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Posts posted by SHBKF

  1. Sigh.....  I was there, on GWTW it's last few years.  Read many topics, posted a bit, bought a few kites (well more than a few) & generally had a good time.  I was just learning about forums & I made some mistakes that were a bit rough.  I don't mind that some of that is gone.  I have participated in many hobbies over the years & have seen the ebb & flow in most of them.  Support the sites you love.  Ride the wave while you can.  We are like a vapor.  We are here then we're gone.


  2. One thing I have learned while in the pursuit of many hobbies over my lifetime is this.  You have to ride the wave while you can.  So glad I acquired some R-Sky kites.  Like Rob said the Nirvana was legendary.  My all time favorite image that I took of a kite is from the first flight of my Nirvana WW.

    Into the sun


    73 from SHBKF

    • Like 2
  3. I flew a kite today.  It had been some time since I had.  The winds of Spring were calling & I had an old friend with me.  The Zephyr knows me well.  It was my first good kite.  I am not a great flier but modesty is a good trait for someone always learning.  Don't know why it had been so long, probably over a year.  Maybe life seems tough at times or has too many distractions but there is really no reason not to indulge.

    I had missed the wind on the back of my neck.  I did seem to still remember how to not crash.  Pulled off a few tricks, made some blunders but did some successful ground recoveries.  I enjoyed the concentration involved that allowed me to focus & zone out into the moment of flight.  The winds were fickle as the usually are here in the mountains.  Varied from dead calm to gusts that made me park at the top with the lines whining.  Love the whine.

    Hope I don't have such a pause again.  If I always carry some kites with me I will surely fly some more.

    Best wishes from SHBKF

    • Like 5
    • Like 1
  4. I really like the white leading edge.  After flying the Blue Diamond kite I realized that the white leading edge sort of disappears when the kite is in the sky.  My eye seems to only see the main body of diamonds & darker blue stripes.  The white is close to the brightness of the background sky.  When the kite is inverted parked on the terrain the white then shows up very well.  Your new Midnight Blowing Snow is another amazing product of your powerful kite fab mind.  Wow, you're killin' me, SHBKF

    • Like 3
    • Thanks 1
  5. Thanks for all you do John.  KiteLife has been a part of my life for some time now.  It is everything kites for all kite fliers.  Pure & fine all the time.  The prizes are just icing on the cake.  I have been fortunate to win several times.  It is a surprise, a joy & humbling all at the same time.  The B series have a special place in the world of kites.  I believe I have nine in the kite dungeon now.  I guess I have been around just long enough to see some changes.  Rock on,  SHBKF

    my beloved B mid vent


    • Like 7
  6. I lost the upper spreader for my Prism 4D several years ago when I had no spare tubes or rods for any of my few kites.  It was a bad feeling thinking I would not be flying my little superlight kite until I could order a replacement part.  No kite shops anywhere in my area & I did not know at that time that hobby stores stocked small diameter light carbon fiber rods for RC control rod use on the little planes.  So after a bit of useless anguish, I used my Swiss Army knife to whittle a replacement twig into the guessed length.

    Later I thought I would make something without bark.  At home I went into the shop & found an eighth inch wooden dowel to make a prettier one.  I just tapered the ends a bit to make the fit a little better.  The kite flew just fine.  But still I wanted the proper part.  Thinking about the afternoon I lost the part I remembered hearing a distinct "ting" noise as I loaded the kites into my truck.  On a hopeful thought I went back to where I parked that day & there was my carbon fiber spreader laying in the gravel.  These days I have spare parts, spare kites & still keep my little dowel too.  I also know most dualies will fly without upper spreaders & I have flown them without any spreaders just to see if they would do it.  SHBKF

    • Like 3
  7. Always enjoy topics about wind range of specific kites.  Also glad to see the discussion of alternate tube choices for Hadziki wings.  There was a time that I feared appropriate tubes would no longer be available & I did not think I could make satisfactory ones on my own.  But now more choices are obviously available & the originals are less important. When I got involved in quad sport wings I was impressed that you could change frames so easily.  That is not so easily done on dualies.  But in reality I am like Wayne, I change kites as the wind conditions warrant.  That is a luxury I did not have when starting out with only a few kites.  Times have changed in that aspect as well.

    Just some thoughts from out here in the sticks, SHBKF

    • Like 3
  8. On 9/12/2018 at 7:41 AM, jamesy said:

    ...... I plan to attach a tail if I can find one cheaply. Any suggestions on places to get a tail is appreciated.  ......

    A very inexpensive tail can be purchased at your local building supply store, surveyor's tape.  Check out the bright colors.  Just roll out how much you like & tie it on somewhere on the trailing edge of your kite.  Do several if you wish.  They are reusable and disposable too.  I have used other materials scrounged from various sources.  The most amusing one was a eight & one half inch wide piece black ribbon from an older fax cartridge. But that was used on a larger single line kite. 

    Have fun!  SHBKF

  9. With just enough personal flying ability to understand the flying in the videos I will humbly say it brought tears to my eyes.  Ah, the joy of understanding the beauty of superb controlled flight.

    Thanks, SHBKF

    • Thanks 1
  10. On 6/3/2018 at 11:43 PM, Guest LeeBB said:

    Glad y’all are ready for another Fun Day.  Had Sorta the same thing happened with my Acrobatx today, Had the kite line staked, But did not have the kite stake, It was sitting in the launch Position, I’m New of course and thought All was well and The kite sure looked good sitting up there.  I was texting are something and was in the shade and My wife said , there it goes, It’s flying by itself, I  heard the Sing Of The 50# Line and thought O No, Looked up and She was rocketing straight into the ground nose dive, And DORT , She Hit hard.  Sounds Like a 22 caliber rifle going off😑.  Saw part flying off , we got to the kite and put all the spars back on the kite and She was Good to go.  So far no crashes by My Hands Yet.  

    Glad I'm not the only one with a staked handle unintentional launch.  Had that experience a few years ago with my five stack of blue Nexus kites.  Staked 'em carefully, well I thought I did, but had a similar result.  The kites were leaned way back but as the gusts came & went the kites would move a little bit.  Each time they moved a little I guess they straightened up a little more until the angle of attack was right for a self launch.  My well equalized lines gave them a nice straight trajectory to the top of the window.   Soon as they got up high enough they pulled the stake.  The stake pulled part way & was bent by the pull of the stack.  They kept climbing until the stake came out completely.  Then they drifted off to the right crashing to the ground barely missing a parked Rev Power Blast 2-4.  That could have been a disaster.  But no harm was done & I was very glad I was the only one on the field as there could have been injuries with the out of control kites & the dangling kite stake.  Many lessons come the hard way.  Be careful out there.   SHBKF

    Not a great image but the kites right before that unintentional launch.  If you look closely you can see the golf ball stake.

    4-7-13 Saint John's Way.JPG

    • Like 1
  11. Just my opinion here.  I have all three of the Tensors.  If I were to buy again I would start with the 3.1 & maybe that would be the only one I would keep.  You will have plenty to deal with flying the 3.1.  Also, being a smaller sail than the others, it turns more easily than the larger ones.  Do not try jumping with the 3.1 as it will lift you then let you down hard.  Do not park the kite at the zenith.  A gust can happen at any time.  Stay safe.  Forget the bar, fly with the handles & use the kite killers.  You will have much more control with the handles.  I hot launched a big foil one time in some changing conditions.  The kite went up, the wind changed directions & I was being pulled straight toward my vehicle.  Kite killers saved me for sure.  I think Riff covers all this stuff in his excellent post. But do enjoy whatever your choice as the big foils are great fun.


    • Like 1
  12. No laughing from out here in the sticks.  Looks like a great collection to me.  I never thought I would own more than a couple kites but things changed when I found out how friendly kites became.

    Greetings from the Dark Side of the Blue Ridge, SHBKF

    • Like 1
  13. Thanks for the suggestions.  I indeed have used a smaller screw, a #8 Zinc plated steel flat head wood screw.  After looking at my on hand hardware I suspect it is a matter of what I had available at the time.  It also may be the recommended screw size for the wall anchor used.  The #10 screw is nominally 0.026" larger shank diameter & 0.053" larger head diameter if a flat head type.  I notice that I have deburred & smoothed the tube ends very carefully so that may have made it come loose more easily.  Looks like I will stop by the hardware store for some #10 screws tomorrow.  Appears that yours are round head sheet metal screws Nick.  I only have two sets of handles with this modification so it won't take long to correct them.

    Appreciate you guys, SHBKF

    The below set, still in use, has not had this failure.


  14. The "just starting out" topics are definitely my favorite on the forum.  You get to meet a new flier & maybe hear some different questions.  I always anticipate the the insightful answers usually mixed with a little humor.  The sincere kindness is consistently very apparent.  I also likely learn new things from the experienced fliers & from the new flier.  It is so refreshing inspiring me to look forward to the next time on the field.  I noticed I had "liked" more than half of the responses already so I went back & "liked" all twenty-two posts for good measure. Guess I am just getting soft in my old age. But after all I have always thought it was best to get better, not bitter, as growing older.

    Keep em in the air, SHBKF 

    Me in the gold shirt telling an observer about flying Stuart's Invictus


    • Like 4
  15. Flying a Rev 1.5 SLE full vent at the beach in high winds I had one of my modded bottom connectors pull free causing a crashing bow tie sorta in control landing. The bottom left line shot forward going out about fifty feet or so.  Guess the wind was pretty stout & I overloaded the brake popping the connector loose.  Pressing it back in with a little sand for a snug interference fit held for a bit but popped out again eventually.  Now, back at the Kite Dungeon, I will investigate the issue & perhaps install a new wall anchor or just epoxy the old one into the tube after careful cleaning. Fortunately I had a small day hiking bag full of handles back at the camper so a field repair was not necessary.   Below image shows the kite loaded up quite well.   SHBKF


  16. On 4/26/2018 at 12:42 PM, Reef Runner said:

    But yes, as Wayne alluded to, watch out for the sharp places.  As for that burr, those holes are punched, not drilled.  That's why they are so rough.  

    < handle with caution >

    As Nick said punched holes are indicated by the type of burr I have seen.  I spent many years buying punches & dies in an industrial setting.  As the punch & die sets wear the clearances open up from ideal as wear occurs.  The punch diameter gets smaller & the die opening enlarges.  Punching stainless steel is especially problematic.  The enlarging die & shrinking punch open up the clearance to the point that the smearing of metal occurs instead of a clean break.  A punch & die is actually just a circular shearing operation.  An ideal punch presses/cuts part way through the thickness of the material then a fracture occurs breaking the remainder of the way through the metal leaving a nice clean hole. As you might visualize a die that fits inside of a small tube is a very special piece of tooling.  We did this type of punch operation with similar outcome. The normal good practice would be to simply deburr each piece  as part of the process.  It is a production compromise to merely cover it with a vinyl cap.  The first time I saw a handle with these burrs I said "Ah, production trumps quality once more." If the hole size is not too critical you can keep punching until the punch breaks.    SHBKF

    • Like 2
  17. 21 minutes ago, RobB said:

    I have found that DC and double-DC kites fly WAY better than traditional flat Deltas. I have a number of both, and that's been my experience. I've talked with others who claim to never have problems with regular deltas, but I find that they have a smaller wind range, and are not very tolerant of anything but smooth wind. Ghost or Pyro deltas are a different story, they are very stable in a wide variety of winds, but the traditional triangle delta is not a set it & forget it kind of kite, they will end up on the ground if not constantly tended to.

    One exception to this in my collection is an 11' mesh delta, that isn't too bad, but still ends up on the ground unexpectedly. The DC and double DCs can be staked out and fly for hours, and will be in the sky where you left them unless the wind drops.

    By far, this is my favorite, it flies in 5-25 mph winds, bumpy, choppy, or smooth... all day long.


    I would give the above post two likes if I could.  I admired Rob's kite so much I got one for myself.  It is a beauty!  SHBKF

    • Like 3
  18. Great advice up above.  I did not do hardly any of the correct things starting out.  I survived it all & had a great time in the process.  I eventually achieved a fairly decent flying ability despite my worst efforts.  I did really excel in acquiring kites, but that's another story.


    • Like 2
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