Cautionary note about foiling shallow water

Last post
webguy's picture
webguy
Offline
Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
Posts: 11443
Cautionary note about foiling shallow water

I think this applies more to kites and wings because of the way windfoilers*, if hooked in, tend to rotate around the mast, but be super careful of foiling in shallow water. An accomplished Dutch kiter hit bottom and fell head first into shallow water. Yeah, the tragic thing that comes to mind happened - broken neck.

https://www.kiteworldmag.com/news/ydwer-van-der-heide-accident-update/

We wish him recovery.

* Having written that, I have gone in head first a couple of times on a ventilation while jibing. Would not have happened if I was holding the boom.

0 Like
rgenet
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2002 - 08:16
Posts: 98
Re: Cautionary note about foiling shallow water

Awful - all the best to his recovery. A question, does this mean that he was in foot straps?

0 Like
webguy's picture
webguy
Offline
Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
Posts: 11443
Re: Cautionary note about foiling shallow water
rgenet wrote:

Awful - all the best to his recovery. A question, does this mean that he was in foot straps?

Honestly, no idea. The only speculation I'd have is that no straps because of how one would rotate after hitting bottom. No straps - you rotate around your own CoG, making it easier to pitch head over heels. Straps, you rotate on a longer arm and much lower CoG so you'd probably land prone. Who knows? it's an almost unheard of accident. With his skill level, he was probably pushing harder, faster and higher than the avg guy/gal and also may have been where it gets shallow quickly like a sand bar (so it wasn't like he was in 60 cm of water but even 20) so even being strapped in is dangerous.

I know that speed windsurfers who are in shallow water are also wary of such an injury although I can't recall a particular incident.

I don't mean to pick on either wings or kites but the same thing that makes hitting a sandbar more gentle (the board stops and all the energy is in the rider so the foil doesn't have to absorb as much load) also means the rider is ejected without losing much energy (ie speed).

1 Like
rgenet
rgenet
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2002 - 08:16
Posts: 98
Re: Cautionary note about foiling shallow water

The first time I kite foiled, I had a front strap. That would not be good for rotating.

I'd think with no straps one would be pitched fwd, but that you would not really rotate. Also, you'd likely have the kite pulling up(ish).

Prayers for him.

BTW, I do read kiting incidents on FB, it's a good way to learn from other's kitemares.

0 Like
webguy's picture
webguy
Offline
Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
Posts: 11443
Re: Cautionary note about foiling shallow water
rgenet wrote:

I'd think with no straps one would be pitched fwd, but that you would not really rotate. Also, you'd likely have the kite pulling up(ish).

One of the times I got really pitched head first, I was out of both straps exiting a jibe and the board touched down hard. The physics are similar to hitting bottom. Your feet stop with the board while everything else keeps going which is how you rotate. If your feet could slide, you'd just slide off the front. It's pretty much like standing on a rug and having someone pull it out from under you.

Yes, wishing him the best and hope he makes it back on the water.

1 Like
rgenet
toolman3336
Offline
Joined: 07/20/2018 - 19:40
Posts: 42
Re: Cautionary note about foiling shallow water

I just hope he will be able to walk again

1 Like
webguy