Stunt Kite Self Launch
by Gary Crenshaw
If you are like most kite fliers you probably spend the majority of your kite flying time by yourself and like myself the beach sands are not always available to me when securing a stunt kite for launch. I live two hundred miles from a beach so I have to make do using other methods for self launch.
I use a small screwdriver to secure the flying bar or straps to the ground while I walk to the kite and prop it up into the takeoff position. Then I remove the screwdriver as I raise the lines up about waist high. The stronger the wind is, the more I lean the kite back to prevent an accidental takeoff before I get back to begin the self launch.
I build my own flying bars and always put an eye-bolt in the center of the bar and that's where I place the screwdriver and it keeps the lines equal length.
The frameless foil stunt kites are different to self launch because you can't prop the kite up after securing the lines to the ground. Instead I cut a length of chain that is the width of the kite and about the size of swing set chain. I lay the chain across the kite near the trailing edge making sure to run the chain under the kite lines.
Then I walk back to the flying bar, lift the screwdriver and give the bar a tug. The leading edge of the kite rises and just slides itself out from under the chain. In other words, the chain does the same thing a couple of hands full of sand would do. After landing I stake off the bar or straps again and just throw the chain across the kite. This secures it until I am ready to self launch again or pack it up.
Front yards, parks and pastures are normally my playgrounds so little tricks and home made procedures come in real handy. I also heard a rumor that goes like this...
TIME SPENT FLYING KITES IS NOT SUBTRACTED FROM YOUR ALLOTTED TIME ON EARTH.
Nice thought anyway!