Lessons Learned

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KAP session ends in a tree

Yesterday I did a KAP session at the 'Elsa' farm-stead. National Monument, built in 1890. The roof-tiles have an interesting pattern. I used my 3,5 meter Genki. It is my favorite kite for KAP and I have used it for over 20 years. You could say it's been thoroughly tested. I launched my kite from a field upwind from some high trees. After 10 minutes of flying the kite overflew with a camera in the line. This does not happen often, but normally Genki's take a spin and return to a normal position. Not this time. To my surprise it dove into a tree in a straight line. My camera was still safely hanging from the line, a few meters above the ground. I got the rig of the line and tried to pull the kite from the tree. To no avail. I decided to drive home to pick up my telescopic window cleaning pole. It is 9 meters long. I taped some steel wire to it and improvised a hook. After a while I managed to grab the bridle and I tried to pull the kite down. This caused the top segment of the telescopic pole to loosen. I now had a part of the telescopic pole plus my kite dangling over my head at 8 meters height. I did some MacGyver stuff with tape and cardboard and thus managed to get the segment of the telescopic pole back. I attached a line to the hook and this proved a succesfull strategy. I managed to grab the bridle and pull the kite out of the tree. In the end I got my kite and line back undamaged. This was quite a relief and more than I expected given the circumstances. The shots turned out OK.


  • I'm glad you got it back. It looks like it came pretty close to getting stuck either in a higher part of a tree or the pond.

  • Quite an adventure, but a good outcome and an excellent photo.

  • Excellent recovery! We'll done.

  • cool story - the happy end definitely helps :-)
    I never heard using a Genki for KAP - I'd think it's too unstable - but obviously almost any kite design works, if a KAPer feels confident and happy flying it!

  • edited April 22

    I would have thought so too, but this video by NZflier makes it seem like the Genki in the video could work pretty well for KAP.

  • I know of several people who use a genki or triton for KAP. A Genki has a high flying angle and it's very stable. It provides enough lift in 2 Bft to lift a 300 gram rig. Plus it packs down small: 120 cm. When the wind picks up you do not need to adjust the bridle. Bridle adjustment is less critical compared to a flare-kite for example. I started with KAP using a Lecornu ladder-kite. That is not something I would recommend.... I used a flare-kite with an aspect ratio of 4,5 for KAP for a while. It performed really well in steady winds. But for KAP I prefer kites that fly reliably even in changing conditions. I still trust my genki, even after what happened sunday.

  • The Triton from Into The Wind mentioned above was apparently designed with KAP in mind. It develops good lift in only a light breeze, and is usually quite stable (a fuzzy tail helps), but occasionally misbehaves so is perhaps not ideal except in smooth wind, when it will be "nailed to the sky". The Super Genki in the video linked by montagdude would not be my choice for a KAP kite, and is in any case long out of production.

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