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Posts posted by REVflyer

  1. B2s & the Rev2 are both models 2 tons of fun!, shorter line lengths become appropriate and a spanking ability highlighter tool for sure, if you want that.

    Reflex technology is fun too, nothing wrong just completely different.  If you had ten thousand hours "one way" imagine how tough it would be to go into a new & different direction from your own highly practiced way!  Heck it would feel downright unnatural.

    Each time a new thing comes out, we have to learn all over again.  Only having one kite makes this easy, but a long time collector has too many kites to "be one with each and every one of them"  Some try to modify each example into what they want, occasionally with success.  Almost nobody likes a stock indoor Rev the 1st time they touch it, but it can grow on you and be improved upon with a little work.  Why introduce a model in-between the beloved Rev 1 and the rocket kite Rev2.  Did anybody way back then think that misbegotten size would take off?, well it become the 1point5 platform.  Now the reflex is upon us, another new direction, maybe it succeeds and maybe it doesn't.  It doesn't feel like the old stuff! Well, do you embrace it or cast asunder.  

    First of all, can you afford to acquire and carefully compare each model or are you going to let others influence your buying decisions?

    Do you have enough experience to say where you'd like something changed to better suit your own preferences?  You'd have to be a pretty good client to deviate from the approved standard.  You'd certainly have to pay extra too.  How well do you know yourself?

    The road of discovery is many times more delightful (compared to the final destination, unless you just don't want to give up and try to learn it all over again in a new way). Personally?,.. I've had to unlearn and relearn a whole bunch of times.  I know how I like the kite to feel too,...my definition of perfection in flight dynamics is single the word "neutral". 

  2. Please remember, the string is like the tires on your souped-up sports car.  That darn thing is no fun to drive without traction and a flat is even worse, it won't even move.  Tires wear out, the harder you drive the quicker they need to be replaced.  Baby it around for an hour only on Sundays and if it's sunny?, it will last your entire lifetime.  Doing burn-outs and racing away from every intersection?  Then you'll need to order another set this summer.  Racing it around the track every day?  You better have extra sets of tires string with you at all times, as you might need it after lunch.

    I replace 50#/100' flying lines at least there times per year (flying on it about ten hours per week, average), but I'm hard on jewelry punching stop signs, so imagine how a kite is treated by an abusive flailer.such as myself.  I am NOT a positive role model!

    • Like 1
  3. many of us find Skybond to be a superior quad-line solution for outside, it is thinner, much more slippery and durability too, throw in the yellow coating on the surface and it''s a sure winner.  Flying Smiles Kites sells it, Cath/Eliot

    Now if you wanted to fly indoors then LPG is a better solution, as it is much "stiffer" line, therefore won't snag as easily when big chunks of slack are dragging across the floor.  It's like flying on wires! Teresa (kite shoppe) and Dave (Kite connection) both sell LaserPro, heck they may be into Skybond as well  by now.

  4. many folks like that kite on handles appropriately sized (short), like maybe 9 inches or less (across the gap between the two attachment points), but my first quad-lined coach (Jeffery Burka) flies his on handles of 19 inches, basically you take off the bottom hog ring and slip in a piece of carbon tube, butted against the curvature and held in place with vinyl electrical tape.  The end cap of a Rev is epoxied onto the end of the carbon insert so you have an easy attachment point.  Jeff flies his without a bridle too,... and upwind, and one handed without looking at the kite.

    so the easiest answer is ,.... do what feels best to you!

    My Rev/B2 flies on 13 inch no-snag handles with less than 80 feet of line of flying line so I can throw and catch it. Modified too, it has a Race Frame, micro-carbon magic sticks and a french bridle,.... everything is available from Flying Smiles kites in NC, just a visa card away!

    • Like 1
  5. You test for tuning with the kite inverted on the ground,...  keep lengthening the top leader attachment knot positioning OR shortening the bottoms,... or maybe do both UNTIL the kite will back up inverted.  In low wind you will also be walking backwards Matt!

    Hold the handles softly, like you are meaning to drop them in the next couple of heartbeats.

    The sail has maximum pressure (not lift) when it is square to the wind.  You make that lift through movements of feet, hands/arms and angling the sail.  In ideal conditions you can sit on the ground with your legs crossed and still fly with complete control.  In tough conditions you will have to move all around MAKING the kite fly through your actions.

    Most people pull the top leaders to gain lift, instead add DOWN, turn the kite inverted and practice what will truly give you the most benefit, stationary hover & reverse flight.  Get comfortable with the kite an inch above the ground and moving all around.

    My first lesson is the cartwheel, when the pilot knows how to turn the kite over they can always relaunch, even without supervision.  First practice session is inverted, saving years of useless practice in forward flight.  If it won't back-up you can take off two strings, most any dualie will stall and slide sideways

  6. some like the new reflex kites, some don't,.....

    personally? the best one looks like a B-series panel layout and incorporates the reflex mechanism, plus uses the ordinary sized frame members we are used to.  (You need to dremel saw the furnished down-spars in half and epoxy in add'l ferules to make that a travel frame,... no biggie, wrap the spar in electrical tape before sawing to prevent splitters in the tube)

    what's the difference between the old and the new? Well the materials are better, lighter, stronger and the panel layout provides for stretch over time by channeling the airflow (more durable).  SLE tubes serve a purpose, but most pilots don't use them.  If you want to throw your kite though, they can NOT be beaten!  Most of us like more bending in the frame, but we want it to snap back too.  Like comparing a cross-bow with an english long bow, both put an arrow downrange, but one almost any farmer could fire accurately and the other take real training and practice to perform even marginally as close.

    The overall design has evolved too, there's now a much more pronounced curvature built into the leading edge, where "back in the day" it was built laser straight.

    Diamonds are a custom order, just like a Ferrari, delicate, fast, expensive, worth the money (IF you can afford it),.... poor man's diamonds are Skyshark P-90s (too flexible but really light in weight and cheap enough to break ~ order extras)  

    T-zero is a chinese spar that comes with the Friedline kite, better than a P-90 but nothing equals a Diamond

    2 wraps are light weight and more readily available, stiffer but still relatively light in weight are Black Race

    Skyshark P-100 and P-200 go in here someplace too

    Green Race is a Black with an add'l coating applied. it's almost the perfect stick, strong and responsive (quick rebound), not unreasonably priced.  I have friends that use this frame in no wind conditions!

    3 Wraps, kind of a middle of the road stick, very common in team flying as almost everyone has it.  Black Race is builded as "the strength of 3 wrap and the weight of a 2 wrap)

    P-300 from Skyshark goes in here and there's a Chinese Spar called the T-Two

    4 wraps are for when weight is not a factor, you just want it stiff and strong.

    SLEs are for when the port-potties are blowing over, under water, or within a sacrificial sail playing bumper kites!

    REMEMBER: A travel frame is a step up in stiffness and weight too, so it you want a 3wrap frame buy a two wrap travel instead.  Can you see why lots of folks picked the Black Race or Diamonds now for a travel frame?  Plus if you break a stick you are only needing 1/10 instead of a fifth!

    You'd NEVER need a 4 wrap travel frame, it could be used to free a car stuck from the snowbank!

    We could be into hybrid travel frames, but you need hours on the line more than equipment purchased, know what you want, the pursue it hard!

    The handles and leaders can be vastly improved with a little time and effort.  Leaders should be 2 or even 3 times as long on top as compared to the bottoms of the handles.  The "hog rings" can be dumped for plastic drywall moly inserts and flat headed or trumpet headed screws, so they are "Snag-less"


  7. Tuning:  insure your sail "is square to the wind" not packing a bunch of forward drive, thereby forcing the leading edge into a leaning direction already w/o even taking off.

    Now to maintain that position (particularly in low wind) you must MOVE your feet backwards, adding extra energy and making SMALLER movements with the handles. That will smooth things out.  Remember "less is more", you are gripping a baby chick, not an angry cobra.

    Make a quarter rotation and stop, get comfortable and do the next quarter turn, there's no hurry. Feel the kite communicating with you, down the lines?  Make a smaller movement and STOP, feel it yet?  OKAY just inch it (rotation, leading edge going forward) STOP

    Perfectly smooth is many thousand of hours away, so don't give up.  If it looks effortless than you are watching someone with a ton of practice already under their belt.

  8. you need more "down" in the tuning,... here's the practice session for after that is accomplished too

    imagine you are part of team of ten pilots, you spilt out to the edge by odds and evens from a vertical column and then do a 180 degree turn to return back to the center line.  With so many pilots you can NOT loss altitude!  You have to go to the edge and instead of turning down with the top wing, you have to force the bottom wing UP. That reads weird but it must be experienced and you'll find that backing the bottom wing UP doesn't allow for any decent, you loss some height going around but make up for it by backing up the bottom wing.= same location you started from, but facing the other way.

    Next thing to work on is a two-handed technique. One thumb's stabbed slightly forward and other snapped back (reversed action) mere moments later.  This starts and ends the oversteer built into the bridle configuration where you want it to in the sky.

    If you make this technique super slowly and not too far out from the center of the window, you can practice close to the ground also, so you CAN'T go forward to turn around without impacting mother earth!  In a few sessions it will become second nature


    like lots of us, forgetting this important skill until the sky gets crowded again

  9. I picked up an older Gibian Masterpiece revolution from the Comras collection (the Patriotic Eagle) this past weekend in Ocean City.  My lovely bride did not attend with me, but left no misunderstanding between us either.  "You are NOT to buy another kite at the auction!",... stated quite clearly, in front of witnesses.  

    I wasn't even bidding until it got over 500 bucks.  The wanta-bees are gone thereafter.  Cowardly Paul then left it assembled on the dining room table of the condo, before bed.  The best gal in the whole world got up 1st in the morning and just knew that Cath & Eliot Shook didn't buy that wing, it must belong to her husband!

    And, in fact it did~!~

    I will fly it a few months and then return it


  10. practice with the Zen off of the lines, the objective is to predict and then follow that visualized path to the flight's completion.  You want the kite to penetrate the wind, like a frisbee, not just ride along from your energy applied at release.  It needs to curve around during the throw part and not the gliding part, so the leading edge is leading and the rest of the kite is just following along for most of the way.  It should go acres if done properly,... again though, more mass makes it easier to throw FARther.  So maybe you don't have to sprint backwards?

    Take a couple of steps like throwing a javelin, you are adding energy FREE with motion applied and haven't even used your upper torso yet!

    when trying to catch, don't fly all the way to the top and yank straight down, instead work on 2/3rds or 3/4ters of height and reach out as far as possible w/o touching the bare spectra.  Yank in a smooth application of power, like underwater, a sharp abrupt tug isn't as successful.  Be directly square down wind and overhead is also centered for the catch.

    Try to throw towards the opposite side, i'm a lefty so I pitch it towards to right lower corner of the wind window.  Push both thumbs forward on the hand holding both handles, so the kite squares up and finishes hovering inverted an inch above the ground.

    I can throw a hundred feet on the Zen (if perfect technique & sprinting backwards) and catch 120s (not all the way to sitting down though, I'll have to move forward some)

  11. Hi Mark,

    depending on the lengths of the strings involved YES it can be thrown.  With sissy sticks on the back it doesn't have to go all the way out either.  Part way and it sits up waiting for you to walk out the rest of the slack on the ground. (we laugh and say "we meant to do that"

    The kite that throws extremely well is a full sail SUL w/the SLE tubes, it's like a javelin!

    Compromise is the name the game though,.. a nice float is a light weight frame (easier to catch, ... also add in a curved leading edge surface, like the Speed Series, curved up OVER the top, not just diverted left to right (from the center), it's done by manipulating the knots and forcing the curvature into the leading edge sleeve.

    A nice throw requires MASS, the more mass the farther it can travel all by itself after initial activation of the technique.

  12. James Fletcher (fletch) can catch the 1.5 Reflex, (reliably) but the original one just won't fall out of the sky, regardless of your activities on the handles, even flight upwind behind you head is possible!  You catch that model differently too, he uses the bottom lines to unsheathe it from the airflow and it takes a long time to get to him (like timed with a sundial not a stop-watch, that long).  You don't sprint to catch it, no you can turn a couple of cartwheel flips and then casually intersect the flight path at your own discretion, overhead, waist-high, or "safe at second base" sliding (underneath at the last possible moment).

    I don't have more than a few minutes on the newest Classic Reflex (Lisa Willoughby had one at SPI) but it uses the normal sized tubes/frame and the platform shape we all know so well.  The reflex mechanism adds a float like you have ten thousand hours of no-wind experiences to rely upon.  Doesn't have any impact once a well powered flight is established in full powered winds.

    Different just means learning all over again, like the difference between the indoor and B-series SUL.  Hey, they're both quads, some techniques transfer over and some are entirely new.  You may not like it first, it might have to grow on you.  Can you adapt to change?  I like the reflex models better than the indoor Rev.  Some are completely against change, even ME!  I couldn't ever wrap my flying around a Decca or the indoor Rev, but I have owned both and given 'em each a solid try.  Didn't click so dumped 'em when the opportunity presented itself.

    • Like 1
  13. if a six piece travel frame leading edge breaks it's only a half of a full sized tube that needs to replaced, you can slap a new one in within a stopwatch's single tick of time.  

    Adhere the two halves together with vinyl electrical tape so it folds and assembles normally just like a stocker 3 piece, unless you're traveling.

    Want to add some mass, so it tricks better?  Well you can putz with the framing for this objective as well

  14. On 2/10/2017 at 6:27 PM, awindofchange said:

    Not sure what you are referring to, can you clarify a little?  The leading edge end reinforcement patches are sewn under the leading edge tube on the new models. Also, the end of the leading edges are now folded over and sewn inside so there is no longer the fraying issue that use to happen on the older models.


    covers over the knots, so you can't sang a flying line if you flipped the kite inside out (Flick-flak).  Maybe even "capturing" the spar so it can't jump over the knots! (see pix of Zen)

    My Reflex has the corner reinforcing patches sewn OVER the leading edge sleeve material and sticking up in the way, such that something like nail polish must be painted over the edges to equalize, level and keep it slippery.  My kites are beat hard and ground work is often a part of it.  I don't want to untangle it by walking down there, I want to yank and spank until it recovers from the handles. any portential catch point is something to address, but I'd rather buy it with that little crap done already.  A patch at the folds of the leading edge keeps the kite from ripping away at the mesh.  You are showing concern for the customer by offering a great product with high durability.  They put the time and care into the kevlar patch at the bottom of the "Vee, right?  Why?  Because that is a high stress area.  They'd sell more kites without it, they'd wear-out faster and maybe with severe abuse they rip in half right away.  Not asking to invent the wheel, just make it a little easier to roll and to last longer.

    knot cvrs:Zen.jpg

    • Like 1
  15. "knock-off" (not endorsed by the factory), why is irrelevant, heck, it wasn't even a custom order and if you knew me you'd know how extraordinarily rare such an event as this is!  I was merely supporting a favorite brick and mortar kite shop whilst on vacation.  We want them to stay in business!!!!

    That sail purchase didn't come with a frame, so mine was a blend of revolution's Diamond Travel leading edge tubes and SS's Response 12 down-spars (like a painted and tapered 3 wrap on top that diminishes in diameter to a indoor tube at the bottom, 32-1/2 inches weighs 12 grams, obviously mine are cut down to fit and capped with vinyl to prevent wiggling or sand entry.  I also switched out the bridle to "French" the next day and slapped on 16" magic sticks before it even left the Shook Palace.

    Both the Reflex and the knock-off fly great on super long throw handles (in no wind) using 50# sky bond, 100' lengths.  I also enjoy the reflex on 135' (50#).  The long throws really help equalize the sloppy or mushy feel in such a length of skinny string.  

    You can't even pull the original reflex out of the sky, it even flies UPWIND so the long lengths allow you to grab whatever currents happen to ba available, but I've seen the lines snake out an "S" curve of slack and stepped into the acres of slack repeatedly too.

  16. So I'm off again this Friday @ oh-dark30am on my way back down to the Shook Palace for another fun time clinic over President's day Weekend.  All the ole gang should be there with nothing to do all day and all day to do it! Indoors, outside, team, pairs, new stuff to explore and some mighty fine eating too w/Denny and Marykay's kitchen at our disposal.  

    I wonder What Dugard will bring for our dessert?  My bride is sending down slop & chops (tex/mex rice "slop" and pork chops for grilling).

    Looking forward to the whole thing (well, not the drive down there and back)  Thanks again to everyone involved, I'm so excited!!!!

    • Like 1
  17. On 2/1/2017 at 7:01 PM, awindofchange said:

    Awesome, it was an excellent show, the new Rev's are pretty amazing.  They all have wear strips installed now too, the last picture there is the new end cap design for the Reflex. It is an insert that goes inside the rod and fits very snug and is much smaller than the caps were. 

    As mentioned above, all the new models have the Reflex technology (reflexology??), even the EXP.  Of course you can just add the older style rods to make them like the older design (no reflex effect) but once you get use to how the Reflex works I think you will prefer it all the time.  The edge control is amazing and the float is way awesome too.  When loaded the sail performs just like the old design with all the precision and speed.

    Thanks for putting up the pics Monkey!  You gotta get your Reflex out and try it, I think you will be amazed.

    Just to clarify as well, the Reflex is a bit larger in size than the 1.5.  The 1.5 Reflex is the same size as the Classic/1.5/EXP and New York MInute.  All rods are interchangeable with the 1.5 Reflex, the full sail Reflex has it's own special Reflex rods.

    P.S.  I also have much more information on Club38 which I will put up in a bit.

    I'd like to recommend that the reinforcing patches be placed UNDER the leading edge sleeve's full length tube. After you've built one you should know the proper positioning.  Why have the stiff dacron edge sticking up at each patch?  Know what?  I've snagged it a couple of times already!  I will have to paint the edges with nail polish to make a smooth transition.  This is the difference between stock and a custom(ized) kite.  Little tiny details that really matter if you push the product hard.  Should this difference cost extra?  No!, just change the sequence of pieces being assembled.  How about a little tiny "belt-loop" sewn over the knots on the bottom elastic (so you can flick the kite inside-out "flick-flak")  That is not reinventing the wheel, but now you can do more with the kite and not face a tangle and impact with mother earth.  I've been asking for this modification for the better part of a decade.  It isn't costly or time consuming and really makes a difference.  sure you could cover those knots with electrical tape on the day of your big show, or slap on magic sticks

    I'm really liking the new 1.5 Reflex(s), but the reason I gave up making kites myself is because Rev brought in some master class builders (Shook and Bazzer) who would do what was necessary to take great into perfection.  I don't want to make kites, but I can't just give up on my expectations either.  I'm hoping to raise the bar slightly on the tiny details and still buy factory fresh.  Ideally, I'd like to see the reflex spring mechanism "removable" too, for storage and transportation, so I don't have to carry a bunch of map-tube styled cases in my kite bag.


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