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Posts posted by REVflyer

  1. I'm thinking,... it might be only from the used market, discontinued in the discount rack or all three items have reached an evolution into something else entirely, you'll have to chase retail merchants and tell no one if successful

    weight of a Race (black) is equal to a 2 wrap professional frame, but with the strength of 3 wraps

    green race has an overcoating to make 'em stronger still, a guy Rich Comras (unfortunately now deceased) complained that black race tubes broke under water, so Ben D'antonio offered a solution,... Green Race I think it's kevlar paint or some high-tech solution.

    lastly, original Diamonds are very delicate tubes designed for no wind, SUL kites even indoor models.  These are very expensive and sought after.  When they break (and they will!) you make "travel frames" out of the pieces.

    none of these tubes will be less than 25 USD each, some closer to 40,.... ifs you can find them at all.

    Stiffness, flex response, weight, performance,..... you get what you pay for, but alas no longer offered in their original "flavors"

  2. consider a travel frame, the pieces are "half-sized" and the problems are gone,... assembly is just electrical tape of vinyl to hold the two halves together, making three spars when needed.  I'd also recommend framing with the ferules on the outside two pieces, instead of the center spar.  It breaks down shorter ! (and now fits into an Orvis Carry-on case for fishing poles, holds a dozen kites and accessories.


  3. ha, just saw this Monkey..... Ha, whole bag, not quite.  

    I carry about a dozen kites minimum (in the Orvis Full sized Carry-on padded case). It is like a wallet or a cell phone, handy always!

    Then there's another bag of excessively sized quads that don't fit or make the cut to the "A" bag.  

    Mini-Ryvs? A case for 4 stacks, hard-sider, plastic waffle board lined and Brianne's sewing expertise to turn it into a double sided case.  I can carry half of it or all. each stack is six kites, three are 42 inch LE baby revs by Harold Ames, the last is a 36 inch set by Paul Dugard,... they need 25-40 mph to take off and are a hoot hiding by a structure whilst flying THEM out into that gale.  Each half case holds two stacks of six kites

    if I could only have one kite though it would have to be a Zen,... I've abused four of 'em to valueless rags since introduction of that model. Gust buster, no wind long line super reliable demo kite, superb teaching aide, defines the words "slow and graceful" in flight dynamics (for example; axels are timed with sun dials!)

    Walking on foot to my local park, at least 14 kites accompany me, together with a dozen sets of handles, lunch (my Barbara is queen of sandwiches!).  I tow a wagon, can't imagine why anyone would try to carry the kite supplies on their back only.

    • Like 1
  4. Reflex tech is simply a space between the sail and the frame, to increase the glide and add a more aerodynamic 3/d curve into the sail as opposed to OVER the leading edge.  Imagine the difference between a dinner plate and a frisbee, if you kicked both off of a table?,... one would fall immediately and the other would glide some distance as it penetrates the wind more effectively.

    An example,... Bazzer's new design (Phoenix) has a great "falling leaf trick" almost given away free because the glide has been removed by the attachment method of the end-caps on the top of the down spars at the back of the sail.  

    The Supersonic has a pronounced curvature OVER the leading edge.  It will dead launch and have a better glide by comparison.  The Reflex is just more of that 3 dimensional airflow action, but you can do the same type of thing with altering the knot placement for tensioning the sail (such that they are rotated underneath the leading edge and the down-spar connection at that point) on a B-Series or a Rev old-style.  You restrict that end-cap's movement with an additional bridle leg, so it can NOT wiggle regardless of pilot flailing or impacts with Mother Earth.

    A good glide should allow you to throw the kite parallel with the ground for some measurable distance, just like a frisbee.  You can practice w/o the strings affixed and compare the glide of different models.  how does it come from the factory and how could it be improved by the pilot's own individual efforts?

    You can't have a great falling leaf available if your kite will throw & catch effortlessly, they are incompatible techniques, pushing one extreme eliminates the other eventually.

    My hand fits in-between the sail and the frame on almost every rev shaped kite I own, from high winders to indoor models, not touching either side.

  5. EXP is targeted (designed for) beginners and the other is for more advanced fliers, either one can do EVERYTHING, but one is more forgiving and easier to maximize it's capabilities.

    Unless you have some significant quad-lined experience you might not notice the differences initially, but as your skills grow they are in fact separate.

    Both of these current models come w/Reflex Technology (springs on the back of the sail to apply a pronounced curvature into shaping the airflow)  Again if you are just starting out you may like this effect.  The wily veterans have so many hours of practice they we find it unnatural and prefer the old school way.

    If you live near good wind & the beach then maybe the best investment is a mid-vent instead of a full sail quad-line. Consider other makers choices and if at all possible,.... go find another quad-head and learn from a coach.  It is so well worth the time and financial investment to have someone standing next to you, I can't stress this enough.

    Equalize the string lengths or adjust the leaders on your handles (from a single well-placed stake or fence post) such that both tops and bottoms are perfectly equal side to side.  This is a front end alignment on your racing vehicle, necessary before your get onto the autobahn and stomp on the gas pedal.

    Work on not flying, hovering, SLOWLY going in one direction and then immediately returning back to the starting point, control, relax your body, don't squeeze the handles, smile and breath.  ENJOY!


  6. Does Revolution still create spars in the 1/4 inch format, even if only for a customized order of some decent size?

    or is everything leftover from previous seasons in this size?  

    And only larger diameter spars will available in the future, such as the formats that support Reflex tech (5/16") or SLE (7/16")?

    Lastly:  Do the end-caps currently provided fit both sizes of tubes (1/4 and 5/16") on the RX or Classic Reflex models?

  7. My first coach was Jeffery Burka, an original early quad adopter (Rev flyer from the late 80's).  He's a true flailer (if not the original) who flies UP WIND (one handed & talking to you whilst NOT watching the kite) most amazingly on a Rev2 sized format, if given a choice!  If I own 60 quads, he's gotta' have more than that, after all I started in '93.  His only revolution kite with sissy sticks also sports the french bridle pictured above,... it's a Zen!  A long weekend at Dave Shenkman's kite-party gig in Huntington Beach convinced him of the need to match my loaner kite he was provided (honestly his logic? was "why bring no-wind stuff" to the west coast? seemed reasonable enough when packing.  My Zens are like a driver's license to me, going where i do, so he got a spare)

    The Zen kite becomes a completely different animal with these modifications installed.  The only reason I'm mentioning Jeff is because in the Zen's case these mods are WORTH the trouble to relearn techniques based upon different feel.  You are taking a bi-plane and adding struts and guide wires between those too flexible wings, so it is instantly more maneuverable, tightly held and responsive with no tendencies like oversteer or lack of an adequate glide.

    NOTE:  This set-up almost requires a larger steering wheel too.  You ain't on a no stinkin' go-cart folks, it's more like darn school bus.  Longer throw handles allow all of the slack tricks, at a very minimum, 15 inch no-snags.  My favorites for that big ole Zen are 19 inch titanium grade 5 tubes, 3/8 inch in diameter with all of the "bend" placed near the top, using custom fishing grips provided by Glenn Haynes.

    Axels are timed with a sun-dial using 100 foot line lengths in a dead calm, you can even "change lanes" instead of rotating into the same position.  Very much of a two handed operation to dial it around slowly (or aggressively)

    The Black Diamond Reflex tubes addition is very much in line with my expectations of a larger wind range and increased durability.  Again thanks REVOLUTION!5a589d104ed9e_Tihandles.thumb.jpg.f4bdff2013348ee883be2807c03ed8c5.jpg

  8. yes all the tubes are that same 5/16" thickness, therefore changing out the end-caps is necessary.  They might "cross-fit" 1/4 inch tubes but since I have 3 Zens it wasn't important enough to verify.

    Amazing light wind performance is available and beefy enough to trust newbies or abuse the high-end of it's wind range too.

    I recommend Eliot's Shook's French Bridle and most certainly the addition of the 18" magic sticks to stiffen the framework overall.   You'll find yourself looking forward to no wind and a dead calm every time you want to fly.  The fittings for the stand-off magic sticks have to be boiled in hot water to soften the material sufficiently to slide into position on the fatter Reflex Black Diamond tubes.



  9. Have you tried 'em?????


    So, I love the Zen kite design, owning 3 of 'em currently.  They're all set-up differently too.  

    #One has a Skyshark travel frame, (rods are Red & black) and it's a stock kite that has been rebuilt several times, new panels, replacement patches, 1/2 a dozen bridles worn thru, literally dozens of broken spars too.

    The 2nd one is all busted out for ultimate no wind/indoors delicate, tapered 2 ply down-spars and a true original Black diamond set of custom 1/4 " spars.  The sail has a leading edge sleeve built tightly, to just fit that one 1/4 diameter spar.  Special material was furnished by me and I paid extra (above retail) for Bazzer to make the sails and for Eliot to craft the leading edge sleeves using this mylar-backed nylon instead is 3.9 ounce Dacron.  I can't share this kite for fear of damage to the remaining irreplaceable spars.

    The 3rd one is the topic of discussion here.  Lolly & Revolution made a frame to fit the Zen length sail, but sized in the new diameter format we know as Reflex. I think the tubes are 5/16 (for comparison,... the SLE tube is 7/16").  It also came with replacement end caps as the stockers don't cross-over to fit.  Now remember, my leading edge sleeve just barely fits a 1/4 tube on this 3rd kite as well, so getting these fat boys inside there was really a chore (tighter than a damn condom!)

    The wind range is still surprisingly really wide though, they flex and snap back just like a normal 1/4 diameter tube, but you have more mass to throw around too.  WOW it's like a 1.5 kite's pefect proportion of sail size to frame response.  Suddenly a Falling Leaf trick is a reasonable expectation! And the throw & catch changes radically towards a simplified and more easily reachable goal.  Naturally you can push the wind range much higher safely too because of the increased wall size diameter of these light weight tubes.  YES you can still fly the zen with the new reflex Black Diamond tubes in no wind.  It's a touch more work initially to gain momentum, but with the extra mass provided you also get something back FREE, a killer glide where the kite does all the work and you just look good watching it!

    I run 18" (point 125 pultrude carbon tube) magic sticks + a 100# high test BL french bridle (both are available from Eliot Shook, who Reps Bazzer for the USA and does marvelous repairs if and when your kite needs a surgeon) on all three kites, so you're mileage may vary.

    I have beat these new Reflex (Black Diamond) tubes pretty hard on frozen ground and concrete paved parking lots since before Xmas, so far I'm impressed enough to endorse them for anyone who's broken a bunch of tubes in their Zen.   A solution is available to keep your Zen in the air EVEN if used for lessons.  Big, slow, a nice feel down the lines to respond to, longer lines carried, to allow time to react for newbies ,... the Zen is always a favorite of mine when giving a lesson.  Folks "connect" quite quickly as it is predictable in flight, neutral and awaiting commands.

    No, I don't know if these tubes will be commercially available, (or for how long) but I surely think it's a winner for me.  Just the kind of thing we have been waiting for!  Proof that Rev still cares about their old faithful clients, not just a new flier fascinated by quads.  Thank you, again, for offering me the opportunity to test this latest development Lolly. Excellent job!!!

    best regards, -paul lamasters

  10. Black race rods were originally designed for the strength of 3 wraps and weight of 2s,  (with a flex in-between a crossbow to an english long bow)

    generally used in a mid vent or full sailed kites

    The green Race coating was added and offered for sale to toughen 'em up even more,... they were' affectionately called Rich Race Rods because Rich Comras would try to break them underwater!

    generally used in a mid-vented sail or higher-ended wind range 

    With more experience you can try mixing the tubes to place more or less flex as desired w/i threading edge.

  11. I examine the weather channel and then take their wind figure and divide it by 3 (to arrive at the expected speeds on the ground close to where the quads generally fly)

    in case you weren't aware, almost all winds speeds are measured between 300 and 500 ft of elevation

    I live inland and fly most of the time on full sails, SULs and hybrid indoor/outdoor kites living in the suburbs of the district of columbia.  Our no-wind season is about five months with August being the most trying.

  12. Welcome!,

    A couple of festivals to check out in your area:  Wildwood in Late May, and Long Beach island in September.  Both of these are well attended and worthy of consideration if you want to improve your skills "most quickly".

    I live in Germantown Maryland and fly with Wings Over Washington Kite club.

    I'm a quad-head too, flying everything except the big traction wings.


  13. you can change how much it feels (pulls) by varying the amount of "down" tuned into the handles.  

    Square to the wind = the maximum pressure (imagine a sheet of plywood in wind tunnel)  

    By angling it either forward or backwards from square you can lessen the pressure,... one way makes it back-up better and one way makes it have less pull.  Examples? Well if you were flying a stack it was pulling your arms out, you'd angle it towards more forward drive, it doesn't want to back-up as a stack anyway, so lessening the pull (not allowing the sail to arrive at square) is appreciated.  On the other side is a competition flight for quad precision.  You want it slow and precise, more "down" gives you that control.  You want to flail away and do some tricks or slack line flight, more down is where it's at!

    Changing the leading edge stiffness also affects how fast the sail re-inflates if doing tricks, more bend is a quicker re-powered up.  The other side of all that flex is "tracking".  A stiff leading edge will stay on course once set into motion better.  It will turn easier on the wind-tips and fly a nice straight line,... almost free!

    A heavier leading edge is great for catching the kite, a more flexible leading edge is great to throw and re-power it up at the ends of the line.

    No one framing solution fits every need, even in the same kite sail.

    I'd use the race frame whenever I wanted to do tricks or slack line flailing, the heavier frame in a team environment.  My line sets would vary as well as the length of the handles too.  Shorter handles/ longer lines on the stiff frame.  Long throw handles and short lines on the flexible frame. 

  14. 2017 AKA Grand National Championships are over and the newest king of the wind is Fletch now, having won both the indoor single line and open (Indoor unlimited), as well as Freestyle (OIOU).  He also came in second in MMB to Jon Trenepohl and together with his flying partner Melissa Harpster won the Pairs Multi-line Ballet too!

    It was my honor to witness his activities, an amazing journey in less than half a decade.  His hard work & practice really showed, but you can't teach stage presence and he had that all on display in spades. His revs of choice for comps?  The indoor and reflex RX models.

    Excellent job buddy and congrats!

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