Assisted Launching and Landing Print

Assisted Launching and Landing 

Assisted Kite Launch from the Kite End

When launching from the kite from the kite position, you are an assistant.  The person with the bar is the pilot and ultimately they are in charge, because they are in a higher risk position.
With the kite in the holding position, look at the pilot and determine which side of the wind window they will be on.  If they start walking a direction, roll the kite over away from where they are walking, and hold the kite in the U position, so it isn’t touching the ground.  With the kite in the U position, and without putting any tension in the lines, walk in the opposite direction from where they are walking.  This way, you both can rotate around each other until the kite lines are perpendicular to the wind, and you are both on opposite ends of the wind window.  The kite launcher should walk a little upwind of the pilot, before the pilot puts tension in the lines.  This prevents the kite from wanting to fly while the pilot confirms that the lines are attached properly and not tangled.  As the pilot puts tension in the lines, From the leading edge, the kite should be forced into the “C position” or “backward C position” depending on which side of the wind window the kite launcher is on.  Once in this position, the kite launcher can walk downwind so the kite can capture the wind.  Under no circumstances should the kite be released from the kite launcher, until the pilot gives the thumbs-up, or agreed upon signal.  When the pilot gives the signal, the kite launcher simply lets go of the leading edge of the kite and backs away from it by walking upwind and outside of the wind window.

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Assisted Landing from the Kite End

When landing the kite for a kite pilot, you are an assistant.  The person with the bar is the pilot and ultimately, they are in charge because they are in a higher risk position.  As the pilot brings their kite down towards the ground, you should stay upwind of the expected landing position of the kite.  When the kite gets near enough to grab, grab it from the leading edge.  Force the kite in to the “U position” as you walk toward the pilot; at the same time, they should be walking toward you.  When the tension is out of the lines, wait for the pilot to take the kite, or wait for them to direct to put the kite in the holding position.  Indicate to them that you have completed your task at the kite is once again under their control.
    Note that once you have committed to landing someone’s kite, you can’t change your mind half way though the process.  The pilot is counting on you to secure their kite, and if you change your mind, it could put them in an immediate and dangerous situation.

Assisted Launching from the Bar End

Once your kite is set up properly, your harness is on, the board is by the water, and you have double-checked everything, ask someone to help you launch your kite (usually a thumbs up signal from a distance will alert a kiter that you need a launch).  Someone who is an experienced kiter is the best, but almost anyone will do if you are willing to take the extra risk of “instructing a non-kiter on how to launch your kite.”

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Landing From the Bar End 

 As you are riding, spot the place you would like to land your kite.  Ride to shore and place the kiteboard on the beach above the tide line.  Get the attention of a kiter on the beach by making eye contact, or vocalizing.  Tap your head (land my kite signal) with the flat of your palm to indicate you need an assisted landing.  Identify the 9 or 3 o’clock position that you will be landing your kite in, and move into a position so that the assistant that is landing your kite will be upwind and aligned with where you would like to bring the kite down.  If you aren’t aligned with the assistant, don’t bring the kite down.  Re-align yourself, by body dragging or walking into a new position until you can align the kite with where the assistant is standing.  Once you are aligned, slowly bring the kite down, and keep it hovering just a couple feet off the ground.  When the kite assistant grabs the leading edge of your kite securely, immediately walk directly towards them, to take the tension off of the kite lines.   Wind up your lines as you walk toward them, but make sure to keep slack on the lines as you do so.  Retrieve the kite from the assistant and thank them.

Instructing a Non-Kiter to Assist

You should not do this... but we know lots of you will do it anyway.

!Increased Risk!

Once your kite is set up properly, your harness is on, the board is by the water, and you have double-checked everything, ask a non-kiter if they would like to help you with something.  Most people that are watching would love to be asked to help.  Don’t scare them.  From the holding position, roll the kite over in to the U position and then into the C position or backwards-C position.  Explain that they only need to hold the kite in this position, a little bit off the ground.  Explain that the most important thing is to not let go of the kite until they see a thumbs-up from you.  That is it.  Say, “Don’t let go until you clearly see a thumbs up from me.  If you are unsure, then just hang on to the kite," or say something else to your liking.  If the non-kiter doesn’t follow your instructions, you will have to respond and correct, or risk possible, injurious consequences.

 

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