HOW TO SELF-LAUNCH A KITE USING THE SOLO STRAP
To maximise the safety of you & others on the beach it is important to follow a simple process when using your solo strap as an anchor point to assist you when self-launching a kite. The first step is to consider the prevailing conditions and if they are appropriate to using a self-launching device. Wind that is moving about in all directions would not be considered an appropriate condition in which to use a strap. A stable wind direction, even with small 5-6 knot gusts is typically OK however always depower your lines in winds above 15 knots. Also check the area downwind of your launching area. This needs to be clear of objects and people ideally for double the length of your lines. You would not want to have your kite land on someone accidentally. And always check you have a solid anchor point that matches the prevailing wind conditions. Kites in the air can be very powerful so care must be taken when selecting your anchor point. If in doubt, don’t.
Step 1 – Anchor the Solo Strap
ONLY ATTACH TO A SECURE ANCHOR POINT
Find a suitable anchor point that is robust and stable to secure your kite Solo Strap. Ensure the area directly downwind of you is free of objects and people. We suggest at least double the length of your kite lines. Loop the strap around the anchor leaving the carabiner free to attach to the chicken loop. Then check that your chicken loop is fastened securely before moving to Step 2.
Step 2 – Depower your kite lines & connect to the carabiner
MAKE SURE YOUR CARABINER IS SECURELY FASTENED IN ITS LOCKED POSITION
In stronger winds always check your lines are in a depowered position before connecting the carabiner to the chicken loop. This will help maximize the bungees absorption potential against the pull of the kite. Importantly this also minimizes the pull-tension on the object you are using as the beach anchor point. Attach the carabiner to your chicken loop. If you have the ‘Only One’ version of the strap you can also attach the ‘Leia Leash’ to the safety ring on your kite lines.
Step 3 – Position the kite at the edge of the wind window.
IMAGINE THE BEACH ANCHOR IS NOW YOUR KITE BUDDY ON THE BEACH
Before proceeding always check your lines are correctly connected to the kite, with no crossed lines, and that they are free of any beach debris. Then walk your kite to the edge of the wind window & place it on its side into a launch position. Without letting go of the kite adjust its’ position up/downwind to ensure it is at the most stable, edge of the window position (as if you had just landed it).
Step 4 – Release the kite but remain on the upwind side next to it for a short while to check it remains stable, safe & secure position (see our video).
YOUR KITE MIGHT RISE AND FALL A LITTLE OFF THE BEACH IF THE WIND IS VARIABLE
It’s common to see the kite take off a few feet from the beach and then relax back onto the sand in conditions that have variable wind direction or frequent gusts. Remaining upwind of the kite means you are safe against it suddenly shifting position downwind. It also positions you to be able to tap on a steering line and send it back onto the beach if required.
Step 5 – Walk back to the anchor point & attach your safety leash to the kite lines.
DO NOT DISCONNECT THE SOLO STRAP FROM THE CHICKEN LOOP UNTIL BOTH YOUR SAFETY LEASH & CHICKEN LOOP ARE ATTACHED TO YOUR HARNESS
Step to one side of your anchor point, find the safety leash on your harness and connect it to the safety ring of your kite lines. This ensures your kite is safely tethered to your harness in the event of any prerelease of the kite.
Step 6 – Once the safety is connected you can lift up your chicken loop and attach that to your harness
KEEP AN EYE ON THE KITE DURING THE PROCESS AS WELL AS OTHERS ON THE BEACH, ESPECIALLY BUGGIES!
Remember that it is important to keep the solo straps carabiner connected to the chicken loop until your harness is fully connected to the kite.
Step 7 – You are now ready to disconnect from the Solo Strap carabiner
TAKE A SMALL STEP BACK TOWARDS YOUR ANCHOR POINT TO REDUCE TENSION ON THE STRAPS BUNGEE
Once the tension is out of the bungee you are ready to disconnect the carabiner from your chicken loop and launch your kite. That’s it! Now hit the water and get shredding. Have an awesome session. Oh and don’t forget you can take the strap with you as an extra safety tool on the water. Just clip it around your waist.