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Issue 3 (Jun 1998): Best of Rec.Kites

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#1 Mike Gillard (RIP)

Mike Gillard (RIP)


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Posted 01 June 1998 - 04:02 AM

Or, Best of Wrecked.Kites

Welcome to The Best Of REC.KITES! We are attempting to extract the best postings from our favorite newsgroup and publish them here for your convenience. We will be experimenting with the format and presentation so please be patient with us. Your suggestions are always welcome. So far we have only extracted postings for two weeks in May. Check back soon to see all the best from May. Enjoy!

Rod Thrall
Steve Rezac
Tanya Adams
Alice Hayden
Todd Little
Mike Claassen
Peter C. Hugger Editor

This page is a summary of postings on the rec.kites Usenet usegroup that our editors believe to be interesting and useful. Opinions expressed in these postings are not those of Kitelife Magazine or its staff. Postings on this page are updated each week, so check back throughout the month to get the latest.

To view the rec.kites newsgroup, click HERE.

PowerKite Questions

Ask@me.later wrote in message <355c79c0.10719254@commnews.idirect.com>...
>I am contemplating the purchase of a power kite. Initially it was
>going to be the flexifoil 10ft. But then a sales guy started
>persuading me into buying a Skytiger (26 sq ft) saying it has more
>pull and maneverability. Can somebody tell which one I should get? I
>like the idea of having a fast responsive and powerful kite, any
>insight would be just great!

I have flown a 10 flexifoil for a few years now. They can be great fun especially when stackedm and I regually fly a stack of 2*8' and 2*10' together (occasionally another 2 10's get added on the end). They generate huge pull through the centre of the wind and on a windy day are great fun. On a really windy day you will need someone to help you launch (especially on a beach) and in long grass you can't launch them by yourself either. If you want more speed (and about 2/3 of the power) then you could buy an 8' flexi instead.

The Skytiger 26 is a powerful kite, however you loose the chance to stack it in lower winds. It provides fairly similar power throughout the wind window - unlike the flexis that surge in the centre and are fairly weak on the ends.

I have flown both (although the flexis much more than Tigers) and in my opinion the choice is clear. If you intend to do some buggying, go for the tiger, but if you aren't then the flexi is the obvious choice. I have been buggying under various amounts of flexis for years and have finally given them up as being too difficult to buggy with (almost impossible to re-launch a stack single handed) and have bought a 4 line Spider Modulus second hand. If I was going to fly though without the buggy, I would leave the Modulus at home.

Air Brakes on the Matrix

I've got a standard Matrix... is there some form of air brakes that I can
get for it to slow it down in higher winds or is this a case where I should have the vented version?

Are there any standard ways to slow a kite down?


it is possible to slow down the Matrix by using air brakes. Our team was at fanoe during the easter holidays for a training week. Winds were blowing with +40 km/h most of the time so we were flying our vented Matices. We inserted 6 mm carbon rods into the SkySharks to get a stiffer and heavier frame and experimented with air brakes. We found out, that mesh between the standoffs works better than nappies attached between the bridel and the lines. As far as I know there are no air brakes you can buy, but sewing some should not be any problem. If you need the measurements, feel free to e-mail me.


(Team Cloud Nine)
come on and visit our team-page:

Yes, you can get what is called a wind tamer, which attaches between the kite and your flying lines. This will help slow down the Matrix in high winds.

Patrick Grant

United Kingdom Trick Competition Proposal

Attention all UK Trick Flyers who are interested in finding out who is the
best in the UK.

STACK UK is in discussion with some festival organisers about the
possibility of staging an Open Trick competition in the summer.

Before I go any further, this would be an exploratory event to see how well it works and will not be a formally sanctioned by STACK. It would be fronted by the festival organisers but STACK UK would have a lot of
involvement in organising and running it.

There is no guarantee that this event will happen, but we are working hard at setting it up and if it does happen, we will obviously announce details as soon as we can.

If it does not happen in the summer, there is a good chance that at least one competition will be held during the 1998-1999 winter season.

So the question is, 'what would the competition look like?'.

We are aware that trick competitions have been organised elsewhere in Europe and that they have followed a similar format to the existing dual line individual format. What we are trying to do is break the mould and tailor a competition more closely to the style of trick flying, which is much more free form.

Some of the ideas that have been floated so far:

1. Unlimited freestyle competition.
This would be open to allcomers, no restriction on kite type [apart from two lines only?]. The competitor could provide their own music or arrange something with the organisers. Music would be played up to a maximum length of 3 minutes and which point it would be faded out. During the 3 minute period, the flyer can do what they link, try and interpret the music. The winner would be the flyer who the judges think interprets their music the best.

This format is already being used successfully in France with good effect.

If 4 line kite are allowed, a good flyer could have a big edge.
This is not really a trick competition is it.

2. Structured freestyle competition.
Maximum flight time 3 minutes. Competitors can provide their own music or arrange something with the organisers [or take a random selection]. Any type of 2 line kite allowed.

Anything goes. The flyer can try and interpret the music but during the 3 minute period they will be expected to perform 5 or 6 acknowledged tricks. The judges would brief the flyers beforehand as to the tricks that they expect to see. The mandatory tricks could also be announced before the competition.

Tests trick flying skill specifically.
Retains STACK ballet competitive format.
Good show for the organisers.

Untried to my knowledge [don't know if it would work].
Agreeing the mandatory tricks.

3. Battle of the trick flyers.
This has been tried in the UK as a fun demonstration when their is no wind. Put all the competing trick flyers in the arena. An ask them to fly a basic trick [ie Axle]. If they can all complete this [?!], give them another trick. Each time round the tricks get harder. Each flyer gets two attempts at a trick, if they miss it twice they drop out. At the end you have two-four flyers left.

Then into sudden death mode. Draft straws for flying order. The first
flyer does a trick. Each other flyer get three attempts to to repeat it
otherwise they drop out. For each round, the first flyer is rotated to try
and limit the advantage of going first. At the end there are two flyers
left and one will eventually drop out. The remaining flyer is the winner.

Very competitive format.
Could fill an arena with trick flyers at the beginning of the competition.
Good show.

Difficult to regulate and manage.
Big advantage in going first in the sudden death competition.
Not all kites do the same tricks.

I have a train to catch so I will follow up this posting later. If you have
anything to add on this subject please do. We are interested in feedback from keen trick flyers who might want to compete. This is your chance to give us your ideas about how a competition could be run.

Must dash. See you later.

Andrew Phelps

Basic Bridle Formula

>I am attempting to make my first two line stunter.
>Is there a formula or something to figure out how
>long your bridle lines should be? Should they be
>the same length? How do I determine the length
>to begin with?
>Any help or webpage pointer would be greatly

Peter DeJong has a formula for kite bridling. It didn't work terribly
well on my kite, but Peter seems to have had a lot of success with it.
The URL is:

Torn Sail Repair Question

>How do you fix a ripped sail? (Prism Eclipse)
>I'm not even sure how it happened. . The lower spar came
>undone and the sail looked fine, but the next time I look at
>it. . .(the landing wasn't even hard) there was a rip. .
>.Looks like something punctured, then the pressure from the
>wind opened it up a little (about 4-5 inches). The rip
>starts at a puncture, then extends up along the outside

Tim, there is a clear tape available from Tom Marvin
at Hang 'em Hign. If you try to match the color of the
sail it will still be very noticable in the sky as
there will be 3 layers of the color instead of one.

I see a bigger problem here though. You said that the
rip was along the seam. Tape isn't very good at
repairing seams, it's meant for flat surfaces that are
torn. Your best bet is to have the ripped panel
replaced or have an applique sewn over the damaged
area. If the "outside" seam you refer to is the
leading edge pocket then it is necessary to unstitch
the leading edge, repair the damage and then restitch
the leading edge pocket to the repaired sail.

dick barnes
coupleville wa

>If cosmetics don't matter too much, I find that clear shipping tape
>woeks well.
>This is what Prism used to repair one of my illusions after an
>unfortunate encounter with a pit-bull.

The tape that Prism uses is not "clear shipping tape" which has a very low tear strength and marginal adhesion to ripstop.

We have a roll of it (sent by Prism) at Gone With The Wind Kites (www.gwtw-kites.com) It is a thin, clear film supplied on a release backing with low stretch and a very high tack adhesive.

I understand that it is very expensive, though I don't know how much.

As an alternative, I have had very good results with Scotch ™ 3M brand "Decorate and Repair Tape" #23-8085 (that's what it says on the inside of the roll.)

Comes in a 1.5 inch width, water clear. Has a texture similar to electricians tape, but not as stretchy. It is usually stocked by most better hardware stores. Matches any color and has shown little tendency to peel off even after several years. Just make sure you round off any corners to help prevent them from lifting.

Gotta' Fly!


New Trick?

Here is a cool trick that I have been doing for a week now. Anyone else
doing this one? Any name for it yet?

This is a combo popup and slot machine.

Start with kite on the ground, face down, nose away from you. It may
help to have the nose pointing slightly to the left. First, hit your
right hand to start a pop up launch. Quickly pop the same hand to kill
the kites rotation (This pop is like the first pop in a slot machine).
Kite is not stopped, a foot or so off the ground. Now one more pull with the same hand should start the 540. A little slack will allow a 540
rotation, a little off the ground.

I think of it as a slot machine launch move. So I thought "jack pot" may
be a good name.

Light Wind Fighter Kites

>I am interested in people's experiences with such fighters for those
> days when the air movement is minimal. Any preferences or leads on
>plans or manufactured kites along these lines would be appreciated. If
> you can augment the "what" with "why", even better, but not >obligatory! Tyvm.
[|*|] Michael Raycraft am979@torfree.net [|*|]

I've had some experience of light wind fighter flying, indoors, and being in Seattle, a lot of light wind ( > 2mph ) flight over about 3 years.

The first thing would be to get smaller diameter flying line. Weight and wind resistance of the line make a significant difference in how well the kite flys. A kite you can fly in more wind with heavy flying line will be able to fly in much lighter winds with a thinner line.

Some people like flying on 20 lb. spectra fishing line. It's relatively light and has a smoother surface than most natural fiber line. If there are fibers sticking out of the line, they catch air and add drag.

I prefer to use natural fiber line (cotton or flax) because the synthetic lines tend to burn my fingers when I'm releasing long sections. I keep stray fibers stuck to the line by pulling it over a candle or block of candle wax a couple times before spooling it.

I also have a hot waxing system set up to impregnate the line with wax, but wax in the center of the line doesn't stick down fibers on the surface and makes it slightly heavier than it needs to be. The wax migrates out with use, but re-applying wax to the surface serves the same purpose.

The bow also has a great deal to do with how the kite responds in light air. If you can interchange spars you would do well to get some smaller diameter carbon fiber spars to experiment with. If your current bow is fiberglass, a c/f bow of similar strength will shave off a couple of milligrams and make a difference.

A significantly weaker bow will allow you to control the kite with less pull on the line. If you have to pull in a lot of line just to get the bow to deflect, you're wasting a lot of effort. with a weak bow, you just have to tug slightly on the line to get it going where you want it to. In this case finesse rather than power is called for.

The sail area also has much to do with how much lift you can generate and therefore how much and what diameter line you can hoist with it. A kite with a larger sail will fly easier than a proportionaly smaller sail, but the size of the sail in relation to the strength of the bow and total weight will determine how it flys at a given wind speed.

A kite with too strong a bow will go straight very fast when you pull in a lot of line, but as soon as you let off the pressure it spins madly and it's anybodys' guess which way it will be pointing next time you pull
in line.

When the wind is low (walking speed) is a good time to try out some
paper fighter kites. The larger ones will react more slowly and allow you time to recover from mistakes better than small ones. If you have not flown them before, get someone to take it downwind about 200 feet or set some stakes in the ground to hold it up way downwind. Keep it going well above the horizon while getting to know how it feels.

If the kite is going down, let out line! Even a foot off the ground, if you let out line it will just bump the ground. If you don't let go the wind will drive it into the ground and break it for sure.

Even so, paper kites are cheap enough to break a half dozen in an afternoon without impacting your pocketbook.

I've trawled rec.kites for fighter kite postings (a lot of them my own) and put them into the NFKA web site (see below)

Hope That Helps ;)
Brian Johnsen johnsen@eskimo.com http://www.eskimo.com/~johnsen/nfka/

I think this is one of the best discussions I've seen lately on rec.kites.
Nice answers.

One kite I like in low wind is the Patang Lite from Blackfeather kites (Dale Vanderhoof). It is made from .5 oz Icarex and microcarbon spar.

I also like a mylar and bamboo kite I got from Stafford Wallace. Very nice balance, but it does have a smaller sail.

For low wind, but not NO wind I do like the 42" Afghani fighter I have that I got in the Freemont CA hills at a weekend fly there. It is bamboo and plastic from bread wrappers. Flies real well on thermals.

New Rev Trick

I was doing a new maneuver yesterday, and when done right it's really cool. I know it must have a name, does anyone know what it is?

Start by hovering upside down near the ground, center of the window.
Sharply pull bottom line in left hand. The kite does a "semi-flat" spin
counterclockwise. Catch the kite when it is again inverted. Now do the same with the right hand. Catch it when inverted again...etc...etc....

The end result is that the kite does a "fountain" type move up the wind
window, as each "catch" would end up a little higher in the window than the last. It looks like the kite is going up stairs, so "stairway to heaven"
might be appropriate.

I've not been flying a Rev long enough to know all the moves. Peter's site only has a few quad moves listed. Is there a sight on the web that has more moves listed?

Feed me please, I can't get enough of the Revs.


Hi again Bill, ;)
The Rev. can walk up, or pivot up, whether you change directions on each pivot or not. Are you like axeling your way up? Anyone who gets good clean axles could learn to do that with the Rev. The Kewl thing about the quad is anything you learn to do with it can be done while going up, diagonal, sideways, ect. just pull that puppy where you want it to go. Can you do a good clean pivot up? Pick a move and work on it. There is lots of room for creativity! Have fun. (ahh heck, I know you will) :D
Best Breezes,
Penny rkd2/#kites
PS Peter Peter has some Rev. moves to add. Maybe he'll update soon! Anyone else interested in adding Rev. moves to their site?

Event Reviews

Grand Haven

I got my first chance to see carl robertshaw (and his brother who's name I can not remember... how stupid of me...) on sunday during MIB at Wildwood.. wow! they did some pairs to fill in before MIB started having never had the opportunity to see airkraft, they must have been fantastic if the team was 80% as good as the two robertshaw brothers were... Unfortunately during the competition, carl broke the center spine of his matrix right at the connecting ferrule, so he had to scratch but after the competition he did his routine.... since I taped MIB, and have watched it twice since, I think he would have placed first or second (but I have no judging experience so what do I know....).

He certainly flew circles around the competition!
John Biggs <jtbiggs@lucent.com

Grand Haven/Wildwood

Just returned from both of these events and I wanted to personally thank a few people who really helped me expose the US to the English style of flying which I believe will help improve the over all flying in the US.Chris Matheson sponsored by HQ and DKC attended both festivals and the reaction to his designes (midi, zenith) and re-designes (Tram 2000, Trick tana) were overwheming except for the actual sales which we suppose will come later. Midis were always in the air! Chris did a great job promoting kiting and I want to thank him for comming and spending time with us, thanks chris!Hunter Brown for this trip was sponsored by DKC from the US. He is the best flyer/helper I have ever had! Thanks for flying with us in Grand haven Hunter!Andy Wardly sponsored by Benson and DKC could not make it to Grand Haven but came to fly with and for us in Wildwood. Andys flying as seen by most was amazing and I am happy to have caught it on video for all to see later. The only problem I had with him is that he brought with him on of the best kites to date and flew it all weekend, we had none to sell!!!! The new Outerspace is going to be a big seller, hope you can keep up with the making of them Tim!! He also showed us what can be done with the other kites from Tim.Thanks for comming Andy, its always a pleasure to have you here to show the US whats going on in England.

Dodd Gross,
Master Instructor
Owner, DKC


The first batch of Outer Space will be delivered to the Highwaymen (Shirley Turpin) on Sunday at Bath festival. Most, if not all, are already spoken for, but you may be one of the lucky ones if you've already ordered one from Shirley.I'm not sure about numbers or colours, but at least there'll be *some* happy people this weekend. More are on their way as I type.

Thanks for comming Andy, its always a pleasure to have you here to show the US whats going on in England.

Pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Product Reviews

Prism Fanatic vs Alien

"Roy S. Kalawsky" <r.s.kalawsky@lboro.ac.uk> wrote:

> Has anyone got any views on which kite is better for tricks. I would
> like the Illusion but cannot afford it. The Eclipse seems to be being
> phased out so I am left with a choice between the Fanatic or Alien.

> Many Thanks
> Roy


I must agree with the comments of theeschen@aol.com (Theeschen) who states the Eclipse should also be a STRONG consideration. I have owned an Alien for 6 weeks now, and have an Super Ultra-Light Eclipse and have flown a Fanatic. It seems you prefer the Prism name, so, for the same dollar amount, the (standard) Eclipse will out-perform the alien in lighter wind and be a stable platform to learn nearly all ( although I can't think of any exceptions ) of the current tricks. The Eclipse is stable but loves to axel and turtle. Same price. STILL IN PRODUCTION.



"Roy S. Kalawsky" <r.s.kalawsky@lboro.ac.uk> wrote:
>Has anyone got any views on which kite is better for tricks. I would
>like the Illusion but cannot afford it. The Eclipse seems to be being
>phased out so I am left with a choice between the Fanatic or Alien.

I have to jump in and support what Ron K. wrote. He said it all very nicely. Read his post and believe it. BTW the Eclipse is being phased out of main production in, I believe, 1999. It will still be available as a special order item, and parts would definately still be available till forever.

One more BTW...

The Eclipse is a GREAT kite, BUT, it will not do some of the newer tricks out there. (I promise, I have one) Fades are tough to stabilize, roll-over moves like over easy's don't want to complete rotation, but if you're a backflip fan, the Eclipse still kicks ass.

For What it's Worth,


axelman108@aol.com (Axelman108) writes:

> I got to fly an Alien last weekend at Grand Haven! This kite is great
> for the days when it's too windy for other kites in your bag. Great
> trick kite, evenwhen the wind was howlin there wasn't much pull on
> the lines. I was doing tricks in the middle of the window pretty easily.
> Sorry I have never flown a Fanatic so I can't help there.

I second. I got to try it right after Axelman :). It does alot of tricks and some I cant do yet but am working on. It will fly while wrapped in a yo yo which I thought was pretty kewl. Take it to the top, tug hard (near your feet)and then throw your hands up fast to give it slack and it will back flip all theway around with the lines over the leading edges. It recovers really well and gets out of the very few wraps it gets very easily. Flic flacs were a bit wierd cux you have to let it spin past almost into yo yo to get it to go. It's alot of fun in high wind, but I would think would be not so fun in less than 8-10.

I did get to see Mark Reed flying the fanatic, and well... that's probably not a good way to look at it, since he could probably trick the hell out of a barn door. BTW Mark is really kewl. I broke the spine on my illusion and he gave me one for free at the festival. Thanks Mark. The other kite I was really impressed by was the Midi Sandpiper. I spent alot of time on the test field flying it, and will likely pick one up soon. That kite is really easy to trick.

All the axel moves seemed like cake, and even the flippy moves. Great kite, and Chris Matheson was just a neat guy to hang out with. If you're wanting to trick and you're on a tight budget, you might want to look at the Midi. Sorry, I digress. Alien is fun, but you'll need a bit of wind. Fanatic looked pretty kewl, but I didnt get to try it. I really liked the midi.



BTW Mark is really kewl. I broke the spine on my illusion and he

>gave me one for free at the festival. Thanks Mark.

Ahhh - Hi Walt, I remember you. You asked me about the broken spine and I referred you to Mark and his bag of partz. I was flying demo's in the ring all weekend with Mark and Steve. I also have some pics if you'd like to see em at www.houseofphotography.com/mmss click the Great Lakes sport kite championships link to see the pix.

Ron K <rojoyinc@_NOSPAM_msn.com>


Professor R.S. Kalawsky wrote:

> Many thanks to those who were kind enough to reply to my request
> re above. Being relatively new to this sport I am looking around for a
> good allrounder - mainly in the tricks area. I have a number of
> brochures and the Prism range is well presented. I fully accept that
> flying qualities have nothing to do with how well a company presents
> their products in a glossy catalogue.

> I currently fly a Top of the Line Sizzle. This kite is good for
> precision but very difficult to trick.

While reading this string I found it nessesary to put my 2 cents worth in. First of all you should know that I am a Sponsored Prism competition flier & I'm somewhat biased towords there product.I do however own an enormous amount of other sport kites ( Tracer, NS Radical, Aerial, Mastrele, Jam Session, Stinger, Jaberwocky, MEFM, Whangdoodle, Midi Sandpiper, Spectra Reactor, Stinger ) & have continuously compared their flying ability to Prism's kites. The 1st Prism kite I flew was an Eclipse & immediatly notced something very special about this kite. It is extremely trickable & now thanks to the '98 bridle improvements is more stable in precision than ever.I had the opportunity to fly one of the last Illusion prototypes (before it had a name)& again knew there was something special & different about it. I think it can all be brought down to one common cause. Mark Reed , the designer is on to something. With each design & improvement He puts in a lot of time on the test field.& as a group his partners Scott & Scobie strive for an excelence in quality that is unsurpassed in the industry. In this ever changing industry of Kite Manufacturing many of the other companies have either disbanded or been swollowed up by larger companies. As far as " glossy color catalogs are concerned" when you have an outstanding product you should give it the best image possible. These guys put a lot of money back into the company & make no mistake the kites show it. As with any flier we all have our own style I'm just glad mine & Prism's go together. If results are what you want Check your AKA & AKC standings

In Pacific Region- EIP,EIB & Freestyle. In AKC- EIP,EIB . After the All-American has been tabulated See Who's # 1. Thanks Prism I couldn't have done it without your kites. By the way one of your best buys if your thinking about entering the sport or just for fun, The Fanatic! It's like a faster, smaller Illusion. But don't forget the Eclipse or the Illusion If your a serious flier. There are so many kites out there. Try before you buy is my best advice. If you run into me on the field, introduce yourself & try what I'm flying. Good luck!

Steve LaPorte <facemaker@earthlink.net>

Rev vs. Synergy Deca?

I'd like to try my hand at four lines. I've read alot about Revs, but I've also seen the Synergy Deca in catalogs. Being an unconventional sort, I'm not willing to go with the herd to get a Rev unless someone out there can help me with basic information.

I'd like to make the comparison between Synergy Deca 6 vs. Rev 1.5 SLE.

What is it like to fly a Synergy Deca 6? How is it compared to the Rev? Why would I want one vs. the other? Are they drastically different or pretty much the same?

Tim Hicks <timXhicks@mindspring.com>


>What is it like to fly a Synergy Deca 6? How is it compared to the
>Rev? Why would I want one vs. the other? Are they drastically
>different or pretty much the same?

Well, I'll throw in my 2 cents...
I have both a Rev and a Synergy, and like them both. They are similar kites, but retain enough differences to make them each a singular experience.
Main differences as I see it are two-fold; aesthetic and functional/aerodynamical.

Aesthetically the Deca wins hands down. It just looks so stinking cool. Most people who pass you at a park or beach will stop to ask about it, and comments on it's coolness. It does take some time to get used to putting the darn thing together, as that can be trying to the beginning flyer. (all those pesky lines and rods going all over the place!) You also have the fun of having what is most likely the only one of its kind in the air, as there aren't all that many of them around.

As for flying performance, both operate as basic quadlines, no suprises there. Tilt the top of the handles towards you, and the kites launch, tip them down and the kite lowers. Both spin very well and control is very easy. Oversteer is more of a problem for me personnally with the Rev, but I've had others say just the opposite, so I guess it depends on what you start with, and what your more used to.

As for sliding, the Rev wins that battle as well as the flying "upside down" contest. The Deca tends to rotate over if I try to fly it in reverse to fast, or in any direction other than down. Control for both are good, and in no time you'll be tapping people on the shoulder or knocking the hats off their heads.

Tricking or stunting with these two kites is another big difference. The deca just doesn't have that many options. With some practice it's pretty easy to land in any orientation you want, including some impressive tip stands. The deca will flip over onto it's back in a roll up like move that looks pretty cool, as well as being able to flip onto its back and stay there, floating in the air upside down. I've also been able to get a kind of axel out of the thing that looks pretty cool, but defies the written word, so I won't even try ;->

Alot more is possible with the Rev, starting with really tight spins that don't lose attitude at all. Sliding is very easy compared to the deca, and will move from edge to edge without to much coersion. I have recently seen (so I know it can be done) slides with the leading edge pointing down, at about 6 inches off the ground! I also witnessed a very impressive move with the kite being floated tips forward at an aggressive angle requiring some deft handling of the handles.

Well I started out to throw in my 2 cents, and I seem to have used up at least a quarters worth, so I'll stop now.

Sorry for the rambling and hope this helps out some. Before you get one, try to find a way to demo both. If you live in Seattle, let me know and I'll let you fly mine.





I've got a few revs, and a bit of time under my belt on them, but haven't had the pleasure of flying the SLE yet; I also have a Synergy Deca A1, which is the entry level model. To sum up the kites (admittedly very subjectively) I would say that the Synergys are aesthetically excellent and very good fliers, and the Revs are interesting-looking, excellent fliers. Both are challenging, rewarding, and, if that's your bag, crowd pleasers. They are quite different as quadlines. In any case both types are a blast.

If you're coming from dual-line kites, the learning curve is said to be initially a little steeper than for someone flying quads as their first controllable kite, but it probably depends more on the individual.

Two places to check out for more information are:

1. George Gilchrist's two reviews of Decas at:
(Guildworks under the quadline section), and;

2. The REVisions web page maintained by David Hathaway at:
where you will find discussions (with perhaps a Rev bias) by flyers in the archives. You might also consider joining David's mailing list there.

Hope this aids and abets <g>,
Michael Raycraft am979@torfree.net [|*|]


>I've read alot about Revs, but
>I've also seen the Synergy Deca in catalogs. Being an unconventional
>sort, I'm not willing to go with the herd to get a Rev unless someone
>out there can help me with basic information.

I haven't flown the Deca 6 but I have tried the 15 and I own the A1 as well as some Revs. I cannot see any reason at not buying one of the Synergy kites. They don't fly quite the same as Revs but I feel they are more graceful flyers. They certianly are more interesting to look at, especially if you can find one of the tie dyed ones. Due to the tensegrity frame they seem to be very durable. I also like the fact that you don't need a kite stake with these kites. I was flying my A1 yesterday in gusts over 30mph and the kite stayed put on the ground with no stake. Not a big deal but pretty cool anyway. By the way, the A1 was a blast in those high winds, very steady and easy to fly so for anyone interested in a high wind quad, this is a great choice (cheap too). I was flying in 20 mph with much higher gusts using the furnished 80lb,32ft lineset and had no problems. There is very little pull in those winds. According to the booklet that came with the kite, it is rated for 45mph!! After yesterday I believe it. It is not much fun in wind under 10mph though.

Tony Heeschen
theeschen@aol.com (Theeschen)


Tim Hicks <timXhicks@mindspring.com> wrote in article

> I'd like to try my hand at four lines. I've read alot about Revs, but
> I've also seen the Synergy Deca in catalogs. Being an unconventional
> sort, I'm not willing to go with the herd to get a Rev unless someone
> out there can help me with basic information.

> I'd like to make the comparison between Synergy Deca 6 vs. Rev 1.5
> SLE.What is it like to fly a Synergy Deca 6? How is it compared to the
> Rev? Why would I want one vs. the other? Are they drastically
> different or pretty much the same?

The large advantage of the Synergy over the Rev for a novice to quad kiting, is that the Synergy is almoast always ready to take off again, while a Rev can be lying flat on the ground.

That is the main raison that both my sons prefere the Synergy, they never have to walk to the kite to set it ready to launch again.

When it comes down to flying them, I prefere the Rev, but I think you will find as much kiters who prefere the Synergy. I would say that the Rev is a bit more direct to fly, while the Synergy is more graceful.

I hope this helped you out.


I am not an expert, I would like to point this out, however, I do like quadline kites. I have a Rev and learned to fly on one, I love it. It has a solid feel when you fly it. The Decca, to me, has a springy feeling to it

that I never quite get used to. But it isn't a worse kite than the Rev, they are just totally different. I think had I learned on the decca, I would not like the Rev so well. All the two kites have in common are four lines. But if you like quadline kites, you will love either one and probly end up with both. I fall more in love with the decca each time I get to fly it, but will never give up my Rev.

Collette Lemons <rokman@sprintmail.com>


Okay here goes.

The Rev 1.5 SLE is about as perfect a 4-line kite as can be. Because of the stiffer leading edge, the kite is more responsive than last years 1.5/ this years EXP. The Deca's are the absolute coolest looking kite around but in my limited experience with them, they have a much smaller window of wind.

Here's the Ron Despo test results:

Ease of assembly: Rev
Learning to fly the first time out: about even
Reverse flight: even
Side flight: Rev
Size of wind window: Rev
Stop on a dime & give 9 cents change: Deca
Linear speed: not sure, but lean towards Deca
Ability to recover in a crash: Deca by a small margin (debatable)
Speed control: even
Ability to "trim" flight characteristics: Deca (most Rev fliers will ADD adjustable knots in their handles' pigtails while Deca's have adjustments BUILT-IN to the handles.
Durability: Even, but Deca's seem unusually tough for their appearance.

Please remember I fly Revs exclusively in competition but have flown Deca's. One question I've always hadwith Deca's- Is it my imagination or are Deca lines typically short? Say 65' vs 100' for Revs?

Hope this helps, and don't forget how much you paid for this opinion.
Ron Despojado
Revolution Kites
Webmasterrdespo@aol.com (Rdespo)


rdespo@aol.com (RDespo) wrote:

> One question I've always had with Deca's- Is it my imagination or are
> Deca lines typically short? Say 65' vs 100' for Revs?

1. Or is it just Rev flyers fly on long lines.
2. Or is it that more Rev flyers compete and therfore need a bigger Window.

(simondann@dial.(remove no spam)pipex.com)


As a Deca flier I agree with you Ron. I fly on 100' lines to regain the window. Most Deca fliers fly on 50' to 75'. ( I don't know why they do.) I use Rev handles (SUL) for both the deca 15 and the larger Zero Wind version. I find that the deca handles cause more wraps and hangups during competition.


Jason Robbins <jason@r8w.com>



timXhicks@mindspring.com wrote:

> I'd like to make the comparison between Synergy Deca 6 vs.
> Rev 1.5 SLE

I never try Rev1.5 SLE but have both Rev1 and Deca 6. So this is conparison of these 2 only and ofcourse they are IMO only :)

On flying, both are bit different. In normal wind condition (7-10mph) Rev1 is easier to fly than Deca1, in flying, stopping, spinning and sliding, maybe because of its larger sail area. For higher wind, both are quite the same except Rev1 is heavier and easier to slide. Deca6 tend to flip a little at upper sail end when you overforward. This can be corrected by control of forward speed. Rev1 does not have this problem. Deca6 need arm offset for tight turn, Rev1 does not need.

For trick, I had seen people here did some trick with Rev1&1.5, such as throwing launch, kicking launch and catch landing. For Deca6, it is good in flipping tricks. Both are cool, only different coolness.

Now for look. Definetely Deca6 is the choice. No need for further question.

People always praise Deca 6 durability. Unfortunately my Deca 6 (cheaper version with all Avia 2100 and Exel 7mm rods) always broke on its longest rod (I does not know how to call it), till I replace the whole thing with Skyshark5P and Exel 6, and remember to land when wind get strong. I never broke my Rev1.

My best advise is to try them first before you buy. Both have different adventages and disadventages. Different characteristic will suit different person.

Yongkiat B.


Spirit of Air?

gogo <nospam@spamfree.com> wrote:

>Who are these guys - any good? Cheers - Joe


Dave Maddocks runs SOA from Newport in South Wales. His range covers entry level kites right up to competiton standard and pure trick kites. All of their current offerings are two liners. I personally fly almost nothing else. The quality of manufacture is great, and the designs are real leading edge stuff. My Omega XS and I are rarely parted. Dave has a ( somewhat outdated ) web page at: http://www.spirit-of-air.demon.co.uk that has all of his contact details.

Get in touch - you won't be sorry!

(Steve Holdoway and Julie Holdstock)


>The quality of manufacture is great, and the designs are real leading
> edge stuff. My Omega XS and I are rarely parted.

Second that! The Omega XS is the first kite out of the bag for me! Top quality design and workmanship.

mbookhardt@aol.com (MBookhardt)


"gogo" <nospam@spamfree.com> wrote:

> Who are these guys - any good? Cheers - Joe

hi there jo. well, I think, 'they' are good - consisting of dave and his dastardly posse - otherwise I wouldnt fly his stuff :) workmanship is great, and dave spends a lot of time thinking about small details :)

check his website : www.spirit-of-air.demon.co.uk



SkyTiger or Quadfoil Comp.?

Luke Moore wrote:

> Got a question...should I invest in a Skytiger Hi80X or go for the
> Quadfoil Comp. 3? I fly a 3 stack of flexi 10's + a 6 and I was
> wondering how these kites would compare to that stack?

Both of those kites, I think, will pull more than your stack. Of the two kites, the tiger will fly better in the really low winds. It is also easier to fly and will give you good upwind performance. The comp will take a good 4-5mph to fly at it's best, and then will give you extreme performance. On the buggy it's amazing. But it can be very hard to fly as it has a tendency to dive at you on the edge of the window (when buggying).

Or, you can save some money and get the kite in my sig line. 2 line like your flexis!

Steve Bateman <geokite@sprintmail >


Stranger Level 7

"Paul Manning" <VAXDragon@bigfoot.com> wrote:

>broke both leading edge ferrules and the spars had punched right
> through the leading edges.

Funny You Should Say That!! The EXACT same thing happened to my Lv7 (which I have affectionately nicknamed "Pig Dog")

After my fix, which included updating to very solid metal ferrules, I haven't broken a thing. Perhaps we are discovering an area that the manufacturer might want to explore upgrading? As for the performance of the kite, all I can say is this...

First the specifics:

Wind Range:

Wind range is about 5-15. However it is _genuinely_ useable across the whole of that range. Whilst for example your BoT is rated (ISTR) 4-15 it ceases to be much fun above 10 and thats why we buy Matchboxes etc. The SL7 OTOH, is flyable and trickable up to 15. Weight? it doesn't feel heavy when you fly it.

(Before anyone gets their flame thrower out, thats not a criticism of the BoT I know it will fly in 10+ but it's not happy)


It is tough. I've also heard of a few breakages but the thing has a steep learning curve and you will crash it repeatedly to begin with. What I have heard is a lot of owners (me included) amazed at the beating

it will take. Also ISTR Flexifoil now guarantee their kites against breakages for the first month, by the end of which you should be getting the hang of it.

dualline.kite@mci2000.com (Matthew McGee)


>I'm confused about this kite. Can anybody tell me whether it IS a >good kite, or is it just a very strange thing.....

Good or bad is a rather subjective thing, I personally like the SL7. It's bizarre at first but it's designed to do things a normal kite won't so if you try to fly it like a normal kite you may struggle. Bear in mind that the 'safe' positions you want to recover to aren't normal flight but fades and turtles. OTOH it'll do things like 3D outdoors, rotating fades, rising turtles, steerable fades, effortless elevators etc. etc.

I would normally say try before you buy but unless someone will lend you one for a month that won't help, try to watch someone who can fly one or the video to get an idea of what it will do.

Ian Newham


Just saw Kamthorn flied last Sunday. Though he can be called a master class flyers, he seemed like a beginner with L7 (sorry Kamthorn, but fact is fact). As for myself, I did tried for very short while. Short while because I does not want passed by girls along to road to laugh at me :(

From Andy's VDO, seemed like fun. May be practice. Much practice is needed before L7 can be appreciated.

Yongkiat B.



Not much to add to previous postings except that I had a broken leading edge ferrule as well, and rang Flexifoil, who sent me some spares - I gather they have already modified the kite by putting cutouts in the leading edge where the ferrule fits, to make it more accessible and to avoid risk of damage to the sleeve. Joost also said the ferrule is aviation-grade, but they are clearly aware of the problem.

The kite is great though, and providing you don't mind looking a prat to start with you don't need to be Andy Preston to have fun with it - if I can, anyone can! Don't get too freaked out by the video, though!



Yes and Yes :-) It is a good kite and a very strange thing. It is nothing like your Jam or BoT, it has a massive amount of oversteer that is a bit disconcerting at first. It took me about an hour just to get used to that. It will fly in big loops no problem but tight turns tend to keep going. You learn to "pop" it back into flight and to react to what it is going to do before it does it.

Axels are pretty much normal on this kite and fades are very easy to get into. It holds a fade extreemly well. The fade position seems to be it's most stable position. From there you can do a number of things like recover to "normal" flight, rotating fades, 3D stuff, and some other things I haven't been able to do yet.

With the nose set to the beginner setting you can get it to flic flac, but when you billow it out a bit the kite tends to want to do the 3D stuff instead.

The 3D stuff is cool. Over and over I would get the kite in the fade, roll it over on its belly, nose toward me, and yank both lines. The kite flies right at you. I couldn't get enough of that, it was too wierd.

I have yet to break mine so I can't comment on that problem. One problem the kite has is when you crash you have to readjust the nose billow. Not every time, but a lot of the time. I just carried a small tape measure in my pocket. Also last time I flew mine the slip knot came undone which was no big deal.

Overall I like the kite a lot and would buy it again given the choice. It is one that I will not get bored with any time soon.

Bill Rogers


Rubbing beeswax into the line/knot fixed the knot slip problem for me.

Also (I know this is trivial) I've marked my top spreader every 10mm with one of those gold paint marker pens, you have to take it out to set the billow so why not use the spreader to measure it?

Ian Newham


I would suggest that you try and fly one before the big purchase. It is like no other kite that you have flown before. I have broken both of the the curved fiberglass wing tips!! It is not as tough as they make it out to be. However, with that said, I really like flying the kite. Rotating fades are my fav. The 3D stuff is great! BTW, I hear a little wax on the nose line will stop it from slipping. I still have not tried it.

The kite is a blast. But you will have to stick through the learning curve!

Laura & Steve Pallen <pallen@netos.com>

Good Light/Medium Wind Kite?

I haven't flown seriously for a couple years, and I'm a bit out of touch.

What's hot at the low end of the wind scale these days? The last light wind kite I bought was a Scorpion (which I absolutely love), but I imagine there's something even better by now.

Any suggestions?
--Ian the Terrible ian@cybercomm.net (Ian)


Hi! Glad to meet a fellow kite-flyer! Well there are hundred of new brands of Sports Kites around nowadays. For light winds I would urge you to try, UL Pizazz, Nik Nak, Obsession, just to name a few. For medium winds, try these few ...Sky Burner II, Pizazz, Eclipse, and Phantom ...
clav2b334n1278@pacific.net.sg (Lawrence Christopher)


i light wind kite [well all around kite] that i like is the Jam session it will fly in 2-20 and once i flew it in no wind but its hard.

DJG <dgrossman@monmouth.com>


Hey now, Obsession is not a light wind kite. Light wind to me would mean under 4mph, but that's probably just me. there really are alot of kites out there and who's to say what you can fly in certain wind. BTW the regular Pizazz flies pretty darn low. I've had mine up in 2, and even 0 on short lines, but then again I was having to do alot of pumping at 2 and a pretty brisk walk in 0. It's a fun kite, thanks again Dick for the excellent workmanship, I've gotten alot of compliments on it. Phantom Elite Ultra Light seemed pretty nice, and the pro dancer too. How low a wind are you talking about?

_Walter_ Walt<wpark@nospam.uiuc.edu>


I love my Trick Tail. It'll fly in 2mph on up. I don't like to fly it above 8 or so. It flys the sweetest in the low end winds. I also really like my Wild Child UL by Airmaster Kites (.5-10mph). I'm hearing good things about the Trick Tail ultralight and it looks real fine in a video I have (a full size kite that'll fly effortlessly in 0 wind. None of these kites are cheap tho.

Dave banjo@best.com (Dave Douglass)

Kites and the Laws

Kites/Aircraft (or how high can you go?)

>> > ... You might check to see how far away the nearest airport is
>> > before you go too high, some places will have a limit. It is good
>> > to know....

>Thanks for the tip. Actually, there is an airport near the lake. I
>called, they said as long as I was 5 miles or more away, it didn't

This raises a question that first came to mind last year, and which came to mind yesterday...what do you do if you're an adequate amount of miles away from an airport, but a HELICOPTER comes streaking by?

This first came to mind last July 4th weekend, when I was visiting a friend at Candlewood Lake...it was fairly breezy, the wind was off the shore, and I was thinking about getting one of my kites out of my car and flying it out over the lake from my friend's dock, when suddenly a helicopter comes zipping by, maybe 50 feet from the surface of the water...if I'd been flying my kite, there definitely would have been a problem, that helicopter flew by just where my kite would have been...

Yesterday, the same thing happened down at the beach...luckily, no kites were in the sky at the time, but just half an hour earlier, there were a whole bunch of people flying kites out over the water, most of whom had played their lines out to at least 500 feet or more...they were perhaps 200 to 300 feet up from the surface of the water, and that's just about where this helicopter came zipping by, about a 100 yards or so from shore and only about 200 or so feet up...just half an hour earlier, there could have been a real problem...

So...if someone had gotten injured in one of these potential kite/helicopter encounters, who would have been at fault? The kite flyer or the pilot?

Kite-a-holic <revcoal@connix.com>


The best way to avoid the problems with helecoptors is to contact the closest airfield and tell them where you plan to fly that day. They will let all area and incoming aircraft that you are there. We all work together to avoid ugly accidents . No one will tell you you cant fly, they will simply make sure pilots know you are there. Costs you nothing but a bit of your time. If you fly there everyweekend, let them know and they will make a note to add it to their notices every weekend. That is what I do at the Tulsa Airport and it has worked out fine. As far as who is responsible? I would hate to have to walk into that courtroom. I think by notifying the airport, I minimize my responsibiliy, since they should know I am there. But in an accident, no one wins.

Collette Lemons


This is Connecticut, home of Sikorsky Helicopters and any number of Fortune 500 firms which routinely fly their execs in and out in helicopters via landing pads on the company's property or rooftop... one would need to contact the area airfields every time one went out to fly anywhere in this state.

And my guess is that in both incidents (especially last year's at Candlewood Lake), the pilot was at fault and flying below the level they should have been at...no one can tell me that 50 feet above the lake was a proper altitude, kites or no kites...and there was no reason for Saturday's helicopter to be as low as it was, either, except the pilot and any passengers probably wanted to check out any pretty girls in bathing suits on the beach...


> together to avoid ugly accidents . No one will tell you you cant fly,
> they will simply make sure pilots know you are there.

In the case of the beach, it's a well-known kite flying venue...

I guess you have to live here to understand-..I grew up in Stratford, home of Sikorsky's, and we constantly had problems (leading to complaints by my parents and other town residents), with them 'testing' new models by flying only 50 to 100 feet over the rooftops...again, it was more of a problem in summer, when the pilots made a point to check out any shapely female sunbathing in their yard...

Remember that Italian ski resort fiasco a few months ago, where our pilots were found to have made a sport out of 'buzzing' the area resorts ...its the same sort of mentality with these helicopter pilots...

I have to agree that an accident is a terrible thing. But if you are not next to an airport then you have fulfilled your end of the bargin. Now the helicopter pilot is ultimitly responsible for their actions. When he/she decides to fly below published minimums in an area he/she is looking for troubles and I agree that if it is near a beach area he/she is looking at bodies. Same same goes for fixed wing drivers.

Those same aircraft that are operating out of heliports such as described in Conn and in many other areas are still under the control of some airport authority. Further, the general public has no knowledge of all the authorized places a helicopter can land. Therefore your only choice is to notify the airport within 5 miles. I think we did say we were going kite flying not phone calling!

Again for Collette I agree an accident is a terrible thing and I am in the business and have seen results of things wrapped around controls, but our responsiblities extend only so far. The pilots have responsibilities to fly within published altitudes for the area they are flying in, contacting the responsible authorities when passing through a controlled area, haveing their heads up and on a swivel, and last but not least, being a responsible aviator.

Chris the Bigfoot


You are right in that you can't stop a pilot from being stupid when flying his aircraft, be it a plane or helicoptor. I am not sure if the requirements are the same in every state, in Oklahoma they have to notify airtraffic controll before taking off to check conditions and hazzards. This is not optional for anyone. We have some rec helecoptors and some that are used by oil companies to check lines in the river, they fly low but they do know we are there. So far we have been ok when we fly at the nearby park. But we have a better place that is a wide open field. So we dont really run into your same problem. I do wish you luck.

Collette Lemons <rokman@sprintmail.com>


The Tulsa Airport really appreciates the call they get from me in the Spring letting them know the main areas to look out for. Some of these areas are further away than 5 miles, but the Life Flight pilots love knowing where we are. They know to watch for us at 43rd and Garnett every weekend. Sometimes we are not there, but they are always watching. Closer than the Airport is a rec helicoptor company, they too know to watch for us, because I take the time to make one easy phone call to traffic control. Like I say, they cant tell you you cant fly, you are simply letting them know you are there. I know 5 miles away from the airport you are not under any obligation to make that call, I do it out of concideration for all concerned. It also keeps me in good with the Airport when I get ready to have my festival, lol. But you are also right in that no one is safe from an aviator who does not use common sense.

Collette Lemons <rokman@sprintmail.com>


About 20 years ago I was flying in Hawaii on the north shore were the wind was really kicking and a guy buzz the surfers. When he return to the airport they met him and pull his liceuse for the sunt. So if you get buzz call the airport their take care of it.

Paul Manning <VAXDragon@bigfoot.com


Normally I fly rockets. We keep at least five miles away from airports. We also check out local traffic patterns. In the case of Model Rocketry, we just have to make sure our local airspace is clear before a launch. Of course, in most cases, our flights only last a minute or two. Now for High Power, its a whole different ball of wax. High Power rockets can get up to over a mile in altitude or more. The current record is around 100 thousand feet. High Power rockets require FAA waivers to fly.

Model rockets require no such waivers, but as a common courtesy, if you are in an area with lots of traffic or within five miles of an airport, we call the local airport and tell them where we are at and when we will be shooting. Granted, rocket go higher and faster than kites, but the FAA folks appreciate a heads up and are most accomodating.

With the exception of aircraft approaches and take off paths and a few restricted areas around, say, military bases, I've not heard of the FAA or a local airport telling people they couldn't fly. A simple phone call can solve a lot of problems.

M. Johnson IAR#88 NAR soon


Here in the United States one can purchase aviation charts which depict low altitude military training routes. I'm not sure if the charts one can purchase in the UK show these routes as well. In theory, one could attempt to find a site away from military routes to fly a kite. Frankly, I think it's a waste of time.

International Civil Aviation Organizations have depicted what they consider to be Class G airspace on most charts. It is worth looking for those areas. While there is no guarantee the military isn't flying Knap Of Earth (KOE) practice, at least you won't be cited for flying your kite where someone is likely to run in to it. KOE is risky flying and the military knows this.

We have KOE pilots in my area too. The National Guard trains pilots out of Hagerstown MD to fly C-130 cargo aircraft at tree top level in West Virginia and Western Maryland. While it's overkill to tell people in those areas not to fly kites, a warning that such activities exist is appropriate.

As a private pilot and a kite flier, I have to say that there are really only two places where one should be very careful not to fly a kite: First is anywhere along the runway centerline less than 5 km from an airfield. Second is on the top of a mountain right next to a well known airway. The latter is especially scary because pilots often look for passes through mountain ridges to fly less powerful aircraft through.

Here in the US, for example, if I wanted to cross the Rocky Mountains with my airplane, I'd have problems. The service ceiling for my airplane is about 14000'. Many peaks go higher than that. So the usual practice is to fly early in the morning through a mountain pass.

Flying a kite from a mountain peak in such an area is not smart. Again, you can look up these areas on an aviation chart. It doesn't have to be up to date. These things don't change much. If you know a few pilots in your area, feel free to ask them for an out of date chart. They have little use for old charts, and most would be happy to oblige.

Jake Brodsky, frussle@erols.com
PP ASEL IA, Cessna Cardinal N30946, Based @ MD24
Amateur Radio Station AB3A


This is exactly what Civil Aviation Organizations and pilots are complaining about: You're 5% outside the airport, how much has changed? What really matters is flying the kite along the centerline of the runway. That's what's dangerous. Forget the 5 km perimeter stuff. It's mostly for legalities. And as far as most pilots know, they can't tell exactly where your kite is and how far it is. All they know is that they can see it. That's scary enough for them. You can argue your exact position to whatever court they drag you in to. There are other catch all laws around having to do with placing hazards to aviation in the skies...

Jake Brodsky, frussle@erols.com
PP ASEL IA, Cessna Cardinal N30946, Based @ MD24
Amateur Radio Station AB3A


Here's the bottom line: If you are flying your kite in Uncontrolled (Class G) Airspace, it is the pilot's responsibility to see and avoid. In the United States, the Uncontrolled airspace is usually from the surface to 1200 feet above the ground. If there is a small airport nearby the uncontrolled airspace may be limited to 700 feet, and if there is a large airport (usually the case in most major cities) the controlled airspace starts from the surface.

This definition applies to all aircraft: helicopter, airplane, glider, ultralight, or even a lawn chair with helium balloons ;-).

If memory serves, I'm pretty sure helicopters are required to maintain 300 feet of clearance from all persons or buildings on the ground. This includes kite fliers.

Also note that helicopters are more likely to sever the lines of a kite than most airplanes. It's their risk. The theory about uncontrolled airspace is that it's a big sky, and there aren't likely to be many aircraft in it. In practice, that's pretty close to the truth.

I wouldn't lose much sleep over it.
Jake Brodsky, frussle@erols.com


In the Candlewood Lake incident last year, there's no airport close by, and the helicopter came swooping down and 'buzzed' the lake at approximately 50 or so feet...remember, this was the July 4th weekend, lots of boaters, waterskiers, and sunbathers on the shore...

As for the helicopter at the beach this past weekend, there's no nearby airport, the closest is Tweed-New Haven...the beach is in West Haven, then to the east is New Haven, and the airport is on the New Haven-East Haven line, in eastern New Haven...at least 10 miles, probably more, away...

So if this chopper pilot collides with your kite, you can rest assured that you are not going to be held liable. The pilot, on the other hand, is going to be on very shaky legal turf. I realize that may not be much consolation if that kite you worked on all winter long is now shredded in to tiny bits. File a claim against the pilot. It's the American way: Sue the bastards!

Jake Brodsky, frussle@erols.com
PP ASEL IA, Cessna Cardinal N30946, Based @ MD24
Amateur Radio Station AB3A


Lot's of times the beaches of the netherlands are loaded with kites. We're not allowed to fly on most beaches between 8.30 and 18.30 in summers because then it's often too crowded...

We're also not allowed to fly kites above 100 mtr (~300 feet) without written exemption and all aircrafts are not allowed to fly beneath 150 Mtr (~450 feet). We're also not allowed to fly kites in a radius of 5 Km (~ 3 miles) from an airport.

So (regarding the time in summers and crowdedness all year around) I fly my kite on the beach and it's useless takeing much notion of plane's since most of the time's already lot's of kite's are flying when I launch my kite.

A few weeks back I had a great opportunity to buggy on a big (eh.. for most kiters in the Netherlands...) piece of land. There was a demonstration against the expansion of the airport by kiting on it. I'm not really against this expansion so I would have gone for the wrong reasons and I so didn't.

Bart Derks, Middelburg, the Netherlands.


This doesn't always work, of course, especially if there isn't an airfield nearby or if the pilot is being controlled from a distant flight centre. Here in the UK the rules are based pretty much on common sense, and as far as I know the same general system is used pretty well worldwide. Below certain heights, when landing and taking off especially, helicopter and other pilots are under "VFR". Visual Flight Rules.

In essence, it's up to them to avoid flying into things, NOT up to us to avoid supplying things for them to fly into. Power lines, temporary cranes and advertising balloons are all examples of things they need to look out for.

Of course, in the UK kites can't legally fly above 200 feet (accurately, 60 metres) without permission in advance from the CAA, except in certain defined areas. Planes can't come below 500 feet over open country or below 1500 feet over built-up areas, the only exceptions being military and police aircraft who can come down to 250 feet.

There are often expections to this, of course, as pilots can apply in advance for low flight clearance in a defined area, just as kite flyers can apply in advance for higher maximum flights in defined areas for things like festivals and suchlike. You really need to check FAA/CAA "daily standing orders" to be certain you're in the right. Flying in the UK above 200 feet, even in defined areas with permission, requires line markers of a designated size and colour at specific intervals on the line.

But generally speaking, in the UK, if you're flying legally and within the rules, it's the pilot's responsibility to avoid you at all times. I expect a call to the FAA (in the USA) will help confirm your local rules, as well as get you a formal copy of the details of the regulations as far as fixed kites, balloons and free-flying model planes are concerned.

Not getting at anyone in here specifically, but frankly, I'd have thought any serious kite flyer, club or group would have the regulations (laws?) to hand, especially as any insurance cover you have depends on you keeping within them.



>over built-up areas, the only exceptions being military and police
>aircraft who can come down to 250 feet.

a friend of mine was once flying a box on a hill in scotland when a military jet came round the vally and went UNDER the kite!!!!

is the 60 meter from the lowest ground around or from where your siting? I should be in scotland soon and as much as a big kite and mountains and valleys seems like a relaxing break the danger from jet fighters is a little unnerving :)

any way of finding out where military jets are going to be flying? I have the feeling the air force might have to keep security a little tighter than faxing there flight plans to anyone who asks.

any one flown in these conditions before?
Steve Allen


I get the impression the military take this with a pinch of salt in the UK. I used to work for BT at a radio station, A10's used to use it as a way mark and would turn steeply around it well below the height of the mast which was ceratinly less than 200ft. At another station a Jaguar actually cut one of the guy ropes taking its wingtip off in the process.

If I hear a military jet I'll get a kite down ASAP, but it's not always that easy and you dont always here them coming.

Ian Newham ian@helen.demon.co.uk


Steve :>

>a friend of mine was once flying a box on a hill in scotland when a
>military jet came round the vally and went UNDER the kite!!!!

Never with a kite, but I've stood on a roadside and looked down on jets flying along sea lochs beneath me, when my feet were at 90 feet above sea level, even allowing for a low tide.

>is the 60 meter from the lowest ground around or from where your

Good point. Is it from the point over which the kite is flying or your feet or an average or whatever. No idea, but I think the local terrain is a good clue. On a long sloping hillside go by the kite. Off a cliff, go by your feet and on lumpy ground go by the average. Common sense, really.

Same with the 5km from airfields. I've been told three things, all by the CAA.

a) It's measured from the airfield reference point (middle of the main runway or control tower).
B) It's measured from the flying surfaces and taxi-ways.
c) It's measured from the perimiter fence, no matter how far that is from the runway/taxi-ways.

I was flying near Prestwick airport a few weeks back and the police turned up just as I was landing the kite and told me not to fly as I was too near the airport and they had complained. (I wasn't, I was over the minimum distance by about 50 metres, measured from the perimiter fence on an O/S map.)

Odd thing was, they had told the police that I was about 250 metres /nearer/ the airfield than I actually was. I make that about 5% inaccuracy at 5 km? Scary, maybe?

>I should be in scotland soon and as much as a big kite and mountains
>and valleys seems like a relaxing break the danger from jet fighters is
>a little unnerving :)

It's bad down round the bombing ranges near Glen Luce (S/W) and in parts of the west Highlands.

>any way of finding out where military jets are going to be flying? i
>have the feeling the air force might have to keep security a little
>tighter than faxing there flight plans to anyone who asks.

Call the military at Pitreavie in Fife (sorry, no number handy) and they'll tell you that they have no-one flying in that area. Often, even before you tell them where you are! You'll need a map ref of course, which means buying a map /and/ knowing how to use it. I'm pretty sure they pay attention. After all, it's a good excuse to check if their navigators are trained properly to change a route at the last minute.

>any one flown in these conditions before?

Me. Often. No near misses, but I call and tell the military first, though I suppose the CAA would pass it on, maybe?



From: Alan Mackie <awm@skyshots.demon.co.uk>


>>airport and they had complained. (I wasn't, I was over the minimum
>> distance by about 50 metres, measured from the perimiter fence on
>> an O/S map.)

>>Odd thing was, they had told the police that I was about 250 metres
>> /nearer/ the airfield than I actually was. I make that about 5%
>> inaccuracy at 5 km?
>>Scary, maybe?

>This is exactly what Civil Aviation Organizations and pilots are
>complaining about: You're 5% outside the airport, how much has


Now hang on a moment. The law says (CAA regulations) that I can't fly within 5 km of an airport. So, if I'm 5,001 metres away I'm legal. If they wanted it to be 5.2 or 5.5 Km then they should say so.

> What really matters is flying the kite along the centerline
>of the runway. That's what's dangerous. Forget the 5 km perimeter
>stuff. It's mostly for legalities.

So, what you're saying is that the air traffic regulators and law makers expect non-pilots to allow a 10 or 20% extra margin? This is wrong, surely?

>And as far as most pilots know,
>they can't tell exactly where your kite is and how far it is. All
>they know is that they can see it. That's scary enough for them. You
>can argue your exact position to whatever court they drag you in to.

I can indeed. Look, if the law says drive at 30 mph then that's the limit. They don't mean 29 mph. They don't mean 28 mph. They mean /30/.

>There are other catch all laws around having to do with placing
>hazards to aviation in the skies...

If I fly within the law and I'm a hazard to navigation then either the pilots are lost or the law is wrong. If the law is changed I'll follow it, naturally. I just wish pilots would always take the same care. Sadly, they



Yep, after the initial newbie desire of seeing how far/high the kite will go, one quickly moves on to 'Why bother?' when:
a. you can hardly see the kite when it's 500 feet up/out, let alone at 1000 feet, and
b. it takes a lot of winding to get all that line back on the spool...

For me, my kick is in hearing the 'oohs', 'ahhs', and 'wow, look at that!' from passersby...therefore, I ususally keep my single liners flying between 100 and 300 feet, they're much more noticeable that way...

A lot more practical too, if one has to quickly intervene if the wind changes direction or dies...in my case, flying a kite 500 or more feet out means having the kite either out over water, or over a street or

parking lot...


>Fish gotta swim, kites gotta FLY!

Yeah, but in my case, if the kite's out over the water and the wind dies (or if the string breaks or gets cut, as happened to me a few weeks ago), then you end up with a swimming kite...(I still hope someone on the North Shore found, and is enjoying, my parafoil...)...

Totally agree. I took my kids to a local kite flying area in Brooklyn about 6 weeks ago. Stopped by Toys-r-us for a couple of inexpensive deltas. The kids had fun flying the kites but who wants to reel in 1000' of line! I've got a little over 200' on my spool and don't always use that much.

Where I fly there's water on one side and an army base plus major highway on the other. A broken line, or mix-up with another kite leads to a lost kite, or an auto accident.

Besides, it's much more impressive when there's 20 or 30 kites in the air at around 100 to 200 feet.



On 26 May 1998, ZBobCat90 wrote:

>Where I fly there's water on one side and an army base plus major
> highway on the other. A broken line, or mix-up with another kite
> leads to a lost kite, oran auto accident.

Much the same conditions where I fly -- LI Sound on one side, a heavily travelled road (especially in summer) on the other (plus parking lots), plus any number of sunworshipers, picnic-ers, and fishermen and women around...like you said, at the very least, one risks a lost kite, at worst a worse accident...

And if trouble develops with one's kite, it's a lot easier to deal with if one if flying at a lower altitude than if the kite's played out on a 1000-foot line...

>Besides, it's much more impressive when there's 20 or 30 kites in the
>air at around 100 to 200 feet.

That was my other point -- one of the kicks I get out of flying are the admiring comments from passersby...which one doesn't get if the kite's a thousand feet away...but as you said, a bunch of kites flying around 100 to 200 feet is much more impressive...

I was barely at 100 feet this weekend, due to the 'funkiness' of the winds, yet a woman who stopped by with her very young son to get a closer look at the kites and to complement me on them stated that the reason they stopped was because her son had spotted the kites as they drove by...something that wouldn't have happened if I'd flown at 1000 feet...

June ;-)


Hi June...

I agree with you here! I like to fly larger kites, and I WANT folks to see them, and see that they ARE larger kites... Don't like to show somebody my kite and say something like "you see that little dot up there at 1000 feet? .. that's a custom WangDoodle, Isn't it pretty?"

Besides that... if your kites have any significant pull to them, you'll get pretty tired bringing one down from 1000 feet!

I guess most of my flying is done below 200 feet (or even less), but that's also because I'm lazy and don't want to have to get a ground crew to walk down 1000 feet of line to bring in a heavy lifting kite :)

Kites are meant to be SEEN, and people certainly notice things closer to them than farther away!

Stan ...aka bofh@hellcent.com

Where to Fly in...

London England

<peter.edwards3@virgin.net> writes

>I'm newish to kites and am looking for a gtodd place to fly around
>London, ideally West London does anyone have any ideas?

Wormwood Scrubs is an excellent place - a massive mown grass area. Avoid Saturday mornings as there are football clubs everywhere. If you enjoy jumping I would keep away from the prison end as I was warned years ago that it might give inmates tyhe wrong idea!

Piers Day <Piers@buzby.demon.co.uk>


Richmond Park is pretty good too as parts of it are fairly exposed. It's fairly quiet, though, which I personally quite like. There used to be loads of people flying there at the weekend, but it seems to have dried up dramtically this year (maybe there's a new byelaw I'm unaware of..). One of the best places is by the gate on the Sheen side of the park.

Robin Perry
Imperial College
e. mail: rsperry@ic.ac.uk (not the one at the top of the page)


We use Wimbledon Common (as do many other local kiters), either the field near the windmill or the large area towards Wimbledon Village (& it's pubs!). Still haven't found any Wombles though.

Rich 'n' Bex


West London flying ground?
Good tube and road links to that vast open acreage of Heathrow :-)



Suffolk/Norfolk borders

Southwold itself is a great place for flying - I have friends there and always take the bag when going to visit. The Common is vast - the rugby pitch is best, but there is plenty of space all around. I've never seen anyone buggy there, but I don't see why anyone would mind too much, especially out of season.

The beach by the river entrance is fine and you can cross the river or drive round, to Walberswick where there is a huge sandy beach.

The other good news is that I've never spent a windless day in Southwold. It's all round a great place for flyers - lucky you!

Toby Rubenstein <toby@utobia.demon.co.uk>

Fun Stuff and Great Ideas

animated cursor with a kite

You can find those cursors at my page. Just click on the animated .GIF of a Prism Total Eclipse..


Your fellow Kite Flier and Windows 98 Beta Tester
Mickey Nichols


michael m. moss wrote in message <3566782D.3FAECFE4@home.com>...

> I used to have an animated cursor with a kite doing an axel, I
> downloaded it from somewhere, but don't know where. In the
> process of updating to the new win 98 (beta) I crashed the pc hard
> and had to start from scratch. (my fault, not the software, replaced
> my cd-rom with an up to date one ) found my old screen saver, but
> can't find the cursor again. It was alot of fun. Can anybody point me
> in the right direction? I'm sure I got it from a kite related site, not a
> software related site. Thanks!
> Mikey

I found the same animated cursors at a site that also contains some great Kiting software, Screensaver & design progs etc.
Pete the flexi mad Traffic Warden!!
it is at www.win.tue.nl/cs/fm/pp/kites/sw/index.html


Yes, and that kite is a North Shore Radical!



getting it down from a tree

after planting a George Peters mantis man at the top of a fifty foot pine on a private school ground. I learned the tree service wanted the price of the kite and more to come get it down (on a sunday) so I called the local rock climbing gym and a kid and his dad came over . The boy climbed up roping off dad as safety and poked iyt out with a banner pole. I stiil ripped of and arm getting it free but it was repaired.

rob cembalest
rncembal@aol.com (Rncembal)


Subject: The rec.kites Charter

cfbd@southern.co.nz (Colin Douthwaite)

The last edition of the General FAQ was dated 12 August 1995 and is in two parts of 63kb and 36kb. No one has maintained the FAQ since that date.

The rec.kites Charter was included at the end of part 1 of the General FAQ and is reproduced below:


The rec.kites Charter


Section 10: rec.kites Charter

The following is the rec.kites charter. It was written by Ken Ritchie (lepcock@watsci.uwaterloo.ca)


The group rec.kites will, as its name implies, deal with discussions of kites and kiting. The discussion will deal with any and all aspects of kiting with no limitations as to specific types of kites. In general, possible lines of discussion could be about:

1) Plans and ideas as to how to build kites.

2) Information as to the best places to purchase materials.

3) Tips on flying different kites, and their pro's and con's.

4) Ratings of commercially available kites.

5) Safety and kite flying laws in effect.

6) Anything else to do with kites...

This newsgroup will be of interest to anyone who is interested in kites and kiting, no matter how serious they are about it. The group is not to be limited to those who are already experienced in the sport. It will partially be set-up to introduce people to kiting.



The Charter makes it clear that rec.kites is a discussion group and, at the time the Charter was written, Net users and readers of newsgroups knew that discussion groups were for discussion and NOT for the posting of binaries, pictures and executables.

Unfortunately zillions of newcomers have arrived on the Net and they often do not appraise themselves of Net etiquette and customs but jump straight into newsgroups and post whatever they choose to post...the result is often a backlash and flaming from newsgroup regulars when inappropriate material, like binaries, are posted.


Colin Douthwaite <cfbd@southern.co.nz> wrote:

>Computer technology change has little or nothing whatever to do with
>the rec.kites charter. The use of this newsgroup for kiting matters
>has not changed substantially.

To add to this with a slightly different slant.

Many of you here know that Sam Eaton set up a kite pictures (ie. binaries) gateway a while back. For those of you that do not know about it, the idea is that if you have a picture you want to send to the newsgroup, you email the gateway with the picture as an attachment to that mail and the gateway strips off the picture and puts it on Sam's kitepics web page and then posts the rest of the article to rec.kites and gives a pointer to the picture. Therefore those people who want to see it can do by using their web browser, and those that don't are not forced into downloading it.

Now the point I am getting to is that I have frequently checked Sam's page since he created the gateway, and there has not been a huge influx of pictures. This would suggest that there is no real need to make rec.kites accept binaries. If there were truly enough of a demand for pictures in the newsgroup, then there would be justification for the creation of a kite binaries newsgroup. However, I don't see that there is really enough of a need for binaries.

Maybe we need to come up with a binaries FAQ that answers conclusively these questions that come up time and time again. Sorry Colin - maybe you have already got a good section in the FAQ, I have not read the whole document for about a year now.

To use the kitepics gateway...

email your newsgroup posting to kitepics@slack.org.uk with the picture as an attachment.

The gateway will strip the binary off the mail and post the text bit to rec.kites along with a pointer to the picture. The binary will then be available on www.slack.org.uk/kitepics/<picturename>.

David Lindgren


David Forsyth <webmister@iwr.ru.ac.za>

Myers and Marchant wrote:

> And the point is? Let's not change because...? Change is bad?
> Change hurts? Change requires effort? Change is outside the
> comfort zone.

Change, in this case, costs someone money, and can cost some users access to the group while it won't cost me any money to have binaries in the group, I know that my newsserver admin would kill the group in an instant if it contained binaries. Why? Because hosting newsgroups costs money in bandwidth hosting binaries costs 10 to 100 times as much as hosting plain text

Mail him at ccfj @ hippo.ru.ac.za and ask him yourself I'm the only person on campus who reads r.k, and thus the effect of terminating it's feed is small, and my voice will be but one in a wilderness. That's *my* situation others are in the same boat, they've said so here in the past maybe you can affrod unlimited and width access others can't. In order to remain fair to all, the group is text only For binaries, we have the WWW, and ftp servers

> Why not change? Sometimes change is good. Two line kites, four line
> kites, tricks and buggies are all products of someone stepping out of
> the comfort zone.

doesn't figure. it's not a comfort zone, it's a realworld monetary COST!

> I guess what I am trying to say is that computer technology has
> progressed significantly since the latest version of the charter. The
> charter is almost three years old. If the charter was written based on
> the then existing technology, is it time to _consider_ changes?

no, not time to consider changes until the money supply can keep pace or surpass the supply of clever ideas like putting binaries into a 'text only by charter' group.

> Sherm (who is sometimes change adverse also, but tries to
> overcome)

brave Sherm, words come easily, but where's the finance?

David Forsyth webmeister A-T Iwr.Ru.Ac.Za


Is the NJ in the cross poster for New Jersey? Is the technology available to you also available on the Ivory Coast? Why not leave it all as it is, and attract a much wider audience, much like kiting does?


Flexifoil kite info wanted

Rick Turner <rick_turner|@ibm.net> writes:

>For a 6' flexi, figure on 150lb lines and wrist straps.

A word of caution -- wrist straps are OK for 6' flexies, but don't use them for 8' or 10', or for multiple 6's, unless you know what you're doing. A wrist strap makes it more difficult to let go of the kite. Also, even strong wrists are complex assemblies, and crushing one or both is a crippling experience.

Although I'd say wrist straps are OK for one or two 6' flexies, you'd do better with Sky Claws. I flew 6' flexies for years with a 3' control stick, which I still think is the easy way to learn.

Brock Vond
zoydvond@aol.com (Zoyd Vond)

KAP - Compact Cameras with Electronic Cable Release?

Williams J. <wmsgrp@globalnet.co.uk> wrote:

: I'm looking for a compact camera that has an electronic cable release socket.
: I've got an SLR with this facility but require a less expensive camera to
: operate in what is a potentially risky environment.
: If you've got any suggestions I'd be pleased to hear from you.

Another alternitave would be to purchase a camera with an INTERVALOMETER.
This is a fancy self-timer that, once set, continues to take a picture *every* time-period (few seconds, or minute, or minutes) until you stop it or the film runs out.

I use a SAMSUNG AF-Slim that has this feature (and I generally use the 1 minute setting). I believe some PENTAX compact cameras also have this feature (the Samsung may not still be available, I don't know)

You don't have the exact shutter release timing of a radio control, but the whole rig is lighter and cheaper.

Richard Amirault N1JDU Boston, Massachusetts USA
amirault@tiac.net "Go Fly A Kite"


Look for RICOH FF9 or RICOH FF10 (Shotmaster).

For more information look at http://members.aol.com/hprinzler

Parafoil, Winddancer, Flexifiol..etc.

prmafrost@aol.com (Prmafrost) writes:

> Maybe something with enough pull to get slid around a bit in higher
>winds, but still will fly in light winds.

It's in an effort to solve this problem that some of us now have a closet full of kites.

I have a Winddance 1, a 2, and a 3, and I think they're great -- since they're sparless, you can pack them anywhere, and since they're nearly indestructible, you can teach people how to fly without expensive repairs. Also, they self-launch easily, and relaunch easily after a crash. However, they need a steady breeze to fly -- 5 to 6mph minimum, I'd say. In variable winds, you need to have 6mph be the low end. The 3 flies in lightly lighter winds than the 2, etc.

The drawback to the Windance series is that you can't stack them. So, whatever kite you're trying to get up, either goes up or it doesn't, and if you want more pull you have to use another kite.

The Flexifoil has been around for twenty years, and has a single spar along the leading edge. It is a product of Flexifoil, International (I think) and is distributed in the US by Cobra Kites, who have a web site. In addition, web sites for Gone With the Wind, or BFK, have links to Flexifoil. It's a little more complex to self-launch a Flexi, but not that bad. I learned to fly, by myself, with a 6' Flexi.

With Flexies, if you want more pull, you can just attach another kite. If you want just one kite, a 10' Flexi with both standard and light-wind spars, is probably the most versatile. On a high-wind, it will pull hard, but can be managed by a skilled flier who has room to be dragged. On a light-wind day, say 4mph, put in your ultralight spar, and you're flying. The drawback to the 10' Flexi is that you need long arms to steer it crisply, or you need to attach an 8' Flexi in front of it.

An 8' Flexi, particularly an Icarex one with ultralight spars, will fly in winds as light as the nylon 10, is a bit easier to steer if you don't have long arms, and still pulls plenty in heavy winds. You can stack it with a 6' Flexi (in front) for even easier steering, and, of course, more pull.

Perhaps (in a fit of redundancy) the most flexible flexi outfit is a stack of stackers, which are 6'. If you want more pull, or flight in lighter winds, just add more kites. You can get just one or two to start, and be sure to get an ultralight spar for those low-wind days. A multiple stack of flexies is not a cinch to launch, however. You'll probably need help.

There are other soft two-line foils out there that I haven't tried -- the Thunderfoil, the Peel. I wouldn't advise a Peel for a first foil, and probably no one would get one anyway, given the cost.

BTW, the term "parafoil"-- as I've understood it in the kite world, at least -- refers to sparless single-line kites with multiple cells open at the front and multiple bridle points off each cell (the bigger the kite, the more cells, and thus more bridle points). A variation is the Stratoscoop, with similar bridles but closed cells. Another variation is the Flowform, with four open cells and a simple bridle -- the bigger the flowform, the bigger the cell, but no corresponding increase in bridle points, since there are always four cells.

The bigger they get, the uglier, IMHO. But these are all single-line kites.

Brock Vond
zoydvond@aol.com (Zoyd Vond)






Speed Foil/Flexifoil

Jeff Wilder <jwilder@rmac.net> wrote:

>I have jsut built a speed foil, and am in need of some assistance
>the problem that I am having is ... the kite never really gets a
>positive angle of attack.... thus the kite never climbs...it sits at a
>relitive neutral angle ....the kite ( in a hard gust) will climb slowly
>but nothing to speak of.....it never pulls ... and the spar never
>ends.... will some drag on the back of this help it pull? allow it to go
>into a possitive angle of attack?...

Some questions:

Guess you used the Stuntkites I plan?
You sure you got the profile right side up? This may seem a stupid question, but a lot of people get confused: it looks like a "normal" profile upside down.. The fact that it just floats could point that way. Another cause could be that the sail is to tight: if the lines pull the sail taught then shift the rubbers on the spar a bit to the center.

What spar do you use? It should be a original flexifoil spar: preferably a UL one. I built several, tried to make my own by combining different diameters carbon, but that never worked until I found the right size fishing rod. (there were no UL spars in those days: only the heavy standard flexifoil ones) The spar is very critical: if it doesn't bow, the kite doesn't fly. Because the speedfoil doesn't generate as much pull as a flex you're best off with a light wind spar. So there's no one way answer to this: if it doesn't generate lift the spar won't bow, and if the spar's too stiff it won't generate lift. And then there's the OTHER cause: some don't fly just because. I guess the tolerance in shape is verey small. I've seen perfect flexi's that shake or don't fly at all, and crummy ones that fly perfectly.

Regards, Peter
Peter de Jong pdj@xs4all.nl
A&F Custom Kites Werkhoven NL
For kitebuilding tips: http://www.xs4all.nl/~pdj
Mike Gillard

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