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I would like to share the outcome of a test which I did with my 5th line bar. It is important to know since a lot of beginners are also chosing that type of equipment in these days. The question is about a 5th line setup and the need to depower the kite completely and rolling up the lines in the water to get to the kite.
I wanted to know because
1. I was in situations where I was kiting and the wind picked up dramatically. So there was a real need to depower the kite completely and get it into my hands before geting to land. Once I was close to rocks.
2. The new Alameda guidelines.
When you have a 5th line on your kite and you want to depower and roll up the lines so you get to your bar - does it work and how?
No, you can not fully depower and keep a 5th line kite depowered while rolling up your lines.
For most conditions (windspeed matches kitesize) you can keep it depowered enough to to get to your kite. But a complete depower is not possible.
I tried it, Kite down in the water:
I pulled in the 5th line in as much as possible to keep it under tension and the other lines really slack. That keeps the kite on it's back and fairly depowered.
How do you get to the kite now?
1.) Rolling up only the 5th line? Nope - does not work. Since you have 4 more lines to deal with. As soon as you roll, the kite will turn into a position as if to relaunch. It does not seem to launch though.
2.) Rolling up all 5 lines while trying to keep the 5th under tension and the others slack? Nope - does not work. I tried, same effect, kite turns into the launch position. Someone mentioned he rolled up all lines while the kite stayed that way.
Probably fine in wind which is appropriate for the kite size.
3.) work your way along the 5th line without rolling it up? Perhaps only the slack you leave behind? That leaves 4 lines in the water around you. And does not fully depower the kite either. Also the 5th can slip through your hands. Sounds like the most dangerous option.
4. Other suggestions?
Other people seem to have made similar experiences. In low wind this is not a problem, the kite sems to be manageable with method 2 or 1 if you get enough 5th in. It stays in the launch position while the lines are rolled up.
To further clarify I asked someone who really knows and in continous contact with the industry leaders/designers. He confirmed that a 5th line kite can not be fully depowered while you roll up the lines. This is a known issue (was new to me until then).
The Slingshot bar (thank god, that's the one I have) still has the "O Shit handles" which you would use if you need a complete depower. The "classical" way.
Other 5th line bars do not have the handles or alternative depower options this year but for the above reason the industry is contemplating to add them or other alternatives to the bar next year.
Also he mentioned that next year the 5th line systems may have the option to release the 5th line completely. It seemed to have happenend that the line got tangled with the equipment (after kite tumbling e.g.) that even a regular 5th line depower does not work anymore. If that happens you currently do not have a good option right to depower your kite at all. It may also fly weird.
Please share your experiences. But really also test for yourselves, understand your system and how it work in extreme conditions - reality is so suprisingly different from theory in this case.
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I feel the need to type although i've never actually done this myself.
Roll the 5th line up only until the stopper ball, then roll all of the lines together. Since the 5th will always be shorter as you go, there will never be tension on the other 4 lines to relaunch the kite.
in real life i've never been in a situation where i've had to do this involving a 5th line.
I tried this once with my new 5-line and had the same issue. The kite is on its back alright, but it starts to rotate and puts tension on some lines and looks like it might relaunch.
The wind was light when I tried it but I can imagine it's a lot different in overpowering wind.
My thought was to re-attach the leash to the traditional back line (I also have the Slingshot) instead of the fifth.
(Those slingshot bars really are nice, though expensive!)
If you tension the center line around the bar, and then wind up all your other lines, I do not see how the kite could launch.... may seem like it wants to launch... but I don't see how it is possible with the 5th line tight...I have never had that problem when self rescuing w/ my norths
Here are the situations which I experienced - will it still work?
1. It's a while ago. I went out in 10 mph with a 15 m kite. The wind picked up in a surprise, not forecasted surge to average 30mph. Within 5 minutes.
In that case I could barely hold on to my regularly depowered kite...
2. I was at Sherman on a 13m in average 18 mph. Wind picked up to 25 mph and when I noticed I was already teabagging. The traditional depower worked fine (backline). I would be concerned with the 5 line because of the above behavior.
Will it work just fine?
tx again - Sylvia
When you say relaunch do you mean reverse fly? (On its back?) I've added a 5th line to my Windwing Outrages just for the situation you describe, and haven't had the kite try to launch itself. However, if you don't keep enough tension on the 5th line it will start to reverse fly. Here's what I do:
1. Let the bar go and get the kite on its back.
2. Draw in the 5th to get to the bar, and then wrap the 5th up until you get to the upper stopper.
3. Now wrap all of the lines up. Usually, about half way through this the kite will begin "bucking" like it wants to relaunch and I take an extra loop of 5th in, this will settle it down. Depending on my kite line length this may happen twice.
4. I'm now pretty close to the kite, it's still on its back, and for the kast few yards I just pull in the 5th so I can grap the leading edge.
I should point out that I have a small "Y" at the top, not a single attachment point. I wonder if that could be the difference. I also admit that I have never been in a situation as over-powered as the one you describe. (I have a hunch it's the "Y" though.)
Sounds like you were way over powered and that even the parasite wind drag of the kite was extreme... I have come in before where it is a struggle to carry the kite in my hand (upside down) into the wind... It sounds like this is what happened to you on the water.. In these cases, I don't think there is any true total depower... (That being said, the induced drag of the kite (lift) is at zero, while the parasite drag (wind just hitting the leading edge and wingtips) will still be present...
How much difference is there between the fifth line length of North and the Slingshot?
It seems that with the North you can pull in enough length of fifth line so it stays at the bottom of the window while with the Slingshot kite once you have pulled in all the fifth line available it will still dance to the edge of the wind window.
I have experenced problems while self landing my 10m rhino on land.After blowing safety, kite was flying on its back about 35 feet off ground (with wind at approx 26mph average), reeling it in by fith line only, the pull was so great as kite rocked back and forth that i think i got a hairline fracture in the little finger on one hand.I have found that if you hold front lines (with fith line deployed), together with fith line as you walk up lines toward kite, it stays lower and is somewhat less prone to rocking, but i would be reluctant to try that in good wind!.Brick told me that if you move stopper ball a few inches toward bar it will limit rocking motion.An official reccomendation from Naish or North should be issued but i dont think they will do it because of liability issues.
That will work for many kites, but a friend tried adding an "Oh Shit", or "Reride" handle to an RRD Type Wave and when activated the kite simply looped.....and looped and looped.... not exactly the planned course of events. But this kite has a bridle that maintains it's "U"-shape - it won't flap out.
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