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Author Topic: question of the day... stretch or no stretch  (Read 1124 times)
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sugarbaker
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« on: August 20, 2010, 02:35 PM »

So, in my kite making endeavors, I've noticed that the kites in my collection have one of two methods for tensioning the leading edge (in styles varying with manufacturer). Some use elastic cord (HQ Phoenix), and others use a non-stretch material such as bridal line (Prism Zephyr).  Is one method better than another?  Does elastic cord protect your valuable sail/leading edges when you lawn dart your kite?  Does non-stretch lead to more consistent performance as the sail cannot deform itself as much in heavier wind or hard input from the lines?

I have been using elastic cord in the couple of kites I've finished to this point and it seems to work fine. I am getting close to the end of my Vortex build and want to make a decision as to what may be better, as it will change the way I finish off the wingtips. 

Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions. 
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2010, 02:51 PM »

If bungie loops are tight enought to really pull the LE (especially with curvy kites) then they are a pain to assemble/disassemble.

I use them for convenience on small kites, or old straight LE, loose sail kites.

Using cord makes it easy to play with LE tension and get it just right.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
DWayne
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2010, 03:43 PM »

I prefer bridle line to bungie cord.

Denny
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Steve
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2010, 04:02 PM »

Technically Prism uses braided Dacron for their tensioners.
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Steve
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indigo_wolf
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 06:33 PM »

Technically Prism uses braided Dacron for their tensioners.

Ooooooohhhhh..... where's the "kite nerd" emoticon when you need it.  Roll Eyes  Wink

ATB,
Sam
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mikenchico
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2010, 06:42 PM »

Most new upper end designs use a line for tensioning. My guess would be for cleaner wingtips, unless you sew the bungee cord in (not a good idea because it deteriorates over time) or figure out how to put the knots inside the leading edge (ala some Skyburners & still bulky) you have knots on your wingtips guaranteed to snag your lines during any trick.

I'm sure all the reasons you gave for both methods are valid, I think for a trick kite though the smoother wingtips outweigh any advantage the bungee may provide.
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sugarbaker
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2010, 10:53 PM »

Thanks everyone for your input. I think I'll be going with bridle line (or braided Dacron if I find some extra in my box-o-extra material). And now that I think it over, I believe I was wrong about my Phoenix, and recall that it does not use elastic (I'm not at home to verify)

Regardless, I'll be putting the finishing touches on my vortex tomorrow, so I'm happy to get this question answered. Hope you all have a good steady breeze this weekend.

Stephen
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