Element Tip Tangle on Launch

General Discussions
SwitchGreg
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:24 am

Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:20 am

I did a bit of a search and I see that a few people have mentioned tangling on launch with the Element and the Nitro. The replies never really shed much light on it.

I have had three tip tangles when self launching my Elements in the past year or so. It's a tad annoying because I have self-launched for 17 years and had maybe two tangles in that time. It seems worse with the Elements.

It mostly happens in stronger winds. I rig downwind then walk around to the side to launch. If I apply tension to the lines it holds the canopy open and there is no risk of tangling. Unfortunately with the tension on the lines the kite can slide across the beach to direct downwind where it launches. The launch is fine but I consider it a failure of style and technique to have a sliding kite.

If I keep tension off the lines then the sliding doesn't happen. It looks like the tips flatten on the ground and get tangled in the bridle. The kite comes up in a terminal helicopter of death. In the most recent case I released to the safety and the kite kept helicoptering away on the end of the leash. I manipulated the safety line down onto the ground and eventually parked the kite on some bushes to make it safe. There were 25 rotations in the lines (counted as I untwisted them).

I can't really tell what is tangled. The kite is at the end of the lines and spinning. It's a touch exciting. Naturally nothing is tangled once I get it all under control.

So, does anybody have any constructive tips on how to avoid the tip tangle/spin of death? It seems to me that I need to be a lot more delicate on the line tension as I approach the edge of the window. I can do that, but it seems a bit tricky when using what is basically a flying brick surf kite. My old high performance kites never missed a beat.

Please no suggestions for tethered launches. I might do that if I have to, but it feels such a failure using such a dodgy technique simply because I can't master a basic kite.
Faxie
Posts: 686
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:38 pm

Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:21 am

Only happens sometimes on my EV3 13m when selflauching. I think the bridle gets pulled on the outside of the kite when you selflauch, and with the slight upward angle of the lines, that will make the bridle get caught around the front wingtip corner. Kite always pulls itself free in my case.

I noticed on my old EV3 9m and my HeliumV1 that selflaunching really damages the outside stiching of the bridle connection points over time, so keep an eye on that. (they are just there to secure the patch. it's the inside stitching that secures the bridle connection)
topmick
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:04 am
Location: Australia

Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:08 am

Hi Greg, what model & size is the Element your having some self launching issues with ?
SwitchGreg
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:24 am

Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:06 pm

Element 5 in 5m and 10m and Element 4 7m. ie. all of them.

It's not a problem in that it doesn't happen all the time. It's a nuisance and a curiosity because it never happened on the other kites I have used, particularly in the past 10 years (mostly Switchblades and Crossbows).
topmick
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:04 am
Location: Australia

Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:42 pm

I've had about 20 self launching issues with my 10m E5, just as the kite rotates to launch - a rear/steering line gets wrapped around the very end/tip of the leading edge.
Its a pita but I still love my 10m, I can tell when it's going to happen & just hit the QR & reset.
If you can keep that rear line tight & dont let the kite slide downwind too much while launching - it usually launches fine.

Only happens to me on my 10m, no issues with my 7.
Last edited by topmick on Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bill C
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:37 pm

Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:05 pm

I've self-launched kites at least 5 years and never had an issue launching with a tether. Stand the kite on its wingtip at the edge of the window and walk back to your bar running your hand along the whichever center line is highest. Keeps the kite from bouncing around.

When I land, bring the kite to the edge of the window with the wingtip touching the ground, secure the chicken loop to your tether and walk out to your kite running your hand along whichever center line is highest so the kite doesn't bounce up or roll over.

Unless I know the person launching my kite, I prefer using a tether. Puts me in control and I've had a couple of kitemares with people launching my kite that appeared to be kiteboarders but didn't know what they were doing.
topmick
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:04 am
Location: Australia

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:03 pm

I've never seen anyone using a tether in my 12 years of kiting the east coast of Australia.
I've also never had a self launch issue before the Element 5.
kite*hawk
Posts: 617
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:17 pm
Location: Wilmington NC

Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:02 pm

I have developed a self launch technique that eliminates the front and back lines getting tangled during launch. It is in an old post. Have had zero issues with self launch since. Have seen bad self launches happen with all sorts of models of kites. Will try and find old post.
Bill C
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:37 pm

Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:30 pm

topmick wrote:I've never seen anyone using a tether in my 12 years of kiting the east coast of Australia.
I've also never had a self launch issue before the Element 5.
I spend my time between the US west coast (Oregon) and east coast (North Carolina). I never use a tether when I'm in Oregon because the sand is smooth and free of shells. No problem backline launch or dragging my leading edge a little. However, when I kite at my local North Carolina beach (Emerald Isle), it is a minefield of broken shells. Eventually, your leading edge gets cut along with part of your canopy. That's why I use a tether.
Hansen Aerosports
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:13 pm

Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:33 pm

Hello Topmick:
Your rear line is probably catching on the wingtip line deflector where it is sewn to the LE closing seam. This detail was changed to alleviate this at the beginning of 2017 but I cannot say when or on which production kites it was instituted. When launching, self or assisted, you should be able to see if both rear lines are running directly to the their respective wingtip end attachment webbing.
Cheers!
- Bill
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