It is just as easy to do with a inflato as it is a foil. I'd like to see how far off-shore you are going to swim with your gear. With on shore winds and no waves, it's simple. But with waves, of course much harder even for you.
It seems that you know very little about inflatos. You would not put it on its back as it would continually roll down-wind. You would wrap the lines up so as they are tight. If you leave them loose (including your foil) the line will most likely tangle behind the kite as you are swimming. When you get to where you want to be, place the kite w/ LE down like on the beach. As you let your lines out they drift down wind. You may have to swim abit into the wind to get the lines downwind faster. Turn the kite so as the kite is sideways (like the video of the drift launch) and let go. The kite will stay LE down and not turn at all until the lines get tight. LAUNCH!!
I have done this over 100 times in the keys so as to ride the best slicks and hard to reach places. I usually just jump off a dock and swim out. For experience kiter, I think it could be a great idea but for the average joe? We would definately see more accidents. If anything fouls the lines while trying to launch you would be on the beach in seconds. What would you do if you wanted to change boards? Let me guess since you can't come to the beach. Self rescue, swim to beach, change boards, swim back out and do it again. Good luck on that one.
Never said it could not be done with an inflato. The way you described is what I would do with a LEI. If I'm not mistaken many BOW kites have the front lines nearer the center of the kite.
This should help alot to keep the kite from turning around prematurely
Also never said drift launching was for every one.
However swimming in any wind with an already inflated inflato is going to be a problem.
Just look at how long it takes someone to come in with a kite when they can't relaunch.
However I still think that a drift launch is a solution for riders that have a dangerous launch location with shifty and nasty wind.... and in particular desert Lakes where a wet kite will dry in minutes. Some lake locations have nasty winds at the launch, but much better winds furthur out.
I'm lucky that I live near several great beaches so it's not an issue for me.
The reason I learned to drift launch was to teach my son from a boat at least a mile from the crowd of kiters and with a mile or more of downwind buffer zone.
I'm also keeping my deep water launch skills up to par just incase the local beaches get closed.
You asked how far I would swim out with my gear. Actually when I did the drift launches I didn't exactly swim. I paddled out with the kite bundled up tight on the front of my surfboard.
I would have no real problem paddling out quite a long way as I use a very very floaty hollow carbon fiber surfboard.
Recently as I stated at the beginning of the thread A kitesurfer was killed on Lake Mojave recently.
He was very experienced and was lifted in a sudden gust.
If he had done a water swim and drift launch he would still be with his family and friends today.