Sermon (was Flexifoils)

In article <13286.9304291050@boreas.cms.dmu.ac.uk> it1jk@de-montfort.ac.uk (Groove Patrol Station 3) writes:
>Don't be so boring Paul! Power kites are there for the POWER! If people want to
>be lifted off the ground then let them! (Like I do.)
>The reason I do it is because it's about the nearest thing flying. For goodness
>sake - there's enough rules in the world, don't try to add more. I'm sure
>people who own power kites know the dangers of them - you just have to get
>one flexi up to find out.
>The bottom line of it is, as you say, if you get worried, let go of one handle.
>Its as simple as that.

James, have your read any of my articles?

I am into power kiting.  I personaly own 6 10' flexifoils and a 5m Peel.  I
do a lot of flying. I have flown both of these rigs at kite festivals that
have been abandoned because the wind was too strong.  I flown stacks of up
to 11 10' flexies.  I have tried most variations of kite handle.  I listen
carefuly to the experiences of others.

Anchoring a power kite is just plain too dangerous.  I know someone who
snapped a leg with *one* 10' flexifoil without any equipment failure.
The power kiting community is *small* and a significant number of people
are *dying*.

Frequently flying *normal*stunt*kites* using wrist straps can lead to Carpal
tunnel syndrome.  Pass the strap round the back of your hand.  Don't use
padded straps, they make the correct grip difficult.  The most comfortable
grip (for me) is sky-claws (with the line more securely attached).

Aside from wrist damage (a progressive problem), wrist straps are difficult
to remove whilst sliding on your belly at 20mph (they don't just fall off, you
have to pull your hand out of them - I learnt this the hard way).  Your
handles must be comfortable and fail-safe: Sky-claws are the only things
that you can let go of whilst unconcious (sp?)

As a rule, don't anchor the line to *anything*, however some applications
eg: long distance kite sailing call for a harness etc.  For this, you can
buy fail-safe handles from Peter Lynn, that release the flying line when
you let go.

If you want to jump, consider:
   1) If you brace against a solid object (such as a concrete post) and you
      slip, the first thing that you will hit will be a solid object :-)
   2) The harder you brace, the harder you will hit the ground.
   3) The lower the kite is in the sky when you jump, the more forward speed
      you will have when you land.

If you *really* want to jump, may I suggest a much bigger rig.  8 or 9 flexies
taken through the right manoever will take you *well* clear of the ground,
with no bracing, depositing you (fairly) gently with a reasonable forward
speed.  This can all be done without placing undue strain on either you or
your equipment, because you do it all with the stack within the top 20
degrees of the window.

>Maybe rec.kites should be split into rec.kites.safe and rec.kites.dangerous!
>What do you reckon?

The problem is that the difference between r.k.very.dangerous and r.k.exciting
is not always intuitive or obvious:

Ask any man in the street what to do with a power-kite that pulls too hard and
he will suggest an anchor.  The safe thing to do is to slide to deprive the
sail of wind.


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