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Light Wind Setup Opinions Wanted


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#81 LS Kite Stakes

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 08:39 PM

Part of my low wind setup includes race rods. The weight of two wrap and stiffness of three wrap is what makes it work so well. As far as ending up backing up only to carry it forward is part of learning low wind. To get away from this, try to remember this rule of thumb, leading edge up, moving back, leading edge down, moving forward. Getting the moving forward with the leading edge down part is the secret to low wind flying. Yes, lots of practice........
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#82 ahofer

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:15 AM

I use a Polo rev, which is a printed SUL, I believe. I keep 2-rods in it. Great light wind kite for flying alone. 50# line, if you are flying over 50 feet, is a HUGE help, it'll get you to practically zero wind. I tried zen rods in the polo, just for fun. I found the extra flex a bit unnerving.

Bazzer put some extra unicorn hairs in my latest B pro (race rods), so I find I haven't needed more than that for group flies. But I do have a matching Zen.
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#83 ahofer

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:16 AM

btw, another tip - if you set up and stake a Zen, you won't need it. Like bringing an umbrella. Somebody in the Jersey Crew has to take time out to do this when the winds are low.
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#84 REVflyer

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 04:01 AM

the Zen is generally the first kite out of my bag, but I arrive earlier in the morning than most folks and prefer flying in no wind. Usually the wind increases during the course of a day, so I'll transition to the SUL or a mid-vent.

The best advise I ever received on flying in low or no wind is to get the sail "square" to the wind for maximum pressure. That means your first path of leader corrections is always to add DOWN and test if that helps. A little tiny change is all that is needed sometimes, one half of an inch can be the difference maker!

#85 stroke survivor

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 08:58 AM

One trick for light wind is to put 2 stakes in the ground. 1 where you start and 1 where you will back up to. Take off from your front stake and back up as needed, but when you get to the back stake. try to "recover" your field and move forward! This recycling method will go a long way to improving your skills!!

PS: same idea as Walt's, just a more visual way to see it!

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#86 REVflyer

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:37 AM

the kite should "glide away" from you, if you release the handles entirely when held in front of your body with the leading edge facing the ground. 300% is a very reasonable objective, so if the kite is 80 feet high (when released) it should go down wind at least a 250 feet away from you. Now if the kite will glide that far all by itself, imagine what you can do with a little control input added in! Field recovery is a required skill in the land of no wind. In the District of Columbia if they get a forecast for a steady 5 mph wind, then the schools will be closed for a solid week, due to excessive weather conditions.

#87 kwmf

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:45 AM

My short 2 cents...

  • Yes, skill is more important than gear ... but the right gear does makes things a little bit easier and more pleasant.
  • Aside from a lighter frame, shorter lines also helps. I fly on 90# line and usually do most of my low wind 1.5 work on 30' or 50' lines. The shorter the lines, the more you can 'cheat' and muscle it around - almost compensating for a lack of skill. Keep in mind, my low wind flying is solo, not team
  • Probably the single most important concept to learn (aside from specifics like ground recovery) is to keep the kite moving. Even a bicycle rotation keeps wing moving thru the air even though its holding a static position in the sky.
Experience and skill trumps gear every time ... make sure practice is enjoyable and keep at it.





#88 REVflyer

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:46 AM

Make sure practice is enjoyable and keep at it,..
boy, that's for sure!

When I moved to the DC area in '93 none of my kite would even fly! What the heck is up with that? I moved here from Ft. Lauderdale, before that flew kites in Ned's Woods, (NW suburbs of Chicago) when I grew up (after college & marriage in '79 that is, HA!). I get down here and there's either no wind or it's swirling all around and more useless than of any value. I met up with some other folks thru a local kite club in '96, what a difference that made! Great low wind kites to try out, excellent kite builders besides, goofy engineer geeks and laid back soul fliers who only come out in fair weather. They had the whole bar of granola (flake, fruit & nuts with a kite-ish coating!)

I found out locally you fly indoor-weight kites for at least 5 months out of the year. You either make 'em yourself or you modify existing designs to suit your purpose. Your purpose is indoor flight with an unlimited ceiling thrown in. Two schools of thought as well on line lengths, fly high enough to find that smooth wind (Charles Stonestreet), or fly on lines short enough that you don't have to move at all (Jeff Burka). Anybody can fly for 4 minutes, but making "a day of it" is all about knowing what and how to make kite flying much more effortless. You can't run around or be all stretched out flailing for an entire day, at least I can't do that or I'd be bedridden the next week!

Anyway, the point of all this gibberish is that you make practice fun and soon it will seem all so effortless. I used to be the guy on the sidelines, marveling at how all my mates could make it dance but I looked like I stood in quicksand every time I tried. Then I bought a kite month, at least one, for three years. Guess what? Equipment alone will not make it happen either! I keep showing up at the Washington Monument month after month, year after year, challenging myself. I learned a whole bunch about prototype testing and the art of comparison. Not for ten minutes, but for a couple of 6 hour sessions, across varying wind conditions. One day I guy asked me for advise. I turned around, to see whom he could possibly be speaking towards. He meant me!
Geesh, I'm actually more advanced than 1 other person worldwide?

I became involved with the kite club, politics and all. They were pigs! Unfriendly and exclusive, click-ish, upper-crusty. I swore I never run it that way. My wife became involved more and more, soon we were both officers and slowly the organization had changed to fit our mold and our objectives. We like to welcome new folks, include them and never, ever forget how it was when we first became involved!

I evolved some more in kiting, the heck with the club, nobody except a select few of us will pull their own weight anyway. I'm not draggin' a garage worth of junk around so everyone else can have a good time. Nope, it's all about me now. I'll carry only what fits on a golf cart. I want it to be like the old days, when nobody knew my name and everything was so awe inspiring.

Next, the team quad-line thing came along. Now I'm as hooked again, as I've ever been! The misses and I are club-officers instead of JAMs (just another member). We're involved with planning a few kite gigs ourselves, or on planning committees and we attend festivals at least once a month. It's cool to be comp'd as a featured guest, but we enjoy paying our own way just as much. Then you are accountable to no one and can do whatever, whenever you desire. If you don't go to every kiting activity, some are still exciting adventures to be experienced in the future!

There's a whole bucket list of events just in the USA we have yet to experience. We'd love to get to Europe one of these days too. In the meantime I'll keep going down to the center of the no-wind universe and fly some more against the backdrop of the nation's monuments. I'd conservatively estimate I have flown in low/no wind 10 hours per week for the last 16 years. That streak started the year barbara told me I had too many hobbies. So in 1996 I quit golf and martial arts. Now I can fly anyplace and don't need to borrow equipment anymore or seek advise on techniques either.

The worst thing that has happened in my kite escapades is the need to be seen. I don't want to fly if there aren't any spectators to see my antics! I'm so ashamed, if there's a big crowd I'll come home with my facing hurtin'... from all those smiles!

"Hey mister, how do you get it to fly in no wind?" it's these super-hero boots I'm wearing!

#89 Felix Mottram

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:55 AM

Make sure practice is enjoyable and keep at it,..
boy, that's for sure!

<snip>

"Hey mister, how do you get it to fly in no wind?" it's these super-hero boots I'm wearing!


Excellent background information in your post. Thank you very much for that.

This thread has some length (sorry) but it is interesting to note that light wind flying can still not be learned in an afternoon, apparently! <grins>

Catching rising air and understanding the transitions from one thermal to the next has been a particular interest to me since the early tissue fighter kite days. Having 'hands on the bridle' with a four line kite adds to the potential without a doubt. This does need long lines but 120ft ones work for me on a practical level.

One day I will go for a longer set...

Felix

#90 Andy S.

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:12 AM

Cheers guys, much as I thought.....Practice makes perfect. :sign_kitelife:

I'm running a 6.6m Blade III and a 10m Flysurfer Speed now, so I really am talking pretty low-wind before the REV comes out.....Usually the only other things flying at this point are Deluxe Edition 15m+ Speed IIIs! ;)

All the best
Andy S.
PS - Will probably treat mself to the 'Race-Rods' instead of an Easter-Egg! :P

#91 lamrith

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:46 PM

Cheers guys, much as I thought.....Practice makes perfect. Posted Image

I'm running a 6.6m Blade III and a 10m Flysurfer Speed now, so I really am talking pretty low-wind before the REV comes out.....Usually the only other things flying at this point are Deluxe Edition 15m+ Speed IIIs! Posted Image

All the best
Andy S.
PS - Will probably treat mself to the 'Race-Rods' instead of an Easter-Egg! Posted Image


Another power kiter, woot!! I have 2m, 3m, PKD buster's, then my 8m PL Pepper2 and a Venom2 19m. That pepper 2 is my low wind static rig so far, I can get her airborn and moving down into 3mph though it takes work. But it is good excersize for sure!

I am hoping my B with 2wrap can fly down in that range as well or lower. Still am considering 50# short lines to help on those light wind days.
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