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  1. #1
    Junior Member Jo Blogg's Avatar
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    Safe windsurfing around kites

    Anyone got any thoughts on staying safe when windsuring around kites especially at a busy spot in rough conditions (but not the obvious - look where you're going!). I had a close shave recently. Kite was down wind of me on same tack looking to pass just as I decided to gybe. It was a simple case of I didn't spot him as I took a side glance. I should have seen him but didn't. In the heat of the moment it felt like he had come from nowhere. Despite my sincere apology I was subject to abuse-some might say as deserved. I appreciate under the conventional rules for vessels with a sail I was in the wrong but (if I may) does it make any sence to attempt a pass down wind of a windsurf in the surf zone just where the majority are turning to return to shore? Perhaps I just need educating! Help please.
    Last edited by Jo Blogg; 21st August 2017 at 02:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Always look before gybing is basic rule no.1. Surprising how many people, both kites and windsurfers don't do this. As for rules of the road, people just don't know them so kind of a waste of time. Most kiters I find are fine and will generally keep out of the way of windsurfers as they have more to loose in any close encounter. Just stay clear of beginers.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Silicon Beach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo Blogg View Post
    Anyone got any thoughts on staying safe when windsuring around kites especially at a busy spot in rough conditions (but not the obvious - look where you're going!). I has a close shave recently. Kite was down wind of me on same tack looking to pass just as I decided to gybe. It was a simple case of I didn't spot him as I took a side glance. I should have seen him but didn't. In the heat of the moment it felt like he had come from nowhere. Despite my sincere apology I was subject to abuse-some might say as deserved. I appreciate under the conventional rules for vessels with a sail I was in the wrong but (if I may) does it make any sence to attempt a pass down wind of a windsurf in the surf zone just where the majority are turning to return to shore? Perhaps I just need educating! Help please.
    Very familiar situation for me, especially high season here in el Medano. First thing for me to say is that I've had very little problems with the kiters here since an 'incident' about five years ago that was actually quite similar to the one you describe. I gybed between two of them on a ridiculously crowded sunday and then got into a fist fight in the water (after apologising profusely to him etc - but he turned out to be a nutter).

    My strategy is: always to try and go upwind of them, if possible, when meeting on opposite tacks - I know that is technically wrong if I'm on port and they're on starboard - but it means they don't have to alter their lines, and most of them seem OK with this. If there's one in the water I give it a very wide berth to avoid running over the lines (turn round rather than go anywhere near a kite in the water). Make all your changes of direction (eg when wave riding) as clear / obvious as you can. Smile a lot and, obviously, as Pedro says: always double check before you gybe.
    -----------------------------
    Currently writing the World's first Windsurfing Novel: 'Too Close to the Wind' - watch this space!
    ps check out my musings from El Medano: Life on the Reef
    -----------------------------
    Boards: Quatro Supermini Thrusters: 94 & 85
    Sails: Severne Blades.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Graemef's Avatar
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    They (we) can be a frikken nuisance especially if they're new, one benefit of doing both is you get to tell the competent from the rest so I tend to know who'll 180 out of the way and those who might not, I had a close call last Tuesday with a new guy, (difficult to get mad with him he turned out to be a customer, but he cut it too close for my liking, I was racing, beating hard upwind and it was breezy, the last thing you need is some kite trying to push the fact he's on starboard.

    Otherwise if there's a lot of them out, I just wont go out, not on either, windsurfer or kite, all I can see are accidents waiting to happen. Usually getting up wind of them is easy and works, but they've taken to launching a couple of beaches up so getting up wind you have to track through them.

  5. #5
    Senior Member PK1111's Avatar
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    The usual rules of the road apply to kites, just as they do to windsurfers.
    as Grumpy says, quite a few don't seem to know them, so the summer months tend to be worse. Colder seasons tend to be fine.

    I think a key is to make sure you have seen each other and clearly signal your intentions.
    If on starboard, then stand your right of way to oncoming port tack, but if you do need to duck them, then go early and make it obvious you are changing course.

    I always find the conflict area is at the inside gybe or riding waves.
    We have to make long drawn out manouverable, just where they want to quickly switch or jump. In those circumstances, it's often difficult to know who has right of way, so give each other lots of room.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Stev-0's Avatar
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    I am a self confessed Kite-botherer and often sail with the danglers in onshore waves or in flat water areas where there are swarms of the ****ers. I find making eye contact is the best as your intentions and body positioning will signal what course you are taking. I never think about port/starboard rules as they don't and I'm half baked on the rules at the best of times. I always try and go up wind and sometimes will point or head nod my intended course.

    Riding waves and who has priority is tricky as they will have a very different interpretation. Often they will go up wind on a wave from a downwind positions just as I am turning downwind to wave ride but so far managed to stay out of each others way. I do wear a helmet incase I get donked on the head by a kite though!

  7. #7
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    I always try and give them a wide berth, except on this occasion !
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BX6Rnb8FrCW/

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