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Strange situation with lines - Any explanations?

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Hugh2
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Re: Strange situation with lines - Any explanations?

Postby Hugh2 » Sat Nov 26, 2022 4:27 am

I do a lot of solo self-launching in places like Cape Hatteras and if at all possible I now drift-launch in the water, which I think is the safest of all. But here in Cape Town it is essentially obligatory to launch the traditional way with both hands on the bar after briefly signalling your helper to release the kite. I see almost no exceptions. Folks who insist on self-launching are frowned upon as there is almost always someone else around to assist with launching, and self-launching on the beach, as we all know, can go horribly wrong, endangering not only the kiter but also bystanders including innocent beachgoers with the potential for bad publicity. I have made at least three disasterous beach self-launches in the past 18 years where somehow a line got snagged around a wingtip and the kite immediately death looped before I could even touch the QR (and I routinely use the QR to self-land on isolated beaches, so I know it is there and how to use it). In each case I was luckily saved unhurt by the kite crashing so hard it stopped looping, or it hit something like a wall. Here's an unpleasant video from a few years ago at Dolphin Beach along Bloubergstrand.


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Re: Strange situation with lines - Any explanations?

Postby galewarning » Sun Nov 27, 2022 4:50 pm

Responding to three previous comments in this thread and after watching Sarc's 'When Should You Hook?' video:

Re: Sun's suggestion to check under the floats for a slipped knot - As far as I know, no vintage of Slingshot Sentinel, Guardian or Sentry have ever had an under the float adjustment. However, I wish every bar had a line length adjustment under the floats.
Re: Toby's comment about not using Sarc's [only holding front lines] technique in high wind [only in lighter wind] - Why do you suggest this? It's the same technique, you just let go of the bar.
Re: edt's comment about Sarc's technique essentially being 'old school' [back in 2000], now the best thing to do is "use the QR." - Just letting go with one hand is much faster than having to react, reach down and push the chicken loop release.

I don't currently launch using Sarc's suggested technique [one-handed holding the fornt lines], but it's been bouncing around in the back of my mind for a while. Reading this thread may have convinced me to start launching this way at certain venues. I've had to react during launches that have gone bad, but releasing the chicken loop has never happened too fast. I always wish I would have reacted faster. This technique is the fastest way to reach during problematic launch. Trying to be open minded...

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Re: Strange situation with lines - Any explanations?

Postby Herman » Sun Nov 27, 2022 6:48 pm

Usually I kite alone and tether launch, when it comes to hooking in I connect the leash then I remove the chickenloop from the anchor carabiner. I never touch the bar until I have hooked in. Sometimes this is being done in 30+knots with the kite bouncing up and down but I still find it manageable as it does not take long. Therefore it does not seem there is any wind speed limit for a correctly sized kite regarding holding a chickenloop with the bar and kite left free to find their equilibrium. Having said that, this is decent coastal conditions, even here, once in a blue moon, you can get a shift that causes a kite to fly over the top onto the opposite tack when on a tether.

However with my limited experience of roll over self launching I have, on occasions, had kites roll over and be immediately released by a shift and fly up. If I had just been holding the chickenloop these would have led to a flag out. But if you are hooked in it just needs a bit of bottom hand to get the kite under control. Fundamentally I think you could probably achieve the level of skill required to always launch with just chickenloop but the average guy would end up having the risk of more flagouts. Imho it is question of understanding the pros/cons of the principles involved and using common sense to adapt to various scenarios. Assisted launching is more about taking tension without pushing your assistant around imho!

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Re: Strange situation with lines - Any explanations?

Postby edt » Sun Nov 27, 2022 10:56 pm

people still crash launching unhooked. The kite acts weird then they hook in because they think it's gusty except they are about to get slammed. In the death loop kite acts weird for a second like it's not responding to inputs, and that's when you either have to use the QR or if you launch unhooked, drop the control bar. Either way most people put both hands on the control bar and hold on as hard as they can until the kite crashes into something.

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Re: Strange situation with lines - Any explanations?

Postby Herman » Mon Nov 28, 2022 12:57 am

I think different things are being discussed under the same heading of unhooked launches. Arguably modern unhooked launches are about just holding the chickenloop whilst getting the kite in position on a tip assisted or roll up. Old school unhooked launches were about using the bar unhooked (trimmed in), because you had very little depower anyway and this gave you max control and ability to hold on but still with the option of letting go; very different imho. Good to understand them all of course!! If you are experienced and you rigged a 50mm difference in the rear pigs I think you should be able to feel it on the kite whilst it is sitting on a tip, provided you are looking/feeling for it.
Last edited by Herman on Mon Nov 28, 2022 11:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Strange situation with lines - Any explanations?

Postby purdyd » Mon Nov 28, 2022 5:27 am

You can launch hooked in without touching the bar. That is how I self launch since I am using a rope slider.

Push the bar all the way out and upside down and pull on the downwind leader.

Once up in a c shape, step down wind and grab the bar, the right way.

You can sort out a lot before you grab the bar. You should be able to see any tip or bridle raps and correct it.

I now have a couple of bars with a single hand qr reload and I might practice the no hooked in launch.

I don’t think you can detect a rear line difference in length with any of the launch methods mentioned.

I’ve come to the conclusion over the years that line wraps occur when you start tensioning lines upwind of the kite. This can occur during an assisted or self launch.

I now make it a point to be downwind when the kite is picked up or when beginning the self launch.

For some reason I’ve seen a couple of people put their rear line through the hole between the anti snag webbing and the tip. That will definitely pull a kite to one side.

I am not a big fan of people who quickly launch a kite up yto 12 o’clock and perform a small jump.

I prefer to let it sit when launched and then take it up slowly.

I’ve had it happen to me and caught when launching a kite where the bridle snags on the duotone tip deflate valve. That will lead to a kite spiral.

Some beaches where people can drive on the beach seem to have a lot of tether launches and even prefer it.

I went through this period of bad assisted launches from people who claimed they knew how to do it. I can understand the self launch sentiment.

I’ve been some places where there is simply no way to self launch.

As for a back line getting 8” suddenly longer, I worry that it is broken and I would replace it.

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Re: Strange situation with lines - Any explanations?

Postby Herman » Mon Nov 28, 2022 10:46 am

[quote=purdyd post_id=1181382 time=

I don’t think you can detect a rear line difference in length with any of the launch methods mentioned.

[/quote]

I know I have detected smallish rear line differences during a tether launching. Recently I broke my own always land policy during a tether launch but maybe the kite was 2ft off the ground I can’t remember. But I definitely detected the asymmetry before any flying input to raise the kite. Semi-stupidly I remember deciding to walk to the water, which was close, to fly the kite to the other side to slack the lines and give it a shake. The asymmetry didn’t clear so I walked back to the bag and landed it. I was a little surprised how much more friction the bar had sheeting in and out but once I landed it I thought what a dumb ass thing to do …….could have ripped off a valve or tube. The asymmetry fell off once landed, I never found out what had snagged.

PS You have to develop your own preflight check list. I don’t do many assisted launches but surely it is a doddle just to include a quick feel/look for line asymmetry, you are going to be holding the bar before giving the thumbsup and you are going to stop the canopy flapping (with minimum push). If you are good assistant you should be looking at the bridle to ensure no snags ……or am I being too optimistic??

Perhaps we should be encouraging peeps to ensure they can tension the lower rear line before launching??????

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Re: Strange situation with lines - Any explanations?

Postby Baptiste_FR » Mon Nov 28, 2022 2:03 pm

edt wrote:
Fri Nov 25, 2022 8:57 pm
[...] Today we have the quick release, so for modern kiters it makes more sense to rely on the quick release instead of never hooking in while launching. If you are in a death loop and are about to be rag dolled, the best thing to do is use the QR. [...] They forget it's an option, and hold on to the control bar in a death grip until the kite slams into the ground or hits a tree. Go watch a video of someone superman-ing down the beach eating sand and you'll notice their hands don't even come close to the QR.
I disagree with this opinion. Just like you said at the end : "Go watch a video of someone superman-ing down the beach eating sand and you'll notice their hands don't even come close to the QR." For many kiters, they very rarely use the Quick Release and they forget what should be an instinctive reaction. That's hooking at the last moment (with tension in the lines and the kite in the good position) avoid most of these critical situations.

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Re: Strange situation with lines - Any explanations?

Postby purdyd » Mon Nov 28, 2022 2:34 pm

Herman wrote:
Mon Nov 28, 2022 10:46 am
[quote=purdyd post_id=1181382 time=

I don’t think you can detect a rear line difference in length with any of the launch methods mentioned.
I know I have detected smallish rear line differences during a tether launching. Recently I broke my own always land policy during a tether launch but maybe the kite was 2ft off the ground I can’t remember. But I definitely detected the asymmetry before any flying input to raise the kite. Semi-stupidly I remember deciding to walk to the water, which was close, to fly the kite to the other side to slack the lines and give it a shake. The
[/quote]

That’s interesting. My experience is I don’t notice small differences until I get the kite up. I’ve noticed the same with other people on launches.

At the very least you would have to tension the rear lines.

I’ll have to pay more attention.

It does bring up an issue with tethered launches, what if the issue the issue causes the kite to rise. Are your prepared to deal with that?

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Re: Strange situation with lines - Any explanations?

Postby nothing2seehere » Mon Nov 28, 2022 2:53 pm

purdyd wrote:
Mon Nov 28, 2022 2:34 pm
Herman wrote:
Mon Nov 28, 2022 10:46 am
[quote=purdyd post_id=1181382 time=

I don’t think you can detect a rear line difference in length with any of the launch methods mentioned.
I know I have detected smallish rear line differences during a tether launching. Recently I broke my own always land policy during a tether launch but maybe the kite was 2ft off the ground I can’t remember. But I definitely detected the asymmetry before any flying input to raise the kite. Semi-stupidly I remember deciding to walk to the water, which was close, to fly the kite to the other side to slack the lines and give it a shake. The
That’s interesting. My experience is I don’t notice small differences until I get the kite up. I’ve noticed the same with other people on launches.

At the very least you would have to tension the rear lines.

I’ll have to pay more attention.

It does bring up an issue with tethered launches, what if the issue the issue causes the kite to rise. Are your prepared to deal with that?
[/quote]

With tethered launches, best practice is to walk back to the bar with your hand resting/providing minimal pressure on the lower front line. This normally helps to keep the kite settled on the wing tip but should give some alert if there is a steering imbalance. What you can do about that will depend how quickly you notice it mind.

The other factor is making sure you are happy the kite is sitting nicely before leaving it. As its your own safety you have the opportunity for a second look at the bridles before letting go (I do this for other kiters but wouldn't count on them all doing the same for my kite) which is positive. It the bridle is causing the kite to rise I'd think you would probably spot it. The kite would seem to bounce more than expected and be difficult to find a consistent angle to the wind. If its pulling towards the ground, you probably wouldn't notice until you got back to the bar though?


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