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frob

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frob last won the day on May 7

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About frob

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  • Favorite Kite(s)
    Like asking me to choose my favorite child.
  • Flying Since
    1984
  • Country
    United States

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  1. frob

    Handles

    I prefer long handles. They mean that smaller hand motions translate to a larger line motion, and allow a farther maximum difference from neutral. Consider if your neutral position is right in the middle balance point (it probably isn't, but let's imagine) then a 13" handle gives a max of 6.5" either way. A 15" gives you 7.5" of possible adjustment, a 17" gives you 8.5" of possible adjustment as you move your hands. If you are about tiny motions and precise hand gestures I imagine the difference will be more important. If you like to flail your arms I expect the difference will be less significant.
  2. I don't see the link right now, but they made a video showing it. The new springs can be slid around for adjustment. Placement of the spring relative to the velcro changes the tension. Attaching it low relative to the velcro gives lower tension, attaching it high puts more tension on the spring. That translates to a deeper shape on the sail, which affects the glide.
  3. Yes, they were taped on originally, a bit of wire with no real adjustment possible. The recently introduced new springs are standalone clips that can be repositioned to adjust the glide or removed completely. Better design overall I think. If you want them you could remove them when packing up, and if you like the glide effect you can fine tune it. If you don't want them, slip them off. My only reflex has become my loaner kite, getting less love than it probably ought. I would love to try all those other kite designs, at least enough to feel what makes them unique.
  4. Yeah, ground flying is tough on kites and rips them to shreds. Sliding along the ground quickly eats through anything from Kevlar to Icarex. Even the Djinn with aluminum tips get chewed up a bit sliding on the ground or landing on pavement. Avoid ground flying at any temperature. 😉 Fly, use it, enjoy it. Parts will eventually break, it is part of the sport. You generally don't see soccer players worrying about mud and gravel that shreds the $15 ball, or tennis players that must replace balls every few weeks as they lose pressure. Sometimes you need to order additional spars, they break and it is normal. Crash less and they break less often, but they still break.
  5. Agreed about wanting at least a mid vent. If the weather station said fifteen but the actual flying field was in a bowl surrounded by trees, go for it. That local wind is lighter than the prevailing conditions. If it was light but gusty, say 5G15, sure the standard sail would work but you must be ready to dart outside the wind window at strong winds, then right back as it powers down. If it was a steady 15 off the ocean I would strongly recommend a full vent, even consider a loan to a stranger rather than watching them stretch and harm their standard sail.
  6. frob

    Twisted flying lines

    I can imagine hundreds of twists shrinking perhaps an inch, probably less. I'm also old enough to have learned on twisted rather than braided line, twists don't bother me at all. But really you should equalize often, if you fly aggressively do it before every flight. There are grips by prism and others with leader lines. Making your own is not difficult. You can add knots at short intervals or just tie one leader a little shorter, either way it is a quick and tiny adjustment.
  7. Be careful of over tightening, too. All sails will stretch over time, tension from the air does that no matter what. Too much tension will accelerate the stretching and shorten the useful life. Some kites come with stretch strip built in, some people add them to Rev kites, they can help slow down the inevitable. You want the forces of the captured air for flying. Too loose and some of the force is spent tensioning the sail and keeping shape. Tight makes the kite absorb less of the force but can shorten the life span. Aim for the minimum tension that removes the slack but does not stretch it.
  8. Yes, it does help get the kites up quickly. Exactly how intentional it is, or if it was originally a quirk that they merely left in place after finding the usefulness, is sometimes debated. If your goal is selling kites, if your goal is to get beginners to get a kite to launch without much skill, then it is effective. If you're going to sell them to people who won't have experienced guides and will have to struggle with it on their own, it removes one potential problem of ensuring the kite has sufficient pitch. Low wind takes experience and skill. You could probably find a good balance point on the short leaders if someone needed to, it just wouldn't be a comfortable grip. Shorter lines, 30 foot, 20, foot, or even indoor lengths are probably more important. Consider that even with well-adjusted lines and leaders it can take many hours (across multiple flying days) before beginners can fly in very light winds. I don't know if they could even be called beginners any more at that point.
  9. Many things are made from it. Rope, kite line, fishing line, certain medical fibers, chemically-resistant wire wraps, and plenty of other uses. All of them are made from polyethylene, but that's about where the similarity stops; much like fiberglass insulation and fiberglass telecommunications line and fiberglass fishing rods are all made from fiberglass but are not interchangeable. There are differences in how the fibers are manufactured, gel spun versus dry spun versus extruded. There are differences in the lengths of the fibers, there are differences in other materials mixed into the braid, there are differences on the count of strands, there are differences in the weave of the strands, and there are differences in the coatings. Several factors matter for kites. There is stretch under tension (kite lines usually have less, the stretch is necessary to prevent the line from snapping when a fish strikes), there is creep over time (fishing line doesn't typically care about it), and there is slipperiness over itself (only measured for ropes and kite lines, not fishing line).
  10. These questions are somewhat of a topic hijack, so a forum moderator could probably split them out into it's own discussion Nocks are used on some kites, they look much like the nock on an arrow. They have a U-shaped edge that a tight cord is placed inside. When placed under tension the cord can slip back out of the nock to release the spar. These kites use an end cap. The cord is threaded through the cap and left in place indefinitely. The end cap is slipped on or off the spar when you set up or break down the kite. More on the rods below... A split spar is broken, even if it hasn't completely failed. You can tape it, epoxy it, or otherwise try to get some more life out of it, but that is playing with fire. Sometime soon you'll hit a gust or a crash and the spar will fail completely. That will probably mean a sharp edge, and it can mean the broken spar will rip through the fabric. Better to replace the spar now rather than wait for a catastrophic failure that risks even more damage. The good news is you don't need to ship away for them. A store called A Wind of Change moved from Las Vegas to SLC a few years ago. Although they transitioned the business from a brick-and-mortar shop to an online shop, they have a bunch of good stuff in stock at their home. Email or call, explain what you're interested in buying, that you live in Salt Lake, and that you'd like to look at the parts if they can arrange a time. Most likely either Kent or Daelyn will arrange for a visit if you know what you're planning on buying. They're located in North Salt Lake by the I-215 curve. I'm sure they have the official revolution rods as well as SkyShark rods in stock. They could show you the difference (and similarities), and sell you whatever parts you need for your kite bag. If you don't have one, I'm sure they could sell you a quality kite bag, too. ;-)
  11. frob

    Wind forecast

    Windy.com point forecasts comparing the models, windfinder.com, and the us weather service point forecast hourly chart. (Start by picking the spot, then pick the hourly chart lower on the page.) I also check willeyweather's hourly UV graph to estimate how frequently to apply sunscreen.
  12. frob

    First Kaiju

    I don't think any of us are concerned about the staying aloft aspect. A nosedive from 7' the kite can handle. A nosedive from 75' will likely break at least one part. Turbulence and gusts with a 30' window can quickly be flown to the lower power edges of the window. With 75' that's significantly more time under strong or turbulent wind, more likely to break it. If I were to risk the kite outdoors on 75', I certainly would not allow a beginner to touch the lines, and at all times be ready for emergency recovery.
  13. frob

    First Kaiju

    Can you? Sure. With a 60-inch wingspan it's a little small, but it would certainly fly. Just be sure the wind is very light, and understand you're taking a bit of a risk in case of a sudden gust or a hard landing. Worst case you're out $125.
  14. frob

    First Kaiju

    Winds are highly variable around the city. Before I moved I flew frequently on the terraced fields behind the Keans Olympic Oval, they tended to have somewhat decent yet still variable winds. There are plenty of places that create natural wind funnels, especially parks near valleys can get a strong but turbulent breeze. I never found a place (other than flying out on Antelope Island) that didn't have turbulent winds. Urban flying with short lines is certainly possible around downtown, buildings create their own wind. I've flown mine a few times outdoors on calm days, including when returning to visit family, but always worry about a gust hitting the kite's breaking strength when flying outdoors. It hasn't broken for me yet, breaking strength is learned through experience.
  15. They moved to SLC four or five years ago, and transitioned the store to online only running out of their home. IIRC there was a family tragedy shortly after they moved, and among the changes they decided to keep the store online instead of a physical presence. They kept the online store running and continue to be a major distributor. They've always responded within a business day when I've worked with them, and I've had quite a few orders from them over the years, including some orders earlier this year. It may be as simple as the family taking a vacation, they have young children. Last week had a school holiday, I believe a day for teachers to do grades for the end of the first semester, so maybe they took some time off? I do agree their online presence and social media accounts need to be updated.
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