12m OR1 bridle mod test
Thanks to Andrew at Powerline Sports for hooking me up with the bridle mod for my 12m OR One. Took us less than 10 minutes to set it up. Hit the beach around 2:30 p.m. and flew the kite on the beach till 4:30. The wind graph from neighbouring Hampton Beach is here:
I was measuring the wind and reading 5-8 knots with brief gusts to 11 knots, luls to 3 knots. The wind was coming from SW, so it was side-offshore. The Hampton Beach wind meter shows more wind, so I am inclined to believe there was more wind 30ft up than on the surface.
I flew this kite without the mod in similar conditions in the spring and could still fly it, but would be almost a pain to turn it. It took me a few hours to dial it in then. Essentially pull the bar in to accelerate the kite into the turn. Then, just as it pivoted, start sheeting out.
Overall impression is that the kite turns better at the edge of the window in low winds. How much better is hard to say. I would say between 20% and 40% better. I noticed right away that setting the front lines on the third knot (from the end) now gets the best performance out of the kite in low winds. Previously I had to attach the lines to the second knot. There is definitley more pull from the kite and slightly less pop. Bar pressure I would say has increased but it is a minimal change. Re-launching ability may have improved a bit, hard to say. I tried about 10 times to re-launch and once was able to get it to fly by pulling on a back line. The other times I would successfully reverse launch. I got it to hindenburg once, so put some pressure on the front lines just after the kite has turned.
I’m happy with the mod, I think it made a real difference, at least in marginal winds. One thing that is a bit annoying is the plastic line attached to the stopper. I think it hinders a smooth glide of the front line loop through the bar. I will have to remove that and try again.
It does take some finesse to fly this kite in low winds, maybe I’m not there yet, but it matters where the kite is in the window and how much acceleration it has going into the turn. To get a good fast turn, a sweet spot exists for placement in the wind window and sheeting in/out amount. I’m not always getting a smooth sheeting out action with the bar fully turned. I am wondering if that is a general problem with other bars also while fully turned.