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Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Wed, Jan 30 2008, 08:37 PM
by Mike
It depends on how long your adjustment lines are. The way to tell is to measure the distance from the handle out to the knot you fly on.
Do that measure for the top lines and the bottom lines. Subtract the bottom measure from the top measure. That's your brake.

OR

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Wed, Jan 30 2008, 09:06 PM
by Chris
I tend to fly with about 5 1/2".


It's no wonder your kite seems sluggish to me :shock: I fly with 1.5" of brake...

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Thu, Jun 12 2008, 11:36 AM
by Jeepster
Mike wrote:... I'd like to know how people feel about flying with more brake.


Wow, today I actually saw my kite today ... usually it's just a blur that I fight to stay up with ... well, it wasn't really quite that bad ... no actually it was!

Until today, I've been flying with a measured 1 or 2" of brake. That caused me to move my hands upward until the first finger was off the foam and on the metal ... that gave the handle a little more tilt and subsequent speed. It also made it more difficult to control ... always had some downward pressure to slow the kite. To confuse the numbers even more, I rotated the top and bottom-lines a couple of days ago. My top lines had stretched an inch more than the bottom lines ... after the rotation, that probably effectively reduced the brake an additional two inches from the day before (from plus one to minus one on top equals two inches). So, the effective brake, since I started last week, has probably been somewhere in the range of zero to two inches.

Today, after reading this thread and without knowing the numbers, I placed the lines at the first knot on the bottom line and the fifth knot on the top line of B-series handles. It immediately became comfortable to move my hands fully on to the foam. The result was that it felt easier to control and I was able to slow it down when the wind picked up. Since my lines have now equalized - 90# x 80' Rev lines which are advertised as Laser Pro Gold - that yields an honest 3" of brake. Can't wait to move it out an additional inch tomorrow.

Question: Why do you need to keep your hands down in front of you ... i.e. why is allowing them to raise up to shoulder height bad form? Also, what is the advantage of keeping your hands close together?

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Thu, Jun 12 2008, 12:17 PM
by Jeff
Jeepster wrote:
Mike wrote:
Question: Why do you need to keep your hands down in front of you ... i.e. why is allowing them to raise up to shoulder height bad form? Also, what is the advantage of keeping your hands close together?


For me, it's mostly fatigue. If I'm holding my arms up too high, I get more tension in my arms and shoulders, and they feel tighter and fatigue more.

That's not to say that my arms are down all the time...sometimes you have to make a quick adjustment that requires a large movement...a quick pull to gain speed or altitude.

Keeping your arms together is much the same. You don't have to keep them real close, just have your upper arms shoulder width, your hands will naturally want to be a little closer. If you can develop control while in a more natural position, you will see several benefits. You will be more comfortable. When the lines twist, they will cross at less of an angle. If you're flying with others in a team situation, you won't be punching the flyer next to you. :lol: You want your movement to be as minimal and efficient as possible.

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Fri, Jun 13 2008, 06:11 PM
by Jeepster
Mike wrote: More brake should not be considered more macho!


MORE MACHO!!! After following the input in this column, and changing my brake setting, I now think that zero brake is the real macho setting ... shut up, grab on, and hang on ... 90 mph around the wind window until it crashes into the ground. With no brake, you're always seconds behind what the kite is doing. Exciting, but so is riding a bull for eight seconds.

Today I moved the brake setting up to four inches. Hands right at the top of the foam with a relaxed and balanced grip. When the winds were over eight or so mph, it really felt comfortable.

It reminded me of flying control line model planes. In control line flying, you set everything up so that you simply relax and point your arm where you want the plane to go. With the kite today, when ever I would relax with it in the middle of the wind window, it simply stopped moving and hovered. If I would move my arms up a little, the kite would move upwards a little ... no wrist movement, simply move my arms. Likewise, moving my arms downward a little would cause the kite to backup. For me, this was a real break through. Everything slowed down until my mind could keep up with what was happening.

So, what I learned was:
1) Rotate the top and bottom lines each time you set up ... at least until they stop creeping.
2) Set up the brake so that the handles balance in YOUR hands ... kite will hover in the middle of the wind window.
3) Slowing the kite up helps you relax ... at least while you're first learning ... my arms stayed down in front of me much more than in the past.

Does any of this make sense? Any additional suggestions? Any corrections?

BTW ... the 13 inch handles measure 13 inches along the curve of the tubing. The straight distance between the pin holes is only 11 3/4 inches. Calling them 13 inch handles doesn't seem to make sense from an engineering view point ... any explaination?

Once again, thanks for all your assistance,
Tom

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Fri, Jun 13 2008, 06:45 PM
by Mike
Tom, sounds like you're doing great.
I agree with you on the 13" handles. I guess they call 'em that because they start with a 13" piece of tubing and then bend it.

A kinda rough way to think about the handles and knots--set the knots so that:
If most of the pressure is on your middle finger, that's neutral.
Apply pressure with your index finger and the kite moves forward
Apply pressure with your ring finger and the kite backs up.

It's not exactly like that, but sometimes it can help to think of it that way.

Start a new subject when you're ready to learn how to hold the kite sideways (vertical), fly upside down, and do spins while keeping the kite in one place.
And try to join us at a festival or club fly. It's easier to show this stuff in person.

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Tue, Jun 17 2008, 12:13 PM
by Jim Foster
Mike wrote:And try to join us at a festival or club fly. It's easier to show this stuff in person.


Tom

Mike is right. Get some good help. Do what you have to do, go where you have to go, kill who you have to kill, but get good help. It will save you tons of time and trouble.

Take it from one who didn't. I didn't know where to get help, or that I should get help, and once I did, it took a long time to get rid of the bad habits I had formed.

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Tue, Jun 17 2008, 12:38 PM
by Jim Foster
Tom

I see that you are going to Pontiac on the 28th. You will learn a lot. Get ready, it will be like taking a drink of water from a fire hose.

Have a good tome.

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Tue, Jun 17 2008, 01:42 PM
by Jeepster
Jim Foster wrote: ... Mike is right. Get some good help ...


Jim,

Thanks for the words to the wise. Yes, I do plan on attending the club fly on the 28th ... didn't want to advertise it too much for fear folks would run for cover.

I did have problems with the kite flying too fast ... always thought John B was simply flying in low wind conditions ... finally figured out that the kite flys much better if you actually use some brake. Mike's advice to balance the handles around your middle finger was right on the mark. With it like that, you actually have to give the kite permission to fly forwards. With the handles balanced like that, it's not as exciting, but sure is more fun.

Next question: You have the handles adjusted so that they are balanced for the wind in which you're currently flying. The wind picks up - you're guessing that it will only last a few minutes - do you move your hands slightly down the handle to rebalance for the short time? Or, do you simply adjust your wrists so that you have more brake?

BTW: I love the pictures of your car, camper and kite(s).

Cheers,
Tom

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Tue, Jun 17 2008, 05:27 PM
by Jim Foster
Tom

I usually hold my handles in a "neutral" place. I learned that from Mark Lummas few years ago, and it works for me. I sometimes fly for hours at a time, and in strong winds my wrists don't get as tired.

If the wind decreases, I usually just move up the handle a little, rather than pull the top lines to the next knot. With the curve of the handle, it has about the same effect. Then if the wind increases, I just move back down the handle a little.

There is no real hard and fast rule. You watch JB. He holds his handles very near the top so that when the kite is flying forward, the handles are nearly parallel with his top lines. I have great difficulty flying like that.

If you can fly the kite forward as fast as it will go, hover the kite, and fly it backwards, all with the same knot adjustment and hand position, that's all you really need.

You will find what's best for you. :up:

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Tue, Jun 17 2008, 07:05 PM
by Mike
I usually keep the same knot position throughout the day unless the wind changes drastically. You'll find that you automatically adjust your hand or wrist position.

There's no one right way:

John B pretty much keeps his hands in the same place no matter what. He flies with his index finger on the foam and lined up with the top of the foam. His thumb rests on top (not along side) the handles. Keeping the thumb up there gives you a lot of torque for reverse and you don't need to change your hand position. My hands aren't that big, though I do use that position on occasion.

Lam Hoac, another excellent flier, moves his hands up and down handles while he's flying.

Some other good fliers tend to hook their index fingers above the foam.


I fly closest to John B's method.

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Tue, Jun 17 2008, 07:11 PM
by Mike
Here, I found a photo of JB's hands. Worth a 1000 words as they say. (Probably worth 2000 of mine :oops: )

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Tue, Jun 17 2008, 08:51 PM
by Jeepster
All right ... I think I've got a handle on this topic ...

Today the winds were between 15 and 20 mph. Used the last knot on top and the first knot on the bottom ... approximately 4 3/4 inch of brake. The handles were balanced in my hand around the middle finger with the tops of my hands even with the top of the foam ... at least that part of the picture looks like John's flying does. With that set up, I was able to keep it slow and not let it get away. Amazing how much the kite loads up if you don't keep it balanced! It's a non-vented kite and I only used the 3-wrap frame, so I was pushing the specs. probably more than my skills would allow ... but, it was so much fun!

Jim suggested I get all the help I can get ... and Mike suggeted I start a new topic ... so, I'll see you in a new thread!!

Thanks.

Re: Handle Adjustment Knots

Posted: Tue, Jun 17 2008, 08:56 PM
by Babbman
I'm pretty close to what Mike and John do. I tend to keep my hands in the same position with the only exception being when the winds really pick up, I slide my hands down the handles a bit.

The real key to all of this is finding something comfortable that works for you, and then sticking with it. All of this is about muscle memory and the real key to flying team is to not have to think about each and every little thing that you have to do to make the kite do what you want.

If you have to stop and think after every call and for every move, then you haven't been practicing enough!