Alameda launch guidelines -- hooked or unhooked?

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Alameda launch guidelines -- hooked or unhooked?

Postby jjm » Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:34 pm

The 3rd ave guidelines suggest launching unhooked, but did not see anything mentioned for Alameda? I know everyone has their own opinions on the subject, but is there a suggested method at Alameda?

I'll make sure to ask during my lesson, but during the land lesson we launched hooked in (recon2 system, no kite leash if not hooked in). I'll be using the standard Naish bar w/ the safety leash attached to the front lines...

Am I remembering correctly that the normal launch direction is backwards and to have the kite facing away from the water?
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Postby dewey » Mon Apr 04, 2005 10:24 pm

Please don't start this so early this year. Wait till it starts blowing at Sherman so I could get out of Dodge before the debate starts. Every year some newbie asks the question then everyone gets their panties in a bunch tring to prove their way is the safest. If your more comfortable launching unhooked do it that way, if you like to launch hooked in do it. Try not to get everyone started on what's right. It'll turn in to a big pissing contest. You'll see how people are launching, just follow suit. Know who the locals are and talk to them on the beach, away from public forums.
Trust me if you kite Alameda much you know what I mean. Beach politcs suck!!!
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Postby Big Al » Mon Apr 04, 2005 10:40 pm

I dont' think the guidelines say anything about launching hooked or unhooked at Alameda. If they do, they probably need to be updated as safety systems have evolved over the last two years.

But this really depends on what type of safety system you have. A lot of the newer bars, don't have a kite leash that will deploy if you let go of the bar while being unhooked (runaway kite).

Having said that, I think just about everyone launches hooked. A few things you should keep in mind when launching anywhere.

1. Know your limits. If you think it's too windy, then don't launch. Live to kite another day.

2. Make sure your helper is someone who knows what they are doing and is going to be patient with you. Believe it or not, there are guys who are in such a hurry, they will let go of your kite before you are ready. Also be courteous to your launcher, make sure your are totally ready to go when you ask them for a launch.

3. If I don't know the person launching my kite, I always let them know that I will give them a thumbs up when I want them to let go of my kite. Shouting from 100 feet away on a windy day usually doesn't cut it and could lead to a premature launch and an accident.

4. When in doubt, have one hand on the bar and the other on the release , just in case something goes wrong, your finger is on the trigger and you can deploy your safety.

5. In a place like 3rd ave where there are rocks everywhere, have someone hold you down and walk you to the water.

I'm sure your instructor will give you more pointers, but this is where most accidents happen so you should always use extreme caution when launching and landing. Good luck and have fun!
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Postby jjm » Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:45 pm

Sorry, I didn't know it would cause a pissing contest, that was not my intention. I was following a thread on this on kiteforum and wanted to know if there was more localized acceptance on this. Apparently not. I will make sure not to ask this on the beach unless it is a private conversation.

Thanks guys.
- Josh
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Postby Guest » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:33 am

Pissing contents? This forum is much more frienfly than others. Maybe because we get to see each others faces once in a while. In other forums things can get heated quickly indeed.
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Postby OliverG » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:14 am

jjm wrote:Sorry, I didn't know it would cause a pissing contest, that was not my intention. I was following a thread on this on kiteforum and wanted to know if there was more localized acceptance on this. Apparently not. I will make sure not to ask this on the beach unless it is a private conversation.

Thanks guys.
- Josh


Josh,

No worries, Dewey is just reminiscing about a debate about it from last year. In normal conditions, Alameda is a backward launch with kiter near waters edge, with back to water. Launching is done hooked in.

The reason being that the risk of any interaction with the public is minimized. Conventional wisdom used to dictate that one would launch unhooked at any launch, but I've never done this and current, and even a year or two old safety systems, allow launching hooked in as you can pull your safety is anything goes wrong. As always, one needs to be very alert and on top of it to be able to act quickly in case of need. You are the pilot and in control, so just launch slow, nice and easy and be ready with your safety.
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Postby dewey » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:03 pm

Just use common sense. 2 years it got to the point where people were deflating other people kite on the beach for not following the rules. It's not bad to ask questions. It's just that around the time summer kicks we'll have seen more than enough accidents at Alameda. That's everyone starts worring about access being lost, and start tring to enforce their own rules. I got cought up in it my first year at Alameda because I was assisting the instructer at the time. Ollie mentioned the debate last year. Last year when it started I went to Sherman to avoid it. The guildlines are good. Their there for everyones safety. Some times seasoned kiters choose to ignore them and it creates drama. Ask lots of questions and take advise from the locals. Ollie's site has alot of good info. I didn't mean to sound harsh. I love all the new guys getting into the sport. Alameda is the perfect place to learn. That's why there are so many accidents there. Accidents are part of learning. I justed cringed when I saw your post. Hope to see you all riding upwind by the end of the season!!!!
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Postby Guest » Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:42 pm

my experience has been that even if you try to launch unhooked the guy who is launching will think there is something wrong and wait for you to hook in. that's happened 5/5 times now.
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Postby OliverG » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:28 pm

Anonymous wrote:my experience has been that even if you try to launch unhooked the guy who is launching will think there is something wrong and wait for you to hook in. that's happened 5/5 times now.


True, I never launch anyone who isn't hooked in unless they explicitly tell me they intend to launch unhooked, which rarely happens anyway. It used to be that launching unhooked was riskier as safety systems were non-existent or unreliable. Launching hooked in actually provides more control and safety as you have the ability to sheet out and depower quickly and you have your entire body weight working in your favor as opposed to relying on your arm strength alone. All this taking into account a smooth, controlled launch and not someone flinging a flapping kite into to the air at the wrong angle in relation to the wind, which I've seen at Alameda before also.

Be safe!
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Postby dewey » Tue Apr 05, 2005 7:42 pm

I noticed that people not launching at the correct angle was pretty common on Sunday. We all need to remember the basics. If the wind direction changes you need to adjust your launch. I was surprised at the people who couldn't figure out why their kites were not filling with air.
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