KAP Pendulum

Based on an original design by Christian Becot, as used by Christophe Gaston, I have been using this for 4 years now. Over that time I have reduced the size of the pendulum, halved the beam length and used a nylon boat pennant toggle for the fixture to the line.

In this iteration I have shortened the first joint to get it to fit in the camera case and shaved off a bit more weight from the web of the beam.A few of the bits are canabalised off earlier versions hence the wear marks at the pivot.It will fit in the box with the rig and the camera so I won’t run the risk of leaving it behind now!

Beam length is: 24cm. Pedulum length is: 56cm

Material: Aluminium tube 6mm and 9mm OD, die cut 6mm bar and 20mm ‘L’ section. The semi-rigid joints are from thermoplastic brake tubing fixed with 4mm snap rivets.

The pendulum uses a steel ‘R’ clip to attach to the rig post.

Weight: 80g

The flexible joints are a boon when folding it up and also absorbing ‘dump bumps’ when recovering the rig in a lull, not something I rely on mind, but it happens from time to time!

Sky hook launched in biting cold NEasterly….And the pendulum works fine as the kite buckets about in an on/off Bft 3-5. I keep the line well clear of the edges of the beam when fastening it to the toggle hence the slightly odd alignment with the flying line. Here’s my test shot:


Now I can hear KAPers  asking ‘why do you use a pendulum over a Picavet as 80g is a lot compared to my tin cross and a ball of string!  In all my experiments with the Picavet I have had 2 consistent results: huge latteral swinging of the rig that takes a long time to dissipate and a tendency for the Picavet lines to jamb and tangle (I have had the thing wrap itself around the flying line)  if you add to that the fear of line wear in the pulley system (particularly with the 1.3kg DSLR rig)  you can see why I opt for a more robust method. I reserve the Picavet for a pocketKAP rig which I can fling in the air and hope for the best when I’m too wind shy to risk anything else.

About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
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3 Responses to KAP Pendulum

  1. Marty Hirst says:

    You have that drougue on a very long line, is that standard or your own mod?How long is it, and can you elaborate on the advantages?
    I will definitely try this pendulum construction. Thanks for sharing the info.

    • Hi Marty,

      The drogue is my own mod. The idea is to fly it at least 3 kite lengths behind the kite, it is not as effective as a fuzzy tail at peak flow but has the advantage of less weight and drag in the lulls. When it’s working you can see it correct thle latteral movement of the kite like a lever: the kite yaws one way the drogue the other and the sway is slowed down. The other big advantage of the drogue is that it acts as an ‘airbrake’ when the kite is toppled into a spin- it won’t stop the spin but it will slow it down and give you time to react.

      Happy flying,


  2. Pingback: 1st Oct 2015 flaky wind on Midsummer Common | Billboyheritagesurvey's Blog

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