Getting a stable kite in a 12-20 mph bluster is not always so easy. My favorite option for the top end of Bft 4 is an HQ Flowform 2.0 and sure enough it took off and raced away with as much line as it could take. I pegged it out on 20m of line and watched it (always a good idea to wait awhile and see how things behave before hurling a precious camera skywards) it looked good, the Flowform weaved its way into the airflow with occasional halting tugs on the line. I hitch the rig to the line, and, given the gust/lull pattern I wait some more. The weaving gets serious and soon big lunges across the face of the wind develop into a spin and the kite is doomed. Fortunately the rig was less than a metre off the ground and I hadn’t begun to pay out line. This has happened before and I’m beginning to loose faith in this kite: it gets overblown and falls over in gusts of about 20mph.
A drogue improves the upper wind speed performance of the Explorer. So far I have never known the Explorer tip over but at 20mph it gets pushed over sideways so I added a drogue to slow it down. It kept a good 30/40 deg flying angle. The kite has been adapted to tow the drogue on a Y line by adding tape loops to the trailing edge corners. What is intresting here is that in lighter windspeeds (10-12mph) the drogue has had no impact on the kites novement but the effect was dramatic in gust: the kite keeps its down-wind line.
The wind speed record (I was flying in the orange stripe) in the valley below confirms my estimate: the wind speed topped out arround 20mph. In Bft 5 (given as 19-24mph) I’d have been better of with the PFK but when I packed my kit I didn’t think it would blow that hard!
There was a lot of movement in the rig and getting sharp shots was a challenge. I was careful to keep the rig at a distance from my subject, the kite was taking up a lot of sky dealing with the airflow.