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30' 50# newbie observations and questions


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Had a chance to fly B-series at the beach today for the second time. Used 80' 90# lines. Lots of fun, felt more confident then a first time.

After about an hour I switched to 30' 50# (which I cut, sleeved and equalized myself couple of days ago smile.gif).

My first observation is that controls are more precise and direct. I can hold the hovers almost perfectly still. Also I was able to do some horizontal reverse flights. Landings on one tip is very easy.

What I have a problem is a reverse landing. On the long lines I was able to do it without any problems, but on the 30', 8 out of 10 times I could not hold the reverse hover and kite either slam into the ground with leading edge, or trying to rotate and hitting the ground with one of the edges.

Also I tried catch and throw. Catch attempts did not worked very well. Either my timing or the angle is not correct. Kite flying downwind (way in front of me). Managed to perform 2 throws out of three. 2 was perfect (I thing practicing with "Indoor" helped a little bit). After the third attempt it took me 20 minutes to untangle all the lines. censored.gif

Question, should I practice on the longer lines or is it even matter?

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Not too sure about the catch and throw stuff, but the reverse landing problem sounds like a bit too much control input!! Everything happens so much faster on the shorter lines, your inputs take longer on the longer lines to go from handles to kite!! You shorten the length, you shorten the time!! kid_devlish.gif

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I don't recommend a lot of slack line stuff using 50# lines. They tangle way too easily or pick-up debris from the ground like they were magnetized.

I'd also address any extra dangling knots on your leaders, the leaders themselves' overall diameter and seriously consider dumping the sleeving on your line sets. Instead tie a stopper knot into the loop so you can get it off and on easily. Go back to 90 pound lines for short sets, even indoors. The thicker diameter means the lines have better chance to slip past each other. Less crap hanging down means less can snag on each other as you place handles into one hand and separate 'em again.

You'll have to gauge where your pull is made (for the catch), the lower the wind speed is blowing the further towards you the kite will travel. This is gliding with the leading edge jerked towards you. The further out there onto the leaders you can reach, the more action (energy) you can put into the "catch". If you hold the kite stationary when you do the jerk you are erasing any possible gained momentum. You want to make the jerk AS the kite is traveling upwards, practice between 2/3 and 3/4's of the window's height. If you fly directly overhead and jerk then the kite can only fall, missed opportunity! You want it to keep rising, reach an apex and then glide down to your outstretched hand in a smoothly traveled arc.

If you wanted lots more forward glide then you may need to change the balance point on the kite. Too much and it will slowly turn around mid-sky and eventually seeking down-wind again without descending. Flying in a big horseshoe shaped flight path looks cool but it's so light on the breeze it's like a oak leaf released. If you find a special set of mods though the kite becomes dream-like. It glides away from you and returns magically almost without any effort. 50 feet is long enough for spectators to appreciate your efforts. 80 feet means some pilot sprinting and a throw worthy of a javelin contest.

On my SULs, I use a Skyshark down-spar called "Response" (3-PT or 2-PT depending on the wind speed) I also shorten it in overall length to end at the bottom of the sail's edge and snug the bungies to this new location. I've moved balance more towards the leading edge. Since there's less sail area on the bottom of the triangular shaped sail, I need less spar strength there as well. A tapered spar will advise you when it's time to be replaced or be switched out of the kite, look for the bending! I use sissy sticks to provide more structural support to this new lighter weight frame.

I can occasionally catch on 120's and throws (depending on the frame's mass) of 70 feet are quite possible, even if you're all old and busted-up, refusing to run. You see these two objectives are opposites! For one, you want it all light in weight and capable of traveling against the wind direction (catch). But you want extra mass in there (for the throw) so a couple of javelin steps adds many feet of distance to your throw/pushing momentum on the leading edge. So the quandary is, whether to fly on a Race Frame or the 4 wraps (SLE leading edge, You wanted to throw that thing outa' sight, right?)

I'm currently exploring a hybrid, 3 wrap leading edge center & Race (or Zen) outer leading edge tubes for a great throwing weight (enough mass for trickin' too),... I use a full P-90 leading edge for a great glide (really flexible and light in weight) when it's dead calm out only

50# lines are for when you need to go long (pairs or team stuff, flying slow precision figures). I don't like any brand for slack-line and flailing in that weight classification.

What works for you? I love to experiment, share it!

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