Cobra Kites
Blade Tuning Tips

 
BLADE TUNING TIPS


Blade Tuning Tips
Blade Tuning Tips 
Refer to the instruction booklet included with your kite, as well as the following list.

  2 - Line Setup
  4 - Line Setup
  Bridle
  Control Problems - 4-line
  Crossover Kit
  Distorted Underside
  Don't Drag It
  Flying Line
  Flying Line Adjustment
  Flying Line Stretch
  Power
  What Size
  Wrap It Up

2-Line Setup.
Although Blades are primarily designed to fly on 4 lines, they can be set up to fly on 2. You may want to do this to fly from a 2-line control bar. We recommend a control bar approximately 24 inches long. In general, the larger the kite, the longer the control bar you'll need to have adequate turning input.
Converting the Blade for use on 2 lines is very simple for all sizes up to and including the 4.9. For the larger sizes, it is advisable to use the Blade Crossover Kit to increase the turn rate of these kites.

Take the left brake line and larks head knot it onto the left main bridle attachment point. Repeat for right side.
 

The brake bridle is now attached to the main bridle - right. Connect the 2 flying lines to the main bridle - below.
 

Blade 2 lineBlade 2 line
Blade 2 lineBlade 2 line

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4-Line Setup.
Blades are primarily designed to fly on 4 lines. Using the 4 line setup, you will get greater control and manoeuvrability. We recommend using 4 lines for all land traction.

Blades can also be flown using a control bar with 4 lines, though for optimum performance, we recommend the quad-line control handles.

If a control bar is used, connect the main lines to the outer connection points on the bar and the two brake lines to a single point at the center of the bar. A new conversion kit for 4 line Blade flying ona control bar will available later in the year.

Blade 4 lineBlade 4 line
Blade 4 lineBlade 4 line

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Bridle.
Blades have a pre-set, sleeved Spectra core fiber Bridle with sewn-in attachment loops. As the angle of attack of the kite can be changed in flight when flying in 4-line mode, by varying tension on the bottom lines, there is no need to alter the main bridle setting. Should Bridle Legs get damaged or break, they can easily be replaced with similar material or the full or partial bridle replacement kits.
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Distorted Underside.
If the underside of the kite looks distorted or pulled out of shape, it is usually due to one or more Bridle Legs getting "Hung Up" on the knot or loop where the main Bridle meets the Flying Lines. Land the kite and release the caught Bridle Leg.
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Don't Drag It.
It is especially important when flying on abrasive surfaces like Asphalt or Dry Lake Bed to avoid allowing the kite to slide from side to side when it's on the ground. This action and dragging the kite along the ground will result in both stitching and fabric wearing through.
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Control Problems - 4-line
If it is difficult to hold the Skytiger on a steady course whilst traveling, when used for traction, it may be due to unequal flying lines. This problem can be a difference form side to side, front to back or a combination of both. Check line lengths and adjust to make them all equal. If lines are unequal side to side, the kite will have a tendency to drift in the direction of the shorter line. The kite will have to be flown with a constant control input to correct the drift if the line lengths are not equalized. Line length differences front to back can lead to decreased power as well as control. [Power Problems] If the Blade seems to pull hard but does not climb or steer very well, it's a sign that the Top Lines are too long or Bottom lines are too short. This is generally a result of the Top or main flying lines being stretched. [Flying Line Stretch] This is normal, especially when flying lines are new and re-adjustment may be necessary two or three times before they become fully stretched. To remedy the problem the Top Lines can be shortened or the Bottom Lines lengthened. Usually the amount of stretch is quite large and the first adjustment will be approximately six inches or so. To cut six inches from the Top Lines may not be satisfactory as it may be too much or not enough. [Flying Line Adjustment] A good idea to correct discrepancies due to Top Line Stretch is to add 8 to 10 inch loops to the Bottom Lines. This effectively increases the length of the Bottom Lines to counteract the Top Line Stretch.
By adding a series of knots to these loops, fine adjustments can be made once all the lines have been equalized. Slightly less common is the situation where the Bottom Lines are too long, giving little or no 'Brake'. This usually happens if lines are swapped between kites. The Blade will tend to overfly and lack pulling power. It will also be virtually impossible to land by applying full 'Brake' on the Bottom Lines. To cure the Bottom Lines being too long, just extend the Top Lines using a pair of loops as described earlier. Once Flying Lines have become fully stretched any major differences can be trimmed off to avoid excessive loop lengths.
Line attachment drawing
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Crossover Kit.
To fly Blades larger than 4.9 on 2 lines, we recommend using the Crossover Kit. This cross-bridling accessory automatically applies braking to one side of the kite to increase its turning rate.

The crossover Kit is best fitted in calm conditions with the kite on its back, bridle facing up. Lay out the link lines and attach the toggles (near the metal rings) to the 2 flying lines (Fig 3). The thin crossover lines attach to the link line loops (Fig 1). Each crossover line is then fed through the ring and under the crossover lines (Fig 2). Check that the sliding knots are next to the Silver marks (Fig 6). The sliding knot allows for adjustment. Re-tie as necessary (Fig 5). Connect the remaining loops to the main bridle and brake lines (Fig 4). Fly the kite and adjust the crossover lines for best turn rate. Shortening the crossover lines will increase the turn rate and vice versa.

Full instructions are included with the Crossover Kit.

Blade Crossover KitBlade Crossover Kit
Blade Crossover KitBlade Crossover Kit

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Flying Line.
We recommend using Spectra flying lines as this material has good non-stretch properties and is relatively thin for its breaking strength. As Blades are used mostly for kite traction, a good rule of thumb is to use 300lbs for the top lines and 200lbs for the bottom or brake lines. This combination is good for any size, since the larger kites will be used in light winds and the smaller ones in strong winds. As kite traction is about moving along, maximum resistance is avoided and 300lbs breaking strength line is enough for nearly all circumstances. Occasionally, a 200lbs on top/150lbs on bottom combination could be used to cut down on some drag, but there is a durability trade-off from scuffing etc. The preceeding recommendation is mainly aimed at land traction. If you are using Blades for kiteboarding, then 500lbs top with 300lbs bottom combination would be a better choice. If you are kiteboarding with Blades, Hydro Line is another choice to consider, as this line floats and can be easily knotted without sleeving. A very comfortable length of flying lines is 75 feet. This length is long enough to prevent the kite from moving too fast across the wind window, yet not so long as to be anti-social when buggying with others for instance. Long lines may be a solution for very low wind, though with lines twice as long comes twice the drag on those lines, or a way to overcome turbulent wind low down. In general however, we find 75 feet to be the ideal length.

In order to maintain your flying lines in good condition and avoid tangling we suggest that you keep a set attached to each kite and pack it as shown in the Wrap It Up section. Though this may seem extravagant, it is by far the best way to keep your Blades ready to fly and prevent time consuming line changes in the wind, where tangling will most certainly occur.
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What size?
Choosing the right size of Blade for kite traction ultimately comes with flying experience. There is no set formula to refer to in order to choose the best kite for any given set of conditions. Essentially, there are 4 variables which determine which Blade to use. Skill or experience, surface, wind and pilot weight. The best rule to follow is don't attempt to use a kite which is too large for the prevailing conditions. Strong wind, smooth flat surface and a light weight pilot do not suggest that anything but the smallest kite should be used for buggying under these conditions. When learning, it is especially important to start small in order to gain experience and get a feel for operating both kite and buggy or skis. It is very wise to become familiar with flying Blades whilst standing still, if four-line flying is new to you. Learn how to direct the kite where you want it to go and understand how powerful it can be.
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Wrap It Up.
Wrap up sequence foto1

1 - With the kite secure on the ground, put both handles together in one hand.
Wrap up sequence foto2

2 - Wind all 4 lines together around the top area of the handles. Walk towards the kite as you wind up the lines.
Wrap up sequence foto3

3 - When you reach the kite and the bridle attachment points, drop the bridle lines on top of the kite and place the handles on the ground below the trailing edge.

Wrap up sequence foto4

4 - Fold the kite inwards from each end, keeping the loose bridle lines inside the folds. Leave the handles on the ground.
Wrap up sequence foto5

5 - Fold the kite inward until you have a neat package. Place the handles in the center of the folded kite.
Wrap up sequence foto6

6 - Roll the kite package up from the trailing edge with the handles inside. Note! When preparing to fly next time, make sure you unwind the lines from the same side as the were wound on. This will avoid a lot of untwisting.
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We welcome your questions, comments and suggestions.
You can e-mail us at:info@cobrakites.com
telephone; 732 270-2112
Last updated Wednesday March 3 2010