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Author Topic: It Seemed Like A Simple Question  (Read 4566 times)
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« on: April 29, 2011, 04:04 PM »

On a Rok:

Does the spine go against the sail (under the spreaders (term?)), or between the spreaders and the tensioning lines?

I've been told to put a knot between the 2 rods so they don't hit, but don't know the proper order.

It's a small thing, but isn't that what we like to dissect here anyway?  Smiley

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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 06:57 PM »

Depends how pedantic you want to be.  Cheesy

Theoretically, when the spine lays against the sail you get an uninterrupted centre line along the front of the kite, yielding maximum separation of the two lateral lifting surfaces.  But this is dependant on how tight your sail is.

I don't have a "must do it this way" preference.  With my ageing eyesight I'm just glad to get the spine through the loops!!

Kevin Sanders

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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2011, 07:17 PM »

I like the spine against the sail for the "clean" look. The spreaders then push against the spine when tensioned.

Gary Engvall addresses the over/under issue in his plan for a six-foot Roc, see There's a good photo and description of a sleeve patch for this purpose. I've used it a few times and it works well to keep the sticks from straying, too. Most of my purchased roks have a dacron reinforcement and a strip of shoe lace to tie the spreaders to the spine.

There are also different ways of tensioning the spreaders. Which is best and under what conditions? Double Prussik knots? Trucker's Hitch? Bead or metal tensioners? Bow line? Something else?

Marty Groet
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Lee S
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 07:19 PM »

Well, in my very limited experience, I've always left the cross spars down against the sail, and the vertical goes on last. I admit, I do it that way because I store my roks with the sail wrapped up around the cross spars, and then I take the vertical apart, as it is usually 2 pieces. One of my roks ties together with ribbon, the other is higher tech with bungies and fittings. Hey, it's all kites, right?
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2011, 08:11 PM »

Absolutely right! All of you!

And don't forget that when putting in a new roll of toilet paper, the loose end should be closest to the wall...

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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2011, 10:46 PM »

I had always put the spine against the sail figuring that gave a bit of a keel. Then I read someplace that traditionally the cross spars go against the sail and the spine behind so I tried that just last weekend. Well it rained, the Nylon stretched and very strange things happened. Since the bridle is attached to the cross spars they were pulled away from the spine. None of my retail Roks have the cross ties and truthfully I don't miss them, the one I built does have ties but I don't think I'll do that again since other then last weekend I've never experienced a problem.

In the future, tradition or not, I will be placing the spine against the sail, that way the pressure on the bridle/line pulls the cross spars against the spine rather then away from it, even with ties that is a lot of pressure on those light ribbons.

I leave my cross spars in also and it's never been a problem slipping the spine under them, after all I have to thread it under the bow lines and through the two centering loops on the sail and the tail tensioner pocket so it's just not that much more work and it helps to remind me to get the bow lines on the right side.

For the bow lines the nicest system I've seen uses some type of slip knot directly on the cross spars, you bow the spar then slide that knot along the spar to the outside to hold it. The advantage to this method is you take the stress off the pockets for the cross spars and the sail. It's the cleanest bow method I've seen and keeps the corners clean.


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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2011, 11:00 PM »

And don't forget that when putting in a new roll of toilet paper, the loose end should be closest to the wall...


W R O N G !    Angry

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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2011, 01:11 AM »

I have the spine against the sail.  I also roll the cross spars up in the kite.  With the dacron patch shown below it is actually easier to assemble the spine and slide it under both cross spars and through the tunnels while holding one end of the kite as it just slides across the skin.  The progressively smaller cross patches make it easier to slip the spar into the tunnel.  The dacron is doubled and keeps the sticks from rubbing each other. The spine in this shot is the smaller diameter carbon spar.

Spreader & Spine Patch by MBsShots, on Flickr

The knots for bowing the cross spars are made by tying about 14" of each end of the tension line into a 7" loop.  A fair amount of this loop will be used in the knot, so I recommend sungging up a sample around the kite's cross spar size and marking how much is used.  There is a trick for tying a prusik knot while the other end of the line is tethered.  Use two pens the same size or a little larger than the spar diameter to do the following:

Hang loop over two pens:

Prusik 1 by MBsShots, on Flickr

Wrap line ends around each pen 2 times:

Prusik 2 by MBsShots, on Flickr

Rotate pen ends together:

Prusik 3 by MBsShots, on Flickr

Slide line onto one pen:

Prusik 4 by MBsShots, on Flickr

Tighten and straighten wraps (they may be twisted, so make it look like this):

Prusik 5 by MBsShots, on Flickr

With enough slack, this knot can also be done in the same manner using the thumb and index fingers of one hand instead of the pens.

After first inserting a cross spar into the centering loops or tunnel on the kite skin, slide this knot onto the cross spar end, slide it towards the middle to give enough slack and repeat on the other end.

Here is what it looks like in use:

Spreader pocket by MBsShots, on Flickr

On the field with the spars already in the sail pockets, one side of the tension line is already snug near to the end of the cross spar.  That end of the spar is held on top of my shoe (to keep the kite out of the dirt) while the other end is pushed down to bow the cross spar.  At the same time, the end of the tension line is easily slid into place and you're done!

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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2011, 06:28 AM »

I, too, prefer the spine against the sail for the keel effect. No biggie to slide it under the spreaders, even if the loops are left tied.

I've never worried about the spars touching and have never had any issues with wear.

I like to use a Prussic-style knot on the spreaders on Roks and other bowed kites, though I usually use three wraps per "side" for a little extra anti-slide holding power.

@Matt, I was thinking about your cross-patches as I was reading this thread. Nice write-up. Nice stitching, too!

@DG, you're too subtle.  Cheesy

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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2011, 10:25 AM »

it is possible that in high winds, with the spine next to the sail,  the spreader will 'crush' the spine. Happened to me last weekend... Huh

"Do what you like"
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2011, 04:46 PM »

it is possible that in high winds, with the spine next to the sail,  the spreader will 'crush' the spine. Happened to me last weekend... Huh

Could be that Roc should have been vented?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 04:49 PM by Kantaxel » Logged

Kant Fly......might just as well buy!
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2011, 09:32 AM »

really interesting thread, thanks folks

have to admit to going spine against the sail but never occured to me in breezy conditions the carbon will rub together where it crosses - looking to make a cross over like MB showed, be quicker and easier in the field too
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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2011, 10:35 AM »

I would put whatever has the bridle attached the back.
If the bridle is attached to the spine, the spine is at the back.
If the bridle is attached to the cross spars(ROK), the cross spars go behind the spine.

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