History of the Revolution Rods

researched and written entirely by

John Norton Mitchell



  1. REV I
  2. REV II
  3. REV 1.5
  4. Indoor
  5. BackTracker
  6. Master
  7. Anniversary
  8. Rods
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Rods over the Years

Back in the early 90's I wrote a magazine article about Revolution rods for the German kite magazine "DRACHENmagazin", which in short was called "DraMa". The translation to English for "DRACHENmagazin" is of course "Kite Magazine".
I would have started this section out with translated and re-written excerpts from that article, however the article seems to be long lost during my many moves.

1988-1992

The original rods for the "Revolution I" were hand wrapped with four carbon fiber wraps which were wrapped around a metal mandrel. These were in turn wrapped with cellophane and then place in a special oven to cure. After they were removed from the oven and cooled, the mandrel and cellophane wrap were removed. The cellophane wrap created what looked like a strand of carbon fiber on the surface. In actuality this was only resin which can safely be removed if so desired. The "Revolution I" rods were then cut to precisely 36 inches (914 mm).
The very early rods were made by a manufacturer of golf club shafts. Some of these did not have any labels. Those with labels had the label in the middle of the rods for four wrap rods. This label read "Revolution Equipped". These rods also had outer stainless steel ferrules. There is at least one case of these ferrules, that I personally saw, having what appears to be a factory created bend of a few degrees.
    There were also two other versions of the rods at this time.
  • There was a Ultra Light(UL), three wrap rod which had an aluminum outer ferrule from apparently an arrow shaft. This label had the same text and was placed near the end of the rod.
  • There was a Super Ultra Light(SUL) two wrap rod which also had an aluminum outer ferrule. The label had again the same text and was placed near the three quarter point of the rod.

Sometime during the early stages Revolution ran into difficulties acquiring rods made by the golf shaft manufacturer and took to making the rods themselves. These rods were still being hand wrapped. Joe Hadzicki took to designing and building a machine that would wrap the rods automatically. The machine he designed could be programmed to wrap these rods in various patterns and number of wraps. Joe patented his design and later sold these machines to golf club shaft manufacturers who are still using these machines to date.


1992-1994

Around 1992 the outer ferrules on all rods were changed to carbon fiber inner ferrules. There was a six wrap rod made available around this time. Even stronger rods such as a eight wrap were available on special order.
    At this same time all the labels were moved to the center of the rods with new text as follows:
  • six wrap rod - text "Stiff"
  • four wrap rod - text "Revolution Equipped"
  • three wrap rod - text "UltraLight"
  • two wrap rod - text "For Professional Use Only"

For the "Revolution II", the rods were a bit different in length. The leading edge consisted of only two rods being 37 inches (94 cm) long. The down rods are 24 inches (61 cm) long. I know of only three and four wrap versions of these rods. They did have the same ferrule and label changes as mentioned for the "Revolution I" rods above. Now, unless I am thinking a bit awkward, there were some thin, about 0.25inch OD, two wrap rods used for for the REV II SUL sail. I am fairly sure I had a set. If I recall correctly they were nice for flying a REV II in very light winds.


1995-1997

When the "Rev 1.5" came onto the market in 1995, there was another size rod being 31 inches (787 mm) long. These were the same diameter rods and where available standard in two, three and four wrap versions. The REV 1.5 standard was shipped normally with the three wrap rods. The four wrap rods was shipped with REV 1.5 vented. The two wrap rods were shipped with the lighter REV 1.5 SUL.


1998-2000

In 1998 the SLE(Super Leading Edge) rods were brought onto the market along with the "REV 1.5 SLE", the Supersonic and the Shockwave. All used the same diameter leading edge rods, but of course different lengths. These rods were quite stiff and rugged having an outer diameter of about 0.5 inches(12.7mm) versus the previous rods outer diameter of about 5/16"(7.9mm) varying on the amount of wraps. The SLE rod was offered in both a "Revolution Equipped" and a "UltraLight" version. I presume these were four and three wraps respectively.

Sometime in the 90's, maybe even in the next decade, there was a change in the manufacturing technique of the rods. The earlier rods had reinforced ends which was quite distinct on the two and three rods and less so on the four wrap rods. The rods changed to a consistent outer diameter through out the whole rod. Strangely, this happened and I never noticed.
This change made a lot of since to me, as the outer ferrule is no longer used. However this does create a compatibility problem of newer rods being used with outer ferrules. Three and Four wrap rods sometime do not fit inside the outer ferrule. For the inner ferrules there is no compatibility problem between the older and new type rods because they maintain the same inner diameter.


2001-2007

In 2001 Revolution introduce the "REV INDOOR". For this a new lighter rods was needed. The new rods were labeled "The Advantage - 1.5". They were 33 inches (838 mm) long and had a thin outside diameter of .25 inch (6.35mm). They are probably the same OD as an earlier "REV II" SUL two wrap rod. These remained to be the standard "REV INDOOR" rod through most of the decade. Towards the end of the decade these rods were replaced by the more standard 5/16"(7.9mm) OD 1 wrap rods.


2008-2009

About 2008 the first "Race Rods" appeared. These rods were made with a new type carbon fiber wrap which I understand is more dense, tougher, thinner and lighter. The rod to me has the stiffness of the previous 3 wrap rod, weight of the two wrap rod and returns much quicker from a bend.
Not much later a "Silver Bullet" rod was available by special order. These rods replace only the outer two rods on the leading edge. It is said that the rods have a variable amount of wraps thus must be installed with a particular end pointing outward. There is not much mentioned anymore about these rods.


2010

Around 2010 the labels on all rods were changed. The new labels are Silver versus the previous Gold labels
    The new labels look like this:
  • for the 2 wrap - "Professional Use" the number "2" with 2 feathers
  • for the 3 wrap - "UltraLight" the number "3" with 3 feathers
  • for the 4 wrap - "Strong" the number "4" with 4 feathers


2011

In 2011 an additional version of the Race Rod came onto the market. The rod was developed for extra rough conditions such as flying underwater. They also carry the nickname "Rich Rods", named after a REV flier that can destruct any REV rod made to that date. These rods have a special green wrap of unknown material on the outside. This extra wrap make the rods almost indestructible. I have personally tested protoypes of this rod. I tried all kinds of ways to break the rods in flight and banging the ground and objects. I was not able to damage a rod. I can't say that much for the testing REV.


2012

In 2012 a new rod was introduced. I do not have any information at this time on this new rod.


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