After picking up my first kite ( a used two-line) a few months ago, I just picked up my first 4-line, a Slingshot Fuel, two days ago.
I'm staring at this manual, trying to understand the nuances of setting up the 4 lines, and this book is NOT user-friendly. There are photos that are only 3/4 of an inch high and the drawings are labeled with a font size that's microscopic! And information seems to be missing, that beginners need (like HOW to adjust the line lengths, if they're not identical). I think that the basic problem with the Slingshot booklet (and probably a lot of the others) is that the company designed for a nifty small size (the booklet could almost fit in a back pocket) then crowded everything in. My suggestion to the manufacturers: lay out your manuals utilizing "information design" principles: one idea per page, use of empty space, redundancy, self-quizzes, etc. This sounds like an ad for a design service, but jeeeez, this booklet is stumping me!
I believe you - the illustrations are actually quite useful, even if they require a magnifying glass. But having read the postings about safety, written by Rick and others, it just seems natural to suggest that the manufacturers beef up their manuals a bit.
I agree. My 2002 Airblast had the same problem. They expect us to understand new mods by looking at 4th generation 1-2 inch photos. I remember my Naish kite coming with a nice 8.5x11 manual last year, however, instead of a tiny booklet of photocopied pages. Fortunately, I'm in an area with lots of help from fellow kiters, but I would be po'd otherwise.
Seeing an instructor for every little problem is certainly not rational, an ignorant generalization, and is simply a way to displace responsibility! For example, why should I wait to find an instructor to learn how a new safety leash loops around my spreader bar? Every brand and every kite is a bit different and needs clear instructions so that EVEN instructors can understand how things work...