Issue 4: Best of Rec.Kites

Written by John Doe

Welcome to The Best Of REC.KITES! We are attempting to extract the best postings from our favorite newsgroup and publish them here for your convenience. We will be experimenting with the format and presentation so please be patient with us. Your suggestions are always welcome.

Rod Thrall
Steve Rezac
Tanya Adams
Alice Hayden
Todd Little
Mike Claassen
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.


Kite Lines

Resizing Lines
Enjoyed some good wind with my Rev 1.5 when one of my lines broke.
Though I highly doubt I exceeded the 90 lb rating of the lines,
I was lucky that the break happened only a few feet from the handle.

Any suggestions of how to resize the lines in terms of laying them
out so I can ensure they are the same length? I was thinking of
just anchoring them to a single point and eyeing their lengths.

Emarit Ranu

I anchor my lines to an eye screw attached to the side of my garage. It
allows me to make the lines as equal as possible. I used a heavy duty
eye screw so I can also stretch the lines.

Myers and Marchant <>

I find that if you put your handles on the line and really pull hard like when
flying in full wind, it will take almost all the streach out of your lines and you
won’t need to mess with them again after the first equalization. 🙂

L8R, Bri
Brian McDaniel <>

When you realize how easy it is to make lines, buy some bulk line and make
some different size sets.

I have 100, 75, 60 and 30 foot linesets for my revs.
I really like the 30 ft sets, especially when flying when flying on crowded
Try the shockwave on 30 ft lines, and do the “fly away” from the rev video.
If you do it just right, the kite floats down to you very slowly. Then toss
it to launch, just like with the 1.5s.

I find myself laughing out loud when I fly on 30 ft lines. I probably look
pretty foolish to the “non-kiter”, but hey, it’s just so cool

Get high on the wind…

Low visibility kite lines….?
>: I’ve seen single line kites flown on lines which have been very hard to see
>: until up close… was curious to know whether this is a special line, or
>: maybe something more innocous like nylon fishing line or something…
>There is nothing innocous about fishing line. I have seen a kid with a
>$2 delta on fishing line take out many expensive, or even priceless (as
>in one-of-a-kind) kites at Long Beach. That stuff cuts spectra like
>the proverbial knife through butter. When I see a kid flying like that,
>I have a bunch of cheap rainbow diamonds with reasonable line to give
>away just to teach them about flying with consideration.

Ouch…. thanks for that tip… looks like fishing line isn’t such a good

although when I said innocuous, I meant it as in a “cheap and cheerful
material that could be used as kite line”… (spark)

>Hi ALL.
>I may be missing the point, but Hi Visibility Lines seem to me to a
>GOOD thing,

Maybe you are… although I din’t go into great detail (other than stating
curiosity) as to why I was asking…

>*let you see if there is line wraps.
>*lets the occasional stroller (if he/she is looking down) keep from
>getting tangled in your lines
>*allows you to see how much sag/bow are in the lines.( and then you
>can change to more appropriate lines for the wind conditions)

Yeah all good reasons…. and usually ones I would follow…

>LOW Visibility line seem like would be prefered when doing “magic”:-)

Maybe that’s what I wanna do…

Actually I saw a circoflex flying on a line which was impossible to see
until I reached the anchor point.

From a pure ‘spectacle’ point of view, I thought this was much more
effective than if the lines had stood out from a distance.

Just my thoughts… (spark)

>> >I may be missing the point, but Hi Visibility Lines seem to me to a
>> >GOOD thing,
>> In some applications (Kite Aerial Photography) low visibility line is
>> better.
>black kevlar for KAP
>totally invisible to the camera
>wear gloves….

Yup… had heard black line is good for kap… but thats because the
viewpoint is usually looking down to the ground (and hence, usually a
mid-dark background).

I was specifically thinking from the point of view of an observer on the

As I mentioned in another followup, I saw a circoflex flying which I
thought looked particularly ‘cool’ because I couldn’t see the line no
matter how hard I looked. Only saw the line when I found the anchor point.

Actually on a side point… someone mentioned that fishing line cuts
spectra like a knife through butter… I guess kevlar would do the same to
fishing line? 🙂 (spark)

>Black death line is also very good at hiding while the kite is in the air…

Black death line? Sorry not heard of that one… tell me more 🙂

>Another line thats invisable on the ground and in the air is the green
>spider wire line that you can buy at fishing stores…..

Does this have the same “problems” as fishing line as mentioned elsewhere
(ie it will tend to cut any other line that crosses its path)… although
to be honest I wouldn’t intend flying near other kites with this sorta line
anyway (spark)

Avoiding Tangles
Could anyone suggest an idea on the keeping the bridles from tangling
every time I get the damn kite out of the bag! Also the best way of storing
the lines apart from on two pro8 winders,as winding 4 lines on one winder
seems to make for a lot of untangling even before I get in the air, or am I
missing something!


Ok, this is what I have seen Cliff do and it works for him.

Put your handles together and wind the line going in one direction, if you hold
the handles in your right hand to wind them , hold them in your right hand to
unwind them. So you simply undo them the way you did them in the first place.
When you are finished fold your kite tro the middle and when it is down to
where you can only fold over one more time , pull your bridle lines onto the
kite sailand fold the kite over them. Then lay your hanles with the neatly
wound line on top of the kite and roll it up. That stops everything from moving
around. It works for Cliff everytime.

He lets me help fold the kite, but since I am left handed he wont let me touch
the lines, lol.

I’d quote the articles above, but i’m sure you’ve read them….

anyways, i agree with collette and bob, just wind the lines around the
I land , park the quad leaning back, hold both handles together, and
start winding the lines together, all four, onto the handle…
when i get to the kite, i wind the bridles around the handles, and slip
the end of the bridles between the handle ends.
the crucial thing is to hold the same end of the handles when unwinding
and winding. I hold the top of the handles and have never had a tiwst or
a tangle….
i do this with my old rev too. many fewer hours on the field untangling

Nathan Sendan



Freestyle Competition Format/Ideas
The Freestyle/Trick competition, better known as ‘It’s a Trick Out!’ at
Hackney was an absolute blast!! Great fun to fly in and the crowd loved
it. Full marks to Andy Wardley for the new ideas and to Hackney for
providing the commentary and the soundtrack. Perhaps Andy would like to
post a summary of the competition and how it worked for others to try and
follow. Any chance Andy???

Andrew Phelps
Comments and opinions expressed here are exclusively my own.

>Can’t agree more. I liked the format very much. It was intense, I
>think for both the fliers and the audience.

And Nick is just too modest to admit that he won….. :-)=

It was a great, fun competition and we saw some truly awesome flying.
I myself had to give way to Nick in the second round after 3 minutes
of some of the most enjoyable flying I’ve ever participated in. Even
though I lost I was still trying to wipe the smile off my face an
hour later.

The format was simple:

*) We drew the flier’s names out of a hat (actually, the fliers drew
numbers out of a bucket, but the principal is the same) to order them.

*) Fliers are split into pairs (1 vs 2, 3 vs 4, etc)

*) Each pair takes to the field in turn.

*) Music is played for 3 minutes. Ideally, it should be something that
is lively, suitable for the wind conditions, and fairly consistent.

*) When the music starts, the first flier flies.

*) After 30 seconds, the first flier lands and the second begins. We
had the commentator call a “3..2..1 change” which allowed the fliers
to put in a cool landing or take-off.

*) After 30 seconds, the fliers change again. In all, each flier has
3 x 30 second blasts. Each heat lasts 3 minutes (6 x 30s)

*) At the end, the judges vote for one flier or the other.

*) The winner goes through, the loser goes out.

*) At Hackney, we had 14 competitors so after the first round we had
come down to 7 fliers. We assembled all 7 losers in a row and had
them fly a single 30 second segment in turn. The best flier was then
picked to go through to the next round to make up the numbers.

*) In other competitions, it may be preferable to have a 3 person final.
If we had started with 12, we would have had 6 in the next round then
3 in the final.

The mood was informal and relaxed and a great deal of sportmanship was
shared between the competitors. The judging panel was a little haphazard,
consisting mainly of myself, James Robertshaw and Hans von Lengerke with
additional help from Sean Turpin and any other fliers who happened to
congregate near the PA. Jeremy Boyce had the final say. In future, a
formal judging panel may be desirable, but in events like this which are
“Just For Fun”, it seems perfectly adequate (and acceptable to the fliers
as far as I can tell) that the fliers pretty much judge themselves. Jeremy
ran the audience Clap-O-Meter which brought them into the competition much
more and may even have influenced the judges a little on occasion 🙂

The definition of Freestyle Flying is a little imprecise, but we were
looking for radical tricks, executed cleanly, with style, flow and form.
It’s difficult to talk about “choreographing to music” when it’s a 30
second burst, but many of the fliers showed definite sensitivity to
the music and managed to produce performances that clearly went well
with what we were hearing.

There were 2 major highlights for me. The first was watching Andy Preston
fly a Stranger Level 7 in his first round match. Awesome! Absolutely
awesome! This is the guy who inspired me so much all those years ago
and Sunday made me remember why. Unfortunately the wind wasn’t so kind
in his later rounds and he just got pipped out in the semi-final by Nick’s
fellow countryman, Sebastian (surname unknown, my apologies).

The second highlight for me was flying against Nick in the second round.
I started with some good flying but had a bit of a tumble early on. That
was all the chance Nick needed – he put in a blinder. Not to be defeated
I responded with some pretty hot stuff. Not good enough, though, because
Nick came back even stronger. So I got better… So Nick got better….
After 3 minutes it felt like Nick and I had flown our hearts and souls out
and I wasn’t ashamed in the slightest to come second in that particular
heat. :-)= Massive grinage!

So here are the scores as transribed from a little scrap of paper that
was the scoring sheet… I’m afraid I don’t have full names for all of
the competitors, particular those of our Belgian friends who were over
in force. My apologies for that. If anyone can fill in the gaps, I would
be grateful.

Round 1:
Alistair Hammond beat Chaz (?)
Nick Boucart beat Hans von Lengerke
Sebastian (?) beat Carl Robertshaw
Andy Wardley beat Sean Turpin
Andy Phelps beat Jan (?)
James Robertshaw beat Chris Matheson
Andy Preston beat Sam Eaton

In the play-offs, the judges felt that both Sean and Carl put in great
performances and were hard pressed to decide between them. Carl very
generously agreed to step down and let Sean go through. Ali had to leave
early, so Carl ended up flying in his place after all.

The first round took about 40 minutes to run. We ran the final rounds a
little later in the afternoon which nicely broke up the competition, gave
the fliers a chance to rest and freed up the arena for other kiters and
displays. This was definately a Good Thing

Round 2:
Sean Turpin beat Carl Robertshaw
Nick Boucart beat Andy Wardley
Sebastian (?) beat Andy Phelps
Andy Preston beat James Robertshaw

Nick Boucart beat Sean Turpin
Sebastian (?) beat Andy Preston

Nick Boucart beat Sebastian (?)

Well done to Nick and all the other competitors, judges and organisers
that made it possible. I found it a lot of fun as a competitor, judge
and organiser and the response from other people has been encouraging.

I think the great thing about this format is that you can do it strictly
for fun, like we did at Hackney, or you could actually take it a little
more seriously and run it as a proper competition. It’s quick, can be
run in phases over a day or weekend, it requires no formal scoring or
calculations (although an independant judging panel would be necessary
for a “proper” competition), it’s very accessible to fliers – there’s
no need to practice for weeks before, just turn up and fly, and it’s also
accessible to spectators – no complex scoring or rules and the results
are instant.

Now doesn’t this sound like exactly the kind of competition that major
companies would be interested in sponsoring? A few k in prize money
would be all we require to run the “1998 <insert brand name> Freestyle
Kite Competition”….

It’s a nice thought, isn’t it?
Here’s to the next one.


and the 1998 UK Individual Champion is
Andy Wardley wrote:

> Chris Matheson <> wrote:
> >Is it just me, or does any one else see a fault in this system? With the
> >old system, at least things weren’t sewn up before the end of the third
> >round.
> This is true. The same thing occurred to me after the first round.
> When Carl took the first win, it became apparent that I, or anyone else,
> had to win both the next rounds to better him.

If you want to beat Carl, you have to play with his head.

> Having said that, Carl has now won twice. The best anyone else can
> manage is a first and second place. In my book, Carl is the rightful
> winner, even if it does wrap things up a bit soon.
> The UK competition lasted for all of 2 weeks this year. I think we
> could have stretch it out a bit further.

That’s my problem with the way it is. I like the fight right to the wire
and all that.

> If we use the Grand Prix scoring system, then perhaps we should take into
> account scores from *all* rounds. This means that everyone must compete
> in every round, which can be particularly difficult, but it seems that
> the current combination of the two systems makes it like a sudden death
> competition, which it was never supposed to be. With Grand Prix scoring
> you simply cannot afford to miss a round. In previous years, you could
> miss a round and make it up in the other two. This time, if you miss a
> round, someone still gets 100% (even if there’s only a one-legged, one-armed
> blind man flying) and you can only equal that score, you cannot better it
> no matter how pathetic that performance might have been.

I get the feeling that GP style scoring only really works if you have a
lot more rounds. I don’t think it’d even be any good with all three
rounds taken into account. I think you’d need about five or six rounds
to reall get it working.

> Whatever the rules, Carl would have won. He’s flown better than everyone
> else in the first two rounds and deserves the victory. However, I think
> that in this case, the ends doesn’t necessarily justify the means.

Agreed. I hate to think that people thought this was sour grapes, Carl
was the best flyer on the day and deserves his win.
Congratulations dude.

> Having said that, scoring in the UK National Events seems to be a total
> lottery anyway, so you never know where you stand. I vote we draw names
> out of a hat to decide who the winner is. It’s probably fairer than some
> of the current practices

I’ll go with that, maybe I’ll kick some butt in the draw and come out on


International Competition Rule Book
Andrew Phelps <> wrote:
>Following Paul Reynolds presentation at the Hackney festival in the UK
>on Saturday, this is to confirm that the official Internet pages for the
>International Rulebook can be found at:

I offered my thanks and support to Paul and the IRBC on Saturday, but I’d
like to reiterate it here. Thanks everyone on a job well done.

Two points about the new rules from my own perspective, one good and one

Good) You can change any equipment between disciplines (say precision
figures and precision freestyle) within the time limit

Bad) Any boundary infringement causes instant disqualification from the
entire *competition*. That way, if you fly ballet in the morning
and come first, but then fly precision in the afternoon and walk
into the boundary then you’re disqualified from both events,
including the one that you’ve already completed successfully.
Encourage safety, by all means, but disqualification from the one
discipline in which the offence occurred is punishment enough.

The committee are looking for feedback on the draft rules, so I encourage
you to have a look and make any comments that you can. Now is the chance
for you to have your say. These are *my* points above. Feel free to
agree or disagree with them, but please also take time to read the rules
and make your own comments.

Andy Wardley <>
For a good time:

I agree with the rest of the fliers who posted about the new IRB. The
rule to DQ a competitor
for an entire competition for flying over the boundery in one catagory,
is ludicrous!

Maybe this rule can be changed before it comes out in printed form?

We don’t want to discourage competitors from
competing by pissing them off. I’m all for safety
but lets be realistic about the rules.

I thought that overall the new IRB was excellent
and the IRC should be commended for thier efforts! Great Job! I can’t
wait to see the rest of
the book!

Thankyou IRC !
Troy Gunn
On 16 Jun 1998 16:35:39 GMT, “Steve Hammatt” <> wrote:

>The wording specifies that this DQ applies to crossing the “designated
>boundary”. So we could say that the reg flag boundary follows the usual
>rules (i.e. DQ from precision but not ballet in the example above), but a
>further boundary (e.g. the safety boundary, which we do not always have in
>the UK, although we should) is this “designated boundary” and results in DQ
>from the whole competition.

Hokay, now I’m confused. At a recent STACK event ( Basingstoke ), I was
there waving ( well, not waving would be more accurate ) red and yellow
flags. What is the purpose of the distinction between red and yellow
boundaries, if not safety ?

And if safety is the reason for this distinction, surely that red-yellow gap
constitutes a safety zone for all practical purposes, even if it doesn’t
actually call it that in print ?

And if there *is* a ‘safety zone’ in the system already, what is the purpose
of adding a further one ? And why, if that zone is a safety zone and flyers
receive a warning when they’re in it before being red flagged, is it
unreasonable to DQ someone who strays beyond the red boundary ( since
they’ve already had to cross the yellow before getting there, so finding
yourself there ‘by accident’ seems rather improbable ) ?

Mark de Roussier

Years ago up until about 1991 the AKA sanctioned competition
coordinators used to have competitors walk thier kites onto the flying
fields or set thier kites and lines up once they entered the competition
area. But back then we had alot more competitors then we do now and
it took to long to finish all of the competition catagorys because of
each competitors setup
time. So the AKA started leting the competitors fly thier kites in and
out of the competition arena
to save time.

I would prefer it if the AKA would make each competitor walk thier kites
in and out ,like the europeans have to do. Other words the new IRB rules
regarding DQ’s for flying over the boundarys don’t make alot of sense if
the AKA
allows fliers to fly over the boundaries while entering or exiting the
competition arena.

If we’re are going to have to have such strict
DQ rules for safety violations, then there must be something done about
event coordinators who don’t adhere to the proper competition arena
rules. Give us the proper amount of arena space to compete in and we
won’t have near the amount of safety violations occur.

Troy Gunn

Quadline Precision Competition?
I am looking for comments on whether there is an interest in having
“Quadline Precision” competition added to competition events. It is my
understanding at this time it is not included in the AKA list of
competition formats. There has been a request for discussion on the
merrits of including this in our CKL organization competition format
and I would really like some in put why you like the idea or why you
dont. This isnt a vote thing, I am simply gathering information to help
us come to an informed decision.

Thank you,

Quadline precision shows that you have definate control of your kite.

If the local comps are to prepare us for national and international
competition then I feel we should incoporate Quadline Precision into our

The May/June AKA issue addressed this slightly. They also stated that if
the local competetions started having this then it would be a good reason
to adapt the Quadline precision into the AKA.

STACK has Quadline Precision manuvers available with descriptions and
possibly key elements.

Any other leagues have started doing this already?
Time for me to go practice.

Steven Ploof (Elf)
Quad Precision,
In the UK we are now in our second year of using full Quad Precision.
Our 1st full event was 3 days before Guadeloupe. I think that even
that short time enabled me to prepare for both competitions. Even
then I felt disadvantaged against some of the more experienced Euro
flyers, they have been flyer Pre. for longer. I can’t imagine how
disadvantaged the USA felt, having never flown the figures or a routine.
Prior to flying FULL Pre. in the UK we had used a developmental
format, which I think works very well. In this 3 figures only are
flown and then a Ballet. This work because you have the discipline of
Pre. and the freedom of Ballet together, without the less crowd
pleasing Pre. Freestyle.

How to judge Quad Pre.
You are very lucky in the US to have some of the Worlds best Quad
flyers, what you will need to do (IMO) is ensure they are consulted on
the technical and difficulty side, to help your judges be educated in
this new area. As a judge I know that Dual line (DL) has progressed
and we all need to be educated on the DL difficulty. And the same is
true of Quad Line (QL). The AKA rule book does at least give you some
guidelines as to what to put into a quad routine, another good source
of advice (for flyers and Judges) is the Sandy Wagner page in Kitelife
Internet Magazine.

Another area to look at is the area of interpretation of figures, ie
What is 10% on the Quad figures ?, this needs to be set in stone so
that everyone knows how big or Small the figures are. A good example
is to compare this to the most commonly used QL kite (Revolution 1.5)
and Line lenght (100 foot/30 Metres) and don’t foget Quad can go backwards.
So Next thread what is 100% and 10% for a quad line kite ?

For flyers it may be an idea to start planning your routine based
around the IRBC Rule Book (IRB) which is the standard International
rulebook, this is the rule book which has been created by all the
major flyers organisations AJSKA/AKA/STACK. The main changes will
relate to timing and kite usage in precision (both great improvements!).
An online copy of the IRB is at

All the above are my own opinions, not those of any organisation.
Simon Dann STACK UK Head Judge 1993 – Mar 1998.

Rule Number 4???
Obviously , my brain has been turned to batter pudding by too little
flying this last week, but in reading old BuggyNewz issues I came across
the set of ‘basic buggy roolz’ Among the rest, all of which make sense, I found

” 4. When passing or crossing, the upwind kite must be lowered.”

Now here I’m strugglin I figure if I’m upwind of someone else, and we’re both
flying kites, I’d want to fly my kite higher, and he fly his lower, so we can cross
without tangling lines. I figure if the upwind kite gets lowered, where the heck
does the downwind kite get flown? This applies to both head on crossing and
to overtaking, the kites are always on the same side.

This assuming the buggies are crossing within flying line distance of each other
of course. If wider seperated, then the point is moot.

BTW, did anything ever happen in response to the paintball-gun-on-buggy idea?

steam and wind
David Forsyth <>

> ” 4. When passing or crossing, the upwind kite must be lowered.”

Maybe this rule has been implemented to allow buggiers to get to know
each other as they try to untangle the 2 kites. B-)

Richard Beckett <>

> ” 4. When passing or crossing, the upwind kite must be lowered.”

Obviously a misprint where the opposite was intended. OF COURSE, THE UPWIND

It’s amazing how this always, naturally works out when many of us are
buggying in constricted spaces. “It’s way too cool, dude!” It just happens!
Call it feeling, call it resect, call it FEAR! Who cares, it works.

> BTW, did anything ever happen in response to the paintball-gun-on-buggy
> idea?

Now this is an area I’d like to further explore!!! I figure a two man team
on tandem buggies! Front pilot, rear demolition crew, rapid fire repeaters,
multiple turret-mounted, rapid fire, belt-fed paint ball guns. Cool! Hey,
Corey, want to form a team!

Michael L. Eason

EDITOR’S NOTE: This thread went on quite a lot about hitting kites with paint guns
and pellet guns (and how it feels when people get hit with them too).



Mounting Dacron to Curved Leading Edge
On June 16the Carl Moody wrote:

>I am currently assembling a small kite for high wind use. The kites outline
>has curved leading edges (similar to the Prism style) and I am using 50mm
>Dacron folded over to form the L.E. pockets.

Sounds fairly standard for many framed kites…

>Does anyone have any practical tips on how to mount the Dacron (stiff &
>straight) to the curved ripstop leading edge, prior to running it under
>the needle. Obviously I am looking for a clean wrinkle free seem when
>assembled and under tension on the L.E. spar.
>My current thoughts are using double sided tape, will this be effective or
>can I ‘work’ the Dacron in to a curve by stretching/stressing the outer
>edge of the Dacron strip?

Well, here is the way /I/ do exactly what you are wanting to do. I am
not saying that it is the best or only way, but it has given me very
satisfactory results.

1) Take your strip of dacron and fold it in half along its length.
Make sure you get as strong a crease as possible (I tend to pull it
between my thumbnail and first finger to give a really sharp

2) Iron (make sure your iron is not /too/ hot or you will start to
melt the dacron) along the entire crease so that your dacron will
now stay fairly well folded along its length.

3) Slot the top of your leading edge into your folded dacron and fix
it into place with a few stitches.

4) Now start sewing down the LE. Since the LE is curved, you will
have to be constantly pushing it into the dacron pocket — you
want to make sure that the sail edge is right up against that
crease you have made in the dacron at all times.

5) Make sure you are pulling the dacron tight along the crease as you

I don’t much like the double sided tape idea, because it is not
possible to get the straight dacron pocket attached to the sail LE in
a crease free manner before you start to sew. This is why I push the
sail into the pocket as I am sewing it. You will probably want your
sewing machine to be going really quite slowly so that you have time
to ensure that the sail is properly in the pocket as you sew.

Take a shortish piece of dacron and a piece of scrap sail material,
cut a slight curve in the scrap of material and then practise sewing
your short strip of dacron onto the scrap. This will ensure that you
feel confident with the process before you go ahead and do it on your

As I said, it might not be the best or the easiest way, but if you are
careful, it does give great results.

I hope I have been of some use,


Hi folks.

I see a possible solution I used to make a channel around some round body
parts on a dragonfly I built last year. These where made of ripstop but the
trick can be used on any material.

Depending on the amount of curvature you might need wide dacron.

Cut a piece of dacron to match the leading edge curve. The width of this
piece can be about two inches (50 mm) or smaller depending on the size of
the spars that will go inside.

Cut an identical piece.

Sew them together very close to the external edge.

Flip the assembly over so the seam is inside.

Sew that to your leading edge.

There sould be no wrinkles at all.

Hope it helps

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

——————————————— wrote:
> Another method is to not use a curved edge at all. Make the leading
> edge out of straight segments and put a small pleat where the segments
> join.

I’ve noticed that Dean Jordan does this with some of his kites. I think
it works on Dean’s hand made custom kites, but wouldn’t look so cool on
a facxtory made kite.

> If you look carefully at enough kites you will find quite a few who do
> things this way. One manufacturer even claimed that this was a better
> way of doing things than using a truly curved edge.

I don’t know of anyone who uses a truly curved piece of dacron. I think
Andy P has a curved bit on the SL7, but that’s about it.

> this won’t look as neat, but it won’t make any difference to the
> performance of the kite.

I know that Peter Werba and Tim Benson tape the leading edges before
sewing, but for me. I’ve found that just having the dacron folded first
is enough to get it lined up with the leading edge.

Again, the only kite I’ve seen with so much of a curve that it needs a
curved peice of dacron is the SL7 and even there, they only use a bit of
curved dacron.


Cube Kite Variant

Has anyone tried any variations on the cube kite?
I was thinking about it, and if you made the frame out of 4
spars that go diagonal instead of 4 uprtights and 4 cross,
you’d save 28% on frame weight. The fabric would then be a tension
kite instead of a frame kite. Would it fly differently?
Just a thought.

Walt – very clever idea,

the only thing I can see (at first glance) that some sort of bridle
will have to be added, but that should not be a big deal

and with a 28% weight savings it will even fly on hot days, or on
top of mountains 🙂

As is the “CUBE” is one real neat and fun kite, I have seen them
flown two at a time… with about 3′ line from each kite to the ends
of a stick (1/4″ dowel) about 3′ long, and then the flying line is
connected to the center a loop of line from the ends of the stick..

if the CUBE’s then had dots painted/applicaied to it then they would
look like a pair of dice..

Tom A.

I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater
his need to cast blame on others.
Come visit us @”” OR
E-mail =

Adding Trick Line to Prism Illusion/Fanatic

Can anyone tell me how I’d go about adding a trick line to my Illusion and
Fanatic. I end up getting too many wing wraps… or if anyone else can give
me pointers on how to get out of a wrap I’d appreciate it.


I suppose you would hit me if I said “Practice,” huh?


With the aspect ratio of the Illusion and Fanatic being what it is,
you are just going to encounter some wraps that don’t just fall away
with a tug. That’s just the way it is. The good news is that it’s
very possible to untangle the wingtip wrapps without walking to the
kite; it just takes practice and a familiarity with how the kite
flopps around when tangled.

Always (well, almost always) try to get the kite on its back, with the
tips toward you when attempting to unwrap a tip. This position will
allow you to stand the kite up with one line, while tugging the other.
By doing this back and forth, letting the kite rise and fall, you will
begin to see the easiest way of undoing the wrap. I promise it works!

As for fitting a trick-line to one of these kites, DON”T DO IT!!

We’ve tried it a few times, and you lose so much that it’s just not
worth any possible snag reduction that might take place.

BTW, I really don’t feel that you gain very much snag proofing with a
trick line on the Illusion or Fanatic anyway, the aspect ratio allows
the line to cinch up around the line and the LLE almost as easily as
the LLE alone.

You might want to look into why you’re getting alot of snagged tips,
if you think it’s happening alot. Check your bridle and make sure
nothing’s out of whack. Look at what you’re doing when the kite gets
tied up, maybe it’s on a particular maneuver. I was always wrapping
when I would do over-easy’s, but only on the left side. I figured out
(eventually) that I was initiating too early for some reason.

For What It’s Worth,

How do you clean a kite?
Does anyone know how to clean A rip stop nyolon or ventex material on a


Hi Mike.

If not too dirty, try dishwasher soap (not too much) in water. Rub gently
then give it a good shower to rinse it. Let it dry before packing up.
It worked for me a few times.

Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.

After crashing into the Mississippi river and having to drag my kite
through some beach sand and slimy seaweed to get it back, I was faced with
the same problem.

Started out with the garden hose. That did pretty good. Next wiped it
off with my girlfriends dish towel “I wouldn’t reconmend that step, but it
worked”. It still had sand and algae in the spar pockets, so I compleaty
disasembled it, (DO ONE WING AT A TIME “so you know how it goes back
together”) Wiped off each part and the sail as I went, Also drained the
water out of the inside of the spars. Put it back together…. Good as New!
didn’t even smell like seaweed anymore! I suppose you could use some kind of
soap if you rince if off good. I’d do that in the garden hose stage. I don’t
think you can hurt the ripstop with clean water if you try.

Good Luck!
Brian Hall

:)) hheeh I have a parafoil that I made that is about 50 square feet….

I took off the bridle and threw it in the washing machine and dried it in
the drier untill dry

:)) simple but true.

I give ours a light shower without the stand offs out to keep the sail from
stretching and then let them air dry. I only do this when necessary and I
use cold water.


When ever one of my kites needs cleaning, I put it in the shower,
sparay the really dirty areas with Spray-N-Wash, let it soak a little
bit, then thoroughly rinse it off using tempid water sparyed through
the old Shower Massage (hand held version). Then I set it up out
in the house some place to dry. I normally leave stand offs in, btw,
but all my current kites are Icarex which doesn’t stretch (much). I would not
leave them in for nylon, but then again, as material dries, most of it
shrinks so it gets shrunk into position.

Your results may vary.

Gentle breezes,
Stevie C

Super10 not really 10ft
Has anyone actually measured the size of their kite. I have been
experimenting with line lengths in stacking, and discovered that my three
super10’s do not have a span of 10 feet as listed in the specifications in
flexifoils latest catalogue. Does anyone know which part is supposed to
have a span of 10 feet ?

According to “COBRA’S” Specs… the super 10 is 286 cm 10ft/113

so if its 113″ its a little shy of 10 feet, but since they come in 2
foot increments 4′, 6′, 8′, 10′, then 12′ the 113″ is almost 10′ so
its called the “Super10″

FYI the 8′(Pro Team) is 98″, the 6′(Stacker) is 70″, and the
4′(Hotshot) is 48″ and the 12′ (Hyper 12) is 155”

Tom A.

It’s kind of like computer monitor diagonal measurements. If they make
the case another 0.0001 mm larger they add another 3 inches to the diag.
spec sheet. It’s a marketing scam.

The primary concern is does it meet your expectations of what it’s
supposed to do reguardless of the advertizing fluff.

Brian Johnsen

>It’s a marketing scam.

Well maybe – or just a generalization. Geeze. Would you rather they
called it the
“9.41666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666… ?

> The primary concern is does it meet your expectations of what it’s
> supposed to do reguardless of the advertizing fluff.

Exactly! And the kite is fantastic! Can you think of another sport kite
design that has been on the market, essentially unchanged, for more than
15 years?


*** Gomberg Kite Productions International ***
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Free Digital Kite Postcards On-Line Now

Quadline Kite Handles
This is my own personal preference for setting up standard type quad handles:
(Fairly common for kite freaks.)

No sleeving.
Larkshead system.
A leader line (usually heavier than the fly lines) about 10 inches long or so,
attached to all four attachment points on the handles. (you know, two on each
quad handle)
A series of knots about an inch apart along the leader lines.
This gives you a BUNCH of adjustment possibilities… especially important if
you fly a lot of different kinds of quad kites.

Experiment #1:
Remove the bridle.
Attach fly lines directly to the kite at the top and bottom of the vertical

Experiment #2:
Cut the factory bridle where the leading edge part connects to the bottom
portion. (that connects to the bottom of the wings) When you get done, you
should have the top leading edge portion of the bridle separate from the
bottom. This has a similar feel as the no bridle experiment, but keeps the kite
from bowing in higher winds.

Experiment #3:
For one handed flying, take the bridle from experiment #2, and move the
attachment points in. (towards the center of the kite)
Make a separate bridle for the bottom of the wings by making a simple V bridle
that connects at the top of the vertical spar and at the bottom. Move the fly
line attachment point up or down, for tuning.
This experiment makes the kite VERY sensitive… actually kind of fun for
playing around with flying the kite in the normal, two handled style.

Actually, you should remove the factory bridle and save it… experiment with
new bridle line. When you get really hooked on experimentation, you’ll end up
with a bag full of Revs, all with different bridle set ups.

My main interest in kiting is experimentation.
Probably one out of 25 experiments ever make their way to a kite festival.




Kites and Aircraft
Steve :>
>a friend of mine was once flying a box on a hill in scotland when a
>military jet came round the vally and went UNDER the kite!!!!

Never with a kite, but I’ve stood on a roadside and looked down on jets flying
along sea lochs beneath me, when my feet were at 90 feet above sea level, even
allowing for a low tide.

>is the 60 meter from the lowest ground around or from where your siting?

Good point. Is it from the point over which the kite is flying or your feet or
an average or whatever. No idea, but I think the local terrain is a good clue.
On a long sloping hillside go by the kite. Off a cliff, go by your feet and on
lumpy ground go by the average. Common sense, really.

Same with the 5km from airfields. I’ve been told three things, all by the CAA.

a) It’s measured from the airfield reference point (middle of the main runway
or control tower).
b) It’s measured from the flying surfaces and taxi-ways.
c) It’s measured from the perimiter fence, no matter how far that is from the

I was flying near Prestwick airport a few weeks back and the police turned up
just as I was landing the kite and told me not to fly as I was too near the
airport and they had complained. (I wasn’t, I was over the minimum distance by
about 50 metres, measured from the perimiter fence on an O/S map.)

Odd thing was, they had told the police that I was about 250 metres /nearer/
the airfield than I actually was. I make that about 5% inaccuracy at 5 km?
Scary, maybe?

>I should be in scotland soon and as much as a big kite and mountains and
>valleys seems like a relaxing break the danger from jet fighters is a
>little unnerving 🙂

It’s bad down round the bombing ranges near Glen Luce (S/W) and in parts of the
west Highlands.

>any way of finding out where military jets are going to be flying? i
>have the feeling the air force might have to keep security a little
>tighter than faxing there flight plans to anyone who asks.

Call the military at Pitreavie in Fife (sorry, no number handy) and they’ll
tell you that they have no-one flying in that area. Often, even before you tell
them where you are! You’ll need a map ref of course, which means buying a map
/and/ knowing how to use it.

I’m pretty sure they pay attention. After all, it’s a good excuse to check if
their navigators are trained properly to change a route at the last minute.

>any one flown in these conditions before?

Me. Often. No near misses, but I call and tell the military first, though I
suppose the CAA would pass it on, maybe?

Alan Mackie <>

This is exactly what Civil Aviation Organizations and pilots are
complaining about: You’re 5% outside the airport, how much has
changed? What really matters is flying the kite along the centerline
of the runway. That’s what’s dangerous. Forget the 5 km perimeter
stuff. It’s mostly for legalities. And as far as most pilots know,
they can’t tell exactly where your kite is and how far it is. All
they know is that they can see it. That’s scary enough for them. You
can argue your exact position to whatever court they drag you in to.
There are other catch all laws around having to do with placing
hazards to aviation in the skies…

Jake Brodsky,
PP ASEL IA, Cessna Cardinal N30946, Based @ MD24
Amateur Radio Station AB3A

>This is exactly what Civil Aviation Organizations and pilots are
>complaining about: You’re 5% outside the airport, how much has

Now hang on a moment. The law says (CAA regulations) that I can’t fly within
5 km of an airport. So, if I’m 5,001 metres away I’m legal. If they wanted
it to be 5.2 or 5.5 Km then they should say so.

> What really matters is flying the kite along the centerline
>of the runway. That’s what’s dangerous. Forget the 5 km perimeter
>stuff. It’s mostly for legalities.

So, what you’re saying is that the air traffic regulators and law makers
expect non-pilots to allow a 10 or 20% extra margin? This is wrong, surely?

>And as far as most pilots know,
>they can’t tell exactly where your kite is and how far it is. All
>they know is that they can see it. That’s scary enough for them. You
>can argue your exact position to whatever court they drag you in to.

I can indeed. Look, if the law says drive at 30 mph then that’s the limit.
They don’t mean 29 mph. They don’t mean 28 mph. They mean /30/.

>There are other catch all laws around having to do with placing
>hazards to aviation in the skies…

If I fly within the law and I’m a hazard to navigation then either the
pilots are lost or the law is wrong. If the law is changed I’ll follow it,
naturally. I just wish pilots would always take the same care. Sadly, they

Alan, adherence to the law doesn’t guarantee safety. I’m asking for a
little common sense here. Also note that most ICAO countries have
general catch-all regulations regarding hazards to Aviation. If they
can’t bust you on the exact violation, they’ll use the latter to do it

For what it’s worth, the 5 km circle isn’t a regulation. The Airport
Traffic Area concept is one of many specifications derived from the
ICAO agreements. There are other specifications as well. They
include extra Class E airspaces for runway centerlines, Instrument
Landing Glide-Slopes, terrain clearance, and so on. Since both the US
and the UK are members of the ICAO, I think one can presume the same
is true on your side of the pond.

I also wonder if you understand what your kite might look like to a
typical pilot.

My Cessna Cardinal is a relative slowpoke at 125 kts. Even at that
speed I haven’t got time to ponder whether a kite I see near an
airport I’m landing at is a hazard. If I can see it, I have to assume
it’s a hazard. There is very little depth perception from the view in
the cockpit. The distances and speeds are too great.

Furthermore, of all the situations for a pilot to see something
unexpected, LANDING is the worst. Most pilots have no tolerance for a
stray kite near an airfield. Would I report a kite I see near an
airport? YES. Not only that, I’d track down the kite flier, and I’d
bring the police with me.

Please understand, I love to fly kites too. I have no patience for
those idiots who buzz beaches, either. In 10 years of flying, I have
never met a pilot who didn’t take airspace regulations seriously. Any
pilot who doesn’t care about that much doesn’t deserve to sit in the

So, please, a little understanding from kite fliers would be helpful.

Jake Brodsky,
PP ASEL IA, Cessna Cardinal N30946, Based @ MD24
Amateur Radio Station AB3A


Fun Stuff

Something cool for single liners who like to drop things…
Saw something cool the other day and I thought it might be a lot of fun for
you parafauna and mintiedroppers out there. Take a cheapo radio remote
control car of the type that can steer the front wheels with a servo.
Remove the PC board and servo unit and build it into a smaller
shock(water)proof unit and attach a downscaled parachute(NASA, parafoil,
parawing) that’s steerable with two lines, attaching the steering lines to
a servo unit and voila…. a steerable parachute. You can go the extra mile
and build this into a stuffed animal of sorts. Remember to get the weight
right and to consider the wind else all your work could end up somewhere

I’m not much of a single line fan(actually I’d prefer it to have four 😉
but this was quite a bit of fun especially trying out hook turns(any
skydivers will know what a hook turn is), spirals and target drops.


Ahem. Good idea, but…

Like you I’m not a dropsy fan. Why not just drop an r/c model car, the
cross-country type with big soft wheels on it? Rig the chute to drop off
on landing (the locking pin for the chute drops out on full right lock,
maybe?) and then drive it back to your feet for the next flight and
drop. Gather up the chutes later, of course.

More fun, surely? And usable as an r/c car as well on calm days…

Alan Mackie <>

Kayaking and kites?
I have a sea kayak and was wondering if there is a parafoil or similar kite
that is easy to unfurl at sea to aid in pulling me along on the water.And how
much line I would need.
Any suggestions would be appreciated

Thanks (SOUPMAN67)

I use a hagaman 2.2 and carry 300 feet of line. Parafoils can be a bit of a
challenge to launch and fly at low altitudes so some practice is encouraged.


Standard parafoils can generate the power, but once on the water they are hard
to recover.

Use sutton flowforms instead.
they are vented and can be easily retrieved.

Larger wings work well in lighter winds.
By the time the wind is up to 15-20 mph…
there are so many things going on
a kite is not so much fun.

Larger sails (Sutton 16 for example) are useful between 8-18 mph… just when
one enjoys the extra power.

Epoxy a longhorn cleat just forward of the cockpit…
Use a heavy line (like 220 lb test) for ease of use and easy grip… a halo
hoop winder is the easiest to stow…

retrieve the kite first and then wind the line…
tension on the line will create problems… more energy to retrieve the kite
and crush the hoop too.

Use enough line to get out of the surface effect winds
perhaps 100-200 feet of line length.
the power will pull the kayak downwind… adding 3-5 knots to speed. a bit if
paddle work can help get some 20-30 degrees off dead downwind, but it takes

a controllable foil, like the quadrifoil can be much better at getting across
the wind, but the increased problems of launching and recovery make it an
excercise for experienced flyers and only at suitable locations.

Thanks so much for the Hagaman foil reference, but considering that Doug is
dead… it is of little relevance, except to brag that one owns an example of
the finest commercial foils ever made.

Standard foils (to recap) have sealed cells and fill with water when dumped…
also multiple bridle lines.
Sutton flowforms are vented and so are much easier and safer to use over water.
Flowforms also have much simpler bridles (only 3 or 4 lines) and so are much
less prone to tangles…

It would be nice to rig a bow rudder to retain as much control over direction
as possible with kite power.

Check out Buggies, Boats & Peels by Peter Lynn for the master’s insights on the

hope this helps…

You could also check out the wipika web site ( These
are special designed kites to use for marine tracktion. There leading
edge is an inflatable tube. I saw a demo last week of a kite surfer in
Montpellier. He should use that the kite is fully recoverable from
crashes into the water. Btw. kite surfing (or fly surfing as it is
called in France) looks very nice. I’m definatly going to try this in

hope this helps,

I read about a trans pacific Kayaker who used Flowforms. Don’t go near
anything with handles. that includes the french wipika. The rig on that
thing is designed for flying standing up. Remember you want traction not
speed. The Flowform 16 ot at most the 30 is the bast choice. remember
though that even in moderate winds the flowform can drift. You should
bring along a drogue tail as well.

Gary <>

Hitting people in the head
I recently bough a small flexifoil dual line kite (my first kite since my
Peter Powell kite when I was a kid) and was absolutely blown away by the
speed and responsiveness of it. The thing is that the hill where I fly it
has people walking about on it, and other flyers, and I’m terrified I’m
going to impale the thing in someone’s head. I try to pick a empty spot,
but people just come walking by with their dogs.

Am I justified in my fears? I was at the Bath kite festival recently and
there were plenty of people flying fast kites in the vicinity of many other
people – is it just a matter of knowing what you’re doing with the kite?


This is an important point.

Firstly though, congratulations on getting back into kite flying.
Just you wait until you get totally hooked: you’ll be longing to buy
more kites and will spend much time every day thinking about flying
(don’t expect wife/girlfriend to see it in the same way as you though

Anyhow, back to the point in hand. Safety.

Yes, you are justified in worrying. When I started flying, I was
constantly ploughing my kite into the ground. If I were to have
ploughed my kite into someone’s head I would have done quite a bit of

I would suggest that you fly well away from people for the time being.
This can be tricky sometimes because Joe Public does not always
realise how much danger could be involved. I would recommend that if
someone does unexpectedly walk into your flying zone, you make sure
that the kite is somewhere at the top of the window out of the way
until the threat has passed.

Those of us who were flying near people at Bath have put in many hours
of kite flying and know how to keep it away from people and also know
fairly precisely the size of the flying area. Therefore, we did not
have to leave quite such a large space to fly in.

However, we would all have moved away into another space should the
possibility of hitting someone have arisen. You should at all times
make sure that there is no-one directly under your kite.

Safety in kite flying is of prime importance.

Hope that is of some use.

Kites can pack a wallop, especially flexifoils because of the speeds
they can reach and the leading edge spar. Ideally find an empty spot
with nobody in your fly area. If people decide to watch you and are
endangering themselves wave them over, they’ll be safe and you might
get a chance to talk about your kites and who can resist that? 🙂
Also try staking out your fly zone with three or more small flags and
maybe people will get the message to stay back.

As for festivals most people who go know where it’s safe to stand
because most of those folks are flyers.

In a nutshell if you feel uncomfortable with where people are standing
fly your flexi straight up where it’s stable and safe and wave ’em

Regards (Jeff P. Kilbreath)