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Think Positive! - a mostly QLK blog entry for a change

Exult

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Sun Aug  6 13:00:00 CEST 2017
GF, forecasted (not applicable - didn't seem to match)
Rev B-series standard, 2 wrap tubes most of the time
Lines 25m, 60kg (front) and 40kg (rear)

Today's winds were a bit erratic and mostly weak. It was cloudy and the ground was a bit moist from recent rain. When I came to the field I realized that I had forgotten the kite stake at home (an old screwdriver with red tape wound around the handle). Normally I never deal with them, but then "normally" until some months ago meant one DLK. I find kite stakes handy in two cases. When having the DLK lines connected with a bar (as when doing two DLKs) relaunching the kite can be tricky if the kite has happened to tumble on the ground a bit - I have never managed to do a cart wheel with a bar handle. The other standard and obvious use of a kite stake is when keeping the QLK on the ground set up for an easy relaunch.

During a dip in wind period (wind below walking speed) I took a break, sat comfortably on the usually annoying beach outdoor furniture (is somewhat in the way of kiting) and watched the sky - a grey mass of Cumulonimbus like clouds was approaching from the southwest.

The wind picked up somewhat again - another chance to get going again. Today's intended focus was the clock work and flying squares in a clock work like way, but with straight paths with sudden starts/stops in between the 90 deg turns. Some work remains to be done here... A little detail, when flying the squares (clockwise) the largest deviation from the intended path starts in the top right corner. The top right corner I've traditionally used to do a 3/4 CCW turn to untwist the lines when flying DLKs. I've later practiced to instead make the 1/4 CW turn in the top right corner (which I was not used to) look good. Are DLK and QLK that close so that old weaknesses comes back and influence the other activity?

In every session I include inverted flight going upwards as suggested by @Paul LaMasters :

Quote

practice a few times each session with the kite inverted.  Take off with it in this orientation, fly to waist high, stop and return to the ground.  keep doubling up the distant traveled in reverse, go straight up in reverse from resting on the ground SLOW.  When you can make this look effortless and back all the way up (to the top of the window) you will be in control.  That could take many hours of practice until it looks like the kite is riding on railroad tracks.  In low wind conditions this may mean you are briskly walking backwards also instead of stationary!

Thank you for this good and really long lasting exercise suggestion! I'm still very much looking for those railroad tracks somewhere.

The Cumulonimbus clouds delivered their load. Shortly before that,  the wind had picked up somewhat for a while - perhaps it was the type of wind that heavy rainfall creates when the downwards wind inside the cloud (that is driven by the rain itself) is forced sideways by the ground. Initially I tried to disregard the light rainfall, but a wet/heavy kite in mostly low wind proved to be difficult and then it really started to rain - cats and dogs! Quickly wind up the lines and bring the whole kite still assembled to the car.
2wrap.jpg

Minor field unboxing event residue (the label i.e.).

So low and a bit funny winds, no kite stake and then driven of the field by heavy rainfall, where to look for the positive angle? You can find them!:

  • The low wind. For the first time I switched to the 2wrap frame - yes a bit of an unboxing event. I much appreciated the added ease of keeping it in the air and the more reachable flex that can propel the kite forward when adding tension to the lines.
  • No kite stake. Another thing that got necessary to practice was the flat launch of the type with kite face down on the ground and the LE away from you. This position was today the starting/parking position available with no kite stake. I was helped in this by the low wind and smooth lawn.
  • The wet weather. No one was was competing for the lawn/beach area. People seem to be very influenced by the weather when choosing activity. When the rainfall became heavy, it was also a natural situation to test the method of getting the whole QLK in the car as suggested by @SHBKF in http://kitelife.com/forum/gallery/image/6080-reflex-in-sierra/ . It worked!

rainOnWindshield.jpg

Hurry, hurry to the car - no time to dissassemble the kite. Did lower the tip under the dashboard so that I could use the right wing mirror before driving home.


Always look on the bright side of Life!
 



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