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
                                                same kite
                                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
pumping, etc.  
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?

Walker Aumann

Return to Kite Fliers's Site