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Michel Graves

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About Michel Graves

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  • Birthday 08/01/1966

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  • Favorite Kite(s)
    All of them
  • Flying Since
    Early 1980s
  • Location
    Houston, TX
  • Country
    United States
  • Interests
    Kites, music, movies, wine, dogs, biking, rollerblading, writing, technology, podcasting, and otherwise frittering away my life.
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  1. Alas, I don't fly quad much any more. Nor indoor. No readily available venue nearby. I would do it exactly the same. That is, except for not being able to get the same tubes any longer. Only reinforcements were at the tips near the feet. Just self-adhesive 1.5 oz ripstop patches. Used vinyl end caps as connectors. Had to use a hard tube for storage so the sail wasn't damaged.
  2. Years ago I made an Orcon Rev 1.5-ish. Ripstop Orcon, 1.5 oz Dacron LE, Skyshark 2p tubes. Just rolled edges using 3M adhesive. It was a great kite. It lasted along while, but the ripstop eventually delaminated from the mylar film. These are the only known photos of it, taken in Verdun, PQ back in 1992 (I think) Yes, that's Scott Aughenbaugh who was inspired enough to borrow the kite from me for a bit. He's toying with Cory Jensen. Good times.
  3. FWIW, these days I'm mostly flying ATM UL by Lam Hoac outdoors. Occasionally the regular ATM.
  4. There is a continuum that spans zero wind/indoor to SUL, UL, Regular and onward. IMHO, it's about being optimized for a specific role. I started flying indoors in the early 90's before light, tapered carbon was introduced. In Oct 1994 I made a Rev 2.5 using first generation SkyShark 2p and Orcon (metalized ripstop mylar.) 1oz ripstop leading edge. Adhesive ripstop corner reinforcements. I still have the kite, although it's not flyable anymore. As the Orcon aged the ripstop fibers come away from the mylar. Without the ripstop the sail is very frail and prone to tear/puncture. Nice thing about Orcon is that it can be taped with 3M adhesives. Long ago I described this in a KiteLines article. No bridle. Minimal everything. Flies well on 18-24' of 30# spectra, depending upon the height of the venue. I used it indoors mostly. Only occasionally outdoors. The trouble with indoor vs outdoor is that outside you're never assured of zero wind. A 3-4 mph gust can come along and surprise you. So something that's extremely light and also fragile might be best indoors only. I can recall doing some work on calculations for sail loading. That is, the mass of the kite / sail area, to project low wind capability. I don't have recall of the numbers, but there was a table of sport kites where I tried to compare them on theoretical basis. Also, I found that it was possible to be too light. It takes mass to have inertia. Without enough mass you lose control. The mass of the lines can become disproportional in their impact on it's behavior during slack line moves. Lacking for mass you're forced to compensate with added velocity. Sustaining velocity in zero wind can be hard on the body.
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