Ichiban & Reprise – setup

The Ichiban and Reprise are really not that complicated if you look at them as several smaller assemblies. Look at the pictures, and refer to these instructions as you are 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 Ichiban or 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 pull the sections 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.

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 –

– Ichiban

Put one rear outer horizontal rod through the cut-out for the upper fin, and through the T fitting. Join it to the 32″ P400 center tube. Do the same thing on the other side. Once you have all three pieces assembled, hook the “tension” line loops over the nocks. You can then hook the bungee over the nock, tensioning the horizontal tail.
note: I put “tension” in quotes because the function of this line is really not tension, but simply to position the vertical tail fins.  It’s perfectly OK if this line is not under real tension.

The last step is to install the vertical tail spars. Go from the top, through the cut-out and find the fitting on the lower fin. Flex the tube and insert the top in the upper fitting. It doesn’t matter front or back. Do the same thing for the other side. This completes your basic assembly.  Your kite should need no more tensioning or adjustment, as it was assembled and checked thoroughly before it left here.

Ichiban rear section specs –
  • horizontal is again 3 pieces.  Center is P400 Pro @ 32″ for the mono-tail, and 31.5″ for the split tail. Outer spars are P400 @ 25″+nock
  • rear uprights are .210 pultruded @37″ for the mono-tail, and 40″ for the split tail.

– Reprise

The Reprise tail section can be a little daunting at first glance, but once you’ve done it a couple times, it goes together very quickly. Before joining the front and rear sections together, just lay out the tail section and make sure it’s oriented correctly. You’ll find seven sticks in the bundle for the rear section. Let’s start with the smallest diameter and shortest sticks. These will give shape and tension to the horizontal wing (stabilizer) in the front-to-rear direction. These are marked “A” in the picture to the right. Just insert one end in a fitting, and bend it gently to pop the other end in place. For orientation sake, this picture is from the front, showing the inner of the left tail fin.

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 knots 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 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 Ichiban 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 the Ichiban from “over-flying,” past vertical. In some winds, the Ichiban (and 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 Ichiban, 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.