68152Re: [ksurf] 5th line attached to leading edge?
- Apr 16, 2004I've been offline beating viruses and worms to death on my system, so I
missed the beginning (and middle) of this topic.
I've been flying with a leading edge 5th line system for about 6 months
now; water and snow/ice. It has a lot of advantages over the trailing
edge 5th line; mainly that it totally kills the power when you go to the
leash, or even pull in the 5th line a little bit. As I approach the
beach, I just give the line a gentle tug and hold it and the decreased
angle of attack makes the kite just flutter down gently (no bursting
bladder) straight downwind. As long as you keep the 5th line wound a
couple of times ahead of the flying lines, the kite will just sit. In
fact, you can swim back upwind to your board with the kite leash
attached to your harness and the bar some distance up the lines (8
feet?). The pull is as hard as it is when you make the walk of shame
back upwind. This ability to self launch and land and the incredible
safety of being able to drop the bar and still relaunch easily is the
No one has touched on the exact rigging of the stopper, which to the
inventor is the secret. He was very worried that an amateur wouldn't be
able to rig it correctly, but it's not that hard. Here is the posting I
made on Kite Forum a couple weeks ago...
You guys sure can make the simplest thing more difficult then it needs
Spread your arms. That's a good distance to space the cls straps on the
leading edge. Or half that, because it doesn't make any difference
regardless of what size kite, but you probably won't be putting this on
something less then 12m, because in enough wind for a 9m, you don't need
it (although the depower would sure come in handy in landing).
Open the zipper/velcro and slide the leading edge over the bottom arm of
your sewing machine. If your smart and/or chicken, I'd take the bladder
out first. I did the Naish 14m with the bladder out and the 20m Cabrinha
with it in, but you better make sure every minute that you're not sewing
through it. Sew about 10" of webbing around the leading edge sleeve,
with a loop near the middle and pretty near centered right on the
front-most part of the leading edge to tie the bridal line to.
Use Q-line or a spare flying line to make a bridle between the two
straps and put a nice pigtail in the middle. Don't ask how big the
triangle formed needs to be; it doesn't matter either.
Then run a larks head off a Q-line/flying line to the bridle, but leave
some extra for adjustments. You can always trim it back later. Now run
it down to about 5 meters from the bar, tie into another line that is
hand friendly (I use 3/16" soft leader line) and put a ball stopper at
the knot. Bring the leader line down through somewhere in your trim
strap where the line will slide but the ball won't go through. Add a
ring if you need to.
Ok, now the 'tricky part'. Not a big deal. Go out some morning with NO
WIND, blow up the kite, rig your lines and set the kite on the ground
with the leading edge facing the bar, the tips up straight in the air,
the bar slid up the cls line to the stopper ball, and the cls line tight.
Adjust the point where you tie the cls line to the bridle until the semi
slack flying lines just hold the kite from blowing over backwards, but
not too tight so they pull the tips toward the bar. You just want it to
sit stable upside down. The wind is going to load this up a bit so
you'll have to adjust it again in some breeze, so...
Go have breakfast and wait for the wind to pick up to about 6-10 mph,
then go out, rerig and check how it behaves with a little dynamic
loading. Just stake the end of the cls line (the bar end you will
shackle, or whatever, off to your harness when it's your leash) Make
sure the bar is slid all the way to the ball stopper. The flying lines
will form a catenary curve from the ground up to the tips of the kite,
and everything needs to be adjusted until they just hold the tips
In a little more wind, make sure that the kite doesn't float upside down
off the ground; if it does, lengthen the bridal or the top flying line
portion of the cls line to effectively pull the tips of the kite toward
the bar, decreasing the angle of attack of the upside down kite with
respect to the ground and making it stay on the ground just gently.
I put this system on my kites when I first saw the KCS patent in France
and it is easily the coolest thing for a solo sailor you could come up
with. Genius. After sewing the straps, it takes about 15 minutes to
build the system and rig it. The best part is the safety it lends to
launching and landing; it is so depowered you can swim upwind dragging
the kite and lines. Or wind your lines when you get close (two line
lengths please) to shore. I still use a helper if there are people
around to launch, but landing I don't bother in case the wrong person
grabs it (untrained). I don't sail with other kiters because there
aren't any (I don't sail alone, just no kiters; I'm actively
Wipika is brilliant for snatching this up; they're going to be selling a
lot of kites once sailors on the beach start seeing this one in action.
The original patent for the KCS system (KCS - Kite control system,
Wipika's CLS system) had a double fairlead on the bar for the chicken
loop on one side of the bar and the cls line on the other. I tried this
for about a month, then moved it up to the trim adjustment strap for
safety; it gets the pulled in line away from you in the water when you
have to relaunch.
Also landing, I never throw the bar; just come in and drop back into the
water, then start pulling the leash slightly. The angle of attack of the
kite goes negative and just decends gently to the sand, where you can
then let it go all the way to the cls leash. This puts it down soft as a
feather, then kills the power.
Try it on your big kite, and don't get hung up on the extra line; you'll
never notice it.
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