What do you do when your kite crashes in the surf?
Well, relaunching you kite when it goes down in the surf is really no different than relaunching your kite in flat water. The only big difference is that you want to be quick about getting your kite back up before the next wave hits it. If you don’t act quickly enough and your kite gets taken out by a wave, your kite can easily end up damaged as it tumbles in the whitewater.
As soon as your kite goes down in the surf, get to work on getting your it back up without any hesitation. Take a quick look around to take a look at the waves. Is there a big wave about to crash directly on your kite? Have you got plenty of time before the next set? As long as your kite has a few seconds before the next set? As long as your kite has a few seconds before it gets eaten by the next wave, do your best to get it back up quickly. Make sure your hands are on the correct sides of the bar and pull on the outside line to start the relaunch process.
1. STAY AWAY FROM THE LINES: The last thing you want is to get hog tied up in your lines and have the wave hit your kite and synch them tight. If the kite goes down directing outside of you and the next wave is going to push the kite over your head, do your best to get to one side or the other, preferably upwind so you can quickly relaunch you kite after it passes you.
2. BE PREPARED TO DITCH IT ALL: If the kite goes down in front of the wave and you choose to hold onto the kite, be prepared to get a solid dragging from the wave pulling the kite. Stay calm, hold your breath and let it pull you, but have your hand on the quick release ready to ‘ditch it all’ if that pull is too strong or the wave is not letting the kite go and you need to get a breath.
Holding onto the kite should only be done in smaller surf and does have a high risk of damaging your kite either by ripping it or simply stretching the stitching and material. Always use your best judgment in the moment, and if you’re in doubt, just ditch it all and stay away from the lines!
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