Launch Site Print

Launch Site Considerations

"Knowing the wind direction is the first thing you need to know when considering a launch site, then find out what the wind could blow you into. . ."

To the Point:

    Don't ride up or downwind of any obstacles and never ride in winds that are offshore in any direction.

The Detailed Explanation:

    Downwind obstacles are the greatest concern.  You want as much downwind space as possible.  At least 3 times the length of you lines is pretty good.  More "downwind" space is better, because you would have more time to correct for mistakes or malfunctions before you or your kite hit an object.

    Consider where the kite will drag you if you make a mistake or your equipment fails.  When you look "downwind," is there land, trees, powerlines, or open ocean?  Is the ground flat or rugged?  Could you twist an ankle, cut your foot, or hit a building?

    Generally, the safest direction for the wind to be blowing is what is called "side onshore," meaning that the wind is blowing on to the shore at an angle.  "Sideshore" winds are when the wind is blowing parallel to the shore.  "Offshore" winds are when the wind is blowing any direction away from shore or out in to the water, away from land.  Never go riding when the winds are Offshore.

    Make sure you don't have large obstacles "upwind" of where you will be riding.  "Upwind" obstacles will make the wind gusty, cause up and down drafts, and overall, just make your kiteboarding experience more difficult and dangerous.

    Think about future obstacles.  Just because there aren't any obstacles that you see now, doesn't necessarily mean you will have the same conditions an hour from now.  Maybe the beach that you plan on launching from will be totally gone when the tide comes in.  Maybe as the day progresses, the beach you selected as your launch site will be filled with beach goers.  When you are done riding, your great launch site may become a very risky landing site for you and others.  Think ahead and use your common sense.


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