Brad - check this posting out from Evan Stolze…
[quote author=“EvanStolze”][quote author=“jamies”]I have heard you can do a foil-style hot-launch with flat kites, putting the kite on it’s back, trailing edge into the wind with sand on it. Walk straight up wind, and pull on the bar to launch.
I have not tried it.
If you’re crazy enough to try it, make sure you have *miles* of buffer.
This does work, but it is dangerous unless the wind very light. Also, I don’t see why a person would launch this way. You can self launch the kite very easily, in light to strong winds.
1) using the traditional C kite method, but do not fold the wingtip - place the sand at the back of the kite just below the last strut - if the wind is light you may have to ” pump ” the kite so the sand shakes loose
2) use the bow/flat technique - lay the lines out behind the kite (downwind), pull them tight, and the walk to one side of the kite - the kite will start to swivel and will open up to the wind - at 90 degrees to the wind, you can launch the kite by pulling on the ” upward ” rear line to flip the kite into position, and then launch as normal
Tips - If you are launching a 12 or 16 One in light wind, you may need to end up almost straight upwind of the kite before you launch it, and you will have to pull on both rear lines to ” work ” the kite into the right launch position - you MUST allow the kite to partially roll onto its back (like a traditional water launch) for this to work, and you will need to move yourself either upwind or downwind as necessary. If you don’t want the kite to slide around a bit, build a small mound of sand to act as a barrier.
I really prefer (2) - much faster than sanding the kite and no digging in muck - plus, when you self land (lower the kite to the ground, sheet the bar out all the way, and the give a quick tug on the upward center line) the kite is already in position to launch again.
Problems - none, if you practice first with lots of space and light wind. Also, make sure you always keep all four lines tight so you don’t end up with knots in your lines or bridle issues.
If you don’t have sand or have limited beach space, put the kite right at the edge of the water, or partially in it. When you tension the lines and walk to the side, the kite will slide into the water - from there, the rest is easy.