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Author Topic: Sport Kite Design Asymptote  (Read 1505 times)
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chilese
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« on: May 13, 2012, 11:59 AM »

Back when dinosaurs walked the Earth (1970-1990s), sport kite evolution was huge.

Whiskers (standoffs)
Leech line
Composite spars
Low aspect ratio
etc

Sometimes one kite would truly break the mold like the MEFM
  turbo bridle, wrap around connectors, dynamic tensioned standoffs,
  variable aspect ratio, covered leading edge connectors

Ever since the whole Nirvana(esque) design craze,

sport kites have reached a point where new models trade one

positive aspect with another negative aspect.

The number of videos being produced with amazing pilots doing very

similar trick flying sequences seems limitless. Certainly most of these

kites offer more possibilities than 99.9% of kiters will ever utilize.

Occasionally, one of these truly capable pilots will string together a few

of the known tricks in a new way, but the kite itself could be interchanged

with at least half a dozen others and the pilot would take about 10

seconds to adjust to the new sail.

How thin a slice of the super high end sport kite pie can one live on?
 AeroStar gone
 Viper Sport Kites gone
 Blue Moon Kites gone

So does it come to merely a preference in the sail size and panel layout the

potential buyer will choose? What choices do we make?

TNT
Mohawk
Seven
Solus
Talon
Deep Space
K2
Dynamite
Rokh

The branches of the tree are becoming finer and finer.



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John Chilese: Las Vegas, NV
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Lee S
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2012, 01:20 PM »

Lam Hoac, Skyburner, and Jest of Eve all offer the reasonably personalized kite buying experience we "oldsters" all remember and loved. Adjusted for inflation, prices are even the same or better than back "in dinosaur times". Kites are now evolutionary instead of revolutionary. I could go on forever about almost any common everyday item in a similar fashion. Remember when only the really fancy cars had that new-fangled fuel injection? Cell phones used to weigh several pounds? Computers used to take up a whole desk? Televisions used to weigh over a hundred pounds? (well, mine still does..god I'm old) 

Fewer branches, but still not a bad tree.

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harveystubbs
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 03:21 PM »

Blimey ..... start the kite flyers helpline .... time for a rev then perhaps !  Roll Eyes Wink Joking aside I hear what you say Chilese !

I still find it hard to taz the seven, anyone else have this problem? Roll Eyes
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jaydub
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2012, 03:32 PM »

Nope Wink

(You got a Seven as well?!)   Roll Eyes
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harveystubbs
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2012, 03:38 PM »

As we are in an american forum I'm gonna take the fifth ! Cool Wink
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jaydub
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2012, 04:26 PM »

Guilty as charged then, M'Lord. Wink
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 12:21 AM »

I think your only part right John and thats just because of the evolution kiting has taken.  Back in 82 when I first started flying stunt kites it was more about how well you can fly your kite and what new ways you can control it.  How can you make it turn on a dime (kick turn invented), what do you need to do to change flying speed mid flight, if you get in a strange position how do you get out of it without crashing and can you actually do it on purpose, HOw far to the edge of the envelope(not wind window) can you fly without the sail colapsing and losing flight, HOw can the kite be changed to make it flyable in conditions that would cause current kites to stop flying and crash, Etc.

Now its not so much about truly controlling (flying the lines as Mark reed once said) the kite no matter what strange things you can get into but focusing on already established tricks and perfecting those (or doing multiples).  Not too many current fliers are looking beyond whats already established and trying to control the kite in odd ways like we did in the early days of stunt kiting(Chris Goff is one of the few that comes to mind).  In fact not too many fliers learn to control and fly the kite but go straight to tricking.  As my friend DOn says "I can't fly a kite but I can toss it around in a permanent stall really well"  YOu can actually do some interesting things without doing a single established trick beyond, stall, slide, and flare(well maybe an axel or old school 180 flare turn tossed in too).

I guess thats what I like most about the Solus is that you can put it in damn near any situation and fly out of it with full control.

I'd add more but its late and I've already rambled a bit Tongue
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sluggo
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 07:37 AM »

Dang, I started reading this thread thinking the "Asymptote" from SKD was going to be the next kite to save the world.
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Kareloh
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2012, 08:58 AM »

Haha, same here...  Cool
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zippy8
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2012, 03:29 AM »

A long time ago, possibly in a galaxy far away, I began writing a long discourse that was prompted by the seeming narrowing of design variations in three of the hobby activities that I meddle with - kites, yoyos and r/c cars. It never saw the light of day, for which we can all be grateful. All three activities seem to have matured well past the point where there is a need for significant innovation to produce as-good-as-we-can-imagine-it-getting performance.

  • An absence of 25 years from r/c cars, specifically 1/12th scale, saw me come back to huge refinements but the overall layout (in a very open class in terms of design restriction) remained identical.
  • Several weird and wonderful yoyo shapes have been tried but when it comes right down to it, minor variations on the classic "butterfly" design do the job as well as any stepped and shunted profile.
  • Stunt kites are at the same stage of development - it has been done right. We've got what we want and we're now into the phase where refinement and minor changes are what we have to look forward to.

The reason why there used to be so much variety in stunt kite design was that we were still working towards the stage we are now at. I don't see this as a bad thing, just a thing.

Mike.
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 06:24 AM »

Jon, FWIW I tend to see it much like Zippy. Kites are good now, minor changes for style points excluded, I think it's pretty much where it's at.

I for one am still trying to do all the tricks so there's plenty of years in it for me, a new kite just throws me (although I think an old friend the QPro is calling me back for a play...)

I have a SL7, that's way far enough for me. Cool

Mike, let the cars go... There's FPV now Wink

WD
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harveystubbs
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 09:25 AM »

I suspect there are two dominant driving forces here.

The first is a kind of convergent evolution though not in it's purest sense as I suppose kite designers are aware of the eachothers designs. Plus there are trends in kite design as in all sports.

The second is the human ability to invent and refine that invention until the next major invention comes along.

Take comfort in the fact that it would be a boring world if all progress was linear. Perhaps we oughta just enjoy flying ! Cool
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Gamelord
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2012, 11:02 AM »

Rev's are different!  If you are getting bored with your duallies John....maybe it's time to work on that elusive hover?
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zippy8
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 07:24 PM »

Quote from: Chilese
So does it come to merely a preference in the sail size and panel layout the potential buyer will choose?

Quote from: Gamelord
Rev's are different! 

I believe that you may have fundamentally misunderstood John's complaint.

Mike.
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Gamelord
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 10:58 AM »

Quote from: Chilese
So does it come to merely a preference in the sail size and panel layout the potential buyer will choose?

Quote from: Gamelord
Rev's are different! 

I believe that you may have fundamentally misunderstood John's complaint.

Mike.

Nah...I understood...just like jabbing John every once in a while.
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