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This is a long shot, but is anyone on BAK making their own kites?
I have spent the last couple years repairing the kites I have flown. After flying 01 to 05 kites, I feel that I finally understand what is needed to be a good/great kitesurfing kite.
I am working with a guy in the UK to make a bridleless arc much like the guerilla. Before anyone starts preaching about patents and all that, I'm not looking to sell these kites. For now, I am mainly interested in making sizes that are not currently in production. For example, the guerilla comes in as small as a 9M. Well what about a 5M, or a 7M? Would be a good size for nuclear conditions. And let's say I had the funds to order a 8M venom, well I would have to wait 2 months to receive the darn thing (backordered). Just wondering if there are any locals who have made their own kites or others out there who share my interest. I have seen a home built lei kite do a first test flight at ocean beach 2 seasons ago. Funny cause not long after he launched his home built kite, I launched my made in china cabrinha and guess whose leading edge exploded, my 2003 made in china cabrinha.
I see the guerilla and venom style kite as the optimal fusion of lei and arc design. Arcs have stability and durability. Lei's have a relatively "constant" power in the wind window and are easy to relaunch.
I do share your interest.
Back when I was course racing- windsurfing I made a total of seven race sails. I learned so much with each successive sail, and found it tremendously satisfying to be truly self sufficient on the water. I believe there are many things you can do that can't be done mass manufacturing wise due to economies of scale, construction processess, and the ability to tune for local conditions.
I look forward to making my own kites once I have more kitesurfing experience. Making stuff is the best way to learn about stuff.
(I also made my own parachute once I took up skydiving. But due to regulations that was only jumped a couple of times.)
Bruce Sheldon (Sheldon Sails in Rio Vista) makes and repairs windsurf sails. I'm not sure if he's ever made a kite, but I'd be surprised if he hadn't thought alot about it. I've never seen him flying anything other than LEIs, though.
This may be Off Topic, but how did you feel when testing your parachute for the first skydive? I think I could handle skydiving, but not sure about trusting myself to make a parachute!
At the time I made it I only had 60 jumps and did not have the experience to test it - A friend, a certified rigger with 6000 + jumps, did the honors. When making an intentional cutaway in skydiving (you never land a prototype on the first jump!) you must wear a tertiary rig (three parachutes - the test main, a certified main, and a reserve)
It performed as designed in someways and did some funky things in other ways. I made some changes to improve stability and he jumped it a second time, but we decided it was still to risky to try to land it. I built it to increase my understanding of ram air foils, and got what I wanted from the experience. It was a tedious process to line up the test jumps (tertiary rig, video documentation, calm weather so we don't have to go far to pick up the released canopy etc...) so the canopy has sat in a dark closet ever since.
If you want to start building kites, I think you would really appreciate the wealth of information (and materials source links) at KiteBuilder.com. I don't know if there are any LEI plans out there, but there is certainly a ton of accumulated experience of all sorts regarding kite building.
As to the parachute question , I'm not sure _I'd_ do it, but heck, who are ya gonna trust with your parachute if not yourself?
I saw homebrewn LEIs in Alameda but never got a chance to talk to them. If you want to make you really OWN kite then you should know about surfplan. (http://www.surfplan.com.au/sp/). Free to use for home applications...
It only makes sense to make the real own kite by designing it from the scratch. Just copy an existing kite is really boring and not worth. anyway, the material is not very cheap in small batches and this will you cost mer than an good used kite.
DO your really own thing and also join the Yahoo foil design webpage.
Hopefully we will see you out there sooner or later.
.. I sewed smaller foils in my early days, but I dont like to handle several sqm under the machine...
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