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The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

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KiteSurfPEI
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The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby KiteSurfPEI » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:41 pm

Hi,

Anyone care to share their version of the safest way to launch a kitesurfing kite solo?

The older windsurfer-turned-kitesurfer guys on PEI rigged up an anchored buoy and the buoy has a piece of steel shaped like the hook on a harness. We get our kites pumped, lay out our lines and attach the anchored hook onto the chicken-loop of the bar. Then we attach the kite to the lines and walk the kite upwind around the edge of the wind-window until it stands like a ( or backwards ) depending on which way you choose to go. The kite will usually stand like a ( [or backwards ) ] waiting to be flown up. As long as the buoy and steel hook are anchored well, the kite will sit waiting for you. If it's really gusting it might hop up slightly but it will glide down after the gust until you are ready to fly it up. So after I attach my lines to my kite and walk the kite the sweet spot where it stands still (not pushing forwards dragging on sand and shells or flying up and going backwards), I walk to the kite with no worries of the kite slipping away, and I grab the chicken-loop and attach it to my harness. When I am ready I fly the kite upwards and head to sea with board in hand.

To land, I fly the kite 45 degrees to the left or right while I am looking directly downwind. I bring it down smoothly and land it nicely on the beach or waters edges, and then attach the chicken-loop back onto the anchored buoyed hook, walk to the kite & pull the plug if I'm done for the day, or just drop it with the leading edge into the wind and on the ground with board on top for extra security.

I ride Best’s Kahoona. It’s the ultimate in free-style kites.

OzBungy
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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby OzBungy » Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:19 pm

Three problems
- if you are not near your anchor then you have to self-launch land without a well practiced system
- while the kite is on the anchor you have given up control before the kite is made safe.
- you are leaving a dangerous obstacle on the beach for other people.

Do some googling and you will find heaps of videos of self-launching and landing. It's easy. It's safe. You should not be kiting if you can't do it.

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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby lenker » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:34 am

OzBungy wrote:You should not be kiting if you can't do it.
Well, where I kite it is too dangerous to self launch so I can not do it and the schools here do not teach it. Should I stop kiting now? :bye:

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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby OzBungy » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:33 am

lenker wrote:... Should I stop kiting now? :bye:
Yes :wink:

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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby BWD » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:39 am

Don't quit, just go to a better place to ride. duh.
Once you learn how to be a responsible and self sufficient kiter in a better location,
maybe you can figure out how to self launch at your crappy old location too. :jump:

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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby lenker » Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:10 am

Sorry to hijack the thread now, but my crappy old location happens to be one of the best windwise in South East Asia (Boracay). Hell, it's just not safe to self launch 10m away from the palm trees. Doesn't make the spot less appealing, there is plenty of other kiters around and everybody assists each other starting and landing.

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kitezilla
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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby kitezilla » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:13 pm

KiteSurfPEI wrote:Hi,

Anyone care to share their version of the safest way to launch a kitesurfing kite solo?

The older windsurfer-turned-kitesurfer guys on PEI rigged up an anchored buoy and the buoy has a piece of steel shaped like the hook on a harness. We get our kites pumped, lay out our lines and attach the anchored hook onto the chicken-loop of the bar. Then we attach the kite to the lines and walk the kite upwind around the edge of the wind-window until it stands like a ( or backwards ) depending on which way you choose to go. The kite will usually stand like a ( [or backwards ) ] waiting to be flown up. As long as the buoy and steel hook are anchored well, the kite will sit waiting for you. If it's really gusting it might hop up slightly but it will glide down after the gust until you are ready to fly it up. So after I attach my lines to my kite and walk the kite the sweet spot where it stands still (not pushing forwards dragging on sand and shells or flying up and going backwards), I walk to the kite with no worries of the kite slipping away, and I grab the chicken-loop and attach it to my harness. When I am ready I fly the kite upwards and head to sea with board in hand.

To land, I fly the kite 45 degrees to the left or right while I am looking directly downwind. I bring it down smoothly and land it nicely on the beach or waters edges, and then attach the chicken-loop back onto the anchored buoyed hook, walk to the kite & pull the plug if I'm done for the day, or just drop it with the leading edge into the wind and on the ground with board on top for extra security.

I ride Best’s Kahoona. It’s the ultimate in free-style kites.

I would like to know more about the "buoy" and anchor.

How deep is the water? How much does the depth change with the tide?

How is it anchored? How much force does it take to move the anchor? Is the anchor buried in the bottom or does it stick up?

Is the hook on something that floats? Does the hook have something that locks the chicken loop in place, like a carabiner?

It sounds like the anchor and buoy set-up is designed for use with only bridled kites, which respond well to the "Ghost Launch" or "Staked Launch" style of self-launch. Does anyone launch a "C" kite from the set-up?

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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby BWD » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:58 pm

I understand, was "kinda" giving you a hard time.
But everyone really ought to know how to self launch and land.
When it comes down to it, not being able to launch is not too bad, except it may cost you a session.
Being able to safely bring your kite down alone though is vital, even if you have to come in by using a self rescue technique.
I'm sure you know some of those, if you ride alone!

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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby ktflyer381 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:01 pm

I do a lot of self landing and launching, I have some great places to kite but if I am often either alone or there aren't a lot of other kiters around so I don't rely on anyone for launching and landing (it's just a bonus).

The anchor method works very well. I usually use the leg of a picnic table or a post, put some climbing rope around it and attach a caribiner. Works really well. I have kited in PEI and I have used an anchor at Brackley Beach it worked too. There is no endangering people on the beach if there isn't anyone on the beach. This is obviously not a technique for a crowded area, but that's common sense. In Canada there are many great spots without crowds of people - maybe something others aren't used too.

If you get blown downwind, you do have to have a backup plan. There is a great video by Jon Modica showing a technique that works for self landing Cabrinha kites in light to medium winds. For me I don't use it in high or gusty winds because there is potential of it rolling over and ending up downwind. For heavy wind when you can't make it back to the anchor (maybe a newb) you should be able to flag any kite in the water as a last resort. In PEI the water is nice and shallow and walking up the line of a flagged kite is not an issue. I haven't had to use this procedure in years, but it should always be available.

Most of the new kites have great self landing features (Cabrinha IDS). If you want to self launch though, you still need to use an anchor, or drift launch (doesn't work in straight onshore wind which I get 90% of the time), or by my least preferred method of sitting the kite leading edge into the wind, walking upwind, pulling a steering line to get it to turn so that it is sitting straight downwind and then attempting a relaunch (if there are high winds this is very very dangerous as there is a tendency for a hot launch, which is a killer on shore with obstacles around, quite safe in light winds if you know what you are doing).

Anyhow, I am an advanced kiter with lots of experience and this is what works for me.

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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby OzBungy » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:38 pm

^^^^ what he said. :thumb:

Obviously assisted launching/landing is best and the anchor thing is fine at a dodgey site. It is not substitute for having the skill to self-launch/land which is essential if you want to kite safely.

The Cabrinha IDS self landing system is amazing. It's such a joy to use.


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