Corpus and Portland TX has been cranking lately. Riding in stronger winds than what you are used too can be a way different experience. The most important thing is never go out in conditions that you are not ready for or don’t feel comfortable in. Stronger winds mean everything happens faster. Here are a few of the things we have picked up on through the years:
#1. Always ride with a friend: We know lots of you ride alone at times simply because none of your friends are available, but as winds get stronger it becomes more important to make sure someone is around that knows how to help you out when you need it. Self landing and self launching are way more difficult in high winds.
#2. Be sure your safety system completly kills the kite. Lots of advanced riders set up suicide leashes that only maybe kill 20% of the power when letting go of the bar. While this may not be a huge deal in steay 17mph winds, this can become a major issue in higher winds. Be sure you can flag out your kite all the way. It provides an easy out if things get out of control and can be a easy way to self land. Simply stay in the water, unhook, and let go. You might have some tangles but it is better than risking getting hurt or damaging your kite.
#3. Wear a helmet: With high winds and small kites things happen FAST. It can be incredibly easy to accidentally loop the kite or send it a little too far making you smack the water hard. A helmet and impact vest can really reduce the pain.
#4. Get a stable, easy to fly kite: Every small kite is going to turn fast and jump huge. The really good ones feel rock solid in the air. Many times a super fast, high performance kite is great in bigger sizes, but is crazy twitchy in smaller sizes. Make it easy on yourself and get something made with stability in mind. Some of our favorite high wind kites are the Wainman Rabbit kites, Airush Lithium, Slingshot Rally, Liquid Force Envy, and Cabrinha Switchblade.
#5. Start slow and take it easy. Smaller kites turn fast and it is easy to get out of control if you are used to a 12m. Throw a few small jumps without moving the kite too much until you are used to it.