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Low Wind Flying and Working on Fades

September was a busy month work wise including way too much traveling. At least I got to fly briefly at Garry Point Park near Vancouver which was pretty nice! Hopefully I can make stops there more regularly when off of Vancouver Island.

September was also the month I figured out axles! Thanks again to Exult, Rob, and to the folks on the kitelife subreddit for the tips, especially on slack management. I’m getting pretty confidant with axles now, and am loving the extra variety in my flight routines.

I’ve been trying to learn the half-axle as I really want the quick direction change :)  I can turn pretty sharply when needed but I feel like half-axles will let me keep the kite in-frame while recording video which would be super. I’m still having a hard time though. Reefaddicted, jaudub200, and Palmahnic have al given me valuable input, and I’ve actually succeeded with a couple half-axles, but I still don’t know what they “feel” like. I started to get the first input to put the kite on its belly at the edge of the window but that’s about it so far. More practice and patience I guess! There are some good tutorials and advice in this thread!

I took my Prism Ozone out this weekend as the wind just wasn’t strong enough for the quantum. It sure axles well! I recorded a couple videos, here is a ‘recap’ of what I can currently do on the Ozone. The wind was pretty low and I had to move around a lot, but I had a great time. Another kiter Ron showed me a couple non-advertised bridle adjustments which I tried out. With his advice I was able to do a full 360 around the field on my 60’ lines! I’ll be trying that again for sure. Wish I had that on video :) 

At the end of the ozone session I felt comfortable trying a couple flare-to-fades flying toward the ground. The wind was too light for me to turtle but I had been practicing the legwork for fades too while away. I managed to stick a fade! I love the way it feels when the kite ‘locks-in’ to the fade position (and even the flare), it is very distinct. The wind died right after so I couldn’t do a ton of practice. Here is a video filmed with the Ozone. the fade attempts are the last minute or so of the video. 

 

 

I got lucky on Sunday afternoon and got to fly a second time with my BF. The wind was pretty perfect for the quantum, though there wasn’t much wind till about 15’ up. I tried a couple flare-to fades but was both more nervous in the stronger wind, and less capable of lunging forward enough for the flare with the larger kite. Instead I spent the rest of the time working on the axle-to-fade (I’m told it is also called a fractured axle?? but some sites say that starts from a half-axle). This practice was great because it got me thinking about nice flat axles, as well as training me to watch the kite’s nose all the way through the axle. I was still having problems giving enough slack after the fade input but I got it a couple times (and once on camera). Controlling the kite in a fade is really interesting by the way! Here is a video of my practice.

 

 

 

I’m also starting to get more comfortable with ground work, though slowly. I’m saving myself about half my walks of shame now by figuring out how to unwrap a line from a wingtip remotely, and by spinning the kite on its nose when it lands on its belly (nose away). Still haven’t really figured out the cartwheel though I’ve done a couple J I’m also annoyed at myself for not being able to launch from one leading edge on the ground. The videos make it look easy but I just keep flopping from leading edge to leading edge. Oh well!

It is great to be comfortable practicing tricks with the ozone and not just figures. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get much more practice in this way!

Finally, a couple links. I stumbled onto this mind map just yesterday and love it https://www.mindmeister.com/4766744/kite-tricks

Edit Oct 4th

Getting there with the fractured axles! 

 

 



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Axel:
Try letting the kite sink back before you pull to get a flatter axel. While you extend the arm that you are going to pull to make the axel, give enough slack/time so that the nose goes down so that the kite becomes more horisontal. From this position a gentle light pull will (hopefully) give you a flatter axel.

Fade:
I'm surprised that you manage to start out with fades after only a summer! Should one look for the explanation in what tricks that are considered standard nowadays (as seen from the perspective of a end of nineties revived kite fossil like me, trying to adapt to a new environment) or is it more that everyone have their own way of learning and as well as order of trick learning?

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22 hours ago, Exult said:

Axel:
Try letting the kite sink back before you pull to get a flatter axel. While you extend the arm that you are going to pull to make the axel, give enough slack/time so that the nose goes down so that the kite becomes more horisontal. From this position a gentle light pull will (hopefully) give you a flatter axel.

This is interesting! Now that I know what axles feel like I think I can make use of this information :) I really like the look of a super flat axle.

22 hours ago, Exult said:

Fade:
I'm surprised that you manage to start out with fades after only a summer! Should one look for the explanation in what tricks that are considered standard nowadays (as seen from the perspective of a end of nineties revived kite fossil like me, trying to adapt to a new environment) or is it more that everyone have their own way of learning and as well as order of trick learning?

Aw thanks! I found this old forum thread that inspired me to try the axle-to-fade http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=2517.5;wap2 . I was trying the flare-to-fades and just kept getting scared of nose-diving so I thought I'd switch it up a bit! 

I know personally I'd love to be able to half-axle so I can change direction quickly, and to get into, out of, and switch between stall, fade, and turtle. If I could get all that down I wouldn't mind if it took me a long, long time to crack into the more complicated tricks. 

Hoping to get out at lunch so will report on progress!

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