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Launching solo

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SolarSet
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Re: Launching solo

Postby SolarSet » Mon May 14, 2018 6:10 pm

IMHO You should not launch solo just because you should not ride only by yourself at spots in the beginning.
It took me like 8 months riding (40-50 sessions) before I tried self launch and rode solo. It’s really rarely that no one is where I ride especially now in peak season but I wouldn’t attempt to do it in early days. I would always take my wife to give me a hand or some friend who doesn’t mind hanging around at the beach.

Beginning riders often don’t understand or have no experience in establishing where is wind window edge and even if they do it can change.

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tautologies
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Re: Launching solo

Postby tautologies » Mon May 14, 2018 6:47 pm

Hey, from what I read you sound like a pretty decent guy who are not over estimating their abilities and are conscientious about his surroundings. Those are essential skills in kiteboarding. :-)

Even if self launching was something I learned in my lessons I did not really self launch until maybe 6-12 months after the lessons. Note tho that kites were very very different back then and self launching had a tendency to go sideways with much more severe consequences than today. I am willing to bet that everyone on this forum has stories about selflaunches gone wrong.

A lot of self launching is just feeling comfortable with the kite and how you respond to spikes of power. Today kites can be immediately depowered, which is a really really good feature to have. However if you respond wrong it will not depower, it will rather be able to loft you and really throw you about.

When that is said, there are a ton of good advice on this thread. One additional point. Try it in light wind at first just to get the idea. Once you've done it a few times you can pretty much self launch in most conditions.

For your entertainment: Don't be this guy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8woV35kfwo

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Slappysan
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Re: Launching solo

Postby Slappysan » Mon May 14, 2018 7:02 pm

Honestly I'd be more concerned with your ability to land solo than launch, especially if the wind picks up and your are overpowered.

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Re: Launching solo

Postby SaltWaterDog » Mon May 14, 2018 7:39 pm

Slappysan wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 7:02 pm
Honestly I'd be more concerned with your ability to land solo than launch, especially if the wind picks up and your are overpowered.
I know it’s a pride thing for most of us when self landing but as edt said, simply flagging the kite is always the safest and quickest way to get it done.

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Re: Launching solo

Postby slowboat » Mon May 14, 2018 8:37 pm

Don’t be in a rush to self launch. You need more time kiting. Always go with someone until you have LOTS more experience.

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Re: Launching solo

Postby Hugh2 » Mon May 14, 2018 9:03 pm

slowboat wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 8:37 pm
Don’t be in a rush to self launch. You need more time kiting. Always go with someone until you have LOTS more experience.
This!

soulpatch
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Re: Launching solo

Postby soulpatch » Tue May 15, 2018 4:45 am

Thanks for all the great advice..... I love the videos and I have NEVER wanted to be in a lowlight video.... be it surfing, firefighting or rescue, being too drunk, capoeira, none of that..... I want to be the guy that isn't noticed!

As far as the self-landing goes, well, I have actually practiced that quite a bit during my lessons.... my instructor has me set it right on it's side and shortening up the high side to dump that leading edge right into the sand or water.
He's also just had me dump the release so I can practice cleaning it up and gain quick control of my kite so as to get airborne.

He has had me do that in open water and then relaunch both with my board and body-dragging.... I feel more comfortable putting it down than the self-launch aspect.

Honestly, I'd rather never self-launch but the reality of my situation is that if I don't I am really going to limit my time on the water just due to how my life is currently.

Also, where I live it is a big bay and, unless it is blowing offshore I can always self-rescue and ride my kite until I hit sand...... then it is a matter of hiring a cab or walking a few km's home with my gear.... god forbid!

All that being said, safety is my number 1 thing..... I won't do it if I assess a situation and there is potential for anyone downwind that can be harmed and if I feel the wind is too heavy..... right now I am not comfortable anywhere near what my kite is capable of handling wind velocity-wise so I am, oddly enough, really taking my time with all this.
After all, I'm an old man now, damn near 56!
I don't heal quite like I used to and I want to replace as few parts as possible as I get older.
I'm not a pussy but I have switch from running miles to kms..... still good for 45kms or so a week but I will not impress anyone with my lack of speed.

Lastly, I don't want to put my kite into a situation it will get torn up.... I am that guy that will sacrifice his body to save his surfboard.... it's instinct!

I think the main takeaway is push my limits but do it wisely.

I remember when reading waves surfing became instinctual..... the drop, turning, pretending I'm Phil Edwards, just feeling it and seeing what the wave had to offer.... that is where I am focusing my goals with kitesurfing..... finding the instinct in it and just having fun with whatever presents itself to me and not getting me or anyone else dead or maimed.

Oh, and lastly?
Feeling stoked and probably having a frosty beverage afterwards.

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Re: Launching solo

Postby Beardytello » Tue May 15, 2018 10:34 am

It's all a bit subjective, there's really good advice on here already.

I kite mostly alone because if I didn't I would never get out, there are only about 15 or so active kite surfers on the island I live on and unless the conditions are perfect it's rare I'd be out with anyone.

It's a risk I've chosen in order to get out kiting.

As for launching I had to learn fairly early on how to self launch. In my spot I have tons of space so I drag launch, I find it the easiest method, I've never used an anchor.

My only real advice if you're going to use this method, check your lines are clear and set up correctly, and absolutely be ready on your release. I've self launched about 50 odd times I reckon. Had about 5 misfires where the kite's shot up and I ejected before anything bad happened, and been dragged on my ass across a golf course once :lol:

soulpatch
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Re: Launching solo

Postby soulpatch » Tue May 15, 2018 2:06 pm

I'm a big fan of ejecting if things seem to go sideways...... I found myself doing it the other day before I even realized I'd popped that release!

At least golf courses are maintained.... probably a smooth ride down a fairway!

soulpatch
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Re: Launching solo

Postby soulpatch » Tue May 15, 2018 2:14 pm

I will say this, I appreciate all the advice and encouragement.

Rest assured, I will proceed with caution and if anything seems like it is too risky I won't do it.


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