Launching Kiteboarding Kites with a Partner
Launching kiteboarding kites is obviously important, and to be safe it is important to understand a few things.
There are ways to launch your kite alone, but at the beginner stage it is best to launch with a partner until you are a advance rider.
Note: You should only ever use a partner who is a kiteboarder, or who has been given clear instructions on how to help launch your kite – and you need to make sure they understand the instructions!
You should not just pick someone green out of a crowd, that can be very dangerous.
– 1 Have your partner hold the kite by its leading edge.
– 2 Take your bar and position yourself so that the kite is at the edge of the wind window.
Whenever possible, try to position yourself so that the kite is pointed out to sea (between you and the sea). This way if you are hit by a gust and pulled by the kite, you will go out to sea and not into whatever is on shore.
In this position, the kite will have little power. The fabric canopy of the kite should be flapping in the wind (this is called luffing), which means that the kite is not catching any wind .
If you tried to launch the kite right now! it would not fly.
– 3 Put tension in the lines so that the kite is oriented into thewind correctly and gets its proper shape.
– 4 Walk upwind until the kite’s canopy becomes tight and smooth (no more flapping or luffing).
When this happens the kite is catching the wind and can belaunched. As you move upwind, your partner must stay stationary
-You move upwind
– your partner never moves throughout the entire process.
Moving yourself upwind moves the kite deeper into the wind window, which gives it more power.
– 5 Once you are ready, signal your partner with a thumbs up to let go of the kite.
If the kite has enough power to fly, steer it slowly up into the air and away from the ground. If the kite does not have enough power and falls to the ground, repeat the previous steps, but this time move further upwind – this places the kite deeper in the wind window and gives it more power.
– 6 Before you fly your kite up to the zenith position (12 o’clock),
keep it close to the ground (around 10 or 2 o’clock) and make sure that: You have chosen the right size of kite. If it is too big and pulls too hard, land and rig a smaller kite. If the wind is gusty keep the kite low in the wind window to avoid being lofted.
Additional Safety Considerations
Some things to keep in mind while you are launching your kite are:
When conditions are windy, use your trim strap to depower the kite before you launch. Doing this helps keep you from being overpowered at launch.
When launching your kite, always try to keep it pointed out to sea (kite between you and the water).
This way if you are hit by a gust and dragged, you will go into the water and not inland.
When flying the kite out of your partner’s hands, steer by pulling on one side of the bar without sheeting in. Only sheet in if you need more power
– if the conditions are windy, and you accidentally sheet the kite in, you can be pulled and fly away!