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Common modifications to Rev and similar Hadzicki-wing kites

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I haven't found any lists of common changes people make but I think it could be a useful list to create.  So here goes.

 

Leading Edge Tabs

The leading edge mesh eventually wears out and tears through. Instead of leaving the kite in two pieces, a series of short tabs are sewn in place along the leading edge.  The modification adds typically 7 or 9 small strips of mesh or webbing sewn across the mesh to connect both sides. This can be done to support the mesh and help extend its life, or as a repair after the mesh fails. The tab material should be a non-stretch material such as 1/2 inch nylon webbing used in backpacks. Typically one is sewn into the center, a pair is sewn near the fold points (see the next modification) others spread across the mesh.

Fold Point Leading Edge Tabs

The leading edge mesh at the two points where the kite is typically folded wears out quicker than other sections of mesh. While they can be the same as the other leading edge tabs, these are typically wider because the kite does not typically fold at precisely the same point each time. They may use 1-inch nylon webbing, 2-inch nylon webbing, or patches of Kevlar fabric.  

Wear / Stretch Strips

The kite sail stretches as the fabric bears the forces of the wind. The biggest stretch tends to be along the lines of the vertical spars. The modification adds a strip of less-stretching material along the sail down along that same path to reduce how quickly the fabric stretches.  The most common material seems to be 1-inch insignia tape (a 3.9 ounce Dacron tape) sewn in place directly along the path of the vertical spars, but other sail repair tapes, lightweight webbing, or materials could be used. The Revolution Reflex uses a heavy tape for this reinforcement.

Reinforced Bungee/Shock Cord Mounts

Some kites have minimal extra fabric at the connection points where the kite sail is attached with elastic cord to the caps for the spars. The reinforcements depend on what is already on the kite. Adding a piece of Kevlar fabric with adhesive, with stitching, or with both, adds stiffness and makes the material more difficult to rip through. Adding larger washers to the bungee spreads the forces even more.

Reinforced Leading Edge

The leading edge of the kite rubs along the ground, and over time abrasion can tear, scuff, weaken and eventually wear through the leading edge material. Urban flying on concrete can quickly damage the leading edge material. This reinforcement adds additional layers of fabric along the leading edge. A strip of adhesive Dacron tape or Kevlar tape is stuck along the leading edge folding around it to provide extra layers of material. In a pinch other tape like masking tape or painters tape could be used. The tape can be removed and replaced as needed.

Glued Sail Repairs

When there is a tear on the sail that has clean edges it might be repairable with glue instead of a ripstop patch.  After cleaning the surface with rubbing alcohol, align the tear so the edges are touching and secure it with adhesive tape. Be as precise as possible to align the torn edges.  Flip the kite over, find the tear, and smooth out the material. You can use Superglue (cyanoacrylate glue degrades in water and is stiff) or a waterproof glue like Seam Grip (urethane glue is waterproof and more flexible). Apply a bead of glue along the tear. After the glue is dried remove the tape from the opposite side, smooth the fabric out, and apply a bead of glue across the opposite side. 

Magic Sticks

A pair of standoffs for the rev kite. I think these were created and are sold by Eliot Shook, who runs a kite shop and sells these as a kit. 12-inch or 16-inch standoff spars are attached to the vertical spars, with short lines that attach to various mount points on the kite. The standoffs allow the kite to stay upright and stationary when landed without using a ground stake, and make the kite frame more stiff and less prone to bowtie effects. 

LED Lights

Small LED lights can be beautiful when flying at dusk.  I've seen small "finger lights" that can be ordered in large packs online, which have a small elastic and power switch on them. The finger lights can be slid over bungees or spars to put light along the kite. If the kite uses Magic Sticks the lights can be pointed directly at the sail to provide a bright backlight. LED light strips are heavier, but provide an interesting option. Some searching on eBay can find strips of color-changing lights with wireless remote controls and a USB power source (e.g. phone charger battery packs) which can be secured with adhesive tape. They add weight to the kite but add quite a visual flair.

Tails and Streamers

Easily attached and removed, they add some flair while flying.  Any ribbon-like material could be added. In my own bags I've got bright spools of flagging tape (from the hardware store) that can be any length I choose. Unlike tails for single line kites, these can be unbalanced and attached at any existing mount points at any desired length. Several performers use them occasionally. Scott Weider has a custom black indoor rev with a silver strand design flowing through the length of the sail, ending at the wingtip where he attaches a long silver streamer.  I've seen some amazing pair performances where two revs were tied together by a long ribbon. You can use tails and streamers to help tell a story with your music or as a decoration to the flight.

 

Any other modifications and adjustments for your quad-line kites?

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A second reinforcement stitch along the trailing edge is also a great way to extend the life of your sail.

Knot Covers for Bungee attachment points as well as replacing the screen with punched Dacron are also done though not as often as the other items identified here.

Replacing the REV endcaps on the LE with Freilein caps eliminates the need for the rubber washer when using a SLE on SLE and Speed Series Revs.

FWIW, many of these modifications are performed as a Service by our forum host. @John Barresi

 

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He posted that he's stopping that soon, which is part of what prompted the list.

 

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Thanks for those.  Trying to keep the format:

 

French Bridle / Turbo Bridle / Sync Bridle

Alternate bridles different from the original Hadzicki bridle. Bridle configurations can have many variations, redistribute forces for a gentle response, others have slack segments allowing for some motion without affecting flight, some others are tight or rigid giving a fast response.  Here is Paul LeMaster's description from a few years ago about the French bridle: attachment points are extensions built outside the frame, and the bridle is completely rigid with no play which gives a feeling of faster response from the kite. I'm not sure where dimensions are for them, or where they could be purchased. The turbo bridle (described here with measurements) appears to have two off-center mounts rather than a center mount point. John has written in teasers for the Djinn that the kite will use a modified bridle being called the Sync Bridle. Each bridle distributes forces across the kite differently. 

No Bridle

Some flyers of Super Ultra Light (SUL) and most indoor models prefer to remove the weight of the bridle for easier flight. The four lines are attached directly to the wingtips or vertical spar mounts. Normally the bridle changes the kite's angle of attack, and it distributes forces from the lines. Without a bridle the lines pull directly on the frame making it feel more responsive to input. This can also be considered more twitchy, since input forces not redistributed.

Trailing Edge Double Stitch Reinforcement

The Rev typically comes with a single stitch along the hem of the trailing edge. As the kite is flown and the material moves, that single stitch can wear down from movement and stretch of the fabric.  In the modification, a second row of stitching is placed through the hem. This reduces stress and friction from stretching as the hemmed edge is reinforced. In kites that had poor initial stitching or bad quality control, it can also help prevent unraveling of the fabric.  Since I didn't mention it earlier, use polyester sewing thread.

Knot Covers

Kite frames are attached with bungee cord which runs through a hole, through a washer, and is then secured with a knot. During certain tricks it is possible for kite lines to snag on the knots or the washers, which means losing control of the kite until the snag is released (usually after crashing to the ground). A slip of fabric is sewn over the knots, usually leaving one side open as a pocket so the bungee can be adjusted.  This can be combined with Reinforced Bungee/Shock Cord Mounts mentioned above, where the reinforcements also form a pocket that protects the bungee tips.

Alternate Spars

Revolution has several spar weights and thicknesses over the years. For many years the popular Rev 1.5 included several weights and strengths commonly called the 2-wrap, 3-wrap, 4-wrap, and race frames, each of these was a 1/4" diameter spar. The Revolution Reflex uses a 5/16" spar. The Revolution SLE (Super Leading Edge) is a larger 7/16" spar. Other companies produce and sell spars of various strengths, weights, and diameters. It isn't much of a modification to swap out a 3-wrap spar for a 4-wrap spar since both sets may have come with the kite; it is more of a modification to swap out for a different brand or a different size.  Spars that are lighter can help flight in light wind but are more fragile and tend to be more flexible and springy, causing different flight characteristics. Spars that are heavier can slow the kite, are more sturdy, and tend to be both flexible with a harsher refractory spring. 

Alternate Spar Endcaps, Snagless Endcaps

When kite spars are swapped out the endcaps that hold the spars in place need to fit the replacement. This could mean untying the bungee, replacing the endcap, and retying the bungee. Some kite stores sell endcaps designed for multiple rods that slip around the outside of the 1/4" diameter rods also slip inside the 7/16" spar. Some endcaps are designed with a curvature or a casing to reduce the risk of lines snagging on the endcaps during tricks. 

 

@riffclown - I'm not familiar with the punched Dacron modification you mentioned, although I've seen several kites with extreme amounts of venting, including a few with practically no sail fabric at all. Care to elaborate on that?  My hope is to have enough information that a creative individual could either implement it themselves (like the description of the tabs and stretch strips) or find the parts in kite stores or hardware stores.

 

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IMG_0246.JPGIMG_0244.JPG

It's a bit more work intensive but if you are already replacing the LE screen mesh, I've seen some do this.. These pics are from @oapbillf where he repaired a Rev EXP.

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One thing that@riffclown does on his sails that is worth mentioning is that the bunji for the bottom verts is a loop as opposed to a line with 2 knots. The loop retains the rod centrally to the mounting point. Absolutely love it. I can get a little "animated" when I fly...

Sent from my SM-G950F using KiteLife mobile app

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14 minutes ago, SparkieRob said:

One thing that@riffclown does on his sails that is worth mentioning is that the bunji for the bottom verts is a loop as opposed to a line with 2 knots. The loop retains the rod centrally to the mounting point. Absolutely love it. I can get a little "animated" when I fly...

Sent from my SM-G950F using KiteLife mobile app
 

@SparkieRob  Thanks for the shout out.. Keep in mind that only works when you have reinforced the corners to keep them from bunching up. I make these triangles and use them instead of the washers..

20180128_135928.jpg        20180708_183427.jpg

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A little note on bridles - the Indoor doesn't use one at all. There are only pigtails attached to the top and bottom of your verticals. A common mod is to lengthen the top pigtail and add knots to adjust it to your taste. Some shorten the bottom or at least add a few knots for further adjustment.

Also we add some  bow to the LE by tightening the bunjis at the end caps. Then remove any wrinkles caused from it, by tightening the tip bunjis til the sail is pretty smooth.

Another little thing I do to an Indoor - I add small pieces of insignia tape to reinforce the bunji holes. Prevents elongating from stretching those bunjis and caps tight.

Pretty much all this info is in an article by Watty on here. 

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