I spent an incredible week acro training in Oludeniz at the start of October 2015 and picked up some great ideas for training over water from experienced acro pilots.
1. Put your back pro in bin bags and duck tape it up. Should you land in the water this will stop it being wet for days. It is certainly the slowest drying piece of kit.
2. Put rope floats from a chandlery on your reserve handles. Otherwise they will sink when you deploy! Even a fast boat would be lucky to find the handle and bag after dragging you out of the sea. Force4 sell them for £1.95 each: Rope Floats
3. Quick outs are a must if you’re flying a steerable reserve and actually want to steer it. Getting rid of the wing will allow you to untwist a twisted reserve bridle after deployment. I have found that the glider acts like a rudder keeping you twisted unless you very quickly get it under your seat (where it’s then tangled in your legs). This requires incredible strength and is very awkward… Better to get rid and have that boat man fetch it while you have a beer on the beach in your dry clothes.
4. Wear a life jacket, just in case a rescue boat takes some time. Manual inflation, or a kite boarder’s vest are both great and perhaps surprisingly don’t feel at all restrictive in flight.
5. Dry bags… Bag up your phone, wallet, radio etc.. Goes without saying. Zip pockets on shorts/trousers are also handy for keeping change safe.
6. Research your rescue options before flight. Knowing a boat will come if you ditch gives you way bigger kahunas than normal and is essential for your safety. As in happens, in Oludeniz, you are almost certain to be rescued by a canny boat owner who will charge you about £30 for the privilege… again, it pays to have your wallet in a dry bag!