How Not to Self Launch Your Kite

self launch kitemareHere’s a video that I found quite funny (and scary at the same time).  This kiteboarder wants to go for a ride, and is attempting to a self launch.  The launch is wrong from the start, and thank god no one was around to get hurt.


How Not to Self Launch

self launch kitemare 2This kiteboarder is attempting a self launch, but this is a type of self launch that I have never seen – ever!  It’s not the right way to do this, so never try it.

The scary thing is that if there were people downwind of this guy (I’m hoping he would not try this if there was) they could be hurt by the kite. The other scary thing is that there is someone filming him, but no one else to help – why didn't the camera man help him launch?  Was he going to post this video on the internet as an instructional video?  I hope not.


launching kite alone kitmareThankfully nothing bad happened in this video, and the ending is quite entertaining. 

What Can We Learn?

Education!  That’s where it all begins.  If you are not sure how to do something, and really want to learn, then you should research it for hours until you find a proper way to do it.  And then try it in a safe and controlled environment (this is above and beyond your lessons - always take lessons!).

There are two safer methods to self launch a kite: the sandbagging method and the bow kite self launch method.  If you don’t know how to do either, look them up on the internet – there are several great guides out there.

Just by looking at the method in this video, you can tell its wrong by noticing that:

  1. He is not attached to his chicken loop or safety leash before the kite starts to catch the wind.  Never launch until you are fully hooked in and can depower the kite in emergency.

  2. The kite is left in ‘limbo’ for 5 or 10 seconds as he is moving back to the bar.  Any kite that is unsecured and uncontrolled in the wind is dangerous - the slightest gust can blow it away so don’t do it!

In the end, the scariest part of this video is that it looks like a joke, but you never know.  I have come across equally scary situations on kite beaches.  Some of the things I have seen are much more subtle than the video above, and real bystanders were at risk. 

I’ve seen people try to launch kites with crossed lines - one guy even tried to self launch with three 20 m lines and one 24 m line!  The worst is, any stupid accident by an uneducated kiter could cause us all to lose access to the beach, and that’s not right.  Take your lessons!


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