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REVflyer

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Everything posted by REVflyer

  1. Dave Ashworth does this too, but his efforts are more to lock the sail/framing combination together more rigidly, rather than worrying about stress cracks in the fabric. If you frame real light (he's the king of "stand on 1 foot & fly" kite builders) then the sticks can flex under extremely demanding control motions. Dave addresses these concerns by using a long bridle, sometimes a restrictor lines between the two wings too, depending on the design. His efforts at adding fabric loop sleeves on the sail are quite common as well. They have to be incorporated into the design visually but they don't have to run the whole length of the spar to be effective. You just catch a couple inches of down-spar at the top and bottom of the sail in mini-sleeves, plus a nice hunk (6-10 inches) in the center too. I believe Eliot Shook is now crafting his masterpieces with this same insignia tape technique. Both Bazzer and Shook are adding additional reinforcing tabs onto the leading edge sleeve on the high-end efforts. We all learn from each other and the sharing of design concepts and techniques of construction is wholeheartedly promoted in the family. I used to build my own kites, but I cannot do it as well as the current crop of experts! Luckily, they still allow me to influence their efforts and get what I need (if not exactly what I want or ordered ~ HA!~)
  2. higher top wind range on 4 wraps compared to green race? Yes probably, but I prefer a little flex and the snappier response of the greenies nevertheless until it's brutal weather Trying\learning to fly two at once and the wife wasn't pleased when I wanted two custom Shook 75%ers at the same time. I will need the sticks and bridles too, might as well throw on some new line-sets, yeah I'll try the fifty pound stuff also,...... oh she was not happy at all with that doubled-up invoice! Smooth = shook mesh
  3. of the three shook versions I own, 40%, 75% and 100%, the best one in it's own conditions is probably the middle one. the 75% sits nicely, right between the mid vent & the full vent b-series, it has almost the full wind range of these two models (but you've paid a bunch extra too, so you should be getting that!) If you can only afford one of Eliot's masterpiece Rev kites, the 75% is the model I'd recommend The one I'd never ever use is the 135% in my local conditions. I'd need to live nearby the Shook Palace to use that kite enough to justify the expense! Another personal preference?, that's the best part about flying rev kites,... how far you can push in the direction of your choice.
  4. "better" is a comparison term, i say differently is more appropriate it will fly with a stiffer & slower response the wind window will be reduced it will only break with a severe diagonal impact across the leading edge My 100% Shook is equipped with 4 wraps and it has to be absolutely howling before I use that kite. any more wind that that and I'm diggin' out the stacks of baby revs (for when the porta-potties blow over & the coast guard won't leave harbor)
  5. eventually the sails wear-out (but the frames keep on kickin' long afterwards), so you'll have mismatched sticks, hybrid frames are just a good recycling practice. Lately I've been acquiring the sticks as "travel frames" when I get a kite, using them in the leading edges so if I flail around and snap one I only replace 1/6th. A nice hybrid set-up on my 70% Shook mesh is four green Race & the two outers are Diamonds, since the french bridle bends the outer thirds instead of the middle it's really snappy response to inputs, yet rigid feeling in flight and enough mass to throw around easily. I store rods in a sleeve, inside one of the REv bag ports.
  6. I met a guy this weekend at the club's first Sunday fly on the grounds of the Washington Monument. His kite was an SLE w/3 wraps and he had equal length leaders on 13 inchers. I literally forced him to immediately change out the tops, to the length of the handle throw w/100# hi-test bridle line (doubled strand, 4 closely spaced knots in only one of the 2 legs). We then tuned the lines to a well-placed stake for neutral on the new set-up of his handles. I taped one with red vinyl electrical tape to identify his "right" handle. With the kite inverted, we keep adding reverse to the tuning, until I was completely satisfied with the end results. Obviously way too much down for him at this time. I added a double overhand knot a good inch behind on the tops, indicating this is a starting point but the goal is to wind up on the single stranded knots further away from the handles. I gave him a few practice seasons objectives, first the cartwheel, then inverted to shoulder height and back down to the ground and finally he was to go to the top of the wind window, rotate the kite to leading edge down and work on how slowly he could get it to decent, while recovering his field. With more proficiency his goal is to stop above the ground inverted and reverse his kite back up the path it had just followed. YES I assured him this will take many, many hours of practice, but it is a line in the sand that must be crossed-over if you want to fly team with us. You know the phrase, or should "own they hover". Well in the mid-atlantic states that is seldom accomplished unless you yourself are also in movement. Less is more, don't squeeze the cobra, move forward to lessen and back you feet up to add energy. A little handle motion and little foot pedaling makes it stationary NOT one single action! We had pretty good wind (high full sails or low range of mid-vent decision) and you could not have wiped that smile off his face with a 2x4 by the end of the day. He flew my Shook 40% on Diamonds, then walked down to inspect it carefully. Jeff Burka burst into laughter and said "oh boy that walk will cost him" We are also so pleased have melissa join us on the quad-team line for the first couple of rides. She has been forced to do the practice sessions outlined above alone on the side of the field for a long time while the significant other gets to join in. All of her hard work has paid off though, we're watching her fly and she looks great. She even yells my own comments back at me to "get your arms down, why all this flailing, that's not what I've told you to do, Hey are you auditioning for NFL referee, you gotta' WANT it,.... anyway, back on point, go make some quad-lined friends and let them save you hundreds of dollars and thousands of hours Welcome to the family!!?!!
  7. if you want to wait for a custom and not support a merchant directly, you can call the factory. There are two trains of thought on light weight kites. Mass vs float A carefully shaped sail, pieced and sewn together, fabric bias considered for stretching & strength on every panel, you could go further,... requesting a 1-1/2 oz nylon (instead of standard Dacron 3.9 oz) leading edge sleeve you can occasionally request a tighter leading edge sleeve be built too (more aerodynamic), so it only holds 1 quarter inch diameter tube. or Buy a single skinned sail (building it yourself?, consider a bonded assembly process instead of sewing, use 9460 tape from 3M). Without the weight of the thread or any extra layers of fabric material you will arrive at the lightest weight kite for a given surface area. So now you're down to the real question. How much mass is necessary to make flight enjoyable? With proper weight placement you get a free bit of motion. It the kite is utterly insignificant in weight you don't get a free ride, the kite is all floaty but ONLY when affixed to your control inputs. As soon as you give any slack at all the kite falls unless you are tending these lines carefully. (you may be moving all around instead of standing stationary!) I've never owned a Polo, but I do have a lot of experience with single skinned "no-sew" sails. This past weekend I flew a dedicated indoor 1.5, homebuilt by that grand-master Dave Ashworth (mostly orcon w/bits of icarex, the frame is Breeze tapered leading edge and point 125 carbon tubes for the down-spars) It weights about as much as 4-5 single dollar bills in a number ten envelope). I compared it against a highly customized Zen on 100 feet of 50# LPG using 15 inch no-snags. One was all floaty, effortless flight, but not relaxing. You can't stand stationary but you could fly with single church fart most of the day. The other kite was more effort to maintain flight but also more rewarding with it's capabilities. Yeah! I still had to move, but the kite would also do a bunch of cool tricks and I wasn't breaking a hard sweat to enjoy myself either. It was a dead calm hot humid day, I only flew until the shadows from the trees rotated away from my direction. There's no easy solution, everything you modify has an overall impact on the dynamics of flight. Bazzer makes a super slick SUL B-series Pro, but he doesn't like doing it "my way". Eliot Shook makes the most killer leading edge sleeves you've ever seen, if you can afford that price of admission. I have combined the two makers into several kites, the best one is a Zen. I have owned and flown single skinned SULs no-sews homebuilts for probably 5,000 hours as well. Framing matters as well as the bridle style, again a bunch of variables can impact the flight dynamics and only comparisons will show you the differences. I like a ultra responsive kite, others might call it too twitchy. I prefer weight be placed in specific areas and lessened in others, for example you can shorten the down spars so they end at the bottom of the sail (probably an inch or so) This moves the balance point towards the leading edge and makes a field recovery glide a pilot-less certainty. You could go further with a dedicated SUL. You could go to a tapered spar, again pushing the balance point more towards the leading edge. Bridle choices decide where on the frame's leading edge the kite will bend, sure you could add stiffness or flex by switching around frames. I use a french bridle. Instead of holding the kite, it's arc-welded! It bends on the outer thirds, not in the center, so if I want more mass (for throwing it around) I could swap out the center tube to something stiffer. It will not change how the kite powers up, just how much weight is available, all packed around the leading edge. Discuss your needs and open your cheque book, but no one solution will ever solve all the concerns. If you push hard enough in only one direction,..... "that's all the kite will ever do acceptably" one thing!
  8. Shook 40 percent on diamonds to green race, depending on how much flex you prefer
  9. Issue is tuning entirely, too much forward drive, loosen your grip pressure and relax also
  10. Hi Shaun, The usual advice coming from me, hook-up with other fliers and borrow OPKs until you can afford it. That high admission price is in direct relationship to the fun involved with ownership. You wanted to know why they are so expensive? I can't imagine how these kites can be made so affordably durable. I have twenty years worth of these darn things laying around and still the wife allows for further expansion, she runs the household checkbook! I used to make my own quad-lined kites, that is not cheaper by any measure if you want state-of-the-art. The expensive aspect of Rev ownership is the travel costs associated with meeting your friends all around the country. {by a factor of at least 10!} You get what you pay for most of the time in life. A bus will get you downtown, yet some folks choose to buy a fancy sports car instead. Both individuals get to their work-site at the same time and make an identical income. You allocate for the things you love and sacrifice some or all of the things you can do without. I live cheap but have great kites and an active travel life. I've been "married to a mortgage" in the past, that big house in a gated community, country club, cars. I don't value any of those items as much as my kite-bag and friends with the best gal in the whole world standing nearby. A couple of summers worth of eating Ketchup sandwiches and you can own a custom crafted Revolution Kite made to your specific requirements Shaun. Many of us believe it is worthwhile sacrifice -paul
  11. HEY! Next time you're on the outer banks a visit to the Shook Palace is certainly in order. Two hard-core fliers who just happen to own a kite shop and make custom Masterpiece Revolution Kites, as well as stocking a variety of cool bits and mods to fit these wings. Cath and Eliot, Flying Smiles Kites, The Whalehead Club, Shook Mesh customs, . . . It's heaven for quad-heads, Next time make sure you call first, confirm their availability, and finally share some flying time with these spectacular folks. So much better than stock is available if you have a credit card and a half a day. Or when you decide that your first loved Rev must be resurrected from the grave. Who U gonna' call for quality repairs on that kite? Play pawnshop? They takes your unloved kites (MAYBE!, depending on condition) and you leave with other merchandise. THat bartering is half the fun!
  12. Solution is simple, buy some bridle line, ("100# hi-test" ~ you can acquire it by the foot), or a whole spool (you'l use it!,... or be able to sell it off). Use it to make new leaders first. You should double the bridle line and lark-head that folded middle onto each of the handle attachment points. Keep the two "legs" separate, centered and equal lengths. You will add knots (single overhand) in one leg only, but capturing both legs together when affixing the flying lines. The clips are just another dang tangle point, they shall be removed entirely. Instead affix the lines with a larks-head (and pig-tail on the bridle, we will ADD one if necessary) The top leaders will extend the length of your handles (almost!) reaching the bottom attachment points and hold just a single knot at the end to make this reach. All flying line adjustments & tuning will be done on the bottom leaders only. Start with the bottom leaders HALF of the top's length, and know that eventually you'll probably wind up as a 1/3 or 1/4 of that overall length, when final tuning is done. Add some knots, like a 1/4 inch apart and add the knots in only one of the two bridle line "legs". Drop all four flying line attachment points for the bridle onto a well placed stake (or fence post with carbiner clip) insure there are no tangles, nesting or twists in the lines. Take the handle in your left hand and place electrical tape in color above the foam, just enough wraps to visually determine which hand gets the color. Now pull all four lines tight, trying to keep the handles perfectly aligned, the longer line(s) will droop and show itself/themselves. You need to add knots into the loose/ longer strand on the leader until the lines are uniformly tight. Really focus on making this alignment perfect. Switch the positioning of the flying lines between top and bottom, left & right if you're "way off" to start. This is giving your sports car a front end alignment so it doesn't pull towards on side of the road, even as you intent to drive straight. Okay, all the lines are even or adjusted and the handles align PERFECTLY. Now affix the bridle, with the handle colored tape in your left hand as the kite is inverted on the ground. To tune the kite it must BACK-UP inverted, but first switch that colored tape handle to your right hand. (you adjust lengths and then tune with the handles in opposite hands). Keep shorting the lengths of the bottom flying lines by bringing it closer and closer to your handle, that is adding "Down". If that quad will not back-up then you don''t have it tuned properly, you're missing out on all the cool tricks and decreasing the wind window size as well as losing the low end of the wind range. Everything is done by affecting the bottoms and the relationship between the two handles. Your first mission is to master the "cartwheel" so you can gracefully roll the kite over from an inverted position in the ground. Not dragging it, slow graceful roll-over balancing on the tip. You are trying to feel the kite's impact on the wind. Look down the string, towards the kite and pick-up each handle high overhead one at a time, with slack in the lines so it will not take off. The hand that is on top is the hand that will make all movements. In big wind, you pull all four line tight, and push that one thumb at the kite. In low wind you must also "sweep" that hand, (still with the thumb pushed forward) down, down , down towards your knee/hip in a smooth motion. NOTE: At the halfway point (the kite is now standing on one wing tip, balanced) you must "return" that moving hand back to neutral (match it up to the handle that never moved) Next, you want to try to back up the kite inverted, instead of rolling it over. This time really concentrate on a loose grip and TINY thumb movements. Push both thumbs at the kite (slightly!) as you slowly walk backwards. Imagine you can only fly it to shoulder height, then s-l-o-w-l-y back to mother earth. Eventually you will want to shoot to the top of the window in forward flight, bored with all this inverted crap. From sitting on the tips leading edge up. Ok "punch" both arms forward, fully extended, carefully walk backwards until all four lines are tight, (but not so far you pull the kite over entirely so it's fallen onto the bridle). Loosen your posture, arms and hands until the handles almost fall from your grip and rotate your thumbs to point towards your nose "thumbs up". From a balanced position, take one leg and step slightly backwards and to the side, remaining balanced. "step back". on "GO" you will pull the handles towards your armpits, as you push off that bent front knee, then taking several steps backwards , all in unison, . . . . . . . .. then after flight is accomplished you simply lower your hands back down towards your waist. (you can tell how long folks have been flying their revs by where they routinely hold their handles) To make the kite fly in a straight line you align the fat parts of your thumbs and the handles. To slide the kite you push one handle forward as you pull the other one back (like flying a dualie), you are changing the relationship between the two handles. There are great practice sessions here on this site, "Learn to fly" on the main page, column left. You can pull the spectra core from the bridle line and use it to make tighter sleeving, or you can add a stopper knot and dump the sleeving entirely. The best advise I can give is to go find some other quad-heads and make some new friends, they'd love to assist and share with you.
  13. Thank you very much for steppin' up to help a new pilot Joanna!
  14. B-Pros are excellent choices It will be many hours before you can do everything that kite is capable of,... it may be worn-out before you have mastered it's capabilities fully! If you lived on the coast or flew there regularly anyway, the mid-vent Pro or B2 full sail would be powered up and fun, probably on 12 or 13 inch no-snag handles, 100 feet on the Pro and 85' on the B2, good lengths to start. There will be days when these kites are NOT right for the conditions. Too windy or simply not enough,.. .that's life, but most of the time they should work either one. I'd like to see you join a local club & NOT buy a kite until you've spent some quality time learning, testing and comparing on OPKs. The difference in price between a Beetle and Bentley isn't that big when it comes to sport kites! You can afford the luxury model, you just don't know what that is yet and no amount of advice we provide equals how it feels on the ends of the line to you personally. You can watch instructional video too, (it wasn't available always, like it is now!) but what will cut years off the learning curve instead is for you to go meet up with some other pilots. Invest in gasoline, weekend excursions and some quality lunches, go meet the locals and save yourself a boat-load of wasted cash + making some new friends besides. Locally, you'd fly for a couple of years before you bought a kite if you followed our advise. Instead of a used, beginner or intermediate kite, we'd recommend you acquire a prefectly fitting Gortex rain-suit, pit-zips, ankles, etc and proper footwear first thing. When you look out the window and wonder if those idiots are out flying kites in tough weather, of course we are! There are no unacceptable conditions or bad flying spots, that is only a poorly equipped kiter complaining. We have lots of kites (50+ Revs personally) and a group of us fly together at least monthly. Many members have a bag stuffed full of Revs. Each of them is outfitted or customized as that pilot prefers. Newbies are invited to fly each kite lined-up, until they "connect" with one of them. That owner has to go get themselves onto a different kite. Do this enough times and you'll find what suits you. Some folks are off practicing by themselves, working on the basics of hover and inverted flight. Some folks are throwing it all around like it was on fire. Others are flying team or two revs at one time. The B2 can be learned on as a first kite, but that would not be my recommendation. It's too fast and wiggly to get a "feel" of in it's proper wind. Bigger, slower and more predictable in the beginning. The wind ranges sort of overlap between the various models and switching frames around expands this capability further. Some of us like it all slow, smooth and graceful, others prefer snappy instant response and almost overpowered flight. For example you could use a Diamond Frame in a full vent Pro and fly down around 10-12 mph comfortably, or you could use a green race frame in mid-vent pro and be just as happy. You might even choose to use a full sail B2, if you were 3-D flying around aggressively in turbulent swirling conditions. Each kite is still set-up for that low double digit wind at ground level. Experience and your wallet will dictate how deep you get into the hobby. I've been on these darn things for a couple decades, so 50 or 60 kites is just a couple acquired each year. My wife runs that household money and she's okay with that! Enjoy the journey
  15. don't drive, SWAirlines, Baltimore to Portland,.... depart at 6am arrive before lunch
  16. First time for my bride & I, we're coming in a couple days early and staying a couple more afterwards,.... Not all kiting she says!
  17. Speed series does that SLE forward speed Backwards!
  18. Any time diamond wouldn't be appropriate, it's perfect for greenies!
  19. Don't know the weights but non-quad head wife could feel and appreciate the difference between Zen & Diamonds when handed one of each tube. Some like a flexible leading edge and the ability to go low wind ranges at any time The black race is a tough great stick, ... Got lots of em! But if I was starting over I'd only use the Green race & Diamonds. Diamonds are fantastic low wind tubes, and I have broken several impacting objects Green race is the perfect stick .... If you have enough wind and want the frame less flexible 2, 3, 4 wraps, advantage, progressive wrapped, Skyshark P90s, zen tubes? I have all of these sticks for the 1.5 platform and don't prefer any of them! Only need two frames greenies and diamonds
  20. well put Wayne, each of us adopts a particular method and can't ever see doing it any other way. I advise folks to wind-up your own lines like your were planning to sell them !~
  21. My rev bag holds this very indoor tube, easy to solo carry, but all the tools are together when I run out the door
  22. REVflyer

    1.5 SLE

    that slight curvature (from the longer & skinnier tubes) is now a permanent aspect of the kite's overall design. There are a couple of inches worth (from the center point, outward to each end).
  23. I have 22 footers if there's enough room (like in Wildwood) and a special 8 foot length for flying at a specific location in the Nat'l Air & Space Museum (under the UAVs, one of them is only 14 ft from the floor). Very often you simply take an old set of 120's and cut 'em down. Maybe one line broke jacking around against the sea-wall? Now they are 100 ft. Next they get kind of ragged at this length so you make a a couple of sets of 46ers. One of these will get hacked down on site for a custom length. Maybe you fold two in half and divide. Or pinch all four part way along the length, melt, knot and fly. I use a forceps for knot making so it's very repeatable, no sleeving and 90 pound line so it doesn't snag every molecule of crap on the floor. Laser Pro is like WIRE, Skybond is slicker and easier to see in my opinion. (I use both) Getting a set of indoor handles that you connect with I found very difficult. I finally settled on these little dinky tubers, they're extremely short as well. They are so light in weight though, that the kite can carry 'em underneath in a glide. You can decide as you walk parallel with that fully released glide, whether to re-grasp the handles again or snag the leading edge instead. I currently use a custom orcon Rev-styled kite with a "Breeze" leading edge and point 125 tube down-spars (2nd GEN ~ Ashworth). Since the frame is so delicate (and flexible!) you need to add a longish bridle to prevent distortion upon pilot commands. There are also magic stick type structures but Dave doesn't connect the two halves with the bridge line. I couldn't connect with the stock indoor Revolution kite. I want my kites to be like a set of golf clubs. Each one feels like the others but performs best in different circumstances. That means you have to fiddle with them a lot. Or, in the example of Dave's orcon efforts, that cost me a Revolution kite bag and a industrial light table from a commercial printer. Because the moment I touched it I had to have that darn thing, not one like it,..... the very one in front of us. Orcon sucks as kite building material. It even sticks to itself when you roll it up! It's about as strong as potato chip bag with a big slit in the side. It's even printed with some safety message every few feet in opaque white. You can't sew orcon, it has to be bonded, it only comes in oyster white. You can't have a sharp corner in your graphics or construction, nice smooth gradual turns (big diameters) are mandated. Oh but the flight dynamics make up for everything else. I don't care if it's durable or ragged looking. When you send this kite into a glide you can go to the bathroom and return before it hits the ground! Send it towards a smooth wall and it magnetically sticks and lowers itself magically to the floor. You can time this maneuver with a sundial! Indoors the flying conditions are always the same, except for the height limits. I envy anyone who has a steady practice location. You can even flail indoors! The buying public is ready for the helium's introduction. The best of both worlds, blending the indoor with an SUL, using the platform size we all appreciate plus a bridle so it instantly feels right! We're lined-up Ben, . . . .summer is here, no wind time and a new design only on the horizon so far?
  24. 100 pound hi-test bridle line is the perfect leader stuff. Double strands, but placing the position knot(s) in only one of the two legs. Then it's easy to move, less danglie-crap to tangle when flying slack-line too ideally the leaders on the flying lines should be made from this same material (remove the braided spectra core, just using the 40# Dacron sheath) I'd make the top leader just short of reaching across the gap between the two attachment points. Brake adjustments are done on the bottom leaders (muscle memory for 3D-stuff & the further out you can reach ~ the more impact on the kite ~ for a "catch") Long throw handles get longer leaders. your mileage may vary
  25. Jared Hayworth is a great addition to any kiting activity, his entire family in fact! Set-up (without the attitude!), he hustles all day long doing whatever is needed,..... photos, lessons, sherpa duties, plans the competitions for the Eastern League as the Commissioner. For the Air & Space Museum indoor gig he brings their big ole flat screen TV (off of the wall and drives 8 hours), so we have a monitor for video playbacks in the lobby. He doesn't want to be involved with the cliques or politics, just sharing the joy. I include him as a dear friend. AND my lights are due today, Fedex says!
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