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self launch - minimize kite damage

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BCKiter123
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self launch - minimize kite damage

Postby BCKiter123 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:58 am

How can one minimize the amount that the kite drags along the beach as it slides downwind? I'm aware of other methods (drift launch, tether- both I have done successfully). From all the videos I've watched, it looks like all you need to do is tension the front lines by walking into the wind, allowing the kite to fill with wind. Can any inputs on the rear lines help with this as well? Will pulling the trim strap prior to launch help? Thanks

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Re: self launch - minimize kite damage

Postby knotwindy » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:43 am

No need to touch the rear lines, especially when just learning this method. Getting the angle right is the big deal. If you twist the kite just a bit until one wing tip starts to catch some wind and then picture an imaginary line through both tips, that is the line you want to be on. Back up until the lines just start to tension and then just take a step back and upwind. If there is enough wind the kite will just pivot slightly and stand up on the tip. Almost no drag at all. Then you can grab the bar and launch it with the top rear line, obviously. It is, of course, safer to have the bar in hand the whole time without any rear line tension and one hand on the QR, cause you just never know about this whole launch/land thing, do you. No matter how good you are, things can go wrong so don't ever get complacent. Hope that was understandable and helps.
Last edited by knotwindy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: self launch - minimize kite damage

Postby rynhardt » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:03 am

One trick is to self launch a little bit deeper into the window than most videos show. You don't want the kite to stand up right at the edge of the window, it's more unstable, you've got less control and it will want to drag downwind.
Once you commit to the launch, don't think of 'launching' the kite. Think of flying it. It's a subtle change in mind set but important.

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Re: self launch - minimize kite damage

Postby dragnfly » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:05 am

Yep - as above, just walk further round into the wind, dragging the wingtip round only very slightly, until the last minute.

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Re: self launch - minimize kite damage

Postby nothing2seehere » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:04 am

Its the walking up and then downwind that's the key. Keep tension on the front lines as you walk upwind to get it to sit up (kind of rolls over past the neutral point but sits on the front line tension safely) and then walk back downwind again to stop it surging forwards as it lifts off the ground when you are ready to fly up.

Once you have some air catching the far side of the canopy, I don't need to touch the steering (back) lines at all. The more you keep pulling them, the more chance of the kite dragging. The roll is done on front line tension only.

The above is for normal 14-20knot winds. You'll need to modify slightly for lighter winds (will need to launch from further back in the window) and I have never tried in stronger as keeping the kite from drifting on the beach as you walk back to the bar is a problem.

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Re: self launch - minimize kite damage

Postby iriejohn » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:29 pm

knotwindy wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:43 am
Getting the angle right is the big deal.
+1

Also a little sand on the tip of the non-launch side of the kite helps to prevent drift. As said above, slack lines increase the chance of drift from the ideal launch angle.
Last edited by iriejohn on Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: self launch - minimize kite damage

Postby jeromeL » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:52 pm

nothing2seehere wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:04 am
Its the walking up and then downwind that's the key. Keep tension on the front lines as you walk upwind to get it to sit up (kind of rolls over past the neutral point but sits on the front line tension safely) and then walk back downwind again to stop it surging forwards as it lifts off the ground when you are ready to fly up.

Once you have some air catching the far side of the canopy, I don't need to touch the steering (back) lines at all. The more you keep pulling them, the more chance of the kite dragging. The roll is done on front line tension only.

The above is for normal 14-20knot winds. You'll need to modify slightly for lighter winds (will need to launch from further back in the window) and I have never tried in stronger as keeping the kite from drifting on the beach as you walk back to the bar is a problem.
That's same for me.
Note that type of sand makes a bit of a difference some surface the kite doesn't grip and will slide downwind...
I turn kite slightly walks backward do side, keep tension on power line, walk upwind and slightly backward to turn kite on side then if you launch it will drag as it take off but if you walk back downwind a bit you can ease it up well,
You don't want to go to far upwind either.. "right angle"
with practice you will get it.

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Re: self launch - minimize kite damage

Postby edt » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:58 pm

It's hard to stop damage from a drag launch. I'm able to keep the kite in one place while I drag launch but the rotation is something you can't really prevent. When the kite goes from leading edge facing down into the wind and rotated so that it catches the wind, there's no way around it the leading edge will rub against whatever's on the beach. Once the kite is rotated as long as it's not too windy you can do a reverse launch and it will lift directly up off the sand, also there are ways to get the kite in the right place so you can do a single rear line launch without it moving any more in the sand, but really if you are worried about damaging your leading edge, drag launch is not for you.

The single best way to prevent kite wear? Get a buddy to launch it!

There are a ton of videos explaining the best way to drag launch, properly done all that happens is you will rotate the kite in the sand and that's it, the kite doesn't go downwind any more and the kite won't move any more until it lifts off but there's no way to prevent it from rubbing when that first rotation happens.

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Re: self launch - minimize kite damage

Postby dylan* » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:07 pm

The kite can help a lot too. I'm riding an Envy as my main kite now and that kite barely needs to rotate around before it's trying to roll up onto a wingtip, so the movement is very minimal. Some kites that aren't as swept back take a bit more effort and therefore a bit more movement on the sand.

I don't think it's a big issue in the grand scheme of things, almost all kites have kevlar reinforcements on the leading edge to help prevent wear. I self-launch most sessions 100-200 times a year and haven't ever seen damage from it

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Re: self launch - minimize kite damage

Postby BCKiter123 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:26 pm

Great responses, thanks everyone!


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