Hi guys, given that I can Only launch from a boat with my wife, who will only drive the boat, I am in need of some advice in self drift launching. 3 years into kiting I have tried most techniques even got a tube called turbolauncher. It seems to be very hard to not have the kite flip or try to hot launch and tanlge the lines. The 2 methods I have tried on my 17m SS turbine have involved puting the kite on its LE, and the outside side of the struts of the kite directly facing the wind. On the first one I fed the lines into the water, then I let the kite drift. On the second I used a turbolauncher to have the rear or back line and the center line both right sides under 1.5m tension as they where fed out. However in both cases the kite tried to hot launch, flipped and tangled the lines. My question is wether I should I keep tension on one of the rear lines puting the kite on its LE, and the outside side of the struts facing the wind but a little sideways with the side under tension closer to the wind ? Or try and keep tension on both center lines with the turbolauncher ?. I have also tried it on a ´12 13m rebel and will try it on a ´17 13m contra. Thanks a lot I am sure many kiters under similar conditions will appreciate the coments Good winds!!
everyone has a different technique in drift launching so keep trying them out until you find one that suits you. my technique is this, jump into the water with my kite bar & board. Then get on top of the leading edge so that water sloshes on top of the canopy. Get a few gallons on it. This water will be between the middle strut and the leading edge and force that part of the canopy down. This water will act like an anchor and slow the kite down. Now unwind your lines and let the kite drift downstream. Sometimes the kite will turn around that's ok, swim downwind and go with the kite to release tension that will prevent the kite from relaunching and prevent it from powering up. I never hook into the chicken loop until the kite is completely ready. Also I never let tension get into the lines as I drift launch. Not necessarily better or worse just the way I do it. If it's not under tension then if something goes wrong I grab a line on the kite and haul it in without me being connected to it. if you have flotation it makes it a lot easier to do a drift launch because swimming is just one more thing you are having to take care of. One more thing, with a smaller boat you might be able to dump water on top of the kite without having to jump off it. Your results may vary. Everyone else has a different way to do it and your technique will depend on what your boat is like. When I have a boat and two or three people it's easier. Someone can swim out into the water with the kite and hold it in a U position as you unwind the lines.
I know you asked for help drift launching but instead I'd do this:
1) Anchor boat 2) rig kite, use a line manager so you know your lines are correct 3) have wife hold kite on swim grid 4) you swim out sideways from the boat unrolling the bar as you go 5) once your lines are fully deployed untwist any twists 6) clip in 7) either have wife launch you or just get her to drop the kite in the water LE down
A few years ago I lived in a place where I'd have to walk out over really sharp rocks to a launch. What I worked out was to set the kite, bar, and lines up normally in some grassy area. Then take the a 1 liter soda bottle. While holding the bar, starting from the bar, shove all four lines into the bottle (keep leader lines outside of it). Work your way to the kite until you get to bridal, you can either shake the bottle along the way, or use a stick to pack lines down into bottle to make space. At this point, your bar is next to your kite, and all the lines are in the bottle, and the lines nearest the kite are at the top of the bottle. Take kite wherever you need, inflate, release. Line will feed out until you get to the bar. I never had a tangle once I removed line extensions. This is basically the bucket launch, but the smaller opening makes it easier to make be around with (I had a long hike, but same goes for boat ride). This does not work well if you have line extensions (I eventually figured out a so-so solution to line extensions, but hard to explain and only about a 75% success rate).
Here is a better thread showing my videos and a really good description of how PD Gorby 67 launches from his boat. Several good methods evolving as each person tries it and adds their twist to it. Hope this helps.