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Launching foils in tight spots

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Re: Launching foils in tight spots

Postby Jyoder » Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:31 pm

Gyre wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:21 am
Jyoder wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:21 pm
Did you really really pre-inflate? Do you know how to fly the kite on the pigtails at the kite with your hands until it is truly inflated?

Hold both front line pigtails in strong hand above both steering pigtails in weak hand. You can yank the fronts to launch the kite and sheet in/out and steer left/right with lower hand. Once kite is fully inflated, backstall it to the ground and carefully walk the lines and hot launch, or just burry a tip and side launch.
If it gets squirrelly, just let go of steering lines or release all but one front line. Or steer the kite to one side and it will fold on the ground and you can grab a wingtip.
This is a really interesting technique -- never heard of it before. I don't think it would have worked that day, the wind was too strong. I pre-inflated by securing the upwind tip on the ground and holding the downwind tip and the vents open. It doesn't fully inflate that way of course.

Maybe it just goes without saying that the stronger and gustier the wind is, the more unpredictable the launch is going to be.

You’d be surprised how well it works in high wind once you get the hang of it. It can be unsettling to have a fair amount of pull holding the kite this way, but with finesse you can manage by sheeting or oversheeting to get it inflated and bouncing lightly on the ground. Good way to check all bridle lines are clear too. Practice in lighter wind first on soft sand or grass.

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Re: Launching foils in tight spots

Postby joriws » Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:01 pm

Gyre wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:50 am
Thanks, this looks amazing. You're standing when you unroll the kite, then you start swimming to unroll the lines? Think you could have done this if the wind was 20kts? I was dealing with an onshore wind, and I feel like my kite would have been blown back to shore faster than I could swim out the lines. (For anyone else having trouble getting the video to play in the forum post, go direct to
In the picture water is belly deep only at lines length, so kite can be launched while standing. Trees/wood/small forest behind creates a wind buffer far upwind from the woods, so wind is less on launch spot. It even could be hard to get out from this "bag" as site is L-shaped and wind is on-shore to L's corner, hydrofoil no problem but TT with kite rigged outside wind. Also the lake weeds cause wind shadows to the ground, wind comes from behind-left in the picture.

Site is north wind only.. At the edge of lake weed it is neck deep but that is already double the line length. On this site I don't pre-fill much as for forest lulls it is easier to control kite and walk backwards to deeper water, and on deeper water you have some room from tree I start more inflating by pulling bar in.

The swimming FB-video is not me but a friend. Usually on swimming launches kite will stay on surface due to surface tension while lines are loose. But immediately on line tension if kite is set right it will try to launch. Normally you don't have to swim with lines, just stay put. Just unwind the lines as fast as possible from the bar as kite drifts with speed. So initially swim far enough to have some room even if wind pushes you downwind. Sit on your board for extra buoyancy.

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