Yup, that's a tough launch site. We have one like that on our lake, but seldom use it. Only thing to do is launch, and immediately get the kite to about 45 degrees and body drag away from the trees. I don't like it at all. Luckily we have several more open launch sites with only a few kites ending up in trees, but we drift launch and land most times. Now past Labor Day we have a real open beach we can use for about 25% of our conditions. Can even do assisted launches there, yeah!
Bille--the shifty conditions are caused by the shoreline effect.
Totally agree with your strategy, to drop the kite in the water for landing ; it cuts the
risk in 1/2.
Your one of the Cool-guys on this forum , (be a shame to see Ya get hurt) ; is there
any place at your spot that you could do a boat launch in open water, because even if you
do everything perfect, the odds are your gonna get nailed eventually, if you keep using
that launch location. It sounds Nasty !!!
Last edited by Bille on Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I kite some batshitcrazy winds on occasions. I have almost the complete ozone range chrono, edge, catalyst, reo, uno. So I can give some direction.
Lower aspect and less struts/ lighter is better for ultra shifty gusty winds at low or no board speed. Think about demoing an enduro or similar. Lighter lower aspect kites will drift better and hang in the air longer and can be recovered sooner, relaunched easier in those crappy conditions.
You really only should have an issue at low speeds or walking to the beach of sitting the kite at the zenith for a water start. Once going with kite speed you should never get a Hindenburg!...
The edge is heavy has lots of struts and perfoms badly at low speeds. BUT once moving it is rock solid. Go fast keep the kite moving, downloop through the transitions. Loop to start, get going as fast as you can as soon as you can. There
So for walking (infact don't walk in those shifty conditions. Run forest RUN!) on the beach or super slow on water, bar in as much as possible. Move the kite around, keep it deeper in the window, loop it if practical.
If you do loose line tension. on the land run hard upwind to retention the lines.
On the water if you have board speed carve hard upwind.
Reach up and pull the top steering line in one full arms length. This is the only thing you can do to recover the kite once line tension is lost. I get about 90% success rate recovering the kite.
By pulling the top line in a good arms length that will mean it will be the first line to gain retention if the kite drifts back into the wind. The kite will snap back and be recoverable if this happens.
Be aware that once tension is lost with a wind shift the kite can drift deep into the wind window before snapping back. If the kite snaps back in the middle of the powerzone you will get full power instantly. Be prepared for that! in deeper water its not really and issue. You will simply be dragged through the water. On land around structures its dangerous as hell. After a while you get an idea of what is too deep in the window to snap a kite back on land. If the kite drifts that far back, pull the safety instantly!
Yes, yes and yes. Lots of good advice. I've tried pulling in the bottom line an arm's length with some success and then looping the kite. That takes pretty quick response once you see it starting to rotate, but often works. Pulling the top line is something I've not tried. That "drifting deep into the power zone and then snapping back" is something I've learned to seriously respect. I make sure there are no fingers, arms, bar ends, etc. with a line wrapped around them. At that point it's better to focus on safety than worry about keeping the kite in the air.
Bille--I've thought about asking one of the powerboaters to give me a ride out to open water. I haven't done it yet, but water people being water people, most guys would probably be happy to do that. Next time.
At this point of year, the swim buoys have been pulled out of the water (just in the last couple of days), so now the beach is open for kiting. Yay!