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Kite Season 2016 !!

RobB

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I've been waiting for this since the end of May... the beginning of Kite Season ! I haven't flown much of anything since Memorial Day. If you count flying the SLKs that I keep in the car, OK, a few times...

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Yes, that's where my profile pic came from.

People around here are programmed to go to the beach between Memorial Day & Labor Day. An Island with millions of people, and only ~100 miles long and 15 miles wide at it's widest. Yes, we have ~600 miles of coastline, but most of that is inaccessible unless you have a boat. So, nothing but crowded beaches in the easy to reach spots. I don't like to fly with anyone in my flight zone, unless they're also kite people, and tuned in. The general public around here is too tuned out to realize that it might not be a good idea to wander through the flight area.. maybe walk around ? Nah, this looks like a good place to setup a chair & umbrella... But, luckily, Labor Day & later, all the way until next May... the beaches are EMPTY ! Everyone goes back to the rock that they climbed out from under, and kites can once again rule the beach.

I am excited to try out the Red Kymera, that I was so lucky to win in last month's drawing. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the original green one that I've had since they came out. Unfortunately, the maiden flight of Red will have to wait, since the weatherfolks say that it's going to be ultra-super-mega-vent four line flying weather here this weekend...

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Yup, thanks, NOAA ! That's OK, the winds will probably be good for flying for the next 36-40 hours, I plan to put some color in the sky before it gets too rough...  The wind is all ready solid over 10mph, which is ruling out dual lines (for me), but I have a couple of cool SLKs to fly that I haven't seen in the air yet, and my Full Vent 1.5 is freshly repaired, better than new, ready to go.

I'll follow up to this, the start of Kite Season is so exciting, sorry, couldn't wait until the green flag dropped... dizzy with anticipation !

 



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The calm before the storm... well, not too calm, the winds were 10-15mph, but they were clean off of the water. My daughter, Bailey (7 years old), wanted to come out and fly her new Butterfly kite. The kids aren't as interested in kites as I am, so I always jump at the chance to fly with them. 

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The Butterfly is made by X-Kites, and is better made than most kid's kites. It did fly well, right out of the box.

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It's amazing how cold a 70 degree day feels after weeks of hazy, hot & humid 90 degree days. Yay ! Sweatshirt weather !

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Bailey also took a turn wrangling the Ultrafoil 15. It seems really big to her, and with any much more wind, would probably lift her off the ground.

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It was much easier to fly once it was properly lashed down to a convenient piece of driftwood.

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This is the one kite that I was itching to fly... the Joel Schultz Skyscraper. Yeah... this one's got some pull ! It's a very unique SLK that's going to get flown alot. 

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It flew really well, even if it did make my arms a little longer. 300# line required ! Thanks, RC !

SO, Kite Season 2016 is off to a great start... hoping to get all the kids more involved this year, the other two seemed a little jealous when they saw the pictures. Bailey worked on her dual line skills today with the Snapshot foil. I think she'll be ready soon to fly the hot pink Action Kite that's been hanging from her ceiling since she was a baby. It will be good to see that classic in the air, it's 20-25 years old, but has never been flown !

 

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7 hours ago, RobB said:

hoping to get all the kids more involved this year, the other two seemed a little jealous when they saw the pictures

You already seem to have started. Perhaps there is no need to refine the process further?:

  1. Photo document the session well. Photos on active siblings and ice-cream/pizza could be extra efficient.
  2. Wait for a calm non-kiting situation when the children are reasonably receptive/focused.
  3. "Happen" to show the kiting photos after some other photos.
  4. Tell your envy engineered story of the kiting session highlights.
  5. By no means suggest that they should join the next time (don't over do it).
  6. If it worked, do your best to live up to the contents of point #4.
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Second Week... this time it was my son's turn to spend some time on the beach with Dad... Mick is 8.5 years old, and he said (after watching a KL video) that he wanted to learn to fly like that. He's held the quad handles before, but this was his first solo flight.

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Oh, my poor MV ! No idea what abuse it's about to endure !

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Working on his control with some ground passes... also learning the wind window.

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He got some inverted hover practice in, the biggest challenge is learning to keep those hands in front, in control, at this point...

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Another launch... too bad the sun is setting so early. we could've been out there for another couple of hours.

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OMG... hands in front ! Yeah, the patience level required with an 8 YO is much greater than with an adult...
 

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Another ground pass. I think he might've done better than I did my first time out with a quad. My poor MV had it's roughest outing, EVER. Totally worth the price of admission, and really, no visible damage to the kite after countless hits. The endcaps did not want to come off the spars when we packed up, that was the worst thing that happened...

 

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Third week of Kite Season... I couldn't leave my smallest family member out of the fun, so this week it was Ceci's turn to have a little play time on the beach with Dad. She's been sitting on a Minion kite that she got as a gift a while back, still unflown, in the box. After seeing the other two go out and have a fun time flying, she was very vocal about it being her turn this week. The Minion kite was another X-Kite, pretty decently made for a cheepo retail kite, and once again, flew right out of the box...

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It was actually pretty big for a kid's kite, and the pull was exciting at times for her. She's flown plenty of SLKs before, so she knew what to do.

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There's a size comparison, the Minion was flying at the same height as the Ultrafoil. Even though the summer crowds are gone, the off-shore summer breeze was still here. 

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A close-up of the two kites together. This photo was optimized to bring the colors up, it was really kinda grey today. We only had a couple of hours to spend before dinner, so these were the only two kites that made it into the air. Frustrating, since I have two kites that are itching to fly... a red Kymera and a new-to-me MidVent with magic sticks. Soon... they've both taken up residence in the car, so they'll make it into the air soon !

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The only distraction from kite flying today... Beach Glass ! Ceci thinks they're valuable jewels and can't resist grabbing a few while at the beach.

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BTW... all of the kids are training on multi-line kites. I can't wait to see them all solo. Can't wait to sit back in my chair and watch them all fly together. All in good time...

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I actually got to fly in a different location for once. I went up to Cape Cod to visit with family for a long weekend, and brought some kites along. Even though I've been going there all my life, I've never flown kites there, so it was a nice first for me. I also got to give some instruction on the Rev to my father (a natural, it took him less than 5 minutes to figure it out) and my brother-in-law, who added a couple year's worth of wear to my new Rev inside of 10 minutes ! I was actually glad the wind died out, there wouldn't have been much left of the new MV if he flew it much more !

Anyway... I only got one shot with my phone...

 

 

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