Kite tuning/bridle questions....

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Kite tuning/bridle questions....

Postby sc-surfer » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:09 pm

Hi guys,

I have a couple of technical questions for you rigging experts out there.

I'm flying a quiver of bow kites that have a lot of characteristics I really like but a couple I don't. Wondering how to approach making changes to improve them.

What I want to accomplish: more direct feel at the bar, quicker turning.

After flying other kites I find that I really like the direct bar input and quick response of a bridled hybrid C kite. While I don't expect to get the exact same feel and response from a bow, I hope I can get closer than I am now. After returning to my own kites they feel sluggish and unresponsive.

My current kites have a bridle that has 3 atatchment points on each side of the LE, and then is linked to the rear line pigtail via a short bridal that runs through a pulley on the LE between the farthest out front bridal and the rear steering line attatchment point. (I know, a picture is worth 1K words! I'll try for one shortly.)

Questions:

Have any of you modified your bridle to improve flying?

If I remove the whole pulley/rear-front line setup and just run a pigtail straight to the wingtip, and assuming I keep the AOA range the same as it is now, will I get a more direct feel and perhaps a faster turning kite? Or is the pulley and front/back line link crucial to the bow kite function?

In exchange for the desired improvements I'm willing to give up some depower range (the kites have a HUGE range now) if I can gain performance.

Any ideas? Anyone tried anything similar? I've read of pros riding moded setups for similar improvements. Just don't know any of them to ask.

Thanks in advance.

p.s. Not to start a shit storm or anything, but can we skip all the 'don't mess with the manufacturers magic setup' and 'you'll poke your eye out' comments. I understand the inherent risks of moding my gear and accept fully the possible outcomes. Small children my die, the earth will enter nuclear winter, etc...
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Re: Kite tuning/bridle questions....

Postby kitenaked » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:45 pm

Be more descript on your kite model and you may get more people to chime in.....
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Kite tuning/bridle questions....

Postby sc-surfer » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:57 pm

kitenaked wrote:Be more descript on your kite model and you may get more people to chime in.....


True dat! Although I might be the only guy riding Starkites SBow's in Ca!! Pretty much unheard of out here. Unfortunately I can't tell you if the bridle setup is similar to any others although I suspect it is prob similar to other bow kites out there.
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Re: Kite tuning/bridle questions....

Postby sflinux » Fri May 31, 2013 5:02 am

My suggestion is to sell your Starkites and buy something else. The biggest effect to a kite is its shape. Changing its bridle typically only affects its aoa and pivot point. I assume your kite looks like this:
Image
The above kite has 4 attachment points for the leading edge (you said yours has three), 1 attachment point for the trailing edge, and one that joins the two with a pulley.
With respect to your two goals: 1) more direct feel at the bar, 2) quicker turning
With respect to feel of the bar and turning speed, generally the attachment point at the trailing edge has the biggest effect. Typically as the steering pigtail goes away from the trailing edge (towards the leading edge), the bar pressure goes up. Some kites turn faster with the attachment towards the trailing edge (c-kites, C4's, deltas), and some turn faster with the attachment towards the leading edge (RPMs).
Typically the pulleyline that connects the front and rear of a kite is there to support the load of the shoulder of the kite. Be mindful that lines that pass through pulleys will shrink over time. With a bridle like this, once it becomes too short the handling of the kite becomes poor and the bar pressure goes up. You can add pigtails to extend it back to stock at the connector near the leading edge (not the trailing edge).
The 4 remainig bridles on the leading edge control the aoa of the kite. With a bridle like this, the one closest to the pulley being the most critical (bar pressure/flying speed). The bridles closest to the middle of the kite help keep the aoa low at the top of the wind range for depower. You could remove a bridle or two near the center of the kite, which would make the kite sit a little deeper in the window.
If you really want to experiment with tweaking the performance of this kite, you'll probably have to sew new bridle attachments into the kite. But I would keep your expectations low, as you are not changing the dna of the dog, just changing it coller/leash.
That's my two cents. I'm sure Bill Hanson could give you a more detailed explanation.
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Re: Kite tuning/bridle questions....

Postby CraM » Fri May 31, 2013 8:37 am

this style of bridle (front and rear connected through a pulley) is used in many brands of kites. LF, SS, BWS, etc

They, typically, are a little slower to respond to steering inputs as the rear lines have to pull through the pulley before the kite begins to turn. This delay is a good and bad thing.

Some unhooked riders love this feel as subtle steering inputs (while unhooked) have no real effect on the kite and allow the rider to surf or trick while the kite remained parked.

I learned a while back while kite testing that this isn't the feel that I personally care for. Primarily a hooked in surf rider, i like a kite that turns instantly and thus prefer the dedicated rear attachment point on kites.

Back in the day i remember at least one cabrinha and one naish kite that were "convertible" but this required bar modifications as well.

Another mod out there was to remove the bridles completely from the Wainman kites and run them as a 5 line. I have old school Ckite buddies that love them rigged like this.

Anything is possible as long as all the attachment points even out but, as others have said, might be a better deal to try some kites out and buy the one the suits you best.

I tested the Sbow a couple years back and really liked it in the surf, definitely that "slack" feel but pretty solid airframe from what i remember.

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Re: Kite tuning/bridle questions....

Postby Ron » Fri May 31, 2013 8:41 am

I removed the pullies on my cabrinha converts yrs ago and it increased responsiveness and bar pressure so yes it can be done. The manufatcurer provided instructions so you might wanna check with Star Kites and see if they have some for you. I had to change the leading edge bridles too (shorter) but again, all was part of the Cabrinha package. It was definitely an improvement for me.
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Re: Kite tuning/bridle questions....

Postby Ron » Fri May 31, 2013 8:43 am

I removed the pullies on my cabrinha converts yrs ago and it increased responsiveness and bar pressure so yes it can be done. The manufatcurer provided instructions so you might wanna check with Star Kites and see if they have some for you. I had to change the leading edge bridles too (shorter) but again, all was part of the Cabrinha package. It was definitely an improvement for me.
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Re: Kite tuning/bridle questions....

Postby sloughslut » Fri May 31, 2013 9:39 am

sflinux wrote:My suggestion is to sell your Starkites and buy something else.


Ha! maybe you should move up to Takoon kites. you cant polish a turd Lo)%
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Re: Kite tuning/bridle questions....

Postby le noun » Fri May 31, 2013 1:11 pm

I just hope that sc-surfer figured it out a year ago and didn't wait this long for an answer.
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Re: Kite tuning/bridle questions....

Postby marinaTKB » Fri May 31, 2013 1:17 pm

I would be very careful modifying a bridle. If you have ever followed a designer through the bridle tweaking process, you will understand! Just like how having 1 inch of uneven lines can change how a kite handles and control bar feels, same is true for most bridles (with even smaller differences of one inch)....
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