Issue 8: Best of Rec.Kites (BORK)

The BORK is Alive! I’m very sorry about missing last the last issue. I had an unexpected job change and my evil ex-employer held all of my email including the BORK hostage. It took a while, but I was able to get the material that would have been published in the Jan issue. I think you’ll really like our efforts. We had some dropouts on the staff.

Once again I’m indebted to the faithful BORK staff:
Rod Thrall
Steve Rezac
Tanya Adams
Alice Hayden
Todd Little
Mike Claassen
Craig Rodgerson
Peter C. Hugger Editor

This page is a summary of postings on the rec.kites Usenet usegroup that our editors believe to be interesting and useful. Opinions expressed in these postings are not those of KiteLife Magazine or its staff.

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Flying Style Origins
Just thought I’d throw this out for consideration…
Lately, due to the lack of significant flying opportunities, I’ve been thinking alot about dualline flying and individual styles of flight. I’ve discussed it with several of my friends who fly, and we’ve come to an interesting point in our discussions. Here’s the big question to be thought about:
How much is anyones individual flying style influenced by the kite that they fly, or is the kite that they choose to fly determined by their flying style?
Here’s my 2 cents worth:
Bearing in mind that very few people, If any, come to kiting with a strong idea of what their individual flying style should be, so that the developement of a characteristic style, I think, happens slowly over a period of time. Because you have to fly a kite to develop a style, that kites tendencies become part of your “kiting lexicon” so to speak. Does this affect what kind of kiter you’re going to be?

After a certain period of time, varying with the individual, the basics of controlling a kite are mastered, and at this point this is where individual begins to explore “style.” It is also at this point that most folks begin to explore other kites.

This is another question for consideration:
At this point do most people, either consciously or subconsiously, begin looking for the kite that lets them express their individual style, or do people stick with the kite that they like visually, or because it’s what those around them fly and recommend?

If you can’t tell, I’m at this point myself. Wondering where my own “style” (if any) has materialized from. As I got deeper and deeper into the sport, I was mainly concerned with developing my technical skill, not my personal style. After a point, I realized that I had very distinct likes and dislikes, and this sort of shocked me, leading to the begining of this discussion. I wonder what kind of flyer I would be if I hadn’t found “my kite,” but flew something else. Would it be the same? Does style transend equipement, or is it controlled by equipement? If so, to what extent?

I realize that I should probably get out more, but I can’t help thinking about this stuff!! ;->>
Please share any insights you might have.


Hey Matt,
A bit of both IMO. What kite I fly depends on what I feel like doing at the time. My style is not necessarily a set thing. Some kites do certain things better than others and depending on what I feel like doing determines what I fly. This all changes with time too. I used to hate
precision, I thought squares were for people who were. Now that I have been competing though I have come to appreciate precision flying, and have incorporated it into my trick flying. It totally changed my style of trick flying. It also changes what kites I fly, since I want something that will do both precision and tricks fairly well.

Visually appealing is good, if I can I like to make sure I get the colors I want, but how the kite flies and what I can do with it, even if is ugly, really determines what I will fly. On the other hand my wife will only fly a kite that is visually appealing to her (but she is also not a serious flyer). Now as far as what “those around me fly and recommend” didn’t used to be a factor because I fly in a lot of places where there aren’t a lot of other flyers. Now that I have gone to a lot of festivals though I do get influenced by what others are flying, but typically only if the kite
“fits my style”.

What you do definitely is influenced by what kite you fly, especially if you find “the kite” and spend most of your time on it. This can change though as you try out different kites and explore different possibilities. Even if you go back to “the kite” how you fly it will be different because of what you have learned on other kites. At least I have found this to be so.

And now I have wasted a half hour responding to you. Thanks Matt! :^) Now my head hurts…
See ya,
Bill Rogers


I would agree that the type of kite you start out with can definitely influence your style. When I first started flying (late-80’s), stability and straight tracking were everything. Most stuntkites then were designed for qualities like wobble-free passes, square cuts, and as little oversteer as possible (i.e. Hawaiian Team). I find that affected what I subconsciously “like” in the feel of a kite…I don’t really enjoy, as much, flying kites that require my total concentration every second the kite is in the air (i.e. Stranger Level 7) because that’s not the sort of kite I cut my teeth on.
Having said that, the cool thing about most of today s kites is you can typically tune ’em for whatever type of performance you want and that could keep you from becoming tethered to any one particular style which, to me, would certainly seem best.


ooooo Very interesting idea. I think people that fly 1 kite all the time tend to get somewhat into a pattern of flying because there are just certain things a kite will do very well or maybe not so well. I cant really say, as I dont fly just one kite. I tend to fly several kites depending on mood, wind conditions, and stuff the kite can do. I do find myself flying differently with different kites so I think the kite has alot of influence on how you fly. For example an Illusion can do just about everything, but, you cant fly it like a trick kite. You can trick it, but it doesnt react the same. If you never were to have flow a “trick” kite like a matchbox or alien, or whatever, you probably would not be into fast flic flac/yo-yo, slammed fast tricks, because the Illy doesnt fly that way. At the same time, people that fly the fast tricky kites, often dont get into timing tricks and linking them in different ways that some times require you to stop a trick before its done because it’s in the right position to setup for something else. So I do think the kites you fly have and effect on your style, because of the elements that they add to the flight, like speed, turn speeds, timing of events, stabs, ground stuff etc. But all this aside, personality I think has a large deal in affecting your style. Some folks have a propensity for doing alot of things in a short time, while some are disposed to doing things slow and gracefully. I think in the end, it’s personality that wins, because flight links to something subconscious. That zen-ish kinda feeling that makes kiting so rewarding. That part kinda goes beyond ability and affects fliers of all skill ranges regardless of their kite. When I buy I kite I look at 2 things, what conditions will it make me happy in, and what kinda things can it do that will make me happy. I dont think there is 1 ultimate kite or that there ever will be, just because there are different aspects of a kite that make it good for a situation. It’s kinda like asking a golfer to play 18 holes with only one club. There are different kites for different feels/situations and really that’s ok because you cant compromise and make everyone completely happy. I’ll stop rambling now.
Peace and Good Winds.


After mastering the basics I went through a buy/try lots of kites period. In hindsight I don’t think I was looking for particular kites I enjoyed, rather subconsciously finding out which flying styles and techniques appealed to me.

Now I have certain ways I like to fly and tend to seek out kites which do what I want rather than buy a kite and let it influence the way I fly. So I guess for me the latter now applies.
The Level 7, however is a recent exception to that generalization. Things I have learned on the L7 have definitely found their way into my ‘conventional’ flying.

I’ve only once bought a kite based on it’s looks, I was lucky, and am still very happy with it. That was my 2nd sport kite, now days I wouldn’t ever buy on looks alone.

If people recommend kites they usually have one which you can try so you find out if it fits your style anyway.

I think the obsession with technical skill comes to most of us at some point. After a while I stopped thinking about particular tricks or figures, because they’re all made up of smaller common components, as I learned more moves I had more components in the bag and life got easier.

I think I would still fly much the same, my flying often reflects my other tastes: a trivial e.g. I like kites where I can hold the kite back, accelerate sharply, stop dead etc. Similarly I like music which builds tension, stops, changes tempo etc.

Ian Newham


People seem to dwelling on the kite to style/ style to kite relationship. I think the geographical location one learns to fly in is more of a primary influence. This will also dictate what “localized” favorable kite designs are available to watch, borrow, and buy. Then the influence of your peers, and availability of talented help is also a factor.

Being a recent Northwest transplant to the Northeast I can see a real difference in styles between me and the flyers that learned here. I learned to fly in Seattle. Light winds, limited availability to large flying areas, long drive to the ocean and Prism.

Now I fly at Nahant Beach, north of Boston. It is 2.5 miles of beach located on a causeway with 0 obstructions so the wind is great from any direction. The beach is flat and hardpacked with lots of room to spread out. There is a well established club, Kites Over New England, many
organized events within driving distance, and lots of competitors. The differences in style are very obvious, especially to the newer kiters that compare me to other local flyers.

Here they are “longer the better” line flyers, I like short lines (but have adapted 🙂
Here they tend to learn precision first, I learned to stunt first.

I tend to move quite a bit when I fly, most of these guys sit on there butts when they fly. Technically they are sitting in buggies. Which probably came from the fact that sometimes you see more 4 line kites than two liners.

If I didn’t move from one side of the country to the other I would never had noticed this.
Can anyone guess what kind of kites I fly 🙂


Kites on Airplanes

Hi all,
I’m going on a short vacation to California (woo-hoo!), I want to take 4 or 5 kites. Any fellow travellers have tips on taking kites on planes? I’ll break them all down, can they go in the overhead compartment?


havent flown commercial with my kites since i took my spinoffs to hawaii in 89, howeve then i “short packed” them (leading edge rods seperated) and carried them on. no problems except the funny looks from the x ray guy.  oh ya, the support equipment got me in more trouble than the kite. at the time i was using an 24 inch snap-on screwdriver a stake. they made me check that.

now i think id make a 4″ pvc pipe “kite tube”, stuff for or five in and check them. this kept my gear safe from USCG loadmasters. probably ok then for commercial load squashers.
’till next time,


California~ I’m jealous!
In most cases you can not check them overhead. If your lucky there may be room in the back of the airplane in a locker they keep for fishing poles, and such. That may be full. Then your back to checking in. Your best bet is to call the airlines you will be taking and ask. Some Airlines also have a “fragile cargo” check in. Here, the ticket seller personally walks back and checks them in. They are starting to install carry-on check thru’s that your bag must fit thru to catch oversized baggage cheaters and cut down on delays from people having to go back and check baggage in. (This was a big problem when we went to Berkeley) So be prepared.
Have fun!!
Best Breezes,


Hi Steve,
Yes they can go in the overhead. Get yourself something similar to the MLD 40 inch bag. That is what I use to carry on my kites. Works great and fits easily. Have a great trip.
Keep Looking Up!
Mike Reagan


Hey Steve!
Check the International Section of my page for a complete kite travel FAQ. We have a bunch of info on baggage and safely packing kites.
Have fun!


My kites have accompanied me on several trips by air. I have put them into coat racks on large and small aircraft and conformed them into nooks and crannies by the seats.

Technically kites are odd sized luggage and are not easily accommodated in the passenger compartment as carry on, and they are not easily transported with standard luggage. The airlines do not usually carry packages this size and shape and therefore they do not have accommodations for them. For the kite enthusiast traveling with his hobby equipment it presents some unusual transport difficulties and risk.

If you check the size for carry on luggage you are limited to the size of a crew members flight case (about 22″X10″X12″). Most kites will not fit into this profile unless broken, except for the collapsible parafoil!  If you are noticed with that package by the gate agent you will most likely
be asked to do something with that odd luggage! Here are some of the planes and methods I have used.

My kites fit onto the new small fan-jet commuters. A very small plane as jets go ( Like a large Lear jet ). I cannot stand up in the cabin however, I was able to slide the kites along side of the windows on the “two” seat row side (Right side) by flexing the kite spars and making them fit along the side of the fuselage running the length of the windows. I was not sitting on that side of the plane. The passenger in front and to the rear of that row sacrificed a few inches of their comfort without complaining. The package caused some concern but most were happy to hear about the kites and latter ignored it during flight.

On larger planes like Super 80s MD11s, and DC-10s I was able to put the kites into the overhead baggage compartments if I got on the plane first.  The kite can be slid into the overhead and placed along the outer wall before other passengers place their items in. If you disembark in a connecting location you may have some trouble to remove your kites unless the other passengers have previously removed their luggage first. Plan your routes, transfer points, flying times for “off peak” and try to get an idea of equipment in service.

Some of the aircraft overhead cabin configurations have the “Short Box” for each seat row and there is no way to get a kite into one, even broken completely down. There is no way of knowing until you actually board the plane. Sometimes If you cannot get your kites into the first class coat bin slightly bent, you can be in trouble.

When I have traveled for work and taken my usual things, (Laptop-PC,  Briefcase, Jacket, Standard Luggage), and my kites stretched the limits of allowable items even with standard luggage checked I have managed to keep my kites with me as carry on.

Professionally dressed courteous people are more easily accepted and assembled into the travel sector as compared too “surfer dude” attired people and are generally given more courtesy (their luggage too!).

Travel reasonably well dressed. Color coordinate your kite bag with your travel wardrobe. Those bright colored kite bags attract attention. If yours blends in with your clothes you may hardly be noticed with extra or large luggage.

Carry your kites vertically and close to your body not thrashing your fellow passengers and drawing attention to yourself with the large package sticking out horizontally. This also helps to keep them from being noticed as odd sized luggage. If you are tall as I am, you have another advantage by masking the package with your body size. If you are vertically challenged your kite package will stand out as big.  Hint….travel with a well dressed tall friend!

Take advantage of early gate assembly and especially early boarding!. This gives you an opportunity of selecting the best storage available on the plane and you can turn your kites without thrashing others or drawing too much attention to the package. Long kites have little turning room on planes and less when there are other passengers.

Put the winders and lines into your regular and checked luggage so your kite package is as slim and moldable as possible. This also keeps those bulges from hanging the kites on seats and cabin seams when you try to slide them between some of the spaces you wish them to fit unnoticed into.

Special spars (wiskers), tips and other small tubes should be bagged inside the main bag with a separate fold over topped bag and tied. This will help to prevent loss of those special pieces. as your main bag may be turned in any direction to load it into a plane.

Of course take a spare parts kit of spars and lines so you will not have to spend your precious flying time looking for new or non existent kite stores in unfamiliar cities and towns.

Be familiar with your kite construction before you travel. I later found that my kite has a removable joint that would make it about half the size that I am accustomed to carrying about. In an extreme situation I could make the kite easier to transport or thwart giving it up to a ground crew if needed by dismantling it, but handling this joint is more trouble than the convenience of small size. This joint is also most likely to break when the kite is flexed in transit so knowing about it affords me the knowledge of how to safely handle it and transport my kite in working order.

The spare parts for this joint are easily transported and are part of my permanent traveling spare parts. Interestingly enough the kite manufacturer also ships the instrument in large form and not with the joint disassembled for compact size.

I have put my kites into the first class coat cabin vertically by allowing the kites to be flexed, conforming to the outer wall. They take up very little space in this compartment stored vertically. With a little practice you can insert them while continuously walking without even stopping at the coat compartment. This greatly decreases the likelihood of causing conflict with the cabin crew as you are not noticed. My kites safely traveled for several hours “BENT” in the back of the compartment , but instantly returned to original shape at the destination.

I told the crew that they were flexible like fishing poles and demonstrated it when “I” loaded the kites into the coat compartments. I have even stuffed them into the short coat racks too.

The cabin crew are not willing to bend your kites for you this way and they probably should not be allowed to, but they also are not too likely to want you to put them into the coat compartment when they look like they wont fit.

Also consider the possibility to “Hang” the kite package. On some 747s, 757 and other large craft there is ample room for hanging luggage. The crew is strong on enforcing the hanging baggage only rule in this compartment. This usually means coat and garment bags only but I have transported glassed and framed wall art in this way. When questioned about where did I think I was going to put that item because it needed to be checked as special luggage I said in the coat rack. When they responded that it was for hanging items only I hung my picture ( previously prepared for this style hanging) the crew just shut up and went to do something else. I had satisfied their rule !

On one of the commuter flights the crew was kind enough to get me special handling, taking the kites at the steps to the plane upon boarding and returning them first to me when I disembarked the aircraft. This level of special treatment is not always to be expected and in fact is most UN-usual!

The kites will fit reasonably well on the floor close to the outer wall on most planes and will be out of the way of most but will protrude to the space in front and to the rear. This can be tried only If you are not on an emergency exit and don’t worry about the person in front and to the rear sometimes poking or stepping on your kites.

Your kites can fit vertically on the last row in coach of the 727 and 737 or perhaps with a slight bend keeping them in place if the packaging is thin, because the seats in these rows do not recline. Seldom will you ever be able to put anything behind the last row in first class, even
when seated there. and in no case can you ever put anything in front of or across a seat. Crossing a row is out too!

Upper deck 747 should be no problem as there is room beside the seats (Business and First class spacious cabins!).

Alternatives are to place the kites the same as if on the floor  (horizontal) but along the armrest of the window or outer side wall.  Passengers to the front and rear of you will be sacrificing their arm rest. You can buy some space for a extremely long package by letting one end of
the kite go to the floor and the trailing edge extend up to the ceiling when slightly bent along the window side of a plane. You may have to explain that the kite does not prohibit exit to the aisle of the aircraft.  You should be traveling with a fellow group of kite fliers to do this successfully.

I have thought that they should travel in the center tube taken from a roll  of carpet or in a 6’x6″ PVC capped pipe quite safely as regular luggage.  this package size is similar to snow skis! If you have been in the baggage area of the new Denver airport, You know they are equipped to handle that type of package, complete with special carrousels for loading and unloading skis!

I have only given possession of the kites to a flight crew once, and had great luck that time, but kites are not a standard size package and I fully expect to have difficulties in the future. I have not had to give them up to a ground crew yet. When this day comes I imagine this day will be quite different!

I expect I will be doing the PVC and carpet tube style luggage one day. At that time I will hope for the best in ticket pricing for special luggage and package safety.

A conciencious crew member from one flight came to me with one of the rubber tipped fiber glass wiskers for my sport kite, stating “This must belong to your kite!”. I was lucky enough to have spoken with her before boarding in the lounge about my strange thin flexible package and the hobby that went with it. I never showed her the contents but she figured out that this was a high tech piece of material and it must belong to me. I UN knowingly lost it when passing through the cabin of the aircraft. I was very grateful for both her thoughtfulness and reasoning. I was able to have my kite, complete and flyable. I could only figure I would find that part was missing at the instant I was furthest from getting a replacement (on the flying field) if she had not been so observant.

The cabin crews have been more than friendly with me and my kites but there is always going to be that day when I will dread turning them over at the ticket counter and paying for excess baggage. Remember your kites are not likely to be placed comfortably in a plane so plan for the worst and expect the best. Hope this helps !
David Bacon


I don’t fly often, but I’ve had good luck checking my kites through (I know – risky). On one occasion, when I couldn’t get them to understand, I told the airline folks it was a ski bag – the lights went on in their heads and everything went smoothly – They even brought it out to me at the baggage claim!

A few years ago, David Bui showed me a neat trick to help my big MLD bag survive the baggage handlers. Go to your local plastics wholesaler and buy a sheet (4’x8′) of 60 mil high-density polyethylene (HDPE). It’s like the stuff milk bottles are made of, only tougher. (If anyone cares, its also the stuff that liner systems for modern landfill are constructed from!) It cuts easily by scoring it with a sharp knife and then flexing it at the cut. Cut a piece the length of your bag (~6′ +\-) and wide enough that when rolled lengthwise and inserted into the bag, it overlaps 8″-10″. Cut some disks from some foam rubber to pad the ends.

What you end up with is a bag that holds as much as it did before, but is dramatically stiffer and more protective. The insert doesn’t add much weight, stays somewhat flexible, and does a great job of protecting the precious stuff within. Another precaution is to use plastic cable ties to secure all the zippers. The only downside I’ve found is that you can only access the bag from the ends, but this is minor.

I’ve used this approach on several trips with zero breakage. All my stuff is in it’s usual place and I don’t have reassemble everything. As Martha would say “It’s a good thing”!


I have had good success using the cardboard tubes from rolls of carpet (FREE … if you work in a carpet store…. or ask someone at a carpet store… they are generally available and sometimes slightly damaged at one end and easily cut to size…the tubes….not the carpet store workers). Put the tubes inside an MLD bag. I have successfully checked this luggage, being sure that the ends of the tubes are stuffed with extra clothes and such, to eliminate the possibility of spars poking out the fabric.

Plan on what kites are going…. and be careful ADDING new toys for the return trip. Mike Gillard gave me “The World’s Ugliest Rok” a few years back, but unfortunately he delivered it to me in Wildwood, N.J. at the one event that I had scheduled airline travel. This puppy was old and the sail was quite fragile from over exposure to the sun and years. The length exceeded my PLANNED package size and did cause a puncture in the kite bag…. but it was well worth the last minute repacking.

The cardboard tube INSIDE the kitebag made it easier to turn over to baggage handlers and only wonder if it would arrive with me at my destinations. The first time I traveled with this configuration was to an AKA convention and it was not the ONLY checked item of its size and shape checked in. I have travelled with this tube and bag configuration, successfully, on several other flights.

I am always anxious about luggage getting rerouted, delayed or lost. This method of packing ONLY eliminates the worry of breakage. PVC tubing would accomplish the same thing…..BUT actually costs money that is better spent on toys.
Craig Rodgerson


A *GREAT* travel case for kites can be seen at

It is hardshell, collapsible to different lengths, and worry free.
Mike C.


Hi folks.
If you want to travel with a lot of kites (about 20) you can also consider the hard PVC case selled by Ron and Sandy Gibbian of Colors in Motion.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johhny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


UL kite – is there such a thing

UL Kite is there such a thing?
a kite with the following properties:

a: Not framed in Skinnies.

b: Doesn’t have single-piece leading edge/lower spreader.

c: Not 1/2 size.

I’m looking for something bigger than a 3d, for a bit more slowness and time in the air — but I’m also looking for something that packs down small. The problem I’m having is that all the UL kites that are framed in microcarbon seem to be made from a few very long microcarbon rods (understandably), but that makes them a big pain to transport because they’re so long and there’s no way to make the package shorter; if the leading edge doesn’t break down and the lower spreader’s not in two pieces, they tend to end up at 48″ long and that’s fiddly to get around.

I’ve not been able to find any that aren’t framed in Skinnies, because I don’t trust myself to not crush them when assembling the kite and/or snap them when crashing/relaunching.

Is there a kite out there like this? Presumably microcarbon is a pain to ferrule and the weight distribution gets weird when you do, but has any manufacturer got around this?
Thanks, — dan


Hi Dan, hi folks.

Maybe you can go with Super Skinnies. They are light, yet more resistant than the Skinnies are.

The kites I have that are framed in Skinnies are: the El Pronto by Azur (there is a photo of this kite in the last Cerf-Volant Passion”) and the Vapor by Prism. So far I have nor broken any spar on these. Of course I dont play too hard with SUL kites. What I did, on the Vapor, is to reinforce the top part of the upper leading edge from the inside with a short length of carbon rod to avoid crushing it in hard nose landings, is that what is called a crash 🙂 I did that after a few missed pancake. I was lucky to have not broken anything but I prefer to prevent instead of curing.

Another spar I like a lot is the Sky Shark 2 P that compose the frame of one of my Tandem UL. They are ligth (heavier than skinnies) and solid. Again I play harder but not too much with these kites, after all they are UL kites. Sky Shark now have 2PT spars (tapered).

Then one Still another very good spars I have are Advantage 1.5 that are in my other Tandem UL. These are very ligth and sturdy. I think Revolution use this brand in their kites. We had them in our former team SUL kites (Azur’s SUL Free Style)

And talking about Revolution. Their spars are also a very good choice. I tried to abuse Dodd’s Phase II at the last KTA in San Diego, but I only managed to snap both control lines. Our team have the professionnal rods (quite light weigth) to put in our Revs 1.5. I wonder if Revolution can sell these separately and what length are available.

All the kites I mention here are full size 7.5 to 8 feet in wingspan with a two part leading edge. The Pronto and the Vapor come in plastice tube to avoid crushing the kite during transport (especially usefull in a crowded bag). By the way, the Vapor spars are put into a substantial stress when the kite is assembled. The leading edge is curved (no big deal) but the lower spreader are very curved (impressive). Still they endure quite a lot of banging if the banging is done moderately.

It is difficult to have a full size kite that is super light while being framed with spars that can take a lot of abuse. All the full size SUL I have seen so far fall in two categories:

1 – very light but somewhat fragile.

2 – a bit heavier and sturdier but requiring more work for indoor or outdoor in near zero wind. There seems to be always a trade-off.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


Not really; after repairs, it still flies fine, but I’m looking to try something that should need less walking to keep it in the air; there’s still enough snow on the ground around these parts (see other posting) that it’s plenty tiring walking backwards all the time, so the less of that I can do the better..

I’ve finally wound up going for one of Dodd Gross’s Indoor/Outdoor kites, just for the sake of variety — I don’t think there’s been any other comments on it so far, but Dan Whitney at Gone With The Wind had one in stock so I decided to try it and see how it goes.. (and Super Skinnies over Skinnies was another thing tipping the balance; I don’t know how much difference it makes, as they’re both wound spars rather than pultruded, but I may as well give it a go.)

Oh, and I also took out the mysterious no-name SUL kite I’ve had for a long time to see how it goes; I have no idea what this kite is, other than that it’s made in the US; it’s essentially the same as a Wren in framing and materials (2mm micro carbon, some sort of lightweight ripstop-looking stuff, tiny little connectors) but it’s got a peculiar four-point bridle I don’t recognise.

Flying this again after having been flying an Ozone for a while really shows how light SUL kites are — where the Ozone needed a fair amount of pulling to keep it through the air, and was pretty well immune to small puffs of wind, this kite floats and wafts around, and as soon as the wind does _anything_ it’ll lurch out of the sky. Gratifyingly, though, now that I know a bit more about flying in no wind it’s a lot easier than it was the first time — lovely flat axels are _finally_ possible, when I’d been having a lot of trouble getting the Ozone to go as flat as I’d like.

This particular kite (whatever it may be) seems to fly fine indoors, and I’m keen to go and find a gym again — outdoors it’s neat, but you can really tell what the wind’s doing; hopefully something a little bit heavier and bigger should keep things a bit more under control. We’ll see..

Anyway — thanks to everyone for all the recommendations and advice! — dan


It’s a long shot but Cunning Stunts in the UK now have the rights to Peter Hall’s designs now he has stopped making them, including the Light Cat. The guy I spoke to at Bristol said they might build to order.

If you’re not familiar with it, the Light Cat was a smallish 3/4 size, framed in 4mm Epsilon pultrude and Dimension polyant(sp) sail and flies quite easily indoors. Not as floaty as full sized kite framed in skinnys obviously.

I also have one framed in micro-carbon and that is _very_ easy to fly indoors, though it needs care during tricks, since the frame is a bit wobbly.
Ian Newham


(comish) im sponsored by spirit of air, so my views may be a bit on the bias side.


skinnies?? well, it;s framed in a combo of skinnies and 4mm… im sure you could get it in super duper skinnies if you asked nicely 😉 and it packs down to length of 1 standard skinny. (i doubt you can get a real ul kite that size without framing it in either standard skinnies or sds)

3-d??no… it’s a lot bigger than that. it’s 3/4 size

well, his web site is

it isn’t too up to date, but it has his email address, tel no. etc


I agree with the post about Super Skinnys, thats why I used them in the Indoor/Outdoor, instead of skinnys. This combined with 4mm pultruded carbon everywhere else produced a kite that couldfly well indoors, and the S.Skinnys allowed it to take more wind and more abuse outside. Since the cost is still under $160 in the US, we feel that using Tapered g-force is not a problem. So don’t be too scared of S.Skinnys Hope this helps
Dodd Gross, Master Instructor


Giving up on the Ozone? 🙁

Try the Buena Vista Feather! It’s 7 ft 4 in, 5 oz, and only the lower spreaders are Skinnies — the rest of the frame is 4mm carbon tubes, so if you break a lower leading edge, it’s just $3 to replace one!

You can see the specs where I bought mine at
You can see a better picture at

It’s the UL kite I let my daughters or friends fly when I’m using the Ozone. It is a VERY robust kite, and was my first SUL kite.
Mike C.


I’ll vouch for the Feather! My wife, son, and myself have been flying one both indoors & out for two years and haven’t broken it yet. But, if you really want to go all out, get a Vanishing Point or Air Zero from Peter Betancourt Sport Kites.
See you in the sky,


Indoor kite flying

>I am new to the kite flying field and know nothing of indoor kite flying.
>Is this for real? Please explain.
>Thank you.

AND>>>>> it’s FUN.

Try these sites for some more info:

Be careful….it’s Soooo easy to get hooked.
Ask around on this group to see if there’s going to be an indoor event near you.
See you in the sky (or up in the rafters),


It’s for real! No Wind, Windless, Indoor, 3-D those are some of the names you will hear it called. Flyers use shorter lines. 30 – 8ft. Their body movement or arm pull creates the air that give it the lift needed. You can go forward, backwards, stand in one spot, depending on what you want to do. It’s called 3-D because there is more interaction between the flyer and the kite~ catches, throws, etc, and you are not flying in a small wind window in front of you, but all around you. You can fly overhead, 360’s, straight lines, tricks. You can walk forward and fly. You can skip forward and fly. Fly the kite behind you, anything you can imagine~~With Practice! We have so much fun doing this, it’s unbelievable. Single lines, dual, quads, stacks, their all more than capable!

Jon flew a stack of six dual lines on friday with 25 ft. tails!! (these were not small kites!) They were all made out of clear wrapping paper with their edges each done in a separate color. What a sight and what a work out!! Speaking of workouts. Nando from Spain flys a Quadifoil inside! (And he’s got the physique to prove it!)

The more you know, the slower you go, the easier it is. Our game of tag this week included Jeff with a fighter, John with a wren, my rev., and Jon (rather a new easy target) on a homemade Rev. 1. Dang we had fun!!

There were 3 Rev.’s flying at one time inside. And I wasn’t even flying mine! Indoor flying can incorporate many activities. Exercise, dance, ti chi, acrobatics. Whatever you want to add to it. It’s still very new and innovative, and very challenging.

If your on the field in no wind conditions. Toss on some 15 ft. lines and give it a try. You’ll get the idea.
Best Breezes,
Penny rkd2/#kites


It is indeed for real.

To learn more, read my articles on indoor flying in

Then to see if there may be anyone flying indoors near you, or to learn where others fly indoors, check out the Indoor Flier’s Page at

Indoor flying is the best!
Keep Looking Up!
Mike Reagan


Hi folks.
Two photos taken during the last session of 1998 can be seen on the web site of the F.Q.C.V. (Quebec Kite Federation) at:

Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


I learned indoors before I learned outdoors – see a demo video at

link at the bottom of the page…


Nose job on Jam Session

Dear All,
I was out flying today and noticed that the webbing on the nose had been punctured by the main spar (the one that runs vertically from nose to tail).

I hadn’t had any hard crashes, so can only assume its a general wear & tear thing. However, I’ve only flown the kite for 10hrs max and was wondering if this is a common problem ?

The spar itself has no cover to prevent the sharp end from direct sontact with the webbing type stuff….Is this the way the kite is designed ?
Any info appreciated


I had the same problem with my Jam and I stitched the hole back up with some heavy thread and a carpet needle. After that, I painted several coats of this liquid vinyl stuff that comes in a can for dunking tool handles in to give them a rubber type coating. Works fine and it doesn’t add any appreciable weight to the kite. An end cap on the spine tip couldn’t hurt anything either. If you’re like me the more you fly the less you’ll be tearing up your kites (crash and burn factor).


alan, ive done the same and my jam sits with a pierced nose. it’s alright but i cannot change it to a different stud or hoop. : ( i have tried (poorly) to reinforce the nose with kevlar thread from fly tying needs with little success. i think a full service shop may be able to help, check your local shop they may be able to fix your jam up right. now if i could just find a shop in Montana.
good luck Alan


had mine punch through a while back while teaching a newbie. theres a rubber cap to protect the webbing. still wears over time (little bit every time nose touches down)

i have no comments on the design, just wanted to tell you that i fixed mine with a piece of seat belt webbing and it looks like new. i cut the stiching out of the old, pulled the edges free where its “welded” together, sewed in new and hot cut the edges after install to smooth and re “weld”. i thought it was pretty easy, and i dont sew. —
’till next time,


If you can find some, put sew a piece of Kevlar into the webbing where the spine will touch. It should make the patch last much longer. I do know that punching through the nose happens alot. At grandhaven last season, Dodd had a stack of jams that had punched through the nose from the demo sessions. I wanna say that HQ started putting kevlar in the nose toward the end of the season, but I’m not sure about that, and I havent taken mine apart to check. Good luck with it


Both my Jams have worn through the nose… don’t know why, but it doesn’t seem to take much on those kites compared to all my others.

What I did was to take epoxy (2-tube mix) and work it into the kevlar webbing, kind of like resin impregnating fiberglass. It’s worked great on both kites.


Hi Alan, hi folks.
To add to the very good ideas given so far I can propose the following:


As a prevention against futher wear and tear of the nose webbing I suggest that you do the following:

1 – Remove the spine and the spars from the leading edge (only the upper part if in two pieces).

2 – Add a plastic or rubber cap to the ends of the spars that goes into the nose

3 – Put the spars back.

As an alternative to caps you can use electrical tape. I use it often in the following way:

1 – Wrap about two turns around the end of the spar, letting about half of the tape width protruding from the spar’s end.

2 – Using any available small rods (a standoffs works great), push the extra tape inside the tube so as to cover the sharp edge at the end.

Even better, sand or file this sharp edge to round it off as well as you can. On small tubes a Dremel tool or equivalent equipment migth prove usefull. That way, you will extenf the life of the tape or cap. Otherwise, be prepared to reinstall new caps or tape every season or so if you fly often, because the sharp edge of a rod will cut through the protection.


It happened to me quite a few time and I did the following.

Fast field repair:

1 – Remove the offending spars. No need to take the spar completely off. Just remove the end cap or bugee or whatever pushes it into the nose to be able to pull back the spar half an inch or so.

2 – Sew the hole with a heavy gauge thread and a big needle. I always carry a spool of thread and a needle in my repair kit. To push the needle through two or more layers I often use a solid object such as the end of a Skyclaw or the handle of a knife or anything sturdy enough. A pair of small pliers is better (and usefull in a repair kit).

Complete overhaul (big job but professionnal results):

1 – Remove the frame from the kite. Otherwise you will have some difficulties to use your sewing machine.

2 – Remove the nose from the kite by cutting all the stiches (I said it was a big job). If the nose is in webbing and you fear you will not have a clue as to the exact placement of the stiches, mark these with anything that will do like a sewing chalk (Even cutting a small notch with an X-Acto will do the job). If the nose is in Dacron, the sewing holes will be quite visible.

3 – Using this piece as a template, cut a new one in heavy dacron or webbing if you prefer.

4 – Fold this lengthwise to mark the center and reopen to lay it flat (easier with dacron).

5 – Using the sewing holes (or chalk marks) from the old nose, mark the new nose with some pen (I use a 3B lead that gives a shinny marking when ligthed from the side) or a sewing chalk. That way I obtain guiding lines for the final sewing of the nose.

6 – Cut a small rectangle of kevlar and glue it (just to hodl it in place) in the middle of the dacron piece. The length of the kevlar must match the space taken by the three (usual for dual liners) spars connecting at the nose. Give some extra allowance at each end. The width can be about one inch (25 mm).

7 – Sew the kevlar to the dacron or webbing. This step is somewhat optionnal since the next sewing will lock every thing in place, but it avoid slipping of the kevlar reinforcement.

8 – Fold the nose back along the preceeding crease, making certain that the kevlar patch is inside and your guiding marks are outside.

9 – Sew it in place using the guiding lines to insure that the sewing will be near the original location.

10 – Reframe the kite (while at it, cap the spars end to prevent further puncture) again.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire


C-quad and Size Discrepancy

I under stand that for some reason there are different sizes available here in the states than in other countries. I am going to purchase the C-quad but everyone I talk to suggests the 2.6 meter. All I have available to me is the 2.2, 3.2 and up. I definately do not want to get a kite that is underpowered. I want to buggy and eventually do some water activities with this kite. Would I be making a mistake in just going ahead and getting the 3.2 meter? Several people have told me how they got a bigger model (4.2 and higher) and immediately had to get the 2.6 meter because the kite was just to powerful. I way about 145 -150lb. What kind of wind would the 3.2 just be to much to handle (I, like probably everyone, don’t mind getting dragged on my ass. That is the fun of it right!).
P.S. I am a beginner in power kiting but I can’t afford multiple kites at this point.


Sorry Kenny, in the end you will have. Right now you have to decide what the optimal wind range is, and what kite fits where you will use it most. This is no easy task and especially if there are no other power kiters nearby. Chris and i were at the beach a few days ago and had to try three different sizes within a few minutes of each other. Knowing what size to use is one of the most trying parts of our sport. The C-quads have a good wind range and certainly are priced right, but they are a somewhat more demanding kite to fly.

In short, more kites provide you with more range. In the end, it will be worth it.

BTW if you want to get good, fast–join us in the desert in March!
total AoxomoxoA brought to you by. . .
. . . dean jordan


Curved Spines

> I notice there are more trick kites with curved spine.
> Kites like SL7, Trick Tail ,Toh Jam,Utopia and Icon.
> Are there others that I miss out?
> What is the difference in performance when compared
> to normal trick kites ?

Since I own all of these kites except for the Icon (well, not yet at least 😉 Here’s a few of my observations on the subject of curved spines.

First it should be stated that there are quite a few sport kites that have curved spines, particularly those that used tapered wrapped spars for the spine. Typically the narrower end of the spar is placed towards the tail and sail tension as well as air pressure on the sail will tend to deflect the area of the sail below the T fitting into a curve. The curve is pretty subtle and probably has minimal effect on the kites overall performance. The Atomic Wedgee also used a curved spine but I have never seen one nor have I heard anything of it’s flight characteristics.

TrickTails (to my knowledge) were the first sport kite design to intentionally exploit a pronounced curved spine by cutting the sail in a 3D fashion such that it forms a curved tail piece resembling the prow of a ship. The curve is formed by a solid fiberglass rod extending below the T fitting and is held under tension by the standoffs and leech line. There are several advantages that this offers. It acts as a stabilizer / air brake to moderate forward speed, improve precision and tracking. Allows a relatively low aspect ratio wing to have the tight, quick pitch characterized by a high aspect ratio wing without the typical loss of precision associated with this design. This makes the wing especially easy to flare for a flat spin, transition out of a fade with minimal altitude and makes it easier to back flip. It makes for a cleaner air flow off the trailing edge reducing turbulence and making tight formation flying easier. When the kite is inverted in a fade, the tail section acts as an air foil. This lifts the tail of the kite (primarily) and allows it to rise in a *very* flat attitude. Most kites require a very nose high orientation to rise in a fade. TrickTails can rise directly from the ground in a fade if there is sufficient wind or if the ground surface is smooth enough so that the pilot can pull the kite to generate enough wind.

The Stranger Level 7 is a totally different beast when it comes to implementing a curved spine. Here the spine is made from 2 tapered solid fiberglass spars that are joined at the thicker ends and have the more flexible ends oriented towards the nose and tail respectively. At the nose, the curve is induced by an adjustable tension line that runs from T fitting to a sewn in loop at the nose. This gives an adjustable billow to the nose area of the kite improving lift and altering the glide characteristics. The tail section of the SL7 is of a more 2 dimensional nature and acts primarily as a rudder to give stability in 3D glides. It also has the characteristic of moving the center of rotation of the kite up towards the nose. One of the other (many) unique characteristics of SL7 flight is that it can rise in a back flip, I believe this is due to the nose billow which causes the nose to drop and the tail to remain high when in a turtle.

The Tohuwabohu (or Toh-Jam) uses a solid fiberglass rod that runs from nose to tail. A subtle nose billow is induced by an upper spreader T fitting and the tail is curved in the 3D manner of the TrickTail. This makes the entire keel section curved (rather than just the tail) with a reflex curve at the nose. Combined with a higher aspect ratio wing, the Tohuwabohu is a yo-yo machine! It is very easy to flare even in high winds. It also flies (and recovers) better in back flip type tricks. Over all, the Toh-Jam flies more like the SL7 than any other kite I have flown.

The Icon uses a squared off variation of the TrickTail. I only have about 15 minutes of air time on it but it feels like a cross between a TrickTail and a “conventional” mid sized trick kite. It has the same flare and fade abilities of the TrickTail but because of a more conventional 3 point bridle it feels more like a regular kite. It does however offer a tremendous amount of performance and technology for a MSRP of US $110.

The Utopia is totally different! 🙂 It has two 3D curved sails, main sail and keel and 2 spines, 3 spreaders and 3 standoffs. The nose billow of the main sail is generated by a combination of the main sail spine and keel spine under tension as well as an adjustable tensioning line from the T to the nose. The keel sail develops it’s shape from it’s own spreader and a single central stand off. There is no sail material connecting the keel to the main sail. This allows the keel sail to move independently from the main sail, banking in towards the center of a turn increasing responsiveness. Since each sail is independently tunable and they act in opposite directions it may well be possible to tune for 3D glides or a number of other flight styles. It will take a fare amount of experimenting to find the optimum settings for the desired flight style. I for one am looking forward to it!

spines and each has it’s own unique characteristics. I hope this has helped
answer your questions more than confuse the subject.
Gotta fly!
Brian Todd


Line Length ratio for quads

What are the ratios for top and bottom line length? Is it 1 to 1 or
is the top or bottom shorter than the other.


Hi Kenny,
Generally with quads these days it’s equal length lines, top & bottom. I have short lines on the top & bottom of my handles to fine tune the setting of flight angle. Usually there are a series of knots on the brake line bridles for set the rough flight angle.

What works for me & my JoJos is to set the brake bridle lines so that there is a slight amount of tension on the brake lines, when the handles are at my normal flying position. The brake lines should “hang” slightly. Releasing bottom tension completely lets the kite fly to its limit. Putting tension on the brake lines slows & stalls the kite, dumping power.
Hope this helps.


equal I believe

when I got my Cq I blithly made off with my quadline set and trie dto fly it. blast, the brake lines are shorter by about 14 inches and the kite simply would not fly. I had gone out totally unprepared for this and had no spare line with which to make extensions…. so back home we went, unfulfilled…

made up some extensions, loop on the end, about 8 knots at 1.5 inch spacing along it…. knot 4 is the first one I chose to test fly on, it is just right, and is also just about exactly at the difference in the lines….. I havn’t measured it, it flies, nothing else matters (-:
steam and wind


I don’t know for the C-Quad (mine’s only coming next month), but I do know that for the Paua (predecessor to the N-Gen) I spent a fair bit of time (6 months) flying with the bottom of the handles pointing at the kite til eventually I got fed up and tied some big knots in the front bridle keepers to shorten them. Now my handles lie “flat” in the grip of my hand and are very comfortable – no more wrist-ache in strong winds.

Oddly enough the kite hardly luffs at all now, and seems to pull a bit harder. I say oddly enough because these lines came with the kites.

I know David Forsyth had line-length problems with his C-Quad lines when they came and adjusted them to suit. David?

At the end of the day they should surely be adjusted to suit *you*. I don’t see any advantage in having lines that will provide “theoretical maximum differential control” if they’re so uncomfortable you cant hold onto them in a good wind.

I’m planning to use my Paua lines for my C-Quad too, and I am expecting having to tweek the bridle keepers to suit.


I suspect you have a ‘Richard Special’ lineset like mine Steve (-: ie, the brake lines are about a forearms length shorter than the main lines (maybe Skytigers like this by default?). So you’ll need some extenders on the Cquad, there is no room within the existing Cquad bridle to adjust the total length without disturbing the geometry.

yup, give yourself some time to get used to the kite, and then analyse the actual control and think about how it could be better, and then make some adjustments. With my lines, duly adjusted, and after a few *hours* flying, I now know the right angle to hold the handles to get max power, exactly where to put my hands on the handles in order to balance the pull between brake and main lines and almost automatically produce the right angle for max power.

The Cquad is easy to fly, I’d say anyone who’s flown a 4line power kite before can fly one ‘out the box’, but to get the best out of it, you’ll find it is sensitive to small adjustments in brake line pressure, and when you get that pressure right, the fun really starts.

I think you’ll need brake line extentions… some orange rope?
steam and wind


Yep, 1:1 is good, just allow some knots on the handle leaders at 15mm – 20mm intervals to adjust brake-line tension. Everyone likes it a little different but all say that the kite should sit nicely at the top without luffing or falling back when you let go with your hands… if you’re wearing a shoulder strap and considering you’ve set up your handles to be supported about 25mm down from the top lines(off course!) 😉

I just fly my brake-lines one knot shorter on 20m lines and it sits nicely at the top when I let go with my hands on a steady day. This makes for great fun on a steady upwind tack, kite locks in and you can almost let go with your hands to hold onto the buggy…. 😉 … whooopeeee!


Train Lines – Inserted loop

> I’m getting ready to create a set of Train Lines for a large stack of Flexi-
> Foil kites. I’m using the Inserted Loop method where a loop is attached to
> another line then held in place with another anti-slip piece that is weaved
> into the line.
> Before I start, does anyone have any suggestions? Hints? Tips?
> Thanks

Yes, I have a suggestion. As a stack flyer I prefer the separate train lines. I find this is better than the inline ones you are using. The reason being is that if you get tangles with an inexperienced flyer and have one of your train lines cut, it is easier to do a field repair and continue to fly. With the method you are using, your flying day would be over if one of your links were to be cut.
Just my two cents.
Happy flying.
Patrick Grant
One of the Brooklyn flyers

Kite Reviews

Prophecy Review


Model: Prophecy
Manufacturer: Prism Designs Inc.
Designer: Mark Reed
Sail: .5 oz. Ripstop Polyester/Mylar Laminates
Frame: P100, P300, 3PT, 5PT, 7PT Skyshark Pultruded Carbon
Bridle: Active
Wing Span: 96 in.
Height: 54.5 in.
Weight: 12.9 oz.
Wind Range: 2-20mph
Rec. lines: 90-200# at 80-150ft.
Price: $375.00


For those of you who are delighted with the Illusion family of kites, get ready to do “The Happy Dance.” This latest offering from Prism Designs Inc. will immediately feel right at home on the end of your lines. For anyone else who has been searching for a truly meaningful kite with a large, impressive look and feel, you’re in for a real treat as we finally have a larger kite that delivers high end performance.

The Prophecy, while maintaining a distinct character and feel all its own, definitely has many vestiges of the Illusion heritage evident in its appearance and performance. Originally designed for precision flying, this kite has evolved into something much more significant, a fantastic all around kite for the serious flyer. Indeed, one of the hardest things to achieve in kite design is a large kite that is not only stable and precise, but has the ability to do all the “new school” slack line tricks. The Prophecy delivers on this daunting necessity.

Prism Designs Inc. has always been known for the highest quality in materials and construction and this new model does not miss the mark. Everything on this kite is top notch, from the stitching on the taped seams to the APA fittings and Kevlar nose. The frame set is an eclectic collection of hand picked rods from Skyshark, which work with the sail to control the camber and load characteristics of the overall design. A total of six stand-offs provides depth to the sail and tensions the trailing edge, providing an amazingly responsive feel.

Included with the package is a very well-designed padded zip-up bag that holds two kites, spare rods and line sets, all in webbed pockets. This is a real bonus in that the Prophecy is too long to fit in many kite bags.

Once out of the bag the Prophecy assembles quickly and easily. The speed of the kite is very controllable, given the many combinations of active bridle and stand-off adjustments possible. I had no problem flying mine down to 1mph, pulling off 360’s on 85ft of line just by jogging around. At about 18mph, the kite begins to get unhappy quickly, and by 20mph the wingtips begin to shudder as it flies, indicating that it’s time to get out a vented!

About the only limiting tendency to report is a reluctance to enter a back-flip. Due to the size of the sail, this move requires a bit more effort than I am accustomed to. Having to work harder for this one particular move seems to be a small price to pay, considering the benefits of the overall design. In this case, the reward you receive is a kite that floats its way through 540’s, fades, axels, coin-tosses, and lazy-susans with a heart stopping slow grace and elegance.

While the price tag may give some pause, the kite’s performance, quality and visual impact does a very good job towards justifying its expense. For me, nothing else even comes close.

As I said, stable and precise applies. Having more sail depth than any other big kite that I’ve flown, means it also has more mass in the sail than your average precision kite (NSR for example), so that means that you have to work to turn it. Less so, perhaps, than most of you who fly big kites are used to, but more than my Illusion trained hands are programmed for. All the Mylar contributes to a certain hesitancy to lock onto right angles, and results in a bit of a wobble coming out of turns. Again, this is VERY minor, and maybe even unnoticeable to most, but I felt it worth saying, even if just for respectability. I got over this feeling very quickly, and in a few hours was having no problem practicing figures with nice, sharp, right angles. One additional thing to mention here that I neglected to go into depth on originally is that this kite tracts really smoothly and slowly. Very tunable to compensate for a bunch of wind conditions, and the kite itself, be it sail design or bridle or combination of both, smoothes out the bumps and swirls in uneven air amazingly well. After trying to fly figures with an Illusion, this characteristic is very appreciated, especially to me as I am still trying to get the knack of precision flying. (I don’t know how Michael Moore does it, but good for him!) Having a kite that does most of the work for me in the area of speed control is great!

Another point I wanted to make is that, being a very stable and smooth flying kite, the Prophecy is gonna do great things in the hands of an aggressive team at some point in the future. Coupling these precision and trick capabilities in one kite means that a whole bunch of new possibilities now exist. Team fades with threading? Very cool. Team slot machines into team fades? No problem. Group 540’s? You bet. Almost any low-percentage slack-line move becomes fair game with flyers who know what they’re doing and a kite that broadens the margin for error. I’ve been messing around with some pairs flying lately, and so far we have been able to do some very cool looking stuff. More on this later as we progress!

Ballet Characteristics:

I’m actually gonna have to think long and hard about whether or not to switch from my Illy to the Proph for competition flying in Ballet. Those of you who know me, know what a heavy statement that is for me to make. For those who don’t, just believe me when I say that I like my Illusions a lot. (read: enough that my constant flying of them has put my marriage in jeopardy more than once! Sorry Karen, I’ll try to be better (^8) The big key here is that the kite floats around so slowly that you are almost tempted to put your handles down and go over to the kite to help. Seriously. I’m not exaggerating here. When the winds are down to 5 or so, magic stuff starts happening with the flat-work! This isn’t to say that you can’t make the kite trick more quickly, but after all, there is a limit to how fast an 8ft kite can rotate, so for a faster routine keep a back up around for sure. This tends not to be a problem over 8mph or so, as there is enough wind at this point for fairly fast movement from maneuver to maneuver.

Looking deeper, I have to mention the back-flip thing again. I couldn’t mention it in the published version (again due to space), but the real problem I found wasn’t so much in the Prophecy’s inability to go onto its back, but in its hesitancy to go far enough back to be controllable. Ever try to initiate a lazy-susan with a kite not quite far enough nose back? Disaster!! Major tangles and ugliness commence! As I reported earlier, it’s not hard to get it right, just takes a bit of work to get the steps down. Here’s a hint: give a little rock just before you go for it. This will start the kite thinking about moving, so that when you really let it go, it pops over far enough to spin. This will also help the kite to exit cleanly and crisply without sliding around a lot.

Other moves like axels, coin-tosses, cascades, and etc. work just fine and look as beautiful as you would expect, but the wingtip stabs are massively cool. Having a kite that big race towards the ground and then slam into a tipstab really messes with my reality. I haven’t been able to snap a LLE yet, but give me some more time, as I’m sure it can be done! Speaking of that, this kite has been pretty hard for me to break, so nothing bad to say there. All the different Skyshark rods work together well, and, believe it or not, changing around the configuration really does mess with the performance of the kite.

Flic-flacs are worth a mention here as well, as they are very solid and predictable. Flying on long lines, it’s not hard to start flic-flak-ing 120ft over your head and not stopping for a very long time before hitting the ground. If the wind is smooth and even, you’re going to have no trouble controlling the kite through any series of slack-line slickness.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to even mention this. The kite will dead-launch! It was such a big deal only a year or so ago, but now it’s so common place that I forgot to say it. Oops! Your standard two quick tugs put you right back into flying position, maybe even a little easier than the Illy.

So that about sums it up for me. Nothing else that I can think of anyway. Let me know if I forgot anything that anyone is interested in finding out, and if I don’t know the answer I can at least make up something that sounds good ;->
Thanks for reading,
Matt McGee


> >Since the Prism promo material say this is designed as a “long line”
> >kite, what’s your reaction to that? I usually fly my Illy on 50 ft, and
> >the vented Illy on 50-75ft. Though I learned dual line kiting on 100 ft
> >lines a long time ago, I don’t know that I’d like going back to that.

The size of the kite, and really, the design of the kite should not determine your line length as much as your flying style does. Most of the time, I like flying on long lines ( 130 ft ) as I fly team and I like precision flying. But once in awhile I’ll take out North Shore Radicals, and fly them on 50 feet of line in 5 – 7 mph winds to do a little trick flying. You don’t usually think of a NS as being a trickster, but on short lines you’d be amazed as to what it will do. I have several hours on Prophecys, but mostly on long lines. I would say though that they would do just fine on shorter lines, but it would definitely be ( in your face ) because as Matt says, they are a big kite. The Prophecy does most anything the Illusion will, just a bit slower and, believe it or not, smoother. ( This is just my opinion ). My justification for saying they’d do okay on short lines is that they do tricks on long lines a lot easier than the NSR does, so it stands to reason that the same would hold true as the line got shorter. Matt, you have a lot more time on the Prophecy than I have, do you think this makes sense?
Jim Barber


Hey Mike!!
My reaction is, “On the advice of council, I’m pleading the 5th.”

But seriously, the Prophecy does like longer lines. The shortest I fly it on right now is 85ft. I was using 65ft lines for practice earlier, but found that the window got pretty small, pretty fast. If you’re flying with a friend, you might even want to go longer, say around the 100ft mark.

I too flew on shorter lines to learn the tricks, but have, in the last 4 months or so, been switching to longer and longer lengths, especially for competition. It gets tougher to do some moves the farther out you go, but you can definately fly more dramatically with more window to play with.

As for “liking going back to that,” remember that we are talking about a bigger kite in the Prophecy, so at 100ft it looks about the same size as an Illy at 65ft.


I agree. Short lines will work, but you’re not gonna have alot of time! Maybe it’s just that I’m still rather new to the precision thing, and I’m enjoying the drama you can create when you have a larger window to work with.

My beginings with kites consisted of trying my best to look just like Mark, so everybody I knew was yank’n and spank’n on short lines at Kite Hill. As I worked on developing my own style and began competition and saw what it took to put forth a successful ballet routine, my lines got longer and longer!! I now rarely fly on less than 85ft, even with my Illusion. The shortest I go is 65ft with my Vapor or SUL Illy.

If freestyle begins to gain in popularity, as I hope it does, then I’m sure I’ll switch back to 50ft or even 45ft for serious trick sessions in freestyle comp.

Don’t think that I’ve forgotten the joy of a serious trick session, I haven’t!! I just need to practice my routines if I’m gonna have a hope of beating all those experienced flyers out there ;->> (you know who you are!!)


Flying on 100 feel like 85ft… I tend to like it on 120ft to give me a larger pallet to work on… (better for precision moves) but if you like 50ft for ballet type flying (as I do) it’s not a problem. Wing tips are extremely rare which puzzles me, as it’s a large kite – but axels and spins are so flat that the tips don’t extend down to catch the lines. Matt mentioned dead-launch… it’s easier to DL the Proph than any other Prism kite. Anyone can DL the kite with just a couple tugs.


Hi Ron, hi folks.
I tend to agree with you that longer line allows you to express yourself better with your kite. A large windows allows for ample moves that last long enough for the spectators to appreciate any subtle variations you add to your routine like speed change, stalls, loops, tricks and the like.

for me) and do one trick after an other. But most of the time I enjoy pure precision and even more with two kites at once.

And as far as size is concerned, I enjoy the big size and slow speed and super precision of the Matrix. This kite can also makes beautiful and flat axels without catching the wing tips.

I hope we see the Prophecy soon here in Quebec so I can try this baby.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire



Alien vs. Matchbox

I cannot speak about the Matchbox, since Santa must’ve dropped mine on the way to my house, but I’m not sorry I bought an Alien, it’s a very capable (much more than I am!) higher wind trick kite. It does mental flic flacs, axels as advertised, pops to a fade easily, I’m learning something new every time I give it a go.

In higher wind speeds- 20 knots+, though, I have trouble doing some tricks, perhaps I should go to longer lines, wind brakes and drink stronger coffee. Maybe Prism should make a vented Alien, just for us folks that don’t know when to quit! ;^ D

I leant mine to a very accomplished flyer and he went out and bought one the next week.
good luck!


Hello there! I have flown both kites. I prefere the Matchbox. I think it is more trickable and just more fun to fly. The quality of Tim Bensons work is wonderful also. One day we set up a MB and Alien on the field and my flying buddies and I tried each. Everyone seemed to prefere the MB. I do demo fly for Dodd Gross but I flew the MB before I started flying with him. I try to be unbias. Prism makes good kites and they are very nice people too. This is just my opinion about the kites and what I have found. Hope this helps you. Have fun flying, that is what it is about. Good luck.
Hunter Brown


I am on my second Psycho, the first wore out in one year due to massive amounts of flying time. It is fantastic. I just bought an Alien and do not have near enough flying time to have formed a permanent opinion, but. The Psycho feels more solid in the air, probably because of the simpler bridle. The Alien has a lighter feel and is perhaps a little slower with a little more precision thrown in.

I am not near the flier that Hunter is, but I can do some amazing things with my Psycho. It makes me long for 8-10+ mph winds. I have’nt been able to duplicate this with the Alien, yet.

My second Psycho needed a little bridle tuning out of the box, it had just a tad to much oversteer. I tend to break leading edges with some regularity so I would order some replacements with the kite. I do reinforce the ferrule area with solid rod and also the center tee area on the lower spreaders. The Psycho uses Euro Exel 6 mm rods and I have considered switching to Avia. Has anyone out there reframed a Psycho?

I will have a Matchbox by the end of summer. Benson kites are very nice. Other faves, Midi, Outer Space, BOT, Bad Boy 2

All in all for sheer fun I have’nt found anything which matches the Psycho,
Joe Rademaker


Hi All,
Not flown the Alien but do own a MB, very trickable right up to the upper wind limit of the kite & unbreakable (so far!).

One of the best features of the kite is it’s simplicity, three point static bridle, single standoffs & straight carbon rods (albeit Hi-Mod). And off course in my case that beautiful neon lime green icky sail……

I fly mine on an old 50ft 150lb line set cos I haven’t got round to buying a lighter set yet, and it’s fine.

The main plus about it is that it is great for developing the trick library, give either line a tug, anywhere in the window and watch what happens (very easy to recover from virtually any poss). If it looks good, practice it and then get out one of your other kites and try it on that & see what develops.

BTW can any body give me the secret to holding a fade on a Matchbox, I can do fades and hold them no prob. on all my other kites, but have had only a few successes on the MB. It is very easy to get the fade from any maneuver and then to do the moves that can develop from the fade like barrel rolls etc. but if I go for a fade to hold it, the kite will just bounce out. Anybody, Andy W.?
Carl M.
Having a Bad Air Day.




Well, I guess it is about time that I wrote something about the Benson Mini-Phantom. This is a long post — be warned.

As I said before, I was lucky enough to get hold of a Mini-Phantom kit from Tim Benson, but I am almost certain that he has none left (unless he has finally decided to produce a few more; which at this point, while he is trying to clear his backlog of orders for Outer Spacen and possibly working on new things, seems unlikely).

Anyhow, the kit arrived, pre-cut and ready to assemble:

7 icarex sail panels with double sided tape pre-stuck in the right places on each panel.

Pre-cut leading edge tapes and other reinforcements

6 pre-cut 4mm carbon tubes which form the frame

2 pre-cut 2mm standoffs

lots of fittings

Instructions on how to sew the sail

pre-cut bridling line

trick line (unless that was an extra bit of the bridle that I saw no use for 🙂

Sail construction:

Instructions for this were very clear.

Simply peel off the paper back of the tape and stick the panels together as described in the instructions.

Sewing the panels caused me a few problems because the needle gummed up when sewing through the tape and messed up the stitching. Some people will not experience this problem — I am sure it depends on the machine you are using. I overcame it by regularly putting a little petroleum type grease on the needle. I am not sure whether I should recommend this solution because although it gave me perfect results, people have expressed concerns about whether this damages the machine.

Leading edge tape and other reinforcements were stuck and sewn as per the instructions on the sheet, and again there were no real problems here.

I added a couple of small squares of reinforcing dacron either side of the tail as per the following crap-ASCII diagram because I thought it would be a good idea…

/ \ x marks the spots
/ ____x x____ \
/ _____—- \ / —-_____ \
/—- TE \ / TE —-\


There were no instructions for framing the kite, but this really was obvious. The tube for the spine was cut slightly too long, so I had to cut a little off it.

In my kit, there were 3 nocks. As for my other kites, I put one on each wingtip and one on the end of the spine so as to attach the trick line.

There was also one end cap which I put on the nose end of the spine to protect the nose a bit from nose landings

The LE connectors were APA fittings and there was a centre cross piece.

The first thing I noticed here was that there was nothing to hold the LE and cross-piece fittings in place on the tubes. Admittedly, the LE fittings did not look like they were about to move anywhere, but the cross-piece would have moved a little within the hole cut in the sail for it. The simple answer would have been to add a drop of superglue to all the fittings, but of course I wanted to go one better. Instead, I got the sheathing from a piece of electrical cable (in fact, it was a piece of co-ax cable) and cut some small rings to act in the same way that C-clips work on larger kites. A drop of superglue on each of these to hold them to the kite worked brilliantly and enabled me to tie the bridling string directly to the LE without it having to be tied around the whole LE fitting.

The other thing I noticed was that there was no obvious way of tensioning the sail provided with the kit. The simple way to do this would have been to put a small hole through the wingtip end of the LE dacron and then attach a piece of bungee to go through that and to loop onto the wingtip nock. I did not have any bungee when I got to this point so I made the hole anyway and then used an everso slightly cunning method whereby the trickline (which was a shade too long anyway) doubled up as the sail tensioning device.


Again, no instructions for bridling the kite, but the upper/lower outhaul line for each side was pre-cut, so I just tied that on. The inhaul line had a loop tied in the middle for attachment to the spine, and all that was necessary to produce a simple static bridle was to tie a knot along the inhaul at an appropriate (ie. somewhere that looked right) place and larkshead the outhaul line to it.

I just guessed at a bridle length according to what looked right. I am sure that there is an optimal bridle shape, but that will come through experimentation.

Kite finished.

Overall thoughts on construction:

/Very/ easy to build if you have built a two liner stick kite before

If this were the first kite I had built, I would have liked a few more instructions, HOWEVER, the kite was not initially designed for a first time kite builder to make without help. It was made for Tim to take with him to Fort Worden where he gave a kite making tutorial. If Tim were ever to build the kite commercially, I am sure that the instructions for framing and bridling would be fuller.

As far as making the sail goes, it is so well cut and prepared, and the instructions are so clear, that it would be very very difficult to make any error in construction.

The finished kite looks wonderful.


I have not had very much time yet to fly my new kite, mainly because of the British weather, being at home for Christmas, being in Ireland for New Year and then having a hideous cold that stopped me from doing anything over the past two days.

However, I did get half an hour to fly it in between the bouts of rain.

First thought: amazing.

The kite flew like a dream despite the fact that I had just thrown on a random bridle.

The wind was light; going from about 5mph down to nothing. I managed to do a couple of rising fades, a couple of lazy susans (something I have not yet managed to do with any of my other (tricky) kites) a rotating fade, axels, 540s and all the usual gubbins. It is a really easy kite to fly, possibly not a beginnners kite, but nevertheless, it made even me look half way competant. I made an adjustment to the bridle and it still flew well, leading me to believe that this kite is so good that it can mop up any bridling errors/inaccuracies.

Being a small kite, it is quite fast. I was flying it on my short light lines to start with and then changed to my longer heavier lines. This was not such a good idea. With the wind so light (probably less than 3mph by then) the kite did not give enough positive feedback and pull on the end of long(er) heavy lines (hardly surprising for a small kite) and as a result I could not fly it so well. I went back to flying on the short lines as the wind disappeared. It was interesting to note that I was able to fly a 360 with it in a 0-1mph wind despite the fact that I have never tried zero-wind flying (I don’t have a 0 wind kite) and am therefore useless at it.

I am fairly convinced that a good indoor flyer would be able to happily fly this kite in no wind.

I would like to drop the bridle back and fly it in a slightly higher wind to give me a little more pull on the lines and to slow the kite a little, and I will undoubtedly active bridle it at some point soon.

All in all, this kite flies great. What a bargain. I really, really hope that Tim decides to produce this kite in kit form for general release. If he ever does, get one quick. This is one kite that no kite bag should be without, especially given how little it will cost. They will sell like hot cakes.

I could go on all day about how great this kite is (even having only had half an hour’s flying time), but that would get boring. I’ll sum up how good it is by saying that I may end up flying it more than any of my other kites put together…

I may end up posting a picture of it via Sam’s kitepics gateway if I ever take a photo of it, but it’ll probably look just like normal Phantom.

If anyone is interested in the size of the kite, the LE is 1m long so the kite is probably about 0.6 scale of a normal Phantom (I don’t know the dimensions of a Phantom off the top of my head).

I hope that is of interest to someone. Dunno who though, given that no-one can get hold of one 🙂
Email me if you want more details,



Fragile Illusion

> Are Prism Illusions as fragile as some folks say they are? Are the ’98s
> better than older ones?
> I just want to know what I’m getting myself into…
> Allen

Allen the 1998’s are definitely more rugged than the 97’s (first year). Prism worked with Avia to reinforce some of the spars in key areas to help give the kite more “ruggedness.” If you fly other kites with wrapped carbon spars I don’t think you’ll find the Illusion much different. I do try to have some extra rods with me though… The saying at our flying area is Illusion flyers break more sticks cause they are flying harder and trying to do more things other than figure 8’s.

Then Fanatic and Alien are great kites if you want to really fly hard and not worry about brakeage.

You can get some other Prism info off of my home page in the signature below.
Michael Hoefer
Richmond, NH USA


Some Mikes fly harder than others too 🙂

Mike is right, the 98s are much more durable. I think the biggest improvement was a little blue cap that went over the tip of the ULE. This prevented the mushy nose syndrome many of us experienced from too many nose crashes.


I load the ends of my spars with .2300 carbon. Works like a charm for those of us with older illusions. (The nose was sewn too tight to allow the blue cap)


Hi folks.
One way I reinforced some spars, and that migth help for the nose end of the ULE, is as follow:

– I glue a short (2 inches or 50 mm) carbon or fiberglass rod inside the tube end.

– I make sure the fit is sliding but not too loose (enough to allow for some epoxy glue).

– As an added reinforcement you can wrap the end with transparent tape (the increase in outside diameter shall be so small that the spar should fit in the nose).
Just an idea.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.



CQuad vs. NPW5

C-quad Vs. NPW5

I am going to purchase a quad to get into power kiting. My only concern is will it be worth it to spend twice as much for the C-quad over the NPW5. (Obviously you get what you pay for).

Should I get the NPW5 and save about $150 (US) or go with the 2.6 meter C-quad.
P.S. A plus from the NPW5 is the packability


Eh WHAT !!!, can you get a nasa for free ! Give me 10 of them !

But serious, is the c-quad by your kiteshop so expensive that you save 150$ by buying a similair Nasawing ? I have bought here in the Netherlands a 3.2 c-quad for 325 dutch guilders= +/-150$ (us) !
May the wind be with you, Henry
ps, answer to your question, the c-quad for buggying far better than the Nasa, but for dragging and pure power, the Nasa is OK .


I can get a 3.09 meter nasa wing for $119 with out lines or handles. (I am in the US)

That was from here:

The best price I have seen the C-quad (2.6m) is $300 (including lines and handles) and that was from Canada. I have found a US site that has a 2 meter for $210 and a 3 meter for $250 but that is with out lines or handles.

That was from here:

Do you know of any online sites that sell the C-quad for the prices you found yours? What about the possibility of buying from the netherlands and paying shipping. Would that end up being the same price in the long run?


I recently got a quote from Dave at Big City Kites for a 4.2m C-Quad, no handles, for $290 US…compared with gwtw-kites for $360. I didn’t get a quote for the 3.2, but it must be significantly less than $290.

There is a link to Big City on my links page:

BTW…don’t call Dave until next week…he is at the trade show in Florida, and his store is closed. If you do call him, tell him Gene sent you.
Gene Matocha


There are 2 *nevers* as an answer to your question:

1. Never ever try to compare an NPW5 with a C-quad. The C-quad is far more superior than an NPW5. Beter pull, better wind window, beter steering.

2. Never (if you have the possibility) use money to choose a traction kite. Not only traction is a choosing factor but also safety.

go for the c-quad and forget the parachute with 2 lines.


As far as performance is concerned you’ll loose out on all counts against someone who really knows how to use their C-quad. Especially on a tight upwind run… I have tuned the enhanced NPW of Peter de Jong’s to the max where you can go slowly upwind on a perfect day but nothing compared to any of my other foils… and my other foils can’t go anywhere near my C-quads. I can get anyplace upwind with my C-quad that would sometimes require about fifty tacks from my NPW. So I have the whole beach at my disposal compared to just a few hundred metres with the NPW because I couldn’t get back on a gusty day in less than 100 tacks because I went to far…. now which is more recreational?


It’s not fair. You all confuse me.
Messages from all around the globe and beyond tell me that the Nasa does not stand a snowballs chance in hell to even get in the remote shadow of a C-quad. When even Peter de Jong tells me that, I get seriously worried. next thing Rogallo himself will call me to point out the error of my ways.

Ok – so I will stop fighting windmills – I just could not see that much of a difference – I will look better next time out.

So if you’re C-quadding around Oostvoorne, and some pathetic untrained desk worker with a dirty NPW5 unsuccessfully tries following you around…. – just drive a few circles around me and I will soon see the light 🙂

I am a technician by trade, and I hunger for some figures. Is there any site where I can gather info about power windows in actual degrees, wind speed usable bandwidths, L/D ratio’s and such? There must be a scientific way to “grade” the performance of a kite?
Keep it up!
Best Regards, Rene Zuidema


> There must be a scientific way to “grade” the performance of a kite?

I’d love to see some too and except for a few theoretical calculations that describes an airfoil under perfectly controlled conditions…. well, does not make one bit of difference in practice! Best judgement is through experience.

Take a fixed point on the beach(something you’ll be able to start from next time), rock or a palm tree, and start heading upwind from that point as far as you can go with the NPW until you start overtaking it and you really have to work to keep going, aiming for a point on the horizon that will identify the line from start for a basic angle with the wind. Now do the same with the C-quad or any other for that matter and compare these lines to see how much more of the available wind window you are able to use.

That to me is usually scientific enough and after that’s been proven it all comes down to the way the kite can withstand variable conditions like gusty and turbulent winds, few drops of rain etc etc.


> Hiya,
> As far as performance is concerned you’ll loose out on all counts against
> someone who really knows how to use their C-quad. Especially on a tight
> upwind run… I have tuned the enhanced NPW of Peter de Jong’s to the max

I agree here. The C-quad is the nicest kite I’ve flown to date. I can go where I’ve not been before, and all I need to be able to ANYWHERE, is a bigfoot (-:

That said, we have yet to see serious reports on racing with Cquads against other kites. I’d really like to see some top buggy pilots given the same model buggy (say all PL comps), and then each given an identicle ‘area’ kite. depnds on wind of course, but say you’ve got enough, everyone gets a 2.5m^2 (or closest to it) kite, and race! Then swap kites randomly and race again. Then debrief all pilots and race officers for impressions on performance.

Corey, any chance you blokes going to Lake Gairdner can fit this into your program? Seems a good opportunity to me.

All my lauditry remarks aside, I do not disparage the NPW, it is a fine example of brute power, and I’m tempted to make one specially for downwind runs on our long beaches. Most of our beaches are just about downwind to the normal wind, thus obviating the need for upwind performance, but needing a lot of luff resistance and brute power for size ratio. In fact a stack of Flexis may be the next best thing. (last time I did a 22km run I was doing 30km/h with a single 6ft flexi, you figure the wind speed 🙂
steam and wind


> That said, we have yet to see serious reports on racing with Cquads
> against other kites. I’d really like to see some top buggy pilots
> given the same model buggy (say all PL comps), and then each given an
> identicle ‘area’ kite. depnds on wind of course, but say you’ve got
> enough, everyone gets a 2.5m^2 (or closest to it) kite, and race! Then
> swap kites randomly and race again.
> Then debrief all pilots and race officers for impressions on
> performance.

Well….. we had a Moose-meet(NZ name for a buggie thang, don’t ask me why) at Muriwai beach late last year and though the equipment was a little diverse for a true scientific test it was great to see the guys with the 2.6 C-quads shooting ahead more than 20 yards ahead of the pack at the start of one of the races. Other contenders where 5.0 Peels, 5.6 N’gens, several sized Skytigers and others like Speedwings, 5-stack 10ft Flexis etc. One fella was pushing his 2.6 to breaking point, comming back upwind on a snapped bridle and a youngster with a Skytiger22 won the day if memory serves me right. I’d like to see this race again now that the C-quad pilots have the same experience as the others(maybe this time I can join in now that I’m not stuck with only the 4.2 C-quad in that insane amount of wind).

Quite a few pilots argueing the sensibility and performance of the C-quads came back silent and a little green with envy that day and I was told that quite a few Cq’s were sold the month after. Anyway as far as the area of a kite compared to that of a C-quad is concerned a “same ‘area'” kite race will be a little unfair don’t you think. 😉


Gene wrote:
> Well….. we had a Moose-meet(NZ name for a buggie thang, don’t ask me why)
> at Muriwai beach late last year and though the equipment was a little
> diverse for a true scientific test it was great to see the guys with the

> have the same experience as the others(maybe this time I can join in now
> that I’m not stuck with only the 4.2 C-quad in that insane amount of wind).

so you got your 2.6 then?

> Quite a few pilots argueing the sensibility and performance of the C-quads
> came back silent and a little green with envy that day and I was told that
> quite a few Cq’s were sold the month after. Anyway as far as the area of a
> kite compared to that of a C-quad is concerned a “same ‘area'” kite race
> will be a little unfair don’t you think. 😉

rofl, no, that’s the point, you can’t really measure anything else can you? so you go for equal areas and see what transpires. sure, one could maybe figure a way to measure pull at the edge and l/d and other things, but how do you then rate a kite with enormous pull but low l/d agasinst one with medium pull and enormous l/d? (I just figured a way to measure ‘pull at the edge’, grab a bathroom scale and weigh the pilot plus lines and kite, then have him fly the kite parked above him and stand on the scale, the difference is the ‘pull at the edge’, in *that* wind, so it would be good to have an anemometer handy too…..)

if one measured ‘pull at the edge’ (PATE) for several kites, in a steady wind, on equal length lines, and then took the ones that were closest to the same figure and flew them against each other, it would certainly be an interesting race. But a lot might depend on the max/min ratio too, and of course l/d could be a (overriding) deciding factor. And then there’s the difference in 2 and 4 line control, finer control may provide the edge in a close match of absolute power. And then there’s pilot ability, which is why I said to swap the kites and race again. Also, the buggies must all be exactly the same, a bunch of PL comps with stock wheels and one with those wide wheels (not the bigfoot, the 6.5 inchers) would be grossly unfair as a comparison, wheel width is a determining factor on sand.

Also intersting would be the graph of size verse PATE, and PATE verse windspeed.

on another tack, you say the chap broke a bridle on the Cquad. our local kite supplier has a prototype Cquad and he broke the entire bridle off it. heaven only knows what sort of wind he had it up in, but he had to ask PL for all the lengths and make a new one. My new Cq 2.6 has bridle lines that look a lot like 800lb Spectra, and I’m pretty sure they’re thicker than the proto had.

Also, if someone plans to make a NPW in the near future, make it so you can withdraw the rope in the seams where the bridle lines attach (attach the bridle lines with slipknots so you can loosen them), then you can slide in some fibreglass spars and snug down the bridles and see what difference it makes. let us know how it goes….(sadly, I can’t make one anytime soon myself since I had to sacrifice my cutting board, a sheet of masonite, to making a table for the kids….)
steam and wind


> The c-quad has some strange curves at strange places. It seams all
> straight forewards, but it’s nothing like that. And lets be honest:
> nothing easy to be expected from Peter L.

To induce an airfoil in the billow of the sail the way PL achieved it wasn’t too difficult and my later version does it in a way even better than his(if it wasn’t for my wedding in less than 7 weeks… it would have been bridled and testflown ages ago! I have not flown anything in almost a month now!!!) Theoretically my next try should be at least 30% more effective. The main problem was to keep the spars relatively in the same flat plane(except for the tips of course) where a standard crosbridle wanted to give it a very pronounced arch… it’s gone flat now after 4 bridle versions and it only has a few minor details to look into… otherwise…. it still pulls like a truck and takes down to the size of a stunter … so it works!!!

The difference comes in with the complexity of the 3D shape of the sail, unlike the NPW that uses mostly the bridle(except for the darts on the LE that helps shape that area) the C-quad uses paneling of the sail to create an airfoil when inflated/billowed…. not for the newbie kitemaker.


> Only ever flown SkyTigers (Hi 40, Hi 22, Hi 15) with my buggy. How do they
> compare with the C-quad?

… pretty good actually… still when it comes to going upwind there’s quite a few degree’s difference and few kites can compete in this aspect! I was literally shocked when I dicovered how far upwind I could reach before really slowing down and “working” the kite to go further!!! Another pro about this kite is that it flies quite fast meaning that you’ll have to be going extremely fast to “overtake” the kite. The Skytiger is still a very good contender in the buggy market and would have been better if it wasn’t for the price, then again you pay for the quality(the C-quad is well made, very rugged and easier to fix too). The whole idea with the C-quad was to create a cheaper entry level traction kite which much to everyone’s surprise became an advanced kite for an advanced flyer. The only thing that stands in the way of the C-quad’s success was it’s packing method. You’re unable to transport different size while buggying if you happen to go out on a daytrip unless you had a tandem as a trailer. Unlike other foils where you could take at least three other different sizes in a axle pouch with ease.

This kite is a monster though… you cannot compare it size for size with a normal high performance foil, I misjudged this by a lot and had to quickly downgrade or get seriously hurt in the process. I figure that, more than the fact that it’s a quad, placed it in the advanced class, it’s fast, powerfull, rugged and recoverable and it travels upwind like a dream.


No way a NPW (even mine, LOL) can keep up with a good traction kite. Only use it with a buggy to learn, or take a big one like 5 or 6 m2 in very low winds when everything else drops out of the sky.

However I still think you can squeeze more out of it, trying to do just that, but it’s a hard kite to understand, and it takes a lot of time rebridling the thing every time.

That doesn’t mean it’s a bad kite though: it’s a lot of fun if you want to play with wind power and learn how to handle that.

I’ve never flown the C-quad, but I know (and I’ve stated that before) that a “delta” power kite can have more than twice the pull with the same area as a foil.. My own Omega’s are an example of that.
Want to win races? Omega…..
PS for Miel: you ever fly at Velsen-Noord ?
Regards, Peter


True!!! Well that said, the C-quad is just that…. an evolved NPW. It’s not a delta or anything like a delta and it has everything in common with the NPW except for the spines(reduces bridle and increases stability etc.) and the fibreglass LE(provides a cleaner leading edge and holds it’s shape) and the fact that it has more cells(on some bigger models) = higher AR, because it was possible with the framing method and the AR increased performance.

It’s not a bad kite and I stated that quite often, it has it’s niche and fills the gap quite well. Cheap, easy to make, easy to learn, not too many frills as to make it fidgety when flown etc. etc. etc. As for improving… I was gonna make one, first with spines, less ie. A2-3,A5-7 and A9-11 and go on from their to make a cleaner LE and see what happens…


Gene wrote:
> True!!! Well that said, the C-quad is just that…. an evolved NPW. It’s

No, no, no, no, no, the c-quad is a kite! It has a well thought off design, a profile is formed out of single skin. An NPW is designed as a parachute!!

Comparing a c-quad to a sticked NPW is truly *the* most worse comparison ever made in kiting history!

Of course all the foil designers hate this design! It’s so simple and that much better than the best foil, you’ll have to hate it.

I’m very curious how the German-kite sponsored buggy races in Europe will handle this kite…..


> No, no, no, no, no, the c-quad is a kite! It has a well thought off
> design, a profile is formed out of single skin. An NPW is designed as a
> parachute!!

I have seen this referal to the NPW in more than just one international publication and until that point I had not realised how true it was. The insperation for the C-quad couldn’t have come from any other kite… if you flew the 1.8 C-quad next to a LK 1.2 NPW you cannot help but think it either. Exactly what other is the NPW but a <quote>a profile is formed out of single skin<unquote> If you’d asked Peter de Jong he’d also comment that a NPW would be a creature of a whole different nature with a cleaner LE, higher AR, more cells and some sail integrity.

> Comparing a c-quad to a sticked NPW is truly *the* most worse comparison
> ever made in kiting history!

Read again monami’, I referred to it as an evolved NPW not just enhanced or just sticked but totally modified to increase the overall performance, increasing the AR, celaning up the LE and giving the sail some integrity which also happened to do away with most of the bridle. Some say pappa was a NPW and momma was a Speedwing…. whatever!!! 😉

> Of course all the foil designers hate this design! It’s so simple and
> that much better than the best foil, you’ll have to hate it.

Back to basics and KIS(keep it simple) 😉

> I’m very curious how the German-kite sponsored buggy races in Europe
> will handle this kite…..

I can see it now…. “ve vill not aksept no sticky kite”


You could not be more wrong! If you look at what has happened to foils you will note that almost all their performance gains are a result of reducing drag. Increasing aspect ratio was the primary method to acomplish this. Smaller diameter bridle lines was the next most significant.Making the leading edge cleaner was third. Anything after that was down in the noise level. Aerodynamicists have known for years that cresent shaped planforms reduced induced drag. It doesnt have that much application in airplanes because that shape caused structural weight of the main spars to increase dramatically and flutter was almost always an insurmontable problem. A c-quad is supported by bridle lines and thus suffers no structural weight penalty also the structure is so flexible that any flutter would occur at a very low frequency and not be a problem. The added benefit of the structure was to keep the leading edge tidy over a wide range of apparent wind speeds. the end result is significantly lower drag and better performance. If you put a leading edge spar in the NPW you would still have a low performance kite in terms of L/D
Dave Lord


Hiya Dave,
You’ve been quite lately, seems I struck a chord with this last posting…

Yep, all true, but in terms of a cheap, entry level and home manufacturable kite it has it’s use… read back a few postings and you’ll notice how many folks do not realise the difference between a NPW and a C-quad’s performance. I nearly fell of my chair when reading a posting some time ago about a fella visiting a different flying site for a change and did a return(probably upwind) trip in his buggy, astounding others who’d always packed up and walked back. It isn’t wrong to start out on a NPW, quite a few had and moved on. I was just stating possible means of improving this already basic and easy kite in a no-fuss fashion. I will never go back to buggying with a kite that has any less upwind potential than a JoJo , Quad Comp or C-quad… it just isn’t fun anymore.

Once you tack upwind there’s no turning back!


As far as performance is concerned you’ll loose out on all counts against someone who really knows how to use their C-quad. Especially on a tight upwind run… I have tuned the enhanced NPW of Peter de Jong’s to the max where you can go slowly upwind on a perfect day but nothing compared to any of my other foils… and my other foils can’t go anywhere near my C-quads. I can get anyplace upwind with my C-quad that would sometimes require about fifty tacks from my NPW. So I have the whole beach at my disposal compared to just a few hundred metres with the NPW because I couldn’t get back on a gusty day in less than 100 tacks because I went to far…. now which is more recreational?


I agree here. The C-quad is the nicest kite I’ve flown to date. I can go where I’ve not been before, and all I need to be able to ANYWHERE, is a bigfoot (-:

That said, we have yet to see serious reports on racing with Cquads against other kites. I’d really like to see some top buggy pilots given the same model buggy (say all PL comps), and then each given an identicle ‘area’ kite. depnds on wind of course, but say you’ve got enough, everyone gets a 2.5m^2 (or closest to it) kite, and race! Then swap kites randomly and race again. Then debrief all pilots and race officers for impressions on performance.

Corey, any chance you blokes going to Lake Gairdner can fit this into your program? Seems a good opportunity to me.

All my lauditry remarks aside, I do not disparage the NPW, it is a fine example of brute power, and I’m tempted to make one specially for downwind runs on our long beaches. Most of our beaches are just about downwind to the normal wind, thus obviating the need for upwind performance, but needing a lot of luff resistance and brute power for size ratio. In fact a stack of Flexis may be the next best thing. (last time I did a 22km run I was doing 30km/h with a single 6ft flexi, you figure the wind speed 🙂
steam and wind


Though with all the difference in weight and gear, skill and experience is still the most important factor. During this particular event I had just received my C-quad, only flew it for the first time the morning of the day after and got to buggy with it later that afternoon, though I was cruising along in -5 knots I was no race material yet. Someone handed me a huge Paua(quad Peel) and all was much better again!!!

Well the guy weighs about +100kg if I’m not mistaken, piloting a PL mega buggy(extra strong axle, 5 wheels etc. weighs a ton too) and had the 2.6 up in over 35 knots of wind. He was creamin’ past everybody else at the start and ended up more than 50m ahead of everyone after 200m or so. At the time I was stuck near the waterline after a severe flip-out trying to get upwind using the 3.3 Traction, my smallest rig. I couldn’t believe anyone could push it to the max in those winds… something had to give or get hurt, surprising to see the bridle break, only the one line and it all still worked well enough to go upwind even more surprisingly…

I would like to(marital plans and all) but I think my smooth skin version of the C-quad is much more interesting project for now.


I would’ve loved to do a study on the airfoil/basic crosssection of a NPW in flight to make a better judgment on how to achieve the following. I have simplified the ideas around enhancing the flight dynamics of the NPW to what is available to me. Some problems with the NPW involves the LE and it’s ability to distort and this has great influence on it’s forwards speed and ability to go closer to the windows edge, low aspect ratio, another is the billow induced profile that shapes itself to windconditions and bridle tension. The latter is not an entirely bad property and in some cases do increase performance but when it causes the profile thickness to increase the foil will slow down and with the increase in drag not be able to go nearer the windows edge.

Using say for instance a Sputnik4 profile(roughly +20% thickness) with a chord lenght that causes the outline length of the foil to be the same as the LK, cut in half(along the chordline) and sew along the A-bridle line to achieve a fixed aerodynamic billow. Attach a spar pocket to the chordline and attach a bridle to this with a towpoint in the same position as that of the old NPW. You’ll require less lines(4-5) and the spar only needs to be in the order of 4mm fibreglass(less for the smaller NPW’s). Also attach a sparpocket along the B-bridle line(again less lines can be used to bridle the B-bridle line, up to you) and instead of using the rollover LE on the nose, leave it flush with the profile tip. Attach a sparpocket along this region as well and using something like 4mm hydraulic tubing to connect the three spars making up the LE (PL got clever here and made in one hoop though the angular design should work as well even if not as strong) You could also attach the vertical spars to othe LE using i.e Exel rubber LE/spreader connectors.

Else in sstead of using the Sputnik4 profile method you could sit and project a 3d-paneled sail that induces a max billow around the 27-31% area of the sail, as long as the A-bridle line remains reasonably straight….

This, in a nutshell is what I’ve been wanting to try for some time now but never seem to have enough time for lately… Feel free to try it and share your findings with us….


Rene wrote:
> On Wed, 27 Jan 1999 23:02:18 GMT, (David Lord)
> wrote:
> (may be partially quoted)
> [snip] > > the end result is significantly lower drag and
> >better performance. If you put a leading edge spar in the NPW you
> >would still have a low performance kite in terms of L/D
> >Dave Lord
> -which arouses the following question: (no criticism – I really want
> to know!)
> 1. Is L/D a good benchmark for kite performance?


> 2. Can L/D be asserted by observing how high a kite will rise above
> you (90 degrees above you being the max I guess)

that is a common benchmark

> 3. A kite with a narrow PW has to have a poor L/D (kite will not rise
> to 90 degrees)

yes. it is impossible that a kite actually gets to 90 degrees, but the successive degrees after about 70 become ever more hard to achieve.

> 4. How does this work out for Nasa’s (mine does fly nearly 90 degrees
> overhead – and pulls!)

to answer this, get a friend to fly the NPW above him and walk off 50 yards to the side and look at the line angle. even better if someone will stand next to your friend with a Skytiger or Jojo etc and fly it up above him.

we regularly do this around here, except we fly them ourselves and stand next to each other and compare line angles. in this test you will see about 5 degrees difference between my Sputnik and my friends homemade kite. (the Sput being higher) the homemade kite is not a bad kite, I learnt to buggy using it, and it was great fun. Just the Sput is better, I can consistantly outride the other kite in a variety of windspeeds, and I’m now having more fun. The crunch comes in gusts, the sput will collapse where the other kite (a really thick section with huge air inlets) will keep flying. (and his Paua gets a few more degrees than my Sput, and my Cquad gets more over the Paua)

and don’t for a moment believe you are looking straight up at your kite! stand at the doorway of a tall building (5 floors or more) and put your back to the building, then look up along the wall. you’ll be surprised how far back you bend to do it. looking up at a kite is deceptive because you have no reference points.
steam and wind
David Forsyth


Lets suppose my Nasa only makes 70 degrees (you may be right about the optical illusion though) – does this translate into a power window of + /- 70 degrees? If so – when a better kite gets 5 degrees more in the “overhead” test – is this also ~ 2 x 5 degrees more in the power window?

If so (2), the difference will be useful, but not spectacularly big IMHO

(yes – I am renowned for boneheadedness 🙂

and, how does this all relate to the actual airfoil shape of the kite? In my other hobby (RC model planes) I gained a rudimentary understanding of airfoils, in that there are hi-lift foils that create drag by higher speeds and become inefficient, as opposed to “flatter” airfoils that give less lift, but will tolerate higher speeds before turbulence sets in.

In other words, a poor “PATE” may still yield a fast kite, or the other way around..

Can you make sense out of this?

(fact: I have a birthday coming up – and I may have one shot at a new kite this year – don’t want to spend a lot of money for a marginal improvement) Will there be wind coming sunday?
Questions questions….
Best Regards, Rene Zuidema


The window will be 10 degrees bigger but you can only use 5 degrees at any one time so you are only concerned with the 5 degrees.

One more thing to add here, I know from experience that the NPW get’s to about 60 degrees and slowly creeps to about 70 degrees then needs to be “pumped” to go higher. The Cq on the other hand flies up there by itself at speed….. “pump” the Cq and it luffs!!! That is the major difference because while you are buggying upwind the last thing you want to do is overtake your kite….

In Utopia you’d prefer a reasonably fast foil(less drag, in most cases with a thinner profile thickness) with a good lift coefficient(high L/D), high AR but not too high as to cause “banana’ing”(as most lift is generated in the area around the LE, the amount relates to your wingspan compared to wing surface area) as low a moment coefficient as possible to resist luffing…. as many cells as possible to retain the wingshape but in contradiction to this you prefer a thicker/wider section to increase the cell integrity through higher cell pressure which in turn resists stalling in gusty and variable winds…. a clean leading edge that retains it’s shape for cleaner penetration to reduce drag… in some cases a recurve in the last 30% of the bottom skin to induce negative lift(handy for two line kites to reduce the bridle complexity but costy reduction in overall lift) oh boy, should I carry on?

Yep, Flexifoils are a good example…..

Could, but my head still hurts from that last paragraph…. 😉 Nah, it’s all about compromise and lots of R & D, very few foils are a 100% perfect as all have one aspect that had been compromised on to increase overall performance and learning how these factors work together for particular applications takes time and practical experience.

Buy a C-quad or three!!! 😉


Rene Zuidema wrote:
> You seem to know your stuff – so I will harp on about this subject 🙂

hmmm…flattery will not get you any of my kites (-:

> On Thu, 28 Jan 1999 12:49:25 +0200, David Forsyth
> Lets suppose my Nasa only makes 70 degrees (you may be right about the
> optical illusion though) – does this translate into a power window of
> + /- 70 degrees?

yes, if it goes up to 70 degrees, then it can only to to each side to 70 degrees tot he wind direction.

> If so – when a better kite gets 5 degrees more in the “overhead” test
> – is this also ~ 2 x 5 degrees more in the power window?

from side to side, yes, 10 degrees more, but we are concerned only withone side at a time. if you have a kite (A) that goes to 70 degrees, and you buggy upwind with it such that you do 10km/h, you will do a certain angle upwind, ok? now, take another kite (B) that produces exactly the same power, but at 75 degrees, and do your 10km/h upwind course, and you’ll find you’re doing 5 degrees more upwind than last time. this is the prime difference in *buggy* kites. if all you want is power, then the max angle doesn’t matter cos you’re not going upwind.

consider a beach or desert that has great wind going north, and your tent is at the south end, assume the beach is 500 meters wide and 3 kilometers long. so, you hop in your buggy and scoot downwind for 3 kilometers. cool now you gotta get back to the tent for a beer….without walking so, with kite A from above, you can do say 10 degrees into the wind (10 degrees toward the wind from 90 degrees cross wind). This means you’ll have to zigzag across the 500 meter beach a certain number of times, each at that angle, until you get to your tent.

now take kite B, and you can do say 15 degrees into the wind. this means that you can zigzag that much less, ie fewer zigs and zags, to get to your tent.

this also means that your mean speed into the wind (or Velocity made Good, VMG) is higher than with kite A, and this means you will win the race (but)

(but) here I’m assuming noone in the race crashes a kite, and that everyone makes the same radius turns as they tack, and that everyone either consistantly does an upwind or downwind turn, doesn’t matter which, just so long as everyone does it the same all the time. these are obviously ideal conditions, but in order to compare and explain the differenc L/D makes, we have to assume these things.

In a real race, pilot weight and kite size, and pilot skill make lots of difference. if you have a medium kite and medium weight, you will not make the top VMG, nor top max speed on the reaches, but if you fly consistantly at your best speeds, turn tight on upwind legs, never crash or hesitate or have to avoid another buggier and thus lose time, you will probably win the race, given that other chaps will have turned wide, luffed, had to avoid, etc etc.

if you are medium weight and select a large kite for the wind (say 5m^2 in 35knots) you will be able to travel real fast on someruns, but upwind and crosswind you’ll just slide more than make headway, cos your kite is too big. someone with a 3.5m^2 kite will win cos he won’t be sliding as much. someone with both advantages, ie the correct kite AND a kite that does well upwind, will do even better.

designing a buggy kite involves various compromises, as Gene has pointed out. You can’t have everything at the same time. However, the Cquad has many things at the same time….
– high speed
– low drag
– good l/d
– lots of power
– low max/min ratio

the compromise on the Cquad is packaging, a foil packs easily and small, and you can stuff 4 in a backpack and go buggying like that. you can’t do that with a Cquad unless you remove the leading edge spar (like I do). you still can’t pack four in a backpack, but you can tie a few, rolled up like stunt kites, to the buggy frame.

the max/min ratio is something Gene didn’t mention. Flexifoils have a high max/min ratio, ie they hardly pull at the edge, but pull enormously in the middle. the perfect buggy kite has a m/m ratio of 1, ie the power at the edge is the same as the power in the middle, BUT, the power is equal to that Flexi belting through the power zone. Thus you get no surprises, and since a buggy kite spends 99% of its time at the edge, you always have max power. Sputniks also have high m/m, though much lower than the flexis, and the Cquad is even lower, but the absolute power available at the edge is very high. an even perfecter kite would be one that you can fly at ‘keep it in the air power’, anyewhere in the window, and with a flick of the wrist you can turn on ‘Flexi through the middle’ size power, controlably.

> If so (2), the difference will be useful, but not spectacularly big

5 degrees is enormously significant, and after 70 degrees even 1 degree more becomes significant. If my friend Steve Lawrie is reading this, perhaps he would be so kind as to send you his spreadsheet which shows this in action.

> (yes – I am renowned for boneheadedness 🙂
> and, how does this all relate to the actual airfoil shape of the kite?
> In my other hobby (RC model planes) I gained a rudimentary
> understanding of airfoils, in that there are hi-lift foils that create
> drag by higher speeds and become inefficient, as opposed to “flatter”
> airfoils that give less lift, but will tolerate higher speeds before
> turbulence sets in.
> In other words, a poor “PATE” may still yield a fast kite, or the
> other way around..

airfoils in kites and models are in the same airspeed league, except for a few cases where absolute ‘wing’ speed is being sought after (like pylon racing in airplanes) kites suffer from center of pressure migration luffing, which in an airplane the tail surface automatically corrects for.

you are correct, Flexifoils have very poor PATE, yet are very fast through the power zone, and thus produce lots of power at that time. I’ve had my Sputnik up in wind where I can hardly pull the thing toward me when it’s at the edge, and when it’s going through the power it’s simply ‘hang on and pray’. In that wind a stack of 10′ Flexis would have been quite mild at the edge by comparison, but ‘in the power’ would have been suicidal.

but the big point is that *buggy* kites spend very little time in the power zone, their main work is at the edge, and therefore it’s PATE that count, and the angle at which that power is produced.

> Can you make sense out of this?

can you make sense of what I’ve said? (-:

> (fact: I have a birthday coming up – and I may have one shot at a new
> kite this year – don’t want to spend a lot of money for a marginal
> improvement)

there is no question that a mid size Cquad (2.6 or 3.2, whatever suits your bodyweigth and average wind) will be value for money. They are much cheaper than an equivalent foil, will prodoce the goods for skiing, and whne you get a buggy, will be your best kite from the start.

> Will there be wind coming sunday?

probably, esp if you stay home….
steam and wind
David Forsyth


>Is this really a big difference in a recreational window? I mean:
>needing one more tack in an upwind leg surely loses a race for you,
>but if one is just bumbling around like me, I could live with that.
>(unless kiter A drinks my beer upon arrival)

Only when you buggy with others. Or when the place you buggy is real narrow, making the return very difficult. For instance, where we buggy here in florida, when the winds are out of the N as they are now, the narrow beach, makes buggying not to much fun even with the best equipment. It doesn’t stop us from doing it, we just don’t do it as much. The thing i found with kites that don’t go upwind as well as others, is how hard it was to watch your friend with the better kite, leave you in the dust!
total AoxomoxoA brought to you by. . .
. . . dean jordan


for pure recreation, no, it doesn’t matter that much, one kite wil be much the same as another. but as your skill develops (and it has too, fact of life), you will wish for better kite, because better kites makes it more fun because you don’t have to work so hard, especially in marginal conditions.

the day I first flew my Sputnik I rejoiced cos the kites I had been flying, while good, required more work than really necesary, due to a low L/D and arch bridles. The Sputnik has a cross bridle and a high L/D(compared), and is just more fun, easier to control, more power for the area, better upwind etc.

in short, a good kite is worth the price you will regret spending money on a medium kite, when next to it on the rack is a good kite that you coudl have had.

> >If my friend Steve Lawrie is reading this,
> >perhaps he would be so kind as to send you his spreadsheet which shows
> >this in action.
> I would love to get that spreadsheet!
> As I hunger for figures – and you know them – Suppose I can get ~ 10 –
> 15 degrees upwind at a reasonable speed using the 5m^2 Nasa in a 5 Bft
> wind – what would a Cq do in the same condx?

25 to 40 degrees upwind at the same speed, or faster. as a comparison, right now I’m don’t know any actual upwind angle figures for any kites… they’re hard to measure since they’re speed dependent

> >can you make sense of what I’ve said? (-:
> Why is it that I can browse all I like in the “kitering”, borrow
> kiting books, read FAQ’s etc. yet your post alone teached me more
> about kites in 163 lines than all I read before.

thanks…..did i write that much?!

> Summary – I am sorry to keep buggering you with my doubts, and I
> highly appreciate your very educational input.
> Everybody seems to be totally Lyrical about the newest PL product, and
> probably for a very good reason. I need to be sure it is not just a
> fashion streak everybody follows. I read comments about people needing
> 100 tacks on a NPW, while needing 2 tacks on a Cq upwind, and that is
> just not what I experience. And with 4 months experience I am not
> really a top notch buggy driver.

I’m not top notch either, but one learns as you go along. I started on relatively low performance kites and learnt a lot, but I leanrt more when I tried better kites, like jojo’s and Sputniks and Cquads. one thing I leanrt was that is wasn’t *me* that coudln’t get going like my buddies were, it was the *kite* performance that was lacking.

buggying recently I had the smallest kite up and was having a ball, but I was going slower than the chaps with the 5m^2 kites (slower in that I was doing speeds of 30+km/h and they were doing 35km/h or so). BUT, they were struggling to stay in the buggy, sliding a bit etc, and I was enjoying myself in a relaxed way without having to worry unduly about getting yanked out the buggy. yes, I do it for fun, but it *is* nice to keep up with your friends….

All the kites I’ve flown so far seem to have a preferred wind speed. Sure, they fly so long as the air moves, but at a certain wind speed they seem to suddenly go ‘optimal’ and buggying becomes awesome. at the above meet I was wishing for a 3.2 or 4 Cq instead of my 2.6, but I know that our average wind conditions favor the smaller kite, we have LOTS of wind here, in our ave conditions, those blokes with the 5m^2 kites are looking in their bags for smaller kites. At THAT point, I will be competitive against them without effort.

> I thank you for valuable lessons. Count on being bothered with more
> silly questions in the future 🙂

no prob, leanring is cummunal so far as I’m concerned I just hope I make no mistakes……
steam and wind
David Forsyth


>There have been a few posts recently praising the merits of the C-Quad over
>equivalent foils, especially in terms of power for a given area. It may well
>be true that a 3.2m C-Quad does pull as hard as a 5m foil, but does this
>really matter?
>Granted, a 3.2m C-Quad is much cheaper that a 5m SkyTiger (or whatever), but
>in terms of pure performance what matters is surely :-
>”Does the C-Quad you would choose to fly in the prevailing conditions
>outperform (upwind, downwind and reaching) the SkyTiger (or whatever) that you
>would choose to fly in the same conditions?”
>So what if you would choose to fly a 3.2m C-Quad against a 5m SkyTiger.
>Which would win?
>I guess the race results over the next 12 months will reveal all.
>IMHO the foils will continue to win the races.
>No denying that the C-Quad is a brilliant recreational kite though 🙂
>When I’ve had a chance to compare my (as yet unflown) 3.2m CQuad with my 3.0,
>4.0 and 6.0 foils I may eat my words. Watch this space.
>Pete Thomas.

David Forsyth answered the performance thing pretty well. Better L./D is indeed the answer up to the point where the performance is so high a reasonably skilled pereson will not be able to fly it. Peter Lynn says this is around L/D= 6 or so. The Quadrifoil Comps were getting close but were too difficult to keep in the air during a whole race except by very skilled pilots and benign wind conditions. The xxl versions are better handling but don’t have quite the performance of the original. Time will tell if the C-quad can get to a higher L/D and have handling qualities that are manageable.

During a race if there are any long upwind legs the kite with the best L/D will make less tacks and get to the mark quicker. I land sail quite a bit along side buggys and downwind the buggys do well but upwind the land sailor will run off and hide from the buggy. The reason is a good sail can have a L/D of around 10 and if a slight mistake is made the landsailor sail just luffs a bit and a small steering change corrects it. For a kite it is more serious, it falls out of the sky and takes some time to get it relaunched.

Dave Lord


Both. The C-Quad is fidgety, but the Quad Comp is both more fidgety and has a very bad “failure mode.” Basically, when it “luffs” it falls forward (nose down) against the brilde, then starts blowing down wind. When it has been blown back enough, and obtains enough AOA, it “pops” back…usually with a tremendous burst of power.
Gene Matocha


about the quad comp comment, i have a comp xl, and yes, when it Pops back after a luff, it can actually hurt you. scares me silly, not such a good flier yet, so it stays in the bag, while I use the 2000 series. I dont mind the total amount of power, but rather the speed at which it powers up, i mean, snap your fingers, and you go from in control to airborne (usually doing a face plant on the landing) 😉 with kites that power up slowly, I have more time to react and stay out of trouble.
Just my thoughts
Mikey luvs Ya!


>hmmm, my Sput does this too, luff, drift back, POP and GO. What I do
>is watch it carefully while sterring upwind to help it reinflate, and
>steer downwind the moment it starts to inflate, and brace myself in
>the buggy (so it comes with me insteadof me doing a ‘trapeze’, going
>over the front wheel).
>If I was going too slowly or there was no space, I may stop instead of
>turning upwind. Stop facing downwind and be wedged in….
>David Forsyth
> Living in South Africa

I would disagree with you David on what to do when your kite colapses and drops back. The safe thing to do is to imediately turn downwind toward the kite. It will reinflate and you will recover starting downwind. You can then turn back up wind and be on your way. If you turn the other way then when the kite reinflates it rips you out of the buggy backwards. Watch someone who has been hurt a few times, they are quick to turn toward the kite when it luffs.

Dave Lord


Brilliant recreational kite, yes, I agree, but it is only the bonus. Having the choice (and now some experience) between very good foils (Ekko) and large C Quads, one thing I’m sure for the next 12 months is that my choice will always be a large C Quad for the low or very low wind races, and always a C Quad again for the rainy/sandy days.
Sylvain Bouju


> hmmm, interesting thread. I’m a JoJo user myself, but have a hole in my

Love the JoJo’s myself, for reasonably the same level of performance I’d prefer them to the Quad Comp’s for not being so fidgety and they seem to have a few degree’s extra upwind range too….

> wind range between when the 2.7 is giving too much pull and the 1.6, not
> quite enough.
> I’m wondering if a very small C-quad would fill the gap. What I hesitate
> in getting a C-quad is user-friendliness. Is it easy to launch, land
> (and keep landed!) and re-launch?

The 1.8 or 2 sq.m. version(depends on the manufacturer by the looks of things) will do that for you…. Only one problem with the Cq and that is a nose-in/belly-down or belly-up/nose-out crash. Same as with the Rev’s they are quite difficult to relaunch this way without some time setting up(walk of shame) using sand on the trailing edge. A good time saver seeing as the standard line length is 15m is to use your buggy to “stand” the kite against…. Keeping them grounded is as easy as landing it in either of the above mentioned ways.


belly up noseoout is the easier to relaunch from! simply pull on whichever wing is closest to you so that the tip faces you. now pull on the other side main line and the leading edge will lift, a little juggling and it’s up and away (usually straight into max power, yeeehaaaa)

I have modified mine so I can remove the leading edge spar easily, in 2 peices. bigger sizes will require more joints. but taking it out means I can roll the Cquad up like a stunter, and the 2 long fiberglass spars fit in anywhere in my car. (they’re 2.1 meters each on the 2.6m^2 Cq)
David Forsyth


> } > in getting a C-quad is user-friendliness. Is it easy to launch,
> land (and
> } > keep landed!) and re-launch?
> }
> } Yes, all that is very easy. And overall, in a normal race, the right
> } place for the kite is in the sky…:-) Between the races, no problem
> } with water, sand, etc. The only real problem is for carrying them…
> I have modified mine so I can remove the leading edge spar easily, in
> 2 peices. bigger sizes will require more joints. but taking it out
> means I can roll the Cquad up like a stunter, and the 2 long
> fiberglass spars fit in anywhere in my car. (they’re 2.1 meters each
> on the 2.6m^2 Cq)

Well, I have lurked on this thread and topic, reading everything everyone had to say about the c-quads, just waiting for mine to arrive. It came home from the KTA last week and made it’s virgin flight yesterday. I’m still grinning today!

The kite is the Cquad 6.3 and it seems to be everything promised. I pulled it out of it’s bag (sort of let it explode out of its bag) hooked up the lines and with a couple of minor length adjustments I was off. The wind was 6 – 7 mph, lines were 100 feet, and it pulled like a truck (a rather easily controlled truck.) Pull was a bit more than my buddys SkyTiger Hi60 and was just as controlable. As has been noted here before, control is a bit different than most foils in that the brake lines need to be kept under tension in order to develop full power. It steers quickly for a kite of this size and responds sort of like a Rev. It doesn’t seem to like to be dual lined to any extreme.

I’m not quite ready to clean the foils out of my kite bag but I do like what I have experienced so far. This kite was purchased to replace aging 6.6 and 9.3 foils and would appear to be up to those expectations. Now if would only fit in my power bag.

FWIW the kite was ordered through Wings On The Wind, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA ( ) last fall knowing that as of that time the 6.3s were not available in the USA and told them as soon as they could. In the order of a disclaimer, I have no connection with the shop other than they are one of my favorite shops, they treat me well, and they support our local club.
Terry “Gizmo” Gerweck
Black Swamp Air Force


Ok… the C-Quad may by my killer kite…used in the same context as “Killer-Application” for computing.

I was at Big City Kites today, and the prices for these C-Quad things are UNBELIEVABLE! I paid less for a friggin’ 3.2m^2 than I paid for my Stranger! Power kite for LESS $ THAN A STUNT KITE?!?!? BTW, it you read my previous post about Big City Kites price on C-Quads…they are even LOWER…appearantly after the trade show, the prices have come down. Dave asked me not to quote prices over r.k, but I would check with him before you order one.

I call this a possible killer kite for me because if it performs as well as everone says, why would I ever build another inflated foil? Geese, I can’t even order the fabric for a foil for what I paid for the C-Quad. My reasons behind making my own foils are to 1. Improve performance. 2. Save Money. Guess I’ll just have to start making single skins!

Also, everyone for years has been saying that framed kites way out-perform inflated foils. Why did it take Peter Lynn building one to validate that? I heard tales of Nop Velthuizen kicking ass with a stack of Speedwings, and others coming in with framed kites and winning races. Why didn’t anyone get excited then? Why has it taken so long for this OLD idea to come of age?


several factors here.

1 – you run into size problems. why do you think speedwings get stacked? it’s because you need the area but the spars are not strong enough to withstand the forces. as your area increases your need for spar strength increases faster.

2 – a stack of stick kites is great, while they’re up, luff once and you’re in for a walk and 10 minutes untangling them and relaunching. I’ve tried a stack of 2, it’s great, but very hard to launch, and tangles on landing are a given.

3 – a perceived danger of the sticks hurting someone. I believe there is more danger from the flying lines. Any flyer that sees his kite is heading for a bystander, and is not in a position to fly it so it misses, MUST release the kite. The moment a kite is released it becomes a windblown rag, and loses all forward speed in a great hurry. It’s the forward speed that creates the danger. It is this release issue that keeps me against harnesses.

4 – PL did build some excellent traction deltas way back, but stopped because of the spar strength issue, and transport issue (a 2 meter 12mm carbon rod is clumsy to say the least) AFAIK

5 – packing the things. obviously, a bunch of stick kites is harder to carry around than a bag of foils

6 – Peter Lynn turned to foils. Think about it. ‘The guru’ goes to foils and produces the Peel etc. Everyone else plays catchup, and ignores stick kites because PL is ignoring them. Now the Cquad is out, expect an enormous influx of new stick traction kites. The Cquad is patented BTW, so don’t get ideas for copying it.

In the Cquad you’ll see that the spar weight and strength issue has been solved by using a flexible frame, which is supported by the bridle. Early attmepts at stick traction used traditional ‘stunter’ bridling, which obviously led to frame failures. The flexible frame also allows us the 4 line control we enjoy on Cquads. For all that, the bridle is simple, with much less drag than the equiv foil bridle.

I think this is a logical extension of knowledge built up about foil bridles over the years, and the realization that a clean and efficient leading edge is the key to L/D.

However, my carefully considered opinion is that foils will be with us for a long time to come. The Cq is great and I don’t think it can be improved much (he said, opening the door for PL to surprise us once again), while foils have a way to go still. The whole packaging and transport issue is another thing. I think nothing of tossing my shoulder bag with 5 foils and flying lines in it in the car when going out, just in case the opportunity arises, but I think carefully before packing the Cq (and buggy).

steam and wind
David Forsyth


>3 – a perceived danger of the sticks hurting someone. I believe there

Hardly perceived!!! I have been hit by a Cquad, Very Painful! Been sacked by a foil, probly did more damage to the foil, if any.

Always a danger from lines, foil or stunt.

The cautious buggier would not be flying over bystanders except to launch and land. Unfortunately, the reaction is to attempt to recover.

Useing a harness can be just as safe as not. It all depends on the pilot and their experience. Personally, I feel that a harness properly transfers power to the hips which allows for a lower center of gravity, especially when overpowered, and increase safety for the pilot.

Transportability if very important. the smaller the package the better.

I wouldn’t consider the latest round of foils catchup. Kites like the JOJO, Adrenalin, Moskito, etc…. have excellent performance and transportability to boot.

The biggest reason for the influx of framed kites is the increased interest in kite surfing. Ever heard of a company called Kiteski? Been around for about 3-4 years.


Until Peter came up with the C-quad framed kites were limited to about 2.5 m^2 because of structural problems. I built some larger framed kites, one as large 4.2 m^2. It was very powerful but was very fragile. Almost any kind of crash broke something or ripped the sail. The c-quad has a structure but it is much different from other framed kites, the frame does not try to keep the kite in a rigid shape. It is more like a soft kite with some frame members to keep the leading edge somewhat shaped and some battens to stabilize the sail. As the aerodynamic loads increase the frame sees only moderate loads. Framed kites have always performed at about the same level as a foil of twice the area.
Dave Lord


He actually kicked our butts at the second bbt with one speedwing. He was litarally running circles around us, we have it on video taken from the buggy seat! IT was sick!
total AoxomoxoA brought to you by. . .
. . . dean jordan


Hey there,

Well Dave at Big City has talked to Active People and they told him that the C-quad is actually a little less powerful than foils of the same size. That totally contradicts what owners of the C-quad have said. Does anybody have anything to back this up. This is a tough one. Who to believe, the manufacturer or the actual users?
P.S. Maybe Active People are not selling enough of the bigger models because the kite is more powerful and they need to sell them??????
Just a theory……


Hi all,

In addition to the stated qualities of the C-Quad, I have word from anonymous insider-sources that:

– The C-Quad is also a good defense against large invading cinema creatures.

– The US military is adapting them for ICBM defense, replacing the Patriot Missle, primarily because of the C-Quads outstanding LDR.

– Martha Stewart reports that as well as being an excellent kite, it makes a handy food processor, and is a great accessory for formal dinners. It’s a “Good Thing.”

– Stepen Spielburg is considering a C-Quad to co-direct his next movie.

– Reports from Columbia say that the Columbian Drug Lords are planning a hit on Peter Lynn because they fear C-Quad use will re-habilitate drug users, and possibly eliminate the world drug market.

– OSHA is looking into their positive effects on the ozone layer, and the suprise discovery that flying a C-Quad actually reduces green-house gases in the atmosphere.

– Scientists have attributed the extinction of the Dinosaurs to the fact that the C-Quad had not yet been invented.

– Reverse-engineering the C-Quad has revealed warped-space-time technology that is being scaled up to make faster-than-light travel possible.

– The Wall Street Journal reports that the long Bull-Market exactly coincided with the development of the C-Quad.

– OPEC is reportedly considering a hostile take-over of Peter Lynn Ltd. because the C-Quad may replace oil as the clean, limitless power supply for the next milenium.

– Ken Starr was quoted today as saying, “Mr. Clinton wouldn’t be in this mess if he had owned a C-Quad.”
Gene Matocha


snipped . . . <Well Dave at Big City has talked to Active People and they told
him that the C-quad is actually a little less powerful than foils of the same

Yeah, I heard a similar thing from Active people today, before I talked to Big City Kites. Active People suggested the 4.2 meter c-quad would somewhat resemble (in terms of strength of pull) my 3.8 meter quadrifoil (q-2000 series–they distribute both kites) Additionally, however, the quadrifoil may be a faster kite.

(The following is not a manufacturer’s or c-quad extraordinaire’s wind range; it’s my opinion and open to one’s own subjectivity):

Way I see it breaking down for my intended use–keeping in mind, I weigh 165 lbs, and ride on hard turf.

6.3 c-quad for buggying/mtn.boarding from 5 mph to maybe 15 mph winds.
3.8 quadrifoil for buggying/boarding from a proven 12 mph to 20 mph.
3.2 c-quad for buggying from 15 mph to maybe 25 mph winds.

6.3 c-quad for kitesurfing in 10 mph to 20 mph winds.
3.2 c-quad for kitesurfing in 20 mph, plus winds.

Whereas I use the quadrifoil to mtn. board (9-inch wheel diameter) in 12 to 20 mph winds, I use a 160cm snowboard in a foot of powder in about 15 to 25 mph winds. When the winds are above 25 mph, I believe I would rather be on the water on hanging onto my homemade landsailer (75 percent complete, pending delivery of a 4.7 and 6.0 meter sail)



Dodd Gross Indoor/Outdoor

Type: dual-line sport kite
Manufacturer: Eolo Sport.
Designer: Dodd Gross Design
Wingspan: 78″
Height: 30″ (spine length) 35″ (ish) total.
Sail area: 7.28ft2 (I think; this was from my measurements, may be wrong)
Weight: 149g (according to the local post office’s scale)
Wind range: 0-8mph
Spars: Avia 4mm/super skinny.
Bridle: Active.
MSRP: US$159.95


First thing is the bag; the kite fits in this with the leading edge assembled, which is to be expected. It’s a different bag to the normal sack-with-a-zip; there’s a transparent plastic section which sort of winds diagonally around from 2/3 to 3/4 of the way down, and the bottom 1/4 of the bag’s made of meshing; pretty, because you can see the kite through it, though I’m not sure if it has any use other than this. The bag closes with a velcroed flap at the top, and is in general made of fairly thin fabric (dacron? dunno), but does the job of holding the kite in place just fine.

Framing’s avia 4mm pultruded everywhere except for the lower spreaders, which are G-force super skinnies; tiny APA fittings hold it all together nicely, except for something else which I didn’t recognise at the lower standoffs, which are made out of 1mm (?) microcarbon of some sort or another.

The kite _looks_, in my opinion, really nice; for pictures, see / / et al; nice simple four-colour pattern, and personally I like the large blocks of solid colours; the black edges make it stand out nicely against the sky and the curvature is pleasing to the eye.

Sewing’s as good as I could want it to be; all the seams are tidy, no complaints here. The nose isn’t as reinforced as on a lot of kites; just seems to be a bit of fairly thick dacron(?) folded over to make the nose cap, but I had no trouble with this so far.

Everything seemed to hold together; the lower spreaders at first look as if they’re going to fall out all the time because they’re not squeezed in place in the same way as they are on, say, an Ozone, but wind up being held in place by the lower standoffs (which end up flexed into a pretty large curve when in place), and I’ve had no problems with it coming apart in flight.

It goes together nicely; all the various bits of frame fit into one another snugly, but not overly tightly. There’s an o-ring holding the upper spreader to the spine, which I’m sure serves some purpose, though what that purpose is eludes me.

End nocks are simple notch-style, the skin’s tightened with the normal loop of line that goes around a loop in the end of the skin and into the notch. This works fine, and I had no problems with line catching on it. No trick line, but I didn’t have any problems caused by the lack of one.

The bridle’s an Active Bridle; no problems with the bridle getting caught on bits of the framing, despite all the extra lengths of line that make it up. The final shape of the kite’s reasonably deep-set; about the same amount of depth in the sail as on a Midi, proportionally speaking.


[this is based on a couple of hours flying this morning, so it’s not the most in-depth review possible, I admit]

First thing, does it fly in zero wind? Yup, very definitely, and without an awful lot of effort, either. Comparing it to an Ozone (more on this later), it’s certainly easier to keep flying in no wind; 360s are just a matter of turning on the spot with no extra motion needed, and it tends to float nicely if you stop moving and not just fall out of the sky.

It’s not completely weightless — it has enough heft to it to not wind up being pulled out of the sky whenever you pull on the lines, which is nice for someone like myself who has a less-than-gentle style of flying.

That said, when the wind really does die down (I was flying outdoors, but in completely calm air), it floats like a dream. The balance on this kite is incredible — it makes some tricks almost _too_ easy. Example: how to do 900 bellyspins on an ID/OD:

1: point the kite vertically.
2: pull on both lines.
3: wait.

Seriously — the first time I tried an up-and-over, I put the kite above myself, stepped in a deep pile of snow, and while I was extricating my foot from the ground, the kite sat at the top of the window, thought to itself for a fraction of a second, and then spiralled vertically downwards to on top of me, doing two-and-a-half rotations in the process.

Axles work in lots of ways; yank on one line and it’ll whizz around and fly off; stop it, tug gently on a line, and it’ll float around in lovely flat fashion. (it’s amazing, this; you can pretty much do axles with your wrists locked together).

Half-axles work nicely, though I tended to bounce off the ground a lot while trying these — however, the kite does actually bounce off the ground which is comforting; the end of the leading edge hits the ground, flexes a little bit, and the kite springs back into the air again.

Flatspins are, as I mentioned, really easy — I was completely unable to do them before today, and now I’ve managed an, um, 1980 flatspin. As far as I can tell, the number of rotations you can get out of the kite is determined by the length of the lines, and nothing else; on 18′ lines, I got 3 1/2 spins; on 30′ lines, I got 4 1/4 spins; on 50′ lines, I got 5 1/2 spins. (on 100′ lines, I got a big tangle of lines while unwinding the lines because they got caught on ice sticking up from the ground, but I see no reason to believe this progression wouldn’t continue..)

This is _great_ fun — pop the kite up to the top of the window, turn it downwards, kill it flat, and watch it spiral downwards; as long as I kept moving forwards enough to keep the lines away from the wingtips, the kite would stay flat and keep turning. Heck, it’ll almost do these of it’s own accord.

Multiple axles seem to work as well as they ever do for me, namely I can get more than one axle out of it without stopping in the middle, but they’re not what I’d call smooth. That’s my fault, not the kites, though; it’ll float round well enough, I just have to work out where to put the second sub-pop to get it to keep going.

As for line length, I wouldn’t want to get much shorter than 18′, but I can see it being possible, if a bit frenetic. 50′ lines are surprisingly workable (again, being outdoors helps here) — because the kite doesn’t fall out of the sky too fast when it stops, you have enough time to get tension in the lines again and get things moving before it all falls apart.

More advanced tricks; well, this is pretty much where I reach my limit
of ability. Cascades, um, seem like they should be possible — because it’ll
do half-axles so slowly I think I have the chance to see what’s going on
well enough to make this happen, but didn’t try this just yet. Backflips
work fine; needs a reasonably gentle hand or it’ll wrap itself up into
a yoyo-like position, at which point the shortness of the lines I was
using caught me out.

Precision: not really. Okay, I’m not an expert on this at all, but I really don’t see it ever being acclaimed for it’s 90 degree cornering.

Groundwork: does it dead-launch? Yup — and really really easily. Managed it the first time I tried, in fact. The only problem I had is that the nose seems to dig into the snow a lot when trying sleeping-beauty type launches, but when the snow and ice have gone, so should that problem.

I never had to walk-of-shame to get it unwrapped from the lines, no matter how much of a tangle I got it into, which is pretty impressive; the end nocks just _don’t_ catch the lines no matter what I tried, and it seems to somehow lend itself to the sort of gentle shaking required to get the lines unwrapped from the wingtips.

As mentioned before, I’ve had no problems with the kite breaking so far; I’m not gentle on kites when doing groundwork, but nothing’s fallen apart or started to wear out thus far, and I’ve been dragging it across sharp nasty ice and hard ground; the spars remain intact, the bridle remains in one piece, the skin’s not wearing out or getting ragged. Then again, I’ve not flown it for all that long. (hour or so last night in dreadful turbulent wind’o’doom, couple of hours this morning in no wind).

Comparison to the Ozone: (this being the other kite of this sort that I have).

I’ve flown the Ozone for a lot longer than the ID/OD, and yet I can do tricks more easily and better on the ID/OD than I can on the Ozone. Weird, but I think it’s because the ID/OD is balanced better. I have a repeated problem with axelling the Ozone where if I don’t get it _just_ right, the Ozone does 3/4 of the rotation and then falls sort of backwards and through the lines, and then ends up on the ground wrapped around the lines.

Now, at this point I suffer from the fact that my Ozone is somewhat botchily repaired — one of the leading edge spars broke, and the end notch thing came unglued and fell off the other one after the first time I flew it, so the ends of my Ozone aren’t exactly factory-standard. That said, I still have far fewer problems getting the ID/OD unwrapped from tangles than I ever do with the Ozone; I think it’s because the Ozone has multiple standoffs which I tend to get tangled around more, and the wing shape somehow doesn’t lend itself to untangling as well.

On the other hand, you can’t adjust the ID/OD at all. I guess I could try fiddling with the bridle if I felt really brave, but I don’t; the Ozone has movable standoffs, and the centre tee bridle adjustment, which does seem to make a difference for different wind conditions. Not tried the ID/OD in steady wind yet, so I don’t know how much I’d miss this ability to tweak it.

The ID/OD has a higher aspect ratio than the Ozone, and yet seems to turn more slowly somehow. Weird. Flat-spinning tricks are, as I’ve said, easier, and more controllable; on the other hand, groundwork’s harder because it seems to somehow sit on the ground in a way more inclined to get stuck in the snow.

Backflips, on the other hand, come more easily and stably on the Ozone than the ID/OD; I think I need to get the hang of the ID/OD more before trying these any more, whereas the Ozone’ll pop into a backflip and stay there nicely. (fades et al continue to elude me, sigh)

Build quality looks the same, though my Ozone’s had a fair old amount of breakages in it’s time; pretty much all the stoppers for the spreaders have come unglued and moved, the end notch fell off, the bridle wore through, and the central panel shredded itself. I suspect a lot of this may be due to abuse, of course; I wouldn’t want to put one ahead of the other in terms of initial quality of workmanship, but I feel more confident that the ID/OD won’t fall apart as I continue to be harsh with it. I also have had no problems with the spreaders coming out of the connectors to the leading edge, whereas on the Ozone they’re just tight enough fitting that I seem to have problems getting it all assembled in cold weather and the upper and lower spreaders tend to pop off the leading edge at inopportune moments.

Other little things; the leading edge can actually be taken apart, whereas on the Ozone I always had to wrestle to get the stoppers through the just-a-bit-too-small gap on the leading edge of the sail, as if it weren’t really meant to do that.

And the ID/OD is _definitely_ lighter; I could fly it in zero wind and not feel like I was having to work too hard. This is odd, because they have pretty much the same wing area, and the ID/OD’s only 10 grams lighter; but somehow it just takes less effort to fly. I’d certainly feel confident about taking it indoors, whereas the Ozone I’d want to make very sure that I had plenty of space to walk backwards in.


_Lovely_ balance, makes tricks much easier. Light enough to fly in zero wind with reasonably little effort, but also hefty enough to handle being yanked around by the likes of myself. Build quality’s as good as any I’ve seen. Sturdy enough to handle bouncing off the ground. Looks nice. Flies well. Tricks great.
— dan


On 28 Jan 1999 13:25:05 GMT, Djskites <> wrote:
>I do have to do more checking on the nose though, we have
>received one back already with the spine through the nose,

Yup; that’s the only thing I could see being a possible problem, though I’ve not had any trouble thus far. I’m wary of reinforcing it myself in case I mess the balance up, but I’ll get to that when and if I need to.

— dan


And as an addendum, a second problem is that the lower spreader standoffs tend to pop loose; when setting the kite up last night to fly it I found that one of the standoffs had vanished, presumably when I was packing it up the previous time.. Checking, the other standoff that was still there certainly comes out of the wing very easily; not in flight, when it’s held in tension, but when you’re taking the kite apart to pack it, I can only assume it popped out and fell to the ground and got lost.

Fortunately, making replacements was easy enough to do with a couple of lengths of 1mm fibreglass and end caps as stoppers, and now I’ve glued them in place so they definitely aren’t coming out again — but the original connector does seem to be a little bit too easy to remove, in my experience at least.

Still flies great, though!
— dan

And as a second addendum, the spine rod broke through the nose reinforcement on mine last time I flew it, so I would suspect that the nose does need some looking at in some way. Ah well, time for more repairs..
— dan



Fragile Midis

Hi all,
3 of us just purchased HQ Midis, in 2 days flying, we’ve had to repair 2 of the Midis. We’re all experienced fliers, not doing anything unusually drastic to these kites. Have other fliers had experiences of easily snapped Midi spars? They are sparred with Avia .2100s.

oops, sorry, the place where the Midis have been breaking is the lower leading edge, below the ferrules.

I noticed that when assembling these kites that the tensioning cords were VERY tight. Perhaps HQ put the knots slightly off of Chris Matheson’s specifications.

I also noticed that the pultruded bore was quite off-centre, resulting in reduced wall thickness on one side of the spars. I’ve seen this before but never had troubles with asymmetrical spars failing.

I’ve had a Zenith for a couple of months with no problems, in fact I was so pleased with it I talked 2 friends into buying Midis too, for group flying.

I’ll replace the leading edges with something more resilient and reduce the tensioning cords a smidge. Perhaps we got a bad batch of Avias?


Hi, Steve. Haven’t had inordinate problems with my Midis in this regard, although I have cracked a l/e spar during a somewhat aggressive bit of groundwork. I’d start with a look at the ferrule to ensure that it’s not got a bit of flashing or other obstruction which might cause problems.

As you’ve pointed out, the latter day ’98 Midis were framed in .2100 pultruded carbon, for a considerable weight savings over the .2300 spar standard in the ’97 incarnation, the Midi Sandpiper. I also have an early ’98 framed in the .2300 which may or may not have been a production model. The tradeoff there is perhaps strength vs weight, stiffness possibly and low-end wind performance. So if it’s not the bum sticks as you’ve suggested, you might consider the heavier rods (although I’m not necessarily promoting that idea). *OR*, take a page from the excellent series of articles on upgrading the entire frame to wrapped carbon as was suggested not too far back here on rec.kites and in Kite Passion magazine. Weight and stiffness traded off against the pocketbook there, my friend 🙂

The whole Midi series of kites is way too good not to have a good time with them in my view, fwiw.
Michael [|*// Michael Raycraft


What are you breaking? I’ve experienced a lot of failure with the lower spreaders splitting at the center tee. The Midi just begs to be slapped around aggressively and the heavy plastic center tee seems to be a stress point. I have taken to to filling the ends of my lowers spreader. I’ve seen inserts available at kite store, but i usually just use hot melt. I think the trick is to keep the spar from getting crushed and splitting. Since i started this procedure I haven’t split any more spreaders.


The 98’s had the plugged lower spreaders. I’m not sure what they are plugged with but it’s white. I havent broken a lower spreader yet, and I spank the midi pretty hard too. It really does cry out to be flown hard.


The thread about folks’ experience with the Midi drove me to share my recent experiences. First, I must join the others who have said that the kite has been tough and reliable. I’m notoriously ham-handed and I’ve only broken it once – a lower spreader at the T while perpetrating some particularly vicious attempted groundwork. That’s when I found out that the lowers are “loaded” at one end and I had assembled the kite incorrectly. Replaced the spar, loaded it with the proper length of fibreglass rod (I used Zap-a-gap CA – great stuff!) and its been no worries ever since. (BTW – I find the frame to be a little too “flexy”. Has anyone put wrapped rods in theirs? What have you used? Do you lose any of the kite’s personality? I don’t want to compromise its behavior in tricks, but I would like it to be a little more snappy and immediate in its response. Chris – any insights you can offer?)

My Midi has an interesting story that is a testament to its toughness…

Last May 30, I had been flying my Midi in my backyard after work. I was just starting to get the hang of this entertaining kite that I had purchased at the Great Lakes SKC a couple of weeks prior. It was getting dark and we were going to visit family that evening, so I wound up my lines, hung the kite up in my garage, and got on the road. Little to my knowledge, while I slept comfortably at my in-laws, a massive early morning storm was ripping through my neighborhood. While we were obliviously eating our breakfast, a neighbor called to tell us that we should come home. When we asked why, she replied that our home had been badly damaged during the storm. In a panic, we drove home taking several detours around downed power lines, trees, buildings, etc. When we finally got there, we were shocked to see the devastation – massive winds had torn through our rural neighborhood, laying waste to homes, barns, trees, utility poles, everything. Local weather folks stated that the “straight-line winds” had exceeded 130 mph!

Our home faced directly into these winds – the front wall of the garage had been blown in, suddenly inflating the structure and, in essence, exploded it. The foundation was destroyed and pretty much everything that had been in the garage was blown all over the yard. To make things even more interesting, the garage is attached to the house – when it collapsed, it took some of the house with it. While we were picking through the rubble, I found my new Midi pinned under one of the walls! Arrghh! Eventually, we were able to jack up the portion of the collapsed wall and extricate the remains of the kite. It was a mess, sail torn in many places, leech line gone, bounce line gone, bridle damaged – it looked like a goner. (Interestingly, no rods were damaged – says something about my flying technique?).

Even so, I thought there might be a chance to fix it. So, I found some icarex scraps large enough to use as patches and inexpertly appliqued them over all the holes and tears. The leech line was a challenge to replace, but patience and persistence won out and soon the kite was back in one piece, odd-looking patches and all. Much to my surprise, it flew as well as before!

Repairs to the house became the dominating factor in our life, causing me to miss the competition season. Nonetheless, over the course of the next few months, the house was repaired and life slowly returned to normal. I’m looking forward to the coming season and continue to enjoy my now rather unique Midi!
Fair winds…


Hi Steve/Everyone interested in this one.

Just sounds like there was a problem with the spars there. I’m sure it was just a glitch and nothing to worry about too much.

I’m sorry you’ve had a problem with your kite, hope it didn’t take too much of the fun away for you.

As someone else said, you need to make sure that the plugged end of the spar goes into the center T. The new types of T’s that everyone uses these days have no give in them. They make for a good spot for the spar to crease at the point it goes into the T. This is why we see more and more kites with plugged ends. The other thing that the plugged end of the spar does is make the spar act a little like a tapered wrapped spar, with there being a stiffer end where the plug is.

I’ve also notice that the avia spar tends to stay together after it has broken. I’ve had a leading edge break on me and it wasn’t for a couple of hours that I worked out what was wrong. The only effect it seemed to have was that the sail started to fart a little. I just put this down to the leach line coming loose, but after a while when I went to fix it I found the bottom leading edge had gone. I just tightened up the leach line a bit to get rid of the noise and got on with flying. It was fun watching the kite kind of fold into the ground when I did a wingtip stab on that side.




I’ve held off writing about Utopia for a while to see what the market reaction was and to get a number of hours of air time under my belt to reply in a more informed manner. I have to admit that I am biased towards Jam designs, Martin and Claudia Schob have introduced some of the most original sport kites in the past 3 years and I have been a major supporter of these amazing creations. That out of the way, I wish to tell you of a remarkable new kite: UTOPIA.

The concept was from Claudia who suggested to Martin that he design a sport kite based on an aircraft wing. Martin informed me that at first he thought this impossible, but the idea haunted him for several weeks before he realized a solution. What he has designed is Utopia, one of the most original sport kite designs seen in the past decade.

One is immediately struck by the shape, this is a truly original concept for a sport kite yet on extended viewing it seems so appropriate that it is elegant in it’s simplicity. It conjure’s images of hi tech hang gliders and finely crafted musical instruments. The form is so striking that a number of individuals at the KTAI told me that they would hang one in their offices / homes as a work of art / conversation piece.

I do hope that the manufacturer reduces the size and moves the logo that was found on the pre production prototypes. The kite is so striking that it needs no announcement from a larg(ish) “Utopia” on the right keel sail. Upon returning home I found the self adhesive vinyl lettering of the prototype peeling up with Clearwater’s (in)famous powder fine sand clinging to the adhesive, so I removed them and the kite is *far* more beautiful. How about a 1-2 inch logo on the very back of the tail or on the main sail, trailing edge at the center line so that it is covered by the keel in “normal” flight?

It is quite likely the most tunable sport kite ever designed and will require experimentation to understand and appreciate. For this reason, I would classify it to the advanced or at the very least, serious intermediate flyer.

The standoffs (only 2 and located near the leading edge) are 3 position adjustable, the nose billow is adjustable, the trailing edge angle is adjustable, the leech line is tensionable, the bridle (TrickTail 4 point sliding) offers pitch as well as in haul-out haul adjustment and to top it off, it incorporates Martin’s Competition Tuning System, a series of movable spacers on the leading edge at the spreader fittings that allow the pilot to fine tune the sail depth, aspect ratio and keel shape! Plus Martin hinted towards future interchangeable keel sails that could alter flight characteristics.

Utopia is extraordinarily responsive, requiring micron style hand motions for most maneuvers. While it will respond to an aggressive flying style, it begs to be flown with the smooth, flowing, finesse style characterized by Martin’s designs. Precision is excellent, Backflips and recoveries are easy and recovery adjustable. Utopia does a beautiful fade launch even in soft sand due to the exaggerated nose billow. All flat spins based tricks are performed faster than on the TrickTail but without the over steer characterized by the Tohuwabohu.

The frame is notable for a couple of reasons, one is that it is interchangeable with the new Icon and that the leading edge is a 40″ 10g wrapped spar that extends to just below the lower spreader (There is no upper spreader). The wing tips are a new spar, pultruded carbon tubes with solid fiberglass centers that give stiffness, durability and light weight.

Utopia is rated for wind speeds of 1-12 mph only because Martin had limited experience in any higher winds. I witnessed (and video taped) the demo prototype break a lower spreader in a gust estimated 20+ mph. You should know that this is a 2 wrap, 8g spar and this was after being beaten by test fliers for the past 3 days and Treasure Island the weekend prior.

Only 4 wrapped spars and a six panel sail make it relatively inexpensive to produce so the price can be held to a more than reasonable US $160 MSRP.

Bravo Martin, Claudia and Flying Wings!

Utopia is a beautiful new design that has awesome performance and tons of style at an affordable price!
Gotta fly!

Kite Rules and Competition

How/Where to get into Dual Line Comp.

G’day all,
I’ve been flying for a couple of years and am thinking that i’d like to see what a competition is like.

My first questions is where can I find a calander of events that are within a reasonable driving distance from my home. I live in Barrie Ontario (bout 50 minutes north of Toronto).

My second question is a little more vague, once I find out what events are going on, whats next!
Thanks Kindly,


Wow, I can’t believe no one else has responded to this yet! At the the risk of leaving lots of stuff out (everybody else, please fill in the gaps!), here are some ideas:

– First, HAVE FUN!

– Join the AKA. Many kiteflyers from Ontario (and there are some great ones) compete in the Great Lakes Conference. The newsletter, Kiting, contains an event calendar. Check out the AKA web site at Also, get a rulebook and READ IT!

– Subscribe to American Kite Magazine. They sponsor a national circuit and have lots of calendar info, kite reviews, event reports, and lots of other good stuff. There are other kiting magazines worth geting into as well – Check out Kite Passion and Tempo Di Aquiloni (Kite TImes). There’s also Kitelines, but I’m not sure what its status is – I’ve haven’t seen an issue for quite some time now…

– Check out KiteLife on the web at It’s an E-Zine dedicated to kiting and I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen there.

– Think about attending an event as a volunteer. Most events need all the help they can get. Participating this way gives you an opportunity to see how things work, lets you meet really cool people and pick their brains about what to do and not to do, AND lets you contribute to the event at the same time! You’ll find that the organizers are very appreciative and that nearly everyone will be willing to help you.

– There’s a terrific event held each summer in Ajax, outside of Toronto, called the “On the Edge Sport Kite Championships”. It’s held at a beuatiful park right on the lake (a portion of which has been dedicated to kiteflying by the community!) and is huge fun! The people involved in this event are really cool. I don’t have e-mail addresses for them, but hopefully someone can hook you up with Mike Lin, Chris Lee, or Marg Nicol – they and others were heavily involved in putting last years’ event together. I missed it and I’m still bumming…

– Once you’ve selected an event, think about what you want to do. Are you just looking for an introduction to the competition experience, or are you really competitive and want to really challenge yourself. Try to objectively gauge your skill level – If you’re really a novice then that’s the class you should register for. On the other hand, if you’ve got solid control skills and maybe know some tricks that you can do reliably, consider registering as an intermediate. IMNSHO, sandbagging just makes it tougher for the folks who really need to be in the class they’re in. Judges can tell right away if you’re not in the class you should be – and usually aren’t shy about letting you know you need to “move up”. Also, at many events, there is no Individual Novice Ballet competition, so if you really want to try your hand at flying a routine to music, this may influence your decision.

– Once you know what you want to do at the event you’ve chosen, register early. The organizers like getting these early and the fees help keep `em a stay a little less in the red. Once you’ve regeistered, you’ll get an event schedule, a list of the precision figures your class will be asked to do, and lots of other information. Then – practice, practice, practice!

– Get there early. Find the flying field and practice! Get a sense for the local conditions, are there dead spots, turbulence from nearby buildings, holes in the field, power lines to avoid? Doing this will make you just that little bit more comfortable when the time comes.

– Try to “shadow judge” an event. This will let you participate in the judging process without worrying about messing somebody up. I’m a firm believer that judging makes you better flyer. Besides, it lets you make a personal contribution to the success of the event.

– No matter what – HAVE FUN!

This is probably too long already and I’m sure I’ve left lots out. Hopefully, this’ll help. Drop me an E-Mail if you have more questions.


A good site for local and not so local information on events and area kite clubs is Dru Nelissen’s site,

On the Edge in Ajax is the major local competition.

Come out to the Toronto kite club events and you’ll see some good fliers who do or have competed.

Vaino Raun St.Catharines, Ontario



European Racing rules

I have provided a web site to illicit comments on the adoption and understanding of the current European racing rules. The site is:

You will find a direct translation via Altavista and a re-written version with grammar corrected. If you have a comment or better translation than I have given then please email me. Copy and paste the passage and provide a correction or comment below it.

I will be updating this page quite a bit so you may want to return often for the latest. The European body that decides these rules is meeting in late January and I will have the latest update some time in February.
//Buggy Bison\\



Team/Pair Flying

There is going to be local (Huntsville, Alabama) kite festival in a couple of months, and the planners would like some stunt kite demo’ing. There wisn’t any competition planned at this point, but I thought it would be nice for a couple of us local fliers to get together and do something together.

I’ve never seen team flying except as intros to Dodd’s FSchool videos. Does someone have an old routine/plan that they’d be willing to share? I think it will just be two of us (maybe 3 at the most), flying either Illusions or Jam Sessions. We’ve never done anything like this, and would appreciate getting something already choreographed that’s not too complex.

Hi Mike, hi folks.

If you can get the Book “Kite Precision” by Ron Reich you will have a good start. This book covers a lot of material about team flying.

Also, another good source of inspiration is the videos of World Cup. We had the chance of getting the one from 1992 in Odawara in Japan and this has prove very good for our team. After that its only a question of practice, a lot of it.

Also, search “dejanews” for info on team and tricks related to team flying. You will certainly find some valuable stuff.

Dont be afraid, its fun.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


Hi Mike,
In addition to Jean’s suggestion, there is a Ron Reich rec.kites archive at the following site,

you will find some good team material there. Namely SPACING & TEAM WARMUP.

When I started with a friend about a year & half ago, we learned to follow each other doing infinite eights. Your lines will never bind, and you have lots of time to correct for mistakes.

The biggest hurdle, is not being afraid of hitting each other. Its not a question of if, but only when. Spacing and speed control are very important.

Make sure your lines are reasonablity the same length, and the kites are tuned to go the same speed. The rest will come naturally. If using the jam, set it for the beginer setting, which gives more precision, and tune the kite to run slower, by moving the bridle down a bit. If you still find the kite too fast, put the screens on the stand offs.

As far as a routine, use the stack figures as a base, then practice putting them together to form a routine. That will get you started. Get some wooden dowls and place little kites on the ends, at the other end place a loop of string about 1 to 2 feet. Place the loop over your wrist. Now pretend you’re flying with your partners. Check the twists in the loops, and the loops will twist with the other fliers loops. This will give you an idea of the twists that will be incurred on the field when you will fly. Practice the stack and conecting figures, using the sticks, before you fly. Then when you fly together, what you’re about to fly will be a lot clearer.

Build yourself some mini routines, (groups of 2 or 3 figures) and give them names. Then when the leader calls for their execution, everybody knows what is about to happen.

When you’re on the field, don’t fly more than 20 minutes at a time without a break. That will ease the tension, that can develop.
And especially! Have fun,
Pierre Gregoire Montreal, Canada


There are animations (Flash) of the STACK pairs and team figures on my site at if that might help.
Must fly
Roy Reed

Kite Building

Kite makers wanted for Arch 99


Now that winter is here and the holidays are over (I hope everyone had a nice one) now is the time to get out that sewing machine and start making kites. I started last November and already have 18 sails for this year’s AKA cooperative arch project. I’m making 50 sails this year, each sail will represent one of the states flags of the USA. Last year’s arch was very successful and I this year’s promises to be even better. Once again Tom Arbster of Kinetic Kites will supply all the spars that we need. I already have enough for 200 sails and he will send more later. Tom Marvin of Hang-Em-High Fabrics has donated 3000 feet of 500# spectra. That’s enough line for 900 sails! I’m going to have fun stretching that out. The 38 kite makers who contribute to last year’s arch plan to do it again for this year’s. Our goal is 500 so we need more kite makers. These are simple kites to make, even for the first time maker. If you’re interested or know someone who would be, e-mail me or visit my site. The address is below my name. It’s a great way to get to know some other kiters and contribute to the AKA. We donated last year’s arch to the AKA auction and it sold for $1175.00! You can also be part of a winning team. We won first place at the 1998 AKA nation kite making competition.

Terry Sansom

The Arch Project 99 is sponsored by:
Kinetic Kites
Hang-em High Fabrics



Advice on cutting spars

Hi Pierre, hi folks.
I cut all my spars with a metal saw.

In that post, I use the following words:

– spar : rod or tube;

– rod : solid piece of material (fiberglass, carbon or even wood)

– tube : tubular piece either pultruded or wrapped.

I found in a local hardware shop (Canadian Tire, not to mention it) a small handle that hold a standard metal cutting blade of the type you normally put in a hacksaw. This handle hold the blade on about one third of its length and support it at mid point. The good point is that it allow for easy cutting with one hand while the other is holding the spar.

This will not allows for heavy duty jobs like cutting through a schedule 40 steel pipe but we are talking kite spars here.

I normally score all around the spar with a ligth pressure on the blade and to make sure I do not cut too much in spiral. This precutting has the added benefit of minimizing splintering when finishing the cut. Then I increase the pressure and continue the cut while slowly rotating the spar with my fingers.

Usually I can cut a 6 mm tube in about 30 seconds if I do not rush too much. About 10 seconds if I am in the field and eager to go back to flying.

If precision is not a must and I really am in hurry like last weekend while completing a prototype with inexpensive fiberglas tubes, I go straigth thru without even bothering with rotating the spar. That way I cutted several A-65 tubes in about 5 to 10 seconds each.

If I fear that the tube will be stressed substantially I reinforce the end by gluing a 3 to 4 inches length of tube or rod inside the tube. I use carbon or fiberglass for tubes and rods and sometime wood dowels. The fit between the inner diameter of the spar and the outer diameter of the reinforcement must be free sliding. I use epoxy glue to join the pieces together.

If the spar is a tube that is joined with an internal fitting (piece or rod or tube) I often use transparent tape (Scotchtape) to wrap the tube end. I apply two layers in spiral, one after the other and oriented in opposite directions. This is for quick jobs in the field (Scotchtape being another good friend of a kiteflyer). For more robust and professional looking results I use a length of tube that I glue outside the spar end. A length of 3 to 4 inches is about right. Again a sliding fit with enough space to allow for some epoxy is required.

If the spar end is to be stuck in the nose of the kite I wrap the end with some electrical tape while leaving about 1/4 inch protruding over the end of the rod. I then push this excess tape inside the rod. This gives a smooth edge that will prevent piercing the nose with any sharp edge resulting from a cut. Using a file to round the cut before taping might help to prolong the life of the tape.
Hope this helps.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


-> Kermit Perlmutter wrote:
-> >
-> > I highly recomend using a dremel or similar tool to cut spars. Score
-> > lightly all the way around and then take deeper cuts.
-> > I had the luck to find a source for small diamond coated st
-> > wheels which don’t shatter no matter how you (mis)use them. You can
-> > these through ‘American Science and Surplus’.

-> THanks for the pointer kermit, but now I have a question. At
-> I see the wheel, but it seems to say that I need an arbor that
-> will fit a 3/4″ ID hole in the wheel.

-> I infer this from the text:
-> Actually a precision cutting instrument,
-> this Norton Process E diamond dicing
-> wheel to cut silicon chips. Can be
-> attached to an arbor and then to a
-> trusty drill. It’s a type 3A1-25/20,
-> spec. PD316 MIC-EP .020″. The very
-> fragile edge is .0025″ thick X .02″
-> high. I.D. is 3/4″, Norton part
-> #J0543666. Each item is
-> individually–and lovingly, we’re
-> sure–boxed.
-> If I am attaching this to a dremel, the wheel
-> seems to have a HUGE shaft opening.
-> What is the real scoop kermit?
-> Will I be able to put it onto my 1/8″ “wizard”
-> black and decker dremel? that has a 1/16″ screw
-> into the arbor? Or would I be wasting by $10
-> to get one and find out that it is HUGE.

One I would not worry too much about using a non-metal cutoff wheel designed for a Dremel, never ever had one come apart. Just make sure you use the normal safety gear such as quality goggles.

Second if you disagree with non-metal wheels, Dremel makes a fine selection of metal saws as well that work just fine.



Traction kite ribs – an easier way

Hi all,
I have been working on my new kite, and I found an easier way to cut the ribs…I thought I would share it.

I used to make rib templates by printing the rib, gluing it to chipboard (a heavy non-corregated cardboard), cutting out the template, laying the template on the fabric, and cutting around the template. I still use this technique when I must cut several layers of fabric at the same time. But…

When I am cutting just two identical ribs (mostly what I do with my current designs), I have found a way to save a step or two. The chipboard I use is 30in x 40in. I glue together two pieces so I have one large 60×40 sheet. I then glue on as many rib profiles as I can fit. I then spray the sheet with Remount (a repositionable adhesive made by 3M, similar to Post-It adhesive), and stick the icky directly to the sheet. This works well as icky is 41in wide. I then mark the important points on the ribs (bridle points, and DRib sew lines), cut with a sharp razor (or hot knife if you prefer), and peel the rib off the sheet…viola! It’s nice and accurate because nothing can slip while cutting and marking.

If I were going to build several identical kites, I would probably still make the templates, but for onesises or twosies, this method is faster for me.
Gene Matocha


Hi Gene, hi folks.
I do the same as you but my cutting surface is piece of glass of 5 feet by 2 feet by 1/4 inch thick. The cost was about 30 dollards Can (about 20 $ US) two years ago. I limited myself to this dimension for ease of transportation (I use my kitchen table as a work bench so I must move that glass quite often) and cost (bigger would have require thicker so much heavier and much more pricey).

I spray the whole surface with same glue that you use (Remount by 3M) so the surface get tacky enough to hold ripstop in place. I leave that glue on the glass all the time and simply recoat from time to time. Once in a while I use a sharp scraper to remove excess of glue and all the bits of ripstop leftovers from the cutting process and then recoat.

This makes for a pleasure of cutting material and this allows for very precise jobs.

As for cutting cardboard templates, I use a autosealing cutting mat of the kind you can find in art supplies stores. The larger size are somewhat expensive (around 60 $ Can or 40 $ US) but I consider that this was one of the best piece of equipment (beside my sewing machine) I could buy for kite fabrication (and other cutting jobs too).

The benefit is that the working surface remains clean and flat after thousands of use. The glass do not damage the X-Acto knife too fast. The cutting mat has a tendency to wear them off a bit but the price of new blades is nothing to be concern with.

Thanks to Richard Gareau for sharing these tricks among a lot of others in his sewing courses in 1997 and 1998.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.



Sputnik 3 advice

Dear rec.kiters,
as my next kite project I would like to build a dual line parafoil. Since it is not meant for traction I would prefer to start with a not too big kite. I was able to find the following plans:

– Spuntik 3/4 (from Stunt Kites II)

– Paraflex (W. Schimmelpfenning plan, from a German book)

– Soft Stunter (from Sarah Kent “Creative book of Kites”)

Building instruction for the Stutnik 4 are clear, but I’ve learned from old rec.kites postings that linear down-scaling of this kind of kites may not work. On the other hand, instructions for the Sputnik 3 are very poor, and particularly the rib profile seems to include some undefined sewing margin. I’m confused about it.

The Paraflex plan is in German (and I can’t read it) but the drawings are self-explaining, and the construction seems to be very similar to an ordinary single-line parafoil. Bridle is of conventional type, and I found negative opinions on this solution compared to arch or cross-bridling.

The Soft Stunter is certainly simpler to build (fins instead of multiple primary bridle lines) but I have no idea of it’s performances.

Has anybody built one of them, or can anubody suggest a better plan ?

I’m also confused about the different bridling solutions. I had a look at Emiel Stroeve page on Sputnik ( and Matt Hurrel paper ( They both suggest the cross-bridle as a better alternative to the arch bridle, and also describe a simple rig to make construction easier.

If I look at the arch bridle, or the Paraflex bridle, it seems clear that the bridle itself is ‘forming’ the surface of the kite, i.e. the shape of the kite (when all the bridle lines are taut) is curved. On the other hand, the straight rig cross bridle produces a flat surface kite (this considerations are purely geometrical, I’m not saying nothing about the shape of the kite while flying).

Is there an inconsistency in this ? And whatever is the type of bridle, what should the ‘rest’ shape of the kite be, flat or curved ?
Any comment will be appreciated.
Bruno Diviacco


I built a sputnik 4 at the suggested size (5.2 sq m). I was a little confused about whether the seam allowance was built in or not, too. I made a template by the book’s measurements and traced a line around the template onto my fabric (I mean tight around the template not adding any “margin”). Then I cut the fabric about 1/2 inch outside of the line all the way around and stitched the profile to the skin of the foil on the line I drew. I drew the line precisely, but I didn’t have to cut very precisely.

When spread out to reach the primary bridle at the right points, the ends of the cross bridle (secondary bridle) are arranged in an arch. The geometry changes when you attach it to the kite and pull on the lines. To see what the cross bridle looks like when it’s attached to the kite, go to this page and click on Sputnik in the left frame. The page that comes up shows the cross bridle attached to the kite and lines. (third picture down on the page).

The kite (well, the sputnik anyways) should be arch shaped from wingtip to wingtip and more or less flat from nose to tail, along the centerline of each profile. When you tune the kite you slightly arch each profile to increase power a bit.

If you can find the Kite 2.0 disk you can get a look at how the kite should be arched. There’s a program on the disk called “Sputnik” that lets you change the dimensions of the kite and get a preview of the arch, profile, and plan. You can use the program to get measurements for either a rectangular or tapered-wing kite. It also calculates the bridle measurements for the primary bridle (the four lines that come off each profile) and the secondary bridle (the arch bridle that you might want to replace with a cross bridle… BTW, I used the standard arch profile from the program). The disk also has a program to print out full size profile patterns for the Sputnik 1-4 and Krypton over several sheets of 8 1/2 x 11″ paper (you have to paste the sheets together). You can get the Kite 2.0 disk from Hang ’em High Fabrics ( ).
Good luck!
Mark Frasier



Building a speedfoil

Bastiaan Baaijens` wrote:
> the main sewing problem is sewing the profiles to the upper and lower deck.

he he…you are a brave one. I admire that.
First, go to this site:

Andrew Beattie has generously provided construction details about his Chevron…it will get you a long way.

Then, go buy the book Stunt Kites II, by Nop Velthuizen. It is an invaluable guide…and great fun to read. If you plan on building more kites, you may want to get the companion disk too.

Then, when your kite is done, check out my page to see what to do to your NEXT kite.

Gene Matocha



Reinforcement mat’l

>Hi all!
>I’m in the process of constructing a Delta-Conyne (13ft.) I have made several
>in the past but this is the first one this big. My problem is finding a
>reinforcement material that is wide enough. In the past, I have used ripstop
>nylon repair tape stuck to the inside of the leading edge before I folded the
>pocket over to sew. I can only find this in widths of 2″. I also thought of
>using dacron tape folded in half like the leading edge spar pockets on stunt
>kites, but, alas, I can only find that in widths of 2″ also. For the spars I
>am using, I would like to make the pockets 2.5″ wide (doubled of course) this
>means that I need 3″ material at least. 3.5″ would be better. What should I
>Any ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated
>Thank you,

hi jerry…… I stock 3.9 Dacron in a 3″ width.

Is it necessary to run the Dacron the entire length of the sleeve? Can you reinforce the “stress” points only? What kind (weight) of material is the sail made from?

* * * K I T E S T U D I O * * *


Hi Jerry,
Check out Hang ‘Em High Fabrics,

Last time I looked Tom had 3″ wide 3.9 oz. dacron for leading edges. Too narrow? Same material is available in 36″ wide rolls (NOT cheap).

1.5 oz. nylon is available in 41″ and 54″ wide rolls and 3″ wide. Get in touch with Tom Marvin at Hang ‘Em High Fabrics

Want the REALLY heavy duty stuff. Contact The Rain Shed at (541) 753-8900, 9:30am thru 5:30pm pacific time, or snail mail at 707 NW 11th, Corvallis, OR 97330 (sorry I don’t have a URL or email for them). They’ve got Cordura Nylon in several weights AND Ballistics Nylon in two weights. Both in 60″ widths. Again, seriously not cheap, but you get what you pay for.

I use their 500 denier Cordura on top of a layer of Kevlar (from Hang ‘Em High) for the nose on my stunt kites. Every bit as tough as the seat belt webbing on commercial kites, and a heck of a lot easier to sew on my machine. Been thinking about buying some of their 850 denier Ballistics nylon the next time I order.
Hope you have the opportunity to read this,


Hi Steve, and Jim,
Thanks guys, for the info. I have had occasion to business with Tom at Hang Em High, but I didn’t know that anyone carried anything in 3″ widths. I haven’t reinforced a Delta-Conyne the full length of the leading edge yet. As this is the first one that i ahve made this large, I was considering it. The ones that I have made before, have been reinforced only at the opening where the spreader spar joins the leading edge spars. I stuck Ripstop nylon repair tape to the inside, and a few inches longer than the opening,, just before I sewed the spar pocket closed. I used a pocket of just under an inch wide. It works great. I just wanted to do the same thing on this one, but I want to make the spar pockets 1.5″ wide (after they are folded) so idealy, the reinforcement/spar pocket material, would need to be about 3.4″ wide. I will experiment to see if I can fit the spars (including joints) in 3″ material after the edges are sewn together. It might work. If I do not reinforce the entire leading edge, how should I go about attaching the 3″ dacron? Sew all four sides and around the hole? or adhesive of some kind? Both?

I think the sail material is uncoated 3/4 ounce ripstop nylon. I’m not sure, because I have had it a couple of years, and I bought it at a local fabric shop, and maybe I neverdid know for sure. Steve, I think I have one of your catalogues but I didn’t think to check it before posting. I like to spread my business around so I’ll probably be calling you.
Thanks again



Traction Kite Tech IV

Hi all,
Whew! Just finished a major update to High AR, including a new Kite Tech page. After some conceptual discussions with David Forsyth back in October, I worked out a technique for “projected skin” where the skin is mathematically modeled based on the shape of the ribs and the curve of the kite. Other updates include another great pic by Sjoerd Rustenhoven on the Funny Pages gallery, Specs on my homemade kites, and the obligatory frames look.

Check out:

Gene Matocha



Scaling the Sputnik

I want to scale down the Sputinik-4 and make it half size (1/4 area). Can I simply divide all linear dimensions by two ?

I know that there is the computer program which enables to make changes to the design of the kite (aspect ratio, tapering, bridle etc.) and in fact I’m about to order the diskette. But I’d like to understand if there is any general scaling law (on which presumably the computer program is based).
Any comment will be appreciated.
Bruno Diviacco


Technically, yes. However, the kite will perform differently. You may have a heck of a time getting a 1.25m^2 sput to fly right. I think the book mentions a kite somewhere in the 2m^2 area being the smallest practical size.You would probably be better off dividing the AREA by half, by adjusting the dimensions by .7071. I would also reduce the number of cells and thicken the foil on such a small kite.

> I know that there is the computer program which enables to make changes
> to the design of the kite (aspect ratio, tapering, bridle etc.)
> and in fact I’m about to order the diskette. But I’d like to understand
> if there is any general scaling law (on which presumably the computer
> program is based).

There are no hard and fast rules (that I know of), except for the square of the area thing. For example, if you built a 1/2 scale model of an airplane, your wing loading would be twice as high (assuming the weight also halved) since the area of the wing has gone down by a factor of 4.

Gene Matocha


Hi Bruno…
I’ve had good success scaling UP plans for kites.. I built a pretty nice flowform from an old set of plans that I multiplied all the dimensions 2x, and the result was just fine!! I got the size I wanted, and it flies quite well, thank you 🙂
Stan …aka
(dances with circoflexes)


bruno diviacco wrote:
> but the book also gives the plan for a small 0.8m^2 sputnik-3. It also
> has a thin profile…

Ooops…I stand corrected. It is the .8m^2 the book says is smallest practical size. 🙂

> The problem is that, since my idea is to build the kite for ‘normal’
> flying and not for traction purposes, I’m a bit concerned of the pull
> of the larger models (I don’t want to be dragged around the field when
> the wind increases…). Do you have an idea of what is a manageable
> size even in moderately strong winds ?

Moderaly strong?Once you get used to power, I would say you could control a 2m^2 in some pretty stiff winds (20-30mph). It will seem a little spooky at first, but just go with it. My personal rules are: 1. NEVER tie yourself to anything. I know it seems safer to be tied down, but it isn’t…it’s far more dangerous. The reason is that you are unable to move forward and/or (OH MY!) hop to control the power of the wing. Trust me on this…I didn’t beleive it either, and I wanted to fly my 5m Sput on a windy day. I used a climbing harness to tie up to a fence. I got a seperated rib for my efforts!

2. The more wind, the more space you need…because you WILL have to move/be dragged with the kite.

3. More wind = shorter lines.

4. Never fly in high winds until you really understand the kite and the window. It is interesting to give a power kite to a beginner, and stand behind them to watch them fly. Invariably they will put the kite in a position that it is heading towards the window, and doesn’t have room to turn before the real power hits. My point is that I can see what is comming before they do. It is this understanding of what the kite is about to do that allows you to fly in high winds.
Gene Matocha


Great, but……
do not, under any illusions, use the arch bridle from the book on the Sputnik, it is hideous. Use a cross bridle instead, it makes the kite a pleasure to fly.

Have a look at my Cross Bridle program, and Emiel/Andrew/Berhards construction tips on the respective web pages. My 2.8 Sputnik with a cross bridle designed by my program flew perfectly the first time (once I got the knots right, admittedly). A local man has a 2.8 with an arch (well, had an arch) and it was a total beast to fly, kept folding up etc. He changed it to a cross bridle after he saw mine flying and now happily buggies with it.

Of course, you don’t have to use my program, Emiels data is sufficient for designing one, trhe program just draws all the info together in one place, and then prints the numbers out for you (W95).



Circoflex: does it need a leech line

Dear all,
I am planning on building a circoflex and was wondering wether it needs a leech line, or whether the necessary profile can be made by cutting the fabric such that it creates a profile when sewn together. In my opinion, the leech line introduces a wing-like profile that creates drag and lift. If you would make a circoflex out of 12 segments cut something like this:

| |
| |
| |
\_____ / <— trailing edge

piece together over this side

Wouldn’t that have the exact same effect? Has anyone experimented with this? I would love to hear your comments.


Haven’t tried it yet, but I can see no reason why it wouldn’t work. It is a thought that has crossed the mind of every Circo maker.

The number of panels is not important, as long as the taper results in a trailing edge that is 97.3% of the leading edge.

Go for it, and let us know the results.
good heavens;
gary engvall


hi, I must admit that when I first saw a circoflex I thought that they must be made the way that you are suggesting. I reckon it will work, you will lose any form of adjustment of the amount of closure, but I have never changed my leech line!

On the other hand sewing all those panels together is just too much on what, after all, is a very simple kite.
with kind regards,


It definitely needs a adjustable leach line for varying wind speeds. The more wind the more you increase the diameter of the leach line. The opposite is true for light winds.
From The Land of 10,000 Kite Flying Fields, (it’s Winter Carnival time!)
Jerry Houk


I built a couple of circos out of used mylar film from a color transfer printer. The mylar was 11 inches wide. I used contact cement to wrap the leading edge around a 0.080 fiberglass hoop. For the trailing edge, I cut triangular darts about 0.75″ at the TE and about 1.5″ tall. I used 2″ clear packing tape to hold the edges of the dart together. The mylar bunches up a bit at the point of the dart, but it seemed to work adequately.

If you’re sewing ripstop, I don’t think you even need to cut the fabric. Just fold the fabric where you want the dart and sew from the TE to the point of the dart. After doing all the darts, sew a continuous straight stitch all around the TE to keep the darts from pulling out. This should distribute loading more evenly than having it concentrated on the dart stitches.
Brian Johnsen



Bending Carbon tube

>Hi all,
>Read somewhere about how to bend or form carbon tube. Can anyone
>remember this? Brill memory albeit short.
>I was thinking of pre forming the tubes for a NPW5 experiment =E0 la
>Fly low

There are two basic types of carbon tube. One is the pultrude method. Go to to see how they are manufactured. It would take some investment in a curved heated die and some R&D to get it to work. I doubt you could get the manufacturer to do this.

The second type are the wrapped carbon spar. These are made by wrapping graphite fiber cloth around a mandrel. The tube is then put in an oven and cured. It is then removed.cooled and the mandrel pulled from the tube. I have had small kite sail battens made in a curved airfoil shape. However, the mandrel was of a small diameter, actually a fishing rod tip section. If the mandrel is very large it will not bend enough during the bakeing process and will destroy the tube when you try to remove it. Easton used to make a hollow alu tube with graphite on the outside. The alu tube acted as the mandrel and did not need to be removed. I suppose if you had some light weight alu tube that was curved like you want it, you could then wrap the graphite cloth on the out side.l You would then apply cellophane heat shrink tape and bake at 300 degrees. This would take some R&D to get it to work. I don’t want to discourage you but these are the realities.
Dave Lord


The technique for forming a curve in solid carbon tubes was described in a Kite Lines article some time ago. It was used on fighter kite spines. What the kite maker did was to split the carbon rod for a short distance, put cyanoacrylate (Crazy Glue, Zap-A-Gap, etc.) in the split, and let it set in a bending jig to form the curve. The bending jig could be made with a piece of wood and several nails following the desired curve.



Tyvek Rokkakus

> Can Rokkakus be made from Tyvek that can be descent fighters?

You bet your hiney! I used to make roks out of tyvek and spar them with dowels. You can connect the dowels together with metal fittings. Tyvek also does well with acrylic paints. And they make the best fighting roks cause their inexpensive to make so you don’t worry about total destruction. And when their made with wooden dowels, they break. And that crash alone is the kewlest sound! Especially when it’s not yours.

But seriously, (and I can be serious) using tyvek is a smart move if your going to make a fighting rok.
Frank “Mr.Nasty” Kenisky IV


The “Animal House” group on the West Coast, traditionally use tyvek roks for their individual battles. These are 3-4 feet tall and are wonderful for individual battling. The pattern we use is one designed by Lee Toy and it is a wonderfully responsive kite just suited for battles. So Tyvek for rokkakus, Go For It.
Beth (tigger from Oklahoma


You bet!
I had a dozen scout groups from all over the U.K. making them, we all met up and tried to set a new world record for the maximum kite fight, unfortunatly we had a gale that weekend!! we found that if they got damaged you just glue another piece over the rip and fly again! go for it, its the only way to learn.
regards, Peter.


Hi Thomas, hi folks.
I think Tyvec can be used for just any kind of kite. Its heavier than ripstop but it is nearly non porous.

I just completed a single liner prototype of a low aspect ratio delta shaped kite made of Tyvec, wood dowels, fiberglass rods and graphite rods (just about every spars I had handy). The sail is taped with duct tape and scotch tape. To my great pleasure, this prototype flew quite well in very ligth winds the very first time I tried it. OK the kite measure about eigth feet in length and four feet in wingspan so the wing loading is relatively small, but it flies and this is what matter. After some optimisation of the bridle and the framing I will build one in ripstop with better spars.

BTW, the total cost in new material was about 4 $ Can for the Tyvec and less than 5 $ Can in wood dowels. And all these materials will be reusable after I dismantle the prototype. If not fo the other spars I already had, the total cost would have been around 20 $ Can. The same kite in ripstop and fiberglass rods will be around 100 $ Can.

Another benefit is the speed of construction. It took me about four hours to cut the sail and tape the pieces together and another four hours to fit the spars into that sail. Not that bad for a kite of that size. And the fact that it flew and survived a few hours of testing was my greatest reward. The same kite in ripstop will take me around 50 hours to build.

The last benefit of Tyvec, has some have pointed it is that it can be painted easily. And dont forget that you can sew it for longer lasting kites and better look too.

Of course you must be carefull when rolling or folding the kite for storage because Tyvec do not behave like ripstop. But it is a small compromise for the difference in cost.

And do not neglect other materials. Some trash bags are made in plastics that is stretch resistant (to some degree). There is a guy around here that is building some very ingenious kites with this kind of stuff and duct tape. He even had me tried a dual line stunt kite made with trash bags and wood dowels. I was amazed by the precision of this kite and its slow but steady speed.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


Sacrificial abrasion reinforcements

Donald Ostey wrote:
> I do most of my flying on a hard-packed sand play field at the local
> grade school.
> Trouble is, this stuff is only slightly less abrasive than concrete. The
> dacron leading edges of my kite are starting to show signs of wear.
> I’ve given some thought to covering these “wear points” with something
> temporary, that I can replace every time it starts to wear out.
> Something along the lines of masking tape, that (hopefully) won’t leave
> any glue behind.
> Anybody have the hot ticket for this?
> Thanks,
> Don
> Out standing in my field.

Greetings Don:
I suppose you could get some Dacron leading edge repair tape repair tape and “line” your wear points/edges with that. It is an adhesive backed product made by 3M. You could pre-crease it before peeling off the backing and do your leading edges. The stuff sticks likes fury! I used it instead of nylon repair tape for a bad sail tear and it worked great. I adhered it then stitched the area, but I think just the adhesive alone would have been sufficient.

This is the same stuff Prism and others use on some kites to stop the upper spreader from wearing through the sail cloth/mylar to the spine. Also used for LE repairs. Go figure…

It is quite thin, so shouldn’t foul your kite’s flying characteristics. Dan at can hook you up. Get the thinnest he has.


I’m with you Dean.

Kites are to be used and abused. I go through about four skateboards a year, but I still manage to get about a year out of a kite before I’ve trashed it too much to fly. Though saying that, I managed to trash a kite in a day once. We were in Holland and the wind was blowing along this dyke. The wind was up around the 15mph mark and the three of us (Andy Preston, Noel Pickering and myself) took our kites for a walk along the dyke. It was great you could do a leading edge drag all the way up one side of the dyke and down the other, even managed a couple of ‘sharks’, though they weren’t called that back then. managed to take most of the leading edge out in an hour, the nose lasted a little longer and finally the sail gave out around the standoffs. Best fly I’d had for a long time.



Leading edge and mesh separating

Hi again Mark,

Here’s a quick & dirty fix for a separated mesh on your Rev: remove spars and get the bridle out of the way, use good quality thread (black for near-invisisble repair) and a wide triple step zig zag stitch on your sewing machine. Assuming the mesh has separated between the Dacron leading edge & the mesh, run a line of stitching with the foot of the sewing machine centred on the edge of the Dacron. What you want to do is have stitches on the Dacron and the undamaged part of the mesh. The thread will replace the broken mesh. If you don’t have a triple step zig zag, use a wide zig zag with a fairly tight stitch length.

crap Ascii art:

_______________________________________________________ Dacron
leading edge
##################################################### Mesh
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Sail
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| /
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| /
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| /

apologies for the poor illustration!


Hi Mark,

I’ve had to replace the mesh in my Revs a couple of times. I go to the hardware store and get window screening- not the aluminium type, but the black plastic kind. It comes in various sizes. For a full sized Rev, you will probably have to splice two pieces together to get the ~9′ length.

Practice on some scraps of Dacron leading edge material, it is somewhat tricky to keep it all aligned. I use a small stapler to staple the ripstop/mesh/Dacron layers together. Just before the sewing machine foot gets to the staple, I remove it gently with a staple removing tool. You could use pins as an alternative.

It’s not too hard, you can do the job in an evening.
good luck!



Sewing Question

When sewing 3/4 oz ripstop how many stiches per inch should be used.
Some say 8 per inch, others as many as 15. I have used 8 because that is
what I first read.

Ed Burnham


Hi Ed, hi folks.

I am using 8 per inch which means stiches 1/8 in long or 3 mm. Too small stiches can weaken the assembly. You could end up with a “Tear along perforations” result 🙁

Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


Hi Ed,

I use 8 stitches/inch for straight sitch & ~15 for zig zag. Jean is right, too many stitches/inch will perforate your fabric, particularly with mylar, mylar coated ripstop and stiff polyester ripstops. Zig zag spreads the stitches over a distance, so you can double the stitches/inch.



The repair manuals for the balloons we repair specify 8 to 13 stitches per inch. We have found ball point needles don’t gum up as badly as some other types. We also use soft polyester thread, either #30/45 or #69/70.

“S.K. Brown” wrote:


Aaaackkkk! We don’t sew on balloon fabric. Has much thicker coating, gumming can be a problem. Not so with icky, carrington, toray, north, bainbridge, challenge, and other spinnaker type 1/2oz to 1.5 oz materials that are commonly used in modern kite building. We use 90/14 universal for the home machines, and 100/16 for the commercials. They work great. Also ask anyone who sews kites for a living, and you’ll find 8 is the rules and light tension. Why? Cause that’s as big as most machines go. I know a company that uses less. They’ve sewn a few kites too, like quite a few. Located in the south pacific ocean, not to far from that big hole in the ozone.

Thread, Poly is good. Metrosene rules in home threads. We use poly ’cause it is impurvious to moisture. Moisture bad.

I learned to sew after i was doing it for a couple of years from Bill Coe. He’s the main man at Performance Designs. This is a little company that builds sport parachutes. Kinda well known in their industry. Bill knows more about nylon cloth, and polyesther cloth than any man i’ve ever met. Then there’s Peter Lynn. He knows more about kites than quite a few put together. He taught me(through Phil) how to sew fast. They don’t mess around in Kiwi country. Work hard, party hard. Fly kites. Go fast.

Conclusion: Less holes in fabric, good. More holes, bad. Less is more!

total AoxomoxoA brought to you by. . .
. . . dean jordan



Dribs or: The X-foils

some months ago, Gene Matocha posted a description and a reference to his excellent website about the usage of diagonal rips (dribs) for traction kites, i.e. foils. Some time in January, I found the website again and as I was just in the process of building just another Sands quad, I decided to try his method and use it for the new kite. Here are some observations.

dribs are additional profiles which connect the bottom skin (profile 1) with the top skin of another (profile 2), ideally. As the top skin of a profile is usually curved, it is much easier to add a rectangular panel and hereby connect the bottom of profile 1 with profile 2. There are kites available from professional companies which are using dribs with a curved upper part, e.g. Ekko foils and Jojo SC foils. More about the dribs can be read on Gene’s pages:

The Sands quad (4sqm) has originally got 20 identical cells. However as the drib method allows to bridle only every third profile, I decided to just add another cell -> 21 cells. As Chris also uses small keels at the tips of all his kites, I ended up with 6 normally bridled profiles and the two keel’ed profiles. The regular plan foresees two keel’el profiles and another 10 bridled profiles (overall). Already this difference should reduce drag and help for the overall performance of the kite.

The cell size is 19cm. The dribs in my kite start at the air inlet and end just shortly behind the last bridle attachment. This gives a total length of 50cm, which is approx. 50% of the total bottom skin. Unfortunately the profiles are not vry high, therefore the angle of the dribs is somewhat below 45 degree. Normally one should try to achieve at least an angle of 45.

Building the kite was very easy. It actually took just one weekend (personal record for me). I followed the suggested sequence on Genes pages. However bridling needed a bit more attention. Although the profiles are identical Chris Sands has got different primary bridles for each and every profile. As I would bridle different profiles, I decided to change the bridle completely. Similar to the sputnik I used one identical primary bridle for all the six profiles, which made bridleing very fast. The secondary bridle was a wild guess and only needed small adjustment on the field. The brake lines are the original ones from the plan. There is one more difference to my normal way of building these kites. Instead of just sewing a reinforcement line to the seam allowance of the bridled profiles, I used small stripes of 8-fould spinnakernylon, which were sewn between the bottom panels and to which the bridle is attached. Gene had warned me that naturally the bridle attachements of six profiles must stand a higher load than those of ten profiles.

Having started on saturday morning I finished sewing on sonday noon and started to attach the bridle (except brake lines). In the afternoon, we decided to go for a walk on the nearby flying field to make the necessary adjustments of the secondary bridle. As this was done within just a few minutes, I attached flying lines and tried to used the new quad traction foil as two-liner. To my surprise the kite behaved very normal and despite the rather large aspect ratio, it flew very well. In the evening (back at home) I also attached the brake lines.

This is now two weeks ago. On the next weekend I had the opportunity to try the kite together with a friend as a regular quad kite. (I originally was planning to try some kiteskiing, but the wind was too low). The biggest difference between this new kite and my “old” standard 4sqm Sands quad is the reduced number of bridle lines. And although the bridled profiles are still easily to be recognised when looking on the top skin of the kite, the difference between “bridled” and “un-bridled, dribed” profiles is not as big as it is with the standard quad. Additionally, once I have added some cross bridles, the kite will also not deform as much as it used to be with the standard quad foil when performing a turn. I cannot finally say, which kite performs better as I did not yet have the chance to buggy with the new kite. However the additional work needed for planning, making and attaching the dribs is certainly compensated by the much easier bridle.

I am now planning to build an even smaller kite as test platform for “real” dribs. As I have the complete profile in Excel, I have started to calculate the necessary shape of dribs which will go from the bridle attachment points really til the top skin (similar to the above mentioned Ekko foils). Whereas with the Ekko foils, every second profile is bridled, on my X-foils, only every third profile will be bridled. I am now just fiddling with different panel width for the tip panels (half way of what Gene describes on his page) to incorporate the fact into the design, that the bridled foil will form some type of bow, whereas the standard plan assumes that the foil is straight.

Hope you found this description somewhat helpful for your own variations. As soon as I have been able to take some pictures, Gene will post them on his website.

Back to Excel..


Bernhard Malle wrote:

Thanks Bernhard!

To my knowledge, you are the first person to try this method. I’m gald you are happy with the results so far. Let me know how the buggying goes, and I’m looking forward to those pics!

Once I get your final feedback, I will update the DRib page with the latest information and pictures.

If anyone is interested in trying the curved D-Ribs Bernhard talks about, the projected skin mathematics discussed in Kite Tech IV can be used to determine their shape. The straight DRibs in Kite Tech 1 don’t require the math, and produce much the same result. I started out designing curved ribs, when I hit upon the simpler straight design. I am looking forward to Bernhards results with the curved ribs.

One other tip – use the formula in Kite Tech II to determine cell width after inflation for more accurate DRib height.

Take it easy,
Gene Matocha


Kite Bridles

Activated Matchbox

>If you can play with both, and ABW’s doesnt count, since his
>stuff is prolly never stock…

No actually, most of my kites are straight out of stock. Well OK, I often have custom colours….erm…and some very strange bridles… and…occassionally…erm…a different frame…and…erm….

Of fair enough, not *all* of my kites are stock, but in the case of the Matchbox, it is a standard item, with the bridle tied together in the way described in my other post. I like to work around the existing stock bridles wherever possible for the simple reason that it makes it easier for other people to try it out for themselves.

My preference between the two is for the Matchbox, but I haven’t had enough quality airtime with the Alien to really give it justice. The only ill-informed opinion I can really note is that the Alien felt quite a bit “heavier” to fly but in return was easier to Fade. As I say, I’m not really well placed to give a good comparison of the two, so your mileage may vary.



Carl Moody <> wrote:
>BTW can any body give me the secret to holding a fade on a Matchbox,
>Anybody, Andy W.?

Try the Quick and Dirty “Activation” technique on the bridle.

Tie a single overhand knot in the upper leg of the bridle about 10cm up from the tow point. You’ll need to take the bridle off the top connector to do this.

Then, disconnect the inhaul from the outhauls and tie it once around the upper leg, above the stop knot, and then reconnect the outhauls to the inhaul with a larks head as per normal. Use the standard bridle point and slide the inhaul knot up or down until it runs flush with the uphaul up to the stopper knot.

You end up with the inhaul and uphaul tie together 10cm away from the tow point, with a stopper knot to stop the knot from sliding towards the tow point.

This simple modification seems to make the kite more stable in a Fade and generally perform better. Try it out (if you can make any sense of the instructions) and see what you think. If it doesn’t work for you then you can just untie the knots. Easy! :-)=


Thanks Andy,
Just to clarify..
So you end up with a sort of rotated Dynamic bridal, with the activated leg on the lower outhaul rater than the inhaul?

I did the mod. last night but won’t be able to test till the weekend (conditions permitting), but I did it an even DIRTIER way.

I disconnected the bridle at the lower leading edge connector, held the inhaul & upper outhaul together at the rec. 10cm from the tow point and put an over hand knot in to hold them, then reconnected at the lower connector in the normal way.

This is obviously very rough and ready as the tow point will have moved, but I did notice that using these two legs caused the least shift (relative to the sail) than any other combination. Does your particular method take account of this shift or are they both just field fixes for experimental reasons?
Carl M.
Having a Bad Air Day.


Sounds good! You might find that the tow point is shifted inboard a little by the amount of line consumed in the knot, but you get a bit of that with my method too and it doesn’t seem to adversely affect the kite.

Well this was really just a field fix that worked so well that I kept it on the kite. Stuck it on Tim’s Matchbox and he liked it and also kept it the same. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, maybe just one quick tweak…. :-)=

The tow point does move less, but you can always shift the knot away from the tow point to create more movement. I’ll check my kite and see exactly where I’ve got mine set. The important thing though, is not only how much the tow point moves, but also in which direction. This bridle causes the tow point to move down towards the tail and up out towards the leading edge. That’s the opposite to a standard dynamic bridle, for example, which moves down and out towards the tips, or up towards the nose.

The web site goes into more detail about this for those who are interested.



Raaseri bridle types

This is a description of three types of bridle that I have used on my Raaseri. Each measurement is point-to-point and makes no allowance for knots (esp. for the ACTIVE BRIDLE) or loops for attaching to the frame. These tend to vary with material used and preferred knot anyway. In each case the standard bridle attachment points as per the plan are used.

I would stress that these are *MY* bridle settings and you may find them not to your tastes, a fact that may be backed up by a conversation I had the last time I was in the UK with a well known (if nameless here) flyer trying out a Jester 2 with my dynamic bridle:-

Mike: What do you think then ?
Flyer: ‘Snice.
[pause] Flyer: When will it stop spinning ?
Mike: Soon. Soon.
[another pause. Quite a long one actually] Flyer: It hasn’t stopped yet.
Mike: Well….it’s slowed down a bit.

Consider this fair warning. Personal taste is just that.

The references and acknowledgments are to those who I believe to be responsible for the concept of the bridling system in question.

The original cross-shunt bridle for the Raaseri is by Simo Salanne, designer of the kite.

CROSS STATIC BRIDLE (after Dan Tabor, Mike Simmons et al)


Basically as per the plan but I make no use of the shunt leg which is normally loose anyway and I also make the outhaul one continuous length rather than making each leg adjustable for ease of adjustability and symmetry.

Inhaul x 2 ———- Note: Inhaul runs from lower spreader, across the spine and joins to the outhaul at the tracer. This is the fixed line.

spreader Tracer
| |
| <——— 81cm ———-> |

Outhaul x 2

Note: Outhaul runs between the upper and lower spreader attachment points on the leading edge. This is the adjustable line.

Lower Upper
spreader Tracer spreader
| | |
| <———– 73cm ————> | |
| |
| <———————— 117cm ————————-> |

Tracers x 2

Note: Tracers are used to attach the flying lines to the bridle and are loops of bridle line tied into an overhand knot.



DYNAMIC BRIDLE (after Ray Bordelon)

For a low aspect ratio kite like the Raaseri with so much pitch stability some “fore and aft” moves like Fades, Flic-Flacs, etc. do not come easily. The dynamic bridle allows a little instability to be added. Too much dynamism in the bridle leads to a loss of that nice Raaseri precision.

Inhaul x 2
Lower Outhaul
spreader Tracer
| | |
| <——– 77cm ——> | |
| |
| <———– 89cm ————> |

Outhaul x 2
Lower Upper
spreader Inhaul spreader
| | |
| <———– 63cm ————> | |
| |
| <———————— 116cm ————————-> |

Tracers x 2

ACTIVE BRIDLE (after Andy Wardley)
Not especially easy to tune and if I had the time and smooth winds for the task I would work more on this but I am quite happy with it. By making the lower legs on each side from one continuous piece and making the upper leg adjustable in length you can tweak this bridle quite fully (ie; more oversteer move Stabiliser point outwards along lower leg, lengthen upper leg to increase pitch). However, this bridle type is a manifestation of the fundamental interconnectedness of all things and changing just one length to improve one flight characteristic tends to mean more changes to gain back lost ground in other areas that you didn’t want changing…which means more changes to other bits…..which….You get the picture.

Lower legs x 2

Lower Leading
spreader Activator Stabiliser edge
| | | |
| | | |
| <—- 51cm —-> | <- 26cm -> | <——– 73cm ——--> |
| | |
| <———– 77cm ————> | |
| |
| <———————— 150cm ————————-> |

Upper leg x 2

Top Activator Tow Lower
| | | |
| <— 35cm —> | <– 26cm --> | |
| | |
| ->|6cm|<-
| |
| <————- 67cm ————> |

Activator x 2

| |
| <– 17cm --> |

Tracers x 2


/\ | There is no such thing as wind
O /D—————/ \ | in Finland.
__I/ \ / |
I \/ | It is variable intensity,
/ \_ +-+-+\ | semi-directional turbulence.
./ ‘



Adjusting the bridle of a dual-line kite

I just got an inexpensive “Go Fly A Kite” dual line stunt kite for my son. Supposedly the kite came with a preset bridle, but it didn’t and the instructions that came with it are no help. Where can I get info on how to set it up? This kite does not have an upper spreader. The vendor doesn’t seem to have a web site, and there is no phone no. in the package. Below is some related info. Can anybody help?

Go Fly A Kite – The Breeze
Model 11291
52″ wingspan


Hi Victor, hi folks.
I do nt know that particular model but generaly, the bridles on dual line kites can be adjusted. The adjustment allows you to change the angle that the kite makes with the wind. Well, sort of, because the kite will change its orientation to the wind when flying around in the wind window.

But let get back to bridle adjustment. Here is what to check:

Lay the kite on its back and look at how your control lines are attached to the bridle. Normally you should have one clip or pig tail (small length of line with a knot at the end) on each side of the kite. These are called the tow points. The control lines are normally attached to the end of these (the end closer to the kite flyer, of course). The other end of these is normally attached to the bridle.

The first check is to see that there are no tangles in these tow points clips (pig tails, etc).

The second check is to make sure that the two points have the same adjustment. Take the lower spreader as a reference point and make sure that both junctions are at the same distance from the spreaders. Make sure that they also are at the same distance from the spine. If they are not equal one tow point must be relocated. Normally there is a knot that can be untied to allow one bridle leg to slide on the other. After making the adjustment you can then retighten the knot to lock everything in place. You may notice some marking on the bridles. These are generally the normal set point (often called factory settings). The kite should fly with the tow point tied at this mark.

The third check is about the angle the kite make with the wind. An easy way to acheive that is to hold the kite by the two tow points and look at the angle the kite makes with the ground. If it is nearly parallel to the ground, you may have problems. If the nose is closer to the ground than the back you will certainly have problems. If the nose is higher you have a good chance of success. The proper adjustment is to have the nose leaning forward into the wind (hence, higher from the ground when the kite is held horizontally by the tow points). You acheive that by moving the tow points up toward the nose (same adjustment than the one described in the preceeding paragraph). The two points must be moved the same. Go by 1/4 inch (about 6 mm) at a time. At some point the kite will no longer fly well. It will turn very wide and may fall from the sky. This is the upper limit. You may play with smaller increments (like 1/8 in for example) to figure out exactly this limit. Then you move the tow point down away from the nose to find the lower limit. At this point the kite wont even launch. I suggest you mark these with some kind of pen that will stay on the bridle line (a good waterproof felt pen should do). The optimum point will be between these two extreme and can be varied depending on the fligth characteristics you want and the wind speed. More on that optimizing of the angle of attack.

The fourth check is to make sure the two control lines are absolutely equal in length. This is especialy important with a small kite.

To finish that post a short help on optimizing the angle of attack.

In low wind, try a higher setting.

In high wind, try a lower setting.

If the wind get really high revert back to a high setting to releive stress on the kite, and maybe the flyer also 🙂

Keep in mind that your kite is relatively small and thus may require more wind to fly than some bigger kites. I say “may” because with today high tech small kites made for indoor and outdoor in very light wind, even some small kites will fly easily. But, given the small size and increased reaction to pilot input, these kites are probably not the best choice for a beginner.

Again some free plugs since I am in no way affiliated with the following companies or persons. Try to get David Gomberg books on stunt kites. The first one is good for beginners and even advanced flyers can find some usefull info. Also good are some videos like “The Way to Fly” by Prism and “Flight School 1.5” by Dodd Gross.
Hope that helps.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


That was a very good, concise, explanation of a basic adjustment. Then when you get into kites like alot of the prism’s, and the tricktails, ect. then you throw in all kinds of other variables that confuse the heck out of me. How does a person tell when a bridle adjustment is needed, verses a standoff change? That’s where I need some work this summer (if it ever get’s here) I don’t like laying my kite down in the wet to make adjustments every 15 min.
Thought I’d ask
Mikey luvs ya!


The bad news is: You got what you paid for. The good news is: You are exactly right on all 3 counts. The bridle is *supposed* to be preset, it isn’t, and the instructions are no help whatsoever.

There is more good news: This kite *is* salvageable. If I had you on my flying field, I would cut away the bridle, hand you the hardware (those clips), and install a new bridle that you could adjust easily. Then we would “walk thru” how, when, and why to adjust it.

I live within 100 miles of the place that makes those kites. I get to see (and fix) a lot of them.

Jean Lemire’s post to this thread is as good advice on bridling as you are ever likely to find. If you find it difficult to follow, come back to rec.kites (or e-mail one of us) and keep asking questions until we can get that kite flying the way it should.

good heavens;
gary engvall,
Aero ergo sum. I fly, therefore, I am.


My first dual line kiting experience was basicly a nightmare with a new “Go Fly A Kite” kite. I couldn’t get it in the air and had a heck of a time wrestling the bridle knots and when I finally did get it to fly it had to be in hurricane winds to get the heavy-assed thing going. Since I’ve acquired some real kites and learned how to adjust and fly them the worst time I have out flying now is when I see a poor sole trying get a “Go Fly A Kite” airborne and offer to help them get it going. I’ll not forget what a great feeling it was to cram my “Go Fly” in the trash can. Good riddance! I think the Beetle is around the same price for a beginner kite. If only beginners could know.


Hi folks.
Something I should have put in my previous post (that could have saved me some typing also) is to refer to Andy Wardley excellent site at:

For infos on static bridle which is probably similar to the one installed on your kite.

Plus, I like the idea of Gary to replace the bridle. But, to play safe and to be less radical, I would suggest that you add a new bridle in parrallel to the existing one. You can then experiement by switching back and forth between the two. Finaly, when you are satisfied you can remove the original (and probably under par) bridle. If you go that way, you will learn a lot and become quite proficient with bridle adjustments and kite flying as well.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


Not as good as the above, but another kind of explanation can be found at:

Peter Peters,,
Like kites…. look at



Andy Wardley’s New Years Gift

>Not to steal anyone’s thunder, but in a casual (daily?) perusal of Andy Wardley’s
>web site I find that he has bestowed upon us great treasures of bridle lore

I uploaded them yerterday afternoon….you got there before I could make the announcement…. :-)=

Yes, there are 2 new Active Bridle pages desribing the latest designs and ideas with the Active Bridle.

The first describes the “Dihedral Active Bridle”. This is a configuration that has the same overall effect as the standard Active Bridle already desribed, but has the benefits of being:

* simple to modify to an existing static bridle
* easy to design, tune and adjust

I include a full desription of how to make the bridle for a Phantom Elite, but the principles should apply to any kite.

The second document desribes a couple of ideas loosely termed “Trihedral Active Bridles”. As the name suggests, the dihedral bridles have 2 active “planes” and the trihedral ones have 3. The trihedral designs are still quite experimental and there are no hard figures, but if you like to experiment with bridles then this might give you some good ideas to start with.



Active Bridle for BoT

Active Bridle for Box of Tricks.

Consult web page for construction information:



Bottom legs x 1

Single length folded in half to make both lower legs. Tie loop in centre with small overhand knot. Loop should be just big enough to fit around spar. Two loose ends should be flanged and 124.5cm from the back of the loop.

/ \ Activator Stabiliser Leading Edge
| @========================================================
\__/ | | |
| | | |
| <—- 37.5cm —-> | <- 18cm -> | <——– 69cm ——--> |
| | |
| <———- 55.5cm ———--> | |
| |
| <———————— 124.5cm ———————--> |

Top leg x 2

60 cm long. Flanged at both ends. Activator mark 32cm down from top. Tow point 55cm from top. Tie top to frame with slip knot. Tie bottom to lower leg with sheet bend at stabliser mark.

Top Activator Tow Lower
| | | |
| <— 32cm —> | <– 23cm --> | |
| | |
| ->|5cm|<-
| |
| <————- 60cm ————> |

Activator x 2

15.5cm long flanged at both ends. Tie ends between activator points on top and bottom legs using sheet bend.

| |
| <- 15.5cm -> |

Tracers x 2

Two small loops of indeterminate length. Loop onto top leg at tow point using a Prussik (double lark’s head).

Andy Wardley <> Signature regenerating. Please remain seated.
<> For a good time:



Illusion Active Bridle

I just got mine from Gone With The Wind. In case you Illusion folks hadn’t heard yet, Prism is now selling Active Bridles for Illusions, and they can be easily retrofit to earlier models (I have a 1998 “J”).

Anyone already got significant flying time on one of these who can offer a comparison in flight characteristics?
Mike C.


More on characteristics of the Active Bridle:

1. Whatever problems I was having getting nice clean flat axels the first time I took it out, went away in my second session. I don’t know what I did differently, but they came out as smooth as with the standard bridle. Not any better, but as good, anyway.

2. The Active Bridle has a tendency to catch below the little sail extension for the outer standoff. I’ve *never* had the old bridle catch there. Maybe getting caught in the standoff *clip*, but not just caught around that sail extension.

3. The kite did *not* want to launch straight up unless it was very near the center of the wind window. On either side, a smooth pull of both line to launch caused the kite’s nose to point to the center of the window once it got into the air. It took a very concious and determined effort to overcome this.

The above being said, the positives are that the kite goes into and out of different moves very smoothly. It holds fades better. It 540s more smoothly and consistently. It seems to cascade more easily. But for me, that’s not enough to overcome the slightly mushier feel, the sense of less “snap” to the moves, and especially what I would consider “sloppy” launch characteristics.
Just my opinion…


Hey Mike,
Felt the EXACT same way!! I figured it out though. All you need to do is reset the bridle about a 1/8 – 1/4 inch lighter. The factory default mark sets the kite for higher winds, so if you’re down below ten or so, you get that “mushy-ness” and hesitancy to launch with the default setting.

My personal verdict is still out on the new bridle, but so far so good. I promised myself a few hours before making a decision, but it’s been raining all the time here, so I haven’t able to fly much at all. Let me know how you do.


Maybe there is a reason for this but wouldnt moving the tp up be counter productive considering the way an active bridle is supposed to work? OK the activator leg is supposed to pull on the upper outhaul to bring the nose forward in lighter wind. If the bridle is set for heavier wind, and you wanted to set it lighter, wouldnt the correct action be to move the connection point of the activator leg mor toward the nose, thuse setting the kite nose forward in lighter wind while maintaining the same position in heavier wind? BTW I built one of the bridles from the measurements given, and it did seem a bit heavy. There didnt seem to be alot of activation on it and it felt a little heavy. I moved the activator line higher on the upper outhaul and it seemed to help, and the wind was a bit on the light side today, kinda flaky wind, sometimes heavy sometimes light. Anyway, the Illy is way easier to spike with the active bridle. Still have to work with it more. BTW, I did buy a bridle, it just hasnt come yet, and I’m impatient. Anyway, it just seems like if the bridle is set well for heavier winds, to really utilize the active part of it, you should be changing the point where the activator sheetbends to the upper outhaul rather than changine where the pigtail connects so you dont have to change the stabilizer length. Does that sound right or am I missing something? Anyone know for sure, Andy maybe?


Bridle designer speaking here:

The new Illusion bridle came after many months of fussing with the Active bridle geometry while working on the Prophecy and the Elixir. The Seattle locals have found that it makes the kite much more precise and gives it a greater pitch stability, allowing much smoother flight in less-than-perfect winds. As a flier, I’ve found trick abilities to be mostly comparable, with a few exceptions: Fades are much more stable and easier to hold in stronger winds. Tip stabs are way easier to time correctly and you can get the kite to stab farther sideways. Axels tend to give fewer tip wraps because the nose stays a little lower around the back side of the axel.


I have set the factory mark on the bridle a little heavier (more nose-back) than on last year’s bridle, mostly due to prevailing weather conditions in Seattle during this whole miserable winter. That means that in really light winds the kite will not fly or turn as easily as last year’s model without moving the tow points up a bit.

For those of you talking about problems launching, this is most certainly the issue. This means that to make a proper comparison between the two you’d have to move the new bridle 1/4 to 3/8″ above the lack mark or the old bridle a similar distance below it.

Hope this helps,
-Mark Reed


Excellent! I notice Mark’s posted a reply and having absolute faith in his bridling abilities as I do (now Grandmother, see this egg here…), I suspect a minor tweak is all that’s required.

>I’d LOVE to lend you my Illusion (in return for a FIXED bridle) if it
>wouldn’t have to go all the way from Alabama USA to England!

Thanks for the measurement and the offer. I’m sure I’ll be able to locate an Illy somewhere closer to home that can borrow. To be honest, though, Mark’s in a much better position than me to get the best out of a bridle for the Illusion. I don’t have a lot of faith in my ability to better what he’s already done.

I will have a look anyway.

>reading your write-up (wonderful!!!) on your website (also
>wonderful!!!), I really expected more from Prism’s new bridle.

As you might expect, an awful lot depends on the kite in question, but I’ve found that in most cases, the feel of an Active Bridle takes a little time (~10 mins) to get used to, although most people tend to _like_ it straight away even if it does _feel_ a little different . On Tim’s kites, for example, it generally helps to approach everything a little smoother and slower and everything falls into place perfectly.

And we shouldn’t overlook the fact that the bridle just might not be your thing. I have to confess that the bridle is very much complimentary to my own personal style of flying. For me, it’s extra smoothness and dynamic feedback that activation gives that makes it a “better bridle”. If you prefer something snappier and a bit more rigid, then the Active Bridle is probably moving away from where you want to go.

On the Phantom Elite, the Dihedral Active Bridle proved to be much better than the standard Active Bridle. On the Outer Space, the total opposite was true. I’d suggest the Dihedral is worth a try on the Illusion and see if that suits better.
Andy Wardley <>


A reply to Walt-

As I’m sure you know, every bridle adjustment affects more than one variable and is thus a compromise. Moving the activator leg can also change the angle of attack for different wind conditions but it will also decrease the kite’s pitch stability. If you look at the active bridle geometry you’ll see that there is very little “activation,” meaning that I have induced relatively little pitch instability. I’ve found that more activation on the Illy (less pitch stability) gives the kite a choked feel and makes it overly sensitive to turbulence. It’s a better solution in this case to move the tow point (yellow) up a bit as you would with a traditional bridle. It’s also a lot less intimidating for the average flyer who is used to adjusting his bridle at the traditional points.

When you get you new bridle, spend a little time with it before adjusting the points that I didn’t intend to be adjusted. Get to know what happens when you move the knot at the center T or move the tow point up and down. If you’ve got lighter winds move the tow point up some. Fly in some different wind conditions before jumping to conclusions.

I am working on a “Tuning Tips for Serious Enthusiasts” section of our website. It will discuss all of the Illusion’s adjustment possibilities in greater detail for those of you who want to know more.
-Mark Reed
Prism Designs Inc.


OK, after taking Matt’s and Mark’s suggestion of moving the tow point up, I withdraw 90% of my critisms of the ’99 Illusion’s Active Bridle (retrofit onto my 1998 Illusion). With the bridle moved up (black mark moved down) 3/8″, it flies like it’s SUPPOSED to fly!

The overall responsiveness is now comparable with my original standard bridle. As Mark had reported, he made the default mark HEAVY since it’s been windy in Seattle. (MARK: I SUGGEST YOU GO BACK AND MAKE IT CONSISTENT WITH THE STANDARD BRIDLE SETTING, SINCE WHEN WORD GETS AROUND THERE WILL BE A LOT OF FOLKS WANTING TO RETROFIT THEIR KITES WHO WILL HAVE THE SAME CONCERNS AS MATT AND I DID.) It’s no longer “mushy”, but is as snappy as before. The Active Bridle does all the things that Andy Wardley says they should do (THANK YOU ANDY!!!); fades hold better, axels are very smooth, and most of all (with my level of skill, anyway), 540’s are WONDERFULLY SO MUCH MORE EASY AND CONSISTENT.

The only criticisms remaining: (1) The bridle tends to get caught behind the sail “tab” where the attachment for the outer standoff is. This was NEVER a problem with the old bridle. It’s the kind of thing you can’t easily see as the problem either… your lines don’t look like they’re caught anywhere, and are clearly not wrapped on a wingtip, yet one is shorter than the other and the kite can’t fly properly. To get it cleared, you have to let the kite lay on the ground on its back, jiggle the lines and then bring the kite carefully up to launch position again. (2) With the new bridle, it *may* be more difficult to get out of a turtle/backflip than before (ANDY, DO YOU KNOW?). I’m not sure yet… I lost the wind this afternoon as I was trying to see if it was the kite/bridle, or just me…

Other than that, I like EVERYTHING about the new bridle.
Mike Charness

Kite Misc

Best time I have had yet

Today I went out to fly my kite. I have been flying the WindDance 1 and 2 for a long time. The wind was approaching 30 mph and it was a blast. At one point the kite made me lose my balance and I fell on my ass. Then the kite spun me around on my back while still dragging me down field at a good klip. Once I regained my senses I got up and went back up the field. Next I tried jumping as the kite was coming up through the power zone. Now this is a small kite but I was able to get about 5 feet off the ground.

Then I lost control again and fell. The kite and I ended up down the field and this time around the Football goal post. I managed to get the kite off the post but it weekend the line and it snapped.

I have another post on how to remedy that.

Just had to let out my rush….




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Help- tips for a newbie

> HI, I’d been meaning to get a kite for a while and just got round to
> doing it. I bought a 6′ dual line stunt kite with some 120 ft lines. How
> should I approach it my first time flying. What line lengths and stuff
> like that????? thanks.

Hello Tom,

Firstly welcome to the addictive sport/hobby of Kite flying.

To start off: Probably the most important part of kite flying is your flying lines, being the quality of it and setting-up, having lines set up wrong can lead to frustration. THE LINES HAVE TO BE OF EQUAL LENGTHS! 120 ft lines is okay on a 6ft sport kite.

1) Determine whether your flying line is of a good quality braided “stretch free” line, not twisted nylon, it has to be in the family of Spectra, Dyneema, Shanti etc. if uncertain, your kite dealer will help you on this.

2) Your lines should be looped and sleeved on both ends, this means that the lines must have a protective sleeve over the line which is folded double and tied with an overhand knot, this prevents the flying line from cutting through it self or the tow point on the kite or being cut by metal rings etc. on the flying handles or straps.

3) If all above is in order, stake the lines up-wind to the ground at one end with a metal peg or screwdriver ensuring that both lines end loops are at the same point around the peg, and that the peg is deep enough in the ground as not to pull out when sideways tension is applied to it. Unwind both lines by walking them out, down wind, until they lie straight on the ground. Pass your index fingers through the loops on the unstaked ends(left and right hand), now bring your hands together and lean back to place the lines under tension, you can lean almost your full bodyweight, this is called pre-stretching, look down the lines to see if they are both sagging the same, if one line sags more than the other, pull more on the opposite line, bring the hands back together and check the sag, if there is still more sag in one line, that lines sleeving has to be undone and adjusted until the sag is the same. If all this is complete the lines are ready to fly. Note that after a couple of flights the lines have to be re-checked for equal length, as some stretching occurs during the first flights. re-wind the lines on the winder, or if you have carried out this operation at your selected flying area, ensure that the lines are now lying down wind, ie. if you are standing at the stake looking at the un-staked ends of the line, the wind should be blowing directly from behind.

4) Assemble the kite as per the instructions ensuring that the bridle-lines are free and not looped around the spreaders(the shafts that run diagonaly across the kite). The bridle should be fitted with a tow-point pig-tail(a short length of line with a knot on the end) on the left and right hand bridles, at a point where all the bridle lines meet. Lay the kite on its back, close to the unstaked ends of the flying-lines with the nose of the kite pointing away from the stake. Form a larks head knot on the end of one flying-line(pass thumb and index finger through loop on flying-line, bring the flying-line between the thumb and index finger, pinch this section of line and fold the loop which is around your thumb and fore finger over to form a secondary loop on the flying-lines), slip this loop over the tow point knot on the kite and pull the line tight, repeat the same procedure for the other side.

5) Walk to the staked side of the line and remove the stake, attach your flying handles or straps to this end. Separate the flying lines and identify the left and right lines.

6)FLYING. Facing the kite(ensuring that the wind is still from behind), place your hands through the straps, or firmly hold on the the flying handles and bring your hands together stretched out in-front of you, lower than your waist, with the elbows slightly cocked. Gently step back until the kite starts standing on its wing-tips, with a gentle but firm tug pass your hands to the side of the body, at the same time giving a step back (the amount of tug on the lines depends on the strength of the wind, in moderate to strong winds the kite should rise by it self).

7) Fly the kite to the top of the wind window where it almost comes to a standstill ensuring that your hands are close together at all times, never above your head and never spread wide apart. Now! gently pull on either left or right line and see what the kite does, if you pull left the kite will go left, if you pull right the kite will go right. Pulling the left line the kite will start flying to the left of the window, by counter-steering with the right hand the kite should fly to the left of the wind window in a straight line. Reverse the action by pulling the right hand to turn the kite around and fly to the right side of the window, by counter-steering with the left hand. Continue this movement until you are comfortable in pointing the kite where you want it to go. Remember all these movements are small gentle movements, do not jerk or yank on the lines, this will cause the kite to stall and fall out of the sky.If you continue pulling either the left or right hand, and not counter-steer with the opposite hand the kite will fly a loop, continue pulling the line until the kite points to the top of the wind window then bring the hands together to make it fly straight. Do not worry about the twist in the line, keep on looking at the kite, left stays left and right stays right. To un-twist the line, simply fly the loop the opposite way round.

8) LANDING: To land the kite, fly parallel to the ground either to the left or to the right of the wind window, approximately 6ft or 1,5M above the ground, to a point at the edge of the wind were the kite slows down and finally stops to fly, apply tension to the wing of the kite which is pointing upward, the kite should slowly descend and gently land on the ground. Always keep your lines straight on the ground, in case of a crash and you have to re-setup your kite for launching, leave your handles or straps on the ground with the lines lying straight, do not walk towards your kite with your handles in hand, this may cause the lines to tangle. After completion of your flying session, undo the lines on the kite-end and wind both lines in a figure 8 around the winder. With your next flying session undo your handles or straps from the lines and attach these ends to the kite.


These are all basic flying tips for setting-up, flying and landing which I hope will be of some value. After you have become more proficient in flying you can move on to more advanced manoeuvres, tricks and landing techniques.
Smooth winds
Theo Marnewick



How important is sleeving lines

I just got a kite and some lines. They are fixed length. I think they are fairly good lines, made out of that spectra stuff people mention. They came marked “ready to fly” with knots and loops already made. They dont have any sleeving though. How important is it that your lines get sleeved. Ive seen lots of people mention the need to sleeve. thanks…


We don’t need no steenkin’ sleeves.

It isn’t at all necessary. Don’t lose any sleep over it.

Where’d I leave that flame-proof suit?

good heavens;
gary engvall,
Aero ergo sum. I fly, therefore, I am.


I haven’t sleeved line since the 80’s. Haven’t noticed a difference.
Todd Little


I find it makes tieing and untieing easier.


Hi Tom,

Sleeving helps lessen wear on little string where it rubs on something. The big lines are pretty strong and you don’t tend to reach the upper limit of the strength too often, so I don’t sleeve it.

You need to weigh up the advantages of a smaller diameter line(less drag) vs a stronger line which you dont need to baby and will take a little rough.

Knot strength has to do with the type of knot you tie, not the sleeve. I use knots used in my other passtime (fishing) which are designed to retain the breaking strain of the line (or close to it). Remember lots of wraps.

Use good line, look after it, and it will last years.

Theo Marnewick posted a reply ” Re: Help- tips for a newbi” a few days ago . It is an excellent read and will give you some good pointers on line. He seems to like the sleeving idea – but that aside his other points on line handling are spot on.

Most of all – try it, experience is the best knowledge.

Feel the line. Listen to the line under strain. It will tell you what is happening.

Have fun. Let me know how you go.


Tom Holloway wrote:

depends. I have a 200lb lineset that I removed the sleeving from and I’ve been using it for a year without problems or signs of excessive wear, I use it exclusively on stunt kites, not power

all my 400lb ‘power’ linesets are ‘no-knotted’ on both ends, and then a loop of nylon braid is larksheaded to the ends. This works well too. The nylon braid is also ‘no-kotted’ to from the loop. actually quite cunning, the lines are thus sleeved AND no-knotted.

the object of sleeving is to prevent the Spectra line rubbing on any other line. Spectra is very strong if you pull on it, but very weak when you rub it.

steam and wind
David Forsyth DaForce A-T Iwr.Ru.Ac.Za


if you are using 150# to 300# spectra the sleeving will help, but very little.

if you are using 80# or less, Sleeving is a GOOD thing 🙂

Try the following experiment, and then you decide for your self if its worth the effort.

get a 4′ length of 80# or less spectra. sleeve a loop in one (1) end, then tie any kind of knot you can think of with a loop in the other.(carefull that you don’t tie a slip knot),

put one loop over you thumb on one hand, and the other loop over the thumb on the other hand….. then move your thumb’s away from each other quickly, with about 20 to 25 pound force. one of the knots will break,

after doing this several times, then decide is sleeving worth while.

after determining what is the best way… then tie an overhand knot in the middle of the string and do the experiment again. Guess where the string will break.

so when you are flying TRY not to get tangles in your lines, knots weaken them.


This is generally true, BUT…it DOES NOT APPLY to the new Lazer Pro Gold Line. I recently set up a 225# set, and as usual, I did not sleeve the lines…just “no-knotted” a loop into each end. After just two flying sessions the loops were noticably worn. After a couple more, they broke. This seems to be peculiar to the Gold, as I have similar sets of the old LP, and have no problems. SLEEVE THE GOLD!

Gene Matocha


Hi folks.

I agree that sleeving may not be essential but one benefit I see of sleeving is the ease of undoing a knot to adjust line length. It is much easier in a sleeve than in a small line (80 pounds for example). Even a 300 pounds spectra line will be a pain to untie after flying a few hours in high winds.

I know that you can use pigtails with knots spaced every 3/8 inch (10 mm) or so apart to make fast field adjustment (I have those on my Revs handles) but I prefer to do adjustments by untying the sleeve, sliding it up or down the line and retying. That way I can acheive a length difference of less than 1/8 inch (which I find the maximum I can tolerate). Maybe I am too maniac for precision 🙂

Another benefit, especially on smaller lines, is that I often fly without any handle at all in very low wind. I pass the loops directly around my fingers. A sleeve is really a must, then, to provide some comfort.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


When you say no-knot, what do you mean exactly? From what I know, there are two ways of no-knoting line (splicing line). 1) Use the line as sleeving, running the line end back through the line forming a loop 2) Thread the end of the line through itself back and forth, forming a loop (kinda like sewing).

Both of these methods are incredably strong, though #1 can only be done on line of significant diameter (200lb and above for modern spectra line). #2 works well for 80 and 150lb line. I did the a pull test comparing the two methods using 90lb Laser Pro. Spliced loops held almost twice the pull as sleeved loops. And that amount of pull was me (150lbs) pulling with all my might, with my face turning red. Much more than the 20-25lbs of pressure Tom wrote about. I’m now considering using 80-90lb on the bottom of some quad power kites.

I think the LPGold doesn’t have as many strands as the older line; it kinda looks like some of them have been bonded together. So it kinda makes sense that splicing wouldn’t work as well as there are fewer strands to grab itself.
Steve Bateman geokite at sprintmail dot com


if the stuff you have sold ready to fly has no sleving (protective outer layer arround the knots) it is probably a spectra blend. these blends usually work ok without sleeving. (there is some dacron woven in that protects it some)

pure spectra needs to be sleeved to keep it from cutting itself in the knots.
’till next time,


For those of you wondering what the heck we’re talking about (and in particular what I’m talking about) I spewed forth a web page yesterday on this topic. It contains a description of the lines I’m using which a chap in Cape Town makes as standard, and it contains a picture of the resulting line end. I also stuffed in some comments on my own no-knotting efforts.

Look at

Yes Frank, the URL could be longer (-: but it is *free* and has no adverts……
steam and wind



Kite slang, lingo, jargon

>Hi, Need a little help here. I am looking to fill a section on the KITES
>ON ICE program. I need kite jargon, lingo, slang, and fun phrases with
>there definitions. Corry, you must have a thousand of these. Plese send
>me some I have about 3 inches of program to fill and a deadline to
>meet.Thanks for your help.

>bones = sticks
>skin = sail
>butt rub = buggy roll over
>plant = pasting stunter to tree trunk or other surface

>let’s go, see you at Kite on Ice. 22 days. The ice is ready good
>weather all set up.

>Craig Wilson

Hey Craig,

Don’t forget the infamous “Walk of Shame” for the dreaded belly down,
nose towards you position.

This is a phrase that we have been using lately in Seattle, but I
don’t know if anybody else has heard of it. “Pulling a Lawn Dart” We
use this to describe what happens occasionally when, exiting a fade,
the kite locks into a slow, large arc that refuses to respond to any
control imput. The end result is bonking the nose of the kite into
the ground in a very undignified way.
Good luck,


“Fritzed” = Serious mishap leading to injury while buggying


Hi Craig. Great idea!
The is one that Corey called me in response to a post or e-mail a few years ago. So, I can take no credit, nor blame for that matter. 🙂

An “Astronaut” is when your buggy does a complete 360 while high centered on the top of a “pucker bump” (now there’s another one) at El Mirage of Alvord. Why? Because you’ve circled Uranus!


How about line laundry. I like to hang brassieres from mine. Someone told me the German translation for brassiere is, “holds em from floppin”. 😉

From The Land of 10,000 Kite Flying Fields,
(and the Frosty Fingers Kite Fly)
Jerry Houk


some localisms…..

wompa, as in ‘big wompa kite’ for flying a too big kite for the wind
or in ‘big wompa landing’ for when the big wompa kite lifts you
up and smacks you down with a ‘womp’ (and a wrenched knee,
bruised ribs etc)

farming = when the buggier gets pulled out the buggy, usu over the
front wheel, and lands face down in the sand and gets dragged,
filling his fannypack with sand (among other orifaces)

‘stupid question’ = as in ‘do you want to go buggying’ (-:

steam and wind
David Forsyth


Slacking: tricking slack line maneuvers
Crash: how’s it go? “Unscheduled landing at improper angle”
Soft kite: no frame
Stick kite: has frame

Maybe someone should compile a kite term glossary for general use and make like a r.k FAQ or something.

You might want a brief kite anatomy and a basic trick description in your glossary too with just the basics like axel, flatspin, stab, stall, fade, and a couple others. Just a thought.

Peace and Good winds


Hi Craig, hi folks.

Jerry mentionned “Sky Laundry”. I also heard a few time the words “Sky Junk” to describe the same thing.

Some other more technical terms (some of these may be deducted by spectators) are :

“Trains” or “Stacks”.

“Bridles” as opposed to “Lines”.

“Tricks” and all their names (Axels, Coin Toss, etc.)

After flying for many years it becomes difficult to pinpoint these words since they become second nature to us and we dont see them as special.

Hey you, fellow kite flyers, especially those having acted as MC in some festivals, you can certainly think of a lot of stuff like that. And also some less technical, but funny, kite jargon.

Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.



Used kite page URL

Can anyone give me the URL for Mike Woods used kite page? I thought I had it around here somewhere but have lost it. Sorted out the kites yesterday and have about 17 that I think need a new home. Thanks for any help.

To fly or not to fly….there is no question!

Charles Ernest Hemingway : trout bum, wannabe kite flyer



History of Kites/Kiting

>Hi All. I would appreciate if anyone could give me a URL to a site that
>discusses the history of kiting and it’s origins. I have done “some”
>on the web but yet to have found anything. Thanks again.


This site has information on both kites and kite aerial photography.

Thomas Bennett



How much is too much wind

Im still pretty new to flying kites. I was flying today in some pretty big winds. It was pretty hard to keep the kite on the ground without it flying off, but once it was up it was heaps of fun. What sort of wind speeds do people generally consider excessive? I have an 8′ stunt kite so im thinking in terms of that.



I know this sounds simple, but a good judge of too much wind is your own common sense. If you feel like you are in too much, another words you think your kite or lines will break, then you are in too much. If the lines are whistling, the kite seems fine through the wind window, not distorting a lot, then you are proably ok. Lines breaking is ok too, I know some who fly on lighter lines, so the line breaks before the kite or themselves do. Remember to always launch off to the side of the window instead of directly up the middle in high winds when testing if the winds are too strong for the kite you have. This way you can ease the kite into the power from the top of the window to see if it will be ok. This is the same method we use when launching power kites in high winds. If it is too strong, or when you want to land, gradually bring the kite down on the side of the wind window for a smooth soft landing.on its nose. slowly laying the kite on its back and then slightly pullling on the outside line so it flips around like a turtle launch, but without the launch, should land nose forward belly down. Not the easiest in high winds, but you want it to end up so it will not launch on its own while you are walking up to get it. hope that helps…

Dodd Gross, Master Instructor


Hi folks.

Too much wind depends on what you want to do with your kite or kites.

Buggiers, skiers, surfers will be happy with higher winds.

Team fliers will probably prefer moderate to low winds. I know some like it strong for punchy routines but usually not to strong.

Tricksters will probably prefer moderate to low.

Indoor maniacs will like very low wind to no wind at all.

What we all ask for is a steady wind, both in strength and direction.

But the most important is that if you feel safe, comfortable and you have fun then the wind is good 🙂
Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire


If the leading edges on your kite are wobbling during a ground pass, or a pass through the stronger part of the window, you may want to pack it up.

I have a Tram 2000 that is loads of fun and lots of pull in big wind But actually had the leading edges break and the kite folded up when I flew it in too strong of a wind for the frame.


1. Your kite breaks.
2. You are no longer on the ground when you *want* to be on the ground.
3. You are unable to control your forward speed without letting go of a handle to grab a tree.
4. Aerodynamic friction causes annoying burns to exposed skin.
5. Even though YOU can keep your footing, large objects are blown into you and keep knocking you down.
6. Any wind that blows other buggiers faster than you.



Too much wind? Haven’t encountered it yet. I’ve flown in 70 MPH wind and
stayed within all of the above reccomendations! Just gotta have the right
kite. (In this case, it was a Skynasaur soft stunter about 30 inches wide with
a 50 foot tail and 300lb line!)

Todd Little


Hi folks.

Just a trick for those who want to go a little over the maximum wind speed of a kite and minimize the leading edge flexing.

Add a third leg to the bridle on the leading edge. This is probably good only with static bridles.

On one of my kite I did it half way between the upper and lower spreaders. This extra leg is sligthly loose. So in normal wind it does not play any role except adding a little drag. But in a gust or when the wind picks up too much, the leading edge begin to flex and this extra leg gets tight, thus limitting the flex.

I discovered that the kite is much less sensitive to wind gusts. However it also lost a bit of its character but not too much. And I made that extra leg easy to remove for the times I dont need it.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


I live at the base of a mountain in Cape Town south africa and the wind reaches some incredible speeds like 40-60knots and remains relatively consistent!!

I tied myself to a tree one day (NEVER AGAIN!!) and I got the scars to show! I reckon if I had NOT been tied down I could have enjoyed the flight much more! That specific day, the wind was about 45-55 knots.

The thing is though, I generally measure wind speed by the trees and I’m slowly getting more ‘accurate’. Basically if you feel safe or just a little bit unsafe, your wind is cool!

Smooth 1
I live 4 the rush



National Kite Month

For months, I’ve been reading in rec.kites that “we need to do more to promote kiting”. Well, now it’s time to see whether that means “someone else needs to do something” or if it means “I’m willing to get involved”..

AKA and KTAI Unveil Bold New Program

If you have a free afternoon in April, you’re invited to join the biggest kite happening ever planned in North America.

The AKA, in cooperation with the Kite Trade Association, has declared April to be National Kite Month. This exciting new promotional effort will premier in 1999 with plans for the full program to be in operation for spring 2000.

This announcement was emailed to all on-line AKA and KTAI members earlier today, and is being posted to clubs, member merchants, and KTAI retailers.

Our goals for National Kite Month are to encourage flying and promote the joys of kiting as an educational, recreational, and sporting pastime. To make that possible, AKA and KTA are supporting a number of projects.

First, we plan to provide professional media support for the major kite events in an effort to get them on national television, magazines, and newspapers. Starting with the Smithsonian, and including Maryland, Miami, and two new events in Phoenix and Berkeley, National Kite Month hopes to use the excitement of these large scale events to communicate what contemporary kiting is all about.

Second, we want to encourage smaller local fun flys, exhibitions, workshops and programs across the country. We anticipate that every AKA club and member merchant will put something on the calendar. We urge individual members to organize events too. To make this possible, AKA is reducing the cost of sanctioning and the official National Kite Month Headquarters will provide free media and logistical support. Our goal is to register 200 events during the month.

Third, we are planning to produce a complete educational program, designed by teachers, that can be used to bring kiting to the classroom as a tool to teach science, math, history, art, ecology, and aesthetics. We plan to make the program available on the web and to promote it to every teacher in the country. The complete package will be ready for spring, 2000.

And finally, we intend to help the industry by scheduling member receptions at local kite stores where you can get “inside information” and discounts on the newest kite products from KTAI manufacturers.

What can you do to get involved? Attend the big events! Organize a local fly! Do two of them if you like. More is better! Then contact your local store and offer to help them with a reception!

Think it’s too wet or cold outside? Schedule an indoor demonstration! That’s sure to get media attention.

And don’t forget to call your local school and offer to present a kite workshop. Imagine, if only one-in-ten AKA members visits a classroom, there will be 400 workshops across the country.

To accomplish these goals, National Kite Month Headquarters will provide the following direct services:

* Issue press releases to targeted national and regional print media promoting National Kite Month and encouraging kite flying. The releases will include a list of registered events and retail store contacts. * Sub-contract with a professional agency to promote national television coverage of National Kite Month with a special focus on the five large festivals. * Issue press releases to local media supporting every registered event organized by a KTAI member or AKA Affiliated Club.

National Kite Month Headquarters will also provide the following support services:

* Instructions for registering and organizing a participating kite festival.
* Instructions for organizing a school kite making project.
* Sample proclamations which can be adopted by local or state governments.
* Sample press releases and photos.
* An official National Kite Month logo.
* A “National Kite Month Web Site” where information will be available for
downloading by local organizers, teachers, and members of the media.
* A “National Kite Month Hotline” for phone questions and information.

We envision the web site to be set up as a “do-it-yourself” resource where a local Kiwanis Club can obtain the necessary information to help them organize their own local kite festival, and where an elementary school teacher can obtain all the information he or she needs to do short a unit on kiting including some of the history, physics and science as well as kite plans and instructions for holding a kitemaking class.

In order to properly manage all aspects of National Kite Month, we are planning two stages of implementation.

In the first year, April 1999, our goal will be to inform enthusiasts and encourage the organization of local events and workshops. Headquarters will collect event registrations and support those events with press releases. We will also begin the effort to generate national media for the larger events.

During the balance of 1999, the National Kite Month project will prepare educational materials for use on the web site and in classrooms. Our goal will be to have all tools in place and on-line by the end of the year and implement the full package in April 2000.

The National Kite Month project provides you with the focus, tools and resources you need to draw more people to kiting. Media will be provided by professionals; instructions will be developed by experts; and insurance and permits will be provided by the parent organizations. But success will depend on the initiative of individuals and member businesses.

We need your involvement to make National Kite Month a success.

Contact our national office to register your National Kite Month event You can reach us by phone at 760-322-4128, fax 760-770-0415, or email at National Kite Month web pages can be accessed directly by the following: or through a link on the AKA’s web site, (, or the KTA’s web site (

We look forward to an exciting April, and to having all of you out there promoting kiting.

David Gomberg
National Kite Month Steering Committee Chair

PS – Please Note – I’ll be on the ice in Madison until Monday. I won’t have access to the newsgroup but do plan to be checking email.



Batman Kite

I have seen a photo of a kite which looks like the Batman symbol, does anyone know anything about this kite. Are there any plans available and does it fly well or is it all show.

My email is


Hi Wayne,

There has been a plan in German DRAma, many years (5?) ago. I know that also one Italian kiter came up with a plan for a similar quadliner. It did fly, however not as good as a Rev 1. And it was a real good show!! Due to the curved side panels, it was difficult to sew and transport. (My friend Robert has made one)

Hope this helps.
Best regards


Try Ron Moulton and Pat Lloyd’s book called Kites. Page 174 shows quad line batman kite designed by Olivero Oliveri.

From The Land of 10,000 Kite Flying Fields,
(until they melt)
Jerry Houk


take a look around, here’s your plan:

I used Peter’s kite site to find it. That’s were you will find most of the plans available on the net.

have fun, keep on flying.
when you use reflectiontape, it is wonderfull to fly by night, like a batman should!


Hi Wayne,
I think Magic Kite Co. made these a few years ago, too. As a flier, it would never make you want to sell your Rev, but it is a crowd pleaser. Flying characteristics were odd on the one I flew: the head was not supported by the bridles and leaned back, upsetting the aerodynamics.

It had a tendency to want to roll, great for cartwheels, not so good for precision. All the arrow nocks & bungie sticking out constantly fouled the lines.

More show than go. If the bridle was modified to support the bat’s head, it might be ok.

Hard kite to make, unless you’re a fairly advanced kite maker.


I’ve seen this kite at World Wind Kites, it was way too cool. Check them out at I don’t know if they still have it but they may be able to make one.



Quad Handles

>I am looking for a good set of quad handles but I am having a problem
>finding a set. Can anybody point me in the right direction?
>Thanks Scott

Quad to fly Revs or to Power fly?

IF its power fly you want then I have them in stock, US retail of these nice
handles are around $30 for the pair but they are nice…..

Agian this is the case where we tell the kite shops what we have, we spend a
lot of time and money and go to the shows, we send out literature, free videos
to the shops, but they still dont know and the customer suffers! If you want
Handles and the kite shops arent able to help you, call me direct at
717-244-3244 and i will either find your closest kite shop to get them from or
make other arrangements. I am sitting on so much great stock, including two
types of quad handles, that the shops are not buying for one reason or another,
I should sell it direct on my web site…..
hope that helps.
Dodd Gross, Master Instructor



Fixing Broken Line

I was flying my WindDance 2 today in 30+ mph wind and the line snapped. For a quick fix I just tied a square not but I can’t see how that will last very long.

Is there a proven way of putting line back together. May be twisting the line and melting it back together……



Hi Kenneth, hi folks.

If you have a large enough spectra lines (and I think you must since your windance seems quite a pulling kite) you can splice the line. To do that you sleeve one line into the other and vice versa. By lines I mean the two parts of the broken line.

The procedure have been described well in this newsgroup. Do a search with “dejanews” and “rec.kites” and “line splicing”.

The needed tool is a sleeving wire (stainless steel fine wire folded in two to form a sharp “V”. The end of the V shall be as small as you can. A big needle with a smooth rounded end can do the job. In the following explanation this is called the tool.

In the following explanations I will call one part of the broken line as Part A and the other as (you guessed it) Part B.

Anyway, in short, it goes like that:

1 – Make sure the two ends, at the breakage point, are clean. If not, recut with a sharp blade.

2 – On part A, locate a point about four inches (100 mm) from the end of part A.

3 – Insert your tool inside the line (through the braiding). Prior to this you migth have to push lengthwise on the line to increase its diameter (spectra lines are often made as a hollow braided tube). Pulling will decrease the diameter and pushing will increase it.

4 – Push the tool inside part A toward its end but you will have to get it out at about two inches (50 mm) from the end.

5 – Let the tool pierce through the braiding of part A and stick it out about a couple of inches (50 mm).

6 – Place about 1/4 inch (6 mm) of the end of Part B into the hook made by the tool.

7 – Pull back Part B inside Part A until it protrude about half an inch (13 mm) from the previous entry hole (the one in part A).

8 – Free the tool from the end of Part B.

9 – Holding the protruding end of part B and Part A together, pinch Part A and stretch it to reduce its diameter so it grabs the length of Part B that’s inside it. This is called milking a line.

10 – Insert the tool in Part B at about two inches (50 mm) from the previous exit hole in part A.

11 – Push the tool inside Part B toward its end untill you reach the previous exit hole. This will be the second exit hole. The gap between the second exit hole and the first one (in Part A) shall be as small as possible (1/16 to 1/8 inch, or 1.6 to 3 mm, is good).

12 – Insert about 1/4 inch (6mm) of the loose end of Part A in the tool.

13 – Pull back Part A inside part B untill you get it out from the second entry point (the one in Part B).

14 – Make sure you do not unsleeve anything and milk Part B so its grabbing Part A.

Then, each part will grab on the other acting as a sleeve. If a short length of on epart is still protruding from the exit points on the other part, pull on the part acting as a sleeve and cut a very short length (about 1/8 inch or 3 mm) of the line and stretch back the sleeve. The shortened line shall dispear inside.

The net result is a length of about four inches of line that will be slightly bigger, that is stronger and that will gives you hours of good services. I repaired a set of 200 pounds lines in 1996 and it never failed since (and this set has been used extensively since that repair).

Of course you will need to shorten your other line so they are the same length.

Have no fear of breaking anything. If you goof, just undo any sleeving done so far and repeat. In the book where I saw that trick explained they said that you can use a felt pen to blacken one line to ease in differentiating one from the other.

This can be done with dacron hollow braided line too.

Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


order new line. or fly on really short lines (cut the long and re sleve to match the short.)

the know will hold till the day before the new line comes. (or untill the begining of an important flying day, whichever comes first.)

’till next time,


Both Shanti and Laser Pro Include instructions for splicing with the sleeving tools they sell. Anything less than 200# is going to be difficult, if not impossible to splice. Buying new line may be the best option. Hope this helps,
Jim Byrne.


Hi folks.

One of our former team member succeeded in splicing 100 pound spectra. All it took was a needle (not too big) and a lot of patience 🙂

After having to do that for a few time I can normally splice 200 pounds spectra in about five to ten minutes depending on the line condition and the time it takes to find my sleeving wire 🙂

BTW the ASCII art in Andy’s post (refered to by Brian) are quite good to explain the process.

Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


Hi All kite line Buster 🙂

FYI, a quick field repair, requiring no special tools is tie a fisherman’s knot. it will make the line about 2″ shorter, but a pig tail can be added to the handle end and you will not notice it, unless your broke both lines in the same area 🙁

in that case repair both lines with the fisherman’s knot. and then reverse one of the lines (this way the knots will not bump into each other)

and this can be done on any size line 🙂
tom A.


> Something I’ve always wondered — when you buy a sleeving tool, what
>do you get? I’ve just used a length of thin wire folded in half,
>and that seems to do the job perfectly well; what’s the difference
>between this and a “real” sleeving tool?
> — dan

I prefer an old electric guitar string bent in two I have had a proper sleeving wire and I prefer the guitar string (it’s thinner). The open ends are wrapped around a pointed bradawl (used for opening and singeing the sleeving) which can act as a handle.

I like big line in small sleeving for a better grip any opinions on that? Good idea Bad idea???

Dave Salmon


Hi there Kenny

It is possible to splice spectra (and dacron) lines back together. I am not any good at crap ASCII art, so I’ll try and describe the technique rather than draw it

Braided line, such as spectra is “tubular”, the fibres in the line are actually wound together to form a cylinder of fibres. Take one of the broken ends and thread it through a sewing needle (the smallest one you can thread it through). Then, starting about 20 cms from the other broken end, pass the needle into the hollow core of the other piece of line. Thread along this hollow section for approximately 0.5 cms (moving away from the broken end) and then thread the needle back to the outside of the line. Bunching up the line you are threading into will open up the weave of the fibres and make the core “fatter”. This makes it easier to get the needle and line to pass through.

Pass the needle back into the hollow core approx 0.5 cms further along the line, thread along for 0.5 cms and thread back to the outside again. Do this a few times, say 5. Then take the needle off the end that is threaded through, and cut off the excess on that part of the line. Don’t pull your lines apart at this stage, it will just undo all the sewing you have just done!

Now thread the other broken end on to the needle and repeat the process in the other direction with the remaining line, starting close (0.5 cms) to the place you started the other part of the splice .

After you have finished this, pull either side of the splice in opposite directions to tighten the splice up. If you are careful with your sewing, the splice will be nice and smooth, although a bit fatter than the rest of the line. You can even leave the broken ends inside the hollow core, ensuring there are no ends to catch crossed lines on.

These splices are very strong, and will last as long as the rest of the line. You will lose about half a metre of line length. (Better than half your line length!) The smaller the diameter of your original line, the more difficult this form of splicing is to do. With 500 lb spectra it is quite easy. With 80 lb spectra it is very difficult, and requires a lot of patience. But unless you can afford to throw away your line, it is worth the effort. A search of knots or splices on the web may give you some more help on visualizing this technique

Kevin Sanders

Places to Fly Kites


At Vitoria, in Northern Spain, there is an abandoned airfield. You can drive
right onto the field, park where you will and fly until your teeth rot out. It
is hard to see a tree in any direction


>In August or early September we wanna go for a week to Texel or Ameland.
>For us vacation is the same as kiting/buggy’ing !
>Does someone know nice buggy-spots on Textel or Ameland ?

On Texel I do:

Go outside Den Hoorn to the beach, on the beach to the left. After you passed the nude-beach there is a lot of place to buggy, from there you can buggy to ‘de Mok’ ,that’s a very big place wich you can see as you look at Texel from the ferry.

Do you have Bigfoot wheels? You don’t need them but are handy when you have to leave the hard part of the beach to avoid people.

Attention! There may be a possability that there is no more kiteflying on Texel in the near future, some people want that (after two accidents) so you better get yourself informed.

I was there last week, but on one day the winds where too strong, even with a little speedwing: a constant 9 Bft.



Hi Everyone,

Don’t know about Texel and Ameland but i’ve visited the isle Terschelling a few times. A large piece of the oceanside is available for buggy’ing and i’d really like to advise to go there during the “Oerol”-festivity’s, everyone should have visited ‘m at least once.

Have fun,
Bart Derks.




Of all the requirements, the prevailing wind is the most important (you can’t fly a kite decently unless there is some decent wind). The best bet is to go where the the windsurfers go:

Barbados: Silver Sand
Dominican Republic: Carabete
Aruba: Fisherman Hut
Magarita: El Yaque
Jamaica: Sandal …

For more destinations, ask the windsurfers on rec.windsurfing.



> The first 4 days of my upcoming honeymoon will be spent in Puerto Rico, we will
> be staying in the San Juan area… Does anyone know of good flying areas
> around there? I’m bringing a 13 kite stack of Dyna-kites, so I’ll need a
> little bit of room.
> Mike Fitzpatrick

What’s wrong with this kid? I had better things to do on my honeymoon. 😉 Kite
flying didn’t come until the honeymoon was over. Actually it was when the marriage
was over that she told me to go fly a kite.
From The Land of 10,000 Kite Flying Fields,
(Frosty Fingers Kite Fly is Sunday)
Jerry Houk



East Coast USA

hi… Bucks in Pennsylvania…? Like yardley/Newtown etc..?? I live across the river in New Jersey… mercer County Park in West Windsor (near Quakerbridge Mall off Route One) has a dedicated field JUST for kites…field 7A (watch out for the woodchuck holes though!) Anyway… I have been flying for a while, and the beginner and experienced kite flyers at mercer have been great to learn from, and fly with. Any questions… email me at Also… I am SkyyRidr on the Dalnet #kites IRC channel… take care and good flying..


Have any of you visited Wildwood NJ or Ocean City MD? For Beach, wind, and access, either is hard to beat.

Try the beach at Ocean Shores, Washington. Wide expanse of sand, easy access and gawd a-mighty wind.

Let us FLY said the FLEA. Let us FLEA said the FLY. So they FLEW through a flaw
in the FLUE.


No one has mentioned Jockey’s Ridge at Nags Head, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That’s the home of the wind. You can go to the top and fly until you’re old and gray. That’s the way it happened to me.


Does anyone know some good places to go and fly (buggy too) in the Baltimore/Severn/DC area (with the exception of the Monument grounds) as this will now officially be our new stamping ground.


There’re kiteflyers fly kites on Jones Beach. I can’t remember which field
they fly.
Liberty State Park is also a good place which isn’t that far from Brooklyn.


Miller’s Field on the South shore of Staten Island is a great place to fly



Left Coast USA

Hi Bob,
I just got back from Southern California myself, did a lot of flying there. Endless sandy beaches, warm, onshore breezes, it’s some kind of kiter’s heaven. I flew on Venice Beach, there are a few fliers there, but mostly weekends, as far as I could tell. Down in Playa Del Rey there were a fair number of fliers on weekends.

Finding a spot to fly is easy, head to the beach. Finding other fliers might be harder, I was there 10 days and only saw other kites twice, a shame really, with all that prime wind going to waste.



Bob, we are spoiled for choices here in Los Angeles. Here is the best advice….head west, hit a beach, break out your lines….

Really, any beach from Santa Monica (which is due west on the freeways from los angeles) south for about an hour and a half are great flying locales.

If you want to encounter other flyers, try stopping in the Kite store in Playa Del Ray on Culver Blvd. (name escapes me, owners name is Russ). He is always heading down to the beach for a lesson or to play with the newest kites.

You can also try Seal beach further south. Or try Tom’s kites store (again forget the name) on the Pier in Redondo beach. Can’t miss his store for the giant deltas over the pier. Tom is oneof the kindest, gentlest guys I know…

Here are my favorite places when I just want to fly….the southern tip of santa monica, the southern end of marina del rey (just south of washington st.)…

Alternatively, if you are in the Valley….anywhere there is a park. Around this time of year the desert winds (“here come the santa ana winds again….”—if you are a Steely Dan fan, you know the tune) whip up to 25mph all over the place.

You are looking at visiting during our few rainy weeks, but the winds will likely be pretty strong.

Have fun.


I found the same thing. There are some excellent beaches north of L.A. which are often quieter. My Mum lives out there and I spent most afternoons on Zuma beach (north of Malibu beach) which is fairly wide, not so busy and free with good parking. There’s also the beach at the end of Temescal Canyon (can’t remember the name). Whilst I as out there for a couple of weeks I only saw one other kiter; someone flying an Illusion (surprise, surprise) in Santa Barbara.

The conditions for kite flying there are, in my experience, second to none. The prevailing wind comes off the pacific is rarely non existent or too strong and is just as smooth as you like it (a wind called the ‘Santa Anna’ or something does occasionally blow off the desert – it’s very hot as you might expect, but I never experienced this whilst kiteflying). Obviously weather-wise there aren’t too many problems either…..

Be warned though: My success rates at fades, skywalkers and cascades rose to about 95% out there, but when I got back they dropped right back down again.

Also don’t be so stupid as to try to do a shark in the sea…. you might break your kite (ahem)..


To be fair most are free, but there’s a few “State Beaches” where you have to pay a nominal fee to get in (I think Malibu Beach may be one). Parking can be a bit of a pain in the arse at other beaches, such as the one at the end of Temescal Canyon, but that has a relatively inexpensive car park, as I remember. I still can’t get over how consistently good the wind was when I was out there in the summer…. Oh well. Santa Monica beach is also excellent (pretty huge too), but can be quite busy.



Hi folks.

Yes there are many places where you need a car to get to the beach unless you want to walk miles with your kite bag and cooler and, etc. Then you have to pay for the parking. Then the parking is full, Then the beach is full. Then you have to walk a mile in the sand to find a spot empty enough to fly your kites safely 🙁

This is my experience on the east coast of the USA. However, in Cape Hatteras there are a lot of small free parking area that allow for free access to the beach. These area are small (about a dozen cars at most can fit in) so the beach is not crowdy. And you must use these designated area. Parking is not allowed on sides of the road. This is one good place to fly a kite 🙂

Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


> I am going to have a day to kill in Ontario, California. Anyone
> know of a place to fly there?

El Mirage is right over the hill, about 45min to an hour

Steve Bateman




Re: McAllen, TX?? Anywhere to Fly????
my mother lives and works in the valley and i visit couple times a year. go out to so. padre island and fly at “the flats”. Windchasers kiteshop is on the main road on the island. Stop in and Jim can give you directions and suggestions.
say hello to mom for me.


Kite Tricks

Dead launches

(this from the same site as the guy who’s made a vented BoT: specific link is I’m just posting this because I was amazed at how well this works..)

Anyway, the secret to dead launches would seem to be to do the first small tug with the lines _flat along the ground_. Trying this meant that I could dead launch an Alien (which, though a Prism kite, isn’t theoretically meant to do this) with plenty of ease, and a BoT (which is certainly not supposed to dead launch) with a bit less ease but reasonably consistently once I’d got the hang of it.

Midis may or may not do this — this is a very good way to kill lower spreaders, and I snapped one of mine clean in two while trying to get it to work. (this may be because the ground wasn’t as obstruction-free as it might be, I admit; also possibly due to the spreader starting off bent, because when I was assembling the Midi to try this my hands had already pretty much lost all sense of touch.. Bah, windchill is no fun.)

BEWARE: this also tends to pull trick lines loose if you’re not careful (okay, on a BoT they’re not tied in place in quite the same way as on some kites), and in general seems to be pretty hard on kites. That said, when it works it’s _so_ cool..

You may or may not need lots of wind to make this work; I had plenty when I was playing with this. You definitely don’t need a smooth bowling green-like surface, because the ground was half-covered in snow with a hard crust of ice on top, which is very very far from nice..

(also cool is the launch someone mentioned a while ago where you start with the kite on it’s back nose towards you, pull one line so it rotates onto it’s front and just has the nose up off the ground for a tiny fraction of a second, where you can then launch it with a swift tug on both lines. Boy, that’s a neat launch. Thanks for the tip, whoever it was!)

(and while I’m here, I can’t help observing how much easier half axles are when you do them with the correct hand.. sigh, I am dumb).

Anyway — this dead launch technique isn’t mine, but it works so well it deserves more publicising, I reckon.

— dan



> (also cool is the launch someone mentioned a while ago where you start
>with the kite on it’s back nose towards you, pull one line so it rotates
>onto it’s front and just has the nose up off the ground for a tiny
>fraction of a second, where you can then launch it with a swift tug on
>both lines. Boy, that’s a neat launch. Thanks for the tip, whoever it was!)

That’s called a “Sleepy Beauty Launch”. I’m not sure of the origins, but I always pictured it as Sleepy Beauty rolling over to get out of bed. Seems to fit in pretty well. Anyone know who coined the term or first popularised the trick?

> (and while I’m here, I can’t help observing how much easier half axles
>are when you do them with the correct hand.. sigh, I am dumb).

Yep. A Half-Axel is a pop with the upper wing, a Kick-Turn is a pop with the bottom wing. The Kick-Turn requires the first pop to flare the kite out and then a gentle pull on the other line to lift the wing back up. It’s actually the same kind of double-pop Axel technique that is used in things like the Fountain so it’s a good thing to practice.

In both the Half-Axel and Kick-Turn the ideal result is to get the kite to change direction without losing any height. This is quite a bit harder to do in a Kick Turn than it is in a Half Axel. When you can do it with both hands in a Kick Turn, you should then be able to do a continuous Cascade on the spot without losing any height.


> I’ve spent eons trying to get my half Axels to spin without losing or
>gaining height. What’s the answer?

Give a deep push on the upper hand to drop the top wing back and then a fairly solid pop followed by slack. If you give too much slack for too long, the kite will spin all the way round and lose height. Ideally, you want the kite to go quickly into the Axel and then catch up the slack on the lines earlier than you normally would to recover the kite out the other way.

The secret is to do it all smoothly and as quickly as possible. When you push the top wing, the natural tendency is for the kite to turn down, so you have to minimise this as much as possible. The quicker you can string it together (and the smoother), the less height you’ll lose. You might find that giving a little slack on the lower line at the same time is enough to momentarily slow the kite during the setup to stop it rolling down.

Once you’ve got a nice clean entry into the Half Axel, you can start pulling the other (non-popped) line in towards the end of the trick to help accelerate the kite around the last part of the Axel and recover. You don’t need to do this (unlike the Kick Turn where the opposite hand recovery is essential) but it often helps.


>>In both the Half-Axel and Kick-Turn the ideal result is to get the kite
>>to change direction without losing any height. This is quite a bit harder
>>to do in a Kick Turn than it is in a Half Axel.
>Oh really, Andy? Pull the other one. {Maybe I should.}
> I’ve spent eons trying to get my half Axels to spin without losing or
>gaining height. What’s the answer?

The technique Andy describes in his other post works best but FWIW this works well with some kites:

Fly to edge, while the kite still has drive punch both hands (fast) then pop your top wing. Take up the slack, to stops over-rotation.

Done fast it looks very punchy and doesn’t lose height

Ian Newham



Web pages with kite tricks

Hey heres a good link of tricks
it has alot of stuff
Rob A.


Hi Tom,

what you need to do is get one or both of Dave Gombergs books “Stunt Kites” and “Stunt Kite Magic”. this way you can take them to the Flying field with you read a little, Fly a lot, read a little more, fly some more.. they make life a little more enjoyable.

tom A.



Launch to rising fade in 0 wind

Is this possible? I can get the first half of this to work; the kite starts belly down nose away, I pull both lines, the kite pops upwards to a vertical position, I _very_ rapidly kill both lines forwards, the kite goes horizontal belly upwards.

It’s here when I get stuck; I can’t work out how I can get the kite to stay in this position from this angle, because as soon as I put any tension on the lines, the kite flips back upwards again, or more commonly falls to the ground on it’s back before I have the chance to get any tension on the lines.

Actually, I should walk before I run — how do you do fades in zero wind in general, for that matter? I know that it should be possible by flying the kite downwards, killing it into a pancake, and then somehow popping both lines so it goes into a fade, but whenever I try this the kite just hurtles downwards as soon as it gets vertical. How does the pop for this work? (the same thing applies to flic-flacs in normal wind, come to think of it; I can’t get the kite to do the 180 degree rotation in that plane without things going badly wrong halfway through..)

I can sort of get the kite into a fade position from a half axle with a lot of luck, but again I’m not sure how I keep the kite there once it’s in the position; either I pull the nose towards me and downwards, or it flops backwards into a sort of yoyo and equally ends up going down. I assume I have to move backwards at exactly the right speed, but I can’t work out how to get started; I can see how the kite’ll be stable once I’ve got moving, but it’s getting going that eludes me.

What am I missing here?
— dan


Hi Dan,
A rising fade in zero wind is definitely possible. The trick is to be gentle in the pop and kill movements. I prefer to think of it as a smooth pull and release, rather than a pop and kill. With the kite in the belly down nose forward position, gently pull on both lines until you feel the lines fetch up. The moment you feel the lines tighten release both hands forward slowly, at the same time walking backwards. What you’re looking for is a smooth pop up and smooth release into the fade position, as you walk backwards to maintain and control the fade as it rises.

The initial pull on the lines should be enough to get the kite to rise off the ground enough to allow the nose to come around into the fade. To hard of a pull will usually result in to much slack in the lines which makes it that much harder to control, if you’re lucky enough to get it to stay in the fade at all.

It’s getting late and I’m rambling on, so lets recap.

Kite on the ground in you know what position, gently pull the lines till the very instant you feel the lines tighten, this is when you gently release the pressure on the lines allowing the nose to come around to the fade position as you walk back wards to control.

Practice the gentle approach, I think you’ll have better luck.

I use this technique outside in all winds and also indoor, have fun.
Just Fly It
Mike Coons


It is possible, I can enter into a fade position from all the methods you described. On the ground nose away, axle and pancake, the axle method is tough in zero wind and indoors. But you are right when you said you need to cover the basics first and be able to get the kite in the right position consistently.

Then you start to go for the rise. Now you started talking about 0 wind, in winter that means indoors. I Fly a Vapor, a large indoor kite on 12′-14′ lines. If I start on the ground I can get it to rise about 6′ by the time I hit mid court of a basketball court. Here is where I have a problem, I can’t get out of it. The standard methods of exiting a fade don’t work the same indoors on short lines. Something I need to try is an idea given to me by Hunter Brown, to propel the kite in a fade over my head and step under and through. We’ll see how that works.

Outside on longer lines with an indoor kite I can fade and recover with the larger kites, but the smaller kites don’t seem to have enough inertia to make the turn out here either.
Good Luck Fading,

Kite Buggies

My ice-buggy experiment

I built an ice buggy (sort of like a miniture ice boat)with the idea of powering it with my 8-foot Flxifoil. We had a cold snap with no wind so the lakes around here (Boston western suburbs) froze extremely smoothly. A couple of days later we had a 20 mph wind out of the NW so I got to try it out.

The ice buggy seemed to work OK. Following the advice of some of the buggying posts here, I was able to travel at right angles to the wind (and perhaps even tack upwind a little). What I was not able to do as keep the kite in the sky. I couldn’t position the flexi in one area of the wind window that was optimal for my heading. To generate power I tried to fly figure eights. But, sitting on the cart, I couldn’t move my arms far enough to get the 8-foot kite to turn tightly. Thus, many of my maneuvers ended in crashing the kite onto the ice. In fact, I now have one burst cell (Rats!)and need to figure out how to get it fixed.

Am I approachng the problem of developing power correctly (using the figure-eight method)? Is my lack of conrol the reason four-line kites are used? Should I change kites or fix the Flexi and try some more?




Wanted.. home made buggy plans

> Looking for plans on building a kite buggy.
> Thanks much,
> Scott Haas – searching for the Amoka Gust

my pleasure
steam and wind
David Forsyth



Peter Peters,,




DAFkite wrote:
> Anybody have experience with the Q-harness for buggying?
> Would it work well with my Cquad?

Hi David,

I have one and I like it a lot. It takes a bit of practice to get yourself hooked in. It seems that the link line is always get hung up on my fly when you try to hook it on the roller. It works quite well once you get the hang of it. I really like the low center of gravity and how it removes the strain off your back. Get a few spare link lines when you are ordering, it’s really nice to have one on each kite. They are a pain to swap if you are used to winding up your line sets on your handles.



>Now if I can figure out how to get up on two wheels I’ll be very happy.

It is really easier than you might think. Have a friend push you to learn how
to do it without the kite. First, sit in the buggy and practice pushing down
with your foot on the side you are going to ride on. Then lean towards that
side and tip the buggy. You can have your friend tip the buggy for you while
your in it to get the feel. After you get the feel, have him push you, and
practice tipping. Once you get the hang of it, without the kite, it will be a
snap to do it with. No kidding. BTW this is the Jeff Howard method, i learned
by accident with Peels.

total AoxomoxoA brought to you by. . .
. . . dean jordan


Hi David,
Alternative solution?… always looking for one in SA… Visit a windsurf store, should be quite a few in your area. You can either buy the hook/pulley plate and make your own harness or dock out a bit extra and get the whole thing, they are made quite light, comfy and waterproof. They can get a little uncomfy in a buggy though. Mostly used by the guys going out in the wet. They do make single handed steering a little easier though, leaves the other hand free to hold on to the buggy while creaming along on a C-quad… 😉



I have one and love it. Once I got used to it and was comfortable with the adjustments on the straps, I had several of the straps sewn in place to make it a bit neater. I don’t use the Q-harness line – it seemed unnecessary & a bit overpriced. Loops on the backs of the handles larksheaded onto a piece of climbing line works fine for me and is easily removable & adjustable.



Yes. After trying a half dozen different set ups( i have bad hips)this is the
first harness system i can use. In fact i’m so used to being strapped into my
buggy(my usual way of harness) that last march, when going over Corey mountain,
i forgot i was wearing my harness, and not strapped in, ate it big time,
captured on video, and relived many painful times. In other words, it is very

total AoxomoxoA brought to you by. . .
. . . dean jordan



Flexi Sport Buggy

Don’t know how much interest this has…but I had some time at work…

This buggy has been out for over a year now, but I had yet to see one in person. All I had seen until this past weekend was the catalog photo of it on the Cobra Kites web page. The photo left much to be seen; what did that rear axle look like up close? How was it configured? How important was that back seat strap to the integrity of the buggy?

Even without seeing or sitting in one, I went ahead and placed an order with my local retailer (Kites Etc. of Newport and Sunset Beach, Ca). I figured the price was good (quite a bit lower than the regular flexi buggy), and that Peter couldn’t make a bad buggy. He hasn’t.

The buggy is very light weight, or at least it’s lighter than my current old flexi buggy (the model with all the welds and bends in the back axle). The wheels are set back a tad further than the original, and the distance from center of tire to tire across the buggy is about 101cm. Mine came with the wheels displaying no toeing outward or inward (the main reason I got a new buggy as the wheels on my old buggy are toed and tilted, maybe from to much 2 wheeling). The frame consists of the front forks and down tube (bearing headset, which I don’t care for), 2 side tubes, and a back tube. The back tube, along with the seat, holds the side tubes together in the back. Unlike all other buggies I’ve seen, the rear wheel mounts are on the side tubes. The side tubes have quite a few bends and 3 welds along the length. The back tube is quite small and is simply a long U. It fits into short tubes on the side tubes with no buttons. All the welds are very clean, and the whole thing is polished.

Assembly is easy except for where the side tubes connect to the down tube. One of my side tubes is *extremely* tight on the down tube, to the point where one needs to insert the bolt and tighten the joint to get the down tube fully in-between the ‘rails’ of the side tube. Quite a pain the bum. Only 2 straps of the seat have to go on part of the frame (the back tube) before the frame is assembled. The rest is done with plastic connectors. The seat has two adjustments. One of these is wrapped around the side tubes once. At first I mistakenly wrapped it twice; it made for a narrower seat. The other adjustment raises and lowers the seat. I feel it needs a longer strap; I think I’d rather have my bum a little lower in the buggy.

For all you folks who didn’t like the original flexi buggy because of the seat (which they have redesigned according to their catalog), this one shouldn’t give you much trouble. I wouldn’t recommend it for the very large, but it will be comfortable for most. The seat is made of strapping and fabric, with the fabric on the very bottom. Unlike the Comp buggy from PL, this buggy allows very easy movement forward and back. There isn’t any strapping to grab your bum.

The really nice feature of this buggy is the back tube. Although the pad they supplied for the tube isn’t very wide, that tube almost substitutes for a spring back. A wider pad would enhance this even more. It’s not perfect, as a spring back gives you support from top to bottom and this tube is just a line across your back. But for the buggier that wants to keep his center of gravity forward most of the time, this tube can give his/hers stomach muscles an occasional break.

When I was pulling it out of the box one of the first things I noticed was the down tube. The adjustment holes weren’t matched up perfectly across the width of the square tube. They were off by about 3/16 of an inch (almost 0.5cm). So I thought that, once assembled, the front end would lean to one side because the side tubes would not be matched. So I test rode this buggy with my old front end off my flexi buggy. Discussion with Ray at Cobra Kites revealed that because the holes are bigger than the bolt, everything would line up. All the down tubes have irregular drilled holes.

After one day at El Mirage I can say I like the buggy. The only concern I have with it is when doing hard left turns, hard enough to slid the back wheels. There was a creak/rattle sound coming from the left side. I checked the wheel for a loose bolt. Nope. The only thing I can think is that the joint where the back tube connects to the side tube is creaking. I’ll look for a thin shim that I can wrap around the tube before inserting it (maybe paper?).


The bolt that joins the side tubes across the down tube was welded on. Not a major problem, just Dremel it off. But for the buggier that needs/likes to have everything ready to go (which I’m not), this can be a real pain in the bum. With it welded, in order to adjust the length, one needs to undo the seat and most of the frame. With the bolt removable, one simply removes the bolt and slides the down tube (if the down tube slides easily in-between the ‘rails’ of the side tube, which mine didn’t). Also, Ray indicated that some of the buggies have two bolts there, and some down tubes have 6 holes (instead of the regular 5). So some buggies have 3 adjustments, some have 5. Hmm..

The connectors on the seat need something to keep the strapping from sliding through. On the strap that goes across the back of the seat, I had to tie the tail to keep it tight. But there isn’t that much tail available, so a simple overhand knot had to suffice.

Ball bearing head set. I still just don’t see the need. I’ve never heard of anyone haven’t problems with turning the front wheel. Jeez, you got your feet over 20 inches apart, seems that would be plenty of leverage. I just don’t get it, another place to get salt water in and freeze up over time. It must be cheaper to make them this way. The only advantage I see is that your buggy is less likely to roll a great distance on the lake bed when your not in it. Whoopee.

The bearing hole in the wheel seems a tad big. One of the wheels had a bearing rolling around in the box when I got it. The bearing dropped into the wheel like butter, no pressure needed. Now I worry (since I take my wheels off all the time) if I’m going to lose a bearing.

Changes that I’ll make to mine:

Stronger bolts. The bolts that are included aren’t very hard, and the bumps at Berkeley can loosen and bend bolts.

Cut off and replace the down tube/side tube bolt and nut. A locknut will keep it from loosening.

Shim on the back tube where it goes into the side tubes.

Get a longer pad for the back tube.

Sew Velcro on the tails so that the seat straps don’t loosen. Elongate one of the front ones.

I’ll be using my old front end on the new buggy, as it’s down tube fits the ‘rails’ of the side tubes nicely. And the new front end fits my old side tubes nicely. And the old front end doesn’t have a BB headset.

Replace the buttons on the foot pegs with hard plastic end caps for 0.098 carbon rods. These are then held in place from the outside with a small O ring. The buttons that come with the buggy tend to stick and break over time (not to mention that these seemed a little on the shallow side). Major bummer if you don’t have replacements (Dean found out that duct tape doesn’t work to well).

Put large diameter bungee from foot peg to foot peg, to help keep feet on. I drill a small hole in the end of the food peg and connect a small screw gate carabiner from a hardware store (they are about 1.25″ long). Then tie the bungee to the biner and run it across the down tube. A 40″ bungee cord from a hardware store fits, with room for knots.

Gosh, with all these changes seems that I wouldn’t like the buggy. But I like to fiddle. I haven’t decided as to weather I’ll replace the seat with one that puts me further forward (like I did on my old one).

Disclaimer: This review is for entertainment purposes only. No connection to the manufacturer or it’s distributors should be inferred (there isn’t). I’m 5’8″ tall, 152 lbs. Your price and mileage may vary.

— Steve Bateman geokite at sprintmail dot com


>Replace the buttons on the foot pegs with hard plastic end caps for
>carbon rods. These are then held in place from the outside with a small
>ring. The buttons that come with the buggy tend to stick and break over
>time (not to mention that these seemed a little on the shallow side).
>bummer if you don’t have replacements (Dean found out that duct tape
>work to well).

I’ve now added a spare pair to my kit on the buggy, they work great, way better than the buttons.

In regards to the ball bearing headset, i agree with Steve. Although i’ve been riding mine for awhile, it took a lot of getting used to when going backwards, though now i’m okay with it, they ARE rusting and freezing(anyone want my buggy? Cheap!) of course the old way wasn’t much better, so maybe this is an improvement. Like Steve i tend to modify and fiddle with mine as well so had completly custom remade the headset on the old style.

If you are not riding with footstraps, you should at least try them. Just use an old tire for a start, it really makes a huge difference.

Thanks Steve, for a great review. There is also a new seat that is going to be available for the PL comp that i’ll review after SBBB. I’ve used it breifly in TI and was really impressed. It negates the need for a seat back, and i have a totally fucocketed back!

total AoxomoxoA brought to you by. . .
. . . dean jordan



Buggy Speedometer

>I would like to put a speedo/odometer on my buggy. What would those of you
>have done so recommend? I see that most of the bicycle units are adjustable
>various wheel sizes, all of which are larger than the 16″ buggy wheels. Is
>calibration a problem?

The biggest problem i found was the addictive nature of the beast. While they work, they are great, but they allways seem to break! Calibration is not a problem if you get one that goes down that small. I’m going back to Wallyworld to get another one for the upcoming SBBB and see what the prices are like.

Make sure you mount the read out where it will not smash if your buggy turns upside down. A 35 mm film canister can be used (in place of the handlebar it was designed to fit on) and zip-tied in place on your top bar below the point where it will strike the ground. 2 part epoxy works good for securing the magnet, the rest bolts on the buggy just like a bike.

I think we put more strain on them than what would be found on a bicycle. A solution would be to remove the unit when you go off road, but often what breaks is the connection to the sending unit. I’ve had no success fixing this as the wire is quite small.

Make sure you measure your wheel at the air pressure you run it at, as the difference is noticble for sure. Good luck.

Will we see you at SBBB? Any other’s coming not on my list? I’ll publish the list soon, we have quite a group coming and racing will be happening most days as well, not to mention bar b que and other fine fun filled events.

I hear a hunt for Cobey’s magic rock will take place later in the week.

total AoxomoxoA brought to you by. . .
. . . dean jordan


Hi Vince,

Take a look at various models of bicycle speedometers, some can be calibrated down to 12″.

I have a CCM 8 function Cyclocomputer, cost ~ $15.00 Canadian. It handles 16″ wheels.

Use a flexible tape measure to find the wheel circumference, look up how to calibrate that size to your speedo. It doesn’t take to long to do it, sort of like programming a digital watch.

The hard part is mounting the sensor magnet, unless you have the old style spoked wheels. I drilled a hole in the sensor magnet housing and threaded it onto the inner tube’s valve stem. Then I mounted the sensor unit onto the front fork, aligning everything carefully.

Trial & error ’til it works is the method.
Good luck,


Two workable Speedos I have found are the Avochet and the Trek…they both can calibrate to 16″ wheels (about 1240mm). However, after replacing two Avochet’s (no crashes – they just stopped working), the guy at the bike shop told me they have battery case problems, and a very high failure rate. So high that he no longer carries them.

I have yet to find one with a really nice large display, however. On a bike you are much closer to the speedo, but for a buggy I would like a slightly larger display. If anyone knows of one that works w/ buggys, please let me know.
Good Luck!


I use the Avocet.
Works great for me.
I believe it is the C-20 model.
I use a piece of pvc tubing instead of a film can.
Sturdier and easy to mount on the down tube with a lock-tie.
Diplay failure is usually just the battery running out…
in my experience.

There are many models out there…
getting a good one for less than $25 is how to win the game.

One needs at least a 5 function model to acquire the needed functions:
Speed, trip odo, top speed memory, ride time, average speed…
The clock is needed for the average times to work…
the top speed memory is the feature not
usually available on cheaper models…

Mounting the magnet is easy…
Just use a dab of GOOP to adhere the magnet to the rim…
the magnet comes off if you change wheels too…
The pickup mounts to the fork leg…
Put the magnet on the opposite side of the rim
from the valve stem so there is no interference.

Calibration number for standard wheels and tires is 1224
(So shoot me if i’m wrong)

At least all this has worked beautifully for me.



Hi Corey, hi folk.

Your number of 1224 compute to an outside diameter of 15.34 inches for your tire. That looks ok if the standard buggy wheels are about 16 inches in diameter.

For the curious (I dont buggy but I have such a speedometer on my bicycle) these devices are often calibrated by entering the outside tire circumference in millimeters.

So, if your tire diameter (D) is exactly 16 inches, for example, this gives a circumference (C) of 50.27 inches or 1277 mm.

C = D * pi

pi = 3.1416

mm = inch * 25.4

BTW dont bother measuring the diameter. Using a piece of chalk (or whatever), draw a mark on your tire. Place the tire so the mark is on the bottom or six o’clock position (tangent point with the floor). Make a mark on the floor in line with the tire mark. Roll the tire straigth so that the mark comes again to the same six o’clock position. Make another mark on the floor. Measure the distance between the two marks and you have the circumference. Measure it in mm if you have such a ruler or tape and you have the required number to adjust your speedometer. Better yet, roll the buggy with the pilot in to take into consideration the tire deformation caused by the pilot weigth. Dont laugh, a change of 1/8 inch (3 mm) caused by the pilot will cause a difference of about 1.5 % on the distance indicated and so on the speed.

OK you may laugh now, you probably dont need that kind of precision.

Do I have time to loose : yes a little 🙂

Do I have fun doing that : yes a lot 🙂

Good calibrating and buggying folks. And remember. Dont buggy and drink, you migth hit a bump and spill some liquid 🙂
Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


also look in bike nashbar or similar closeout bike closet for “wireless” cycle comps. mounting these buggers with clear silicon glue found all aross this globe will suffice. we’ve mounted comps using only this goo to vast success. makes for clean and simple installs. wet finger then wipe off excess goo, leaves a smooth almost polished finish to mount. also the silicon acts as dampner for the “rough” rides. hope that helps.

Charles Ernest Hemingway : trout bum, wannabe kite flyer
“rise again damn trout”


A better way is to make a mark on your wheel, and sitting in your buggy move it 10 revolutions forward. Measure the distance and divide by 10.

Much more accurate.

Regards, Peter


Hi all,

Many have advised to measure the tire for the circumference, but no one has suggested to put your weight on the buggy to make it accurate. I ride many miles a year on a couple of bikes and my bike computers are as accurate as any that I know of. (yes, I’ve checked) I make a mark the sidewalk in relation to the valve stem on the tire that the sensor and magnet use. Get on and roll it for ten tire revolutions. Make another mark on the sidewalk where the valve stem comes down on the tenth revolution. Measure the distance. Convert this measurement to millimeters (or centimeters, if that is what your computer uses.) Divide by ten. Input this figure into the computer using the calibration instructions for your computer. I realize that this is more accurate than most people need, especially on the dirt. but if you just measure for one revolution (and don’t divide by ten) Be sure to put your weight on the buggy (or bike) for accuracy. hope this helps


I mounted my magnet as close to the center of the wheel as I could, since I’d noticed before that at high speeds it misses pulses. The center of the wheel is travelling slowly. My advice is to do this, most cycloputer sensors are not rated for the sort of speeds we do…..(it’s the angular velocity you see….small wheels turn at higher rpm for the same mph than a bike wheel)

steam and wind


Since I did a little research on wireless speedometers & contacted several manufacturers, here are the wireless models where I could get confirmation that 16″ wheels are supported.

– CatEye Cordless 2 (avail from Bike Nashbar)
– all Vetta models

Some reading in the cycling newsgroups reveals a lot of quality complaints with the Vetta models.



Buggies on airplanes

> Any tips for packing a buggy for airline travel? Does it need to go in a box
> or can I use a duffel?

Hi Mark!

I’m not a buggy expert but I have packed a few kite bags in my time.

There’s an old addage – that getting there is half the fun. Actually, getting there is hardly any fun at all, but my point is that once you get where you are going, you still need to be able to do something with your buggy. Carrying it in a box is going to be cumbersome and difficult. I recommend a bag – with handles…

For more details on bags and travel restrictions, check the Kite Travel FAQ on my web page.

And wherever you are going, have fun!


I have travelled to Australia many times and to South Africa as well as all over the USA with my kites and buggy. What I use is a Rubber Maid plastic foot locker. These can be purchased in the USA at places like K-Mart for around $20 or less. They are sized to be legal for baggage on airlines. I break down my pl classic buggy deflate the tires and pack it in the box along with all my power kites handles helmet etc. The axle will not fit but I have a 3foot kite bag that I take as carry on baggage that I carry other kites in and I put the axle in that but I do get questioned about it at the security checks. So far I have not had any problems with this box. I do use wide tape to tape down the latches so they do not open accidently as well as a couple of 1 inch webbing straps to help keep it all closed up. ps make sure you include a bike pump to reinflate the tires when you get to your destination! Richard Dutton


I have used a heavy-duty Army duffle with good success. I pad the ends of the tubes and such with pieces of foam from a $5.00 sleeping bag foam mat. I make up the foam pieces to fit and wrap them in duct tape to sort of make nice end caps if you will. (Keeps tube ends protected and minimizes chances of holes being poked in the duffle and the gear surrounding them). I pack the foils, sleeping bag, tent, clothes and whatever else will fit around the buggy parts. Oh, and I take the valve stems out of the tubes so that there is no chance of pressure damages to anything.

Last trip that I made I had gotten a big heavy duty top fill duffle from the Sportsman Guide catalog for around $20 bucks. It has 2 wheels and a bottom plastic skid plate. It worked great!!!!!!!!!! The only problem was that since it is SO BIG, I ended up packin buggy, kites, campin gear, and who knows what all in the thing, that it got heavy enough to be charged with over-weight baggage of some $50 bucks or so. :((( My buggy is home made, not all that much heavier than a production type, however the wheels that I had then were the one piece steel wheel barrow types, HEAVY!! So with carefull packing and a lighter rig you probably won’t have that problem.

Good Luck and Good wind


Yup, something with wheels. I use a big luggage container with a pop up handle that all the buggy parts fit in except the rear axle. I carry three pieces of baggage. Two are identical. One is a PL type oversize buggy bag. In it go all the kites and the axle. In the others go, cloths, camping if applicable, buggy’s, more kites, and stuff.

At the airport i spend the $1.25 on the luggage cart and put it all on it, but if i have to, i can strap the PL bag onto the wheeled bag. This now leaves me with two wheeled bags, and on the second one i strap the backpack i took on the plane along with the kitebag wrapped tight with zipper tape(or line) that i carry my stick kites in.

I’ve never been charged with excess luggage. I always take my stick kites on as carry on. I fly internationally and domesticly. Rules are made to be broken. You must be polite. Don’t let Freeman drive. Have fun. Carry duct tape. Carry enough heavy line to tie everything to the roof if you have to, and we have had to many times. Don’t worry about what the other guy has, just have your sh*t together.

Some people use golf bag containers for buggy’s. They seem to work great. I love my set up, because none of the bags by themselves are to heavy. Mine are packed now waiting for that ride to jacksonville to fly to las vegas to go bug jeff howard and dave town, oh and to drink cobey’s tequila, also to find the elusive aoxomoxoa rock.

your milage may very.

total AoxomoxoA brought to you by. . .
. . . dean jordan