GWTW Forum

Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kites => Topic started by: ae on June 26, 2011, 11:49 AM



Title: Flexifoils
Post by: ae on June 26, 2011, 11:49 AM
So today i got to fly my new, used, Flexifoil Super 10.
Damn, i forgot completely how much fun those things are.
Wind was between 4 and 8mph in guests, but it did flow well and pretty fast as well.

Makes me wonder why those beasties seem to have fallen out of favor. At least over here in Germany noone still carries them and you can count on one hand the ones you see actually flying over a year.

Crappy picture alert!

(http://www.gods-inc.de/flexi2.jpg)


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: chilese on June 26, 2011, 12:32 PM
Germany does have a fair amount of overcast days.

I remember the summer of 1973 in Germany. It was a Tuesday.  :D

Any picture of a kite is a good picture.  :)


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: lylenc on June 26, 2011, 03:17 PM
I have two 6' and a 10'. I flew the first 6' a lot and tried stacking the two of them. Decided the stack's extra pull wasn't worth it for me, since could only see the front kite anyway from my point of view. Got the 10' after seeing a guy fly one in really light wind. I've only flown it a few times at the low end and had to pump to do infinities. Never have tried it in higher wind since can't tolerate hard pull. The 10' took almost the entire window vertically in light wind to make the turns on each side of the infinities. It was graceful and fun to watch. Haven't flown them much after getting into slack line tricks, but pull them out when in old school mood.


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: DD on June 26, 2011, 05:00 PM
As cool as the flexi are(owned a 6' and 8', would love to find a hotshot for sale)
there are other foils that are faster and more agile but down side for me was launching them and my arms are long enough already :D


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: Magpiesfooty on June 26, 2011, 05:57 PM
I remember flying back in the early 90's, in Abilene, TX, with a stack that started with five, 6 footers in winds that bordered on 50 MPH.  We dropped it back to a stack of three and was pulled all over Redbud Park.    :-X    I can now easily tie my shoes without bending over.  LOL!!

We even made the evening weather segment.
 
I have a Hotshot and a 10 foot, unfortunately neither is for sale.  I also have a Scorpion, Phantom and an early Skyburner from them.

Happywinds, 

Magpiesfooty.


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: mikenchico on June 26, 2011, 11:10 PM
First Flexifoil was a Pro Team 8 from before branding, love that kite, we now have a 6 also. They don't see a lot of airtime but they are usually with us in case the winds are up and we get in that mood. I've flown a few other foils, IMO there's nothing like a Flexifoil

Always wanted a 10', love the colors on yours ae.



Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: zippy8 on June 26, 2011, 11:32 PM
Makes me wonder why those beasties seem to have fallen out of favor.

If you want to fight with the wind, soft foils do it better.
If you want to cut pretty shapes in the air, framed kites do it better. And do more.

Pretty much as soon as those two styles of kites developed a bit then the Flexi was doomed unless you actually wanted to fly a Flexi and nothing else.

The major drawback of the design is the sheer head banging difficulty of solo launching in anything but optimum conditions. A delicate touch, the eyes of a hawk and the luck of the Irish were all needed. Once that mesh opening had pointed itself just a little bit too far downwards.... :'(

And if you landed it inverted and were determined not to walk to the kite then you were in for a sisyphean (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyphus) struggle. :o

Ah... memories. Possibly though the only dualline kite where "stick a tail on it" is acceptable advice however.

Mike.


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: Smeagol on June 26, 2011, 11:39 PM
I'm a die-hard Flexifoil fan as well, once in awhile I'll get the urge to break them out.  There's just something cool about their "old school-ness."  I've got 2 4's, 2 6's, 6 or 7 8's, 2 10's, and the insane Hyper 16.  That enough?  Heh.  2 of those 8's just recently picked up from the swap are RM8's.  I guess Premier now makes them under Ray's name?  Anyone know the story there?

I have yet to try the Hyper 16, I'm just waiting for the right day I guess.  A few months back I had set up the 2x 6's and 2x 8's in a stack but I never got them launched due to flaky wind conditions.  

I agree the annoying thing about them is launching (without help, at least).  Not much of an issue on the smaller Hotshot or Stackers, but launching a 3 stack of 8's or 2 10's solo is fairly difficult.  I've had some success using 2 spars as "ramps" to launch up the last kite but the wind has to be just right to pull that off correctly.  It's much easier to just get someone to hold up the last flexi.  ;)

-Mike


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: ae on June 27, 2011, 01:07 AM
Nice, i always wanted a hyper 16 when i was jounger. But i'm getting closer to one now. Next in my bag will be two hyper 12's that i located. Just waiting for the shipping to get here.
The hotshot is great in gale winds!


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: kiteking on June 27, 2011, 08:05 AM
I was just flying all my Flexi's Saturday in Lincoln City, I have 2- 6 footers and a 4 footer all from the 80's.
They always fly great, I never seem to have trouble launch/re-launch. I start with them upside down, then snap one side to spin/flip them over...wait...wait... and then it will start to hop then zip into the sky. One of my six footers (blue) does take a little longer to catch the wind but if you wait a little longer and wiggle it, it launches every time. My son was self-launching the blue six footer after me only showing him one time how to spin it.



Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: lylenc on June 27, 2011, 08:44 AM
Solo launching wasn't too hard on grass or hard sand with sail right side up. Launching from inverted position was about 33% if memory is correct, usually had line snag. Higher winds helped flip the sail over the leading edge when recovering from inverted position. On loose sand, I'd put one end on my kite bag and pull the end on the sand into the wind, so the sand wouldn't plug the mesh. If the wind was too low to fill the sail, a slow and steady pull with alternate hands usually filled the sail, otherwise would put one end on the kite bag and wait for a bigger puff of wind. Once off the ground, it was line laundry while leading edge was straight. Once it bent, the arms were stretched alright. I learned too that the joint(s) needed to be taped. I also put a glob of hot glue on each end of the leading edge so the lines' larksheads wouldn't pull off in flight or during dragging for relaunch.


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: thief on June 27, 2011, 09:09 AM
 I guess Premier now makes them under Ray's name?  Anyone know the story there?

-Mike

Ray has licensed Premier to make the RM speedfoil.   He tweaked the design a tiny bit found a new rod for it and there they went....it is also my understanding that the connection between him and Ff was tenuous at best when he first moved over here...then it got worse and Ff wanted to go further into power kites (ala kite boarding, buggying et al).....and when he and premier started to work together that was the end of the familiar relationship..

on another note there is also:
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3473/3747504766_59f2ff46b0_z.jpg)
Fun Flex
I have held one of these in my hands...unfortunately i was not allowed to keep it, nor buy it....this was made by Ray in the mid 70s.....


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: Lex B on June 27, 2011, 11:15 AM
Possibly though the only dualline kite where "stick a tail on it" is acceptable advice however.

Mike.
I oppose !!!!!!!!
There's never an excuse to put a tail on A Flexy  ;)


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: zippy8 on June 30, 2011, 05:49 PM
that's all the 'lore' I am aware of, good luck and keep em flying!

If it's Ye Olde Lore that you're looking for then here (http://kites.tug.com/Flexi/flexi.html) it is.

This is one of the most comprehensive posts (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.kites/browse_thread/thread/839e98cb31ca0af2/9feb68ba2e9b5297?lnk=gst&q=flexifoil+motorbike#9feb68ba2e9b5297) on the subject of Flexis that I recall from rec.kites. The section on Power stuck with me, particularly the bit about a single or double flexi tends to be a vicious beast, a stack is much more of a gentle giant as I would regard a brace of 10' Flexis as the most dangerous thing I've ever tried, much more so than a double figure stack of 6'-ers. The speed at which those 10'ers could go from milling about to I-keeeeeeeel-you wasn't much fun. The big uns (12' and above) just need too damn much arm and too damn much sky to do much with.

Mike.


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: ae on July 01, 2011, 11:54 AM
Most insane i have flown where a stack of 10 6' in like 8-9 BFT winds. Was on a beach and i guess i was outspeeding cars on my behind.


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: Smeagol on July 01, 2011, 12:43 PM
Heh, crazy!  Most I've managed on higher wind days with stacks was 3x 8' and 2x 10' on a different occasion.  The 2x 10' was quite the handful if I remember correctly, equal to about 6 6's.  One of these days I want to try 2x 6' 2x 8' 2x 10' at once but the winds will have to be just right.  Maybe I'll leave off one of the 10's just to be safe.  ;)

While we're on the topic of Flexi's, if anyone has any spare Pro Team 8 spars (centers or ends, doesn't matter) let me know as I'm looking for some.  The ends are the same for the 6/8/10's.  Not sure on the 12'.

-Mike


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: zippy8 on July 03, 2011, 12:45 PM
Oh aye. I knew I had one more thing to forward about Flexifoils.  :(

You should all know of Dean Jordan. You may not know about an accident he had. This is his recalling of what happened.

The date was May 1991, the place was Wildwood, NJ. I was hospitalized for two weeks in agony, and then confined to a wheel chair for three months. I was flying a twelve stack of 10' flexi's when i flew into the ground. George Baskette possibly saved my life by keeping me immoble for the next few hours while well intentioned people, including rescue personel, tried to move me. I had shattered my pelvis and broken it in six or seven places as well as crushed my coxax and lower spine.
Source. (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.kites/msg/0729a3a9eaed441d)

Do be careful out there.

Mike.


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: ae on July 03, 2011, 02:27 PM
Auch,

Yes, anchored power flying is probable the most dangerous method of all. Listen to Dean folks, simply Don't.


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: Ca Ike on July 03, 2011, 03:13 PM
Auch,

Yes, anchored power flying is probable the most dangerous method of all. Listen to Dean folks, simply Don't.
I don't think Dean was fully anchored when he had that accident but rather "lifting" which, if I understand right is the power kite equivalent to parasailing. Or jumping letting the kites lift you up whitch is stupid anyway.


Title: Re: Flexifoils
Post by: thief on July 03, 2011, 03:24 PM
Oh aye. I knew I had one more thing to forward about Flexifoils.  :(

You should all know of Dean Jordan. You may not know about an accident he had. This is his recalling of what happened.

The date was May 1991, the place was Wildwood, NJ. I was hospitalized for two weeks in agony, and then confined to a wheel chair for three months. I was flying a twelve stack of 10' flexi's when i flew into the ground. George Baskette possibly saved my life by keeping me immoble for the next few hours while well intentioned people, including rescue personel, tried to move me. I had shattered my pelvis and broken it in six or seven places as well as crushed my coxax and lower spine.
Source. ([url]http://groups.google.com/group/rec.kites/msg/0729a3a9eaed441d[/url])

Do be careful out there.

Mike.


more to this story:

The reason that Dean had the accident was because all of the flyers doing this were required to wear a helmet....dean had grabbed a helmet and thumped it on...it was a bit big............
as he was being lifted the helmet slipped down over his eyes and he got disoriented...he ended up powering the kites straight down into the beach instead of flying upwards to lift himself....thus powering himself into the deck as well.......