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 Post subject: narrow beach self launch
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:17 pm 
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I've done some searching on here, reading threads about anchoring and drift launching, but haven't seen anything specifically like what I'm looking for. Would be curious to hear opinions on the best bet.

I'm a 2nd year kiter, proficient in self-launching with a carabiner tied to a solid object. However, this requires a clean area next to the water, without obstacles, and at least as wide as the kite lines, ideally with wind sideshore ... something that is quite rare around here. I want to explore methods to launch where there is only a narrow beach or possibly no beach at all (shallow water leading to a treed bank, for example). Assume the wind is sideshore, with shallow water out 10-15m.

I've seen some recommendations for drift launching. Don't much like the look of that, way too much can go wrong with slack lines.

What I'm thinking: install an anchor with a float and carabiner, 5-10m from shore, say chest deep water. Set up kite and lines on land, in pre-launch position. WIth lines slack, walk bar and lines into water, attach to carabiner. Then walk back to shore, grab the kite, and walk it directly downwind, place it LE down, with it pulling on the chicken loop. At this point, it should have some pull, but not enough to launch itself, with bar fully out and maximum trim/depower. Run back to the chicken loop and clip in, still attached to carabiner, and water relaunch -- direct kite to edge of window by pulling one line, kite rolls on its wingtip, and up it goes. Unhook carabiner and off you go. If you can't get it launched, then leave it on carabiner/anchor, walk back and secure the kite. To land, do just as you would for a self-landing on land -- bring kite down at edge of window in deep water, attach to carabiner/anchor, then pull up middle line to get kite under control, etc.

If this worked, it could open up some areas that are not kiteable because of poor launch.

Possible problems: weeds in the water fouling the lines; waves pushing kite onshore, with either damage to kite or rear line getting caught in rocks/obstacles and possibly launching kite by itself.

Would this work? What are the dangers or pitfalls? Suggestions for a better method?


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 Post subject: Re: narrow beach self launch
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:07 pm 
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This will only work if the water doesn't get too deep too fast, what I would do (after you pumped your kite up) is lay your kite on its back with the LE into the wind (The position it's in when you pump it up). then, while holding the LE to stop it from blowing away, walk your hands down the LE until you have reached the wingtip closest to the water. here, put a LOT of sand on the wingtip area, making sure the kite is still in the same position on its back. some people fold the wingtip but i don't find that not folding is any different. make sure you put a lot of sand on so it doesn't blow away. you should be able to let go and the kite will stay where it is.

Now, grab your lines and walk into the water. position yourself so the kite is at the edge of the window. simply pull back on the lines and the kite will fill. it will take some time to get the sand out but the kite will launch. make sure you bring it to 12 to get all the sand out. as always, check for twists in your lines before launching.

To self land, stay in the water and bring your kite to the edge of the window so that it is over the beach or wherever you want to land it. bring it down so a wingtip is touching the beach and let the bar all the way out. now, grab the center lines and pull in until you have reached the split. with the kite still on it's side, grab the TOP line and pull that in. the kite should flip over into the position you normally leave it on the beach (LE down and into the wind). run to it and put sand on it.

sorry this is so long but i hope this helps

Bobby


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 Post subject: Re: narrow beach self launch
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:24 am 
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Thanks Bobby. That would work if you have water that doesn't get too deep too fast, so you can get your lines out perpendicular from the beach and still be standing. For that situation, I figure could also consider an anchor with carabiner out in water, and then self-launch like normal. But your way needs less gear and planning.

However, that method won't work if you don't really have a beach, maybe just a narrow access. Plus, not much sand around here....though can always find something to weigh down leading edge.


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 Post subject: Re: narrow beach self launch
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:29 am 
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I just moved to a pretty small beach, and for some reason I always seem to kite at high tide so wading in the water to drag launch isnt an option.

I usually just turn it into the wind a bit and walk straight upwind, and use one line to flip it straight into the wind and relaunch it like normal. It's the same as drag launching but it's a little more tricky since the lines can get stuck on pulleys etc (I have a 5 line c kite and they still get a little stuck sometimes even though I dont have bridles). It's a little more annoying and I dont think I'd want to do it in really strong wind since you end up launching it straight downwind of you.


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 Post subject: Re: narrow beach self launch
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:25 am 
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Location: Ford Lake, Michigan
remember that if something goes wrong with a launch your kite can tumble downwind one line length. So if you are tethering 10m from the seawall obstacles, one day your launch will go wrong and your kite will get smashed to bits. I don't know about you but I probably dont have the will to resist kiting just because the wind is onshore instead of sideshore one day. Probably worth the effort to master the drift launch, so you have it in your pocket if you need it.


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 Post subject: Re: narrow beach self launch
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:14 am 
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I'm thinking of this anchor method in a sideshore launch, no obstacles down-wind.

I'm going to try it out with 2m trainer and then 6m in low wind....see if it works. Because if it does, might open up some spots around here that have good wind but no good launch capability.


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 Post subject: Re: narrow beach self launch
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:49 am 
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I would anchor bar on land and walk kite out into sea, leave it sitting on wingtip, that way bar won't get tangled

Basically the same as a normal self launch


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 Post subject: Re: narrow beach self launch
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Location: Denmark
A few comments.

edt: Tethering 10m from obstackles is the only way to launch at most spots here, and I do that often - and have never destroyed a kite.
Not saying it can not happen - just that it is extremely rare - and I think your own mistake if it happens :roll:
So risky yes, but not that much IMO.
The major issue is when it goes on the LE in lulls - so you have to be aware the kite can "slide" into something - and if bushes with thorns it is a bummer :(
But you can often correct and avoid this by just pulling the former upper line, even when walking back to your bar.
Of course - there are some kites, like very C shaped ones - that does not work in less stable winds especially, but one knows this beforehand I believe, from tethered launches with lots of space :wink:


juandesooka: Why try it with small kites first ?
I see no reason for this, as it might give a very twisted picture of the real behaviour with normal kite sizes :roll:
I would just test with my regular kite - as you got the bar on your water-anchor and kite still resting safe on the beach LE down.
Then you go back to the kite - put it up on the side - and guess what ? Just WAIT there and see what happens 8)
Then you dont risk anything, as you can just grab the kite if something odd is about to happen.
Just remember - that a fixed kite will sometimes jump a meter up and land a bit more downwind in the classic "compressed" way - but I know you know if you are used to tethered launches.
This way you will get an idea whether it seems like a good stable solution or not :thumb:


JGTR: Anchor on land and leave kite standing on the tip in the water, is possible.
I dont do it though - as I've (in fact almost always) experienced that the kite will drop on its LE extremely easy - and have even seen it go on its back too.
Because, the water is never flat (if it was flat, one could just walk out in the water and launch), so even in light wind, even small small waves will catch the wingtip and roll it "under" the kite, so it tumbles down. In light wind, even small waves only a few inches, rolling slow, can "tumble" a kite.
In more wind, the smaller kites sit much more stable, true - BUT, you got much bigger wind swell now, so the same issue (is my experience).
Also, in general, kites wont sit very stable on the wing tip when in the water, in gusty wind, compared to when on a beach. Because of the huge drag that water causes on the lower wing tip - "odd" things can happen so much easier when in water - that wont happen on the beach.


--------------------

I wont say what is the "right" way - just note some experiences I've found during the last 8 years since SLE kites came - if someone can use these hints.

I mostly always self launch - also if we are many (to be able to get out/in if they are on the water, or has left home), so you get 500-1000 selflaunch/landings per year quite easy - and the "slide" self launch is way to dangerous, even though I also use it in light wind - but have seen line snags and disaster too often with this method 8)
Of course we launch/land each other also - but not the first time at a spot, as it is VERY important to see that your tether angle and line length is correct, when having narrow beaches with obstackles !

A practical detail: Put your kitebag next to, or around your stake/tether.
This way, when others come or want to go in, when you are out - they got the chance to see where there "might be" a stake so they can start or land.
That is one benefit.
The other benefit of doing this - is that you will never forget your stake/tether/anchor and carabiner, because you need your kitebag when packing down - as there are often someone that takes your kite down if you stop for the day simultaniously, and it might be a bit dark and cold and you got hours to drive home maybe - so you forget all about your stake.
I have lost (meaning - forgotten) many tether systems until I placed the kite bag at the tether.
Sounds too simple and a bit stupid maybe - but believe me, it works :naughty:

Just some experiences, if anyone can use this.

:D Peter


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 Post subject: Re: narrow beach self launch
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Location: Ford Lake, Michigan
I think ur a bit lucky peter al it takes is a wind shift to knock the kite over and even if u hold a line it can still tumble. Every 1says assist launch is safer than tether launch but Ihave seen kites tunble donwnnd plenty. I think if u kite long enuf at the same spot u eventually have a failed launch must suck to know failed launch will bust up kite


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 Post subject: Re: narrow beach self launch
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:38 am 
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Location: NW Florida
Probably a silly question but if a self launch is so sketchy how do you self land?
I finally practiced self rescuing by letting my qr go, then winding up 20 ft of flag out line onto the bar before winding up rest of the lines.
I was able to unwind and relaunch afterwards - so would this work as a way to self launch when there's not a lot of room.


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