How to Launch a Kite

Note: Many kite schools offer special services (e.g. launching and landing kites, observation, tips on the spot)for a small fee.

By using these services, you ensure they can still be provided in the future.

In this post, we will explain you the:

  1. Preparation for a safe Kite Launch
  2. Lauching the kite with Helper
  3. Lauching the kite without Helper
  4. Launching a Kite from the Boat

Preparation for a safe Kite Launch

Launching and landing a kite are the situations in kitesurfing where happen the most of accidents. Therefore it is mandatory to do a pre-launch check after you have set up your gear. This is a must!

Pre-Launch checks

  • Personal condition: All fit and ready?
  • Wind and weather checks.
  • Kite Spot check:
    • Visualise the launching and landing area.
    • Check if there a possible emergency exit downwind.
    • The availability of rescue systems (boat, helper).
    • Getting info from other riders.

Kite Equipment checks

  • Bar check: Check your bar system thoroughly (quick release
    adjuster, depower/power, leash, harness).
  • Line check:
    • Lines are well lay out and separate?
    • Lines are attached correctly?
  • Kite check
    • The kite have the correct size in respect to the wind conditions?
    • There are any visible damages to kite or bridles?
  • Board check
    • Strap and fin screws tightened?
    • Any visible damages on the board?
    • Straps are properly adjusted?
  • Rules’ check: The International and local Kiteboarding rules are clear?
  • Emergency plan check: Helper/friend/partner/kiter knows about my kite session and can support me in case of need.

Lauching the kite with Helper

Launching and landing is especially easy and safe if you have a helper who
mot only knows how to launch and land properly.

Getting Attached to the kite

After you have done your safety checks it is time to get attached to the safety
system and your kite.

Here under the steps to be followed for getting attached to the kite:

  1. Attach safety leash.
  2. Hook into the chicken loop.
  3. Secure the loop using the Finger /  chicken dick.

Moving in the correct position of the wind window.

You are now completely connected to your kite and the lines are laying on the ground without tension.

Now we should move in a position where the kite will be in the corner of the wind window. In this position the kite have no power and, after the helper has turned the kite in a vertical position, we can check again if the lines are not intertwined / mxed.

Now, after moving a little bit up the get the necessary power, we can give the correct signal o the helper and let the kite fly.

Here below, all the steps to be followed for properly and safely launchng a kite:

  1. It is better to launch the to the water, where the wind is free from obstacles and therefore less gusty and where, in case of falls the impact will be less dangerous
  2. Before to launch the kite re-verify that no obstacles (objects and people) are present downwind to us and to the kite
  3. Connect to the kite through the chicken loop. Don’t forget to lock the chicken loop to the hook of your harness through the finger and to attach the safety leash
  4. Get the bar and move in that position that make the kite is in the edge of the wind window
  5. The person that is helping us (the helper) should pick up the kite in the centre of the leading edge and flip it on its back and take it to the position for launching (the helper should stay always back to the kite and upwind in respect to it) and the leading edge upwind in respect to the trailing edge
  6. After slightly pulling the lines, do a final check on your lines and ensure they are not tangled in any way. If they are tangled, signal to the launcher to place your kite back down. There is no easy way to untangle the lines safely, it is best to disconnect your lines and start again (disconnect, walk through from the bar to the kite, reconnect).
  7. If the lines are well connected, move slightly against the wind in order to gradually send the kite in a power zone
  8. Once you reach the area of needed power needed for launching the kite, give the signal to launch (thumbs up) to the helper that will release the kite gently (he should NOT throw it up). At the same moment the helper will leave the kite, we must direct it slowly to the zenith.

Important:

  • In the launching operations, the helper is helping us to put the kite vertically in order to facilitate our launching. He should not move the kite in that we consider the correct position for launching but we should move in the correct position!
  • In some rare cases you might need to use the help of a non-kiter to help you launch or land In these cases
  • It is important to be sure of the person’s ability to help and give him/her a short crash course of the most important points for the launching or landing process, while taking special care of the safety aspects.

For a successful and safe launching and landing process, you and your helper/friend/partner must have clarified the following points:

  • Carrying, holding, launching, landing, securing a kite.
  • Launching and landing signs need to be clear (international landing
    sign, same language).
  • Proper positioning in the wind window.
  • Plan of your session (time, where, etc.).
  • What to do in case of Emergency

Lauching the kite without Helper

Necessary conditions for Launching the Kite without Helper

  • Kite is at the edge of the wind window.
  • Lines are attached correctly.
  • No obstacles/peopie downwind!
  • Soft surface (sand, grass).
  • Always be prepared to quick-release!

Kite Slide Start

Turn the Kite:
  • Pull the lines.
  • Pull the line of the tip further
    away from you.
  • Kite starts to turn.
Launchin Position
  • Kite will come up onto its tip.
  • Check the iines, depower
Launch the Kite
  • Pull the top line to steer the kite
  • Fly the kite into the zenith.
  • TIP: Check your gear and surroun

Kite Sand Start

Preparation
  • Lay the kite onto its lower tip and optionally
    fold it inwards.
  • Put sand onto the tip.
  • Watch the kite and check if the sand is heavy enough
Hock in
  • Move quickly to the bar
  • Attach the safety system.
  • Tension the lines
Launch
  • Optimise your position at the wind window’s edge.
  • Pull the upper back line.
  • Steer the Kite off the ground.
  • Sand falls off the kite.

Kite Launching with a fixed Start

 

For Launching a Kite with a Fixed Start, you should attach the chicken loop directly to a fixed object.

Attach
  • Attach the chicken loop
  • Position the kite at the edge of the wind window onto its lower tip
Check
  • Watch the kite and check the lines.
  • Move quickiy to the bar on the windward
    side ofthe limes.
  • Execute a pre-launch check.
Launch
  • Release the chicken toop from the fixed object
  • Connect to the safety system and to the chicken loop
  • Launch the kite

Launching a Kite from the Boat

Launching the Kite from the Boat with a helper
  • Roll up the bar (be careful not to put the bar through
    of the bridlesl).
  • Roll up the kite (or keep it pumped).
  • Pump up the kite on the boat if it was deflated.
  • Kite is being held by the helper on the boat while the rider jumps into the water, unrolls the bar and swims the launching position.
  • Launch the kite.
LAUNCHING THE KITE FROM THE BOAT WITHout A HELPER
  • Roll up the bar, shortening one back line so the kite cannot turn into the wind and create power.
  • Roll up the kite or keep it pumped.
  • Pump up the kite on the boat if it was deflated.
  • Put the kite in the water, undo the lines and have the kite drift downwind (be careful the lines don’t tangle).
  • Launch the kite.