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Author Topic: Leading edge glides - an idea  (Read 4658 times)
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Location: Bristol - England

« on: July 05, 2009, 12:05 PM »

Leading Edge Glides – an idea

I know that most new sport kites these days are equipped with covered leading edges that avoid the need for leading edge glides. However, I have been experimenting with adding my own ‘glides’ to some of my older kites. I started by using cable ties to cover the upper leading edge fittings. They work ok but I don’t find them 100% foolproof. I have recently moved to using a section of home brew syphon tube. I bought it off Ebay very cheaply but you could buy it from any home brew shop.

I start with a length of tube like this…

Next slit it in half down the length like this…

Finally, insert it into the upper leading edge cut outs

The finished item…..

I’m not sure if anyone else has tried this approach? I find it very successful. Although the tubing is a little bit heavier than cable ties, it works very well.

Hope this is helpful

Nigel  Grin
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2009, 01:05 PM »

wow that seems like a good idea! maybe ill put them on a capable old school kite and mess with it sometime.
thanks for posting!

-Devin Cobleigh-Morrison
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2009, 01:31 PM »

Unless you're adding yoyo stoppers and doing pitch tricks on your older kites, I don't really see the need for the glides.

Without yoyo stoppers, you want the US connectors exposed to hopefully catch the wrapped lines and allow controlled flight.

Thanks for the idea though.  Smiley

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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2009, 02:03 PM »

John, I mean kites like an Older Mamba that dont have the edges covered.
I have an old one that i might be selling-  maybe the new owner possibly would be interested in hearing about it.
cant you do that with like zipties or something (covering the upperfittings)? I thought i saw something like that somewhere...

-Devin Cobleigh-Morrison
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2009, 08:03 PM »

I started by using cable ties to cover the upper leading edge fittings. They work ok but I don’t find them 100% foolproof.
Nigel  Grin

I am curious as what you found lacking in the zip ties?  My only complaint was occasional slippage when the leading edge was detensioned, but a quick trip to the local pharmacy store solves that. 

Tubing similar to what you are using can be found at the pet store where the keep the fish tanks.  It's used in the filtration system for aquariums and is available in various gauges/sizes. 

My only concern would be that unless you are using leadrer lines the softer tubing material would be prone to nicking and eventual snagging by Spectra lines (although replacements would be cheap.

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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2009, 08:46 PM »

Longevity doesn't seem to be an issue with vinyl tubing.  L'Atelier use  black vinyl tubing for the glides on their Transfers and Double Zero (and possibly others).  Instead of slicing it in half, they cut one side so the connector can fit inside it and the whole lot slides onto the spar.


Kevin Sanders

Willunga, South Australia
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2009, 06:28 AM »

My two Akuji, comp and UL have these. It looks like clear aquarium tubing.


Kites & Corvettes, both, a great way to fly.
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2009, 07:33 AM »

Very old idea.  Lots of people were using things like this on ULE connectors after yo-yo's became all the rage, but before designers started incorporating covered ULE fittings into their designs.

Zip ties, aquarium tubing, cut out strips of plastic soda bottles (my personal favorite).  I used to carry a stack of those things around in my toolkit.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 11:24 AM by RonG » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2009, 11:14 AM »

thank you nigel for the clearly written and well illustrated post.  Smiley

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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2009, 03:57 PM »

+1 thank you

have fun kurt
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