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Swim out and drift launch with a foil board techniques

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fun2kite
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Swim out and drift launch with a foil board techniques

Postby fun2kite » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:14 am

Hi All,

I am looking for any techniques any of you use to launch on high tide small or non-existing beach with no place to launch a kite. Here is my recent use case :

Once of the beaches I launch at, basically disappears during high tide. We also have a bunch of fishermen often taking over the beach and trees behind. So on high tide and fishermen around, there is no way to launch.

What I have done two weeks ago was to swim out with my kite (bar already connected to my harness and unrolled lines dragging behind me ) and drift launched the kite in deep water.. The issue was that I still had to come back to the beach to pick up my hydrofoil as I did not dare to swim with a kite and drift launch it while also handling a Foilboard.
As I bodydrag back to the beach, the kite dropped out of the sky as there was less wind by the beach than outside.
(This was inflatable kite obviously )

Now to my question: I am looking for a swimming and equipment position/handling and techniques, that would allow me to swim out with a kite and foil-board at the same time, drift launch and ride away..

Wonder if any of you ever done it. And if you did, how do you do it. (Hopefully more or less safely :-)
I am always riding in Low wind conditions, so we are not talking about 20 knots of wind here. I would never even consider this in high winds. But in Low winds, mistakes will not be dangerous for life and basically need to make sure that kite is not damaged and Swimming is possible while trying to hold on to both the kite and the board.

Any ideas on how to hold/position the board and the kite to accomplish it?

-D.

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Re: Swim out and drift launch with a foil board techniques

Postby Jzh_perth » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:24 am

Could you wear a pfd to make easy floating, then swim out with everything but tow the foil on a long line, then do everything like already described ? I'm just thinking of having to avoid going back to shore. Otherwise I can't imagine any alternative if there is no where onshore to lay your kite out.

( I'd never leash myself to anyboard in normal wind - just the super light days. )

fun2kite
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Re: Swim out and drift launch with a foil board techniques

Postby fun2kite » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:48 am

Jzh_perth wrote:Could you wear a pfd to make easy floating, then swim out with everything but tow the foil on a long line, then do everything like already described ? I'm just thinking of having to avoid going back to shore. Otherwise I can't imagine any alternative if there is no where onshore to lay your kite out.

( I'd never leash myself to anyboard in normal wind - just the super light days. )
Towing foilboard on a Long line is not good as remember, I have kite lines already dragging behind me when Swimming out and need to make sure they don't tangle with anything .

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Re: Swim out and drift launch with a foil board techniques

Postby Starsky » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:49 pm

I drift launch with swimming out with both kite and board. So far I just take care to be holding my board either between my legs while sitting on it, or just continually pushing it upwind of my ever couple of seconds. My board does not swim downwind very fast as it has no volume an sits low in the water. It is for sure difficult, but that is how I have done it so far. I find the easiest drift launch is when I can just trail the unwrapped lines cleanly behind me in a big "U" shape from bar out and back to the kite in my hands. This way there is no time having to do both unwind lines and keep the control of the board. Its simply swim out, reach a point where I can put some water on the canopy and let the kite go, and then keep swimming while pushing the board in front of me tensioning out the lines behind me.

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edt
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Re: Swim out and drift launch with a foil board techniques

Postby edt » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:42 pm

fun2 it appears you have all the skills you need. One thing you can do is to figure out the current and wind and then put the foilboard about 100 or 200 meters upwind of you. Then drift launch as usual. By the time you are launched the board should be right next to you. One caution using this technique, if you can't drift launch in time and you see your board coming close you need to bail (however you usually bail on a drift launch do that) and start over because you don't want that board caught in your lines. I launch from some really sketch places, but haven't tried my foil board from them sorry, this is just something I do with my regular board.

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Re: Swim out and drift launch with a foil board techniques

Postby Starsky » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:23 pm

That sounds totally crazy to me! I can't imagine having the board in the water far away and not under my direct control unless its on land in a spot that's easy enough to collect with a kite in the air.

I have had at least three close calls losing track off the board after a crash. You take your eye off it for a second to get the kite back up and it takes an extra minute. By the time you look around there is nothing but glare and chop. I make damn sure to pay close attention to where that board is at all times now. In some conditions boards move really fast and with your head at water level! I hate that pit in the stomach feeling when you realize you are unsure where you should even be looking. Have had to go ashore for a bit of elevation to find my foil. Usually its farther away than I feared.

Have a neon deckpad, and really appreciate how slow mine swims. I often climb out of the water and love that my board only makes it a few meters in the time it takes me to get out, drop the kite, ditch the Harness and swim for it. Same foil on a board with volume and I generally have to use a worse exit.

Anyway, I don't think there is an easy way. Drift launching is just pretty sketch.

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Re: Swim out and drift launch with a foil board techniques

Postby Peter_Frank » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:31 pm

edt wrote:fun2 it appears you have all the skills you need. One thing you can do is to figure out the current and wind and then put the foilboard about 100 or 200 meters upwind of you. Then drift launch as usual. By the time you are launched the board should be right next to you. One caution using this technique, if you can't drift launch in time and you see your board coming close you need to bail (however you usually bail on a drift launch do that) and start over because you don't want that board caught in your lines. I launch from some really sketch places, but haven't tried my foil board from them sorry, this is just something I do with my regular board.
That is an idea yes - as unless you got TOTALLY flat water and no windswell at all (a lake in offshore maybe ?), the board will drift extremely fast downwind - even in low wind.

It is not the wind, but the "dolphin" move they perform that causes the hydrofoils to "speed" along, faster than you like quite often ha haa :rollgrin:

Eventhough I dont like to be without my board either - at least not when I dont have any flotation besides maybe a thin wetsuit, it is tiresome in the long run towards shore, have tried it now and then when my board "galloped" towards shore from far out, kite in the water, too light to relaunch, bugger :x

8) Peter
Last edited by Peter_Frank on Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Swim out and drift launch with a foil board techniques

Postby Horst Sergio » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:23 pm

Hi fun2kite,

in any case, launching the kite first from deep water, for me the best and safest place for my board is under my ass. :wink:

I have written two explanations, one older in English and a newer one in German together with a video, but just for foil kites.

phpBB [video]


But on the end there are some parallels with tube kites and at many of my spots people launch also their tube kites in the deep water, as there are no beaches, no problem.

You should find all my links for soft kites here:

http://kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=197&t=2394369

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Re: Swim out and drift launch with a foil board techniques

Postby tmcfarla » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:45 pm

fun2kite wrote: What I have done two weeks ago was to swim out with my kite (bar already connected to my harness and unrolled lines dragging behind me ) and drift launched the kite in deep water.
This is exactly what I do, except I push the board along with my upwind hand. If the water is flat it isn't too hard to swim a bit holding the kite and the board. Just keep the board upwind so the lines don't catch on the foil.

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Re: Swim out and drift launch with a foil board techniques

Postby Peter_Frank » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:08 pm

I am delighted to see so many who launch this way because they HAVE to :thumb:

Awesome and the right spirit :rollgrin:

Have ever never had to do it, as we have loads of spots all over where possible to launch on land - so take my hat off for those who takes the trouble and do it, RESPECT :hut:

A wet kite (as I assume you have to put it in the drink when going ashore also) is something I avoid - but only because it is possible, otherwise I would also go out like you do, no matter how difficult :naughty:

8) PF


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