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Found 5 results

  1. As I mentioned in another thread, I have a heap of material left over from building 1830 F-arc's. The f-arcs are made from good quality chikara ripstop and it is too good to just throw out, so I decided I needed to put it to good use. I have been playing with Surf Plan for a while now and although I can get a design that looks good, I have no idea if the design will fly or not. Then one day looking threw some old archived websites, I found a link to the surf plan design specs for a 6m p-arc. P-arc (P=parallel) was the original name of the F-arc, but was changed before release because Parc backwards is crap SurfPlan Download P-arc base.sle anyway, I decided it was worth giving it a go since I already had the material. So I got the plans printed out on A0 paper and set to work. first thing I had to do was unpick every seam on the remaining sections of 16m f-arc, which took a lot longer then expected. next came the marking out and cutting. Because I was working with material that had been folded and crushed, rather then off the roll, it was a nightmare getting it to lay flat to trace the outline on to. I had to flatten an then clamp the corners to the table. As well as the outline of each piece surfplan also allows you to add waypoints so everything can be aligned after being cut. I used a hot knife to cut all the pieces out to make it a bit quicker and stop the edges from fraying. i then used double sided tape to stick all the pieces of the top and bottom skin together for sewing. The ribs were too difficult to stick in place, so they were just aligned and stitched as I went. (A walking foot attachment from eBay makes sewing ripstop sooo much easier) The surfplan design didn't have spar pockets, so I made them from some 50mm webbing and stitched them to the end cells. I also added internal front and rear straps of 25mm webbing, similar to the more modern arcs. Like the modern arcs, the rear strap has adjustment for the middle 5 cells and wingtip 5 cells. I also made the front line adjustable at the middle 5 cells, in case the kite was prone to backstall. And the finished product..... flat area: 6m wing span: 6m AR: 6.0 I estimate it took about 100hrs, cost $150 and countless ?
  2. When I first started kite buggying, back in 1994, my buggy was a home-made affair - knocked together from scrap mild steel lying around the sculpture studio, with a plastic school chair perched on top serving duty as the seat! Power came from a stack of 6' Flexi stackers: they generated plenty of it, but with no lateral support I was constantly skiding off the seat and crashing the kites. I'd have to start all over again (this was in the days before traction kiting was banned at Epsom racecourse). It was hopeless. I almost gave up. Then, my friend Adam made me a much more professional affair as a wedding present: this one was the one that sealed my fate, as it were, addicting me to kite buggying for the rest of my life. It had proper side rails meaning I could hold down much more power, and actually get somewhere without being dragged sideways out of the buggy! A good thing too because by this time I'd met Chris Sands and bought a set of four line foil plans from him: these were for Skytiger type kites and raised the bar in power considerably. That buggy served me faithfully until one day I saw a Peter Lynn race buggy in the Covent Garden Kite Store - would you believe it, it had suspension! I had to have it, and still being impoverished having only just recently graduated, I put it on layaway and paid a little towards it each week. That was the buggy that saw me through the next ten years and which I loved to bits; but time took its toll, and a spectacular crash at Atmosphere 09 finally consigned the forks & headset to the grave. I was very upset. What to do? The cheep and simple solution was to buy another PL headset and have done with it. There was a but though. I had made the mistake of sitting in a gorgeous stainless steel buggy parked outside the BuggyBags tent at Atmosphere 09, and I couldn't get it out of my mind. It was the PTW Cheetah (Popeye The Welder) and it fitted like a glove - I was absolutely astonished; it made my battered old PL buggy seem like a very poor relation indeed! When I discovered that Popeye made them to order I thought to myself "I wonder if he could make me a new set of forks to fit my PL?" I got Popeye's email from his website, and got in touch. Yes, of course he could do it for me; but, "wouldn't it be better to ditch the rest of the PL and build anew?" he asked. "But I like the suspension on the back of my PL" I replied "You could keep the PL rear axle, build new from there forwards and have suspension all round" he said. It wasn't a hard decision. Thankfully I had some spare cash and so a process of planning began. First of all Popeye asked me to measure the geometry of the PL buggy I'd loved so much, then measure myself, then post him my back axle - which we'd agreed would be kept. He began work on the plans, sending me regular updates on progress and suggestions for size, seating arrangements, suspension ideas, etc etc etc... To say that progress was tantalising is to be a master in the art of understatement - I was without a buggy; I NEEDED one! When the dimensions were agreed upon Popeye started sending me photos of the build as it progressed, each successive one whetting my appetite further. Time ticked by until the day she was ready and I stopped everything to jump in the car to collect her. When I arrived at Popeye's place in Lincoln I was greeted by a veritable Aladdin's Cave of Buggying Heaven: his garage containing the sweetest collection of kite buggies you're ever likely to see, each one a work of art - Popeye really, really, knows his stuff. And Good God that man can weld! The finish was superb; better than I dared to hope. My buggy was waiting for me on his drive, wanting only for the fitting of my BuggyBags race seat. Once fitted I hopped in and a Cheshire Cat settled itself on my face: wow, she was, and I can say this without fear of contradiction (it having now been verified by everyone else who's sat in her), the most comfortable buggy I've ever been in. I was thrilled and couldn't wait to get her to the park for her first outing. And what can I say about that first session? Well, I hit my personal best of 25 mph (for the park, which is very small) within minutes, and went on to buggy for hour after hour - I could quite happily have carried on, but the light faded ending one of the best day's buggying I've ever had. I sprang from the buggy fresh as a daisy, the normal aching limbs absence being a testament to the armchair smooth ride. In use she's a delight - I can hold down much more power than I ever could in my Peter Lynn, and she tracks straight and true the whole time, only drifting into controlled oversteer if I want her to. After that first session I gave Popeye some feedback, feeling that the turn circle was a little larger than I was used to and after a bit of discussion about how best to fix it, came up with a design for some footpeg extensions - because I was pressed for time (well, just impatient if I'm honest) I got a quote from a local fabricator to get them made - unbelievably they wanted over £200 each for them! A quick call to Popeye & he said he'd make them for a tenth of that - they were with me three days later. So, let's add astonishing service to the list of Popeye's many merits. I haven't yet had her on a beach, but I'm sure that when I do she'll feel rock solid as I aim for my next personal best of over 50 mph. Throughout the build, and after collecting her, Popeye was fantastic to work with: he really does take pride in his craft - and rightly so - I doubt you'll find anything the equal of a PTW buggy anywhere else in the world; they truly are works of art. If you're thinking of spending Race Buggy money on an off the shelf buggy from ANY of the major manufacturers, my advice is, don't, get in touch with Popeye instead By : Kieron
  3. Introduction There are so many different mountain boards currently available that it makes it hard, if not almost impossible to decide what to go for. Making things even more confusing are the different combinations of decks, trucks, wheels and foot straps which are offered by various manufacturers on their various boards. After looking at all the different packages available there just didn't seem to be one which did what I was looking for. Wouldn't it be great of you could choose exactly what you wanted. Trucks from one manufacturer, wheels from another, foot straps from another and add them to a deck which had been custom made to suit both your weight and your riding style. No longer would you be limited to a stock solution from a production line, no longer would you have to purchase the bits you didn't want on a board just because there were a few bits on it that you did want. There are only a few companies which offer this level of customisation, so its time to do some research. Background My current board is an old noSno Freestyle which in itself is a great board. It originally came with full captive snowboard bindings which were far too dangerous for boarding with a kite. The noSno was purchased second hand, however I then had to spend another £100 on F3 bindings and F3 footplates to make the board safe and to make it handle and perform the way in which I wanted. The noSno is a great board, however the deck is so flexible that at times scrapes the floor which can be quite a problem especially when travelling at speed while holding lots of power. Weighing in at almost 10kg it's also heavy, so tricks and jumps are difficult and are tiring for the rider. For cruising its great, however for tricking its not so good. Therefore I've been reading up on the bewildering number of options available from different companies with the intention of purchasing a near perfect trick board. I'm looking for a board which is opposite to the noSno in all the ways I feel the noSno falls short and is the same as the noSno in all the ways I feel the noSno excels. Its going to be a tough challenge. If you could choose any mountain board for use with a kite, what would it be? My guess is that one from Trampa is definitely up there at the top of list. After lots of research, it was at the top of mine, so with the help of the Trampa guys, I decided to spec out the perfect board, however at the same time making sure that the price didn't go too high as there's no point in a custom solution if it's going to require a second mortgage to purchase it. The Board Trampa decks are handmade from a layered glass and plastic thermo composite material which under strict standard testing conditions is bullet and bomb proof. In its raw form this material is similar to wool. It is spun and yarned so that it can be woven into a workable form. img : top of the trampa deck showing the woven structure. By altering the dimensions of the deck and the layers of composite material, Trampa are able to alter the flex properties within the deck itself, the more material used the stiffer the resulting deck. Using this technique Trampa are able to custom make a deck which complements the riders weight, height and ability. They are also able to include any personal preference to give complete custom performance. img : cross-section of deck showing three layers of glass. The deck on this board is kind of a prototype. I'm about 85kg and am looking for a deck which is quite stiff, ideally something totally opposite to the noSno. Trampa have developed a 15ply short 35 degree which is designed as more of a freestlye setup. Being short, the board will be good for rotations and give good pop for jumps. What makes this deck a prototype is Trampa have taken out 2 layers of glass and plastic composite and replaced it with 3 layers of just glass. This has added more stiffness and also benefits the final board with a little weight reduction. It works just the same as normal composite deck however offers exactly the kind of performance I'm looking for. I've compared this board to a standard Trampa 15 short 35 degree deck and the difference is very noticeable as this is significantly firmer. Bolted to the underside of the deck are Scrub channel trucks, lighter and stronger than the equivalent MBS offering. The Scrub channel trucks are an extremely robust spring steering system which offer three way adjustment. They have then been modified and fitted with Trampa Dampa's, a great improvement over the traditional elastomer egg shock. The Trampa Dampa's are slightly larger in overall size compared to the original egg and are also visually different in two ways, a unique shape and a bright colour for easy recognition. The design of the Trampa Dampa's is quite elegant, a stack of three balls. Being slightly larger in size to the original egg, the improvements to the truck and rider is that the natural shape of the balls fit more securely in the housing, this helps to reduce speed wobble which allows the rider to gain more confidence and control at high speeds. The Trampa Dampa's are available in several different levels of stiffness which are perfect for heavier riders looking for more steering resistance than the standard egg. img : blue Trampa Dampa's inside the springs. Fitted onto the trucks are 4.5 inch, 5 spoke black hubs by Scrub with 2ply Lightweight Primo Alpha Red tyres. The tyre tread is excellent for all conditions, having a wide tread but they also has a center bead which allows for good straight line speed however plenty of grip when required. This is currently the strongest and lightest complete wheel setup on the market and is perfect for the custom board that I'm looking to create. Footstraps are the same as I chose for the noSno, MBS F3s. These offer good levels of comfort from their ergonomic design, are easily adjustable via the precise ratchet strap and are very light weight. However rather than going with F3 footplates, the board has Trampa's own range of board grip called Trampa Tread. This is performance yacht decking that offers superior grip whatever the weather or riding conditions. It has a 2mm deep diamond grooved rough surface which offers a huge improvement to standard grip tape and rubber equivalents. In terms of functionality and grip the Trampa Tread is very close to F3 plates, however is a quarter of the price. The whole board is all about quality and getting it right for the customer. Trampa offer amazing levels of customization as everything on the board can be defined to your specification. So, I have my board, designed to my specification, however the most important thing is how does it perform, what is it like to ride and does it work in the way I want it to. Riding Performance From the very first time I rode this board I knew it felt exactly the way I wanted a board to feel. Very stable and very solid, it was exactly the way I hoped it would be. The guys at Trampa had produced exactly the kind of board they said they would. Initially I matched up the new board with a 10m Flysurfer Speed and a stiff breeze, as I'm quite heavy I can hold quite a bit of power. This kite excels with a board and offers fantastic performance for going fast and also jumping high. From the moment I locked the kite in place and set of on a close reach the board responded perfectly, great feedback yet very stable and confidence inspiring. My technique quickly changed and adapted to this very different board. With the noSno I always had to worry about the board, would it bottom out, would it be too heavy to successfully pull of a move. The Trampa feels much more natural, a positive connection with the board, almost an effortless extension to your feet. It allows for hard aggressive turns yet is very smooth and secure, even at speed. As the power from the 10m Speed kicks in I'm able to dig down and easily hold everything the kite can produce. As the board angle changes, the tyres move from the central bead onto the grip section and you can really feel the difference in traction when this happens. When holding power while riding the noSno, the deck would flex, the more power the more flex and there were times that the heel side bottom of the deck would drag on the floor and the board would slip sideways losing much of the traction. No issue with the Trampa. Carving and turning is very responsive and can be further controlled by the Trampa Damper being used, looking for different feedback, use a different Trampa Damper. Jumping is also much easier as the board is significantly lighter than the noSno, imagine taking 3kg of sand out of your pockets, the difference is significant. Conclusion Ultimately I have a lot more testing and more importantly learning to do on the board, however from what I've experienced so far it's truly fantastic. It really is the ultimate setup which suits my riding style. Firm deck, responsive handling, good pop with quality components. Cosmetically is look awesome, there are no dodgy graphics, just a slick and mean looking composite. It looks like it means business and more importantly, it handles like it looks. There is no compromise with this board and no restrictions, the quality is outstanding. The greatest accolade of all has to go to Trampa as this board is exactly what I was looking for. Even before all the bits were connected together this is how I imagined a perfect board would feel and a perfect board is what I received. Specification - Prototype 15ply 35 degree deck. - Scrub Channel Trucks - Trampa Dampa's - F3 Bindings - Trampa Tread By : racekites
  4. Having owned and tweaked a Scrub Silver Reef (see previous review ) I still wasn't getting what I wanted from the board . Although rock solid stable the deck just felt dead and lifeless the pop it once had was now all but gone , it just didn't seem to pop back up after a landing . That and the fact the deck was a good 6.5 to 7 kilos with bent trucks and rusty hardware pushed my decision to build up a custom deck of my own . Building a custom deck is always something I had wanted to do since trying out different kit , there just wasn't one package out there that seemed to do what I was looking for. I went off and bought myself a Blank Trampa deck , which by the way is vastly cheaper than any other composite deck out there , looks the absolute nuts in woven carbon finish and feels poppier and stiffer than anything else I have tried , including the comp 16 pro ! When you buy a Trampa , you feel as if you have joined an exclusive club , a secret society , When you call up the Boys at Trampa you can literally build the deck to your specifications , length , cut-out shape , tip angle , firmness , pop and get it all pre-drilled for the parts you want to add , all custom built to your own height and weight . Happy I now had the lightest ,strongest , dirtiest and fastest (those owning a trampa will see the pun there ! ) deck in town , I set about shopping around for the lightest hardware bits I could find . I decided to go with the T1 tires for both weight and looks , they are also a lot softer even on high pressures allowing them to mould to the ground beneath them , the Primo Alphas I already had although almost the same weight , are rock hard unless you let them right down which in turn reduces speed . With the T1's I had the grip and the speed I needed . I opted out of using the Rockstar Hubs , although they are the lightest hubs on the market , they are also the weakest , I had watched one implode on itself a few weeks earlier from not too much of an impact either , this put me off for good , especially at £50 a set ! I went for the new Primo lightweight composite hubs; they are marginally heavier than the Rockstars but a hundred times stronger. The wheel and tire upgrade alone is over 1KG lighter than the Scrub wheel and tire setup ! ! As I had bent my current trucks from too many dodgy landings I went off and got myself a set of the new hollow axle skate trucks from Scrub, the weight difference between the normal and hollow axle trucks is non existent (about 45gramms) but I needed new trucks anyway and so went with the hollow axle version (I may live to regret that decision ) Finally I needed some bindings , I was very happy with the Ground industries bindings I had put on my silver reef and so moved those over , they are the kidney bean shaped ones which are very adjustable and seem to hold you down better than standard freeflex bindings , they are also very easy to get out of in a hurry , much easier to jump out of than F3s which I find invaluable as I inevitably am kiting in gusty conditions . All in all once set up this is one sweet lookin deck , and it is seriously light , weighed it in at 5.4 KG fully set up ! which actually beats the Flight Light by a full KG and £100 , and I would go so far as to say it is probably stronger , well the deck anyway ! To buy and build from new this board will cost very close to £200 depending where you buy , if you are prepared to do the research and do the legwork you can can build yourself an amazing high performance deck that will rival and even outperform many £300 + Boards out there ! (not to mention look better ) By : Lofty
  5. I personally have been downhilling on mountain boads for a year or so now and i have been through 2 boards already and am on my third. I started off on a 50 pound Kheo Bazik in 2004 and in summer 2005 i advanced onto a Sol 16 with NoSno soft bindings. I liked the pop of the boad and i improved much quicker. But after Christmas 2006 i decided to take the plunge and buy a Comp 16 Pro. 150 squids later i was the pround owner of a second hand 2004 comp 16 with a few of the finer trimming missing but the main parts still there. Now came the metamorphosis this review is all about. I chose to combine the best features from both of my boards (I still had the Sol 16) and make my 'ultimate' board. Its stats are: Comp 16 Pro (2004) deck MBS quadshocks trucks Trispoke hubs NoSno soft bindings Red T1 tyres Assembly: The first major obstacle when building a mountain board is to dissassemble the boardswithout stripping any heads. My tips for avoiding that circumstance are to a) go slowly and push down hard to avoid it stripping the head. After that the only other obstacle is drilling holes for the new trucks. This is actually very easy if you take apart the trucks you want to drill holes for and use the baseplate as a template for the drilling. Make sure you clamp a piece of wood to the bottom of the board to stop it splintering when the drill comes through. After you have done all of this final assembly is easy. The only major part for me was the bolts needed to attach the bindings to the comp 16 as they needed to be a different type due to the inserts MBS supplies. The scresw cost about 90p from a DIY shop. Performance: Well for me this board is close to the ultimate setup for downhilling for me. The Trispoke hubs are stronger than rockstars even though they are heavier in my opinion they perform much better. The red T1's are light, grippy and very good looking and for me they are the best tyres on the market. NoSno soft bindings are amazing i would reckomend them to anyone with any board. They are like F3's without any chance of your feet coming out and the ability to have snowboard like control without having to wear snowboard shoes is very liberating. They also help you get higher for freestyle as the board seems to stick to your feet better so all energy goes up rather than in shifting your feet around. I have never had a foot slip out with these bindings! The trucks i chose are lighter than matrixes and so i chose them instead and in my opinion they perform better and for freestyle they help alot. As a whole this board is a beast, it munches through freestyle and while it wont go in as many places as 10inchers can go it will go over some pretty bumpy stuff. I have taken it to over 20miles per hour and no sign of wobble and i think it has the potential to go much faster. In short i would reckomend building your own board from bits for any one who like me finds board on the market good, but not good enough or someone who is just looking for a bit of a challenge. Go forth and create!! John By : jackass
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