Reunite gear with owners here.
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I dropped my kite in a lull about a mile out off of 3rd Avenue last Wednesday. The kite dropped through it's lines towards me and try as I might, I could not get the kite relaunched. The wind picked up again, but still I couldn't relaunch because the inside lines were twisted around the outside line and no bar maneuver that I could figure out could correct the problem. As I was getting blown farther away from shore and towards the midspan of the San Mateo Bridge, I elected to pop my chicken loop and let the kite flag out so that I could swim/walk back in. Unfortunately, the kite did not flag out, but rather stayed direcly downwind and powered up. After several minutes of pondering my options, I decided to let the kite go rather than being pulled to the Bridge.
My good kite friend Peter came along after a while and offered to tow me part way in. Another kiter tried to rescue my kite but was unsuccessful in getting back to shore as the wind had shifted so far offshore.
Back on land with my board intact but my confidence rather severely shaken, I phoned the Coast Guard to notify them that I had lost the kite but that I was OK and that they should not launch a search and rescue operation. They were extremely nice and offered to retrieve my kite if there happened to be a USCG boat in the area.
As the kite appeared to me to be drifting toward the SMO Bridge mid-span, I went south of the bridge that evening to wait to see if it came through but never saw it.
I have not heard anything further of my green and white RRD Obsession 10.5m kite since that time. Perhaps it went to Kite Vallhalla where all the other lost kite gear has gone. If anyone has any notion as to it's whereabouts, kindly call me:
a few alternatives to ditching the kite. depending on how off-shore it is ( assuming it isnt totally offshore in which case we should never go out to begin with) you can steer the kite towards land by pulling in the steering or front line on the desired side. second option is to attach your leash to the oh shit handles and pull the safety. now your kite is totally flagged and depowered so you can roll up the lines and get to the kite. In an offshore situation, you are better letting most of the air out of the le and rolling it up as to still be buoyant but not catch much wind. The reality is that if it is windy enough to blow your kite offshore you are not going to be able to fight it swimming. So dont let go of your only real buoyancy! you are better being able to float and wait than try and swim it at that distance. glad you are ok though.
I second this maneuver as the Obsession does not flag and de-power on its leash. For whatever reason they stay powered up directly down wind of you when released. Maybe for advanced riders who unhook and don't want to flag the kite but rather have it easily relaunched when released on its leash. The correct move would of been to swim up the "oh-shit" handle and line and then self-rescue in. Even in side-off winds you can make it back to the correct side of the bay. Possibly way South but at least with all your gear. Third Ave. can be ugly when the winds go off-shore and people don't really respect it enough. I've seen several kiters do the exact same thing you did, except in December and when they got back they were suffering from mild hypothermia. Self rescues suck but if the sun goes down you will be happy you stayed with your kite, and so will coast guard.
2010 UG FLX
2012 Firewire Flexfire Strapless
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
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