Helkbird

Hello Kite world! Tennessee here

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I'm not so new to kites.  A few years running.  I raised an eyebrow when my dad went on vacation and brought back a two-stringer, as a gift, so many years ago.  I entertained him.  "Ah!  A... kite!"  Went on vacation to the beach later that year and noticed how quickly that vacation went just flying that thing!  I was hooked.  Immediately.  Then a year or two went by and I saw the "Rev aus fano 2009" vid (Youtube)...  That vid prompted me to buy my first quad.  I have been in love with The Dance ever since.

Unfortunately, I am land-locked in Tennessee... with hills and trees churning up my straight winds.  I am all ears if anyone has any input for the Knoxville area and day-trips with kite in hand.  Please... I have a friend in tow who's interested, too.

Many thanks!

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Hi, Helkbird, and welcome to the forum. @bbailey49 is right in the Knoxville area. You can send him a PM, or just hang loose and he'll probably pop in here.

I don't know much about the Volksquad, since the only time I have ever seen one was on display in a kite shop and in videos. I have heard that it flies well, but its flight characteristics are different than a Rev's. They are sold by New Tech Kites (NTK) and they should have replacement parts available. If you check with some of the kite shops across the country you may be able to find parts also.

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Thank you for your response.  The Volksquad is exactly that... the people's quad.  She a heavy albatross and exposes more potential for grace.  Though she's a great introductory quad, very forgiving, and though she's a heavy lass requiring some wind... I love her for her grace and her ability to take the ground square in the face and come up smiling.  Love, we can't explain.  She's much different than a Rev.  I also own a Rev and a Zen for the light days.  My problem with the Zen is she likes to fold up on herself after all that money.  But that's me learning her limits.

 

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Spot on!  Wow.  And the tech was very helpful with suggestions for other struts to lighten its weight for TN winds.  Thank you thank you thank you!

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17 hours ago, Helkbird said:

My problem with the Zen is she likes to fold up on herself after all that money. 

Explain? Do you mean it likes to "flip a wing" when reversing? Still use the stock frame?

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On ‎6‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 10:44 AM, Wayne Dowler said:

Explain? Do you mean it likes to "flip a wing" when reversing? Still use the stock frame?

Yes.  exactly.  I am still on stock frame. That's interesting.

 

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Flipping a wing usually is a sign of over control. Kite might fly in light winds, but you still have to learn to be gentle. Big kite too, not everyone likes it. Fits my style well and I'm one of the few on the West Coast that loves mine. Still takes a gentle hand. Try under controlling and adding more as needed, instead of too much and needing to back off.

If you can - try a stiffer frame. I use a hybrid of mixed rods - 2 wrap center, race wing ends, Zen rod verticals. The wrap/race LE keeps the sail from deforming at the center so much. Plus side - my combo dropped about 12-14 grams of weight! As soon as the  winds get to 5-6 mph - time to reach for a standard sail!

Any of the Rev 1 rods interchange with the Zen. 

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If you find yourself over-controlling your Zen and flipping a wing when backing up, you can use shorter handles, and/or move your grip down a couple of inches on the handles. A shorter lever on the bottom will lessen the amount of input. Also a good strategy for any kite in strong wind. With experience you will lose the tendency to give the kite too much input. Hang in there. It will come with time on the lines.

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Add magic sticks to your existing frame(40 bucks) and have an entirely new kite.  The design is too flimsy, needs more support, like a biplane's struts and guywires add.

i owe three Zens

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On 6/12/2017 at 1:09 AM, Helkbird said:

..........,,,,,Unfortunately, I am land-locked in Tennessee... with hills and trees churning up my straight winds. ........

I live in the western part of Virginia about 150 miles east of you.  Flying conditions are less than ideal here in the mountains.  I too bought a Zen a few years back hoping it would be the answer to light wind flying. At first I struggled with the same wing flips, even though I have experience flying a similar size Revolution One.  I would also give too strong of inputs & jerk the kite right out of the sky trying to "make it fly".  So I looked to this forum for help.  All the above advice are great useful clues.  I have adopted Wayne's frame advice & it made a meaningful difference for my efforts.  Time on the lines is always a good path to follow.  Handle changes can help but I have stayed with 13's.  I have not tried magic sticks yet but intend to explore that modification also.  When it all comes together it will be a wondrous day.  You may get sore from smiling.  My only bit of additional advice is to try flying the kite slowly just coaxing it along.  And be persistent in overcoming your inland conditions.

Welcome to KiteLife, SHBKF

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I also have used the "magic sticks", got them in kit form from the Shook's at Flying Smiles Kites. Stiffened the frame up even more, plus made "flipping a wing" impossible to do. The truss lines won't allow the kite to do that!

Also why they get called "sissy sticks", you can let the truss works prevent it, or learn better control without them! LOL!!

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You might also consider a tighter bridle configuration too (another 45 bucks, same place as the "sticks").  Grab the center attachment point on the stock bridle, at the leading edge point,... does it wiggle left and right?  What would happen if all of the wiggles are removed, would the kite be more responsive or more twitchy?  That is a deeply personal impression, that can only be "felt".  The French bridle has 6 legs that go to the center attachment point, it's arc welded, not just holding on!  

What if you grabbed the kite from further outside (beyond the frame),... well the kite would feel bigger, you'd need larger motions to make dramatic effects on the kite end, so you don't get "free oversteer movements" anymore.  If you only steer the axel 3/4 of the way around, that's all you get!  The french bridle take over fifty feet of bridle line and take about 3.5 or 4 hours to accurately tie it.

What if the bridle had the "Whump" built in?  You never need to significantly spank or pre-load the bridle.  All of the reverse is still in there, but forward drive also comes with a supercharger. It leaps forward like a cheetah (only if you so command)

What about building in a glide (like a frisbee not a paper plate!)?  If you rotate the elastic knots on the leading edge, the extra bridle legs will lock it down and you can add a pronounced curvature OVER the leading edge.  That curved surface creates all kinds of violator styled glide, like 300%.  Imagine a catch (that the kite comes to you) across an arch instead of from straight overhead.  What if you could walk along side of the kite instead of catching it?

No wiggles & sharper response rate, curvature OVER the leading edge greatly increases the glide, no slack lined tricks are off limits either and the kite rolls up into the string anytime you desire,... by just letting it go/fall backwards from an upright stance on the ground (clam-shell).  Leaving the kite on the ground leading edge down means the lines are safely slack, no stake is needed.

The Zen is a completely different kite with sticks and french bridle.  If you don't also agree I could probably be convinced to take it off of your hands.  I owe 3 of these kites already and in the mid-atlantic states we are known as the land of no-wind.  The zen was created just for me, damn near perfect after a couple of commercially available options are added on.

I like it a whole bunch on 50#/100 foot lengths with long throw handles.  13 inchers are like a go-cart steering wheel on a school bus!  There's a better solution

Handy with a sewing machine?  Know a guy?  ADD another line of straight stitches to capture the leading edge tightly, so only one stick fits in there afterwards.  A tighter sail is more efficient when capturing slight breezes.  

Add some reinforcing patches to the leading edge sleeve so the mesh can tear away (eventually this WILL happen!) and the shape doesn't distort regardless.

 Add some covers over the elastic knots on the bottom of the sail, so you don't catch a flying line when flick-flaking across the sky.

 

 

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