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BuriedinFish

Prism 4D help?!?

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I tried flying my Prism 4D but couldn't even get it off the ground. It was my first time flying it and I was using the 50' line it came with, which might have been the problem as it was light - no wind. I adjusted the bridle though and followed all the instructions. How do I fly this thing?

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I started out with a moderate amount of previous experience & the stock 50' lines in a stout wind one day during my short half hour lunch. It launched like a typical two line delta & the wind caused it to shutter & fly quickly. I brought it down (crashed) after a short flight & waited for a lighter wind day. I ordered a set of 18' lines & continued to use the 50' ones for a bit longer. But always in some wind as I had no zero wind experience at that time. I did find out, at least for me, the middle point of bridle adjustment was best in all conditions. I believe that when I set it for light wind I did not have the right style of flying to keep the sail pressure steady. Once I got shorter lines I flew in lighter winds & finally in zero wind conditions, still trying different settings but going back to the middle of the knots. Now I don't ever use the long lines & have 18', 24' & 37' sets. The little kite is quick but can be flown most anywhere. Mine's fully assembled & sitting in the cab of my pick up now with the 24's attached, ready to go. I suggest 3 to 5 mph wind as you first start out. Many much more experienced flyers will give you help here.

post-7709-0-82356500-1388710781_thumb.jp post-7709-0-63606500-1388710844_thumb.jp post-7709-0-47928400-1388711104_thumb.jp

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Starting out, zero wind is really horribly discouraging. Even a little wind helps. As a gauge, walk in the direction the wind is blowing and if you can't feel it start there. About 5kmh. A gentle breeze will help you and build up confidence as you learn. It will also lessen the "crash" if it happens.

I remember cursing light wind, now I've learned to fly in it. It takes patience, practice and technique.

If you kite is heading straight down do two things. Throw your hands and arms fully towards the kite. AND. Walk towards the kite. This takes the drive out and slows the kite.

Hope this helps. If it's not clear, say so. We are all friendly... Keep us up to date on your progress.

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I fly my 4D often as it will fly when other kites won't. A couple of things to watch. The spreaders are very small rods & easily misplaced. I have had them fall out of the case several times & they are hard to see on the ground. I now put a rubber band around them for storage. I was able to buy a full length 3D case & don't have to take down the leading edges anymore. I have put some beeswax on the bridle knots to lock them in place more securely. Keep in mind that this is a fragile kite but the reward is always having a kite that will fly most anytime. Watch out for closing the car door on the kite. How would I know that? Some people break spine rods & center tees in gusty winds. I have not so far. The stand offs can come loose while you're flying. Watch for this as they could easily puncture your sail. The nose & leading edge are very light. You will eventually see some wear on them. I have repaired mine twice in the year I have had the little kite. But I fly this kite more than any other. This kite is very capable but some don't like it's quick handling. I did my first ever 360 with this kite on 18' lines in no wind. When the wind picks up a little I switch to my heavier kites. Rob shows what the kite's potential is below in the video that originally inspired me. Someday....

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The first 5 minutes I had my new 4D out, I was taking my knife to the lines to cut them down to about half. It was a 'close-to-zero' wind day. I had no problems with the way it flew after that ! The kite is just too small and has too little pull for 50' lines. 

 

This video was taken a few minutes after I cut the lines down to size...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raiIRRDBQNU

 

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Like Rob, I found the 50' lines too long for the 4D unless there is a good breeze blowing and the 4D is really best from 0-5mph. I cut my lines down to ( roughly) 18' and 32' and I generally use the 32' lines now. One thing no-one has mentioned - and as I don't know your flying experience I apologise if I'm over simplifying things here - but even though the 4D can be flown in 0 winds, you still need to provide lift for the kite. You can't stand still as you can with a standard kite in good winds, you need to be moving backwards all the time to provide the breeze for the kite to fly in. Have a look at some of the videos of the 4D on Youtube and you'll see what I mean. It's a nice little kite that likes gentle inputs to get the best from it. I have also found that the middle of the adjustment setting seems best.

Hope this helps.

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I would agree with all the above info.

Practice

Don't try to fly in NO wind too early, you will get frustrated.

Practice

Don't try to fly in too high a wind too early, you will end up with broken bits (centre T for me)

Practice

Cut the lines down, I would not cut them in half as you just end up with 2 sets the same, 18 and 32 ish is good.

Practice

Above all however, enjoy.

Oh and be sure to let us all know how you get on.

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Thanks everyone! I'll order 18' lines and in the mean time cut the 50' down to about 32' and see how it goes.

If you cut your lines down you will have an 18' set - all you need to do is put a loop on the ends and make sure they are equal length. When I cut mine down I didn't even bother sleeving the cut ( kite) ends, I just tied a loop and coloured the loops red and blue respectively with some Sharpie marker pens! The sleeving doesn't weigh much, but in zero winds every little helps. For a winder for the 18' set I just used a winder from an old $5 single line kids kite I had in the garage - it even fits in the Prism case!

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Love these discussions as I continue to learn more about each kite & flying. I just learned yesterday to be careful with 50 pound lines getting caught in Velcro. Got my 50' quad set tangled in the Rev 1 sleeve, dang! May wind up with a slightly shorter set. But I'll fly them till they break. Guess that's how we all end up with shorter sets & the fun they bring. Keep asking questions as we all learn from the thoughtful answers. Stay in touch with us. I'll be wondering about your progress when I'm flying my little 4D this winter.

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There are some more advanced flyers that can get more tricks out of the 4D. It is capable of so much more, I just didn't have the patience for it. This is one of the top -placing VF pilots...

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Have been thinking about buying another kite to fly in very low winds and have been looking at these four kites which are in my price range. I did some research today and called some dealers asking for information on these four kites. and here are my results:

1. Prism 4D. Fly's well, parts are easy to find and I might even order some parts to get a repair kit on hand. , wide wind range. Seems to be a favorite of some of the forum members.

2. HQ Shadow - apparently obtaining exact replacement parts is not supported very well if at all, by the company, which I was told when I contacted them a couple of weeks ago. Not comfortable with having to search for repair parts if needed.

3. Sky Burner Nik Nak ( was told that is it a better indoor kite than outdoors, where I would be flying it)

4. Airwave UL ( again parts problems in case exact replacements are need.

So I decided to go with the Prism 4D, since I have heard and read many positive comments about it and Prism's great support of their products. Got one on order. I even ordered a few spare parts already from Prism.

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Well, if you're like me, and find that low wind flying is some of the best flying you can find... you'll end up with more. I have the Shadow & NikNak (my first low wind kite) as well as the 4D. The NikNak can certainly fly outdoors, but like the 4D, it CAN be flown indoors, too. The NikNak is a little bigger, but not full sized. A big advantage to the NikNak is that it's made in the US, and if you want, you can have it made in custom colors. You can also pick up the phone and talk to the guy who makes it, unlike the others that you mentioned. The NikNak also has a big brother called the ProDancer, which would be an ideal choice for your second low wind kite. The 4D, NikNak, and ProDancer are all TRUE SULs, unlike the Shadow that needs a little wind to get going.

Don't worry about getting parts for any of these kites, there are plenty of retailers online that will have spares to your door in less than a week.

Good luck with the 4D, and don't forget to get some short lines for it, or just cut the factory supplied lines in half (20'-30') like I did. 50s are way too long for that little kite...

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Well, if you're like me, and find that low wind flying is some of the best flying you can find... you'll end up with more. I have the Shadow & NikNak (my first low wind kite) as well as the 4D. The NikNak can certainly fly outdoors, but like the 4D, it CAN be flown indoors, too. The NikNak is a little bigger, but not full sized. A big advantage to the NikNak is that it's made in the US, and if you want, you can have it made in custom colors. You can also pick up the phone and talk to the guy who makes it, unlike the others that you mentioned. The NikNak also has a big brother called the ProDancer, which would be an ideal choice for your second low wind kite. The 4D, NikNak, and ProDancer are all TRUE SULs, unlike the Shadow that needs a little wind to get going.

Don't worry about getting parts for any of these kites, there are plenty of retailers online that will have spares to your door in less than a week.

Good luck with the 4D, and don't forget to get some short lines for it, or just cut the factory supplied lines in half (20'-30') like I did. 50s are way too long for that little kite...

Well I guess I am quickly learning that you can't always take the advice of every dealer. One dealer who sold a competitive kite, told me this morning that the Niknak "would not work outdoors". I was going to order one up till he said that... Oh well, maybe my next SUL.... ;)

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Not a trick kite by any stretch, but the SUL ProDancer has one of the lowest wind ranges of any sport kite out there... Great flier, very precise, great handling. :)

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The hardest part of making a lineset is getting them even. It is critical that they are within 1/4" of equal when you're done tying the knots. Cutting them is easy... I carry a knife all the time, so I'm always ready to cut something... I use a knot like the one pictured here for the loops...

http://www.examiner.com/article/rock-climbing-101-what-are-the-different-types-of-knots

With a kite like the 4D, sleeving the knots isn't necessary because the kite has so little pull. Sleeving makes the whole line making experience a little more involved.

I just tied this one real quick for a visual. It is really helpful to tie those little nubs on the end of the lines when you're untying the lines from the bridle of the kite. I don't have long fingernails, and my fingers are frequently numb when I'm breaking down, and having those little nubs to grab onto is priceless !

IMG_7627.JPG

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The hardest part of making a lineset is getting them even. It is critical that they are within 1/4" of equal when you're done tying the knots. Cutting them is easy... I carry a knife all the time, so I'm always ready to cut something... I use a knot like the one pictured here for the loops...

http://www.examiner.com/article/rock-climbing-101-what-are-the-different-types-of-knots

With a kite like the 4D, sleeving the knots isn't necessary because the kite has so little pull. Sleeving makes the whole line making experience a little more involved.

I just tied this one real quick for a visual. It is really helpful to tie those little nubs on the end of the lines when you're untying the lines from the bridle of the kite. I don't have long fingernails, and my fingers are frequently numb when I'm breaking down, and having those little nubs to grab onto is priceless !

IMG_7627.JPG

Is that an overhand knot?

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What I found to help make newly cut lines even is to use a measured distance with two stakes. Existing loops both over one end, line run up and around a stake then back. The distance between the stakes is half the finished length. Then with the cut ends, take them around the stake and use a texta (sharpie) and make both lines IN THE SAME SPOT close to the end of the open line. Put a little tension on when doing this. Then all you need to do is line them when knotting.

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I like the figure of 8 knot for lighter weight lines, but you can't go wrong with it on any weight. It's just a bit harder to position compared to an overhand knot, and near impossible to untie once pulled taught. When using an overhand I tie 2 of them back to back, and this seems to work well on any weight line. The overhand knot is also used for line equalization, and each one you tie will lessen your line length by about 1/4".

I have tabs to pull on to undo my lines from the bridle like Must86, but I added them on by making a small loop out of line and larks head-ing that onto the end loop. Either way you do it, it's recommended!

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