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Way to self launch in rocky area

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Postby PiaKite » Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:02 am


Absolutely - You can use the technique with the kite sitting in shallow water. I've done it many times. In fact, yesterday I was showing some of my friends the technique at South Padre Island placing the kite in the water. One of them had a GK Sonic and was wondering if it would work for his kite. We hooked his Sonic up to the truck and put it on its wintip in the water and he launched it just fine.

One thing to bear in mind - all flat kites have different stability and power/depower characteristics as it relates to this technique - and I haven't found it to be succesful with C kites. For example, my Waroo 16m likes to be depowered, but my 12 m TurboDiesel hates being depowered on the edge (behaves like a raped snake when depowered) so I set the stopper ball about 6 inches from the bar on the TD - works just fine then. Waroo depowered - TurboDiesel powered - seems like the Sonic wanted to be depowered also. Havent tried it with Crossbow or Switchblade. From Wetstuffs pictures it works well with a Shockwave.

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Postby Mattdog » Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:16 am


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Postby Orangewhip » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:42 am


This is certainly an excellent technique with the Sonic, I do it on an almost exclusive basis either with a carabiner attached to the trailer hitch of my car, or (more frequently) attached to my kite bag filled with sand. It is the safest and least stressful self launching and self landing method I have found to date. Your friends' Sonic is probably the best kite for this technique of them all, as long as there is wind it will stay on its' tip and sit there waiting. I see from the photo that the Waroo will also do this, I will inform my Waroo friends.

You should be able to do something like this along a rocky shoreline as long as the surf isn't too big. Attach chicken loop to something heavy or immovable on shore, walk the kite out to the edge of the window, in the water if need be, go back to the bar, hook in and pull the kite up. Reverse procedure for landing.

Hope your kite will work with this procedure. If so, you're golden!

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Postby kitezilla » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:44 pm


"You should be able to do something like this along a rocky shoreline as long as the surf isn't too big. [quote]


Be sure to wear full protective gear if you decide to do this!! One of those suits made for fighting Grizzly bears would be good.

"Rocky" and "Surf" are 2 of the 4 places not to do this style launch. The other 2 are "gusty" and "shifty". When you "push the envelope" on any style self-launch...Beware!

I love the "staked launch" and have done it ever since Noel arrived at South Padre, on the Best Bus, last Spring, and showed Piakite and I how to do it. This launch, however, is safely done only at a beach which looks like the beach in the picture that Piakite posted above. I speak from experience, and will describe a potentially tragic (it turned out to only be embarassing and funny in a "Jackass" sort of way) incident, which happened to me, as a result of pushing the envelope on this type of launch. I will post this story in a new thread in a day or so titled "Staked Launch...YeeeeHaawww". I think that enough people are doing this style launch now that we should get a complete discussion of the limitations and pitfalls of this technique. In the past, I posted a thread asking for people to discribe their experiences with different brand SLE, total depower "C", and Bow kites, but got little response.

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Postby kjelleren » Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:12 pm

I fly the Sonic and find that it is great for this type of self launch. My buddy flys a Cab and has found it to be unstable. Ended up in the trees a couple of times now.

If you just set the kite on its tip at the edge of the window, it is prone to shifting forward in the gusts and then falling back in the lulls. This may cause the kite to roll and head across the window (read bad outcome likely). I have found the following technique works well to stabilize the Sonic and the Cab. Hook your c to the imovable object, stand your kite up on tip and take the the kite to the edge of the window to where it seems like it would want to sit comfortably. Now back it downwind to 10 -15 feet to the point where you can set the kite down and the leading edge is pointing somewhat downward. When a gust hits, the kite does not move forward, it just presses harder on the beach. When the lull hits, the kite is far enough into the hot zone, that it does not fall back. To increase stability even further, throw some sand in the space between the last 2 struts. Walk back to the kite, hook in and go play.

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Postby ronnie » Sun Oct 29, 2006 4:55 pm

One solution might be two buoys anchored 25m apart.
Attach the lines on land and wind them up.
Tie the pump leash loop of the kite to the first buoy and unwind the lines upwind to check they are OK.
Clip the chickenloop to the other buoy.
Untie the pump leash loop and set the kite up on its tip.
Unclip the chickenloop and launch.
Landing is the reverse.

Like the sandbag method, but on the water.

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Postby kitezilla » Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:26 pm


That method works good if the waves are very small and the wind direction is right, and steady. There is a place in the Gorge where I do that style launch, putting an old partially submerged tree stump to good use.

Here is the reply I gave in a thread by Wetstuff a few weeks ago about the method you describe:


I love what you have done here. Your projects are always so NEAT and professional looking.

As a "tinkerer", here is my 2 cents:

Since I got my SLE kites about 4 months ago, I have been doing a similar type launch on land and in the water. I was lucky enough to have a convenient stump in the water , to tie a shackle to, so I didn't have to place a float and anchor in the water. Your "Bow tender" launch is a variation of the "dog stake" launch, but done in the water rather than on dry land...a good idea to save wear and tear on the kite.

Here are some pictures of a "Line Tender/Dispenser" device, I tinkered up out of PVC pipe. By using this line rake and double sided winder, I can set up my kite and lines on land, and only make one trip out into the water, easily carrying my board, bar and kite. The main purpose of the device is to allow me to walk the kite out to the edge of the window, without dragging the full length of the kite lines through the water, rocks and seaweed. I am able to hold the kite in the stable upside-down position with one hand at the pump leash on the leading edge, and the other hand holding the "Line Tender/Dispenser" device, while "night-sticking" off the line from the device, as I walk toward the edge of the wind window. The device also lets me set up the lines in advance at home, which is a time saver at the beach, and a space saver if you have to blow up the kite in a clearing in the woods.

To use the device:

(1) Insert the lines (in my case, 5 lines) in the slots (color coded) and then, rotate the white pieces to trap the lines
(2) Rake the lines to within about 12 feet of the end of the lines, and then wind the 12 feet of line on the one side of
the device.
(3) Wind the lines (heading toward the bar) on the other side of the device in a figure 8 pattern, just like you would
be winding your lines on the bar.
(4) When you get to the bar, secure the bar to the device with the velcrox strap, so that all the lines stay in place.

(5) At the beach, first unwrap the 12 feet of line which goes to the kite and hook up the lines to the nose-down
blown up kite, just like you would do with a Turbolauncher.
(6) Pick up the kite and flip it upside-down, and carry in one hand, by the bridle or pump leash.

(7) Pick up the bar and board with the other hand and walk out into the water to the anchored float or stump.

( At the float or stump, undo the velcrox and free the bar, so you can shackle the chicken loop to the float or
(9) Walk with the kite in one hand and the "Line Tender/Dispenser" device in the other and "nightstick" the device
to unwind the lines, as you walk the kite out to the edge of the wind window.
(10) Set the kite on its wingtip and go back to the bar,to perform the "dog stake launch", first securing the
"Line Tender/Dispenser" device to the float using the velcrox strap.

I always fly my SLE kites with a 5th line, and only use the 5th to perform shallow water drift style or "staked 5th line" style launchs, and self landings, and therfore, I can perform another variation of this style "staked" launch, where I can place the kite in the direct downwind position from the stake, in a stable,"nose down and into the wind" position. This works better in high or gusty winds. I won't get into the details of that style launch now, but if anyone is interested in knowing the details, just let say so, and I will describe it.

Here are some pictures of the prototype "Line Tender/Dispenser" device:

See the thread for the 3 pictures:


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Postby kitezilla » Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:51 pm


The wind hasn't come up yet so I will continue with my discription of "the project".

Here is the construction technique I used to make the pull rod kite release piece. The first picture shows the final assembled part with the kite line attached. The reason for the rod style rather than just having the kite line stick out the end on a washer or a ball, is three-fold (1) Less chance of accidental release and (2) less chance of a line hanging out where it can gather seaweed and (3) also tangle. The pull rod stays neatly screwed in place until needed. The only modification, I needed to make was to grind off the internal ridge inside the CPVC Reducer Bushing, as shown in the second picture, using a tapered grinding bit in a drill. You could do it with a rat-tail file. This allows the ½ CPVC pipe to go completely through the Bushing, as shown in the third picture. That picture also shows the end pieces (CPVC female adapter and CPVC Reducer Bushing) in place with the string tied off in a big knot, and this is the end the kiter grabs and unscrews and pulls on to release the kite.

More later.
pull end 2.JPG
pull end 2.JPG (124.07 KiB) Viewed 923 times
pull end 6 routering.JPG
pull end 6 routering.JPG (116.86 KiB) Viewed 923 times
pull end 1.JPG
pull end 1.JPG (132.21 KiB) Viewed 923 times

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Postby kitezilla » Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:59 pm


Here is how I constructed the sliding adjustable kite bar holder. This unit is needed even if you only use one bar with one line length exclusively. It allows you to eliminate line droop and avoid catching seaweed. You adjust the bar holder position by sliding the 3/4" Coupler up against the holder and screw tighten the ends of the coupler. The Velcro straps (I used the ankle straps that come with Promotion wet suits) are used to quickly connect and unfasten the kite bar from the holder. The yellow end floats keep the bar holder floating and balanced. To place the foam (swimming pool foam noodles) in place, just hold the 1 inch PVC pipe against the foam and twist it back and forth, and the pipe will cut a tunnel. I think I left the foam loose with out glue, so that the foam would come off in case a line snagged it. Place 1 inch pieces of 1 inch PVC pipe in the ends of the PVC “crossâ€Â
kf-bar holder 2.JPG
kf-bar holder 2.JPG (123.67 KiB) Viewed 883 times
kf-bar holder 1.JPG
kf-bar holder 1.JPG (122.52 KiB) Viewed 883 times
bar holder blow-up.JPG
bar holder blow-up.JPG (123.97 KiB) Viewed 883 times

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Postby kitezilla » Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:33 pm


The next step is to make the “slotted line tendersâ€Â
line tender 2 slit.JPG
line tender 2 slit.JPG (119.84 KiB) Viewed 877 times
line tenders 1.JPG
line tenders 1.JPG (119.34 KiB) Viewed 877 times
line tender 3 lashed.JPG
line tender 3 lashed.JPG (128.08 KiB) Viewed 877 times

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