Power Kite Forum

Kite Handles - what do you use

Glx - 5-18-2018 at 08:00 AM

What does everybody use for handles. What are some plusses and minuses of the ones that you are using.

I really like the cleated PKD mediums (16 - 17 in length) but they are becoming a little difficult to find. They are the right diameter for my hands and the cleats allow you to adjust brake length when you switch kites.

bigkid - 5-18-2018 at 08:06 AM

PKD of course.
Everything else are just handles.

Glx - 5-18-2018 at 08:15 AM

Thanks Jeff. I agree with you ;-). Just gotta find them first.

TEDWESLEY - 5-18-2018 at 08:40 AM

The profoil handles work great if you can find them. They have a post that screws out to accept power strop eyes. When I make the strop it has an eye in one end. I feed the line behind the post on one handle and capture the eye on the other. The strop length can be easily adjusted with one figure eight knot. Comfy too.

jeffnyc - 5-18-2018 at 10:03 AM

Tedwesley - do you mean the Flexifoil Prolink handles? Those look very nice and comfortable. So you use a strop with 1 loop, then figure 8 the other end and leave a little extra hanging?

Houston AirHead - 5-18-2018 at 12:59 PM

pansh

Glx - 5-18-2018 at 03:18 PM


skimtwashington - 5-18-2018 at 05:44 PM

Mostly homemade. Supplies from Home Depot , REI.

Pros:
1)Thicker foam padding than commercially made, for less pressure points on hands(fingers), and perhaps even... less heat loss from hands in winter. I fly unhooked half the time.

2)Inexpensive. Make several or more at a time.

3)Customize handle length( or even degree of bend).



Cons:
1)Not too pretty, especially when the duct tape wrap wears and needs a re-wrap....(find better covering..?).


2) Foam(pipe insulation) can sometimes compress with time, heat and pressure. So wont last as long as commercially made... but still may last a good while. Yet to replace whole handles after years of use.





adambweird - 5-18-2018 at 05:49 PM

I used the stock HQ handles that came with my Crossfire II for for all my 4 line kites. Every once oin a while ill use the Peter Lynn ones that came with my Pepper II, but only with that kite.

Cerebite - 5-21-2018 at 09:05 AM

Quote: Originally posted by skimtwashington  
Mostly homemade. Supplies from Home Depot , REI.

Pros:
1)Thicker foam padding than commercially made, for less pressure points on hands(fingers), and perhaps even... less heat loss from hands in winter. I fly unhooked half the time.

2)Inexpensive. Make several or more at a time.

3)Customize handle length( or even degree of bend).

Cons:
1)Not too pretty, especially when the duct tape wrap wears and needs a re-wrap....(find better covering..?).

2) Foam(pipe insulation) can sometimes compress with time, heat and pressure. So wont last as long as commercially made... but still may last a good while. Yet to replace whole handles after years of use.



could you please elaborate on what you use for the rigid core of the handle?
I made a set of the Rev Blast handles [double bend] out of PVC to put a set of variable pull strop cables onto [so as to not have to drill $60 carbon handles] and the 45 deg elbows broke with the first hot launch.

ssayre - 5-21-2018 at 10:47 AM

Quote: Originally posted by Cerebite  
Quote: Originally posted by skimtwashington  
Mostly homemade. Supplies from Home Depot , REI.

Pros:
1)Thicker foam padding than commercially made, for less pressure points on hands(fingers), and perhaps even... less heat loss from hands in winter. I fly unhooked half the time.

2)Inexpensive. Make several or more at a time.

3)Customize handle length( or even degree of bend).

Cons:
1)Not too pretty, especially when the duct tape wrap wears and needs a re-wrap....(find better covering..?).

2) Foam(pipe insulation) can sometimes compress with time, heat and pressure. So wont last as long as commercially made... but still may last a good while. Yet to replace whole handles after years of use.



could you please elaborate on what you use for the rigid core of the handle?
I made a set of the Rev Blast handles [double bend] out of PVC to put a set of variable pull strop cables onto [so as to not have to drill $60 carbon handles] and the 45 deg elbows broke with the first hot launch.


no need for elbows. I use 3/4" gray conduit. I heat them with a salamander and bend to desired angle. They are extremely strong. I think I use schedule 40 but you could also use schedule 80.

eric67m - 5-21-2018 at 11:42 AM

Quote: Originally posted by ssayre  


I heat them with a salamander and bend to desired angle.




This cannot be auto correct.

I want to see a video of how to heat up a kite handle with a salamander.

tomdiving - 5-21-2018 at 12:48 PM

you'd have to rub them really, really hard.

skimtwashington - 5-21-2018 at 01:48 PM



I use 1/2 inch gray conduit pipe-schedule 40. I add 1/2 pipe insulation...... so can't be too thick to grip.


kteguru - 5-21-2018 at 03:02 PM

a salamander is a propane heater

kteguru - 5-21-2018 at 03:05 PM

brian, by any chance have you ever tried bicycle handlebar foam/tape instead of pipe insulation by any chance? Wondering how well it might hold up.

Glx - 5-21-2018 at 06:03 PM

Started experimenting today. Will see what comes out.
3/4" aluminum pipe
Turned a cap and a bottom from aluminum 3/4" rod
2 layers of heat shrink tube
At the bottoms will put ronstan closed cleats.

Only wandering if at the top i drill one hole to pass the line through or I install two u shapes for the strop and power ropes. Any thoughts?
Picture shows how far I have got experimenting.

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skimtwashington - 5-21-2018 at 08:14 PM

Dean,
Yes, I thought about both the bicycle grips... and the 'tape'.

But they're too expensive- compared to other materials used in making the handles.


Also...tape is thinnest , foam slip-on thicker, but the pipe insulation is thickest- and less fatiguing when flying OFF-STROP, as I do 1/2 the time.


The benifit of the Bicycle foam and tape is it is more durable and needs no covering. The pipe insulation is 'finger nail malleable' and needs protective covering. The bicycle foam may need glue..the tape does not though.



GLX,
You should drill one hole straight through the top and smooth the hole edges. As most have their hand position of the top lead line going between the index and middle finger.... the pic I see shows the u shaped metal in the way...unless I am looking at this wrong?

Glx - 5-22-2018 at 06:15 AM

Thanks Ski. I like the u shapes because it allowes for additional adjustements on strop and power lines but have the same concern as you about hand position. Short test of just holding the handles feels ok but im concerned that longer duration and load will make it uncomfortable.

TEDWESLEY - 5-22-2018 at 08:18 AM

jeffnyc : Been on the road from JIBE. You have it exactly. It is a very easy to adjust system that allows for the full play of the handles as there is nothing to hang in the pulley or hook when steering.

jeffnyc - 5-22-2018 at 09:37 AM

Thanks Ted! Looks like a very well thought out system.

I have a bunch of left over tennis grip tape (from archery of all things) that I plan on wrapping around some of my cheapo handles. Maybe insulation wrapped with tennis tape? Good experiment when I get a few free minutes.

Since we're on the handles topic... is there a definitive answer to what the loops on the back bottom of most handles are for? For a little while I thought they were killer attachments - which would be super convenient - but I read a bunch of posts that say don't do that, so never did. I've since added small pigtails to my leaders so I don't have to disconnect when attaching killers. So are they for staking?

bigkid - 5-22-2018 at 10:10 AM

Yes they are for staking the kite.

jeffnyc - 5-22-2018 at 11:04 AM

Thanks Jeff! Good to have a definitive answer. One of those things I always forget to ask about later. I just stake at the leaders, but I suppose the loops make it harder for the kite to accidentally power up or get loose.

skimtwashington - 5-22-2018 at 11:05 AM


(Yup. back bottom loop are for staking kite...newbies don't tie on strop line there.. it's the top ones!:P )

GLX,

There's a 'balance' point-or position- on the handles for best leverage position to rotate the handles(control/turn kite under resistance/pull) ...which having an index finger positioned past lead/powerline typically gives..You would be best served to have unimpeded 'walking' of the hands and finger across the full length of the handles. If all four lines lengths are not equal this might effect position slightly for best leverage( hand little more up or down handles).

So this is reason I suggest drill hole straight though.

skimtwashington - 5-22-2018 at 11:08 AM

Oops! accidental duplicate post!:D

Chook - 5-23-2018 at 02:22 AM

I copied the tops of the "xxtreme handles" onto all my Peter Lynn handles and this eliminates all wear to the top leaders.

http://xxtremeozzy.blogspot.com.au/2011_02_01_archive.html

One bit of dyneema cord becomes the two leaders and strop combined by using 2 constrictor knots.


https://www.extremekites.com.au/topic/16052-handles/

Glx - 5-23-2018 at 08:55 AM

The xxtreme grip is an awesome idea. That is exactly what I will go ahead and do.

skimtwashington - 5-23-2018 at 03:24 PM



Oh boy! Learned a new and useful knot today!:thumbup::D

Unk - 5-24-2018 at 04:12 AM

Thank god
I thought it was only me who looked at this and thought "right where's my rope till I try that" :D

You can take a Scout to the beach but you cant stop them tying knots

ssayre - 5-26-2018 at 12:44 PM

Quote: Originally posted by kteguru  
a salamander is a propane heater


correct. Mine will run off kerosene or diesel. Basically a salamander is any forced air torpedo heater.

Glx - 6-1-2018 at 05:26 PM

Thank you guys for all the different ideas.
Just finished a set. They came out a little longer (18") than I had planned (16") but will give them a try since it's easier to cut than to add.



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jeffnyc - 6-1-2018 at 05:38 PM

Nice work Glx!

abkayak - 6-1-2018 at 05:43 PM

Quote: Originally posted by Glx  
Thank you guys for all the different ideas.
Just finished a set. They came out a little longer (18") than I had planned (16") but will give them a try since it's easier to cut than to add.





so wait...u build theses awesome custom handles
nicer than anything evergriped by my fingers...
and i think have home depot lines in this pic for the powers?

skimtwashington - 6-1-2018 at 07:08 PM

Nice job.....but 18 "...:o


What size are your other sets of FB handles, anyway?

May get in way(bottom ends hit you or side rails if strop is too short and/or you hold your hands too close to body.


You'll see.


If okay..... best on your too biggest FB kites. Longer may help turn kite....up to a point anyway..

Glx - 6-1-2018 at 07:38 PM

Thank you guys. After getting some good ideas in here the making was easy.
Ski. I have 12" and 16" sets. I preffer the 16" much better than the 12s for any size kite, thats is why I was shooting for 16". Forgot that i was adding over an inch at the top and a half inch at the bottom with the aluminium pieces.
After, i try them will have a better idea as to how they will work.

Chook - 6-2-2018 at 06:02 AM

Nice work Glx they look awesome!!!!

I love this style of tops on the handles as they balance so well and place no leader side load between your fingers.
Also you can slide/walk your fingers easily down the handles when going up wind to apply brake to get more power out of the kite.

With the constrictor knots on the inside of the handles they tend to open up the gap between the bottom of the handles naturally with the wind pressure on your rear handles brake line when loaded up.
With my home made double ball bearing pulley on my strop line I could fly a lot of the time using only one handle when cruising.

I flew all my Peter Lynn Vapors down to 2.7m2 on 16" handles in the end to simplify the setup.
Also when I posted my gear to the East coast of Australia ready for an event, I only needed 2 sets of handles. (As I carried a spare set of 16" handles and line set in my dry bag on the buggy at all times, as sometimes I'm 25kms away from my base along the beach.) Saved a lot of dollars on the postage cost of not having to send many different handle sizes.

I found that I naturally buggied with my handles in the 45 degree apart at the bottom/ to horizontal handle position, so never had any problems with the side rails of the Sysmic buggy fouling their movement even with my short strop.

I have never used cleats on the handle bottoms as I found that just the brake leader line would foul/tangle up enough on it's own at the worst possible time. My brake leaders are a set length and all my brake adjustments are done on the top leader lines only.
All my fixed bridle kites were PL Vapors in the end and I was using the same handles/line set, so no adjustment was usually necessary when changing kite size. Only if the wind dropped off and I was too lazy to change kites I'd change the power leader trim position.

When staking/parking the kite, I wrap the shaft of the kite stake twice with both the brake leaders pinched together and then push it into the ground. Saves stuffing round trying to get the stake through loops on the base of the handles in really strong winds till I can get to the kite and pile sand on one tip of it to flag it out. With this method you can "trim" the amount of brake pressure so the kite will actually sit there on the beach on it's trailing edge till you can get to the kite to secure it.
I do let the kites fly on their front lines with very little brake pressure to pull to the front of the window in the cruise anyway.

Once again Glx, I'm super impressed with your work.:thumbup::thumbup:

Glx - 6-2-2018 at 02:33 PM

Thank you Chook. That was a nice tip on the handle tops. It must be absolutely awesome to have a beach big enough to get 25km away from base, maybe someday will get a chance to try what it means to cruise for 25km without having to turn

Chook - 6-2-2018 at 05:27 PM

It is great to cruise along a beautiful beach with smooth onshore winds.
My aim is to buggy this 101 km long beach in RED as I have driven along it a few times in my 4x4 and it is awesome.

It is 200 kms to the East of me and joins onto the huge 200km long cliffs along the Great Australian Bight on the Western Australian side.

100km beach.jpg - 167kB

skimtwashington - 6-2-2018 at 07:44 PM

Met up and tried the new handles! They were attached to a 10m Century.

I only scudded and did light jumping with kite, but handles seem fine...especially on a big FB kite.


:bigok: