5 Things to watch out for during the Winter Shamal
The cold winter Shamal brings colder stronger winds to our shores. It is a welcome change to the thermal winds of the summer and for those starting out it could be the first time experiencing 20+ knots as a kiter.
This brings about new challenges to inexperienced (and sometimes not so inexperienced) kiters.
In the past we have received reports of a few incidents occurring on our beaches and thought this maybe a good time to review a few key points that may help avoid any unnecessary stress.
- Take extra care during launching and landing.
It is every kiter’s responsibility to make sure the person helping you launch understands how to do so and is paying attention to your signals. Launching the kite with tangled lines or too far upwind or downwind can be dangerous. Double check your lines and only launch when you are confident all lines are clear and that you are in the correct position, steering the kite gently to the top of the window.
- If in doubt leave your 17 in the car.
More kiters are buying larger kites. Larger kites and specific light wind kites have much more low end power which is great for the majority of low wind days in Dubai. This power can be dangerous when used in higher or gusty winds and if you are not in total control. Observe and ask more experienced kiters or instructors regarding the appropriate kite size for your weight and skill if the conditions are new to you.
- Try a smaller board.
Beginners often complain about having a difficult time staying upwind in stronger winds and it is usually due to using a larger light wind board in stronger wind conditions. A smaller board will help you edge better.
- Double check your safety systems. It is alarming to witness a kiter’s quick release fire prematurely. Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon. Double check your safety system before each session and make sure you are acquainted with any other system if using a different system than you’re used to.
- Watch out for other kiters. We don’t get too many stronger wind days in Dubai. The beaches can get very crowded and extra care should be taken to avoid any collisions and crossing lines. Respect right of way rules and use common sense.
Enjoy the Shamals and be safe.