Contact   Imprint   Advertising   Guidelines

Launching solo

forum for kitesurfers


soulpatch
Rare Poster
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:06 pm
Kiting since: 0
Local Beach: Bahia de Banderas
Style: Learning/Surfing
Gear: 2016 Cabrinha Switchblade and a surfboard
Brand Affiliation: None

Launching solo

Postby soulpatch » Sun May 13, 2018 11:20 pm

I have had 3 lessons to date and I have improved each time..... my kite control is better, I am seeing farther down the line instead of just immediately what is directly in front of me and getting up a bit better each time..... now just to control my speed once I am underway!


Anyway, I am wondering how long you experienced kiters took before you would hit a beach alone and self-launch.

My confidence is not quite there yet but that is the goal.

Anyway, amazing and beautiful sport that I am really enjoying and being challenged by.

The water here is often super choppy when the wind comes up but I figure that will make the perfect days, well, perfect!

SaltWaterDog
Medium Poster
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:01 pm
Kiting since: 2013
Local Beach: Copenhagen, most of Denmark and northern Germany.
Favorite Beaches: There are many.
Style: Biting off more than I can usually chew.
Gear: Learned on the Riot XR and have happily kept with it. Now XR5 and Fusion 3.
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Launching solo

Postby SaltWaterDog » Sun May 13, 2018 11:53 pm

Great to hear and congrats! So many beginners drop the sport here in DK so it’s always nice to hear success stories. Your ‘16 Switchblade is a solid stabile kite. Been a while since I got to try one but as a beginner kite it’s a great choice.

I suggest challenging yourself responsibly as soon (and often) as you can. If you are confident in:

- Reading the conditions (nothing over steady 20kts, please)
- Knowing your safety system
- Understand your surroundings, make sure you’ve got lots of room both for yours and others safety.
- Do your checks, then do them again and one last time to be sure.

Find/bring a solid anchor and just take it step by step. Practice and make sure you’ve got a quick easy motion from the anchor to your harness when you’re about to launch. Get a feel for how your kite behaves when it’s lying on the wing tip. Visualising all your steps from launch to landing after your session is a must, in my opinion. You don’t want to be over excited and do something like unhooking prior to landing while the kite is at zenith (for example).

Don’t try it when you’re all by yourself the first time. I’ve had a couple people ask me to keep an eye while they tried self-launching. Never hurts to have help nearby. Nerves are to be expected but if you have doubts about any step along the way, don’t do it and wait until you’ve got some more sessions under your belt. If you’re reliably riding upwind after 3 lessons that’s great but over confidence is sometching many of us have been hurt by. Scrapes and bumps are part of the sport, but I’ve had a few moments where I wanted to thump myself in the face afterwards because I realised how badly things could’ve gone wrong.

soulpatch
Rare Poster
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:06 pm
Kiting since: 0
Local Beach: Bahia de Banderas
Style: Learning/Surfing
Gear: 2016 Cabrinha Switchblade and a surfboard
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Launching solo

Postby soulpatch » Mon May 14, 2018 12:21 am

Well, I would not say I am reliably riding in any direction with complete confidence yet..... my last lesson was right along the shore and had me launching with my butt in the sand, pretty much with waves beating at me...... kind of how I learned to surf....man, the first time on clean water was heaven!

One thing I am really enjoying about my instructors are that they give me the confidence I need when I am not feeling it so much myself.... they have more faith in me than I do, at times..... heck, my board and body-dragging lesson I must have navigated through 40 boats in the free anchorage outside my backyard..... and, it did build my confidence so that I know I can get out of a jam when or if.....more like when..... I need to.

My instructors say that they have just taken empty sandbags and roped a carabiner to it and then clip it to their harness when they are hooked up.

I use a slider so I won't come unhooked and my safety stuff is becoming instinctual ( as evidenced by when I got a a line wrapped around my bar and went powering towards the shore I had popped the release before even thinking about it.
I was able to recover the kite easily and be back up in no time so I was pleased with my reaction.

No way I am ready for 20kts of wind yet.....hopefully soon but my confidence is not at that spot, yet.

One thing I love about that kite is it really is manageable to fly and control.... at first I was a little hairball with it but my last lesson I really felt confident putting it in different positions and self-landing it.

I only would consider self-launching at some of the easily accessible beaches here where crowds are not an issue...... I don't wanna be that guy that loses his kite into people.

I think part of my issue is that after 25 years in the fire service I have seen how quickly people can get dead or seriously maimed in short order due to bad decision making processes...... and, that being said, I see plenty of potential for self-harm with tensioned lines, big air and large bodies of water......like the Pacific Ocean.
I like to get offshore as quickly as possible.

My instructors are encouraging me to sign up for the downwind event in the Nayarit Kite Festival this coming Saturday.... they say I should just take off near to last and there are safety boats that pick up stragglers and flotsam!

I think over a 1000 people are signed up and it is a straight downwinder that would be fun.
I think I am going to do it, it is less expensive than a lesson and you get some swag and a beer.... plus I can walk to the thing!

Jajaja, at my age I am in the grandmaster category so the four or so of us old guys that show up should all place highly!
Anyway, sounds like fun.

I appreciate your advice..... it is sound and reasoned and I will take it to heart.

Saludos,

mbevo
Medium Poster
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:13 pm
Kiting since: 2014
Local Beach: Hood River
Gear: cabinha and switch
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Launching solo

Postby mbevo » Mon May 14, 2018 7:28 am

This video is helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5XvVmf1pas

Self launch (drag) is quick and can be done safely. Make sure you have plenty of space, make sure there is nothing on the ground that can snag the lines (board, bushes etc.), and double check to make sure your lines are clean.

Anchor launch is easy and safe and can be done in high winds. Just make sure your anchor is strong. I use sandshark Z it's all stainless steel and I've tested it in almost 50mph with no issues.

soulpatch
Rare Poster
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:06 pm
Kiting since: 0
Local Beach: Bahia de Banderas
Style: Learning/Surfing
Gear: 2016 Cabrinha Switchblade and a surfboard
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Launching solo

Postby soulpatch » Mon May 14, 2018 12:37 pm

Great video.

Pretty much what I have visualized in my mind.

I will look up the Song Z.

God forbid a kite and I are even close to each other in 50mph wind!

User avatar
FLandOBX
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 848
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 1:58 am
Kiting since: 2007
Local Beach: Hatteras Island, North Carolina, USA
Central Florida, USA
Style: Freestyle and Airstyle
Gear: Liquid Force NRG, FS Speed 4 Lotus, Pansh Aurora II,
RRD Poison, Axis Ltd, RRD BS45, SS Glide, SS Ankle Biter
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Launching solo

Postby FLandOBX » Mon May 14, 2018 1:29 pm

I like the video posted by mbevo. Here are a couple of additional thoughts.

If you're still a beginner, start with the anchor technique. It's safer and doesn't depend as much on proper timing. The drag technique is more advanced, and a lot can go wrong. If you want to try the drag technique shown in the video, make sure you practice in light wind (like in the video). Even in moderate wind, trying to land pulling the top center line after your kite has settled on the beach (as shown in the video) would cause your kite to fall back and power up again.

Finally, if you have the option of getting an assisted launch or self-launching, it's almost always better to ask for the assist. :thumb:

dylan*
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 953
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:33 pm
Kiting since: 2011
Gear:
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Florida

Re: Launching solo

Postby dylan* » Mon May 14, 2018 2:36 pm

Jake's video is great

Random bits of advice:
- Some kites suck at the drag launch technique, after 5+ years of almost never botching a self-launch, I now have two different kites that are extremely difficult to launch this way without tangling the wingtip somehow and causing the kite to start death looping until I release it. I'd estimate I fail self launches with these kites about 50% of the time and I'm very experienced with the technique... Seems like kites with very swept/pointy wingtips are more prone to catching

- It's easier in lighter wind than strong wind. I don't really like to drag launch in the upper 20% or so of a kite's wind range (so like, 18+ knots on a 12m, 23-24 kts on a 10m, etc) because the kite may launch very quickly as soon as it flips around. If you have a kite that behaves itself during the drag launch it's no big deal but most kites have more swept wingtips these days so if something does not look right, the kite may still launch off the beach on its own without any input

- Re: anchor launching - if you're on a regular sandy beach, you don't need an anchor. Don't even bother trying to find one of those wacky stakes to twist into the ground, they fail if you don't have the right kind of sand or you don't get it deep enough. Just fill your kite bag with sand and wrap your leash around the backpack straps. Takes 2 minutes and you don't have to carry anything extra with you. You can fill the bag up to 100+ lbs pretty quickly.

SaltWaterDog
Medium Poster
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:01 pm
Kiting since: 2013
Local Beach: Copenhagen, most of Denmark and northern Germany.
Favorite Beaches: There are many.
Style: Biting off more than I can usually chew.
Gear: Learned on the Riot XR and have happily kept with it. Now XR5 and Fusion 3.
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Launching solo

Postby SaltWaterDog » Mon May 14, 2018 2:41 pm

Thanks for all the info soulpatch! I think you should definitely do the downwinder. Great opportunity to get some more experience. The video posted is good. Here’s a couple more that you can check out. Drag method you should stay away from for the time being. As mentioned already, things can go badly wrong in a hurry.

Launch:
phpBB [video]


Landing:
phpBB [video]

soulpatch
Rare Poster
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:06 pm
Kiting since: 0
Local Beach: Bahia de Banderas
Style: Learning/Surfing
Gear: 2016 Cabrinha Switchblade and a surfboard
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Launching solo

Postby soulpatch » Mon May 14, 2018 2:48 pm

I am stoked on all the positive feedback, I appreciate it greatly!

I tried the drag method on an empty beach a while back and it was a bit tense for me! It was a light day and all I was doing was practicing body dragging.
I understand the downwind kite-fill better now, though, and in light wind I feel I would be fine.

I am going to practice the bag launch. My Cabrinha Switchblade almost flies itself so I think it will be a great way to build confidence in my kite and my kite handling skills.

I just have to remind myself about the learning curve I went through for surfing 38 years ago....... it takes a bit of time.

And, for certain, I am going to do the downwinder..... it will be a blast!

User avatar
edt
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 5008
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:27 am
Kiting since: 2010
Local Beach: ford lake Michigan
Gear: slingshot liquid force wainman pansh naish north cwb burton ronix rpm ozone

Re: Launching solo

Postby edt » Mon May 14, 2018 3:21 pm

Self launch is like anything else the more you practice the better you get. it is worth it to spend time doing a bunch of self launches in light wind that way you can practice without too badconsequences if you fail also things happen a lot slower in light wind. for self land no matter what people say using the qr is still the best way

surfing is a lot harder than Kiting :-)


Return to “Kitesurfing”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 11 guests

cron