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Old 09-18-2007, 08:53 PM
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Default 1.Solo Flat Kite Launching-Safety Tip Of The Week

Skyway Scott suggested this idea, sounds good to me so here goes. If folks have new ideas, concerns, suggestions that would fall into the "Safety Tip Of The Week" let us know.

Here goes the first one ...
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I heard about a serious accident today. It involved an experienced kiter solo launching a 15 m flat kite in about 18 mph. He reportedly bent and anchored wing tip with sand in the fashion of C Kites. Another kiter ran over to help him with an assisted launch but arrived just after the kite had been launched.

One of the bridles had wrapped a wing tip sending the kite into uncontrolled looping pulling the kiter at speed inland. The kiter hit a pile of stacked beach chairs breaking one and hitting his head. The other kiter sprinted and secured the kite before the rider could be dragged further. The rider suffered a large bump on his skull. There was no helmet or impact vest in use.

I recently solo launched a 16 m flat kite in light winds in my normal fashion. This consists of leaving the kite leading edge down and pretending that it is being relaunched from water. I have never had incidents prior to this time although I never do this in higher winds. One of the bridles wrapped a wing tip sending the kite into a very slow loop. Despite this I was still dragged about 20 ft. on my feet through the sand. The wind was LIGHT fortunately.

As a rule if a wing tip is wrapped the obvious approach is to drop your bar, pop your chicken loop quick release and set the kite free. Otherwise you will likely be dragged uncontrollably downwind with disabled depowering. I have heard some say to pull in very hard on the leading edge leader lines. I have never tried this and can't comment on this approach.

I am not sure if all flat kites are equally at risk of accidental wrapping of a kite wing tip during solo launch or not. They all have bridles though so it might be best to assume that they all could wrap on solo launch using the two methods described above.

This leaves anchoring the chicken loop, setting the kite up for launching in an upright position and running back to launch it. Not all kites sit nicely in this position and there are other things that can go wrong with this approach.

It seems that competent assisted launches with flat kites are a very good idea and solo launch might unexpectedly result in serious injury over time.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:07 PM
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My deepest feelings to the injured kiter.

I sincerely hope that he makes a full recovery.


Quote:
It seems that competent assisted launches with flat kites are a very good idea and solo launch might unexpectedly result in serious injury over time.
For flat kites only:

Thats obviously the ideal gold standard, and hopefully everyone will adhere to this.

But, unfortunately as you and I know, it is not always possible.

In particular, I can self launch and land in 15-20 kts all day ( 'cept for a lill' kite LE launching wear ). However, self launching in +35 kts is tricky but entirely doable and self landing in + 35 kts is pretty much impossible unless you completely release the kite and run for it .... better be fast and have some beach space

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Old 09-18-2007, 10:16 PM
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I solo launched C kites for years without incident in moderate to light winds. In higher winds the damn kite could dig itself out from the anchoring sand and launch. Or, even better, the lines could loop and snag on themselves in strong wind.

I have had only one problem that I described with flat kites. Not sure if this is a problem with all flat kites either. Augering into the hard stuff at high speed can suck big time though. I am prone to solo launch flat kites if there is sufficient room on the beach with other kites coming and going. In the future, I am going to try real hard to have assisted launches. Things won't go to crap all the time, just every once in a while perhaps to get a rise out of us.

If your kite will stay put despite gusts and not clothesline anyone walking down the beach, tethered solo launch may still be a reasonable risk.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:22 PM
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Thanks for the information Rick. Always helpful.

I hope the kiter heals up and hits the water again soon.
I actually had to QR tonight immediately after an assisted launch. I assume it was a bridle dealio.
The kite was going right, I was pulling left, not good.
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
I solo launched C kites for years without incident in moderate to light winds. In higher winds the damn kite could dig itself out from the anchoring sand and launch. Or, even better, the lines could loop and snag on themselves in strong wind.

I have had only one problem that I described with flat kites. Not sure if this is a problem with all flat kites either. Augering into the hard stuff at high speed can suck big time though. I am prone to solo launch flat kites if there is sufficient room on the beach with other kites coming and going. In the future, I am going to try real hard to have assisted launches. Things won't go to crap all the time, just every once in a while perhaps to get a rise out of us.

If your kite will stay put despite gusts and not clothesline anyone walking down the beach, tethered solo launch may still be a reasonable risk.
agreed, But, I think self LANDINGS in over 35 kts are even more of an issue with flat kites, no?
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:32 AM
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I think self landing an SLE kite is difficult too, but it concerns me for my safety less than self launching.

To me, launching a kite is the most dangerous moment (with exception of unforeseen weather events and equip. malfunctions) in our sport. I know it's when I feel most vulnerable.
I agree Rick, in the high winds, the odds of the lines "getting tied in knots" during a self launch seems pretty high. There is a lot of time that they are slack and it only takes one loop knot to really mess things up and make the kite non-controllable. It seems the wind has fingers, because I have seen some pretty messy bird's nests created by the wind blowing slack kite lines.
These knots in the line have been the main cause over the years for my problems self launching in 20 plus. As you know, sh!@ hits the fan incredibly fast in these type of scenarios when the kite has a "mind of its own".

Most bad kitemares I have personally witnessed (ambulance rides) were related to launching. We have seen some bad ones over the years here, especially at East Beach, where the ground can be slippery and vehicles are often only 50 feet away.
It's probably obvious, but at launch, we are on/very near land and can therefore hit an object within only 2 seconds or less of launching, depending how near it is.
The thing that goes wrong (line tangle, bridle snag) is usually not known and catches people totally by surprise.
The thing is, when everything is cool, launching a kite is pretty ho-hum and 100 in a row might go perfect. It therefore is really easy to get complacent about an event that could actually be quite dangerous.

Unfortunately, here is another launching incident in high winds that Rick already knows about.

http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewt...342144&start=0
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:42 AM
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Yeah scott but in 35 kts bridle tangles can be at least minimized to some level on self launching >>>> self landing under these conditions will always just send the kite into a relaunch followed by endless kiteloops

...end of rant...nobody even thinks self landings are worthy of consideration...


On another topic, I guess nobody wants to do DP today, N @ 20-23kts SW southside? rainy the rest of day
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:09 AM
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I'm not. I am dead tired and it's due North with a high tide. Gusty, gusty.

No rant, just good conversation. I self land all the time and even have mods to my kites for self landing that help quite a bit. I guess for me, I am anticipating letting the kite go on a landing, already made sure nothing is downwind (for my kites safety) and am prepared to say "see ya'" when it pulls a "I ain't ready to land" on me. In 20 plus, both the self land and launch aren't ideal. I have done hundreds out of necessity (seabreeze, only guy there) and still feel very uncomfortable with both even though my success rate is probably 95% (that's ten or more possible whack jobs over time, where I have had to bail out or get drilled).
I feel even less comfy on the SLEs cuz of the bridles.
I don't think I would even ride alone in 35, let alone self launch or land in it.
I gotta at least have a person keeping an eye out for me, even if they aren't riding in that stuff.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigR View Post


agreed, But, I think self LANDINGS in over 35 kts are even more of an issue with flat kites, no?
Big time and I wouldn't go as high as 35 kts.? Rare sustained winds in our area anyway. I wouldn't solo land ANYTHING in such wind aside from emergency depowering it. Too much can go wrong and has more than once.

The are only two solo landing techniques that I have used with flat kites. In light winds just dump it down on the leading edge with a quick pivot to flatten it out on the sand in slightly stronger but still light winds. The second involves reliably tethering the chicken loop to an adequate anchor and running over to secure the kite. By contrast solo depowering C kites has been very reliable for me if not a bit messy with dealing with the lines after.

Solo landing flat kites absent the tethering them has been tricky and to be avoided in my experience to date. You can get away with solo launching flat kites a lot (apparently not always) without problems unlike solo landing without anchors where you may have problems the first time you try it, hence this post. Assisted launches AND landings are a good idea with flat kites.
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:28 PM
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Angry Seperation of brand new fly lines???

Gentelmen,
Can anyone share wth me an experience with fly line speration on a brand new set of lines. I put a brand new 2007 Cabrinha Switch Blade into the air today in about 15-20 knot winds. I am an experienced rider with several years experinece with Cabrina products. Just after getting airborn I had two lines seperate just above the pig tail on the back and front leader lines. Band new lines with no wear and tear. These lines where brand new, I have never herd of such a thing?

I am looking to put this info out for saftey. I had a looping kite going slightly inshore and activated the quick release with no icident. If this had happend later in the session who know what would have happened.

I am seekign help on getting th word out on this one. I am going direct to Cabrina and seeking repleacment of the lines.


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