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Homemade Rev?


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Hello everybody,

I'm totally new in the world of kitting, (I started last month)

I already have an old stuntkite I flew for the last two years, and I just bought a stunt/traction kite: the HQ bad widow, and my power kite is a bullet 3.5

I'm simply fascinated by these "Revolution" as their flight is wonderfull and as they appears so hard to crontrol... that's why I really want to ad this wonderfull kite to my kite bag!

As i'm a student (belgian) and not rich at all, i'm would like to make my "rev" by myself... It seems to be possible, when I see this wonderfull rev here in the video.

So, Rui, would you have any tips for me? could you please share your "secrets" for this wonderfull handmade Rev??

I'm ready to spend a lot of time on it, because i'm sure I will have much more fun flying it after..

If you have any tips, webpages, plans or else to transmit me, it would be really nice from you!

Thanks a lot everybody!

BEN (Belgium)

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It seems that my last post hasn't inspired you... :wub:

It would be so kind from you if you could give me some tips/internet adresses for a handmade revolution?

Sorry for my poor english anyway... and John, if my post is not in the right topic don' hesitate to move it please.

Kind regards,


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You must be patient when you ask questions on a forum board, Spilou. Most of us spend most of the week working, and flying kites at every opportunity. Forum boards do not have the priority of kite flying, I don't think everyone checks on them daily. Give your question a week or so, then question again. "Asking for help on...." added to the Topic Description under a well versed Topic Title seems to have worked for me. Try putting your question in the "Quad Heads" section.

I don't fly Revs, but I can direct you to


for many photos, and instructions to fly Revolution Kites. Hope this helps!

And, Spilou, your English is fine!


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That, and most of us don't have plans for the Rev. Some of us are Rev sponsored and are proud of the company and all it entails.

Spilou, we won't hate you or anthing. :wub: we just don't have plans to pass out, nor would we.

I made the mistake of asking Brian Champie to make and sale me a bird that he made in class. He had the right answer. "Now that wouldn't be right." Someone else developed the bird and research and development count for something.

Still, when all is said and done, don't sale your homemade revs. and .... post pictures. :)



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I have to disagree just slightly. Innovation should be encouraged. If someon can take the revolution design and improve it, even using a quad-line concept witht he same shape then they should be encouraged to do it.

Look at all the delta-style stunt kites that are nearly identical in basic design, but all perform very different and from different manufacturers. Or people who hot rod cars, even make their own.

I find little wrong with a little competition in the market place. I indeed like the rev's a lot now, but if they wish to be the best product it shouldnt be simply because no other products are available.

Of course... should respect patents long as they're not silly :wub:

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Ya, but there is and has been competition for Revolution all along, from Synergy Decas in the 90s, to The Spirit from 1999 on, and now the Airbow (watch for my review in the next issue of Kitelife). These kites took quad line flying further along a path of evolution (not an intentional pun). The problem comes people deliberately knocking off Revs ( a patented design ) and profiting from this. Innovation is great! Intellectual property theft is not. The "closest" to a Rev out of the three I mention is The Spirit, yet, its a very different kite. This is a good thing.

I don't think Revolution has any major issues with people making their own, for their own personal use. I do know they'd like to at least supply the frame and hardware for your own personal Rev. Certainly this is very common in Europe, partially because the markup on a Rev in Europe makes it pretty pricey, much like how it works with the Airbow in the US.

I'm with Penny, I don't make my own for a few reasons, 1, Revolution has been very good to me over the years and I have enjoyed working with and for them. 2, I'm lazy and don't own a sewing machine anyways. And would probably sew my pants to the sail by accident. 3, I simply like their kites and I'd prefer to help them along as much as I can. 4, I have close to 14 Revs as it is, I dont really need more. :wub: That being said, I'll undoubtly make my own sails at some point, just for fun.

Plans for Rev style kites are easily found on the net, I promise.

One thing I forgot, I -know- Revolution is ok with people making their own, for their own use because one of the ones I saw at WSIKF had physically been in the Rev shop and shown off, and admired by Revolution.

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Hey Spilou,

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Rev flyer. Have some 13 or 14 (can't remember exactly how many). Have a very few non-Rev quads. If I can play my cards right, I may wind up with a Synergy Deca UL in the near future. But, I've never put needle to fabric for any of my kites. I always buy them. That being said, I've seen this link for a "Rev-like" quad:

Freedom 2000

It may be helpful to you.

Since you're in a different country, you may not be held to US patent laws...

Anyway, see if that helps.


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Hello everybody,

First, thanks all for your usefull answers.

One said 'don't worry, we don't hate you" :P "just take your time and be patient for the answers"

Thanks for your attention, it's true that I was a bit impatient... you know what it is, when you are so excited that you want to start as soon as possible..

So, sorry for my impatience, and thanks for all your answers. It's great to see that every topic actually interests soo many of you, here on this forum.

Answering to the main question of "building it by my own, a crime?" :)

Actually i'm totally respectful for the rev company. As a newbee in kiting, i'm simply impressed by the simplicity of these kites, the simplicity of their shape and the complexity of all the tricks you can accomplish with it!

It's precisely the reason why "I fell in love" with rev's without even having tried one: it's impressive of simplicity (in it's design), but pleasure you can get from making it flying seems to be infinite...

So...respect for those who invented it! :wub:

According to this, for sure if I could, I would buy one. The fact is that i'm a student, so budget is not ok... here in europe, (I live in brussel) Revolutions are not frequent on the coasts and they are quite expensive. That's why I have the ambition to build one by my own. Or maybe I'll try to find a second-hand one? But it's not as "romantic" as building it.. :P

Anyway, I'm almost sure that in a close future when i'll be more aware of "wich rev to fly in wich wind", "wich kind of rev fits me the best" and when money will be there, I'll have no fear to buy real ones. Have no doubts about this...

(And my hand-made rev would stay a great memory of my youth :) )

Rev-flyers, thanks!

It's now time to browse the webpages you advised me.

(and to dream once again, watching the videos of John and Rui... :P )


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Spilou, this thread has inspired me to make my own rev-style kite. Ill let you know if/when I finish with plans. So stick around the forum for a while :wub: Spent lots of time at the sewing machine replacing sail panels on some of my cheaper kites, repairing sails, etc... And have a very well equipped sewing room, so i think im ready to get into completing an entire kite.

Ill let you know, but give me time :)

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I both buy and build my own Ryvs. You can make one a lot better than you can buy it, but in the USA they are so cheap you can't make one for the retail price (if you shop around or jump on a sale price)

The ones I build will fly indoors or in a 20 mph breeze, you only change out the leading edge. I make the center vee 12 inches deep instead of 9 and I lengthen the sail height to 32-1/2 inches on the down tubes, dump the leading edge venting entirely if you want great low wind versatility. I use skyshark tubes for the down spars (tapered) and the SLE revolution tube in the leading edge, unless it's no wind conditions again.

With the increased surface area and all the mass located at the leading edge, you can throw and catch the thing on long lines or effortlessly up to about fifty feet in length.

You don't have to sew either! As a matter of fact I prefer the no-sew technique, as it is stronger and also lighter in weight. With sewing you have to perforate the material, no-sew you just fold it over the top of double faced adhesive (3M's 9460 is designed to bond metals!), then you heat it with a iron and it's absolutely permanent.

I have kites that are still being flown w/ 1,500 hours on them, made entirely in no-sew method.

I replace the bridles and cover the knots with little sheaths of fabric on the stock models, otherwise you'll occasionally catch a bungie washer/knot on the back throwing it around.

I also prefer my quads with "magix stixs" on the back of the frame, this adds strength, prevents bowties, allows the kite to stand-up inverted on the ground and doesn't add enough weight to dramatically impact the flight dynamics, even indoors. For years we laughed at folks using this device on their kites, we called 'em "training wheels!". Now I feel the benefits outweigh the ridicule associated with their use, HA!

You can buy and modify a Revolution kite, or you can borrow one and make your own. Rev end-caps and the SLE tubes are simply without equal though. You should consider any alternatives very carefully before dropping your money on the table.

I as well as every other builder I know wouldn't be willing to send you plans specifically, but we'd be willing to offer you assistance. I recommend icarex polycarbonate or ventex polyester as you choice for fabric, some areas need kevlar and dacron reinforcements also. The entire kite can be constructed without ever touching a sewing machine.

I purchased two stock REV 1.5s within the past year, but the ones I turn to when the money's on the table are all homebuilts. Trust me the ryv is easy to make, it's all straight lines and a flat surface area. The master of innovative design concepts is Harold Ames. He can offer insights that make doing it yourself worth the trouble and expense. We did a cooperative effort for the Smithsonian Festival back in 1999 and it was one of the highlights of my brief kite career.

Send me a personal email and I'll provide it to him for a response, but I'm out of the office for Nationals after thursday the 22nd of September until the 4th of October.


maryland, usa

PS: Don't think a REV, even at europe's exchange rates, isn't worth the money. They are a lifetime of pleasure for a few hundred dollars (the cost of building one yourself). Personally I flew them almost exclusively for seven years before attempting to compete or modify the design. There must be 40 or more of them around my residence now, from litttle tiny ones to ones that can drag you effortlessly across the sand. Revolution is a fantastic company that deserves your support, if not now as a student then later on when you have more disposable income.

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Thanks everybody for you answers!

I'm browsing the web everyday to get new tips for my futur-homemade rev...

As my english is not perfect, I'll also have to browse my dictionnary to understand some parts of revflier's last post :)

Very technical, a lot of good tips for a very personnal rev...thank you!

And what are these famous "magic stix"? never heard talking about it, here.

My last problem to solve is to find the ripstop and the tubes... Pretty hard to find here in Brussel. But I'll find out!

I promise I'll show you my rev as soon as it's built.


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magix stix are, for lack of better explanation, like a suspension bride attached to the back of the kite sail.

#1. About 11 or 12 inches down from the top of the leading edge, you'll insert a rubber fitting on each DOWN spar that allows a right angle connection to be made. I use (point 125) carbon tubes by AVIA with fittings from Skyshark. You'll need an end-cap (for .125 tubes) on one edge of the tube and a vinyl cap on the other (that inserts into the fittings, on the DOWN spars)

#2. Next, you'll run line to each corner, affixed to the end-caps by a larkshead knot with a line connecting the two endcaps across the long dimension, or four points of connection for each side, one of which is common to both caps. These lines should be tight, but not so tight as to distort your frame. I've used 50 dacron braided line, but "Hi-Test Bridle line" is easier to work with and much more durable.

Sound like too much of pain?,

then you can call Sue @ 401-846-3262 and get them ready-made for around 20-25 USD.

I fly a Ryv 1.5 with 2 wrap spars in 10-12 mile per hour wind using the "training wheels". I use a discontinued spar made by Skyshark for the DOWN tubes called the response 12 (they only weigh like 12 or 13 grams) I've used them in winds of 25-30 mph w/o breakage.

See I live in the land of no-wind at least six months out of the year! You'll fly SULs/indoor kites or watch from the side-lines. Based upon that statement, you can see why we've been forced to modify the stock design in an effort to save a few grams of weight and still have sufficient strength for teaching or abuse. Most folks aren't flying over a parking lot, . . . the grass and sand have some "give", but concrete/asphalt talks back to you through busted carbon frames, HA!

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Magic Sticks are pretty popular on the East Coast, but I've always shied away from them due to the added inertia they lend when I'm doing fine clockwork and similar precision-oriented moves... Same reason I avoid the SLE, except in ballistic winds.

Of course, this is just a personal style thing. :)

Come to think of it though, I would be curious to see how the Rev I behaves with them.

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That's a good photo, but the sticks don't have to be that long.

I think the ones I made for my 1.5 are around 13", and I just used a plain standoff connector for a dualie to tie the lines to. I think I used .157 spars for the sticks.

Also, my 1.5 is framed with a P300 LE and 5PT downspars. With the LE being so light, I don't feel that the sticks add any noticeable inertia. BTW, switching the SLE with P300 saves a LOT of weight. The sacrifice is flex, but I actually like a bit of flex. If you've seen some of John's videos, my 1.5 doesn't flex as much as his 1 does.

In addition to helping your Rev stand up on its own, the sticks also do a few other things. First, they add overall stiffness to the frame if you're using a lighter LE like I am. I still get some bounce, but it's not bad. Secondly, the sticks somehow provide awesome glide for 3-D flying. You'd have to see it to know what I'm talking about.

If you've ever tried to pull a Rev down for a catch, or watched Dave Shenkman's Advanced video, you know that when you pull those lines the kite drops like a rock and you better start running. With the sticks and LE I have on mine, the kite will glide to me. I fly on short lines mostly (35'), but I actually sometimes have to back up a few steps to catch the kite. And when I throw it back out, it's a beautiful slow-motion glide back out to the end of the lines.

BTW, I just happened to weigh my kite a couple of weeks ago - a 1.5 framed as I described above - and it weight 8.5 oz.

Also, I've flown this same kite in winds up to around 20 mph with no problems.

Sorry if this has gotten a bit off-topic from the original question. The mods described above were done on a "real" 1.5. However, I did make my own Rev 2 sail. ;)


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  • 2 weeks later...


Scott Weider demonstrated the specific technique to us at Nat'ls, (on my own kite, no less)

You use longer throw handles, punch both thumbs powerfully forward and then step or run forward (think throwing a 540) for another big dose of additional slack, everything done in unison.

Naturally, he does it just high enough that it passes the ground as it flips by, rolls-up and then slaps down in perfect time with the music!

The launch is a two step back the other way, "one" is to unroll and stand-up on the majix stixs, "two" it to take off airborne again. He has the practice and experience to make this three distinct beats and it looks effortless on the kite. We finally had to stand with our backs to the kite, watching only his movements before grasping the objectives.

The winds were about perfect, . . . flying an SUL rev 1.5 in about 4 to 7 mph off of the ocean.

More to practice for the mere mortals!

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