SELF LAUNCHING THE KITE
It’s windy and there’s not a living soul around to help you with launching your kite. Trust me I know the feeling. It is not recommended to perform self launching but if you really have to, make sure you do it in the right way.
Have you ever been in the situation where you arrive on a windy spot and there is no one to help you launch your kite ? My name is Petar Pavlovic, I love sharing my Kitesurf Experience with you! Let’s see how to safely self launch while dragging the kite on the beach.
First let me specify that self launching is not something every kitesurfer should know. Keep in mind, it’s never a good idea to do it yourself. Especcialy when there are actually people around who can help you launch your kite.
The recommended level to have before practicing self launching is being able to ride toeside and jibing. This level shows a good understanding of a kite control.
You go for self launching just if you are super motivated for your kitesurf session. Make sure there is plenty of space without people, buildings or sharp objects on the beach that could damage your gear.
KITE SELF LAUNCHING STEPS
- Set up your lines downwind of your kite.
- Check again the wind direction and analyze where would be your launching position.
- Do the pre-flight check. It means make sure that your back lines are free and not twisted around the middle lines or any stick laying on the beach.
- Connect the safety leash on the safety line. With the chicken loop in your hand walk towards your launching position.
- Once you are 90 degrees with your lines compare to the wind direction start walking backwards and still slowly up wind so the kite turns and gets wind.
- Once the kite is on tension and everything looks stable, walk down wind so that your kite gets just on the edge of the wind window.
- Make sure again that everything looks fine with the lines and connect the chicken loop on your harness.
- Gently launch your kite.
HOW TO SELF LAUNCH THE KITE – ENVIRONMENT AND SURROUNDINGS ASSESSMENT
It Is really important to have enough space downwind of you and your kite! In case the procedure doesn’t go as planned and you have to let go the chicken loop.
If your lines are 22 meters long plus when your kite stays just on the safety line. The SPAN of your Kite is from 3 to 5 meters depending on the size of the kite you are using. Plus your safety leash in extension is from 50 cm to 2 meters, depending on the size of the leash you are using. So you would need at least 30 meters downwind of you free from any obstacle. More safety zone you have better and safer it is.
It’s always important to analyze where will be your launching position. I recommend to go with your bar closer to the water or even better, in the water.
Before launching your kite, I advise putting your board closer to the water. Try to position yourself upwind of your expected launching position. This way you will not get tangled in your lines and to reach your board quicker and safer after launching.
If you are on a sandy beach and the wind is strong, I suggest to put a bit of sand just on the side of the kite closer to your launching position.
If there is no sand to put on your kite, then just be quicker in reaching your bar. Make sure that everything looks fine with your lines and connect the safety leash on your safety line.
HOW TO SELF LAUNCH THE KITE – TIPS
Holding on the chicken loop walk to your expected launching position. It is recommended to pull a bit the trim line especially if it is strong wind. Make sure to not start turning the kite before reaching your launching position. The kite might slide a lot so could get damaged.
When you decide to turn your kite it is important to be around 90 degrees with your lines compared to the wind or slightly a bit more up wind if the wind is light. Always turn the kite just with holding the chicken loop, walking backwards and slowly upwind.
Once the kite gets the tension make sure that everything looks fine with the lines around your bar. Sometimes can also happen that one of the lines stucks on the wing tip of the kite and starts generating power.
This is why you are holding on the chicken loop. In case there is too much power you should just let go of the chicken loop so that the kite looses all the tension.
To reach your kite use the basic self landing procedure, which we saw in the previous blog post, if you didn’t yet, make sure to check it out.
Maybe give it another try if there is still no one who could help you launch. When your kite gets tension and everything looks stable, do not immediately connect the chicken loop on your harness and pull the line to launch your kite. This would make the kite slide even longer on the ground and this could also damage your kite.
So often you will have to first walk down wind still with the chicken loop in your hand. By doing so the kite loses a bit of tension and gets just on the edge of your wind window. Again make sure that everything looks fine with your lines and connect the chicken loop on your harness and gently launch your kite.
KITE SELF LAUNCHING ADDITIONAL TUTORIALS
I do not recommend doing it, but if you already have to, make sure to follow those safe steps. Especially the one of not connecting the chicken loop on your harness until everything is ready for launching. The only issue is that your kite might get a bit damaged if the launching doesn’t go as planned.
So if you are on the beach with lot’s of sharp shells or anything like this. You can check on my Patreon the way of self launching your kite with a fix point, for which you will need some extra preparation to make it safer.