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Way to self launch in rocky area

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fernmanus
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Postby fernmanus » Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:39 am

I do a drift launch at rocky locations. It does require the wind to be side/shore, off-shore or side-off, or so shallow that you can walk out with the kite. I usually clear the area where I am going to launch of any possible entanglements. If it is too rocky to do that a turbolauncher is probably your best bet. As far as landing goes, drop your kite in the water. A wet kite is better than a shredded kite.

Drift launching is best done with a kite that has a lot of depower. I have done it successfuly with 5 line kites, bows, and SLE's.

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kitezilla
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Postby kitezilla » Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:03 pm

[quote="dirkydiggler"]

Yes, I am talking about a permanent or semi-permanent installation. So, I wouldn't have to take it with me everywhere.

Dirk,

If you can leave the launching device in place without worrying about people tripping on it or boats or kiters or windsurfers crashing into it, you have a number or things you can do....here is a brief description of a device I used successfully in a tricky and rocky place in the Gorge.

The device was based on the "pull cable winthin a outer tube" principal much like the way a bicycle brake cable works. I constructed the "tube" from eight 10 foot lengths of 3/4 inch PVC pipe. The pieces were screwed together to form a 80 length of pipe which could be disassembled easily. Inside of the pipe ran a 82 foot long kiteline, which connected at one end to a release device (designed like the slideing breach of a gun) which in turn temporarly held a loop of line which in turn was fastened to the pump leash of the kite, and which securely held the kite in place on its back, until the kiter pulled the string from the other end of the long pipe, at which time it released the kite, and the kiter stepped back from the pipe, and with the bar in hand, did a standard launch.

I won't get into a full description of the line floats, secondary safety, guides, slideing bar tensioner, screw in release pull mechanism, and breach release design now, but If you are interested in the details, just say so, and I will go to the effort to describe the project. It cost about $60. and took a full day to build. The PVC was easy to work with and the project could be done by anyone with some "tinkering" skills.

The nice things about this device are:

(1) It only involves 2 anchors (bags of sand or rocks), that a person walking in the water will not injure their feet on.

(2) The kite will not be accidently released prematurely, as can happen with a single exposed line snagging on the kiters foot or a rock or seaweed or a dog swimming or another person or drift wood, etc.

(3) The device sinks and stays on the bottom when not in use.

(4) Easy to build

(5) Can be positioned in shallow water to adapt to wind direction (just move one sand bag)

Let me know if you want more details.

dirkydiggler
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Postby dirkydiggler » Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:01 pm

Sounds like someone has been using his brains. This is the sort of device I would be interested in using. I take it there isn't a way to retrieve the kite though. That is the easier part to do without a device, hardest part to find a device that will do it. Give me all the info. I am sure the forum would love the details. We don't all live near those carribean beaches.
Diggs

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PiaKite
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Postby PiaKite » Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:11 pm

Here's a method that I use quite a lot because one of the places I kite has trees growing almost down to the water line, the shore is full of rip rap, and there is no one to help me launch there. It is a takeoff on Wetstuff's weighted sand bag launch except I use the trailer hitch on my truck.

I fidded splices in a 7 foot length of quarter inch spectra and then attached a very large stainless carabiner to secure the chicken loop to the truck. The kite will sit on the edge on shore or in the water and since it is attached to a relatively immoveable object, I believe it is one of the safest ways to self launch.

Procedure is as follows:

1) Attach chicken loop to the carabiner.
2) Walk kit to edge and set it on downside tip.
3) Walk back to truck - no need to hurry, kite isn't going anywhere.
4) Carefully check kite, lines, bar.
5) Attach safety and check safety release
6) Hook in to chicken loop
7) Check everything once again
8) Hook in to chicken loop
9) Unhook from carabiner and SLOWLY bring kite up on edge of window
Attachments
Truck Launch.jpg
Truck Launch.jpg (50.64 KiB) Viewed 948 times

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kitezilla
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Postby kitezilla » Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:24 pm

Diggs,

I haven't forgotten about you....been busy with projects and kiting....you wouldn't believe the wind we have been getting here. Anyway, I will begin the description of the project today and present the description of the different components, day by day. I want to cover all the details, so that you do not waste time or get hurt, by doing it wrong. I am at a different location for the next few months, so I do not have the project with me. I will try to talk a friend into finding the pieces of the project in my basement, and maybe he will take pictures of the components. I will talk to him tomorrow. I will get started, today, however with some pictures and descriptions of the basic CPVC pipe sizes and connectors used.

From the feedback on your question, I don't think that anyone beside you is interested in such a project, so this will probably be a 2 person communication. If at any time you feel the project is beyond your tinkering skills or you decide on a different launch method, just let me know, and I will desist in my presentation.

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kitezilla
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Postby kitezilla » Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:09 pm

Here are 2 pictures of some of the parts needed for the project. Print them out and take them to the hardware store when you get ready to start building the launcher. You will need to measure from the leading edge of your kite to the bar to know how many sticks of CPVC 3/4" pipe to buy (probably 8 or 9 sticks). You will need to buy a male and female connector for each stick. I will go into the details later. These pictures will just help to let you know what you are in for if you decide to make this device.
Attachments
kf-cpvc pipe diameters.JPG
kf-cpvc pipe diameters.JPG (115.9 KiB) Viewed 876 times
kf-CPVC connectors.JPG
kf-CPVC connectors.JPG (119.61 KiB) Viewed 876 times

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kitezilla
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Postby kitezilla » Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:27 pm

Here are a couple more pictures to show you the type of construction method you will use to built one component of the device (the adjustable stopper for positioning the bar). The Coupler is slightly modified by removing the standard rubber gaskets and replacing them with 1 or 2 "O" rings ( size 1-3/16 x 15/16 x 1/8 #18 o-ring). This allows the coupler to slide into position on the 3/4" pipe, and then to be secured by screwing down the ends. More on this later.
Attachments
kf-Stopper in place.JPG
kf-Stopper in place.JPG (118.23 KiB) Viewed 870 times
kf-Adjustable stopper parts.JPG
kf-Adjustable stopper parts.JPG (118.46 KiB) Viewed 870 times

Mattdog
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Postby Mattdog » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:36 pm

PIA KITE:

Could you do that technique with the kite sitting in shallow water with small waves coming towards it? Or would it want to roll over? Also the wind isn't perfectly steady but not too gusty either.

I could use a rope around a immovable stump to attach to. At high tide the kite would need to sit in the water.

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KiteSurfingKen
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Postby KiteSurfingKen » Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:42 pm

Kitezilla,
I always find your projects interesting, even if I don't construct them myself, it is excellent food for thought.

I normally fly on a tree lined lake as well and am always interested in better launch techniques.

Currently I launch both C kites on 5 line rigs and 12M Waroo in a similar way, but it has the potential to be problematic at times.

Basically:
1. Rig onshore, pre-flight lines in open field. Wrap center lines an extra 6 loops on bar before wrapping all four lines
2. Wind lines back on bar and carry kite into water by leading edge.
3. Walk into water until 1.5x line length from shore or better.
4. Place kite leading edge down tips away from the kiter.
5. Keep tension on both front lines (Waroo) or 5th line and allow kite to drift away from you until all line is deployed.
6. Turn kite around using one steering line.
7. Bring kite to edge of window and launch normally.

We have a small cove with a slight wind shadow in most directions which helps when drifting the kite. Until the line is fully deployed, the safety is basically non-functional. therfor keeping the nose of the kite towards the kiter is the most important part to avoid premature launch.

dirkydiggler
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Postby dirkydiggler » Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:32 am

I am definitely watching this thread. To me it seems like a no brainer if you could have a permanent or semi-permanent setup to solo launch safely, it would be a great help to the kiting community. There are so many great places to kite with such horrible launches. Hopefully something will come out of this to open up those areas.
I'll be heading to the hardware store soon!
Dirk


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