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Beware of Stingers

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Beware of Stingers: There are many different types of Jellyfish and other stinging sea creatures. Always ask the locals about any local dangerous creatures you should be aware of. In some places, swimming is totally inadvisable, and other areas where the wearing of “stinger suits” is considered mandatory. Jellyfish are often associated with rains, tides and lunar cycles. For example; In Hawaii, Jellyfish frequently occur 10 days after full moon.  During extended periods of onshore winds, it is possible to get “Portuguese man-o-war (bluebottles)”. Portuguese man-o-wars are wind-driven and have little air sacs that help they stay at the surface and also act as sails to help them travel across the water. They can sometimes appear individually or en masse. These stinging creatures can be painful and are usually painful, but can be dangerous to sensitive individuals. It is always prudent to avoid contact with any form of stingers. Avoid sailing at times of high frequency, and/or cover up as much of your skin as possible. Wear tight clothing like lycra shirts and pants, as they are good protection from stings. Even booties and gloves can help as well. Baggy clothing is not as effective against stingers. Man-o-war can still sting after they are washed ashore so be aware and avoid them. You should consider having first aid kite close at hand when kiting, that includes vinegar and other medically recommended (safe) sting treatments.  When you are stung get treatment from the lifeguard or first-aid person. If you experience a  severe allergic reaction and/or have any trouble breathing, get medical assistance asap.

Stranded Jellyfish, Brisbane Australia. Photo David Dorn.

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PRO-TIP:  BEWARE OF OFFSHORE WIND 

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TODAY’S KITE SAFETY PRO-TIP:  “BEWARE OF OFFSHORE WIND” 

 

Offshore wind is inherently dangerous: Never kite in off-shore wind if you have no way to return to shore. For Safety, you always need to be able to drift downwind to a point on land. Offshore winds in a bay:  a small bay that is offshore at the launch, but has another shore with onshore wind, that can be easily reached by downwind body dragging is sometimes acceptable. Never ride in pure offshore winds without a dedicated support boat active on site. Launching in offshore winds is very difficult as winds are usually very gusty. Offshore winds are deceptive; the wind at the shore is usually very different from the wind on the water. People often severely underestimate the wind strength in offshore winds. When you launch/ride in offshore winds there is a greater difficulty returning to the beach afterward. Getting back to the beach may become impossible!  For More Kite Safety Tips Go To Kitesafe.com

beware of offshore wind

Beware of offshore wind.

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PRO-TIP: BEWARE OF WAVES

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To avoid accidents, you should Always Beware of Waves. Even a small wave can be very powerful and can turn you upside down, This can lead to serious injury and drowning. Get a lesson before entering the waves, Waves are far different from flat water. Never drop your kite in the breaking waves, and if you do be prepared to let it go. Waves will easily destroy a kite and could hurt you, so invest in a “ride-in-the-waves 101” lesson from an experienced, qualified,  IKO Certified Kiteboarding Instructor.

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PRO-TIP:  BEWARE OF THE SHORE BREAK

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To avoid accidents, you should Always Beware of the Shore-Break. Even a small shore break can be very powerful and can turn you upside down, This can lead to serious injury from neck and spinal damage. When entering and exiting with gear the problem is worse. Gear can strike your body or become entangled. a kite can get wrapped around you or pin you under the water, Take extreme care when dealing with a shore-break, if the shorebreak is more than waist-high then you should look for another calmer place to enter and exit. Also do not stay in the impact zone any longer than you need to, get out quickly onto dry sand.

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Pro-Tip: IF IN DOUBT, DON’T GO OUT

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If in doubt, don't go out.

To avoid accidents on the Beach and on the Water, you should Not go out if you are in Doubt. If you are unsure of the conditions, or unsure of your abilities, or unsure of your equipment, then do not go out. You should only launch if you have confidence that you can manage the conditions and remain safe during the activity, If you are unsure of the conditions ask an instructor to assist you or advise you. Self Doubt is usually a sign that the conditions are not right or that you should get some more training. And/or buy the correct kite size. If you did go out anyway, you may get yourself into a bad situation, and then put other people in danger too.

For More Kite Safety Tips Go To Kitesafe.com

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Pro-Tip: NEVER LAUNCH OVER PEOPLE

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To avoid accidents on the Beach and on the Water, you should Never Fly Your Kite Over People. When Launching, Never Launch with your kite over people. The kite or kite lines could hit and injure someone, or if your lines hit someone then you can lose control and have an accident yourself as well. Keep people outside your wind window when launching and never fly your kite over people swimming or on the beach. You may not value your safety, But other people value theirs. It is the kiters responsibility to fly in a manner that is safe to persons and property, this is a rule, and it is common sense as well. If you are the assistant, do not release the kite if anyone is inside the wind window, even if the pilot gives you the launch signal. It is the responsibility of the assistant to not launch if they see a danger. When on any kite beach watch people launching around, you and avoid the unsafe launchers, they are the most likely to cause an accident.

For More Kite Safety Tips Go To Kitesafe.com

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Pro-Tip: RIG YOUR BAR CORRECTLY

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Always rig your bar according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

To avoid accidents on the Beach and on the Water you should Always Rig Your Bar Correctly. Follow the manufacturer’s Specifications. Rigging wrongly is a sign of an untrained kiter, who is unsafe or unaware of safety protocols and procedures. Do not launch any kiter who has their bar upside down. Always tell someone if they have their bar on wrong or they could have an accident. NOTE: people sometimes get confused when rigging on a new location, and they may make an honest mistake, If you see something wrong, then say something.  For More Kite Safety Tips Go To Kitesafe.com

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Pro-Tip: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

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To avoid accidents on the water you should know the weather conditions BEFORE you go. Check weather Blogs, and Forecasts to know about storms, waves, tides, and winds. Extreme weather is often able to be predicted, Do not wait until you have launched your kite to find out what the wind is doing., Weather forecasts can also help anticipate sudden changes such as rain squalls, and cold fronts. More kiters get into trouble from underestimating the weather, than any other reason.

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Pro-Tip: PORT GIVES WAY TO STARBOARD

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To avoid accidents on the water there are situations when rules help guide the actions of the riders.

When two kiters are going in opposite directions, there is a chance they will crash into each other, so we have a rule of who moves where. The rider on Port tack, gives way to the rider on “Starboard” tack.

In sailing “Port” means the Left side, and Starboard means the right side. The rider on Port Tack is defined by having his kite on the left side of his wind-window (between 12 and 9 o’clock). The Rider on Starboard is defined by having his kite on the right side of his wind-window (between 12 and 3 o’clock).

Actions: The Rider on “Starboard” should continue on the same course, and the rider on Port “gives way” by turning downwind, or slowing down, or even stopping to let the Starboard rider pass safely. It is the responsibility of the Port tack rider to get out of the way and to maneuver, as much as needed to avoid any accidents.

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