oo-to (oo-tu) adj. noun.  
meaning out of the office.  
1 State of focused mindset.  
2 Soulful, transcendental attitude.  
3 Mode of efficiency.  
4 Go [out].  

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Kiting is inherently dangerous due to the fact that you are immediately in an extreme situation on your first kite launch. Kiters take on increased responsibilty since their kites can injur others in addition to themselves. In order to learn from other's mistakes, we gather stories about kitemares and kitastrophes and share them here. Please read each story with an eye for what could have been done differently to avoid mishap. Notice that almost every kitemare is the result of combined arrogance, failure to satisfy safety concerns and over enthusiam on the part of the responsible individual. Additionally, multiple factors can quickly combine into a increasingly dangerous situation. Pay attention to what's happening around you and always take responsibilty to avoid putting others in danger with your actions.

Kite Beach KiteMares

3rd ave San Mateo Bridge, CA wind 5-40 knots

Riding at 3rd ave. The wind was 5-40, gusty and from the southwest. I rode a Wipika 4 line 8.4 and a directional Stretch board. The gusts were blowing me away and so I tried to jump on most of the big ones to release pressure. When the gusts hit, most kiters responded with a jump to let some of the pressure off causing a sudden barage of flying kites during puffs. I was loaded up and it was getting scary. A series of gusts hit and I got blown like a leaf. The board landed in front of me fins up and I was heading toward it-fast. My body was dragged full speed over the tri fin board and I got bruised up good. My calf hit the big fin and my leg was slashed. The next gust hit me and I my ribs got squeezed hard on a body slam. I followed the exodus to the beach.

When I arrived on the shore in 5-40 knot gusts I was like a puppet being played by a jester. Thankfully, a kiter named Steve grabbed my harness and held me down while I landed the kite. My injuries where restricted to body bruises with few minor cuts and lacerations. Not as bad as the poor dude who was hooked in and pulled up and over the rock breakwater, dragged down a walkway and onto the marshy mud side of the road. He came up looking like a straw man.

Rider injury: Serious body and leg bruises, 3 lacerations with bruising: 2 weeks recovery.

3rd Ave, San Mateo Bridge, CA wind 5-40 knots

An atheletic and loud girl was learning to ride. Starting out a 4 line kite and wakeboard, she somehow managed to destroy 2 kites and her board in a matter of an hour. On the first launch her lines were incorrectly attached and the kite flew full-speed into the barnacle covered rocks. Next launch, she had the lines messed up again and got pulled toward the rocks in the footstraps. After sliding full speed into the rocks board first, she let go of the kite and it embedded into a barbed wire fence.

Rider injury: Messed up hair

Alameda Beach, CA wind 10-20knots

Father and son were trading off on a Wipika 11.8 4-line. The 14 year old was doing well and was sending it on the puffs. Enthusiastically he launched on a big puff and flew about 50 feet in the air from about 40 foot off shore all the way to the beach where he landed in the shore-break, totally stoked. The father ran to the boy yelling and screaming "my turn, my turn, my turn"!

Rider injury: Bruised ego

Rio Vista, Sherman Island, CA wind 20 knots

Boyfriend was teaching his girlfriend to launch the kite on land. It was way too windy to learn. He setup the kite and was yelling at her to pull the lines and untwist them and when she did he let go of the kite and it launched. The lines were reversed and it flew back and forth and the kite wasn’t flying right. It pulled her hard, straight into the pricker bushes. She let go, the bar got caught on a bush and the kite powered hard into a pole.

Rider injury: Girlfriend suffered scratches on arms and legs. Boyfriend suffered distress.


in your kitestory and if there is a lesson to be learned we'll post it.
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