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Fred Wagner

Handles

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1st response is it's a personal decision. Everyone's take is different..

2nd response to answer your question from my viewpoint,   YES!!! It truly makes a difference for me. I only use 13" handles on 72" sails.

While I don't personally subscribe to it, some of the better indoor and low wind fliers use 15's, 17's or even longer handles.

 

Personal recommendation, Have a look at the Freilein Handles. A simple change of the leaders and you have a great set of handles. With the typical Rev handles, you'll eventually want to convert to snagless. That's already done for the Freilein ones.

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I actually use 3 pairs - 15" for light winds, 14" for "normal" flying, and 13" for strong winds. Typical indoor handles are 14" for most quads. But - there are exceptions.....

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It really depends on your level of experience. If you have not yet reached the "intermediate" level you won't notice any difference at all. If you have you may notice some but will have to alter the inputs because the additional length accentuates the inputs so you'll have to tame them down, but the length also gives you added throw distance as a lever. You'll probably fall out of the sky at first, but once you adjust you'll be ok. Some people like longer, some don't. Try it before you buy it. Personally, I just never bothered. It's fine for me with standard handles. Your mileage may vary.

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It really depends on your level of experience. If you have not yet reached the "intermediate" level you won't notice any difference at all. If you have you may notice some but will have to alter the inputs because the additional length accentuates the inputs so you'll have to tame them down, but the length also gives you added throw distance as a lever. You'll probably fall out of the sky at first, but once you adjust you'll be ok. Some people like longer, some don't. Try it before you buy it. Personally, I just never bothered. It's fine for me with standard handles. Your mileage may vary.

Definitely novice at this point. I have only snagged twice so far. I was mainly think for light wind situations. I am not even sure what intermediate would look like.

 

 

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I actually use 3 pairs - 15" for light winds, 14" for "normal" flying, and 13" for strong winds. Typical indoor handles are 14" for most quads. But - there are exceptions.....

Good to know. I have them on my Christmas list, but I seriously doubt my daughters will get me some.


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I prefer long handles.  They mean that smaller hand motions translate to a larger line motion, and allow a farther maximum difference from neutral. Consider if your neutral position is right in the middle balance point (it probably isn't, but let's imagine) then a 13" handle gives a max of 6.5" either way. A 15" gives you 7.5" of possible adjustment, a 17" gives you 8.5" of possible adjustment as you move your hands. 

If you are about tiny motions and precise hand gestures I imagine the difference will be more important. If you like to flail your arms I expect the difference will be less significant.

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2 hours ago, frob said:

If you are about tiny motions and precise hand gestures I imagine the difference will be more important. If you like to flail your arms I expect the difference will be less significant.

Exactly -- but since longer handles will amplify input, if you are looking for precision as one would in competition, you must realize that any "mistake" you make will be amplified as well. That's why a beginner flying in light wind will tend to fall out of the sky more often when using longer handles. Again, as with all other facets of kite adjustment it becomes a compromise. You make the choice depending on what you need versus what you prefer and usually settle for something in between. Once you know that there are several of these extremes that can be adjusted independently, you begin to make significant advancements towards pilot proficiency. Understanding this and implementing the knowledge accordingly is the difference between intermediate and advanced. Just being able to feel the change an adjustment makes is the difference between novice and intermediate.

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i learned on long throw handles so my viewpoint is biased, these pictured are grade 5 titanium tubes 19 inches long, 3/8 inches in diameter.  The foam has since died but I just had new grips fashioned out of wood to replace it, the handles are anatomically correct as pistol grips for each hand, heavier but so nice to balance on a single point and rock it back and forth.

The easiest solution to making long throw handles is jamming hollow carbon up into the steel tube, then you wrap it with electrical tape,... mine has held it's position for going on twenty years.  You can make the insert different lengths too, for an end-cap I just epoxy glued a REV cap onto the tube(s).

Long throws increase the action placed onto the kite, say you wanted to dump all of the pressure, do something slack-lined and then re-power back up.  You could flail your body and move your feet rapidly or simply flick your thumbs dramatically forward and then backwards again.  

Every good has an opposite side too,.... the bad part,... all of that increased leverage is torquing your wrist uncomfortably if used all day in bigger winds.  I have 7 inch handles all the way to almost 20, depending on the objectives to accomplish indoors or outside, team flying or personal flailing demo.

Ti handles.jpg

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