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Getting my first rev SUL


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#1 Jonathan

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 10:57 PM

Hi Guys,

I'm a newbie to revolution flying. Going to get my revolution SUL this coming June. Is it a good revolution kite for a beginner? Any tips in flying this revolution kite?

Regards,
Jonathan

#2 REVflyer

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 03:06 AM

start your quad-line experience by equalizing your lines FIRST before you even assemble that new kite!

With all the flying line endpoint loops attached to a single, well-placed stake (or a fence post, soccer goal, etc)
and the other ends affixed to your handles
( w/leaders, each sporting a series of knots, equa-distantly spaced less than an inch apart,)
pull each handle up-tight and next to each other,... do they align?,.. Perfectly?

You can adjust either the leader knots or loosen the sleeving on your flying lines and re-tie those instead. Most fliers do the 2nd one! The handles will perfectly align with each other, when this step is completed. Flying before this adjustment is confirmed means you don't have full control "equally". The kites going to fly and you're going to chase controlling it. The muscle memory necessary to enjoy oneself fully happens around two words, "neutral hover".

You next stage is to adjust the amount of "DOWN" so the kite will back-up.
You will struggle in this flying direction in the beginning, yet all the quad-line experiences that are most enjoyable require a stationary hover as a starting point. The quad-line effect is done by showing everyone your ability to fly in reverse, stop and change directions so smoothly it appears magical. A side-slide done fast is still very slow compared to reverse flight, which is much slower still than forward. Hiding the different speeds in directional transitions is a very desirable skill. Hovering & backing-up are the same actions as going forward, just a tiny directional change on your thumbs. Releasing and squeezing the handles is not the action you want to practice! Turning (clockwise or anti-clockwise rotation NOT left or right turns!) is accomplished by pushing only one thumb forward momentarily and then RETURNING that handle back to your "neutral hover" position, carefully aligned with the handle that did not move. More advanced skills require using both thumbs in unison.

Neutral hover is a personal position, a preference you'll develop over time. Some fliers grip high, some grip the handles lower,... exactly where doesn't matter. Some prefer more or less "DOWN" in their tuning. What's important is your most comfortable position. One that allows for full forward drive and also a reverse with control in your lightest possible grip on the handles. You must control every inch of flight to master a revolution. It doesn't go anywhere you don't tell it to, it stops and waits for your next input command in between. Flight direction happens without any conscious thought on the part of the flier. A true master never struggles with control, regardless of the conditions, the kite is carefully placed in every regard, direction/location, orientation, & speed. The kite doesn't surge or wiggle, there's not a twitch in flight that wasn't placed there intentionally!
You don't NEED all this control to enjoy flying a quad, but eventually these darn wings do like to be tamed! If you want to fly in team arrangements you need level of control sufficient that you don't impact the other fliers around you. If you are struggling with control (neutral hover) exclude yourself and go practice over on the sidelines. If you are flailer, then show some restraint (and fly like a normal human being for a change!)

There's a lot of useful info on this site, many of us would happily offer to help if you ask. I highly recommend you find a coach, even if you have to drive several hours in each direction to get there. It will cut years of frustration away ad probably save you some money in the long run.

Welcome to the family!
-paul

PS: Oh! I almost forgot, excellent choice on your first REV sir! You'll learn more quickly in low wind conditions. You'll have to add your own energy Jonathan, pump those handles (smoothly though!) and glide the kite, recover your field, gain a respect for the slightest breeze (& it's direction!), adapt to rotating your torso and using those feet and even legs occasionally. I started on a Backtracker, your kite will fly effortlessly in half the wind that darn thing requires. You ARE a lucky dawg!

Edited by REVflyer, 21 May 2010 - 03:10 AM.


#3 Jonathan

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 12:44 AM

Hi Paul,

Thanks for all the advice. That is a very detail instruction to do when I'm going to get my revolution SUL. Hope that I will enjoy the kite for a long time. Thank You.

Regards,
Jonathan

#4 stroke survivor

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 02:09 PM

Am also interested in adding a light wind option to my bag! I have an older 1 and a new 1.5 vented. Will the 1.5 SUL fill that hole or are there mods to make what I have do a better job??Posted Image

wayne from portland
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#5 REVflyer

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 02:29 AM

The original SUL 1point5 is one fine kite, naturally there are modifications you can make if you so choose to go down this road. Might be to your advantage to really put some time in with it stock though, so you learn muscle memory for the proper techniques to start. If you want to experiment, I fully understand that! I'm in a local kite club and we have a whole bunch of implementors and engineer-type geeks. We spend lots of time with the kites on the ground or passing 'em back and forth between us looking for the magic feeling by direct comparison. Nothing really matters beyond how it feels in your own hands!

It comes down to how far you want to push the envelope. Are you willing to experiment with a new bridle? What if you swapped out frames, or individual members, have you considered a hybred frame where you mix manufacturers' spars? I'm a big fan of sissy sticks, (magic sticks) but they change the weight distribution (helps with glides, disadvantageous for quarter turn stop and starts- both with and without will do either). It's a question of which you prefer to consider as of primary importance.

At the very least, when you get you new SUL kite (if it comes with an all spectra bridle) paint the bridle's knots with clear nail polish (dries much faster than crazy glue type products)

Practice on 65 to 75 feet of line until you can keep the kite airborne regardless of wind strength or direction. What happens if you go to 30 feet,.... or 90, or 120s? I'd do all this practice on 90# LPG so at least the darn string won't get all tangled-up!

If you can afford the upgrade, consider one of Bazzer's SUL B-Series Pro kites instead of the SUL model. Order it with a set of race frame tubes, get a set of sissy sticks (you may not like 'em, but they're easy to install and remove). Get yourself the French Bridle option and learn the techniques using the latest stuff available. Nothing listed here that a stocker won't do the same thing as far as flight techniques are concerned. In my opinion this way just "feels" better and makes every technique more fool-proof (reliable!). What if you couldn't snag a flying line when flipping the kite inside-out? Would you practice this until it was second nature? If you could flip it inside-out with the leading edge upright would you work on doing it in quarter-turns? In time with your favorite track of music?

Magic sticks help with set-up, allow for less snags and increase the structural strength of the frame without a lot of excess weight. You're adding a suspension bridge on the back of the sail. That spreads the energy and stress forces over a greater surface area. Lighter weight without reducing the overall strength of the frame (you can frame lighter withOUT fear of sudden failure). The sissy sticks allow you to roll the kite into the flying lines and recover. You can do a roll-up landing and un-rolling launch about as easy as walking the kite, not many pilots are pulling these techniques off reliably w/o a set of training wheels!

The stock bridle is great, but you can push in different directions if you're willing to accept the compromises. The French Bridle restricts the flying line attachment points in four different directions (like it was arc-welded!) Those restrictions makes a smaller wind window, but the kite is held very rigid inside this operational area. Since the bridle is built OUTSIDE of the frame your hands are feeling effectively a larger kite (more precise) but still keeping the speed and responsiveness of smaller sized wing.

The 1point6 bridle is built like the stock bridle, just closer to the sail at the leading edge center connection with smaller hinges connecting the legs. More restrictive than the stocker but not as far as the french bridle. Ideally these comparisons should be made directly, set-up two identical kites and change only one variable at a time. Which one feels better?

I flew my original SUL until it wasn't more than a tattered rag, my latest one is from Bazzer all crispy and new. Darn thing almost flies itself, it's a whole new love affair with revolution kites, you can't go wrong with either choice.

Lastly, Your question, does this kite fall in-between your other purchases?, yes & an excellent choice my friend.

No wind teaches faster than any other conditions 'cause you have to be some of the power yourself, . . . so how hard do you want to work? You can fly an inverted 360 in no wind, but you'd better be prepared to wiggle those tailfeathers 'cause the kite won't do that all by itself! Whereas you could throw the darn thing diagonally upwind and fetch it back with out moving much at all, on short lines you could wiggle under it and do the up and over. Low wind practice will get you to minimize your inputs for maximum visual effect.

Try a set of long throw handles, that one step alone will probably lower the wind range a couple of miles per hour. More length means more action on the ends of the lines with less input required by the pilot. In no wind you need to get the kite flat and parallel with the ground, leading edge pointed away like railroad tracks indicating the horizon point off in the distance. When you can maximize the available wind imagine what a decent breeze is like on the beach. You have instant turbo charger available anywhere in the wind window. you can dump the air, flick it around and then instantly re-power up and fly off controlled again. Now the low wind SUL is coming into it's own element. You're flicking and snapping it around and it's no work at all! Ain't life grand? Keep us informed and enjoy!
-plm

Edited by REVflyer, 13 July 2010 - 04:29 AM.


#6 stroke survivor

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 08:15 AM

REVflyer: Thanks for your input!! My movement ability is limited due to my stroke (oh well) but I do have some movement!!! Just considering a light wind option to add to my now growing bag of kites! Been feeling a bit low before I got new hips, now it's just like someone rolled back odometer on old car! Renewed my love of flying again!! Just trying to get the right gear to fit my style (or lack thereof) and get better at this form of flying! Had an older Rev 1 and an old 2 that I'd only put up if I felt comfortable with the wind conditions!! Having added a 1.5 vented gives me much more of a comfort zone and am much more willing to fly Revs without feeling like they would pull me all over the place!! Now I'd like to add a light wind option to my gear and have a wider range available!! Your info helps a ton!!

wayne from portland
You have 2 choices - live on or die!! I ain't the dying type!!!  Also known as "portland flyer" on some forums!

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#7 REVflyer

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 09:56 AM

Hey stroke victim
you don't have to run around, but you do need to add movements in no wind conditions.

Just like indoors, if you wanted the kite to go left, you'd walk right (to keep tension on all the lines). Low wind of 2- 5 mph will be an SUL's dream set of conditions, particularly if you can get a nice smooth beach breeze off of the ocean, but if you practice in a dead calm (like a tree-lined park) a couple of times you'll find it makes an amazing bit of difference in your overall flying ability.

I'm a busted old guy myself, I don't RUN!
I've had knee surgery and wear a back brace for pain (due to degenerative disk disorder), you can flail in one place, . . . honest, if I can then so can you!

If you'll willing to sacrifice a lot of durability you can make a kite fly while standing on only one foot! Removing all the mass means constant tending though, nothing is free if it's all floaty like an oak leaf! You need some mass to throw it around, while that's happening you don't have to add any energy to generate lift.
Cool huh?

#8 Kitelife

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 10:06 AM

The required movement in light wind is more like a rowing back and forth, moderate exertion, mostly about give and take with line tension. ;)

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#9 stroke survivor

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 12:53 PM

JB - got that very feeling the other day when wind conditions weren't ideal! It was a little more work, but not impossible to keep things moving! And that was with my old Rev 1 !!I can only imagine how much easier it would be with a SUL!!:) Now if I can only figure out how my budget will tolerate the expense!!:wacko: I've never tried to fly in no wind conditions before, but I'm sure I'll find out!! Now where's that winning lottery ticket ..........?

wayne from portland
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#10 Jonathan

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 12:05 AM

Hi Guys,

Yesterday, I just maiden my SUL. It is a beauty to fly in low wind condition. Really glad that I got the kite. Still learning how to control the movement. Kinda of oversteer and brake too often. Still not able to hover the kite well. Keep on moving up and down. Need more time in practice to perfect the move. Hope to learn more from the kite.

#11 stroke survivor

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:17 AM

Man do I want one, but I'll have to make do with my Rev 1!! I found inverted moves easier to do with my 1.5 vented, than with my 1!! Any comments?? :lol:

wayne from portland
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#12 REVflyer

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:32 AM

"less is more", try smaller, gentler movements with a light delicate grip, almost so light the slightest tug could pull 'em from your grip!

#13 Felix Mottram

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 12:01 PM

"less is more", try smaller, gentler movements with a light delicate grip, almost so light the slightest tug could pull 'em from your grip!


I go so far as to hang the handles on finger tips with no opposite 'grip'. The upward pull on the handles works and the handles can rotate (in length) to keep the relative forward/reverse aspects in place across the angle.

Felix

#14 stroke survivor

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 02:07 PM

Thanks for your inputs guys!! Definitely will try out these tips !! Working hard at getting better and listening to everyone's ideas helps!!! :)

wayne from portland
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#15 Jonathan

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 12:12 AM

Hi Guys,

My Rev skill is limited. Still not good in low wind flying, is there any methods to fly in low wind condition? I kinda of fly up then down the kite goes, unable to do any other stuffs.

My wife keep asking me what happen? I dun know how to explain to her. Really very frustrate with myself. BTW, the wind condition is around 0.5-1 mph.

Jonathan

#16 REVflyer

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 11:54 AM

Low (or in your case NO) wind requires,
bigger movements with feet, torso, handles and arms,.. even sending the kite hurtling downward using inertia and gravity, regardless you're adding the energy that the wind is failing to provide. The kite should fly if you run around, that gets old in moments though, you need to maximize the flight dynamics and minimize your own personal movements. Try shorter flying lines and more aggressive movements, not necessarily a sudden jerk either but smooth application of power. You need to feel the wind, that means a light delicate grip so if you're squeezing an angry cobra you're using the force inappropriately!

Watch some of the on-line videos or just keep practicing.

You do understand the kite has more lift on it's side than upright or inverted, right?

Well look at how long the wind can push against the sail if it's almost flat (parallel with the ground) and the leading edge is pointing directly towards the horizon. It's got feet of distance to push against in this orientation! It's called the float. You pull one handle all the way back until it's touching your shoulder, you'll push the other handle as far forward as humanly possible (eventually comfort will dictate how far that is as well as the size of your body). I'm over six feet tall, Ian Willoughby is about half my size. He's gonna struggle with this technique but in his defense he has youth and enthusiasm on his side. I don't want to offend a talented ten year old REV pilot!

#17 Felix Mottram

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 12:06 PM

<snip> You pull one handle all the way back until it's touching your shoulder, you'll push the other handle as far forward as humanly possible <snip>


The limitations of short arms are clear. Do not let your shoulder get in the way. Hold the handles in a 'close to horizontal way' and swing your arms from the vertical downward holding position.

Pulling handles towards your chest (EDIT shoulder) is a very limiting way of flying even if some very experienced fliers continue to advocate it <grins>

In light wind flying the full 'bow and arrow' stretch (no elbow bend) is essential based on the simple physics.

Felix

Edited by Felix Mottram, 06 August 2010 - 12:11 PM.


#18 Jonathan

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 11:37 PM

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the tips. Now learning how to fly well in low wind condition. Hope to make the grade one of these days. Posted Image

#19 REVflyer

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:37 AM

there's no grade, just big smiles all around as you develop your mastery of the wind.

We never stop learning. I went to Canada last year sponsored and there were about a dozen rev pilots from all over the place,.. know what? I was the worst flyer in that entire group! Almost twenty years and over 50 Revs worth of personal experience, been a quad-line competitor for over a decade. It wasn't humbling, it was quite exciting. I saw stuff that I thought was impossible, one of the crazy drivers could throw the kite wrapped up in the string and unroll it in flight! Every single pilot looked like their kites were flying on railroad tracks. I knew I had to slow down and get more precise if I ever wanted to thrill my peers with a stellar performance of my own.

Heck the lessons in humility still happen in my own local club too, a few of us get together and I'm the one they "hide in the middle". HA!!, it's all good.

Enjoy learning & sharing, in fact we want to continue hearing all about your quad-line adventures!

#20 Felix Mottram

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 03:05 AM

<snip>

I knew I had to slow down and get more precise if I ever wanted to thrill my peers with a stellar performance of my own.

Heck the lessons in humility still happen in my own local club too, a few of us get together and I'm the one they "hide in the middle". HA!!, it's all good.

Enjoy learning & sharing, in fact we want to continue hearing all about your quad-line adventures!


It is the 'slow flying' that excites me! <grins>

Felix




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