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Launching in strong winds

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Richard81
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Launching in strong winds

Postby Richard81 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:12 pm

I was trying to launch my 9m Hyperlink in a very gusty 30 knots the other day and was really struggling to get it to hold any shape. The bridle had picked up a little bit of rubbish but normally when it does that I can still get it to fill.
Any advice?
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Re: Launching in strong winds

Postby dave1986 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:33 pm

I also wondered the same thing. I have a 13m Chrono and in strong winds it can be a handful to launch and land.

Would pre-inflating the kite make the launch easier in strong winds?

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Re: Launching in strong winds

Postby FLandOBX » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:40 pm

Yes, pre-inflating gives the kite some structure before it leaves the ground. I think that helps launching a foil kite in any type of wind.

Landing a foil kite in strong winds is more of a challenge, and there are a number of other threads discussing that topic. If the wind is strong, I hope for an assisted landing. Otherwise, I bring the kite low on the edge of the window and then backstall with the steering lines. I usually try to avoid hitting the release because of the tangled bridles that always seem to result from that (probably the safest) landing technique.

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Re: Launching in strong winds

Postby Herman » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:15 am

Do you mean that it was not holding shape in the cobra position, or not holding shape once airborne?

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Re: Launching in strong winds

Postby Jyoder » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:58 am

To inflate, I learned to “fly” the kite by holding the front lines in one fist at the connection knots at the kite and the back lines with the other hand. You can yank the fronts to inflate, sheet with backs and even turn left and right by moving hand with back lines left and right. Tuck the bar under your arm or lay it on the ground with some slack in the lines. Also helps in preinflate for launch in light winds with a shadow at ground level.

If the kite is under inflated in the air and tips are collapsing, oversheet or pull the strap or stopper balls to backstall a bit and the wingtips will open, but be prepared for a powerful surge when you let it out.

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Re: Launching in strong winds

Postby Ice101 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:37 am

If you pre inflate in strong wind though the kite can pull you strongly forwards before you get it to 12??? How do you avoid this?
Seems safer getting it to 12 whole ininflated and no real power?

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Re: Launching in strong winds

Postby Richard81 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:36 am

It wasn't staying in the cobra for very long probably due to the gusty conditions. So I flew it slowly to 12, however it was sitting so far back in the wind window it was pulling me along the beach (surfing on my flipflops). I guess more pre inflation is the answer.

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Re: Launching in strong winds

Postby stefFZ » Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:56 am

Richard81 wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:36 am
It wasn't staying in the cobra for very long probably due to the gusty conditions. So I flew it slowly to 12, however it was sitting so far back in the wind window it was pulling me along the beach (surfing on my flipflops). I guess more pre inflation is the answer.
Yes it is. The more you are in the upper wind range, the more you need to pre-inflate. The kite will not stay too far back in the wind window. Do no go straight to 12 too, keep it on one side to finish inflation.
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Re: Launching in strong winds

Postby Herman » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:20 am

I would interested to know how much hold down sand should be used for a 9m in these sort of conditions? Can you rely mostly on the cobra inflating or is most pre-inflation done before picking up the bar?

StefFZ advice seems to be on the money, thanks for that.
Last edited by Herman on Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Launching in strong winds

Postby plummet » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:27 am

For a start. You are overpowered. Use a smaller kite.

But you need more bar in. If the bar is too far out the kite wont inflate because the 2 skins are blown together. Keep the kite at the edge, bar in to get air into the kite. Yes you will be skudding down wind... your over powered, thats what happens. Then as you see air getting in the kite let the bar out. Because if you are full bar in when the kite pops to full inflated you will be punished.


I dont agree with pre-inflation at 30 knots. Your kite will get blown down the beach and ties up in knots as the down wind wing tip flaps around. Peel it off the ground, aim it for the edge, bar in to help inflation, Bar slowly out as kite inflates, Depower once inflated, do a sweet as jump on the beach for shits and giggles then go kiting
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