southflorida wrote:A couple of large manufacturers have removed most or all pulleys from certain models of 2014 kites, claiming things like "more direct feel", "improved flying and acceleration" and other good things.
Of course, none of the manufacturers say anything negative about removing the pulleys. I was not in tune back in the mid 2000's when pulleys were added to bridles, so what was the point of adding the pulleys? And why has it taken until 2014 models to remove them?
Pulleys were added when LEIs went from typically 4 direct connected lines to SLEs and bow kites which all had some sort of a bridle.
Now that the kites had bridles, they had to solve the problem where the actual geometry of the bridle changes based on the angle of the kite to the rider. (changes based on bar input, position of kite and wind). Putting a pulley where a line attaches to the bridle took care of this. It gave the designers a "slop" factor so that all the bridle lines could remain taught and the load was evenly spread.
There's likely a more confusing and more accurate description than that, but there is a layman's explanation.
Since then, some designers have found ways to make mini bridles that do not require pulleys. There are pros and cons of pulleys. They are not all bad, but they do jam up with sand and then the wear on the bridle line is greatly increased.