Being quite new to the new generation of foil kites I have been amazed and very happy by how easy they are to relaunch in the lightest of winds,
incredible success rate for me, near 100% as long as there's a little wind and I dont panic then up they go with a little tweekon the lines and patience and of course, pulling the right lines at the right times.
Only had two failed attempts, one when the wind went weird and the kite twisted in on itself, but I was in the shallows so just gathered it up and held it high and walked in to untangle,
Once the kite fell when the wind died completely, but I detected it was happening, I made my way back to shore and only had a short swim in where my buddy was waiting to hold the kite above the sand and stuff it straight into its bag to keep the sticky sand at bay,
But yesterday I was caught in a complete wind shadow situation, where the wind went to zero, only around 50 meters away from shore, but deep water,
I did not even think about relaunch as it was clear that the wind was not there, not even 1 knot, no knots = no chance.
This was my chance to try my first deep water packdown, (dwpd), how hard could it be? 13mtr on 19mtr lines, immediately i started to roll my lines up and get to the kite, only took around a minute to get there, very easy up to now
my board was clipped onto a leash which I always carry in very light winds so no worries of the board getting away and drifting on the the large rocky outcrops which littler this area
once at the kite I I grabbed the end nearest to me and immediately started to roll up the kite around the bar,
I did for a moment move towards the other tip to maybe try and fold over the two wing ends together but i immediately changed my mind as the bridals were under the surface and it was clear I would get tangled up if i tried that, so just continued rolling up
but as the air was trapped, this became a slow roll until I got to the center large zip, got that open quite easily and pulled out the flap, and tried to keep it above the water with limited success, so quickly resumed the rolling up, then the kite became heavy and cumbersome, so I pulled my board close and laid the half rolled up kite lengthways on my board, now with the board between me and the kite it was fairly easy to keep rolling the kite up,
at around three quarters rolled up the remaining trapped are could only get out through the tiny velcro opening at the wing tip so i just started swimming in with one hand on the board which being a high volume 130cm board kept the very heavy wet kite well above the water,
as I got into near the shoreline my butty swam out and undid the tip velcro to remove the final bit of air,
he waded back in with the kite over his shoulder to keep it off the sand,
After a short while a little wind came back, only around 10mph so not great and my 13mtr was soggy wetdrying a little slowly on a grassy patch,
and i was not willing to lay it out on the sand for a relaunch,
but my choice was very limited as I had left my 15mtr back home and my 11mtr was only ordered a few days ago so this left me with my 9 or 5 mtr,
good time to try my 9 out in winds which were very low, but would the 9 work, time to find out,
short answer - no! it did not work,
then I found the wind shadow again, brilliant
another chance to try my newly found dwpd skills, but this time with my smaller 9mtr, so without waiting I stated the bar and line roll up to kite,
I was quickly up to half of the kite wrapped around the bar,
this time I left the zip closed, I was left with with a tightly inflated half a 9mtr kite,
I placed the rolled up section on the board again with the board in between me and the kite, grabbed a foot strap through the kite material and started swimming to shore, easy to do and and as the kite started to get softer I rolled up a bit more, I kept all openings closed this time which worked better as the kite let in less water.
It was easy then to fold the last bit over my shoulder and wade into the shore, kite was wet but virtually dry inside with no heavy water sloshing around like I had with the 13mtr an hour before.
good day to learn the dwpd
Glad I had the opportunity to practice is safe conditions, but at the same time quite realistic
for information I always carry 3 mini rocket flares just in case.
when out away from the shore line I will now carry my homemade dayglo stuff bags, made in 2 sizes, one for a large kite and one for smaller kites, both made from thin light kite material bought cheaply of Ebay, this may be very useful whilst on holiday in fuerteventura, must be easier to be rescued with the kite in a bright day glo bag, chuck it in the rescue rib and not worry about getting it damaged.
this exercise has made me wonder about how much harder it would have been to do the DWPD with a low volume small board, the wet kite in the water is virtually impossible to swim with,
volume was my friend during my practice sessions.