Into strong head wind

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jackp
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Into strong head wind

Post by jackp »

I know a similar topic has been discussed before but it was the first proper windy day today in a while and thought it looked good for some training .(around 45mph) the trouble isn’t kayaking into the wind or incoming tide but the crashing waves and wind slop which can be like someone constantly chucking buckets of sea water into your face .After a few hours felt a bit sick this time with cramp .any ideas how to avoid drinking the salty stuff

jackp
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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by jackp »

Just noticed that there is a thing called a Dutch headwind cycling championships
Maybe in a few years there will be a similar kayaking thing

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by Franky »

That's a strange question. The obvious answer is don't go onto the sea in 45 mph winds.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by seawolf856 »

45mph is a BF Gale force 8!! I feel sick just thinking about paddling in that.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by mcgruff »

Image
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jamesl2play
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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by jamesl2play »

You should be going downwind in a wind like that. Much more fun.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by pathbrae »

What are you using to estimate wind speed?
So much sea - so little time to see it.

jackp
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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by jackp »

jamesl2play wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:17 pm
You should be going downwind in a wind like that. Much more fun.
Finished off with some downwind surf .after a while going downwind gets boring id Rather have a course with mixed conditions

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Jim
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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by Jim »

Try to plan for wind over tide rather than wind against tide, the waves will be much smoother and less likely to explode randomly in your face, which will make it more feasible to time your breath in between the hits. Of course that means your upwind-uptide leg is even harder, but that might be a price worth paying to breathe.

I don't think I go out in 45mph wind anymore, it was gusting pretty strong Saturday and I would describe it as blowing a gale, but not meant to be taken literally as gale force, I would imagine 30-35mph peak gusts and that was unpleasant enough. I also discovered within a few seconds of getting in the boat that had indigestion, not a paddle I will remember fondly!

If you don't already use a paddle leash seriously consider using one in those conditions, I was actually caught out a bit on Saturday and had left my leash in the car, but decided not to go back for it as I was wearing pogies which stop me getting away from the paddle (although pretty sure a good gust could take them off my wrists). I prefer a wrist leash on my right wrist, when wearing pogies it ends up hidden away inside, and when not wearing pogies because it is so short it doesn't flap about and get in the way. Some people prefer to leash to the deck or other places, but that would annoy me.

Try and avoid mirrors until you have washed the encrusted salt off your face after a session like that, lest you scare the crap out of yourself!

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by Northern Blue »

Jim wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:36 pm
Try to plan for wind over tide rather than wind against tide........
I always took ‘wind over tide’ to be ‘wind against tide’, have I been getting this wrong all these years ?

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by Chris Bolton »

Google suggests that the vast majority agree with Northern Blue, wind over tide = wind against tide. I've always used 'with' or 'against'.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by seawolf856 »

Northern Blue wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:54 pm
Jim wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:36 pm
Try to plan for wind over tide rather than wind against tide........
I always took ‘wind over tide’ to be ‘wind against tide’, have I been getting this wrong all these years ?
Yeh, I currently agree with Northern Blue as well. Sorry Jim but even though I've never found anything to question in any of your previous 14 thousand posts, I too have always taken 'wind over tide' to mean the wind direction is opposing the direction of tidal flow, which we all know creates nastier conditions. I have been involved in many discussions with leaders and coaches during trip planning and training assessments and have never been corrected when using 'wind over tide' as meaning "its gonna get rough". However, when I actually stop to think about it, if the wind is blowing 'over' the tide I suppose it could make just as much sense that the wind is blowing over and in the same direction as the tide.

I look forward to watching this thread argument develop.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by PeterG »

I take it as the wind blowing over the tide as it rolls towards the wind, if they are in the same direction the wind is clearly with the tide, coming back to the original post;

I generally keep my mouth closed and don't mind the spray, surfing it is always wet once wave eats you up. Snow is another matter, the flakes really sting your eyes and little you can do about it.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by rockhopper »

I love going out when it is really windy as it is about the only time you get decent waves in the Thames Estuary however the biggest issue I find when it is really blowing is getting the boat to turn quickly in the direction I want.
Riding wind blown waves in, breaking out from the wave before it gets to the shore dump zone and then getting the boat turned and paddling back out without getting trashed onto the beach is strenuous enough....
Having waves charge up the deck of the kayak is pure pleasure and exhilaration as far as I am concerned.

Rog.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by seawolf856 »

rockhopper wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:49 pm
I love going out when it is really windy as it is about the only time you get decent waves in the Thames Estuary however the biggest issue I find when it is really blowing is getting the boat to turn quickly in the direction I want.
Riding wind blown waves in, breaking out from the wave before it gets to the shore dump zone and then getting the boat turned and paddling back out without getting trashed onto the beach is strenuous enough....
Having waves charge up the deck of the kayak is pure pleasure and exhilaration as far as I am concerned.

Rog.
Turning 'up wind' is one of those sea kayaking skills which is not easy to master but a quick turn is obviously important if you are going to avoid getting broadsided between waves when changing direction in windy conditions. Even though the actual technique is the same as any other turn, I also struggle to master quick turns in the wind and find it very strenuous. When paddling in windy conditions it would be normal to have some skeg down, this will hinder up wind turns enormously so remember to raise your skeg when turning. Other that that, I would like to hear of any tweaks that other paddlers know of to make up wind turns easier.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by Chris Bolton »

Putting weight in the bow has the same effect as raising the skeg, so if you start with more weight there it shifts the 'range' of the skeg. It's generally safer to be biased to turning into wind than away from it, so in those conditions it can be worth accepting a bit of edging while going across the wind. A lot depends on the boat, different boats will react differently. If weight in the bow causes problems downwind, another approach is something on the back deck that catches the wind - an empty plastic bottle under the elastics, the further back the better. Leaning forward, and even pulling yourself forward in the seat using the knee braces may help. Turning on the top of the waves is easier, when the ends of the boat are out of the water. A paddle blade held in the water as far forward as possible can help - drawing or sweeping the bow round may work better than trying to push the stern downwind with reverse sweeps.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by jamesl2play »

My tips for turning upwind are:

Lift the skeg or the rudder
Make sure you keep the boat under way with forward strokes.
Edge the boat as far away from the wind as you dare.
Put in a long power strokes, on the opposite side to the wind and with plenty of rotation, up the wave face so that as the bow comes out of the water you can push (def not pull) the boat in the direction you want to go.
Make sure you also put in shorter strokes on the wind side to help maintain speed.
No back paddling you will just be dead in the water.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by rockhopper »

Interesting.... definitely turning on the top of a wave peak does make life a lot easier and I also agree that speed is your friend so, the faster the boat is moving the easier it is to turn. With that in mind if possible I try to use the speed of surfing the wave in to come off the wave at an angle to then carry me over the back of the wave and back out again....but it can be a fine balance.
It's the same with putting weight in the boat ...because my local waves tend to be wind blown they are usually quite steep faced so the stern comes out of the water all too readily which usually causes the boat to start to slew sideways, pivoting around the bow so it does help (at that point) to have some weight in the back however as soon as the boat is off the wave you really need the stern lighter so that it will disengage from the water and help a turn. I have found that it seems to work best keeping the weight in the boat balanced between front and rear and using the skeg on the wave face until you need to get off the wave....which involves some nimble mid-paddle skeg adjustment (not always successfully!!).
Definitely a great way of improving your reaction times and paddling skills.

Rog

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by SJD »

jackp wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:10 pm
I know a similar topic has been discussed before but it was the first proper windy day today in a while and thought it looked good for some training .(around 45mph) the trouble isn’t kayaking into the wind or incoming tide but the crashing waves and wind slop which can be like someone constantly chucking buckets of sea water into your face .After a few hours felt a bit sick this time with cramp .any ideas how to avoid drinking the salty stuff
Jackp,

In case you are still watching this thread there are a few things you can try to reduce salt water blast to the face.

A neoprene balaclava works if you can tolerate the extra heat retention. I punched a series of small holes in mine around the mouth area, helps with breathing.

There are several water sports googles on the market. I have chronic fogging problems, so not the best if you have a similar problem.

I have also used a whitewater helmet with a front visor. It helps some but I have to do this funny head twist and chin tuck down move.

Hope this helps

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by jackp »

That’s interesting but overheating can be an issue aswell,but next time in similar conditions may try swim goggles
It probably wouldn’t be as bad if I took a longer boat out but they don’t feel as stable and roll about too much .the point 65 boat isn’t designed for rough seas but actually amazingly stable hull

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by ChrisJK »

You'll not see me out voluntarily in a 45 mph wind but from a swim goggle perspective, smear a little shampoo or shower gel on the inside lenses and swill it off and you should have less fogging.

jackp
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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by jackp »

Also I wonder what the maximum head wind speed can be paddled directly into and what distance would be covered ? (Assuming tidal flow wasn’t a factor) if it was blowing 80mph it could be about 400metres before your arms fall off ?

Maybe it’s all technique .
Last edited by jackp on Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by Jim »

Chris Bolton wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:43 pm
Google suggests that the vast majority agree with Northern Blue, wind over tide = wind against tide. I've always used 'with' or 'against'.
Fair enough, I'm sure I was taught the options as over or against but it looks like it is time to drop over for consensus and clarity!

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by Jim »

jackp wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:39 pm
Also I wonder what the maximum head wind speed can be paddled directly into and what distance would be covered ? (Assuming tidal flow wasn’t a factor) if it was blowing 80mph it could be about 400metres before your arms fall off ?
Difficult to say because we all have different limits, but it is important to understand that the equation that describes the force imparted by wind (or any other fluid, like water) includes a function of speed squared, so stepping up from 40mph to 80mph means quadrupling the force of the wind against you. More of a problem than the wind force on my body, is the wind force on my paddle as already alluded to, I have lost grip with my left hand hit by a gust in Beaufort 8 conditions (that was what the shipping forecast said, we didn't measure it ourselves and had been sneaking along a weather shore but gusts were still hitting us), and often paddling down or cross wind I have the wind get behind the paddle and almost tip me in - not a problem directly into the wind, only when you turn and go accross or downwind, which you normally have to eventually...

I have paddled against bft 8 a couple of times and progress was very slow indeed, but bft 8 is not a very precise measure when you consider my earlier comment about quadratic effect of windspeed and the large range of windspeed covered by higher bft numbers - even the bft is correct (forecast or coastal station report) it covers too big a range...

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by mcgruff »

I guess that's why the Greenland inuit developed a short storm paddle.
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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by Chris Bolton »

40mph is Beaufort 8. I've paddled once into what I thought was a F8. If you sat up straight you were blown backwards, it didn't matter how you paddled - you had to lean onto the front deck and inch slowly forward. Managed to reach a beach, drag the boats up and sit under in the shelter of a dune watching the boats, with 8 days kit in them, rocking on the sand as the wind hit them. My Dad sailed all his life and was in the Navy - he was hit by what he judged to be a F8 gust in his garden, it lifted him 0.5m off the ground and blew him 5m, he would have been about 90kg. I've also seen a F8 gust lift the surface off a mountain lake; from the puddle where it landed, I reckon it blew off about 3cm depth of water over the whole lake.

How are you judging the wind speed you're paddling into? Do you have an anemometer?

73mph is Beaufort 12, hurricane force. Takes roofs off houses, flattens caravans. At 80mph, if there's any identifiable water surface to put a boat on, I would expect it to be rolled over and over uncontrollably, there's no way you could paddle whatever technique you used.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by Jim »

mcgruff wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:38 pm
I guess that's why the Greenland inuit developed a short storm paddle.
I bet they had the sense to only use them to get to the nearest land/stable ice and find shelter!

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by Jim »

Chris Bolton wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:46 pm
How are you judging the wind speed you're paddling into?
For me, usually by the descriptions of Beaufort wind scale up to about Bft 4 or 5, above that it all just looks a mess and I go by inshore waters forecast or coastal station reports, which I also often do for lower speeds too. I do have some other experience of wind speed which I can use, but that experience mainly confirms how difficult it is to judge...
Chris Bolton wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:46 pm
Do you have an anemometer?
Yes I do. I don't however take it paddling, although my dad went through a phase (I hope it was a phase and isn't still doing it), of actually taking one paddling and using it to settle debates about wind speed, generally proving himself to be wrong as I recall...

The reason I have an anenometer is that for about 10 years I switched my main focus from paddling to kite buggy racing (and a bit of kite surfing) (kind of glad I switched back to paddling although I really should get my kites out again soon). Buggy racing kites are much more sensitive than mainstream power kites, at least they were, I think racers are using trimmable kites (AKA depowerable) now. They need a certain wind speed to really inflate and handle properly, but 3 or 4 mph more and they become too powerful to handle safely. I think my main set has 9 kites covering sizes from 1.6 sq.m to 15.4 sq.m and wind speeds from about 4mph to about 30 or 35 mph safely I have spent a lot of time on beaches trying to use the readings from my anenometer to work out the best size of kite to use in the next race, and there are several problems, which I will try to remember...
When the wind is rising and falling continuously you have to watch the meter for a bit and try to estimate the mean wind speed and the gust wind speed, if the gusts are significantly stronger than the mean wind, probably need to pick a smaller kite than if it it was more steady.
Reference windspeed used in forceasts/reports and design calculations is usually (when not otherwise referenced) is usually measured 10m above ground, and the measuring sites are usually quite open and flat so the wind is as smooth as possible - wind measured on the beach is at 2m above ground and usually close to dunes/banking etc which disturb the wind.
Race kites are flown on relatively short lines, 15m was about normal for me, the wind is quite different at 15m above ground level, than at 2m above ground level - but for traction I will be holding the kite around 2m above ground, and only raising it into the faster airflow when making a turn. So in fact hand held wind reading could be more useful than 10m reference height, although it is also probably useful to know the speed at 15-20m because that's where the kite will be during the more risky times making turns (my 15msqm kite must have 3m of bridles beyond the 15m flying lines, so the canopy would be 18m up).
A fairly major problem is obstacles, both upwind and downwind. Wind blowing off of high ground or from obstacles will have a rotaor (eddy) on the downstream side of the obstacle which makes it turbulent, but unlike water it is invisible turbulence. What is more surprising is that an obstacle downwind will disrupt the flow upwind of it (river kayakers will proibably recognise phenomenon of cushions or water upstream of ocstacles - wind does something similar. Ideally you want to measure the wind speed at least 5 times the height of the obstacle away from the base of it. In racing, we generally need all the flat beach area, so the pit area is generally within 5x the height of the dunes away from them, and just climbing to the top of the dune doesn't get you clear air flow either, you would need to head out to the middle of the race course (where there will usually be people practising/testing kites etc.).
The other thing that used to surprise me was the difference temperature makes. Air is denser when cooler, and between racing in summer and mid-winter I found I needed to shift my thinking by about half a kite size. Density is a linear variable unlike sqeed hich is quadratic, but the effect of this on the observer is actually important - the wind feels stronger in the winter than in the summer, and this is because it is! 10mph warm wind will affect you a little less than a 10mph icy cold wind.

So using an anenometer to more accurately check the wind speed, can actually lead to even more uncertainty, which is why I don't bother for paddling. The Beaufort number in the shipping/inshore waters forecast is usually a good guide to whether paddling will be pleasant, standard, unpleasant, difficult or challenging.

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by Chris Bolton »

Sorry, Jim. I'll rephrase the question:
jackp wrote:first proper windy day today in a while and thought it looked good for some training .(around 45mph)
How are you judging the wind speed you're paddling into? Do you have an anemometer?

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Re: Into strong head wind

Post by jackp »

Mr B .Wind speed was only an estimate after reading shipping forecast .further offshore it was gusting more at times .also this was at at high tide when it can get the windiest
Estimate it to have been between 7-8
Have also been in a f6 a few times

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