times people have come up to me and said "hey my kite wont do that" or "would you fly my kite, I think something is
wrong with it!"
This happens with all
kinds of kites, and I can usually help out in some way if
not to just to reassure them it will in fact "do that"!
Often an owner of a
"California Wasp" kite will come to me with
their kite and ask for a tune up. I know these kite
intimately as I have flown them almost exclusively for
Here is what I look for
and hopefully this will help you as well ....
Ill look at
the connector locations, it seems like this is
THE most common thing I find wrong.
The hole in top connector should be glued (with
the top spreader out) approx. 3/8 of an inch from
the top of the cutout in the sail. It should
almost touch the cutout without the top spreader
out. the end of the "hose should be
pointing down as shown in Figure 1.
The end of bottom connector should just touch
the cutout. The end of the "hose"
connector should be slipped on the rod pointing
"up" towards the nose as shown in Figure 2.
I will look at the
bridle connections <second most common
problem!> The brildes are connected with a
twisted larkshead...with one loop on the rod
above the connector, the other loop
on the connector
on the rod below the connector as I often see it. This
can make about 1/2 inch of difference in the
length of the bridle which translates to
adjustment. Refer to Figure's 1 and 2 for clarity.
Figure 1. Upper
Figure 2. Lower Spreader Connector
check the bridle connection at the center T. This
connection is a regular larkshead. A larkshead
has two loops, one loop should be above the T the
other below the T. So looking at the
back of the kite (Figure 3), at
the back of the T there should be two loops
around the rod below the connector and two loops
around the rod above the T......made up of one
loop from the left bridle and one loop from the
right bridle, refer to Figure 4 and Figure 5.
Figure 3. Rear Side
View of T-fitting
Figure 4. Front
View of T-fitting
Figure 5. Closeup
Front View of T-fitting
I will check that
the leading edge rods are all he way up in the nose, weak bungies or
a replaced rod that is too short will sometimes
result in the "slip down disease".
check the bridles themselves, by holding them by
the clip, (most wasps have clips) and pulling
them straight away from the kite the middle leg
should have a little slack in it, this leg is
only used when there is pressure on the kite.
Then still holding
the clip I will swing it towards the leading
edge. For the modern wasps(of the last four or
five years) the connector should touch the edge
tape somewhere just under the leading edge rod.
If it doesnt an adjustment is made taking
the wind conditions in to account.
I adjust my
bridles constantly for wind conditions. For lower
winds the "clip" is adjusted to
"hit" the edge tape in the lower
portion of the tape.
Note: In very high wind it is not
uncommon for me to have my bridles adjusted so the clip
is as much as an inch outside of the
these visual and bridal checks made (and
corrected) I will then fly the kite. I'm looking
for the kite to Lock in a turn and be stable.
kite still exhibits unusual character traits I
will then check the spreader lengths. I
cant tell you how many times I have found
replaced spreaders that are cut "close