Kitemare on Utah Lake

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Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby Marc Hauver » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:52 pm

Well Saturday my brother in law came down from Idaho and co-worker form SLC wanted to go out on his new Kite and so we headed to ULSSB Sat afternoon around 5pm. Checked radar and saw nothing coming from SW where everything had come from. Obviously I missed the weather warning on the news.....Rainstorm had just went thru from SE and thru Heber and got there sun was out slight SE wind Pumped up 17's and within 40 mins nice SE wind came so went out but is was a little light. Still clear sunny nothing finally got about 12mph and enough to go. Took few runs and got quite a ways out having difficult time to get upwind when wind just shut off I was way out farther than I should have been. At this time I was just floating in the lake of glass when i started to notice few dark clouds coming from the North. This storm looked really bad but no wind and nowhere to go. I was half way to Lincoln beach several miles from any shores. I there was no wind line but all of a sudden North wind hit hard I power up and headed back wind went nuclear and I could not hold it down I got pulled off my board drug underwater and came flying straight up about 30 feet in the air with no sign of slowing down so I ejected and fell back into the water as my kite disappeared. Now I was in middle of massive waves and 40 plus wind storm 3 miles from any shore. I started to look like a torndao was forming.. I thought I might be blown toward the southernmost shore but after 1 hour I hadn’t moved so decided to try to make it to the east below ULSSB but still had several miles to go. Floating was difficult since waves were constantly crashing knocking my under. I was dark and storm wasn't letting up so decide to swim as best I could being a great swimmer for another few hours straight I noticed I was making progress and plowed on until I got to the shore and walked around the shoreline until I got to beach and left.

I know there were several lessons learned
1} Always check weather forecast warnings. I did check in AM but evidently missed the evening news severe weather forecast for hail, flooding and high wind.
2) Don’t ever fly offshore even in light wind beyond where you can touch and walk back.
3) Didn’t bring rescue boat or jet ski with unpredictable wind.
4) I had phone with me and could call out but it was in waterproof container so they could not hear me and hands were too cold so I phone buttons need some heat to activate.
I am sure I made other mistakes but I am glad I made it back ok and just want to put as a reminder when Craig or others say stay where you can get off the water quickly if you see clouds and lightning do not go out far at all… Went back out and took jet ski and found the kite right where I thought it would be on the farthest south shore half way between Lincoln and ULSSB. Still pumped up and no damage..
:oo
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby Marc Hauver » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:02 pm

Here is the tweet I did not get...

KSL Weather
‏@kslweather
SEVERE T-STORM WARNING for Utah Co. Intense rain, lightning, winds & hail w/ this storm. Provo, Orem, Lindon, Lehi all in the path of storm
Retweeted by KSL.com
Reply Retweet Favorite
6:58 PM - 1 Sep 12 · Embed this Tweet
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby Kenny » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:15 pm

Marc,

You mentioned that you were with 2 other kiters. Did they have a similar experience to yours or did they not venture as far from shore?

You are not the first kiter to get stranded far from shore (I have done it as well). One of the great freedoms of kiting is the ability to explore. However, there are days when you need to stay close to the launch and there are days when you have no business being on the water.

Thank you for sharing, we all need the reminder to respect Mother Nature. Things can get crazy and dangerous fast.

Kenny
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby AndyBlunt » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:47 am

Glad you made it out Mark.
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby Craig Goudie » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:02 am

Most pleased, you returned safe. You have to be gnarly tough and steady cool to
survive something like that, and it happens even to the best. For those of you who
aren't as tough, smart or cool under pressure as Marc, use Marc's lessons, stay safe out there!

-Craig
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Sailing the high desert lakes of Utah on my:
150 Sumo, 8'6"RRD TT, 8'2"Cross M
with Sailworks/Naish Sails

Sailing the Gorge on my:
9'1"RRD Freeride, 7'9" Open Ocean Slasher, 8'0"Hitech
with Northwave Sails
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby JimSouthwick » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:10 am

Just curious, were you wearing a PFD?
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby bordy » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:38 am

Marc......... I am of course stoked you made it out ok....I.But I am also shocked by the number of Mistakes you made to place yourself in this situation. I know I will be the Dick here but I just can,t say what a great job you did saving your ass when as you noticed all the other kiters didn't even try to go out becuase they knew better......As a newer Kiter perhaps you never recived the propor training to evaluate the condition and not go kiting. Here are the biggies..

Offshore winds....Really Mark...this is kiteboard no no number one, No one rides SSB in off shore If you are going to ride off shore winds you need the support of a powered vessal this is common knowledge world wide???? Why you choose to do differently was the first mistake..Any instuctor, how to DVD, or forum will tell you this day one..... All of the experenced sailors in the state know that South winds dont last loung in the evening at UT lake. Again have you ever seen anyone ride UT lake South end on a South wind??????

Weather knowledge.....Going out on frontal winds, after a massive storm is not a great idea......and it sounds like you were the only kiter with experence since you brough two buddys aloung and neither of them told you what a bad idea and situation you where getting into?????? Any one of the kiters banging their heads on the desk after reading this post are Very Very Very happy you made it out ok....But beyond surprised you placed your self in that situation,,,

Experance.......Let be honest here this was a rookie mistake for sure, But this is a growing problem in the kiting community, I am using your post a excuse to drive this point home. becuase if you were not a strong swimmer this may have had a differnt out come. Far to many Kiters learn to fly a kite and the saftey sytems (some times) that are needed to realese from it and figure that good enough....then they go on and teach their friends to kite, passing on only the skills to fly the kite and none of the saftey including rules of the road, safety, and basic sailing skills including site assesment and weather knowledge, we are still sailing. Any one teraching their bros or even worse taking peoples money to give lessons that hasn't been through a kiting community aproved instructors course, is doing the community a huge diservice via improper training this only creates uneducated kiters that make uneducaed calls that could lead to them in situtions just like yours that could have been easiley avioded..........

I hate to ask this question but I understand you persoanlly have taught others to kite, where these friends, previous students of yours???? If you as some one who has taught people how to kite could not assess the situation and still whent kiting with all the red flags, how many of your students have been properly trained to be safe kiters

Our sport is not snowboarding where its cool to go out and just go for it since the hill is maintained and there is a ski patroller there is shit hits the fan......

Again Marc I want to stress how Happy I am that you are Ok and were not our second fataility from kiting in the state........But becuase of your desccision you placed your self in the situation, what I am concerened about is you also had other kiters with you that it sounds as though you were "guiding" and also placing in the same known dangers.......

But all the lesson (Minus the cell phone in a bag not workling very well) you list you learned from your experence are common klnowledge...and why you were not aware of these basic saftey items and or choose to over look them on this particular day is what I personally am alarmed and confused by..... Did you considure your Cell phone as your saftey Bail out and took the chances you did anways??? Did you beleave you where a skilled enough kiter that off shore winds didn't matter and that you would rather take your chance being blown across the lake so you could get in a big kite session??? Was you experence worth it??

Again Marc I am glad you are ok...

but I am concerned that a member of the kiting community would place himself and others in this situation.....This isn't a surprise item that we are scratching our heads while wondering why it happened, but this is a situation that we all see as a possibility and chosse to not go kiting in thoose conditions becuase so.

Becuase i Personally have seen you on the beach at DC, with students in storm winds, tryihng to teach while the rest of us were on the beach with kites in the car becuase we know better. I feel quilty for not checking with you at the time to insure your understand of the danger you and your students were in that day, Perhaps that could have kept you from your situation... I hesitate to call it a kite mare becuase the kite wasnt the reason you had a problem it was you judgement and preperation that was the issue...
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby Kenny » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:29 am

I have to agree with Billy. I was trying to be more diplomatic.

If Marc was not a strong swimmer, this situation could easily have been a fatality.

One step that could have been taken when the water was glass and storm clouds were building would be to roll in the lines deflate the leading edge only and roll up the kite so that the spars can be used for buoyancy. It would have saved the kite from blowing away and would have been helpful during the following storm. Of course, the best bet is to stay close to shore and never kite in off-shore winds without a boat backup. It was one of those days that a more experienced kiter would not even make the drive to the lake. There was just too much storm energy that day.

I hope that everyone will take this as a good learning lesson. Not as a "rip on Marc" fest, because that is not the intention. I think Marc knew that when he posted that he would get flamed, but he also recognized that other kiters might learn from his experience. So much respect to Marc for posting and I hope that you never find yourself in a spot like that one ever again.
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby Marc Hauver » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:37 pm

Hey,
I in no way want to say that mistakes were not made in fact I knew I was opening myself to hard questions. This has humbled me much and I make no excuses. That said my purpose was to only provide some lessons learned to anyone else if possible.
few Answers:
Kenny other 2 kiters less experienced and never left the knee deep water.
Jim I always have a PFD on which was definitely needed...
Billy I humbly submit to your comments. I know it comes from someone who cares about people and the sport.
Off shore winds no excuse. I have never given lessons and am not an instructor. I have let people fly my trainer when conditions are right. I took lessons from Don who is an excellent instructor and who I am sure is disappointed that one of his students broke off shore rule.
Weather experience. Blew it. Need to really stay away from any possible storms. I have been to SSB 4 times all this year. This was 5th time and I did not check forecast other than KSL chance of rain like last few weeks. We saw only blue sky. Only had a hour or 2 so Plan was my bro in law was in town and wanted me to look at his new kite and bar and just wanted a critique. . plan was to just get in the sand to check out new kite bar set up and if any wind launch it and look at release systems. Also I just got new battery pump and replaced my bad deflate valve and wanted to pump up and see if it held. Got there it was hot no wind so just pumped up and checked gear. 30 mins we had slight wind so launched his kite and had to work to keep it up. Wind came up enough where I got on reach and then

Experience. I told others this is offshore and you should never fly in it but not knowing of the huge impending storm was coming I tested my bro in laws kite and bar and surprisingly was able to go on an east reach to the point north east of SSB and assumed I could turn west and still hit the shallow water by SSB. Unfortunately when I turned west wind had shifted and I found myself way farther from shore and all my efforts could not go up wind. Soon wind dropped and I was stuck.

I have a jet ski and have brought people with me to ride it while I kite and take pictures of riders but I do not teach anyone and have taken paid lessons myself and truly believe this is how it should be done.

Sorry for any concerns I have brought as for myself I have learned much from this experience.
I have found the Kiting community to be fantastic at looking out for one another and do not want to take away from the sport in anyway.
Hope to see you all out on the water again..
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby steve hathaway » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:42 pm

Glad to hear your OK Marc.
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby bordy » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:19 pm

Marc Hauver wrote:Hey,
I in no way want to say that mistakes were not made in fact I knew I was opening myself to hard questions. This has humbled me much and I make no excuses. That said my purpose was to only provide some lessons learned to anyone else if possible.
few Answers:
Kenny other 2 kiters less experienced and never left the knee deep water.
Jim I always have a PFD on which was definitely needed...
Billy I humbly submit to your comments. I know it comes from someone who cares about people and the sport.
Off shore winds no excuse. I have never given lessons and am not an instructor. I have let people fly my trainer when conditions are right. I took lessons from Don who is an excellent instructor and who I am sure is disappointed that one of his students broke off shore rule.
Weather experience. Blew it. Need to really stay away from any possible storms. I have been to SSB 4 times all this year. This was 5th time and I did not check forecast other than KSL chance of rain like last few weeks. We saw only blue sky. Only had a hour or 2 so Plan was my bro in law was in town and wanted me to look at his new kite and bar and just wanted a critique. . plan was to just get in the sand to check out new kite bar set up and if any wind launch it and look at release systems. Also I just got new battery pump and replaced my bad deflate valve and wanted to pump up and see if it held. Got there it was hot no wind so just pumped up and checked gear. 30 mins we had slight wind so launched his kite and had to work to keep it up. Wind came up enough where I got on reach and then

Experience. I told others this is offshore and you should never fly in it but not knowing of the huge impending storm was coming I tested my bro in laws kite and bar and surprisingly was able to go on an east reach to the point north east of SSB and assumed I could turn west and still hit the shallow water by SSB. Unfortunately when I turned west wind had shifted and I found myself way farther from shore and all my efforts could not go up wind. Soon wind dropped and I was stuck.

I have a jet ski and have brought people with me to ride it while I kite and take pictures of riders but I do not teach anyone and have taken paid lessons myself and truly believe this is how it should be done.

Sorry for any concerns I have brought as for myself I have learned much from this experience.
I have found the Kiting community to be fantastic at looking out for one another and do not want to take away from the sport in anyway.
Hope to see you all out on the water again..



Marc,

I think the most important fact is that you have learned, I was more concered about your saftey then the issues involed with your story, Thank you for posting it and sharing what you personally learned..

I hope any kiter who was unaware of these factors learned from them.

I also wanted to stress the importance of all kiters Using good judgement. Kiting is not just a sport where you learn to fly a kite and have at it, but one with many more responsibility that all kiters must respect, I think The point was made.

This topic was discussed in length on the beach and I beleave everyone felt as though the important points where handled in my post, and in the attempt to not discourge others from sharing stories like your own we feel it is best to stress the Idea of community and that my comment are of course made with us all n mind.

Our goal as a community is saftey, and your post was a good reminder to us all what can happen when you strech the saftey envolope. Again I think your case has several issues that rookies are much more likley to make, hopefully this will drive some points home....

I have had to expain why we dont ride SSB or ULLB on a south wind to 10+ new kiters, several of them have tried on their own to ride in south wind, requardless of the advice of others and have paid the price also.

It is much like backcountry skiing some days you need to walk away from the best snow because the risk is to high........
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby JimSouthwick » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:40 am

Marc,

You deserve a lot of credit for having the courage and integrity to share your experience with us. You clearly made a couple of bad decisions, but you also made one very good one, wearing a PFD, and it may well have saved your life. Kites and poleboards are pretty good floatation devices - as long as you don't become separated from them, and yes, it can happen with poleboards too.
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby dave holmgren » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:20 pm

Glad you're OK. Thanks for posting- it can be a bitch eating crow, hope others learn from what you wrote, it's a great reminder that this sport IS extreme, and not just an amusement park ride.

Fair winds!

-Homey
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Re: Kitemare on Utah Lake

Postby chasestewart » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:51 pm

Hello, I lived in South Padre Island, Texas for 5 years and have been kiting there for 12 years. I have ridden more side-off, giant, gnarly wave days than probably any other human in North America. Off-shore riding requires three things:

1) Strong wind that is forecasted for many hours. No storm fronts or storm winds.
2) Flotation vest PFD. Every kiter will eventually have a brutal, near-Death survival swim in offshore conditions.
3) Carry a cell phone inside a NON LUBRICATED CONDOM. The latex is thin enough to speak through.

Good luck, be smart and know your boundaries.

Chase
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