Self Launching a Kite

Launching alone is not highly recommended in Kite Surfing. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced Kite Surfer, you have to have assistance. However, if you try doing this, master first how your kite's safety system works, wear proper safety gear such as your helmet, and follow the guidelines below.
kiteboarding-self-launch

Lines and bar


Launching alone can be a tricky thing to do. Though it is certainly not advisable, it is still important to know what to do if you do not have an assistant when launching a kite.

Before launching, check if the lines are connected correctly and that they are not twisted. Determine the wind direction and lay out your lines at a 90-degree angle to the wind. Make sure to take your time in planning your self-launch, and ALWAYS double check your lines before attempting to self launch your kite.

Launching


After the lines have been checked and the bar has been positioned, the kite must be setup for the self-launch.

Turn the kite over and hold it by one wingtip. The wind will automatically push the kite in the right position for a self-launch. Bend the wingtip over and cover it with sand, using enough sand to prevent it from being blown away.

Pick up your bar and be sure that your quick release systems are working properly and be ready to use them in case something goes wrong. To be sure, de-power the kite by pulling the de-power strap.

As the wind starts filling up the kite, walk backwards and increase the tension on the lines. At a certain point, the wingtip will flip over and the kite can be piloted up. You can give the bar an extra pull to help the wingtip flip over.

Self Launching Tips and Tricks

  1. If you walk upwind too far, the kite will catch too much wind and will become unstable. Release some tension on the lines and quickly walk downwind again. If the kite still does not stabilize, you will have to launch it. Anticipate a heavy launch and be ready to use your quick release.

  2. If you launch standing too far downwind from your kite, the kite will first fly backwards and could suddenly generate pull. If you stand too far upwind, the kite will launch with power.

  3. Refrain from piloting your kite if it is so large that you may get pulled. Wait until it already has the right power and prepare to let go of the chicken loop.

  4. Once your back lines get inverted, the kite will go down instead of going up. What you should do is untwist the bar. Shortly after, your kite will already go up. Also clear tangled or knotted lines before launching.

  5. Practice on large beaches and in low wind conditions. Launch towards the water. If you then get pulled over, you will end up in the water and not in the trees.

Disclaimer

Kiteboarding is a dangerous sport that requires adequate, professional instruction. Kiteboarding Tampa Bay, its instructors, and their sponsors assume no legal responsibility for misuse of any information contained on this website.
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