Launching your kite on the beach or on the water is arguably the most important part of kiteboarding. If you cant do it correctly then you are going to put yourself in danger or at the very least get seriously frustrated.

Launching from the land and from the water has some fundamental similarities.

These are the main techniques that you will use when your kite has crashed and is in the following positions on the water.

Position one.

Your kite is at the edge of the window and is in a C shape on top of the water.

This is the most common and the simplest relaunch because your kite is in the launch position. 

  • Unspin your bar so your lines are untwisted.
  • Let go of your bar and hold on to the steering line that is attached to the wing tip that is out of the water.
  • Pull gently. Seriously gently. To give you an idea of how gentle you need to be, it is possible to launch your kite with your little finger. 
  • As your kite comes off the water, avoid pulling the bar in but keep pulling gently. The lighter the wind the more gentle you need to be.
  • Keep pulling gently until your kite is high in the window above 11 or 1. Moving your kite high will mean you have plenty of time to get hold of your bar with your hands before it falls down. 
  • Make sure that your bar is the right way round which is usually red on your left.
If your kite is on the right of you use your left hand and pull really gently
Launching with your bar out means you’ll have less power so less chance you’ll be pulled forwards plus less chance that the kite will stall and fall backwards in light wind.

Position two.

Your kite is in front of you in the power zone, facing down and is full of wind, pulling you. 

  • Act quickly to stop your kite pulling you downwind as it is in the middle of the power zone therefore it has the most power and can feel quite scary especially for lighter riders.
  • Spin your bar so your lines are untwisted.
  • Pull on one of the steering lines until your kite moves to the edge of the wind window, out of the power zone and into the C shape where you can launch as normal.
  • If you are in deep water and there are no dangers on the land then always choose to launch your kite on the side that will pull you closer to the land and not further out to sea or towards any dangers such as rocks or boats.

Position three.

Your kite is in front of you, in the power zone but is facing you.

This position is rare but it does happen and your lines can get twisted so its important that you know how to fix it.
  • Unspin your bar so your lines are untwisted.
  • Keep pulling on one of your steering lines (outside lines) until your kite spins around.
  • If you are pulling and your kite does not spin around, let go and pull the other steering line until your kite spins around. You may have to pull in more line in than normal.
  • When your kite has spun around, launch as normal.
  • If your lines are twisted or crossed over, as long as red is on your left, you can fly your kite as normal to get back to the land where you can land your kite and fix your lines. 

Position four.

Your Kite is upside down with the leading edge facing the sky. 

The following tips will only work when your kite is in exactly this position.

This happens more frequently in light wind and is known as a hot launch because it is in the middle of the power zone when it takes off and will pull you hard.

  • Unspin your bar so your lines are untwisted.
  • Push your bar away as far as you can.
  • If your kite hasn’t launched, pull hard on your centre lines.
  • Prepare to be pulled though the water.
  • When your kite has launched and is at least a few meters in the sky, get hold of your bar, pull the bar in as normal to get control and fly your kite as normal.
  • If your kite falls over so the leading edge is facing down then carry on with a normal launch.
  • Study the section in this book on hot launching

The secrets of water relaunching summary

  • Always leave your bar pushed out fully and pull on a steering line to launch.
  • If your kite is on your right, use your left hand to pull the steering line. If your kite is on your left, use your right hand to pull the steering line. This will help because when your kite launches off the water your hands will naturally be in the right place to take hold of your bar.
  • Always start by pulling gently and slowly build your pulling pressure. 
  • Holding above the foam floaters where the line is thicker will help give you more leverage and require less strength. 
  • If your kite will not relaunch on one side then try the other side. Einstein said to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Change to the other side. 
  • The launching process is the exactly the same in deep water.

Common challenges

  • Your kite keeps falling back in to the water – You are pulling too hard 
  • Your kite moves in the power zone and crashes – You are pulling too hard
  • You launch and you get pulled through the water– You are pulling to hard

Relaunching your kite on the water made simple

  1. Untwist your lines before you start the launch.
  2. Pull gently and aim to launch at the edge of the wind window where there is the least power. 
  3. Launch your kite towards the land if you have the choice so you don’t get pulled out to sea or tpwards any dangers such as rocks or boats.

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