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Launching and relaunching foils

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Launching and relaunching foils

Postby Toby » Wed May 07, 2003 3:51 pm

Launching and relaunching foils

I sand the trailing edge and preinflate my kites through the butt plug.
The way I decide whether I'm going to go for a straight downwind launch without moving the kite or a side launch is like this: if the kite hasn't inflated fully by the time I've sorted my lines i go for the straight downwind launch (only in lightwind really), you basically just step back taking up the slack in the lines and depower to launch, you can also pull on the leash to make her stand up but it’s really not necessary. I do this with the kite 50% deflated, turning her as soon as she’s off the ground to fly her to the edge of the window.
If the kite has fully inflated by the time I’ve sorted my lines I close the butt plug then drag one tip around so its upwind of the rest of the kite with the LE pointing towards the water and the wind flags the kite flat.
I fold the upwind tip and put a lot of sand on it.
If there is still some sand on the trailing edge shake this off because the kite can launch more from the centre of the window or with the leading edge pointing upwards if the trailing edge is weighed down, basically the only thing holding the kite down should be the sand pile on the tip.
I shackle into the bar, walk backwards a bit to lift the downwind tip and as I'm walking back the kite will turn a little to show me where the edge of the window is, so I walk sideways moving further into the window to keep it straight upright and so she's at the edge because when you start she's at the centre.
As I walk I'm depowering and by the look of the kite you can tell if you have to walk more to the side or backwards, by this time she's probably already flown to the side of the window.

Same thing for an assisted launch but the assistant holds the upwind tip instead of the sand pile

With some kites (I've seen it done with a warrior) in strong wind you can also do this with very little preinflation because as you raise one tip the kite will start to fill through the intakes. Personally I like the kite to be pretty well inflated before launching because I think you can control her better, although she will fill fast in strong wind.

The simplest way is to let the kite go to the leash but in strong wind it can be usefull to have someone who grabs the lowest tip and walks towards you as you release the depower.
For solo landing in strong wind at the moment I'm experimenting this landing technique.
With the kite high in the window but not at zenith pull down SLOW on the leash and blue cross line so the kite overbrakes, then folds her tips and fly her down on the two brake leader knots of the leash. When she touches down release the depower loop and she'll stay sitting on her bum right, as long as there's tension on the leash. If there's somethign solid to tie the leash to fine or you can push the tip of your board into the sand then unclip the leash and tie it to the strap running to the kite letting one line run through your hand so if she moves you’ve got something to grab, with gloves is best.
If there isn't anywhere to tie the leash I've tried pulling my way to the kite keeping the 2 brake lines in tension so she stay sitting there in the wind, if you pull down one line she'll twist and turn and get in a right mess but pulling in on both equally seems to keep her sitting there. Just be ready to let go of one and hold tight to the other if things go funny.
I've tried it a few times and it seems to work fine, the kite sits there held between the pressure you're putting on the lines and the pressure of the wind.
Once you get to the bridle you have to choose a tip but by then you can just grab one of the bridle lines right at the tip, let go of the brake lines and she'll flag in the wind.
I think Mike told me about a girl who landed her kite by pulling down on the leash and on the two leash knots on the brake lines but then lost her grip and the kite powered up deep inside the window and she got hurt because she was still hooked in.
I've been thinking about this and have started experimenting this way of landing the kite.
I've always thought that the best QR is just being able to let go.
I don't like just unhooking and dropping the bar, although it's probably the safest way if its nukin, because you have no way to control the kite, so I usually pull down on the leash slowly and steer her down on the leash knots on the brake lines.
To avoid issues with being hooked in if I lose my grip on one or both knots, (or slip, stumble, shit happens), as I pull down on the leash with one hand I release my depower shackle with the other, then continue pulling down on the leash until I reach the knots so I can steer her down.
This way if I let go she'll only go to the leash and won't power up.

tail down, long strong pull on the fronts depowering the bar, repeated tugs if necessary
nose down, pull on the leash (same pull as above), then turn her as she rises and depower to let her fly forwards, not straight up is best because she'll be fighting gravity

Strong wind:
If I've still got my board on my feet I can start as soon as she launches but if I have to bodydrag upwind to get the board back I don't want to lose a lot of ground downwind so:
tail down, depower pulling on one side of the bar so she turns up off the water and flies towards the edge of the window
nose down, pull on the leash so she flies up through the middle of the window depowered turning her when she's as high as she'll go on the leash, or pull on one brake line so that edge turns up and depower as soon as she's almost off the water pointing towards the edge of the window so she flies to the edge of the window, even dragging one tip on the water

The above are all without hooking out of the depower or throwing the bar away so you always have control of the kite and you can practice all of them on land when there's not enough wind to go on the water.

What about sorting her out if she's twisted, wrapped a bridle etc, I've found I can sort a lot of this stuff out (in really light wind it's harder) by tugging either on the leash or front lines, making her turn over, pumping the bar, etc.

Relaunching the kite in stronger winds from the edge of the window

Until now if the kite was on the LE I'd pull on one brake line to make that tip fly back up then depower and fly her towards the edge, If she was on her TE I'd depower with the bar already turned so she flew off the water and towards the edge. This seems to work ok but she it still flying across the water from more or less the centre of the window to the edge. As she picks up speed she can also produce a lot of power.

Anyway last night I tried another technique for relaunching the kite from the side of the window.

You know how you can steer the kite when she's down to self rescue and get back to shore quicker by pulling the bar one way or the other or pulling on one brake leader? When the kite is vertical like a wall on the water, doing this moves the kite away from the middle of the window and towards the edge so it will drag you that way and not straight downwind.

Ok, so I had the kite LE down at the middle of the window, I pulled the right side of the bar and the kite started walking on water towards the left edge of the window, when she was as far as she wanted to go I reached above the bar, pulled down on the same leader (right brake leader because the bar is inverted with respect to the kite) and this wingtip flew back off the water, depower and fly her to the edge.

Depending on your bar settup you shouldn't keep the bar fully powered up because if your bar is set up to overbrake the kite on max power she will reverse launch from where she is (also from the middle of the window) as soon as you pull the bar to max power.
In lighter wind pulling on one of the brake leaders to fly that tip back up off the water doesn't work so well and tends to flag the kite but in light wind relaunching from the middle of the window is better.

I didn't try this with the TE down yet but I think it will be about the same, you probably shouldn't power up the bar too much because this will force water into the kite, just pull one side of it and keep it powered enough so she doesn't relaunch before you get her to the edge (on the psycho if you let go of the bar she'll relaunch immediately from where she is), then with the bar still in this position (if you pull on the right side of the bar she'll go to the right edge because the bar is the right way round), depower (tug on front lines if necessary) and the kite should launch and turn to the edge of the window. If the kite is a real frontliner like the psycho and wants to relunch off the TE when you’re hooked in even with the bar powered up, you can keep the kite on the water by pulling a little on the leash while you pull down on one side of the bar to move her towards the edge, this should keep her on the water, then let go of the leash and if she relaunches even without depowering turn her and fly towards the edge of the window, otherwise depower, turning and flying her to the edge.


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