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A new gadget: the EasyLine tool

This is a completely new device that makes handling kite line, especially when under high tension, easier and safer. It combines an adjustable friction-braking mechanism and wrist strap in a robust and lightweight unit with no moving parts.

Inspired by the proven Rack Descender use by climbers, it works with any braided kite line pulling to a maximum 100 pound tension. EasyLine provides three main functions:

1) Smooth control of line out-feed using only light pinch between thumb and finger on the in-feed, even when the kite is pulling 100 pounds. Feed friction can be altered progressively from minimum to maximum by wrapping the line around from 1 to 5 friction bars.

2) Line feed can be locked at any time by looping over one of the friction bars.

3) With the line locked EasyLine can be tethered hands-free to a ground anchor using the wrist strap.

This tool can also be used to walk the kite down by passing the line beneath one of the friction bars. Unlike the Figure-of 8 descender EasyLine can be attached and detached from the kite line whenever line feed, or lock, is required.




Comments

  • Love it.

    Will it work with very thin (and slippery) Dyneema kite line?

    Where can you get one?

    WW

  • A great invention, Mark, very well thought out and engineered. I hope you make some money from it!

  • It would be interesting to have a video of the device in action !

  • Wind Watcher & Pierre: It has been used with 40 Pound, 100 Pound and the thick 400 Pound line shown here. Right now I do not have any Dyneema with which to test it but will do so eventually. Once we have suitable flying weather I'll make a YouTube video of the device in action. At the moment it is only available direct from the manufacturer (yes, that's me!), but kite stores may stock it.

    NZflier: Thanks for your kind comments. As I once heard "The first million is the hardest, after which it gets much easier"!

  • Very neat Mark!

  • edited April 8

    This is what it will look like on the retailers' shelf. The reverse of the card has instructions.
    The model shown is the right handed version in which the strap and handle are rotated such that the device is conveniently oriented when the hand is outstretched. A left handed version can also be provided.

    Wind Watcher: What gauge(s) of Dyneema do you have in mind for me to test and who was your supplier?

  • Having a dedicated left-handed version of something like this is surely unique and shows a great deal of thought, Mark. I think kite stores would be very interested in selling it, but they usually want a big wholesale discount which might make it economically difficult. Dyneema (also sold as Spectra) is quite slippery compared to the usual braided dacron so definitely you need to test it. It's the line usually used for two-line stunt kites and should be available from almost any kite store.

  • edited April 15

    Clever device ! For slippery lines, you can try to roll the line one turn on each "nail" (or, according with Google Translate : each "stud").
    In French we call it "un tour mort" (a dead turn). It's multiply the surface of contact of the rope on the support, heighten the way the line is locked.

  • Bonjour photocerfvolant. Actually, your suggestion is one already tested, i.e. one or more turns on one or more of the studs when handling slippery line and, yes, it does enhance the control. I have some 1.1mm Dyneema arriving soon for the ultimate challenge. Wind Watcher is one of the people waiting for the results of that test!

  • Yes, it's interesting. I have the same line. Handling it bare hands is dangerous, and nearly impossible if the wind get strong. Nice device ;o)

  • Wind Watcher & Pierre Lesage: Your EasyLine tools have been despatched today. Check your Forum Inboxes later for tracking info.
    200 metres of 1.1mm Dyneema should arrive soon from the Netherlands and I will report here on testing.

  • Mark, I left Cervia on May 2 and called DHL in Bologna, the parcel was still in customs. I asked the hôtel to send it back to you, sorry for that but Brexit does not help. We still have some time to try to organise a shipment before Fano. Let me know.

  • Pierre, DHL returned the parcel to me from Italy yesterday. Indeed, my courier advises that Brexit customs issues is causing delays in most shipments to Europe that they handle. It seems that for the time being the only reliable way to send an easyline will be to your base in Tahiti where presumably you will be prior to Fano. If you have any other suggestions then do let me know.

  • Now if we need to look for someone who could receive it without the Brexit hassles, Kevin, alias Ningaloo in the Channel Islands will attend KapiFano, or Wind watcher could be an other option.

  • Pierre, OK I will investigate these options. Incidentally, the Isle of Man is not part of the UK and was never in the EU but nevertheless we find ourselves embroiled in Boris's Brexit confusion!

  • edited May 8

    A video of the easyline is now available on YouTube. See: .

  • ... with additional details on my website including further details on using the device with Dyneema-Spectra lines: https://www.aeronaut.org.uk/projects-easyline/

  • Aeronaut was generous and supplied me with two different batches of the easyline device.
    The 1st batch (with red grips) performed as advertised and did an excellent job with the Dacron kite line. The Dyneema kite line (which is very slippery) required a few more turns on the easyline device to fully lock down the line. I inadvertently broke off the red grips on my easyline when I used the device to help get leverage on putting a dog screw into the ground to anchor the kite line.

    A few weeks past and an updated version of the easyline device showed up at my home. This time with white grips that are composed of much stronger material. I tested the updated easyline with my 150 lbs Dyneema kite line and it performed well in both controlling the line and anchoring the line. A handy device indeed. Plan on using the easyline - especially for lager kites and line on the beach.

    See a few photos and video below (on flickr).

    WW
    Easyline V1
    Easyline V1
    Easyline V2
    Easyline testing over wind watcher proving grounds.

    Click on the image below to view video on flickr
    Easyline testing over wind watcher proving grounds.

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