Premium windsock for paragliding and hang gliding
Price includes FREE shipping to any U.S. address
- $35 windsock only (Why is this windsock more expensive than all others?)
- $115 windsock kit includes 20' Crappie pole, 2" x 3' PVC pipe, and 3/4 x 30" steel stake
Please be patient as there can be 7-14 days before we can ship these custom hand made windsocks out.
windsock only in bubble-pack 8 oz./227 grams
windsock, stake, & pipe in packing 6 lbs. 8 oz./3.0 kg
- Heavy duty reinforced sock opening will keep its round shape for the life of the sock – this feature is unique to the Southwest Airsports windsock and not found in any other windsock of this type.
- Overall length ±15' x ±6"
- Visible from the air for (1) mile or more – pilots can safely setup for landing much further away than with ordinary windsocks
- Very sensitive to wind speed and direction – will start to move at 1 MPH
- Greatly assists landing setup at or near dusk when ordinary windsocks are hard to see.
- Typical life 3-5 years depending on sun exposure, average wind velocity, and handling.
- The Crappie pole is as thin as practical so the sock will move in the slightest breeze and not touch the pole.
- The windsock can be safely struck by gliders without being damaged (usually). The windsock assembly will fall down flat on the ground and, because of the Crappie pole, will have lots of give in any direction. The design of this windsock system is safer to hit than any permanent windsock that has a solid (usually metal) shaft.
- Hand made by Marilyn in the U.S.A. at our shop
THIS IS NOT A PERMANENT WINDSOCK ALWAYS TAKE IT DOWN AFTER USE DO NOT STORE THE WINDSOCK IN A DAMP LOCATION, ESPECIALLY NEXT TO THE STEEL STAKE
Marilyn at work in her shop – working on a 1,000' streamer for an air show
Accessories needed for the windsock
16' Crappie fishing pole – a pole (20') may be used but costs more (see option #2 below). The pole is the most delicate part of the system and requires extra care not to break off the tip
or otherwise mangle it. The cap over the pole base may need to be removed in order to fit inside the PVC pipe. Use a few pieces of duct tape to seal the end so that the inside pieces
of the pole do not fall out and go everywhere after the windsock is disassembled. The pole is usually the
first part to fail so using the 16' pole cuts down on replacement costs over the long haul. The fishing pole must have a split piece of 1" hose attached about 1' up from the base
with a couple of nylon zip ties to keep it from sliding down the PVC pipe (see last photo on this page).
1 1/4" x 6' PVC schedule 40 pipe is needed for the 16' pole. Longer
pieces are better but may not fit in a car or truck bed.
3/4 x 30" steel form stake (best) with an optional 1/4" bolt
installed 12" from top (to increase height of PVC pipe) OR a 5/8 x 3' piece of rebar. A pointed stake goes
into the ground much easier. If you do use rebar, grind a point on it.
20' Crappie fishing pole – The stake does not need a bolt like in option #1 but needs a section of 2" PVC pipe.
Why have the 2" pipe? If the cap on the bottom of the pole is removed, it will fit onto the steel stake after the pole is extended. The pole
will collapse at some time and the sections will descend rapidly. If the pole is set directly on the stake, the sections will hit the stake and shatter and make the pole
non-functional. How do we know this???
2" x 3' PVC schedule 40 pipe
- 3/4 x 30" steel form stake (best) OR 5/8 x 3' piece of rebar. A pointed stake goes into the ground much easier. If you use rebar, grind a point on it.
If the end tip of the Crappie pole breaks, heat from a flame can be used to easily remove the brass eyelet from the broken piece of pole. It can then be reattached with 5-minute epoxy cement to the remaining tip after it has been sanded to a taper so that it will fit the eyelet. I have broken the tip off and reattached it successfully more than once. Use a Dremel tool with a grinding wheel to taper the pole tip for reattachment. A file also works but will take longer.
Tears in the fabric can be easily repaired (to stop fraying) by a few drops of Superglue.
The fishing line swivel can be easily replaced without cutting the supporting lines.
If the sock fails from a manufacturing defect such as a reinforcing tube failure or a seam failure during its useful life, please send it back to us and we will fix it at no charge. Unfortunately, we cannot warrant these socks if they have been misused or left out in the sun. The Crappie Pole has no warranty because it is so easy to damage.
- In order to work properly, this windsock must be suspended above the ground about 20'. If a lesser distance is used, the fishing pole will bend over and the sock will touch the ground, brush, or tall grass and give a false velocity and direction indication, especially if seen from far away.
- Windsock assembly must be clear of obstacles for a radius of at least 20' or the sock may get tangled.
- Locate the windsock as close as possible to the middle of the LZ. Putting it near any tall object will defeat the purpose of this ultra-sensitive anemometer.
- If you have a lot of traffic or the area is subject to light and variable winds, multiple windsocks near the corners of the LZ are very effective.
- DO NOT STORE THE WINDSOCK IN THE SUN OR IN A MOIST ENVIRONMENT. DO NOT LEAVE THE STAKE IN THE GROUND TO BECOME AN INVISBLE HAZARD.
- The ground stake must be plumb and set into the ground just enough so that it does not fall over from a gust. If the stake is set too far into the ground the
PVC pipe or the Crappie pole might break if struck by a glider.
- When extending the Crappie Pole to full length, pull on the telescoping sections gently. If the sections are not firm, the pole may later collapse. If you pull too hard
on the sections, they will come RIGHT OUT and you will have to completely disassemble the pole.
- When putting the windsock away, take the Crappie pole out of the PVC pipe before collapsing it. Keeping the pole vertical, firmly rest the butt of the pole on
the ground then twist the opposing sections gently starting at the section closest to the base. Let the sections slide gently down into the pole base. REMEMBER: THE WALLS
OF THE POLE ARE DELICATE. They must be so in order for the windsock to be as sensitive as it is. NEVER LET ANYONE JAMB THE POLE SECTIONS TOGETHER. This is the surest
way to ruin the Crappie pole.
- It is unnecessary to unhook the windsock from the Crappie pole. However, it makes it easier for the end of the pole to be accidentally damaged when it is stored as a single piece.
How the windsock functions
The Southwest Airsports windsock is ultra sensitive to the slightest breeze. In the photo below, it shows a wind speed of about 2-3 MPH. Landing into the wind vs. landing downwind would result in a 6 mph difference in ground speed – 18 MPH vs. 24 MPH. As the winds increase the difference gets much greater. A 10 MPH wind yields a difference of 20 MPH between landing into the wind and landing downwind. No other type of windsock can provide the information from a mile away which allows the best possible setup information for a comfortable landing with minimum ground speed. This is especially important for PPG where carrying all that extra weight makes staying on your feet when landing much more difficult.
If the winds increase, the windsock will clearly indicate the speed. In the photo below, winds are approximately 12 mph. If the windsock is "angry" (flapping and making noise) you might want to stay at launch or hang around in the air until things calm down. It takes practice to gauge the wind speed precisely.
The sock can be raised another foot by installing a 1/4" bolt in the stake about 10" from the end.
If the 16' Crappie pole is used, it should have the modifications done per the photo below.
Marilyn's reinforced sock opening – this is the most important difference between her windsock and all others. It is flexible tubing so the opening can be bent/crushed. It will recover it's natural shape if left in a warm place for a while.
Below is a photo of the flimsy reinforcing material found in all Chinese-made imports. The material is flat so that the sock and reinforcing loop can be sewn at the same time. While this makes the sock twice as fast to assemble, the sock opening will collapse after a short time, usually a few weeks of occasional use. The sock then becomes a streamer that may or may not be visible, depending on the pilot's angle of vision to the sock. The sock also loses its ability to precisely show wind speed.
Here is the imported windsock and what happens after a short time.