Please consider this a PSA for any new OR Aluula kite owners
...it's a bit embarrassing but, spoiler alert - it ends magically well.
Not an expert but approaching 200 days I generally take a cautious and calculated approach and have a good time on the water. That said, in the winter or shoulder seasons it's common to self launch - lots of great ways to do this, but a common one is the tether launch for its simplicity and safety. I have lived thru the rare mis-fire tethering, but in those atypical and rare events have always been able to quickly regain control and proceed (one exception was a faulty tether that led to a full Mary-Poppins kite ascension into the sky) that is simply to say it's been done many times over and enough to even have a few screw ups to now avoid thru muscle memory.
So in light winds at my normal spot - had the stomach dropping, OMG, this can't be happening reality as the kite which is ridiculously light caught a gust just so for the FLITE to take unauthorized flight as I was quickly getting to the bar, in my defense there was a totally unexpected naked man running right toward me - the kite spot just happens to double as a nude beach, so the jury is out on weather I grabbed the bar incorrectly, or if the lines were impaired by the bush which was the tether anchor but suffice it to say the 2nd day ever this crispy kite saw sunlight was a full SHART fest as the kite lurched over the top toward a full forest of not unsharp bushes. About 2 seconds later before I could get the "oh F*ck" verbally past my lips my pricey new toy was stranded about 7-9 feet up and about 20m deep...don't think I've ever moved with more speed or intention as I leapt over three non-clothed sunbathers (not skinny - yuck) to get to the kite and deflate it while seeing DOOM. As I heard the air rush out of the valve the kite was kinda suspended across a few bushes with the lines creating tension but no obvious rips or tears, I am holding my breath. Had to simultaneously step on the branches to break or bend down the many kite spearing limbs while reaching beyond my full height to gather the lines having to pull carefully get to the pigtails and release the tension and manage to gather the kite away from the angry bushes and their spikey branches. Two more lines free, still no obvious damage and I start to have some hope and wonder feeding the free half the kite over the V in the bush to settle the kite onto a small patch of soft sand. One last line was way up high and took everything to reach while not wanting to put ANY pressure on the kite fabric in harms way...just was able to get it standing on a heavy stump nearby, 15 seconds later I am freeing up the other end of the FLITE from the branches and finally able to settle the kite onto the sand. By some total miracle of the sweet baby Jesus, that Aluula leading edge held up 100% and the rip stop was certainly unhappy but after a FULL sunlight check and pump that kite came out unscathed. It's a total miracle of GOOD KITE KARMA IMHO.
Fast forward 15 mins - safety check, complete - kite re-pumped - lines recovered (not easy from bushes) and reset at waters edge. Drag launch - had a wild reversal of fortune and the kite Gods sent me a warning which I will heed before giving me a truly blissful light wind session on my new toy - Kite was absolutely amazing in 13-19mph shared a full expression session with just one foiler and a couple eagles.
Aluula is crazy light - be mindful
Aluula Launch Plan Hierarchy:
1. Buddy is Best
2. Drift or Drag
3. Tether but if you do use some sand on the wingtip - these kites really like to fly - like the balloons kids get at the fair
Hope this saves someone from those few minutes white hot fear and mental gymnastics
GREAT JOB Ocean Rodeo - you guys made one hell of a kite,
let's just say it's been christened and NOT in ANY hurry to repeat that little mishap.
Stoke Level 9000 +