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Quad Strut Comparison - Weight and Flexibility


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Someone recently posted a comparison of Rev frameset weights, which I found interesting (as I typically have crap wind during the short times in the week that I can get out, and so, I do far more reading and thinking about kites than actual flying).

Here is some additional data; weight and deflection, from the frame sets that I have:

Rev "Ultralite' 3-wrap (3 feather label)



Rev "Ultralite" 3-wrap (gold label)


4 3/8"



5 5/8"

Rev "Professional Use" 2-wrap (2 feather label)


6 3/4"



10 7/8"

'Deflection' numbers (in inches above) are not meant to be any kind of absolute value for flexibility, but give some relative measures for comparison, and were arrived at by hanging a weight (an arbitrary* 558g) near the center of the suspended leading edge spars.

The spars spanned two small tables 80" apart and roughly 26" high.

(*actually the 558g weight was the most I could hang from the lightest spars before the bottom of my weight nearly touched the floor).

The weight values listed above are for the full 5 piece frame sets.

I haven't had enough experience flying them to comment on each of their characteristics while in use, but I thought this info might be of interest to some people here.

I didn't notice any additional 'flex' after the weight settled at the deflection measures listed above.







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you can change one aspect to gain another advantage, but every decision is a compromise someplace else if you push that change far enough.

Frame light and get a bigger wind window, but it might be very twitchy in the powered-up center. Stiffen the frame and you might fall out of the sky if you go far enough to the edges

Throw and catch is easier with some mass & frame stiffness, but then you have to work harder to maintain ordinary flight. All the slack line tricks work but one way might be more work than the other. If you want the full spectrum of quadlined activities you have to make some compromises.

The bridle is another example, you could use one for low wind pressures, or remove it entirely, yet a different model might be best when it's howling outside. Does the factory model bridle suit all your needs or is it a compromise the suits most conditions pretty well? My conditions warrant ANY change that benefits low wind improvements in flight or how much less I need to work.

The "feel" is everything, . . . that can't be purchased, instead it should be experienced. The more "feels you have", the more your can tune towards whatever objectives you judge as most critical.

An interesting experiment in measurements, thank you.

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Just for clarification -

I see too many get hung up on pure numbers - this is all about feel!! Just because the factory says "X", doesn't mean it is an absolute, just a guideline! All the numbers depend on a pilots skill and how things work in different conditions! That's why you see or hear about so many different setups for different people on the same kite sail! Everyone has their own unique setup that gives them a certain "feel" with their kites!! What works for me, may not for you, and vise versa. Is it wrong?? Nope, just how it works for you.

As your tests showed, there is more flex in SS rods than Rev rods. But unless you can translate it into how they change your feel, they are just numbers on a page, not real life info for others to experiment with!

I encourage you to try flying more often and translate those numbers into how you "feel" about them!!

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