My son and I have learned on the 1/4" spars without breaking any. A friend in the area has broken two SLE (one 3-wrap and one 4-wrap) leading edge rods while learning.
Either it's just bad luck on my friend's part or there is something to say for learning on 1/4" rods. Although the SLE rods are super stiff, I think that characteristic might work against them. First, flyers talk about less control with the SLE rods ... that could get you into trouble quicker. And second, that stiffness also makes them subject to breakage where the 1/4" rods might flex just enough to allow you a slightly larger margin of error ... the oak and the willow analogy.
Either way, Jeff stated it well ... Worry less, fly more.
So what if a rod is broken ... in the scheme of things, they're cheap relative to the pleasure of sharing a hobby with your son or grandson ... but, you already knew that!
Last night I had my grandson (4 and 1/2) on the handles ... he suddenly expressed an interest. He's too light with too short of an attention span, but it's a start ... even if I had to hold on to the handles and do all of the flying for him. Too bad the smaller kites are harder to fly ... maybe tails on a REV II would help slow it down and make it gentle enough for him. Anybody have any experience with doing that?
Edited by Jeepster, 21 May 2009 - 07:19 AM.