Paul - watch Stringy solo-launch his cloud closely - I think the key to getting the unsupported canopy in the middle of the kite to fill, to come up off the ground or water surface and dump off any sand ( from a solo-launch ) or water ( water re-launch ) is to pull a steering line to spin the kite around.
Then the wind will catch the under-side of the canopy beside the supported wingtip and then work from that side across to the centre of the kite and on to the other side, filling or tensioning the canopy. From there, with some tension on a steering line, that side of the kite will lift off from the water and the kite pivots and takes off pretty hot - you can see all this happen when Stringy relaunches after releasing the kite to leash.
Granted the above is from an armchair kite pilot, dreaming and scheming a way to get the cash together to acquire a quiver of these very intresting kites....
Self launch / water relaunch is the same as any other kite. I bet reverse launch is possible too.
I don't think it would differ much at all. To have the kite slide minimally put the kite with the side to the wind. Once you walk backwards, it will be ok.
Same things for waves...any kite caught by waves will get worked. Maybe slightly higher chance of contorting the LE, but having seen kites with 7 struts getting bundled up, I am not sure there is that much difference. I was worried on my ride...but that was absolutely not an issue. I guessing it is the same here.
My point is that the discussions we're having now seems similar to the ones we had with the helix where people as recent as a few days ago thought the sigma shape would take off from the beach when the reality is that is behaves similar to any other kite when it comes to sitting on the beach. I am quite confident all these factors have been tested and retested..maybe even more than once
Nice vid. What do you estimate the wind to be? Looks pretty glassy. (just don't say 2-4 knots