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I had rrd and f ones, they both do this. to flag kite i had to pull up to y grab a front line and pull in a few hand fulls to self land, flag out. my kites now one front line slides through y so it will flag, self land on own . problem is rrd f one re launch off water easier where as new kites if your not quick, it will be tangeld mess.
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My buddy and I had to drop our kites in 50+ knots at OB last year, on the beach. A 7m rrd and I my 8m rpm.... cause we were lit. I punched out, kite depowered and fell to the beach, I walked up the one line very slow and steady and was able to get to my kite safely. My buddy looked at me and told me to hold onto his harness while he punched out (he didn't land it to me cause he wanted to test out the depower of the safety system). He punches out and the kite flips over a couple of times and falls to the beach... except it wasn't depowered, it had enough that we were both pulled down the beach while trying to regain our footing. Finally we had enough leverage to stop it, but the kite was still flipping around pulling, significantly, and definitely not "depowered" as some have said above. I ran down and secured the kite... no way in hell he could of done this all by himself.
We came to the conclusion if you know you are going to punch out on that system and you have time its best to just hook the leash up to the "ohh shit" handle (one flying line) and let it go. This will depower your kite, but no relaunching once you do this. Back in the day this is how all the safety's worked, except they had stopper balls on the line so it wouldn't run up the entire length of it.
I'll say it how it is, the rrd bar didn't do its job when punched out on the "safety" line in high winds.
2010 UG FLX
2012 Firewire Flexfire Strapless
Thank you for sharing your experience with this. Got me thinking that perhaps we can set up a day out at ocean beach (or another big open area) where we can all come test our safety systems with someone to hold the harness and another holding some type of fifth-line safety to wing-tip or pump leash. I'm sure many people out there may very well have an issue and don't know about it until it's too late.
Also, you're an insane man for being out on an 8m in 50 knots… innnnsane.
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Thanks to all for the feedback--good stuff. It's interesting to read everything from "I've been flying RRD kites with no problems" to "I had the exact same experience you had."
I'm also seeing "the kite really doesn't flag well in light winds." But also: "the kite really doesn't flag well in high winds." Should I not be disturbed by this? Isn't the whole point of the quick release to depower your kite--PERIOD--regardless of conditions?
Here's a little more info to address several other comments: The kite is not hooked up "suicide style." It's hooked into the ring that is the "correct" one for flagging out (supposedly). There are no pulleys on the bridal. There is a single line running from your leash which separates into a "Y" at a certain point and makes the two inner connections to the kite. When you punch out, the bar slides up to the stopper, but the line has full tension and the two attachment points on the kite pretty much allow the kite to maintain its shape, causing it to have little or no flagging action. You then have to climb up and wrap that line, and then wrap all your lines, while you have a powered kite. In the meantime, while you're attempting all this, the kite is bouncing, flopping, somersaulting, wrapping itself in lines, and possibly death-looping.
As NCKite_Ryder pointed out, his friend had a similar experience and there's no way he would've been able to control the kite had he been alone. This was similar to what happened to me the other day in my practice session. I eventually had to pull the final release and let the kite completely go, hoping that it wouldn't take off. Imagine if you had to do this at, God forbid, Berkeley, where the Frontage Rd. and Hwy. 880 are just past the landing zone!
I share jwest21's concern that many of us may go months or years without needing to punch out and may be in for a rude awakening when we have to grapple with this problem for the first time in a real-world self-rescue scenario. I think getting together in an open public space and testing this out is a great idea.
I have rrd and also have had no major problems (modified bar but 80% rrd) You should expect unpredictable results from any brand kite outside the recommended wind range for that particular size. A very important thing to verify is your flagging line is free of twists between it and the center lines ( a swivel helps) to ensure it won't hang up when you need it. Kite safety systems have become much safer in the last 5-10 years, but they aren't perfect. Never hesitate to immediately use the final release if you have punched out and the kite is trying to kill you
It was mid 30's when we went out and it ramped quickly to the point that we had to quit. I didn't launch my kite in 50+ winds... however my 6m handles that, didn't have one that day.
This is the graph for the ocean buoys.... 29-MAY-2011 (the Funston graph was broken due to high winds that day but as the locals know OB is heavier... our wind meter was gusting to 56, maybe it was mph idk)
2010 UG FLX
2012 Firewire Flexfire Strapless
Several people have stated this. I don't doubt it's sincere, but if you never have to punch out, you won't have a problem. If you punch out on land in light wind and your kite luckily flops into the depowered position, you won't have a problem.
If, however, you have to self-rescue in windy/gusty conditions a mile from shore and wrap your lines with a still-powered kite, you may find out you have a problem.
Since one of the main reasons for self-rescuing is when the wind dies, it seems to me any kite should allow you to reliably self-rescue in light winds. I don't think this is as much of an issue with too-strong winds because most people (if they have sense) will not be out in those conditions.
This may be true, but it wasn't an issue in my case.
I don't expect perfection, just a kite that does what it's supposed to do when you punch out: depower fully, or at least mostly. I've had kites that do this so I know it's possible.
The RRD bar has oh shit handles on the bar ends. Has anyone ever tried to use an oh shit handles in over powered conditions on a RRD kite? ( I've heard of some kites (i.e. waroo) looping when using a bar end oh shit flag out line.) I would assume RRD kites flag out fine with the oh shit bar end, as it comes stock on the bar. If this assumption is correct, to self land, I would depower the trim cleat, move my leash from the chicken loop to a bar end oh shit ring (make sure you clip into the correct ring), unhook, dive the kite to crash, then hand over hand work to get to the upper front line and tug on that to try to get the kite to land down on its leading edge (as NCKiteRyder described). If anything goes wrong, just let go of the bar and lines (note: keep your body upwind and free of the lines), and the kite should flag out (if the above assumption is correct).
Except that the latest RRD bar no longer has Oh Shit Handles - whoops. Love my Obsessions but this is a factor in my next purchase. I am hoping f-one steps up with a bar that flags out otherwise I may move to Slingshot for my next quiver.
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