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How do you Launch your Kite ?

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Bille
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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby Bille » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:32 am

TheJoe wrote:...
I will disagree with you Bille on launch as the most dangerous time. To me it would be coming in and landing a kite. When launching you are rested, have the strength to deal with the kite, and react faster. Upon coming in you are tired, have muscle fatigue, and most likely dehydrated. All things that can influence your decisions and reaction time.


Gonna have to Agree with Ya on that one !!
Makes Good sense .

That habit i got for walking on the beach to my board, with the
Kite at Zenith ; it's gotta Go !!
I'm Gonna get Hurt one day, by continuing to do that (.)

When there are no kiters on the beach, (all out riding) and i got
to get a beach-goer to launch me ---
I'll do a tether launch & bring the kite up myself to check the lines. The person
i ask to hold it, is there to stabilize the kite only until i get to the QR.
I usually ask them to let go Before i even hook-in . If it's Real windy, then
i'll attach the safety & ask them to let go before i hook-in.

I basically do NOT want someone that i don't know , holding my kite
while I am Hooked in to it, other than the safety. I'll even bring the kite up
just out of their reach, (while Still on tether) before hooking in. I learned "That"
lesson already ; they can't be trusted !!

Bille

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Kamikuza
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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby Kamikuza » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:43 am

I prefer to self-launch (usually tethered launch) even when there are people around to "help" me.

Just this weekend, the person who offered to launch my kite couldn't actually handle it and had to get another person to help them - yes, they are experienced kiters :o

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby plummet » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:42 am

My first choice is assisted launch by an experienced kiter.
Then teathered launch. But there are limitations for teathering.
Last choice drag launch.

Same goes for landing

Assisted
teathered
self
pull safety.

Regarding teathering the limitation is with very gusty locations. the kite can drift forward and back. there is a chance in those conditions while your running to the kite when you are knot holding it for it to roll back catch and wing tip and then loop into the powerzone. The chance is minimal. but it is there in extreme gusty spots.

In those conditions I find drag launch safer.

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby Twitch » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:10 pm

I rather have one hand on the bar and launch the kite up but NOT to 12 oclock. Keep it low and head in the water. I dont clip my leash in when launching because I rather know if something goes wrong on the beach I can do one action to completely ditch my kite in a bad situation. I always tell new kiters that the worst injuries will occur during launching and landing your kite.

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby RichardM » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:43 pm

TheJoe wrote:Normally its just one hand and unhooked. Letting go is a lot faster than messing with a quick release.

I will disagree with you Bille on launch as the most dangerous time. To me it would be coming in and landing a kite. When launching you are rested, have the strength to deal with the kite, and react faster. Upon coming in you are tired, have muscle fatigue, and most likely dehydrated. All things that can influence your decisions and reaction time.


Launching unhooked is faster than activating a QR only if the kiter actually lets go. Many, many accidents happen or become worse because of the natural tendency to hang on.

Disadvantages of launching unhooked include:

1. The kite is fully powered up exactly the same as pulling the bar all the way back.
2. Because it is fully powered with maximum tension on the back lines, the steering is maximally twitchy.
3. In strong wind ( when you'd be worried enough to try this method), it may be difficult to hook in; especially if wearing a seat harness and/or have a small CL with a donkey dick in the way. This situation can dramatically increase the danger because of #s 1 & 2 above.

Although your point about fatigue increasing the danger of landing is well taken, the kiter HAS CONTROL over this element and need not get to the point where it is a significant issue (except through stupidity/greed or an unforeseen problem).

For a kiter not tired to the point where safety is significantly impacted, landing has the following safety advantages compared to launching:

1. The kiter has a much better grasp of exactly the responses he can expect from his kite in the present conditions.

2. If conditions are such that landing seems excessively sketchy, the kiter has the option of either putting the kite in the water at the shoreline on its leash or self rescuing from deeper water farther from shore. Obviously, this approach could also be used by a fatigued kiter to minimize the dangers associated with land.

Richard M.
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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby Kiteus Maximus » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:15 pm

I watched a dude tether his kite...stand his kite on end then started running back to his kite....the kite jumped into the air from a gust...did a full death loop...then moved 180 degrees across the wind window and landed smack down on top of a tree.

I even offered to help the guy launch his kite but he said he wanted to practice tether launching for days when he was riding solo. He did everything right except hold his inside line. Even then I don't know if it would have helped because the gust that hit the kite was pretty damn strong. It was so strong that when the kite launched up into the air it buckled both wing tips before it looped into the tree.

I've tethered a few times and had success but I don't prefer it. The areas we kite don't have much of a launch or landing pad. Drift launch is what I do mostly if I am solo and don't have clean wind coming into the launch area. I liked the one posters recommendation of putting water on top of the kite to hold it down while the kite drifts into the wind window. A few times I have had my kite start to lift up before the lines were tight and the kite almost inverted.

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby tautologies » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:32 pm

Kiteus Maximus wrote:I watched a dude tether his kite...stand his kite on end then started running back to his kite....the kite jumped into the air from a gust...did a full death loop...then moved 180 degrees across the wind window and landed smack down on top of a tree.

I even offered to help the guy launch his kite but he said he wanted to practice tether launching for days when he was riding solo. He did everything right except hold his inside line. Even then I don't know if it would have helped because the gust that hit the kite was pretty damn strong. It was so strong that when the kite launched up into the air it buckled both wing tips before it looped into the tree.

I've tethered a few times and had success but I don't prefer it. The areas we kite don't have much of a launch or landing pad. Drift launch is what I do mostly if I am solo and don't have clean wind coming into the launch area. I liked the one posters recommendation of putting water on top of the kite to hold it down while the kite drifts into the wind window. A few times I have had my kite start to lift up before the lines were tight and the kite almost inverted.


sounds like the guy did not depower enough, and did not pump up enough?
we had a guy here tether to a tree branch...the kite took off the branch and lofted the rider. It can be done safely, but it has to be done right. People should not try it in heavy winds at first. :-)

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby plummet » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:52 pm

tautologies wrote:sounds like the guy did not depower enough, and did not pump up enough?
we had a guy here tether to a tree branch...the kite took off the branch and lofted the rider. It can be done safely, but it has to be done right. People should not try it in heavy winds at first. :-)



I have tethered hundreds of times successfully and once unsuccessfully. On the unsuccessfull time I was in a very gusty location and in a rush a lull hit the kite drifted back while i was running to the bar. somehow a loose steering line wrapped around the bar and whamo death loop into the powerzone and a 2 piece kite.

teathering definately saves the kite wear from drag launching. But I now no longer teather over a level of gustyness that i think may cause issues.

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby RichardM » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:52 am

.
Although many posters are apparently aware of the dangers associated with gusts/lulls when launching, in some respects SHIFTY wind can be more dangerous .

This is because a shift of wind direction can have the exact same effect as a gust or lull by changing where the kite is located in the wind window and it can do so with even LESS Warning.

Unless dealing with relatively rare and extremely dangerous highly percussive gusts and instant holes, most experienced kiters can often get at least a clue from feeling the increasing or decreasing intensity of the wind on any exposed skin as a gust or lull starts to affect the kite.

However, most people don’t notice (by skin feeling) a significant shift in wind direction and therefore are more taken by surprise when their kite doesn’t respond as expected. Also, it is frequently possible to SEE a gust approaching as it disturbs sand or water whereas it’s unusual to see an APPROACHING change of direction.

Needless to say, a shift of wind which puts the kite more in the center of the window, combined with a gust can be extra exciting.

Richard M.
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Last edited by RichardM on Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby geopeck » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:01 am

I prefer an assisted launch by a kiter, I'll slide launch up to about 18 knots and tether launch over that. I only like to slide launch if I have good beach and downwind clearance to do it, otherwise try to think ahead and tether launch. We have big tides so sometimes there is 300 meters between my tether and the water, other times 10 meters. Naturally the tether point is surrounded by logs and RVs and signs, so it's not a great place to have a kite up for long.

Here's a method I've been using pretty often if I see non-kiters on the beach and I'm going to launch solo and don't want to tether. Rig the kite up, ask the person if they would be willing to help me launch. Get affirmative, depower, hand them the chicken loop and say "This is going to give about 30 lbs of pull when I set it up, you can let go if it if you are getting pulled too much." Set kite up same as tether launch, take CL from them.

This is kind of nice because it's going to move me into a safe sandy spot and it doesn't have a bystander handling the wing or creating surprises. It might be presuming too much that they will think to let go but I have a pretty good idea once the kite is on one tip if there is a potential for trouble.


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