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Author Topic: How to fly in HIGH wind?  (Read 1996 times)
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Location: Frederick, CO

« on: July 18, 2010, 07:41 PM »

I live in Colorado and have never really flown when the wind is higher than 8-10 mph.

I am going to a lake in 2 weeks that is known for having higher winds than I am used to.

I do not want to buy another kite just to fly for that single weekend.

What things can I do to my current kites (Quantum, Zephyr, Hypnotist) that will allow them to not break their lines and not pull me off my feet?  I understand that I will need to put the bridle to the High Wind setting. 

Can I add my tails to slow it down?
Can I add my air brake to slow it down?
Should I purchase higher weight lines than my 150# x 85 ft lines?

Ya'll probably deal with this all the time.  As I have snapped my lines several times when the wind bursts.  If it breaks when I am there...I expect that it will end up in the lake!

"May you live until you die, no more, no less" - Eddie Izzard

"I'm not this way because I'm an Engineer.  I am an Engineer because I'm this way."
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Location: Pinckney, MI/Cincinnati, OH

« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2010, 08:18 PM »

You can do a lot of things. I personally like the windbrakes from skyburner, and heavy lines 200lb usually. If something is really, and i mean REALLY pulling, I'd do 300lb, but that is very rare.

If you're using weight in anything for higher winds, I add more also. and just keep the roll ups and the very, very, VERY end of the window.

tails will work nicely too, its a nice change of pace from normal flying every now and again as well.

-Devin Cobleigh-Morrison
Allen Carter
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2010, 10:51 PM »

150# line should be plenty strong enough if it's in good shape. Heavier line is stronger, but most often is used not so much for strength, but for drag. To slow the kite. I fly 150# line in 20 MPH with no worries. It's strong.

The Zephyr is probably going to break something if the wind is too strong.

The Quantum will get noisy and fast in high wind, but shouldn't break. I've flown one in 15-20 with no problems.

I've never seen a Hypnotist, so I cant comment other than, it's a bigger kite, so it may have more pull than the Quantum. The pull on the Quantum in high wind isn't to bad. My 12 year old daughter was having a blast in 15+ with hers.

A tail will slow the kite and make it easier to steer, but gets in the way of slack line tricks. Flying with a tail is fun on it's ow, though.

Air brakes are the thing. If they fit the kite, both physically and aerodynamically, they can make a kite easier to fly in medium high wind. Like 10-15. The effect is harder to notice some times in higher wind.

Have fun!

Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2010, 11:59 PM »

my preference is to fly longer lines in heavier wind. playing around more with shapes and figures, along with precision; rather than tricking which will just have you jogging forward in high wind. 150#x120' is currently what's in my bag.

there are other reasons to fly longer lines in higher wind but for me, it's just more fun.


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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 01:09 AM »

I tend to go with air brakes, R-sky generally, and 200# line if the wind is really nuking. This is purely to provide drag. You should be fine with 150lb. line as far as strength goes in anything below 30mph with the Quantum or Hypno which would be considerably above the rated wind range for either of those kites in any case.

BTW, either of those Two kites will pull like bears in high wind, just so you know.

Forget the Zephyr in high wind. You will destroy it in high wind.

Depending on what you want to do you can go longer or shorter with the line length.

Longer will provide more drag but you will have a larger power zone through the center of the wind window.

Conversely, shorter lines will make for a more responsive kite with a smaller window and therefor a smaller power zone that you can work around.

Generally, high winds can lead to more damage to kites, particularly when it isn't smooth wind. You may want to have some spare rods on hand. It wouldn't hurt to have an extra line set or Two either, just in case.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 01:13 AM by JimB » Logged
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Location: Long Island

« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 02:32 AM »

Hey there...
You could stop over at that place in Boulder and pick up some of their wind shields (I think that's what they call them) that attach to your lines below the kite. It's like a mesh screen that cuts some of the wind's power. A tail will slow things down, as will heavy lines. I have flown both the Quantum and Hypnotist in 25+ mph... the Hypno is the better kite once the wind's over 20mph, the Quantum pulls too hard.
That being said, these days I don't even bother if the wind's over 15mph. It's just not fun for me anymore. You know... a Micron might be fun or a Snapshot 1.2 in those higher winds. Either of those would cost as much as a heavy lineset. Then you wouldn't have to worry about damaging you good kites.
All this thought and preparation for your vacation assures you that there won't be a breath of a breeze when you get to the lake...  Cheesy

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Location: Frederick, CO

« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 05:48 AM »

Good stuff, all.  Thanks!

I have one of the air-brakes from ITW.  I used it once a while ago when the wind was too much.  I will definitely try it again.

I have no problems thrashing the Quantum.  Slightly less likely to thrash the Hypnotist.  They both are high wind kites which we rarely have here.  So, if they break, I am not out my favorite kite.

I am going to this lake for two night specifically to fly so not flying will make me pout in the sand.

It sounds like I should be ok with my 150# lines, air brake, three tails and on the high wind setting.  That will slow things down enough, right?

I really appreciate the help!

"May you live until you die, no more, no less" - Eddie Izzard

"I'm not this way because I'm an Engineer.  I am an Engineer because I'm this way."
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 08:57 AM »

To fly in high winds, hard enough to break the kite, fly off center. The greatest pressure on the kite occurs when the kite is in the center of the wind window. So you can reduce the pressure by flying "off wind" -  say 15 to 20 degrees to the left or right of the center. That places the kite slightly sideways to the wind which reduces the pressure on the sail. I never have been convinced that 300lb lines were effective except when the thickness of the lines slowed the speed on the kite. If you don't weigh 301 lbs, the lines won't break but if you weigh 299 pounds the pressure on the sail will equal 299 pounds/per square inch of the sail surface. Stoney
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010, 12:13 PM »

It's fun to fly in high wind.  Smiley

I never did enjoy it much however until I learned the insane, the comete, and the tip stab (and other aggressive landings).  For me, those tricks are fun and you can continue working them right up to the kites upper limit.  The insane and its variations are great for high wind and its not a difficult trick to learn.

You can still do other stuff that requires slack on the side of the window - even in crazy wind you can hideout there and work on floaty stuff. 

The downside is that if you are in gusty or shifting winds - then you can get into trouble easily when the kite unexpectedly majory powers up when you least expect it.  I usually just pack it up or pull out my vented rev in that wind.

6 kite tom
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2010, 03:54 PM »

One problem with Colorado winds is sometimes they might be registering 25 but they have the umpf of 8.   Other times you get a gust to 40 or 50 just to keep you on your toes.

What I found is good is brakes especially LS to US triangles.  Heavy lines or very heavy leaders about 30 feet long.  I mean about 500 lb test for those leaders.   It is the diameter of the leaders that really slow the kite down.  So maybe 150 pound about 80 to 120 feet and then 30 foot leaders.   That to me seemed to have the least effect on the kite performance.

Venting seems to screw up the kite and especially in our high altitude turbulent winds.

Anyway the most fun when the winds are ripping is a full vent REV.   Then the venting helps and the kite flys the same except it is easier to control and trick.

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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2010, 02:16 PM »

Nose forward
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2010, 03:13 PM »

Nose forward

Yeah, nose forward will probably help if the winds are really up. There really is no such thing as a "high wind setting," adjusting the angle of attack in either direction will affect flight performance in numerous ways which may or may not be appropriate for heavy or light winds.

Make small adjustments in either direction until it feels right. If you just push the nose back all the way and launch something like a Quantum in the middle of the window with the wind approaching 20 knots you will probably not like the outcome.

I know Prism puts those little tags on their bridles, but those are just general guidelines and should be taken with a grain (bag?) of salt.

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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2010, 05:52 PM »

personally i would just pick up a vented kite...there are some good deals out there.....

then in the winter when the wind picks up you will have a kite to fly!!!!

Kites kayaks & corgis again!!!
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