The Reprise is really not that complicated if you look at it as several smaller assemblies. Look at the pictures, and refer to these instructions as you’re assembling your kite. You need to have the kite in front of you for any of this to make sense. Don’t get overwhelmed, just take it in bits until it makes sense. Your first step is to unroll everything and lay the sections out flat.
Assemble and join the sections –
The spines for the front section are two pieces that may have been broken down for shipping. Just slide them together. You’ll feel when they’re seated properly. There should be about 1/4″ of the ferrule showing beyond the end of the sleeve.
Once you have the front spines assembled, join the front and rear sections with a lark’s head knot. The larks head is the only knot you need for the Reprise, nothing more complicated than that. Slide the rear section spine up to mate with the front. Hook the bungee at the tail end over the nock, and repeat for the other side.
For regular storage, there is no need the break the longerons all the way down, or even detach the larks head holding the sections together. Just unhook the bungees at the tail and slide the rod back in its sleeve. This will pull the front and rear spines apart. The bag has been sized to leave the front section extension in place.
note: the entire spine assemblies are also called “longerons”, which is a term that comes from aircraft construction.
Now that you’re this far, the rest is pretty simple. Refer to the pictures above and below for how everything goes together. If you are assembling your Reprise outdoors, point the tail section into the wind. The Reprise sits on the ground in a tail-down attitude, and having the rear pointing into the wind will help keep it grounded during assembly.
Front Wings –
Time to assemble the front wings – There are two 37″ tapered tubes. These are the outer horizontal rods. These go through the T connectors on the spines. Slip them between the upper and lower wings, through the cut-outs, and the T fitting. The center section is 32.5″ long and has a fitting in the middle. Use this to join the two outer horizontal sections. There should be a .210 pultruded tube @ 25″. This is the upright in the center of the front section. Lastly, you have two 40″ pultruded tubes, which are your wing bows. These go into the fittings at the tips of the upper and lower wings. They are under tension, so be careful. It doesn’t matter if they go in front or back of the horizontal tubes, just do it the same on each side. If they don’t want to lay against the other tube, twist them slightly in the fitting until they do. If you have not done so already, hook the tension line loops over the nocks.
front wing specs –
- horizontal is 3 pieces. Center is a 32.5″ SkyShark XLS with a fitting in middle. Wing spars are 37″+nock, tapered SkyShark XLT
- wing bows are .230 pultruded @ 40″
- center box upright is .210 pultruded @ 25″
Rear section –
Next up is the three-part spreader/bow. You’ll have two solid carbon rods with a built-up ferrule, and a wrapped carbon tube center section. Let’s start with the outer, solid sticks. These will go through the connector at point “C” from the outside. It may be a firm fit in the connector, but try giving it a little twist as you push, and seat each side all the way to the stopper. At this point they’re just flopping around, so let’s join the two sections with the center tube. Once you have both sides in, reach around and insert the end of the rod into the wingtip connector. Now, go over to the other side and do the same thing. Yes. it bends a lot. And no, it’s not going to break. Just be extra careful when assembling these tensioned members and keep a firm grip on the rod until it’s properly seated, so as to not damage the sail (or yourself).
Last thing will be to put in rod “B”. The upper cut-out on your kite may be smaller than the one in the picture, so put the stick in from the bottom, through the hole, and seat it in the upper fitting. Again, bend the stick carefully and insert the free end in the lower fitting. It doesn’t matter if this stick is fore or aft of the spreader. It also doesn’t matter if stick “A” is over or under stick “B”. I put it over, but just because I like the way it looks.
Well, you’ve done it! Double-check that all of your sticks are seated correctly, then sit back and admire your work. Well done!
Don’t hesitate to call if I can be of any help.
The final step in preparation for flight is to attach the bridle with a larks-head knot to each of the front 4 pigtails on the frame. There is a pair at the very front end of the kite, and a second pair on the spars between the front and rear sections. If your kite also has pigtails at the very aft end, those are for attaching an add-on tail or tails.
Your bridle probably came marked with at least a “front” tag. If not, no big deal, just remember that if you hold all four attachment points together, the tow point will be slightly forward of the center. My recommendation for tuning your bridle is that once your kite settles in at altitude, the rear legs should be slightly slack.
Adding a tail?
Q – Does the Reprise need a tail?
A – The biggest thing the tail does is look cool, and I think that’s reason enough. 😉 The other thing a tail can do is to help prevent your kite from “over-flying,” past vertical. In some winds, the Reprise will fly like a Genki, right overhead. If the wind is gusting up there, the kite can accelerate past the point where there is tension on the line. If the bridle is adjusted correctly, it will help most of this behavior, as will a tail that adds drag – keeping the kite a bit lower in the window. I like a tail with the reprise, for visuals, if nothing else. The tails I recommend the most are the 48ft transition tails from Gomberg Kites, and their 2ft x 75ft streamer flag tail. I am happy to discuss crafting custom color and fabric matched tails for your kite if you’d like.
Feel free to contact me if I can be of any help.