Welcome to the Darkside. You have a lot of good advice and you have the UK dealers who will look after you. We fly every Sunday at Herrington Country Park opposite Penshaw Monument if you are in the area please come and say hello. When you start flying it is often better to fly with others. It makes it more enjoyable. I have always wanted to fly next to St Hildas and we have a few events not too far away from Whitby.
Happened to be walking along a coastal footpath into Whitby on Saturday, and was surprised to see two custom Revs flying high on top of the cliff by the old Whitby Abbey - an enormous surprise for me as in my 34 years I've never seen anyone flying Rev kites before!
Made a detour, had a wonderful chat with the pilots, but have only just realised after doing a quick search on the forum we'd actually already spoken!
Was a pleasure to meet you Vince and Chris (of Team Fusion).
What made it all the more ironic was I was so close to bringing my Rev1.5 to fly on the very same spot without knowing you were there, but we were making our way to Whitby for dinner and forewent (foregoed?) taking it. I flew on Whitby beach just the previous day, the tide was right out and the wind was perfect, absolutely loved it.
Fantastic to see the pro's doing it how it should (I'm still working on hovers and reverse-inverts!). The vented looked so smooth. Baz's anodised no-snag handles looked great too, just about to order a couple of marble stakes from him. Loved the custom team prototype you were using. Always fancied the idea of a Jolly Roger (with a "blow me down" one-liner or similar) or a Dracula-inspired sail to fly at that very location.
Really enjoyed the chat, hope we meet again. Give us a shout if you happen to go again, I'm often at that location as my parents have a static caravan a mile away on the clifftop (Saltwick Bay).
Had another couple of hours today. This thing is literally off the scale. You can really throw it around. Super sharp 90º turns. Stop it dead. Back it up. Do 2160º spins on the spot (not quite bicycles yet, I'm cheating by pushing one thumb forward and pulling the other back!). Or turn it into a graceful albatross and gently float around the window with the lightest of finger touches. I have never had anything like it, it's crazy.
The sun was high in the sky when I flew, the shadow of the kite swooping amongst the grass seemed surreal, like the wings of huge eagle. Made me jump at first when 'it' came lunging towards me, thought it was an incoming dog or something! Found afterwards you can even fly the kite without looking at it, just fingertip control.
Will make leaders soon, as I've found when I'm braking or doing hard-stops the lower wing(s) very occasionally turn in on themselves (like a flic flac). I find I'm giving too much of an input to the brake lines. Or maybe I'm heavy handed, or too quick, or using too much wrist range. Will work on it. Managed to find some lines from an old cheap stunt kite I had, they don't look like they'd stretch but they might not be as strong as the LPG lines so I'll double them over before knotting up. Will be interesting to try out the different knotted lengths (thanks StrokeSurvivor!), see how they may affect technique and flight.
And yes, a B-Vented is on my wishlist, Rex! Was 11mph again today and I was trying to work on various hovers, but the gusts made it a little lively. Vented would be useful when at the coast too. I've noticed a lot of the videos I've seen of Revs at beaches and team flying are vented and they look real smooth.
Had the most wonderful two hours flying today. Everything seemed to 'click' into place and the overall control felt a lot more natural and intuitive. Was much more confident in controlling it and making it do (roughly!) what I want it to, and was less scared of the kite being damaged as a result. The wind was slightly lighter this time, about 10mph instead of 15mph, which also helped a great deal (a vented is now on my list for when it is windier!)
Seriously got the biggest smile on my face. It was fun before, but the fun factor has gone exponential. I can only imagine it will get more so as you continue to develop skills.
No hard ditches. Was able to use the inverted launch/hover to recover the few flops I did have. Only one brief walk of shame in the whole two hours, and that was only when the kite was already sitting on the ground and fell forward flat with the LE toward me (and I wasn't able to turn it by yanking on a single line).
Even got spontaneous applause from a chap walking a dog behind me (unbeknown to me) when I was practicing dive-stops!
Didn't even realise how much time had passed, got a slight hunger pang, looked at my watch and realised two hours had gone! Was so relaxing. I can easily see how this can become a way of life. Very glad I found the Rev world.
Bear in mind, the sail of a loaded Rev isn't actually flat... Watch this:
It curves and uncurves as load varies, making it far more versatile than any dual line kite in turbulent wind.
That's amazing, guess they don't call them 'sails' for nothing! Looks very much like the individual sail(s) on a galleon ship but with dual rudders per sail.
I originally assumed the spars on the back of the Revs were to keep the sail stretched and flat as possible, clearly not so as they bend and support the sail. A lot of complex physics elements happening here! I can see how some people put the spars at the front (like a dual line kite) by accident, although the stress on the frame and sail might be greater. The workings play with your mind a bit.
John B, on another note - I have got to say - a huge thank you for all your tutorials on Kitelife (and youtube) - namely assembly/disassembly, line management (I unravelled and hooked up my lines today when setting up and there literally wasn't a single twist in them!), equalizing, setting up the bridles (something I needed to do when I got the kite second hand after the previous guy had it all knotted up), hovers (which I'm currently enjoying learning), flat relaunching (reduces the embarassment of the walk of shame, and increases the flying time) to name a few. They really have been incredibly useful to a solo learner/flyer like me, every one of them (as no instructions came with the kite). As well as your inspirational flying vids which almost single-handedly got me into Revs after stumbling upon them. We salute you!
A couple of things you have said make me think that maybe you should be flying with a bit more break, though it is hard to be sure without a face to face.
Took the kite for another flight today... As I'm new to the feeling of flying a Rev, and that (to me) the kite feels more 'fragile' than dual kites, I think I overly engage drive on the kite when there is a sudden avalanche of wind in order to try and relieve stress on the sail itself, rather than me yank on the brake and allow it to take the full brunt of the wind and drag me (or I walk) forward for fear of damaging the sail (or very occasionally I also lose control and the sail can go ape-poo at high speed, ho ho). The wind inland is very unpredictable, one moment it's 3-4mph, then next it's a 15mph gust lasting a good 15 seconds or so.
I'm learning how to take the kite to the edges of the window to take the stress out of the sail when this occurs, although this is tougher to get a grip on than dual-line kites as the Rev sail is flat and a little more unforgiving of buffeting than the sculpted air-funnelled wing of a dual.
Or is 10-15mph too much for a full sail? ... That said, initially seems I need at least 10mph to get it up.
The left and right controls are fully figured out now though.
While the technicalities are still all very confuzzling at this stage, learning is enormous fun.
Thank you all, making good use of everything you've thrown at me. Was able to take the kite out today and put everything I've read and seen into practice, and, my, what a difference.
Firstly, figured out the basic controls moreso thanks to the posts above and this nice little tut of the [Rev 1] from Joe Hadzicki himself (is that the one that is usually bundled with the SLE too?).
My error was doing far too much handle-pulling (like a dualie) and not enough thumb-pushing (wrist twisting). Assumed good control over the kite once I knew exactly what was required, actually I was surprised how quickly it takes to get a hang of it.
That said, 15mph winds might've been a tad gusty to learn more on - a jump in the deep end with a full sail, 80' lines and UL frame (maybe I should've put the SLE back in), ho ho - but very fun. Never had a kite that could move from the ground to the top of the window SO fast. The airborne equivalent of the Ariel Atom. The wind speed also - very quickly! - taught me the necessary lesson of brake vs. drive (forward, hover, reverse) using thumbed controls.
Was able to enjoy sustained flight, fly contentedly around the window, figure of 8's, land on cue, and even tried to push a few boundaries to see what it could do further.
In doing so everything everyone mentioned in this thread became crystal clear!!!
Where to begin. A few concurrences for you guys, hehe...
1) I need longer leaders on the top! Just to add a little damping. - It may have been the strong wind, but a few times I felt the kite wanted to go over the top of me (and beyond!), despite pushing both thumbs forward at times (maybe too late, however). I have no problems launching the kite, so longer leaders wouldn't be a problem.
2) Think I'll be buying a vented at some point! What's this, a second kite, already? Another non-surprise for you guys. Really think I will be needing a vented at the coast, though. 15mph is common, and a vented might help iron out the gusts somewhat.
3) It really is a massive bundle of fun.
4) Although 120' lines might be nice, I can't really use anything longer than 80' due to width limitations of local recreation grounds and beaches. Anything longer and people would almost have to walk underneath me, which I don't want, and they probably wouldn't want either! I'd travel further afield but am unable to drive due to health probs. :/
5) Tent pegs (as stakes) can be an absolute bugger to search for on both grass and beach if I fail to pick the peg up and put it into my pocket at the same time as picking up the handles. Will be putting in an order for a couple of Walt's marble stakes soon!
Finally managed to get it up for my first flight today, ultralight frame throughout, the wind was reported as 10mph. Extremely shaky at first, ditched it a good few times (giving to the kite really helped, Wayne, thankfully no ditches were heavy as a result). Furthermore, that 80' walk is sure a long way when a few people are watching (I even picked the most isolated beach and location to minimise this, alas still the embarrasment)!
Eventually got a feeling for the controls and was able to keep it in the sky and even land it gently on its feet mostly toward the end.
Soooo different to dual line kites. The controls are polar opposite! My brain was completely mashed for a while. It still is, I can't explain how I managed to keep it up in the sky, it felt more intuitive just to ignore my preconceptions of what should do what and instead used my fingers to feel the subtle pull of each line. As JB says it will all be about finding, building and retaining muscle memory.
I now have even greater respect (if that were possible) for the pros who make it look so easy on youtube!!
Furthermore, I can see how this can be very addictive! A bit like learning a Rubik's cube.
The wind has dropped to 5mph, the lines were sagging (had to move backwards a lot to generate upward thrust latterly) so had to call it a day today.
Took it down the beach a few days ago for a test flight but then found the guy who had the kite before had completely messed up the bridle on one side, was completely asymmetric so had to bring the kite home and undo the knots he had made on the one side. Seems he didn't know how to configure the double loop (where the horizontal and vertical bridle lines are attached) and he tried to compensate by wrapping the lines and tying a whole other bunch of knots instead.
Managed to get it sorted that night by untying and untangling everything, and then watching JohnB's bridle attachment tutorial on youtube (thanks again John!!).
Took it down to the beach the following day but just as I'd set it up the wind dropped to 0mph!
The following day it rained non stop, and now for the last 48 hours we've had 30-40mph winds!
Thanks guys, will try and grab some thin tent/guy rope/string or similar very soon for customising leaders.
One thing I wanted to ask, given that the UL was mentioned over the SLE. How does the SLE differ to the UL LE in terms of flying characteristics? The SLE is clearly a lot larger and heavier, I initially thought it would therefore be slower and better to learn on?
Dunstable Downs looks a phenomenal place Stephen! Unfortunately I live 100+ miles north and have no transport to get there. :|
I'm currently in Whitby again (far north east), so will be able to get on the beach very soon.