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Pigtails (tuning your quad with knotted leaders)

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And one more thing, an easy telltale, if you can hear your trailing edge fluttering during more than 5%-10% of your forward flight, you definitely need more brake for top performance, this is a sign of “oversheeting” or loss of connection with the back edge of the sail (not truly cupping the wind).

http://www.mysailing.com.au/news/sail-trim-for-cruisers-explained

Quote

2. Sheeting

The sheets are the principle means of controlling the trim of the sails with the aim of getting the telltales flying. Over-sheeting the headsail will flatten the sail to a shape that is no longer aerodynamically efficient and thus not producing the ideal amount of power. Not enough sheet tension will result in the draft of the headsail being too deep, so air will stall as it flows across it, again not producing the prescribed amount of power.

Remember, the balance of tension between all lines becomes quite small on a well tuned kite - inputs may be as little as .25” to .50” for some movements or speed control, gross or large inputs will only be required for larger movements.

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Pardon if I’ve repeated anything from earlier, I’m daft like that and I’d rather it be said for sure. :) 🙏

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8 hours ago, makatakam said:

The slack in the brake lines and slow reaction to turning when you use brake to initiate a turn are both good indicators that you are not using enough brake. Try one more knot of brake each time you fly, and then one more after about an hour. As I mentioned above, you're not going to like it at first, but you will get used to it. It sounds and feels counterintuitive, but the kite will actually move faster with additional brake up to a point. That is the point you want to reach. Most experienced pilots will fly with their brakes set two to four knots beyond this point, sacrificing some speed to gain exponentially more control. The wind is what determines how the kite flies, so the more of it pushing against the sail as opposed to sliding off of it will determine speed, agility, pull and precision. You are trying to achieve a balanced compromise of these to have control of what the kite does. You can fly at the extremes, for instance lots of forward drive to gain speed, but then you sacrifice the others, each to a different degree. Where you set the line on the knots is based on what you want to achieve, but until you are comfortable with ALL of the possibilities you have not learned complete control. If you ever want to be able to fly really well in 2mph down to 0mph wind, or wind that is howling at 25mph or more, you must become familiar with all aspects of tuning. And trust me, to fly in 2mph wind and look like a pro, you will be using near maximum brake, in other words setting the angle of the sail to the wind nearly as square as possible for maximum pressure to keep it aloft.

Just keep trying to use more and more brake each time and with time you will be able to feel the difference. And choose good wind to learn in as I mentioned. Bad wind is not helpful. Once you master basic control and can tune your kite to take advantage of conditions you'll be able to handle whatever the wind throws your way assuming the kite you use can handle it too.

It's a journey that never ends -- enjoy it.

Thanks again makatakam. So just to be very sure I am doing it right like you mentioned, when you say "try one more knot of brake", u mean release a knot out on the top lines and NOT bring in the brake knots in by knot right? 

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Thank you JB. I really appreciate your inputs. And i think sometimes repeating does make a person understand even better. Yes I do the "whump" when I launch cos I honestly can't get it up with a lazy launch. Amd yes I do have tell tale sign in forward drive at times of the TE fluttering and sometimes even on dive stops. Will increase my brakes and try to give it a go again. What kinda wind speeds am I looking at for a good tune? 

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Gets easier to tune around 3-5 mph, but every vent and variation at require a slightly different tune - generally not more than 3 knots in any direction.

Dive (stop) is the one place I would expect to hear the fluttering at times, but you’ll want to tune that noise out for the most part.

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Yes, once you're using enough brake it is easier to launch from an inverted position than it is from upright, which is the position you should be parked in for safety anyway, so it's a win-win situation. For the times you need to launch from an upright see the video above and learn the double-pump as well as whump.

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In truth, whump is a single out (tiny release) by roughly 1” with all four lines and then back to tension, securing the pressure into the sail. The double tap is a launch version of that, first tap being to kick the kite off the ground. :)

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The double tap is primarily used for launching as John mentioned, especially in low wind conditions or when the wind near the ground is very much slower than it is further up. The wind is slower near the ground as a rule when the terrain is flat and even more so when it is downhill away from you, even slightly. That's when the double tap shines. When the ground slopes uphill away from you the speed at ground level is close to what it is 10 feet up, and smoother. The downhill side of a rise with wind blowing over it in the downhill direction is filled with turbulent air, lots of swirls like the eddies formed in the currents of a river. You have to get above those eddies to reach the flowing air.

It is much easier to launch on ground that is sloping upwards away from you, so look for minor changes in elevation in the field on which you fly. Park your kite on any high spot you can find and you will have better wind near the ground. Avoid depressions. 

Having to use a little extra tap/pull/step backwards when you launch is a good sign that you are using enough brake. Keep letting the lines further out until you reach the point where you just can't launch anymore and then walk out to the kite and put it leading edge down. Go back to the handles and do an inverted launch. No problem launching and it still flies forward when you want it to. You will be amazed at how well. You can launch from the upright position also in this situation by putting both handles in one hand and grabbing both top lines with the other and giving the kite a tug. Be prepared return the handles to normal position and fly.

There's other things that can be done too which will put more smiles on your face. Stay tuned. You may even discover some on your own. Watch some indoor flying and see if you can apply any of those moves to your outdoor endeavors. The exaggerated moves you see are the things you can use in light wind.

Smile, have fun and breathe.

P.S. -- I realize that I get a bit long-winded (pun intended) on many of my posts, but I want people to understand WHY things happen the way they do. 

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Thanks makatakam and JB for the sound advice. I did tune my Rev today and it was so much better. I do feel I can go out one more knot to get to that feel I like on the brakes when flying inverted. I did try it as well but I realised when doing side slides the rev falls out pretty fast as there is too much brakes on, so I had to bring it one knot in.

But on either of these knots I have to give it a kick or a double tap to launch and that was a good sign for me knowing I'm heading in the right direction. 

Tried uploading a video of some flying I did today, but my file size is too big. Will try to Comoress it and send it of possible. 

PS. I really appreciate the detailed explanation both you and JB give. It really puts things into perspective and most importantly understanding what is actually happening instead of trying stuff blindly. 

 

Thanks again all. 

Will definetly stay tune for loads of tips. 

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Any time the kite just drops out of the sky is a sign of oversheeting. It completely loses all pull and you can't feel the kite at all, right? Smaller inputs at the outset will prevent it most of the time. It becomes very apparent in low wind conditions and requires small and smooth inputs to maintain contact with the kite. If you can't feel it, you can't control it. You must have pressure in the sail to remain airborne. Any jerks or sudden moves and it falls. In a slide you are actually intentionally oversheeting the sail slightly. Too much input, especially at the beginning of the move, and gravity takes over.

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try a knot out on upper lines.that will take out the possibility to over control the break from a to large hand movement

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20 minutes ago, makatakam said:

Any time the kite just drops out of the sky is a sign of oversheeting. It completely loses all pull and you can't feel the kite at all, right? Smaller inputs at the outset will prevent it most of the time. It becomes very apparent in low wind conditions and requires small and smooth inputs to maintain contact with the kite. If you can't feel it, you can't control it. You must have pressure in the sail to remain airborne. Any jerks or sudden moves and it falls. In a slide you are actually intentionally oversheeting the sail slightly. Too much input, especially at the beginning of the move, and gravity takes over.

Exactly makatakam. The kite just goes diagonally downwards when I pull it and I lose all feel of the kite and can't recover it till its on the ground. Now that you have mentioned it, with very small movements at the start of the side slides actually helps a great deal and the kite does not drop out and I have control all e way till e edge of the window. 

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2 minutes ago, Edmond Dragut said:

try a knot out on upper lines.that will take out the possibility to over control the break from a to large hand movement

Intend to do that in the next session Edmond. Thank you 

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I've got another question. Sry if I am asking too many questions. Haha. When the kite folds on reverse flights e.g 45deg diagonal inverted flights, is this a application of too much brake inputs throughout the maneuver? Or is this stalling? Is this a fault of tuning or pilot input/error? 

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this is because to much break applied and your case from a to sudden and longer movement of hands then necessary. is normal at the beginning. try to do not become scared by the fact the kite start to fall and keep the hands move smooth. is like driving a car, make small adjustments on front of a single big one 

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Too much input. More gentle movement by the hands. Learn to "feather" it, not force it. 😉

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1 hour ago, vin said:

Tried uploading a video of some flying I did today, but my file size is too big. Will try to Comoress it and send it of possible. 

Always best to upload to YouTube, then share the link here - saves us a ton of disk space on the server, and easier to share around. ;)

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11 hours ago, vin said:

I've got another question. Sry if I am asking too many questions. Haha. When the kite folds on reverse flights e.g 45deg diagonal inverted flights, is this a application of too much brake inputs throughout the maneuver? Or is this stalling? Is this a fault of tuning or pilot input/error? 

Did you ever watch the movie titled Contact? At the beginning, when she's frequency searching on the radio, dad says, "Small moves, Ellie. Small moves." This is exactly what the kite wants when you begin reverse motion. You can kick it up just a bit once it's moving, but too much or sudden input at either point and it will bowtie (fold). The Rev quad does not want to boogie backwards. It's got four forward gears, but only one reverse, just like a car. There are kites that will boogie backwards and we'll get to those later. The way to move backwards is with tiny input. Just think "backwards" and give it a little pressure, not a move but just pressure. More brake helps. There's that more brake monster again. Get used to it as soon as possible. You absolutely got to have it to do the really cool stuff.

Also, it takes more patience and some skill to do any kind of move way out at the edge of the window. This is where the kite is most prone to oversheet and drop from the sky. So when you're near the edge, again, "small moves". Once you have a hundred or so hours under your belt, you can boogie out there and not lose it. Hint: down-turns work better at the edge than up-turns.

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The reason the under turns work better at the edge is that a down turn sends the heaviest part of the kite downward instead of trying to lift it over the top... Think of an airplane in a stall, they want to dip the nose and use gravity to their advantage. :)

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Hello everyone. My name’s James. I’m from Brooklyn NY. I’m new to KiteLife, and just started flying Rev’s again after a 9 year break lol. I read every post on this topic and I thank everyone for all their input, definitely cleared up a lot of misunderstanding on my part. 

I started flying again a month or so ago. I have an EXP with the stock handles (with the metal piece and short leaders). When flying the EXP with the stock handles I’m able to keep the kite up for a long time and do very basic maneuvers. It is very fast at times and I do have a hard time hoovering and flying inverted. So that’s what I’ve been flying for the last couple months. I recently bought JB’s pro leaders and tried them out for my first time yesterday on a B-Pro STD. (Also my first time flying anything besides the EXP) The wind was very fluctuating, I have a hard time judging wind speed but I would say 6-8mph with gusts up to 10mph. I had the upper and lower lines all the way out on the last knot on the pro leaders. I was able to launch the kite with the leading edge up (I keep forgetting to change it to leading edge down because I learned from the Revolution DVD which came with my EXP, where the guy sets it up with LE up). I had to do the double tap a lot, but every time while it was in the air I experienced what I recently learned as “sheeting”. The bottom would kick out, I would lose all control and it would just crash to the ground, every time. You can imagine there was a lot of cursing lol. I mean it didn’t feel anything at all like the EXP, it was a night and day difference. Anyone have any input? I think my movements were extremely pronounced with the pro leaders.  I also think if the wind was more consistent I would’ve done a “little better”. I really feel like going back to the EXP with the stock handles lol. But I also think I should break my comfort zone and stick with the pro leaders for A WHILE! Thanks everyone!

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Sounds like too far out on top. Still need some drive. Most find their sweet spot somewhere near the middle of the top leader.

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Stay with it. It gets better and easier each time you fly, so get out often. The JB leaders are the way to go. Not enough adjustment on the stock leaders, which are intended for the first-time novice flyer so he can at least get the kite off the ground. Once you have a few hours on the lines you can replace them with the extended leaders and convert your handles to snagless as you can see in that topic. If the kite has a tendency to fall out of the sky, it is usually caused by over-control, but may be due to incorrect adjustments. Over-control is the culprit in most cases, so make your inputs as small as possible. Fly slowly to practice the moves you want to practice. Zooming around at high speed is fun and requires large, fast inputs which are harder to coordinate until you have acquired them in your muscle memory. Just hang in there. It will come to you with time on the lines. You will have many "a-ha!" moments on the journey.

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On 5/9/2018 at 6:47 AM, John Barresi said:

The reason the under turns work better at the edge is that a down turn sends the heaviest part of the kite downward instead of trying to lift it over the top... Think of an airplane in a stall, they want to dip the nose and use gravity to their advantage

Are we talking about turns like the “Rev Tutorial - 180 with Positive Drive”? The above post seems to address the actual (start of?) turning, how easy it is to rotate (when letting the heavier LE drop down). Another thought I have is that it is easier to maintain height in light wind (and on edge/sides of the wind window?) with an inverted hover rather than a non-inverted hover. Doing a down turn resembles the inverted hover for a short time. Btw, initially I didn’t understand why you should bother with 180deg down turns (and I found them difficult as well) – the (quick) 180deg upturn was easier anyhow and seemed to maintain the height (in good wind, if performed rapidly and/or towards the centre of the wind window)…

On 8/22/2018 at 11:56 PM, Avellinijr said:

I recently bought JB’s pro leaders and tried them out for my first time yesterday on a B-Pro STD. ... I had the upper and lower lines all the way out on the last knot on the pro leaders. ... I had to do the double tap a lot, but every time while it was in the air I experienced what I recently learned as “sheeting”.

On 8/23/2018 at 4:02 PM, Wayne Dowler said:

Sounds like too far out on top. Still need some drive. Most find their sweet spot somewhere near the middle of the top leader.

First I’d like to agree with Wayne  and add there is no need to suddenly increase the tilting backwards of the kite (by extending the top leaders) - go step by step until you find the balance.

It is difficult to isolate top leader trimming from general QLK flying. The main thing I’d like to point out by the below yada yada is that IMO you can’t separate the length of the top leaders from the flex of the LE. The more flex the longer top leaders you need. The below is also an attempt to put the LE flexibility into a context (pro/con/effects of LE flexibility and top leader trimming):

I have used the original leaders sitting on the handles that came with the B-series kites that I got and hold the handles with the thumbs on the top end of the handles. Nowadays I only use the settings close to the outer end of the top leader (using the original leaders). So in low wind move in one or two knots so that you can hold a non-inverted hover without to much work. In harder wind if you notice that you have a constant forward drive and that you need to use some force to apply brake to hold the kite still, go to the outermost knot. Another sign to watch out for that suggests that it is time to move out a knot is that you often hear a fluttering trailing edge when powering up the sail.
Now one should not forget about the stiffness of the LE and how prone it is to bend in the current wind. If out have a flexible LE (or if the wind is hard) the sail changes shape so that you might need to make the leaders longer than original. The stiffness of the LE IMO should be chosen so that you easily can bend the LE by pulling your arms back (while at the same time it still will flex back in the current wind when extending the arms). I’ve only recently started extending the (top) leaders. The thing that got me started was using the soft (flexible) Skyshark P90 LE as a replacement for the Revolution two feather spars in very low wind.

When using a LE that you easily can control the curvature of (the flex) on in a certain wind and you can get a nice control of stop and starts (in the air I meant, not launching or landing) and get nice straight paths when the kite moves forward. So why ever would you like to use a bit stiffer LEs? A stiff LE is good for side slides, vertical slides or slides in any direction. With a stiffer LE I can slide the kite in a large circle with the LE pointing outwards (down spars always in the radial direction). With a stiffer LE I can rapidly/actively drive the kite downwards in a vertical slide. If the LE would bend when doing this, the straight slide instantly instead turns into a turn (away from the LE).

 

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6 hours ago, Exult said:

Are we talking about turns like the “Rev Tutorial - 180 with Positive Drive”? The above post seems to address the actual (start of?) turning, how easy it is to rotate (when letting the heavier LE drop down). Another thought I have is that it is easier to maintain height in light wind (and on edge/sides of the wind window?) with an inverted hover rather than a non-inverted hover. Doing a down turn resembles the inverted hover for a short time. Btw, initially I didn’t understand why you should bother with 180deg down turns (and I found them difficult as well) – the (quick) 180deg upturn was easier anyhow and seemed to maintain the height (in good wind, if performed rapidly and/or towards the centre of the wind window)…

You may find the upturn easier to “learn”, but mechanically, and once you learn a smooth input for it, the under turn 180 is significantly easier, more precise, and loads the sail through the invert instead of passing through the upright (least possible lift of all orientations).

My experience, anyway. :)

We use the under turn 180 almost exclusively on my teams, using the up turn 180 only for mega team (especially grid) when dealing with new / novice fliers mixed into the groups.

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