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The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Forum with lots of safety info - a must for newbees
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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby ronnie » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:53 pm

onein5 wrote:Wow, I never use an anchor and I self-launch 9 out of 10 times regardless of wind conditions, using Hybrids and Traditional Cs, from 13 knots up to 35. I would never want to advocate anyone else doing anything they aren’t happy with but was surprised not to hear that anyone else does it the same way as I do.

Rig downwind with board on kite (I don’t like the upwind rig followed by half bar flip, when self-launching there’s no opportunity to check if you flipped the right way and it’s easy to f*ck your mind over thinking it. Downwind means a straight rig with the bar the right way up and lines already to fly.)
Check lines & bridles at least twice to ensure no loops, check any pulleys to be 100% sure they haven’t seized, depower kite by at least 1/4 (not only does this reduce the risk of a long drag if the launch turns hot, it also puts the kite more on its back and therefore more likely to launch easily)
Make 100% sure you have three kite line lengths of beach between you and anything solid (check the strap on your HELMET).
Remove board from kite place it a little way away. Lift the kite by the leading edge and carry it so the lines are free, angle the kite so the wind is just sarting to catch a corner.
Leg it back to your bar and hook in your flagging line only. Have a look at the kite – make sure it isn’t escaping.
Hook in properly and side step briskly round to put yourself and your kite at opposite sides of the edge of the wind window, wind on the side of your face.
Walk backwards until you get some tension on the lines and then give the upwind steering line a good tug.
Kit will catch the wind and flip into the ready position and you can fly it up gently.


It’s not perfect and the kite can drift downwind a little before flipping which can mean a bit of a fast walk sometimes, but touch wood, this has always worked fine for me.
Works a bit better in damp sand as the kite is less wont to slide. I know if you haven’t got the luxury of a big beach, this might not be practical too.

To self-land, always, always just pop the QR and flag.

Anyone else do this or is it just me?

I think the anchor launch is more trouble but prefer to use it because its safer and easier on the kite.

My preferred spin launch is to have the bar downwind and check the lines.

Take the sand off the kite and turn the kite to the angle to start the spin launch and put the board on in a way that it will fall off as the kite is turned. Put sand behind the kite where it will rotate around. ... =29&pos=57

Walk the bar upwind and spin launch the kite.

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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby ronnie » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:01 pm

For drift launching this can work if you have a clean sandy beach and sea bottom and water without seaweed.

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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby geopeck » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:38 pm

I agree that the safest way is the anchor, I just want to second Ronnie on putting the bar downwind of the kite for a spin launch and add little bit more. I rig the bar downwind for better visibility of the bridles during hookup and less wear while it's getting pulled around.

A few times while spin launching I've had pigtail ends or pulleys get hooked around a line and had the kite launch with a tight steering line, coming all the way back through the window before it popped loose. For this reason I always walk in an arc while spin launching rather than straight to the side of the window. After I put my chicken loop in I pull all the lines tight for a visual check and then walk my arc with the lines still tight and the kite shuffling parallel to the bar the whole way.

By doing this there is no question of unanticipated snags and no surprises about what angle to the wind you are at when the kite starts to catch the wind, also no question about which way the bar is going to be turned.

Also I realized that I can use beach walkers for a static self launch safely - ask them to hold the chicken loop and tell them that it may generate about 30 lbs. of pull, but they can let go if they absolutely need to. Then set the kite up on its side and come back and take the chicken loop from them. It keeps them out of the way and people are thrilled to help.

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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby tmcfarla » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:46 am

I've tried lots of self launching and landing methods and have settled on the anchor launch. Everywhere that I kite has numerous things to tie off to, so I don't have to worry about finding a suitable anchor. People who kite in areas without existing anchors might find it more of a hassle (I can just tie off to one of the many pieces of driftwood that I have to walk over to get to the water). I can usually self launch in less time than it takes to wait for another kiter to walk over and launch my kite, so convenience certainly isn't an issue. Landing is just as easy (and your kite stays dry!)- tie off to your anchor. If you don't make it back to your anchor, use your kite leash to anchor it to something sturdy or just release on one line in the water.

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Re: The Safest Way To Launch & Land Solo !

Postby SupaEZ » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:38 am

Bring to the beach an EMPTY sand bag.....fill it at beach...launch kite..going home empty the bag

Land without any GIZMOS...edge of wind window wingtip on beach...make kite fall LE down

Landing solo is practice,practice,practice and different for each kite

You have to be able to do it anywhere anytime safely and quickly without hitting quick release

QR releasing to land should be considered as last option....if danger is present..or wind too strong

On Rebel i walk up the centerline up to the split and tug on 5th and upper front line at once

On Riot i walk up the short centerline and tug on the upper front line

Stay hooked in chicken loop and safety leash with kite totally depowered and bar out to do that

I cannot recall using the QR to land a kite......i ride from a 6 to a 19 tube...200+ times a year

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