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How to improve the B std's low end?

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#21 Beaufort


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Posted 05 May 2011 - 03:51 AM

you could use a shorter stick in the down spar, also a tapered tube since it's about lowering the wind range of a stock sail.

In really tough conditions I have set of cut-down Response 12 Skyshark tubes or a set of P2 spines (also skyshark) These are old tubes, easily discontinued a decade ago. It's a 12 gram, tapered, smooth like paint stick, that is cut down to end at the bottom of the sail material. The elastics are shortened as necessary, but remember not to push that tube UP above the leading edge when doing this adjustment. Since the tube is thinner diameter I need to build-up the end of it, that inserts into the end cap (otherwise it can wiggle!) A vinyl end-cap is used or my lazier method is several wraps of electrical tape. The objective of this exercise is to move the weight forward when in an inverted glide. Since you have removed weight and also moved it forward you can recover your field easier.

A set of magic sticks will also stiffen the frame, it sounds counterproductive to add this weight, but your glide will be further improved, so to me it's worth it.

I use a Zen or Race leading edge tubes from Rev, as well as a set of cut-down p90s from Skyshark in my low wind kites.

None of these changes need to be permanent, you have only cut-down some extra parts laying around the house and adjusted one end on each of two elastic cords.

To test these adjustments is very easy. Fly you kite to the top of the window, with a stake placed next to your foot. Invert the kite and release the handles entirely, with them centered before you. Measure off how far away the kite went and place a marker in the ground. Now undue the elastic, replace the downspars and try it again. My bet is that field recovery glide is WAY further OUT there if you did the testing consistently, at least that what my experiments have produced. If the kite will glide away from you 300% further than the release height, then you know you can get back to your starting spot without having to run 360s. Heck it will recover that field length if you just let go! Imagine how you can control and adjust the glide with the handles in your paws. You only back-up now to add energy, saw your way to some elevation and turn it leading edge down.

Longer handles increase the action you can put on the kite, but every action has an equal negative aspect to deal with,.... longer handles hurt in big wind. Shorter looks smoother because you use both of them more often together

Shorter lines will teach you technique that can be applied to longer ones. I enjoy flying early in the morning (usually dead calm) with the sunrise or in no-wind conditions.

The best flying low wind kite I own is an old B-Series SUL with a Zen center tube and race outers, the P-2 spines are used as down-spars. Lots of miles, sail is not crisp anymore, even some ugly wear spots on the leading edge, been thru at least 3 bridles. This is a delicate device for when you know conditions are not likely to change.
Easily more delicate the the Zen. I use a French Bridle and 16 inch magic sticks made from point 125 carbon tubes. I have a variety of handle lengths, but on this rig I'd use 13 no-snags with 120 feet of 50# line (LaserPro Gold or the new Skybond Yellow stuff from Shanti, . . . . both of which are most excellent!)

If conditions are likely to change, then I go to a B-Series Pro with cut-down Skyshark Black Diamond 3P-tapers (or Response 12s if you can find them) as the down spars (cut to end at the length of the sail) and the Race leading edge (sometimes with a 3 wrap center for more weight forward to use with 3-D techniques. This rig will fly in a dead calm and survive double digit gusts! Still on the French bridle and magic sticks, long handles as needed

You don't need any of this crap, if you have the proper techniques. If you have both though, then you are all set and smiling when everyone else around is in mourning or not even awake yet.

Spend some time on you lines, insure the handles align perfectly before affixing your kite. Inspect your area for dangerous footing conditions. You will be adding energy with physical motion, just like indoors, make sure you don't fall unexpectedly or twist an ankle.

Get out there and give it some practice, you'll come up with your own secrets too. What happens if ????,..... Try it out & see for yourself! The only good modification is the one you tested out directly and liked the results personally. Revs are easy to experiment on and can always be returned back to stock, just save your bits and pieces! A good experiment can have the results replicated by others, make sure you testing is neutral without any expectations of success. Test long enough to know you like the differences. I took eight months to confirm I liked the french bridle better than the modified one I had used for over a decade. Feeling different is natural, is it BETTER? Only you can answer that question and it will take some time to answer it fairly.

You can get this comparison clinic with us at Wildwood, if enough folks are interested. Nothing formal folks, we'll just set-up the 4 different Old Glory kites in a side-by-side comparison for anyone interested in alternative bridles or magic sticks. I'm pretty sure Brad and Rich would loan their kites to add with mine, but we'd need to know in advance so we have everything with us! No cost, just some help to set everything up and take it back down again.

Wow, thanks REVflyer for a wealth of exciting information and advice!

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