This may seem like a silly question, but I really don't know and am a little nervous to try but really want to do it anyways lol. I want to try riding unhooked. Ive had a good scare once with the kite looping like mad and have been super cautious ever since (hooked in). Is it actually safer to ride unhooked? (leash on of course) Ive seen and heard of some people saying to launch the kite unhooked first, so if anything goes wrong you can just drop the kite and it kills the power? When riding unhooked, if you wipe out or drop the kite (but you have your leash on) will the kite depower or can it possibly power up at any time and do any crazy stuff like looping or anything else dangerous? This may seem like a dum question, but I truly dont know and want to understand better.
Most wipeouts unhooked or hooked in the kite just crashes.
The odds of a screw up on the kites behalf is probably equal. You get yanked hooked in and you gotta find and fire your chicken loop and if its real bad your leash. Unhooked you let go and in the event something more happens you release the leash.
There are a few other points. If your gonna unhook chances are yur going to want a safety that flags to both front lines or a 5th line. They are easiest to reride once you inevitably let go. Safeties that flag to a single front line are far more likely to get fouled and not want to reride nicely. Not that they won't, it's just a lot more likely the the kite will at least have a bunch of twists in the lines making kite control tougher.
A lot of people unhooking with single front line safeties will hook up the leash in whats referred to as suicide set up. Sounds a bit more drastic than it is, but its basically hooking the leash up directly to the chicken loop and not to the safety. The kite won't depower any more than letting go of the bar when hooked in, but the sometimes frequent reride is simple. You might want to wait a bit to try that out if your asking this question.
You tend to wipeout a little harder unhooked, but not always. The type of wipeout just tends to be different. In terms of pilot error, I guess I'd rather mess up unhooked where I'm typically a lot lower and can just let go. If you get spun and loop a kite unintentionally at height hooked in it can certainly be bad! So yeah I guess it depends.
never ever launch un hooked. That is the dumbest thing ever told to beginners. Hooked in, let go of bar = no power in kite .... unless you fubared the lines, but that's on you not on innocent bystanders. Know what I mean? Riding un hooked is a choice of style, not a more or less safe way. IMO, hooked in is safer, if you have kite control . No kite control, all bets are off.
pretty sure others have a dif opinion and plenty of comments.
when you ride unhooked you most often want the kite in a stable position and hands closer together which will probably limit many dramatic crashes due to overstiring. I will also argue that then unhooking people are often ride less powered then they would be hooked. which means that when you let go of the bar it will depower to a lower level of power.
First thing I do when I get a new bar is cut away the donkey stick. When I launch I always hold the chicken loop with one hand and the bar with the other...(top hand the bar, lower hand the loop)then if things all checks out I hook in. I've seen people launching when things went out of control and they couldn't release for some reason.... and couldn't quickly unhook and throw the bar out due to the stick...
You have 3 topics in the question, all mixed: 1. Riding un-hooked 2. Depower/safety when un-hooked 3. Kite launching safety
Questions 1 and 2 can be handled together. Safety depends whether you ride in suicide or (100% - depending on kite) depower mode. You can un-hook from both modes. Look into these termes and you will understand. Question 3 - after rigging the kite and lines always check whether your quick-release works. When launching hold on hand on the QR and other on the bar. Launch to the side where there are no obstacles downwind of you, preferably to the water side. Dont bring the kite 12 but keep it low.
The biggest advantage to being unhooked as far as safety is concerned is you can let go. When you crash all you have to do is let go and get the bar away from your body. No chance of over steering the kite and all most 100% chance you wont start looping the kite after the crash. I say that because shit can all ways happen.
When riding hooked in, the power of the kite is held in your core, but when riding unhooked, your arms hold the power of the kite, therefore there is more likelihood of injuries related to your shoulder and elbows. You are also more likely to crash when riding unhooked, so in these regards, it is not safer to ride unhooked.