It is possible to launch the kite by yourself but there is a much larger risk that things go wrong so we do not teach nor recommend to launch by yourself. You should always be kitesurfing with someone or at least have some other people at the beach that can help if you get into trouble.
We will go through the assisted launch in more detail further down on the page but please have a look at the video below to see how a assisted launch is performed.
When launching your kite, always try to launch your kite so that when you are at the edge of the wind window ready to launch the kite, you see water behind the kite, not land. In case something goes wrong, the kite will most likely pull you into the soft water. If you see land behind the kite, chances are the kite will pull you up on the beach if something goes wrong, which is more likely to result in something potentially dangerous.
Also always try to find a place with clear space in your wind window. Don´t launch your kite right next to the tree line or any other objects, not only can they affect the wind, you might also launch your kite straight into them and have your gear broken and yourself in danger.
Once you have found a good and safe spot to launch, the launching can be broken down into 4 simple steps:
- Do a preflight check. Make sure the lines on your bar connect in a straight line to the bridles and pigtails on your kite. No crossings or tangles are allowed. If a steering line is not connected properly it will make handling of the kite anywhere from difficult to impossible and can lead to a dangerous situation. Connect the safety line on you bar to your safety leash and connect the chicken loop to the hook on your harness. Secure your chicken loop by inserting the chicken stick through the hook.
- Walk upwind unil the point where your kite is at the edge of the wind window. Have the person assisting you turn the kite on its side so that the wingtips face the ground and the sky, forming a half circle that opens up towards you. Make sure your assistant knows exactly what he/she needs to do (show how to turn the kite into launching position, thumb up sign for ok to launch, thumb down for abort launch and check the setup one more time. Instruct them to keep the kite in this position holding the leading edge with their hands and standing outside of the wind window.
- When getting closer to the edge of the wind window, look at the canopy of the kite. Once the canopy stops flapping around loosely and becomes solid, and you feel a small amount of tension in the lines, you know that you are at the right angle. Once you are ready, give your assistant the thumbs up sign.
- When your assistant releases the kite, guide it up towards twelve o´clock by really gently pulling on the end of the bar that is facing up. I.E. pull lightly on the left side of the bar with your left hand if you are launching your kite from 3 o´clock or pull lightly on the right side of the bar with your right hand if you are launching your kite from
Before you are out in the water, we recommend keeping your kite in the middle of the side of the wind window that is facing towards the water. That is around 10:30 or 1:30 on either side depending on the wind direction and your beach. This is the safest area to keep your kite before you are out in the water. If you keep it at 12 o´clock, a strong gust of wind might pull you up in the air and cause dangerous situations. If you keep it too low, you might crash it on the ground/water and loose control of the kite.