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
    Forum Guru
  • 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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  • Country
    United States

Recent Profile Visitors

2,610 profile views
  1. Thanks for the video share, I did see lam's famous diamond shaped slide in there, still comfortable for him although not like his rev flights in visual crispness
  2. Add magic sticks to your existing frame(40 bucks) and have an entirely new kite. The design is too flimsy, needs more support, like a biplane's struts and guywires add. i owe three Zens
  3. I haven't really seen ANY footage of a slide, assuming that was sacrificed to create the 3D shape,.... am I incorrect?
  4. Mark has clearly state my position on competition above. Enjoy yourself and don't worry about anything else! Some folks are burned-out in only a couple of years, doing their absolute best every time and then taking on new challenges. I do competitions to hang with my friends and keep the activity alive thru continued support (financial and sweat equity) so other can have that same experience I enjoy so much. All the coolest tricks and latest technology will be on display and you can confront the competitors about their craft, keeping the best knowledge and dumping the rest. I am still a soul flyer (since 1999), with no preplanned routines or even selected music before the event. That is half of the fun, making it up as you go along. Heck you might not win (in fact it is highly unlikely!) but nobody is having more fun that you either! A carefully planned routine set to killer music will come out winning, unless the flight conditions are just deplorable. In that case, the individual with the most experience in those same crappy conditions will come out on top. I only "win" when the wind is below 2 mph or above 28. The sport kite activity rules state that competitions shall take place between about 5 and 18 mph. Sometimes you get to the event and the wind is missing entirely or just booking' across the landscape so hard the port-potties are about to be blown over! Folks came from all over to attend, are we going to hold the competition regardless of these conditions? Most of the time the answer is YES. Borrow equipment of you have to,.. or withdraw. Again you are being exposed to the best fliers dueling in the worse of all possible conditions. How do the people handle it, what did they do differently, how is their equipment modified??? Take their best, dump the rest! I highly recommend everyone give competition a shot. Meet some new folks, broaden your horizons, compete against others in the same rank as you. I foolishly flew one-handed in 2004 and was forced to move up to Masters. I won the Eastern League jacket in 2015 and 2016 in three events ( OIOU, MMP, MMB). That means for eleven years in a row I lost!!! My buddy Dennis Smith is my most significant nemesis, but the soul flyer has come out on top 2 years in a row. Den is a superb musician, tactical flier with carefully planned routine. He doesn't listen to music or play, he authors it! Being published musician is no easy task in this day and age. Make some new friends and smile, it's only kites, not nuclear weapons. ENJOY
  5. Improving skills, but also a new bunch of friends from all over!
  6. Ha!, so true..... I've purchased 8 and sold 2 in just the last 30 days!
  7. I flew quads alone for 1st two years,... guess what I discovered when I joined others? "you can adjust the kite's flight dynamics with tuning". WOW what a unique moment in time that was for me. Free bonus? Heck yeah, I made some new friends too. I've watched others fly in zero wind and none of my kites would ever take off. Man I gotta' know how to do that too. Decades later? I own "no wind" now! The technology has changed making this a much easier accomplishment to grasp. There are kites specially deigned for this activity, only a visa card away! I know it sounds unreasonable to drive hours and hours, not knowing a soul at the other end of the trail. We almost all are willing to share our kites and the field with you though! You can't get this input from any other method except by standing next to someone more knowledgeable and taking their best stuff as your own. A couple of hundred bucks for travel may seem insane reading this, but it is certainly worth the expense when you look back upon the adventure later. Way better than an extra kite, knowledge is power. 4 wraps in a full sail is kinda' useless unless you only have a single kite! But you know there's time when this is a great choice (like the throw & catch trick). In our local club we advise folks NOT to buy a kite for the first couple of years, instead come and use ours. If you have to spend money, go buy a Gortex rain-suit for Alaskan Guide wear, get the proper shoes (to stand in ankle deep mud) and a hat, hoodie and some gloves. Save you kite money, even if you have to eat ketchup sandwiches all summer. Eventually you will know not only how to fly, but what features matter the most to you. Then you can pull the trigger and not think about the cost, only the VALUE you've obtained from your purchase. The cost is not important, only how to save your face from wrinkles as a constant smile will form there. Go meet some other fliers and you can thank us afterwards. Honestly, it is the best possible investment you can make to quickly and economically advance your skill-set
  8. quads can fly in any wind conditions, IF you have enough of a variety of them to match all those possibilities and some hours of experience in each. Some like the Reflex models (I'd recommend the "Classic" as it offers both the reflex mechanism and enough control that "Oversteer" shouldn't become a BAD HABIT permanently) as they offer low/no wind performance without having to practice for a thousands of hours 1st. My personal recommendation? save you kite funds. Go to a festival, fly a bunch of quad-lined kites as OPKs. See which one tickles your fancy, acquire one and begin the process. A coach, standing next to you during those beginning sessions, will save you thousands of dollars & wasted hours, as their kite will be perfectly tuned and framed for that very moment. You don't want to read about it or watch it on a screen from your cell phone. No, you want to FEEL it on the ends of the string! Waiting for good wind means you will never master the crappy kind! You should seek out poor locations (of high turbulence or zero wind), working upon your craft to master 'em all. Quads are always placed into the worst possible spot on the festival grounds. Why?, because they can overcome that obstacle better than other kite designs. Come visit the Washington DC area and I will place a dozen kiters at your disposal, OPKs and instructional opinions aplenty to be enjoyed. Remember this advise if nothing else. "Take the best, dump the rest" There are dozens of paths to your destination, there's not a single solution. What feels the best to you?,.... why doesn't even matter.
  9. Make the top end caps flush with the leading edge unless bridle-less configuration is planned
  10. 500% increase over SS, but is a crossbow superior to a long bow for transferring energy effortlessly? Either weapon can hunt, one is just easier to use accurately
  11. Travel frame mix of 4 diamonds and 2 green race for the leading edge, down spars are "response 12 from skyshark
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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,
  15. 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!