This thread helped me save somebody yesterday. When helping somebody launch, I had never thought to double-check their lines for them. It's pretty easy to tell if somebody is a complete newbie or not, and if they seem like they know what they are doing I won't spend too much time second-guessing them.
However, yesterday at the beach I was asked to help a woman launch her kite. She looked experienced (and, after she got on the water it turned out she was much better than I am.) It was blowing 15 mph with 25 gusts and she was on an Amp (7.? flat) - but she couldn't have weighed more than 90 lbs: fairly well powered.
As I held up the kite I was remembering the Alameda incident and I checked her lines. Sure enough - centers went to backs, steering lines went to the fronts. I put the kite down, we switched the lines and away she went.
It will be a while until the whole world is on non-reversable kook-proof lines, and until then even experienced riders can make mistakes. I will always check the rider's lines when I help launch.
There was an update on the accident victim on ikitesurf.com. She has yet to come out of her coma. This is very sad news.
Preflight and preflight again, wear a helmet, impact vest, etc. and be careful out there. There is some new information indicating that this accident may have resulted from a rigging error or from lost bar control following a wave impact in onshore wind conditions. Reportedly, she had just launched her kite from upland while standing in the shorebreak. Always launch from stable ground. Often launching with your kite near the water while standing upland is safer, absent rigging errors. Carefully consider launching and landing unhooked, your choice not to could potentially have serious consequences. We may never learn the full details of this sad accident.
fo, I'd be interested in hearing your suggestions for extending your rigging method all the way to completing a self-water launch, step by step . I gave your method a trial run w/no wind the other day - seems like a winner and was much more tangle free than the one my instructor taught me - I'm sure I would have intuitively wound up thinking of it myself anyway - but thinks for the shortcut. (No other kiters in these parts so tips like this are invaluable). Also, any communication tips that I could utilize to thwart off these curious jetskiiers (hey neat, is that a parasail, parachute crap from 10 yards away)?