph I can still feel it trying to lift me up sometimes :D I guess I need to start respecting my other kites as much as I do the chorno beast.

I enjoy jumping with the kites, but it's a completely different feeling when it's unintentional. You usually launch with the kite powered up and the bar in for liftoff, then you can sheet the bar in and out to control how high you want to go and how fast you want to land. When you're not trying to jump though, you're launching with the kite already depowered with the bar already out. Really limits any control you have over the situation!




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[*] posted on 2-13-2018 at 06:23 PM


I remember sending it to get air on purpose, those days do not come by to much any more
It can surely end a good session if unintentional






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Feyd


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[*] posted on 2-14-2018 at 04:50 AM


It's hard to be mindful of when you have steady wind. Look at kitesurfers on the coast and they sit at 12 all day long when hanging out. Rarely an issue. Then they come here and you have to warn them and usually they are mindful. But sometimes habit kicks in and they go from mindful to a gust rolling through to remind them.

Our local winds are the reason Arc autozenith isn't much use. It's a great traits but here, it doesn't really work. Neither does normal Arc inflation technique. Which is why we used artificial means.

But beyond that,the very nature of the kites made them great for flying here.

And I'm with you. I don't sit at 12 with the 18 Chrono. And I agree. It is a remarkable contrast between actively jumping, and lofting.




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jeffnyc




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[*] posted on 2-14-2018 at 11:18 AM


Well this is perfect timing, thanks for your sacrifice memopad :D I'll be sure to keep my kite down this weekend at the lake. Didn't realize how comfy I had it at the beach!



Kite: Speed3 15 + 21 | Phantom I 12m | Charger 10m | Eskimo III 14.5 + IV 8.5 | NRG 12m | Flux 5m | Bullet 4.5 + 2.5 | Blurr 3.5 + 2.5 | Rage 2.5 | Beamer 1.8 | Sensei III 3m
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