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How to launch your kite

How to launch your kite

Pull in your trim strap to a point that will allow your kite to fly stably in the given wind conditions and also allow you to properly depower the kite if necessary. Check the launch site and make sure there are no obstacles in the way - at least 200 feet or 60 meters of free space is needed

1. Pull in your trim strap to a point that will allow your kite to fly stably in the given wind conditions and also allow you to properly depower the kite if necessary. Check the launch site and make sure there are no obstacles in the way - at least 200 feet or 60 meters of free space is needed (you may need a lot more if you have to regain control of your kite).

Picture in your mind the necessary safety measures you must take in case of an emergency. This includes the most basic of techniques: letting go. Beginner kiteboarders in particular have issues with this technique. They keep holding on. If you are a beginner, take some time to practice letting go off your kite unhooked (on a leash of course) because it will feel unnatural to do this when you are in a predicament and need to do it sharply.

2. Announce your intention to launch. You can do so by making a thumbs up gesture and at the same time yelling “launch”. Immediately launch after having done this.

Ideally you will want to launch the kite from the water, or at least towards the water. It is better to have someone assist you (assisted launches are preferred to self launches).

3. It is best to avoid lofting and involuntary lifting. Keep your kite low and just go.

4. Do not waste any time after launching. Go offshore at least 300 feet or about 100 meters. Maintain this distance until you are ready to come back in. Consider body dragging outside the breaker zone if there are substantial waves in the area where you need to put on your board.

Are there any low flying aircrafts in the area where you are kiteboarding? If so, pay attention to them. Be aware of their presence and be ready to take the appropriate measures when you spot them.

5. Other people in the water have the right of way, so yield it to them. Riders must yield to others when jumping, maneuvering, or riding on port tack (left hand forward). Starboard tack has the right of way!

Do not jump unless there is a buffer zone of at least 200 feet or 60 meters downwind, between you and nearby riders.

Give the right of way to any kiteboarder that is launching.

6. In order to facilitate board recovery, you are well advised to master the technique of body dragging. Using a board leash can prove to be hazardous due to board rebound. If you wear a helmet it will protect your head from board impact (just your head; the board can hit any part of your body).

7. Use hand signals to inform the people on shore that you are okay. Do this especially if you have been kiteboarding for an extended amount of time. The signal goes like this: place one hand on top of your head, palm down, and keep it like this for about 10 seconds. Do this every 15 to 20 minutes. If not, people on shore may think you are in trouble and initiate a rescue procedure.