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 Post subject: Drift launching in a wind shadow
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:39 pm 
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Looking for some pointers on how to drift launch in a wind shadow that lasts about 100 feet. Passed that its about 15 mph and steady.. I'm thinking to attach lines, hit the safety, roll them back up and swim/ walk out passed the shadow... Anyone ever try this or have any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Drift launching in a wind shadow
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:40 pm 
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Location: Ford Lake, Michigan
darippah wrote:
Looking for some pointers on how to drift launch in a wind shadow that lasts about 100 feet. Passed that its about 15 mph and steady.. I'm thinking to attach lines, hit the safety, roll them back up and swim/ walk out passed the shadow... Anyone ever try this or have any thoughts?


why not just grab the kite swim past the shadow and launch there? I dont get why you are launching twice


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 Post subject: Re: Drift launching in a wind shadow
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:50 pm 
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Thats what i plan on doing . By hit the safety i'd be doing that with the kite on the ground so that while i'm unwinding the lines in the water the kite will not launch powered


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 Post subject: Re: Drift launching in a wind shadow
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:03 pm 
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Location: Ford Lake, Michigan
bro not sure how you drift launch but here is how I do it.

unwind bar and lines attach to kite (sometimes have to do this at home if there's no room at launch), wind up bar, make sure it doesn't get flipped inside out.

Drive to launch, inflate kite (with lines already attached). Do not attach chicken loop to spreader. Hold onto bar and kite. Swim out. Let go of kite and unwind lines. If the kite pulls swim towards kite so it don't launch and keep unwinding lines. Hold on to chicken loop and do a visual check to make sure there's no bridle wrap.

Now I finally hook in and do a water launch.

At no point do I ever hook in with my chicken loop on a drift launch until I am ready to actually water launch the kite. If there is a tangle, a bridle wrap, seaweed on the lines, then I lose the kite by releasing the bar.

Drift launch is usually done solo so you want the additional safety of knowing if it goes wrong, you aren't attached to the kite.

I have done some experimentation winding the lines with the kite flagged I don't see any additional safety because here is what happens if there is a bridle wrap.

You have wound the bar with the kite flagged. You swim out. Now you release the kite, and it floats back. All good so far. But unknown to you there is a bridle wrap that you didn't notice. So it's all good, now you let go of the safety so the kite can power up, and it immediately goes into a death loop. So now you have to hit the quick release and be damn quick about it especially if you are hooked in.

Either way, if you release the kite flagged or if you release the kite unflagged if there is a bridle wrap you will either have to release the kite (if you are not hooked in) or hit the QR (if you are hooked in). So I don't see the additional safety of drift launching with it flagged out.


Last edited by edt on Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Drift launching in a wind shadow
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:09 pm 
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Use this method at your own risk! Drift launching is dangerous.
Okay so we drift launch all the time but usually we can touch ground, I'm not sure doing this if you cannot touch would be a good idea.
Here is how we do it.

set up your kite
wrap your lines
flip your kite holding your bar against the leading edge so it does not get passed through any lines
walk out to a safe spot to launch. flip your kite onto the water leading edge down and clip your leash to where you attach your pump

start unwinding your lines while you slowly move up wind
check that all your bridals and lines are clear
once your lines are out attach your bar as normal
holding the kite unclip your leash, clip it as normal onto your bar
let go of the kite giving it very slow rotation it will drift downwind and spin catching the wind...
I typically will walk across the wind so that once the lines are tight the kite is closer to the edge and not too far down wind.

This is very dangerous! You will have failed launches. Once you let go of the kite anything can happen and I've had a few scary launches, dumb things like a piece of grass or floating twig getting caught on one line causing it to knot around another instead of untwisting..... I've had a few bridals wrap, and one time i had a center line somehow get caught on the bridal... you can usually fix this stuff but you gotta think quick and be ready to ditch your kite at a moments notice.


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 Post subject: Re: Drift launching in a wind shadow
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:20 pm 
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There is always more than one way to skin a cat, and therefore the method of drift launching might vary slightly depending on your location and conditions.
One way is to let kite drift downwind while u are hooked in. The kite will pull u into the wind zone and then water relaunch as normal.
If the wind line is to the side, then pull the steering line and this will have the kite shift closer to the edge of the power zone, thus pulling you out more at a side angle, rather than straight downwind. Once in the wind zone, water relaunch as normal.
If any of the drift launches fail, then complete a self rescue.


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 Post subject: Re: Drift launching in a wind shadow
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:33 pm 
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I think it depends on the kite.

I chose Cabrinha IDS kites specifically because I wanted to drift launch them.

I wind the attached lines onto the bar by pulling the centrelines in until I have the bottom of the front lines held at the centre of the bar. I then fold one rear line in to the centre of the bar and hold it there too.
Then I wind the doubled over centrelines around that half of the bar where I folded the rear line in.

Next, I wind all 4 lines on the bar figure 8 style and when I get to the bridle I put on a couple of half-hitches.

To drift launch, I have to make sure that the bar never passes through the bridle or lines and check that the bridles are clear and I usually set the kite down on the water in the parked position, nose towards me.
If there was weed in the water, I might set the kite on the water in the U position.

Then let out all 4 lines evenly to make sure there are no tangles and the lines stay under tension.
Next unwrap the centrelines from one half of the bar.

For spinning the kite, the main thing is to ensure that none of the lines go over the kite as it turns - they all have to go under it, so I pull in the centre lines a bit more, and get tension on a rear line. Then let go of the front lines and pull the rear line fast to turn the kite.

At any stage up until I finally let go of the front lines, if anything is going wrong, the kite is flagged out already and I can reverse the process.

The kite is going to be 75' from you when the lines are out, so provided you can walk out 25' surely you can drift launch like normal? There should be wind in the right direction unless you are behind a structure that would prevent the wind being as steady at 100' as you say?


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 Post subject: Re: Drift launching in a wind shadow
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:24 am 
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I start like this a lot…..alot better than drift starting in the wind…..

i just set up the kite on land ( i only have a small area of grass), roll the lines onto the bar leaving them attached to the kite.

walk out into the water, in the wind shadow, let go of the kite, unwind while walking away in the direction of the wind…..when you have finished give the line a pull and you can look for tangles etc, walk out into the wind hooking in with safety on, start like every water start - real easy has never gone wrong for me, made easier when using a roll - board - leash (really safe and great when you kite alone - ever swam 3 ams without a board?).

Compared to drift starting really easy without stress…….maybe ill make a video when it warms up here….(-5 right now in germany)…hope it helps a little

p.s. keep walking in the direction of the wind, the kite sometimes drifts around without a little tension on the line…. :P


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