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Sven

Sven

Kite addict since 1998. Still addicted!

Laidback Low Wind

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I forgot my jacket at home but the flying was too good to go back and get it!

So I kept on flying!

As you can read from the heading, the wind was on the light side of the scale so the first kite out of the bag was the Spider that Anders has made for me. It’s a stunning kite with a pretty intricate bridle set up. I have actually never really gotten to grips with this set up, but today the wind was good for tinkering.

Spider to the left, DIY to the right
Spider to the left, DYI to the right

First I flew the Spider for ten, maybe fifteen minutes to get a good feel. Nah… Something seemed not quite right. For some reason I thought the brake lines sagged a little more than I’ve noticed with other kites. …and the breaking itself was not as crisp/sharp as with my other quads. I can’t quite describe the feel other than … spongy… Sort of…

Not quite...
Note quite…

Well, enter tinker mode. I removed a few legs on the bridle and for every pair of legs I removed I took the kite for a spin to feel any difference. With one part of legs removed the kite became very oversteering, spinning like mad almost uncontrollable, but after more tweaking it got better. Still a bit spongy, but a bit more crisp and predictable.

Good enough for flying in the current conditions, however I still need to do more work to that bridle. There’s still room for improvement.

Hovering in front of the camera
Hovering in front of the camera

Then the wind calmed even further down and it was time to pull another kite out of the bag, more suited for the very light winds.

I also opted for my 10m (approx 30ft) line set and soon the light wind kite was dancing in the air.

You can do a lot of fun with such short lines, like hovering just inches away from the camera shooting great close ups. It’s also perfect for catches and throws and the light wind DYI kite at the end of the lines is an awesome glider. Just a quick tug on the front lines and the kite just dives down directly into my hands. Don’t even need to move about, just put out my arm and grab it!

Grab it!
Grab it!

Not more to say actually rather than it was a great afternoon, which I guess you can see from both the photos and the video!

3 thoughts on “Laidback Low Wind”

  1. > “Laidback Low Wind”… ”I forgot my jacket at home”
    In low low low wind, along with the reduction in wind cooling, putting much effort in it, the cycle of gaining ground and using it to power the kite can serve as a replacement of a jacket (in terms of not getting cold). For me (as I’ve said before), the key of starting to get my feet moving (provided that the field is large enough) is to regain ground by running downwind with the kite in an as much as possible horizontal glide away from the pilot. But perhaps the wind was not that low this day? It was a bit funny that you also put down the LE tip in a fence like row on the ground in the middle of the video. Did the same thing during the latest weekend like two times or so. One other thing was the LE of the “good catch glider” QLK always that long or are you sharing the frame with some other kite?

    > flew the Spider for ten, maybe fifteen minutes to get a good feel. … …For some reason I thought the brake lines sagged a little more than I’ve noticed with other kites. …and the breaking itself was not as crisp/sharp as with my other quads.

    I have never gotten or actively tried to understand this sync bridle (here?) thing. Perhaps I’m “bridle slow” – with DLKs it was only a few years ago I actively started to work with the nose angle (to and from you) and got a feeling for what I wanted from it for various winds.
    I have never tried the Spider kite, just trying to understand what is meant here. When I use my Smithi Pro foil (yes from Spiderkites to make it somewhat confusing) I can fly it in two modes (without making any adjustments in between) given that I have connected the brake line to the rear bridle knots that gives the most brake (the range of rear/brake line adjustments is large b.t.w. – between the first and last knot it is longer than the std. leaders of a QLK/HWK handles). When then pulling somewhat on the brake lines it behaves much like a QLK/HWK but without the LE flex (which perhaps is not so strange since it haven’t got a LE spar). The other mode of the Smithi PRO, the DLK like one, is when you relax the brake lines and kind of hang (i.e. put the weight of your body on the lines if necessary) on on the top lines. Yes, when it is windy and used like a DLK, it will then speed up and really begin to pull in spite of its small size (1.1m^2 or 12ft^2). So after having described this, I ask if the (Anders Matson) Spider kite with the current bridle tweaks/settings could have the slightest element of a DLK or the Smithi PRO? So how much/little LE flex does the bridle allow and how top line centered is the bridle (how DLKish is it and how small/large is the brake line tension that is required during forward flight)?

    1. One other thing was the LE of the “good catch glider” QLK always that long or are you sharing the frame with some other kite?

      If I remember correctly, that ‘glider’ is the Freedom 2000, for which you can find the building plans on the Internet. I don’t know if the LE is supposed to be that long for this kite or if it just happened ‘by accident’s when it was built.

      Anyway… I have never bothered to shorten it because it flies … and glides … very well as is. 🙂

      /Sven

  2. >that ‘glider’ is the Freedom 2000, for which you can find the building plans on the Internet. I don’t know if the LE is supposed to be that long for this kite

    Thank you for the info on the model of the “glider-kite”. Looking on the Freedom 2000 site, the spars do look long there as well:
    http://freedom2000.free.fr/freedom_index_eng.html

    As always, slow-mo can be interesting. When you catch the Freedom 2000 one can see that it really deforms. Close to the centre of my 1.5 B-series std. a hole has developed in the LE mesh where I do the most of the catches. Have now put a small tape patch over the hole.

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