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Member Since 20 Apr 2011
Offline Last Active Jul 25 2011 10:27 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Zen v.s. 1.5sul

25 July 2011 - 10:23 PM

Here's the thread on sissy sticks, and look here for french bridles. (I have used neither, just pointing you to the right threads :blue_wink:)

Thanks Katrina, that is extremely helpful. Looks like a lot of dickering around, so I probably won't be trying any of those modifications any time soon, but it is good to know what folks are talking about.

In Topic: Zen v.s. 1.5sul

23 July 2011 - 08:45 AM

No big different in weight but the panel layouts are different, so flight dynamics are changed as well.

In an ideal world you could order any Rev (for example the B-series or a B-Pro) built as an SUL and then fly an all spectra bridle on Rev's indoor tubes cut to fit your sail. You may find it's too light in weight with these parameters and you'll miss some mass to throw around (you get FREE glide with mass, gravity and kite positioning carefully blended). It will certainly be too delicate for all but the most extreme of no-wind conditions. You can design or modify for any specific set of conditions but you'll sacrifice everything else heading down that road.

You can adopt different methods towards your goal too. Bazzer makes the ultra-vent and Shook offers the Weave/mesh. They both go to extreme wind speeds while allowing total control. Which solution suits your purposes better? Bazzer's is certainly more durable, Shook's is probably HALF of the overall weight comparing the two sails though. Do you give up some durability to widen the wind range? (I have always followed this path, it costs extra in the long haul but is certainly more beneficial during the trip).

So with this objective in the back of my mind, how could you make a kite that will reliably fly in zero-wind and still take a double digit sudden gust? Would you go to a 100# high-test bridle instead of all spectra? Gamble on a different manufacturer's tapered tubes for down-spars? The SUL rev has a straighter leading edge (old school), that is great for javelin-like 3-D throws. The B-series "feels" more neutral overall and grabs air when powered-up better with a significant leading edge curve that's built-in by design. Which place to start? I'm very happy with the performance I obtain from the 1.5 platform size, but have the most hours of experience here as well. My original R/W/B Revolution SUL is so ragged you could see thru it to drive across the continent, worn thru two B-series full sails too, frayed a couple of knock-off 1point6s home-builts I'd made in between to Kleenex tissue strength. My B-pro full sail is looking like it lost a couple of gangland battles but at least it's still opaque to the wind.

My latest challenge is the ZEN. The zen is all crispy and shiny still, so I figured I'd give it the modification treatment too. I have the stock frame tubes all around and SUL leading edge sleeve instead of the Dacron. I slapped on some sissy sticks to increase the structural support and recently began testing a french bridle option as well. This combination provides a kite that has a sense of being out on the ends of the line. There's a literal feedback from each command. The commands have to be significant too (okay I like to flail so that's no handicap!) Using 15 or 17 inch no-snag handles because they are heavier than my titanium long throws tubes. Again, more mass, slammed backwards = sharper commands. Lines?: Floating around is a set of 120s (50#), hard tricking and 3-D stuff is about 65-70 feet (90#) either used interchangeably in a dead calm flying location. I'm comfortable flying this rig up to double digits on the wind meter now, no twitchy stuff or over-control issues. It's pretty rigid with a inverted killer glide. It doesn't turn like a porcshe but it's fast enough for most musical accompaniments. I've flown this rig in team settings when everyone else was on full sailed 1.5s, neither hampering myself nor interfering with my mates.

If you have got to fly in a specific set of conditions regularly, your kites can be targeted towards this single objective. I've got at least 1/2 dozen kites for no-wind (with an unlimited ceiling, wink, wink!) and only one kite for brutally howling conditions (Shook mesh, 4-wraps, sticks, french). Those are my local conditions, vented is only needed a couple of times a year, only when I travel away from home too!. SUL kites are the norm in the mid-atlantic states.

If you want a light touch go small (rev2) and/or delicate(SUL). If you after more durability and a heavier hand try the Zen. If you have a specific challenge call your retailer or the factory. Challenge 'em, . . . but I'm bettin' they've heard it all before and will have a solid recommendation! The Visa card can't be buy practice hours, but it can certainly show you the path of proper techniques or potentially better equipment options to be considered.

Please excuse my ignorance. What are sissy sticks, how are they helpful and how did they get their name? Also, how does a french bridle change flight characteristics and, in this case, what does it do for the zen? Thanks, Randy

In Topic: Broken But Not Beat'n

25 June 2011 - 11:34 PM

I hope your neck and knee surgeries go well. I have a shoulder replacement, a plate and screws lower down on the same arm and a rod in my tibia. All ski/snow related injuries. The best thing about a new, worse pain is that it helps you forget about your other pains. I think flying helps my shoulder, as I feel my poor range of motion has improved somewhat. It's that hazy, ill defined zone between pleasure and pain. Anyway, best of luck with the surgeries and what ever happens, just keep doing what you enjoy.

In Topic: EXP vs SLE vs ???

01 June 2011 - 10:37 PM

I had the same decision to make about 7 months ago. After spending a fair amount of time on this forum, I decided to go with a B series rather than the EXP or SLE. The initial cost was a bit shocking, but I do think the B series package is a great value. I believe that the sails on the EXP and SLE are rip stop nylon, where the B series is Icarex polyester. Someone correct me if I am wrong. Also the B series comes with 2 complete frames, where the SLE just has 1 complete frame and 2 leading edges. Anyway, I think they are all good kites, and you will have a great deal of fun with the kite you choose. I do doubt you would ever "grow" out of a B series, where you might be urning for one if you purchased the EXP or SLE. I was also impressed with the B series durability, with all my flailing I have not thrashed it yet. It is still as good as new. It's just an awesome kite. Keep working, saving, thinking of other legal ways to accumulate cash, and take that "I will only buy one kite" thought one day at a time, as visions of additional kites tend to creep into your mind.

Good luck and welcome to the club.

In Topic: Rev. 1 or the Zen?

28 April 2011 - 08:51 PM

In my opinion, you really do not want to do that as this is a sail designed for light wind. If it gets too much stretching due to stronger winds, it will start to loose its nice light wind characteristics.
However, I have flown Zen using a three wrap rod and the green race rod just to get the feel of the difference. The four wrap, I will stay away from as I prize my Zen so high.

Thanks John, thats what I needed to know. "Protect the Zen" is a good mantra.