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MikeB

new flyer needs advice

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Hey everybody!

I need a bit of advice.

i've been flying my rev for a bit less than a year now, with about 20 or so flights under my belt but the last few times have given me some issues.

flying a rev exp with standard lines, no changes made from stock.

i truly thought i was getting the hang of flying and my progression was great, then about a month ago i hit a roadblock.

i've flown about 4 times since the issue started and it doesn't seem to get any worse but it doesnt seem to be getting any better either.

it seems no matter the wind speed the kite wants to immediately climb to the top center of the window and stay almost overhead.

i can coax it back down but in the bottom 20% of the window its HIGHLY unpredictable and almost uncontrollable. forget trying to land back smoothly and safely.

its so unpredictable and uncontrollable i'm not comfortable flying it.

i'm not sure if its something i'm doing, or something has happened to the kite.

 

if anyone has any ideas or advice i'd appreciate it.

 

thanks,

mike

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First place I would check is line length (are they equal). I'm new to quad flying myself and I had a line stretch issue after flying a few times on a new set of lines. 

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Definitely get/make some longer leaders, it will take all that race out of your sail, you'll still be able to go forward fast just when you choose, search leaders on this site.

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drop all four flying line loops (from the kite end of the string) onto a well-placed stake or a carbiner affixed to a fence post.

When you pull back the handles tightly, do all align perfectly?  sight down the tops first, pulled tightly back towards your eye (like shooting an arrow), slowly give slack and the longer line will show itself.  Adjust knots, or leaders, or flying lines, maybe switch positions of the flying lines. whatever you have to do!  These handles when pulled back tight need to align perfectly.

longer leaders (on top 200% to 300% on average) will tame the beast like a saddle and heal spurs to a wild pony in the paddock!  Call flying smiles kites in NC and ask for some "hi-test bridle line" in a hundred pound strength from Cath/Eliot.  In a couple of days you'll have an envelope in the mail to make the change.

This change will make the kite WAIT for you to tell it what you want next ~ instead of you reactivating to what it wants to do all by itself affected by the wind.

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I had a similar problem when I was pretty new to quad flying.  The kite kept spinning to the right.  I checked my line lengths (several times).  I checked the bridle attachment points, the end caps, everything.  I even rotated the lines through all four positions, nothing made any difference.

Finally I noticed that I had somehow gotten a knot in one leg of the bridle, snugged right up against the knot that was supposed to be there.  Don't ask me how it got there - but once I removed it, everything was back to normal.

So if equalizing the lines doesn't help, don't forget to check the bridle...

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1+ on this, I was having difficulty with my full vent at quad clinic. Had John fly it and he immediately went to my lower right bridle that had an extra 2-3 knots looped in. Bought the kite used, so don't if it was my fault or knot, but fixed the issue. Get TK leaders, I usually  fly on the first knot in, but I fly really  brake heavy. Ive had other flyers not be able to fly on my tuning. YMMV. 

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thanks for the tips folks.

I'll order some new leads, recheck line length, and check the bridle. I"ll be honest, i didnt think to give the bridle anything more than a cursory glance so i'm hoping that is the problem.

 

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Take a minute to look closer at the bridle before you hook it up. Make sure the matching sides are set to pull the same way. End cap connections pull from top or bottom (make sure both the same), bottom tips pull from inside, top of verticals pull from inside. And make sure as you assemble the kite to fly, you put both top vertical caps to the outside of the vertical rods. Definitely look for clean connections to the kite (those extra looped knots) and just check your lines too for being equal.

Longer leaders will let you find a "neutral" in your setup. Ideally you want to balance your handles on one finger, no surge forward or backwards. It only goes when you tell it to. This will affect your ability to launch a bit. No longer flatfoot with just a little tug. You may need to add a step back into your launch sequence. May even have to remove the slack between you and the kite first. But the control you will gain in flying is impossible to describe. Suddenly you will have the ability to put that kite anywhere YOU want. Still requires practice, nothing is automatic. But you will give yourself all the advantages to succeed!

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33 minutes ago, Wayne Dowler said:

End cap connections pull from top or bottom (make sure both the same), bottom tips pull from inside, top of verticals pull from inside. And make sure as you assemble the kite to fly, you put both top vertical caps to the outside of the vertical rods. 

Great information. Has anyone done illustrated step-by-step directions? I know I could have used them more than once. I'm still not completely certain what the top vertical caps are supposed to look like. After my recent additions (French Bridle/Magic Sticks) those two caps are looking kind of busy. 

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No pix, but when you assemble the kite for flying, make sure the caps go outside the hole in the LE pocket. Makes the center that little bit bigger ...

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I second all that has been offered already.  I also highly suggest that you make it an every time thing to check your kite for equality in it's handling.  There are so many things that can get screwed up:  handle knots, line stretch, bridle twists,  knotting the lines on with the knot a bit off center on the loop.  Many of them you can correct for by just adjusting your flying, but if you take the time to check each time that the system feels and flies equal you make it that much easier on yourself.  There have been days where I was frustrated with my skills that I found an "off balance issue" and corrected it to find that "Holy sh*t, that feels so much better!  It was the kite setup not just me!"  There are many ways to do a quick equalization check:  

Set up:  At the kite look at each part and compare side to side before you walk away to the handles:  Does one side look the same as the other in each part?  At the handles are the knots the same?  

Flight tests, several have been offered to me over time: 

  • With kite ready to launch hold BOTH handles together and exactly matched in one hand and tug a straight launch up.  IF all is equal it should go straight up.
  • Fly kite up to 30-50% of window in front of you and hold an upright hover (leading edge up).  While holding hover look at the handles - if they are not equally pointed at kite something is off in how the kite is set up. 

At WSIKF this year I was having a hard time holding my upright hover one day - and changing the knots and the handles to equalize lines was indicated by the hover test, but it didn't quite fix it.  Later when equalizing lines I found a major (too embarrassed to say just how much, but it was major) line stretch.  I was shocked that I had been doing as well as I had given the line differences.  Arg.  When equalized later it felt like my brain had been given a tune up.  :)

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Ok, embarrassing story... one day, I was suddenly having all kinds of trouble controlling the kite.  It would take off and just turn over straight into the ground. I figured something must have broken.  Kite seemed okay- I checked for line snags checked the end caps, bridle knots, measured each side against the other, etc, etc.  Everything checked out, but the kite just kept rolling over.

 Eventually I figured it out... handles in wrong hands! 🤦‍♂️   I had hooked the handles in my elbow to answer a phone call and somehow switched them when I resumed (I know... don't even ask).  Sometimes the problem is literally right in front of you...

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AND for that very reason, take some colored electrical vinyl tape and affix it to one of your handles,... for me it's Red = right

so even if you threw the handles down in front of you, by a simple quick visual examination, you'd know which one goes where when picked up again.

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I do have a "right handle" marker - a subtle one.  But since I didn't even put the handles down, it just never occurred to me to even look at my hands!

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