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In the mid-sixties I had a paper route in Brigham City, Utah delivering the Deseret News. It was my first experience in how to operate a small business as we were all essentially independent contractors. My route took about an hour & one half delivering 50 to 60 papers on my 3 speed English bike. The newspaper company was always trying to get us to sign up new subscribers. Incentives were given based on the number of new subscribers we recruited. The most memorable premium I ever received was a Gayla Sky Spy kite. While not my first it was a very good kite. I could stand out in the street in front of the house & launch it by propping the kite up, laying out about thirty feet of line & towing it until it cleared the roof top & got into some clean air. I considered this advanced kite technique at the time. I was fourteen.
Once in the air it was easy to go to the end of a 500' spool of line. We used the latest kite technology, Hi-Flier Megalon Super Strength kite cord made of thin light nylon. It was much better than the old cotton string of the fifties. You could splice on more line but after a while the kite could not lift more line & it would not go higher, just further away. If you had out enough line you could let go of the line & the kite would still have enough tension on it to keep flying as the line slowly slipped along the ground. It was a lot of effort to reel in a thousand feet of line using an empty Suran wrap tube. One time we even tried to use an Erector set motor to make a power winder but long extension cords were hard to come by which was the limiting factor on that effort. Eventually I got a Hi-Flier spin winder.
Certain times of the year the west wind would blow for days. I don't know why we left the kite up all night for the first time. But once we found out it was possible we would try to go for a record number of hours. The best we ever did was three days. When the kite did come down unattended we would leap on our bikes & follow the string for a couple blocks to hopefully find the tough little kite laying in a yard some ways away. Eventually there came a day when the kite was not to be found. Then I went into a dark time of no kites, but the girls kept me distracted.... SHBKF
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Suddenly, it's May! The weather has been turning colder here over the last few (eight!) weeks. Work has been busy, and combined with the end of daylight savings time, it has definitely put a crimp on my flying! I finally got a chance to debut my new ribbon tails last weekend, they looked great! Unfortunately I can't show you any video, the GoPro wasn't working properly - operator error! Then I got rained on and it dawned on me that I now had to work out a way of drying 2 x 25ft tails...
The answer I settled on was pulling each tail through a folded towel, that seemed to work pretty well! I managed to put my first puncture in the sail, but my kite repair kit came to the rescue and it handily patched the small hole before it had the chance to become bigger.
I got to go out and play for about an hour the following day in about 10 - 14 km/h winds, I had a lot of fun just keeping the kite in the air and moving it around in the window. Nothing fancy. I need to go back and review all the slack line trick videos again before I go out next time, that wind speed seemed ripe for trying a lot of tricks.
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- My first pre-work session
- May I ask for 10 more of these sessions?
- Fragments to decipher - tricking that leaves questions
These sessions were all in the tricking en masse spirit. Approaching tricking from this different angle turned out to allow me to catch glimpses of tricks that if I would have worked on a trick methodically one by one, would have been several years ahead. This once again leads me into thinking of the beginning of the Trickery Flickery video ( http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/3477-trickery-flickery/ ): "Once you understand what to expect, you then start to be able to control these and then they become moves". I hope that I'll be able to benefit from the insights/samples gained. Yet, I'm not a believer in some only way that does it all. More grabbing bits and pieces of trick learning by applying several methods.
The schools in Stockholm have their sports leave during week nine this year and also at work some have left for typically a week in some ski resort. We (my family) did "our trip" during in December (less crowded then), so we remained home now. It turned out that I didn't need to go far to do sporting of the kiting kind instead.
My first pre-work session
Tue Feb 28 09:22:43 CET 2017
GF forecasted 4m/s
Kymera on 25m 38kg lines
OK, I've reached a new level of nerdom today. Tennis training is cancelled two weeks in a row, so therefore, I figured instead of being late to work because of playing tennis, I could do some sport kiting!
Observations from the flying were not that many during this shorter session (can't be immensely late at work). The little longer of my line sets that I most often use served me well. The winds close to the ground were a bit low and slightly turbulent. So, a bit higher up in the wind window (one time) a cascade attempt (only like two half axels or so) was unexpectedly soft and floaty. Could I hope to repeat this?
Flying with the Kymera, for me, I need to actively strive for the "tricking en masse" practice that I rather recently decided that I would try, because the figure flying with the Kymera is tempting because it looks good. The walks of shame were frequent today, but is something that needs to be accepted when trying to trick en masse - Welcome the walk of shame!
When going there I two times crossed the cross country ski tracks but I thought I was alone. However two "pre-work sport extremists" of the skiing type showed up later.
Moving backwards and forwards was somewhat restricted by ice. It was more ice on the side of the ski track that was lower than the track where one would expect the meltwater to go. Unfortunately this was the place that suited the wind direction best and was quickest to get to during the limited session time.
May I ask for 10 more of these sessions?
Wed Mar 1 09:04:26 CET 2017
GF forecasted 4m/s
Hydra on 25m 38kg lines
I can wish no more of a session than this (apart from that it should have been a little longer). The wind suited the Hydra perfectly and the lawn was well cut and free of ice. To describe it, from on-ground nose down, you could just force the kite onto its belly when being supported on the LE, so that a fade launch could be initiated quickly - no running up or downstream was required. The morning sun shone occasionally on my back. Today I was in the middle of the ski track surrounded by several skiers that also had discovered the nice weather.
The session felt like a step forward in the en masse tricking - tricking with little rest - keep the kite out of normal flying. I believe that I was helped by the good conditions, the little higher wind than yesterday that suited the Hydra better and also that the Hydra seems to accept much tossing around (thinking mainly of cascades here).
I got the (snap) lazy susans going (also) with the Hydra, and that felt good. The trick seem to be - don't wait after the snap turtle - just do the lazy quickly. I should experiment if I could lower the nose by moving forward however to see if I could do this trick more calmly. The exit was often a bit early so I need to work on this as well.
Today's highlight was the cascade. It could go on until I lost count and then flew away without the ending in a turtle! Realizing that the session time was limited I started to instead do the run of contemplation (well I shouldn't over emphasize the the contemplation part - the thought was simple: "Get that kite up and that quickly"). If this instead had been a "marathon session" the run of contemplation would have been pointless - frequent running would just have caused a pause of rest/inactivity. Another good thing was that a few of yesterdays softer cascades happened as well!
This tricking en masse that I currently try to do, I believe that letting go of the setting up and analysis offers a new way of learning for me. For some reason the cascades seem to go on (for today and this kite) - perhaps I can figure out why one day and then learn the difference so that the half axeling/rixeling get predictable/controllable. If I manage this, then my hands has taught me how to do do a trick (well at least on the Hydra).
One end of one of the mini battens was found to be loose - when/how did this happen?
So weren't there any not so good things today? Well the FAs and the belly launches weren't reliable. The tricking en masse leads to more walks of contemplation (but I think when learning/discovering new stuff the walks are inevitable). I also discovered that one of the near-the-wing-tip-mini-battens was only attached on one side.
When you have this perfect session going, stopping for going to work is not really at hit. On the other hand it might be more efficient per hour than my usual session, often ending in the dusk or when my wife reminds me of today's planning ( ...Now!). Talking about my wife, she didn't know that I went here before work because I left home much early. It looks like that I've sunken deeper into the kite swamp. When almost everything is going you way it is so tempting to continue the session - but NO this alternative wouldn't be reasonable today.
The number of morning skiing pre-work extremists were even higher today. I deemed the best spot for kiting was in the centre of the ski track loop. One of the skiers is can be seen in the background.
Fragments to decipher - tricking that leaves questions
Thu Mar 2 09:21:12 CET 2017
GF forecasted 2m/s
Hydra on 25m 38kg lines
One lesson learnt - don't put absolute trust in the forecast (even if checked just 1h before!). I'd expect that on this field 2m/s would have meant the HQ Shadow - not the Hydra.
Small intrusions and large intrusions. The GF field gets nibbled, a playground, (artificial) beach volley and areas for vegetable plants reduces useful area and makes it somewhat more difficult to find good wind. Another field just south of Stockholm has really fallen victim of some landscape architect? There a 400m large "ring of evil" has been created by planting trees in a circle covering much of the field. There is some campaign going on to save this field from other use, but whether they think anything about the trees or not I don't have a clue. I have not tried this field so I don't know, but that ring just can't be good news. Besides, it seems to be every landscape architect's duty to plant trees the instant they see water. Here in the inner parts of the archipelago the nature itself grows trees all the way down to the water making the kiting fields close to water very few. The erosion from the water is also small so the zone without vegetation (beaches i.e.) is very small as well.
When randomly doing axel-like inputs, I sometimes get a very soft axel going beyond the "natural stop", but doesn't fully double axel. Should perhaps compare this to the double axels that the (Prism) Alien does. The turtles lasted for some period for some reason. No I can't say I understand why and I didn't actively do any attempts to control the pitch of the turtle during this session.
Another trick to be deciphered from today is a rolled up fade launch. After a failed low sloppy snap lazy I ended up on the ground. The kite was rolled up in such a way that when pulling the lines it rolled up on the ground and did a fade launch! It happened twice! It is like certain codes for entering doors - You can't picture fully was happened, but you know what to do when you are standing there, it is the situation that triggers the memory/action - the next time I'll try to observe and remember more "theoretically". ... (one night's sleep passed, in the morning I think that I sorted it out how it "must" have happened): After the failed snap lazy, the kite had ended up flared on the ground with the lines (starting from the kite) going over the trailing edge, then over the leading edge and then on the ground - i.e. rolled up once (the back-flipped rotational way). The un-rolling/launch was performed by a non-hesitant but not too hard initial pull, followed by just maintaining a faint line tension (like when maintaining a fade). It was much like a fade launch, but the lines wrapped over the kite forced the nose down and under into a fade. How to repeat the snap lazy "failure" to be able to to this fancy start again?
One line under the wing and one line above being held by a yoyo-stop. Is there a way out this snag?
If the Hydra now provides me with tricks during tricking en masse that I don't fully understand yet, its bigger brother, the Jinx should be slower and could perhaps give me the time to decipher it? When checking the fortuna-forms (.com) website it seems last updated in 2014 and the offered Jinxes lacked specifications (so also the reviews in Kiteclique).
If I only could make my wife convinced about the great thing in buying an American kite (or actually any kite) again - already as it is, buying/importing a kite directly overseas would add tax and more expensive shipment compared to buying within the EU. If the trade protectionist climate would further harden and also be met with counter measures one short term effect could be that a kite import here would be even more expensive. Being very optimistic this actually could provide a temporary opening for getting the Jinx: "Darling, don't you reeeeaaaaly think that I ought to get that Jinx kite before it might risk getting more expensive?". Kites might eventually be somewhat more confined to their region of origin on either side of the Atlantic. On the other hand, making predictions is very hard, especially those about the future. Unfortunately it also seems like I moved too slowly, the Fortuna Design page was no more when checked and also when verified again. Well I guess I shouldn't be considering new kite purchases for some time now anyhow (at the time of posting this blog entry I've already failed doing so horribly). So in the end I think I'll invest more time in kite repairs to see what I think of them after the time that has passed since I last used them and having learnt more, thus postpone purchases for now.
I discovered today that the clip preventing the centre-T from moving is completely missing. Hopefully I can find the marks of the old one, so that I know where to put it. Or rather, go for a double clip - it is not the first time that I've had them sliding and damaging the sail. I guess that the rip could be repaired with a dacron patch. I wonder what type of thread that should be used for this? The image is from a later date when the ugly tape field repair had slided.
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A static deflection test was previously performed on several carbon tubes allowing them to be compared based solely on “stiffness”, or the “spring constant” for each tube.
A link to the discussion can be found here:
Experienced Rev fliers have responded with comments regarding the “reflex”, or response of the carbon tube frame being more important than the “stiffness” or weight of the frame. Experienced fliers select a preferred frame based on wind conditions and the selection of sail type (vent options: none, mid, full). Additionally, modifications may have been made to the “stock” sail design to improve performance of the kite. The data presented here represents the dynamic properties of a carbon tube independent of a sail.
Let's get right to the data!
Here is a link to the current Excel spreadsheet with both static and dynamic test results for the rods that I have tested. A copy of the table is included in this post but does not let you sort by manufacturer or characteristic.
here is a copy sorted by 1st Amplitude 5” Perturbation:
Here is a copy of the worksheet "Deflection and Reflex comp" which compares dynamic measurements with the commonly used Rev 3-wrap rod with silver label:
A positive % means that the test value for that tube was greater than the Rev 3-wrap test value. Likewise, a negative % means the test value was less than the Rev 3-wrap test value.
Specifications for carbon tubing that you purchase for the purpose of constructing or modifying a frame combination yourself only include tube ID and OD dimensions, and an overall weight. Some tubes and frame sets will only provide a model ID and no other information. The more experienced kite flier or builder will be interested in more information than this. Hopefully the tests that I have conducted will be useful to you although you will see from the pictures that I don’t have a NIST certified lab. I was able to conduct these tests with readily available household items (for me these were readily available ) and a little ingenuity.
Description of the Carbon Tubing Response Test:
A 31” tube was secured at one end of a test table by a ferrule allowing a full 31” section of tubing to be deflected and oscillate. The 31” length was deflected by 5”, released, and allowed to oscillate until it settled. The amplitude of the first vibration response was measured in inches. The frequency of vibration was measured in HZ (cycles per second), and the settling time was measured in seconds. (settling time is defined as the time it took for the tube to stop vibrating after the initial disturbance).
Test Table Picture:
The measurements were taken using audio technology. A small wire (whisker) was fastened to the end of each tube that was tested and a small microphone was placed exactly in-line with the stationary tube.
As the tube oscillated past the microphone it recorded the impact of the whisker. Since the audio was sampled at 44.1 KHz the data is quite precise. Frequencies and settling times were analyzed using audio editing software.
Data Sheet Picture:
A data sheet was used for each rod tested. The data was recorded and then entered into the excel spreadsheet that has been posted.
Sonic Performance Pictures:
Multiple tests were performed on each rod and the results were averaged. Here is an example of a rev 3-wrap rod showing 3 response tests:
Here is a picture of one test with markers drawn at each impact of the microphone. Two impacts define the Period in seconds. 1/Period defines frequency in Cycles per Second known as Hz (see highlighted and circled value in the picture). In the case of a 3 wrap rev rod the Period is .062 seconds on average and the frequency is (1/.062) or 16.129 Hz:
The first amplitude deflection however was measured manually. A toothpick was held perpendicular to the testing table and at the end of the tube. The toothpick was adjusted until the tube barely touched it during the first amplitude deflection.
I don’t have a picture demonstrating this test but here is a picture of a sample test sheet showing where the first reflex of an example test sheet for the 3-wrap rev rod where the first amplitude was marked. It is at the end of the perpendicular line drawn from the Centerline (CL):
What does this all mean?
Hopefully this information is useful to you and can inspire further discussions regarding frame preferences and sail choice in the forum.
I will offer my initial interpretations of the data with hesitation because I know that many of you will have your own observations...
Again, Wind Speed, Sail Choice, and Sail Modifications are all factors in the kite’s response and performance.
The frequency test results are very similar between each rod with the exception of the SS P400 and the Rev 3-wrap Green-stripe. Almost all the rods oscillate at a slightly lower frequency than the Rev 3-wrap. The frequency value could indicate how quickly the rod, when used in a sail, will try to return to a static position after a disturbance. Perhaps a point for discussion…
1st Amplitude Response from 5”:
This test possibly indicates how “springy” a tube is. A large 1st amplitude would indicate that the rod wants to flex easily. Perhaps this would give you a very “bouncy” experience when used in a sail. Silver Race rod test results would indicate that they would seem considerably less bouncy than the 3-wrap. The SS P-90 is the bounciest of all which I would agree from my experience.
This test would also seem to indicate how quickly a rod will return to a static condition after a disturbance. It adds another dimension to the frequency characteristic that describes how quickly the amplitudes during oscillation diminish to zero. Race Rods and SS PX tubes have a shorter Settling Time than the 3-wrap standard; this has me curious now and perhaps my first question back in the forum: For those of you with SS P-3X frames, how do you compare this frame to the Rev 3-wrap? The SS P400 seems like it wants to vibrate forever!
Well, I will end this blog now and look forward to continued discussions in the forum.
Phew, it has been busy these past couple weeks. Changing weather and a bad flu really cut into my flying but I've still managed to get out a bit!. I've been trying to accomplish four things while on the field:
1) Fractured Axel practice. I'd like to get much more consistent with them which I think involves two things. First is to make sure the kit is in the middle of the axle before pulling for the fade. I can do this in the middle of the window, but I miss most attempts when trying this near the edge. I think this has something to do with the asymmetry already present in the lines when flying at the edge of the window? I have to think about it a bit more though. The other thing I need to do is Give.More.Slack. Every time I watch the footage of my sessions I can see line tension screwing up the trick. I think I err on the side of too little slack because I'm usually practicing in lower wind and don't want to have to regain ground lost when I take up slack. When there is finally enough wind to sustain a fade with the Quantum though I just don't give enough.
2) Virtual Freestyle practice. Less than a week left to get an entry in! I'm trying to get an entry that starts with the kite on the ground, includes at least one fractured axel and one nice slide, and ends with the kite deliberately (not crashed) on the ground within 1min 30sec. This has been hard! I'm starting to 'check in' with the ground, landing more frequently which is helping for sure.
3) Axels. I've been working on more deliberate control of my axels. This has involved trying them with the nose pointed every direction 'above' horizontal, and with both wings. I'm still not usually giving a snappy enough tug or enough slack for the kite to come all the way around but I've learned to bail out of them into horizontal flight and maintain/gain momentum in the process which is good for low wind flight. I've also been working a bit on 'Push Axels' -- Axels started from a
18090 degree push turn instead of a stall. I don't think they look quite as good but they are very fluid,and very easy to do.
Exult sent me this link to a great trick list that has a lot of insight in the descriptions. From that list I turned what I thought had been constant failures at Half Axels into repeatable successes with Rixels! This is the most reliable way I have right now of getting into a turtle.
Finally, my BF bought me a new camera! He got a super deal on a new GoPro Hero 5 my anniversary, Xmas, and Birthday gift. Worth it!!!! The videos included here are all from the GoPro.
This first one is probably the least exciting! It was filmed at 2.7k but converted to 1080p cause Windows movie maker doesn't do higher res. It has a lot of Fractured Axel attempts, and some Virtual Freestyle practice. It also has a few Rixels and one snap turtle
The next videos are done with GoPro studio. It is OK, but I like Windows Movie Maker more. Oh well! This Push Axels video is filmed at 2.7k and uploaded to Youtube, which downscales it to 1440p.
This video was mostly me screwing around with the camera as there was no wind all morning. It is in 1440p resolution but 4:3 aspect ratio. with the gopro this means much more sky is visible. I'm not sure how I feel about this aspect ratio! Nice to see more of the sky, but I don't like black boarders.
Finally, here are two virtual freestyle attempts plus a couple half axels This was filmed at 2.7k which was used to crop a 1080p frame. It is a great way to keep the kite in frame the whole time, but I already miss the higher resolution of the full 2.7k image.
I can't wait to play with this camera in more appropriate winds! There's no upper spreader in my kites for almost all of these
This week will be much of the same, VF attempts, FAs, and as many axels as I can while getting to know this camera. I might have to learn howto fly with gloves on soon though, getting cold!!
This is the Second Annual Long Beach Island festival. Last year was such a fun festival, that it was really tugging at me to go to this year's fest. Traffic wasn't too bad for a Friday before a holiday weekend. I got into town about an hour before dark, and ran down to the beach with my bag, eager to take advantage of the smooth onshore 10mph breeze.
There were a surprising number of kites in the air, I guess I missed the first full day. I guess I'll have to take off the whole day next year and get here earlier !
So... there was a wedding going on while the kites were flying overhead. I wonder if they planned the wedding to be under the kites, or if they were really surprised to see this going on right next to and over them.
I came across this guy, flying the heck out of this kite. I never did find out what kind of kite that is. Saber ? Machine ? something Euro ?
I was tossed as to flying 4 lines or two, as the wind was around 10mph. I stop flying duallies and fly the Revs right about at 10. Hmmmm..... what to fly ?
The Skyburner Solus won the grab...
Looking forward to tomorrow, even though the forecast looks kinda wet. Hey, there's a 40% chance that it won't rain. Here's hoping !
Oops, a bit overdue on this one.
Memorial Day weekend brought around the San Ramon Art and Wind Festival. It is a Sunday-Monday festival, this year held on May 29-30, 2016.
Sunday started off on a good note, with temperatures not terribly hot, and there was wind! Bumpy, inland wind with lots of "holes" typical of that location, but nevertheless there was wind. Sport kite fliers flew demos most of the day, interspersed with some other attractions. Penny Lingenfelter put on a show with kids from the audience, giving them kites to fly and briefing them on the story they were acting out before taking center stage.
We also ran bol races, where older kids got to pull bols into the wind and attempt to run to the finish line.
A couple of giant octopus kites also went up.
Here is Team AirZone getting ready to perform. You can see the octopus still being put away on the ground.
We ended the day with a quad line megafly as we like to do.
Unfortunately, we were not as lucky on Monday. Temperatures were already picking up in the morning, and on top of that, there was no wind. But the show must go on. For the first few hours, demo fliers were flying on short lines, some even flying their indoor routines on indoor kites. I got creative and flew a mystery ballet with a single line glider.
Since it was Memorial Day, we also had a red, white, and blue fly, with people running their kites across the field to get some lift. One guy tied three cube kites (red, white, and blue; I believe they were Shanti cubes) to a banner pole and was using it as a giant wand to fly the kites.
Banner display that was put up on Monday.
We did finally get some wind later in the afternoon, so we were able to fly the routines we typically fly at outdoor festivals. Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head home.
It has been a little over 3 months since my last entry. Wow! Time flies doesn't it! Work was booooming and I was taking advantage of all the extra shift hours available. However. I miss spending time with the things that make me happy. The important things. My growing family. My friends. My kites.
My son, our middle child, just turned 8. Growing into a fine young boy. Around 2 years ago, when he was 6 and this still blows me away, said "he wanted a kite just like mine but different". After talking with him for a while to find out exactly what he was after, yep he wanted a Rev. So I set him up on Watties colouriser. http://kitepaint.com/#!/ He played with it for a while, came up with some pretty cool designs too. We chatted about different kites. I told him that he could earn extra money by doing jobs and that if he stuck with it I would match him dollar for dollar. After explaining what that meant, he had a quiet grin of determination. Then it hit me. He might get a Pro before I do!! He did all sorts of jobs to keep topping up the kite fund. Some were easy, some were not. He went without lots of treats to put that money to it as well. I began taking him out flying with me. His attention span got better and a kind of stillness would come over him when we flew. We sat down a month before his 8th birthday and did the numbers. He was about 6 months from a B Series, poor little fella wanted it sooner than that. I had a quiet word to my wife, then began to feel him out for a scheme. He had gone off his technicolor dream coat rev, thank me later Baz! He was liking the older style Blue Grey B Series. Which is good as it would match my Red and Grey B's. We got a Travel frame package ready to fly. It came just before his party so he could show all his mates. We have had a couple of flights on his new sail. The winds were a little light for the 3 wrap travel frame but he had fun. I would like to say a big thanks to Kevin Sanders as he sent my boy a set of his handles and a stake. A much lay appreciated gift.
Now, once he's got the hang of it, I'm putting him on some 30's and we are going to the streets!!!