davesails7 wrote:I hook up my leash before the assistant picks up the kite, but don't hook in until I see that everything is looking good.
That sounds like the plan right there
Put the leash on first... you don't want a run away kite with a bar and 400 ft of line in tow.
With the leash on you can at least manage the kite without to much trouble and keep people down wind of you safe.
If you were hooked in when the kite got away... then you'll need to be swift with the QR.
So if you're practiced with the QR then it won't make much difference if you hook in before or after you check your lines.
This is an aside and not a minor detail IMO...
It's important to remember to position yourself and your assistant directly across the wind (edge of wind window) before you attempt to check your lines for tangles and connection errors. This is the only position that you can safely put tension in the lines so you can easily check them without the kite powering up. Once everything is checked you can reposition to launch the kite. If you position incorrectly then you risk the kite powering up while you're checking the lines and knocking over your assistant... and the kite could get away... and if you're hooked in it could be a total disaster.
It's worth it to take the time here especially in higher winds... and it's not that much more time especially if you've found there is a problem with your lines while you were checking them... can easily put the kite down and fix it.
Get the launch down pat because the launch is where a lot of accidents occur.