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Author Topic: Not so FAQ (apparently)  (Read 2171 times)
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Location: Missoula, MT

« on: March 15, 2010, 03:23 PM »

I have a handful of kites but most of them are two lines.  I m looking at the SLK world now and am looking for just a basic comparison of "typical" flight characteristics of different styles.  So, how do a diamond, delta, foil, sled, box, and a delta conyne differ in terms of wind speed range, stability, pull, angle of flight (does it fly straight overhead or out a bit) and overall "ease" to fly (as in, can a child fly it)?  Or, does each individual kite differ so much that it is not good to compare on a class basis?  What on earth does an "open keel" delta mean?  I think it means two pieces of fabric coming together where the line attaches.  What does that gain and/or lose?  So, there it is.  Thanks for the education.
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 07:00 PM »

Well all the designs can vary in each category depending on design differences from the manufacturers so it's hard to give a single broad answer.

Diamonds have the largest variance across what looks like similar designs, some will be stable, some will be dancers, the pull varies too, we have one that has a surprising amount of pull, most don't have too much. Medium flight angle. Not my first choice of designs.

Delta's are a good all around choice, normally a high angle flyer they are soaring kites and will ride thermals etc. Light pull. Some times they'll turn on you when riding a thermal, that's what the open keel is for, it provides a bit of drag to help keep the kite from overflying.

Foils have pull, they are lifters if you want to take up 'line laundry'. Some can fly at a high angle, most at a medium angle. Sleds fall into the same category but are a little easier to launch IMO, usually a lower angle of flight. But sleds are very prone to collapsing if you have shifting winds.

Boxes are the most work to setup and usually require more wind then other framed kites but there are so many interesting designs. Flight angles and pull vary as much as the shapes do.

Delta Conyne's are a great all around kite, you can't go wrong with a nice one of them and some matching transition tails, one of the most reliable flyers made, wide wind range, good flight angle, decent lifting ability in the larger sizes.

You left out Rokaku's, good flyers, medium angle, usually higher pull then Delta's. They are a great art platform, you'll find lots of appliqué designs available if that interests you.

Of course all these "Rule of thumb" can be argued, each kite really needs to be taken on its own merits.


"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

"People do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" George Bernard Shaw
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Location: Manteca, Ca

« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 12:37 AM »

I think everyone should have a Focus Skate. It's a combination of kite and glider for those no/low wind days. An Aerobe is fun too. Also don't overlook fighter kites, they have a wide wind range and can be flown with a tail for stability or no tail for interactivity.
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