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Found my relic Flexifoil Blade II 6.4m in the attic-looking for flying advice

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u0362565
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Found my relic Flexifoil Blade II 6.4m in the attic-looking for flying advice

Postby u0362565 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:17 pm

Hi all,

In the very late 90's it must have been, as a young teenager I went out and bought the biggest kite I could afford because i was stupid and thought bigger is better and i had notions I was going to be jumping all over the place with it. When i actually used the thing all of 2-3 times it scared the life out of me and since then life got away from me. Anyway i happened to rediscover it up in the attic gathering dust in its rucksack the other day and i thought hey i'm older, wiser? Slightly heavier.
Maybe i can do something useful with this thing other than use it as a tarp or such like. So I see that kites have moved on some what in the last 20 or so years but nothing too crazy, "depower ooh" "ILE". I have a few questions if some kind souls would have any advice to someone who has flown small two line stunt kites and a small 1m ish foil kite with no brakes who wants to transition to this traction kite (Flexifoil Blade II 6.4m).

-Given its age but on the plus side lack of use is there any reason to think it wouldn't be flight worthy?
-Is it possible to use a kite of this size for kite flying alone i.e. no traction other than it pulling me along on two feet a bit? If yes good because i hadn't thought as far as how else i would employ it
-Thinking of safety, its a 4 line kite with brakes but it doesn't have the kite killers velcro straps that were brought in just after this model. Presumably i could add those on and i guess they're advisable to have? Any other safety features i could add on?
-When i did use it and yes i did take it out in too windy conditions-kites need lots of wind right? or so i thought ;) I found the handles would tilt so the lead lines were pulling away from me from the top, i.e. it was quite hard to keep the handles at roughly 90 to the ground. So even if i wanted to tilt my wrists to pull the lower part of the handles back to apply the brakes i didn't have the strength in my wrists to overcome the force of the kite pulling on the lead lines and the top of the handles to be able to pull the brakes. Is this pilot error, setup of kite error or due to too strong wind conditions?
-Would it be sensible if i can find someone experienced locally to maybe help me out with learning to fly this thing?
-If anyone is still with me, as much as it saddens me i wonder if i should actually start again and buy a smaller more modern kite as i should have done 20 years ago. But i still think of all that pocket money i used on this to then barely use it-shocking.

Thanks for the help!

RedSky
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Re: Found my relic Flexifoil Blade II 6.4m in the attic-looking for flying advice

Postby RedSky » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:01 am

Perfect kite for scudding in lighter wind. I see no reason why it shouldn't fly unless the mice have been at it.

I had them all, from 2m to 10.5m. I still have the 4.9 ( The widow maker ) 6.4 ( old blue eyes ) and my pride and joy 7.2m ( K48 Chris Calthrop RIP )
Obviously they don't get used these days but I like having them around. Of course, depower has made me soft. I spent 10 years flying nothing but fixed bridle foil race kites on a harness including the Blade and the thought of it now scares me.

Most people who have owned a Blade have a story to tell including myself. They don't take much to fly, so you need to respect the wind. Avoid inland gusty wind. Get to the coast or somewhere wideopen and enjoy clean light wind.

If you live near a shingle stone beach then that's the best place to fly. The shingle will soak up the energy on landing, presumably feet first.
Kite killers will retain your kite should you let go but they won't protect you from being hurt, but will protect the poor bastard downwind of you. So definitely get those.

You may also use the kite killers with a Peter Lynn backstrap. The back strap works the same as a harness but without it being permanently attached to you. The strap will take all the strain off your arms allowing you a ton of leverage to apply those brakes. The back strap will come off if you bend forward to touch your toes or take a tumble. Just remember to let go of the handles when you do and let the killers do the rest.

A big kite in light wind is not a bad choice. I'd rather recommend this setup than a smaller kite in higher wind for a beginner, because ideally you want a slow moving kite that will give you more time to react to it.
Fast kites that buzz around the sky can be fun but they can take you by surprise too.

Just give people downwind plenty of space, in fact give everyone a wide berth and you should be fine. So go get your pocket monies worth and have fun!

u0362565
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Re: Found my relic Flexifoil Blade II 6.4m in the attic-looking for flying advice

Postby u0362565 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:33 pm

Thanks RedSky good advice. Wow did Peter Lynn have a radical makeover i thought they used to do really traditional kites and now the website is very swish, moved with the times. Looks as if the back strap is fairly universal because it just loops over the handles from what I can see. Likewise with kite killers, you can essentially buy any brand of those because they're just a line knotted to the brakes and velcro straps? Just one final comment, do the kite killers ever not work? I watched a video on kitesurfing kites and they seem to have multiple mechanisms to collapse the kite if one mechanism doesn't work you use the back up but i guess the killers are the only option with the blade and push comes to shove you just need to get the straps off you to release the kite, better it in a tree than me..

Biggest problem now might be a good flying site and conditions, hmm tricky. Its usually pretty windy in Edinburgh UK!

Thanks again

slide
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Re: Found my relic Flexifoil Blade II 6.4m in the attic-looking for flying advice

Postby slide » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:33 pm

i have many many early blades and if they have been looked after they stand the test of time very well- blade2 6.4 is very slow to turn tho, but yes it will great to fly. blade2's were released 2001/2002 -keep it on handles with a strop across the top back line , the power line and get a petzl rescue pully
you can't fly these kites without a harness properly , as you will never handle the power , i use a petzl work harness and a snap shakle and thats the way i fly and learn to lean back as the power comes in , i mean throw your feet forward when the power comes in,and your upper body back -easier if you on a landboard , lean back and slide forward if you on sand , it is very difficult to do on grass,
you don't need to buy a strop , i make mine up out of 8mm double braided sailing rope , very strong and i have hung my arse off that many times and never had an issue , i started flying blades in 2003 , and learnt on them , and i still fly them , my favourites are blade 1 , 2 and 3 , after that they became easier to fly but a bit gutless ,and i just collect the early blades , i have about 30 and they all are ready to fly , and i fly them when the mood takes me - you'll get some great jumps with a b2 6.4-if you serious about flying this kite , you could do with maybe a blade2 4metre for the stronger winds and use the 6.4 for lighter winds
but have fun and if you want more advice about the setup and how to fly blades safely just ask

like for example launching - i always use a stake for the brakes , and open the kite up downwind , and harness up , and walk one side with the tension on the kite . and every step you take before you shake the kite into flight takes power out of the launch, and aim for at least 3 steps and take the kite up the side of the window
and simply stand at your stake and bring it down on the brakes and attach the brake loops to your stake

u0362565
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Re: Found my relic Flexifoil Blade II 6.4m in the attic-looking for flying advice

Postby u0362565 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:24 pm

Hi slide, sorry for delay on this. I came back to the site via a link to this thread and realised more messages had been posted since I was last on. I actually came back because I got to take the blade II 6.4 out at the weekend and flew it a bit but had some issues so was looking to post a new topic but can maybe ask here given your experience.

I finally got the blade II 6.4 out at the weekend. Winds about 5-6mph. On several occasions I got it up towards top of the wind window and did a few turns, got quite a pull off it but didn't drag me much. That comment might answer my question but most of the time I struggled to launch it and I'm guessing it was due to not enough wind. How can you determine its that over anything else? Probably because it did go up sometimes but it was hard to judge if the wind picked up temporarily at those times. I have some videos of it but not sure how to post them.

I think it must not have known what hit it being stuck in its bag for best part of 20 years and was a good experience for first outing. I used the kite killers that I bought but not the back strap as wasn't required on the day.

Thanks for the advice

RedSky
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Re: Found my relic Flexifoil Blade II 6.4m in the attic-looking for flying advice

Postby RedSky » Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:32 am

Post a link to your videos. If the kite is able to fly to the top then I should imagine it is set-up perfectly fine. Those winds were too low really, 5-6 mph. Try 12-15 max next time. That ought to drag you some.
Avoid wearing boots on grass though as this is guaranteed to pull you over. Wear something with least amount of grip and with your feet out in front you'll slide, also try sitting down at first to get a feel for it.

Poor thing stuck in a bag for 20 years.

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Re: Found my relic Flexifoil Blade II 6.4m in the attic-looking for flying advice

Postby thewindego » Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:26 am

I was in Maui in 2005 or so and there was a guy boosting higher than anyone on a 6.4. Keep it!

Herman
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Re: Found my relic Flexifoil Blade II 6.4m in the attic-looking for flying advice

Postby Herman » Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:10 am

I don't understand your concept description of the handle. I hold handles at the top often with my trigger finger above the leader attached to the main bridle. If you are holding the middle, the way I set up kites you would be struggling not to be applying too much break all the time.

If it were me and I had suitable venue I would add a 3m and buy a buggy!
Or sell it on eBay and use the money to get a 2-3m for just playing around with a kite!

If you are not sure how to trim the handle see if you can find a buggy venue and talk to local riders they would probably love a go on a vintage blade.

PS just scudding and jumping doesn't do it for me!

u0362565
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Re: Found my relic Flexifoil Blade II 6.4m in the attic-looking for flying advice

Postby u0362565 » Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:39 pm

Here's an example video. Link is to onedrive
https://1drv.ms/v/s!AgHyOXFTeO6le0XEhqa7lkH8VeQ

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Re: Found my relic Flexifoil Blade II 6.4m in the attic-looking for flying advice

Postby Herman » Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:24 pm

^^It seems you are applying too much rear line tension. At your level the only time you should have rear line tension is when you are steering or backstalling it down for a landing. (When you are steering you only have rear line tension on one side.)

In low winds it is particularly important that you do not introduce unnecessary drag from the brakes.

You need to hold the handle at the top and maybe extend the lower/rear leaders. You should being using your wrist to apply the brakes and this will require very little effort with a properly tuned handle in light beginner winds. In fact you may need to use your wrist to hold off rear line tension in very light wind.


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