Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kite Practise #3- Death Spirals and Face Plants

Nomadic kitesurfers on the move at the end of the day

First time on a board- Yeah, I went over the handlebars. I also did some spectacular kite loop crashes, death spirals Frank called them. It didn't hurt. But I did notice that the nice bay water was draining out of my sinuses endlessly and the Bay seemed to be getting shallower from all the water that I drank. I got vertical on the board a few times, for all of 30 seconds! That was a thrill! Thanks again to Frank for loaning me his board and giving me critical instruction, "bend the knees!!!" What seemed to help the most, besides bent knees, was focusing only on the kite and telling myself over and over, "don't pull in the bar, don't pull in the bar".

What worries me a little- My upwind body drag sometimes has the same result as my down wind body drag. Water relaunches are still mysterious- sometimes quick & easy, sometimes not. Everyone who said that they are easier in deep water should go straight to jail do not pass go. A few times I blew across half the Bay before getting the kite up. I saw this as an opportunity to practise self rescue.

Sign of progress- I noticed by the end of the day that I was mostly flying the kite 1 handed, which is a sign of progress, or a sign that I was too tired to use both arms.

Waquiot Bay, Bodydragged, Kitesurfed, S, SW, 10-15, 12M Kite, Door 64, with Frank, Scott, others


Snowy Guy said...

Great Photo!!! Thanks for the write-up, too. I have been thinking about buying a beginner surfkite and bar. (I already have a directional board.) However, you have given me a good account of what I don't want to do.

scooper said...

Snowy Guy- Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I try to stay honest about my struggles and I've had plenty with the kiteboarding quest. I'm jealous that you have a kite board already!

PeconicPuffin said...

My first (and last) time up on a kite I got dragged out into the Carribean in a death spiral. The instructor was yelling "pull the emergency release" but I was not able to get that together. Ultimately the kite crashed down and the boat came and got me.

Much beer was consumed later.


scooper said...

PPuffin- Those death spirals are pretty intense! I think I got past them but now that I've said that I'll probably go right out and do a few more. Beer is the appropriate response.

Snowy Guy said...

Fellas, I think you have to spend a lot of time with big, powerful ram air trainers to get some idea about the death spirals. Since I spend a lot of time down at Waquoit Bay, I have heard a lot about beginner experiences. (There's also a few forums you may want to read.) Instructors will post that most beginners are too anxious to get up on a board on the water and trouble results. Practice with two and four line kites is very important. I've heard some terrible kite mare stories. I can do controlled loops with all my kites now. They are what you call death spirals but controlled. With the 1.0 meter, they were un-controllable, but I learned how to stop them.