RELAUNCH THE KITE – IN LIGHT WIND
It is pretty easy to relaunch the kite from the water when there is strong wind. The question is, how difficult can it be to relaunch it when there is not much wind?
My name is Petar Pavlovic, I love sharing my Kitesurf Experience with you and in this episode we will talk about relaunching your kite in light wind conditions.
Over the years, while kitesurfing and teaching, I saw many kitesurfers with good level of riding, having big issues with relaunching their kite in light wind conditions. It was also my case of course in my first years of kitesurfing.
Pulling aggressively the bar and getting angry because nothing worked. Definitely was not helpful.
Relaunching the kite in shallow water is definitely much easier than being in deep water. So we will mainly focus on how to relaunch your kite while being in deep water. First we will see everything you have to do to relaunch your kite from the water in the case where you don’t have the board with you.
But I will also give you some tips if you still have the board, on how to use the board so you save energy.
kite on trail edge
When you are not so experienced riding in light wind and your kite falls in the water you will most probably find yourself in this situation. Your kite falling on the water on the trailing edge. So the canopy of the kite goes under the water.
This happens when you are pulling too much on the bar while riding. Or by pulling too much the back line while relaunching your kite. In this situation it is definitely not helpful to pull the bar or the back lines to relaunch your kite.
First we have to turn the kite on its front tube. We definitely want to let go of the bar and strongly swim upwind. When you find yourself in shallow water just walk up wind. This will create tension on the front lines which are connected on the front tube.
Because we are swimming or walking up wind, the canopy slowly is getting out from the water. It starts getting wind which is helping the kite to turn. In case this doesn’t work then keep on doing everything the same. Grab the center line over the bar and shake it towards you.
If the wind is too light and none of this is working out, then turn your face in the wind direction and swim up wind as fast as possible. Put the board on your feet, bend and stretch your legs aggressively. This will create a similar effect as swimming up wind and it is a lot less tiering.
pull back the line to relaunch the kite
Now it’s time to be patient and gentle with steering the back line. On stronger wind it is safer to bring the kite slowly on the edge of the wind window and gently launch your kite. Especially in shallow water.
But on light wind it might be super difficult to succeed with this method. Because you should be extra gentle and patient with steering. So on light wind I recommend to relaunch your kite from the power zone. This way the kite immediately flies higher where there’s more wind.
The idea is to turn the kite so it’s almost falling on the trailing edge. In this exact moment we want to release the line so that the kite get’s to fly towards 1, 12 or 11 o’clock.
logic of the kite flying
Here we have to understand the logic of how the kite is flying in the wind window when we are pulling completely the bar and when we are completely deepowering the bar.
I don’t want to talk to you now about kite aerodynamic because it would be too long and difficult to understand.
I will explain you this in the way that I understood it for the first time.
Try imagine that my palm is the kite. The front side front tube. the back side the trailing edge. Whenever we pull the bar we are kind a closing the kite and it becomes smaller. This way we are compressing the wind so the kite, in strong wind conditions, starts pulling us. But if we keep the bar pulled in for too long, on light wind conditions, the kite might back stole.
I was always imagining, “aha I pull the bar so I close the kite, so its starts pulling, but also becomes smaller so when it is light wind the kite starts falling on its trailing edge. Once I completely deepower the bar the kite becomes bigger and starts flying again”.
It will always start flying towards the edge of the wind window where the front tube and the middle strut are directed. You can picture it like an arrow. So when the front tube is on the water, the kite actually wants to go under the water, but it is not possible.
The idea is to turn the kite so that the front tube and the middle strut are facing around 12 o’clock. This is when you want to release the line so the kite just fallows its arrow. Yo’ll notice it is flying towards the edge of the wind window.
DIFFERENT METHOD OF RELAUNCHING THE KITE
Now we will see different methods in light wind on how to manage to turn the kite and make it fly again.
Make sure that the bar is completely deepowered. Take one back line with 2 fingers just in front of the floater. If you don’t feel enough tension then take it just a bit further if there is still a thicker line to hold on to. Do not pull for the thin line.
The idea is to swim backwards as strong as possible to keep the lines on tension. In shallow water it will be easy, just by standing or even slowly walking upwind. Here you have to be patient with pulling and hopefully the kite will turn.
If after a while it doesn’t work, do not shake the back line aggressively, this will definitely not help. Let this back line go, and grab the other back line so the kite swings through the power zone and eventually turns. In case this still doesn’t work, with so much swimming up wind, try to put yourself on your belly and float towards the kite, while you are still pulling on the back line. It might help the kite to start turning.
As soon as you see that the kite started turning it is important to again start swimming upwind so you keep the front lines on tension. And now we have to think logic. So once you see that the kite starts turning on it’s trailing edge and the arrow is facing around 12 o’clock, you want to gradually start deepowering the line as much as possible.
The kite starts flying in his arrow direction. Once the kite is in the air, completely let go of the line and gently hold on to your bar.
HOW TO RELAUNCH THE KITE IN LIGHT WIND
When the wind is so light, you often have to play a bit more with the back line. Once the kite starts turning on it’s trailing edge, and you release the back line it could happen that the kite starts flying just towards. Let’s say 3 or 2 o’clock, which could not be high enough for the kite to stay stable in the air.
So you want to pull, deepower , pull, deepower , pull, deepower. This way the arrow faces more towards 12 o’clock. Here you have to make sure to be extra gentle when you pull again after deepowering.
This is why it’s better to do it just with 2 fingers and not with all your hand. If you pull slightly too much, your kite will fall on the trailing edge and you have to restart the process from the beginning.
When possible, I recommend keeping your board on your feet while relaunching the kite. This will create enough resistance on the water so you don’t have to spend so much energy swimming up wind.
COMMON MISTAKES WHEN RELAUNCHING THE KITE
Common mistakes made while deepowering the line is thinking that it’s enough deepowered just by stretching the arm. Sometimes you have to move all your body forward so you can deepower the line properly.
Really important to keep in mind, if you are able to turn the kite you are able to relaunch it. So if your kite keeps on falling on the trailing edge, do not get angry because this will definitely not help you. You want to keep calm, be more gentle and focus on the arrow.
Also if for any reason you are not able to relaunch your Kite, make sure you know how to perform self rescue which you can see in my previous episode. And On my Patreon you will be able to see a short tutorial of an advance technic for relaunching your kite in light wind.