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I flew my first Rokkaku yesterday, approx 4ft x 6ft. There was hardly any wind at ground level, but once airborne it pulled hard. I have one of the plastic ball-bearing winders with 100lb (soon to be 200lb) line. Other kites (small deltas, box kite, small delta conyne) have been flown directly off the winder and reeled in under (small) tension. Obviously that's not going to work with the Rok!

What if I add a munter hitch on a caribiner between the winder and kite? I suspect this will add enough friction to fly directly; of course it will make it difficult to quickly switch to reeling in. Another option is a climber's figure eight rappelling device. I've heard the munter hitch can twist the line, but not sure that matters much with a kite line. 

For bringing it in, I like the idea of walking it down, using either a pulley or caribiner around the line and walking towards the kite. I also like the idea of the Henry's handle; basically a cleat to tie the kite line to for temporarily securing it. 

Other ideas for handling the pull of big kites?

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Hi, and welcome to the forum.

A munter hitch has one leg crossing another at 90 degrees. A munter hitch slips easily. Therefore the two legs create a lot of friction when the line slips. Not good. Heat will melt most synthetic fibers, and you don't want additional wear to your lines. I'm not a single line guru. I'm sure others will chime in with advice. It would better to not have the line cross itself.

Twist will inhibit the performance of any line. It is acceptable to a degree, but it is exponentially detrimental. Twice as much twist is four times as bad. Browse the single line topics of the forum also. I've seen a lot of big kite line discussion there.

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Yes, the intent is to generate friction so a small force on the reel side can hold a large force on the kite side (like is done with the brake line when repelling). The line is continuously moving so heat is never concentrated in one place. 

My lines have some twist already..they have a tendency to form loops when too much line is piled up in one place. I assume this is true for most people and probably not significant enough to be a problem. 

Thanks and happy to be here!

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We flew 7/8 foot roks in rok battles with 150-200# or so line on a large hoop spool with good success. Simple, and pulls in a fair bit of line per revolution come time for that. Just one moving part ;)

aka yoyo winder I think

Oh, and some good gloves, too.


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12 hours ago, Thedillybar said:

What if I add a munter hitch on a caribiner between the winder and kite?  ....   Another option is a climber's figure eight rappelling device.

I would suggest using a figure eight ring over a Munter Hitch and Carabiner. 

If I understand correctly, what you want to do is, launch the kite close to you, running the line through a device (Carabiner/figure eight ring), while letting out line for the kite to gain altitude? And you are doing this so you don't put too much strain on the winder?  I think it would work for that purpose. 

But... If you were going to walk the kite down, why not do a long line launch with the kite already anchored and tied off? If you do this, you don't need to worry about tension put on the winder. The Gomberg website has a a bunch of info on anchors and methods of tying off kites.  You can use a figure eight ring to pay out a little more line after a long line launch, but I couldn't imagine using one to hand launch the kite to altitude, it would seem like a very, very slow way to launch a kite.  

I think you would have a difficult time reeling-in the line through either a Munger Hitch or figure eight ring as both are mostly single direction belay. 

13 hours ago, Thedillybar said:

Other ideas for handling the pull of big kites?

An anchor appropriate for soil conditions and for the pull of the kite. The kite line should be the weakest link in the anchoring system.

Avoid wrapping the line around your hand or fingers. Wear gloves. 

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Yes I will want to pay out more line after launch. I typically do a 100' long line launch, then let another few hundred feet out. Letting additional line out in a controlled manner is a difficult process when there's lots of pull and flying directly on the winder. I guess I could just let it go much faster, so it can't pull as hard, and see what happens. 

I would remove the figure eight before reeling in. And probably walk it down 100ft at a time. Carabiner on the line, walk 100ft, secure at that point, walk back to anchor, reel in the 100ft, repeat. I like the idea of a "Henry's handle" (cleat on a board) for securing the line. I would not want to hold it by hand the whole time. 

I have a large dog screw which is good for at least 200lb in good soil. 

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Flew yesterday in 15-20mph gusts. The figure eight is great for paying out line in a controlled manner. After launching the kite and getting to a stable height, I add the eight between the kite and reel. It adds enough friction that I can just hold the reel and let it unreel by itself.

Once it's all the way out, I add the henry's handle to secure it. Because the kite line is so small relative to the cleat, I make 3-4 full wraps before securing to the cleat.

Then I use the large carabiner for walking it down. A few twists of the carabiner is enough to temporarily secure it for the walk back to the anchor.

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