No beach, No boat needed!
You may arm, disarm, rearm … your Flysurfer kite as often you want on the water with just the help of your board. I have done this approxi. 100 times and also with the Sonics much more than 10 times.
But you will need:
- A good preparation of your equipment
- Some experience with that maneuver, first in the shallow than in the deep water
- A floating board with more than 10 but less than 30 liters will be perfect and helpful
- Knowledge for the Sonic that have small specials but no problem if respected,
(With the ozone kites (Chronos and R1) it is really more difficult, you should fix / enlarge the drainage of every cell before using them that way, also the one of the Chrono V2)
I have no fotos of the whole process but combined some to explain
1. First of all
you have to establish some discipline with the handling and packing of your equipment. As you never know if you will have to start your kite the next session in the deep water or not, it makes sense to always pack it the same way as explained in the following. This is not just helpful for starts in deep or shallow waters, but also helps to keep lines untangled, unbended, the original trim and the canopy waterproofed for very long:
2. Packing a foil-kite
Start winding up the bar by pulling all lines (depower-line and back-leader-lines) to the center eyelet of the bar and then start to wind up the bar. That way the back lines are shorted around 20 cm compared to the front lines and the kite will be back-stalled, keep sitting on its trailing edge while winding lines off in the water. It is very important to wind up the lines accurately and slightly tensioned, otherwise while winding the lines off, a backline could come of first and one side of the kite could start too early. You also have to wind up your lines with the mixer and the main part of the bridle lines till less than 1,5 m close to the tip of the kite, on the end you have to make a clove hitch knot on the bar which fixes the lines on the bar sufficiently without the help of rubbers and can also be opened easily also under load … and doesn’t bend the lines.
One additional tip: After kiting don’t release your leash until the bar is winded and fixed with that knot. That way it is impossible to tangle anything as long you don’t jump with the bar in between your lines.
Make sure that also all bridle lines within the clove hitch knot are parallel and slightly tensioned the same way and now single bridle lines are coming off.
Then fold up your kite in half with the last 1m of the tips folded in and put the bar on the place as seen on the following two pictures.
By doing so you will recognize that all bridle lines are nearly or slightly tensioned, but take care no lines are over tensioned if you put the bar to much towards the tips. Especially the inner break lines shouldn’t be over tensioned. Maybe pull the bar a little bit back to the folded middle of the kite as seen in the next pic.
Than start to roll your kite up with the bar and the chickenloop always close to the end of the canopy.
On the end never forget to close the blow out valve properly. To put your kite in the bag or on the board you may fold in half. I don’t do this anymore as this may stress the canopy a little bit and my actually biggest kite is a 9 m² which is just around 1,3 m long.
3. Getting some experience first:
The first around 10 times you should not arm your kite in the deep but better in shallow water while always increasing the deepness of the water when feeling safe until you start swimming.
The technic to arm, disarm or rearm the kite is always the same (also on land with low wind) and doesn’t depend on the deepness of the water. I will explain it in the next chapter. The only difference in deep water is that you have to sit on your board (twintips without volume should better kept under water on the feets). Therefore you should be able to balance your board while sitting on it in the water also if something like the kite pulls on you. So if you are not sure about that, try that first without kite, and maybe someone who tries to pull you off.
Best board for the first experience in deep water will be a solid waveboard with around 25 liters which won’t get holes, if you strike the bar on the deck while doing a uncontrolled movement, or can also be a similar foil, if you feel very secure balancing while sitting on it. Don’t use twintips for first experience as maybe dangerous when tangling in the lines. For the first tries, the wind should be around 12 knots the sea calm and the foil kite the smallest one you can use.
4. (Dis-)Assembling the kite in the deep
As mentioned before the following works the same on low wind on land or in shallow water. The difference between arming and disarming is just the chronology. Here we go.
Put your kite on your board and swim out as far you want. But make sure that you will be at least 150 m upwind of any obstacles as buoy, boots, waterways, shore etc. before you start arming the kite.
Reaching your starting point first of all you have to put the kite of the board in the water and yourself on the board. For lightwind you may try to not get to much water inside the intakes but the other way at 30 knt it is better to get some water into the intakes before starting to inflate the kite. First roll the kite off around one meter and on high winds always keep control of bunch that it doesn’t roll off without control. On high wind conditions you may also attach your leash first of all to the chickenloop especially if you have a swivel in the leash.
To start inflating your kite you have to do the same as your use on land. Bring the leading edge towards the wind and hold the middle airintake up into the air.
If you want to go back or disassembly at this point just do the opposite: Swim around the kite open the blow out valve, push out the air and role it up.
In high wind conditions it normaly will be enough to inflate just the middle 5 cells. If you inflate to much you will have to much canopy in the air-> kite will drift fast and powerful towards Lee -> you will have to react to fast when off winding the lines -> chaos … big problems… swimming home in the best case….
If there are just around 12 knots or less try to inflate the kite as much as possible and try to do it symmetrical by keeping the bunch in front of you with one hand on the part where the bar is rolled in and the other hand with the middle valve as much up in the air as possible.
When you have inflated and rolled off the kite that the bar comes out, first of all attach the leash if not already done and then second open the clove hitch knot that fixes the bridle on the bar. Now try to balance the kite so that it stays always with the leading edge up. Try to isolate the two tips and also a bit their bridle lines, before you start off winding the bar. The lines should always stay under slight tension. The tips should start to swim away from each other to give the kite its normal shape. In light wind you will more swim away from the kite by using feeds and maybe one hand while off winding, in higher wind the kite will drift away by it self.
When the bar is totally winded of just try to help the kite to start and to push out the water out of the tips by pulling / pumping with the trimmer / leader lines in your hand. In this phase it is very important to prevent one tip to start before the other tip has pushed out its water. You have to keep an eye on the lighter tip and additionally to the trimmer / frontlines taking the back line of this side in the second hand to pull it down. You may also pull in this backline a bit and take this line together with the other hand on the trimmer tries to pump up the rest of the kite.
5. Special knowledge for the Sonic and other high AR foil kites.
There are some specials for Sonics or other high AR kites. Especially the sonics doesn’t like to have their line tension released for one moment and laying on their back. In this case it can be very hard to have them staying up again, in many cases when pulling the trimmer they just stay glued to the water on their back (upper canopy). Therefore better never release the line tension not for a second!!!
If it happens anyway, don’t be afraid it can be solved. But you will have to pull in about 2-4 m of the front lines and you have to do this very fast!!! If you do it right the kite on the first meters wound show any reaction but then will plop up fast on the end which has to be reached. If you made it be sure do not release the lines ones again but to keep the tension and let the kite slowly drift away without tangling and getting back to the trimmer.
There are two other behaviors you will find less on the Speed Lotus and Foils with lower AR. You have to help the Sonic and the High AR kites to bring as much canopy in the wind as possible. If you just pull the trimmer the tips may stay close together unfolded. Therefore you have to also sometimes tension the backlines to open the tips.
Additionally the Sonic, especially if one tip has more water, likes to drift to one direction which creates the upwind tip getting wind from the back and collapses. If this happens you have to drift with your board in the same direction with higher speed to get the kite in to the center of the power zone to have both tips open for the start and pushing out the water.
Also especially for the Sonic and high AR. Don`t let it start before both tips are completely without water, otherwise you will stress the canopy and have big risk the kite collapses asymmetrically while starting and fall back.
If this happens and one tip is tangled you may try to pull it with 3 m of the backline towards you. Often this helps to open the tangle….
Oh and as you already heard pulling in flying lines twice: Better wear gloves as I do or use flying lines with increased thickness on the first 3 m as I do, helps also to reduce wearing when having the kite looped and the lines crossed.
Good luck, maybe I will find some additional pictures in the future.