In between entry: Nobody told me there'd be days like this - Strange days indeed
Something that is not supposed to happen here happened. A collegue at work asked me if I had heard the news that there had been a shooting somewhere in the area where I live. Now that area is quite large, ~500km2 (of land area), so I didn't feel directly concerned (but the thought though...). When checking the news up, there were no casualties and the victim had "just" been shot in the leg and the two suspects had been arrested. The place of the shooting however, was somewhere like 100m to 300m from the nearest kite field (GB)! Things like this shouldn't happen here.
The Saturday after this I dropped children (including one of mine) after driving to their tennis hour and had then planned to go kiting immediately after this. It was only that I (well the car then) got hit by a rapidly backing large car. I tried to back away, but didn't dare to back quickly enough since there was so much people out at this time. I don't give much for the (absence of) the other drivers risk analysis nor how little focused on driving that person must have been. The damage done to my car wasn't so large, so that I couldn't get to the field, but the resulting paperwork and visit(s) at the repair-shop is not something I look forward to.
(If someone spotted from which song the sub header was I'd like to say I like the tune, but regarding the possibly smoke/drug accepting part I say flying with a kite is much preferable)
It is (gradually) coming back
Sat Jan 28 16:46:37 CET 2017
GB forcasted 2-3m/s
Kymera on 20m 38 kg lines
Didn't feel very home except for figure flying and landings (sort of 2-point and spin landings), starts (belly, fade), FA still felt distant. After about 1.5h the wind died out for a while, but then returned after 15 minutes or something and so did the FAs. Then they just worked without much thinking (like don't make a so large deal of of it). There was one conscious corrective action that payed off however - move down streams during the catch phase. Now many quite sloppily initiated close to the ground casual FAs were possible. OK, they didn't last very long, but I was happy(ier) nonetheless.
When doing 2-point like landings with the Kymera they can, if care is not taken, end up in a turtle. I believe this happen more often to me if the wind is on the upper half of the suitable range of this kite. Learning how to deal with this however, gives you control over this and also provides an extra way of entering a turtle in other places in the wind window (than close to the ground by mistake when landing). It is the second arm's input and release that sets off the turtle. When the nose is coming down. Do a quick pull turn, move forwards slightly and then make the input to stop the rotation with the other arm like you would be hitting with a very light(/narrow) hammer and then in the same light hammer fall immediately extend (or rather directly bounce) the second arm just like the light hammer fall would unexpectedly bounce back a long way. Once again it is this second hit&release that triggers the turtle (or how much it tilts backwards if the turtle isn't complete).
There were some slightly more people on the beach than normal today, but only one seemed to fully express kite joy and showed vast fascination. A little boy, possibly with Downs syndrome, first went after the kite, but eventually learned that that wasn't a thing to do. He then showed that he wanted to take control of the lines by (rather mildly) grabbing for the handles. I felt that I had to say no to this as well. That little child and his mother (I assume) stayed for an hour just watching while staying behind me to the side about 10m away. I wish that a had brought my small one line sled kite (that I actually have in my bag now and then but not today unfortunately) for them use.
Some Hydra tossing around - will order and clarity emerge?
Sun Jan 29 19:21:15 CET 2017
GB forecasted 3-5m/s
Hydra on 20m 38kg lines
Today the forecast and the wind I felt actually matched (I don't own any wind meter). There was enough wind to power the kite well and even have the mylar trailing edges to do some humming for me.
Typical tricks were axel direction changes, two/three axel short cascades that sometimes rixeled (they will for certain rixel if I add more half axels). Fade launches, frequent and unstable turtles. FAs with quite short fade duration. Is it in the tossing around, the constant transition that you find the home of this kite? This might set me off in a direction where figure flying and flying with intent will be a smaller part of the total flying time. I'd say that I'm decent with figure flying and square turns and going where you are intending. This kite haven't got any problems in flying straight and making those 90 deg corners, but because it is a kite that I use when it is a bit windier the figure flying gets more challenging (especially with not very long lines). At least with this kite I'm going to devote some time to various tossing around just to get the feel without aiming for a particular trick - vary the input and watch the output. From Trickery Flickery 35s into the video (1/3): "Once you understand what to expect you then start to be able to control these (tricks I suppose) and then they becomes moves.". So learn to what to expect and vary it. I previously had a similar idea with the Alien when passing by/performing tricking involving a brief flared position during a part of a session when I felt much in contact with the kite. I kind of got an extra input in doing this quick variations during yesterdays session when trying side slide to FA transitions.
So part of the time I'll try to have it constantly in transition (and recovery). The (percentage of) slack line training time should increase if normal flying is largely omitted. I also believe that it will look quite ugly, at least initially. It kinds of reminds me of a Frenchman that worked in the same place as I did during a summer job a long time ago. On the topic of how he learned Swedish his way was not to focus on learning vocabulary and proper grammar, but the important part was to start talking as the first thing. Preserve the spirit of this daring approach and apply it on kiting and trick combos! So an attempt of a compilation of the above: Trick practicing "en masse", instead of doing single well prepared/set up attempts with much after thought - train the muscle memory and let the insight come afterwards (if lucky) and accept if this lead you into new paths.
No I don't think that this new approach will be the single only action that will make a day and night change (and I even might give it up soon if it would not be rewarding with time). What I do believe is that it gives an different angle in learning and could provide another bit off the puzzle. If someone say something is fantastic and the only way of doing something, my alarm bell is often triggered. Another way of changing input that I used before is to learn on one kite and transfer the trick to other kites later (which is, I suspect, a hardly unique way).
As I said before turtles on the Hydra tend to be short for me (I certainly doesn't get stuck in a turtle) and when doing lazies I needed to do them with a very light hand for them not to "unturtle". I should look into if I could set more speed to the lazy by doing the tug that starts the lazy rotation when the kite is on it's way into the turtle. The idea is to be able to do this tug harder when entering the turtle rather than when the kite is "statically" in the turtle (much like I do the 540). Perhaps this is the preferred or at least the standard way of doing e.g. a snap turtle?
I suddenly got a question in the dusk: "Excuse me, can you talk and fly at the same time?". A genuinely kite positive person wanted to know more about kites and actually wanted to know where to buy kites like this. I recommended the closest thing to a local kite shop "Fler bollar i luften" (he actually had heard of the shop!) and suggested that he perhaps could start with a Nexus. However I never understood if the kite would be for him or the five(?) year old daughter of his. It is a pity that people in general seem to be shy about asking about kiting - I appreciate the chat and certainly do not mind sharing the info.
And no kite stakes today! (regarding a short sub discussion in: http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/7723-advice-for-a-beginner-to-kiting-and-2-line-kites/?do=findComment&comment=62657 )