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 Post subject: Re: New to forum, help please
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:49 pm 
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Laughingman wrote:
redman333 wrote:
Okay I have some questions now. I finally got my method 3m trainer kite and I tried to fly it in an open field in its 2 line setup but didn't have a ton of wind but really wanted to try it anyway. I was able to get it in the air but couldn't keep her flying. So I went to the beach and they had about a 15mph wind there but it would die down to around 8mph or so every once in a while.

I was able to launch the kite pretty good. I did wreck it a couple of times before I got the hang of it. Once I figured it out I was able to fly it for about 2 hours straight never putting it down except once. I swooped it a little too low and it picked up some grass sticks in the bridle and was still flying but was a little weak so I landed it, removed the grass and put her back in the sky. It was a blast flying it. It has more poer than I had expected.

Now my question. When I watch the kiteboarding videos I see everyone just parking the kite in the sky and riding it there. They don't have to work the kite much. I was trying to fly my trainer that way since I'm wanting to use the trainer as close to the way I'd use my full size but it didn't want to be "parked". It would drift up to the 12'oclock position or over to the edge of the wind window and if I let it keep going without turning the kite it would eventually fall out of the sky. Is this normal for a trainer to do this or am I doing something wrong.

I have to fly the kite in figure 8s most of the time I can't just leave it. I tried flying the kite blind. I was able to do that based on feel alone pretty good but couldn't fly with one hand, it was too strong. I started off flying the kite with my hands at the edge of the bar and once I got the hang of it I moved my hands close to see if I could give myself a slower moving kite feel like a full size would be. It worked pretty good so far. I think I'm going to schedule lessons in mid may in the outer banks. Ill just practice at the beach everyday when I get off work for an hour or so until then.

Is there anything I should be practicing with the trainer also until I take my lessons. Once I'm a little better and we get some good wind I plan on hooking the kite up to my 4 line and trying it that way but based on what I've already experienced I will need a decent amount of wind for that.

Also I wanted to take video but since I had to go to the beach I didn't have someone able to come with to take video for me. I'm hoping next time I go ill be able to get some video.


Figure 8s are good practice, now switch the direction so that when the kite is making the loop instead of going up at the edge of the window it is going down. We call this a down loop... It will give you a different perspective and give you skills to keep the kite flying in light winds....
Keep your hands close to center of the bar... Good habit to learn now.
Another thing you can do is practice a water launch... But on the beach... Sit down in the sand as if you had a board on... Bring the kite to 1 pm and dive it across the window and see if you can get the kite to pull you into a standing position... This is how you water start. Keep at it... Yes it will get boring but you are learning key skills and will be thankful once you take a lesson that you spend the time to do this.
Pete

This is the kind of info I'm looking for. These I can definitely do. I understand exactly what your talking about. Maybe tomorrow I can get out and try again. Right now I don't find any of it boring actually very fascinated by it all. It's taken me a long time to get to this point(almost 2 1/2 years from the time I decided I wanted to learn) so I'm just excited to be able to just fly a trainer. This was the one aspect of kiteboarding that is very new to me. That's why this one aspect of flying the kite I want to learn very well then the rest should come together.


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum, help please
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:22 am 
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You are basically on the same timeline that I was on. If I could do it all over again I would likely try to slow down the process. Enjoy it savor it, you will learn what you need but if you take your time you may have an even better perspective then those who are helping you. Kite control is 80% of kiting but it can become an extension of you and suddenly you have the capacity to work on board control. It's an amazing transformation and you will realize it almost instantly at the right moment.... Provided you learn your safety and etiquette first, your progression will explode. You'll be so stoked some people may fear you.. It's all good. Feel it, love it, absorb it. Just don't over stoke, I've heard it can be harmful to your health!


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum, help please
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:46 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON
redman333,

Glad to hear things are coming along for you, I've been following this thread with interest. Most pertinently, I was going to congratulate you last week on the purchase of a 4-line trainer to use with a real bar. I think it's best to learn with the control and safety systems which you'll actually use out on the water.

That being said, you've already encountered the main shortcoming with a 2-line kite (which you said you have your trainer configured for right now): They don't fly anything at all like a 4-line depower kite. Because both power and steering are hooked to the bar ends, about all they're good for is a basic introduction to the wind window. They teach you none of the finer points of kite control, and is the reason most people think trainers are useless.

Luckily for you, you have a 4-line trainer and you can use it to learn a lot more! The first and most significant difference is steering the kite by braking the trailing edge of the kite. Having separate control of the brakes allows for much tighter turns and lets you park the kite almost anywhere in the wind window*. It also allows you to stall the kite (by sheeting-in the bar too much) which isn't necessarily something you want to *do* so much as something you'd like to avoid and learn how to recover from (by sheeting out the bar). Finally, you'll appreciate the convenience of being able to re-launch the kite with some simple finessing of the lines.

It's for these reasons (and more) that I humbly suggest you set-up your trainer on four lines and start using your harness sooner rather than later. This, combined with Laughingman's suggestions (practicing water starts on land especially) will put you well on your way to spend most of your lesson on the water rather than land.

There are other differences between foil kites like your trainer and full-size inflatables: Most notably the safe launch, landing and re-launch methods, but all of these are minor in comparison to the difference from four lines to two.

TL;DR: Four lines good, two lines bad!

Best of luck!

*I say 'almost' here because you'll find that if you try to park the kite in the power zone when flying statically (standing in one place, not moving across the wind on a board or skis) it will almost assuredly stall and even elsewhere in the window there's only a small threshold between having the kite 'parked' and stalling it entirely. This equation changes entirely once you're moving across the wind with speed and the spectre of stalling almost disappears.

Don't discount the training though! Knowing how to handle a stalling kite helps you in the most important of circumstances: Launching, landing and water starting. In addition to Laughingman's water start exercise, you can practice launching and landing an inflatable with your 4-line trainer by parking it a couple of feet off the ground at the edge of the wind window and then slowly bringing it up to the zenith before slowly bringing it back down.

P.S. Though they state on the Method Kite site that the kite will work with "ANY" 4-line kite bar, I'd take along some low-stretch cord for pig-tails in case there isn't enough range of adjustment for the kite in your bar's trim strap/depower cleat. (It's okay for a trainer, but don't do this with a full-size kite.)


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum, help please
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:42 pm
Posts: 102
Jbdc,

Thank you I'm very happy to finally be taking my first steps in this sport.

I do want to hook up 4 lines but I want to fly maybe 2 more times in 2 line mode for a couple reasons. 1, because I know the next 2 times I go to the beach to practice will be only around 15mph winds and last time I went it was maybe around 12mph or so and it did ok but I want to experience the kite with a little more power in it first. Il be heading out again I think Thursday and Sunday if the wind predictions are right. Then ill go ahead and hook the 4 lines in. I just have heard that the 4 line mode requires more wind since the lines are heavier so I am wanting to wait a couple more times. Our wind here is pretty consistent at 12-15mph but it will get higher especially the warmer it gets. I. Taking my trainer in to work with me everyday now since I work only 10 min from the water but live a little further. So if the wind is blowing while I'm at work I know I'm heading to the beach after work lol. It'll be the same when I start riding my full size.


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum, help please
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:06 am 
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jbdc wrote:
redman333,

P.S. Though they state on the Method Kite site that the kite will work with "ANY" 4-line kite bar, I'd take along some low-stretch cord for pig-tails in case there isn't enough range of adjustment for the kite in your bar's trim strap/depower cleat. (It's okay for a trainer, but don't do this with a full-size kite.)


I understood everything in your post except maybe this. I somewhat understand. I'm not completely familiar with how to setup the trim strap on a 4 line. I kinda understand what it's doing to the kite but not sure how to use it in the real world. Like when I would actually need to use it or how I would use it on the trainer. Also, since the trim strap adjust the leading edge lines if I couldn't adjust them enough I would add the pigtails to the leading edge then? Is that correct?


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum, help please
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:51 pm
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Location: Toronto, ON
You've got the basic idea right. The trim setting on the front lines adjusts the angle of attack (AoA) of the kite to the wind. Full power is with the front lines extended as far as possible (max AoA), full depower is with them shortened as much as possible (min AoA).

Here's a good video about general bar tuning:



Here's one specific to Cabrinha, but has some good general info in it too--I like the tip about using your leash as the anchor point.:



Yours is new, so it should be in tune; but it's best to check anyway. You can ignore the differences between that bar and yours: pulley bars are a relic of a bygone era and only a few brands have below the bar depower.

Industry standard these days is to have the 4 lines of equal length with the trim set to full power and the bar against the chickenloop. If your new bar doesn't conform to this at all, then check online; there may still be a few kites on the market with mismatched lines. You'll definitely need to make some pigtails for the trainer kite if this is the case.

If your bar conforms to the standard, then there should be enough range in the trim adjustment and depower throw of the bar to at least get the kite in the air. To launch a 4-line foil with a bar, put sand or weights over the trailing edge of the kite, walk back to the bar and hook into the chicken loop (CL). Put the bar as far away from the CL as possible and give a tug on the front lines above the bar as you take a few steps back. Provided there's enough wind, it should come off the ground quickly and easily.

If you can't get the kite in the air like this, or if its doing so slowly with a ton of pull, there's probably too much tension in the rear lines. The first thing to try is to decrease the AoA by shortening the front lines as much as possible with the trim adjustment and try to launch again. If it's *still* fighting you to get off the ground, you'll need to add some pigtails to the rear lines

The opposite scenario is the kite comes rocketing off the ground, and goes flying over your head before falling nose-first. This is called 'luffing' (or a 'hindenburg'*) and happens when there isn't enough AoA to keep the kite from over-flying the window. In this case you need to lengthen the fronts by setting the trim to full power. With the kite in the air, if the rear lines are still slack with the bar against the CL, you'll need to add pigtails to the front lines to increase the AoA even further.

TL,DR: Too much AoA = too much tension on the rear lines: The kite stalls more easily or doesn't fly at all. Too little AoA = overly slack rear lines: reduces steering control and lets the kite over-fly the window.

Hopefully that's got you primed on tuning your kite and bar. It will feel more intuitive once you've got the kite in the air and can play with the trim adjustment. It's another thing a 4-line kite can teach you that a 2-line cannot, and will pay dividends down the road when it comes to tuning your full size kite.

Cheers!

*Hindenburgs are bad news. If you're lucky, the kite will fall to the side, away from the lines and you'll be able to re-launch the kite. If you're unlucky, it will fall in between the lines and then get pushed 'inside-out' by the wind--this is called an 'inversion'. Sometimes you can fly the kite back to the beach inverted, other times a bridle can get caught on a wingtip and you'll be unable to clear it. You don't need to worry about this for now, but ask your instructor. You'll save yourself some swimming if you know how to avoid them in the first place, and must be prepared to deal with it when it happens to you--because it will. ;)

P.S. Your bar and lines will probably have 'kook-proof' pigtails on the ends (with loops for the steering lines, and knots for the power lines--I think that's standard these days). Most regular 4-line foil kites I've seen have simple knots on the ends of the bridle to match loops on the lines. Since it is meant for use with a standard kitesurfing bar, your kite might have the loops on the front attachment points, and knots for the rears to correspond with the pigtails of your lines. If it's all knots on the bridle you might have to remove the pigtails and store them in a safe place (and if needed you can use the ones with loops on both ends to tune). Make sure you don't lose them, or get the fronts mixed with the rears when moving up to your full size kite, it can prevent your safety system from working with disastrous consequences.


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum, help please
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:08 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON
Here's a good general guide to AoA and sheeting (with pictures!).


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum, help please
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:56 pm 
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redman333 wrote:
jbdc wrote:
redman333,

P.S. Though they state on the Method Kite site that the kite will work with "ANY" 4-line kite bar, I'd take along some low-stretch cord for pig-tails in case there isn't enough range of adjustment for the kite in your bar's trim strap/depower cleat. (It's okay for a trainer, but don't do this with a full-size kite.)


I understood everything in your post except maybe this. I somewhat understand. I'm not completely familiar with how to setup the trim strap on a 4 line. I kinda understand what it's doing to the kite but not sure how to use it in the real world. Like when I would actually need to use it or how I would use it on the trainer. Also, since the trim strap adjust the leading edge lines if I couldn't adjust them enough I would add the pigtails to the leading edge then? Is that correct?


Think of trimming as simple as possible. You move your trim strap to adjust where your comfortable with your bar. For example I'm 5'5" and I unhook a lot so I set up my kite to fly with the bar 1-2" from the chicken loop stopper. When the wind picks up it pushes the kite deeper. You use your trim strap to fix the angle of the kite allowing to you to keep the bar where you are comfortable. The same goes for if the wind gets lighter. Less drag, new angle, trim to adjust angle and where your bar needs to be.

Just keep it as simple as possible and that is. Trim strap = where your bar is.


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum, help please
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:10 am 
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Posts: 102
Thanks for the links and the advice gents I've been reading and watching all the advice given and learning a lot. I finally got to get out and fly my kite again today with some good wind, it is gusty today though we are in between storms. I had a steady 20mph wind and gusts to around 30mph. It was good I was able to park the kite better, fly it blind(which I did the first time also) and do some mock board starts on the sand from the seated to standing position. Also did some scudding I believe is the term. Sliding in the sand while standing up. I was able to do all this in 2 line mode. I was actually planning on switching to 4 line but got off work a little late and was racing with daylight so since I don't know how to swap to 4 line quickly I decided to just go with the 2 line mode today. We are supposed to have another high wind day next Tuesday so when I get home ill switch to 4 line.

My trip today was cut a little short though. I was doing go but had seen a guy on YouTube doing multiple kite loops and was pulling himself straight down the beach and wanted to try it myself. After about the 5th loop I skinned the beach and the next loop wrecked. I've been able to relaunch the kite in 2 line mode by walking upwind a little and pulling one line to flip the kite and just yank and it comes up. This time since I had so many loops it didn't worked and it was flying backwards(had too much back line tension). So I unravelled the lines and setup the kite for relaunch. Once I relaunched the kite the controls were backwards somehow even though I could see straight down the lines and had no twists. I landed the kite again and noticed I had some kinks in the lines and the backs were tangled some with the fronts. Untangled everything and relaunched again. This time it flew right but one direction had a LOT of power and the other barely had any. Had to land again and tried to sort out the lines but decided I'd call it a day since I was starting to loose daylight and ill remove the lines at home and see if I can figure out what is wrong. I'm on my way off the beach now.

Maybe someone can give me some inside as to what happened before I get home and confuse myself some more. Once home I don't plan on spending too much time trying to figure what happened and more time setting up my kite in 4 line mode since that's where I'll be flying mostly anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: New to forum, help please
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:53 pm 
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I did figure out my problem. After about an hour of straightening my lines and checking the bridles on the trainer i found that a front line had basically formmed a larkes head not and locked onto part of the back lines so it was wanting to brake and turn at the same time in one direction. Fixed that and righed up my 4 line system and put the kite i. The air with my harness and 4 line setup in a field by my house. Not enought wind to really fly but enough to check and make sure the kite is flying right.

Im actually kinda glad my lines got tangled, it forced me to understand how the lines worked and what they are doing. I have a better understanding of how the kite powers and steers now. I shod be going out to fly again at the beach this sunday. We are supposed to have 15-20mph winds. So i should be able to fly my kite pretty good in 4 line mode then.


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