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Self rescue on a 15/18/21 foil kite- advantages of different methods

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artificialname
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Self rescue on a 15/18/21 foil kite- advantages of different methods

Postby artificialname » Thu Jul 27, 2023 2:16 pm

If you’re self rescuing with a very large foil kite, like 18 or 21 metre, what are the advantages of alternate methods to pack your kite for the swim in?

Eg

1) tie with a bungee to your board
2) stuff in a mesh bag
3) stuff in a Lycra swim top you’re wearing
4) wrap with your kite lines
5) other options?

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Re: Self rescue on a 15/18/21 foil kite- advantages of different methods

Postby evan » Thu Jul 27, 2023 2:35 pm

If you a proper pack down: roll all lines + bridle on the bar as far as possible and then place the bar on one tip and roll the kite tightly all the way to the other tip while making sure all bridles are rolled inside the kite.

Then you should have a nice small package you can push in front of you, either floating or on top of the board. No other stuff needed and you can use the Downwind wingtip as a sail when keep rolling until all air is out.

Biggest time saver is to switch to packdown mode as soon as you know relaunching is futile. Trying to swim with a drowned kite will cost ten times more effort and time to get back to shore compared to tightly rolling it up and swimming.

With a tightly rolled kite you are also immediately ready to be picked up by a boat or dragged to shore by a friend plus unrolling it doesn't take much time when rolled like I described. Most of the time I am ready to go back out within 30min after the kite hit the water (when there is still enough wind)
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Re: Self rescue on a 15/18/21 foil kite- advantages of different methods

Postby Jyoder » Thu Jul 27, 2023 2:54 pm

I’m almost always alone and within easy swim to shore if it’s 18m foilkite wind.

Often I will keep the dump valve closed, bring wingtips together, and roll the bar in the wingtip until kite is pressurized. Swim for a while making sure LE intakes aren’t in water. Then roll some more to take up any slack and keep the kite pressurized, swim, roll, swim, roll.

When I get to shallow water, I’ll open dump and finish rolling it up.

Works well at my spot. I also wear a PFD for flotation. A lot easier messing with kite when you’re high in the water, but stray bridle lines do like to tangle on buckles.
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Re: Self rescue on a 15/18/21 foil kite- advantages of different methods

Postby Smeagle » Thu Jul 27, 2023 3:27 pm

I just pack it (well!!!) and put it on my board. Works well with TwinTip and Foil.

The key is, to pack it well. Not how were to put it ;) So you get a manageable, small enough package. Packing onto board works well, even when there is some water inside the kite. Which happens most of the time. That part will still be in the water and will slow you down. I never felt the need to tie it to my board with leash, but would be possible. I wear no Lycra and have no mesh bag - would both be helpful I guess. Just don't expect to be able to lift the package out of the water completely, there will be too much water inside 90% of the time... I pack/roll the kite in the water and drag it onto the board, impossible to lift it.

I sit on my board, hold it with legs.
I wrap the lines onto bar as much as possible, pulling the kite closer, so I can just reach one tip. Part of bridle will be on the bar after that. I move the kite in front of me to get to one tip. The other tip will get closer to me already, because of short bridles. I fix this tip and the bar on my lap. I pull the pother tip to me with bridle lines. Holding it up, so the middle part goes away from wind (if there is enough wind). Put tip on tip. Bar on top of both tips, Depower line /QR sticking out to the front, all bridle lines to the back (important for quick untangle at the beach). Tidy up the first part of kite from tips to center (so both halfes lie on top of each other cleanly), Roll in the bar into kite a few rounds, as far as it is possible - now I move the kite in front of me to get both halfs laying nicely on top of each other and open dump valves/zipper, After that back to the tips, roll a few more rounds while pressing air out, wait for air, roll again... while rolling I put bridles into the kite, if possible there should be a compact roll with no bridle lines hanging out and QR visible from front side. (Bridles/QR important for untangling later - if that didn't work it just takes longer to get the kite flying again later). I Roll/press as the part around the bar as good as possible to have minimum of water. With this method I have most water in the back part of kite... So pull the part with bar on and over the board, fold the bar-part onto the kite, pull a little more and fold again. Now the kite should be on the board but the back part with a lot of water inside will hang over the edge of board. You can press out some water, when folding, but it is not possible to get all water out IMO.

At this point you can use leash, mesh bag, lycra to fix the kite better... I sometimes pulled the bar out of package and wound the depower-line/QR around the package, but normally I can swim home as is.

Swimming is painfully slow, but I never had problems to keep the kite on board and hold it with one hand.
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edt
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Re: Self rescue on a 15/18/21 foil kite- advantages of different methods

Postby edt » Thu Jul 27, 2023 8:12 pm

The most important thing packing down a huge kite is how neat the roll up is. I don't think after that it matters too much. The only way to get better at the initial rollup before the swim is practice it. It's a lot different planning it in your head and actually doing it.

To get better at self rescue on a big foil kite you have to practice self rescues. If you never practice it, doesn't matter how excellent your plan is, the swim in won't be easy.
Last edited by edt on Thu Jul 27, 2023 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Self rescue on a 15/18/21 foil kite- advantages of different methods

Postby joriws » Thu Jul 27, 2023 8:24 pm

If there is some wind left and beach is downwind, roll the lines and part of the kite and use kite as wind bag to sail home.
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Re: Self rescue on a 15/18/21 foil kite- advantages of different methods

Postby gwicke » Fri Jul 28, 2023 12:37 am

+1 to what others have said about rolling up lines & then rolling the kite around the bar, starting from the tips. Done carefully, this will result in a compact package & won't tangle lines. I usually place the kite roll on the board, and then swim on my back pulling the board using swim fins carried in a mesh backpack. The fins make it feasible to swim in 1-2 miles without too much trouble, provided currents are moderate. If the wind returns before you are back ashore, you can even relaunch the kite by gradually unrolling & inflating the kite again.

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Re: Self rescue on a 15/18/21 foil kite- advantages of different methods

Postby OzBungy » Fri Jul 28, 2023 2:33 am

There's a couple of other options. If the kite is downed because of a malfunction or line break, but it's still windy, tweak the remaining lines so the downed kite moves towards the beach and let it tow you in.

If there's no wind, don't do a full pack down to start with. Wind your lines on the bar using your normal method. When you get to the kite, place the bar into the tip and take a few wraps around the bar. This pressurises the wing and keeps it floating and helps you float, and keeps the water out.

Rest the bar on the board and paddle/swim towards the beach. Add extra wraps around the bar from time to time. With a bit of luck you'll get to the beach before you've fully wrapped the kite.
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Re: Self rescue on a 15/18/21 foil kite- advantages of different methods

Postby darippah » Fri Jul 28, 2023 3:02 pm

If there's still enough wind to ride, I roll the lines, set the kite up in hot launch position, put a little water on the trailing edge, and unroll the lines slowly while slightly tensioning the front lines.

I've done this several times in light wind and with a ton of water in the kite. It takes a bit of time for the kite to drain while relaunching, and you need to pull hard on the opposite rear line from where the water is draining..

I don't recommend this unless you are very experienced with foils and have excellent foil kite control
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Re: Self rescue on a 15/18/21 foil kite- advantages of different methods

Postby Smeagle » Sat Jul 29, 2023 8:38 am

Yes, sure, I do try to relaunch, too. But after that fails too often I have to pack. And we are only talking about packing/self rescue, here ;)
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