Asymmetries in kites
My roommate and I both purchased Shadow Phantoms about 6 months ago.
We just compared the kites, taking them completely apart, and comparing
the spars, bridles, and sails.
Spars: Identical, within about 1/16".
Bridle: Differences between sides:
mine < 1/8" on each length (comparing one
side to the other on the
his < 1/8" on the short lines
~ 3/8" on the inhaul
Differences between kites: close (~1/8) except for his one
inhaul being longer
Sails: Mine: Tail to beginning of wing: 1/2" difference in sides
Beginning of wing to standoff: 1/4" difference in sides
Standoff to wingtip: Nearly identical
However, the asymmetries are on the same side, so one wing is significantly
longer than the other
His: About half the asymmetry of mine.
Net: One wing is 1/2" different. The other is 1/4" different. His
has the longer wings (measured along the leading edge) in both
cases. His spine is about 1/4" shorter.
So, Highflyers is kinda spastic in quality, but we knew that. So, what
does all this mean? Well, since we are actually in a position to compare
them, we have been. Over the past six months, we've been gradually tuning
the kites. I've had mine at the same settings for about the past 3 months.
No amount of adjusting his bridle has been able to get his kite to fly as
fast under any wind conditions. His seems to turn somewhat tighter than
mine, but under really low wind conditions (~2 mph? - who can tell without
a wind gauge), mine will fly okay, and his won't without serious amounts of
Has anyone out there (like, oh, say, Marty :) ) played enough with different
instances of the same kite to know whether it's mainly the bridle or the
sail, or a combination of both? Should my roommate start with copying my
bridle? Are other kites this different between two instances of them?
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