Launching a Kite Safely
Launching your kite safely in any conditions is very important. Read through the following info, since most of you will launch the kite standing on land, this is where the big accidents can happen.
Double Check Setup
Once you connected the lines to the kite, do a double check and see if the lines are really connected correctly, use the same knots on both sides and if there are no line twists.
Check your adjuster, and make sure it is depowered, so you can launch with less pressure in the kite.
Check your quick release, if it really releases, and is sand free.
Where to Launch
You want to launch where it is the safest place possible. The best would be in the water, so if something happens you first get dragged, and won't hit the land.
Stay away from any hard obstacles, or other people, mainly bystanders like sunbathers.
Check the wind, if it is gusty in some areas, maybe walk around a bit to find more constant winds.
Be aware, that anything can happen when you launch the kite, so be ready to release at any time. Therefore keep distance to anything that could hurt you.
Pick a person you can trust to launch your kite. Don't be shy to ask the best rider on the beach if you feel safer that way, if they launch you. An experienced rider has more knowledge and will pay more attention to your safety and knows how to act if something goes wrong.
Check Lines Again
Once the launch helper puts your kite up, make sure to check your lines again, if they are attached correctly and no lines are tangled. Make sure the launch helper does this from his side as well, and gives you an ok signal to confirm that everything is correct.
Your Second Hand on Quick Release
Once you want to hook into your chicken loop, you should never ever let your eyes go from your kite. Always see where it is and what is going on. Never look down to do something, since in this second the kite might get out of the hand of the launch helper, and can hurt you seriously. When you keep always an eye on it, you can react accordingly.
To be able to act, you should have your hand, that is not steering the kite, on your quick release, to be able to immediately release it, if something goes wrong. So when you hook the chicken loop into your harness hook, always have one hand ready to shoot the release.
Launching the kite to your left: have the right hand on the right side of the bar, close to the chicken loop, and the left hand on your quick release.
Launching the kite to your right: have the left hand on the left side of the bar, close to the chicken loop, and the right hand on your quick release.
Note: do not have your board in your hand, instead have the quick release in your hand!
Before the lift off you should look around, if any other kite launches or lands his kite close to you. Also check again the wind direction and check if the wind strength has been changed. Observe the water if any gusts or strong winds with white water might arrive soon.
If you are close to the water, you may want to wash the bar and adjuster in the water to make sure it is clean and sand free.
Launching off the water gives you an extra buffer if something goes wrong, so it is highly advised to launch from the water.
Position yourself that the launch helper does not need to move, but your kite gets filled with wind, and does not flutter around. Go a bit downwind if the kite is filled too much with wind and the launch helper has to fully push against the kite, or go upwind if the kite flutters.
Once everything is ok, give the thumb up ok sign with the hand you have on your quick release, and then put it back quickly to the quick release. Steer the kite slowly up, with your hand close to the center of the bar. Steer it into the zenith, or keep it low above the water if you launched facing the water.
Off the Beach
Now walk into the water, slowly and carefully. Look around if nothing is in your way. Now get onto your board and off you go.