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Making launch safer - learning from the experts

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alexglebov
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Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby alexglebov » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:54 pm

I am reading this forum and trying to learn the best way to launch the kite. I like ideas proposed by PullStrings:
PullStrings wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:15 pm
All that talk about the rider and signs to give the OK !!

That's not how i operate if someone needs help to launch
I first have a talk on how i will do it....and if they don't agree...too bad

I will ask them to hold their position while i will go set-up the kite with lines tight on it's wingtip with enough wind in it to stay " stable on the ground "
I will then walk away backwards upwind 5 feet while keeping and eye on kite and rider

At that time the rider can re-position himself a bit upwind or downwind if needed to stabilize the kite and make doubly sure that all lines are clear
Then he can proceed to launch his kite safely on his own...or... if he changes his mind i will be nearby to go grab it slowly and surely and put it down....zero drama
Unhooked launch by sarc:
sarc wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:11 am
See my launch unhooked thread in the safety topic.

I realize that much of the hate and nastiness to my posts is because people have not watched the videos and think launch unhooked = both hands on the bar (maybe with death grip if something goes wrong). That's not what I mean - again, watch the videos then ignore them if you want.
Launch unhooked means both hands on the Chicken Loop and do not touch the bar (OK you can hold it with 2 fingers to stop it from snagging/rotating). If you get lofted, get a death loop etc. the CL gets ripped out of your hands and kite falls to safety leash.

It pains me that since I made that post, 4 or 5 people would literally be alive if they had watched the videos.

I forgot how to paste the link but you can search youtube for "Quand se hooker avant le décollage ? - One Launch Kiteboarding"
Back line tension check by matt-0 kite:
matt-0 kite wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:43 pm
Thanks for the vid Podiatrana:
It often happens-- a few mistakes lined up to contribute to this incident. As mentioned before by other posters-- kite too far downwind, arms outspread instead of on the quick release (perhaps he expected that letting go of the bar would depower the kite sufficiently), maybe some other things I did not notice.
I teach this launch procedure to my students & use it myself, it's based on input from many instructors that have worked for me over the years. I think it pretty much checks off the boxes for stuff to look out for. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aApZDlC0ss
Please notice also the "back line tension check." The majority of cases that I've seen lately where the kiter loses control over the kite when launching would have been prevented by doing this before giving the thumbs up.

Launch Procedure (SPLAT): do ALL of your checks EVERY time, and communicate with your helper

S - Situation- Re-check beach, water, and wind/weather conditions.
Locate your across the wind line (3–9 o’clock on the wind window) before picking up bar
Check that you have a downwind area (drop zone) as clear as possible of people and obstacles

P - Position- Yours and the kite’s position vs. the wind direction and water’s edge
Attach safety leash, make sure you are downwind of the kite & close enough that the lines are slack
Move toward edge of window; bottom hand on chicken loop to pull front lines tight, & top hand holding bar
Walk upwind keeping front lines taut, & loosely feeling for power in the bar with the back lines to find edge of window
Attach chicken loop, hook in & sheet out
Move carefully upwind again with front lines taut, checking for power until you feel equal and sufficient tension in back lines

L - Lines and Safety Systems:-
Double check Lines, safety leash, & bridles free of tangles and twists ; connected properly
Sheet fully out (to check depowerability) and fully in (to check for equal and sufficient back line tension)

A - Around- Thorough 360 degree check of beach and ocean, just before you give the signal:

T - Thumb up- with bottom hand (but not if the panels are flapping or the front lines are slack!)

Some years back one of my instructor friends called me out after watching my launch; he said why are you so strict with your students with this but didn't do the 360 degree check yourself before you launch? I thanked him, I still remember that and it helps me to do my all my checks every time.
So to combine all the above suggestions, can we propose following steps:
1. Kiter attaches only safety line
2. Kiter is unhooked, holding only chicken loop, gets in the proper launch position, does back line tension check while helper is holding the kite in a launch position.
3. Helper sets the kite on the tip and walks 5 feet upwind of kite. Kite sits at the edge of the wind window, bar is fully sheeted out and kiter only holding the chicken loop while safety line is attached to harness.
4. Now kiter hooks in after finishing SPLAT and using top hand on the bar and lower hand on the QR, slow steers the kite up

My local spot is San Francisco Bay Area and most our launch spots have obstacles downwind and not safe, so there is no margin for error. At Sherman, the launch spot is in shadow and helper has to toss the kite in the air, so I don't even think that placing a kite on the tip and walking upwind by the helper is possible, but might try next time I am there. Also, if helper has to toss the kite, how unhooked launch will look like?

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby windrider1 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:00 am

Wow didnt knw launching a kite became this commplicated . I think if i see somone launching a kite like this id get my camera cause its probally gonna have a funny outcome :lol:

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby sarc » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:40 am

windrider1 wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:00 am
Wow didnt knw launching a kite became this commplicated . I think if i see somone launching a kite like this id get my camera cause its probally gonna have a funny outcome :lol:
Windrider I think there's a very large chance that if you kite for a few years, sooner or later you will get a nasty surprise launching.
I have kited for about 20 years (since Peter Lynn ARCs) and have maybe a dozen severely botched launches over this time. I think maybe out of these, maybe 2 or 3 had the potential to kill me or break my back (deathloop, lofting). As it is I only broke my ribs once, the other 1 or 2 cases were lucky near misses, the rest 10 or so were not too dangerous because I knew the risks and managed them proactively (such as good kite handling/recovery, QR release reflex, change location if the launch is too narrow or wind too gusty, wear a helmet, double check the lines before launch, launch with kite facing the water, don't ask non-kiters or known doofuses to launch you, etc. etc.)

Over these years, I had a good friend almost die hitting his head on rocks at launch (6 weeks hospital) - at launch the kite tumbled into power window due to wind shift+gust and he got launched horizontally.

Windrider it's your choice but please launch downwind from me!

p.s. Alexglebov I like your method - seconded and thirded as far as I'm concerned!

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the expertsuic

Postby windrider1 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:51 am

Yea man apprecaite your expeience and all but ive had also had more than 10 years behind kites and if i had to do all those steps to launch a kite i would rather just sit on the beach. I mean im all for safety and stuff but i think were overthinking this whole thing . :lol: i say check your lines during setup and at launch , check quick release and offxourse making sure ure flying the right size kite for the conditions at hand . Most injurys are caused by people never checking or using their quick release so they hesitate in an emergency also flying too big a Kite for the conditions at hand or in a dangerous location in general. My 2cents.

sarc wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:40 am
windrider1 wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:00 am
Wow didnt knw launching a kite became this commplicated . I think if i see somone launching a kite like this id get my camera cause its probally gonna have a funny outcome :lol:
Windrider I think there's a very large chance that if you kite for a few years, sooner or later you will get a nasty surprise launching.
I have kited for about 20 years (since Peter Lynn ARCs) and have maybe a dozen severely botched launches over this time. I think maybe out of these, maybe 2 or 3 had the potential to kill me or break my back (deathloop, lofting). As it is I only broke my ribs once, the other 1 or 2 cases were lucky near misses, the rest 10 or so were not too dangerous because I knew the risks and managed them proactively (such as good kite handling/recovery, QR release reflex, change location if the launch is too narrow or wind too gusty, wear a helmet, double check the lines before launch, launch with kite facing the water, don't ask non-kiters or known doofuses to launch you, etc. etc.)

Over these years, I had a good friend almost die hitting his head on rocks at launch (6 weeks hospital) - at launch the kite tumbled into power window due to wind shift+gust and he got launched horizontally.

Windrider it's your choice but please launch downwind from me!

p.s. Alexglebov I like your method - seconded and thirded as far as I'm concerned!

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby foam-n-fibre » Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:43 pm

This description above is like those "how-to" videos showing a launch on a huge empty smooth sand beach. Many of us have various obstacles to avoid and ground surfaces and dirty wind at the launch. It is not the same for everyone. If I have the option of having someone hold my kite and launch it from their hands once lines are clear of any obstacles, I'm not going to have them put it on the ground and walk away from it while I am holding the chicken loop.

If you are new to kiting learn from how the other locals do it, keeping in mind there are a few crazies at both ends of the spectrum. Suggesting some one-size-fits-all method for launching is a waste of time.

Peter

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby Ozone Kites AUS » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:45 pm

foam-n-fibre wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:43 pm
This description above is like those "how-to" videos showing a launch on a huge empty smooth sand beach. Many of us have various obstacles to avoid and ground surfaces and dirty wind at the launch. It is not the same for everyone. If I have the option of having someone hold my kite and launch it from their hands once lines are clear of any obstacles, I'm not going to have them put it on the ground and walk away from it while I am holding the chicken loop.

If you are new to kiting learn from how the other locals do it, keeping in mind there are a few crazies at both ends of the spectrum. Suggesting some one-size-fits-all method for launching is a waste of time.

Peter
I'm guessing this is "one of those videos"? Many of us do actually have clean beaches and areas to launch like this, so thats why I'm sharing it here. Those less fortunate to have space and clean sand, yep there are challenges and special care required to self launch in sub optimal situations.

I've been using this method for over a decade and have never had a bad launch. You need to practice it in lighter winds away from other beach users. You can modify it by walking less upwind, you can hang on to the bar (and get dragged a bit more), but the key thing to remember is there is a plan B right in front of you that will kill the power in your kite instantly - the primary safety release.



alexglebov
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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby alexglebov » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:40 am

This is a short video of myself doing unhooked assisted launch. Wind speed was 18, gusting to 25 kts, super gusty and shifty, 6m kite, had no problem holding on to the kite. This is our landboarding spot.



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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby sarc » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:03 am

alexglebov wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:40 am
https://youtu.be/U76QW8nUWhM
This is a short video of myself doing unhooked assisted launch. Wind speed was 18, gusting to 25 kts, super gusty and shifty, 6m kite, had no problem holding on to the kite. This is our landboarding spot.
Spot on Alex! So many people would be alive today if they had launched like you.
If something goes wrong at launch (like what killed so many people recently) it will happen in the first 2 seconds.
Been launching just like Alex for the past few years both assisted and self-launch (an IKO certified friend showed me how to do it after I got injured) and the worst that happens if a launch is messed up is that I have to reset the kite then launch again .
Schools and kite teachers, hope you click on the links, watch the videos and change the way you teach launching! We must not go on losing a kiter to launch every few weeks!

Happy New Year everyone!

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby we » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:53 pm

alexglebov wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:40 am
https://youtu.be/U76QW8nUWhM
This is a short video of myself doing unhooked assisted launch. Wind speed was 18, gusting to 25 kts, super gusty and shifty, 6m kite, had no problem holding on to the kite. This is our landboarding spot.
You're hooked in when launching the kite.

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby PullStrings » Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:12 pm

alexglebov wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:40 am
https://youtu.be/U76QW8nUWhM
This is a short video of myself doing unhooked assisted launch. Wind speed was 18, gusting to 25 kts, super gusty and shifty, 6m kite, had no problem holding on to the kite. This is our landboarding spot.
First of all Happy New Year !
That technique of holding on to chicken loop maybe useful if the assistant tosses the kite up wrong...has butterfingers...let's go the kite back winded..kite tumbleweeding...etc
But you don't really save that much time...maybe 1/4 second really
Additionally the biggest danger will happen once the kite starts flying off the ground and you will be hooked in and will have to activate QR anyway if danger appears

I do teach what i call " kite rest " at launch and at landing while remaining in the chicken loop and letting go the bar completely
And all you do is put one or both hands on the Quick Release...take a breather...relax...rest...the kite is going nowhere...if needed walk upwind 5-10 feet hooked in

In your nice video with a 6 sqm ( i would have a 12 or 10 in that wind at the beach ) you still have to hook in your chicken loop and slip in the chicken stick
It takes 6-7 seconds and you did have your eyes off the kite 3 times
Holding the Chicken Loop or being hooked in offers the same depower on the kite ..but hooked in there is less to do before take off and you eyes are always on kite

I like resting the kite on it's wingtip about 5-10 seconds "after my sandbag self launch " because it give the kite's leading edge the chance to increase it's curve ( i call it crunching )
Crunching slacks the back lines even more making the kite take off the kite less powered up & slower especially useful in higher winds

I hope 2019 is great for you
Thank you for considering some of us experts.. but it is really just years and years of experience ...practice...practice... thousands of times
Last edited by PullStrings on Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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