I'm sure this topic has been posted before, but I just got my first bow a couple of days ago and was able to fly my Ocean Rodeo ONE 12 today.
The kite works great, but just launching it on land was really tough.
It is a very flat kite and if you selflaunch the kite like a good old C-Kite, you need a truckload of sand to keep it on the ground. Obviously, with the heavy load of sand it takes forever to get it in the air.
Fortunately after my session, somebody caught my kite, so I didn't have to land it myself.
Since it barely keeps on the ground when you just have it sit there while you're attaching the lines, I can imagine it will be really tough to selfland the kite.
I guess there might be some tricks to make it possible to do the launching and landing youself without anybodies help.
Although most of this is stuff about Starkites, there is a section on self-launching etc. Starkite is the bow kite produced by Eric, head of the IKO, and I have seen him use - and teach - this technique - although in light winds. My understanding is that it will work for any bow kite.
I tested the OR1 12m and found it to be much less stable than other bows. It is high aspect and does not have much curve at the wings tip. When the kite is flown off to one side it will need a much more delicate touch to keep it in one place. I think the sliding self launch that Eric describes will work. Be aware that the kite could be downwind on takeoff and pull hard when it opens up. Watch for sharp thing on the beach that the kite might slide across. I think that the self landing will be touchy. The
OR1 we had would not sit still very well on its wingtip. You might have to land it like a c-shape, dropping it at the side of the window and using the leash to pull the upper wing tip to you as it falls to the ground.
If you are willing to put a 5th. line on the kite, there is a whole world of things you can do. I assume that you will explore all your options, first, using only the 4 lines that came on the kite.
Good luck with your search. If, and when, you give up on finding a safe, and non-kite-destructive way to do this with 4 lines, get back to us with a request for a description of how to self-launch and land using a 5th line.
I launch this way 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.
One other warning - Don't try this with a C kite!
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
Unhook from carabiner and SLOWLY bring kite up on edge of window
There are a few OR one kites at my beach and I have seen them launched this way as well. They just hook some webbing and a beaner to a sign post and have no problems with it. Haven't paid much attention to self landing them though.
Will the self launch method attached to a post or hitch (As shown in the picture) work with all SLE kites. It looks as though the picture is showing a Best Waroo. I have tried this method successfully with a Contra but was unsuccessfull with a Flex ION.
The kites that I have succesfully launched this way are the Best Waroo (shown), GK Sonic, and Slingshot Turbo Diesel. I know it also works with the Naish Shockwave and other riders have told me it works with the Cabrinha Crossbow.
I have found that each brand has a little diffferent technique. For example, the Waroo loikes to be depowered at the edge, but the SS Turbo Diesel definitely does not like to be depowered at the edge. I usually set the stopper ball about 6 inches from the bar on the Turbo Diesel so it's pretty powered up.
It's also a good idea to have a friend help you the first time you try this until you get a feel for how YOUR kite reacts to sitting on the edge. The kite can either sit on ground or water and should just stay on the edge. It may rise up off the ground, but will come back to rest on its wingtip at the edge.