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Self launch and self land option

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edt
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Re: Self launch and self land option

Postby edt » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:15 pm

yeah I do that too but only in light wind

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Re: Self launch and self land option

Postby Herman » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:40 pm

Seems weird to me that most people seem to promote walking the lines. Having said that it is obviously me that is weird because I am the only guy at my local that sets up a tether before riding but I often ride alone. I would much rather tether than walk the lines, I would also evaluate burying the board as a tether if it were blowing rather than walk the lines. If I have backed down to the TE I take some trouble to trim the kite so it is braked enough to not fly up but not so braked that the TE is starting to lift. If the kite is not quite where I want it I bounce it into position by pulling on trim strap and brake before tethering. Even when flagging I would try to get back to my tether if possible.

I realize this doesn't really contribute to the butt clenching required and risk to kite situation of a 19 in 30knts but I don't think there is a truly satisfactory solution.
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Re: Self launch and self land option

Postby nothing2seehere » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:40 am

Herman wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:40 pm
Seems weird to me that most people seem to promote walking the lines. Having said that it is obviously me that is weird because I am the only guy at my local that sets up a tether before riding but I often ride alone. I would much rather tether than walk the lines, I would also evaluate burying the board as a tether if it were blowing rather than walk the lines. If I have backed down to the TE I take some trouble to trim the kite so it is braked enough to not fly up but not so braked that the TE is starting to lift. If the kite is not quite where I want it I bounce it into position by pulling on trim strap and brake before tethering. Even when flagging I would try to get back to my tether if possible.

I realize this doesn't really contribute to the butt clenching required and risk to kite situation of a 19 in 30knts but I don't think there is a truly satisfactory solution.
I don't know if you have seen AdventureLogs video on self landing? He details several tether methods but also suggests walking up the lines as an additional safety step after tethering (

I'm not experienced with foil kites but his methods seem to make sense. I guess its the difference in conditions though. I happily walk up the lines to self land my LEI kites but if I were kiting in snow then it would be a pain because you couldn't grip the lines without taking off your gloves?

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Re: Self launch and self land option

Postby Herman » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:48 am

I play with lots of different ways of landing and I think it is good to practice all the different ways to keep current. Some methods are more suitable for different kites. I am certainly not against walking the lines and do it myself. I just think you should weigh up the convenience of walking the lines against the added security of tethering. Of course with the right mindset you can combine the two methods. Probably depends on your attitude to risk management.


PS I fill a sandbag as a tether as I think leaving stakes is generally inconsiderate to others at the types of beach I launch from. I would sooner walk the lines than leave a stake!
Last edited by Herman on Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Self launch and self land option

Postby apollo4000 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:55 am

This is a really helpful thread. I’m not too convinced most people know how to land a foil kite at my local beaches as I never see them; as a result I’m not using my kites as much as I’d like to. Lots of good insights here. My own experiences of self landing have been sketchy. Need more practice and a large Sandy beach. Adventure logs has the best tutorials I’ve seen on this skill. My own attempts have been hit/miss. Will keep trying.

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Re: Self launch and self land option

Postby CARMELHILL » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:35 pm

I understand how some guys are against the hook on the rear bridle and would rather/strongly recommend:
1. using the backstall method
2. emergency centerline
3. edge of wind window and then backstall

I sorta wish kitesurfing was popular enough around here that there was more than 1 or 2 guys on the beach, on a weekday. I went out yesterday and it was just me, one old timer, and one windsurfer.

It really comes down to your needs. My local beaches are so crowded during the peak summer that 2 and 3 can't be used. They also don't work on confined narrow beaches. The tether launch and landing with a LEI kite is probably the ONLY thing I miss about my old kites. I had those tether landings/launches down to a science. Foil kites are ALOT more technical. Pre-inflate, launch, get those wingtips unwrapped and inflated, etc.. It takes practice to figure out what works best. And each kite is different. The Ozone kites react differently than Flysurfer or Pansh. These foil kites I think scare a lot of people that have no experience with them. And they look awfully scary to people that don't know any better, when you do a center-line release landing and it's flopping around crazy on the beach. The back stall landing resulted in two hot relaunches for me when I first bought my kite and rode it for the first time. You can imagine the looks of people on the beach downwind of me.

I also wonder about the wear and tear on the centerline release going through the center of the bar, every single time you go surfing. Especially when your putting your gear back together and there's a ton of sand on the rear line, and your trying to squeeze it back through the centerhole of your bar.

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Re: Self launch and self land option

Postby Herman » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:57 pm

Talking foil landing from edge of window:

Personally I get a better feeling of control from a rear leader in each hand rather than using the break handle. I practice flying the kite just using the leaders in light wind, backing it down from different areas in the window and flying it back up etc. I have also started practicing getting hold of the leaders at the edge of the window in a decent blow without upsetting the kite, and it needs practice. I am then flying the kite backwards and forwards a short distance to get a feel of the power generated. I am working on this to control the asymmetrical braking required to back the kite down. For me, I think it is better to feel like you are flying the kite backwards into the ground rather than braking all the power out of it. If you over brake the TE can tuck and the kite can lose shape and rotate, this can then turn into a cluster f@#k if you are unlucky.

Once I have a better feel for it I may well go back to using the brake handle in one hand with the free hand on whichever ever leader is appropriate, as in a blow it would be nice to be able to miss out the step of getting hold of the leaders in the right place. This is still a work in progress and I doubt that I have explained this well and these ramblings probably only make sense to me! If this post is food for thought for anybody so much the better. I would of course welcome comment from the more experienced.

PS I move across the wind and towards the kite as it is backing down to reduce line tension and get the kite down wind of me. If I am on wheels I start with the kite higher and just ride towards the kite, piece of cake in moderate wind.

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Re: Self launch and self land option

Postby Adventure Logs » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:34 pm

Herman wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:57 pm
Talking foil landing from edge of window:

Personally I get a better feeling of control from a rear leader in each hand rather than using the break handle. I practice flying the kite just using the leaders in light wind, backing it down from different areas in the window and flying it back up etc. I have also started practicing getting hold of the leaders at the edge of the window in a decent blow without upsetting the kite, and it needs practice. I am then flying the kite backwards and forwards a short distance to get a feel of the power generated. I am working on this to control the asymmetrical braking required to back the kite down. For me, I think it is better to feel like you are flying the kite backwards into the ground rather than braking all the power out of it. If you over brake the TE can tuck and the kite can lose shape and rotate, this can then turn into a cluster f@#k if you are unlucky.

Once I have a better feel for it I may well go back to using the brake handle in one hand with the free hand on whichever ever leader is appropriate, as in a blow it would be nice to be able to miss out the step of getting hold of the leaders in the right place. This is still a work in progress and I doubt that I have explained this well and these ramblings probably only make sense to me! If this post is food for thought for anybody so much the better. I would of course welcome comment from the more experienced.

PS I move across the wind and towards the kite as it is backing down to reduce line tension and get the kite down wind of me. If I am on wheels I start with the kite higher and just ride towards the kite, piece of cake in moderate wind.
This is why I prefer the plastic balls on the steering lines over a brake handle. You have much more control, not just with the backstall, but with HOW MUCH backstall on each side so you can control the kites side to side movement. About 7 years ago I added a brake line to my Speed4 15m and tried for months to get use to it but I just didn't like it.

I appreciate everyone's feedback on my how-to videos. Solo landing can be a VERY sketchy thing which is why I tried to put out as many methods as I could think at the time. You gotta find what works for you at your spot. For walking up the lines I try to make it very clear which is the safest way to do so. Never wrap the lines around your hands/fingers, and try to keep the lines separate/in order so if the kite does get out of control and you lose your grip, you can just easily grab the safety line which will then flag the kite out.

I always consider flagging to safety as the last resort. It does put extra wear on the bridle, lines, etc etc but in certain situations you just have to do it. Just remember to try to do so with the kite near the ground, edge of the wind window, with the least amount of power in the kite. That will help reduce the shock to the bridles and help reduce the wear.

Lastly, practice these maneuvers in low winds. Even if you know you can comfortably backstall the kite, practice the high winds methods time to time. You don't want to be rusty when you actually need to do a high wind landing.

=Jason-

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Re: Self launch and self land option

Postby loco4viento » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:46 pm

One more thing.
It’s amazing what we do do avoid having a wet kite at the end of a session. I hate having a soggy messy foil kite.
But in certain situations that present danger to the kiter, other people or even to the kite, sometimes it’s important to keep in mind that a wet kite is better than an injury to oneself or others, and better than a damaged kite.
In such a situation (like wind that picked up to dangerous levels and a very bad landing place), putting a foil kite leading edge down, letting the bar out and pulling once or twice on the center lines to let a little water in is safe and effective to avoid injury or damage.
It’s a mess so I never do it. But it’s worth keeping in mind as an option.

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Re: Self launch and self land option

Postby Herman » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:17 pm

I have really enjoyed your videos Jason and think they are spot on. They have helped me confirm my own conclusions and that I was on the right track.

If anybody is out there just starting to use depower foils after years of LEi, here is a mistake I made in the early days that is worth avoiding. Was a decent wind and I was too green to be confident about the landing. I probably over committed to the brake handle and probably pulled it asymmetrically. The kite started to rotate, I should have eased the brake a little and controlled the rotation by a pull on the appropriate leader with my free hand. Instead LEI instinct took over and I tried to control the rotation with my free hand on the bar which of course was useless. The idiot section of my brain then decided it would be a good idea to let go of the brakes to regain control. Which, to be fair, I did regain control but not before a good dragging across the beach.

Moral of the story for the newbie is once you have pulled the brake the bar has no control! The only control you have is the leaders.
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