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Drift/Fly Self Launch Procedure

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Postby kitezilla » Tue May 30, 2006 12:48 pm

Hiero Blend wrote:I'm interested in seeing these "ears". I'm a bit nervous about learning the hard way of what can go wrong.

Stay away from "drift" launching if you are not a careful and disciplined and experienced kiter. I equate the traditional "drift launch" experience with the experience of using the old 2 line "Reel Bar"........."Things would go perfectly 9m out of 10 times, and then there would be a 'Kitemare'. I love DrLightwinds description of his (I believe) "last" drift launch. I will post it in the next post....

There are no safe "shortcuts" to drift launching. You must do everything in a controled, slow, reversable manner to be reasonably safe. Of all the variations of the "drift launch", which I have had experience with, the DriftFly comes the closed to satisfying the above standards.

Here are 3 pictures of the bar with the retractable "ears", made from 1 inch diameter plastic PVC water hose:
PVC ears retracted.JPG
PVC ears retracted.JPG (122.58 KiB) Viewed 636 times
ears in position for winding 5th.JPG
ears in position for winding 5th.JPG (123.73 KiB) Viewed 636 times
PVC ears.JPG
PVC ears.JPG (119.43 KiB) Viewed 636 times

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Postby kitezilla » Tue May 30, 2006 1:13 pm

Here is the source of my motivation in the effort to develop the "Drift/Fly" technique. You gotta love this honest, entertaining and straight forward description by one of Kiteforums respected personalities. Thanks, Doc!

This describes Dr Lightwinds 2004 Kitemare while performing a self launch using a 5th line:

"I almost had a kitemare today with the 5th Element system.

First of all at 8am the wind was steady 18 knots and I setup my M3 12m. When I was ready the wind dropped to 12 knots so I got pissed and setup the M3 16m first time in this position U like the way you carrie it on the shore.

Because nobody was around I thought it was a good opportunity to see how I could launch it by myself. With the kite facing downwind position like this U with weight on it the middle. The bar with lines were upwind of kite correctly setup and checked.

First I hooked in the chicken loop to the shackle on the bar. Next I walked downwind holding the bar with one hand to keep the proper position than I grabbed the LE where the triplets are and started walking out while I also grabbed my 120 TT. I tied board to a buoy and walked out further in case if shite hits the fan.

As soon as I was ready the wind started hauling again and saw white caps everywhere. First I pulled the trim strap all the way down and by holding the nose line I slowly started letting the kite away from me and to my surprise the kite was hovering about 4m above the water. When it was half way the wind blew the left front and back line under the kite.

I pulled the kite back to undo it but I couldn’t so let it out again because I thought it will undo itself on it’s own when I try to launch it. After I noticed the stupid lines tangled up and while trying to undo them the bit%h suddenly launched into the power zone almost cutting my fingers off. While I’m in the air I crashed the f%%ker. I crashed it, now with the LE facing down pulling like crazy.

I tried to activate the safety system but it didn’t work because of the line tangles. I almost had to pull the shackle, hell with the kite it’s my life. Finally on the last attempt I was able to depower the kite by pulling one of the back line in. That was a terrifying experience and looks like I’m not ready for a self launch yet on the shore, that’s for sure.

I walked back to the shore and took an hour to undo the spaghetti factor. The wind was still up and now people started coming and started setting 12m kites.
Now this time I had an assisted launch with the 16m and had a great session, so I’m happy.

I saw the Wipika’s launching video and it looks easy, appears to be in light wind.

Must be a self launching technique for a 5th E. also, and it should be easy isn't it?
Additionally how any of you would self launch a kite safely with a 5th E. either on the water or on the shore when nobody is around?

Now it's your turn, please come up with something,,,,,,,,,,,,,


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Postby dimach » Tue May 30, 2006 2:38 pm

chemosavi :thumb: I like it.
It should work even better with waroo. You can fit your release system to the end of the front lines, bridel is just long enough for front lines to reach middle point of the kite...

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