Tied to the Sky / stunt kites

Revolution Kites :: The Story

 This post is all about the history of Revolution Kites.  More than kites, this dynamic and innovative company has developed, hands-down, the best quad-line stunt kite on the market.  Sadly, often copied, the counterfeits are nowhere near the quality or performance standard of the authentic Rev kites.  Not unlike the introduction of dual line stunt kite back in the day, Revolution kites have breathed new vibrancy into a traditional and historic hobby for a new generation of kite enthusiasts.

I have heard it said by some that the quad line kites are difficult to fly but my experience has been the opposite.  Teaching many folks to get started with these awesome flying kites is usually done within 20 minutes and the basics are well in hand.   Like dual line flying, proficiency and the "cool-ness factor" increase exponentially as you hone your skills.   I think the transition is often most difficult for those who have flown dual-line kites for a while because fly quad-line Rev kites is really a different kind of flying - more wrist action and smaller inputs which as you begin to master them unlock the "Holy Sh&$" of how these kites perform!

The following history of Revolution Kites was found on their website written by Joe Hadzicki. Enjoy!

Oh Canada - rev. 1.5A true family business, Revolution Enterprises was founded by three Hadzicki brothers in in 1988… Specializing in carbon fabrication, Revolution produces quality kite products, skateboards, golf shafts and a wide variety of other carbon and related products at their factory in Poway, CA.

The Revolution sport kite was released at the 1989 KTA Kite trade show in San Diego, California. The kite was in development for about two years prior to that.

The development of the Revolution design began in 1987. I had recently moved back to San Diego from Santa Barbara, California after completing a degree in mechanical engineering and working with an engineering firm there. While driving by the San Diego Bay one afternoon, I noticed a big husky guy flying a kite and being dragged across the park! I was so fascinated that I looked into this new sport. I soon found out that the best kites cost up in the range of $200 to $300. I quickly enlisted the fun loving company of my two brothers Jim and David. Within two weeks we had designed and built our own set of power dragging kites! For the next several weeks, we spent our afternoons experimenting with this new hobby of ours! After getting the basic controls of two line flying down, we flew team maneuvers, then we flew our delta kites with long flowing tails, then we stacked the kites, then we got kind of bored.

I’m always looking for ways to improve things, and it seemed to me this kite could use some improving! Primarily, better landing abilities!Rev. 1.5 sle 2013

My idea was to modify the kite so that it could back down and land. Over the next several months we tested multiple approaches to effect a “backing down” or reversing action including four line control, three line control, appropriate handle design, and mechanical flap designs among other design concepts. Although the initial attempts quickly affected the general performance of the kite, the ability to reverse down and land was not much closer. As we worked harder and harder to fine tune the design, the effects were becoming less and less noticeable. After about six months of design modifications to the basic delta design, we gave up in frustration.

Several months later I woke up one morning with a completely new approach to the design problem. I decided to approach the kite from an airplane control perspective as opposed to a kite approach. By controlling each wing independently from a flap or aileron design we could redirect the air flow to cause forward or reverse flight. Within two weeks we had a working model that far surpassed our wildest dreams! Far beyond our main goal of being able to back down and land, this new revolutionary kite was capable of instantaneous stopping, reverse flight in any direction, full speed control in both forward and reverse flight, and propeller like spins! The most impressive fact was that these characteristics are inherent to the basic design and therefore do not take hours and hours to learn complicated techniques.

Although precise accurate control takes practice, backing down to land takes nothing more than a simple rotation of both wrists!

Since the initial design of the Revolution I had a nine-foot wingspan, structural integrity quickly became an issue. Fiberglass was too flexible and heavy. The high stiffness aluminum used in the arrow shaft industry works well but begins to bend to shape within an hour or so of flying. My younger brother David just happens to be a pro rated golfer with a lot of connections in the golf industry including access to the graphite shaft design team at Aldila, who at the time was the worlds’ leading graphite golf shaft manufacturer. Within six weeks or so we had designed the ideal shaft for our Rev I (Neos Omega) kite.

With eighty kites built and two days to go until the international kite trade show in San Diego, Aldila gave us the bad news that they wouldn’t be able to manufacture the shafts for us due to other production obligations.

The Revolution design was an instant show stopper at the convention, selling out in the first hour followed with orders for 400 more! We had a wall of people, three deep for three days placing orders.

On Saturday, the kite demonstration day, we had store retailers crowded around with three to six kites under their arms waiting for a lesson. With this information, they would be able to go back to their stores and amaze all their customers, therefore selling thousands of kites! ….. Wrong! We gave people the basic lesson, telling them, thumbs back flies the kite up, left thumb forward turns left, right thumb turns right. Both thumbs forward, backs the kite down. The fact that this method of flying was completely alien to them (no pulling motions), along with the highly sensitive controllability, made the Revolution overwhelming. Add the fact that we had virtually no experience teaching people to fly added to the confusion. It seemed so easy to us! Thumbs back. Left thumb, right thumb, thumbs forward!! The stores had demonstration videos showing performance, but no technique. Only hard-core enthusiasts would dare accept the Revolution challenge!

Although selling the kites complete with a training video was the original plan, it had been dropped due to advice from store retailers that the cost would be prohibitive. After a couple months of frustration from new Revolution fliers and retailers, we began including the training videos with each Revolution sold. We instantly noticed the difference! New fliers that used to take two weeks to get the basics would now buy the Revolution, watch the training video that night, and learn the basic flying skills by the next day! My brother Jim, over the next couple years was successful in incorporating quad line flying into the international competitions including precision, ballet and team events. From the beginning and through the present virtually all quad line events are dominated by the Revolution design.

The original Revolution I design is extremely stable and is the choice for large stacks but is considered slow by today’s standards. The Rev II is fast and somewhat “twitchy”. I enjoy it most in high winds (12 mph and above) on a 100-foot line set, which makes the flying fast and furious! Forget precision! The Rev 1.5 debuted in 1995 and is by far the favorite of both competition fliers and competitors alike. At a wingspan of 7.5 feet, it has great stability similar to the 9-foot Rev I with a lot of the instant quickness of the 6-foot Rev II. The Speed Series, which debuted in 1998, introduced a new aspect to the Revolution design. With the 4-strut support of the tighter sail, the Revolution Shockwave and Supersonic reach speeds to 70 mph! That’s twice the speed of a standard Rev 1.5! In fact, the Speed Series can fly faster backward than a 1.5 can fly forward!

Indoor Revolution kiteIn 2001 we introduced the Revolution Blast. With a wingspan of 9.5 feet and a longer chord, this design resulted in significant power and improved stability over the standard Speed Series design. Introduced in 2003 is the Super Blast. With approximately 30% more sail area than the Blast this is a true buggy kite in winds above 12 mph. The up wind performance is unbelievable! One of the greatest advantages of all the Speed Series kites is the ability to instantly dump 90% of the power by simply rolling the thumbs back! This is extremely useful in all power kiting conditions.

In 2007, we worked with John Barresi to develop the incredibly popular B-Series. Built in the same 1.5 size class as our SLE and EXP, the B-Series incorporated John’s extensive experience as an international competition and performance pilot to provide some of the same advantages to recreational fliers such as the ability to adjust tuning for personal taste, and mulitiple frames to both expand the kite’s wind range and provide the right amount of competition quality precision.

In 2009, award-winning kitemaker Bazzer Poulter joined in our design efforts with the B-Series PRO – utilizing premium PC31 Icarex fabric, added reinforcements and custom colors for every sail panel. The PRO series went on to become the#1 choice for competitive and hard core recreational pilots all over the world.

Continuing to innovate in 2010, Bazzer Poulter worked closely with John Barresi and their iQuad teammates to develop the B-Series Zen. This design utilized a larger sail area, special bridle and framing for extreme ultralight conditions.

In 2011, we introduced a Rev II sized version of the B-Series called the B2 (faster and more responsive), as well as a full sized version of the B-Series PRO called the Xtra Vent for extreme high wind conditions.

Thank you again for all your interest and support over the years. We couldn’t do it without you. I hope kites has brought you as much fun and enjoyment over the years as it has us.

In 2010, all three Hadzicki brothers were inducted into the World Kite Museum Hall of Fame.

New York Minute (NYM) - 2014 saw the introduction of the New York Minute kite. An exciting new look with a 25 panel sail, new logo, and a folded ‘No Fray’ leading edge, this is one of our smoothest flying sails yet.  Built with the best American made, new generation carbon fiber- our highest performing “Green Race Frame” comes standard in this exceptional sail.  Innovative venting provides a selection of vent sail designs for almost every wind condition.

Reflex - New for 2016 the Reflex is a unique Rev design that is super stable and boasts a larger sail area. With impressive light wind flying and in winds over 12 kph deliver more power, more fun.  Almost like getting 2 kites in One Reflex. Learn More

For the history of the specific models and framing, check out John Mitchell's website Revolution Kite History.  This Rev enthusiast has put together a really impressive site in homage to an amazing kite.

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Spectra Kite Flying Line - Stunt Kites

spectra kite lineKite line is an important asset for every kite, especially performance stunt kites. Not all line is created equal! The old adage "You get what you pay for" is true with kite line.

For example, there is a big difference between generic spectra line and
 Shanti. Shanti is a premium quality because of the fibre quality, braiding and fibre treatment which reduces drag and friction! This means longer kite line life and better kite performance. 

Since 1974, Shanti has led the world in the development of kite lines, spools and Winders. In 1985,  Shanti invented Speed-line, the worlds first spectra kite line.  Speed line has been copied by nearly every kite company in the world and it has been widely used in the sport fishing industry.

    To make Spectra suitable for fishing line, companies began coating the line to make itspectra kite line easier to handle, but ironically for the kite flyer coating the line actually increased friction!  In past 10 years kiteflyers have grown accustom to coated flying lines and some prefer the feel.  During this time the quality of coating has improved significantly and in 2009, Shanti began working with engineers to produce a coating that was specifically designed for kite flying not fishing.  This new neon yellow coating uses a polymer-alloy which bonds to the fibres and protects them from damage while remaining slippery.

The new coating allows Shanti to work with some new high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) fibres.  “High modulus” is a comparative term which simply refers to the fibres  strength to weight ratio.  High modulus fibre is stronger and lighter than low modulus fibre.
    The new line from Shanti - Skybond - has the highest modulus rating of any kite line they have tested.  They explain a 100lb/test Skybond line is thinner than 90 lb/test Spectra, but is 10% stronger, costs almost the same!  Bonus!

Is Skybond better than Shanti’s Speedline?  Nope.  This is the classic oranges versus apples question. Speedline has a soft finish.  It is more slippery, has less stretch and wears 3 to 5 times longer than other high performance lines.  But for flyers who like coated lines, the new Skybond is as revolutionary as the original was 32 years ago.  Skybond is also made in the USA.

 

Info: courtesy of Shanti Kite Company

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Sky Shark Performance Kite Framing

We take great pride in providing a reliable Canadian source for quality perforce kites and accessories.  We stock a good supply of SkyShark air frames that are ideal for kite repairs and kite customization / upgrades and projects.   We found this great information on the SkyShark website and thought you might be interested.

Sky Shark™ Competition Air Frames
 are world renowned as the very best competition tubes. It is no wonder, the best flyers in the world use Sky Shark™ Air Frames. The facts speak for themselves, there is no equal to the weight to stiffness of Sky Shark™. The consistent quality of the fibers and tubes offer un-matched reliability and performance. Sky Shark™ is committed to bringing the the very best to kite flyers of all abilities. Whatever level of kite you fly or manufacture, use the very best products, Sky Shark Kite™ Products.

The "P-Series"

The Sky Shark™ P Series Straight Competition Air Frames. These tubes can be cut and ferruled anywhere using a solid carbon rod. They can also be ferruled with any of the New Tapered tubes except the 2PT. These tubes work great for building sport kites as well as single line kites.     All of our P series tubes are non-tapered, with the same inside diameter as tapered tubes. You can join any P series tubes with the tapered tubes. These tubes are made in much the same way as our wrapped tapered tube with the exception of materials used . The P-series also use a different layering of materials which makes it possible to cut the tubes anywhere and ferrule them without breaking out the wall, unlike the tapered tubes.   A common question is "what is the difference between P-series tubes and the tapered tubes?" Weight verses stiffness. Example 3pt, at 12.5 grams, has the stiffness of the P-200 at 14.5 grams.Which is more durable? The P200. The 3pt is an ultra light performance tube wind range 2mph to 12 mph or more depending on design. The P-200 could take winds up to over 20 mph and not break. It would lack the performance of a stiffer tube, but can take it, unlike the 3pt. The P series tubes also have a smooth finish and this year come in either a black or the original gray carbon finish except for the p90 and p400 which only come in the grey.

 

  •  (Ferrules-- You should always use solid .2400 rod in all tubes with the exception of 2pts, P90s and 2ps which you could use lighter 2400 tube ferrules.)

The "PX Series"
We have a new series of tubes the P1X, P2X and P3X.  The new tubes have a new woven look, they are very much the same as the old P series tubes, same ID and OD. The big difference is the tubes are made with a higher modules of carbon which makes them 15 to 20 % stiffer that the old P series tubes.

The "PT Series"

These tapered air frames are exceptional. We have increased stiffness up to 50%. What's the secret? New material combinations! All of the Sky Shark PT series tapered tubes are made on the same mandrels. This means that all of the inside diameters are the same, at .244 I.D. You can use a .2400 or 6mm ferrule across the range. 

 

(source: http://www.skyburner.com/skyshark/ss-products.html )

 

 

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Looking for A FreeStyle'er for the Lower Wind Days?

Freestyle stunt kite for low windsWe have a gently used KFX LW in yellow. We have used this kite to demonstrate the amazing flight characteristics and performance of a legendary kite from a legendary kite maker! These kites are handmade in France with an attention to detail and innovation.                                            The KFX doesn't miss a beat with the latest tricks - Backspins, Multi-lazies, Yo-yo's, She'll take it all in stride! Looking for smooth precise arcs and angles and forms? Say "Hello" to the KFX!A new kite is always a learning adventure and the KFX is no exception.  This classic from R-Sky kites will awaken your inner FreeStyler in jaw-dropping ways! The Krystal FX will, no doubt, be the new step in that direction for you!  If you are looking for a great freestyle kite with uncanny precision, the KFX may just have your name on it!

Specs.

  • Size: 210 x 90cm
  • Wind Range: 4 - 18 km/h 
  • Sail : Icarex Mylar
  • Upper leading edge: 3PT 
  • Lower leading edge: 3PT 
  • Lower spreaders: 3PT 
  • Whiskers: 3 mm (4) 
  • Spine: 6 mm 
  • Top Cross: 5 mm

SOLD!

 

 

 

 

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Flyin' with the Devil? Hold Tight!

Big two line kite!Looking for that epic kite?  Over 10ft of wingspan this Kite will curdle the blood of any pilot. Tremendous pull accompanied by tight loops and precise moves.Looking for shear power with speed? You want to try and restrain this Devil Wing? Then be warned that your fingers could get burned. This completely revised design means fireworks for the unwary with its speed and power!  This kite is not for the faint of heart!

The Devil Wing 3.2 will help even experienced pilots to discover and stretch their limits in no time.
 

Specs:

Wingspan:  320cm
Height: 125 cm
Sail: Nylon
Frame: Carbon 10 & 12 mm
Line: 300lb x 75ft included
Wind: 4- 49 Kph
Age: +16
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