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Removing struts to make big old kite lighter?

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Removing struts to make big old kite lighter?

Postby MartinO » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:47 am

Have anyone tried to remove/cut away some struts on a big kite to make it lighter? I have a 2007 (I think) Hypertype 15m that I bought used in mint condition for close to nothing a few years ago. I don´t use that size very often, but it is a day or a trip-saver every now and then. I tested it head to head against some newer big kites the other day, and I must say that it is surprising how good the 11 year old RRD is. Still perfectly good enough for me on lighter days. BUT one thing that is a big difference to newer kites is the total weight. The Hypertype have 7 struts compared to most new lightweight 3 strut lightwind kites. I thought to try to modify the RRD by removing 2 or even 4 of the struts, just by cutting them away carefully and restitch whatever is needed to secure the edges. Then seal the onepump connections. The struts are pretty much totally separate pieces already so I don´t think it will be a problem durability wise. Have anyone tried to do this?

I can test fly the kite with 2 or 4 struts uninflated (by sealing off the onepump tubes) I guess, but still, I will not know how the effect will be until I remove the weight.

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Re: Removing struts to make big old kite lighter?

Postby Peert » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:58 am

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2388644&p=970465&hi ... ed#p970465

some people have been experimenting with that a bit...

Testing with struts deflated indeed tells you something but not all...
Leaving the tip struts in place is maybe a good idea in terms of time investment vs weight savings realized. Looking at 2007 hypertype pictures on the net I conclude removing the tipstruts would make a TE adjustment necessary.

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Re: Removing struts to make big old kite lighter?

Postby knotwindy » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:58 pm

Try it and let us know. I would leave the center and two wingtip struts inflated and deflate the other four. If it doesn’t flap to badly or do anything else too weird, pull those four bladders out to decrease some weight and see how it flies. At this point you can always put them back so it is still reversible. If still ok, then cut the struts off to decrease the weight further. If still ok, deflate the wingtip struts and see how it flies. If still ok, pull the bladders, etc. Might end up with a single strut kite or at least three strut, which seems most likely.

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Re: Removing struts to make big old kite lighter?

Postby airsail » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:41 am

Works well, done a few kites now for foiling. Will destroy you top end stability, the things flutter a lot, but that's totally irelavent for foiling. 10 mtrs and below seem to work better, did a 12 mtr but it had little better low end than the 10 for foiling, maybe 1 knot.
I have been cutting up old switch kites, but now moving to ozones are they are lighter to start with. Single strut is probably best, tried a no strut in a 7 mtr, loved it but relaunch can be tricky in light winds. No such problem with a centre strut.
I remove the strut from the canopy, either un stitch it from the LE or just cut aft of the webbing if I'm being lazy. Scallop the trailing edge between the tip and centre strut. Fill the LE one pump outlets of the removed struts with silastic to seal them. Remember to sew the join where you removed the struts, this is a panel join and will fail if not resewn.
Some advantages-
Helps stop Hindenburging as the tips flutter and the kite floats back into the window
Kites turn tighter, you can actually spin them in front of you
Light weight makes them seem to float and drift even the lightest breeze.
You can have a whole quiver for little cost.

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Re: Removing struts to make big old kite lighter?

Postby oldkiter » Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:49 pm

Just removed 2 struts from Switch Nitro4 16m. Kited one session with struts 2 and 4 deflated and it seemed ok. Had friend remove struts 2 and 4 and yesterday I used it for about 2 hours total using a 145 cm TT. Sensor showed I started at 6-10 mph. I was able to hold my line but not get upwind (wind direction slightly more onshore than usual - very limited area for entry and exit of ocean). After it picked up to an average of about 8-12 mph the kite was great. Stayed out during gusts to 18 mph with no problem. Only fluttering was when bar sheeted almost completely out. Otherwise the kite was very stable. Looking forward to using this 16m in the lighter wind I get closer to my home beach - and after learning to foilboard.

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