Observations from a new Kapper

edited July 31 in Kites
Hello fellow Kappers,

I am a new member and new to this KAP world and realize that this kite hobby runs deep. Over the last 2 months I have really gotten into the whole KAP thing, and I must say it's really addictive. Every time there is wind I get the itch to run out on fly..lol. But after several flights and reading a lot on this site I am beginner to understand the patience and the focus needed to do KAP. I am starting to understand the kites and how important the right wind is for different kites which brings me to my kites: a 7' Rok from Skydog (Dragon design), 56" Rok from Premier kites, a 10' delta, and a 7.5 rainbow Airfoil kite from In the breeze.

This is how it all started. During this Covid time I had some extra time on my hands as I was now working from home. I figured I can just go out into the open field behind my development when every I feel the wind was sufficient to fly my Airfoil, one of the kites I had at the time along with another cheap diamond kite. Those few kite flying sessions were so therapeutic with everything that was going on with this pandemic. I then had the thought a couple days later, "what about hooking my Vivitar action cam to my Airfoil?" I then Googled it and Youtube it an this whole world of KAP came to light. I had no idea this was a thing and my mind was blown. I then went and made a Picavet got the stronger kite lines and was off to the races. I still have a lot to learn and I realize with KAP you just have to get out there and fly and you will learn alot. This brings me to an observation between my Roks and Delta. It's still early in the amount of flying time I have put on these kites, but what I have observed so far is that the Delta seems to be more stable in higher winds, while the Roks sort of get this crazy hourglass shape. The both Roks pulls like a wild horse while the Delta is more manageable to control. I have scanned this site over several weeks and I bought the Roks as everyone on here spoke so highly of them, but so far from my experience it has been a love hate relationship. The few times I have flown them were not fun as I was constantly fighting with them. I guess the wind probably was a bit too much for them as there were some gusts every few minutes. The Delta on the other hand was an ease to fly and I did not feel like I had to fight with the kite even in same amount of wind. My first KAP was from the Delta kite, and the second one was from the 7' ROK. I really want to love the Roks as I like how they look in the sky, maybe I just need to give them more time and fly them in lighter wind. This brings me to a question. Many say the roks fly well in lighter winds but wouldn't it be an issue lifting a rig when the wind is light? How would the Rok keep climbing to lift a rig when there is light wind? This maybe a question based on my inexperience but this question has been on my mind for the last couple days. I have not experience the light winds while flying the Roks yet so I am eager to test out this concept.

I really enjoy the content on this site and hope the activity on the forum picks up.

Comments

  • edited July 31
    Hi kbunited. Welcome aboard and thanks for the introductory post.

    I mostly fly Rokkaku in light wind and Sutton Flowforms when the breeze picks up. I have grown fond of my Rokkakus as they are fine lifting platforms when matched to the right wind. Here are a couple of older posts where I drone on at greater length:

    http://research-benton.ced.berkeley.edu/wind/?p=90

    http://research-benton.ced.berkeley.edu/he/?p=1494



  • Welcome to the KAP forum kbunited.

    Yes KAPing can be addicting AND a lot of fun.

    As for your question on lifting a KAP rig in light wind. The following are a few of my tips:
    - for very light wind 3-6 mph I use a very large ROK (10+feet) fitted with very light weight spars (skyshark P400).
    - use a very light KAP rig - lightest KAP rig that I uses is just a gopro hanging on a string.

    General rule
    - use small kites for high wind (ROK, Deltas, Flow Form)
    - use larger kites for light wind (ROK, Dopero, large deltas)
    - use thin, low weight, high strength Dyneema kite line for light wind conditions

    The large ROK kites can lift even heavy KAP rigs in a very light breeze.

    Real world flight conditions are more variable with wider wind ranges and gust to deal with.
    I use the Into The Wind 9 foot levitation deltas fitted with the custom dynamic spreader that gives the kite a much wider wind range 10-30 mph which is needed to survive gusts.

    Personal preference....always fly with a stratospool!

    Enjoy the KAPing...share some photos!

    See one of mine below!

    WW
    Kite Over Shanghai, China



  • edited July 31
    Hello Admin, thanks for the welcome!

    Thanks for those links as well, they are very informative and gave me some food for thought. I actually went out to a soccer field today to learn more about my 7' Rok. The winds were light and consistent for about 30 - 45 mins and to my surprise the Rok climbed and stayed about 200 ft in the air with relative ease and the pull was not bad at all. Since it was that steady I tied it off and tried to launch the 10' Delta. Unfortunately I could not get the delta to rise past the lower swirling winds after about trying for about 45 minutes. It probably made it up to about 75' when there was a slight gust of wind, but it kept diving back towards me as the winds subsided. All this time the Rok was still plastered to the sky with light wind. After this session I am starting to get an appreciation for the Rok because the most frustrating thing for me thus far, is having a hard time to get any kite up in the air. I have had a few days where I went out to the field and because the winds were light with a few gusts from time to time, I still could not get my Delta up or my Airfoil. Now that I have added 2 Roks to the rotation I think I am more equipped to at least get one of my kites up.

    Thanks for responding and sharing your experience with the Roks.




  • edited July 31
    Hey Wind Watcher,

    Thanks for chiming in. I have been reading a lot of your stories on this sites for the last few weeks. You are one of the legends around here and I appreciate your contributions to the forum. That's an amazing photo. I am still in the early stages of this Kap hobby and I still use a picavet with a action camera. I don't have any fancy rigs yet as I am still having fun with the basics and getting to understand these kites. I know there might come a time where I might want to upgrade my equipment etc, providing the interest and fun remains. Thanks for the tips on the kites, I am starting to experience some of the things you stated with the size of kites in relation to the winds.

    KB
  • A few photos from the first few KAP sessions I did. It's nothing professional but I was happy with the process.
    I am hoping to get some KAP in at Long Beach Island NJ (LBI) soon.


    Soccer field in Hainsport NJ
    https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50172278552_ba61568198_b.jpg

    Open field behind my housing development
    https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50172282332_15e30abf4b_b.jpg

  • Welcome kbunited. I too have a lot of what I call yo-yo sessions. I get my 9' delta up, but before I can get the camera and rig started, the wind quits and I have to retrieve it. Here in cenral Oregon it often takes me half a dozen launches before I can get into clean wind. I got so tired of untangling picavet line from brush that I went to a pendulum rig. I've been flying the Levitation Delta for 7 years and recently got a Parafoil 10, which I haven't been able to try much due to lack of wind and/or high ambient temperatures. Keep plugging away!
  • Hey larrycole, I feel your frustration man. I am learning that this requires a lot of patience, but I am trying to stay motivated by reading everyone's experiences and learning as much as I can on this forum. Thanks for chiming in.

    KB
  • Hey Wind Watcher, I read through those post a couple of weeks ago, very informative and entertaining as well. I try to learn from the mistakes of others hence the reason I have been reading everything on this forum.

    KB
  • One little thing I do that helps me - I marked my 100m kite line with marker at 10m intervals (my markings are l, ll, lll, llll, lllll for 10-50m, then l, ll, lll, Illl, lllll again for 60-100).

    Gives me a guide as when to hook on the rig, usually at 20-30m, and an easy answer to the question 'how high is that kite?'
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