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Making launch safer - learning from the experts

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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:10 pm
Kiting since: 2009
Local Beach: Cape Cod, MA, USA
Style: Freeride, waves when I get better
Gear: 132 cm Underground FLX, 131 cm Nobile 555, 145 cm North Phanton, Ozone Light XC kites (8, 10, 12). Gear shared with my oldest child.
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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby oldcolonial » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:40 pm

PullStrings wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:59 am
br44 wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:13 am
the One & Only method that is 100% safe, 100% guaranteed: GIVE UP.
Strong, turbulent winds? Obstacles, people nearby? Limited experience? Not fully confident in your technique? DON'T LAUNCH. Live to fly another day.

I gave up once....30 -35 knots with gusts to 50 with sideways rain....had 5 sqm ready on short 15 m lines...glad i aborted...that was 10 years ago
I've flown about 1800 more days since then

Also once.... i was asked for help to launch someone 150 lbs who only had a 14 sqm with him....did not bring any small kites...been kiting 2 years in flat water...first time ocean
Side-on wind with pounding ocean shorebreak....4-6ft waves...houses downwind 75 meters away
Said to the guy i am sorry but it would not be safe for you to go with that size kite plus the conditions are extremely challenging
Look at all the kites out there and their can see 7's...8's....and on 9 & 10 are the big guys......i will self-launch my 8 which is what i'm used to in 27 to 31 knots
He sat this one out
And lived

Can't agree more. Sometimes the only safe launch is the next one at another place and time.

That said, I had one launch go badly on an otherwise benign day ( winter day, uncrowded wide open, sandy beach, no hard objects near by, side on steady 20-23 kt wind, 8 meter kite, I am 180#) I was in the process of clipping in, not yet in position, with the kite a bit down wind of me relative where I needed to be and the person "helping" me launch threw the kite in the air. Net result, hot launch took me 15 - 20 meter's down wind, slammed onto the sand, quick released chicken loop and spent an hour or so retrieving my kite from the dunes and untangling lines. This would have had serious consequences had the setting been different.

Lesson learned - do not assume that the Kiter you don't know knows what he is doing. From now on I (1) wait for someone I can trust or (2) set an anchor and self launch and land. As a rule, I also generally set an anchor in case I want to come in and there is no one around. Setting a kite down without an anchor or release to the flag out line tends to only work in light winds.

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