Kite launching and landing
Kite launching and landing in a safe way is highly important. It is essential to first understand some basic principles of launching and landing your kite. It is possible to self launch and land without the help of an assistant. However this is for advanced kitesurfers only and as a beginner you must always have an assistant or experienced kitesurfer helping you.
Kite launching on land
Launching a kite on the land should always be done safely as the risk of injury is bigger on the land than in the water. In the steps below we will discuss the correct line setup, attaching yourself to the kite and signs to look for when launching and assisting someone.
Kite launching step 1: setting up the lines and hooking yourself in
There are three mains directions for setting up your lines, the safest being downwind. This way the kite can never create tension in the lines if it accidentally launches. For more information about setting up your lines and bar make sure to check … SETTING UP YOUR BAR AND LINES. When your bar is downwind of you, you have to position yourself at the edge of the wind window. This means either walking to the left or right until you are in a 90 degree angle to the wind and the kite is either at 3 or 9 o’clock. Only when you are in this position, you can attach yourself to the kite with the following three steps:
Attach the safety leash
The reason you need to do this first is that in case the kite launches accidentally, the kite flags out. This makes the kite loose all it’s power in in case of an emergency.
Hook in the chicken loop
The next step is to hook the chicken loop into the hook of your harness. Without using the donkey dick the chicken loop can shoot out of the hook when loosing tension.
Put the donkey dick through the hook
This prevents the chicken loop from shooting out of the harness when loosing tension. Make sure to put the donkey dick in the hole under your chicken loop.
Kite launching step 2: get the kite in the correct position for launching
When you have correctly attached your lines, walked to the edge of the window and hooked yourself in you are ready to launch the kite. Now you can ask your assistant to put the kite in an upright position, with the kite standing with on tip on the ground. A thing to keep in mind is that the kite must be in a position where it looks like the letter C, with the leading edge facing against the wind. Your assistant must always position him/herself on the outside of the window behind the kite.
Before you proceed launching it is important to double check whether your lines are not tangled. If the lines appear twisted, try untwisting them by rotating the bar. If you are sure your lines are attached correctly and they’re not tangled, you have to bring yourself in the correct position. This means you are in a 90-degree angle to the wind. Now look for the following points:
- The sail of the kite must be filled with air and have tension. If your kite is still fluttering it means it doesn’t catch enough wind. You must now walk into the wind a bit further until the kite stops fluttering.
- If you notice the kite already generates too much power you should walk downwind a bit further.
Kite launching step 3: double check and give the launching signal
Now that you are in the correct and safe position to launch it is time to give your assistant the launching signal which is sticking out your thumb. To launch you will take the top line. Be careful to not pull the bar when launching, but only pull the line gently. This way you steer the kite towards 11 or 1 o’clock slowly and controlled without any power.
Kite launching step 4: get to the water quickly and safe
You have now safely launched the kite and it is flying around 12 o’clock. Since most accidents happen of land it’s crucial to get of the beach and into the water as quick as possible. Even though 12 o’clock is commonly known as a safe position to keep your kite, we have to disagree on this topic. Particularly when the wind is gusty, keeping the kite at 12 o’clock increases the risk of back stalling (kite falling in front of you) or front stalling (kite falling behind you. When a kite stalls it can make lines fo slack. If the kite then catches wind again, you may get pulled hard onto the sand. When you see you kite stalling be prepared to let go of the bar and pull your quick release. The safest way to get to the water is to keep the kite at a 45-degree angle around 10 or 2 o’clock with the kite facing the direction of the water.
Landing the kite to an assistant
Step 1: give the landing signal to our assistant
When you want to land your kite you have to inform your assistant. The international communication signal is tapping on your head twice.
Step 2: steering the kite towards your assistant slowly
If your assistant indicated he wants to help, slowly move your kite towards the edge of the wind window to either 3 or 9 o’clock.
Step 3: walk towards the kite
As soon as your assistant grabs the kite, walk towards the kite. This makes the lines go slack which makes it easier to flip the kite onto its leading edge.
Step 4: unhook and correctly position your kite
When your assistant put your kite on the ground you can unhook and walk towards the kite. Make sure the middle strut in in the lines of the wind and always secure your kite with your board. Never place your fins on the kite but rather put the foot strap over the leading edge to secure the kite.