The safest way to launch - self launch!

Shoot the breeze and stay in the loop with the unhinged and unhooked word on the street.
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JGTR
Posts: 3221
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 9:19 pm
Location: Saaaaaaaaarfend, innit geeza

Just thinking, a tethered self launch must be the safest way to launch as you are not connected to the kite, the kite is launched without a rider and the rider only hooks in once the kite is flying. If anything goes wrong on the launch then it's only the kite that can get damaged.

Obviously clear area down wind and suitable anchor and tether, I also use a second tether on the safety just invade the kite breaks loose for any reason.

Any thoughts??
broraboyan
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:51 pm

Your right there, I use to metal Cork screws the big type, screwed into hard sand or turf, then a 2.4m climbing sling and I have a clove hitch knot on each screw with the sling and then a clip carabiner, chicken loop into this, usually when I set up from the off I have the kite 3/4 trimmed, when I walk back to the sling I have it fully trimmed, clip in and trim to 3/4 so the kite is stable and won't take off.
Too Much Wind
Posts: 1704
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:14 am
Location: south coast uk

JGTR wrote:
Any thoughts??
I don't believe you can a generic safest way to self launch as there are other variables to consider. I agree where you have a nice open space and consistent wind with members of the public who keep a nice safe distance away whilst you self launch then you have a good safe self launch.
At the beaches I mainly use you have lots of dog walkers, members of the public, children, limited beach space and wind non consistent wind. I am not comfortable with the teathered technique at these spots. The kites I've got ozone reos and flysurfers both self launch super easy from the edge of the wind window with no fuss. Having sandy beaches is good as the reos slide easily across the sand without damage and they only slide about 10ft before they roll over and launch.
I find positioning the kite on the beach right is key though to get the perfect launch. Angle to the wind and also in a place where the wind won't get under it during those few moments when you are getting into position to launch and there is no sand weighting the kite down. This is obviously the riskiest point and I make sure this happens as quickly as can be achieved. No faffage.

TMW
ronnie
Posts: 646
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:26 am

I prefer the anchor launch. I put a stainless steel eyebolt into the top of a suitable rock where practical.

I try to avoid spin launching because of wear on the kite and potential snags.
This is one way to try to minimise sliding. Pile sand behind the leading edge at the point where you want the kite to rotate around.
http://www.thekitehouse.com/gallery2/al ... 282%29.JPG" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I put my board on the kite in such a way that it is holding it down, but when I start to turn the kite, it slides out from under the board.
JGTR
Posts: 3221
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 9:19 pm
Location: Saaaaaaaaarfend, innit geeza

Too Much Wind wrote:
JGTR wrote:
Any thoughts??
I don't believe you can a generic safest way to self launch as there are other variables to consider. I agree where you have a nice open space and consistent wind with members of the public who keep a nice safe distance away whilst you self launch then you have a good safe self launch.
At the beaches I mainly use you have lots of dog walkers, members of the public, children, limited beach space and wind non consistent wind. I am not comfortable with the teathered technique at these spots. The kites I've got ozone reos and flysurfers both self launch super easy from the edge of the wind window with no fuss. Having sandy beaches is good as the reos slide easily across the sand without damage and they only slide about 10ft before they roll over and launch.
I find positioning the kite on the beach right is key though to get the perfect launch. Angle to the wind and also in a place where the wind won't get under it during those few moments when you are getting into position to launch and there is no sand weighting the kite down. This is obviously the riskiest point and I make sure this happens as quickly as can be achieved. No faffage.

TMW
Surely a tethered launch is safer than a slide launch when considering other beach users? Tethered launch requires no sliding and uses minimal beach space, unless it goes wrong obviously but that's the same for any method.
Too Much Wind
Posts: 1704
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:14 am
Location: south coast uk

JGTR wrote:
Surely a tethered launch is safer than a slide launch when considering other beach users? Tethered launch requires no sliding and uses minimal beach space, unless it goes wrong obviously but that's the same for any method.
I have seen other beach users approach a mate's kite when he's been using a teathered launch approach and grab the lines, also dogs running into the lines, both times knocking the kite over.
There's no accounting for what jo public may do.

TMW
JGTR
Posts: 3221
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 9:19 pm
Location: Saaaaaaaaarfend, innit geeza

Too Much Wind wrote:
JGTR wrote:
Surely a tethered launch is safer than a slide launch when considering other beach users? Tethered launch requires no sliding and uses minimal beach space, unless it goes wrong obviously but that's the same for any method.
I have seen other beach users approach a mate's kite when he's been using a teathered launch approach and grab the lines, also dogs running into the lines, both times knocking the kite over.
There's no accounting for what jo public may do.

TMW
Man you've seen some crazy shit.

I suppose no method is safe if you take into account every possible scenario; stupid Jo public, death wish dogs, Martians from outer space etc
JGTR
Posts: 3221
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 9:19 pm
Location: Saaaaaaaaarfend, innit geeza

So discounting blind dogs and kiters who launch too close to members of the public I still think tethered launch is the safest way to launch.

Even safer than launching with an assistant, last 3 serious accidents I've seen have been when launching with an assistant. If they had tethered launch they would not have been injured.
wardr77
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:30 pm
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I always tether launch, much prefer it, it also gives you the freedom to kite solo without having to worry if someone's going to be on the beach to launch or land you; self landing / launching without a tether in strong winds is not my idea of a good time.
However, it has taken a toll on my kit, the RPMs are fine, nice wide tip and the kite just sits there on the tether, the 7m RPM tends to hover about a foot off the beach, quite weird, but the larger more delta type kites I have tend to roll/lunge back and forwards on the tip resulting in the stitching wearing through plus a small tear on the contact point. Always positives and negatives I guess...
southseasailor
Posts: 954
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:40 am

The only thing I would add, if tethered launching, is a separate anchor point for your leash. If the kite breaks free at least the leash will save it being blown downwind. Mind you I use an old steel pipe valve as my anchor (6inch pipe buried in the ground with a valve and its circular handle sticking up, absolutely solid anchor) Nice grassy area is much kinder to the kite too.

I consider it safe enough, placing the kite on its wingtip I can look back along the lines and make sure nothing is snagged before walking back down to hook in. Only thing to watch is not having the bar stopper pulled down (obvious I know, but double check anyway) the other point is making sure a line isn't caught on the bar ends (where you get some types with the 'hook' for line stowage re the Liquid Force type bars)

I do the reverse to land the kite, but always land it on the water and recover there if the wind has dropped (too big a risk of the kite dropping and hitting stones and sharp things on the beach) or got up in strength with possibly turbulent conditions.

Either way, if you are new to the technique I would go through it a few times with someone who knows what they are doing.
wardr77
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:30 pm
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I would agree with that last paragraph. A month or so a go a novice decided without asking, to use my tether to land his kite, next thing I know, (looking onshore whilst on the sea) his kite flips over, powers up while he's hooked in and then wraps itself around my car. A couple of windsurfers run to his rescue; then me and his more advanced kitesurfing mate go back to shore to see if all is ok, which it is thank gawd. The novice and his mate then decide to have a bit of a go at me about using such a dangerous method to launch my kites! Fuggin great ah!
aquilone
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:39 pm
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The novice and his mate then decide to have a bit of a go at me about using such a dangerous method to launch my kites!
Unreal!
It seems such an obvious technique but some people overcomplicate it. Even if there are people on the beach I nearly always will set up my tethers (one for the kite and a separate one for the safety – as indicated by SSS above) just in case no one is around to land me. I once told a latecomer that he was welcome to use it, but asked him first if he knew how to use it. ‘Yes, yes! – thanks!” When I was on the water I saw that he made a real mess of it and was flying the kite on the anchor and then when it was in the air he was trying to hook in…

I actually think that the anchor launch should be taught as part of the lessons. My reasoning is that when you have an assisted launch, the assistant holds the kite steady. But the beginner can feel under pressure to be quick about it and give a thumbs up sign when the kite is not in the right place as it takes some practice to ‘read’ the flapping of the kite. Whereas with an anchor launch the kite has to be in the right place or it won’t work.
I always take a heavy duty garden sack with me that I fill and use on pebbly beaches. I also fill the bag with sand and use it as a back-up to the dog-stake – that way it can’t fly out – not that it ever has.

The only time I might not use the anchor to launch is when it’s low tide and I have a half-mile trek to the water. In some wind conditions flying a kite for that distance is not a safe endeavour. In which case I will set-up by the water and drift launch which is pretty safe as there will be acres of space, or what normally happens is that someone will ask me to land them and will in turn launch me.
The beauty of the anchor system is also in the landing. A few times I have been the first one to shore, landed my kite and pretty soon everybody is coming back in now that ‘someone’ is there to land them :wink:
southseasailor
Posts: 954
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:40 am

I am luck in that random kiters don't ever turn up out of the blue, leaving me facing the issues some of you have had. Totally unfair to blame someone when using their kit to launch a kite, unreal, but in this day and age of the blame culture....what can we expect.

Any newbies to kiting or sailing, where I live, I weigh up carefully to see if they are likely to do something really silly..like operating on their own despite being warned not to. Had a case a few years ago when sailing, newbie took his Laser dinghy out despite being warned not to. Luckily he survived the arse caning he had. He was so put off by the experience he sold the boat.

I would be very careful in lending anything, to those you don't know let alone not knowing the skills they possess.

Try to stay out of attending a Court of Inquiry for a Death, I attended one a while ago but for a totally unrelated cause. Horrible, and something that will stay with me for a very long time.

Take care.
BillyGoat
Posts: 830
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:53 pm

what could be safer.... :?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE32k8pQjo0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
JGTR
Posts: 3221
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 9:19 pm
Location: Saaaaaaaaarfend, innit geeza

BillyGoat wrote:what could be safer.... :?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE32k8pQjo0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Exactly my point, rider is still safe.

In that video the tether/anchor wasn't strong enough, no second tether for safety and the when he left the kite it wasn't in a stable launch position plus it's off shore.

No method is 100% safe, especially when multiplied by the idiot factor of the rider.
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