Your site is a driveway. It’s long, there are no obstructions except line snagging beans to your left and right. But it’s crosswind. What to do?

This situation has come up in my flying a lot, especially since I deplore taking off over water at beaches. If there’s enough room on the beach, inflate into the wind then turn to launch along the beach. That way, if your trusty thruster coughs unexpectedly, you can simply land straight ahead and dry. But if the beach is narrow, or you’re on a road, the following technique may help.

It relies on the fact that if you lay out perfect in a calm wind but start your run aimed to the right, the wing tends to come up to the right. Likewise, if you takeoff with a left crosswind, the right side of the wing catches air first and flops over to the left. We’ll use those forces to counteract each other.

The example below is a north launch, down an abandoned road, in a light west wind.

Lay out the wing as you would if launching north in no wind — the tips will be over the edges of the road and the wing’s centerline covering the road’s centerline.  The launch is like any other forward  except that instead of running north down the centerline, run a few degrees to the right (east) toward the downwind edge of the road.

A variation of this technique is to lay the wing out as described, When you’re ready to launch take one step to the right just before starting your run 

As the wing comes up it will get blown over to the right AND start to turn into the wind. You may have to turn into the wind (toward the upwind or left side of the road) a little, accelerate then steer back down the road. As you run down the road, accelerating, the wing will be crabbed left and trying to twist you left as it lifts. This is a likely time to fall, be careful! You can counteract this twisted run by accelerating a few more steps then popping up with some brake application.

I wouldn’t recommend trying this unless you’re very consistent at successful launches and even then be willing to take on a greater risk.

Good luck!