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When I pick up a kite to launch I always walk it towards the correct position to assist the kiter. Then I stop moving and let him fine tune the angle and give the thumbs up. I don't want to stand there upwind with the kite flapping around and trying to pull out of my hands when I could just walk a few feet downwind. So while I basically agree that the kiter does the moving, I see no reason why the launcher can't help a little bit. Especially on a crowded weekend when it can be hard not to sweep the lines across a kite or two.
The things I am more concerned about during launch are people who throw the kite, let go before the thumbs up, or don't lift the kite completely off the ground. I've had every one of those things happen several times.
Plus sometimes there is just stuff in the way and the only way to get lined up right is for the launcher to move some. It all works fine if everybody knows what they are doing. Maybe the thing should be if you don't know how to launch, don't do it. What's with all the bureaucrats around here lately anyway?
The described use of the cove for launching and landing by OP seems to be opposite of accepted wisdom and majority of use.
There's an earlier thread on this forum from some years ago about launching landing etiquette at third. I suggest reading the comments there.
In general though the accepted use pattern seems to be outgoing kiter uses upwind (north) part of the cove with kite high. Incoming kiter uses lower (south) part of the cove with kite low.
I can see why switching this could be useful so as to allow the launching kiter the ability to keep their kite a bit lower so as to protect against gusts.
OTOH expecting that the majority of the kiters at the third upper launch can actually hit the upper part of the cove the majority of the time - well I think you're butting up against a natural limit there. Also keeping your kite low tends to pull somewhat downwind - which is rocks and rebar only feet away. That is not a good policy for safe launching.
Thinking of the horror in the mind of a newbie kiter overpowered who has to choose between tangling an overhead kite or hitting concrete it seems to me this is a pretty bad idea.
if you allow the outgoing kiter go out of the North end of the cove, then they need to body drag away from the cove by some 50ft+ before they put their board on otherwise you are restricting the cove to one person at a time. So why not just have them boidy drag out of the cove from the south end therefore making it possible for incoming kiters to land from the North end?
do you want to be leeward of someone that is putting on their board and diving their kite to water start? Also, bodying dragging out of the cove before water starting totally take the downwind rock out of play while at the same time creates a buffer between the outgoing kiter and those behind as the kite is lower in the sky and closer to the side/side on wind window
Body dragging out at ANY spot will only help the flow, give you a buffer zone
And add to general safety of everyone
That used to be thought back in the day....it puts your kite more out of the way
So the next kite can luanch....
I like what steve said
Kind of old schOOl...
The idea of standardizing hand signals makes sense to me, but organizations like the IKO and PASA who certify instructors should take the lead in this. The thumbs up is fairly universal but I agree not ideal... I use a left-handed baseball pitch to signal the launcher to throw my kite.
Seriously, though, Thor29 gets it.
THAT ^. Steve speaks words of wisdom. I always body drag out from upper launch. On a busy day it's like freaking SFO traffic, people are literally lined up to enter the water and you don't wanna be the one tying to get your board on and dive your kite to hold everybody else. You should clear the cove in less than 30 sec so next person can enter the water. As you know the mud is slippery, once you entered the water you'd better get going and if next person is entering the water, you don't want to hold them back, can't really control the sliding that well once you're in the mud.
The position of kite should be the primary responsibility of the kiter and pretty close to where it is gonna be launched....small adjustments by launcher ok.
I've had it in past where the kiters kite is stacked with a bunch of kites and expected me to get it all sorted and walk the maze to get it free of other kites. No thanks.
Kiter moves to get the best angle and has kite ready and in close to ideal position.
Benicia Kite and Paddle Sports
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Benicia, CA 94510
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