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t r o e p s fic r e t a g Of W in d n ok a o e B t i d K l an a n p o o i h s S www.thebigblueexperience.com e f o info@bigbluekitesurfing.com Pr

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Where Wind Comes From

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Low Pressure System

High Presssure System

Warm Front

Cold Fronts

Weather Fronts


Weather is created by the sun heating the air on the earth’s surface. The movement of this air is what creates the wind and weather. There are two Types of Weather systems, High and Low Pressures both with different characteristics and behaviours. Within these are Frontal Systems also bringing different weather and characteristics. The charts opposite are representative of graphics seen on a Synoptic Weather Forecast. Low Pressure System: Air Pressure Rising from the Centre of the System A Low or a Depression is created around an area of low air pressure on the earth’s surface. The air around this system moves anti-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere (Clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere) and in towards the centre of the system filling the low pressure area with air. These typically bring rough and changeable weather. The isobars are tightly packed indicating stronger wind. Low pressure systems are easier to predict as they are faster moving and weather fronts are more defined. High Pressure System: Air Pressure Decreasing from the centre of the system A High is created around an area of High pressure air on the earth’s surface. The air around these Systems moves Clockwise and outwards often drawn into Low Pressure Systems. These typically bring very settled weather. Once a strong High is established they may sit over the same region for many days. High pressure system isobars are further apart indicating lighter wind. High Pressure System movements are harder to predict with the weather being more stable. Being on the edge of a high pressure system can create a steep pressure gradient giving perfect kiting conditions, strong winds and clear skies.

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t r o e p s fic r e t a g Of W in d Warm Front n oinkthe direction of travel. A Warm Front is simply warm a A Warm Front shows as a black line across the pressure System with red semi-circles ostart as high cirrus clouds thickening and lowering as the e so will air moving up and over an area of dense cooler air. Warm fronts moveit slowly B dpasses. K the front front approaches with light rain to start followed by heavier rain until n l a pa n Cold Front o o blue triangles in the direction of travel. A Cold Front moves faster i h s A Cold Front shows as a black line across the pressure system with S tall line of Cumulous Nimbus Clouds approaching. There may be a gust fe a thick, pushing warm air up in front of it. Cold fronts areo generally front (area of stronger wind) and heavy rain, possibly Pr Thunder and Lightning. As a Cold Front passes the cloud will lift quickly and the wind

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Weather Fronts As pressure systems develop they will organise themselves into sections of warm and cold air creating frontal zones. Typically a warm front is followed by a cold front. As a system weakens and slows this can create an Occluded front where the cold front gradually overtakes and collides with the warm front, bringing thicker clouds and drizzle.

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will lessen with a noticeable drop in air temperature.


Wind Orientation to Land North Westerly

Northerly North Easterly

Easterly

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Westerly

South Westerly

Cross Shore

Southerly

South Easterly

Cross Off Shore

Cross On Shore

Off Shore

On Shore

Cross On Shore

Cross Off Shore

Cross Shore


Wind Orientation to Land

Map Kite sports are dependent on the wind, its direction and relation to the beach, this will govern where to Kite. When talking about the wind and its direction it is important to remember that it is referred to by where it is blowing from. Northerly wind comes from the North. The name may also be replaced by the first letter of each direction. Northerly = N, North Westerly = NW, South Easterly = SE. The Beach The direction the beach faces relates to how the wind blows across it. This direction will govern suitability for kite sports. The direction will also be influenced by the geography creating local Wind Effects. These Wind Effects will affect its suitability, but for now the focus is on the winds relation to the beach, usability and terminology given to each direction.

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Cross Shore: Wind blows directly from one end of the beach to the other (N to S or S to N) and is good for all Kitesports. This is perfect for beginner Kitesurfers who are able practise riding both ways the length of the beach and safely get out of the water before the beach ends. Cross On Shore: The wind blows on to the beach at an angle (NE to SW or SE to NW) and is good for all Kitesports. This is great for beginner Kitesurfers although more time will be spent on one direction of travel due to always moving downwind and onto the beach. On Shore: Wind blows directly on to the shore from the sea (E to W) and is good for all Kitesports. Kitesurfers need to be cautious as any mistakes will blow the rider directly on to the shore and into any hazards. Beginner Kite surfers need to be mindful of this direction as they will end up on the beach quickly, having to walk back out to sea a safe distance to practice. Cross Off Shore: The wind blows off the beach at an angle towards open water (NW to SE or SW to NE) and is good for land based kiting depending on wind effects. It is perfect for EXPERIENCED kitesurfers who are looking to wave ride and are able to return upwind to their start point. It is NOT suitable for beginner to intermediate kite surfers unless accompanied by a rescue boat. Off Shore: Wind blows directly off the beach towards open water (W to E) Good for land based kiting depending on wind effects, NOT suitable for kite surfers of any level unless accompanied by a rescue boat.

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The Example Opposite is an Easterly Facing Beach.


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Beaufort Wind Scale


Beaufort Wind Scale Wind Speed and Sea Conditions

Once wind direction and orientation to the land has been established allowing for a suitable beach to be chosen. The next thing to learn about is wind speed, its descriptions and effects. The Beaufort Scale is a rough guide on wind strength and what to expect in the prevailing conditions. Most water/nautical based activities, commercial and recreational refer to wind speed in Knots

1 Knot = 1 Nautical Mile Per Hour

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p ce s r ffi For land based flying on a fixed bridle kite 6 Knots and above or Force 2-3 ise needed. at g O W 3iisnneeded. For land based Kite landboarding and Buggying 8 Knots and above or Force d k n o a For Kitesurfing 12 Knots and above or Force 4 is needed. o e B t i d K Most kite sports become uncomfortable in 25 Knots and l above.anBeginners are NOT recommended to practise in winds a stronger than 25 Knots. The higher the wind speed, the smaller the size of kite required to fly safely. The smaller kites turn n p o o faster, are more responsive to gusts and require s ani experienced rider to be able to control them in stronger winds. h S e f o r P

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e 1 Nautical Mile Per hour = 1.1 Mile Per Hour or 1.85 Kilometres Per Hour C s t r 15 Knots = 17.2 Mph or 27.8Kph o


Weather Forecasting

www.windguru.cz www.windfinder.com www.xcweather.co.uk www.magicseaweed.com www.bigsalty.co.uk www.surf-forecast.com www.metoffice.gov.uk www.ndbc.noaa.gov Newgale Weather Forecasts : http://www.windguru.cz/int/index.php?sc=47847 https://twitter.com/BigBlueNewgale 48 Hour Forecast

7 Day Forecast

1hr Intervals

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3hr Intervals

Northerly Southerly

Windguru at a glance The Darker the colour the stronger the wind North Easterly Easterly South Easterly South Westerly Westerly North Westerly

Windguru rating the more stars the better the conditions Blue stars = air temperature under 10°c Gold stars = air tepererature over 10°c


Weather Forecasting Finding Weather Forecasts: As for all outdoor activities a weather forecast needs to be attained to make sure it is a suitable day for kitesurfing or whether it is better to stay at home. Weather Forecasts will help determine which beach to go to and what equipment to use. In countries that have changeable weather not only is it important to know what the weather is like now but also what it is likely to do over the next few hours. Looking Out The Window: This will give a rough idea of what is happening but the weather in land may be very different to what is happening at the beach. TV and Radio Forecasts: These forecasts are good for general weather, be it sunny, raining, hot, cold or windy. These forecasts are not accurate enough for kite/water sports as the wind and its speed are generalised and are normally in Mph or Kph.

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Shop or Surf lines/Twitter Feeds: Normally posted in the morning or at set periods through the day. These can be more accurate and are usually posted by someone who knows the area, forecast and local weather effects. Note: These are an informed individuals views on what they think will happen during the day so don’t get mad at them when it doesn’t turn out to be as good as they thought it was going to be. Some beach surf shops will say the weather is great to get people down to the beach even when the weather is not ideal so they can attract customers.

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t r o e p c weather stations with real time wind rs include Webcams: These are great for seeing the conditions at a spot from the comfort of home.eSome fi speed and direction. Depending on the station’s position these readings can be distorted Of buildings. at bygnearby W n than others and some are geared for different i d Internet Forecasts: The internet is full of weather forecasting sites some are more accurate k n page, osome wind based, surf or swell based, for both inland sports ie surfing, paragliding. Several sites have been listed on the opposite a o e www.windguru.cz and the sea. Opposite is an example of a typical web forecast takenitfrom most sites have a similar structure. Begin by B d search. There is normally a 7 day forecast and for some K tonthe selecting the country, region and spot. This will give a forecast relevant l a spots a more accurate 48 hour forecast is provided. The 48hr will give greater accuracy due to the shorter time period between a forecast n p is North and the wind is coming from the direction of the arrow. each prediction. When using web forecasts remember the top of theo screen o i All wind speeds, and units can be changed to whateversis easiest h to understand. S e f the forecasts are 100% accurate so use a few and cross reference them to get a (Weather is notoriously hard to predict and none of o rat looking at forecasts people generally find a select few that they trust or that are more general idea of what is happening. Once familiar P accurate for certain areas.)

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C Shape Kite

Bow/Hybrid Kite

4 Line Foil Kite

De Power Foil Kite

WIND SPEED IN KNOTS

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WIND SPEED IN KNOTS

Kite Sizing to Wind Speed

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This Guide is Approximate, Kite Size Required Depends on Skill Level, Ridert Weight and Board Size (Based on 75kg Rider and Twin Tip Board)


Kite Sizing Guide Knowing how to forecast wind and select a suitable beach, it is then important to be able to select the right kite and size for the job. Opposite is a rough guide to wind speed and kite sizing for each style of kite. This is a rough guide on each kite’s possible wind range for Kitesurfing and or Landboarding successfully. Most small foils will fly above 7 knots which is ideal for practicing kite skills. On site the wind speed may be different to the forecast and most experienced kiters can guess the wind speed fairly accurately. To start though, a hand held windyometer (Anemometer) is a wise investment to find the exact wind speed on the beach or area where kiting. It is important to remember to take a reading in the area which will be used away from wind shadows or effects to get an accurate wind speed reading. (An inaccurate reading may cause the embarrassment of being dragged down the beach on your face, by an over sized kite or not being able to move at all.)

Water based kites: These are single skinned kites with inflatable spars/bladders to enable water re-launching. By design they are

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heavier and require stronger wind to get them flying. They can be used for Kitesurfing, Landboarding and Snowkiting. Land use of these kites is not ideal as they may burst when crashed hard and need a stronger steady wind to fly.

e C sdepower, modern safety systems and aggressive power, require better board and edging skills. Modern C kites are more usable with more t r generally ridden by riders with higher skill levels. o e p s fic r Bow and Hybrid: (mix of Bow and C kites) Kites: These are a newer design and have a largerfwind range per size due to kite shape and e t a sizeg COshape. They still have an ideal wind range an extended depower system. These kites will fly earlier and longer than the equivalent where they fly best. There is no kite size, brand or model which provides one kiteW which isn capable of coping with every wind condition. i d n ok a Land Based Kites: These are lighter and more efficient. They areea double/twin o skinned design where the wind inflates the wing, B t allowing them to be flown in lighter winds. ONLY closed cell Ram Airikites will water re-launch. Most foil kites are designed to be flown on d K the land/snow and will fill up with water when crashed in to the sea. l an a n p for learning, can be flow on handles or a bar with kite killers or o o i Fixed 4 line Foil Kites: Normally the first kite most people fly, ideal h s S e safety leashes . These have fixed power with no depower. f o Prkites with a depower bar system to be flown with a harness and a safety leash. Depowerable Foil Kites: These are larger foil

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C Kites: These are an older design and have a smaller usable wind range for their size, they get over powered quickly, produce a more


Wind Effect Over a Hill or Cliff

Wind Speed Increase

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Wind Shadow


Wind Effects The wind is a moving mass of air molecules and gets affected by objects in its path. Unless kiting in a completely flat area, it is important to understand how different features and objects effect the winds flow and kite flying. Some wind effects are an advantage, but most are a hazard. Kites don’t like turbulent gusty wind and this is the cause of most rider versus solid object collisions and accidents. Ideally an area of undisturbed, smooth and consistent wind is best for kite sports. Unfortunately, this doesn’t exist in many locations around the world! The land around kiting locations may cause increases or decreases in wind speed and or produce turbulent and gusty wind. Opposite and over the next few pages are the most common wind effects and their outcomes. It is best, because we cannot see the wind to imagine it as water. As water flows down a river and approaches an object in its way the water will find the easiest route around it speeding up or slowing down causing currents, boils (swirling confused masses of water) and back eddies around these. Wind does the same around coastlines, cliffs, hills, trees, houses and any other objects nature or humans have placed in its way.

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e C ts Wind Effects Over a Hill or Cliff r o e p sstrength cof this depends on the steepness r As the wind approaches it will want to go up and over the hill causing an up draft, the fi e f t willOincrease of the face. Directly in front the air will get trapped, swirl around and the pressure causing the air to be forced a upwards through the easiest escape route. To avoid this area of confusedW air and thegrisk of being lofted, stay a distance of 3 nhopefully give enough space, time to react i d times the objects height in front of it. This provides a safety buffer zone which will k nrising oand combining with the prevailing wind, there will a and activate a safety system. At the top of the object, due to the wind o the object there will be an area of still air. The e B t be noticeable increase in wind speed compared to ground level. Directly behind idown drafts d and turbulence. This effect lasts a long distance K wind rushing over the top will try to fill the still area, causing n l a behind the object which means it is necessary to staynaafull 7 times it’s height away from it to find clean wind for kite flying. p o Paragliders are often seen taking advantage of this i effecthohovering on the up drafts over the windward face of cliffs and s S a plateau on top of a hill (clear of other dangerous solid objects) hills. On days when there is very little wind atfground level, e o can be used for Power kiting and landboarding. r P

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Wind Effect Around an Object

A

B C

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A

B


Wind Effects Around an Object Opposite is an aerial view of an island, hill, tree or any other object and shows the effects as the wind flows around its sides. Not only is the wind swirling over the top of the hill but it will also be swirling around the sides and downwind of the object. Upwind of the Object At point A the wind is clean and constant. As the wind gets closer to the object it will become affected as described in the previous example over a hill. A kiter needs to stay a distance of 3 times the height of the object upwind of it. This is to avoid the turbulence created in front as the air bounces back trying to find its easiest escape route. The Sides of the Object As the wind moves around to points B, it is being forced around the object and this will result in a wind speed increase. The wind at points B will be stronger than at point A. To avoid this area a safety buffer zone needs to be estimated. It is important to ensure a distance away from the object of at least 3 times its width is kept. This should ensure the wind will be consistent in strength and unaffected by any turbulence.

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t r o e Downwind of the Object p s in filittle Directly behind the object at point C, the wind will be rotating and turbulent, resulting c to no wind with the odd strong r e gust. This area will be a nightmare for kite flying and is to be avoided as kitestwill fly erratically or not at all. Again a safety f O a buffer zone needs to be estimated, staying a distance of 7 times the height of the object downwind will help to avoid this area g W n of turbulent wind. i d k n o a o ferries. Some are bigger than others, so be e Every object creates a wind effect, even moving objects like ships and passenger B t i more ofd a problem than others and may result in kites falling aware of this and try to anticipate them. Some effects create K n unintentional jump. l a ascary from the sky, leading to an embarrassing swim or alternatively a n p o o i hbe attributed to turbulent winds, so ensure to make an informed s Most serious life threatening accidents in kiteesports can S f a crowd. site assessment before showing off in frontoof Pr

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Veturi Wind Effect


Venturi Wind Effect This wind effect can actually be a great help for all kite and wind based sports. These occur in an area where two land masses are either side of a lake, river, valley, gorge or mountain pass. This effects how the air flows from one end of the area to the other. Some famous examples of this effect are The Hudson River Valley in New York U.S.A, Hood River in Oregon U.S.A, Langebaan Lagoon in South Africa, The Rhone Valley and The Mistral wind in France. These areas are great for kite flying as the pressure difference between inland and the sea or lake can create wind on days when there is none elsewhere. The air rushing down the Valley or Gorge can also be increased or slowed down by the width of each particular section. This effect will also add to any prevailing wind giving an increase or decrease in the wind strength accordingly. On the opposite page Spot 1 is on the edge of the Venturi so will have the forecasted wind speed. Spot 2 will be stronger as the wind is squeezed into the narrower section of the valley. Spot 3 will be less than Spot 2 as it is in a wider part of the valley where the wind will start to spread out and slow down.

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t r o e p s fic r e f t O adifficult If kiting at Spot 1, the wind starts to drop to 10 knots, it would start to become to kite. Packing up the kite and moving g W to Spot 2 would offer 20 knots or going to Spot 3 which would offerd15 knots.in n otok30 knots, it would be best to move to Spot 1 Alternatively, if kiting at Spot 3 on a 25 knot day and the wind increased a o where it should be 25 knots again. e B t i d K n kite flying within a Venturi easier. Of course this l to apractice This effect and understanding it makes finding an idealaarea n prider. It is still important to be aware of wind effects caused would depend on the kite sizes available and the skillolevel of o the i h outcrops which will cause their own wind effects as explained s by any individual features in the valley, such as islands, rock S e f in the previous pages. o Pr

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If the forecasted wind speed is 15 knots (ideal beginner wind), as it funnels and gets squeezed into the valley, Spot 2 will have a greater wind speed. Spot 2 is on average 10 knots more than Spot 1. This would mean that Spot 2 would be 25 knots (ideal for smaller kites and experienced riders). Spot 3 is in a wider part of the valley so the wind will be spreading out and slowing down after Spot 2. Spot 3 is 5 knots less than Spot 2 making the wind speed 20 knots (medium strength wind ideal for all).


Sea Breeze Effect Warm Air Drawn Out and Over the Sea to Replace the Cool Air

As the Air Cools it Sinks Back to the Surface

Warm Air Rising

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Cooler Air is Drawn in From the Sea


Sea Breeze Effect

A Sea Breeze is an effect on the air due to temperature. This effect is an important feature at many beaches and spots famous for kite sports around the world. This can happen in the UK and at other European coastlines on windless, hot, sunny days. This can turn a day with little or no wind forecast into great kiting conditions. It can also add to existing trade winds and give consistent strong winds a boost. Many famous destinations in the world for wind sports rely on these effects such as S.E Asia and the Caribbean. In some areas it is such a consistent feature the effect is given a name like The Cape Doctor in South Africa and The Meltemi in Greece .

How it Works

A Sea Breeze will occur when an area of the earth becomes warmer than the sea. This causes an updraft of warm air which results in cooler air being drawn in from the sea. It is this cooler air being dragged in to replace the warm air that creates wind. As the rising warm air cools it will drift out over the cooler area, eventually sinking to replace the lost cooler air creating a convection current around the coast.

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t r o e p s fic r e t a g Of W in d It is worth noting that as the day draws to an end the sea breeze will die andkcan sometimes switch direction quickly. This n o a is due to the fact that land masses cool quicker than water. If a change in o wind direction is felt or it becomes gusty on a sea e B t breeze day this could mean the sea breeze is starting to fail. (This worth knowing if venturing far out to sea as it could i is well d K n followed by a long swim back to the land.) mean being stranded with a fallen kite, having to performla self rescue a a n p o o i Night/Evening Land Breeze: h s S e As the land cools the sea becomes warmer than f the land and the opposite convection happens. This results in the air being o r drawn off the land causing the wind to goP off-shore. Often first thing in the morning or in the evening the wind will be offshore. Not so good for kite surfing, but ideal to start or end the day with a surf if the location allows. Day Time Sea Breeze:

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The land warms up in the morning sun with the temperature peaking around midday. The warm air rising up into the atmosphere creates a low pressure over the land. Eventually this will be replaced by cooler air flowing in from the sea. As this effect strengthens, the wind will gradually be drawn in a more on-shore direction. This effect can become as strong as a force 3 in the UK or more in hotter climates.


Tides

High Tide Fooding or Rising 6 Hours Apart Ebbing or Dropping

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Low Tide

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Very High High Tide

Very High High Tide

Neap Tide

Spring Tide

Higher Low Tides

Very Low Low Tide


Tides For all kite sports the Tides are another important force we need to be aware of. The tides and their movement will influence when and where to kitesurf. Large areas are needed to set up, launch and land Kite equipment safely. Some beaches are usable all the way through the tide and others will disappear completely at high tide. This makes launching or landing dangerous when mistakes can potentially result in the rider being dragged through a family picnic head first or into a car park, harbour wall or any other hard object in the way. For kitesurfing a falling tide could mean an area which is usable now could be very dangerous in half an hour with rocks or obstacles being exposed. It could also mean the difference between a gentle breaking wave or a kite munching shore break.

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For land kiting, smaller beaches mean less space and therefore it is more likely for things to go wrong.

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t r o e p s fic r e f t O a Tides happen twice a day. There are 2 high tides and 2 low tides a day and each tide is roughly 6 hours apart. There are two g W n i types of tide. Springs tides and Neaps tides. d k n o a o e Spring tide B t i low,d low tides. This is due to a larger movement of water. K Spring tides are characterised by really high, high tides and really l an a (These happen all year round not just in the spring.) n p o o i h s Neap tide S e f Neap tides are characterised by lower, high o tides and higher, low tides. This is due to a smaller movement of water. Pr

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The first thing to know is when High Tide (water all the way in/up) or Low Tide (water all the way out) will be and whether the tide is rising (flooding) or falling (ebbing). There may be no point driving to the beach as the tide is coming in as it might be too late and the limited space will make it unsafe for setting-up and launching kite equipment.


Causes of Tides

Week 1

Week 2

Earth

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Full Moon

Earth

Sun

Week 3

Moon First Qaurter

Sun

Week 4

Earth

Sun

Earth

Moon Last Qaurter

Sun


Causes of Tides

The Tides are caused by the Moon and Sun. The gravitational pull of the moon pulls the water on the earth outwards. As the earth spins this is what creates the High and Low tides. The gravitational pull of the Moon circling the Earth affects the heights of the tide depending on whether it is pulling with, against or in opposition with the Sun. The Earth’s rotation is what causes the tides to change between High and Low. This rotation takes 24 hours, during which 2 complete tides occur each day (High tide through to Low tide and back to High tide). It takes 6 hours to move from Low to High and the same from High to Low. At each High or Low tide there is a slack period before the water will move again. This slack period affects the time at which tides occur and moves them forwards by roughly 45 minutes each day. If a High Tide is at 11am today it will be at 11:45 the next day and 12:30 the following day. (Slack tide times can vary massively in different regions of the world.)

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Spring and Neap Tides Springs and Neaps are caused by the moons rotation of the earth. The moon takes roughly 28 days to complete one lap of the earth (1 Lunar Cycle). In the diagram opposite are the 4 quarters of the Moon’s movement, each quarter takes approximately 7 days. During each Quarter, the Highest point of the water will be bulging towards or directly opposite to the Moon. Low tides would be on either side of the Earth. The Moon moves anti clockwise around the Earth.

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t r o e p s fic r e New Moon, Week 1 f t This is when the moon can not be seen because it is in darkness. The water isapulled byOboth the Sun and the Moon creating a g W n Spring tide. (Large bulge of water towards and away from the Moon and Sun.) d ki n Moon First Quarter, Week 2 o a o A half crescent can be seen on the right (Waxing Moon, left side The Moon is pulling at 90° to the Sun and they ein shadow). B t i almost cancel each other out resulting in a Neap Tide. (Smaller bulge towards d and away from the Moon.) K n l Full Moon, Week 3 a a n p are pulling in opposition causing a Spring tide. (Large bulge The whole side of the Moon can be seen. The Moon o and the Sun o i h on either side one towards the Moon and one towards the Sun.) s S e f Moon Last Quarter, Week 4 o r Moon, Right side in shadow). The Moon is pulling at 90° to the Sun and A half crescent can be seen on the LeftP(Waning causing a Neap tide. (Smaller bulge towards and away from the Moon.)

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Tide Tables Table e d i T

Fo

aven H d r o r Milf

Spot Adjustment

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Spring Tide

Neap Tide

Example

R the T emembe r i me t o Yo to Adjus ur Lo t catio n


Predicting the Tides Tide tables can be found in a variety of places e.g. Dial up surf forecasts and Twitter feeds. Weather forecasting websites normally have a link to tide times for each spot they predict. Phone Apps can be great as they do all the adjustments and usually cover spots over a continental area such as America, Europe etc. Some watches can also display tides but these are usually set for a specific area. If living near the coast it is well worth investing in a local tide table to keep in the car for reference. These can be bought at a variety of shops from local fishing or boat chandleries to surf shops, yacht clubs and local mini marts for a small fee. Most show the tide time and height in tables like the example opposite. Others have fancy wave graphs with moon and sun information thrown in as well. Opposite are some extracts from a typical tide table. The times published are normally for the nearest commercial port. An adjustment will need to be applied to give the precise tide time for the spot that is being looked at. The further away from the port the greater the difference in tide times. Using the table at the back of the booklet add or subtract the tide difference to get the tide times for the local spot. In this case, the local beach is Newgale where the tide is 30 minutes AFTER Milford Haven Port compared to Tenby where the tide is 14 minutes BEFORE Milford Haven.

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t r o e p s fic r te tide).OAtf 11:16hrs the tide will be 6.19 meters (high For example 1 on the 22nd the tide reads 05:06hrs and the tide will be 1.68 metersa(low tide). At 17:36hrs the tide will be 1.84 meters (low tide) and lastly at 23:46hrsW the tide will be 5.87 meters (high tide). g n d ki n In this example Monday 10th and Monday 17th are significant. o a o emeters Bbetween high and low tides (one of the smallest in the whole Monday 10th is a very Small Neap tide with the water only moving 2.02 t i d not fully exposed. year) this would mean that the beach would be very small during theKlow tide and n l Monday 17th on the other hand is a very Large Spring tide with the water moving a massive 6.98 meters (one of the biggest in the whole a a n p covered rocks or obstacles would be fully exposed. year) this would mean on the low tide the beach would be huge and normally o o i h s S e Tides vary around the world and can be quite different f or odd, so talk to people to gain local knowledge. In the UK the tidal range can be up o to 14 metres in places so it is a quite significant rforce unlike the Mediterranean or the Caribbean which can have only 2 tides a day taking P 12 hours to rise or fall a metre and are therefore pretty insignificant.

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A Tide Table will cover one year, each page is normally set out for one month, The date is written in the left hand column and the right hand column will have the time (normally adjusted for BST in Europe and in 24hr clock format) with a reading in meters by the side of it. The closest number to 0 meters is the low tide height and the highest number in meters is the High tide height. 0 meters or Chart Datum is the point of the lowest low tide average from which the tide height is calculated.


Rule of Twelfths

High Tide

6 Meter Tidal Range

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6 ÷ 12 = 0.5 1/12th = 0.5 Meters Low Tide


Rule of Twelfths Opposite is a diagram of the Rule of Twelfths which helps explain that the tide does not flow at a constant rate. This is useful to determine how much beach space there is likely to be or how strong the tidal flows are at any point during the tide. A suddenly fast rising tide is often the cause of the unaware to be cut off by the tide, resulting in an embarrassing lifeboat or helicopter ride! Imagine that the diagram represents the rise and fall of the tide at the local beach. The first thing to do is find out what the tidal range is. In this example to make it easy it assumes the water will move 6 Meters between the Low and High tide points.

re t n the beach. In the first hour of the rising tide 1/12th (0.5 meters) of the total volume of water will start to flood e C s In the second hour 2/12ths (1 meter) of water will flood the beach. Twice as much waterrist moving compared to the 1st hour. o point. Add this to the first hour’s movement and you get 1.5 meters of total water volume at this p s fice r e In the third hour 3/12th (1.5 meters) of water will flood the beach, giving a total of 3 meters. f This is as much water moving in t O a one hour as there was in the first 2 hours combined. This means that the tidal flowg is at its strongest and the beach is going W nand 4th hours of tidal movement. to disappear (incoming tide) or appear (outgoing tide) very quickly during the 3rd i d k n o a omoving 3/12ths or (1.5 meters). This makes the e The fourth hour is the same as the third with the maximum amount of water B t i d total volume of water flooding the beach 4.5 meters. K l an a n2/12thsop(1 meter) again. Add 1 meter to 4.5 meters and at the end of The fifth hour the water begins to slow and moves iat o h s the fifth hour 5.5 meters of water has now flooded the beach. S e f o In the last sixth hour the tide has now slowed Pr right down to 1/12th (0.5 meters) bringing it back to a total water volume of 6 0.5 meters = 1/ 12th

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Divide 6 meters by 12 = 0.5 meters

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meter


Application of Tides 1st Hour Ebbing Tide

High Tide

2nd Hour Ebbing Tide

Tidal Beach

3rd Hour Ebbing Tide 4th Hour Ebbing Tide 5th Hour Ebbing Tide

Reef or Obstacles Exposed by Falling Tide Low Tide

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Tidal Estuary

Tidal Lagoon High Tide

6th Hour Ebbing Tide


Application of Tides The knowledge of tides can now be applied to beaches or areas where it is possible to kite.

Beaches On an open facing beach where a high Spring tide reaches the middle of any storm defence or sea front wall, there may be no space to safely launch and land a kite for the 2 hours either side of high tide. This diagram shows that 2 hours after high tide there might not be a huge amount of beach space, but knowing that the tide is going out and that during the 3rd and 4th hours the beach space is going to open up very quickly, it would be worth setting up. If turning up too late and setting up with the minimal amount of beach space the tide may come in and there will not be enough space to safely land a kite at the end of the session. Each beach is different, some beaches may have enough space above the high water mark to launch a kite.

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t r o e p s fic r e f Lagoons, Estuaries and Tidal t O a Inlets g W n These are great places to kite and can offer butter flat conditions for kitesurfing d ki assuming there is a safe area for launching n and landing. Often they are quite shallow offering a perfect waist a deep areao for learning to kitesurf. For land kiting they can o e rule ofBtwelfths to an estuary will dictate at what point the offer wide flat open areas if the surface is suitable. Applying the t i d In the middle two hours of the rising tide the tidal dropping tide will leave the area with no water revealing theKmud ornsand. l a two hours after high tide when there is the most amount a up topand flow will be very strong. Estuaries are best used two hours n of water and the tidal flows are at their weakest. iThis will give a four hour window of great kitesurfing! Depending on the o o h s currents and tidal range in the area it might be worth leaving the water two hours after high tide to avoid the middle two hours S e f of the falling tide. This is where the tidal flow o is at its strongest and an ill timed crash could see a rider getting washed or r dragged out to sea at an alarming rate! P

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The other thing to consider is that the as the tide goes out it may expose a reef or another submerged object taking a rider by surprise and possibly making kite flying dangerous. Repeated use of individual locations will mean a greater awareness of good and bad times to go kitesurfing. As a general rule most beaches are not usable at high tide due to lack of beach space.


Rip Currents Head

Swim Across The Rip Current to Escape

Swim Across The Rip Current to Escape Swim With The Waves

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Water Being Pushed Onshore by Waves

Swim With The Waves Never Swim Against the Current

Water Being Pushed Onshore by Waves

Water Pushed up onto the Beach Will Be Fed Into the Rip Current

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The Green Arrows Show the Possible Escape Routes to Swim Out of a Rip Current


Rip Currents

Rip Currents can occur anywhere that water is being pushed onto an area higher than the water level. They are predominantly associated with beaches that feature waves and surf, often appearing every day. Tide state, Wave height and Swell period can have a massive effect on the speed and location of these Rip Currents. Rips only affect water on the surface and pull people out to sea but not under the water. Always talk to locals and if Lifeguards are present have a chat with them before going out.

Rip Currents are a danger to all water users, especially weak or non swimmers. These are the number one cause of Beach Rescues and Drowning. Where and Why Rip Currents Appear

Rip Currents commonly occur at low points in Sandbars, River Mouths, Breaks in Lagoons and Reefs. Manmade structures like Groins, Jetties and Piers may also cause Rip Currents to open up. A Rip forms when water is trying to escape back to normal water level, the strongest point is normally a straight line from the shore through a sandbar or reef opening and out to sea. Beach users need to be aware that the current or feeder will be pulling water in from either side of the bay and can often pull people sideways along the shoreline before dragging them straight out to sea.

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to swim out, around the Rip in calmer waters and then swim back with the breaking waves.

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t r o e p On the page opposite is a diagram of a working Rip Current, they are often mushroom and once water reaches the s fishaped c r e head (where the water reaches normal sea level) the rip begins to lose pressure, slow down and dissipate. f t a gO W in Spotting a Rip Current d n a breakokin the incoming Wave pattern Depending on a Rip Current’s severity, the strong currents can cause a o steadily seaward with a noticeable change in e (a channel of churning choppy water). A line of foam, seaweed,tor debrisB moving ia Rip Current. d water colour, as the sand or mud is churned up will all indicate K n l a pa n What to do When Caught in a Rip Current io o h s The first instinct is always to swim directly back to shore,Sthis is when people can get tired quickly and drown. It is important e f to stay calm and swim across the Rip Current o to get out of it and back into the waves. The waves will push everything towards r the beach. If this is not possible it is best P to relax and tread water until reaching the Rip Current’s Head. Here it will be easier

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Apparent Wind Effects Due to Tides and Currents Diagram 1 Wind Speed = 15 Knots

Direction of Tide =

Apparent Wind Speed Felt In Kite = 10 Knots

Tide Speed = 5 Knots

Diagram 2

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Wind Speed = 15 Knots

Direction of Tide

Apparent Wind Speed Felt In Kite = 20 Knots

Tide Speed = 5 Knots


Apparent Wind Effects Due to Tides and Currents Tides and water movement (currents) will affect how much power is felt when riding along in the water with kites. This effect can be felt when kitesurfing in estuaries or areas where strong currents are present.

Diagram 1

When the current and wind are both moving in the same direction. If the right size kite is used for the wind speed on land it will feel like there is little or no power when entering the water. In this example the wind is 15 knots and the current is 5 Knots. This effectively means that there will be an apparent wind speed of 10 Knots. It will probably be hard to stay or go upwind and will most likely result in the rider being pushed down wind. To combat this effect a larger kite suitable for the apparent wind speed will have to be flown. This may be dangerous because it means an over powered kite will need to be handled on the land.

Diagram 2

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t r o e p s fic r e t a g Of This effect can also be found on beaches with big swells running on them.W The water moving in towards the beach, will create n i d a current towards the beach making it hard to stay upwind or away from k Big swells will create a Rip Current which n the obeach. a will also give a current of the water moving away from the beach. It may beonoticed whilst riding that at certain points it feels e B t like there is lots more power so when moving out of this areai and into the waves, the board will bog out and sink with less d K l an power. a n p o o i When trying to exit the water in these conditions try to time it with a lull in the waves or pick a spot with less current and h s S e f water movement. o r P

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When the tide and wind are in opposition they will make it feel like there is way too much power when entering the the water. In this example the wind and tide have the same speeds as in Diagram 1 but are in opposition resulting in an apparent wind speed of 20 knots. A smaller kite will need to be flown to combat this effect. On the land this will feel like the kite has no power, but once in the water, all will be fine and the rider will most likely go upwind very quickly. This effect is a bonus at tidal locations with marginal wind conditions as long as the tide/current is in opposition to the wind.


General Safety and Hazards When flying kites it is the rider that is responsible for not colliding with objects and hurting others. Kite sports have been banned in a few locations already because of dangerous incidents causing injury to kiters who were flying in an unsafe manner or where kites/riders have crashed into 3rd parties.

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Kites and who or whatever is attached to them move rather quickly especially when out of control. Never assume that the general population are going to move out of the way. The kites can cause a lot of damage themselves. Kitesurfing kites are pumped up quite hard and could most definitely knock people over and potentially break bones. Foil kites aren’t as solid but can still cause injury. The lines used to control kites have a very high breaking strain and are like cheese wire flying through the sky. There have been incidents of people being cut when hit by the lines. Loose kites (unattached from the rider) can fly erratically and become wrapped around people, cars and buildings causing injury or damage before being stopped. Hazards are everywhere and some are more of a danger than others. Below and opposite are some related to kite sports and where they can be found.

re t n parked the car. They enjoy PEOPLE are generally lazy and will normally be sitting on the beach in front of or near to where they e C and out of the wind window. If walking near the water’s edge. Try to fly in an area clear of people. Spectators should be upwind s tcollide with them. Someone stops to build a sand castle in the area the rider should move so that they can not r oon theeground. Although they should be DOGS generally hate kites and will chase and bark at them. They can get tangled in lines p sas it will cbe the kiters fault if they are hurt. on a lead during the summer at most UK beaches, be on the lookout for loose hounds r fi e t Offor land boarding and buggying where SAND CASTLES, RABBIT HOLES or DOGS DIGGING HOLES. These are dangerous a running over one could end with the rider eating sand or grass violently. It W is wise to g be cautious where children and dogs are or n d ki have been playing. n o FLAGS and SIGNS These are everywhere either advertising a shop,a bar or advising on beach use. They will indicate where beach o e users should be kiting, swimming, windsurfing or surfing. Theyiare big, bright, should be fairly visible and easy to avoid getting B t K nd wrapped up in. l ato avoidp akiting near them even when there is a crowd taking photos. If BUILDINGS These affect the wind and are very large. Try n o it goes wrong it will hurt and concrete will always win! o i h s CAR PARKS Feature highly in kite accident reports with Speople launching too close to them and inevitably getting dragged e f through them bouncing off cars and vans asrthey o go. P of these creatures and kite lines conduct electricity, so avoid flying near them at POWER LINES Kites are a favourite delicacy

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all costs.


REEFS, ROCKS and SHIPWRECKS These feature on many beaches around the world and as already discussed can be fatal for both the rider and kite. Talk with local schools, life guards or kiters before jumping straight in at a new spot. Most are pretty helpful and will let newcomers know what to look out for. They will also no doubt be in the local watering hole in the evening. SWIMMERS are very difficult to spot in the water and move slowly. At most beaches swimming areas are marked either on the land by flags or by a floating line in the water. These are no go zones for kiters and are there to allow everyone to enjoy the beach safely. SURFERS, BODY BOARDERS and KAYAKERS This whole group are difficult to spot, they can move around quickly and get hidden by waves easily. Try to keep a mental picture of where they are and be extra cautious when dropping into waves. WINDSURFERS Need pretty much the same conditions and locations as kitesurfers. Some people even do both depending on which weapons suit the conditions better. Don’t jump over them. SAILING BOATS create wind shadows around sails, are restricted in movement and have lots and lots of rigging lines or sharp stuff to get tangled up in. Sailing boats = problems. POWER BOATS and JET SKIS are engine powered and they should keep out of the way but it is best to assume that everyone driving one is less aware of the rights of way. Give them plenty of space and try to avoid at all costs. Propellers and kite lines = instant spaghetti! COMMERCIAL SHIPPING law of sizes “If it is bigger than you, get out of its way”. Avoid shipping lanes and large vessels as they are slow to manoeuvre and are often restricted by the water depth. If it is needed to cross their path do so quickly and with plenty of space. Most large vessels could run a kitesurfer over and never know. REMEMBER to assume that every other watersports user has no idea what a kitesurfer is and has not linked the kite and rider together. For this reason give them plenty of space, stay clear of them and do not jump over them. A FEW RULES ALWAYS fly in an area where there are fewer members of the general public. Keep the wind window and area downwind clear of obstacles. If someone walks into the area put the kite at 12 and move so that they are no longer in it. Although the kiter is in control a spectator can feel very intimidated by a close flying kite. BE RESPONSIBLE. KEEP lines away from people, especially limbs and NEVER wrap fingers or hands around the lines ALWAYS secure kites on the beach as soon as possible by using an upturned board or sand. Detach lines if leaving the kite on the beach for any length of time, to prevent people tripping over them and accidently launching the kite. ALWAYS catch a loose kite by its leading edge and never by the lines. TRY and ride with others. It is more fun and help will be at hand when launching/landing and when things go wrong. ALWAYS use a kite leash and safety system that will allow the kite to be completely disabled. Be familiar with the safety system. CHECK equipment regularly to avoid kit failure. BE realistic with the conditions and self ability and do not push limits.

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IF IN DOUBT DONT GO OUT!

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Site Assesment Before charging ahead all kiters need to know as much as possible about the area they are going to use and whether it is suitable for the sport they are choosing to do. Most of this information may be obtained from signs on beach notice boards, talking with lifeguards, locals, shops, kite and surf schools and other kiters/surfers. Below are a few questions and things to consider when turning up to kite at any spot.

Location

How big is the usable area and can it be safely ridden in? Is there an area designated for launching and landing? What is the Tide doing and is it out far enough for setting up, launching and landing? (Ideally an area 2 to 3 times the line length clear of hazards is needed for launching and landing.) Are there any rocks, reefs or hazards that will be exposed by falling tides? Rips Currents, moored boats, shipping lanes? Some spots especially heavy tourist areas and Lifeguard patrolled beaches may have restrictions relating to beach use during peak seasons. This may include dedicated zoning for activities such as Swimming Zones, Surf Areas, Kite Areas for both land and sea, Windsurfing areas, Dog restrictions and lastly areas for families to relax away from the world. These are normally signed, flagged or marked with buoys. Check for commercial operations, Slipways, Protected Conservation areas, or any other areas where it is prohibited to kite.

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t r o e Wind p What is the wind speed and direction? Is this the same as was forecasted and what isrs the wind c likely to do in the next few hours or fi e during the planned session time? Are there any geographical features that will create wind effects in the area planned for use? Will f t O a they affect kiting and where will it be safe to kite? g W n i d k n Equipment o a o Is the kit available right for the conditions? Is it in good condition Kit failure in strong conditions can be dangerous. eand repair? B t i What clothing and protection is needed for the conditions? Buoyancy Aid, Helmet depending on Skill level and water competency? d K n l Sunscreen, Wetsuit (suitable for the climate), Board shorts,aLycra rash vest for sun protection and boots for areas with sharp reefs a n or creatures? p o o i h s S e f Skill Level o Are YOU realistically capable of handling the Prprevailing conditions?

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Wind Window

Wind Window Viewed From Behind/Up Wind of the Rider


The Wind Window Wind Window is the term used for the area in which kites fly. The wind window is anywhere downwind of the rider where the kite will fly (the kite will not fly behind the rider). The Wind Window is 3 dimensional and contains areas of power depending on the projection of the kite towards the wind. Over the next few pages the Wind Window and Power Zones will be explained.

Wind Window Viewed from Behind The rider is standing with their back to the wind. The Wind Window will extend the length of the kite lines out to both sides at 90° across the wind’s direction and above the riders head. During teaching and throughout kiting a clock system is referred to when talking about the Windward (closest to the wind) edge of the Wind Window. The clock positions are at 90° to the wind on the side and from the ground up. Along this edge the kite will produce minimal power.

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t r o e p s fic r e f kite is directly above and the lines t Directly above the riders head is 12 o’clock. This is considered to be a safe position as the O a are high. g W n d ki n o As the kite moves to the right hand side of the Window it will pass a through 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock. 3 o’clock is the right hand o e side position for launching water kites. B t i K nd l a sure that it does not have too much power. With the kite a andpmake When launching the rider should take the kite to 12 o’clock n o at 12 o’clock the rider should be able to stand without being lifted o or dragged downwind too much. If there is too much power i h s at 12 o’clock and the rider is unable to move upwind, theS kite is too big. It will be necessary to land it and change down to a e f smaller sized kite. o r P

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Starting on the left hand side is 9 o’clock at ground level. This is also the left hand launching position for water kites. Moving up the edge of the window are 10 o’clock and 11 o’clock.


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Wind Window

Wind Window Viewed From Above


Wind Window Viewed From Above This page is looking from above at the Wind Window and will explain about the different areas of power.

The Green area has minimal power and extends along the Clock System from the previous pages. The Yellow area is the intermediate power zone and as the kite moves in this area it will start moving faster and produce power. The Red area represents the Power Zone and a kite will produce Maximum Power in this area.

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e C As the kite is turned through the Wind Window into the Yellow Area, it will have an intermediate ts amount of power and be r gaining speed. The rider will start to be pulled and will have to put more weight againsto the power of the kite. p s fice r e When entering the Red Area, the Power Zone, the kite will produce its maximum powerfand the lines may be heard whistling t O the kite. a as the kite is flying at its fastest. The rider will be being pulled or dragged down wind by g W in d npowerowillk decrease. As the kite moves back into the Yellow Area it will slow down and the a oand stop at the edge of the window where there Finally, as the kite moves back into the Green Area it will sloweright down B t i d should be minimal power again. K l an a n When launching water kites the rider will position theokite in the p Green Area at 9 o’clock or 3 o’clock for minimal power and be o i at 90° across the wind. If the launching procedure is donehcorrectly then the kite will take off and hover at the side without s S with the kite in the Intermediate Power Area or Power Zone the e f incident. Alternatively if the rider gets it wrong and launches romay cause an accident. sudden surge of power as the kite takes P off

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Starting on the right hand side in the Green Area, the kite will have minimal power. The rider should be able to stand still and lean comfortably against any power the kite produces.


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Wind Window

Wind Window Viewed From Above


Wind Window Viewed from the Side In This Diagram we are looking at the Wind Window from the side and where the power zones are in relation to this.The wind window starts at ground level and as a kite climbs it will go through the various areas of power until reaching the minimal power zone and will stop above your head at 12 o’clock. From the side the Power Zone is at 45° from the ground up. The Intermediate Power Zone starts from roughly 45° up to 80°. The Minimal Power Zone is from roughly 80° up to 90°.

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When flying a kite in the Minimal Power Zone it will produce very little power. The deeper the kite is flown in the wind window the more power it will produce. Moving the kite at the top of the window will produce lift possibly lofting the rider. The lower the kite is in the window, a more horizontal pull will be produced and the rider will have to lean back against this to control it.

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t r othe Wind Foil kites are traditionally launched dead down wind flying from the ground up through Window. When launching foil p e s c kites the rider will have to lean back against the power as the kite may drag themrdownwind. fi e at g Of W in Wind Window Exercises d k the wind window works and its affects on nto showohow During initial training, instructors will teach a variety of exercises a o is looking to participate in. Students will fly at kite power with a foil kite. The exercises will depend on which sport a student e B t i end updflying one handed by the end of these sessions. various points around the window for orientation and possibly K n the kite in a horizontal figure of 8 in the power zones l rider aflies Scudding (taught at schools with ample space) is whereathe n p can be both fun and valuable confidence building for on land and will do controlled standing drags downwind. Thisoexercise o i h s controlling power produced by Power Kites. S e fkite on one side of the Wind Window doing vertical figure of 8’s which are the From there the next step is learning to fly the o start of how directional power is produced Prfor moving on a kite board, buggy or kite surf board .

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3D Wind Window


3D Wind Window Once all the views of the wind window have been combined from the last few pages, the wind window in 3D is a quarter of a globe and the diagram opposite represents this. A kite will only fly in this area. Whilst flying try and remember these guidelines

When Static

Launching and landing of water based kites is done at 9 o’clock or 3 o’clock on the edge of the wind window in the Green area. Launching and landing of Foil kites is normally done directly downwind of the rider in the Power Zone. Anticipate the power, lean back and make sure that there is a safety buffer zone clear of objects downwind. If anyone enters the wind window whilst kite flying gently take the kite to 12 o’clock and wait for them to pass before continuing to fly.

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lift and limits edge control which will cause them to lose ground downwind.

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t r o e p s fic r When Moving ate Of When moving around on foot try and fly the kite at either side of the windW window, as a horizontal pull will be easier to control g n i you move in the direction required. Walking d to help and lean against when using a harness. Flying on one side can also be used k n o around with a kite at 12 o’clock will cause a harness to rise up possibly bruising ribs, it could possibly loft the rider in gusty a o e winds and will also make it difficult for other kiters to move around on crowded or smaller beaches. B t i K nd l a When riding and moving on a Board or Buggy do NOTn doaany tricks or jumps when the safety buffer area is not clear as this p o may cause a collision with other Kiters or beach/water users. o i h s S e f Try not to sit with the kite at 12 o’clock in rthe o water or any other area where kiters will be trying to pass upwind. Holding a kite at 12 will mean that anyone trying toP avoid or get around without collision is forced to fly their kite high where it produces

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Ideally a Safety Buffer zone of 3 times the line length, clear of people and any other hazards, should be observed when flying. This is to ensure that there is enough space to correct any mistakes or use a safety system without causing injury to ourselves or others.


Gusts Lulls and Effects on the Window

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Gust: Wind Window Expands and Possibly Rotates. Kite surges Forward

Lull: Wind Window Shrinks. Kite Falls Back


Gusty Winds and Effects on the Wind Window Gusty conditions are dangerous for kite sports. The diagrams on the opposite page show the effects of Gusts and Lulls wind on the Wind Window. In the diagrams the Red line is where the Wind Window should be, with the Black line outlining what will happen to the Wind Window.

Gusts

These are an increase in wind speed. A Gust will cause the Wind Window to expand over the riders head and out to the sides or possibly rotate. As the gust hits the kite it will become more powerful, surge up and overhead. In extremely gusty conditions this may cause the rider to get Lofted (lifted) off the ground. At the sides of the window the kite will surge further forwards than normal and may pull the rider off their feet. Kites will be very responsive and turn quickly in Gusts.

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t r owill lose A lull is a drop in wind speed. A Lull and will cause the Wind Window to shrink. The kite power, the lines will go slack p e s c in Lulls as they will have no r tofcontrol and the kite will fall back in the Wind Window as it loses lift. Kites become difficult fi e power to turn. at g O W in d Lulls are usually followed by Gusts and depending on the Wind Strength, cankcause the kite to “bounce” around in the sky n o violently. A Lull may cause the kite to drop into the power zone,aa following Gust will power the kite up and it will surge o e B t overhead at full power. These conditions are dangerous as kite i controld will become difficult, possibly causing the rider to be K lofted, pulled or dragged into danger. l an a n p as unexpected surges or drops in power may catch the o o Gusty conditions make launching and landing especially dangerous i h s S rider unaware and cause an accident. e f o Pr Lulls

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Points of Sail for Kite Sports


Points of Sail for Kite Sports All wind sports have points of sail, which are descriptions of the angle vessels sail across the wind. For kite sports the definitions are a little different to conventional sail sports such as sailing or windsurfing.

Upwind: Green Arrows and Path of Travel

Upwind is the ability to sail up towards the direction the wind is coming from. Kitesurfers on regular equipment are not able to traditionally go upwind like sailing or windsurfing craft because the angle achieved against the wind is less. Riding a race board and a race kite will, however, achieve a closer angle to the wind because the larger fins and shape of the board combined with the higher aspect kite will produce more sideway lift. Across Wind is sailing directly across the wind at 90°.

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with the rider having to change foot positioning on the board. Twin tips can be carve Gybed to toeside.

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e C s have to travel across the wind to Downwind sailing is when a kitesurfer travels in the same direction as the wind. Kitesurferststill r some degree. Heading directly downwind is difficult because this will cause the kite lines o to go slack and the kite will fall out of the p sky as the rider accelerates towards it. s fice r e t a g Of Tacking W This A tack is where the rider will pass the nose of the board up through the wind. is only really possible on directional board n i d shapes and prevents the rider losing ground downwind through the turn. n ok a o e B t i d Transition K n and after the turn are on the same track across the l of sailabefore A transition is simply a change of direction where the course a n wind. The transition is simply the change of front foot and weight p distribution, changing the tail of the board into the new nose and o o i h the nose into the tail. Transitions are for twin tip boards. s S e f o r Gybe P A Gybe is when the nose of the board is turned down through the direction of the wind. A true Gybe is done on a directional board Downwind: Blue Arrows and Path of Travel

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Across Wind: Yellow Arrows and Path of Travel


Rights of Way Rider Leaving The Beach Has Priority

Give Way To Riders Who Do Not Have Control Over Their Equipment

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t r o e Port and Starboard Rule p s fic r Right Hand Forward Has Priority ate g Of W in d n ok a o e B t i d K l an a n p o o i h s S e f o Pr

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Overtaking Rider Must Keep Clear


Rights of Way Continued Wave Rule Rider On A Wave Has Priority Regardless Of Port Or Starboard

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t r o Vessels Give Way To Other Water Users. Give Way To Larger Restricted p e s fic and Speed AVOID Collision at all Costs by Draft, Manoeuvrability r e t a g Of W in d n ok a o e B t i d K l an a n p o o i h s S e f o Pr

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Passing Rule Upwind Rider Moves Kite High Down Wind Rider Puts Kite Low


Kite Shapes When looking at kites to rent or buy, there are many different shapes and designs. The next few pages have information about the design aspects and how they affect flying. The shape and design of kites will have a huge impact on the suitability for different skill levels and the various different styles of Kitesurfing. Below are the two extremes in kite shapes and the positive and negative attributes. There are Medium Aspect kites as well which can be designed to include low or high aspect qualities for different disciplines of kite surfing.

Low Aspect Ratio Kite Design Short and FatAppearence +Very Stable Easy Water Relaunch Good Drift (Wave Riding) -Less Lift Slow Turning Great For Beginners and Wave Riding

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t r o e p s fic r e t a g Of W n i d n ok High Aspect Ratio Kite Design a o Long Thin Appearance e B t i +High Lift K nd l Fast Turning a pa n Great Upwind o o i h -Unstable s S e f Difficult to Relaunch o r Great For Big Air, Racing P and Light Winds


Kite Profiles All Kites are essentially wings and the power produced comes from the profile (section view) and how efficient it is at creating lift. A Foil kite’s shape is very clean and is very efficient compared to a Leading Edge Inflatable or LEI. Foil Kites are generally used on the land and LEI’s are used on the water.

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e r t These are predominantly used on the land because of their shape, design and efficiency. They are antwin skin design with both erelaunchable. Foil Kites can the top and bottom being made of kite material, clean efficient profile and lighter but not water C be susceptible to collapse in gusty winds. Smaller sizes will produce a greater power compared ts to an inflatable kite. r o e p s fic r Leading Edge Inflatable Kites e t a g Of W in d n ok a o e B t i d K Leading Edge Inflatable kites are predominantly used on the l water.anWith this design the leading edge creates turbulence and a therefore effects the wind flowing under the wing and their efficiency to produce lift. They are single skinned, more stable, n p o the inflated spars hold its shape and enable water relaunching. i ho LEI’s are heavier and need a larger size to produce the power s S needed to Kitesurf. e f o r P

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Foil Kites


Fixed Bridle Foil Kite Fixed bridle foil kites are the type most people first fly during their introduction to kite sports. They are very similar to paragliders and stay inflated by air entering holes on the leading edge. They have 2 skins of kite material with an internal cell structure which is filled with air via the holes on the leading edge and then sewn together at the trailing edge. The shape of the Kite is formed and held by complex bridling on the underside of the wing. Fixed Foil kites should be equipped with wrist leashes or kite killers. They are quite robust and ideal for using on the land.

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Most schools and instructors use small fixed line foil kites for the first part of any kite course as they are less powerful and easier for beginners to handle. Small foils are great for learning or practicing basic control and figuring out how the wind window works.

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t r o e p s fic r f is better for the seated position of Can be flown onte handles which O a kite buggying. g W n d ki n Canabe flown o on a bar for kite surf Training or Land boarding. o e B t i K Largerndsizes can be used for Land boarding and will generate a l a a good amount of power for getting pulled along at the local beach n p o or park o i h s S e f


Depwerable Foil and Ram Air Kites Depowerable Foil Kites or Ram Air kites are generally larger foil kites which need to be attached to a harness to fly properly. They are flown off a bar with a depower system. These bars move up and down a central line, they feature a trim strap for controlling the power, a reverse relaunch strap for when the kite crashes leading edge down and a quick release chicken loop safety system. A safety leash should be attached from the chicken loop to the harness for complete depower in emergency situations. The kite design is essentially the same as Fixed Bridle foil kite (holes in the leading edge) except the bridles have pulleys on them to enable depower. Depower is controlled from the bar by pulling it in or pushing it away from the body. This action will alter the shape and angle of attack of the wing/kite. This movement produces more or less power as required.

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t r o e p s sports These are ideal for land cwhere the rider is standing such r fi e as Landboarding tor Snow Kiting. a g Of WCell Ram n Air kites can be used safely on the water. i ONLY Closed d k n Thesea kites haveospecial valves over the holes in the leading edge o entering the kite when it is dumped into the sea. e water toitprevent B d cells will hopefully give the rider a chance to relaunch KThe closed n l a a before the kite fills with water and becomes a giant tea bag. n p o These are not generally recommended for beginner kitesurfers. o i h s S e f

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Kite Buggies Buggies have been around for a long time in kite sports and were the first mainstream use of traction kites. Due to the low rolling resistance of the wheels they travel very quickly in very little wind. Buggies are mainly used for course racing but it is possible to perform spins and aerial tricks in them. The kites used for buggies are mainly 4 line foil kites flown on handles. The handles allow more precise control and enables launching from a seated position. The rear brake lines give the ability to stall the kite and kill the power quickly in an emergency. Sometimes buggiers can be seen hooking the kite into a harness using a line attached between the 2 handles. This gives greater control over the power and helps with jumping but this is risky possibly causing an inverted buggy and rider to get dragged down wind with no way to release the kite onto its kite killers. On the front wheel 2 pegs or foot rests stick out either side for steering. These can be fitted with straps to prevent the riders feet sliding off during more extreme manoeuvres. This is not recommended for beginners as the straps make it hard to get feet out during a crash possibly resulting in broken ankles. Buggies are typically metal framed 3 wheel karts in which the rider is seated in a bucket style seat and use their legs to steer the front wheel. They can be used in a variety of areas depending on the wheel set up. Big foot oversized inflatable wheels are ideal for general buggying, trick buggying, racing on soft sand and rough terrain such as sand dunes, bumpy fields. Standard inflatable wheels are good for general buggying, trick buggying on most surfaces, firm sand and not too bumpy fields. Thin rimmed wheels are best used for racing and speed buggying on very firm ground. Small high aspect foil kites below 6 meters are ideal for buggying as they fly faster and generate lots of power. A helmet is recommended for protection during crashes where the rider finds themselves with the kart upside down and on top of them.

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All Terrain Boards and Mountain Boards Land or Kite boarding using an All Terrain Board (ATB) or Mountain Board is growing in popularity as a way to get into kite sports. Landboarding requires less wind and less powerful kites than kitesurfing as there is less resistance because of the wheels and bearings. It is popular with kitesurfers wanting to refine their skills, especially when the wind is lighter or during the colder months when the water is freezing. For people with busy lifestyles a quick hour of land boarding is easier than having to get in and out of a wetsuit and set up an inflatable kite which can take longer. Landboarding is also a cheaper way to get into the sport as only a foil kite (preferably on a bar) and board are required. Any wide open space can be used including parks and fields, just remember that more power may be needed on grass and it can be slippery when damp or wet. The skills learnt from landboarding will transfer to kitesurfing in the water. Some schools teach Landboarding during their kitesurfing courses because being comfortable moving with a board and kite on the land is of massive benefit once a student enters the water with enters the water with a kitesurfing board. The kite movements, control and power generation are exactly the same for all kite sports. To control the board and direction, the riders feet are kept flat using toe or heel pressure to steer downwind or upwind whilst leaning back against the power whilst kitesurfing requires the board to be at an angle using heel pressure to control the kites pull. Helmets and pads are strongly recommended for riding on land as crashing can hurt considerably more than on the water.

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t r o e p s fic r e t a g Of W in d n ok a o e B t i d K l an a n p o o i h s S e f due to being heavier, they will need more wind to fly. They should be under Kitesurfing kites can be used to landboard although, o inflated to avoid being damaged easily when Pr crashed so are not recommended for land use.

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Snow Kiting

Snow kiting and its popularity are exploding within the kite world. Snow kiting enables the rider to explore wide expanses of snow covered landscapes with very little effort. Snow kiting is already being used in artic and antartic expeditions. It is even possible to kite up hill, making access to remote peaks and untouched areas off piste easier. For dedicated powder monkeys this is ideal as any fresh powder close to ski lifts and pistes will normally become chopped up very quickly. A kite can be used to get the rider to where they want to go, then packed up in to a rucksack for skiing or boarding back down the mountain. Ski Resorts are not the best place to snow kite and it is best to find frozen lakes, mountain passes or glacial snowfields to use. For snow kiting there is alot more knowledge needed to do this safely. Forecasting gets very complicated at altitude. There are avalanche risks, hidden rocks or streams and all manner of other things to take into consideration. It is best to take lessons or get a guide from an experienced Snow Kiting school. For Snow Kiting depowerable foil kites are best suited to the tricky turbulent wind found in the mountains. They are much easier to relaunch when in deep powder and will be less likely to drop out of the sky like an inflatable kite. Snow kiting can be done on either a snowboard or skis. Snowboards will be more suited to riders with a board sports background. A snow board will enable them to perform tricks or jumps similar to kite surfing and wake boarding. Skis are easier and more suited to long distance touring and riders who predominately ski. Freestyle skis can be used for jumps and tricks.

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C Shape Kites C shape Leading Edge Inflatable (LEI) kites are the “original” kites. Its the design that all the old timers learnt on back in the day when kitesurfing was only just emerging. In recent years the C kite was a dying breed only ridden by die hard kiters or pro freestyle riders with some manufacturers ceasing to make them at all, in favour of bow and hybrid kites. Today most major brands will carry one C kite model as they still have a place in modern kitesurfing and are more suited to riders that need more power to perform technical tricks. The modern C kites are more user friendly, offer a decent amount of depower and can be quite forgiving compared to only a few years ago where a C kite would seriously hurt the rider for the slightest mistake. They are noticeable by the exaggerated “C” shape, a 5 line bar and lack of bridles supporting the leading edge. A C kite’s bar setup has limited bar movement with less depower, no pulleys, normally an above the bar pull pull trim strap, 5 lines and has direct connections to the wing tips. The safety system is fairly similar to any other kite with a chicken loop release and a leash attachment point but once released the kite will go onto the 5th line turning the kite upside down and totally depowering it. C Kites require better kite technique and are trickier to relaunch. Better board skills are required to control the power. Are more suited to intermediate and advanced riders. Great for freestyle riding. Have a Smaller wind range when compared to a Bow or Hybrid kite of the same size. The 5th line can sometimes get tangled around the kite and lines.

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Bow Kites Bow Kites are popular due to their ease of use, bigger wind range and extended depower. Bow Kites may be able to handle a larger wind range but the further the bar is pushed out or the more depower that is used, the less control there is as the steering lines go slack and it becomes difficult to turn them. They are however, a very efficient design and ideal for learning on. Most schools and instructors teach on Bow or Hybrid kites because their flying characteristics can make progression safer and easier for students. They are noticeable by the very shallow arc of the Leading Edge, swept back wing tips, Bridles with pulleys supporting the leading edge and wing tips. The bars are 4 line and sometimes have complex pulley systems on them. The central lines may have a swivel to allow the lines to untwist. Depower systems can be below the bar at the Chicken loop or above the bar on a cleat or similar device. The first safety realease on these kites would be to let go of the bar, allowing the kite to depower as much as possible and the kite should slowly drift down either side of the window sitting ready to relaunch. Once released onto the safety leash 1 line is tighter than the other 3 and the kite should flog out from 1 wing tip until it settles on the water. Occasionally, on releasing to the leash, bow kites can death spiral, (spinning uncontrollably, rider being dragged behind) A Bow kite’s flatter design makes them prone to inverting. Great for beginners, wave riding and racing (High Aspect kites) No kite offers 100% depower unless it is released on to a leashed safety system. The bigger wind range still means that a few kite sizes are needed to be able to deal with different wind conditions.

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Hybrid Kites Hybrid Kites are the newest designs where both Bow and C kites have been mixed together to create a simpler user friendly kite. Most hybrids are designed to fit a certain market or style for either beginners, intermediates, wave riding, freestyle or wake park riding. The qualities of each brand’s Hybrid kites depend on what the focus was during design and the aspect ratio. Some are very grunty in low wind speeds with others only truly flying well at ideal wind speeds. They are recognisable usually having a shallow C shape, Square wing tips like a C kite, simplified bridles with 1 or no pulleys and 4 lines. They fly on similar bars to bow kites. Hybrids are ideal for beginner to intermediate Kitesurfers as they will be more than comfortable being ridden in many different conditions and styles of riding. They offer a little more power than Bow kites for riders looking to progress. They have the same advantages and disadvantages as Bow kites. With so many brands and different kite designs available today it can all be pretty confusing as to what kit to buy. Everyone has different opinions on ideal kit (all kitesurfers have favoured brands) and that’s not even considering who is paid to say what about certain brands, so try and take all advice with a pinch of salt. All designs of kite do a multitude of things and it is worth flying as many different styles and shapes as possible. This will give insight as to what people are talking about in the pub or on forums about kites. Most beginners will buy the kites or the brand that they learnt on as they have already tried it, are familiar with how it all works and the safety systems. Kite schools refresh their gear regularly or will have new kites to sell and it is always worth asking if they can cut a deal after lessons. A few things to consider when purchasing kites: If it is a deal too good to be true, then it probably is not that good a deal. You get what you pay for. Try to test any kites you are considering buying. Lastly, if buying second hand try to get an experienced kitesurfer to look at it with you. (ebay is not always the best place to buy kites)

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Twin Tips These are the most common Kite Boards. Most riders will have one in their quiver. Twin Tips will ride in both directions, are easy to turn, jump and perform tricks on. They are symmetrical in shape, have a pair of fixed footstraps, usually set up with 4 x 3cm to 5cm deep fins, a handle in the centre for ease of handling on the beach and also for setting up for board starts.

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They are usually ridden on one edge but have fins on both edges to allow for toeside riding.

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re t n course and changing Easy to change direction by simply reversing e the leading leg. C s t r o areegreat for learning on and have Larger sizes, 140cm and above, p s fic great light wind performance. r e f t O a Smaller sizes, 140cm and below, are great for jumps and tricks. g W n i d k nwith Wakeboard Can be used style Bindings and smaller fins for o a o e and kickers. sliding trails B i K nd l a Note the larger the width of the board, the more surface area a that n p The extra surface area of wider boards will make them it willohave. o i h earlier with less power needed from the kite. s plane S e f


Mutants Mutants are unidirectional boards. They have an asymmetrical shape and will ride in both directions like a Twin Tip but favour going in one direction. The Footstraps are fixed and offset towards the Tail. They can be set up with a variety of fins and some will have up to 7. The usual fin set up is 3 x Surf Fins on the tail and 2 x Twin Tip fins on the nose. Optional side fins for grip on the wave and upwind performance. These board designs are not around so much these days but they still live in old school kitesurfers sheds and occasionally make an appearance at the beach.

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t r o e p s fic r Can be carve turnedte Of Toe Side. a andgridden W in (moving feet to the other side of the foot Ideally need d to be gybed k out of them. nget the most o straps) to a o e B t i d K l an a n p o o i h s S e f

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Cross over between a twin tip and a directional board. Great for learning to ride waves.


Directional Surf Boards Directional boards are based on traditional Surfboard Shapes. These boards are aimed specifically at wave riding. They ride in one direction only and require a change of foot position during a turn. The fin set ups are similar to surf boards with Twin fins on fish designs, Thrusters (3 x fins) and Quad (4 x fins) setups on more high performance shapes. These are becoming more popular with most Kitesurfers having a Twin Tip and a Surfboard in their weapon range.

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Great for wave riding.

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e C Must be be Tacked or Gybedsto change direction. t r omakesethem plane quicker and better Increased board volume p s fic r in light winds. e f t O a Larger boards needgless power so smaller kite sizes can be W in used. nd k o a o e B can be ridden strapped or strapless. t Surfboards i K nd l a a Different shapes and sizes for different styles, conditions, n p o i howaves and experience. s S fe


Race Boards These are relatively new to kite surfing. With the introduction of kite racing these boards have been designed around going fast in a straight line. Combine a Race Board with a specialist High Aspect race kite and it will have the rider cruising in almost no wind. They are high volume for light wind performance. 3 or 4 Race fins (up to 50cm) produce lift for upwind performance. The square tail ensures efficient water release from the rear of the board. Multiple footstrap positions for trimming the board similar to windsurf boards. These boards shift both up and down wind but are very limited in their use.

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e C For intermediate and experienced riders. ts r o e p Great for racing, long distance and downwind speed runs. s sailing c r fi e f t O the wind) or tacked (turned up a downgthrough Must be Gybed (turned through the wind) W n i d k n o a o and more effective when ridden on the heelside. Difficult to ride toeside e B t i d K l an a n p o o i h s S e f

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produced by www.kinfo.co.uk

The Big Blue Experience Student Kite Sports Manual  

Kite sports theory manual. Produced for The Big Blue Experience by Kinfo Teaching Aids www.kinfo.co.uk

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