Contact   Imprint   Advertising   Guidelines

Way to self launch in rocky area

forum for kitesurfers

User avatar
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1266
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 4:58 pm

Postby kitezilla » Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:56 pm


I actually spoke to someone who launched kites like the method you have shown, with the exception, that he angled the post upwind, (toward the kiter and bar), and said that the force of the wind would keep tension on the loop from the pump leash going to the kite, and thereby, secure the kite. He would then pull on the bar and drag the kite upwind, and thereby free the loop from the angled pole.

My first thoughts in considering this method were;

(1) Back currents, or waves from passing boats could wash the kite upwind, and thereby free the loop, prematurely, resulting in an accidental launch.

(2) Once the kite was freed from the post, the kite could have enough drag and pull on the kiter to force the kiter toward the angled post, and along with the situation where one of more of the kite lines were inadvertently displaced to the wrong side of the post, could result in (a) an accidental hot launch of the kite, dragging the kiter into the post or (b) having the caught line direct the kiter and kite bar into the post. I have had a sand bag "saddle-bag" over a kite line during a self-launch, and kind of do the same thing, as it rode the line all the way back to the bar, causing me great concern over my lack of control of the flying kite, until I got up to the sand which time, I could pull it off the line and properly control the kite.

(3) Variation in water level due to the tide would prevent the use of the post at high or low tide.

(4) The problem of securing the post so that it would not rotate 180 degrees, and accidentally release the loop.

(5) Being responsible for leaving a hazard, like a sturdy post, in the water.

(6) The growth of razor sharp barnicles on the post.

I rejected that launch idea, but it has merit in its simplicity.

User avatar
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1266
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 4:58 pm

Postby kitezilla » Sat Nov 11, 2006 4:18 pm


I considered the use of one of the existent kite lines, and its use as the operative pull-trip line, but did not trust that method, because I could not figure out a way to protect the system against premature accidental triggering of the release, due to the confusion of lines in the water, catching on debris, rocks, and part of the kiter's body, as he walked back to the place, from which he could launch the kite.

The ideas of leaving a pull-trip line loose in the water, creeped me out, and I convinced myself that the only safe way was to shield the trip line inside a hard shell. I thought of using a garden hose, but rejected that much more convenient housing, in favor of the PVC pipe.

I opted in favor of the most reliable and controllable design I could think of. Here is an idea that a friend of mine offered, but I rejected. It also has merit. He suggested using a remote control garage door opener or car door opener, modified to be water-proof and to work off a 6 volt battery, in combination with a solenoid operated slide latch. This way, one could have a nice little anchored floating raft-like structure containing the release mechanism, and the kiter would only have to carry the remote control. I immediately thought of the problems with waterproofing, battery drain, corrosion, salt water shorting out wires, lines snagging on the anchor rope, and other problems.

At least, with the pipe style launcher, if things go bad after the kite is released, you only drag along a smooth pipe. The 2 line orientation floats that you hit along the way, just rip off, and are soft. When you get to the end of the pipe, there is nothing there to snag the lines or drift free, and can proceed with the water launch.

User avatar
Medium Poster
Posts: 131
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 4:10 am
Kiting since: 0
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Iceland

Postby geir » Sat Nov 11, 2006 4:29 pm

I see your point Kitezilla.

Pictured it as just beach tool, above high tide waterline. I had realized the hazard part of it, being an obsticle in the way of bypassers but as I have most of the time trouble getting only 1 other kitesurfer to join me (we always rig on different parts of the beach) and the Icelandic beaches are completely people free I don't have to worry about that part.

But your point about it being a hazard to myself or my kite/lines makes my think of putting that idea to bed. Had already pictured it as a small wooden stick rounded at the top, to minimize hazard. Not a permanent one, would just jank it out after launch.

Thanks, Geir

User avatar
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1266
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 4:58 pm

Postby kitezilla » Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:02 pm


If you are willing to put a 5th line on your kite, you will open yourself up to an interesting option, involving a post in the water or a float and anchor in the water. If you have a shallow area directly downwind of the post or float, you can use the 5th line in a technique, I may have previously described in another recent thread, in order to secure the kite in a fairly quiet position on the water, which will allow you to walk slowly back to the bar, and then pull a snap shackle, to release the kite, in preparation for a standard water relaunch. I will look up the thread and post it here.

Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 3766
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 6:39 pm

Postby ronnie » Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:44 pm

This is a diagram of the kind of thing I was describing. The stepdown in the diameter of the pin would be tapered and less than shown in the diagram.
It should work, because you would be pulling at almost rightangles to the pull of the pumpleash on the sandbag. The clip stays with the sandbag. There is only a short line with a looped end attached to the pumpleash when the kite is flying. The larkshead knot should pull out when the kite is flying.

Of course it is not as good as just setting the kite up on its side, for most bow kites.
pumprelease.jpg (22.7 KiB) Viewed 557 times

User avatar
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1266
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 4:58 pm

Postby kitezilla » Sat Nov 11, 2006 6:46 pm


Nice presentation... I wish I could do that kind of drawing!


Here is a copy of the post, I did on this thread:


Go to the thread to see the 3 pictures, that I refer to.

I said:


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 Velcro 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.

(8) At the float or stump, undo the Velcro and free the bar, so you can shackle the chicken loop to the float or stump.
(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 Velcro 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 launches, and self landings, and therefore, 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,â€Â

Return to “Kitesurfing”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: airsail, BudhaNl, Jukka, Lokihel, SaltWaterDog and 20 guests