Depending on the direction of the wind and some other circumstances, sometimes, to launch the kite from a boat is the only solution. Let’s see some more about it.
Sometimes, wind direction on our kitespot is offshore. Everybody should be aware that kitesurfing in offshore or side offshore conditions it is not recommended. Offshore winds are, besides generally gusty and unpredictable, leading us towards the outside with little or no chance at all to return to shore.
Perhaps it is the case that, even being the wind we receive from offshore direction, not far, not too far, at least, we may derive towards other shore, meaning in this case that we will be drifted to a shore that is receiving an onshore wind direction.
Is it acceptable then to kitesurf there? We may consider first several facts:
1.- Offshore winds are always gusty, which means sometimes are strong and sometimes drop to almost nothing.
2.- Offshore winds will make us unavoidably derive towards downwind.
3.- Offshore winds may stop blowing at any moment, in which case we would be drifted and windless.
4.- Offshore winds most probably will be affected by wind shadows from trees, buildings, hills, etc
What is offshore where we start our kite session may be onshore far forward from our starting point but that doesn’t mean all is going to be ok and we will make it until there. Firstly for the just mentioned reason above this point and secondly because we don’t know how it is going to be on the beach where we are meant to arrive.
A.- all is fine and somebody will help us to land our kite.
B.- perhaps that beach is a crowded beach and there’s a real risk to hurt others when landing our kite
C.- there may be rocks, boats or other obstacles that may complicate us to arrive there
D.- perhaps there’s not even a beach of a space where we may be able to land our kite
E.- maybe the wind will increase during our downwind ride and we may arrive to our beach overpowered
F.- we may get drifted into other direction and not arrive to our awaited beach but other area where land our kite is not possible
As you can see, there are several reasons why not to kitesurf in offshore or side offshore wind conditions.
However, if we have a boat, whether a yacht or a dinghy, which could help us in case of trouble, this would make our possibilities to succeed enhanced.
Which are then, the requisites to proceed to a boat launch with all guarantees to succeed?
1.- we should have our bar, lines kite connection probed on land, then we should roll our lines in the bar in a way that avoid getting mistaken.
2.- depending of our type of kite we should have rehearsed which will be the method of inflating the kite and launch it from the water or even from the boat.
3.- if our kite is a tube kite, our main problem will be how to pump it from the boat. If a dinghy, just expect real misery into doing it. If from a yacht it shouldn’t be much of a problem, depending of the deck size, of course.
4.- next point is how to launch. Our suggestion is, the kiter jumps off the boat, preferably by its leeward side and unroll the kite lines. Once far enough from the boat,the assistant should place the kite in the water and let it drift downwind where the kiter will proceed to do a classic water relaunch.
5.- in case of a kite foil, the kiter should jump into the water on the windward side and while unrolling the lines wait until the boat has drifted downwind, in that case the assistant should start opening the kite from the center toward the kite tips, just enough to allow the wind to start getting into the kite on the center area and as the foil is getting filled, just let the kiter to launch the kite himself.
This next vid, an old one in which Armin shows how somebody can launch a foil kite just out of … nothing