frob

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About frob

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  • Birthday April 18

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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

    The unexpected

    There used to be a brand of kite line called "spider line", it was blue, made from the same stuff as today's Dyneema and Spectra names. I've still got a bit of it on a winder. I think if I knew there were spiders out ballooning, I'd call that as a good day to fly indoors.
  2. It wasn't me being a wimp that prevented me from properly attaching it. I found out the knots were tied slightly too close making them nearly impossible to come together. Moving the knots about 1/8" made the kites come together neatly.
  3. Gentler, certainly, but that's not a bad thing. Kites can have high pull and fast speeds that are beyond beginner's skill, that doesn't mean people with intermediate and expert skills will ONLY fly those kites. Not every kite day needs to be an upper-body workout. A lazy day flying kites means flying gentler kites. A kite can be beginner-friendly can can also be fun to fly.
  4. frob

    Kite buying tips

    If you are considering quad line kites, the skill sets are mostly distinct. You can learn to fly a quad without learning to fly dual, and you can learn to fly a dual without learning a quad. Quad line kites are generally slower and deliberate, far more precise with the ability to slow, stop, and reverse. Dual line kites have more options including kites with high power or force if you like a workout, kites with extreme speed, and kites capable of amazing acrobatic tricks. Some skills are transferable like understanding the wind window or understanding how air turbulence affects flight, but mostly you can learn either one in about the same time frame. With the help of an experienced pilot that can give immediate feedback you can learn basic control in an hour or two. Without an experienced guide you will need experimentation and instructional videos and it will take longer.
  5. frob

    Flight of the Octos!

    I started thinking about making the six-hour drive from Austin, then remembered I've already got a scheduled kite flying on Saturday. That's a first. I hope the octopuses / octopodes survive with all their limbs, this weekend's weather is forecast to be rather active.
  6. frob

    Full Vent with Time to Think

    There are plenty more things you can learn. For strong winds you learn the cost of spars after they break, how to patch a torn sail, and how to cut down a snapped line into short lines. You also learn the "fire drill" maneuver to rush to the edge of the wind window in heavy gusts, and the importance of stretch strips sewn into the kite fabric to slow down the eventual wear. For light/variable winds you can learn patience, learn how to read the tells of an incoming wind by watching the distance, and get the exercise of the "walk of shame" out to the kite as it repeatedly falls (or learn about "magic sticks").
  7. frob

    Travel Frames

    Yes, the one I have is exactly that. Half as long, plus a ferrule. Put two together and it is the length of a regular spar. When making a set I suspect they take a regular set of six spars (one spare), run them across a very narrow saw precisely down the center, then add six ferrules. None of the spars are double-ferrule like the center spar typically is, only one ferrule per piece.
  8. Exciting. Then we can get another vote on if they're really tight, or if I'm just a weakling.
  9. It was mentioned in this thread a week ago. Both the Kymera and Hydra are on discount for $112.50, half their regular price. It looks like the price dropped at the start of summer.
  10. Okay then, I'll de-tune the whiskers for maximum raspberries to the crowd.
  11. Thanks, I didn't understand the purpose of a leech line until today.
  12. Yeah, I've spent the past few years flying quads almost exclusively, even though I started on dual line kites as a kid in the '80s before putting down the hobby for nearly two decades. When I stopped flying the Rev was still fairly new and way outside my price range with a job mowing lawns. When I came back to the sport about five years ago it looked radically different. Anyway, looking over my kite logs for 2018 gives me this: 29 days flying outdoor quad (and thinking about buying an indoor quad...) 15 days flying indoor dual 3 days flying outdoor dual (not counting today) On that note, I just came home from flying and had the numbers open from updating my log. I spent a half hour reminding myself how to fly an outdoor dual line on my Eruption because I'd rather break that than my new kites, then another 90 minutes or so breaking in the Kymera. I'll likely start on the Hydra next week. I'm not sure if the wind was too strong for the Kymera or I just never found the right adjustments. It kept making trailing edge buzzing ("kite farts") through most of the wind window so I kept adjusting tensions throughout the afternoon. Windfinder reports the wind was about 8G14 which matches the nearby airport's wind report that averaged 9, 7, then 9 knots over that time frame. With slight adjustments to the standoffs I reduced the buzzing, but never really eliminated it. I really don't want to stretch out or ruin the trailing edge of a brand new kite before it's really broken in. Does someone who knows the Kymera well (ahem, like @John Barresi ) know if that's too strong for that kite, or if it just needs more tuning love? The strongest gusts were probably near the upper end of the kite's listed wind range but I didn't feel like it was overpowering the kite.
  13. Thanks. It does fit together, juse takes more tension than I'm used to. My concern is more about sail stretch. You can't unstretch the fabric nor lengthen spars or standoffs. With two votes saying it feels designed to be stretched tight, I'm less worried.
  14. Picked up the Hydra and Kymera, that's a great price. (Thanks for pointing out the Into the Wind promotional discount in the other discussion). On my first assembly and inspection, the Kymera feels fine but the Hydra sail feels extremely tight. I couldn't lock the loop around the wingtip nock from the tension, it didn't feel safe to do more than put it through the loop and hook the loop over the nock rather than pull it through to the knot. The first side's standoffs were tight, but I needed to balance out the sail material to put the second set of standoffs in. The tension is greater than any other kite I own, even the indoors that were my former tightest kites. I can still assemble the kite, but there's not a single storage-wrinkle left in the sail. I double-checked that none of the fittings were only partially installed, everything seemed proper just very tight. Is that much sail tension normal for the Hydra? I'm concerned if setting up is enough to stretch out the sail, or if this is typical for the first few flights.
  15. This is why quality line sets are important. If you're using cheap cotton line you might be limited to four or five twists before the line starts to bind and becomes impossible to fly around seven or eight twists. Cheap nylon lines might get you an additional twist or two, but still bind up tight by ten twists. High quality line is expensive, but it can twist ten or fifteen times before it begins to bind and become difficult, and 20+ twists before it is a serious problem. Cotton or nylon dual-line sets are $5, quality synthetic lines are $50+ for dual line, $100+ for quad line.