The year 2020 has been a rough one .... and we are only half way through the year....lost two KAP kites....lost one KAP rig with two cameras.... lost my Dad... tough year.
I am slowing replacing and rebuilding items that have been lost.
I have been working towards a couple of new Rokkaku KAP kites. I initially reached out to Piotr (BlueKiteTeam BKT) who has sewn for me several high quality KAP kites (Rokkaku and Dopero kites). Piotr informed me that he is taking a break from sewing kites... ;-( He did point me to SMAC (from Italy) who is also know as an excellent kite maker.
SMAC and I exchanged a few emails and we settled on building two new Rokkaku kites
- Standard Rokkaku with dimensions of 245 cm length (8 foot) and 167.5 cm in width (5.5 feet), color Yellow
- Vented Rokkaku with dimensions of 245 cm length (8 foot) and 167.5 cm in width (5.5 feet), color Red
SMAC was very fast in sewing the kites and they arrived at my door just a few weeks after placing the order with SMAC.
Work load for me has been very high which delayed the framing and test flights over Wind Watcher proving grounds.
This past week the work finally eased up a bit and I was able to frame both kites (using SkyShark P400 wrapped carbon tubes).
The first flights for both kites in the skies above the Wind Watcher proving grounds were very favorable.
The new Rokkaku kites few straight and true with good elevation. The winds were light ranging from 10-15 mph with occasional gust to 18-20 mph. The kites had a good steady pull and could easily lift a moderate weight KAP rig. The Rokkaku kites did well in the gusts and fought to move higher in the sky as apposed to some Rokkaku kites that get distorted and get pushed lower and lower (which is not a good thing if you have a KAP rig attached!). The new Rokkaku kites few at high angles (good for KAP) and did not lose their pull (lifting ability) during short overflies (also good for KAP).
Both kites put a smile on my face. I am planning on a few tweaks in the framing and in speeding rapid field set up for travel kites in the days ahead. Expect to combine these two new kites with the recently built new KAP rig.
Thank you to SMAC for some excellent work.
The fist photo below shows the two new Rokkaku KAP kites (yellow and red) compared to my blue Rokkaku from Piotr which is 8.5 feet tall and wider. The two Rokkaku kites from SMAC have a bit higher ratio of length vs. width compared to the blue BKT Rokkaku.
Enjoy additional photos below and in this flickr album
Click picture below to see video
the quality in sewing and the care in details of BKT cannot be reached....
I'm happy if you are happy of the result
wish you and all KAPers all the best possible for today and future life
2020 is a strange year... I have made kites since more than 30 years almost only for myself
SMAC from Italy
Sorry for the loss of your father. It's really been a challenging year for most people.
Nice collection of kites and kudoz to smac for such quality work. I maybe interested in some customized kites in the future as I experience some of the same negative characteristics in my 7' Rox from SkyDog as Wind Watcher described. The last few weeks has been rainy here in South NJ with little to no wind which is frustrating as I have some new toys to test out. I upgraded my action Camera to a GoPro 7 white, and I also got a Hohem 3 axis wearable gimbal. I plan to do some KAV and I am itching to test these out. I also took your advice WW and made my self a stratospool. It'snot the quality as yours but it's a start.
Hoping the rest of the year is good to everyone. Stay safe.
MikeW, My immediate thought process was simple .... replace some lost kites.... I was down to two trusted ROKs...both large (8.5 and 10 foot) BKT ROKs - both fly great in light wind (what they are designed for). Great lifters for light wind. The two new ROKs from SMAC are targeted for moderate wind speeds. The vented ROK spills wind and can go a bit higher in wind speeds and handle the gust a bit better. The taller profile seems to spill the wind a bit better providing better stability in moderate winds. All three ROKs are seeing lots of flying time above WW proving grounds. Hope this helps.
Pulled out my large inventory of KAP kites to get ready for some beach KAPing in the coming weeks... see photo below taken yesterday from by big BKT 8.5 foot ROK flying high in 5 mph of wind.