Being able to do a kitesurf relaunch is an essential basic skill for kitesurfing. Relaunching a kite from the water can be tricky if you’re a beginner. In a kitesurfing lesson we teach you how to relaunch safely step by step. To get an idea of the technique behind the water relaunch we’ve written this article so you can better prepare for your lesson.
What is a kitesurf relaunch?
Kitesurfing kites have an inflatable part called the leading edge. This round tube is filled with air which gives the kite its shape and gives it the ability to restart or relaunch it when you drop the kite in the water. Kitesurf relaunch is very easy but there are a couple of essential details to it. It’s important to restart the kite in the safest direction possible, preferably in the direction of deep water and always on the edge of the WIND WINDOW in order to relaunch without power. If the kite is directly in front of you in the line of 12 ‘clock you have to determine whether left or right is the safest direction to relaunch. If your kite hits the water it is important to let go of the bar to prevent the kite form falling on it’s trailing edge.
Kitesurf relaunch step 1
When your kite has landed in the water your lines will be crossed. The red line is now on you left and blue is on the right. When you now relaunch your bar will automatically be in the correct position. Now determine which side is the safest to relaunch from.
Kitesurf relaunch step 2
If you want to kite relaunch to the left you should take the blue line with your right hand. If you want to relaunch to the right use the red line with your left hand. Make sure to never wrap the line around your hand or fingers. Now gently start pulling on the line until the kite starts to drift towards 3 or 9 o’clock. If the kite doesn’t move you should take a bit more line.
Kitesurf relaunch step 3
Keep pulling the line to make the kite drift to the edge of the window until the kite starts to rotate to a more vertical position. This is the point where you should release a little bit of tension from the line. Pulling too hard when the kite is in a vertical position will make it fall onto the trailing edge. Gently keep pulling the line until the kite is at 3 or 9 and then release a bit of the tension again.
Kitesurf relaunch step 4
When the kite is all the way on the edge of the wind window, gently pull the line towards you again. You will feel when the kite has enough wind to relaunch from the water.
Kitesurf relaunch step 5
The kite will now come up into the air again. It is important to gently keep pulling the line until the kite comes back to 11 or 1 o’clock before you grab the bar again. Pulling the bar directly after the relaunch will increase the chances of over sheeting which will make the kite fall into the water again. When the kite hits 11 or 1, grab the bar, pull it towards the sweet spot again and take control of your kite again.
What if the kite falls onto the trailing edge?
If the kite falls onto the trailing edge, it may be that you pulled the bar or put too much tension on the line when the kite got into an upright position. Usually the kite will drift back into the wind again which then automatically flips the kite onto the leading edge again. Form that point you can go through the steps mentioned above. If there is a not much wind and the kite is on the trainling edge right in front of you (in the line of 12 o’clock) you can grab the middle lines. Then pull until you feel tension and give the middle lines a couple of hard and long pulls until it flips back onto the leading edge.
Can I relaunch the kite if it is right in front of me?
Yes, when you have enough wind it’s possible. Relaunching the kite straight through 12 o’clock means you’re launching through the powerzone which will result in you getting pulled downwind hard. Always make sure to relaunch from the edge of the window, either from 3 or 9 o’clock.
Common mistakes kitesurf relaunch
- Oversteering/pulling on the line
A common mistake is to pull the line too hard or hold it too long when the kite flies up into the air again. Doing this will have the exact same effect as steering really hard with your bar. The kite will then not gently fly back to 11 or 1 without power, but it will fly through the powerzone too fast. If you then pull the bar you will get a lot of power. Another risk of oversteering when relaunching is the kite going past 12 o’clock to the other side of the window where there might be other kitesurfers.
- Pulling the bar when the kite is in the water
When your kite hits the water always make sure to let go of the bar. Keeping it pulled towards you can result in the kite falling on the trailing edge.
- Pulling the bar when the kite has just relaunched
Even when you just relaunched the kite of the water but it is still low around 3 or 9, make sure to not pull the bar.