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John Barresi

Good choice for tails?

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I've been looking for 2" wide tails to use with team flying (one per kite), but I've been having trouble finding anything with these specs...

1 - No raw edges if it's fabric (to avoid fraying), all hemmed.
2 - If not fabric, some sort of strong cellophane maybe.
3 - Light enough to flow out downwind from the kites.
4 - Color, either all black or all white preferably.
5 - Each 45' to 50' in length.

Have you good KL folks come across anything that might do what I'm looking for?

I have used the 48' transition tails from Gomberg, but they are just too darned heavy. :)

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I have some Prism tails for my revs, and other kites. They aren't hemmed but are hot cut. I've had them 3 years and they don't have any fraying. Untangle in the air. Not sure how they would go in a team situation though.

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You can get rolls of silver (shiny, very shiny) mylar on eBay. $30 for 4' x 100' rolls. Cut to size by slicing the roll to the width you want. Silver would be pretty "flashy". Other colors are probably available.

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Just remembered that they are colours not white or black...

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I tried out using organza ribbon to make tails.  Organza is the semi-see-through stuff that Robert Brasington uses on some of his SLK tails, but I got it in ribbon form.  It's ribbon, so the edges aren't cut or raw.  It's lightweight, available in black, white, and a variety of colors, and available in >50' lengths.  I think mine are 2" wide by 75' long, but they may be 1.5" wide if I remembered wrong.  

HOWEVER, I wasn't too happy with their skywriting effect, or rather, lack thereof.  The tails wouldn't follow the path of the kite very well.  What I mean is, say you flew the kite around in a small circle a few times.  I would expect the tail to spiral around downwind of the kite such that you could see the circles you just flew, leaving a big open area in the middle about the size of the circle flown.  Unfortunately, with the organza ribbon tails, the end of the tail stays much more toward the center of the circle.  The end of the tail doesn't "follow" as well.  My guess is the material is so sheer/porous that there is some dampening effect going on and the end of the tail moves much less than the part connected to the kite.  I also thought 75' was a bit long but haven't cut them shorter yet.  I haven't flown with them much.  

Maybe there is some other kind of ribbon out there that is solid enough to have better skywriting effect but not too heavy.  I haven't found it yet.  

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I'll keep digging and share whatever I end up going with, more ideas are always welcome - thanks!

Don't forget to keep an eye out in the for sale section.... Lol.

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Not a single one, but it'd probably be easy to find a cheapie at Goodwill or whatever.

I'm just imagining trying to roll VHS tape back up, not sure I have the patience required. lol

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Are you saying using the VHS reel as a tail ? Not a bad idea !!!

At first, I thought you meant looking for kite video on VHS

Yes use the tape for a tail. Cheep enough and looks good in the sky.

@

Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle

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Not a single one, but it'd probably be easy to find a cheapie at Goodwill or whatever.

I'm just imagining trying to roll VHS tape back up, not sure I have the patience required. lol

Winding up,

All you need is a cordless drill...

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Used VHS tapes are so cheep that you could just toss it after each use, but if that offends your sensibilities....

@

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On 12/19/2015 at 9:09 AM, dragonfish said:

HOWEVER, I wasn't too happy with their skywriting effect, or rather, lack thereof.  The tails wouldn't follow the path of the kite very well.

Background: My experience with tails is limited to a HQ Tramontana (black and white precision kite) connected to 22m (75') black and white Prism tube tail. An ,in my opinion, striking combo/presence that results in nice conversations with bystanders and positive remarks. Favorite being (conveyed in a dramatic tone): "Thank you, thank you, ...(minor pause)... thank you for visualizing the wind!". The youngest daughter also, on the few occasions she decides to join, now has shifted from Alien to the Tramontana/tail combo as her favorite kite (she is piloting, while I took the picture).

tramontanaTail.jpg

Problem/solution?: However, I also notice that the finer details of the path of the kite gets lost before "kite-path-wave" reaches the end of the tail. E.g. skywriting a small box as possible results in a tail tip that is hardly moving. Therefore I wonder if there are any tails with an X-like cross section that could help the kite to follow the track of the kite. Another way could be to have short X-winglets (no Star Wars references intended ... b.t.w. I'm more into Star Trek anyway) every meter or so going through the surface of a tube tail. Someone tested something similar?

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Gomberg offers 45 foot long fully hemmed "Skywriter Tails". I'm not sure how wide they are but it's worth a shot. 16 bucks each in all colors. 

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