Self launching is handy when there is nobody around to launch your kite. If in doubt, use an assisted launch. Level: Advanced.
WARNING: Self launching a kite is an advanced skill, and is best learned under instruction
Self launching techniques vary according to kite make and design. Seek advice on your particular kite before attempting to self launch.
It is always better to get an assisted launch when you can. It is safer and is much less likely to result in kite damage.
When self launching, the leading edge of the kite can drag along the beach surface and get damaged.
Only self launch when there are no obstructions or objects likely to damage your kite present.
DO NOT attempt to self launch when you are upwind of the kite. It could power up suddenly and drag or loft you which could result in serious injury.
Self launching technique
1. Position your kite on the beach
Put the kite where you want to launch it, close to the water
2. Rig your kite with the lines upwind.
Your kite Rig your kite with the lines upwind.
Lay your lines out so that that the kite is positioned towards the water side of the wind window - when you launch the kite you should be inland relative to the kite.
Connect your kite lines as you do normally, ensuring they are not twisted or tangled with each other or the bridle.
Double check this. If the kites launches with the lines not connected properly it could go out of control and you may not be able to land it easily.
2. Turn your kite, leading edge down so that it points about 45 degrees across the wind.
The windward tip should be flattened by the wind. Put a little sand on it to secure it.
The leeward tip should be sticking up and just catching the wind
3. Connect to the kite
Walk back to the bar and take it to a position so that the lines are running cross wind to the kite. This will put the kite near the edge of the wind window.
Attach your safety first, then connect the chicken loop to your harness hook.
Do a visual check on the lines. If there are any obvious tangles, disconnect from the kite and sort them out before reconnecting.
4. Turn the bar 180 degrees (so that right becomes left). This will assist pulling the kite in the right direction.
5. Walk backwards slowly, teasing the leeward tip to catch the wind.
As the tip catches the wind, the kite will start to fill with wind
Flip the bar back to its correct orientation and pull gently on the bar end of the high wing tip to launch it.
If there is power in the kite but it doesn't want to launch, keep the lines taught and move downwind a little to bring the kite to the edge of the wind window. Then pull gently again on the bar end of the high wing tip to launch it.
Use your depower adjustment to reduce the power in the kite when self launching in stronger winds. You can repower it once it is flying if necessary.
WARNING: If something goes wrong while self launching, quickly deploy your safety release then secure the kite.