- Sep 1, 2001I rigged a very simple version of the sled/foil bridle on the Concept
Air EX's 6.0 and it works beautifully!
The bridle consists of the exact duplication of the original primary
bridle at each wing tip of the kite (read my "perfect kite" post for the
definition of the primary bridle). A "V" about 1.5 times the length
(span) of the kite is connected to the duplicated primary bridles at the
The center of the "V" is connected to a flying line which is connected
to a center sled/foil leader line on the bar with a strap system similar
to the Wipika/Naish 4 line set up (the bar now has 2 center leader
lines: the original center leader line for brake/safety release and the
new center sled/foil leader line)
In its neutral setting, the center sled/foil leader line has no effect
on the shape of the kite (i.e., the kite is flying as a foil as it
When the center sled/foil leader line is shortened, the wing tips are
curved down and therefore reduce the projected surface of the kite (the
kite starts becoming more like a sled). The more the center sled/foil
leader line is shortened, the less the projected surface of the kite.
Since the wind was light (10 - 12 knots), I kitesurfed with the center
sled/foil leader line in its neutral setting. The kite behaved as it
normally would and the new bridles did not seem to interfere with the
kite performance in this mode.
When I started pulling on the center sled/foil leader line, both the
wing tips started to curve down and and the more I shortened the center
sled/foil leader line, the more the wing tips curved down (the more the
kite looked like a sled). The more the wing tips curved down, the more
stable the kite became. This worked well upto a point when the wing
tips started to collapse frequently (the reason for this collapse was
predictable as I have yet connected the duplicated primary bridles at
the tips to the inner primary bridles - this will be the next step).
Even with this very simple sled/foil bridle and the limitation to how
much "sled" I can turn the foil into, I estimate that this set up would
make the EX's 6.0 to have the same wind range as an equivalent 4 line
inflatable (double the wind speed wind range or 10 - 20 knots for the
EX's 6.0 for me).
The next experiment would be to connect the duplicated primary bridles
at the wing tips to the inner primary bridles for more foil/sled range
or more wind range (I may have to duplicate more inner primary bridles
to avoid interference with the operation of the original foil bridles).
The only issue I found so far is what to do with the the amount of
center sled/foil lead line I had to shorten to turn the kite into a sled
(could be upto 5' - 6').
For the benefit of those not reading some of my previous posts: the
advantage of the sled/foil over a 4 line inflatable is that it has the
ability to make use the best of the foil and sled technologies (high
performance in light wind and stability in strong wind) with potential
of much more wind range.
Have fun playing with your sled/foil!
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