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Making launch safer - learning from the experts

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Sylvain D
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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby Sylvain D » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:49 pm

Hi guys, happy new year to you all!
Launching a kite hooked will always be a risk because if you missed one of the checks, and something goes really wrong, the kite will always be faster and stronger than you.
I know you can have one hand on the Quick release system, ready to activate it but only people who already got into difficulty will do that without hesitation, the others, will wait to see what happen, and then it will be too late.

So here is my little contribution. I put this video in the safety topic but not sure many people saw it.
It Self launching unhooked AND in control. One hand on the bar, the other on the depower line other the Quick release system. The point of this method is you can take your time. In this video, you can see me flying the kite unhooked and in control without in a rush to hooked in. If something is going wrong, I will not be able to hold on and the leash will pull the safety line and kill the kite.

It is not for beginners, but if I you are confident enough, you should try it, it is easier than it looks. And you can't get pulled because you are unhooked!
Now, I am not recommending self launch, it is better to have someone to help you to launch. And if i was, I would recommend Drift self launch (I made a video for that too) because it is safer in the water.

Ride safe and have fun.
Sylvain.

[youtube][/youtube]

[VIDEO][/VIDEO]
Last edited by Sylvain D on Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

slim_charles
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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby slim_charles » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:43 pm

iriejohn wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:52 pm
slim_charles wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:17 pm
we wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:53 pm


You're hooked in when launching the kite.
Your knit picking. Kites unassisted so effectively launched so the guy is in control and can do the relevant checks. Once happy, hook in and fly up. Basically if anythings gonna go wrong it'll be whilst he's holding the CL... any probs let go. Don't know why Sarc gets so much grief for this, as he says many would have probably avoided incident doing it this way. Have launched this way for over 10yrs without incident... not even had to drop the CL yet ;)
No, he is not knit picking. First he attaches the safety, then he hooks in, then he launches the kite.
He is, as I explained the kites unassisted while he’s unhooked so effectively already launched, enough to do the relavent checks so when he flys it up he knows there won’t be any probs. Safety was always attached so not sure why you mentioned that.

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby grigorib » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:01 pm

Grief about unhooked launch is probably caused by tens of thousands of successful hooked-in launches every year by everyone and ability to see following issues with unhooked launch by experienced riders. Such as:

- launching in strong/gusty conditions takes a lot of control and attention, and few riders have exercised their single arm enough to compensate for 70-80 kg of their body weight while hooked-in. Being yanked by kite for 5-10 feet in overpowered but controlled manner is way safer than losing kite to a gust which you can't simply hold.
- unhooked launch gives rider false sense of safety and is not a replacement for pre-launch checks and launch safety otherwise (and some will consider it as such)
- unhooked launch is a thing of dual-line kites past when kites were lacking depower and were overly dangerous to riders to start with
- hundreds of less experienced riders can't be trusted to launch with one hand on a bar and they'd freak out and send kite flying away so much more often that it would be a major danger for others on the beach
- not only you'd endanger people around you by unnecessarily letting kite go (way more often than needed) but you will damage your kite a lot as well by crashing it on sticks, brush, sharp rocks and shells. Twintips are usually parked fins up and beautiful sharp hydrofoil blades are waiting for your released kite to land on them. Bring them babies on :)
- there's no safe carabiner (to replace quite silly chicken loop system) and rope spreader bars are incompatible with unhooked launch. You don't want to teach two separate systems, it's plain wrong.
- how do you reverse launch (flying kite backwards up first) in light wind unhooked? Using two different launch techniques is not safer.
- remember, in deathloop, a QR is not always a solution and with one hand not being able to hold the chicken loop you would end up being dragged by the leash while deathlooping with no chance to recover until you detach the leash. You need a third hand on the leash then by unhooked launch logic
- many riders attach leash to the back of the harness and it's not a pleasure of watching someone being dragged backwards
- Pilot's predictability is important for all. Everyone wants riders to succeed and everybody knows QRs are very rare, especially at launch (and if otherwise - guys should go back to training). A proper assistant will not launch you without looking if lines are not caught up, or pilot hooked/holding bar in reverse. There's a lot of safety in prevention and focusing on last resort is not right.

If you see a person launching unhooked, my advice - stay away or help them learn proper launch techniques and safety so they don't get your beach closed. While some experienced riders are ok doing questionable/risky thing - it doesn't mean it's advisable to follow the example
"You can" doesn't mean "you should"

Let's just give all airline pilots "Eject" levers so they can save their lives and let others deal with machine crashing. Nobody wants to deal with your kite falling out of skies uncontrollably - people shouldn't pay price for "your" decision to go kiting. Many launch spots are crowded and safety of pilot is less important than safety of others.

And when unhooked launch becomes pilot's vs mine safety choice - yes, I will give grief and will help you to be safer to others and yourself

slim_charles
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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby slim_charles » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:06 pm

I'm not sure if this was a response to my post or not but with all due respect i don't believe any of the above statements to be true or applicable to how i launch (except maybe the point about rope spreaders, i don't know anything about those). Perhaps the fault was in my previous explanation. With regard to your statement about the 1000's of successful hooked launches, of course but it's not the successful ones that start these discussions, it's trying to eradicate/reduce the unsuccessful ones.

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby alexglebov » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:21 pm

grigorib wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:01 pm
If you see a person launching unhooked, my advice - stay away or help them learn proper launch techniques and safety so they don't get your beach closed. While some experienced riders are ok doing questionable/risky thing - it doesn't mean it's advisable to follow the example
"You can" doesn't mean "you should"
This is why I don't suggest complete unhooked launch. I only suggest to be unhooked during the most critical part of the launch when the kite exchange hands and goes from being totally under control of helper to being under control of kiter. Once the helper positions the kite on the tip, no-one is touching the kite except the kiter. Kiter can hold the kite by the chicken loop only, being unhooked and evaluate that setup is looking good and everything is ready to go and take his time, no rush. After that he hooks in and fly the kite from the ground.
This is super easy and can be done by a complete beginner.

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby PullStrings » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:47 pm

alexglebov wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:21 pm
grigorib wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:01 pm
If you see a person launching unhooked, my advice - stay away or help them learn proper launch techniques and safety so they don't get your beach closed. While some experienced riders are ok doing questionable/risky thing - it doesn't mean it's advisable to follow the example
"You can" doesn't mean "you should"
This is why I don't suggest complete unhooked launch. I only suggest to be unhooked during the most critical part of the launch when the kite exchange hands and goes from being totally under control of helper to being under control of kiter. Once the helper positions the kite on the tip, no-one is touching the kite except the kiter. Kiter can hold the kite by the chicken loop only, being unhooked and evaluate that setup is looking good and everything is ready to go and take his time, no rush. After that he hooks in and fly the kite from the ground.
This is super easy and can be done by a complete beginner.
Hello Alexglebov ....thanks for starting this thread...i am glad to see you are combining techniques

Yes unhooked leashed makes sense with assistant as long as you keep the " kite on the ground "...at rest...with the leading edge "crunching" itself... slacking the back lines more and more
Don't let the kite take off unhooked because it is so overkill and totally unnecessary...a circus act if you ask me
Actually while we are on the subject of unhooked chicken loop i should say that there is no reason to have your hands at all on the bar...let bar go completely..hold CL with both hands
After you hook in & chicken stick ....is when your touch the bar to make sure it is not the wrong way and launch upper hand on bar...lower hand on or below QR...close by

Teaching someone to "trust letting go of the bar" while hooked in with their kite on it's wingtip is the most basic move to give the kiter confidence that all is safe and in control
That is how you launch and "also how you land" with assistant
At landing i ask to bring kite to the edge of the window and place the kite on beach on it's wingtip...stay hooked-in...let go of bar...walk upwind a bit...let kite rest...and kiter relax
That is when an assistant grabs the LE...holds on tight to it... or put kite LE down to ground
I don't like kites landing caught on the fly in a hurry on the way down.....same way that i don't like kites tossed in the air at launches

Letting go of the bar completely is the first thing you need to do "very quickly" in an emergency...the second thing is eject with "quick " release...3rd and last resort detach leash altogether
A death grip of only 2-3 seconds can be very dangerous
Last edited by PullStrings on Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby grigorib » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:49 pm

A good helper would not release the kite if something doesn't look good.
Condition when kite can steadily stand on the tip are probably those we call "ideal" - if someone can't launch safely in ideal conditions he/she should be going back to training
Drift launch, having helper release "when he feels next gust come", launching in punchy conditions, launching from a limited space - those are real and omnipresent conditions which people manage nowadays, successfully.

I'm not only opposing unhooked launch - I'm also opposing Toby's "one hand on QR". I prefer safety of public on the beach and those downwind of pilot to pilot's safety. And if a pilot thinks otherwise I'd do everything to either not be anywhere near or to revert his/her judgment.

A friend of mine was hit by other guy's kite falling down "landing" from 3m height and kite ripped muscle on his arm off the bone. Surgery and months of disability and physical therapy.
Think of this when you think of setting your kite "free" either using QR or letting the chickenloop go. Think that 3 kilos of falling kite can break someone's neck, think of cutting someone with lines.
Letting a kite go is an extreme measure and launch is not a condition which demands such extreme measures. You just can't put others in danger justifying it by your "safety preferences" and others will take corrective measures if you proceed otherwise.

Realistically speaking - of tens of thousands launches there is miniscule percentage of botched ones, most of which could have been prevented by proper gear pre-launch checks, some of those could have been prevented by simply not doing it at all (guys decide riding next to power lines, to rocks and houses downwind, with rotating clouds in sight, next to a ridge, etc). I'm positive unhooked launches and unnecessary quick releases will increase number of incidents simply because they will happen more frequently than today and would lead to more overall damage.
Last edited by grigorib on Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby wstrange » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:33 pm

A friend of mine was hit by other guy's kite falling down "landing" from 3m height and kite ripped muscle on his arm off the bone.
This is a straw man. No matter what launch technique is used, loss of control can happen. You see this all the time with beginners at a crowded spot.

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby wstrange » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:40 pm

Sylvain D wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:49 pm
Ride safe and have fun.
Sylvain

[youtube]https://youtu.be/IJrMCbBBwUU[/youtube]

https://youtu.be/IJrMCbBBwUU
Thanks for sharing this Sylvain. The tip to hold center lines *above* the chicken loop is key.

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Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby grigorib » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:46 pm

wstrange wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:33 pm
A friend of mine was hit by other guy's kite falling down "landing" from 3m height and kite ripped muscle on his arm off the bone.
This is a straw man. No matter what launch technique is used, loss of control can happen. You see this all the time with beginners at a crowded spot.
It was a landing and both pilot and catcher are alright kiters. But gives an idea about brute force of 3 kg "bouncy house" falling and hitting someone

That's why I'd rather see the pilot dangling on his lines on a distant tree than having myself or anyone on the beach being snatched by his lines or hit by a kite. And most pilots would rather recover by running few meters downwind rather than seeing their kite impaled on a hydrofoil wing or surfboard fin. Kites rolling down the beach and beachgoers complaining is exactly what gets beach closed for kiting.


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