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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 9:09 pm 
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Some ideas on one possible approach to setup, launching and landing of inflatable kites follows. This approach may work at some types of launches and not as well at others. Also, there are many other approaches to these procedures. The methods are derived in part from KSI accident/incident analysis and are intended to try to improve safety.

Even if these methods are followed, accidents and injury can still happen in this extreme sport. This is presented to stimulate discussion and to try to improve kiteboarding safety. This document will be presented in sections, starting with the first of twelve photos, to allow for input and discussion. The document will eventually be assembled into a pdf file and placed online for reference.

FKA, Inc.
transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Image

PHOTO 1 - LAUNCH SELECTION

Ideally, a good launch should be relatively level, wide, smooth and free of obstructions and bystanders within 200 ft. downwind. A sandy beach free of rocks is best. If you must launch from a rock cobble beach it may be necessary to use a rug or other protective layer and sand bags or water bottle weights to set your kite up on for assisted launch and landing. Avoiding dragging on rock cobble beaches is essential to avoid injury. Sand is more forgiving of this of course. It would be good not to have areas that could cause uplift lofting, i.e. bluffs, walls or buildings within that range either. An absence of powerlines and roadways for several hundred feet downwind would also be ideal to avoid possible power outages and interaction with runaway kites. Again, these are ideals intended to reduce the occurrance of accidents and incidents that have already happened in some areas.

Onshore winds should be avoided by all riders and particularly by new riders. Offshore winds are often uneven given land wind shear effects and are best avoided by all riders without a chase boat. Side shore to side onshore winds are optimal.

Selecting an area with relatively wide sandy shallows and an absence of abundant boat traffic is best. If there are rocks or other sharp objects on the bottom use of boots is indicated. If the bottom consists of soft organic soil or marl or slippery clay, due care should be exercised to avoid accidents with a powered up kite while walking.

Some riders will have few choices in terms of launch selection and some may differ widely from the ideal described above. Different procedures and precautions may be indicated in such areas.

Image

PHOTO 2 - SETUP (a)

Place the kite near the water.** Excavate a trench equal to the length of the wing tip folded over at the first inflatated batten. It should be about 4 to 5 inches deep. The leading edge of the kite should be facing towards the wind but drapped off downwind to avoid premature lifting of the kite.

** Some instructors teach students to setup their kites upland and away from the water. This is done with the reasoning that if the lines are incorrectly attached the kite will fire up and across the wind window at high speed dragging the rider towards the water. I setup near the water in order to potentially be dragged into the water if hit by a sudden gust. Ideally with care and methodical preflighting, kiteboarders have control over making sure their lines are correctly attached. They have not control over sudden gusts. The rider needs to decide for himself which approach he prefers.

Image

PHOTO 3 - SETUP (b)

Place the folded wing into the trench and apply an adequate amount of sand ballast for the wind conditions based on past experience and judgment. An alternative to this is to use sand filled bags for ballasting. Some popular launches have these lying around the launching area for use.

Image

PHOTO 4 - SETUP (c)

The anchored kite should be almost parallel to the wind to avoid premature lifting. The kite battens are then inflated at this point followed by the leading edge. By anchoring the kite in this fashion it is setup for solo launch or secured pending setup and assisted launch which is safer and less prone to wear and tear on the kite than solo launch. In the case of solo launch it will be necessary to slightly move the unanchored tail of the kite slightly to windward based to assure a smooth launch.

Copyright 2002 FKA, Inc.







<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: RickI on 2002-11-07 15:23 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 9:43 pm 
Every thing to help make kiting safe is a good thing, thanx but I can't help but comment. the first thing you will hear on this photo lay out is: You should blow up the kite before you bury it,second is the wind arrow points the nontraditional way could cause conffusion, sorry but it should be accurate if you are going to post it thanks again sorry thought you sould know thanks.Ps you also have bushes and who knows what dead downwind, I do not mean to be picky but if you want to show safe you ought to have picked a better spot, the beach is so small, i mean if this is for world consumpsion it ought to be perfect or you are not helping, Rikki you do so much thanks.this is honest critisism don't take it wrong!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: fokiten on 2002-11-05 21:54 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2002 10:53 pm 
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Rick, it is not for safety, but we should use a shoe-bag and put sand in it and weighten the kite. It's so much easier and you can use it the whole day.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2002 1:30 am 
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It may seem a little inaccurate for now but at least it is a start. More and more people are taking up the sport these days. When I started I had a 2 hour lesson and then it was basically on my own. I'm thankful that someone has taken the initiative to try and make the basics easier to understand for new kiters.

This is not a flame post.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2002 1:40 pm 
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You did want critics right? Here' my take on it for you...

The last pic is confusing. Making the arrows point the way the wind is blowing would be easier to understand. It's what people expect when they see an arrow. I think you are already aware of this though cuz you mentioned arrow point into wind in this case. Hopefully, it wasnt intentional, and if it is, the arrow really needs reversed. (may look better too if the arrows are drawn with straight lines instead of looking like they were drawn by someone with a nervous condition) :wink:

Being constructive....I dont think this launch site is ideal for displaying an ideal launch or safe launch situation. Looks like trees and bushes no more than 50 ft away from her...downwind too. That's no good...but I like how deserted this beach is.

The ground appears to slope up up and up some more making for a great place to catch a good lofting. Launching on or near up sloaps is a potential hazard in itself as you know.

I would recommend inflating kite prior to anchoring one end. Kites anchored as this one is shown and then blown up usually end up with a twisted leading edge bladder fairly quick. You should hold the kite by the center of the leading edge with your back to the wind to inflate...this produces much less chances for bladder twists. For reference...post on twisted L.E. bladders....
http://www.kiteforum.com/phpBB/viewtopi ... 98&forum=1

Maybe some mention of the fact that the kite really shouldn't be placed in this position until you are ready to launch. Kites should always be kept face down and into the wind until just up to the point of being launched.

IF you setup kite this way, AND have lines attached, any kid or passerby could grab the bar and pull it launching the kite...EWWW....or they could FAIL to see the lines on beach and get tangled in them with their feet, again putting tension on them and casuing the kite to launch. So too, maybe some mention of watching for that sort of thing and mention of not connecting the liness until last, or leaving the lines unhooked at least on one side until you are ready to launch to prevent children or anyone else being able to launch it...on purpose or by accident and other such mishaps.

ALL CONSTRUCTIVE. I think we are all well aware of the fact that YOU are aware of these facts...so that's not an issue. Not doubting your knowledge. But...for knowing all you do, I think that as fokiten says, you can do better than this presentation of your knowledge.

Agreed that it's good that someone is putting forth the effort to make such publications and presentations and whatnot, but let's get them as accurate as we can. Any job worth worth doing is worth doing the absolute best that you can.

I'm hoping you want or expect this constructive criticism. Maybe that's why you are releasing the pics here first....to get our input and get things clear and understandable prior to putting it all together. Appears to me to be the case anyway. I hope you find this all as good constructive input.

Ok, I have to go now. If you will just have a look at this link, you will understand why I must go now. http://www.co-ops.nos.noaa.gov/ports_sc ... reen.shtml
TYPICAL TOO!!! I get hit by a car and then we have weather like this. Is it just me, or does all kiters sometimes wonder if mother nature has some personal vendetta with them?

Johnny


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2002 2:16 pm 
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Thanks for the input, some changes have been made to improve the clarity of the presentation based on your suggestions. To reinterate, this series presents ONE approach to launch selection, setup, launch ,etc. and by no means the only one. Coming photos depicting anti-lofting technique and other safety related techniques may be less open to variation although other approaches may exist and I would welcome input on them.

As to the photo and the perceived distance to the trees shown to the right of the frame. This is a WIDE ANGLE photo. In wide angle photos distance perception can be easily distorted. That is why minimum ideal distances are labeled. The distance to substantial trees downwind is about 400 to 500 ft. and well over 150 ft. crosswind in the scene shown.

Lastly, on lines and attachment sequence PLEASE read the text, these issues were addressed. As to pumping the kite up in place, try it. It may work for you, it has for me for quite a while. Then again you may want to use a different approach, fine. I like this approach because it leaves the kite secured despite the wind and eliminates the need to hang on to it during setup.

Thanks for the input. Pleases keep it coming and particularly alternative ideas and supporting reasoning.

Rick Iossi


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: RickI on 2002-11-06 16:16 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2002 2:32 pm 
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Please see the new thread:

" #2, Photo Guide To Launch Selection, Setup, Kite Launch and Landing Ideas"

for the current version of the portion of the document.








<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: RickI on 2002-11-06 15:34 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: RickI on 2002-11-06 22:33 ]</font>


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