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How do you Launch your Kite ?

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How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby Bille » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:47 pm

Guess i better clarify exactly HOW i have one hand on the QR when i launch at 6-mile ; cause
if Ya let go with one hand to grab the QR, the kite could immediately start to loop if you try
to sheet in or out ---

* The person is holding my kite, both my hands are on the bar.

** I physically look down and check the direction my QR will work, (both hands still on bar.

*** I slide my Left hand to the Center of the bar ; using my Right hand i grab the QR Without

**** Right hand goes back to bar but Left hand STAYS in center ; then i check tension
on Both break-lines to see if there equal.

***** (( AFTER i check for thermals behind me)) -- I signal to Release, the kite with my Right
hand, (Left STAYS in center) and the Right
hand goes to the QR, (without looking) until i'm Certain the kite is balanced and raising
up to Zenith.

Most of the time while on the beach, the Left hand Stays in the center of the bar and
the Right is going for the board or QR; where ever it's most needed.

I do a NO-LOOK check for my QR about every 5 to 10 min while riding ; same way
i check for my reserve chute handle while flying a HG or PG within 500ft of the

Got a Better way, i will change my SOP, (standard operating procedure) ; but
i have ditched my kite at least Once every year while launching it at 6-mile
since i started kiting there !!

Personally --- i think the launch is the Most dangerous part of Kite-boarding; just
like the Take-off is the most dangerous part of Hang gliding of PG. It's where i
pump the MOST amount of adrenaline, in order to keep up with possible uncertainties !!
And next up is the Landing for both sports. Your Most at risk of injury when near Land.

So --- HOW do YOU launch your kite ??


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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby Toby » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:58 pm

good advice!

I made a good explanation for my to launch, land and crash in a safe way...since it is very important specially when you want to take a kite with more power.

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby Bain » Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:36 pm

I usually never put my kite up to zenith after launching. I've seen quite a few accidents because of that. We have a few spots where the wind is pretty sketchy right on the beach, and if you move the kite to zenith you are asking for trouble.
I will always try to launch with kite towards the water, especially when self launching. After the kite is up, I keep it low (30-40°) until I get out into the water.

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby voodoospirit » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:25 pm

i check my QR before the set up.
i don t disconnect the lines.

i launch full window or 45° angle.
then zenith depowered or 11h and then riding.

variation a bit more engaged:

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby Thor SFBay » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:21 pm

I guess you guys are launching in very different conditions than I am. The biggest problem I encounter when launching is the person holding my kite letting go of it unexpectedly or tossing it into the air. So for me, having both hands on the bar is key - my goal is to keep the kite at the edge of the window and flying and then bring it up to about 10 o'clock towards the water. Using one hand would give me less control and make it more likely that the kite will fall into the power zone if the launcher does something stupid. If everything did go wrong I would let go of the bar and hit the QR. That isn't as quick as the one-handed method, but I'd much rather prevent the bailout in the first place by having more control over the kite.

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby RichardM » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:39 pm

For someone who has practiced using their QR to the point where they can activate it in the shortest amount of time, and who is specifically prepared to do so as in a launch situation, keeping one hand on the QR would probably save an insignificant fraction of a second in the event of a problem.

Personally, I believe that having 2 hands on the bar usually provides significantly more control than one hand and that the advantage that this potential control provides generally overcomes any disadvantage that might accrue due to the above described lost fraction of a second.

It seems to me that the 1 hand technique puts more reliance for preventing an accident on the functionality of the QR while the 2 hand technique puts more reliance on kite control while still having the benefit of the QR as backup. Since NO QR can be GUARANTEED to work as intended when needed, it seems better to not depend upon it more than absolutely necessary.

However, it should be noted that some people with some kites can exert more kite control holding the bar in the center than other people with different kites (especially where greater bar pressure is found) so the degree of difference between the 2 methods can vary from case to case.

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby TheJoe » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:51 pm

Normally its just one hand and unhooked. Letting go is a lot faster than messing with a quick release.

I will disagree with you Bille on launch as the most dangerous time. To me it would be coming in and landing a kite. When launching you are rested, have the strength to deal with the kite, and react faster. Upon coming in you are tired, have muscle fatigue, and most likely dehydrated. All things that can influence your decisions and reaction time.

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby DirkGently » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:28 am

You guys seem paranoid. Maybe my home spot is super chill, or I'm basically the smoothest operator on earth, but I don't have fear of death every time I put a kite in the sky....

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby Mikites » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:32 am

I always always tether launch, I know it is not considered the safest method. I have NEVER had an issue with tethered launch and landing, but I have had very bad experiences with assisted launch and landings, even from experienced kiters.

My tether point is a 120lb concrete block buried 4 ft in the sand with a 1/2" stainless steel cable coming out of the ground that I connect using a climbing quick draw to the chicken loop. I can check the lines easy before I leave the kite and weigh the tip with some sand to keep it from floating or setting back in the window. I follow the lower front line to the tether, hook my safety and then unhook the chicken loop from the quick draw and connect to my harness.

If I'm not at my normal launch land spot I will always do the side launch.. A bit harder on the kite I feel its safer than having someone send the kite into the heart of the power zone on accident.

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Re: How do you Launch your Kite ?

Postby knotwindy » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:54 am

if you really can not launch a kite safely with one hand you need more lessons or you need to be a spot with nobody around :o

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