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  • jhn.holgate Gomberg Fled Review

    Excellent light wind KAP kite. Pulls hard in light wind and flys at steep angle. 

    Strong light wind performance.
    Flies at a steep angle.
    Negatives / Considerations
    Build quality could be better.
    5 ft long in bag.
    Not for moderate or high winds.

    The Gomberg Fled is a cross between a Sled kite and a Flare kite.  This is a framed, light wind kite designed for 4 - 11 knots.  It will happily lift my gopro in quite light conditions where my foils would not fly.  It's quite stable and flies at quite a steep angle - I have occasionally seen it fly directly above my head.  The Fled has an adjustable line on the back of the kite for adjusting the bow of the kite.  I haven't experimented too much with this - I put a slight bow in it and it flies nicely - I haven't measured the distance between the line and the back of the kite.  I assume adding some bow into the kite is something like dihedral on a glider's wings which adds stability.  Seems to work pretty well - you can see it clearly in the two photos below.

    Fled bow line.jpgFled from rear 2.jpg

    The kites are made in China and the workmanship is adequate.  Certainly not confidence inspiring.  It just all seems a little light to me - particularly the horizontal spar pockets which are velcro pockets.  The Fled comes with a drogue attached which seems to work quite well.  There is certainly plenty of pull in light winds and if you wanted the kite to sit at a lower angle, you could always try a long fuzzy tail.  

    Fled from side.jpgP1020296.JPG

    The vertical spars are sewn into their own pockets and stay in the kite, you only need to assemble the two piece horizontal spar for it to fly.  The only downside to this is when it's in it's bag, the bag is 5ft tall.  I don't ever remember this kite waving wildly side to side or looping or showing signs of any bad behavior at all - it's quite well behaved.  Which is just as well as I wouldn't want to see this hit the ground with any force being fairly light weight.  I have mine on 150 pound line and it pulls this with no problems at all.  Pulls the gopro up with ease too.  It would handle a small compact camera but a SLR might be a bit of a stretch.


    Overall, I think this is an excellent light wind KAP or line laundry rig.  A nice, taught flier that doesn't flap or misbehave.



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    User Feedback



    When I first tried my hand at KAP I used a Fled. It's a very nice kite with a lot of lift (but not always a lot of line pull), but I was unhappy at the angle of flight.

    Regardless of the amount of bow I set, or the size of the drogue I used, it always flew very high, or steep. Unfortunately this allows the rig to swing around more than desirable.

    So can a Fled be made to fly at a lower angle? Well, there isn't a lot of scope for adjustment apart from more or less bow. 

    The drogue adds stability, in gusty wind especially, and it also helps prevent overflying. I made other, larger drogues to experiment with. None of them changed the kite dramatically, it still flew at a very high angle.

    For KAP, and any other time you want a "nailed to the sky" Fled, I found that adding a long fuzzy tail is best. You can loop it from one side of the trailing edge to the other, or for even better effect (stability wise) add a y-line from the bottom of the longerons and tie the fuzzy tail to the centre of that.  However, fuzzy tails aren't ideal when faced with small launch areas, they snag on things really easily. But for stability , they are GREAT!

    Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad kite. It's a terrific one. It is a stable, attractive flyer on its own, and it is different from a lot of other kites you regularly see at the flying field or festivals.

    But for KAP, the high flying angle is a drawback. For light to moderate winds, I now use a rokkaku which responds better to fine tuning of flight angle. For strong winds (15 knots and upwards) my small flowform is excellent.

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