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Kiter death in FL

 
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skideeppow

Since 26 Aug 2011
501 Posts

Addicted



PostThu Aug 26, 21 5:18 am    Kiter death in FL Reply with quote

Pretty sad.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-kite-surfer-dead-wall-beachside-home

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leithaus

Since 20 Aug 2020
10 Posts
PDX
 



PostThu Aug 26, 21 8:57 am     Reply with quote

I'm sad to see this and so sorry to this gentleman's family and friends. Many questions that these articles do not address. Like - was there a problem during the launch? Was it really unexpected gusty conditions or was a weather front passing through? What was downwind of the launch site? Was the wind direction typical or atypical of the location and is the launch site generally safe or was it an unusual location?

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Pete

Since 29 Oct 2007
779 Posts

Opinionated



PostThu Aug 26, 21 9:06 am     Reply with quote

leithaus wrote:
I'm sad to see this and so sorry to this gentleman's family and friends. Many questions that these articles do not address. Like - was there a problem during the launch? Was it really unexpected gusty conditions or was a weather front passing through? What was downwind of the launch site? Was the wind direction typical or atypical of the location and is the launch site generally safe or was it an unusual location?


Asking a lot for a news team. They have no idea about these kinds of things.

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knotwindy

Since 25 Sep 2011
558 Posts

Addicted



PostThu Aug 26, 21 9:39 am     Reply with quote

There’s a thread on Kiteforum about the details including a video. Very sad news again.
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McLovin

Since 11 Sep 2017
203 Posts
Corbett
Stoked



PostThu Aug 26, 21 9:50 am    Sad news :( Reply with quote

If you want the whole story...
https://kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2410929

Lots of detail here, even a sanitized news clip with video... (see page 3)

RIP Fred

Mc



   2021-08-26_10-49-31.png 

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Sella

Since 21 Apr 2007
1776 Posts
Doin' The Dalles
FLY'IN HIGH PIE GUY



PostThu Aug 26, 21 11:08 am     Reply with quote

The page 3 footage tells the story. Happens so quick but when he was walking it with one hand very lit on the beach he should have punched out right there. (with a 14m in storm conditions his session was already going to be shit.) Then he grabbed the bar with both hands and did a bounce recover, moving closer to the house. Still didn't punch out when his feet touched the ground while building more downwind energy in the canopy. On his third boost no human is strong enough to throw their release with that much force and it broke his spine in half slamming into the building. Fred was 61 and had little kids. It's a tragic story that is really easy to second guess his thought process but it seems his "reckless kiter" reputation caught up to him.

This is very similar to the older guy at Rooster who made key mistakes during his launch fiasco and didn't punch out when he had multiple opportunities to do so.

Most kiteboarding deaths are very experienced kiters managing onshore hard objects. (Kinsley Wong, Christina Bockius, Fred Salter)

As soon as you have the slightest doubt......punch out. You only have seconds to make that call and as much as we all love kiting.......the last thing we need is "he died doing what he loved" bs as your legacy.

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Sasquatch

Since 09 Mar 2005
1934 Posts
P-town
STACKED



PostThu Aug 26, 21 11:34 am     Reply with quote

First and foremost, my condolences go out to his family and friends.

Life is all about timing and flying a 14m with micro burst isn't a good thing.

I watched the video and one thing I can't stop thinking about is why didn't Fred immediately fly the kite low to the ground first? Less leverage on the kiter . . . and probably easier to reach for and engage the safety release.

I know when I'm in very strong and gusty winds I always fly my kite low to the ground to where the tip closest to the ground is basically touching the ground/water.

Rarely do I ever fly the kite at 12 o'clock while on the ground.

R.I.P. Fred

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user124

Since 02 Aug 2012
376 Posts
Portland
Obsessed



PostThu Aug 26, 21 11:59 am     Reply with quote

This is a good reminder that there were a lot of injuries at rooster last fall. When winds are 40-50 MPH things happen fast. Good reminder to use caution in those situations, perhaps consider rigging smaller especially if winds may build, and mentally review what you might do if you get yarded, end up in a death loop from a hooked bridal etc.

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Pepi

Since 16 Jun 2006
1809 Posts
Pure Stoke Sports
Shop Owner

CGKA Member


PostThu Aug 26, 21 5:44 pm     Reply with quote

Sella wrote:

As soon as you have the slightest doubt......punch out. You only have seconds to make that call and as much as we all love kiting.......the last thing we need is "he died doing what he loved" bs as your legacy.


I think that everyone of us are very likely to be guilty of trying to hold on for that last extra second, and as Ken commented above "slightest doubt, punch out" is a frame of thought we all need to remember as a take away from this.

One of the best tips I have ever been given as a kiter was to open and close my chicken loop every time before I launch and to pull the trigger on my chicken loop when landing when it was okay to do on a beach, just so that I had that memory skill trained in the back of my brain enough to do naturally.
I don't know if it guarantees that I won't do anything stupid, but I do know that it will likely reduce any hesitation I may have in responding to the "slightest doubt, punch out" part of my thinking if the situation ever occurred.

Appreciated Ken's comments and wanted to add some emphasis to the discussion in case it could help the idea sink in better.

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shred_da_gorge

Since 12 Nov 2008
1081 Posts
Local, not Low Cal
XTreme Poster



PostFri Aug 27, 21 9:50 am     Reply with quote

Pepi wrote:
One of the best tips I have ever been given as a kiter was to open and close my chicken loop every time before I launch and to pull the trigger on my chicken loop when landing when it was okay to do on a beach, just so that I had that memory skill trained in the back of my brain enough to do naturally.

Yes, this ^^^^. Launchers should be patient with folks who do this pre-flight safety check when hooking up, as it's also a good sand check.

I launch and land fully depowered. Have had a launcher say "this extra slack in your safety line seems like something's wrong" and landers ask "were you actually powered up on this?".

To Pepi's point: get that muscle memory and intuition trained, and you'll never even know when it saved your noggin!

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Gman

Since 11 Feb 2006
4865 Posts
Portland
Unstrapped



PostTue Aug 31, 21 10:31 am     Reply with quote

Very sad - RIP Fred

Florida squalls are violent - its tough down there, you can be so wind starved that you get "comfortable" kiting in unstable conditions, the wind might only blow for a few hours while a storm front passes thru.

We do see wind spikes here in the gorge but the closest analog i see is kiting at the coast in winter. the marine forecast will be for gusts 40 to 50 but it is only blowing 10 to 20 until the squall moves thru or the wind can die completely stranding you offshore, total crapshoot. I've had to release my kite as a lightning storm passed and a strike hit the dunes on the beach at Gearhart, OR. We are pretty lucky here that our beaches are 100 yards wide, with no palm trees and buildings a second downwind.

Pepi with solid advice.

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