Issue 9: Best of Rec.Kites (BORK)

We had some dropouts on the staff. If you are a regular reader of REC.KITES and would like to be a part of this magazine, please drop me a line for details –

Once again I’m indebted to the faithful BORK staff:

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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Kite Reviews

Beginner Kites

>What is a good, durable 2-line kite to learn on?
>I have heard the “Beetle” recommended, any thoughts?
>Thanks much, Art

I made the mistake when starting up (1 year ago) of buying a beginners kites, I ended up extremely frustrated as the cheaper kites typically seem to need bigger winds and in many ways are harder to control than more mainstream sports kites. My advice to anyone who has got past the stage of “do i like flying kites?” is to spend c.£100 and take some good advice on kite selection from a friendly shop. I have a database of 500+ kites at my site, many with specs and reviews/pix……. which may be of use Enjoy!


Hi all I have to agree with Mr Fantastic (webmeister) I started flying back at the end of July ’98 and bought my first kite at the start of August. (I was hooked within 5 minutes but had no cash at the time.) I was surprised when I heard that a decent stunt kite would cost upwards of £75.00. Nevertheless, I decided that the sport was worth it and bought a Prism Fanatic for £100.00. I haven’t looked back since. Over tha past 9 months or so I have flown quite a few “beginners’ kites” and am glad that I plumped for more expensive model initially. As long as you’re past the “do i like flying kites?” stage then it’s well worth it. Good luck and happy flying – whatever you decide to buy.

Regards James


I agree with you to a point. There are some crap beginners kites out there, but I think there are a couple that are great ones for people to learn on. The two I am thinking of are the Beetle and the First Step. Both fly in lightish wind, and are pretty easy to fly. I wish these had been around when I started flying. It would not take long to want to move up to something else, but that doesn’t make the other kite worthless. Now when someone comes up and wants to try kite flying you can stick them on this $50 kite instead of the $100-300 kite that you are flying. I keep a Beetle in my bag at all times just for that reason.
Just my opinion.
See ya,
Bill Rogers

HQ new Jam Millenium

Hello. I have flown the Session Millenium. It is nothing like the old Jam. It is VERY responsive. It likes very small hand movements. Once you get use to this it is very precise and very trickable. It does real good flic flac’s for a low aspect kite. It fades good and does flat manuvers good too. It does take a little wind to get it to fly. It really does like about 4 mph. It is not as forgiving as the original Jam because it is so sensative. It is made with the HQ quality of kites so it is very good. I don’t have much time on it yet so I can’t really judge it too much. Look for a detailed review in in the future. Also, should have a review of the 99 Obsession also. Hope this helps you out.


Just to set the record straight, I designed the Jam 2000 and named it that, sent the pattern to Invento, Christoph mainly changed the graphics and the name to Jam Session Millinium,(very innovative!) and a few other things, but basically its pretty much the same. (IMO) One thing for sure, at the very least, the idea came from me, but this I am sure my former associates will dispute as always. But I must say it was not finished yet. The Pattern and kite i sent to them was in its first stages and I was waiting for them to make it, send it back and then I would do the fininshing touches. They did show to a lot of people, maybe some of you a crude drawing of mine that was merely to show the colors, but this was not the pattern, there is a real pattern I made and sent and I had sent a flying prototype I sewed up. My impression of thier version was although the graphics were cool, it was not done yet either. It is a slightly lower aspect Jam with out much of a keel. The result is a kite that cascades and axles more on its back then the nice easy ones the Jam does, and of course it is more responsive with faster flic flacs, just like the Jam 2000 I designed. But remember that I was not finished or completely satisfied with mine either. After HQ made this version, I decided not to make the Jam 2000, I was angry of course because I am tired of seeing them still benifit from 4 years of my hard work and dedication I gave them, and also another Jam is confusion to you guys. After a posting I made, I was sent back the kite, but no pattern. I posted again and The pattern was handed back to me at the KTAI. This is all true and can be proven. But after getting a hold of one and finding that my original version flew better, (IMO) I had decided to make my original version, with improvements, and change the graphics to look more like my other models now made by Eolo Sport of Spain like the First Step and Freestyle. The Prototype has been done for some time now with extensive testing still ongoing. I will be fininshing, testing and preparing the Next Step for production all next week in Spain at Eolo’s new expanded Factory. I have reduced the size a little and its geared more for med-higher winds, a kite that is really needed more than JUST ANOTHER KITE! Framed in 6mm with my trademark of 6 standoffs of course. My wife loves the prototype, and she is my largest critic! Also the other fliers at our field liked it very much too because it is sort of a combo of the Jam and my newer efforts, and can trick well in say, 15mph. Something that is eally needed although it does need about 6mph right now to perform well, but the upper end is higher. Remember that I still have more work to do.

The “Next Step” is an improved version of my original design of the Jam 2000 that I think a lot of you will appreciate more and the price should be (i hope) about $50 Retail less than the Millinium. HQ does produce nice kites, and Christoph re-designes kites well like his improved version of the Maestrale he made to compete against it when he left HQ for a while and worked at Elliot Action Kites, the “Spike” that I love to fly and I sell (com), so who knows. All I can say is to try the Jam Millinium, why not, I am sure some of you will like it, and why not, it is based on the Jam, but please remember its roots. Of course this will be disputed, and I will be flamed, but the truth has to come out so i take the chance and here it is. Please post your flames, Positive comments, its all good! Good luck and enjoy any kite you fly or buy whether it be this or that, as long as you fly and enjoy as much as you can!
Dodd Gross

8 foot Beginner’s Kite are you serious

>I just went to
>because I’m new to this stuff, and the suggestion was to start with an
>8ft kite! That’s bigger than me! Am I missing something here, ‘cos it
>says this will be ‘docile’ … really? Help me here guys – I just want
>to get my 5 yr old daughter into kites and you tell me this?
>Still, there’s always the wind…

Yeah, a full sized stunter is probably too big for a first kite for a 5 year old. And maybe too expensive ( though *you* could have alot of fun with it 🙂 ). The problem with smaller kites is that they’re faster and twitchier – i.e. more difficult to control. And mostly they need more wind to even get off the ground. If you get one of the small, ultra light critters, it’ll fly in almost nothing, but they’re delicate, and the wind range is small. I think your best bet is to get a diamond stunter with a nice long ( pretty ) tail. You’ll have to do alot of running around to launch the thing, but it’ll be quite tough, and won’t cost much. Alternatively, go for a delta stunter 4-5ft across, and settle for only going out on slightly more windy days. All the same, take care not to fly it in too strong a wind, most five year olds of my acquaintance have a strong grip but not alot of mass !
Or, as a radical alternative, get her a single-line kite :). At least then, when there isn’t actually enough wind you can let her just run around with it :).

That page is aimed at someone, a little larger, starting out with a stunt kite. Though there are plenty of exceptions, many people starting out with a stunt kite are a little older and looking for a ‘full sized’ kite. For a 5 year old, if you do want a stunt kite, something like a Beetle or a Trlby style kite should be manageable. Perhaps I should qualify some of the comments I made on that web page.
OTOH If you look at the bottom of the ‘personal’ page there’s a photo of Doug, my 2 year old flying a Box of Tricks. If you look really closely you can see he’s holding the straps, I was helping where he lacked the co-ordination. A BoT is about 7ft across (OK, the wind was light!).
Ian Newham


Well, Aik, the key is to put something into your daughter’s hands, initially, that is very easy to fly, not blazingly fast, and pretty much indestructable. 6-8′ wings don’t all necessarily pull like freight trains and even the ones that do can be tuned down considerably with a simple bridle adjustment. I used to recommend tailed diamonds (like Trlbys) for beginners because they’re slow, sturdy, and pretty easy to self-launch but, sometimes, the tails can be a real hassle to deal with. I now recommend one of the new inexpensive, sturdy deltas that are out now (like the Beetle and/or Dodd’s beginner kite…the name escapes me…) Still…8′ is a heckuva lotta wing for a 5 yr. old…just tell her if she lands someplace unfamiliar to click her heels together three times and say, “There’s no place like home”. I’M JUST KIDDING!!!

Kite Stuff

Rev lines length

Hi All,
I have a rev 1.5SLE on order. I was surprised to find out that the recommended lines are 150lb 100ft long. Does this kite pulls so much?
I was also under the impression that the REV is flown on much shorter
lines. Can you please comment on the lines especially on the length.


Hi Gal, hi folks.
In team we fly with lines of 90 pounds and about 100 feet long. Lines of 150 pounds will give you a good margin of safety, but in lower wind I suggest you go with smaller lines. Bigger lines will also be less prone
to binding after a lot of twists.
The length is dictated by what you want to do. I often see people flying with lines of 50 feet with their Revs. Even 30 feet, especially if you want to do 3D flying. Personnaly I like longer line to have a bigger window. Indoor I use 35 pounds lines as short as 15 to 20 feet or a bit more if the room is large enough.
Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire


I fly Rev 1.5 standard, EXP and SLE on 50# line at various lengths
from 65′ – 100′. I fly my 1.5 vented on 100# at 100′. The SLE has
reasonable pull but hasn’t broken a good 50# set yet. When the lines
fray and get ratty, well, that’s different. 🙂


I generally use, depending on the winds and my fancy, the following: 90# or 150# x 100 feet on the rev 1, SLE or SLE vented
90# x 75 feet on the rev II, SLE
50# or 80# x 40 feet on the 1.5 SUL (old style) outdoors
sometimes 80# x 30 feet on any of the above
(lineset from an A1 Deca)
BUT if I had to have one set, for, say, 5/6 to 15 mph on a standard SLE, I’d lean towards the hundred feet of ninety pound strength.


I fly a Rev Exp 1.5 and use 150lb lines, In high winds the kite has caught me out and had me staggering (I weigh about 150lbs) so the strength seems about right, I fly on 20m about 60ft, and this suits me fine, but some people fly on much shorter lines, especially in lower winds. I could be wrong but for competition use you might want 100ft. Also if you are new to quads the longer line will give you more reaction time when learning how to crash, as I did for my first few attempts at flying it. Why not start on 100ft whilst learning, then when you are profficient split the lines into a medium and short set!! and get the best of all worlds.


Hi folks.
About extreme 3D with Revs. I saw at least one time one of our team pilot catch and throw is Rev 1.5 with 100 feet lines. Big luck, perfect wind and a lot of running forward for the catch and running backward after the throw
Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire

NPW with spars

Well, I flew it yesterday in a good breeze flies just like I thought it would, just like a Cquad….. needs to be quad lined for max fun value, but I flew it as a 2 liner just to see how it faired. not bad, prone to luff at the edge, can’t withstand gusts much, but that may be a ‘further tuning’ issue. Also has noticeable trailing edge flutter, just like a Cq with the brake lines released.

Power? Not having flown a like sized NPW I can’t compare. This one has 900mm spines and comes to about 1m^2, so it should be fine for buggying from about 20 knots up. But, it had a nice solid feel while in straightline motion, turning is a problem, the leading edge ‘deforms’ too much and it noses down (quadline solves this I’m sure). I didn’t take the buggy out yesterday, cos I know that if I have it there I won’t concentrate on tuning the new kite but will get the Sput out and buggy
instead (-:
So, next up is some adjustment to the spar pockets so the spars stay in them (-: (the skin forces are weird, and tend to ruck the skin up towards the leading edge, leaving the spar ends sticking out waiting to
tangle the bridle) Attachment of brake lines and subsequent retuning…..

once this thing flies I’m thinking of attempting a kite with the ‘double skin nonflated sparred’ construction of modern ‘CSX’ type
steam and wind
David Forsyth


I spoke to Peter de Jong a long time ago about doing this… I also did it a long time ago… I also put an inner tube in the nose section for water launching, with a bent spar to enforce air scoop underneath AND small section foils on the back to give extra lift.

This worked excellently and I was very happy with it. This post suggests that this is somehow a “new” idea. What’s going on ?

What makes kites fly

What makes kites fly?
I received the next question from a youngster:
> please can you help me to find information on why kites fly,
> what makes them fly etc for a project that I am trying to
> design for my school

I tried to locate anything useable for him but did not find a lot.
Is there a nice page on the web that answers this question (preferrably
with some nice pictures of course 🙂 ) ?

I’ll summarize the results and if it’s enough, compose a page that points to all this physics/theory…


While not written for a child, The Tao of Kiteflying, the dynamics of tethered flight, by Harm van Veen is a great little book. It is full of information and experiments relating to tethered flight. I got my copy from
Kitelines book store.

From The Land of 10,000 Kite Flying Fields,
(you can still stand on th– oops!)
Jerry Houk


Jerry’s book suggestion is good. Here’s some web links I foun re: Bernouli Effect. Although not directly related to kites, the principle is the same; that fluid pressure is inversly proportional to velocity.
You might also try searching on “fluid dynamics”. The “Multimedia Encyclopedia of Science and Technology”, a CD-ROM, has some great animated illustrations also if your school’s library has it. It’s published by McGraw-Hill,

Hope this helps at least a little,


Hi Peter,
Is this any good?
How Things Fly
Like your site btw.


Hi dutch kiters:
At the bookshops of the Slegte (the Badone?) you can find now books on kiting. I saw recently:
– Making kites, by Rhoda Baker & Miles Denyer for dfl. 15,-
– Kites by Wayne Hosking for dfl. 24,50
– Making and flying fighter kites by Phillipe gallot for dfl. 15,-
If you liked the special of ‘Vlieger’ on fihgting kites, you should get this book on the double. At ‘Vliegerop’ they did a small sale on books and magazines. I saw a english version of Pelham (halfprice!!) (only one left after my visit two weeks ago).

Keep on looking, I even found last year a dutch version of Pelham: they do exsist!! bye,


I have some new material at This is a page we are preparing for the NKM site, and it is still under construction. But I think you’ll find what you need.
Have fun!


Some time ago I asked for help on this subject to help out some high school kids for their physics projects. For those of you who responded (you know who you are) thanks for your help.
I said (at that time) I’d try to summarize, and I tried to do that in a way that might be usefull for other people as well. The result is at:

I know there already are a few FAQ lists around, but I never seemed to find what I needed, so I started another one.
Feel free to email me about other interesting FAQ’s (preferrably with solutions…).

Nasa parawing on the move

Hello NPW-lovers,

1. correction
I think that a correction on the acknowledgements to Buck Childers and Mel J. (I suppose) is needed. They took the measurements of Nasa without any changes in the first published plans of Buck and Mel. I saw the nasa-report on the extensive testing Nasa did with the NPW in 1968 in the windtunnels at Langley research centre. No significant changes can be seen between their testreports and the plans on the kite-version. Just the L/K is smaller. Ofcourse I do acknowledge to Mel and Buck their initiative to publish the NPW as a kite for the first time. Even then there is this guy (Cees) who was seen as the first to fly the NPW as a kite: he gets my credits for using this model as a kite for the first time. Cees doen’t kite anymore, for as far as I know, this is a shame because he seemes to be creative enough to recognize a kite when he sees something else…

2. Bibliography
In one of the coming weeks I will publish some of the researchresults on the NASA-publications in the 60’s. Not only for the sake of the NPW-entousiasts, but also it could be interesting for those working on delta-shaped foils. In a theoretical way of looking the NPW is just a delta with a rectangular mid-adjustment. I had to do quite some research on finding the relevant reports, because of a lac of cooperation of some other kiter(s): commercial interest in the NPW makes them non-cooperative. So I had to find my own way and since I don’t like people to keep information for them self, I soon will give away all relevant bibliografic information. Just waiting for some reports to arrive, so I can check myself what they give for us!!

3. virtual innovation network
In the mean time some people keep trying to improve the NPW, by adjusting bridles so the shape changes. If you have succes (or don’t) please keep on senidng it to this newsgroup. All information on the NPW-improvement or history, I would like also on my special email-adres for this:
Let’s see or it is possible to make some kind of innovationnetwork on the NPW’s. The first step would be that everyone publishes everything he or she finds out about the NPW. An example would be the guy who did some testing with a NPW with additional spars. He promised us the results to come. Keep on going like that!

This would be a great help for all kiters: keep on sharing your ideas on the NPW! I would guess that this is specially relevant for the NPW because it is a good example of the ‘poor-mans’ kite with great perfomance and even what we call a ‘backpackersdream’.


Self launching my sky tiger

I am new to buggying and having an absolute blast. I have tried to stake down the handle on my sky tiger 40 while I set it up. The trouble is that it keeps trying to take off on me before I get back to the handles.What am I doing wrong? Any words of advice appreciated. Anne


Shortening the bottom lines may be the key, however if the Tiger is flying good for ya then that may not be the thing to do.
When you put the handles around the ground stake try just putting the loops of the brake lines around the stake. This way as the kite is grounded, the brake lines are being pulled thus not allowing it to fly.

btw, I agree, the Tiger 40 is a Grrrrrrrreat buggy engine!
V. Bobrosky


Stake down the bottom lines not the top ones and lay the kite down TE into the wind with the LE just pulled in a littleso it does not inflate by itself. This way you should be able to leave it till Christmas comes and it won’t take off though it might still go “frumpy” on you and tangle the lines a little if left unattended for to long though it shouldn’t happen to often.


If you are at the beach then lay the kite out flat with the trailing edge at right angles to the wind and kneel on it. Then pile a little sand all along the trailing edge, walk calmly back to your handles and give a little tug. Voila!

Flying from a crane

AhClem0013 wrote:
>> It is fantastic. We’ve flown from all sorts of high things the
>> most fun of which is a firetower, platform. Almost no
>> obstruction of wind, full wind window! Fighter kite flying
>> was the best, with the kite far below in the woods!
>> Sport kite awsume as well!

We had a little thing going called “BARF” (Bridge and Roof Flyers) back a while. There was a whole load of us. AP was there along with Noel (Curly) from OZ, Paul Jobin (Team with no name), Jeremy Boyce and the rest of the team and many, many more.(If you want your name here, shout up). We also had quite a few guest flyers to go with our band of about 20 hardcore. Flyers coming over for festivals in the UK would stop by and have a fly with us. I remember Andy King bringing Jon and Jill from Paint the Sky down to Tower bridge in London for a fly with us. The police turned up and Andy did a runner, didn’t think he could run that fast ;o)

Anyway. We got into this whole thing one summer after flying off Clifton suspension bridge on the way to Bristol festival the year before. This was when Andy Preston and I were the Urban Nomads (Pairs) and were going around to festivals in his camper van. We were driving over the bridge when it just struck us. Stopped the van and set it up. Clifton bridge is a really high bridge, so we just let the kite out on the pairs line. 150ft long and nowhere to land, it was amazing. We got the other kite out and did a little pairs thing, stalling below yourself if a blast.

We managed to do most of the bridges in London over the summer. We’d do it around the rush hour on a Fri’ evening. Had loads of city types to watch then. Along with the bridges we did a few other things to warrent the name BARF. One of them was to fly off the Nine Elms Cold Store Building. This is a shell on the south bank of the river Thames, nine floors high as the name suggests. The wind was coming down the river, so you could fly watching the MI5 building and the Houses of Parlement. We took a vid’ along with us to shoot it all and had a ball. The problems started when we lined up for the photo call. By this time it had got dark and we had to use the flash. A passing police van with about 12 cops in it saw this and shone their massive light up at us. Through the bull horn came “Stay where you are”. Right, we were off. As we made our way down the stairs we could see the police making their way round the building, each flight they would be a little nearer. As we came down the last flight they were coming over the 10ft wall and looking very mad. “Stop where you are and put the bags on the ground”. Seems the problem was the bags looked like they could have had guns in them and as I said, we were looking over the Houses of Parlement and the MI5 building (That’s not there by the way, at least that’s what “they” say). After a lot of sweet talking we managed to get out of trouble and even ended up having quite a laugh with the cops. Kites was the magic word, people find it hard to stay mad with you when kites are involved.

One of the other places we flew off, was the ferry on the way to Holland that year. The wind was up that night and we were heading staight into it, so that along with the speed of the boat, made it a kicking night. We had a Flexi Impulse on about 50ft of 300Lb line hanging off the railings at the back of the boat. Now we knew why it was called that ;o) The thing was solid at the edge of the window and a blur in the middle. You headed into the middle with a plan of what you wanted to do and just did it on impulse. If you thought about it, it was too late. Mike (Yole) Simmons was over that year, he loved it.

Bridge flying is a blast, watch out for the boats though.

Kite lines binding

I have recently had problems with my lines binding after
> only a few turns. >Does anyone have any answer to what
> I can use on the line to stop this

Hi Steve
you did not mention what sort of lines you are using….if its dacron, then that’s to be some what to be expected. if they are spectra then when is the last time you cleaned them? the Berry-Blue line is pretty slick there was a good article in the last “KITE PASSION” mag about spectra lines, try to find a copy.

Armor-all (SP) the car cleaner, works good. put some on a rag and walk from one end of your line to the other wiping the lines as you go. wipe off excess, so that the lines will not pick up any loose dirt. if you are using Kevlar, get some spectra.
Regards tom A. the “KITEMAN


Steve..Just caught your post..Are your lines dirty or sandy?..If so you should wash them..I stretch mine out and walk them back and forth through a bucket of warm soapy water then clear water. My co-flyers laugh at me but it helps..once they are clean you can try silicone sprayed on a rag then walk them through it.I’ve used Scotchguard with good results.It helps.
Art Cross


You could try reversing the lines ie. attach the end that has the handles to the kite and the handles to the other end. This results in a different point of contact where the line normally wraps on its self
Jim Aune Topeks KS


Hi Steve, hi folks.

Beside dirt, lines can be subjected to binding because of false wraps caused by twists. Usually this binding will be more pronounced in ligther winds when the lines are not subjected to great tension.

Look at the line from the end (putting the kite in the sun to look at line lengthwise will help). If your lines have the look of a looong corckscrew you have a problem.

1 – Unwind your lines.

2 – Separate them and lay them on the ground. Separate means that you keep at least 10 feet between the lines.

3 – Attach one line end to some anchor.

4 – Pinch the line between two fingers or finger nails.

5 – Starting from the anchor, slowly walk the line while pinching until you get to the other end (which you let free of course).

6 – If you see that the line curls a lot while you are approaching the end, you know that the cure is working (and if you kept a good distance between your lines this curly line will not catch the other line lying down and waiting to be treated).

7 – Repeat as many times as needed to eliminate this curling effect as much as possible.

8 – Repeat steps 3 to 7 with the other line.

9 – Check for lines length because the milking operation will probably shorten the lines (which are often a hollow braiding, like spectra for example) and quite often the change in length will not be equal for bothe lines.

10 – Restretch your lines if needed to equalize them (you will most certainly need to do that).

That’s it. This procedure was called milking the line by Ron Reich in his book “Kite Precision”. Ron also suggest you use some hard objects to pinch the line thus saving some wear on you fingers and/or finger nails. Probable causes and how to avoid or at least minimize this problem in the future.

The cause number one is the way the lines are wounded. For example, if you wind your lines on a winder while holding the winder with the left hand and winding the lines with the rigth, take note of which way you wraps the lines around. Then, while unwinding, make certain that you unwind in the reverse direction. If not then you will add two twists for every turn around the winder. One while you winded and one more while unwinding.

This happen quite often when you have a rigth handed person winding and a left hander unwinding. Or vice-versa. A safe way to avoid that problem is to wind in a figure eigth pattern. And if you lend your lines to someone, ask this person to wind in a figure eigth when finished.

Another cause is after a line breaks or gets disconnected from the tow point. Then, the other line may endure many twists before the kite gets on the ground. Then the other line will not have those twists. Milking the twisted line may prevent future problems.

And finally, one suggestion I remember from the Revolution video that came with my Rev I is to alternate the attachment of the line between the kite and the handles to avoid having always the same spot suffering the wraps. This goes for dual liners as well as quads.

Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire

Brazilian Fighters

> I need some help trying to bridle these two brazilian
> fighters my mother-in-law brought back from her trip to Rio.
> Kevin “WindRider” Adkins

I don’t have first-hand experience with them, but Geoff Crumplin describes a ‘close to traditional Brasilian fighter kite’ in his excellent book on fighters, “Not an Indian Fighter Kite”. There is a construction plan for a Carrapeta, and a discussion of 5-sided Pipas kites. (Picture a rokkaku-like shape with the top part missing.) Mr. Crumplin points out that the Brasilian Pipas do not fly like the Indian kites you refer to, being quite light in pull and relatively easy(ier) to fly.

While in general a tail stabilizes a one liner and most fighters, Crumplin states that for the Brasilian fighters tails can be used to induce *in*stability and increase manoeverability. His plans suggest a 3.5 metre ribbon tail for a kite of 60 cm x 46 cm.

But you asked about bridles, didn’t you? The Carrapeta plans show a two-legged bridle, one leg anchored to each of the intersection points of the spine and the upper and lower cross spars. The suggested bridle lengths are 42 and 48 cm for the upper and lower legs respectively. You should be able to scale these dimensions to suit the size of your kites, at least for starters.

Hope that helps. Don’t forget to take pictures before you head out 🙂
Michael Raycraft


Hello From Brazil –
I assume you are talking about the 5 sided kites that are the de facto Standard here in Brasil. The bridle for these is very simple – a single line connected to the top and bottom of the main spar… with appropriate slack – maybe 7 inches from the plane of the kite out towards the pilot. then connect your line to this “bridle” about a little less 2/3 of the way up… tuning is necessary for correct flight.

Send me a personal mail if you have more questions about this type of kite – Flying tends to be tricky at first as these kites are meant to be unstable so as to permit better control

Changing a 2-line into a 1 line

Quiddity wrote:
> the desert island post got me thinking, and being unwilling to
> experiment with expensive equipment thought i’d ask here.
> would it be possible to turn a standard type stunter (for arguments
> sake lets say a jam session) into a 1-liner. and if you could would
> it be as simple as attaching a 2-foot line to the
> front-spreader/centerpost junction and the other end to the
> rear-spreader/centerpost junction, and finding the correct spot on
> this attached line to connect the mainline to.

Hello all,
I’ve been juggling with this idea myself and am willing to share my thinking. Keep in mind that these are hypotheses, not field proven concepts.

Ther’s a big difference between a single line delta and a dual line delta: The dual line is flat, while the single line has both wing at an angle one from the other. ie: seen from the front: single line: \/ dual line: — the angle between both wing is achieved usually by having the spreader BEHIND the skin, not attached to the spine. Thus, with wind pressure, the wings tend to bend back, achieving the angle. Same thing when you bind a Rok’s spreader. this angle allow ther kite to be more stable because when it turns allong it’s spine, the lowered wing offers more surface to wind pressure,

/ ____/

/\ || wind

witch tends to bring back till it balance. \ / \ / \/

So, for a dual line, you would nedd to connect the spreaders Behind the skin, and Use a tubular ferule on the lower spreaders instead of the center T connector. This would allow the skin to be pushed back by wind pressure. If you have stand-offs, you should leave them in your bag or tape them to your skin if they are fixed to it.

Personnaly, since I would have to remove my stand-offs, I’m expecting my thus ‘Unfolded’ skin to be sligthly wider. So I would Use a longer spar for my lower spreader. If you want to experiment, you can use a woed dowel. If you have a long enough one, you can even do without the ferrule connector.

A tail could also add stability.

Finally, a single liner usually has a keel. either skin or string. The approach you propose would allow you to have a ‘string’ keel. The tie points would have to be the T connector as you mentionned, even if there would be no lower spreader attached to it; and the nose of your kite. If you don’t have any tie points on your kite’s nose, you can tie a short string between your upper spreader connectors, and tie your keel string to the middle of this short string. Then you could fiddle with the tow point allong your keel string.

Hope this helps, P.B.

Hi folks.
While testing a single line kite prototype last Christmas time I fiddle with the bridle a lot to have that thing flying. Well, it flew in very ligth wind (around 5 km/h) but I had to move the tow point up by a wide margin. Then, as the wind picked up (or if I pulled somewhat on the line) the kite rose past the zenith and slowly glided down to earth. Funny, because that kite is a 10 time scale-up of a paper airplane 🙂

I then moved the tow point down until the kite flew fine … if the wind stayed constant. If the wind died a bit the kite would simply glide back down to earth and eventually land on its tail.

The idea I have developped since then is to use a dual line set and attach one line to each of the two bridle attachment points. Then, using either a long Rev handle or a longer handle made from a piece of broomstick I will be able to change the angle of attack of the kite while flying it at the same time.

Of course, that preclude me from leaving the kite unattended but it makes for more interaction than with a classical single liner.

This also provide two easy ways of landing the kite. Pull on the back of the kite to land it tail first or pull on the front of the kite to have it go over head and glide back to a landing. Be cautious not to land it too far behind you, that may scare some bystanders 🙂

My question is : Is that have already been tried and if so what was the success ?

Anyway I hope to testing that this coming weekend and if it works I migth attach two line sets together to get more altitude. Maybe three line sets if I am crazy enough 🙂

Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire


I hope you won’t take this the wrong way. but this reminded me of a comment made to me by the late Doug Hagaman. He said that a dual line kite is a test of the kitefliers skill, while a single line kite is a test of the kitemakers skill.
Steve Millspaugh

Illy & Fanatic standoff snags

For those of you who are snagging around your outer standoff tabs, which has cost me a spreader on my Illusion, I offer this. Tie light line to the upper speader/leading edge junction. Tie the other end on to the lower bridle line approximately half way between the leading edge, and the point where the next bridle junction is. Length is not critical other than the line must be long enough to leave the lower bridle line straight when you pull the tow point in, and down. You don’t want to change the bridle geometry that Mark has worked so hard to get, you just want to keep the lower line from having the reach when slack to get to the standoff tabs on the sail. This line will not have any tension on it, and will not alter the way your kite flies. All it will do is get rid of those annoying snags that could be potentially harmful to your kite.

C-Quad antecedent

Flipping through Moulton and Lloyd’s “Kites – A Practical Handbook”, new edition (1997), my jaw dropped to my knees when I saw the plan for the Richard Hewitt Flexkite. There it was, a crescent-shaped kite, described as a ‘quarter-moon profile’ in the book. Curved leading edge, of fibreglass rod; straight trailing edge; dowels acting as stiffeners or battens across the chord of the kite; single skin. A single-liner apparently introduced in 1978, it would tend to bend around almost to a circle in strong winds, perhaps due in part to the limited battens and narrow 2-point bridle as well as the flexible leading edge rods (thus its name)…

I haven’t done much reading on the history of development of the C-quad, but the similarities are interesting, particularly in profile. Is there anything to this?

Anyone flown the Chevron

> Has anyone ever flown the Chevron flexifoil?
> Where can they be purchased? How much?
> > > Ed Grant

The Chevron is not a Flexifoil (brand) kite, but a very well built, well flying two line power kite. Very few were/are built, mostly for friends and acquaintances of its inventor, Andrew Beattie. Current owners of the kite are some of the world’s best buggiers and traction flyers.

Great kites. I have a 10 sq meter one for sale. “Wet” bridle (overstrong), for kite sailing. I’d take $450 for it–it’s worth twice that…
Dave Culp


He he…
The Chevron was a kite made by Andrew Beattie. While I believe he did make a few to sell, they were never in production. (correct me if I’m wrong, guys). Steve Bateman had one for sale forever, but you just missed it – it finally sold. If you ask around (on r.k, or the Kite classifieds page ), I bet you could find someone willing to part with one. Andrew himself seems to have gotten out of kiting recently.

One other thing, and I hope you won’t take this the wrong way, but Flexifoil is the name of a specific kite (in a range of models) and the name of the company that produces and sells them. Technically, the Chevron is a parafoil…and even that description can be nebulous. Inflated traction kite is perhaps the most desctiptive (although wordy). What about it guys and gals? Is there a more succint way of saying “parafoil traction kite”?
Enjoy! Gene Matocha

Looking for a stunt kite bigger than 11′

SOUPMAN67 wrote
> This may sound crazy but, I have a 11 foot Pandora
> by Flying Wings and I am looking for something bigger.
> I have looked on many web sites and havent found
> anything.I have been flying this kite for a while now
> and like the flight characteristics of big delta stunt
> kites.Any ideas would be appreciated.

I found a used one at the Kite Auction

Here is the information it has:
Manufacturer: Highfly kite co.
Model: Highfly Giant 18ft.
Price: $200

Fly the biggest stunt kite on the beach. Only flown a few times. 18ft.wingspan,6ft.tall. You should see this in an axel! For more info.e-mail me.$200 or trade w/cash for quad traction kite.

This person’s email: Location: USA, WA


There is a small factory in Germany
they sell directly. Have a look at the balance series
Be careful with these kites, as beyound bft 3 the Balance XL, (width 3.6m, height 2.0m), which is not the largest one, is told move a heavy weight man like a doll.
Greetings, Stefan


For a stunt kite: Elmo or extra large Magnum Opus which has a 12 ft. wingspan

Wingspan: 120″ Height:54″ Weight: 15.7 oz. Windrange: 3-18 mph (carbon frame) Sail: Icarex Skill level: Intermediate/advanced competition

For a single line delta check out Sky Delight Kites at:


OOp’s *****
The Elmo is really 12′.The regular magnum opus is 120″, There for the spec’s at the bottom. These fine kites are from Shanti:

I know for a fact that Fly-Away Kites at 1-800-29-Kites or
sellsall Shanti Products.


Hi soupman
Prism Total Eclipse 9′ Flexi Matrix 9′ Magnum Opus 10′ Flying wings Pandora 10’6″ Ex Lge Magnum Opus 12′ Balance XXL 14′

If you get one please do a review, does the Pandora flex much? How many bridle attachments does it use?
Clean winds


Hi NG!

There is only one on earth who can build large kites for Trick Flight.

Visit Michael Ryll on

He has the Balance XL with 12 foot, the Balance XXL with nearly 15 foot an the True also with 12″.
Have fun!


I make a 14 footer called an Albatross, it’s 3.2 sq meteres (about 35 sq ft) and use it exclusively for buggying, sand ski-ing etc. A friend of mine has actually water skied with it! I also attach a small automatic camera to it when I’m buggying. Take a look at:
Aus $1 = about 63c US so $475 Aus is about US$300, air freight is free. Pick your own colours. Delivery about 10 days.


have a look at
a 20′ span dual line sports kite called the BIG BIKE!
sounds scary to me!


Banshee Kite Company has been around for a long time and produces very large kites, some in the 20ft. range. Check ot their website below.

Banshee Kite Company
Banshee’s 20ft. Pegasus Kite (Picture)


Check out these Aussie made kites made by Bob Dawson …….Pick your own size…… Remember the prices are quoted in Aust dollars so take advantage of the exchange rate and get a great kite for less money. Look at the special bridle setup to ensure smooth flying.

Line Laundry question

Hi everyone – What’s the best way to attach large pieces of laundry to the line of a 18′ delta? I use Kevlar for the single line, and plan to use bridle/HDSpectra loops larksheaded onto the flying line – is this OK, what problems could I encounter?


One minor problem is that the kevlar may cut through the spectra and turn your laundry loose. Other than that, the system sounds fine…. 😉

Generally, we don’t recommend flying on kevlar. On a crowded field, it’s considered impolite, or at least a bit aggressive. Accidents happen. No one is to blame. Why should you use something designed to protect you by damaging the other fellow…

Besides, the stuff is hard to handle – especially on a hard pulling kite. And if your laundry swings around over the line, you’ll damage your own stuff!

As for attaching laundry, we use small carribeners. Just wrap the line around them two or three times. When the flying line is slack, they slide freely. When there is tension on the line, they lock nicely into place.

Hope that helps! Have fun!!


Hope I didn’t seem impolite myself. Many people still use Kevlar. But the rest of us have to watch out for them.

I tend to prefer a good dacron line. Just as Kevlar is abrasive (and expensive), Spectra is too easily cut (and expensive). And both are pretty thin for their strength, which is good at reducing drag but mighty hard on your hands. On kite large enough to take up laundry, I use a thicker line that I can put my hands on without hurting… Usually, the kite has no problem lifting it.

Nylons and polys are ok, but dacron has less stretch. A bit of stretch isn’t a problem with single liners. It helps protect your anchor (or you) when the line absorbs gusts. But you don’t want so much stretch that a tug on the line is absorbed by the line before it reaches the kite.

Remember, single liners are a lot different then maneuverable kites. You have more line out, but don’t need expensive lines like kevlar and spectra because you don’t have to worry as much bout stretch and drag. (Worry a bit, but not as much).

> The caribiners don’t wear out the flying line ?

When the line is twisted around the caribiners, there is no movement and therefore no wear.

Hope that helps! Have fun!!


Hi folks.
When I attach line laundry, not too big, I use a short pigtail attached to the kite line. To make one just follow the recipe below. I have posted that before but here it goes:

1 – Cut a length of about 18 inches (450 mm) of dacron line.

2 – Fold in two

3 – Tie a overhand knot at the joined ends

4 – Larkshead to kite line, but add three or four extra turns, making certain that the knot will be at the free end of the loop

5 – Pull tight. The friction of these turns around the kite line should prevent any slipping.

Voila, you have a nice pigtail hanging from the kite line for any laundry you want to attach with a larkshead and a nice knot ready to act as a stopper for that larkshead.

For example I use 80 pounds dacron attachment loops on a kite line of 250 pounds. I can attach a medium size triple helix (about seven feet diameter) with that setup without any problems (up to 25 mi/h wind).

Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire


I spend a fair amount of time flying some large kites, attaching laundry. With smaller pieces of laundry, a pigtail larksheaded directly on the line may work just fine…or, a small ‘biner larksheaded on may work well, too. An alternative with the ‘biner is to wrap the line about 5-6 times around the ‘biner.

However, when flying laundry with lots of drag (large wind wheels, or a 120’ GeoTube) I find that any possibility of friction on a “straight” line can be trouble, i.e., a pigtail or ‘biner may wear through the line. I’ve tried a lot of things and something that hasn’t failed me yet when flying my Bulldog 75 in 15-25 mph winds with a 13′ or 16’ wind wheel attached (trust me…they pull HARD) is simply to tie a loop into the line with an overhand knot and THEN larkshead a ‘biner to this loop. I’m using 1000 lb. dacron line in this case. I’d guess that it would work with laundry that doesn’t pull as hard.

I’ve always had a pigtail or ‘biner attached directly to a straight line eventually wear through the line with hard pulling laundry attached…I’ve learned the hard way on this one.

Remember: always fly large, hard pulling kites/laundry safely…various tips have been posted in here regarding same…Have fun…
Steve Rezac


Try using a small wire clip shaped like so for smaller toys, although a large one could be made

———————-0 <—closed ring I I I <— 50mm I I L

with a few turns around the vertical leg and the line toy joined to the ring with a swivel and can be left on the toy. This has the advantage of not straining the flying line with a knot or twists. It also can be removed easily with tension on the flying line.
Nobby Salter

Gloves or not

>> allways use gloves.

> Extremley bad advice. Have you ever seen Peter Lynn
> wearing gloves? Let’s wonder why. Do you think he has
> much big kite experience? Hmmmmmm. […] Simple.
> Never fly a kite that you are not prepared to let go of.
> Gloves are good for gardening, not for flying kites.

At first I wondered whether Dean’s comment was directed only at big kites, but the last line seems to be a generalisation. In any case, it seems to challenge traditional thinking in some quarters. For example, I can’t picture a rok battle without a pair of gloves, if I had my druthers. I’ve been burned in the past.

The point of protection merits further discussion. (I’ve modified the subject header to reflect this.)


Well, Lets examine this from the perspective of the kite line…

1) Line is attached to “BIG” kite… line is 1/2 inch thick and is more abrashive than it is sharp.. gloves optional

2) LIne is attached to “MEDIUM” kite… line is 1/4 inch thick and is becoming more sharp and still retains abrashion properties… gloves becoming more important.

3) Line is attached to “Small” kite… line is 1/16 inch thick and is very sharp and also retains abrashion properties… gloves are very important.

4) Any size kite… Agressive flying…. line thickness not concerned with… given enough force “ALL” size lines are potential flesh sawing aporatus’s. Wear gloves… they are easier to replace than a finger or two.

Last note: Make sure you know the safety concern’s of wearing gloves and use them safely… ie… don’t depend on the glove and wrap the line around your hand(s). The line should be held tight enough to hold the kite but loose enough that it is easily let go of to prevent injury.

later 🙂


For background, I often fly large kites, including a 100 ft. Trilobite and Bulldog lifters, as well as hard pulling wind wheels…all of which can do interesting/dangerous things with line.

Whether or not to wear gloves when handling line of any size, I find, depends on the circumstances. Common sense must prevail here. If wind conditions are such that the line *isn’t* much of a threat, i.e., won’t likely result in a running line or a pulling line, I handle line without gloves all the time, with even the largest of kites. On the other hand, if I’m letting line out in conditions that may result in a short line run, I wear gloves and keep my attention keenly focused on line status (a short line run with gloves feels LOTS better than a short line run on bare hands)…having taken the necessary precautions with anchoring, etc. If I’m wrestling a well anchored line in gusty, shifting wind conditions, you better believe I wear gloves…I ALWAYS have them handy. If I’m flying a fighting rok…depending on wind conditions, yes, I wear gloves.

I find there aren’t any hard and fast rules about wearing gloves that apply to every situation…situations can vary quite a bit…but here are a few my personal rules: always anchor your kites *very* well (take NO chances here); next, keep gloves handy, in the event you need them; never wrap line around fingers, wrists, arms or legs for any reason, in any wind conditions; never hang on to “uncontrolled running line” for any reason, with or without gloves; avoid having a large amount of loose line between your hands and your anchor in gusty/higher wind conditions; use proper equipment and hardware for handling hard pulling line (various rock climbing aids have a place in my equipment bags, including slings, carabiners and pulleys…I use pulleys for “walking down” large, hard pulling kites); use line stronger than you think you’ll ever need…it’s much better to be safe than sorry.

In short, do not underestimate the danger of running line or hard pulling line. Plan ahead for your saftey and the safety of those around your sky art.
Steve Rezac


This would be basically the same problems you have when rope climbing. If your hands are toughened, you are going to go hand over hand, and you can grip the rope properly, then by all means gloves are optional. If your hands are softer, the rope will damage your hands. If you can not get a good grip on the rope, gloves may help. If you are going to let the rope slide in your hands, you better wear gloves, but remember, where gloves that you can shake off your hands, because what many people don’t understand is that the same friction that burns your hands with rope burns, will also heat the gloves. A little sliding of the rope isn’t a problem, a lot of sliding of the rope leaves you wearing a heater that will burn you, but not as bad as that rope on your bare hands would have.
WT Michael Raycraft


Hi Michael, and all….
I PREFER gloves when flying anything, even if it seems like overkill at the time… I’ve been seriously burned and cut by kite-line on more than one occasion, and would MUCH rather put the wear & tear on the gloves rather than on my hands!

hey, if you’re talking a little cube kite on 20-lb flying line, it might not be necessary, but if you’re flying anything big enough to hoist some line-laundry, <<I’D>> wear gloves 🙂


The fact that Peter Lynn never uses gloves seems to have impressed Dean Jordan and Andrew Beattie, among others, as an unanswerable argument against their use. But Peter seldom flies anything smaller than my house, and in such circumstances gloves will of course be little help. Then too, Peter makes and flies kites for a living, as does Dean, and I imagine their hands are tougher than most gloves. There was a time, thirty years ago, when I’d have been better off with my bare hands than with most gloves. Except for my left fingertips, my hands are soft these days. So I offer the following to newcomers, since old-timers are going to do what they want anyway. I offer it tentatively, and invite criticism, since I have little experience with anything over 85 sq. feet.

It’s worth mentioning that the things to guard against are (1) cutting, (2) burning, and (3) maiming. Extreme cases of the first two can amount to the third, but the third can happen even without the first two (crushed hands, broken wrists, and worse.)

(1) Thin line, whether glass or Dacron, can cut your hands easily, even with a small kite, unless you’ve got callouses to protect you. Thin line can cut many gloves, too. Don’t use thin line on a kite with significant pull. At least I don’t.

(2) Even with gloves and 500# Dacron, a 50 sq. foot kite can, if you’re careless enough to hang onto the line while it runs, burn you badly, even if it DOESN’T cut through your glove. Lots of folks have discovered this fact to their grief. Just because your glove isn’t cut, doesn’t mean your hand won’t be burned. And line can, natch, also cut through most gloves, leading quickly to maiming, which see. To avoid these problems, let go. Try to have your kite anchored beforehand, but let go anyway.

(3) Gloves tempt you to take a hitch around your fingers, or your hand, to tension the line for altitude gaining yanks. You’re usually told NEVER to take a hitch or two around your hand, but this, to me, is a major benefit of wearing gloves. BUT: you have to be dead sure that you’ve got a kite that won’t crush your hand, and you should have a dead reliable anchor just behind you, so the line can’t run, OR you should have a kite that can’t get away from you, like a small roq. This shouldn’t be a tricky call – if there’s the slightest doubt, don’t do it. If you’re new to kiting, or new to the site, or new to the particular kite, don’t do it. If it’s a big kite, don’t do it. Dean’s right that you should always be willing to let go, and once willing, you have to be ABLE to let go. So it’s best NEVER to take a hitch around your hand until you’ve got experience with the kite involved, in varying winds. Then too there are places prone to sudden gusts — beaches, deserts — where this should never be done no matter what. Here in Michigan, among the trees, you can hear a gust coming some way off. You’ve got to pay attention, though. Just as a caution: wrapping the line over a finger with a big kite can result in having the meat pulled off your fingerbone — the kind of injury you get when thrown from a horse with the reins around your finger. It’s a horrible injury. Lizards tails will grow back, as will about a third of your tongue, but finger meat won’t.

There is one fairly cogent argument against ever taking a hitch around your hand, which is that once you get in the habit of doing it, you’ll find yourself doing it without thought, in inappropriate circumstances. It’s truer than you’d think — I’ve caught myself starting to take a hitch when I shouldn’t have. But I did catch myself. I still don’t think it means you should treat every kite like a Megabite.

Broken spars

Hi Randy

> I went into a turtle and could not get out…

Funny that you should say that. I friend of mine recently bought a Jam Session and was suffering from the same problem. I gave the kite a quick spin (30mins, or so) and found that the usual “push a bit, wait a bit then sweep your arms” method of de-turtling wouldn’t work. The only way I could get the kite back into normal flight was to get half way through a Lazy Susan then flip the kite downwards, OK in itself but not too handy for Flapjacks or other turtle type thingies near to the ground.

I mailed Dodd. My mail and his reply are below, snipped where appropriate. To my mind, at least, my thoughts about the wind pushing against the back of the sail seem to the one that makes the most sense. (See comment on 3D.)

Me to Dodd…
The kite seems very reluctant to come out of a turtle. The normal method of pushing forwards then sweeping your arms backwards just doesn’t work. It seems as if a part of the bridle is catching on the trick line, the lower spreader or the inner standoff connectors. Dave, the owner, decided to take off the trick line to see if this would improve things. It didn’t. The only way that I’ve been able to get the kite out of the nose away / belly up position is to perform a half Lazy Susan then pulling. This works fine but it does mean that you’ve got to be careful when doing backflip manoeuvres near the ground.

It seems to me as if the wind is preventing the kite from flipping back into regular flight; when you sweep backwards all you do is to pull the kite towards you. Or maybe this motion is caused by something snagging on something else.

Is this behaviour inherrent in the design? In not, are there any bridle adjustments or, heaven forbid, any changes in tecnique you could suggest? I haven’t really flow the kite for long enough to experiment.

I have flown the Jam Session for about 30 minutes only but, for what it’s worth, I find it very sluggish. It’s almost as if the kite is suffering from turbo lag or that your flying using Dacron lines. Maybe it’s just the feeling I get changing over from the Fanatic that I usually fly. Having said that, when I’m prepared to give the kite some time to do its own thing it’s pleasant to fly.

Dodd to me…
Normally the method is how you decribed and works. Maybe it is a new production of the Jam. It is not a Dodd Gross Design Logo? If it is in fact

HQ, maybe they changed it some when they decided to re-produce it after seeing my new one.

Check to make sure the trailing edge lines up with the bottom spreaders. Maybe it is out of alignement.

Me to Dodd again…
Thanks for the info. I don’t know whether it’s one of your designs or not or if it’s been doctored. The more I think about it the more it seems as if the wind is pushing against the back of the sail as I said in my previous mail.

I was flying my 3D today and had a similar problem when the wind dropped to zero. On trying to pull out of a backflip, having done a Lazy Susan or three, the kite drifted towards me when I swept my arms back. This is what you’d expect but normally the wind would catch the kite and flip it back into flight. This didn’t happen since there *was* no wind. I was more easily able to see what was going on as I was only 15-20 feet away from the “action zone”.

Illusion Sail Tension

I guess this is a question for you Illusion-ists out there. I just got a new “custom” ’98 Illusion from Gone with the Wind Kites and I am having trouble tensioning the sail as described in the enclosed “documentation” (Field Card).

The first assembly step is:

“Tension sail at wingtips as shown. Sail should be smooth and tight along the leading edge.”

The picture shows the knocked end of the wing with a loop of line with two knots at one end. The line runs through the end of the sail and the looped end goes onto the knock. Then the sail is tensioned and the knotted end is attached to the knock at the inner knot. (Hope that makes sense)

1. It is very hard to get the knotted end (even at the outer knot) onto the knock. The leading edge spars bow dramatically when I was able to get one tensioned as described. Is this normal? Are the leading edges of the Illusion bowed that much?

2. After completing the assembly, I thought the bottom spreader was bowed out more than other kites I own or have seen. Is this bowing normal too or is it supposed to be flat(er)?

Thanks for your help.


Yes, the Illusion has tons of bowing in the leading edge. The sail between the tip and the nose should be flat when it is assembled. Sometimes, when the kite comes, the loop length of the tensioner’s is too short making it impossible to get the loop over the knock. That happened on tip of each of my Illy’s. You may have to untie the knot furthest from the ends and retie it. Ideally the length should be just slightly long than it needs to be to get over the knock.

There should be a significant curve on the spreaders. It will look like a frown. This is normal and I’m pretty sure the kite is balanced that way. Prism says you can leave it tensioned, but I take mine apart now. My first Illusion got streatched out from leaving it tensioned, and I ended up getting another.


I had the same deal with my first two Illusions! Before you retie that knot, you might consider an alternative since the sail material and tensioners will stretch over time. What I have found that works great is using a finger tip handle (great for flying Illy’s!). Lark’s head a loop of left over sleeving material onto the handle. Slip the sleeve loop into the nock. Now, pull the tensioner and the finger handle in opposite directions and you should achieve slipping the tensioner into the nock using the factory setting. Your sail will be tight throughout it’s flying days.

May the wind be always at your back (unless you fly indoors!)
The Flyin’ Hawaiian


Agreed. I’d be reluctant to loosen the factory knots on the tensioner. I use either a shoelace (which I have larksheaded to my fannypack line bag) or sometimes just the end of an upper spreader to provide leverage or get a better purchase on the knot to help pull it over the knock. It does get looser with time.


Hi David
I don’t own an Illusion but I do have a Fanatic which, AFAIK, has a similar system for tensioning the leading edges. I have to break down the kite whenever I go flying so that I can carry it in a rucksack.

One day last winter my fingers were too cold to undo the tensioning loops and I had to resort to pushing a small screwdriver through the tensioning loops and pulling. I ripped one of the webbing loops that the tensioning cords are pushed through.

Having had the loop repaired, I decided that there must be a better way to keep the wing tips taught and, more to the point, make them easier to undo.

What I did was to thread a piece of bridle cord (about 10 inches long) through the webbing loop where the shock cord was and tie it off with an overhand knot half an inch or so away from the wing tip. (I tried to make the loop formed by the cord as small as possible.) This left roughly 8 inches dangling out from the wing tip.

What I now do to tension the leading edges is as follows: 1) Pull dangling bit of cord over the nock 2) Thread cord back through the loop where the cord is attached to the webbing – NOT through the webbing loop itself 3) Thread cord back over the nock 4) Pull to tension the sail using the nock as a sort of pulley. This also bends the LE 5) Tie everything off with a couple or three half-hitches

This sounds a little complicated but takes all of ten seconds to do. It can be undone in even less time.

I say “NOT through the webbing loop itself” because the repeated rubbing of the cord against the webbing causes it to fray and eventually rip, putting you back to square one. I haven’t ripped the webbing loop since.

Have a look at
#2 “How do I tension the leading edge on my VAPOR/OZONE?” for a better description of the same thing. Even better, view The Advanced Way to Fly. It shows what I do.
Hope this helps.
Regards James


Hi folks.
I use a similar way to tension my Vapor. I put the tensionning line through the slot on the end cap then thread it back through the attachment loop. This also act as a pulley. When tight I just wrap the loose end through the slot two more time. The friction hold it very well and only two inches of loose line hang out from the wings tips.
Jean (Johnny) Lemire


That’s the correct way! – as shown in the “Advanced way to fly video”. Good tip!


This photo illustration I shot of Mark tentioning a sail should be of help…
Grasp tensioner as shown and using your thumb as a lever, pull tensioner a bit past the tip of the leading edge.
Put the loop ‘over’ the tip – then push the knot ‘into’ the split in the tip. This stops the lines from getting snagged on the knot. Sometimes you need to flatten the knot a bit first. I punch or bite it a littlle to flatten it – which then helps it fit in the slot easier.

Of course after this first setup – things will stretch a bit and if needing to break down the edge and re-tighten it next time – the task is much easier. And to answer the original posters question “YES” it is normal for the leading edge to be bowed! The curvature is an important part of the kites design.
Hope this helps!
Ron Kramer


I’m getting in a little late on this one but here’s what I do to install the tension line: I use a “T” handle tool that I had for installing and removing exhaust header springs from motorcycle engines. It’s a very compact tool with a small wire hook and it works perfectly – especially during winter here in Tehachapi when its 50 degrees and my hands are freezing.

Enjoy your Illusion – I’ve been spending more time with my new Prophecy (practice, practice!) but still break out the Illusion from time to time.
Have fun, Steve

Kite Buggies

Traction problem on grass

From: (DjHvyMtl)
have a series of old force 10 quads for traction and a peter lynn comp buggy w/fat tires. worked great on the beaches but back home in ohio it seems i’m alternatly skidding sideways when wind is gusting, sitting waiting for wind when it isn’t, bouncing my feet off the pegs when i sometimes get going, and in general not having so much fun. how can i improve this situation in ohio short of finding a huge empty parking lot with no light poles, power lines, and trees around it? How about some reasonably priced kites that would perform better closer to upwind? Guess i’m just looking for an excuse to get back to n. carolina coast…


for the bouncing , you just need a flatter piece for grass, or suspension on the buggy. soccer fields, runways at model airplane flying areas etc. tufty grass is useless, unless you can get permission to mow it. in that case, figure out your average wind direction and lay out a triangle such that you have two upwind legs and a crosswind leg. hire a tractor and mower and mow it short, maybe drag a heavy steel beam over it to flatten it……you’ll need a few mowings in spring and early summer, and then grass growth will taper off… we ride on grass often and don’t have too much sliding trouble I must say. but get off the runway and you’re in for a good shaking (-: head out of town to find a nice field, find out who owns it, and hire or borrow it, and get a group of buggiers together to take care of it……

Guess i’m just looking for an excuse to get back to Cquads
I buggy chiefly with my 2.6, unless the wind gets up, then I switch to my homemade Sputnik 2.8….. n. carolina coast…

steam and wind


By all means go back and visit the coast, but until you can, try going to a tire shop and get wheel barrow tires that have tread. They work great in Tulsa after it rains and the grass is slick We found some excellent light weight 2 ply treaded tires for around $10.00 and they last forever on grass. The only problem we have found is sometimes they pull up the grass when you slide hard in them. But I think you would be happy with the performance of the tires on grass.



to stop the feet bouncing off, go get a piece of old bike tube, tape onto the end of one peg , wrap through the fork , then stretch good in tight and back to the other pegs end!!! After you ride like this you will never feel right with out it!! Kind of like riding Naked !!
Good luck!
BUggy BIg!!

Jeff Howard

Buggy with suspension

From: (KitesRFun)
I’ve seen a web site (based in Europe somewhere) that featured a number of suspended buggies, including those with 4 wheels. I was inspired so I sat down with the CAD software and designed a 4 wheel buggy with resprung/recalibrated mountain bike shocks at each corner; it features double A-arms all around and is designed to be built out of titanium tubing. A friend of mine works as a welder at a local titanium plant and is accumulating “scrap” tubing for me in the specified dimensions. He’s promised to build it weld/build the buggy for me if I build a kite for him…gee, what a deal!!! I’ll let you know all know if it turns out…

Steve Rezac
Las Vegas, NV


Some suspension systems have been toyed with in the past but have been mostly abandoned because of all of the extra weight added. For the fastest acceleration on a buggy, you want the absolute minimum buggy+pilot weight with the largest sail surface area (generally). Adding any extra weight to the buggy is only detrimental to both acceleration and top speed. You simply can’t defy the laws of physics.

On the other hand it may very well be a much more comfortable ride but is really not neccessary. Might even take a lot of the fun out of buggying! Now, if you want higher speeds and a real Cadalac ride, at least compared to a buggy, get a land-sailer. I borrow one of Dave Lord’s quite often when we’re at the Alvord Desert, the smaller one is the one I like the best. … way too cool … Just my 2 cents (pfennig, pence, etc) worth.

Michael L.Eason


You Guys really must visit Europe and see the buggies being used by Germans/Dutch etc They ADD weight to ther buggies. In fact at the last European Championships it was ageed to limit this to no more than 30 Kilos (66 Lbs) per wheel. These buggies bare little resembelence to a Peter Lynn Comp. They are alot longer with the pilot sitting well forward of the rear axel which is also substantially wider than on a Lynn. Some of them have suspension as well. I admit Ive not seen these things for my self although ive seen the Advance buggy which has most of these features (except the added weight on each wheel wheel). But I spoke to some UK buggiers who went to the championships who said that when they were using 2 Metre kites the Pilots using these buggies were on 7 metres plus. Some of these buggiers were 200lbs plus and were literally wedged into buggy to stop themselves being pulled out. And yes they were fast.



I talked to some of the guys that David Stanek brought with him who were using the heavier buggys and they also said the same thing. However they didn’t win any races at Ivanpaugh. I can see how the wider stance would help but am unconvinced about the extra weight being an advantage. I have seen many unsound things tried and the users had convinced themselves that they worked when in fact they did not. I would like to hear the theory of how the weight helps. I agree with Mike Eason.

Dave Lord


Hello Dave,
Racing in Europe is quite different than here in the US. The courses are much longer and the number of laps greater. The technique of adding extra weight is advantages for lighter weight pilots when factoring in course considerations. Short sprint courses will always give the lighter weight pilot the advantage due to initial acceleration. Longer length/duration courses only evens the field for all. Although, a light weight buggy would have advantages in specific situations. There are many other circumstances that the addition of weight assists the pilot in performance. Simplified vector analysis shows: (crappy ascii art to follow)

wpeA.jpg (9617 bytes)
Kite Buggying is about the addition of these two vectors. Although this is very simplified, it still makes the point. As the vector K increases the added vectors angle of influence(pull) moves from straight down to a downward angle. (see vector A) As vector K increases the addition of them looks more like vector B. This is what causes people to be ejected/dragged sideways from the buggy. A sudden increase in K causes a sudden change in the added vector and your airbourne. By increasing vector BP, K can increase without approaching vector B. Thus keeping a downward angle of the added vectors sending the power created into the ground rather than being dragged sideways. Of course there is a limit to BP and the balance between the two is important. Since some may not be interested or swayed by the above math, due to it’s simplicity. Lets look at a real world situation.

I am a very heavy pilot (280+) yet I can still keep up with the likes of Jeff, Fritz, Dean, etc… All of these guys weigh approx. 150-180 lbs. I have to overcome a weight disadvantage of 100-130 lbs. Yet I was able to keep up with and at limited times pass all of them during nationals at Ocean Shores. Was my weight a disadvantage or advantage in this situation?

It has been shown in Europe that weight can have an advantage with an experienced pilot. Having a heavyer buggy or adding weight to the buggy allows the pilot to use a larger kite thus increasing the overall force applied to the ground. Design of the seat rails is very important, adding weight to a Lynn buggy would not have the same effect.

The US has been dominated by the Lynn buggies. Just recently other designs have been introduced and from a personal opinion I now prefer the wider and heavyer nature of these buggyies. The design of the seat rails also holds me in the buggy more efficently. The increase in safety and stability helps my confidence level. I have found that tricks like 180’s/360’s are easier for me in these buggyies. Also, I don’t feel like I am going to catch a tire and get ejected.

Kite buggying is still in it’s infancy. Many new ideas are just now being explored. Five years from now, who knows what type of buggies and kites we will be using. Proper application of the many theory’s is the only way to determine what is more effective under specific circumstances.

//Buggy Bison\\

Foils vs Single skins

> Can anyone tell me if/what the (general) performance differences are between
> the soft foil traction kites (e.g.. Ekko, JoJo..), and the single skin ones
> (e.g.. C-Quad, Banshee…). Is there any significant life (length of, not
> spiritual!) difference between them, or problems which arise with one type
> much more than the other? (wind-range, window, speed, weakspots in design,
> fabric stretching…)

This is the question of the moment, isn’t it? Well, the C-Quad performs as well as or better than (depending on who you talk to) the best soft foils. As you’ve probably read, the disadvantages are packability and relaunchability – both of which you will learn to deal with pretty quickly. The C-Quad also currently has some significant quality problems (although some prople report the latest runs have been improved). Broken bridles, connectors, and stitching failures seem to be the most common problems.

As far as expected life span, Andrew seemed to imply Peters line of thinking is that if the kite is reasonably priced, people won’t mind replacing it if it wears out in a season or two. I happen to agree with this line of reasoning. (Note, however, the quality issues I mentioned can manifest themselves in the first few HOURS – even minutes in some cases – of use). I must confess, however,
that I don’t own any commercial soft foils, so I have no idea how long one of them would last.

> Can the m^2 sizes be used as a comparison? (e.g.. would a C-Quad 2.2m^2
> have the same pull as an Ekko 2.2m^2? If so, is the C-Quad a better choice
> since it’s about 55pounds cheaper?)

Hmmm…IMHO, it’s pretty close…though some suggest adding a m^2 to a soft foil for comparison. For example, a 3.2m^2 CQuad = 4.2m^2 soft foil. The price difference is the real kicker…I have never purchased a soft foil because of the high price. I bought two C-Quads. Dispite the quality problems, there is no better traction kite for the money. If you can fix what breaks, you will love the kite.
Best of luck Robin,



G’day Robin and all,
You could do much worse than buy a C-Quad or two. They take longer to learn to fly well, are harder to pack up, but cannot be beaten on performance and even price. If you buggy, then you will find them something of a revelation, especially when you come to grips with the “de-power” capability (connected to a harness is best: tip the top lines back/push the brakes towards kite) which is unique to hybrids. I often buggy overpowered with my hybrids because this allows me rapid acceleration with the ability to reduce sideways buggy slippage (from apparent wind build up on longer speedier runs).

A friend who owns a 1.6 CQ as well as a 3m2 Quadrifoil 2000 series, and 5m2 Peel finds that the useful wind range of his CQ is better (broader) than his two parafoils respectively. In fact, he almost regrets buying the 3m2 QF because he thinks that the 1.6 CQ wind range has so much overlap with it. I haven’t verified this through my own direct comparison of the kites but through my own experience with CQs and my own (similarly performing) hybrid have shown me that they have better wind range than their parafoil rivals. I believe that this is because they have a better L/D ratio and higher Cl at lower speeds (perhaps?).
Please note: None of this tremendous performance is due to the single surface (skin) IMHO. It is more likely due to significant reductions in profile drag (smoother 1st 1/3rd chord etc) and parasitic drag (lines). I know little about the Banshee and cannot comment on its performance. As far as production quality goes Peter Lynn always seems to improve on the hop. Locally (Newcastle, Australia), we have had CQs with new design connectors, sleeved kevlar line butts for the Leading edge line connection, kevlar reinforced leading edge tape and so-on. We get our kites direct from N.Z. (I think) so we get the latest improvements without too much delay. CQs are not getting any worse, they are being rapidly improved. Still, I don’t think that they will last a long as some foils because the introduction of rigid structure introduces more defined stress and wear concentration points. But then again, as Gene mentioned, price is important. As a confirmed hybrid fan, I would also add that performance is also a clincher.

It seems to me that some people are a little perplexed about the hype surrounding the C-Quad. I remember that it took me some time to “get the point” about this radical new form of traction kite. I’ve been flying hybrids since the middle of last year and parafoils since around 1992. Hybrids are not as convenient or forgiving as most parafoils, but the CQ is less expensive, and, more importantly for people like myself, better performing. Like B.M.W. motorcycles, they take more than a “quick run around the block” to work their charm.
Smooth Winds,



Single Skin Power [Update 2] From: (Simon ‘tufty’ Stapleton)
Monday morning, back at work, time for an update. After a Saturday afternoon re-rigging and making modifications, I got the monster out for a second test fly on Sunday.
OK. Turning and speed have been drastically improved by the new, improved brake bridle. While not as fast ‘flat out’ as my ram-air foils, it’s a distinct improvement on the NASA. Turning is still a little sluggish, but this time it turned. This can all be improved on, I think. The battens didn’t fall out due to the new, improved batten pockets. No more need I fear impaling innocent passers-by.

Upwind performance is already fairly awesome. It goes as far as my ram-air foils and further. It’s quite easy to overfly at the top. And it pulls hard at the edge. ‘In the window’ I couldn’t hold it. 15m+ slides before I could get the kite out of the max power zone were commonplace. Heh. Even parked at the top, it was threatening to lift me off the ground.

And on the down side……
Improving the brake bridle has pointed out the woeful inadequacy of the primary bridle. Still too low in AoA, too much anhedral, and TOO MANY LINES. I improved it dramatically on the field, but a redesign is needed. Sigh. The ‘b’ lines weren’t even under tension, while I ripped a couple of seams on the central ‘c’ and ‘d’ line attachment points. Still, should be able to reduce some drag by simplifying the bridle. A new bridle design is even now congealing in my mind. The main spar, previously 6mm excel, is now 4mm grp. And rather too floppy, IMHO. I might scale up, or go back to carbon (ouch, wallet hit). However, when the kite luffs, the spar has a tendency to spring flat, and the kite plummets. Again, I think this can be bridled out to some extent.

My new, improved, batten pockets could bear a little more improvement. Well, OK, a lot. They stick out a bit at the front, and this caused some fairly major line tangles at launch, when the wind dropped, if I crashed it, etc. Similarly, the spar ends need to be kept inside the leading edge pocket. They were another bridle tangle blackspot. Photos from early on in the session will be available as soon as we get them developed and scanned. I might even throw a webpage together. And name the beast. Or something.



I am perplexed by all the hype for the small C-Quads. They are good kites, more efficient than a foil by maybe a factor of 1.5 to 1.75 at least in my experience. I have seen framed kites kick the ass of foils in races. In the World Cup races at Long Beach Wa. Bob Dawson from Austraila used a 2.5 m^2 in very light wind and was at least as fast as any of the 5 m^2 foils. The problem with framed kites is that at a scale of 2.5 m^2 you are getting to be as large as is practical. Peter Lynn started out with framed kites until he realized he could not make them big enough for light wind traction of his boats. The larger C-Quads are indeed a break thru, and deserve some hype, they retain most of the efficiency of a framed kite with out succuming to the scale bubaboo. Ask Dean Jordan or anyone else who was at BBTII at El Mirage a few years ago how fast Nop could go with a large Speedwing (around 2 m^2). He blew the rest of us away. I have a couple of small Banshee kites and they are very efficient so I see no reason the large ones wouldn’t be good also. The other advantage of framed kites over foils is that they have a better MMR as they distort and twist off energy in the middle of the wind window. The C-Quad also shares this advantage over foils. For the guy who wants minimum hassle the foil is king. It is easy to pack/unpack and pretty much bullet proof when it comes to re-launching and I think looks prettier.

Dave Lord

More c-quad questions

From: “michael m. moss” <>
Hi! I did figger out how to get the damned thing back in the bag, but with all that twisting around, my bridles got massively tangled. my next attempt, I used small women’s pony tail rubber bands to hold the top and bottom bridle lines together at the line attachment point separated by right and left side. opened it up tonite to a somewhat smaller mess, but still a mess. tonite when I put it up I larks headed each side to a bridle line close to the leading edge spar. will see what comes of that. What I really want to know, is can I just attach lines and handles, then roll lines up on handles (like I do on normal foils), then wrap and twist the damned thing and shove the handles in the bag after the kite is safely in place? if not, what is the best way to prevent bridle tangles so I dont need to spend a half an hour getting things going.
Thanks for any help.

Mikey luvs ya!


I think this is one of the most vexing problems. If anyone has a better solution, please let me know… but what I’ve been doing is this:
Leave the handles attached. Hold the handles in left hand by the bottoms and wrap the lines overhand around the pads. The last three wraps go between the handles (i.e. perpendicular to the main wraps and jammed in to prevent unwinding). A couple of feet or so of the bridle are also wrapped onto the handles. Now coil up the kite and try to keep all the bridle lines on the front of the kite. Try to avoid letting some of the bridle lines hang over the sides of the kite, letting them hang off the trailing edge instead. Shove the kite into the bag and close the flap with the handles hanging by the bridle lines about a foot out of the bag, maybe just a bit more, on the left side of the velcro. Now tuck the handles into the bag on the right
side of the velcro and stuff any loose lines back into the left side. When unpacking, take the lines out first and try to be careful not to pass the kite thru any bridle lines.
Mine’s a 2.2 so it’s probably a lot easier for me. I definitely want to sew a line pouch onto the bag. I think that’ll do a better job of keeping the handles from going thru the bridle. I haven’t decided for sure, but I think I’ll put the pouch on the inside.

Mark Frasier


Here is what I do. It is a little more time consuming but it ensures 100% no tangles. First I detach the line from the power and break lines. I wind up the break lines on a card winder and then the power lines on the same card winder. Then I take the top bridle connectors and tie them to the top of the center spine spar. First left, then right. Then I take the left break bridle connector and tie it on the left spine spar. Then the right and tie it to the right spine spar. After that it is a simple coil puts it in the bag. Then when getting the kite out next time all you have to do is untie the bridles in the exact opposite order you put them on and there are no tangles.



Well some of Pl’s bags designed for the Cq has a little side bag but I guess yours isn’t one of those so I’ll tell you what I did…. I wasn’t willing to spend the extra $100 for bag and handles at the time since I spent that part of the budget on materials for my single skin hybrid. I had the same probs with bridle tangles the first few times around then added the little handle/lines pouch to my bag. What I do is roll up the lines and put the handles to the LE side of the kite. Fold up the kite and put into the bag TE first so the LE at the lines/handles end is at the opening. Then roll up the remaining of the line+bridle sticking out of the bag onto the handles as well and insert the handles/lines into the pouch and close the velcro so they don’t flop around loosely inside the bag tangling around in the process. When taking out I remove the handles first and unroll it a little before taking out the kite. If I have a helping hand around I might unroll the lines completely before taking out the kite. Haven’t had a tangle since. Biggest problem with stowing the Cq’s is having the handles/lines in the bag with the kite moving around loosely as you move the bag tangling itself with the bridle getting a nice set of pull throughs and whotsit’s happening.

Apparent wind speed on buggies

S.K. Brown <> wrote in message…
:Hi folks,
:Just out of curiosity, has anyone taken a wind speed meter on a buggy to
:measure the apparent wind speed? On a good run, it seems quite strong,
:but I’ve never been able to measure it.
From: “The Professor” <>

Tried it once on an ice rig on our local lake. 31mph reading while on the rig / 19 mph reading standing there just prior to the slide. Remember, watching your kite and not where you are going does not always apply when your
sitting in a moving vehicle, but when you are watching a wind meter and not the kite or where you are going is disastrous. JMO

The Professor

Kite Bridles

Active Bridle for 97 Illusion

From: (Hcbrown1)
Hello all. I was wondering if anyone knew if the active bridle prism makes for the 98 Illusion will work on the 97 Illusion. If anyone knows I would love to hear from you. Thanks.



No, sorry, according to Mark Reed, because the frame dimensions are different on the ’97, it won’t work on the ’97, just on ’98’s and ’99’s. Not that you couldn’t play with it enough to adapt it, of course. The dimensions and instructions for the bridle are at


Hey Hunter,
Unfortunately, not for the ’97, ’cause of the changes made for the ’98 Illusion. If you haven’t upgraded to the ’98 upper spreader position, you really should, as it greatly improves several aspects of the kites performance. All your gonna need is two little slices of heat shrink, and a longer section of .220 pultruded carbon. It’ll take about 3 mins to do, then you can use the new ’99 active bridle if you want.
Talk to ya,



Matt, I’ve just pulled out my ’97 Illusion, and am trying to follow along. How much longer is the upper spreader to be? Are the upper connectors moved down within the existing sail cutouts? If so, how far down? I’m just reading between the lines here, but if you can provide further details or a pointer to a description if it’s already posted somewhere I’d be eternally grateful (as may other ’97 owners who might want to try the change). Actually, I kinda like my kite the way it is already, but if it’s a change for the better, hey…



I modified my ’97 by moving the top LE fittings to the very bottom ofthe LEcutout, and made the top speader 1 inch longer. Does that sound about right? Maybe I’ll try an active bridle and do some tweaking. Anyone wanna share results? How about a support group for owners of discontinued Prism products? I still have grand designs on my Macro Ion, if only I can find the time…

Mike M.
I was told by Prism that it would NOT work.

Bridle Pro Jam (com)

due to a lot of comments and criticism we overworked the bridle of Dodd Gross’ Pro Jam. It spins much tighter an more reliable, now. It should do any trick, too. You can find the dimensions of the new bridle on

Any comment on the new bridle is highly appreciated
good luck

Christoph Fokken
(InVento Production)

Kite Building

Reframing rev with UL spars

A couple of weeks ago, I was asking for recommendations for reframing a rev for zero-wind use.

Well, I’ve now done this — ingredients are:

1: Rev 1.5 SLE. 2: 1 Skyshark 2P spar. 3: 4 Skyshark 2PT spars. 4: 6″ or so of .2100 spar. 5: (optional) 4 .2000 endcaps.

Recipe: Remove original spars. Cut the 2P spar to the same length as the original central spar. Cut two of the 2PT spars to the same lengths as the outer leading edge spars and two of them to the same length as the vertical spars. (okay, this is obvious..)

Put end caps on the lower ends of the vertical spars and outer ends of the leading edge spars. This is optional; however, Dan Whitney (and possibly other people — I got these from Gone With the Wind, though) sells some nice rigid (blue) end-caps that fit very nicely _inside_ the original SLE end caps and outside the narrow end of a 2PT spar. Putting the wide end of the 2PTs as the top of the vertical spars winds up with them fitting pretty nicely into the original SLE fittings — not quite as snugly as the originals, but not loosely enough to be a problem. Shrinkwrap would solve this, I guess.

Ferruling the leading edge is interesting; the ID of a 2PT at the wide end is .2330, but the ID of a 2P is .2100. Taking a bit of 2100 spar and sanding it down a tiny amount means it fits _extremely_ snugly inside the 2P (no glue needed — it’s not going anywhere any time soon. You may not need to sand it down if you’re prepared to push hard enough to get it in; however, sanding it a tiny amount removes the odd thousandth of an inch to make this less forceful). .2100 spars fit a little bit loosely inside the 2PT, but the bungy cord at the ends of the leading edge that the Rev uses holds everything together nicely).

I left the bridle and all the original fittings in place; the idea is that if the wind goes away, I put in the UL spars, and if the wind picks up, I can put the original spars back with the minimum amount of fiddling around.

Total weight of this with new spars is about 150-160g. Removing the bridle and using smaller lighter fittings would trim this down another ounce or so, I’d guess. However, I don’t see any need to do this — flying in zero wind, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it flew. The leading edge tends to flex quite a lot when yanked on too vigorously, but that was mainly when I got caught by a gust of wind when launching — in normal flying it had no problems, and seems perfectly robust enough to not break when crashed. (I tested this.. It didn’t break).

I’m not sure exactly how much effort this needs compared to custom-built SUL Revs, because I’m still getting the hang of it — however, it certainly took less effort than my first dual-line no-wind efforts did. This may be as much a comment on my ability to work out what to do with no wind as the kite, of course.

Flying revs in zero wind is a _lot_ of fun.. I highly recommend this to anyone who’s not tried it yet — doing this as above requires no skill or fiddling around except for a bit of sawing spars down to size, and 2PT spars are surprisingly cheap for how good they are; total cost for the above is about $40-45 or so.

Next step, I suppose, is making extended handles, learning 3-d flying, trying it with no bridle, etc, etc.
— dan


Hi Dan, hi folks.

Way to go Dan. Excellent ideas. What could be done to have a better fit between the .2100 and the 2PT is to increase the diameter of the .2100. I did so with some kites a while back by the following method:

1 – Spread three or four narrow lines of cyanoacrylate glue on the exposed part of the .2100 spar. These lines should be colinear with the spar and evenly spaced around (3 at 120 degrees or 4 at 90 degrees).

2 – Let dry completely.

3 – Sand to obtain a sliding fit.

That way you avoid a loose fit that may provoque spar failure.

Note that if you refrain flying in too much wind this precaution is not really necessary.

Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire

Using 3M 9460 tape in kite making

After extensive experimentation and successful usage of 3M 9460 two-sided tape in kite making, I’ve added a page to my web site about it.

Perhaps some of you might find it helpful.
Steve Rezac

Traction Kite Tech 5

Hi all,
I just added a page about my latest line of development for traction kites. It’s sort of a form of reefing, but with a different goal. Check it out on my page, and let me know what you think…it’s in development, and brainstorming is welcome.

Check out

Enjoy! Gene Matocha



> Hi all,
> I am looking for a strong ‘flexible’ type (that is, not brittle) glue.
> Would like to bond Icarex to Icarex, and Icarex to carbon
> rods/shafts. Does anyone have any recommendations on
> glues to use.
> Thanks,
> Shane.


Should think that a contact adhesive (a rubber solution) would do it. Clean thoroughly first with spirit and maybe roughen the rod surfaces a little with a fine sandpaper.

If you can’t glue it, nail it. If you can’t nail it, screw it.

Ropemaking for Chinese Flute Kite Trailing Lines

Made a new page about ropemaking from natural fibres for the trailing lines Chinese Nantong Whistle Kite. Would need your comments/ criticism etc. Address:
Thanks for your efforts
Uli Wahl

Inkjet on fabric, not ripstop

Found this on rec.crafts.textiles – may be of interest…

Size and material for 1st traction foil

Well, I’ve finally got my Sands Traction Kite Plans and I am going to go ahead and make myself a soft foil or two. However, I have two questions to start with.

1. What should I make the first kite from? I have some P31 iccy, and I may be able to get some P38 also. My initial thought is that I would make the ribs from ripstop nylon (because it is cheap and is less likely to tear) and then make the shell from iccy. Does this make sense?

Bear in mind that I intend to take the kite on holiday with me next month, so the chances are that it will get dumped into the sea a large number of times…

2. Any ideas what would be a sensible size to start with? I am assuming that the winds I’ll experience while on holiday will be fair, but not ballistic and with the possibility of low wind.

Chris Sands gives detailed instructions on how to build the 3m^2 (or is it 3.5m^2) so my guess is that he thinks that this is a good size to be starting with. Would this be in line with your (collective) thinking?



I would say: go for icy P38. Nylon will get wet and eats water like hell. Icy doesn’t. P31 is probably a bit to light for a 3.5m^2, the tension will get to much if you ‘go wild’.

Another real advantage of icy is the way it keeps your foil in shape when it’s on the ground, like it’s inflated. This means: better control, better recovery from collapses and beter launching. Down side is that it just wants to fly, landing needs special attention.

have fun,

Ripstop 3/4 vs. Icky PC31

Hi all,
SBBB convinced me I need to make smaller, stronger kites for high desert winds. All of my kites so far have been in PC-31 or P-31. I ordered a color sample of 3/4 oz. nylon, thinking it would be more durable, but it doesn’t seem that much stronger. It could be that the samples are very small so I can’t get a realistic sense of the fabric weight. I know the PC-31 claims to be as strong as 3/4 Icky (P-38), but I am looking for abrasion resistance as well as tear strength. I’m making a 3.7m^2 and a 2m^2 kite. I was thinking PC-31 for the 3.7, and 3/4oz nylon for 2m^2. Should I go for something stronger? I haven’t yet found a US source for some of the other new (European?) fabrics, like Carrington, Chikara (sp?) etc.
Thanks, Gene Matocha


G’day Gene,
Most of my power/traction kiting is done in stronger winds and consequently, I tend to make smaller kites (Buggying with a 1.8m2 in over 30knots on short lines the day before yesterday! Yaahoooo!!!). I have only ever used ripstop nylon (Carrington K42, Bainbridge Dragon, Dimension and whatever else my undiscerning hands can grab), mostly because of the expense and unavailability of ripstop Polyester (Icarex) locally. I have found that nylon is good in terms of durability to everything other than U.V. exposure. I’ve done a reasonable amount of rollerkiting with my kites and have had them in contact with ashphalt without any real abrasion problems. Nylon is good for parafoils in that it has more stretch than polyester and consequently is less susceptible to bursting or ripping. The downside is that stretch is less desirable for aerodynamic reasons – although it may, overall, be slightly less important that we think IMO. I have used 3/4 oz. without problems on kites up to around 5m2. I haven’t made any kites from Chikara but will probably do so soon as I can lay my hands on some. It is apparently inexpensive, has double sided coating (hydrophobic) and seems to last (friends with C-Quads made in it are not having problems after a fair bit of use). I have also heard about the new Skytex Porche Marine (impregnated) nylon. This sounds VERY good and probably can beat anything else for water resistance. I would love to get my hands on this for my amphibious parafoil project. Good luck with your new kites, Gene!
Smooth Winds,


> We were talking kites, and they asked if we use
> Spectra fabric. I hadn’t heard of this, does anyone know if it
> exists in a kite-usable form?
> Enjoy!
> Gene >

There is a rip-stop polyester with Spectra reinforcement. Construction is similar yo .6 oz polyester, with double lines of Spectra in place of the larger denier polyester fiber of the rip-stop. It is further reinforced with 1/4 or 1/2 mil polyester film (Mylar). final weight is about 1.25 -1.5 oz depending on film thickness. This was originally made for Whitbread offshore racing spinakers. It is obscenely expensive (try 2x icarex), and the supply is exhausted. There is the possibility that it will be milled again depending on the course layout for the America’s cup races. I made a modified Hagaman 80 with this for University of Colorado researchers, who needed a kite that would work in winds in excess of 50 knts. They hope to fly this kite to record altitudes of 35,000 ft this summer. Oh, one other thing, it’s only available in white. The stuff is bullet-proof, but is probably overkill for most kite applications.
Stan Swanson, Condor Kite Co.

Velcro closures on Foils

Hi traction kiters,
Reading Jean Lemire’s idea about using velcro sections in a traction kite to “blow out” instead of the cells raised this thought: how about lengths of velcro in the trailing edge hem?

Instead of sewing the whole hem shut, have sections fastened with velcro. I’m not certain this would help, as the failures I’ve seen were in the risers, the stress at the trailing edge is probably lesser, as the crash tends to balloon the cells outward.

Just a thought…


Been there…done that. My first Sputnik has sections of velco along the TE. I posted about this (after completion) and was informed that Peter Lynn had tried the exact same thing…and then did something I won’t – he deliberatly “poped” some Peels to see if it’d work. It didn’t.

The velcro does, however, provide a nice drag-free way to attach the tow-points when you pack the kite – open up a few cm, tuck in the end, and close it. Very handy. other possible benefits: – read Andrews experience w/ zippered TE and it’s effects on luffing. – Easy to get sand out. ….not that these are a huge deal or anything. I don’t use velcro in the TE anymore.

Enjoy! Gene Matocha

Getting started making comp. kites

> I would like to start making kites so hopefully be able to make a
> traction one. Are there any good sites, books, etc. to help get
> started? More then just the plans but how to do the sewing, like
> making the pockets for the spars, etc? Any help would be greatly
> appreciated.
> Jim

Get the books… Stunt Kites and Stunt Kites 2 by Nop Velthuizen and some other guy (sorry, too lazy to get up and check)

Go to Andrew Beatties page (there’s a link on my page) and read the Chevron construction article. In fact, print it out, it’s a great reference. I swear, every time I start sewing ribs, I have to go back and check “now, which side does the seam allowance go on?” 🙂

Then start following links…and you are off!
my page is:
Enjoy! Gene Matocha

Sleeving material

> Would someone tell me what material Sleeving is made of?
> I have several different sizes of braided dacron for my single
> line kites, and was wondering if the larger ones (#150 & up)
> would make suitable sleeving for Spectra or Kevlar (yea, I still
> have some of that stuff, but I don’t use it unless I’m all alone.)
> on my stunters.
>Many thanks,

Hi Jerry, Yup heavier braided dacron line works great for sleeving on spectra. I use 80# dacron for my lighter lines50#, 60#, 150# for my 80 to 100# lines, works just fine and I get both black and white so I make sets that are color coded so to speek.

Bamboo Sources in the US for Kites

> I am planning to build a kite the ‘old-fashioned’ way with
> bamboo. Are there any bamboo sources in the US that I
> can purchaes from? I live in Minneapolis and there does
> not seem to be any around here.

I am sure I have seen an occaisonal posting of an URL for a bamboo lovers group…try putting it into a search engine…… Here in Australia I find that plant nurseries / gardening sections in discount department stores carry bamboo tomato stakes in lengths from 2 ft up to 6 feet……they make great spars and can be split……. I know that Elain Genser from Canada uses similar bamboo poles for ground displays….so I assume they can be purchased reasonably locally and cheaply…….


When we were at Long Beach in August one of the Kite makers told me that he took apart old bamboo window screens for his. (He would look for them in shops with caried products from Japan.)
Paul Manning


A good source for bamboo is Aligator Alley in Oklahoma City… They have bamboo poles that are about 1.5 inch’s in diameter and about 6~7 feet long… These can be split for smaller bamboo rods… They would make a very nice Rok or Cody. Sorry don’t have the phone number but iformation will have it… I think the area code is 405…
later 🙂


saved an article by Bob Harris that names bamboo suppliers around the US.

There have been a lot of discussion about bamboo in the past on rec.kites Check into the DejaNews complete archives using ‘rec.kites bamboo’ as the search terms.

Just tried it out and from the main page you only get a couple from the last two months. But down at the bottom of the results page there’s a button to selet “Past” archives. Pick that then run the search again. It does not appear on the Power Search page. Gets about 100 articles from the last couple years.
— Brian Johnsen


On a couple of occaisions I have attempted to locate sources for bamboo for use in kite making, psrticularly for traditional Asian kites. The results of these searches are compiled below. (Note: I have not contacted all of the sources listed, so some may be out of date or not appropriate.) I hope this will be of some help to the kiting community, and, perhaps, save you some search time.

I- Sources:

I-A- Canes:

I-A-1- Tonkin:

Tonkin cane is regarded as the premier cane for building split bamboo flyrods, an application that is far more demanding than the building of kites. Thus, the prices for Tonkin can be expected to be higher than for other varieties.

Charles H. Demarest, Inc. PO Box 238 Bloomingdale, NJ 07403 phone: 201-492-1414 fax: 201-838-6538 e-mail: < contact: Frank Demarest Canes are available in 12′ lengths and in diameters ranging from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches. Prices, F.O.B. NJ, range from $19.50 to $29.00 per piece depending on diameter, with a minimum order of 3 pieces. Canes may be cut in half and shipped UPS for an additional packing and shipping charge.

Searching the Web sites of bamboo flyrod manufacturers might yield some sources. For instance, Orvis claims that only 20 to 30% of the cane they purchase ends up meeting their quality standards. They must do something with the rejected cane.

I-A-2 other cane

Frank’s Cane & Rush Supply 7252 Heil Ave. Huntington Beach, CA 92647 714-847-0919

A super source, with very reasonable prices. Canes are available in diameters from 1/4″ to 6″ and in lengths from 2′ to 12′. Prices vary according to diameter and length, e.g., 1/4″x2′ = $.70, 2″x6′ = $7.10, 6″x12″ = $60.00. Black and “Turtle” bamboo also available.

Bamboo Fencer 31 Germania St. Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 617-524-6137 617-524-6100 fax Fences, gates, bamboo constructions, poles; wholesale and retail, will ship anywhere.

Bamboo People 322 North 82nd St. Seattle, WA 98103 206-781-1437 Consults and designs bamboo plantings on farms and acreage nationwide. Brokers bamboo shoots and poles in Western Washington. Non-profit corporation

Bamboo & Rattan Works 470 Oberlin Ave. S. Lakewood, NJ 08701 908-370-0220 908-905-8386 fax 800-4-BAMBOO Custom bamboo fencing, gates, poles, rattan & other related items. Wholesale & retail; will ship worldwide.

Progress Trading 2301 Tomich Road Hacienda Hts., CA 91745 818-913-2888 818-965-6774 fax Bamboo poles imported from Guangdong Province, China. Minimum order is one bale (about $50 to $100).

Import stores, such as Pier 1, frequently stock 8′ lengths for less than $10 per cane. This is where I obtained my current supply. The diameters seem to be limited to about 1 1/2 inches.

I-A-3 miscellaneous

Most garden supply stores stock bamboo stakes. The good news is they are cheap. The bad news is they are thin with closely spaced nodes. When quartered, the split pieces, obviously, are not very large.

A far out possibility is local landscape services. If they ever thin bamboo plantings for clients, they might be persuaded to set some aside.

Though of no help if your need is immediate, bamboo is easy to grow in most of our climate zones. I have some planted but have not harvested any yet. I have had the best luck with Japanese Arrow, a vigorous grower with 1 to 2 inch canes. Golden Bamboo, the most commonly available variety, looks as if it won’t be good for much more than garden stakes.

I-B- Split Bamboo

I-B-1- bamboo suppliers

Frank’s Cane & Rush Supply 7252 Heil Ave. Huntington Beach, CA 92647 714-847-0919

Any of the canes they supply can be split for a nominal splitting charge. 2′ x 1/4″ square or round sticks are stocked at $.10 ea. or $5.00 for a hundred. Also available are cut sticks (no taper) in 3 or 6 foot lengths, 1/2 to 1 1/2 widths ( 1/2″x6′ = $1.05).

The Chinese Kite Shop (541) 446-7326 contact: Viviane

Has contacts in China. May be able to procure pre-split pieces. (Nice selection of traditional Chinese kites.)

I-B-2- flyrod makers

Have queried a couple with no luck. Still, a net search might produce something.

I-B-3- import stores

I keep hearing about those bamboo shades. All I have been able to find are reed shades.

II- Tools

II-A- Splitting

The ideal tool for splitting bamboo has a hard sharp edge beveled on both sides and tapered to a thick back to relieve pressure on the edge and to act as a wedge. With such a tool, splitting the cane is a surprisingly easy task.

II-A-1- bamboo splitters

Japanese tools with radial spokes encased in a ring with handles. 3-way to 8-way splitters are available from Frank’s Cane & Rush Supply (714-847-0707). Prices range from $20.25 to $40.25.

II-A-2- bamboo froe

This is a carpenters tool specifically designed for the task and which has been in use for centuries. Bamboo froes are available from “The Japan Woodworker”, 1731 Clement Ave., Alameda, CA 94501 (800-537-7820) for $21.95. (As an aside, anyone with an interest in fine woodworking and woodcarving hand tools will find their catalog is the world’s greatest wishbook.)

II-A-3- knives

A bamboo froe or a splitter is on my wish list. For the time being, I get good results from an old knife with a hefty 6″ hand forged high carbon steel blade sharpened to a razor edge. A thin bladed knife is not recommeded. I have seen references to the Opinel folding knife in the rec.kites archives. Two things about this knife: it comes in different sizes and some use stainless steel blades. This is a good old-fashioned working knife, but you would want the largest model with a high carbon steel blade. The Opinel is available from “The Smoky Mountain Knife Works” (800-251-9306) and from “Woodcraft” (800-225-1153) for about $10.

II-B- Shaving

II-B-1- knives

Bamboo is quite abrasive. Using a good knife, with a finely honed edge, as a scraper is a crime (at least from the perspective of a woodcarver). That finely honed edge will be destroyed in short order. There are better alternatives available.

II-B-2- scrapers

Sears carries a UK made two blade scraper for under $10. Sandvik carbide blade scrapers are available from The Japan Woodworker and from Woodcraft for just a little more. These work better than a knife and will save a good knife from unwarrented abuse.

II-B-3- block planes

These work much faster and better than a scraper. The flat sole of the plane keeps the tool from digging in and running with the grain. Inexpensive ($15 – $20) block planes are available from building material and hardware stores. Trimming and tapering a stick to size goes very quickly with a plane.

II-B-4- shaving planes

Probably overkill for this application. These are used in making bamboo flyrods. They range in price from $70 to $150. If you absolutely have to have the very best, they are available from The Japan Woodworker and from Woodcraft.

I hope this post proves useful. If you have information on other sources, you can e-mail that information to me at If enough additional information comes in, I will include it and repost at several month intervals.

Kia Orana,
Chris Luneski

Scaling up

Hi there one and all, I have a kite I made as a test object and now I want to scale it up by a linear factor of 2. This will quadruple the area. Can I then assume that in the same wind range the forces will be quadrupled too? If this is so then can I also quadruple the area of the rods or alternatively quadruple the stiffness?

Nasa winging today, they don’t bounce off trees. 3Ding as well today, not in the same wind I might add. It is fun. Guess what, it bounces off trees But I wouldn’t recommend it


Hi Tel, hi folks.
This simple question can lead to a very complex answer. Just to give you a taste of it see what follow. Otherwise, bye and go fly a kite 🙂

I would guess that yes, the forces will be quadrupled. Then for the spars, you must factor the stresses they will be subjected to.

A spar may be subjected to tension or compression, plus flexion, plus torsion.

For example, a greater bending force will tend to flex a spar more, unless you increase the spar resistance to bending. The amount of flexion and the stress involved here depends on the bending moment and the moment of inertia of the spar.

In your case (and simplifying by considering a beam simply supported at both end with a force exerted at the beam center):

1 – the force is multiplied by 4
2 – the moment arm is multiplied by 2 (since the kite is twice as big)
3 – the moment is multiplied by 8 (moment = force * moment arm)
4 – the stress is multiplied by 8 (bendind stress = moment * half spar diameter / moment of inertia)

Then, if you want to maintain the same stress than in the smaller kite, you will need to use a bigger spar that will give you a larger value for the moment of inertia (it goes with the fourth power of the diameter), but also a larger value of half spar diameter (it goes linearly with the diameter)

For a hollow tube, the moment of inertia (I) is:
I = pi / 64 * (OD^4 – ID^2)
pi is the greek letter having a value of about 3.1416
OD is the spar outside diameter
ID is the spar inside diameter
The ^4 means to raise to the fourth power.
And the bending stress (S) is:
S = M * c / I
M is the bending moment
c is half the spar diameter
I is, of course the moment of inertia.

So the aim is to obtain a ratio of : c / I that is eigth time lower for the larger kite.

If you factor all that in an equation you will discover that you have to find the roots of a fifth power equation and then I only took into account a change of diameter (neglecting any change in spar wall thichness). But, hey, with computer so easy to use, lets try some calculations with a spreadsheet software.

Suppose we have a spar that is 5 mm (O.D.) and 3 mm (I.D.).

The values will be:
I = 26.7 mm^2
c = 2.5 mm
c / I = 0.0936

I will try to see what spar is required to obtain one eigth of that number.

Going to spreadsheet, please wait …………………..

I am back with the following:

You need a spar of 10 mm with an inside diameter of 6 mm, hence a wall of 2 mm. You migth say, that the diameters were doubled. Well, I tried simple numbers. Suppose you can obtain a spar with a wall of only 1 mm as the original one then you will need a spar of 11,85 mm (about 12 mm). On the contrary, if you want to limit the spar diameter at, say 6 mm then you will discover that even a full rod (ID=0) will not work. The mimimum diameter in this case would be about 9,5 mm.

Anyway I neglected the tension or compression and shearing stress and torsion stress that all add up vectorially to give a combine stress.

It can become quite complex. But usually the flexion is what is more important, with a check for compression to avoid buckling. Also, the mode of spar assembly will make the formulas plus or more complex.

But dont despair, kites can be scaled. Ask any good kite builder and they will certainly give you simpler rules of thumb I am not yet familiar with.

Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire


Hi Jean, You’re sharp tonight. Even a bit of pi throwing in there. Great, I’ll take that as a “yes”. Seriously, doubling the spar OD and ID does seem to give a stiffness ratio greater than 8 times. Some of the spars are solid CF and I’ll be going to more tubular spars on the larger version. That’ll throw a spanner in the works too no doubt. I’ve also been alerted to Dave Lord’s spar selection guide which is for scaling!!


Speaking of breaking spars……Have you heard about hemp filled carbon spars????

No this is not a drug importing scheme…Was talking with Peter Lynn in Adelaide and he was saying that he had seen some 1 metre hemp filled spars that could be almost be bent into a circle without breaking……

Honest it was not April Fools Day. Now I am no engineer but to paraphase Peter’s comments……

It seems that spars break because they fracture as their circular cross section becomes distorted and bends in on itself…by ramming them full of hemp or presumeably other products the spar maintains its circular profile and can be distorted more without fracturing…….

Mmmmm…must try putting a tight fitting piece of fibreglass into a spar and see what happens….. Any body else heard about these spars…….


The failure mode for a hollow spar in bending occurs when the spar can no longer maintain hoop or circularity. The thicker the wall for a given Outside diameter the more the spar can bend without losing hoop. Fishing rod tips and tapered kite spars have a thick wall relative to their o.d. at the small end and can bend quite a lot before losing hoop. Packing a hollow spar tightly with hemp would increase the amount it could be bent before losing hoop, however a much better way would be to increase the wall thickness, you would end up with a much lighter spar that could bend the same amount. When one uses graphite it is usually to prevent bending, fiberglass spars bend much better.
Dave Lord


Studies of naturally occurring tubes (eg; porcupine quills) show that they have a honeycombed interior rather than being entirely empty and that they demonstrate far greater resistance to breakage by bending because of this.

You could concievably fill spars with an aerated material which would then set hard to achieve this but the generally narrow guage of spars would probably make it extremely uneven.

For strong spars external reinforcement, like a kevlar wrap, is more practical although this may, of course, change.


If you are interested in re-sizing a kite, either up or down, I suggest you read and re-read the book, “The Tao of Kite_Flying” . Part philosopical, part mathematical, but full of gems. Like, if you double the size, you cannot double the weight and expect the same performance.
Barbara Meyer


What Jean says is correct. On my webpage there is a chart of the various spars available that are listed with their relative stiffness values. The equations Jean cites were used to develop this chart and make the job easier. Various types of spars are included so one doesn’t have to take into account the modulus of elasticity. Since the user will undoubtedly buy an off the shelf spar in lieu of having a special one manufactured you can forget about wall thickness and diameters and go straight to an existing spar that is closest to meeting your requirements. Using the chart it is quite easy to play “what if” games and size your scale factor to exactly fit an existing spar. Ripstop sails can be made any size but spars are discrete items. In all of my experience I have only once found anything other than bending loads to be important. On a particular kite using a 2 wrap carbon spar for the spine I kept getting torsional failures. Wrapped graphite spars, especially 2 wrap are quite weak in torsion. For large kites one needs to look at the loads on the frame. On an intermediate size kite (15 to 20 square feet) the frame can be improved by using a connector to tie the upper spreader to the spine. For large framed deltas you need diagonal braces from the center “T” up to the upper spreader connection point on the leading edge. In the Nov 1991 issue of Kiting I wrote an article giving more detail.
David Lord


Hi Tel,
I’m no expert, but if you can add more bridle legs, you can often get by with less stiff spars. An example can be seen at:

The kite maker has used a 14 point bridle to distribute the load. A similar approach is used for a suspension bridge. The advantage of many bridle legs is that line isn’t as heavy as or expensive as large diameter spars. You do pay a price in drag and complexity, tho’.

good luck, keep us posted on your kite.


Hi david, hi folks.
Quite true. Why do you think the leading edge spars of the new Revolution Speed Serie (Shockwave and Supersonic) and the 1.5 SLE are so big ?

To provide a much greater stiffness while keeping the weigth increase to a minimum. Well .. that’s my thinking.

Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire


Mike While some internal structure in a tube makes it stronger in bending it is a minor effect. Stiffness increases as the fourth power of outside diameter minus the fourth power of inside diameter. If the effect on stiffness is not imediately apparent then a sample calculation or two will make it so. Filling up the center of a tube with the same material the rest of the tube is made with has a minor effect on stiffness. If one uses a material that has a much smaller modulus such as some kind of foam then you would have difficulty measureing the increase in stiffness but the increase in weight would be there. Any time you need more stiffness in a spar think of going to a larger diameter not filling the inside of what you are already using.

To make a spar more robust increase the ratio of the wall thickness to O.D. A material like foam with such a low modulus will have a very small effect in helping the spar maintain hoop. If you take the best materiel (highest modulus in this case) to make the spar then to have an appreciable effect by filling the center the modulus of the filler must be in the same ball park as the spar.

Dave Lord

Quadlining a Rokkaku

I was out playing with with one of my Rokkakus yesterday. The bridle on that five-footer is a relatively long one, about 15 feet or so, with four points on the kite. I was able to fly it by the bridle alone in relatively light 6-7 mph winds while holding it by the tow point. While fooling around, I noted that by splaying my fingers and using both hands, I could make the kite go up and down, and, to a slightly more limited extent, from side to side, merely by adjusting my fingers, much like a Rev or other quadline. I was reminded of comments by Johnny Lemire and others in respect of experimentation in flying single line types as a dual-liner.

Now, there’s food for thought for someone who wants to try something a little different.


Hi Michael,
That’s funny, cause I was out yesterday four lining my 5′ Rokkaku also. I built the Rok myself and when I bridled it I used pigtails around the cross bows. I then larks head the bridle on to the pigtails, this allows me to remove the bridle and replace it with my quad line set. I used my Rev handles with 75′ lines, it was alot of fun but quite different from the Rev. Since the Rok sheds wind off to the sides the side movements were much harder than the up and down. With a little bit of practice I had it flying all over the window, interesting.
Just Fly It Mike Coons

Original Plans Nasa Para Wing

At last, here you can find the bibliografics of the original reports on the Nasa Para Wing. They are public and can be obtained in some specialised librarys. In the Netherlands you can try the library of the Polytechnical university Delft (even online): and keep looking and you will find lots more of relevant documentation there (and at the Nasa sites).

The original plans of the nasa para wing can be found in a series of testreports by Nasa. Uptil this moment the titles have not been published, because there seem to be some commercial kitebuilders that think that they can forbid this. I donot agree with them. The man who has credit for finding the NPW and make/use it as a kiI’m getting in a little late on this one but here’s what I do to install the tension line: I use a “T” handle tool that I had for installing and removing exhaust header springs from motorcycle engines. It’s a very compact tool with a small wire hook and it works perfectly – especially during winter here in Tehachapi when its 50 degrees and my hands are freezing.

Enjoy your Illusion – I’ve been spending more time with my new Prophecy (practice, practice!) but still break out the Illusion from time to time.

Have fun, Stevete was Cees H. a dutch kiter that was active in the early 90’s. Now he doesnot fly anymore, for as far as I know. It took me a long time to find out in which reports of Nasa the NPW’s could be found. I had to make several telphonecalls in which I got little pieces of information: becauso no one wanted to give the titles. It was Cees H. who gave me the right keywords, so that I was able to trace the originals. I’ve seen the two most interesting reports and I garantee you, it is nice to see and read what they did. For example I saw some pictures of a test using a scale model of the Apollo-capsule (1:4) with the NPW5. They tested it using a high platform and also they made helicopterflights. It appears that the NPW’s are a variety of the parawings of mr. Ragollo, but with a double keel. Number 5 was tested in several ways and also they made some different versions.

If you just want information on the number 5, then I advise you this report: I’m getting in a little late on this one but here’s what I do to install the tension line: I use a “T” handle tool that I had for installing and removing exhaust header springs from motorcycle engines. It’s a very compact tool with a small wire hook and it works perfectly – especially during winter here in Tehachapi when its 50 degrees and my hands are freezing.

Enjoy your Illusion – I’ve been spending more time with my new Prophecy (practice, practice!) but still break out the Illusion from time to time.

Have fun, Steve Nasa Technical Note D-5199 Windtunnel investigation of the aerodynamic characteristics of a twin-keel parawing by George M. Ware, may 1969

If you want all different types (nr. 1 up to 10), then take a look at this report: Nasa TN D-5936 Low-speed windtunnel investigation of a series of twin-keel all-flexible parawings by Rodger L. Naeseth, october 1970

By the way, I wrote mr. Ware and had a short correspondence. He doesnot remember these specific tests. It was only one of a long range in history. What a shame. He confirmed the idea that the ‘mental-father’ is mister Rogallo. It was a wonderfull time to do the research, Cees H. gave me the right tip. And a lot of kiters gave short rumours out of which I could get the right information. Now John Larson and I try to find out what a kiter can do with the information. I am making a number 1, based on the specifications in the reports. For as far as we can see now, the number 5 seemes to be the best model: power and steerability. So if you want to make some NPW, just use the specifications on the sites that we discussed already several times in this newsgroup. If you want more…. mail me/the newsgroup.
douwe jan joustra

Bol Design Software

> Am looking for some software to use to design or give layout

Have fun rotoring at:

author: Frans Nijhuis.


Places to Fly

Sarasota area

> I’m heading back to Long boat key the first week of April – and
> wondered if there are any group flies or people that want company.

Hey Ron, About an hours drive north you will come to Treasure Island where on any Sunday you can find the Treasure Island Sport Kite Klub. Come on up and join us. And if you can get a hold of one of those Prism foils be sure to bring it along.


Treasure Island in front of the Bilmar hotel, Sunday afternoon’s.


do you mean “Ocean Springs”. i fly just across the bridge about 2 miles on the beach. not many people along that streach. between the casions and the biloxi small craft harbor. usually pretty good wind.

A great place to Kite

In the ongoing quest for a satisfying kite flying experience, the flying location plays a large part in the formula. (Perhaps not as big a part as having the correct ratio of Id to Od for your spars, but none the less a large part.)

Here in Lake Havasu Az. The Kite Guild is pleased to announce that Cypress Park has been scheduled by Parks and Rec. as reserved solely for kite flying activity on M-W-F from 3:00pm to 6:00 weekly.

Cypress Park is one of those places, so few and far between, that is ideal for our sport. Set on a very gradual rise overlooking Lake Havasu and the surrounding residential area. The wind and the view are completely unobstructed. Down wind not a single tree or power line to be found. The wind passing over this park comes from either (roughly) the north, or the south, depending on weather the desert is inhaling or exhaling. Large and flat, the park is, on the lake side covered with well manicured grass.

The Guild welcomes all kite flyers to join us and enjoy this wonderful site. I am currently the contact person, so if you would like further information on Guild activity in Lake Havasu Az. include the words Cypress and Guild in the subject line of your e-mail.

On one final note I would like to express a great thank you to Steve, and all the other wonderful people at Lake Havasu Parks and Rec.
— Robert J. Horton


> Hi everyone.
> Does anyone know of places other than Nahant beach for buggying?
> info would be greatly appreciated.

You could come buggy with us Northerners at Pine Point in Maine (just N of Old Orchard Beach) or go even further up to Popham Beach, which is supposed to be nice in the off-tourist seasons. I buggied one day at Hampton Beach in NH, which was OK but not as nice as Nahant.
Mark Frasier


Hi there, My Folks live in Hawaii so I go there a few times a year. there is a fair kite shop in the Kapiolani Mall in Honilulu. I often found people flying where the gully hits shore at Kailua Beach. not a bad spot but lots of pedestrians. Aroundthe back side of diamond head there is a beach with a hangglider landing field that had plenty of wide open space and regular winds. As in the privious post its sort of near the blow hole. Happy flying
Josh Young


Watch out at Zandvoort… many of the beaches ban multi line kiting. Oostvoorne and Hoek van Holland are my favourites, although you really need a car to get there.

Buggy in Ireland

> I’m planning to move to Ireland for a year and was wondering
> about some buggyspots.
> Any suggestions?
> Thank’s Frank

Dollymount Strand (Irish for beach) on the north side of Dublin Bay is really good. Believe it or not, when the traffic is quiet it’s less than 10mins from City centre. A pile (about 5 high) of buggiers meet there most Sunday afternoons and you’d be most welcome. I’ve also heard there is a really long run -miles and miles and miles of it at Bettystown Beach to the north of Dublin itself. Please e-mail me if you’d like to meet.


I’ve never been kite-buggying, but I can tell you one beach I know of which would be PURRRFECT! Colleenamore (Translated something like Big Beach), in Sligo has miles of sand in every direction at low tide. As does the back side of Stredagh beach in north Sligo. Tell me if you’re coming to the area!

Seattle Area

There’s only one good place to fly, Magnusen Park. There are a couple of other places to fly, Discovery Park in Magnolia and GasWorks Park. Others have been known to fly at Ballard High School’s ball field.


Mickey (THe Mouseman) Nichols Take a weekend and come on out to Ocean Shores, only about two hours away, for some of the best winds for kite flying in the country. If you come on the second Saturday of any month, you can fly/join with our local club, the Sky Painters. We have a fun fly on Saturday and Sunday, a potluck on Saturday evening, and we host the Ocean Shores International Kite Challenge the first weekend of June each year. The Sky Painters are around 300 members strong with fliers of all abilities ranging from champion kite builders and fliers (for getting great advice), to kids, grand parents and anyone else who enjoys the simple wonders of kite flying. It would be a real joy to see you at one of our fun flies, we sincerely hope you can make it some time. We have members from all over Washington and Oregon, they don’t try to make every meeting but shoot for several a year.

Keep us in mind when your thinking about some great flying and meeting some new fliers.

— The Wind Is Out There…Experience It!
Jim and Monica Barber

Ohio power kiting

Or alternatively titled, finish that novel in the seat of your buggy.

To beat the dead wind slump, go to Lake Erie, I hear that the Toledo crew experiences better winds for power kiting. Though 90 percent of the time, I fly on the Columbus turf. In Ohio’s 10 mph slumps, I string out a long line set (100 ft) with my quadrifoil and a 75 ft line set with my better-performance c-quads–switching between linesets when I’m bored or am looking to fly the c-quads higher.

Big problem with the c-quads here if you can’t go up wind because of bad winds or space and obstacle restrictions and have to drag the c-quad back to your launching point. (I can’t fly it one-handed and drag the buggy back at the same time, I’ve tried and it’s definitely not safe on the rotator-cuffs, but this isn’t the biggest concern of mine with this kite.)

The Ohio field I frequent most often displays that lovely phenomena that I have dubbed, the “end of the field death gusts.” Happens to be that I begin to really accelerate halfway through the field in my buggy. And well, the wind smooths out from a prior turbulent condition after regrouping from a tree-line filtering and hits me strong and hard inconveniently near the very end of the field. Here, the wind offers to make me into a hood ornament on the busy avenue. Too far gone to begin an upwind tack and no space (a very long, but narrow buggy strip), so, it is often an ungraceful exit from the buggy, and the reliance on a strong foot plant. I’ve been fully committed and strapped in to the snowboard at this point–and have regretted it at the risk of good health.

(A warning and perhaps an obvious one, skidding the c-quad on their trailing edge through thick grass will totally wear out the rod sleeves of the kite. After doing the down wind speed runs in limited space, I noted the consequence of the c-quad drag and had to resew two rod sleeves at the trailing edge. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the c-quad’s great upwind ability, but at a couple “corridor-type” of fields, it’s not feasible here. I dabbed some thick “shoe-goop” glue that layed-up well on the very bottom of the sleeves. It doesn’t seem to effect the flight and seems to protect the sleeve threads from abrasions)

Hope to see you in the air. Buggy fields are not always places to catch up on your reading in Ohio. Nevertheless, I definitely never see anyone else around here and up there.



Being from Columbus myself, and knowing what a pain it is to fly kites around here (i.e. no wind, shifting wind, wind blocked by trees, buildings, etc.), I find myself wondering just where does one find a place for a buggy around here? I don’t really know much about buggying, but in my experience finding a nice open, windy area that isn’t already dedicated to contruction, posted with private property signs, or crowded with people can be down right frustrating! Maybe I’m just not as willing to spend as much time in the car as you….When I need my kiting fix I need it now, not in a couple of hours….

Of course it’s probably my fault the weather turned bad today, I just got a new kite. And with accordence to the “I just got a new Kite and I live in Ohio” principle, the weather has done what it always does and prevented me from flying…..

I think I need a lattitude adjustment….

San Jose

Hi Mike,
the most popular kite flying spot in the San Jose area would be Shoreline Park in Mountain View. This is about 15-20 miles north of San Jose off of Hwy 101. Take the Shoreline Blvd (?) exit off 101 and head east a mile or so until the road ends at the entrance to the park.

Entrance is free, just pull in and make a right turn at the sign that says “Kite Flying Area”. Weekends are popular, so it is best to arrive before noon if you want a good location. There is a lawn area that can accomidate about 5-6 sport kite fliers on 75′ lines then a very large area of dirt/mowed weeds that has room for all if not being used as overflow parking for the neighboring Shoreline ampitheatre (sp?).

Winds are usualy moderate 5-10mph in the morning and a bit higher in the afternoon, though they can be a bit turbulent due to the topography.

Since you are limited to bringing only one kite, you should know that Dan Whitney of Gone With The Wind Kites flys here most Sundays, (and occasional Saturdays) and I join him from time to time. If you would like to demo any of the new ’99 kites (Elixer and Utopia are available!) I’m sure we can arrange it. Let us know when you will be in town and we will try to hook up!

Gotta fly!
Brian Todd


Aside from Brian’s post advising Shoreline, try Baylands Park in Sunnyvale. It’s a lot bigger field and flatter terrain than Shoreline and it gets those nice breezes off of the south bay. It costs $3 to get in during the warmer time of the year but you can get a season sticker for $15. Shoreline can get really crowded on weekends but it’s a fine place to run into fellow flyers. Of course, there are lots of beaches if you don’t mind driving over the hill. Sweetest winds for sure.


If you want to drive to Santa Cruz, Twin lakes is at the end of 7th avenue. Seabright is HUGE and it is on the other side of the harbor from twin lakes. Also on May 8th, I believe, Capitola is having a kite festival. Lots of flying spots in SC. Happy hunting.
Fly for fun agro1 Or Country


Just for general information the Bay Area sport Kite League (BASKL) will be hold a competition at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale on the 17th. You can check out their web site at
to find directions and more information about upcoming events. Come to the event and talk with other fliers who might be able to give you other area’s to fly that are worth checking out.

Limassol Cyprus

Hey, guy!- There a LOT of places to fly in Cyprus. Not only the beaches but inland off the road also offers a lot of open places to fly. Unless you want that huge gathering of bystanders, it’s nearl carte blanche. (P.S.- They drive on the left side of the road there, so be careful if you’re not used to it!!)

It’s a really neat place… enjoy!! Bill

Buggiers in Chicago

> I am interested to know where people go buggying in Chicago.
> Just got my buggy and while I have decent fields in a small
> city to go and buggy I do not know where to go to buggy in
> Chicago where I will be for the summer. I usually fly along Lake
> Shore in several of the parks. If possible away from the City
> would be best because the wind there is so turbulent.
> Thanks,
> Kenny

One place you may wish to try is the Busse Forest Preserve on Rt 58 and Rt 53 in Schaumburg — A lot of great kiters use this park — unfortunately so do the soccer players. But we all share the area which is very large. Best to get there early.

New York Buggiers

I’d like to travell to new york from march the 12th to the 21st. I like to take my buggy with me. is anyone arround and could tell me about a good area in new york, perhaps long island for bugying.


On South Shore of Long Island at Tobay Beach, big beach parking lot. Usually empty, good winds off of Ocean. Lots of room fun. Follow Meadowbrook Parkway south towards Jones Beach until end then head east towards Robert Moses State Park on Ocean Parkway, look for sign for Tobay Beach or kites flying above area.


Miller’s Field on the eastern coast of Staten Island is where we buggy. It’s an old airstrip turned athletic field (dozens of soccer and baseball fields). Usually has pretty good wind.

Kite Misc

Kite Surf

Hi folks
I have a problem with choosing kitesurf equipment. I would like to get in touch with somenone who has flown the new water-relaunchable foil from F-One. I’m interested in its performance and reliability of the waterlaunch.

Also I’m interesed in the performance of the boards of F-One. At first I was planning to buy three Wipika’s but since I came across the F-One kitesurfingsite I don’t now what to choose.

Is there anyone out there who can give me some advice?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about check out

I’m awaiting reactions, thanks in advance.

Greetings and perfect winds
Bart van Oers , The Netherlands.


From what I have heard on the Ksurf egroup, the F-One (and Concept Air) “marine” parafoils have around 50-70% water relaunch success (dual line). In other words, you will need to swim 50-30% of the time. Parafoils will never be true marine kites but in the guise of the F-One and Concept Air appear to be making a reasonable impersonation. Claims are being made about better upwind than the Wipika, although technique improvement is always a better remedy for upwind ksurfing difficulties. To be honest, the Wipika is the only “automatic” (non winch) relaunch kite and it works exceptionally well and is very stable (great for inexperienced kiters). The Wipika will give around 95% relaunch (reasonable surf). The only other kite that will give such relaunch consistency (that is established on the market) is Cory Roeseler’s Kiteski kite system. This is a cresent leading edge ‘delta’ that uses a winch bar for relaunch. I have not flown this particular kite, but those that have seem to be very happy with it. The latter two kites will allow you to ksurf with the most confidence because they have the best marine capabilities so far. If you want out and out performance, then a Peter Lynn C-Quad (4.2 and 6.3) is unrivalled (better than all other traction kite types thus far). These have more power (max Cl) and better Lift to Drag ratios than (probably) any other kite on the market. Their relaunch capability is a good aid to a better swimming technique in my experience. I am not connected with any of these kite makers and offer this advice based on my experience, that of good friends, and what I have heard from well informed contributors to the ksurf egroup. The best of luck with your search!

For more feedback, make a post on the ksurf egroup:

Home page:

Smooth Winds,

Banned in Brooklyn – update

Some time back, there was a lot of discussion here about parks in Brooklyn being closed to kite flying. Some of us wrote to the city urging them to reconsider. I thought you might be interested in the letter I recently received from the parks and Recreation Department.

Dear Mr. Gomberg.

Thank you for your letter regarding the kite flying along the shoulder of the Belt Parkway.

At the request of the Police Department, we have banned kite flying at this location because the Highway Police made a compelling case that it posed a serious public safety concern. Fliers are welcome to use Dyker Beach Park, just not the edge of the parkway. Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Julius Spiegel has also offered to tour the borough with kite fliers to find other suitable locations. If you have any further questions, please call Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Spiegel at (718) 965-8920.

It was good of you to take the time to write.

All the best,
Jerry Stern

Has anyone taken Commissioner Spiegel up on his offer??


Kite Month Update

In about three weeks, National Kite Month (NKM) will begin. This is the most ambitious effort to promote kiting that has ever been taken and we need your help.

The single most important thing you can do to support the project is to get together with a few friends and fly a kite in April.

We are building a calendar of these formal and informal kite gatherings across the country. We need as large a list as possible to demonstrate how popular and broadbased kiting is. So if you are planning to fly, please register your “event” on the National Kite Month calendar. Even the smallest gatherings will add to the effort.

There is no charge for registration. (There is a fee for AKA sanctioning, but no requirement that you be sanctioned.) If you want, the NKM headquarters will support your event with media and organizing assistance. But this is also optional. All you need to do is plan on flying one or two afternoons, and register with the National Calendar.

NKM has now contracted with a public relations firm to promote television coverage of kiting in April. We have hired an organizer to manage the NKM headquarters, provide event support, and staff the nationwide Hotline. We have completed an arrangement with Intellicast (the online weather service) to feature kiting all month and link to us with their 3.5 million monthly hits. We have a NKM Web page online and will add 25 pages of educational and historical material this week. And we’ve done all this in just five weeks!

All that is missing is your fun-fly or workshop.

To learn more about National Kite Month, visit the AKA or KTAI web pages ( or Watch for the NKM pop-up link. You can register your event online or email/fax the details.

Thanks for being part of the effort.

Warm and Windy Regards,

David Gomberg NKM Steering Committee Chair

Beach Cabana

> Hi!
> I`m looking for a beach/kite tent. When the wind gets
> exciting my family wants to go home… I have seen a very
> nice looking tent at Gone With the Wind but shipping and
> import costs more than the tent. Have anyone any idea of
> where to find such a tent in europe? Preferably an on-lineshop.
> Thanks a lot!

Hi there!
I dunno what type of tent you´ve seen at Gone with the wind but there is a “half-tent” shaped like a shell available in many kite and/or leisure equipment stores around Europe. The one I own is such a thing but it only works in winds up to 4 beaufort, mostly we use it behind the car to avoid flying away when the wind gets stronger 🙂

If I can provide additional information on these, pls. send mail.

cya — Viele Gruesse
Best regards, Eberhard Woentz


I think these are often called Cabana’s aswell. All sorts of leisure places sell them in summer, but often not in winter. I got mine in Fuertaventura – no such thing as winter :). Mine is called a ‘Bora Bora Beach Shelter’, made by a company called ‘Freetime Outdoor Limited’. I think these are their details ( but no web site, as far as I know )

Freetime Outdoor Limited Jubilee House Altcar Rd Formby Liverpool Merseyside L37 8DL

tel 01704 832121

An alternative is a hunting/fishing style shelter, often produced in camoflage colours.


LLBean has some nice cabana’s< I have one. Good workmanship and a great guarantee. Check out


DKC has them through your favorite Kite Dealer.
Dodd Gross,


Not sure where to find them in Europe but we recommend the Oasis Half Tent. It is one of the few half tents that can realy stand up to strong winds. Our San Francisco Bay Area often gets strong winds in the summer and our customers love the Oasis Half Tent.

Stay away from half tents by Coleman as they generally do not hold up to real wind. 🙂

Good Luck,

Unsportsmanly behaviour – Out Of Space

>I have read many articles about the problems kite fliers
> experience with animals off their leads – but never of the
> non-canine variety we experienced today!

I really think the tone of this message, and of most of the responses, stink.

As a stunt kite flier, I use up a big swath of ground to have my fun — not just use it, but make it a dangerous place for unsuspecting others to occupy. It is NOT up to others to understand that my stunt kite is a danger to them — it’s up to me. I’ve known plenty of stunt kiters who were oblivious to the danger they posed to others, so how the hell are people who don’t even see the kite, or understand its mode of operation, to be more acute about the danger? Or more generous about the land use?

I recently got back from Bermuda. While there, I flew my kites in 20-35 knot winds on various parks and beaches. In winter (!) not many people are wandering around in Bermuda, but the beaches are small, and fairly often I had to allow for people walking their dogs, settling in for cloudbathing, or whatever. As usual, most didn’t even see the kite. Of those who did, most considered that it was (a) out of control and needed a tail, and/or (b) was no problem to them.

I was the one who endangered them. They didn’t endanger me. So, when anyone came within range of my kite, I parked it overhead and waited for them to leave. If they didn’t leave, I landed. If they were in the way of the landing, my wife warned them off – not off the beach, but off the landing zone.

If anyone has a marked-off area for kite flying, I envy them, and of course I encourage them to police their area. But let’s not get stupid about our rights with respect to public land. We’re the problem. Solutions may be easy, but only if we remember that we’re the problem.

Try playing tiddlywinks in the center of the local baseball diamond, or marbles on the nearby cricket pitch, or modern dance on the basketball court. You’ll get short shrift at best, or a broken nose or worse. What’s the diff?
Brock Vond

KTA awards and reviews , or just general awards

Apparantly i was confused also. there was a thread a while back mentioning that the jam session had won an award from someone as best kite of the year. i was also talking to the owner of my local kite store who mentioned that he was waiting to see which kites were given “best of class” before completing his sping orders. so what i was looking for was this.

im also curious as to whether there is somewhere that details (for any competition, local, national, international) what kites were used by each of the, lets say top 3, participants in each competition class.

thanks again.
good winds and furry dreams quiddity


Hey Quid,
There’s a heap of awards the KTAI lavishes. HAH. Suffice it to say it basically consists of Best US Retailer, Best OTHER Retailer, Best New Product, Best US Manufacturer, Best OTHER Manufacturer. If memory serves me, Kathy Goodwinds did post some of the winners way back in February. I think the best new product of the 99 show was the Goodwind’s Pop Can. I think, Active People/Quadrafoil won best manufacturer of the OTHER catagory…I can’t remember the others. It’s a pretty slim field these days. Huggles, Ellen


Hey Quid and rec.kiters,
You did actually bring up an interesting question. Back in the old days, there was a certain publisher of a US kite magazine who thought it was a nice idea to print comp placings along with the kite they flew. For some reason that magazine doesn’t seem to be in print any longer, but the idea is still intriguing. Perhaps the AKA feels it lends too much commercialization to the the competitive proceedings to do so in their publication. I don’t know if I altogether disagree with their position.

But now that there doesn’t seem to be any US publication for manufacturer/sponsors to be able to publicize their flyers or advertise their kites, perhaps rec.kites is the last forum to do so. OH YIKES, that does reek of crass commercialization here in our purist discussion forum, but if anyone has a better idea, I sure would like to hear it.

There are a lot of new flyers considering serious competition who ARE curious to hear what the Masters are flying and why. Is that such a terribly bad thing? It’s not like they are gonna be getting any nice little magazines in their mailbox telling them about them these days. It’s a complicated sitch. I would LOVE to hear anyone’s ideas on this.

Huggles, Ellen


Do you mean Stunt Kite Quarterly (SKQ) ? It was certainly good to read what was being flown by competitors, if only to give an idea as to what kites were considered appropriate for this kind of flying.

Listing the kites used is probably one of the few ways in which sponsors can actually get more return for their sponsorship without extra expense.

I’d always like to see it listed, if only for curiousity’s sake.


I think listing “kites used” with evbent resuts is a super concept. Lots of benefits for the flier, sponsor, and reader. But I still call it a “concept” because I see all kinds of problems with practical implementation.

Basically, the issue is – who’s gonna collect the information?

Since competitors don’t decide which kite (or version of a kite) they use until they actually step onto the field, we can’t collect this information in advance. Organizers aren’t gonna chase fliers after the event to find out what happened. Judges have other concerns. Magazine writers can phone every flier at every event.

I suppose we could ask the field director, or give the job to the pit boss. But it is still a record-keeping nightmare. Just ask Darrin and the folks that collect results now. It’s tough enough to simply find out the placings…

SKQ used to do this, but you have to remember that back then, there were only half a dozen kites on the market. (Hard to imagine now.) You coluld look out onthe field and see what was being flown. Nowdays, you can’t.

Great idea though.

PS – Sure miss Cris and SKQ…


I haven’t done this in a while (posted to wrecked.kites), so bear with me. As the newest board member of the SoCal Sport Kite League and Chief Judge (in training), I’ll bring this up at the next board meeting (assuming they invite me) and see where it goes. We (SCSKL) have a web site and we could probably post (along with the results for each of the top 3 finishers in each class) which kites are being used by each flier. We typically get a few Bay Area (BASKL) fliers down here for comps as well as a few from Arizona and the makes/models of kites being used (in general) is pretty consistant.

Most of the Bay Area folks use the CA Wasp (Miguel Rodriguez) and I think just about everybody knows that. In SoCal it’s a great deal more divergent. For example, at our last event the 1st place Novice flier used a reframed ’98 Midi for ballet and a Competitor (Jim Campbell … a SoCal kite builder) for precision. Other kites being flown by Novice fliers included the Benson Outer Space, revised Mach 1, etc.

I don’t remember who used what in Intermediate class but in Experienced class the top flier used a PBSK Warrior for ballet and an AM-2 for precision. Another flier used the Voodoo for (I believe) both ballet and precision.

In Masters class, 2 of the top three finishers used the CA Wasp, the 3rd flier used a Spectra Sport Twister (not sure which model of the Twister [there are 5!] it was though).

In Quad-line, it was Revolution and Steve LaPorte’s new Spirit kite along with what appeared to be a custom (home-made) Rev look-alike.

In pairs, it was Jon Trenapohl’s (sorry if I miss-spelled that, Jon) T & Ts and Fred Adler’s Exterminators.

Other kites used included Prism (Eclipse, ILLusion, etc.), HQ (Jams and such) along with a couple of other custom made kites (by the fliers).

Some time last year I was looking around for similar information on who was using what in competition and came to a dead end. That surprised me as in a LOT of sports, you see exactly what’s being used by who. A number of years ago I was heavily into long-range precision shooting (benchrest) and noted that at every competition, the results included (right down to the make of the barrel, action, trigger, stock, brass, bullets and gun powder) the exact components that each competitor used. You get the same sort of thing at car races and in a number of sports the names and logos of the manufacturers are plastered all over the products and the bodies of the competitors.

I’m not at all suggesting we resort to anything remotely resembling that philosophy … however, there are quite a few kites that are extremely difficult to identify (unless you happen to own one yourself or know the kite from experience) and word of mouth on who is using what is, for the most part, fairly centralized (meaning the local kiting community has all that info) and doesn’t spread the way one would think it might. Since we don’t get a lot of National exposure on what we’re doing and what we’re using, I really don’t see anything wrong with posting either here or on the league web sites, who used what. It doesn’t mean that a league is endorsing ANY products. It just means that the information could be made available.

Another interesting element of all this is the “tweakers”. A lot of folks know that I spend a great deal of time doing mods to kites … swapping frames and other components … and I’m NOT the only one who does this. In a lot of cases, the kites being used have been reframed and we ALL know what a big difference that can make. I’ve taken mediocre kites and turned them into stunning performers just by reframing them … but that’s only the beginning.

So … suggestions please. Do we include information on what the frame set being used is (if it’s NOT stock)? Do we include other components as well? How ’bout line sets (test weight, length and manufacturer)? Bridle settings? Other custom or third-party components (nocks, center tees, etc.). As you can see, it can get convoluted. I’m not sure just how many fliers would even be willing to divulge this information. How many manufacturers out there are willing to part with ALL the details of their products? Get the point?

We could probably come up with a simple form that would facilitate gathering this information but NOT make it mandatory for the fliers to fill it out. After all, just prior to a competition, the fliers are busy making choices on which kite(s) to use, which line sets to use, which routines to fly to (based on what the wind is doing), etc. Let’s try this:

Name: Bob Jones Event: ballet[x] precision[ ] Kite: FooBar – custom Manufacturer: ME! Stock? Yes[ ] No[x] Frame (if NOT stock or custom): titanium Skin: buffalo (it was already dead … honest!) Line set: 100′ x 500# clothes line

Doesn’t tell you a lot (other than that Bob is very weird), does it? Anybody ever fly a FooBar? … or, maybe …

Name: Brian Champie Event: ballet[ ] precision[x] Kite: Vented CA Wasp (with many holes in it) Manufacturer: Miquel Rodriguez Stock? Yes[ ] No[x] Frame (if NOT stock or custom): SkyShark 3PT Skin: Icarex Line set: old an dirty Laser Pro Gold 100’x150#

Maybe that’s all we really need. Just the basics. Is that enough? You have to remember too that some of the competitors are sponsored, so what they use is what they get. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re in love with the products. It just means they use them.

Consider this: most competitors pick and choose their kites VERY carefully. Why? Because they are looking for a very specific kite for a very specific wind range for a specific flying category (ballet, precision, etc.) and to some extent it’s trial and error. Sometimes you hit the mark … sometimes you miss … and you’re ALWAYS at the mercy (or lack) of the wind. HOW you place in a competition is based on a bunch of different factors … and in some cases, the kite is the least of those. YOUR skill and succes with ANY particular kite is a matter of experience and determination. Whether you end up with a trophy or a pocket full of sand is up to YOU. The only thing you can control is your attitude toward competing and your state of mind when you fly. Your belief and faith in your chosen products goes a LONG way toward your mental state when you compete. The last thing you need to be thinking about when you walk onto a competition field is whether or not your kite is going to work for you when you call “In!”.

Also consider this: it’s hard enough to get the leagues and in particular the AKA to post results of competitions. It took the AKA 5 months to post the Sept. ’98 results. In five months, a whole new set of kites with a whole new set of capabilities could conceivably appear. What then? We wait interminable amounts of time to get OLD information that’s basically useless? One solution to that problem is posting the information here first.

What about sponsors? Would we see more product manufacturers willing to provide sponsorship if they started seeing a return on their investments as a result of posting who is flying their wares? Maybe. Maybe not. Years ago, sponsorship was much more prevalent. Today it’s not. Why? Is it because fewer people are competing or because fewer people are flying? Is it because there are a LOT more manufacturers today or just because they’re cheap or can’t afford to give away their products?

Competitors!! Is anyone out there willing to part with this information? Is anyone willing to spend the time to fill out this form? Does anyone REALLY care?

Finally (sorry this is SO long) … what IF we had this information available (who is flying what and how are they placing in competition)? You read the results and rush out and spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars only to discover that you just don’t “click” with the kite(s) … or you end up with a batch of a run of 2nd’s on a graphite rod that breaks every time you do a wing-tip stand? Who do you point the finger at? (JEEZ, I hope it’s not me!!).

How well YOU can fly a kite has very little bearing on how well someone else does with the same kite in competition. How well the competitor does is a direct reflection on THEIR skills and state of mind. Not yours. If we list the results of a competition and (for example) the 4th place finisher used a Prism kite. Does that mean the kites used by the fliers who placed 1st – 3rd are better or does it mean the 4th place flier just had an off day?

Anyway … it boils down to that old saying. Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.


Gomberg brought up a good point (or two). Me and my big mouth … I’ll probably get stuck collecting all the information (from the fliers) … but Dave’s point about a flier not even deciding which kite to fly until just before his or her scheduled event is VERY common. All the events I’ve been to start fairly early and by noon, the winds have picked up … and then what?! I KNOW which kites Susan Shampo will fly … regardless of what the wind is doing at 10:00 AM or 3:00 PM … but only because I know her so well and taught her which kites to use. I don’t, however, know ANY other flier THAT well.

I think I have a solution though. I’ll make up the forms, put them on a clipboard and give them to the pit boss and have him ask the questions and fill them out either just before or just after each flier competes. I don’t think the fliers will be inclined to fill ANYthing out once the competition is underway. Most fliers, however, DO enjoy talking about their kites so they shouldn’t be apposed to answering a few simple questions.

I can understand why some people would be interested in this information (who is flying what), but I somehow think that it would be taken the wrong way (the more I think about it). If someone buys a WASP because that’s what Brian Champie used to take 1st place in ballet/precision at a competition (for example) or because they saw him do his “Flyin’ With Brian” trick demo at a festival and wants to be (God help us) ‘just like Bri’ … they’re gonna be in for a BIG surprise when they start flying the kite and can’t do what Brian does (who CAN do what Brian does!?!).

It ain’t the kite. It’s the pilot. We spend untold hours flying ONE kite until we’re so in tune with it that we could literally fly it with our eyes closed … and fly it WELL. That’s not something that comes in a [kite] bag or that you can buy. It’s experience and dedication to the sport … wanting to improve your skills and take those skills (and yourself) to the next level.

I watched Brian doing ferrocious wing-tip stabs one day at the beach (Mariner’s Point) with his WASP … and he was looking at me … not the kite … and I was standing BEHIND him. You can’t buy that. You can’t even rent it (ummm … maybe we should ask Brian about that one … lol).

Again, I understand completely why someone would want this information. There was a time when I wanted it and couldn’t find it anywhere. I know too how frustrating it is to be “in search of the Holy Grail of kites” and NOT be able to click with any of the kites you just spent a couple of grand on. That’s not the kite’s fault though.

How many of us have bought a kite, flown it for a while and not been overly impressed, put it in the closet for 6 or 8 months, found it again and flew our balls off with that same kite we didn’t think much of when it was new? The point is … 6 or 8 months down the road we WILL be better fliers.

Anyway … I’d be happy to collect whatever information I can at our next event (May 1,2 … a National event at Huntington Beach, CA) on who is flying what (and of course, how they did) and pass it along to you. Since it is a National event, we’ll probably have a pretty good turnout and see quite a few different kites. Your offer to post the information is very generous and I hope the fliers out there realize that. It may even be a more appropriate forum for this information since we don’t want to put the AKA or the leagues in a position that might be construed as a commercial endorsement of ANY product(s). At any rate, thanks for pitching in.

Kite Tricks

Dead Launch – Dead Kite

Hi there one and all, Got home today and it was such a nice evening I decided to practice a bit with my 3D. Teensy bit of wind so a bit of galloping around was called for. Now I’m new to this stuff with no wind kites and I decided after the number of times it hit the deck that I needed to get it together with dead launches. I’ve read about this here so had the idea (or so I thought). Two quick tugs from slack lines, right. It digs in on the first tug but then bounces back letting a bit of air in under the nose. Is this the idea? Second tug if timed right should then lift it. Does it get easier with longer lines? I would like to learn this one but don’t want to wreck my kite in the process. So I’d appreciate any suggestions if I’m doing it wrong.
Keep it up
The Lawnmower Man


Hi Tel, hi folks.
You are doing it right. One small tug to rock the kite and lift the nose. A second one sometime to help amplify the movement and then backing off when the nose is just about to stop rising. Good timing is required here.

Dont yank too hard on the lines if you dont want to break anything. The tugs need to be quick but not too ample and not too strong.

With some kites this trick dont work. The soil type has also a role to play. Hard packed snow or sand, ice and short grass are good surfaces. Long grass and soft sand are not too good.

Wind or no wind, fly for fun 🙂
Jean (Johnny) Lemire


It sounds as if you are doing it right. However, you mention that there was only a teensy bit of wind. If there is no wind to lift the kite, it’s not going to go over very easily. A dead launch works better when there is more wind. This is not to say that you can’t dead launch the 3-D with no wind, it’s just easier.
Keep Looking Up! Mike Reagan


Hi Tel
I own 2 kites: a Fanatic and a 3D, both of which are supposed to be dead-launchable. The Fanatic dead launches exactly in the way you describe; the 3D, IMO, doesn’t. As someone else said, you need a bit of wind to get the nose up after the first tug.

There isn’t usually much wind around when 3Ding. Also, I don’t really like trying to dead launch the 3D as it seems so fragile. Yes… I know the frame is meant to be unbreakable but… When I fist got the kite I did try to dead launch it and usually ended up pulling the stand-offs way out of position, resulting in my having to walk to the kite anyway.

As I usually fly the 3D on 10 feet of line, it’s not too much hard work to walk a few paces and lift the kite’s nose up manually. Even using 30 feet lines it’s only a short “stroll of contemplation”.

Anyway, if the kite does fall nose down, just walk to it, pick it up, and perform some spectacular throwing launch. Pretend you crashed on purpose.

If you will persist in dead launching the 3D just make sure that your tugs are not too long. What you need is a short, sharp tug followed by a pause whilst the nose comes off the ground (or not). When the nose is off the ground give another short, sharp tug to launch the kite. Timing is the key.

Mowing the grass is not permitted – NO! 🙂
Regards & good luck James

Hmm… perhaps practice? I can dead launch my 3d pretty easily, on short or long lines. Dead launch is a wierd thing. Once you understand how it feels you can apply it to alot of things. There are alot of kites that will do it, even if they are not reported to. I’ve done it on the matchbox and diablo for instance. I have no idea why the diablo works since it’s le’s are pretty str8 and it has a tail to speak of, but it works if you’ve got like 10+ mph. In anycase, it’s easier in more wind, since you dont have to bounce the nose quite as high to get enough wind under it.

The 3d is pretty tough. The only problem I had was the nose wearing through but that was my fault for flying over asphalt. The standoffs move :(. You can correct for that by adding some kind of stop.

If you’re on short lines, you can cheat. If your lines are 10 feet, you should definitly be able to do this. Put your hands over your head and tug from there. The angle of the line and the tug will pop the nose of the kite off the ground and let you pull it so air gets underneath.


I fly my wonderful little 3D on 35′ 30lb line in wind (wind for a 3D being 2-5MPH). With these “long” lines, unless there is really good ground wind helping, dead launching, especially on grass, can be more trouble than it’s worth. With lines 20′ and shorter I just lift my arms and away we go, wind or no wind. I’ve scrubbed right through the rubber endcaps used to hold the standoffs while parking lot flying. I’m considering using the slightly heavier leading edge connectors, they won’t slide around so much and shouldn’t wear so quick.


Hi Tel & everyone
I was flying my 3D today and can confirm that the “arms over the head dead launch” does work even on longish grass, but not always first time. I was flying on roughly 30 foot lines and the wind was approx. 3mph.

It seems that the extended arm position gives the kite that little bit of coaxing that it needs to help it on its way. (Feels funny, though.)
Regards James

Shockwave animations for kite beginners

We’re in the process of putting together some basic animations on kite flying. At the moment, they are all really for beginners, have a look.

They require the Shockwave Flash 3 plug-in. If you haven’t got it, it should download it for you anyway.

Please have a look and let us have any feedback (good and bad).

— Thanks
Kai @ Fision

Kite Tricks

> I’m new to kite tricks…..Is there a site , with avi’s or video’s
> where I can learn how to fly trick

Try to get your hands on the Dodd Gross ‘Flight School’ or Prism Advanced Way to Fly’ tapes, they’re worth every penny. Almost all the clips you’ll find online are small and poor quality. However, FWIW here are some URL’s for sites with clips. The Air’s site is probably the best bet for clips of tricks.
(in amongst the on line catalogue)
(see axel in the trick list)

Peter Peter’s site (the last in the list) also has the most comprehensive text trick listing you will find anywhere.

Also ISTR there are a couple of clips on the Kite Passion web site, I can’t remember the URL however.
Ian Newham

Rotating Fade (Backspin)

> Hi, >Is there any kite wich makes it easyer?
> My favourite kites (I use most) are Outerspace, Illusion
> and Ozone – but with none of them I even got a half rotation.
> Fade – pull on one line – kite pops out of the fade…
> Please give me a hint!!

Ok dont flame me for this but those kites are not easy to do it on. There are really 2 ways to do the rotating fade. One is fast and furious and you can do lots of them and even get them to rise. The other is a slow spin that drops a lot and only really works in low wind. The Illusion will do either but it’s kinda hard. The ozone will only do the slow one, and I’ve been unsuccessful with the outerspace although some people say it can be done. The slow one stays pretty flat but the rotation speed is slow. On the Illusion, it will drop like 30 feet before it comes around. The ozone will drop about 20. Fade it quickly in light wind then rock the fade and do a medium slow pull. It’s not a jerk or tug, it’s more a pull to build momentum. You impart some spin on the fade and pretty much just wait for it to come around.

The fast fade is different. It doesnt feel anything like the slow and there’s a lot more interaction. On the Illy, if you have the active bridle, you can fudge the lines to make it easier. If you move the knots on the outhauls farther out toward the le, the precision goes to crap, but it starts to get really spinny. Pop it into fade and rock it, but do it so the nose starts to point down like it’s falling out of fade. When it’s tipped maybe 25 deg, pull hard and it will start to rotate in what looks like a cone that kinda goes around the nose. This is the only way I’ve been able to start it on the Illy. After one or two rotations you will build up enough momentum to start to let it go flat. Once you get the momentum going and flat it you can start to rise it. The Illy is not easy to do it with, but it will do it. I think most kites will do it if you can get the momentum going, it’s just finding a good way of getting it going. I have some ideas including mobius in and a wierd thing that I’ve been playing with. Do a vertical spike, but plant the spike way above the ground. While its sliding into it pull the down wing hard so that the tip is near you. What seems to happen is that the angle the wing hits the air combined with the momentum for the spike cause the kite to go onto it’s bad in a fade ish thing that is spinning. I’ve gotten the diablo and Illy to do it this way and rotate once with the lines over the le’s but I cant seem to keep it going, but then I have only been playing with this lately.

Anyway some kites are just a whole lot easier to do it with, like the sl7, and the Jam Session. Fade and yank one of those and it will go around. The pull is pretty strong. Once you get it, you can pull less as you’ll feel the timing on the lines. Anyway, The rotofade is a pretty kewl trick, and there are several ways to approach it. Having an easier kite to do it with will help you just like any trick. Some kites are just easier to do certain tricks with, and maybe if you get really used to another one, you can get a not so easy kite to do it.

Anyway, dont be discouraged if you dont get it at first. It’s a wierd thing that is hard to get the knack of, but like the axel, once you get it you can start to move it to other things and combos. It’s worth the effort.


Hello everyone. Well, Walts explaination sure was good. I don’t have the experience with the Illusion like he does but I do have experience on the Jam Session or just Jam, whatever! Once in the fade, I give (lets say the right line) a bit of slack( maybe 6 inches) and this turns the nose of the kite a bit to the left so you can kind of sight down the Leading edge. This makes it so the line is pulling on the leading edge and helps prevent the kite from just fliping out of the fade. Giving the line that slack is like the set up move and I think it is key. Once you give that slack, you pop the line. With the Jam the kite will spin around. You can pop it again and again when it comes around. I agree with Walt. Some kites do the trick much easier. I believe it is much more difficult to learn this trick on some kites. But once you learn it on a kite that will do it easy, then you take that knowlege to another kite. Good luck and have fun.


Hey Walt,
The problem I had when doing a fade from an axel was getting the kite to stop the rotation that was initiated from the axel. It would not stop in the fade position, but continue on. But with the little flic flac move I was much more successful in getting it to hold the fade. I don’t do a full flic flac, I just nose the kite out about 10-20 deg (if nose down is 0 and belly out is 90) then quickly pop both lines to bring it into the fade position. The only hard part about that is judging how much “pop” it takes to be able to catch it in a good fade and not over rotate. Of course this changes from kite to kite. I found this easier for me to sort out than the problems I was having with the axel though.

I can do it both ways now, but still prefer the flic flac way. Sometimes that depends on the kite though. With my Pizazz I found it easier to pop into a fade from an axel. Even easier from a spin axel which I found bizarre. Looks cool though.

I think it is as you say a preference thing though, as long as you get there 🙂 Now I just gotta learn that rotating fade!

Good wind to you.
See ya, Bill


Hi All,
I know there was a lot of discussions on the fade but there are some questions i would like to ask.

As far as I know there are two ways to get into a fade 1. From a turtle by pulling gently on on line 2. From half an Axle by popping both lines.

I tried both many times without success.

Yesterday was the first time I have managed to do it from a turtle with and Alien. The problem is that when I tried to repeat it the line got caught in the little gap between the nose reinforcing ribbon and the leading edge. I am going to trim this area to try to solve this problem.

What I would like to know is how to do the fade from half an Axle. The problem I have is once I pop the kite goes to the fade position and then to a pancake and then to normal flight. What am I doing wrong?



It sounds like you’re not giving enough slack.

I think this applies to almost every trick…if it’s not working, give more slack. As you get better at the particular trick, you find that you don’t seem to need as much slack as at the beginning.


I watched Mark Reed do it a 3rd way at a Long Beach festival last year. He flew an Illusion straight down, gave it a bunch of slack (to flatten it out “away”), and then a quick pop on both lines to flip it “forward/under” into the fade. Really cool. (Boy how I covet that degree of kite control.)

– Roy


If you can do it that way, the third way that is, you are doing one flic-flac. I think its the easiest way to get into a fade personally. Just start with practicing pancaking the kite about 10 feet up. then snap both hands evenly and immediately give a little slack with both, again evenly Good luck Will