Whether you wind with the figure-8 or straight method, if you've locked down both ends and they're not rotating, then you bring 'em together and pull 'em apart (by winding/unwinding), any apparent (individual line) twists come out under tension.
The only way a single line can twist (regardless of what you do in the middle - i.e. winding style) is if you allow one extreme end to rotate, adding an individual line twist per rotation.
Whatever works for you, but that little pearl supersedes everything else.
Try both methods with new sets of lines, side by side... Wind/unwind 5 times each, then walk down one line with your fingernail to push any twists down to the end (should do this anyway from time to time)... Now, which winding method generates more line spin (untwisting) at the end?
Posted by Kitelife
on 01 September 2009 - 12:10 PM
There has been a lot of discussion regarding line winding methods, most particularly minimizing the twists or tangles in your lines as you set up your kite each time.
I've tried everything over the years... Halo spools on a drill (fast wind), two winders, one winder, winding on the handles, tying pairs together, tying all four together, straight wind, figure eight wind... In my experience, nothing I've tried thus far compares with the method we've used religiously on iQuad over the past 3 years... We don't even think about our lines anymore, except which weight or length to use. <grin>
Three minutes to set up, three minutes to tear down... No more 20-30 minute untangling sessions.
Here's the formula for a reliable one-winder affair, starting with your kite leading edge down, staked at the top of the handles (i.e. secure on the ground) and no more than a 1/2 twist in the lines:
1. At the kite end, disconnect the left lines, then larks head your top line onto the bottom line's sleeving and slide it down to the knot... This should leave the bottom line effectively pulled out further than the top line (I'll explain this later).
2. Repeat the same technique with the right side, then put both sets in one hand so you have the two bottom loops together like two lines, with both top lines attached at the knot(s) on the bottom line sleeving.
3. Although all four lines are in one hand now, you should only be holding the bottom loops in your fingers as you place those two onto the notch in your winder.
3. Wind straight or figure eight, doesn't make a single bit of difference in twisting... It only effects your winding motion, and how the line sits on the winder... I very much prefer a straight wind as it tends to be neater, and I can fit more line into less space on the winder.
** NOTE: You've now attached your bottom loops to the winder, without twisting them prior... As you wind, the winder is NOT rotating or twisting in any way, it's only going to move up and down, in and out, as you make your way to the handles... Simply, there are no twists thus far in the process, it's literally impossible because nothing rotates. (part 2 in the next section)
4. As you finish winding and are approaching the handles, wind down to ground so as not to lift the handles which might allow them to spin (twist)... As you pick up the handles, they should fairly well fold right over the winder so you can strap the whole thing down (securely).
** NOTE: Again I'll point out that the loops (kite end) haven't rotated, and the handles haven't rotated either, not significantly anyway... Ergo, no excessive twists, literally impossible because you've in theory brought the four points at either end together, spooling the line cleanly in-between... You might end up with a twist or two as you inadvertently allow one pair (R or L) to twist somewhere, go through each other once, or perhaps at the handle end.
** NOTE 2: The reason the handles are probably going to fold over the winder so nicely is the fact that we first staggered the top and bottom lines at the kite end before winding... We pulled the bottom lines out further (by 4"-6") which conversely pulled the bottom of the handles forward at the other end, setting the handles up for a neat fold over at the end.
** NOTE 3: I typically leave my handles on, but if you must remove yours, be sure to reverse the method you used at the kite end... Instead, you'll be larks heading the BOTTOM lines onto the top lines, so the tops are extending further out, opposite of the other end, taking out most of the slack (uneven lengths) in the lines.
** NOTE 4: Using this method correctly, it should be impossible for a twist or tangle to form that would warrant disconnecting one line and worming it out, shouldn't EVER be necessary, because again, we've worked with fixed pairs and non-rotation at either end, you should be able to get any twist out simply by rotating the handles together, individually, or putting one through the other every now and then... Disconnecting a line generally causes more trouble than it solves, unless you're working with a real pile of spaghetti.
1. Stick a stake in the ground.
2. Unstrap your winder, place the TOP of your handles onto the stake (like locking the kite in forward) and walk downwind with the winder in a position that allows it to rock freely (but secure in your hand)... Everything should pop-pop-pop-pop right off, all the way to the end.
3. Take the loops off your winder and put one in each hand, pulling some tension into the lines and spreading your arms to centralize the (apparent) twists a little, but don't try too hard... Working with one side first, separate one pair (top and bottom R or L), then attach to the kite, repeat with the other side.
** NOTE: DO NOT muck with what you think are twists yet, just hook up the kite, place it leading edge down on the ground and walk back to the handles.
4. Picking up your handles carefully so as not to accidentally launch, then waggle one brake line (watching for one side of the kite to wiggle) in order to identify your R/L handles and arrange them accordingly.
5. Now, using the handles, draw tension into all four lines with a conscious mind on your control of the kite... 90%-95% of what appeared to be twists should cancel each other out, leaving 1-3 twists, shouldn't be any more than this if you've done everything right.
I generally teach this one in person, but figured it was time to break it down thoroughly for those who rely on forum information between events.
Post back here, share your successes or failures with this method, I'll be happy to clarify if prompted.
End of the day, we have to be more responsible than they are... We know more than they do.
It may be sad, but it's to be expected that people will be unaware (much of the world).
I watch my kites and lines more in trouble areas, try to pick my spot for parking kites with some forethought, and I make sure my flight paths illustrate what is going on in that area... Nothing like thumping into the ground 50 feet away from someone who is approaching my flight area, they don't tend to come too close after that.