Self Launching a Kiteboarding Kite

Being able to self-launch a kite opens up a lot of doors for kiteboarders. No longer do they need to rely on someone else in order to get out riding... and for those who kite in quiet or remote locations, this is a godsend.

There are three main ways to launch a kite solo:

  1. Weight-the-Corner Method (mainly for C Kites).
  2. The Bow/SLE Method (mainly for SLE kites).
  3. The Anchor Method (works equally well for both types of kites).

Disclaimer: This page is intended to give an overview of the different ways to self-launch a kiteboarding kite, and it is not intended to be an exhaustive step-by-step instructional page. If you are learning to self launch your kite, please seek out professional instruction.


Weight-the-Corner Method

Coming Soon! I know, what a burn. This section of the page is in progress, and should be uploaded within the week. Please check back soon.

Bow/SLE Method

This method of self-launch does not require any additional equipment - no ground anchors or weights required. This is good for anyone into snowkiting, or just kiting without helpers.

It Works For...

I have only ever used this method of self-launch with a SLE kite, so I'm unsure how it works with C Kites. If you have any input, please leave a comment below.

The Overview...

  1. The kite is set up normally, with the bar across the wind.
  2. self launch bow kite step 1
  3. The rider positions themselves slightly upwind.
  4. self launch sle kite step 2
  5. The rider pulls on the downwind rear kite line to turn the kite into the wind. They turn the kite by pulling the line and/or moving upwind until it catches enough wind to take shape.
  6. self launching a kiteboarding kite step 3
  7. As soon as the kite starts to catch the wind, the rider moves towards the kite until it flips 90% onto it’s back. It’s important that it does not flip completely over - enough tension must be kept in the lines to keep it in the wind.
  8. self launch sle kite step 4self launch bow kite step 4.1
  9. The rider then moves downwind until the kite is positioned on the edge of the wind window. In order to do this, they must:

    • Keep the kite in it’s semi-flipped position. They move towards and away from the kite as needed. This generally takes them downwind in a zig-zag path.

    • The kite will originally be resting on (or close to) it’s leading edge. As they approach the edge of the wind window, the kite will rotate so that it’s leading edge is pointing into the wind.
  10. self launch bow/sle kite step 5self launching a kiteboarding kite step 5.1
  11. Once the kite is at the edge of the wind window resting on it’s wingtip (in the launch position) it’s ready to launch. Holding the bar normally, the rider moves upwind until the kite has enough power to launch (as it would normally). They may need to pull gently on the outside line to help rotate the kite into the air.
  12. launching a kiteboarding kite alone step 6launching a kiteboarding kite alone step6.1

A Good Video Example

The following YouTube video gives a great view of the kite during this type of self launch.

The Anchor Method

Coming Soon! I know, what a burn. This section of the page is in progress, and should be uploaded within the week. Please check back soon.


These are the three main methods to self launching your kiteboarding kites. If you have any questions, comments, or additions, please use the comment box below.


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