Testing Times – It’s a Frame Up!

Sky Shark SparsAs you finish sewing the final Dacron reinforcements onto the sail it is easy to think the kite is nearly finished!  However, there is still a lot of decisions to make and construction left to do.  First on my list was choosing the right spars for the job.  Comparative spar stiffness and weight is a whole subject in itself but that is dealt with very well here so I don’t need to cover it again.

Sky Shark SparsThe easy choice first, how much do I want to spend?  I had decided early on that the finished kite shouldn’t be at top end of the price range and so that meant no AeroStuff!   6mm carbon tube is the least expensive option but that was simply too flexible for the performance I needed so that was out too.  So, that leaves just Avia and Sky Shark.  Now, quite a few years ago I was lucky enough to be sponsored by Sky Shark and I have always been impressed by their durability so the final choice was made.

Now, how hard can it be to choose how to frame your kite?  First I was starting with a standard kite so the very light and the very heavy spars were discounted.  Next decision, frame the kite with only one weight of spars or use different spars for different parts.

I started with P300 spars all round the kite but it quickly became apparent that the cross spreaders were a little too flexible.  The solution to this was to use 5PT cross spreaders.  That problem solved I needed to adjust the centre of gravity to help with roll-ups.  Solution?  P200 upper Leading Edge, P300 lower Leading Edge.

So spars sorted, onto the bridle.

Images courtesy of the Sky Shark web site