geopeck wrote:I prefer an assisted launch by a kiter, I'll slide launch up to about 18 knots and tether launch over that. I only like to slide launch if I have good beach and downwind clearance to do it, otherwise try to think ahead and tether launch. We have big tides so sometimes there is 300 meters between my tether and the water, other times 10 meters. Naturally the tether point is surrounded by logs and RVs and signs, so it's not a great place to have a kite up for long.
Here's a method I've been using pretty often if I see non-kiters on the beach and I'm going to launch solo and don't want to tether. Rig the kite up, ask the person if they would be willing to help me launch. Get affirmative, depower, hand them the chicken loop and say "This is going to give about 30 lbs of pull when I set it up, you can let go if it if you are getting pulled too much." Set kite up same as tether launch, take CL from them.
This is kind of nice because it's going to move me into a safe sandy spot and it doesn't have a bystander handling the wing or creating surprises. It might be presuming too much that they will think to let go but I have a "pretty good idea" once the kite is on one tip if there is a potential for trouble.
In almost EVERY case, it is TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE to have a non-kiter help you launch or land your kite (unless YOU have specifically TRAINED them to do so).
Even in the situation described, things can easily go wrong. First of all you should ALWAYS be aware that something can go wrong which is completely unanticipated and unexpected. A frequent comment after a bad experience is "I didn't know that could happen" (I've said this quite a few times myself). And there is absolutely NO WAY to have confidence that someone WILL actually "let go" if things go bad. The USUAL tendency is to hold on. Even briefly holding on could allow the kite to do all kinds of bad things. Having a pretty good idea that something won't go wrong MAY be justified if you're the only one who'll suffer from a mishap (assuming your mishap won't get your location restricted), however it in NO WAY justifies putting others in ANY amount of danger.
If you do not have confidence that you can reasonably safely launch and land your kite by yourself, the conditions are too sketchy and you should wait for mellower conditions.
This is not to say that you should not take advantage of an assisted launch/landing from another experienced kiter if you feel it advantageous to do so despite your having the ability to reasonable safely self launch/land in the conditions that are present.
Malibu Kitesurfing - since 2002
(310) - 430 - KITE (5483)