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How long before it stays airborne?


Rigster
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It sounds like you are pretty much describing what I think is the classic upright lauch that makes a nice arc up and over and comes down on the LE. Is that correct?

Anyone who has ever tried to fly my Rev does the same thing and so did I until I figured out where my over control was coming from.

I believe you, as already mentioned, are giving it a bit of right turn with your right thumb a tad bit forward. You wouldn't realize it on the lauch, but it is there. My guess.

Fix it by, well, training your thumb not to do that by making a correction right away when you first see it turning.

Bart

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Adam - I tried the SLE spars on the first flight in very light gusty winds & it was so difficult to keep in the air, never mind control that I simply gave up. Yesterday on the beach the wind was brisk & consistent but it would stall quite easily. When I swapped the spars out it was like a different kite. I know there will have been a bit of a placebo effect where I will have been looking for a difference but it was so great I don't think I'm ever going to use the SLE spars again unless I snap a 3 wrap & don't have a spare.

Revjb - thanks again for the help - what I meant by leading with my right hand is that, in the pictures, I can clearly see that my hands aren't side by side, they're apart & my right hand is slightly closer to the rev than my left - almost 2 line style again. Would that give me the cockeyed take off? It's something I'm going to have to be aware of in future. I haven't tried changing the knot layout yet as I don't want too many variables so soon. As I get used to what I'm doing I'm going to amend them for sure - it does make perfect sense.

Bartman - I did have a couple of loop over crashes on the first flight exactly as you described. They were pretty much gone yesterday thankfully. I'm beginning to learn that this kite is sensitive to small control inputs. What was happening yesterday was a launch that started off at 45 degrees but in a straight line, not an arc. Could that also be caused by launching with the wind offset behind you? If the wind was slightly over my left shoulder would the kite steer right on its own? I though it was directly behind me yesterday but there was a front approaching that was threatening to turn Southerly.

I know I'm new but if I were to give any new rev flier a bit of advice for their first flight (the only thing I'm qualified on) it would be choose your day & location carefully. You can do a lot of damage to your confidence & kite by thinking "it'll be alright". Non-gusty but decent breeze in a large field or beach, 3 wrap spars & try to avoid an audience. Finally, don't be afraid to ask questions on this forum. Just my 2p worth.

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Having your right hand in front of your left with everything else equal (which never happens in real life) will cause the kite to slide horizontally from right to left.

If you launch at a 45 degree angle and go straight, then it's possible you briefly rotated one thumb more than the other and then came back to both thumbs at equal angles.

To see if you are cross-ways to the wind, you can watch your lines to see if the slack is hanging directly under the line (wind directly at your back) or blowing to one side or the other.

Look in your pictures at the angles of the handles and position of the top line in one hand relative to the bottom line in the same hand. This determines forward versus reverse. One hand relative to the other determines if the kite is turning or keeps its current orientation. In essence, you are flying two kites that happen to be connected in the middle. If one side has more forward than the other, that side is flying "faster" and turning towards the other side.

Can you measure the amount of brake you have been using? Use the diagram I posted of Mike's explanation of brake. Also what weight and length lines are you using? I'm guessing 90# and 80 feet. It will help with understanding what may be happening.

BTW, great picture. Is that near Maryport?

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Adam - I tried the SLE spars on the first flight in very light gusty winds & it was so difficult to keep in the air, never mind control that I simply gave up. Yesterday on the beach the wind was brisk & consistent but it would stall quite easily. When I swapped the spars out it was like a different kite. I know there will have been a bit of a placebo effect where I will have been looking for a difference but it was so great I don't think I'm ever going to use the SLE spars again unless I snap a 3 wrap & don't have a spare.

Revjb - thanks again for the help - what I meant by leading with my right hand is that, in the pictures, I can clearly see that my hands aren't side by side, they're apart & my right hand is slightly closer to the rev than my left - almost 2 line style again. Would that give me the cockeyed take off? It's something I'm going to have to be aware of in future. I haven't tried changing the knot layout yet as I don't want too many variables so soon. As I get used to what I'm doing I'm going to amend them for sure - it does make perfect sense.

Bartman - I did have a couple of loop over crashes on the first flight exactly as you described. They were pretty much gone yesterday thankfully. I'm beginning to learn that this kite is sensitive to small control inputs. What was happening yesterday was a launch that started off at 45 degrees but in a straight line, not an arc. Could that also be caused by launching with the wind offset behind you? If the wind was slightly over my left shoulder would the kite steer right on its own? I though it was directly behind me yesterday but there was a front approaching that was threatening to turn Southerly.

I know I'm new but if I were to give any new rev flier a bit of advice for their first flight (the only thing I'm qualified on) it would be choose your day & location carefully. You can do a lot of damage to your confidence & kite by thinking "it'll be alright". Non-gusty but decent breeze in a large field or beach, 3 wrap spars & try to avoid an audience. Finally, don't be afraid to ask questions on this forum. Just my 2p worth.

G'Day John,

Like you I'm on my pat malone here in Sydney.I did watch every video and tutorial and they really did help.Now I think I'm in control

and can hover for a little while maybe 2-3 sec I really like the dive stop that these kites can do.When I launch I can put the handles together and launch straight up I think that this is pretty OK but the key thing I think is practice practice and more practicesign_kitelife.gif

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Tonight is looking good for another foray onto the beach so I'll be looking carefully at where my hands are & what they're up to. I rewatched the tutorial videos again & from what I'm seeing the diagonal take offs looked a lot like the "wind off to one side" take off that was demonstrated. I need to attach some tell tales to the ground spike to avoid that one in future.

The appearance of one hand in front of the other must have been a perspective or parallax one as you're absolutely right revjb - it should have skidded left not right shouldn't it? The take off is exactly as you describe - it starts right then straightens - it must be a "thumb thing" then? You're also right about the lines - they're 90lb x 80 feet. I looked at the 120 feet lines but they're an investment I think senior management (Mrs Rigster) would turn down for a month or two ... I'll measure the brake when I get home from work. I did have to brake it fairly constantly at the weekend as the wind was quite stiff.

Tonight is going to be all about keeping wrists together & watching where the wind is coming from I think.

Good guess on the beach BTW - I'm actually South of Maryport - I fly off a beach on Walney Island but the beaches for miles round here are all similar. If you look in the background on the horizon of the picture there's a second large wind farm being installed. If the wind is good enough for them it's good enough for me.

David M - I'll give that a go tonight - keeping the hands together on take off. Your flying will be a bit warmer than mine - a rev in the Australian sun, sounds idyllic. We're heading for our 6 months of winter here now - <sigh>

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I am still suprised that so few UK folks have chipped in to this conversation.

Pretty much the only way you will learn on your own is go out and try it.

Dont get hung up on the amount of brake, and the way others set thier Revs up. I agree flying with loads of brake makes for a beter time. However it might not suit everyone.

Main things are, check your lines and equalise them. Make sure if you make your own leaders up that the knots are equal distance (within a small amount) on each handle.

Set it up with the rods on the back. :kid_devlish:

Most of all HAVE FUN and practice practice practice.

Oh and have a look at some of the tutorial vids on Kitelife and Youtube.

The first time I flew a Rev, a few Years B4 I bought my own was at a festival and I got talking to a guy who was flying a Rev in the arena, it was somewhere not a million miles away from Poole, he let me have a go with it. I liteally SMASHED it into the ground over and over again, while the guy stood back and smiled (THANK YOU if you know who you are) luckily I didnt break it.

Now I still on occasions smash them into the ground, just that they are mine now :)

Best of luck, keep us informed.

Oh yes, just thought to add, if when you fly it the kite is very noisy, it is normally due to flying with too much forward, if you apply a little brake the noise quietens down.

Edited by Baloo
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Flew this evening - I'm discovering that my wind window for learning is not as wide as I'd thought. Yesterday it was howling so I gave it a miss - tonight was a return to light & gusty but I had to try again. My diagonal take offs I'm now sure were a combination of too much right thumb & an off centre wind. I tried having the 2 handles against each other with the wind directly behind me & it went straight up - I'm guessing that means the lines are as near the same length as makes no difference? Once again the opinions of others on here was spot on with the diagnosis - thank you.

One habit I'm struggling to break - and only I can make it happen - is that when the kite is in a death dive I keep yanking my thumbs back to make it stop, with obvious consequences. Once this evening I did make it stop before hitting the ground - I nearly jumped out of my skin - it was wonderful to see. Unfortunately I was so excited about stopping it cleanly I forgot what I was doing & accelerated it from hover the remaining 10 feet straight into the ground ... at least it gave my wife a laugh.

I spent a while this evening trying exercise 3 in the "handbook" - the hover on the wingtip and horizontal reverse flight. Pulling back on the arm with the upper wing felt alien & I couldn't make it happen - it fell from the sky like a stone. I would make it stop while in forward horizontal flight & it was as if it lost the will to live and decided to give plumetting a go. Is there a "knack" to this that I just need to discover or does anyone have a tip on how to do this cleanly? Is it reasonable to be trying this on a 3rd flight? Presumably a decent breeze would make it easier?

I think I've underestimated how much breeze my kite needs to fly cleanly & how much it will take - what is peoples' opinions about the strength of wind the 3 wraps on an SLE will take before it gets iffy to fly? I'm getting an idea but it would good to hear a seasoned veteran's opinion.

Attached should be a couple of pics from this evening - it was getting dark again as we left but the sunset was mesmerising. (I've tried several times & I can't seem to get them to upload - they're about 700k each)

Thanks to everyone for your ongoing patience - I will get the hang of this eventually & then leave you be.

Found the way to host the images:

flight 3 -1

Flight 3 -2

flight 3 -3

Edited by Rigster
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Flew this evening - I'm discovering that my wind window for learning is not as wide as I'd thought. Yesterday it was howling so I gave it a miss - tonight was a return to light & gusty but I had to try again. My diagonal take offs I'm now sure were a combination of too much right thumb & an off centre wind. I tried having the 2 handles against each other with the wind directly behind me & it went straight up - I'm guessing that means the lines are as near the same length as makes no difference? Once again the opinions of others on here was spot on with the diagnosis - thank you. You are probably right that lines are equal. It's still worth checking. Use two ground stakes (or screw drivers) parallel to each other in the ground. Unwind line sets and hook left loops on one stake and loops of right side on the second stake. Unwind lines, pull taught, and check all are equal. If you wife will help out, you can do on fingers and see if one line droops more than the others. This way is easier to see.

One habit I'm struggling to break - and only I can make it happen - is that when the kite is in a death dive I keep yanking my thumbs back to make it stop, with obvious consequences. Once this evening I did make it stop before hitting the ground - I nearly jumped out of my skin - it was wonderful to see. Unfortunately I was so excited about stopping it cleanly I forgot what I was doing & accelerated it from hover the remaining 10 feet straight into the ground ... at least it gave my wife a laugh. Dual line habits die hard! smile.gif. You need to build muscle memory into your thumbs. You can build it by practicing starting and stopping on the way down. Go to top, do 180 and then slow it down as it comes down. Play with rocking thumbs forward and back to get the sense of stop and go. You can do it on the way up as well. Adding more brake will definitely help here! Your "neutral" position still has lots of forward and is added to gravity when leading edge is facing down.

I spent a while this evening trying exercise 3 in the "handbook" - the hover on the wingtip and horizontal reverse flight. Pulling back on the arm with the upper wing felt alien & I couldn't make it happen - it fell from the sky like a stone. I would make it stop while in forward horizontal flight & it was as if it lost the will to live and decided to give plumetting a go. This might be due to low gusty winds, especially close to the ground. Is there a "knack" to this that I just need to discover or does anyone have a tip on how to do this cleanly? Is it reasonable to be trying this on a 3rd flight? Presumably a decent breeze would make it easier? Not sure what exercise #3 look like. Pulling back on an arm is causes a slide. Check out this link for Rev's suggested exercises. http://www.revkites.com/main/Techniques_1. It sounds like you are trying to do their #5 which is a slide + horizontal flight. Suggest doing slide later after you have more comfort with basics. Try horizontal figure eights and experimenting with fast, slow and stop. Reverse is extremely sensitive. Too much reverse and the kite starts flapping madly and/or does a bow-tie (twisting around the center)

I think I've underestimated how much breeze my kite needs to fly cleanly & how much it will take - what is peoples' opinions about the strength of wind the 3 wraps on an SLE will take before it gets iffy to fly? I'm getting an idea but it would good to hear a seasoned veteran's opinion. 8 to 12 mph is a sweet spot for learning. I think 12-16 mph is comfortable for sail and spars depending on how gusty the wind. More experienced fliers should chime in. It's more about sail stretch than spar breaking. It also depends on the moves you do and how stressed the frame will be.

Attached should be a couple of pics from this evening - it was getting dark again as we left but the sunset was mesmerising. (I've tried several times & I can't seem to get them to upload - they're about 700k each)

Thanks to everyone for your ongoing patience - I will get the hang of this eventually & then leave you be.

Found the way to host the images:

flight 3 -1

Flight 3 -2 Picture looks good. Hands close together and appear even with each other.

flight 3 -3

Getting the muscle memory and the sense of how little is needed to control a Rev will really help when you try the more complicated moves. It may seem a little boring, but the practice will pay off big time.

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OK, cool pictures. Looks a fantastic place, wish I lived near the Coast.

You will find One Day when you go flying you will get a nice steady breeze, than all the things you have been struggling with will seem easier, I dont fly well, but in a steady Beach wind instead of the choppy inland winds I normally fly in, it feel great. Oh and I dont practice anywhere near enough.

At this stage of the game, as others have said I would concentrate on nice figure of 8 flying, get thos muscles trained a bit. Also controled landing and take off, both LE up and inverted. VERY important, get to "feel" the wind, walk fowards when it is strong, and backwards when it is weak. Then try to start squaring off your figure 8's and have the up and down parts of the flights at the same speed, to do this you will need to walk forwads on the down bit, and backwards on the up bit.

If you are trying to hover with the LE upright, a trick is to turn your body a bit, with the up wing away, so if the LE is facing Left, turn Left, this will naturally put yout Left hand further from the kite giving the sail the right attitude to maintain the hover. And it looks pretty cool.

As for the pictures, great, in the one wher you are init too you look relaxed and your hands seem to be right for the kite.

Enjoy.

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Chris - the beach is here - 54.102534,-3.262744

If you plug the coordinates in Google maps & it should find it for you. It's a good flying beach as the wind is predominantly from the west. If you go 40 miles west of there you hit the Isle of Man, another 30 miles you hit Ireland so the wind isn't hindered much before it gets here. The usual problem on Walney is too much of the stuff, that's why I asked about the 3 wraps ... The North west kite surfing association fly from the next bay up.

I have been trying the figure 8 flight & it's kind of almost there - it's quite flattened but I'll keeping plugging away at it.

Thanks Revjb again - I'll try the idea of deliberately inverting it & trying to run it up & down - that makes a lot of sense. The only times it has really been inverted up to know have been panic situations. You're right - it makes sense to preempt it. The wind suggestions are usefull as well, thanks rev & stroke victim for those - tomorrow is supposed to be 15mph so I'm off down the beach again, barring emergencies.

I like the sound of that tip Baloo, turning a bit to slide. I have a list of things to try tomorrow now.

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Just had another think about it, might have got the turn the wrong way. I dont have the kite on the end of the lines while I type.

And I am pretty Old now so when I close my Eyes the RAM wipes itself clean ready for a new Day of input.

Anyway, you will either find it works, or the Kite will spear itself into the Beach.

If it spears itself I am sure you can work out why and turn the other way.

Oooooppps, hope the info is not too late. :blushing:

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Hi Baloo - no the info wasn't too late ... the wind yesterday was way higher than the local forecast said it was. I tried to fly but it was badly distorting the kite, I had tons of brake on & I felt barely in control. Being a devout coward I could only see it ending in tears & a "W" shaped hole in the ground so I valiantly gave in, did my best Sir Robin & ran away. I will experiment though when the wind is better. You're UK aren't you Baloo? Do you get much flying done over the winter or is it just the odd day when the clouds part?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi John - the weather is conspiring against me - when I'm at work it's beautiful outside, when I get home it's either flat calm or snapping branches. I never really thought about the weather prior to getting this kite, now I'm borderline obsessive ...

I'm hoping to get some flying done this weekend & it's half term next week so I should get some done then (I'm trying to gather brownie points to get out flying instead of fixing the house up). I'm keen to try your suggestions about inverting it on purpose & running it up & down until I can do it without thinking about it. If you have any other 'exercises' you do to train muscle memory I'd love to hear them.

I forgot to reply to you earlier sorry - the lines are within 5mm of each other (about 1/4" in old money) so any failings in flight are my fault, not the line manufacturers but I'd pretty much guessed that from the off if I'm honest.

John

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi John - the weather is conspiring against me - when I'm at work it's beautiful outside, when I get home it's either flat calm or snapping branches. I never really thought about the weather prior to getting this kite, now I'm borderline obsessive ...

I'm hoping to get some flying done this weekend & it's half term next week so I should get some done then (I'm trying to gather brownie points to get out flying instead of fixing the house up). I'm keen to try your suggestions about inverting it on purpose & running it up & down until I can do it without thinking about it. If you have any other 'exercises' you do to train muscle memory I'd love to hear them.

I forgot to reply to you earlier sorry - the lines are within 5mm of each other (about 1/4" in old money) so any failings in flight are my fault, not the line manufacturers but I'd pretty much guessed that from the off if I'm honest.

John

Hey Rigster.

just read your post to my wife ( I am off work to paint doors)

She is thinking of starting up a revs wives (widows) support group.

Keep up the good fight

tommy

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I'm worse though - I still haven't gained enough confidence (skill if I'm honest) to go flying alone yet. As a result Jude has to tag along all for the 5 minutes prep & holding it down while I run back to the stake (I know, I know - it won't self launch if tilted back properly but I'm not that certain yet) - she has the patience of a saint, poor woman.

I'm going to do the dishonorable thing & not tell her about a potential rev widows support group though - she might realise how put upon she is ... a case of hot tongue & cold shoulder would be followed by the smell of lightly roasting martyr.

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I discovered 25 years ago that having a couple at opposite ends of a set of flying lines is a recipe for disaster. (Especially with a 13 kite train.)

If the flyer isn't all that good, things will happen, mostly bad. To get them straightened out requires shouting instructions down the length of the line set. People's emotions track their actions. (Try it; deliberately frown for 10 or 15 minutes and you will discover yourself getting angry.) After shouting for a while, you get mad enough to really shout. Being shouted at for a while (even if it is just to be heard) eventually makes the other person angry. No malice; but now you have two angry people.

...and it all goes downhill from there.

I don't fly kites to make myself angry at my wife, and she doesn't like getting angry much either. Much better to do your own "walk of shame", or at least go down to the other end and quietly help straighten things out.

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Rigster

you need a set of training wheels, (Magic Sticks)

there's no way you should need another person to help set-up or relaunch, particularly with a quad. If you are that uncomfortable I will send you a set to try-out. They install using the same knotting system as the bridle, (pass thru the hole, on the opposite side as the bridle exits, loop around the back of the end-cap and snug back tight by pulling the slack out, away from the cap).

A set of plans is published on here somewhere if you are in a big hurry. They aren't necessary, but in your "crying out-loud OMG" for the need of additional assistance they may SAVE your marriage! Send me a PM thru here with your address, I'm so happy to help save a relationship.

You'll find a snagged flying line is almost impossible (with the little knot & washers on the back of the sail). Your inverted glides will be lengthened as well, for field recovery efforts. Give 'em a few hours and see if it doesn't make a difference. You can roll-up the kite into the flying lines when it's sitting quietly on the ground upright, by snapping lots of slack towards the kite, so the wind blows it backwards, let it go, you can get out of it. Unrolling is a two step process, (look at it as an opportunity with music,.... beat!, beat!) You step back and it snaps back up-right (bam) , you slap-on the forward drive real quick (bam) and it shoots airborne. A pretty slick trick with a little practice. Don't snap it over so briskly that you break a stick either, it's a quad you always need less motion than looks right when learning it. Beginning: initiate by a step/Run towards the kite if necessary, a couple of good steps, but avoid the slack lines at your feet or it will roll-up croaked.

Here's why you need 'em immediately.

Magic sticks hold the kite stationary until you move it, doesn't matter if it's attached to the flying lines or not. They're training wheels, it can't fall over, it's tough to catch a flying line and if after week or so of trying 'em out, you can always return your kite to stock if you find no improvement. Just take it off. My guess is, you may like it. I flew the first 7 years without magic sticks, secretly laughing at folks that used a "crutch", then I gave them a long, hard look and found it did alter the flight dynamics, . . . but not in a way I found undesirable!

I've got a whole bunch of kites, I'll just pull a set off of an old kite and mail it you. Honestly you shouldn't have a problem without them. Take more time and set-up of the lines using a stake. When all the lines are tight, separated and aligned properly on the handles, just move them as far apart as your reach with allow and lay 'em on the ground. Now go remove the stake and affix your flying lines to the kite, being conscious of the fact the the kite is inverted (always for safety, always, set-up, take-down and during breaks in your flying action, always inverted). You are attaching the lines on the left side of the kite which will mean your right hand is holding that handle. Identify that handle with a wrap or 2, up top, of red electrical tape, RED =right. Now, every time you lay down the handles, you know which one goes into which hand.

Between marking the handles, effective use of a stake and repeatable line handling techniques you should not need a set of training wheels.

You want the little woman as a flying partner, not your sherpa! You'll be ever so lucky if she finds it as much (or more) fun than you! She'll fly the masterpiece and call for the pairs team, you make the sandwiches and get everything set-up on site. Make her 1/2 the better part of the experience and you'll go places all over the world together using kites as your tickets.

No dumping the "field crew duties" on the misses my friend!

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