Paul LaMasters

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Paul LaMasters last won the day on May 8

Paul LaMasters had the most liked content!

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About Paul LaMasters

  • Rank
    Kitelife Regular
  • Birthday 01/06/1956

Profile Information

  • Favorite Kite(s)
    diamond framed custom Zen, SUL & indoor quads,
  • Flying Since
    hardcore since '93 on quads, kites in general since the mid-70s
  • Location
    Germantown, MD (Washington DC metro area)
  • Interests
    design, illustration/photography, graphics, printing and naturally kites (mostly quads). My son is big martial artist & kite flyer, the wife and I enjoy watching Golf, NFL but cheer for different participants. I'm also a huge NBA/Bulls fan since my college room-mate (NIU/'79) is their ticket director
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    United States

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  1. We have that same discussion locally Mark. How much mass is necessary for "lazy flight" in zero wind? Some builders' like Dave Ashworth's efforts, lack enough mass for my comfort. nothing is free with his wings, you must tend the lines thru-out the flight or face a complete loss of lift. Imagine flying from a standing position, but only on one foot. As long as you keep motion in the kite, it flies easily. Stop flailing and it is done for! With some more mass, you get free momentum (like a javelin thrower, they step several times violently forward towards their target area BEFORE releasing it) Also. a very flexible frame REQUIRES a longish bridle to prevent frame distortions from sharp commands on the handles, whereas a stiffer frame and affixing flying lines onto the end-caps directly creates a better set-up for collapsing the sail (throw & catch or the jumping-thru technique) There's certainly a compromise between no-wind floating and a steadily powered flight of gliding, you pick which direction suits your needs best based upon testing and comparisons. When you finally find that combination that clicks you are so satisfied! I like Dave's kites indoors but they aren't right for me outside in no wind. Too much distortion on the frame and sudden turbulence from the slightest wind on your skin behind an ear.
  2. fly OPK April, until you know what you want or how to craft your own wing our local kite club has been flying "indoor conditions with an unlimited ceiling" since about 1996 (most everyone else would call it summer in the mid-atlantic states). These conditions typically last for five months out of the year. Want to build as SUL?,... you need to snuggle up to Dave Ashworth, our club president, he only flies kites he built himself and his stuff separates fliers on the competition field into the haves and the have nots. What about a vented kite with covers over the vents so you can open 'em or close off as necessary? Again, see Dave. His version won't fly as an SUL, but with half decent wind it flies as a full sail, open some covers up and it becomes a mid-vent, full vent or an extra-vent Jeffery Burka is the master of flailing and flying a kite UP WIND, his wing of choice is Rev2 sized kite, no bridle, super long throw handles, about 35 feet of length. (not handles silly, the string's length) I buy kites, but have somewhat extreme expectations, I almost always pay more than retail to get it built as I prefer. I probably have 6 or 7 thousand hours in a dead calm of flying time too. Eventually these demanding conditions have become my preference! I own 3 Zens and a couple of SULs which I'm happy to share. A single skinned sail weighs less, but is more impacted by stretch. Tapered down spars force weight where you want it and reduce strength down at the bottom where there's not much sail anyway. Nylon is cheaper to buy, but Icarex is the fabric of choice for most all high-end sport kite builders. Orcon can't be sewn, but nothing is as light for an indoor kite. Maybe mixing the materials offers the best solution of strength vs weight Skyshark P-90s are about as light as you can get, but now you're lacking stiffness in the frame. Would you pay 500% extra for diamonds? The difference is a cross-bow vs a long bow. $6 bucks vs $30,... oh and you'll need spares too What about a hybrid frame?, parts of it flexs and parts are stiff. This weekend there's a mothers' day gig at the Washington Monument. Come down and try out some different stuff from the other club members. Most of them are stock bridles and on 15 inch no-snags. Not that different from your current comfort zone. Try a kite with no bridle, then a french version,... see which one tickles your fancy. Next time it is very likely to be a different kite which captures your attention. What impact does your handle's length have on low wind conditions? when are achy wrists better off than no flight at all? (when you want to flail in big wind and still use those darn long handles) Bonding construction is lighter than sewing, easily as durable too (3M's 9460 bonding tape holds in windows on high rise buildings, it's proven stronger than riveting!!!!) How does the panel layout impact flight,... what about long term?,.. does it stretch and distort or actually improve with age? 50#/hundred foot length is a requirement for the washington monument grounds at least half of the year. At the beach you'd probably seldom use long throws and light weight lines. learn on our equipment, it's okay, everyone is offered this same opportunity (until you are not the weakest flier). Some like Fletch, are paying back so much that he's the guy giving lessons now!
  3. Pay it forward buddy, I broke Ron gaziano's kite moments before his indoor performance, bob lauder broke ashworth's while Dave was in line to be judged as a builder at Smithsonian! You smile and wave it off. I understand your anguish but know we have all done this, felt bad and been released from obligation. Someday you'll be the guy with a hole in the sail, or a busted spar, severed lines and a huge tangled mess, just remember how it is handled. everything is the flyer's fault! if it is so valuable, then why was it out in the sun/weather, shared, not flown respectfully or put away immediately after use!? nigel, you were relieved of any obligation when you were offered that sail. Made by Steve Polanski, painted by his bride, given away? Yeah it is the way of a family, he passed out half a dozen of em at WISKF the year I went. It's a single skin, framed light, super responsive, you saw a squirrel and now it is busted. Who breaks a down spar thats a travel frame!? I've probably go another half already buddy. The issue is closed, see ya next time. oh, one more story,.... my dear friend Harold Ames, one first Sunday, he broke my 1,000# carrying wagon, and three sport kites. We still laugh about that ten years later, that guy is hard on a wedding ring! He GAVE my wife 14 mini-roks (battle in a bag) and she already had the only other set. We help each other,
  4. Hey, miracles happen!, .... vented kites at the 1st Sunday fly. We started as ZenSUL, then full sails& midvents, switched to Shooks 75 & 135%, Polos and full vents, mostly on green race thruout the day. Easy lessons with the sail filled with energy, crowds most appreciative when team flying. A group came up to Melissa and asked if she was in charge of the WoW team, since she was leading,... should've seen her facial expression. I caught Burka leading and in forward flight too (natl holiday declared! enjoy that windy moment buddy, its rare!
  5. Ignore his request folks, remember to carry it forward when things happen to you. If I didn't want anything broken, the kite shouldn't have been set-up at all or shared with friends. No/low wind means delicate framing and his smile at flight success in these demanding conditions was worth that spar's life! nigel, it is okay, you will fly out of my kite bag anytime until you are not the weakest flier on the field,..... someday you'll be the one helping others w equipment and lessons too.
  6. you could add brakes to your new car later on too, but I wouldn't recommend even a first drive without them. Leaders aren't just about fine control, they are the reason that control exists at all! The factory assumes you fly on the beach and want immediate gratification in real wind. kite fliers & spectators assume quad-heads can fly in crap conditions, and with adjustments is is possible, dare I say,... even fun? The top leaders are between two and four times the lengths of the bottom leader. space knots close together so you can make little fine adjustments. Hey you can move the seat and adjust the steering wheel in your car, right? Well you can adjust the handles (thru leaders) so it's comfortable, just like your wheels. where do you want to grip?,... are you a hand squeezer or a wrist flicker or a thumb pusher? Each action affects the kite in the same manner (effects the bottom brake line to make something happen) leaders are extremely important. 100# hi-test bridle line, doubled strand, larks-headed to each handle attachment point
  7. if driving, I like the "Strongback" When flying, we bring chairs as carry-on, the Pico is that perfect model!
  8. some of the best tricksters in France/Europe have used the handles in (from our perspective) the wrong orientation. The curved part is down at the bottom and is facing the kite. Believe me, they're doing things we can only dream of,.... throwing the kite rolled up and unrolling it in flight is cool, but "catch it" back rolled up again (no way) is something I've only seen from "Crazy Drivers" in Dieppe Canada! Not saying upside down handles are better or worse, only that it will come out in your own experimentations to determine appropriateness.
  9. home built, probably in europe too because the handles are upside-down (from our perspective)
  10. plastic dip from the home improvement store, like you'd coat a set of plier handles with for improved grip. Surgical rubber tubing (wears out faster, but super easy to replace in a moment too) Vinyl tubing (Hey, you can set rare earth magnets into this harder stuff on the top of the down=spar end-caps and lock two revs together in flight) I don't recommend aggressive flailer techniques to dead-launch from a parking lot
  11. like golf clubs, you're only one new driver away from becoming a scratch golfer, just a new putter, the latest greatest design and you'll never 3 putt another green, EVER! How about a sand wedge that assures leaving the beach on the 1st try. Who wouldn't want that too? I've promised my bride several times "I'll never ask for another kite if I can have this one" I've had friends approach Barbara to ask if I can acquire another, (I'm afraid to) even had builders craft stuff "my way" and then they're forced to finagle the sale negotiations over dinner and adult beverages with the best gal in the whole world. Just acquired my 3rd set of Harold Ames' famous Baby Revs (6 pack stack and single kite to learn on). So I guess I have more babies, (19 for low wind and 6 more for when the port-potties blow over) than any other model. I've been thru most of the stock offerings from Revolution, only kept one speed series wing, (supersonic) the rest were liquidated. Didn't connect with the REv1 but own 3 Zens, go figure! Factory direct purchases total over 25 thousand dollars, and that was when Dantonio was still there. How many kite bags? One double sided Baby Rev case, one oversized Rev Bag (holds map-case tubes of both Reflex models and another tube of Indoor kites), one roll-up Rev Bag and one larger sized Orvis fishing case. Handles and lines, Gortex rain suit, tarp, suntan lotion, sun glasses, headphones, team radios, etc are in a backpack. Ideally you'd have at least four or five kites as a quad-head faithful, (1) indoor, (2) SUL/Full sail, (3) mid-vent, (4) full vent, (4) howling vent. Naturally, there are models available that fall in between these parameters too. An example? 75% Shook Mesh, it's exactly between a mid vent and full vent,... or in other words,.. it's almost always to correct kite (but it costs about the same as TWO stockers, so it should perform like that!) If I never got another quad again I'd be okay, but we all know that won't happen until at least "after retirement". I am living on an agreed-upon daily allowance ($5 & $10 bill/ea morning) but I do get killer lunches also and I never worry about any bills that show up in our mailbox either. Buy a new odyssey van? That doesn't come out of my allowance. Want a jelly donut,... that I buy myself.
  12. competition can be about measuring yourself against your peers, or it can be just a bunch of friends taking turns entertaining each other, you decide the level of commitment for yourself. For 4 minutes you have to watch me regardless of my activities or commitment to the sport kite competition. for me, it's always been about the fun aspects. What did they do, what can I match it against from my own efforts? what can I truly envy and incorporate as my own? What can I share, that I have mastered? Competition is where the cutting-edge takes place, all the best and newest stuff will be there, as well as your friends! How can you not want to be included in that? Some of my best times in kiting have taken place on the competition field. I seldom win and it doesn't matter either way after an hour. But sharing the laughs and comments while each other throws their efforts down,.. it's what makes a great weekend. Don't go home angry because you didn't win. Instead "take the best and dump the rest". I'd love to spank your stack, but I doubt I could successfully launch 3 of 'em trained together. More? I wouldn't even want to attempt! Enjoy and get some video taken,.. "out takes" are more entertaining that success. I'm reminiscing about Dave Shenkman's instructional video tape. At the end are his failures and friend's comments about it. That carries you thru the learning curve, or at least it did for me. ENJOY the discovery of new techniques and thank you very much for sharing your passion with us all. -plm
  13. My six 42 inch leading edge revs in a stack are never thrown, I'm too respectful of the level of effort that went into crafting them you start your OIOU/Freestyle routine with that signature move and I assure you, I'll withdraw un-flown and probably everyone else will too! you try that fancy pants throwing stuff in Hot Tricks and you'll be out in the first round, NO you save that for the final round, the final trick, it's a "beat that" moment, All or nothing!
  14. no sleeving for me either, not on either end. BEFORE you make a loop(s), you create the stopper knot into that single stand. Longer leaders on the handles, so I can reach out farther and not touch that bare spectra If the spectra broke on a knot then you are using the wrong one! The correct knot for spectra is a doubled figure of eight. The center of the knot is four thicknesses and it tights in two directions so it can't slip. Sleeving is just another tangle waiting to happen, particularly at the handle end during severe flailing! Sleeving on the kite end is a mess when setting up, it won't separate easily from the handle end when affixed to a stake. W/o sleeving it just zips apart like a sandwich baggie. All tangles or nesting wind-up right in front of you at the stake.
  15. I flew a quad/stack pairs routine with Harold Ames (the babies' builder) this past weekend at Blue Ridge Kite Fest. He hasn't flown a quad in 4 years and not touched the babies for over 7! I'm the one on the ground (in a tangled mess) before Hendrix finished the song though. Those babies recognized huge sized Harold immediately and played nicely for him! We hugged each other afterwards and then I showed him the new case crafted by Brianne Howard for these kites. One side holds 18 and the other half is so far unused. case two.pdf