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An Infinity Ménage à Trois



Warning: The horsing around is omnipresent in this blog entry. If you are easily annoyed by silly contents that is scattered through this text you are hereby warned.

Sunday afternoon after almost 2 days of cold rain the winds were really good for the local field/beach. The breeze was perfect, even (T-shirt) warm. I decided to get my HQ Infinity out. We have only seen each other about five times in kiting fields so far. There is a freshness about the situation. This is the first kite for me where all the spars are wrapped and and at the same time is equipped with an adjustable weight.

2016-05-19 21.35.19.jpg
The mysterious Infinity late on its first evening here after its long voyage. Could this be the one?

The wind was so that the kite could maintain a pancake on the ground, while going from the position with nose on the ground trailing edge upwards to ground pancake was a bit difficult. I'd say that the wind was quite ideal for fade launches. I'd also say that compared to my other (oldie) kites maintaining the fade feels easier. It is however difficult to separate ones own progress from the properties of the kite.

So, the wind made putting the kite in a "ground pancake" (by tilting forwards as above) for the fade launch a bit time consuming. Card wheels are very often useful when launching a kite, but unfortunately as thrilling as cold porridge. Therefore I decided to try launching the kite in a way I've never tried before: let the kite fall backwards instead so it gets in a ground fade position, pull on one side so the kite flips around and in some way can be launched. Now to the surprise, something that never has happened before - a trick succeeded in the first attempt! In fact, it only failed once in this afternoon evening! When looking it up later the name of the trick turned out to be a sleeping beauty (sleeping beauty by DPmama74: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VANxs3rZd5E ). Once again I don't know whether it is me or the kite that can do this trick easily (suspect the kite though).

Although I've tried it on other kites and on other occasions and managed a few times, the lazy Susans was now there for the most of the time. Not always but to a degree that I had not experienced before. I also noticed that the turtles did not sink so rapidly - hm ... should compare this to other kites.


First dinner with the Infinity - a long wonderful but yet so short evening. The air was dense from expectation. (yes, the Swedish midsummer nights are bright).


Ménage à trois: "No, Jam Session return to your sleeve! - It is not infidelity, this is Infinity!

To condense the tricking of the last session the Infinity, compared to my other older kites, seem to assist me in the in these tricks (yes a very limited list of tricks, but the tricks that I'm currently working with):
* Fade/fade launch
* Sleeping Beauty
* Lazy Susan

This thing about the wrapped spars is a bit new to me, the pultruded ones has been the standard for so many years. The main exception being the Prism Illusion, where the lower leading edges are just very fragile. However the infinity is not the most light wind kite (with weight at least) so this kite could be more durable? How much can these spars really take? Dynamic DT15? A secret code was obviously written on the lower spreaders of the Infinity.

Getting a bit too carried away by my barnstorming text of fiery rhetoric pitch for being heavy on input on the lines (in  Home > Sport Kites > Beginners > Breaking Spars, Very Common?) I kind of entered a more careless daring mode. After a while, during a heavy on the lines type of lazy Susan close to the ground, the kite instead exited the turtle and rapidly banged a wing tip into the ground. After this the kite felt a tiny fraction slightly more flexible and there was a small group of about 1.5cm (~1/2 inch) long fissures on one of the lower leading edges closest to the centre-T. All fissures being parallel to the axis of the spreader. I decided to go on (I hear the forums collective "NO!!!"-cries of horror), but with gentler handling.  I now think I know how much a DT15 can and can't take since I now has experienced being within and at/beyond the limit.


The Infinity after the session that caused the fissures in one of the LS's inner tube end.

Pink Floyd - The Post War Dream:
"Was it you for you? Was it me?
Did I watch too much TV?
Is there a hint of accusation in your eyes?"

Also notice the deep sail that should make (I assume) the kite to track well (OK, but not immensely impressive after turning with tail weight at least).

As I said this is still the early days with the Infinity. I've only tried the Infinity with the weight yet and has been starting from this spring very spoilt with tracking from the Tramontana. I should try it out without the weight and be observant on how tracking is affected. There are so many nice features, so many bridle settings that can be adjusted, the leading edge connectors are covered to reduce snags, there is a well centered thick patch to protect the sail from the top spreader, yo-yo stoppers, adjustable leech line, keeper lines to avoid having the bridle being caught on the end of the spine and there is even the slack lines that help the LE to preserve its shape and to prevent it to vibrate during higher winds.

I have one minor complaint, the sleeve is a bit narrow. A detail you may think, but I don't want to add wrinkles to the sail. This kite is best oriented in the sleeve with the nose up.


A bit too narrow sleeve.


The First Letter to the Infinity
During your convalescence I've been flying with my HQ Maestro 3 - fear not because with it's sail pattern it is sure not a beauty. However the tricks we experienced were still there (fades, sleeping beauties and lazy Susans), though the lazy Susans were not as mighty as yours. The sleeping beauty success ratio was a bit lower, mainly because I started to experiment with inputs. Infinity, I hope you'll recover soon, so we can perfect the lazies and make them reliable, so we can test smooth soft sleeping beauties and more aggressive ones and so that we can start to work on those back spins. And Infinity what would happen to your personality without the tail weight?

The Second Letter to the Infinity
I keep practicing the tricks I learnt/discovered/evolved/refined with you. The Tramontana now can fade launch and sometimes do the sleeping beauty thanks to the inspiration I got from you. I miss you, I want you back, so now I've bought a nice double syringe of epoxy to have you here soon. There is also a woven glass fibre welding blanket from which I can salvage some strands of glass fibre. Perhaps a spiral wound glass fibre epoxy composite can make you complete and even stronger than before?


Epoxy and woven glass fibre sheet.


Added 21st of Mars 2017 00:47:

I didn't think it was appropriate (at the time I was new KL member) - now I post with less self criticism (if possible). The music video that I mainly had in mind when writing this "new Infinity blog post" was:


(Lisa Ekdahl "Vem vet"/"Who knows"). The black and white video well matches the grey Infinity. Tonight I was on a musical concert (for the first time in 15 years or so). First it was a dinner included and then the the lady Lisa Ekdahl was giving a concert. In 1994 her greatest (yes this one) hit was written, but at the time my economy kept me from buying her CD. That little person (a head shorter than others on the scene) had such a presence (like an HQ Tramontana in the sky?). Yes, you are probably right when you think it has gone a little over the the top... One more kind of kite related thing, the person that got a HQ salsa kite as a wedding gift showed interest in the artist. He is a saxophone player and immediately got hold of the musical notes for "Who knows" when hearing of my coming concert visit, but I had already bought the tickets half a year ago, so he unfortunately couldn't join us...


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Either replace the broken spar - or whatever you do to one side, do to the other. Keeps balance in the kite. Beware of adding too much weight, it might affect handling!

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On 7/9/2016 at 6:27 PM, Wayne Dowler said:

Either replace the broken spar - or whatever you do to one side, do to the other. Keeps balance in the kite. Beware of adding too much weight, it might affect handling!

Thank you Wayne for addressing my "case". I think the effects on weight, centre of gravity and moment of inertia of the kite are negligible. First the added glass fibre is there to increase strength while reducing mass of the repair itself. Second (and third) the repair/reinforcement will be on the inner end of one LS, starting about 0.5cm from the centre sideways and extending a few cm to one side. I also expect the centre-T is already somewhat close to the centre of gravity in a lengthwise direction.

My concerns are more in getting the work done properly, getting the epoxy in the fibre strand and the air out without leaving too much glass fibre/epoxy that needs to be sanded away (and I really dislike the itch that you can get from abrased glass fibre). Better warm up by repairing an old cracked pultruded carbon tube that I got in the shed.

Another possible issue is wetting. Generally glass fibre gets wetted well by both epoxy and polyester resins. This means that they work well under both compressive and tensile stress. You can however, to my understanding, treat a glass fibre so that either the wetting by epoxy or polyester increases. This is called sizeing the fibre. The welding sheet I got have some kind of treatment according to the text on the package, but you can't see it. If this is of importance - I don't know. If there would be any problems, could it be put on burning coal or washed in solvents to affect the treatment of the fibre? Why not just use a Dyneema or Spectra kite line (polyethylene aka. polyethene) instead of glass fibre to wind around the tube with the fissures you may think. Well the wetting of polyethylene by epoxy is supposed to be terrible. Still generally speaking, this got two consequences, a composite with poor wetting breaks easily under compressive stress (of any importance in the spiral wound case here?) and when being sanded chunks of the surrounding resin might come off from the fibre. A Kevlar (or aramid) fibre's epoxy wetting (again to my understanding) is somewhere in between glass fibre and Spectra/Dyneema.                              

Disclaimer: I'm not an composite authority in any way, have only made a single glass fibre/epoxy item before, but have been doing some reading up recently. The info above is intended for giving a direction for my repair and is only hopefully right.

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On 7/10/2016 at 0:04 AM, John Barresi said:

OMG - can't like this post enough, great, GREAT read. :)

Thank you very much for this positive "review" (and sorry for my late comment/reply). I hesitated a bit initially when starting out to write this multi-layered story mixing less serious content with the pure kite related, by kind of telling a kite story/tale (and at the same time give a kite description/mini-review, a flight log and initial ideas for repair (yes, a way shorter version than the actual blog entry)). One reason for the hesitation of introducing the less serious content part is the need to quite often explain the difference between sport kites and toy kites, in a way to be taken seriously. The alternative angle, I figured, could therefore also make other kiters more skeptic. In your signature (as of today and for at least two months back) you suggest to reward posts that are helpful. Your post here is not helpful in some specific detailed kite way but more in a "Frank Sinatra way". I couldn't find a part of the lyrics I like more since I like the whole song, so I do something unusual, I narrow it down instead, to one line:


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