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keep it safe

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:44 pm
by downwind dave
hey all, theres been no chat here as far as ive seen on the kitesurfer that got blown out to sea on the east coast last weekend. you can read the sad story here if you want.
There are a lot of issues surrounding the weather, his decision to stay with the kite vs swim, rescue screw ups ect. lots of good discussion. one thing that made the search difficult is he was suited up all in black, a mini strobe or even a coloured helmet might have saved him. anyway this incident got me thinking hard about what i can do for my own safety and i thought it was worth a link. so lets take care out there, i love all you guys you know.

Nice thread

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:44 pm
bright article of clothing and a warm suit... hmm

I know it is worth the money and will be my next investment.

.. especially because I have been the only one out there more than a few times.


Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:36 pm
by JL
Sad...very sad...Practice releasing your equipment so that when YOU decide to release you are familier with what is required...

B cool chicks dig helmets and vests

Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:16 pm
by BigD

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:43 am
by downwind dave
yeah its all been discussed before no doubt! (maybe those neon suits werent such a bad thing after all? 8) )
im going to look into a little emergency strobe - ive derigged in the dark a few times this winter...

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:11 am
by globe
what a sad story...
really shows sometimes you have to sacrafice your gear, and make a swim, its a hard thing to do, but it's the right choice at times. I've done it recently in fact - in offshore conditions.
Poor guy...

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:53 pm
by ~~~~~4j~~
Speaking of bright suits, SeaTux in Lantzville has nice fluorescent wet suit hoods for $50. I bought one and love it. Too bad they don't make full windsurfing/kiting/surfing wetsuits. They do nice work on dive suits.

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:52 pm
by more force 4
Some of the other forum threads on this incident mentioned that he was wearing a drysuit, but may have not had enough layers on underneath for insulation when he was immersed so long. Someone said in a drysuit you have to dress so you are too warm while sailing to be adequate when swimming for a long time (like an hour). Someone else mentioned that the inside of his suit was full of water, maybe he had a failure, or just the zip not done all the way? Paul at Bosun's told me he won't sell baggy drysuits after he nearly died himself off Cook (?) when the suit failed and he was almost too heavy/cold to waterstart.

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:36 pm
by UnusuallyLargeRobin
Truly sad to hear about any fellow water persons perishing while playing. People may (or not) have wondered what's in my little Dakine fanny pack that attches conveniently to the back of my Dakine waist harness...a tow rope, a whistle, a strobe light and a large orange garbage bag as a visibility marker. Been using it for years and a home grown version for years prior to that, so far only the tow rope has come into play. ...You can get the Dakine pouch from Paul at Bosun's.

the #1 thing

Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:59 pm
by KUS
Joel just harrassed me couple of days ago about my old pink/neon suit he tried on, I said just that, visibility is important. So is knowing when to ditch your rig.....I still recall my "soiled suit MaryHill Bridge event" and stupid me I held onto the rig all the way, with a barge coming up I would have been toast....grab the board or whatever floats and let go all other stuff people, gear is CHEAP and comparison

Fact is ya can't even buy brightly colored stuff, tried to get a red-stripped suit last summer (so sharks would think twice :lol: ) and after 2 months of backorder I finally gave up and bought a black one......the other choice was dark blue and black :roll: spraypaint :twisted:

I carry extra rope and an inflatable bright orange waterwing set (with my phone number on it :?: gotta check that) in my harness pocket to attach to the rig if I have to ditch it....I also have blown up my drysuit in the water before (michelin man :!: ) to gain floatation which works in a pinch. But sailing (skiing) with a buddy who also looks after you (a challenge when everyone is stoked) and unlike me hasn't poor eyesight :D and knows where the truck key is, that is the #1 thing :!: :!:

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:48 am
by JL
Windy night/a.m..Proof that clearing west winds may = the force of previous s.e.: Sheringham west 35-42 @ 5 a.m./ Gonz. 8 a.m. west 29-43 / Race e.s.e. 43 @ 1 a.m. presto chango s.w. 41 @ 4 a.m.!!! / Trial Is. e.s.e. 33 - 48 @ 4 a.m. presto chango s.w. 28-40 @ 7 a.m. / Gonz. s.e. 30-41 @ 2 a.m. presto chango w. 29-43 @ 8 a.m.........................Sure this happened over night BUT keep it in mind when your out in a big s.e. & the conditions (clouds clear out & or change shape/direction, water texture changes) change & other sailors go in. Warn newbie kiters/windsurfers as to what is going on. We have public access to our beaches/launch areas but will jeopardize this if we sustain casualties. Thanks for reading

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:21 am
by Ross
Good post Jim, we shouldn`t assume that everyone out knows what we`ve learned (usually the hard way ) over time. Share the knowledge.
That said , here`s somethings that I learned winsurfing that have saved me many a time.
If you lose your fin ( thanks to those nice logs or landing hard on a jump) take your harness off and attach it to the rear footstrap so that it goes around the bottom of the board. This will give enough resistance that your board will know it`s front from the back and you will be able to sail back to shore.
If you break a boom on the side that you need to sail back to shore, then rerig your boom so that the good side is on that tack. This takes practice to do. Not abad idea to try it when waiting for wind.
The old universals we used would break fairly often so what I would do is make a webbing loop and attach it into the mast track (fin box) at the end opposite the opening. Then when the uni would break , I would take my downhaul line and tie it through the webbing loop.This worked very well. Easy to sail back to where you started.
Carry a spare piece of rope and learn how to tie it on your boom as a harness line when your existing one breaks. Super easy to do and can make a long sail in easy.Also that piece of line can be used to rebuid a broken harness. (broken buckle etc..)
Learn how to do the light wind body drag. When the wind shuts down to the point that there`s not enough to to do a waterstart , then grab the mast between the boom and uni and the sail along the foot ( between the clew and uni). and water start this way ( the rig will now have more leverage to pull you up ) or if the wind is just to light , hold the rig this way and body drag back. It takes practice but it really works.
Hope this helps.Remember the old saying " an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". It`s a good idea to routinely give your gear an inspection as it`s easier to fix it in the basement than it is a mile off Gordons.

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:22 pm
by JL
Thanks Ross. I've ridden in with my harness through the rear strap, it worked great (Muire creek)...Thursday I got to use all my safety systems kiting. I ended up with my 'o-#h%t handle tied to my board as I held on to the handle swimming/washing in through the surf !!! I mentioned to Bobson that when he broke a harness line he could practice riding clew first.

Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:52 pm
by KUS
good points Ross :!:

--had to invert the boom at CB late last year
--broke mastfoot at Nitinat and spent 15 minutes in very cold water trying to fix it, at one point had to get on board just to get my strength back :roll:
--broken harness line....lower the boom and ram the hook onto the boom, it can, has been done by me before or switch lines to get in
--blew a clew line at Kook and found out when this happens you cannot bodydrag well or at all :!: and trying to rety it didn't for some reason (cold fingers) work at all
--broken mast....I can't imagine it in the winter or in 4.5+winds (showing the inverted broken top into the bottom, back into sail sleeve) I think I'd just put the inflatable wing on the boom and paddle into shore
--sailing with a broken fin works if you got the bodydrag down, once you figure it out no harness tying required and surprisingly you don't even lose much ground downwind, if it's too cold the harness sure works tho strapping the bar across the bottom with the harness on top, slow though!
--broken body part: one thing I neglected to mention was that I carry a $1 emergency whistle, nothing like having buds sailing past you when you need help cuz they don't realize you are in trouble, or drifting by yourself in the dark when you see rescuers, whistles are far more effective than voicecalls (and also work much better in snow)
--broken main kite bladder :x holy, anyone got one for that?
--knocked out :?: don't wanna think about that one :? let's just hope a sailing buddy spots THAT, cannot imagine trying to sail with a lifejacket

there are a huge number of good points raised by the now 19 webpages of responses, including safety gadgets, I will undertake to list them all I think.
BWD- There may be merrit in having a safety corner on this site where all the featured items could be listed with weblinks or pix?? Also I am amazed hearing all the close to death stories with kiting, makes me think again about this sport, Nitinat environment and non-winter kiting for me fer sure, not saying that windsurfing cannot have it's disasters but perhaps a bit safer with the board and all. :roll:

As for my personal response to this (and I know we read lots of stuff but never actually change our ways): My helmet is getting reflective tape, I will bring some to the beach next time out to pass some out and my harness will have some sewn on. Another rope, maybe some other toys will go into a fanny pack.....I can't stand the thought of some of my kids or you guys second-guessing my accidental demise some day when my number's up....

Safety Article

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:28 pm
by ridelikehell
It's unfortunate to hear such sad news, my condelences to Stoil Popow's family and friends. It's too bad it takes a tragedy to remind us all how important it is to practice and promote safety within our sports. I've written an article in attempt to bring awareness to this issue. For what it's worth, please read it and pass it on to your friends. Print it and give it to your friends that are new to the sport?! The article is about safe kiteboarding but the principles are quite relevant to any adrenaline sport. You can read the article here: ... le&sid=173