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Everything posted by Khal

  1. I got the Sport-brella XL for Father's Day a few years back and it's been great. A little heavy, and no floor, but very sturdy and easy to setup on grass or sand. It's been a life saver up on Jockey's Ridge. I do recommend two person setup if the wind is blowing hard.
  2. I agree. It flies like a dream too. I wish I owned it.
  3. Very nice! Have you run that clip through an anti-jitter filter to smooth it out? I notice at times (mainly when the kite fills most of the screen) that the rest of the scene seems to morph around it. A pretty cool effect but not one I think you'd get without post processing the video. I've been looking for something I can run kite captured videos though to get rid of the jiggle. Thanks
  4. The slipperiness is amazing. You really can fly with ten wraps like it wasn't wrapped. I haven't had any issues yet with durability, but I don't get many chances to team fly. I've heard it said that they're stretchier than LPG of equal test. I think I can feel it, but it doesn't seem to bother me much. I fly about evenly on Skybond and LPG these days.
  5. It's not a substitute for stretching all four lines from a stake to check length, but there's a quick check I like to do whenever I set up. With the rev parked leading edge up, hold the handles together in both hands so that they're lined up evenly together, top to top and bottom to bottom. Keeping the handles tightly together, launch and try to fly straight up. If the kite won't fly straight up the window, you need to adjust leaders until it will. Normally you just add a bit more brake (lengthen the leader) on the side that wants to get ahead. Make sure that you don't have a snag on a bottom wingtip. Even if the lines themselves are clear, you can have a lower bridle leg looped around the endcap. It can be hard to see at a distance, but it's enough to make the kite misbehave.
  6. I remember being struck by how much it felt like fishing, when I first started with my EXP and lacked the meager low wind skills I've learned since. I'd hall my gear to my favorite spot, reel out my lines, put brightly colored (wind) bait on one end, hold the handles at the other end, and wait patiently for that little tug that meant there was a puff of wind. When it came, I would jerk the handles back for a quick launch, then play them back and fourth trying to keep tension so the breeze wouldn't get away. Each time I hoped THIS would be the one that got the kite high enough off the ground that the breeze would stay hooked. They always got away, but this one time, I hooked a gust that was THIS BIG!
  7. No argument from me. By the time you modify a FlowForm enough to make it controllable, it's a very different kite. This project would seem a lot more practical if you started with a quad foil. There are already examples of automatic systems to control those, and it's where I would start. But then, I'm not a kite maker. Almost. A stable, symmetrical SLK will find the downwind point and stay there. An unstable one will swoop all around it. An asymmetrical one (e.g. one deformed by extra control lines) may have a stable point that is not directly downwind. The only circumstance I can imagine where a kite will fly with its "back to the wind" is when the pilot is moving downwind faster than the wind is blowing. It can happen temporarily in traction kiting. Of course, as you point out, a kite on one line just won't do this. Yes. True enough, but reinventing the wheel is how we get better wheels, or at lest different ones. At the very least I'm sure he'll have a lot of fun and learn a great deal in the process. The automatic control seems like the most interesting part (to me), but to get to automatic control, first you've got to have control.
  8. It's certainly possible to tack upwind under kite power. Kite surfers do it all the time! In addition to the pull in the downwind direction, a kite also generates lift across the wind like an airplane wing. When you factor in the change in the apparent wind direction that comes from the pilot moving rapidly over the water, it can be quite complicated. It sounds like Guy is planning a sort of kite surfing with an automatic mechanism to trim and control the sail. That would be pretty cool. As has been pointed out, these kites are inherently dynamically unstable. You can't fly them as SLKs without a drag stabilizer of some kind. But it's that very instability that makes fighter and stunt kites maneuverable. Only constant adjustment by the pilot keeps them in the air. If he can rig the flowform to be controllable (e.g. as a dual line), and his controller can sense and correct the kite fast enough, this could work.
  9. Thanks for taking the reins, Bucko! See ya next year in NC.
  10. ....or is that 86?Anybody?? But Agent 86 didn't work for KAOS, he worked for Control. Now The Craw on the other hand....
  11. I know that for me 1/2" would not be enough to notice, but I don't think adding handle length would feel like more brake. The longer moment arm makes the brakes a tiny bit more sensitive. So you wouldn't be starting with more brake (other things being equal), but you would get braking with smaller hand motions.
  12. I'm sure it crossed his mind, but while they are normally very gracious hosts, I think the Parks & Rec Department would have taken exception.
  13. I avoid trees like the plague. A friend of mine, who is an amazing Rev pilot, was flying at a local festival. A couple who were new to kiting got their brand new baby SLK caught in one of trees that dot the field. He pulled out his B-pro and proceeded to expertly nudge their kite out of harm's way, but in the process one little gust swirling the wrong way meant that his baby was now snagged far worse than the original kite. Hours of effort with upended picnic tables and banner poles only made it worse. In the end, he had to leave without it. A year later the skeleton of his kite still haunts that tree as a reminder that no good deed goes unpunished.
  14. I tried flying one of those once. It looked like fun, and I thought "I can fly quad. How different can it be?" Boy was I mistaken. (Not the fun part. It still looks like fun.) The one I flew didn't have the little colored arrows, so you could never tell what was forward or reverse (or sideways, or slantways, etc.) Five minutes later I handed it back, lest I break it.
  15. I use the cheapest little Skywatch model. Not too accurate, I'm sure. It has one advantage, though. It's so small and light that I've tied it to the kite to get a rough estimate of the winds at altitude.
  16. My first quad line was a Flexifoil Sting. It's much smaller than their power kites, and quite maneuverable. You know you'll never get the performance of a framed quad, but I was able to fly it in reverse and hover inverted long before I ever touched a Rev. I doubt it could pull off the water play in that video though. The Sting is darn near indestructible, though I confess I've never broken a spar on a Rev. Some would say I'm not trying hard enough.
  17. I'm planning a day trip down to the Rogallo Festival tomorrow. Looks like I just missed you.
  18. I've got a Prism 3D, the predecessor to the 4D. It came with lines that were 15 or 18'. For my very limited dual line skills they were way too short. I constantly struggled until an experienced kiter suggested longer lines. The 4D comes with 50's so I got a set of lightweight 50's and I was finally able to fly it. I never tried 30'.
  19. Khal

    kite lights

    I posted this over on the revkites forum a while back: http://www.revkites.com/forum/topic/4568-glowing-revs/page-2#entry84535 It's a video clip of flight testing a light rig I made for my Revs that changes the LED colors based on the orientation of the kite.
  20. Cut John a little slack. He's probably still in Wildwood, and still jetlagged from Australia. I'm sure you'll get processed in time for the drawing. Not that I can blame you for being anxious to have a shot at such a purty kite.
  21. When I first started flying in competition (quad) I tended to practice right up until the moment I had to go on the field. On two different occasions (I'm a slow learner) I tried to carry my own kite and handles I over to the field, slack lines dragging behind me. The result was a macrame bird's nest and a hurried change to a different line set of a different length or weight than I had planned. Eventually I learned to park my kite in the pit area properly, well before my name was called.
  22. Khal

    OK, what's next ?

    That's a "bargello," Eliot's take on Florentine Renaissance art.The closest weave I can find looks like this: http://flickr.com/photos/alloyjared/8097281566/in/set-72157631791960925/lightbox/ Though I think I've seen a version with more color.
  23. In a good month I fly a couple of times a week. Lately once a month is a treat. Too many obligations. I think it's totally normal to feel like you've hit a plateau. I've been there multiple times, but as long as I keep at it things improve even without me noticing. Wayne's advice about setting goals is useful. I always devote some time to trying the (many) things I can't do well yet. One year at Wildwood I stayed on the beach all evening while everyone else was at the kite auction. I crashed a few hundred times, but I walked off that beach knowing how to flic-flac, and used it in novice competition the next day. I never felt good at it, but I kept practicing. Months later I got my first full vent rev, a B2, courtesy of Kitelife (Thanks John!). I took it out to a club fly, and just for yucks I tried some flic-flacs at new angles. I proceeded to flic it in 8 different orientations around the clock face without a hiccup. My buddy was shocked, "I didn't know you could do that!" "I didn't know I could either!" I honestly replied. I still haven't repeated it quite as well. Keep flying. Try things that are hard. Crash. Your hands are learning even when your brain doesn't know it.
  24. I used to lose mine all the time in sand or brown grass. One can of fluorescent orange spray paint solved the problem. I always seem to find at least one white one cleaning up after a festival. Won't help you when the snow gets deep of course.
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