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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Quad Line Kites (aka "the dark side") => Topic started by: B-13 on January 05, 2012, 08:41 PM

Title: First Quad flight
Post by: B-13 on January 05, 2012, 08:41 PM
Hello all Dark Siders.
After some wait the Supersonic is here and it's my ever first Quad line kite after the several dual lines i owe.
Has been very excited to fly it and watched every tutorials possible and read many books until it gets that it is here, things are not quite the same as in your mind :(

First flight on Wednesday to get some feel of it (First ever quad line flight too). Staked the handles as in the tutorials and walk down to end of the lines to get the kite connected, wind was a bit too low for it i think and it will just fly few feet before landing back. Waited a bit while having my hands on it on the ground and moving individuals wings (up, down, right & left) to know how things work in this new kite

Then winds picked up i managed to get it up... WHAT AM I DOING??? Being still too used with dual lines, i get the kite to move left or right or spins before crashing LE down 
Harder than i thought, i got some seconds of control before it will just dive towards me with LE forward or spins to much near the ground then crash...

Packed up all before i get something damaged on it's first flight then sat down watching a nice sunset

So now i am wondering what could have been wrongly done except user errors. Perhaps to light winds for it to get full control of it. Lines i received with it were #175 and i already built #150 85' for it just in case these are too heavy.
then another issue is that during the spins and turns, it is logic that the lines will twist (2 left twisted with 2 right lines) but is twisting withing the same side possible? I mean top lines will get twisted with bottom lines where the handles hasn't been rotated itself.
Hope my explanations here are clear enough so anyone can understand my issues and drop some help in my newbie Quad career.

Thanks for any help in advance


Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: Dano on January 05, 2012, 09:15 PM
You just helped me remember all those LE crashes as i first started out too.  ;D
That'll pass quickly as you develop your reflexes and learn how to control your brakes.

It'll all come quick to you, i bet.  ;)

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: Smeagol on January 05, 2012, 09:15 PM
Well.. first off, the SS probably isn't the best Rev to be learning on..  ;) it's one of the most fast & twitchy out of them all, but if it's all you've got:

  • make sure the lines are equalized
  • in lighter winds you could probably get away with a #90-100 lineset, would help in lower wind conditions
  • you need at least 5+ for the SS to do much
  • typically the lines on the same handle won't twist unless you're flipping the handle in your hand while flying somehow (hard to do unless you're really trying) or they may get twisted when picking up from the ground/stake accidentally - just always check they're not twisted before relaunching
  • remember with the Revs it's more pitching of your wrists up/down for control than left/right as in duals

Have fun with it though, I miss my SS on those ballistic wind days.


Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: B-13 on January 05, 2012, 10:10 PM
Dano, thanks for the encouraging words.. Practice will make it good one day :)

- Lines are equals (99,9%)
- I will make a set of shorter #90 lines for light wind days
- I didn't changed the handles from left to right hands but i did make twists with the left and right lines. Anyway this was my first flight and i think wind itself was not cooperative that day..
- Pitch control is where i think i am failing here. Has been to used with arms movement with the duals those last months.

I also lengthened the top leaders of my handles. Added a 7" leader with 3/4" knots apart as it has been suggested to me by someone. The bottom leader it self 2" approx has not been modified..but strangely, the handles need to be pull backward for take off and the longer leaders make it almost horizontal in the hand when taking off..
Do any of you modified their handles like this and effects of it on the flight.



Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: thief on January 06, 2012, 03:52 AM
That supersonic is not a great first quad unless you have some one with you to guide you all of the time.......this from the guy who learned how to fly quad on a guild works minergy-super small, fast and insanely twitchy.

A hint given me about 15 years ago was to put a rubber band around your wrists....that will gently remind you to keep your hands next to each other, and let you easily twist yir wrists to control the kite.....
Eventually you will end up splitting your hands apart while flying but at the beginning stage keeping them next to each is necessary.....

Pick steady winds...this kite will power up in a gust and start to scream across the sky in a gust....... will need to take your time, flying a quad is not something that you get the finite movements the first month of flying-unless you are flying everyday.....

Keep at it.
Good winds

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: Bob D on January 06, 2012, 03:57 AM
It sounds like your top leaders are too long. You shouldn't have to tip the handles to horizontal to take off. Move your attachment closer to the handle to see if that helps. You should just be able to tip the handles back to take off. (Leaders are best if you want to add or subtract braking. It's probably not too useful for just starting out.)

Quad inputs are very different from duals. Make sure that you tip the handles back at the same rate to go straight up. The SS needs a bit more wind but it will get too fast too quickly if the wind is too strong. Try and move up and down short distances for starters. Once you're okay with that, tip the right handle forward to spin right. Tip the left handle forward to go left.

My first Rev was a SS too and it took a long time for me too because it moves so fast.

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: REVflyer on January 06, 2012, 04:17 AM
you need to determine how much "down" you want tuned into the leader and handle arrangements, but based upon your own comfort level.  Where, on the handles, do you want to place your hands?  do you squeeze fingers, or rotate wrists or push thumbs forward to effect control?  Which ever one you like is correct!  It's about developing your own style, comfort positioning and the amount of "down" in your tuning.

So, now you're on the field, set the kite up with the leading edge resting on the ground.  You need steady wind of at least 10 mph,... smooth & from one direction (this is as much about your flying location as it is the weather).  You are going to keep adjusting the leader lengths (miniscule adjustments!) UNTIL the kite will back-up from this inverted position by a slight movement of your hands.  For me that's a slight push forward with my thumbs, Barresi squeezes the grip, Smitty doesn't use his thumbs at all,... there's no correct way, it's a personal preference.

The exercise that will give you the most bag for the buck?  Practice inverted flight from the ground to shoulder height, then land it s-l-o-w-l-y all the while holding it rock steady.  You will find "less is more".  Try a light delicate touch, tiny handle adjustments, add some energy by walking backwards a step or two. 

Eventually you'll get sick of this exercise, so go chase some clouds, but keep coming back to this until you can back the kite up inverted to the top of the wind window.  This skill set will take many hundreds or even thousands of hours to perfect!   You have mastered quadline flight when you can hold a stationary hover, anywhere in the sky, in any orientation and fly with complete control in reverse.

The handle tuning to determine how much "down" is about getting the sail square to the wind.  That's when it has the maximum pressure.  Imagine you had a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood and you're holding it against a wind tunnel's worth of force.  You should know that if you angle the wood either towards the wind or away you're dumping and redirecting that pressure.  The board doesn't push as hard against your shoulder.  Well the SS kite sail works the same way as that wood, except now you can angle one wing forward and one wing back (twisting or torquing).  This isn't new technology!, the Wright Bros did this before developing a rudder and aileron using four lines and handles on a kite.

The lines must be absolutely perfect in equal length, not close enough, not ever!  Place all four loose lines onto one well-place stake, then affix your handles and pull 'em back tightly, the handles should align perfectly.  Put the left handle into your right hand and try it again.  If they aren't perfect you're shooting yourself in the foot before starting a marathon.  You might still finish but you're making it painfully difficult needlessly, heck it's tough to watch your agony from the sidelines!

The single best piece of advise is to go find some other quad-heads to assist you.  It will cut years of frustration away, possibly saving you thousands of dollars as well (but maybe NOT, ha!)

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: mikenchico on January 06, 2012, 07:45 AM
In my experience it takes 3 days to get basic control of a quad down, first day lots of crashes like you descibe, second day you'll experience some control but still crash, third day things will start to click. You are right where I would expect you to be, don't get discouraged.

Line twists: I get the picture that after crashing you may be trying to remove the twists before relaunch by passing the handles one over the other like you might a dual line. Doesn't work for quads, The kite spun, you have to spin the handles, hold them together and spin them to remove twists.

Have a blast.

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: B-13 on January 06, 2012, 08:20 AM
Really appreciate your inputs everyone and thanks for the help here.
As Mike said, i think that the second, third or even tenth tentative would be better than the first one.

Yeah Mike, i think that i passed the handles onto one another to get them untwisted. So as you described, i just hold them together and twists them? Hhmm seems weird but will try it..anyway i trust you guys here :)

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: mikenchico on January 06, 2012, 12:24 PM
That keeps the handles in the same relationship to the kite that the kite spun in. When you pass the handles hand over hand and keep the top up you'll untwist the two sets of lines, right & left, but you won't untwist the two individual sets, the two lines connected to one handle. I'm sure almost every quad flier will tell you they experienced the same thing their first flights. I know I did   :-\

You could picture it like this, what would happen if the kite were stationary and you were spinning? The handles would be parrallel and spinning with you, you have to reverse that to untwist the lines. Of couse you could hold the handles just like you were and do some cartwheels to untwist them ... LOL ... sorry couldn't resist  :-X   :D

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: B-13 on January 07, 2012, 11:34 AM
So today wind was fine for the Supersonic 12-15kmh. Nice constant sea breeze
Had almost 20mins sorting out the lines (#175) i received with the kite, walked from kite to stake more than 25 times to get them separated and untwisted lol. Just a bad line management from the start even if i followed JB tutorials (thanks BTW)
First day is CHAOTIC!!! LOL 
Told myself i would not want to wait another flight session as i could miss that perfect wind condition. Concentrated and forgot all from dual line and controls
Launch...spins...crashhhh!!! Had another 10mins sorting out what lines and handles i was holding then tried again with more concentration.
Here i am now, handles only 10-12 cms apart in my hands, trying to get both perfectly equal and up again, spins but managed this time to get it back LE pointing up 
Applied some brakes to let it down straight and repeated this hundreds times until 100% forward and reverse back to the ground.

What a strange feeling i got when i get it back to the top of the window, stopped it there, then reverse it to the ground, few inches and back up again..
Practiced some vertical moves too but they are not as stable as in horizontal flight and still practicing hovering in vertical while pulling upper part toward the wind.
I changed from #175 to a #150 a made myself and the kite flew way better..perhaps less drag on the line and more responsive. Second time unwinding the lines was better and took me only minutes to start flying. but still need to manage them better
Here is a little video my flight mate recorded from the cellphone and this is dedicated to you all here who helped me with this little rocket

So thanks a lot everyone and i will post a better video when i get better at Rev year lol

Stepping into the Dark Side  ;D

RevSupersonic - 1st flight.mp4 (

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: Smeagol on January 07, 2012, 12:25 PM
Awesome!  Looks like you're getting it figured out..

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: KiteLife on January 09, 2012, 09:03 PM
YAY, looks great - excellent start - congrats! :)

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: REVflyer on January 10, 2012, 04:44 AM
I want the leading edge pointed at the ground, (not up!) in your practice sessions.  You need to become comfortable in this orientation, so when a bad things do happen you don't go surging into mother earth at excessive speeds. 

*** Relax, we all made this practice session very ugly in the beginning.  ***

The kite rockets into the ground the moment we relaxed our focus.  In reality the kite is more stable in this inverted orientation.  The weight is at the bottom (leading edge) and the kite is tuned so that a neutral hover is your most comfortable position of grip, handle and leader.

Again,... fly it to waist high, hold it there a solid moment and then s-l-o-w-l-y lower it back again to the ground, all the while holding in this inverted position. 

Of course the kite will fly forward, dare I say almost effortlessly!  You need to prevent that or at least greatly limit it's forward speed unless you DEMAND it to fly forward.  Instead work on holding it rock steady and making small/tiny/miniscule/nano-width adjustments.  Less is more!

I've been flying quads almost 20 years and my inverted ascent to the top of the window still doesn't look halfway decent.  It's better, but never as good as it could be!

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: Bob D on January 11, 2012, 04:32 AM
The SS does great dive stops! Looks like you got the up and down. Try turning it around and flying it down and then putting the brakes on before it hits the ground.

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: KiteLife on January 11, 2012, 10:21 AM
Another great practice, try the various IRBC compulsory shapes for competition... (

There's a key moment when you switch from simply "trying to keep it up" to actually putting the kite in a direction and orientation that you want... Regardless of your initial success, just having and attempting a flight plan will accelerate your learning process. ;)

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: B-13 on January 11, 2012, 11:11 AM
Thanks everyone for the support. Bob, i can actually dive stop the SS 1-3 feet from the ground but must fine tune it and trying to keep it in a hover. It is now flying back up in reverse too quickly :) but i will keep practicing it until i get a Rev 1.5

John, thanks for the link. I am now trying to fully control the kite from up down, fly forward in vertical and hover it vertically. I keep the upper part toward the wind to keep constant and stable altitude and practicing it not flying forward or reverse. Turning 180deg and doing same with the other wing.
I know the SS is a bit hard to learn on but taking full control of this beast will make my learning on another more precise kite easier (i hope lol)
It's the brake that i need to fine tune right now as i apply sometimes too much or too little in stop maneuvers.

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: dayhiker on January 04, 2013, 05:07 PM
Sounds like what I am currently doing.  I've read, watched, pretended & have come to the realization I really just need to get in flight time.  "Flew" the Revolution 1.5 for an hour today & made some progress.  For me it is so challenging that even minor progress is enough.
update 1/20/13 Third time flying the 1.5 today, finally had that key moment John mentions.  Took three sessions just as Mikenchino had said.  A few more flights & I will launch the Power Blast I have waiting.  Watching the Power Blast DVD a couple times really helped me understand what to do.  It will just get better each time now I'm sure.

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: trigger on January 04, 2013, 07:59 PM
You will soon have great control and be amazed at what you can do.   Play with the brake settings in different wind- it really helps with hovers and reverse flight.

I have only flown since september and feel i can hold my own with others(i mean that loosely!)  Now i make sure to add music and John had the great idea on practicing patterns.  Kinda work it all together and have a great time outside enjoying the wind.  Hopefully you can meet some people in your area that will accelerate your progress 10fold!

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: dayhiker on January 05, 2013, 05:36 PM
Actually I have never seen anyone fly a Rev.  But will fly with the Got Wind? people as soon as they get together again.  No one flies kites where I live.  I intend to change that.

Title: Re: First Quad flight
Post by: trigger on January 05, 2013, 06:55 PM
There are some great clubs around.. they are your portal!  Kite festivals are great too.  Both may require some driving but are well worth it!  Look in the members sections and see if they have locators also.  You may find some people close by. 

  If you ever get up to chicago area.....I think I can get a few guys together for ya!!!!