Hi evan and Mossy 757,
it is no problem to packdown in a lull, wait or swim around and then, when the wind is back, to launch again. I have launched again after packing more then 10 times.
I would not go distance as shown here:
http://kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=19 ... 3&start=30
if I wouldn't be able to do that. When I go distance, I am never more then 1/2 mile from shore (doesn't matter if offshore or onshore). When the wind is going down I will always be able to go to shore myself. Rescue with a boat should never be a planned option.
An important factor is to have at least 20 liters of board volume better up to 40. So you are able to lift the canopy when packing and you wont have much more water inside then when swimming off shore, maybe 1 or 2 liters, nothing which disturbs you when swimming or launching again.
If you want to be able to launch also after pack down on the water, it is important to first, be able to pack your kite with discipline and routine on land. If you can do this, with the time you can reach the same packing quality on the water. And another one, if the kite hits the water and you are not 100% sure if the wind will be back in 10 minutes, start to pack down after less than 5 minutes, otherwise bringing out the water will be much more difficult.
Happy foiling, swimming, packing, launching, foiling, swimming, packing, launching ... what you like