new open-source corporate model. No employees, no profits.
Just doing nice things for total strangers 24 hours a day.
You can't buy this stuff but you can build it yourself.
p.s. Got some woods where I can live in a tent?
Zero Prestigetm Mega-Corporation
KITE BAR COOKBOOK
| Even Companies Make Mistakes
Here's my collection of broken commercial harness loops. Each failure caused a wipeout and maybe a hand injury or runaway kite. The design was developed for windsurfing and isn't strong enough for kiting.
They're lousy as harness loops, but after you break a couple you can tie knots in the broken ends and make pretty slick looking line attachment leaders, as seen below.
The Bike Handlebar
| The Hockey Stick
The one shown is setup for four-line foils.
Hockey is a great sport. It fills the dumpster behind the rink with these marvels. Hockey sticks are made to be gripped and abused by large primates. They're as light and strong as they can be made. They're usually made from select white ash, which has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any wood. Many now have carbon fiber reinforcement their whole length. I drilled and cut notches in the ends to wind the lines on, as shown below.
|Goldline Harness Loop
I haven't broken one yet. Eventually it'll wear out, but it won't break without warning. I was breaking a commercial loop in a day. Get any beefy rope and tie it to the bar with slipknots. Use a strip of innertube to hold it in place as shown here if you want it to be extra fancy. This particular nylon goldline is really hard and stiff. I think the factory made a mistake. I unlaid and loosened the ends to make that part flexible enough to tie these knots. The closer together on the bar you tie the ends the longer the loop will last because it won't saw back and forth so much on your harness hook with every turn.
|The Secret Spot
In a southwest wind the wind comes at us through a valley and it's pretty smooth. When the front passes we get a northeast wind off the ocean that's very nice. But usually we have an evil north or northwest wind that looks like fists hitting the water. There is one place near here though, where that NW wind is clean and smooth like Wonderbread... The SECRET SPOT. I can't tell you where it is, but I can torment you. The first hint. Who built the largest pyramids in the world?
|The Immortal Plastic Harness
I sawed up a big photo sink and got a lifetime supply of tough half inch thick plastic slabs. Maybe lexan, maybe polypro. Have to get Selena to flame-assay it for me. Anyway, this loop is for ever. It's hooked to the bar with a chunk of seatbelt. I whacked myself in the mouth with it during a wipeout and wished it was a half-ounce lighter. The grey loop is pvc or abs tubing around a piece of polyester rope. I put two loops on to see which one I liked better and never got around to taking the other one off.. Both loops are fine.
|Handles or Bar?
Can't decide? Neither can this gadget. If you've got a four line kite that needs lots of brakeline action to turn this might be just the thing for you. The middle tube is part of an aluminum bicycle frame. The handle parts are bent aluminum with grips from some kind of workout equipment. The brakeline leaders go right through the middle tube from one end to the other, holding the whole thing together. I tried it and didn't like it. I prefer a straight bar with thick brake leaders I can grab when I need a sharp turn, but like the gentleman on the right, you might delight in this gizmo.
The Shovel Handle
American Hickory is even tougher than white ash. That's why tool handles are made out of it.
Yet another tough sticklike thing that's made to be gripped. See a pattern? This arrangement looks like a mess, but it's magic with my 10.6 meter four line Kitesurfer XXXL. I change the brakeline tension to match wind strength by wrapping the leaders around the ends. Each leader has a thin bungee cord tied to it so if the kite starts to luff, the bungee maintains just a little brakeline tension and the kite falls up and back instead of curling down and tying itself in a knot. The bungees are clove-hitched to the leaders at so I can slide them to just the right setting. The line winders are made from golfballs and aluminum standoffs from an old decwriter.
A salesman in a windsurf store once asked me "What kind of wind do you usually sail in?" And I thought "Same wind as everybody else, whatever wind there is". But I didn't say that. I didn't know what to say. I went out every night regardless of conditions. I sailed in the dark because I got out of work at 5pm and it got dark at 4. I had to get clobbered by scenery and worn out so I could sleep and be sane at work at 8am. So if there was a storm, there I was, out alone on the harbor in a gale in november at night, with runaway yachts surfing past me on their way from a broken mooring to wreck on the rocks. Windsurf stores make me really nervous and uncomfortable, like no matter how much money I spend I'll never be cool.
The Hasty Fairlead
|The IAP '03 Bar Step By Step
In January of '03 we taught a bunch of MIT folks to make kites. This is the prototype bar for the class. The stick is 1.25" oak rod from Mcmaster-Carr. The safety leash uses two rings to pull on one line to arrest the kite when you drop the bar. This whole rig is pretty good.
The History of Kitesurfing
To summarize, for the good of the community and
the industry we should each do our share. Here's the Code:
Code of Conduct
- Beating people up
Works well for wrist and ankle leashes. This is what those quick-release snaps on the board tethers snap onto. Made from wetsuit neoprene, seatbelt strap, 1" strap, and plenty of velcro. You'll break needles unless you sew the pieces together in the right order. Figure it out with scraps of paper first. If you get it right your mom's machine will have no trouble. This strap won't yank off no matter what, something else always breaks first. A fluky blast of spray did peel one off my ankle once though.
|This one is a wrist strap for a four line inflatable kite. I put a polyethylene tube over the cord to make it stiff. If your wrist leash is too long and limp it flops all around and gets tangled around things like your neck. Look at the accident database to get a fear of such things. Actually this tube is kind of irritating, but that tether needs to be stiffer than it was.|
|no picture- bad idea.||
The Windup Bar That Didn't Work
|Instant Winder How do I store this line so it doesn't get tangled? A stick and two nails. CAD file available on request. The stick is a piece of a crutch. To prevent splitting the nail holes need to be predrilled because it's hardwood. You can never have enough winders or find them when you need them. As always, this line is put on in a figure-8 pattern to prevent twisting.|
commercial reel bars
3dprinted bar ends
foamies wrapped handles and bar
various pictures probably copyright Saul Griffith and Eric Wilhelm - check out their works at squid-labs.com and zeroprestige.org.
Contact me robot@(jeez louize I hate spam)mit.edu with bug reports
etc. (remove this type stuff from email addr first)
Copyright Tim Anderson 2003