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Basic Questions and their Answers !

Forum with lots of safety info - a must for newbees

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Basic Questions and their Answers !

Postby Toby » Fri Jan 31, 2003 11:35 am

thx to Jo Macdonald for putting these infos together for us !

if you need more infos, click here:

Body dragging upwind

Body dragging upwind to retreive your board is really easy.
Even if you don’t actually go upwind all the time, your board floats downwind so even if you just hold your ground it ok.
Try without the board first, all you do is lie in the water with your body and arm outstretched like superman, pointing in the direction you want to go, hooked in with the other hand controlling the kite which should be near the edge of the window and not too high, just a little powered up, you can even sine it slightly if it's too underpowered.
In lightwind power it up on the downstroke and depower to help it climb again.
Go one way then the next, powering the kite as little as possible past zenith when changing direction. keep your eye on something on shore to use as a reference point and when you get the hang of it you'll find you can go upwind.

Then try with the board, first fall let the kite pull you out of the water at zenith to look for the board (especially in waves), it will almost certainly be somewhere upwind of you. Once you've spotted it, body drag upwind back and forth until your board floats downwind to you.
Best days to start trying with your board but without your board leash are with side-onshore wind, that way even if you can't get back to your board for any reason, it'll come back to shore eventually.
Onshore is even easier and if you're close to shore it can be quicker to bodydrag back to the beach and start out again because you board will get home fast.
You can start doing this once you're past the stage where your kite pulls you downwind a lot every time you fall because if you're still doing this without a leash the board will be miles away, before you start jumping seriously is the best time to loose the board leash.

As with going upwind on your board, when bodydragging, longer upwind tacks are more effective because you will loose a little ground every time you switch sides.
The only time it’s really hard to go upwind to get your board is in gusty wind because in the lulls the kite will fly further back in the window and you’ll loose body speed (which is forwards directional speed, instead of sideways drag), then when a gust hits the kite will drag you downwind because it isn’t at the edge of the window.
Another thing to watch out for especially in gusty stuff is that when you’re lying in the water it will look like the kite is flying a lot higher then it actually is so watch you don’t keep the kite too low at the edge of the window or the first lul will drop it in the drink and you’ll be off downwind again while relaunching.

These techniques are good for self rescue too, if you're kite’s down and you can’t relaunch it and you’re
being dragged downwind by your kite towards nasty shit, or just to get back to the shore quicker, you can make
you kite drag you left or right when it's on the water by pulling one
or other of the leader lines, try and see, this lets you be
directional even with the kite down, instead of just following it
downwind cursing. If you use the superman position, arm and body
streched out in the direction you want to go, you can do even better, if you still have the board, hook one leader round one of the straps of the board and
use the board like a fin, in line with your body to push against
the water, these techniques will get you back to the beach when you
wing's down way faster.
Last edited by Toby on Mon Feb 10, 2003 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Toby » Fri Jan 31, 2003 11:36 am

Steering a kite when it’s down

With the kite down, if you can't relaunch it in
deep water, pulling on one side of the bar will only move the kite a
little to one side and you'll still go more or less straight
downwind, which may not be where you want to go.
If you really want/have to, winding in the lines with one a kite
length shorter is definately a good idea and a lot safer if you have
to deal with busted equipment, strong wind, lots of people on the
beach or a nasty shorebreak, or a load of other water users who will get tangled in your lines, etc., basically for any reason where it
would be better to be holding the kite instead of watching it do its
thing from 30m away.
Wind in the line that pulls the kite in the direction you want to go
until it's roughly a kite length shorter than the rest, (to the
stopper ball in other words, if the kite is already pulling on the
leash, just keep the leashed line with the stopper ball at the bar,
obviously if the leashed line pulls the kite in the direction you
want to go, if not pull/wind in one line on the other side). Then
when one line is a kite length shorter and the kite is pulling you in
the direction you want to go, wind all the lines together keeping
this line shorter, this prevents the kite relaunching on its own and
also means you'll be going in the direction you want to go as you
wind in the lines, which could take a few minutes.
If you have to do this, you'll be glad you have gloves on and turning
the bar using your hand to guide the lines onto the winders without
actually pulling on them with your hand is a good idea, especially in
strong wind. Let the winders take the strain of the lines as you turn
the bar and be carefull not to get your fingers caught between the
winder and the lines, in strong wind even with gloves this hurts.
I think it's better to keep the leash attached, unless things are
really nasty obviously and you want to ditch the lot, because if you
loose your grip on the bar for any reason, you won't loose the kite
and it shouldn't power up either.
On the other hand if you aren't in such a desperate situation but
can't relaunch for any reason and just want to get back to shore as
quick as possible to start kiting again. If you pull in quite a lot
of one leader line the kite pulls quite a lot to one side and the
lines won't tangle either, use your body and board to point as far
upwind as possible and as soon as you're back to the beach, you can
either pack it in, fix the prob, or relaunch the kite in the shallow
water and off you go again.
You can even set your leash up so that when the kite's down and on
the leashed line, this line pulls the kite towards shore in the most
common winds at your spot, mine is left side which is how the kite
came set up but you can leash any line, just check it before you
trust it.
While self rescuing if you don’t use a board leash, you can unhook your kiteleash for a second and pass it though one of the board straps then attach the kiteleash again, this way you won’t loose your board or kite.
It'll save you loads of walking and get you out of trouble too.

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Postby Toby » Fri Jan 31, 2003 11:36 am

How to relaunch a kite

If you use a low Ar kite it's much easier to relaunch, just pull on
the bottom line, the kite will roll over and ride to the edge of the
window, pull on the top line to launch. As you're using average to
high AR kites you will have to get them on their back to relaunch.
The best way to get good at this is to practice in
the shallows. Its a hell of a lot easier to relaunch a high AR kite
in the shallows than in deep water, especially in light wind (below
10 knots). Below 7 knots anyone will have a hard time in deep water.
It is easier to get the kite back up in light wind if you put
your board on. Instead of dragging down wind you’ll hold your ground much better and put tension in the lines
and the kite will launch better.
You can practice this even on a light wind day by drift launching,
just walk into the water with the bar and kite, leave your board on
the beach. Drop the kite and let it drift down wind. When the lines
are taught, jerk on the bar (pulling in about 2 m, 4/5 arm’s lengths, of centre line then
letting go is ok too) then run towards the kite, if the water is
pretty shallow a few steps will have the kite on its back, you'll be
amazed how easy it is. Once it gets on its back you have to pull on
the top and bottom lines alternately to get the kite in the right C
shape, this is just something you'll learn by doing it, basically you
have to balance the kite so it don't fall over while you pull it into
the C shape, again in shallow water is 100 times easier and less
time/energy consuming. When you have the C shape keep pulling the
bottom lines until the kite reaches the edge of the window then pull
the top lines to launch, in low wind don't launch it too vertically
or it will stall and fall and you're back to square one. Once you
can do it in the shallows try in deeper water but remember you'll
need more wind.
If the wind is strong pulling in the middle leader can be energy and time consuming and the wind can blow the kite downwind so fast swimming doesn’t work, so it’s better to pull in about 2m (4/5 arm’s lengths) of one of the brake/side leaders while swimming/walking to the side, in stong wind the kite should roll over straight away and start launching, but anyway practicing in the shallows will give you more feeling.
If all else fails you can try letting it go to the leash because the kite should flap out on its back, then when you recover the bar balance the kite as above to get it into the C shape then pul the bottom line to get it to the edge of the window and then the top line to launch, using the bar obviously to pull the lines.
There will still be times you won't be able to relaunch in light
wind, no one can it's just part of the game.

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Postby Toby » Fri Jan 31, 2003 11:37 am

Landing a kite on your own (self landing)

Landing in the water is by far the safest way, I reacon safer than
handing it to someone on the beach, unless there's a killa shore
break. In any case never hand your kite to someone unless you're sure
they know exactly what to do with it. Same goes for assisted launches.
I always release the depower shackle immediately after the person’s caught the kite so even if they do something stupid with it or lose it, it will only go to the leash.

You can land the kite like this. Before you get too close to the beach just
let go of the bar and let the kite depower on the leash, ALWAYS USE A
ideally pull one of the lines a full kite length when you let
go of the bar. This will flatten the kite and it will have next to no
pull and definately won't fly. If the leash only pulls one line less
than this the kite may start death looping in the power zone which is
not exactly what you intended, check it before trusting it.

After you've depowered the kite, wind the lines onto the bar keeping
one line (leash line) much shorter then the others (at least as long as the whole kite from tip to tip) so the kite won't
power up again, watch out for your fingers, gloves help. If your kite
is getting too close to unfriendly stuff go to it pulling your way
down the line you depowered until you reach the leading edge. Grab
the leading edge, turn the kite upside down and walk out.

To land the kite on the beach try to look for a fairly clean area to land the kite without too many sticks and shells.
If the winds light enough you can just basically touch the kite down and it'll fall over, wind in one line until you get to the kite. In anything over 10 knots it's not the same ball game. I tried the pull line and step forwards yesterday in 16 knots and it nearly worked but if any wind catches the kite it can roll over and be off into the power zone and you're in for a fun time.
Best way to land in stronger wind is to hand it to another KITER, or at least someone who knows exactly what they're doing. if you're on your own use your leash, drop the kite slow in the water on the leash unless there's a bad breach break, this will avoid the shells and other shit on the beach, wind in the lines keeping the leash line loinger so the kite can't launch again, it will probably flap around a bit, gloves really help. grab the leading edge and walk out.
In an emergency you can do this and pull down the line to get to the kite fast but watch it because you can get the lines around your legs which is potentially very dangerous and spaghetti is guaranteed.
never wrap a line around your hand or fingers while pulling it it unless you want to loose em obviously.
Some areas have protected zones behind dunes or other stuff you can land the kite but this is pretty doggy as there can be wierd drafts around these places and most time you can’t see what is behind these obstacles, people, sharp stuff, etc..
You can launch and land the kite at the edge of the window with the trim half to all in and unhooked, if the shit hits the fan just let go and let the leash do its job.

When you get good at it in light wind you can try self landing even in pretty strong wind by staying hooked in (although always be ready to release the depower shackle and let the kite go to the leash if things start to look nasty). Park the kite a few meters off the ground at the edge of the window, at the side where the leashed line is on the top (upper) tip is best.
Then turn the kite down so it lightly crashes on the beach leading edge down, just before it touches down tug hard (tug and let go) on the leader of tip nearest you while stepping towards the kite. This should make the kite land with it’s leading edge more or less facing into the wind but if it bounces off the beach and back into the air it will still be flying at the edge of the window so you can try again. If it rolls over out of control into the power zone release your shackle immediatley and let the leash deal with it.
It’s best to get good at this in light wind on a fairly clean beach first because in stronger wind you may find you’re repeatedly slamming the kite down on broken sticks and shells and having it bounce back up which isn’t very good for it obviously.
This is probably a question of timing, maybe you’re tugging too early or too late, or maybe you’re hauling in the line instead of tugging (pulling in the back line will make the kite turn back up), or not tugging hard enough or not stepping towards the kite.
Imo, a front line leash system is better for self landing because a backline leash makes the kite turn up again.
Practice makes perfect.

DON’T try self landing a small kite on its leading edge in strong wind (over 15-20 knots) because even if you manage to land it the wind can get under it and make it take off again without warning and the kite can go looping very fast into the power zone spiraling out of control and dragging you behind it.
In strong wind if there’s no on there to catch the kite, release your depower shackle and let the kite go to the leash, with one hand on the leash releae shackle to release it if the leash doesn’t work.

Have fun.
Last edited by Toby on Fri Jun 06, 2003 6:04 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby Toby » Fri Jan 31, 2003 11:38 am

Self launching

Better to launch with the kite pointing towards the water, good if you're on a big wide beach but if you're on a narrow beach and launch unhooked you can also launch with the kite on the beach standing in the water, only hook in after you've passed the kite past zenith or it can loft you, drift launching is safer with the kite in the water if you're learning, launching the kite on land is better if you want to keep the kite dry, until you dump it in the drink of course
Don't hook in with the kite at or passing through zenith, it's asking to get lofted

Don't try in more than 10 knots, or gusty conditions.
You should be in a place where there is as much open space as
possible downwind (all around if poss) and definately no solid
objects or people downwind of where you're launching, if the beach is
crowded during the day wait until evening when it quietens down.

Blow up the kite so the leading edge is quite firm but not too firm
that you can't bend it. Then turn the kite over so the leading edge
is on the sand facing into the wind, (kite at rest in normal safe

Lay your lines out downwind, seperate the lines and attach them to
the kite. Ideally this settup should let you launch the kite seaward
(after you've launched the kite is flying pulling you towards the sea
and not inland) so you can keep the kite at the edge of the wind
window and not have to pass it past zenith to go out, which can lead
to lofting (as I learnt recently). Leave a bit of slack in the lines.


Turn the kite on its back so that the front point of the windward tip
and leading edge are facing the wind so the wind blows along the kite
blowing it flat, that's why the leading edge has to bend, (you can't
self launch with the kite in an upright C position, it will just blow
over and then down the beach). Fold the windward tip over at the
first strut and weigh the outer side of the kite tip down with sand,
(the more wind the more sand you should put in). Don't put any sand
inside the kite or it will just fall over backwards when you try to
launch it. Try taking your hands off the kite to see it stays put, it
may turn a little unitl it it find the right place it's comfy in the
wind. If the top lines are tight and making the kite stay too much in
the C shape and catch too much wind, slacken these lines so the kite
lies flatter.

Whan the kite is stable and there is no one near, especially betwen
the bar or the kite or downwind or walking towards your launching
area, walk quickly to the bar, pick it up and ATTACH YOUR LEASH. I
wouldn't advise being hooked in, even though a lot of people hook
into the depower to launch, just depower the trim totally and stay


Walk backwards to take up the slack in the lines, making sure you
don't trip over anything. Move left or right so the kite is at the
edge of the wind window. As you take the slack out of the lines,
first you will pull the top tip and the kite will start getting into
the C shape and feeling the wind. The kite may turn slightly right or
left on its tip and tell you where the edge of the window is, move so
you're in line with the kite and it is nice and upright and not
tending to fall either forwards or backwards. Keep walking back to
take up the slack until the bottom lines pull the bottom tip over and
the sand falls off.

If you keep the bar neutral the kite is actually now flying at the
edge of the window with its tip on the sand, pull gradually on the
top line to launch the kite into the sky, not to zenith until you're
out on the water is best.

Another way is drift launching, drop the kite in the water then water
launch it, but you'll need at least 8-10 knots to have any chance of
doing this.

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Postby Toby » Fri Jan 31, 2003 11:39 am

Backline flyer and basic line trim for LEIs

Attach the ends of the lines to a post or a big screwdriver stuck deep in the sand, by hooking the larks heads over it. Sort out the lines then with your harnes on hook into both loops, (chicken and fixed).
Pull the bar one left and right and adjust the leaders (also making new knots if needed but remember that just making a new knot will shorten the line, even if the flying line is still attached in the same place) until the bar is straight and the back lines are equal. Check that the two front lines are the same length, (if you have one middle leader, use two lines that are exactly the same for the front lines) by pulling them tight and checking the length.
To check front to back line length, for a back line flyer, the lines should be equal (all tight when you lean back) with the trim at around half or just under (longer fronts) when hooked into both chicken and fixed loops.
Or equal with the trim pulled all the way down (shortest fronts) and chicken loop at the bar, same thing.
This works when attaching to same length pigtails on the kite.
A basic trim for most kites is using the same technique but with the trim all the way out. If the kite is a front line flyer the front lines will be shorter than above but it’s best to check a manual for your specific kite.

The basic line trim is ok for the middle range of the kite.
If you're overpowered, use a smaller kite or attach the centre lines one or two knots lower on the middle leader line/s, or higher on the brake (outer) lines before launching, this will depower the kite more.
Also you can trim the kite with the clam cleat before launching in the middle or full down in strong wind. When the kite is flying, trim it so the back lines get loose when you push the bar away and all lines are taught when you pull the bar in to power the kite up.
If the front lines get loose when you power up the fronts are too long.

If you change the trim (line length) of the kite try flying it in less than 10 knots before taking it outta the sack in strong wind because it might be much more powerfull than before (especially if you have longer front lines on it now because it’ll oversheet) or it might even be trimmed wrong.
It’s best to always launch with the trim pulled shortest so the kite’s depowered then power it up gradually until you find the right trim.
In time you’ll find your perfect trim and you can trim the lines so the trim cleat gives you full power when all out and be able to trim the kite down to depower it if the wind picks up, you can also use the trim to adjust the distance of the bar from your body to get a comfy riding stance.

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Postby Toby » Sat Feb 01, 2003 10:04 am

Tips on jumping with Foils

Ian Young sez "You may get longer hang times if you depower a little when at the peak altitude then power up and dive your kite just BEFORE you land."

Here is some stuff from Flysurfer on jumping their foils

Basically the jump technic for foil kites is very similar to the technic for tube kites.

to jump you have to fly your kite from 10 o'clock to 1 -2 o'clock. when you fly your kite to 1 o'clock make sure the kite is powered up. on the jump point the kite has to be powered up 100%!

also make sure you edge your board as long as possible, bring all your weight back, close to the water-line. this will create a lot of tension in your lines and kite.
when you feel all the tension and the kite is going through 12 o'clock, this is when you have to release the tension and jump. support the whole jump sequence out of your knees.

straight after your take off you have to make sure the kite will return back through 12 o'clock, so that when you land the kite, it is back in front of you in around 10 o'clock. if the timing is right you will have the kite in a perfect position in front of you on landing. this will give you power straight away.

this sequence need a bit training that you get the timing right.

on your landing try to land a bit on forwind course, that you don't explode on your board edge.

if you like to do big "fat" jumps you have to follow this:

1. aggressively quick flying the kite towards 2 o'clock.

2. hold the tension on the edge as long as possible before you jump . extreme body-tension is here important! you have to hold your body position down, close, parallel to the water surface. all the lines will get extra tension through this. when the time/jumping point comes you have to release all the body tension for the jump. timing and tension is here the key for a perfect jump.
it is hard to put this in words. you have to go out an practice!

the difference between tube and foil kites for jumping is, that tube kite have a bigger lift-window for jumping and you don't have to nail it on the perfect spot. with foil kites you have to hit the right point for take off and bring it back into the perfect landing position.

it is normal that you can fly/jump better with the 9m as with the a 12m or 16m Warrior, because the 9m will response much quicker and so it is easier and faster to turn it in the desired direction.

so, the main difference is the exact timing you need for the jump point and the extreme powered up body position close to the water. the best way to train this and to find where the exact jumping point is, is to do small jumps first and increase the tension more and more. it won't take long, but if you get the feel for it, those foil kites will give you extreme hight and long airs.

Ter info:

Message: 6
Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2002 17:48:21 -0000
Subject: How to jump right with a foil (flyurfer warrior)

It's a great kite but I think it must me possible to jump higher and
more effective than the way I do. Can someone tell me what is the
right technique ? I am used to naish arx and I have only used the
Flysurfer for 4 times now.



From: "peter_frank_dk"
Subject: Re: How to jump right with a foil (flyurfer warrior)

Speed on the kite - always !!!

The secret is - to fly the kite back - REALLY back, and then forward

The starting position (takeoff "lin" angle) of the kite is the same,
no difference here.

On inflatables, you can either jump like you do with foils - OR you
can fly the kite UP !

The latter (UP) is usually the best for beginners, because the kite
is steady, you don't get unwanted pendulum effects, and don't have to
do much while in the air.
Often it can be sufficient to pull the kite forward again when going
down for the landing, in order to plane fully out again.

This does not work on most foils (IMO and experience).

Foils are smaller, because they are more efficient, and the lift is
primarily created by kite-speed.
Thats why you can always get more power/acceleration out of foils, in
too light wind, while sinusing (but not neccesarily more power in

When you fly the kite straight up - the speed decreases violently
after it reaches the top, and the "whip" effect is smaller, because
of very little kite direction change.

Because the speed decreases - you get short hangtime.
Because the whip effect is small, you get poor height.

On inflatables you can improve height (but not as much hangtime) if
you jump like the foils - agressively flying the kite back with lots
of speed, and while doing a "pendulum" takeoff - fly the kite
agressively forward again, to stop the pendulum effect, and keep the
kitespeed up (and then get really good height and hangtime).

This is my advice - fly the kite agressively and fast, if you have a

I've been using foils before the inflatables - this makes it so much
easier - because it does not take long for you, to get used to flying
the kite "less" agressive, and you can choose what you like,
depending on the type of jump you wan't to do.
The other way around takes somewhat longer, and will cost you some
crashes too. If you learned on inflatables - and are going to use
foils, be a little more patient...

Then you will be able to feel the rush of a foil accelerating and
just Shooooting you up !

Kindly, Peter Frank.

From: Marc Munzer
Subject: Re: How to jump right with a foil (flyurfer warrior)

Hi Ben,

What were your jump heights before with the ARX. What are your jump heights
now with the Warrior?

I think its only a bit of adjustment you need before you can jump the
warrior as well as you can jump your Naish.

I have been flying foils since I started and have very little time on
inflatables. Today I was out first with my 12.1 Mach1 and after with my
Warrior 9.25 (I think about the same power) I could easily jump twice as
high with twice as much hangtime on my warrior. So obviously, this doesn't
mean that the mach1 doesn't jump well, it just means that I am not used to
it. So it will be the same for you for a while with your warrior.

I was watching a friend on a takoon scoop today (over 14 sqm flat, can't
remember what the actual size was). It seemed that he was getting nice high
jumps by flying the kite back in the window and just getting pulled up.
Then he would slowly fly the kite back again and land. If I do the same
with the warrior it doesn't much like it. It seems the kite moves back fast
and the forward fast, without lifting so much in between. But what I do
with the warrior is build up a bit of speed on the board and fly the kite
up pretty fast, when it is close to the top, then power up and dig in your
edge hard at the same time so that you can build up some tension in the
lines. The kite should lift you pretty straight up instead of backwards. I
think this is what is termed "progressive edging"?? If you go back in the
posts you will find some discussion of this technique. I think its very
important in jumping because I can notice that the height of my jumps is
extremely dependant on my edging technique.

I find that in flat water its very easy because you can easily set your
edge. Whereas if the water is more choppy then you need more control over
your edge because the angle of your board in the water changes all the time
due to the waves.

For me the warrior is easier to jump because it is fast and responsive. We
always have choppy water, so I can pick a small wave a couple meters ahead
of me and say I'm going to jump on that one and then put the kite in the
right position. Most of the tubes I have tried are slower and I don't have
the experience with tubes to judge where they will be and so I can't
coordinate my edging and kite flying properly.



From: "hungvuatnetcomdotca"
Subject: Re: How to jump right with a foil (flyurfer warrior)


Inflatables are very easy to jump (especially larger inflatables).
Foils are harder to jump.

The secret is "speed".

1- Go very fast slightly broad reach.

2- Turn the kite up and back. Don't look at the kite once you know it
moving where you want it to.

3- Turn your board upwind to beam reach or slightly close haul.

4- Don't jump with your feet but actually wait until the kite lift

Once you get all your timing right, you can jump higher with foils
than inflatables.


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Postby tiger20 » Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:35 pm

Excellent post! good read.

Pics might help though....

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