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Lofting

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Created by Gorgo > 9 months ago, 14 Nov 2013
Gorgo
VIC, 4069 posts
14 Nov 2013 1:25PM
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I started this thread to avoid too much chatter or blaming being attached to the accident thread.

The question is, how do people get lofted with modern gear? Is it extreme conditions, gear failure, or user error, or all of the above?

I thought the risk of lofting had been designed out of kites with the advent of bow kites. In the C kite days we used to see people getting dragged across roads and through power lines all the time. It was almost a weekly occurrence. You could drive past beaches and count the repairs to the power lines. I personally witnessed at least 4 power line cutting, roof landing drags.

harry potter
VIC, 2486 posts
14 Nov 2013 1:36PM
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I reckon 9 times out of 10 its not so much a lofting but unwanted rapid looping usually caused by a line getting wrapped around a bar end...... it can be quite hard to release the safety when you are being violently pulled/ragdolled. If you have very little room downwind it can be major.

From what i have witnessed ( and i am probably guilty as well ) most people tend to try to correct the looping buy pulling on the opposite side of the bar as opposed to the QR being the immediate go to.

Paul1
QLD, 1011 posts
14 Nov 2013 12:41PM
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I too was confused about this, but felt it not right to comment in a thread where a guy is very seriously injured. If you are stood with your kite at 12.00 on the beach and a huge gust comes, if you simply let go of the bar the kite will de-power to a certain extent, depending on wind strength, which would then give you a chance to either get the kite under control, or set the beast free with your safety. There is always more to it than a simple lofting, generally a wrapped line is to blame, then instant kiteloop, where you then have to be quick to release your safety or take other evasive action.

ice
VIC, 209 posts
14 Nov 2013 1:43PM
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agree lofting is less prevalent these days - hardly hear the term "tea bagging" used these days

most of the issues I have are outside lines getting caught around a bar end and looping the kite into the powerzone - don't get lofted, but dragged horizontally

Blackbeard
WA, 103 posts
14 Nov 2013 12:26PM
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Also need to consider turbulence and how solid objects ie landforms, trees, buildings and sand dunes effect turbulence on both the upwind and downwind side of the object. The effect increases with windspeed.

Loftywinds
QLD, 2060 posts
14 Nov 2013 2:37PM
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And clouds. They do / can form wind funnels and suck air upwards, which also causes lift. This video is proof of that and it's very "instant" how people get lofted. Watch from 3:00 onwards. Interviewee is Eric aka "Top Hat" (one of my idols actually).



harry potter
VIC, 2486 posts
14 Nov 2013 3:41PM
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You now face an immediate ban

superlizard
VIC, 663 posts
14 Nov 2013 3:46PM
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If you are stood with your kite at 12.00 on the beach and a huge gust comes...


One shouldn't keep kite at 12 o'clock ever IMO. If gust comes, things can go wrong... if wind suddenly drops and then gusts again, things will go haywire.

They were teaching me at the lessons years back about this 12'oclock parked position - but it's so wrong. People should be thought from day 1 to keep kite low and avoid 12 o'clock.

Sure sometimes it's unavoidable, like when trying to dodge other kiters coming in/out at the beach... but one should avoid 12'o clock as much as possible.

Plummet
4285 posts
14 Nov 2013 1:49PM
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Blackbeard said..

Also need to consider turbulence and how solid objects ie landforms, trees, buildings and sand dunes effect turbulence on both the upwind and downwind side of the object. The effect increases with windspeed.


This ^. plus flying a kite overpowered in gusty conditions.

Down wind objects, hills, cliffs buildings can change the create updrafts.

Approaching fronts can have updrafts aswell. The top hat video is an updraft. Don't believe the wind will allways go straight.!...

Infact you should never consider a lofting is not possible... it is all ways possible.

I have been lofted once this year. on my little 6m!!! luckily for me I launched, held the kite low and trimmed until I got to the water. untrimmed for the water start had the kite at the zenith and bam. Up I went and down wind at warp factor 9. It was above water so I just flew the kite like I was jumping and splash landed. But it would have friggen hurt if it was on land.

Oh yes that day was a 35-45 knot day with gusts higher.

beatit
WA, 25 posts
14 Nov 2013 1:52PM
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I had a front line snap on my 12m Catalyst, result was kite rolling back a bit and three very taught lines doing loops of death. Pulled safety, but the one safety line was the snapped one which got tangled up in the bar and kept the other three taught, and the kite powered up.

No real lofting, just fast horizontal dragging, fortunately had lots of water downwind. Knew I could release my leash if I had to but managed to swim forward and grab the remaining front line when kite touched down on the water.

Scary s#!+ and completely random, now I always make sure I've got lots of room downwind.

ausiet
WA, 56 posts
14 Nov 2013 4:24PM
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I must be missing something?? If your my is at parked at 12 and I get lofted, how then, does the line get wrapped around my bar?

I'm relatively new at this and have been lofted a couple of times when Im further out to sea, but can't really see how I could be on the shore and get lofted and then have a line go around the bar.

I too was taught to park the kite at 12 as the safest position. Would you mind expanding on why it is safer to not do this?

Thanks.

Gorgo
VIC, 4069 posts
14 Nov 2013 9:03PM
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The line around the bar is a cause not an effect.

The term "lofting" implies that you are being picked up because the kite is generating too much lift. I suspect that is rarely the case. More likely lofting describes being hauled off your feet and dragged up and/or along because of a number of possible problems. Typically these problems would cause the kite to drop into the power zone and power up.

The previous posts describe a range of things from the unlikely or far-fetched (cloud suck) to the common (lines tangled on bars, turbulence induced front stalls, operator error).

Leaving your kite at 12:00 makes it particularly prone to front stalls (also known as hindenberging). The kite comes back over your head, a gust knocks it or the wind drops out momentarily, the angle of the wind changes relative to the kite, the kite front stalls and drops. Here comes the bad bit. It recovers in the middle of the window and all hell breaks loose.

If you keep your kite around 45 degrees you have much more control, it's less likely to front stall, you can run upwind and counter the front stall, if it does front stall the kite drops to the ground and rolls about before it tries to kill you. That gives you time to go to plan B. Plan B should be to control the kite and manage it (park it or relaunch). If you don't know what to do you pop the quick release.

You keep the kite at 12:00 if keeping the kite lower brings it close to other people or if the beach is too turbulent or it's an ideal day and the kite will park there without managing it.

ausiet
WA, 56 posts
14 Nov 2013 7:06PM
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Thanks Gorgo.

Good explanation. Ill put those into practice.

Always learning!

sir ROWDY
WA, 5295 posts
14 Nov 2013 7:15PM
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No kite would save you from the Top Hat incident. This is usually caused by a big difference in temperature, such as a hot carpark next to cool water or similar. In this situation you're f#cked no matter what you do, just don't release 50foot up would be my advice, ride it out and get ready to ditch it when you're close to the ground.

MrTwist
VIC, 95 posts
15 Nov 2013 8:47AM
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Thanks Gorgo

You're explanation helps a lot. I was also of the mindset that 12 was a somewhat safe position.

Loftywinds
QLD, 2060 posts
15 Nov 2013 12:34PM
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harry potter said..

You now face an immediate ban


You referring to me pal?

15 Nov 2013 1:37PM
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THE ABILITY TO LOFT OR LIFT VERTICALLY HAS NOT BEEN DESIGNED OUT OF MODERN KITES

Modern kites have the ability to adjust their AOA something which older C kite did only minimally, but AOA adjustment range is limited even on modern kites and when you reach it (and you pull on the bar to gain control or stabilise yourself, OOOOF up you go).

There are people who have very little experience with windsports and kites, who think their modern kite has an infinite safe wind range and that "depowering" the kite more and more will make the kite useable in winds that are basically too much for that size kite.

The biggest error this industry is continuing to make is calling the trim system, the "Power and Depower" system. This is the main cause of the common error in beginners thinking that their kites have an almost infinite wind range (certainly way more than in reality).

Each kite design, and some have more and some have less, has a finite AOA adjustment range. You can experience this and prove it to yourself too, by shortening your front line to the max with your lines tied off to a tree or something. If you can shorten your front lines to the point where the rear lines are so loose that when the bar is angled to simulate a turn or steering input, that the rear lines remain loose, then thats what will happen when the kite is flown - YOU WILL HAVE NO ABILITY TO STEER THE KITE.

This inability to steer the kite when it is so "depowered" is the No 1 cause of rapid kite dragging, lifting and impacts with solid objects. When a kite has been "depowered" to the point where it cannot be steered, the fact remain that it is still the same size kite, and that its AOA has been adjusted so much that it now flies at its fastest possible speed, and this in turn cause the now unsteerable kite to develop that absolute maximum power that it can develop. So the reality is that "depower" adjustment makes the kite fly faster across the window and this in turn increases the power and lift delivered by the now out of control kite.

BUT, kiters are responsible to read the manufacturers recommended wind range and to not exceed it without understanding that are now putting themselves and others at the risk of serious injury or death.

The "power/depower" system does not change the size of a kite. The "power/depower" system on many kite can be adjusted so much that the kite cannot be steered when max "depower" is applied" this includes many top well known brands!
The "power/depower" is incorrectly and dangerously named, it is a trim or trimming system

Yachts and windsurfers adjust the angle of attack of their sails, and and so do planes and gliders for their wings, etc, none of them use the term "power/depower", they all use the term TRIM

THE NO 1 DANGEROUS AND DUMB PLACE TO PUT AN OVERPOWERED KITE IS DIRECTLY OVERHEARD AT 12 O'CLOCK

WeirdEd
VIC, 268 posts
15 Nov 2013 2:06PM
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Kitepower Australia said..

The "power/depower" is incorrectly and dangerously named, it is a trim or trimming system

[/b]


Excellent explanation. It's easy to check when you're on the water as well. If you ride without "depower" and pull the depower, does your kite have less power? No, it just shifts the sweetspot on the bar throw where the kite is powered towards the chicken loop. If you sheet in to that spot the kite will behave the same as it did before.

Phoney
NSW, 405 posts
15 Nov 2013 4:30PM
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Leaving your kite at 12:00 makes it particularly prone to front stalls (also known as hindenberging). The kite comes back over your head, a gust knocks it or the wind drops out momentarily, the angle of the wind changes relative to the kite, the kite front stalls and drops. Here comes the bad bit. It recovers in the middle of the window and all hell breaks loose.


Just out of interest, when your kite does start falling out of the sky due to a lull in the wind during the process of moving the kite over from 2 oclock to 10 o clock, whats the best course of action? I usually run in the opposite direction as quick as I can to get tension on the lines once more. Or would it be better to pull the QR and let it collapse on the water / beach.

Plummet
4285 posts
15 Nov 2013 1:40PM
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Phoney said..

Leaving your kite at 12:00 makes it particularly prone to front stalls (also known as hindenberging). The kite comes back over your head, a gust knocks it or the wind drops out momentarily, the angle of the wind changes relative to the kite, the kite front stalls and drops. Here comes the bad bit. It recovers in the middle of the window and all hell breaks loose.


Just out of interest, when your kite does start falling out of the sky due to a lull in the wind during the process of moving the kite over from 2 oclock to 10 o clock, whats the best course of action? I usually run in the opposite direction as quick as I can to get tension on the lines once more. Or would it be better to pull the QR and let it collapse on the water / beach.


Depends how good you are. Learner. hit the qr asap.

2years experience +. bar in and pull some top line steering. that can snap it back in before it hits the ground. only do this if the kites at the edge of the window. if it snaps back in the middle of the power zone. your going for a ride whether you like it or not.

Loftywinds
QLD, 2060 posts
15 Nov 2013 3:50PM
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Plummet said..


Phoney said..


Leaving your kite at 12:00 makes it particularly prone to front stalls (also known as hindenberging). The kite comes back over your head, a gust knocks it or the wind drops out momentarily, the angle of the wind changes relative to the kite, the kite front stalls and drops. Here comes the bad bit. It recovers in the middle of the window and all hell breaks loose.



Just out of interest, when your kite does start falling out of the sky due to a lull in the wind during the process of moving the kite over from 2 oclock to 10 o clock, whats the best course of action? I usually run in the opposite direction as quick as I can to get tension on the lines once more. Or would it be better to pull the QR and let it collapse on the water / beach.



Depends how good you are. Learner. hit the qr asap.

2years experience +. bar in and pull some top line steering. that can snap it back in before it hits the ground. only do this if the kites at the edge of the window. if it snaps back in the middle of the power zone. your going for a ride whether you like it or not.


I've noticed that foil kites tend to have more room for error when they do this. For example, my Montana HQ 5, if fully trimmed... errr.. sorry "powered", it will go past my head and into the back of the wind window. But the good thing is it eventually comes back and does not fall out of the sky. With my LEI kites, they fall like lead.

Kamikuza
QLD, 3588 posts
15 Nov 2013 3:50PM
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Kitepower Australia said..

THE ABILITY TO LOFT OR LIFT VERTICALLY HAS NOT BEEN DESIGNED OUT OF MODERN KITES

The "power/depower" system does not change the size of a kite. The "power/depower" system on many kite can be adjusted so much that the kite cannot be steered when max "depower" is applied" this includes many top well known brands!
The "power/depower" is incorrectly and dangerously named, it is a trim or trimming system

Yachts and windsurfers adjust the angle of attack of their sails, and and so do planes and gliders for their wings, etc, none of them use the term "power/depower", they all use the term TRIM

THE NO 1 DANGEROUS AND DUMB PLACE TO PUT AN OVERPOWERED KITE IS DIRECTLY OVERHEARD AT 12 O'CLOCK

Good to see an authority put trim and depower into perspective - I've been saying it for a while, but just thought I was a kook

tungsten
43 posts
15 Nov 2013 5:41PM
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Kitepower has it right. "Power / depower" is marketing BS lingo no educated aereo / water sportsman would use, ever.

And here comes another bit of truth:

Nobody in his right mind expects or attempts to learn flying a glider, sailing a boat or flying a plane with 2 days of lessons. Those sports take a lot of time to learn them properly. Building the physical skill / muscle memory alone takes plenty hours, and then you have to learn navigation, seamanship, meteorology, right of way rules, and plenty other details vital for the safe execution of that sport.

This is the very reason those sports are usually taught in a club environment rather than as paid lessons: paying for hundreds of hours of formation out of your pocket is not accessible for most people, and in a club environment, the experienced teach the newbies on a non profit base.

Now, in terms of the dangers involved and the skill necessary, kite surfing is not much different from paragliding or sailing. And still it is generally accepted that people take 2 days of lessons, as a result know s#1t, don't even run the most basic safety drills, and consider themselves able to go kiting.

Time to adjust priorities, stop telling the kids this is all easy and safe and 100% depower, and start educating kiters properly. The industry should start self-policing, otherwise the authorities will step in and regulate it for us. Then we are looking at a set of rules like in sailing or glider sports.

The general picture on the beaches I kite is this:
- most peeps never hit the QR once in their life
- most peeps don't know how to body drag properly
- most peeps don't know how to self rescue
- most peeps don't know how to rescue a kite, board or fellow kiter
- most peeps don't know even basics of meteorology
- most peeps have poor kite flying skills and crash a fast trainer given to them
- most peeps know s#1t about basic aerodynamics, trimming, right-of-way

I'm not talking about beginners here. I'm talking about proud kiters throwing their tricks in the shore break.

ausiet
WA, 56 posts
15 Nov 2013 9:15PM
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Great thread, learning heaps.

Thanks for the input.

cauncy
WA, 6692 posts
15 Nov 2013 9:44PM
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sir ROWDY said..

No kite would save you from the Top Hat incident. This is usually caused by a big difference in temperature, such as a hot carpark next to cool water or similar. In this situation you're f#cked no matter what you do, just don't release 50foot up would be my advice, ride it out and get ready to ditch it when you're close to the ground.


an ozone edge would of taken you bigger, floated down ,then throw in a down loop to a perfect landing



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"Lofting" started by Gorgo