If you’re the only one at the beach, knowing how to drift launch a kite is a good skill to have. Kite anchors are another way to launch on your own but do not always work and require another set of skills (we’ll talk about that in another post). This method is good if you’re in shallow water or have wind that blows side shore, side offshore, offshore or side onshore if you’re good at this.
Setting Up For A Drift Launch
Set your kite up on the beach like you normally would. Depending on how much space you have, you can either wrap your bar up or leave it when walking the kite in the water. If the beach is crowded, we recommend wrapping your lines up. If the beach is empty, it is less necessary to wrap your lines up. Either way, the key point is to make sure your lines do not tangle.
Walking The Lines In The Water
Here’s what to do if you wrapped your lines on the beach. Give yourself some slack, about 10 feet of extra line. This is for when you hold the bar and hold the kite. At this stage you want to make sure the bar doesn’t rotate or flip. While holding the bar, walk the kite into the water. Clip your safety leash to the pump leash loop on the kite. Walk away from the beach and begin letting the lines out in the water. Make sure to walk into the wind so the lines do not tangle with you.
Drift Launch The Kite In The Water
The Key Point on how to drift launch a kite is to make sure the kite moves away from the beach. For example, if the beach is on your right if you’re facing downwind, you want the kite to move to the left. To do this, put the right side of the leading edge underwater to get some water on the right side of the kite. This will do two things. One, the kite will push to the left. Two, the water will hold the kite to the water, which is important in windy conditions.
Once the kite goes out, you’ll perform a normal water relaunch. See our post on water relaunches for easy and safe water relaunches.
If Something Goes Wrong
One thing that may go wrong is lines may tangle. If the lines tangle or are spun, maybe a simple bar spin will untwist the lines. For other more severe situations, push away your quick release. When in doubt, punch it out. Some situations are difficult to get out if. If you’re close to the beach then you may not have much time to react. You want to engage your safety system before something bad happens.
Want to be 100% confident with Drift Launches?
Schedule a one hour lesson with us to go over how to drift launch and how to self land a kite.