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Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 1998): BORK - Kite Stuff

archive rec.kites repair midi tricktail

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#1 Mike Gillard (RIP)

Mike Gillard (RIP)


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Posted 01 December 1998 - 04:01 AM

Best of Rec.Kites
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.

Broken Bottom Spreader
I recently bought a HQ Session 1.1 and it flies great for a beginner like
me. I have a question though.

The other day, when disassembling the kite after flying, I found one of the
lower spreaders had a 4-5 cm split in the end connected to the Center T.
I've been flying the kite 5-6 times in low to moderate winds and avoided the
most damaging crashes. (Well, a few uncontrolled dirt digs have occured, but
only at moderate speed.)

Here are my questions?

1 - Can such splits be fixed?
2 - If yes, how?
3 - Should rod ends be treated/protected in any matter to avoid such splits?
4 - If yes, how?
5 - What's the best way of cutting carbon rods?

Of course I know that rods can/will break, but should it happen as quickly
as for my Session 1.1, or could this be a result of lack of rod
treatment/protection? (Se my Q 3.) Any opinions about this?

Best Winds
SvenA wrote:
> Here are my questions?
> 1 - Can such splits be fixed?
> 2 - If yes, how?

With superglue, cyanoacrilate or something like that.

Open the splits, put the glue in, and press together. You may want to
use an outer ferrule too, in which case:

Find a ferrule that fits over the spar closely. Slide it on. Glue the
splits, as described, slide the spar over the splits and the glue
already used should fix it in place. Don't put the ferrule too close to
the end of the spar - allow enough room for the spar to fit into the

> 3 - Should rod ends be treated/protected in any matter to avoid such splits?

Many people fill the ends of the spars where they go into the centre T
piece, to give them that bit of extra strength.

> 4 - If yes, how?

Find a solid piece of carbon that fits closely inside the spar. Cut a
5cm (ish) piece. Put superglue onto the end of the piece that will be
furthest inside the spar. _QUICKLY_ push the filler into the spar, so
that the ends are flush. If you don't get it all into the spar in time,
cut off any protrusion. If there is any room, fill with superglue.

> 5 - What's the best way of cutting carbon rods?

Some people wrap the spar with tape before cutting, but I have found it
not to be necessary. Cut with a hacksaw type blade. Start gently, and
rotate the spar, so that you make a shallow cut all the way around.
Gradually deepen the cut, still rotating the spar as you cut, this will
stop any splitting. Once the end is cut, use some sandpaper to clean up
the end. Be GENTLE, till you've got the hang of it...maybe even practice
on the ones you've already broken first.

> Of course I know that rods can/will break, but should it happen as quickly
> as for my Session 1.1, or could this be a result of lack of rod
> treatment/protection? (Se my Q 3.) Any opinions about this?

I think that it's just because you are a beginner and are being a little
heavy handed, but you will find that you will break many spars during
your career. As you get better this may reduce a little :-{)>

Feel free to mail me with any further problems.
I break rods all the time. Heck for a while there it seemed like I broke at
least one rod every time I flew a kite. For cutting graphite rods, I use a
small saw made by exacto (the hobby knife company). I use masking tape to wrap
around the rod, then mark and cut it. Leaves a nice clean cut. I know some
folks use a dremmel tool with a cut off wheel, but I havn't really liked the
results (don't work too bad on pultruded rods tho). In some applications, I
will add a solid ferrule to the inside of a rod for re-enforcement.
Just carry lots of spare parts and you can usually fix a broken kite on the
field in minutes. Or just bring lots of kites and fix them at home at your

Kite Questions
m23rat@aol.com (M23rat) wrote:
> the kite that i learned on was a beetle. it will be very good to you. after a
> week on the beetle i had to get a bigger one though. i still fly it, but not
> very much. i have tought many people on it, and they all were ready to fly my
> other kites in an hour or so. bottom line is, get it, fly it. get hooked on
> kites, then get a better one, or several dozen. then get other people hooked
> with the beetle. and believe me, they will be hooked. so will you. and yes, do
> get the spectra lines for it. it will cost almost as much as the kite, but you
> will like it much better than the lines that come with it. i got mine the day
> after i got the kite. my only regret is that i didn't get the lines when i got
> the kite.
> Fly, be free. and skip work too

I did it. I flew it. Its cool. Maybe I'm too old for this but who cares?
Skip work?.........as much as I can. If I could bother you with a couple
more questions? 1) What's an anti-tangle line?
2) What's to be gained by upgrading to Spectra lines?
3) What's the difference with a bigger (and more costly)

TIA for your indulgence.
>1) What's an anti-tangle line?

This is a simply a line attached from one wing tip to the bottom of the spine
to the other wing tip. It's purpose is to help prevent your flying lines from
wrapping around a wing, and, if you do get a "wing wrap", it will make it
easier to untangle the lines while still in flight.

>2) What's to be gained by upgrading to Spectra lines?

Spectra lines are slipperier than the dacron lines which came with your Beetle
and they have much less stretch. This will allow your kite to react quicker to
your movements and give you the ability to perform some of the tricks you read
about on this newsgroup. Another advantage from using spectra lines is that
you will not be treated as though you have the bubonic plague by other kite
fliers. (The lines supplied with the Beetle will cut through Spectra lines
like butter if crossed.)

>3) What's the difference with a bigger (and more costly) kite?

The Beetle is a great kite and you should be proud to call yourself true "dual
line kite flier", but as you aquire more skills you will become aware that the
Beetle has limits. Right now you are flying the Dodge Dart of kites. It will
get you from point A to point B just fine. (And it could very well become a
classic.) Some day soon you will want to step up to something like a Cadillac
(Aire FX), a Corvette (Illusion) or a Jaguar V12 (SL7), maybe even a Range
Rover (Rev Shockwave). These kites will allow you to carve precise manuvers or
perform seemingly impossible tricks which are bound only by your limits, not
the kites. High(er) end kites are more manuverable than entry level kites,
more sensitive and can be adjusted for different flying styles. Unfortunatly
they are a lot more fragile than the Beetle, so you may want to give yourself a
few months on the Beetle befor you get anything more expensive. When you are
ready for a more advanced kite, ask around to find out which kite is right for
your style of flying (presision, radical, mixture of both). The best way to
find what's right for you is to "try it befor you buy it", ie. find other
fliers in your area who will help you with your choice. A kite club would be
the best avenue, or use this newsgroup to learn what other people have to say
the about the kites they own or have tried. There is a great number of kites
to choose from and the one that is right for you will be a difficult choice to
JR Solomon

Ozone Buzz
bryantk@inet.att.co.kr (Ken Bryant) writes:

>I have an Ozone Kite that I bought about 3 months ago. I am
>experiencing a problem. When I fly, the kite makes a buzzing sound.
>Like the sail isn't tight enough. I have tightened the lines on the
>tips as tight as I dare. Any other suggestions?

My guess is that you are flying in the upper wind range of the ozone.
It doesnt have a leech line, so if you go above like 6-7 mph it will
buzz a little. Mine does it a little above 6-7 but below that its pretty
quiet. Check to make sure the spine is pretty tight. The Tips should be pull
so that the knot is almost at the knock. Other than that I dont think ther
is much you can do.

Spar Materials
"George/Maggie Guth" <gguth@olypen.com> wrote:

>In surfing for kite design information, some good stuff out there, I have a
>question. Other than weight, what is the advantage of spar materials other
>than fiberglass tubing and maybe Avia? Is stiffness that important and
>does it not come with the price less strength?

Stiffness is hugely important. If the spar bends, the shape of the kite
changes. Thus the stiffness of the spars is an integral part of the whole
design. I don't understand the 'price less strength' part. If you mean
'don't you get stiffness at the expense of strength', then the basic answer
is no for most purposes. What sort of strength you need is the important
thing. Its all very well having a fibreglass spar that will take a load
greater than a carbon spar, but if it deforms so much under that load that
the kite won't fly, whats the point ? Also, fibreglass of a given stiffness
will, IMHO, always be heavier than carbon of equivalent stiffness.
Are you making a stuntkite? As a general rule Single lines kites "like"
flexible rods so that you get more billow and so on. I'm by no means an
expert with single line kites however I've made a large number of dual and
quad line kites. The more flexible the rods the less responsive the kite
will be in perportion to it's size. I read somewhere that when you double
a kite's size you need to quadruple the stiffness of the spars.

I've made lots of kites with carbon fiber rods which works fine, however if
you want to make a very good kite I recommend that you try using wrapped
rods for the bottom spreaders at the very least. The poeple from Bueina
Vista (Spelling) claim that replacing the bottom spreaders with wrapped
rods such as G-Force will increase performance by 100%.

This is how I look at it. To buy a kite with wrapped rods costs a lot of
money (about 1.5 to 2 times the price of a regular carbon kite) eventhough
the material are only about 1.25 times to make a kite with wraped rods.
Anyways, my point is, its not that much more expensive to use wrapped rods
in kites if you are building them yourself. :-) So go for it. It only
costs about an extra $15 to $20 replace the bottom spreaders on any
standard sized kite.

First Time Out
On 19 Oct 1998 01:32:38 GMT, po9@aol.com (PO9) wrote:

>First time out with a Beetle. I know I have to crash and burn for a couple
>of hours. As for tangled lines, should I get quality lines that are less
>apt to tangle?
>If so, what kind? how long, what kind of line etc. Or, should I crash
>and burn for a while and wait to get lines?

I would suggest if you are getting the lines that come with the Beetle
TANGLED, then you will get good line (Spectra) tangled also, and
some times the spectra line is so small its hard to untangle :-(

I am not sure if you mean tangled, or twisted, if you mean twisted,
then you keep flying clockwise loops, or anti-clockwise loops, and
this will happen reqardless what type of line you are using..,,make
sure that both lines are = lenght, and to make sure, put both hands
together and if the kite turns or loops one line is shorter than the
other,,, the kite will always turn in the direction of the short line.

So keep flying with the line that came with the kite... BUT if you run
out of space when flying and have to pick up the kite and walk it down
wind, leave your handles lay on the ground... pick up the kite and
carry it down wind.... and pull the line and handles behind you on the

I have seen many new flyers walk up to their kites carrying their
handles and then pick up the kite and walk it down wind, and then
spend the next hour trying to untangle the mess of string, they have

I have seen them also pick up the string making BIG loops with the
line, only to later decide its easier to buy new line than un-tangle
the mess they made.

when you are ready to move up to the Spectra Line 80# at 80 feet is a
starting point, the kite does not pull anywhere near 80# but 30# and
50# line are difficult to see, and other people will get into it if
they can't see it..when its laying on the ground.
tom A
The beetle is a very good kite to learn with, as i am sure you have been told.
I learned with a beetle, and got the spectra lines on day 2. it made a big
difference with how the kite handled, and also made it easier to learn.
your lines will get twisted, but not tangled. if they are getting tangled, the
reason could be that you are letting slack in your lines, so the kite will do
some pretty harsh manuvers.
keep your lines tight for now, and i would get the spectra lines. they are
spendy, so take good care of them. gaurd them with your life, and they will
last a long time, and treat you very well. the beetle will make you a kite
junkie, and i am sorry to say that it will be your first of many. but the good
news is, that you will have more fun than you ever have, and you will learn to
spend entire paychecks on kites. just remember, be good to your gear, and in
return, it will be good to you.

Fly, be free. and skip work too
First time I took a Beetle out of the case I said "nice kite" then I
saw the lineset. They suck!! (excuse my english). I replaced them
with 80ft of LaserPro spectra and the kite flew much better, mainly
because there was less line drag. So thats a suggestion. I would
think that 50 to 80 feet of any good spectra line would be sufficient.
I have since given the kite to my grandson and he has had a blast with
it. Oh as for the crashing alot. We all start at that point.

TrickTail Info
Wow, while my friends were in Washington, I "borrowed" their Trick-Tail and
flew it for two days straight!

Now I "have" one, and remember a web site that had all kinds of Trick-Tail
photo's and some really good information and flying tip's....and I can't find
it now!

Can anyone help?
Jean Lemire wrote:
> Hi DDDave, hi folks.
> Try :
> http://www.gwtw-kite...TrickTLPix.html
> Wind or no wind, fly for fun.
> Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.

Hi DDDave,
You can also purchase a video of some tricktail flying at
gwtw. Most of it is of Martin Schob (the designer) flying.
It will give you a good idea of what you can do with this
great kite (I have a STD and a UL).

Pierre Gregoire Montreal, Canada

'98 Midi Question
I've got a '98 midi (_great_ kite, blah blah other people are better
reviewers than I am, but boy is this kite good) and the connectors between
the leading edge and the upper and lower spreaders have started to move up
and down the leading edge; the c-clips that used to hold them in place at
the bottom have come unglued and are sliding back and forth too, so I'm now
not sure as to where the connecters should go.

I'm assuming that the upper spreader should be centered across the patch
of reinforcement over the spine, and the lower spreader should be set up
so that it goes straight out from the t-piece and there's no bend in it,
but I'd like to make sure I don't do things wrong -- I was playing with
moving the connectors around and managed to get a very interesting S shape
to the leading edge by having the upper connectors too far down so that
they pulled the edge in 1/3 of the way down, and the lower ones too far
up so they pushed the edge out 1/3 of the way up.. I'm not sure if this
is a good thing, but I'd suspect not.

Anyway, if anyone has one of these where the c-clips are still in their
original position and could measure off how far they are from the ends of
the leading edge, I'd be very grateful.

-- dan
Measuring from the wingtip (far end of the nock), the lower cclip starts
rearward at 19 1/4" (and goes to 19 7/16"). The upper cclip starts at
43 7/8" from the wingtip and goes to about 44 1/16"

Mike C.
If you look very carefully at the carbon, can you not see the shiny bits
of glue left on the spar? This is how I usually figure out where the
clips go.

Btw - the Midi REALLY does need the clips to be on the correct position,
otherwise it becomes a completely different (and not exactly pleasent)
Hans Juergen von Lengerke
Bloody good question!
I have similar problem with a number of kites (AirDynamics Dharma,
Dodd Gross Maestrale and Benson OS) and am not a confident/competent
enuf flyer to readjust by feel.
Why don't manufacturers give such info in the spec sheets supplied
with the kites

Tips Needed - Flying Huge Stuff
Jeez.. got (un)lucky and found another 'puter this week. These things are
Janice needs tips on how to get a 45 foot (I think... big, anyway) spinsock
hooked on a HUGE foil... I don't even know how big... afraid to look. Also tips
for rigging up six BIG tube tails... the kind you can hook to eachother. Catch
The Wind stuff. (my favorite kite people)
Just trying to help my honey.
She's so excited she almost peed her panties.
Thanks... I'll hopefully get to check in for replies in the near future.
Come on all you *real* men out there... help her out. Any tips on how to get
it up would be good.

Roger Madding... I mean Maddy.

P.S. She liked the AKA Convention. Got a wad of kites for 10 or 20 bucks. Must
be who she's married to... you know... I'm a lucky kind of fellow.
Hi Roger, hi folks.

Yves Laforest had a 45 feet long windsock built by Richard Gareau. I said
had because stupid jerks set its trailer aflame in the spring of 1997 and
everything in it was destroyed including that windsocks :-(((

Since then he had restocked quite well and is now putting up one some of the
best kite shows in the province of Quebec and aborad sometime.

Back to windsocks. You will need a very sturdy bearing to hold such a big
thing. You should see those used by Jack Roger and Bobby Anderson. They
are super heavy duty. They need to be to hold their monster windsocks. Do
a search on "dejanews" on swivels and you shall come up with a lot of good

To lauch the thing I got some limited experience by helping Richard test
Yves's socks. Here are the steps for two persons or more (if I recall them

- launch the sky hook (well ... the kite acting as the anchor);

- pull some line down by walking it (using a pulley if need be). Maybe 30
feet or so;

- unfold the socks and have it cleanly flat on the ground (this can be done
before launching the kite if someone is holding it, specialy in higher
winds). You keep it deflated by holding the bridles together near the socks
opening (this prevent the socks from inflating prematurely);

- attach the swivel to the kite line and the socks to the swivel;

- release the bridles (if will probably helps the inflation if your helper
open the mouth and give enough time for a proper inflation (hold some
bridles to prevent spinning);

- release and let rotate as soon as inflation is ok;

- release the kite line slowly letting the socks gain its altitude;

- enjoy the show and be prepared to answer questions by amazed onlookers and
to refrain kids from playing under the thing (try to avoid them being
catched by a bridle and get a free ride around ;-))

Of course, real experts that do those shows often can help with a lot more
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.
I'm trusting this is a serious question, Roger. If so, we're happy to

Is Janice putting the sock at the back of the foil, or on the line? For
"big" socks, line anchoring works better, since it may tend to drag the
foil down otherwise.

Make sure your flying line is strong enough for the kite and extra drag
created by the laundry.

My favorite technique is to simply twist a mid-sized caribiner into the
line. No knots -- just wrap the line around it a few times. When the
line is slack, you can slide the "biner" around. But when the kite is
launched and line tension increases, the "biner" locks in place. Then
it's easy to attach anything you like. Strong too, and doesn't weaken
the line like knots would.

Have fun and stay sane.
All my questions are serious. And I've never told a lie. And I've never
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
Thanks for the tips... The foil is aprox 7.5 X 8.5 (feet), laying flat on the
The line included is 300 ft. It says 1100#... Is that the weight? Sheesh... I
am an idiot when it comes to real kites... On second thought, I might be an
idiot, period. (Long story.)
The hook included is a honkin' lookin' swivel thingie with a bearing... the
kind of thing a growing boy like me likes to touch and stroke. Shiny. Should do
the job.
The huge tubes can be hooked together.
Any tips on wind limits? When can we fly what and when should we knot, I mean
not?... What do we tie off to?
This large of spinsock (45 ft.) can be hooked directly to the kite? Whoa,
So many questions and so little time. Feels ugly being a newbie... I mean
beginner... I mean learner... oh, forget it.
Any innovative hook up ideas?... you know... after we get the basics
Pump me up!
Tank you all.
I now own a parafoil made by Richard Gareau in 1994. It is 12 feet wide by
10 feet deep. It is build at twice the size of one shown in a book (I dont
remember the title) showing all kind of kites, wind socks and a parafoil (of
6 x 5 feet) based on the design of Domina Jalbert. It need a line of 1100
pounds or more in higher winds. This kites pulled a Suzuki Sidekick on 15
feet before braking a 2000 pounds lines in 30 km/h winds gusting to 40 km/h.
A 45 feet long by 12 feet diameter (at the mouth) spinning windsocks was
attached to the line. Like David Gomberg pointed out, you have to factor
the pull of the kite AND the pull of the line laundry. This can ask for a
very sturdy anchor. You should have seen what Richard used as anchors when
testing and adjusting this parafoil ;-)

Since my kite is 120 square feet and yours is about 65 square feet I figure
that the line of 1100 pounds should be adequate unless you want to fly in a

If your kite is a flowform, then it will probably generate less lift than a

You migth also consider adding a kill line to your kite just in case
something goes wrong.

Anyway, play safe and have fun. And if you fly one of your puppet kites
around this windsock that will be a killer of a good show and will certainly
attract a lot of bystanders ;-)
Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.
First thing you will want to do is anchor your line before you hook up the kite
and line laundry. When flying on the beach I prefer to use sandbags for
anchors. I'd rather have a sandbag sliding across the beach than break a line
or pull out a stake and have the kite take off on me. An old military duffel
bag full of sand should be sufficient to hold down the Bulldog 75 (as I recall
that was the kite in the package you won). Do a little experimentation here
preferably in lighter winds to see how things work.

As far as attaching the laundry to the line I prefer to use pigtails on the
line tied with Prussick knots. The prussick knots can be loosened and the
pigtails moved to where you want them and then tightened up to lock them in
place. The spinsock should have come with a pigtail tied onto the swivel.
Just larkshead the pigtail to one of the pigtails on the line. Same goes for
the tube tails.

As far as launching the thing, either lay out the line and hook all the
laundry onto the line then attach the line to the kite and launch the kite and
walk the line up. Or launch the kite then walk the line down until you get to
the pigtails and attach the line laundry to the line as you walk the kite back
up. With a kite as powerful as this one you will want to walk the kite up
under control rather than just turning it loose.

One other thing about the spinsock. With one this large it is sometimes
difficult to get it to inflate when it is first launched. One trick we have
used is to lay it out on the beach and pile sand on the sock toward the rear
where the tails split out from the body of the sock. Open the mouth of the
sock and let it start to inflate. The sand at the back will restrict air flow
and help the sock to inflate. As the air pressure increases it will knock the
sand off the sock and the sock will inflate fully Hope this helps.

Sure wish I had won that package. Have fun with it.

Parafoil Lanuch Technique
Charles wrote:
> I have a 7 foot Megafoil. Superb kite (one without a spar - can't remember
> what you call that type). Can anyone give me some advice as to how to
> launch the thing solo? In the lightest of winds it wants to go - what's the
> best way of holding it down while I sort the lines without damaging the
> kite? Thanks.

Depends where you're flying
I usually fly on beach and so I lie the kite on it's back and put
handfulls of sand on the trailing edge (trailing edge toward the wind).
It'll stay there all day if you leave it and the wind doesn't turn.
to launch, simply pull evenly on the lines and step backwards apace or
two so the wind catches it and it dumps the sand and goes.

Be careful not to get sand inside the kite, it throws the aerodynmaics
off a bit.
David Forsyth

Big Kite Line
Can any one out there recommend the right line for flying a 252? I have been
using a twisted nylon 3/16 inch rope. But a couple of weeks ago (not having it
sufficiently tethered) a gust grabbed the kite. Tried to hold it with my
gloved hands, but the running line burned 2 of my fingers through the glove. I
don't mean cut the glove .. just the heat *burned* through. one of the burns
became infected and it's still not healed. Is there a better line material
that won't generate so much heat while running across a leather glove?
And here is why gloves should not be worn when handling large kites. You don't
find out quick enough to let go that the line is hot.

The only way i know to stop a line from moving is in a rock climbing belay way.
By placing the line behind your butt, and using your body as a break.
Unfortunately, once the thing takes off, it may be to late. Always have the
line tied off somewhere first.
I follow Peter Lynn's teaching on this, which is:

1) Gloves don't protect you against serious injury (as you just found out),
they only protect against minor injury.

2) Only hold the line if you can hold it firm. NEVER let it slip. If you
can't hold it firm then let go. (use hand-over-hand motion if you want
to feed line out)

3) Gloves remove block your hands from sensing what the line is doing and thus
slows your reaction to it. When wearing gloves, you are less able to detect
the moment when the line is about to slip, and so are *more* likely to
sustain serious injury of the type you describe.

Some notes:

We're discussing large, powerful kites here, such as Giant Lynns and the
252. The balance of the decision may be different with smaller kites where
serious injury is unlikely and the purpose of gloves is to protect your
lilly-white hands from minor injury.

The majority of fliers disagree with this position. I care not.

Peter flies on unsleeved Spectra, which he secures with a larks' head
(without tying a loop - just a lark's head with the end free).

Groundstakes are deadly.
A couple of things...
1) For heavy weight line...1100# and 2000#...I like what Catch the Wind sells.
You might also look at 9mm climbing rope, but it does stretch some at first.
2) I prefer always using gloves, but ANY fast running line will generate
3) Having slack line "tied off" when a kite takes off can be dangerous if the
line snaps.
4) I like this approach if I expect a "line run": tie off the line; remove most
if not all slack from the line, with the kite at the end; use a climbing pulley
over the line to walk the kite up...or...use a figure-8 belay device (a rock
climbing tool) to let line out from near your anchor point. Any good rock
climbing shop can give you good instruction on the basic use of a pulley or
5) Drape towels or jackets over carabiners, pulleys or figure-8 devices to help
absorb energy should your line snap...this is a trick I learned from winching
out 4X4's...you don't want metal projectiles injuring someone.

Big kites can hurt when they take off faster than anticipated...I've learned my
lessons, too...
Steve Rezac
Mike Gillard

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