Contact   Imprint   Advertising   Guidelines

Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Forum for kitesurfers
evan
Frequent Poster
Posts: 424
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 5:48 pm
Kiting since: 2002
Local Beach: Brouwersdam
Style: Hydrofoil - Big Air
Gear: Moses Comet 111 2018
Peter Lynn Aero
Brand Affiliation: Infexion
Peter Lynn
Moses
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 22 times
Contact:

Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby evan » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:27 am

Try launching a race-foilkite in 30-40kn, any bad practices will be hammered out of your routine and launching a tube with a skilled helper feels like child's play after that.

With a foilkite you must plan every step in advance:
- make sure nothing is tangled and lines are correctly connected.
- walk to the exact spot in regards to the wind for the launch.
- have hundreds of meters of room Downwind to slide in case the kite doesn't fill. Also make sure you know the path and that there are no people you can hit.
- be 100% sure your quick release and flagout work and are properly connected.
- be prepared to use the quick release as soon as you notice something is off or ran out of sliding space.

If everyone took the same care into a launch as I must to launch a foil for a big air session, launch accidents should be a thing of the past.

All launch accidents I have seen or read are from bad practice, hurry, worn/faulty gear or the lack of using the quick release.


Too many times I see people launching in front of objects out of laziness to walk an extra 50m. And the Dutch guy that got himself killed last fall due to unexpected unhooking during the launch in high winds while using a wrongly connected short leash probably wouldn't have happened if he simply let go of the bar as a first response.

wstrange
Rare Poster
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:47 am
Kiting since: 0
Brand Affiliation: None
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby wstrange » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:54 am

grigorib wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:46 pm
Kites rolling down the beach and beachgoers complaining is exactly what gets beach closed for kiting.
Assuming the safety leash is attached, the kite will not be rolling down the beach, it will flag out.

Again - no matter what launch technique is used - there is always going to be a risk that the kiter will lose control. It is your obligation to ensure you have clearance downwind.

Everyone was a beginner at some point in time. People dying from getting lofted into trees gets a beach closed even faster....

OzBungy
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 2128
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:35 am
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby OzBungy » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:39 am

Sylvain D wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:49 pm
... Self launching unhooked ...

It is not for beginners...
I don't get it. Unhooked self-launch is not for beginners. Ok. But experienced kiters should know how to self launch and do it in control and deal with potential malfunctions. So who needs to self launch unhooked?

Why would you turn an essentially simple task of self launching into a trick that increases the chances of failure?

I find these discussions puzzling. There are some individual elements and tips that are not bad to know. But overall they portray launching and landing in general, and self launching and landing in particular, as deadly dangerous. I have done over 2000 self launch and landings. I can only recall 3-4 occasions where things went wrong and I chose to trigger the quick release. Even those were fairly slow and benign.

I have had a fair number of sub-optimal launches (the kite sliding a bit or rolling off downwind). They're easily controlled using normal kite flying skills.

I think there are two fundamental issues that need to be addressed. This discussion talks about checking and leaving room downwind and stuff. I would suggest you should be doing that the entire time you are kiting. Safety assessment starts from the time you load the car and choose your gear for the day. Where you rig up. When you launch. When you enter the water. etc etc etc.

The other thing is the incredibly stupid idea that self launching and self landing is an advanced skill. It's not advanced. It's a fundamental basic skill. If you understand how your kite works and the safety systems work you can self launch and land easily in any conditions. It's not hard. If you can't self launch and land then you should think about whether you should be kiting at all.

alexglebov
Rare Poster
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:26 pm
Kiting since: 2016
Local Beach: Alameda, CA, USA
3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA, USA
Favorite Beaches: Lake Nitinat, BC
La Ventana, MX
Style: Mowing the lawn
Gear: Slingshot Rally
Brand Affiliation: None
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby alexglebov » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:56 am

OzBungy wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:39 am
Sylvain D wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:49 pm
... Self launching unhooked ...

It is not for beginners...
I don't get it. Unhooked self-launch is not for beginners. Ok. But experienced kiters should know how to self launch and do it in control and deal with potential malfunctions. So who needs to self launch unhooked?
The way I proposed is for beginners. I suggest to be unhooked only when kite is placed on the ground by a helper, after that you have time to examine lines holding only the CL and not touching the bar, then you hook in and steer the kite off the ground.
You can do self-launch also unhooked and sarc has a video on how to do that:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QD3CzoojYI

Here is another excellent video also referenced by sarc, watch the second method from minute 3:00:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUsYcwSRqfU

My proposal is not self-launch, but assisted launch, so it should be super easy done by any beginner.

PullStrings
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1410
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:54 pm
Kiting since: 1999
Gear: LEI's & Surfboards
Has thanked: 36 times
Been thanked: 29 times

Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby PullStrings » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:20 am

evan wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:27 am
If everyone took the same care into a launch as I must to launch a foil for a big air session, launch accidents should be a thing of the past.

launch accidents I have seen or read are from bad practice, hurry, worn/faulty gear or the lack of using the quick release.

simply let go of the bar as a first response.
I know what you are saying and with ram airs you are doing a self launch/ no assistant ... only have your self to blame if your get hurt or worse

I have done about 800 self launches with ram airs in all kinds of winds and from that... i took that experience to self launch in the same way with LEI'S...now about 2700 self's

Exactly the same way...kite on it's back....pull the kite strings at a 45 degree angle to the trailing edge...weigh the upwind wingtip & trailing edge...don't fold the LE tube

I even keep all my kites with their own lines / bars always on.... just like the ram airs i used to own...so that all my kites are all pre-tuned before any session

Worse thing to do in high wind is to borrow a bar from a kite school (just an example) and fit it to your 8 sqm tube kite and launch in 30++ knots

You have no idea if the front lines are stretched out to the point that when you launch ...your back lines will be too tight and the kite dangerous

Like evan says ...first response is to take both hands off the bar asap

Push or twist that QR asap

And finally if the kite still pulls you with QR released ...kite spinning with power...know how to quickly ( and you should practice it ) ...ditch the leash...disconnect from kite

The faster you can do all this... the greater are your chances of survival....as the wind gets stronger and stronger

User avatar
FLandOBX
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 1:58 am
Kiting since: 2007
Local Beach: Hatteras Island, North Carolina, USA
Central Florida, USA
Style: Freestyle and Airstyle
Gear: Liquid Force NRG, FS Speed 4 Lotus, Pansh Aurora II,
RRD Poison, Axis Ltd, RRD BS45, SS Glide, SS Ankle Biter
Brand Affiliation: None
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 30 times

Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby FLandOBX » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:33 am

OzBungy wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:39 am
I don't get it. Unhooked self-launch is not for beginners. Ok. But experienced kiters should know how to self launch and do it in control and deal with potential malfunctions. So who needs to self launch unhooked?

Why would you turn an essentially simple task of self launching into a trick that increases the chances of failure?
+1. I totally agree.

Being unhooked during any part of the launch process (whether assisted or self-launch) increases the chance that the chicken loop will slip from the kiter's hand or that it will later be improperly secured to the spreader bar (whether hooking in occurs before or after the kite leaves the ground). And it's not at all compelling to respond that it's okay because the kite will simply flag out downwind, because that is a risk to be avoided, as well. Flagging out on the beach from the edge of the window affects a very large area and is not safe unless the beach is completely deserted.

There is no reason to complicate launching. If a kiter insists on initiating the launch unhooked, then he/she should use a tethered self-launch. At least, with a tethered self-launch, the kiter can determine if something is wrong while holding and directly controlling the kite, which seems to me to be a much safer place than at the chicken loop. Honestly, I can't think of any good reason why a kiter would launch unhooked during either an assisted or a self launch (and, yes, I've read all the posts in this thread). It's just not logical IMHO. :idea:

sarc
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1224
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 4:01 am
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby sarc » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:55 am

Exhibit A: people's opinions on the internet
Exhibit B: the number of people who killed themselves launching hooked this year
Exhibit C: the number of people who got hurt / caused injury / caused trouble launching unhooked over past several years (zero ?)

Hmmmm... let's see... opinions vs. dead people... which one is best? Carry the 3... take cosine... divide by pi... be back in a couple of hours when I have figure it out...

User avatar
FLandOBX
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 1:58 am
Kiting since: 2007
Local Beach: Hatteras Island, North Carolina, USA
Central Florida, USA
Style: Freestyle and Airstyle
Gear: Liquid Force NRG, FS Speed 4 Lotus, Pansh Aurora II,
RRD Poison, Axis Ltd, RRD BS45, SS Glide, SS Ankle Biter
Brand Affiliation: None
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 30 times

Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby FLandOBX » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:32 pm

sarc wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:55 am
Exhibit A: people's opinions on the internet
Exhibit B: the number of people who killed themselves launching hooked this year
Exhibit C: the number of people who got hurt / caused injury / caused trouble launching unhooked over past several years (zero ?)

Hmmmm... let's see... opinions vs. dead people... which one is best? Carry the 3... take cosine... divide by pi... be back in a couple of hours when I have figure it out...
Let me help with that analysis, good friend.

Percentage of kiters who launch hooked in: I'd estimate 95%.
Percentage of kiters who launch unhooked: I'd estimate 5%, although I honestly don't remember seeing anyone ever launch unhooked at my spots.
Reason more people are hurt launching hooked in: 95% vs 5%.

br44
Rare Poster
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:07 am
Kiting since: 0
Gear: LEIs, foils
Brand Affiliation: None
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby br44 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:13 am

FLandOBX wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:32 pm
sarc wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:55 am
Exhibit A: people's opinions on the internet
Exhibit B: the number of people who killed themselves launching hooked this year
Exhibit C: the number of people who got hurt / caused injury / caused trouble launching unhooked over past several years (zero ?)

Hmmmm... let's see... opinions vs. dead people... which one is best? Carry the 3... take cosine... divide by pi... be back in a couple of hours when I have figure it out...
Let me help with that analysis, good friend.

Percentage of kiters who launch hooked in: I'd estimate 95%.
Percentage of kiters who launch unhooked: I'd estimate 5%, although I honestly don't remember seeing anyone ever launch unhooked at my spots.
Reason more people are hurt launching hooked in: 95% vs 5%.
Exactly. One cannot count just the accidents - you must also know the number of launches done through each method.

I noticed nobody mentioned 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.

PullStrings
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 1410
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:54 pm
Kiting since: 1999
Gear: LEI's & Surfboards
Has thanked: 36 times
Been thanked: 29 times

Re: Making launch safer - learning from the experts

Postby PullStrings » 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.
:thumb:

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 sizes...you 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

Image


Return to “Kitesurfing”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Kristan and 10 guests

cron