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How to self launch a kite

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Toby
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How to self launch a kite

Postby Toby » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:36 pm

How to self launch a kite

Ever wondered what the best self launching techniques are!? If you turn up to a beach and there is no one around, but the wind is blowing and you a desperate for a session... well, its not recommended however there are several techniques that will get you out on the water even if you have no friends. A tethered launch, a slide launch and a weighted launch... make sure you watch closely and make sure your lines are connected properly before attempting any of these. For advanced kiters only.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zngs522iYo

phpBB [video]

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edt
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Re: How to self launch a kite

Postby edt » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:15 pm

very nice

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Re: How to self launch a kite

Postby grigorib » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:09 pm

Obviously there are pros and cons for each way of doing it but neither of these look the best nor safest to me.
- I see tethered launch taking people "forever" and I observed two guys on two separate occasions getting kite up somehow almost full powered and hitting opposite side of the wind window, whatever they did wrong.
- never seen/tried weighted launch (LE up, as shown in video) and it looks like an option but I'd be concerned about line over the wingtip might get you closer to deathloop "adventure"
- self-landing pulling on the brake line as shown in the video is not safe practice either, pulling on upper front line is way safer way to do it in my opinion (sorry for high-Y bar owners who can do it only on one side)

I do tons of self-launch and self-landings because I can do it fast and reliably (local conditions specifically don't allow assisted launch/landing 90% of time)
- I do drift launch, walking in with lines unwind already). Great for flats, not great for shore break or deep-water conditions
- I rarely but I do weighted launch, LE down, walking an arch to tighten lines and turn the kite to catch air in. The disadvantage is you can get kite slide/drag a bit over beach surface which could be less than ideal (shells, rocks, sticks, someone's gear, sharp crap sometimes...)
- self landing over land/water with kill switch using upper front line works magic, except when it's blowing 30 knots.

And hey, who shared that video of a guy just throwing the kite up from his hands and letting wind pick it up and "tension" the lines. That was a crazy and unsafe but fun stunt :)

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Re: How to self launch a kite

Postby Toby » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:15 pm

Grigorib: pls make a video of your launch too, then we can show them all in one topic 👍🏻

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Re: How to self launch a kite

Postby kite_hh » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:30 pm

I disagree strongly with the one of the most prominent (and first?) statements made in the video.

A person is NOT always the best option to start your kite.

ONLY have your kite started by someone you can trust in the prevailing conditions.

There is so much that can go wrong. I recently had a situation that made me seriously consider being helped ever again by a stranger. Self launching is just so much safer, because you know what you are doing. Obviously, having a good launch assistant is better, but if there is no good launch assistant you can reasonably trust in the conditions it is safer to self launch.


I agree with him that tethered self launch is best and safest. I personally like to use a tether different from my leash (essentially a line with a carabiner to hook into the QR).


When he shows the drag launch I got confused because he wiggled the blue bar end and then talked about (and proceeded to pull) the orange one. :-D

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Re: How to self launch a kite

Postby edt » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:55 pm

The best thing about this video is how short it is, covers the main launches. You don't want a 30 minute video on self launch nobody will watch it. They should cut out the old style launch the only reason people used to launch that way is because a lot of the old C kites couldn't tether launch, especially in 4 line mode. Now that I've switched my fuels all from 4 line mode to 5 line mode I've noticed you can actually tether launch them if you like. Before they would just tumble downwind but if I tried it with 5 lines they tend to stay on their wingtip like a bridled kite, who knew? I also agree showing the "shore launch" would be nice.

Shore launch is when you place the kite right at water's edge so the water is just barely touching it. Lay out your lies as usual, then if the launch is full of branches that can get into your lines like mine is, wind up the lines, then start walking out into the water unwinding lines. Once you are in the water all it takes is pulling the near center line, and the kite will be dragged into the water. Now do a water relaunch.

A pure drift launch when you swim out with your kite into the water has a problem where it's pretty easy for the lines to get into a knot because you have to unwind the lines pretty fast while the kite floats downwind and it's easy to take off two loops at a time instead of one then boom knot.

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Re: How to self launch a kite

Postby grigorib » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:03 pm

kite_hh wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:30 pm
I disagree strongly with the one of the most prominent (and first?) statements made in the video.

A person is NOT always the best option to start your kite.
Yup. Sometimes it's much safer to self launch compared to someone who say they know but either release the kite before you're ready or starts with picking up kite while throwing one line over and twisting your lines, etc, etc.
kite_hh wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:30 pm
...tethered self launch is best and safest. I personally like to use a tether different from my leash (essentially a line with a carabiner to hook into the QR).
Watching people look for an anchor, go back and forth, walk down kite by line. Seems to take too much time. It's alright to do it but walking out into water with lines unwind, letting the kite drift away while walking upwind is quick and reliable.
Toby wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:15 pm
Grigorib: pls make a video of your launch too, then we can show them all in one topic 👍🏻
I sold my camera last year. I'd need a gopro, a mouth mount, get a new computer, edit the video...get acconut to post on youtube....
I'm thinking of a different way to do it. Infographics, maybe series of static photos. Old school, just how they did it in magazines. Still would need to buy a camera.
I don't recall whose video I watched on drift launch and beach self-launch to learn from but amount of good existing knowledge out there is good already. The choice what to do and what to avoid is what is usually under debate.
edt wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:55 pm
A pure drift launch when you swim out with your kite into the water has a problem where it's pretty easy for the lines to get into a knot because you have to unwind the lines pretty fast while the kite floats downwind and it's easy to take off two loops at a time instead of one then boom knot.
I try not to unwind lines when with kite in water - too easy to tangle them. But certainly I'd never let kite go if lines are not unwind - that's somewhat recipe for "adventure".
Maybe walking out is not pure drift launch but that's usually I walk out less than line-length, depending on wind direction, so I can still stand and kite can float when it drifts all the way.
Last edited by grigorib on Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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edt
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Re: How to self launch a kite

Postby edt » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:48 pm

grigorib wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:03 pm

Usually it's about walking out less than line-length, depending on wind direction, so I can still stand and kite can float when it drifts all the way.
Yeah can't do that when there's too much seaweed tho.

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Re: How to self launch a kite

Postby grigorib » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:01 pm

edt wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:48 pm
grigorib wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:03 pm

Usually it's about walking out less than line-length, depending on wind direction, so I can still stand and kite can float when it drifts all the way.
Yeah can't do that when there's too much seaweed tho.
damn seaweed, jellyfish and sharp shells/rocks on the bottom. But seaweed deserves special place in hell :)

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Re: How to self launch a kite

Postby tomtom » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Its completely location dependent - no universal solution


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