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Author Topic: Killing a Fox: A Cautionary Tale...  (Read 3427 times)
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Victrinia Ridgeway
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« on: October 07, 2010, 01:55 PM »

First off... I'm sick today... no really I am... I wouldn't let any of you good people within twenty feet of me. In fact when I am done posting this lament, I am going to bed.

So I went to work this morning... because I am about as stubborn as they come, sweet, but stubborn... and by 10a.m. was told to go home. So I packed up and left. On the drive back home I could tell there was a serious bit of wind at play. And like the Siren's song, the vixen that is the wind seduced my good sense, and told me I must fly.

There's a park in Belfair that I had been meaning to check out, so I stopped, and was a bit disappointed to see that the field I remembered was largely surrounded by big honking trees... and the open stretches nearest the water were at a violent pitch. I mean the wind sailing guys were arriving as I was... so you know it was clocking high. But I took out my handy-dandy wind meter and it was telling me six mph with a few gusts... because I was at the edge of an inlet and the tree line, and not out on the point where the guys with the parachutes were going.

So I took out my Silver Fox 2.5 STD (Purple) and a 100ft/150# LGP lines and a stake figuring I could just niggle my way into a zone between the calm and the violence. [What a git.]

First mistake... the only area that would fit a 100ft line was this very awkwardly slopped area between grass and the tidal area (the tide is very low today). Gusts were occasionally slipping in, and so I laid the Fox out dead man to walk out my lines. So far so good.

Second Mistake (likely the worst as it was the most avoidable)... I get to the end and realize I left the stake with the kite bag which was off to one side near the kite. So I just dropped the lines and walked back to flip the kite on it's back hoping it would stay down.... at this point I didn't think there was much point in grabbing the stake as I was about to be flying... so imagine my annoyance when I flip it over and get half way back and it has flipped itself over. So back to the kite I go... and now being dumb as a stump... I turned it over and just hoped I could hurry back faster than a gust could lift it.

But this time I decided to be clever.... [again... what a git.] and I picked up the lines to at least be holding on to the kite as I am walking back... so I have lines running through my hand and I am between them... and just when I got within 8 feet of the handles, I suddenedly felt pull, lift, and the remaining line drag through my hand. I suddendly realized the darn thing was FLYING with me facing BACKWARDS to it. Of course, being barely competent at flying it when facing the correct direction this "Evel Knievel" flying style freaked me out. I tried to turn around only to have the kite smash violently into the sand and stone that is the water's edge on the Hood Canal.

At first I was like "Smooth move!"... then I saw the kite tumble and realized the lower spreader was disconnected and crazy looking... which then turned into "oh crap." Then it flipped over a bit of bank into a small estuary stream that was near where it landed. So I drop the lines again.. and run out to see where it's landed, only to see it's half under water in the stream.

I was more than a little concerned when I saw a spar attached to the lower spreader which clearly was no longer attached to the sail. I slid it out of the water only to realize to my horror that I had split the sail almost up the entire length of the spine  Huh Huh Embarrassed Cry ...with a diagonal tear near the bottom of the tail.

Demoralized and feeling like a complete sucker I have to admit I could hear the hubby's voice in my head saying "It's too much wind to fly...."  over.... and over..... but I did it anyway... and so I paid a price.

Lessons learned.... Don't fly in heavy winds in a awkward location... and don't be dumb enough not to stake out when you are all alone and in the aforementioned situation.

Lessons yet to be learned.... is it repairable??? Lord only knows. I might take photos of it later, but I'm not sure that kind of carnage is permitted on a PG-13 forum like this one. In any case... someone here in another thread asked if it's ok to buy a good kite if you managed to fly a Micron without turning it into a lawn dart. I'd say sure.... but don't be suprised if/when you kill it.

Only bummer is that this fox can't be turned into a sw@nky stole.  Roll Eyes

Yours in amused sadness,

Victrinia

PS. Apparently the filter thinks s-w-a-n-k-y is a bad word?


 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 02:11 PM by Victrinia Ridgeway » Logged

Flying the edge of the window and lovin' it...
UPNET
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010, 02:58 PM »

V....you are officially a dues paying newbie! Cheesy Also....you were febrile. Not in your right mind....and hence unable to see the BIG  picture of the field with all the possible kite busting impediments...and bizarre terrain.
 TIP: Kite on back (nose away)...attach flying lines. Play out about 5ft. of line. Stop. Flip kite once (away from you) so its on its belly...nose to you (into wind). Make sure lines are straight and even...coming over the top of the kite. Continue to play out the rest of the flying line.
Take straps... put tension on line....and pull evenly. Tail of kite will come up and over...kite will then be in launch position.
Launch.

Regards,
Chris


Kite surfing a Prism E2
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tpatter
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2010, 04:28 PM »

Sorry to hear about your misfortune.

If it makes you feel any better, I recently pushed the  lower spread through the sail of my Shadow.  I've put the kite together 100s of times - maybe I had too much coffee or was in too much of a hurry, ..... 

I forgot the cardinal rule which is to hang onto the spreader right near its edge when inserting into the APA while also cupping your hand around the APA.  This way, you may poke yourself, but the kite should be fine.

Cardinal rule number 2 is to just keep the spreaders connected, which I do for most of my kites, but not that one.  Sad

The good news is that I glued and taped it up (it was a big slice - maybe 4 inches long) and it flys like a dream once again.  Smiley
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6 kite tom
Victrinia Ridgeway
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010, 08:12 PM »

Chris what a brilliant idea! I think some day we should put together a REAL Sport Kiting for Dumbies...

Then all of these little pearls of wisdom like yours and Tom's would prevent the senseless death of many a good kite.  Huh

Oddly, I do feel much better after your stories... having a great deal of respect for my betters... lol

Plus I did go to sleep... and that was good too. Hubby has refrained from any "I would have told you so..." moments.

Though he did, with amusement, tell me I would have likely been fine with a VENTED SF. lol

Oh well...

Thanks for commiserating gents... that was very helpful, and appreciated.  Kiss I hope you at least found the read amusing.

Warmly,

V
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sbrown
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 08:59 PM »

Ouch! That must've hurt. Sad
Here's a link to repairing tears with CA glue
It works very well and is nearly invisible.
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Victrinia Ridgeway
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2010, 09:03 PM »

The 6th sense guys told me about super glue... I just couldn't imagine that it would be useable on damage as large as this... it's likely a min of 15 inches....

Hopeful,

V
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Scott Blake
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2010, 09:45 PM »

Ouch, sorry to hear of your likely loss.

I feel your pain trust me - and yea, I have had a wicked cold now for over a week that I thought was going away so I didn't go to the doc yesterday and now I am regretting that.

I am the idiot that figures if he can fly a Micron a good kite 'should' be ok right?  Hehe.  I didn't mention that part of my kite buying list is another Micron because I lawndarted that thing so solid that I drove the spine through the tail support notch.  Its just a piece of graphite with a small rubber nub on it after all.  Fortunately, I was able to MacGyver a fix - a snipped piece of plastic from a yogurt lid folded in half and stuffed down the receiving notch at the tail in order to spread the load a bit better.  I am getting another Micron because of that noob mistake so you are not alone, don't worry!

Regards, and hope you are feeling better.
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indigo_wolf
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2010, 07:18 AM »

If it comes down to it, Pam Kirk and Mike Dennis of "Heads Up Kites" do excellant repair work.  They have brought back more than their fair share of kites from the brink of death.... in some cases stronger than their original incarnation.

Just out of curiousity.  Blue or Purple SF?

ATB,
Sam
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Victrinia Ridgeway
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2010, 08:03 AM »

Scott...

Your not an idiot bro... and I certainly hope you don't think my reference implied that.  Wink Mostly I wanted to share an experiance noob-to-noob as one who has spent over $800 on sport kites alone (so not including SLKs) in the last two months. Not uncluding line, handles, or anything. Buying kites is a delightful disease... and mind you, I've spent a fair amount of that on kites which were already used - thus worth a lot more than I paid. So I've got something similarly small to your Micron which is a Jazz... and frankly I'm impressed that you've done as well as you have with that. I know how zippy little kites can be so it's like trying to learn how to direct an elephant from the back of a tiger. It's an intermediate to advanced kite... so pat yourself on the back.... truly.

So the handling you'll experiance on a bigger sail is much different, and so you might have a few lawn darts in your future. Getting a mid-level (expense wise) kite would likely be a good idea, just because of the differences in handling and the learning curve associated with that. The Silver Fox is a production kite, and not as sexy as the boutique kites most of us are attracted to... I bought the one I had for $100 on ebay, but Steve sells them brand new for $165. And when we took the kite to the Whidbey festival several very experianced pilots wanted to try it out because they had never flown one (not being a boutique kite it's less attractive to them) and they were terribly impressed at it's handling and trickability for the price point. The only catch is that it's heavy... so you have to have decent winds available to learn how to get it up. But once you are good at flying it, you can actually fly it quite nicely at 4mph. Just make sure you are in the wind window correctly and you'll be golden. Lighter kites and ULs can be off center of the window and not care so much... but this one will.

It also has a pretty easy bridle system which lets you put the kite in turbo mode without too much thinking. So though I managed to kill one... it's still a kite I would recommend, because as much as I did to it... if I had out one of our boutique kites I'm not sure I would have found the broken peices.  Roll Eyes

Damage assessment last night showed that I broke the ferrel, lower spreader, and caused 3 directional rips. The ferrel is what actually demolished the sail... and I think that happened when it hit the stream... because I saw the sail when it was tumbling and it was not shredded. It probably had holes... but the force of the water flayed it.

Anyhow... I do hope my experiance is at least food for thought... Good winds to you and yours.... V




Sam...

I don't suppose you have any contact info for them?? I was also thinking of taking it down to Herb at Mainframe Kites, as he is also a kite builder. Maybe I'll give him a ring today.

It is a purple... but I still have a blue (technically the hubby's... but he's moved on to the Mantis for the main)... So I'm not out of the sky with a Fox yet.  Wink Though I'd still like to fix this one, because then I'd have a kite I'd be fearless with.

Next on the list of my insanity... mainly because I am a seamstress/designer (I have way too many interests for my own good)... is to get around to designing and building my own kite.  Grin

Thanks for the lead... V

PS. Still sick... going back to bed... lol

« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:06 AM by Victrinia Ridgeway » Logged

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ko
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2010, 08:39 AM »

big +1 on mike and pam
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have fun kurt
indigo_wolf
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2010, 10:11 AM »

Have PMed you the contact info for Pam and Mike.  Not competitive, but lest I ding the the commercial posting censors and get flog with a wet cat.  Huh

A project kite you might want to try out is The Orange.  The pictures and instructions are fairly thorough.  You have some options on framing and other build material based on your budget.  Parts list and PDF plans are at the bottom of the page.

Keep us posted on recovery of both yourself and the Fox.

ATB,
Sam 
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Ang3lFir3
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2010, 01:44 PM »

We will see what can be done with the kite... there is also a broken lower spreader which I believe is responsible for the length of the tear.

Absolute worst case scenario it becomes spare parts for another SF. I still like it as a kite but its a really heavy kite so its rare that there is the right kind of wind to get it up and actually get to have fun with it. I think a day at the beach would be more its style.

thanks for the links to the Orange.... we have also been looking at a lot of Ian's designs. I have heard a lot of great things about the ThornBack and would like to fly one...
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 02:55 PM by Ang3lFir3 » Logged
Steve
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2010, 02:32 PM »

So the moral of the story?
When you are sent home sick from work do not take it as time off to fly.
Karma baby, karma.

Miss V, should you find yourself in that same position again try walking on your lines either to or from the kite.  That will effectively 'anchor' the kite.
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Steve
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indigo_wolf
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2010, 02:58 PM »

Unless you're wearing cleats or stilletto heels.... kind hard on the lines.  Cheesy

ATB,
Sam
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Ang3lFir3
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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2010, 03:09 PM »

pretty sure that kiting in stilettos would be hard no matter what.... im just guessing on that one...
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