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Author Topic: Tricking the Fearless SUL Tattoo  (Read 7057 times)
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Dolphinboy
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« on: July 27, 2010, 05:39 PM »

I wrote a brief Fearless SUL Tattoo review on the old forum. I'm re-posting it below with a few new comments here first in blue text.

There have been some that have had trouble with the SUL Tattoo and JLs or the 1/2 Lazy to Fade. Maybe the Fade roll out to Turtle too I'm not sure. In another thread we were discussing this and possibly it having to do with the deep Turtle of the Fearlesses. I tend to think it's not the reason having flown almost all the Fearless versions and not seeing an issue with the Turtle position on them. They all have the same deep Turtle.

Lam puts a pretty good sized chunk of weight on the tail of the Fearless, SULs included. Having spent some time playing around with weights, I would think that has a lot to do with the way the Tattoo behaves. Very light kite + lots of TW = some compromises in the way the kite tricks. There are also some benefits or people just wouldn't do it. Backspins and rolling up etc. are some tricks usually enhanced by adding more tail weight. I'm no kite design expert but I have seen this many times. To be fair if you throw the deep Turtle in to the equation who knows? I do know that when I add more weight to kites especially UL & SULs they have a tendency to loose an easy Pancake to Fade and possibly the 1/2 Lazy to Fade too.

I don't want to come across as conceited, but I really don't see much of a problem with the JL on the SUL Tattoo myself. The kite does need some precise / careful inputs at times but nothing out of the ordinary for a SUL. Different than a standard? Yeah, but easy enough.

For the JL let the kite settle back into the Turtle before the 1/2 Lazy input and pulling through to the Fade. Then just sweep, do not yank, add slack and you're in a Fade. You can also hit JLs quicker by just flicking the kite about with more of a wrist snap type input. The kite will then roll out of the Fade quickly and drop back into the Turtle quick too. Think more momentum. The kite is light but pitchy too.

A few more thoughts:

Do not over do the inputs and watch your slack especially in super low wind, too much slack & it's over, you've lost your control of the kite. Keep backing up, watch the input intensity and adjust inputs for the wind strength!

The Fearless SUL Tattoo is lighter than a Fearless SUL and tricks a little different. The SUL Tattoo takes a bit softer hand and a little more time to rotate though most tricks. The exception would be Backspins, Lazy / Multi- Lazies and over rotated Flic Flacs can be performed quickly. Standard Flic Flacs need a smooth sweep from Pancake to Fade.

I like to keep the kite lower in the window for most tricks. They just feel and look better too me.

A couple of tricks I didn't mention in the original review:

Taz - very good & easy to hit. This is a SUL so give it some time and enough slack for the rotation and it's SWEET.

Comete - Pretty straight forward but don't bang on it. You can go fast if you like but take it easy with the intensity. They look real good though.

Multi Lazies - It'll lazy until the lines bind up if you want. You can hit these fast if you like or slow them way down. Hit them hard and fast and they'll rise, slow and you'll probably loose some altitude if the winds real light. Lazy cascades are easy.



Here is the original review from 2008, I'll add a video showing some JLs too. I didn't measure the wind during the video but it was Super Ultra Light  Wink :


Skysport Design's (Lam Hoac's) Fearless SUL
The SUL trickers Holy Grail? Maybe...
 
I have owned a Fearless SUL Tattoo version for a couple of months. The Tattoo version has a single color sail which limits the seams and causes, according to Lam, less drag. This gives it an even lower bottom wind range.
 
When I first got my Fearless SUL, Lam told me to fly it and get a feel for it before I tried to trick it. I had test flown one already so I ignored that advice, as if I would have listened anyway, and started flicking it around the first moment I got it airborne, no problem. I did struggle with some very bumpy winds the first couple of times out with it, though.
 
My impression of the Fearless SUL when I fly it is it looks very graceful and precise as it tricks..... it just flat out looks cool tricking. It definitely has a UL / SUL look / feel but still pitches about pretty easy. As easy or easier than many standards. It looks and feels like a Lam kite, not too different from a Sea Devil light or SUL I've flown. To me, Lam's kites have their own unique feel and flight qualities not quite like any others. It's not very floaty for a SUL but it will trick down to zero mph and fly with some drive in just a tickle ( much less than 1mph) of a breeze with some moving about. I only fly it when the wind is less than about 3 mph and usually even less so I can't comment on the upper wind range.  The Fearless responds well to small quick inputs in most situations but be careful or you can find yourself with extra slack & no control in the lightest winds.
 
 
Top Positives of the Fearless SUL:
Fade - Super stable even in the lightest winds. Stake it stable. No wind just back peddle.
Backspin - Easy, a sharper hit flattens it out and use long pull for more of a roll type bs. It will bs endlessly or until your lines bind up. Not bad for a SUL!
Lazy Susan, Inverse - Goes back easy and rotates fast or slow high or low in the window. Good control. Sometimes it'll feel like it wants to get stuck in the turtle but just hit it and it doesn't.
Flare / Flic Flac - It has a dead spot (like many kites) if you let the nose get too high in the flare so pull back to a fade quickly. Over rotated flic flacs are excellent and once you get it pitching, just haul a$$ toward it and it can roll up twice from a Fade! Yo Flics baby!
Yoyo - Rolls up from many positions. Two pops need to hit be very even or it rolls crooked. It will roll up multiple times from a single input. Not the quickest or easiest (or hardest either!) kite to roll up (compared to a std) but it's not hard and for a UL / SUL probably the best I've tried of this type.
JL - Are very nice looking and you can flick them quick even in light wind with just a snap of the wrist or slow them down. If slow, make sure the nose is deep in the half turtle before you pull to the fade position and your golden.
Slots & 540s etc. - Really, really nice. Lines clear the wing tips without a fuss and it looks great doing these.
Wap do waps - This is a trick where you need to learn it's timing and give a bit more slack during the rotation or it won't rotate 360 deg. Once you get the touch - very nice.
The half axel / cascade - Again, the Fearless gets top marks for looks on these and they're ez too.
Does (almost?) all the tricks even in SUL form!!! The limiting factor here is the pilot (me)
Super Low wind trickability - A++
Build Quality -  As usual from Lam, top shelf.
 
Negatives
Bumpy wind - It can get in awkward positions & drop very quickly especially in the bumpy stuff higher in the window.
Slack control -  Not really a negative just keep an eye on your lines & limit the slack a bit more than some others.... except for certain tricks (like Wap do Waps) need just a bit more.
Crazy copter - I haven't had much luck hitting them. I just can't get it to roll forward consistently.
Cost $$$$$ - I had to sell three kites & kick in a couple extra bucks to pay for it.
For me, some tricks had a bit more of a learning curve than I initially felt they would.
 
Most of the other negatives I have experienced are disappearing as a get used to the Fearless SUL and are more just it's personality than anything negative. It is demanding of precise inputs in certain situations but overall not hard to trick even in the lightest winds. If you can think of a trick, the Fearless SUL can probably do it. It may take a bit to learn how to do it but it's probably not the kite if you can't. I still need more time on it but the Super Duper SUL winds have come to my area and it's just about the only kite I've flown in the last few weeks. I am so glad I have the Fearless SUL for these conditions.
 
The more I fly it, the more I like it. When you start understanding it, really getting it, the Fearless SUL becomes almost alive in your hands and any awkwardness seems to vanish and the tricks just flow. The Fearless SUL tricks beautifully not just for a SUL but as nice of looking tricks as any kite. ..... Super smile generator too, Yeah I'm happy.
 
Peace

Fearless SUL 05-29-2010.wmv



« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 12:38 AM by Dolphinboy » Logged


James -
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RobB
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2010, 06:24 PM »

I'm one of the ones that didn't take to the Fearless right away. I got a Tattoo close to a year ago, and although I'm better with it, I'm still better with the Exile UL in the same winds. I did find that using short (50 foot) lines helps to get closer to the kite and see what it's doing. It is hard for my eyes to see the all black kite against bushes, trees and cliffs that surround my flying areas. I just flew it today, and am still having trouble with JLs. I can hit 10 rungs or more on a Sea Devil, but I'm lucky to get 3 on the Fearless.
The things I can do with the kite look great, so I doubled down on the Fearless, and got the vented light. I find it more agreeable than the SUL, but still I have the same issues. Trouble with the flic flacs and the 1/2 lazy to fade, where I can do both all day on the Sea Devils.
Those negitives aside, either kite is usually first out of the bag for the last few months, because they are fun kites. The vented light makes cr@p winds tollerable, and you don't go home grumbling. The deep turtle really spoils you for other kites, it takes remedial work to be able to backflip and trick anything else.
For what it's worth, I still have alot to learn, and the Fearless has taught me a few tricks that I've transferred to other kites, but I can understand why they're not for everyone.
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tpatter
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 06:52 PM »

For my 2 cents, its the easiest SUL to JL that I've ever flown.  It has the same "JL feel" that the other Fearless have.

The flick-flack takes more care than the light, etc, but other than that and other speed and timing differences due to low wind speed, I pretty much use the same inputs as for the others in the line as near as I can tell.  The kite does all the tricks its siblings do, only in less wind.

Now, I can't wait to try the Transformer SUL if and when Lam makes one.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2010, 07:24 PM by tpatter » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 07:25 PM »

thanx for the wisdom and vid james .. nicely done. as usual  i agree with tom on the virtues of the tat to me there is a little dead spot if you dont get the nose up in the fade.. but that is easily overcome with a little patience..although i sold the shadow i still have an inner space for slow and floaty
thanx again KO ps what spreaders are you using james 2pt or 3??
« Last Edit: July 27, 2010, 07:29 PM by ko » Logged

have fun kurt
Kantaxel
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2010, 08:19 PM »

I've got the same problem as Rob......I can get away with spanking most of the other Fearless, even in lighter winds...............but once I can tone it down, it's easier to trick.......It's just that it takes so darn long to tone it down!  Too many walks to get rid of all the tangles Cry

James,
Looks like you've got the feel.........someday I might get it.........If I spend enough time watching Tom and Lam..........There is such a thing as osmosis, isn't there?

Jim
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Dolphinboy
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 10:51 PM »

I forgot a step in the JL explanation. The kind of important 1/2 Lazy rotation. It's fixed now.

Must86
The Vented Light also needs a little more care from Pancake to Fade but it's not nearly as picky as the Tattoo or SUL. Just use a smooth sweep type motion when you pull back to the Fade. Don't hit / pop the input abruptly or it can come back askew. Once you get a feel for it, you'll be alright and then you can maybe pop it a bit more. It will come back with a sharp input but you need to be even with both lines.

KO
I use 2 PT LSs on the Tattoo. I made up a set of 3 PTs but I just don't use them.

The floatier kites are easier to fly and do some tricks in SUL wind. When you release a little pressure on the sail, they float more and take their time flipping about. But if you want to start hitting the pitchy stuff, that's where Fearless SUL / Tattoo come in. The downside is the kites need more attention to how and where you give slack. Too much at the wrong time and the kite flops about and into positions you had no intention doing. So easy with the inputs until you get it down. Keep the sail full of air because again, it'll flop / wrap / tangle on you very quickly. This can also be a problem with very pitchy standard kites too, even more so as the wind drops and it's easier to put slack in the lines.

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James -
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2010, 03:55 AM »

Hi James...
The smooth sweep motion... Tom's been trying to explain this to me, too, and I usually end up smooth sweeping the kite out of the air. I had the same problem with the Shadow, by the way. I will overcome this and eventually figure it out. I flew the vented light with 3 highly skilled pilots at Wildwood, they all had the same problem. Made me feel much better about it. My biggest problem with my slow progress is that I only get to fly with people I can learn from maybe once a year.
BTW... what's the difference between the SUL and the Tattoo, other than the lack of eyes and waves ?
~Rob.
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Kantaxel
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2010, 04:50 AM »

Really nothing else except the lack of applique and more weight (which meansmore mass)

I CAN spank the SUL compared to the Tattoo.................. Huh
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asburyparkjohn
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2010, 09:05 AM »

It seems we are all on the same page here. Sweep instead of yank on the fade w/in the JLs. I also found more slack - this being ... taking that one or two steps into the kite (i.e., if needed - most of the time) for more slack to ensure the Fade which I usually do not do for the SD-SUL under identical wind conditions or nearly as much should I say.
We are very demanding here  Cheesy but when we fly a Lam SUL kite it should do every trick in the book - EASY  Wink Wink Wink. A minor adjustment for sure ... that is an intersting thought ... I wonder what the Transformer TL (SUL) has in store for us ... its a vicious circle ...  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy.
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In my kite inventory of Dual Line Kites: Benson - Inner Space, Signature Kite of Top Pilots on an Old Style Gemini ; L'Atelier xt.z. ; Fearless-Tatto (SSUL), Fearless - SUL, Light & Light-Vent , Transformer TL's: (SUL & Light), Transformer 2 SUL & UL.
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2010, 09:14 AM »

My SUL Tattoo has a lighter spine too. That takes a bit more weight off. I wanted to be able to trick in the lowest wind possible with a Fearless. When I have flown the Tattoo and the regular SUL side by side, the Tattoo feels noticeably lighter. The regular SUL is a little closer to a Light in how the kite behaves and the inputs needed. It too takes similar inputs, but you can feel a little more mass with it.

Must86
If you have trouble with the JL on the Vented Light, I'm at a loss on that. That kite rocks the JL and JL related combos.

Where is the problem with the Flic Flac on the VL, getting back to Fade, out of the Fade or? Does it come back crooked or not at all?

The standard Fearless and Light are super easy to Flic Flac and aren't critcal where you stop the nose in the Pancake.

On the VL from a Fade Pull evenly, slack - reach / lean or step toward the kite depending on wind, keep the nose flat in the Pancake. You can do this by catching or adding slight tension on the lines, then sweep evenly, slack and catch the Fade. It kind of sounds complicated when I type it out but it's really not. It'll Flic Flac all day long but just not as care free as the STD / Light. Easier than many kites though but it still needs it's own touch. It's the same with the SULs but they just need a much gentler sweep and don't let the nose up at all.

John
The SD SUL has more sail than a F SUL or Tattoo = more drive, more float. Flat spin tricks are flatter etc. But it takes more care to toss about, roll up, Backspin and for me (this is where I'm different from most of you) JL. Very nice though but more of a slower classic SUL feel over all.
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2010, 09:58 AM »

I agree totally. Will be using the 3PT and 5PT LSs and interchanging 50# and 90# line respectively with this Transformer TL kite. We shall see where this takes me ... thanks for the info ... keep reporting ...
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2010, 06:11 PM »

Thanks, James. I try to keep the helpful advice that you & others have given me in my head, but as soon as the kite's off the ground, I find it very hard to think about what I'm supposed to be doing, I'm to busy thinking about what I am doing. The remote advice of others & videos & video taping my flying are slowly helping me to learn what I'm doing wrong. It took me about 30 hours to get to an acceptable level on the vented light, and I've probably doubled that by now. It does some things so nice, but if I try to bang off 5 or 10 flic flacs in a row, something happens around 3 or 4 and I have to bail out. Same with the JL... if I get 3 rungs in a row, it's a good day. Other than that, I have learned 3 new tricks on it, and that's one over my yearly quota, and the best flying conditions of the year are yet to come.  Smiley
Thanks again for the advice & the videos.
~Rob.
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2010, 11:44 PM »

I was flying my SUL Tattoo tonight and started thinking about a couple of you that have had trouble pulling the half Lazy though to Fade on the Jacobs Ladder. So I started doing lots of JLs and continuous JLs. The Tattoo really does a nice JL. I wasn't having anymore trouble than most kites, better than many others. I know that doesn't help if your struggling so I tried playing around a bit trying different inputs to see if I could replicate the issue some are having.

So a few of things that may help:

First make sure you let the nose drop before the half lazy rotation. That will keep it lower though the rotation. I'm thinking this may be the issue. When I tried rotating before the nose dropped, the kite stayed nose high and didn't pull through as easily. Another thing you can try is using more momentum or a quicker input when you flip it back into the Turtle, then go though all the inputs a little quicker, not harder but a bit more flick to them. I know this is similar to the advise I gave above but I'm pretty sure this is where the hold up is. Make sure you let the kite rotate to a full 1/2 before you pull to Fade too.

A few other things I'd try is keeping the kite in the bottom 1/4-1/3 of the window. The lower the better. I find that most UL / SULs feel much livelier in this area of the window and most tricks seem easier too. JLs are definitely better here. The final thing is make sure you try the JLs in light wind. I know some say they fly the SUL in higher winds but it will be much easier in say 2-4 or 5 mph.

Remember this kite can JL like a champ so it has to be technique and if I can do it so can you.
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James -
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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2010, 04:05 AM »

Thanks I will try this deeper nose. I usually take a step in to ensure very low wind resistance which helps with this part of the trick, and as you say as the wind climbs the JL becomes harder through this part of the trick.
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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2010, 04:46 AM »

Hey all...
I've been working with the Fearless Tattoo for a little over a year now, it has become my favorite low wind trick kite by far. I mean, like really low wind... I've actually done some 360s with it on shorter lines. I found that the kite really likes the 60' lines, thanks Tom. 75s are too long, and 50s are too short, 60' is just right. I also try to keep the other hints in mind when flying, like not letting the nose go too high in the flic-flac. It certainly isn't an easy kite to get used to, but once you do, it is a true joy to fly in less than 5mph wind. I made a video of it recently that I thought that I'd share... if you've flown the kite, you'll be able to tell this was really low wind...
~Rob.

Flying the Fearless Tattoo SUL in 1-3mph winds...
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