Issue 53: REVisions: Indoors, Pairs and More!

Last time I sat down to write REVisions, where I dealt with the basics of indoor flying, it was raining in the Northwest. In what will come as a huge surprise to everybody, it’s STILL raining up here with no apparent end in sight, so, I guess it’s a good time to continue our look at the basics of indoor flying with a Rev. Last issue, we looked at equipment and the initial first few flights, this time around, I’ll dig a little deeper and get into some launches and some other interesting tricks. Also, at the end of the article, I’ll touch briefly on Kite Party 5 (well covered in another article in this issue) and the movement to have Quad Pairs/Team recognized as an AKA event.

By this point, provided you did your homework from the last issue, you should be able to at least go around in circles quite nicely. Whenever I’m out to practice (we’re kinda blessed here in Vancouver with a weekly gym space available to us, as long as we don’t mind getting up at an ungodly 8AM in the morning on a Sunday), I will often start with some simple circles, going around a few times in one direction, and turn around and go the other direction. I’ll also fly those circles in reverse with the kite as well, concentrating on keeping the kite a specific distance off of the floor and watching for speed control. Also, I’m aiming to smooth out the transitions between flight directions so when I’m flying and change directions to fly in reverse, there’s barely a wobble at the transition point. This just works as a warmup to get my head into the game and stretch my legs a little.

Now, that’s all well and good, but, how do you get the kite out to the line length in the first place? I use a few different launches, but, by far the easiest is to simply rest the kite on the wall, leading edge upwards (extra bonus points for doing this leading edge down). With the handles in your hands and the lines taut, simply step back a couple of feet, letting the tips coast on the floor. Now, rotate your thumbs back a bit and give your hands a quick “pop” up and voila, you are in the air!

One note on this launch is worth pointing out. Do -not- use this in competition if your kite is physically within the pits, it can result in a DQ (disqualification). Trust me on this, if you read this column long enough, you’ll discover all new ways to kill yourself in a comp setting, it’s a new hobby of mine. Either choose a wall that’s inbound, or use one of the other methods I’ll talk about later in this article.

It’s also worthwhile practicing simply walking around with the kite on the ground. It can be an effective transition effect if you use it very sparingly. I’d mentioned extra bonus points above, so in order to launch the kite from a wall while it’s upside down; just make sure the bottoms of your handles are pointed very far back. The difference with this launch is that you do not pop the kite at all, it’s a slow backwards climb upwards. Once you get to a reasonable height, switch to forward motion and away you go.

3-D Throws

One of the handiest launches you will use will be to throw the kite out from wherever you are standing. It comes in handy because for the first few times you are out flying, you’ll be walking back to pick up your kite, muttering away because some weird draft knocked you down or how that wasn’t quite the turn you intended. It can be a bit frustrating at first, but, with some perseverance, you’ll make that walk a lot less and, it could be worse, you could be on 120 feet lines outdoors. If you are familiar with 3D Rev flying (maybe I need an article this summer talking about that?) it’s pretty much the same thing as a 3D launch from your hands.

I’ll lay this launch out from a right handed perspective, so, if you are one of the left handed amongst us, simply reverse everything I say. To start, put both of your handles into your left hand, making sure to keep the left side handle and right oriented properly as you’ll regrab the right handle midway through this. For now, with your right hand, pickup the right leading edge tip of the kite and with your left, grab the center of the kite. With the kite about middle chest height, check and see that the lines are all clear of the tips of the kite. I give it a little shake so that I can see the lines are hanging straight down from the kite. The idea behind this is similar to throwing a javelin, with your right hand propelling the kite forward, using your left hand to guide it as it goes out. Pull your right arm back and then push the kite out forward in the direction you want to go, releasing your left hand at the same time.

When you are doing this at first, try to aim the kite upwards a little bit, it will give you and extra second or so to recover the kite once it reaches the end of the lines. As the kite is drifting out, get your right handle back into your right hand, and get both hands back into a normal position, but with your left hand a little further forward. This is the hand controlling the side of the kite that’s farthest away from you, so, you are giving it a little more slack than the right hand. Just as the kite reaches the end of the lines, step back and give both handles a short pop, pulling in your left hand, and voila, you should be off and flying.

Click here for a short 3-D launch video!
(3.48MB download)

3-D Pull to Catch

Now, once you have it out there and flying, how can you pull it back into yourself? It’s pretty straight forward to do this, so to begin, land the kite on its tips. This is another example where you’ll put both handles into your left hand to free up your right hand. With the kite on its tips, quickly pass the right handle into your left and and reach forward with your right hand towards the top lines of the kite. You’ll lightly grab the top lines, and with a slight downwards motion, pop the lines back towards you. If you’ve done this right, you’ll have a Rev drifting towards you, and you can then catch it with your right hand. Now that its back in your hand again, move your right hand back to the right tip of the leading edge tip, support it with your left in the center, check your lines and throw it back out again.

Now, just repeat this over and over and over again till you can do it smoothly. You are aiming to have the kite float as flatly as possible in either direction, whether its going out from you or coming back in. As you get better with this, you can aim a little lower when you are throwing the kite out. One note on this, if you are using a Rev with a bridle on it, you will need to pull down much harder in order to get the kite to come in towards you. What happens is the bridle gets the input to go down, but, what this does is pull the leading edge upwards instead of towards you. It’s still doable on a bridled Rev but, just a little different. And really, why have a bridle indoors anyways, its just one more thing to get tangled up on.

3-D “Over the Head”

Ok, one last “trick” that’s involved with 3D flying indoors. You are going to set yourself up just like you would to pull the kite in towards yourself, however this time, give it a much harder tug. The idea here is to give the kite enough momentum to actually right over your head and continue right over to the other side. Obviously, you will want to duck instead of catch the kite as its coming in your direction. When you are pulling the kite in, don’t give it as much of a downward pull as you’ll want some height as its zooming towards you. And, as you duck and the Rev gracefully (well, eventually) soars over and past your head, turn around so that you are facing the other way. As it reaches the end of the lines again, 180 degrees from where it started, just give it that same pop to recover and fly away.

Video Examples

Hopefully I’ve managed to describe these reasonably well but, I’ve also included a couple of short video clips and pictures that show in better detail what I’m talking about. Also, you may want to take a look at the videos I’ve linked below for a more complete look at what can be done with an indoor Revolution.

First off, the queen of all things Rev Indoor, Penny Lingenfelter. This was shot at the 2006 Lincoln City Indoor Festival.

Just in case you needed a longer dose of flying, here’s some guy named John Barresi doing a wide variety of moves to Astor Piazolla’s classic Adios NoNino at the 2007 Windless Festival in Long Beach, WA this past January.

And lastly, if you are a Kitelife subscriber, you can even find one of me flying both a 1.5 and an Indoor Rev within the demos section. This was also shot at the 2007 Windless Festival in Long Beach, WA.

(click here for subscription info)

Quad Pairs & the AKA

Ok, I mentioned at the top of this article that I’d touch on Quad Pairs/Team as AKA events. I’m aware that around the country, there are various groups flying over the last while (which warms my heart to no end) and now, the trick will be to show festival organizers that it’s a viable event.

If you have a Quad Pairs or Team flying this spring and you’ll be at a competition, simply contact the organizers ahead of time and request both ballet and precision as an event.

While Quad Pairs and Team will not score AKA points right now, adding it to competition schedules would show that people are interested in flying in it as an event, and that’s what we need to do to demonstrate interest to the AKA. Once we can sufficiently demonstrate this, it becomes much easier to have it sanctioned as an “official” AKA event sometime in the future.

Organizers can run this at the same time they run their usual quad events to avoid expanding their schedules too much, since time is always at a premium.

I mentioned the precision event as well as ballet, because you’ll find that by learning the Quad Pairs and Team precision compulsory figures, it’ll help your flying even more than as an individual pilot practicing them. None of them are too terribly hard and they’ll give you excellent practice in speed control with respect to whoever else is up in the sky with you. While organizers are supposed to publish the compulsory figures for a given event 30 days before it happens, I’d cut them some slack on this for now if they are willing to simply run the event. You can simply draw numbers out of a hat the morning of the event if you want, it’s more key to simply get the competitions happening.

And do me a small favor, drop me an email with information if you do manage to get this running at your local event.

Next issue, I’m hoping to return to some outdoor flying information, as long as the weather will cooperate. And lastly, check out the Kiteparty 5 article also in this issue, there was a lot of Revs in attendance for this event and I can honestly say, there is few things more thrilling than having a 16 kite mega fly! Fantastic!

Thanks again and have fun!

David Hathaway