Self Landing

Re: Self Landing

Postby phatboyle » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:02 pm

Thanks for all the tips on this thread. I'm a beginning kiter who's able to go upwind and working on transitions. I'm using 07 waroos.

The only self landing technique I've used is the one described in the Waroo manual. They have you fly the kite to the edge of the window, then attach your leash to the OSR loop and unhook from the chicken loop. The kite is supposed to flag out. This has been my experience, but there are still some problems because a flagged out kite will go downwind, is likely to sit and spin in the air bouncing on the ground and be very hard to get to. Trying to get to the kite is hard because you have to hold on to the like and hand over hand to the kite. In high winds this can cut your fingers. (I tried this on a wide beach where I wasn't physically at risk, but I found the experience more out of control than I liked).

A waroo doesn't have a 5th line which would provide some other options for depowering.

Is the technique that I used still the "recommended" one for waroos? I like the idea of flying the kite down low in the edge, then dropping it hard and tugging on the turning line to angle it into the wind. However, if it blows downwind you could be in a dangerous situation, and wish you flagged it.

Of course, the best way is to have someone land it, but that's not always an option. There must also be different strategies for light wind vs overpowered winds.

Thanks,
Pat
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Re: Self Landing

Postby Jeffro1 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:15 pm

For most kites with a flagging safety system for it to completely flag out upon releasing your Custom Trim Loop, the control bar must travel at least twice the distance up the lines as the length of the leading edge of the kite. (Or this was the old train of thought). If it doesn't flag completely it can be like pulling hard on one side of the bar and sending it into a death spiral. To minimize the risks to yourself, others and your equipment, its highly recommended to self-land your kite in the water, as the surface tension will help hold it down and it will be fine if it tumbles once you have released your Ck Loop as most flagging kites do, provided the control bar can travel the required distance to give the kite 90% depower. When down on the water climbing up or pulling the kite to you via the leashed or depower line should allow you to secure the kite. You may end up with a mess, but its better than injuring yourself, others, or your equipment. One should always anticipate the possibility of a kite tumbling back in the wind window and approach the situation appropriately with tons of space down wind for this to happen. This is just what you get with a 4-line flagging system, and you should be comfortable and confident with how it reacts if considering a self-landing.

They have you fly the kite to the edge of the window, then attach your leash to the OSR loop and unhook from the chicken loop.

It would be concerning if your leash wasn't attached to the direct depower point/line the whole time you are riding or at least transferring it well before you go into a self-landing attempt. ???
It can be very dangerous to get your fingers in the lines or the ring attachments in an attempt to bring the kite down “self-landing” instead of utilizing your direct depower system (Custom Trim Loop Release/ Ck Loop Release).

It take lots of practice in light winds and a large sandy beach to master a self-landing on the land and get the Kite to sit facing into the wind, but yes you do run the risk of it bouncing/ fading back in the wind window and powering up once again. This is why once you release your Custom Trim Loop (Primary Release), your hands should go right to your Secondary "Ditch or Leash" Release if things go wrong. We typically spend an hour in good winds with students learning this Advanced Skill.

If the winds are too high or they go through the roof, you may be better off assuming a self-rescue response, releasing your Custom Trim Loop in the water near the beach but giving yourself plenty of time to drift in while securing the kite in the water away from hard objects and of course utilizing your secondary release if the kite somehow powers up again.
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Re: Self Landing

Postby Jeffro1 » Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:44 pm

To me a Flagged kite is just what it means, all lines are released except one and the kite can open up like a flag in the wind spilling most of the power in it. Most direct depowering systems connect to only one line and release the rest when deployed, and still never truly depowers the kite fully or 100% as some have claimed (This has been so misleading for many people). A Passive system will often depower the kite even less. It would seem that connecting to the 2 middle lines is a passive depower, while the ultimate direct is on a single or OSR line. When the wind comes up, I would prefer having my leash attached to a direct depower system than a passive one, rather than worrying when to switch over or if I even had time to do so.

I'm not surprised that the recommendation for self-landing then utilizes a more direct depower system rather than being connected to two lines. The rolling and tumbling and twisting of lines is often what you get when the direct depower line is connected to a wingtip as opposed to the middle of the kite like on a 5th line.
Don't get me wrong, you won't always see or hear advice from others who actually land using a direct depower line, and by not it often means the acknowledgement and acceptance of a little more risk for a little less mess. Sometimes however its not worth it. Only experience will help you make this judgment call.

When the wind goes through the roof a relatively ridged frame kite like our inflatables will still produce pull even when on a single direct depower line. The only way to truly take the power out of our kites is to take away its shape by deflating the Leading Edge and is why most LE inflation valves do not have a stopper in them, so you can deflate the kite quickly. A fifth line kite can act the same in strong winds. A kite when inflated is never in a truly "Safe" Configuration, it may be less powered, but if it still has shape it can collect wind and pull. If you are facing this and cannot manage to reach the kite because of the strong wind pull, it may be time to deploy your secondary release and let it go, remembering that if you do so, your life had better be in danger as a loose kite can often put others in danger.
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