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 How to get out through the surf

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blast

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PostSubject: How to get out through the surf   Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:57 pm

Plenty asking a great question in the forums about how to get out through the white water of a beach break.

Some great advice came through:

****** said:

Get on the board ASAP.

Keep the kite in the air at all costs.

Power is the key.

The more powered up you are, the easier it is to negotiate white water and near breaking waves - or gently boost over them.

Obviously, start in smaller waves, with good kite power, and work your way up to more challenging conditions. It is a lot less forgiving than flat water if you put the kite down and get worked.

underpowered conditions and big close out waves are not a good combo.

style on!

*****
when approaching a broken wave start moving your kite towards 12 o'clock lift the nose of your board as you hit the whitewater. you should just ride straight over it. Obviously bigger waves are harder to negotiate than smaller ones but the principle remains the same. Practice makes perfect. But it's really not that hard. As others have stated, riding in the waves underpowered is undesireable, even dangerous if the surf is big. If you are riding a twin tip you want to stay powered up, not so neccesary if riding a surfboard.
Kiting in waves is amazing fun when done right, but there is a much greater element of danger which should not be underestimated. Untill you gain experience stick to small surf, and never go out in surf that you wouldn't swim/surf in.

****
if the waves to big just turn and run or go around it, wait for a break an just cruise out
and yes...power is everything

and dont kite through the flaged areas,go out 100m
you will soon work it out.

*******
I find navigating surf is all about reading the water. Most beach breaks have a 'peaky' section where it's particular gnarly, and then it's easier left & right of this.

If you start off in the less agressive part to get your skills down. Watch how the waves work .. when you're heading out and you're faced with a pitching lip, you can often head left or right to catch a section which isn't so bad. On particularly big days, you might find yourself heading downwind, parallel to the wave, until it breaks, then head out over the froth.

If it is is frothing & foaming, either jump over it, or do a weight shift with your feet to to pop onto/over it ..

If you get in trouble, I'd agree with the other #1 priority is keep the kite flying.. you can always find your board, even if it means dragging to the beach to find out where it went! Having your board, but a downed kite ain't half as much fun!

And... like the others say, if it looks 'impassable', you can always gybe, stay in one piece, and have another go...

********
A few things:

- Ease off the edge just before you hit the white whater. If you are edging hard you will slide out and get munched, or do a really lame swinging air (and crash) as the wave passes. Concentrate more on standing upright and getting the nose up so you can ride up and over.

- If the wave is about to break you can dive head and body through the wave in a sort of kite boarding duck dive manouver (with the board on your feet). You will have to do this if you are trying to body drag out through the waves.

- Always ride down wind and get some speed and power happening. No power means no kiting. If the beach is long enough you can have a heap of fun blasting along and doing little carves off the face until you can see a clear spot to edge out. You combine this with racing the lumps of white water and steep faces. Also bend your knees ass you go up and over a face so you don't go into orbit (see edging above).

- Of course, if there's enough wind and your skills are up to it you can always jump over. There's nothing worse than crashing into the face of the wave behind.

********
If you wouldn't paddle out (ie to big) on a surfboard, don't kite it.


*******
Make sure you start out in a spot where the rip is not too strong, and if anything you want it running upwind to give you more power.

Flipside is getting you board back gets a bit trickier if you lose it...

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Laura

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PostSubject: Re: How to get out through the surf   Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:12 pm

Thanks for the advice, all really helps! Smile Some of us newbies have found the waves a bit of a challenge lately, but all good practise hey! Wink Very Happy
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blast

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PostSubject: Re: How to get out through the surf   Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:31 pm

Laura, you'll grow to love the waves!
If you kite somewhere that is flat water..............all the time it gets really boring!
There are always flat areas inbetween the waves for the tricks.
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scotty33



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PostSubject: Re: How to get out through the surf   Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:11 pm

I'm no expert but here's my 2p worth

If you can lay your hands on one, use a bigger board than normal. They tend to go upwind better anyway, so any ground you lose in the waves is easier to make up.

More importantly you can afford to approach the wave with less speed, which is less daunting, you can still be planing away if the wave kills your momentum (up to a point!).

Depending on wind direction, you can end up going more or less straight out against the breakers one way and running parallel with the shore on the other tack - If on this tack, the broken waves are too too big to negotiate, they will force you toward the shore - downwind. Use the flat water in between the waves to go fast and you will lose less ground. When the wave gets small enough to try getting over, bear off away from the wave briefly before cutting hard toward the wave. You need to get through/over the wave to the cleaner flat water behind. The frothy stuff is aerated and often you will sink into it, if not carrying enough speed, or have your feet taken from under you by it

Hope that makes some sense?

Forgot to add and most will know this but, waves come in cycles, there will only be 2 or 3 really big ones then 4 or 5 smaller ones, guess which ones you do not want to go out against?..

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The tom

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PostSubject: Re: How to get out through the surf   Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:58 pm

probably worth mentioning if you drop your kite, you need to get it back up quickly! A big wave is made up of tons and tons of water and if it hits a kite, leading edge down in the middle of the window with full tension in the lines, it can easily rip the kite to bits. Be prepared to take the tension out of the lines before the wave hits.

Other things to watch for in that situation is a big wave hitting you, occasionally you can get picked up and rolled into the lines; NOT fun!
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blast

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PostSubject: Re: How to get out through the surf   Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:04 pm

Wise words.
I dropped my Genetrix a day or two ago in the surf....couldnt get it back up in time so made the superman position all stretched out towards the kite and went with it.

I have at some point done everything that can happen I reckon, inc ripping new kites clean in half (several times)
Point breaks are even less freindly Evil or Very Mad
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ianwind

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PostSubject: Re: How to get out through the surf   Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:26 pm

I always use a lightfoot approach when heading into a broken wave, go at it with speed then bare off more down wind so you don't get airborne and stay light on your feet and absorb the impact through your knees and glide over it, as said earlier start with smaller waves. Try not getting airborne while riding over small waves that way your kite stays stable and powered up so you can edge harder in between the waves and stay up wind. If your kiting in south west Wales you can almost guarantee there are going to be waves of some sort, so it's worth spending a few minutes before you go in checking out how where and when they are breaking and it won't be long before you go searching for beaches with the best waves to play. PS remember if in doubt always ask about local conditions tides, rocks rips etc.



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Sporty

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PostSubject: Re: How to get out through the surf   Wed May 23, 2012 6:42 pm

scotty33 wrote:

Depending on wind direction, you can end up going more or less straight out against the breakers one way and running parallel with the shore on the other tack - If on this tack, the broken waves are too too big to negotiate, they will force you toward the shore - downwind. Use the flat water in between the waves to go fast and you will lose less ground. When the wave gets small enough to try getting over, bear off away from the wave briefly before cutting hard toward the wave. You need to get through/over the wave to the cleaner flat water behind.

Hey Scotty33, this bit of your post I've copied makes a lot of sense to me. I'm progressing, but like everyone else I guess, finding the 'ride in' on the waves a bit challenging. Heading out and over them I can do no problem, but it's when you're riding back in with them I'm finding the hardest because of the reasons you've described. I'll try your tips when I'm next out, cheers.
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MarkW

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PostSubject: Re: How to get out through the surf   Thu May 24, 2012 2:31 pm

Yea as above I find easiest if u almost forget about heading upwind... If u head downwind a little it gives u chance to allow the wave to loose some size, then once its a little more manageable u can edge hard and it will give u a better angle of attack on the wave. As ur loading ur edge when u get back to the wave u will have the pop to get over it. Really concentrate on lifting ur front foot to get the front of the board over the wave and as u release u will find u have plenty of pop to get over. Then u can edge hard upwind before u get to the next wave. Then when ur heading back out through the surf on the opposite tack u can work on getting upwind a little easier as the angle will b better....
Not sure if that makes sense but sporty feel free to grab me down the beach next time its these sort of conditions and I can try and explain a little better what I mean.... I'm no expert but happy to show u what works for me... U will b surprised how u start to figure it all out with practice Wink wouldnt worry too much last few times I have seen u uv been ripping Smile
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PostSubject: Re: How to get out through the surf   Thu May 24, 2012 7:49 pm

Cheers Mark, not sure I've been 'ripping' but certainly having a good time. Thanks for the offer of help, perhaps you could just cast your expert eye over my 'technique' and give me some pointers, that would be great. Catch you soon buddy!
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