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I feel like this must have been discussed here before, but for the life of me I can't find it.  If there's already a post somewhere, feel free to just point me to it.

As it gets hotter at my favorite spot, the parking lot often has better wind than the field, and I'd like to start flying there instead.  I'm interested in thoughts on how to set up, launch, and take down the kite in this situation.  Let's assume I'm on (abrasive) concrete with 30 foot lines and no way to anchor the handles while I set up (unless I bring something).

What's the safest procedure to set up, launch, and then pack up? 

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Basically, the surface is rough enough that I don't want the kite dragging on anything but the end caps.  I'll mostly be using Djinn, so dragging on the end caps is no problem.

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Let me recommend even with the Djinn and Aluminum caps they can pick up a burr on the concrete that will slice through the bridle and worse yet, cause issues when packing up by scratching against the fabric of the kite itself. Try putting some cheap pencil eraser caps on the endpoints of the caps. It will save the caps from at least the first few impacts without adding too much weight.

Easiest launch in your situation is a throw launch. or use a sock full of sand or beads to weight the handles while you set up.

 

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Yesterday I set the handles down and carefully unwound the lines from the winder onto the ground in sort of a figure "S".  I connected the lines to the kite, being very sure I had tops/bottom/left/right correct.  Then I just went for the throw launch, trusting that I'd have only minimal and controllable twists etc.   That worked fine.

Anyone have any tips for improvement?

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On 5/25/2020 at 3:32 AM, riffclown said:

or use a sock full of sand or beads to weight the handles while you set up.

backpackHandle.jpg
Or whatever that happens to be available. In a similar situation where the ground was frozen and was too hard to drive the kite stake (screwdriver) into, the weight of the backpack turned out to be sufficient to hold the handles.

 

On 5/25/2020 at 1:45 AM, DonFibonacci said:

What's the safest procedure to set up, launch, and then pack up?

If you use the tow bar of someone's car at the parking as a temporary handle anchor point, make sure that the car will not suddenly drive away. 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...

I keep waiting to post on this hoping for an amazing suggestion. Here are my few cents, nothing amazing. 

I occasionally try to fly on the rooftop level of my office parking tower. I set up in the relative calm in the back of the SUV. I loop the two top lines next to the handles on the car, then unwind the lines. I will catch / throw after that. When winding up I also hook it back on the car to hold the handles. I also apply two layers of masking tape to the leading edge which gets a little torn up, but is disposable. 

I avoid any type of ground sliding, and even avoid wingtip action with aluminum endcaps apart from a single solid landing. Concrete parking lots are textured to a rough surface great for traction, horrible for kites. 

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19 hours ago, frob said:

Here are my few cents, nothing amazing

Thanks!

I've had success with no anchoring by just laying out the lines on the concrete and then throw launching.  I'm careful with my line management, so the occasional twists and pass-throughs don't render the kite uncontrollable after the throw.  Then I can land upright and deal with whatever line issues I might have.

I still don't have a good answer, though, to packing up without anchoring the handles.  Let's assume the wind is strong - is there a way to get the kite into a "safe" position (i.e. where it won't auto-launch) without an inverted landing?  I imagine JB will say to "270-clam-roll" it 🙂   but is there anything simpler?

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I know you can wind up from the handles to the kite on a winder, but it is usually done in a hurry without disconnecting from the kite. I've seen it done to clear the field in a hurry without staking down. I have not done it, heard it called the red bull windup, but it might work in the situation. 

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I guess I'm unusual, but I just wind-up onto the handles directly & unrolling to an anchor point before affixing to the kite's bridle, always!

If using a winder I'll wind two strands "figure eight" and the other two on top as "straight overhand" winds.  Takes longer to set-up but never a tangle or nesting situation, wet sand, grass or heavy dew on the sidewalks.

I usually leave the lines on specific handles until they need replacement, but spend hours insuring they align perfectly.  Tuning is one sticking point I have a hard time overlooking!

 

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17 hours ago, frob said:

I know you can wind up from the handles to the kite

With the kite in what position?  If still upright, that seems tricky and prone to inadvertent launching.  Maybe I'm misunderstanding.

I've done exactly this on grass, after landing inverted and letting the kite fall backwards.  But on concrete I want to avoid the inverted landing.

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On 6/8/2020 at 4:40 PM, DonFibonacci said:

I imagine JB will say to "270-clam-roll" it 🙂   but is there anything simpler?

Today, I "225-clam-rolled" it (gravity got me that last 45!) and then wound normally from the kite to the unanchored handles.  That worked pretty well, but it will take some work before I'm confident in it.

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Tuning is just insuring everything is right for you, whatever flavor that happens to be today.  If the lines, leaders and handles all "fetch up tight" to a single well placed stake you may then affix onto the kite's bridle.  Never done it this way?

Sight down the strings (tops 1st~with the handles in the opposite hands too). Pull back tight against the stake or fencepost and then slowly give slack, the longer line will show itself (best done directly downwind or up wind).  The handles must be held in perfect alignment thru-out this exercise, tops and bottoms held uniformly aligned!!!!

Now repeat the exercise again for the bottoms leaders. ADJUST whatever you want to make this perfect alignment left to right (handles are still in opposite hands).  If you can't make these tiny adjustments then your set-up is seriously flawed.  (analogy time, driving in the Walmart parking lot you might not notice a front mis-alignment in a school bus, but fire up the supercharger on your supercar motoring the autobahn at 200 KPH?.  Oh!, now you're gonna feel a sixteenth of inch out so fast!

Want to make modification decisions,.... then the line, leaders and handles better be all add up to being a non-factor!

Now you can affix lines to the kite, with the kite inverted,.... does it back-up?, if not tune/adjust knots until it does so, that is the reason there are four lines.  Can you leaders make small incremental adjustments? Why not?  Not a half an inch but a tiny moment, both sides evenly?  this is the personal part, where you hold the handles affects your tuning decisions.

I flick long throw handles generally, so my grip is very high, above the foam, right at the leader/handle junction (if I want to go forward), whereas if I were drawing the "reverse Octogon" I would slid my grip lower until my pinkie finger was at the bottom of the foam handle.  If I need a burst of pure forward drive instantly I'll wrap my "traffic control finger" around the leaders and pinch more tops thereby shorting that leader temporarily.  Just as a keyboardist flicks his hands up and down those ivory keys on a baby grand.

My tuning is highly personalized, just as my kites are, basically for a couple of purposes, one I usually fly in no wind and two I want all my kites to fly the same, like a set of matched golf clubs.

I maintain handles and lines for all the different purposes I routinely face, all set and ready to go, carrying kites from indoors to very high wind with 'em.  I've been doing this for literally decades so the cost and time aren't even a factor anymore, I breath this sh*t!!!

My strongest piece of advice?  "Take the best, dump the rest"

 

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