jasonmcmahon76

Advice for a beginner to kiting and 2-line kites

155 posts in this topic

Hello! 

My name is Jason, I am from Melbourne Australia.

I was recently introduced to a 2 line stunt kite by my brother in law, and I was hooked!   I did some research online and am now the proud owner of a Prism Quantum and a 75 foot tube tail.

I have had a few outings with it already, and I am sure you are probably not surprised to learn that I am already waiting on replacement center T as a result of some high speed soil samples. :(

So in the meantime I was hoping for some advice and suggestions!

  1. What would you consider "must have" accessories?
  2. Is there a list of stunts or some sort of order that I should start learning them in? Good online resources for said stunts? (other than this one!)
  3. General tips and tricks for total noobs?
  4. Relating to the Quantum:
    1. Any suggested mods, tips or tricks?
    2. What parts are most prone to breaking?

Thank you in advance!

Jason.

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Welcome to kiting,

For me the best source of learning was Dodd Gross Flight School VHS from years back. I know it was in DVD form for a while. Now his instruction videos are on YouTube. I likes it as it was one of the first to show the kite and the hand inputs at the same time. Unfortunately, he brakes it down to categories of tricks instead of the progression you are looking for. But the basic video is a good start. There are more video by Dodd Gross so enjoy. He is sometimes stiff in his explanation on what to do, but he is a flyer trying to make a video to help the rest of us. 

There will be others that will have much more to share later. This is another video that covers the basics, some of which you may know, but it may help you as you get started. 

 

 

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Hi Jim!  Thankyou, I have added these to a growing list of videos in a YouTube playlist!

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Hi, Jason, and welcome to the forum.

Look for the complete Prism Freestyle Pilot DVD online or just buy one from Prism. Last I heard they were going for about $15US used, $30 new. You may be able to find one on e-Bay occasionally. It follows a rational learning progression from basics thru some of the advanced moves. It is quite old, but the info is still entirely valid, and well explained. The moves are shown done by some of the best flyers in the world at the time and are done flawlessly so you can see what you're trying to accomplish.

You must have a stake to park the kite on, (and additional kites, lines and handles so you can keep flying when you break       something. The Dodd Gross videos are awesome for learning. Learn to land at the edge of the wind window, if you haven't yet, how to stall the kite in any position or direction, and how to slide it across the window. The stall is the basic move for pretty much all others. Don't fly in wind that is too light or too strong for the kite you are flying, or too choppy and/or shifty when you are learning. Wait for the right wind to learn on. The only thing you will learn by trying to learn in bad wind is that it is near impossible to learn anything in bad wind, and if you are lucky enough to pull off a move you probably won't be able to repeat it. That is VERY frustrating.

I have owned a few Prism kites, but never a Quantum (I have no idea why). The guys who have will chime in to give you some Quantum-specific info. I believe that the bridle is adjustable. Tip the nose back some for stronger wind, forward for lighter. If you received paperwork/instruction sheet with the kite, the info on adjustments is in there. If not just ask. There is nothing on a kite that you can't break if you hit the right obstacle at the right angle and speed. The things that wear out frequently are relatively inexpensive, like tip knocks and other hardware, and you will more than likely acquire replacements before they wear out. The Quantum will fly in 6mph+ wind, and you'll need closer to 10mph to lift that tail.

Good luck and have fun, smile, and don't forget to breathe.

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Hi Makatakam , thanks for the advice!

I have added the stake to the list of things I need to get.  I have ordered a field repair kit as well as two center T's, so *hopefully* that's me covered for parts for a while!

I have been saving links to Dodd's videos like a madman, there is a LOT to go through!  Once I'm flying again I think stalls and then axels will be the first two tricks I will try and learn.

I'm not completely new to flying, I've flown RC models in the past and I am also a real world pilot as well.  But I am finding that kiting is somewhat different!

 

 

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1. Hat and sun protection! Kite stakes? - I've never owned one and very rarely seen the need for one.

2. In Peter Peters Kite site there is a suggestion of the order that you can learn tricks.
http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/p.j.f.peters/kites/basics/flying.split.html

  1. basic launch
  2. basic landing
  3. pull turn
  4. push turn
  5. combination turn
  6. stall
  7. spin stall
  8. snap stall
  9. leading edge launch
  10. fly away
  11. pancake
  12. belly launch
  13. cartwheel
  14. axel
  15. 180 flat spin
  16. wing tip stand

Below I modified the list, but that is only my point of view/experience:

  1. basic launch
  2. pull turn
  3. basic landing (a bit earlier than the above list - But it will always come down, won't it?)
  4. push turn
  5. combination turn
  6. stall
  7. turtle (I added)
  8. snap stall
  9. axel
  10. spin stall
  11. cartwheel
  12. pancake
  13. belly launch
  14. wing tip stand
  15. leading edge launch
  16. 180 flat spin
  17. fly away (???)

While you are at PP kite site - a trick list:
http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/p.j.f.peters/kites/basics/funcidx.html
See it as a reference list in which you later might increase your (depth of) understanding of. It can serve as a complement to all the videos.

A well documented case of learning how to fly duals can be found in @Happyspoon 's blog "Learning to Fly Dual Lines":
http://kitelife.com/forum/blogs/blog/17-learning-to-fly-dual-lines/

3. Learn, learn, learn that when launching your hands forward the kite will stop/slow down. Really remember this when being close to the ground! No, the kite will not break if you throw your arms forward before impact. Also try to be more than 500m downstreams of any objects on your field to get the non-turbulent winds.

4. Modifying your question - now relating to all my duals. The parts that I've not broken are: The centre T-connector. ferrules, endcaps inside the nose, endcaps on battens, endcaps on stand offs, upper leading edges, top spreader, possibly the spine and possibly the bridle. Also when the design is so that the lower spreaders are connected with a rod - I've never broken the rod. BUT EVERYTHING ELSE I'VE MANAGED TO BREAK! Parts that are prone to breaking or rather the common failures are: broken lower leading edges, broken stand offs when caught on something or a line is around them during start and a worn out nose so that the spars pop out through it. If the inside of your lower spreaders on the spine side are not plugged (if the connection is such that you insert the LS to the fitting) it might snap during a hard snap stall.

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I am going to agree with the kite stake. Especially in stronger winds. I use a large (14") screwdriver, I had a 'real' kite stake once, but gave it away. I didn't really like the golf ball head that it had, and I'm used to the old screwdriver.

The next time you order parts, just order a bunch and keep them on hand. Spreaders, leading edges, wingtips, endcaps. Think of those parts as 'wear items'. Like brakes on a car, you will replace them sooner or later. Get more kites, too. Nothing worse than being grounded when there's good wind. If you break in the field, switch to another kite and keep flying. Repairs in the field aren't as good as you can do at home.

I think I have broken every part on a dual line kite except for the top spreader. I've lost those, but never broken.

Good luck with the 'bug' !

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Hi Exult,

Wow, that is a lot of information!   I am just waking up from about 3 hours sleep after a 12 hour night shift, so it might take me a little while to digest it all!

Sun protection?  I'm Australian!  Even the sun is trying to kill us this week! https://higginsstormchasing.com/welcome-hell-earth-australia/

It is interesting that you have never needed kite stakes.  I think I will try one out and see if it is useful.

In regards to your list:

  1. basic launch - Yeah, I got this down!
  2. pull turn - Uh huh!
  3. basic landing (a bit earlier than the above list - But it will always come down, won't it?) - Basic crash? Yep I got that one down! "Landing"? Needs work.
  4. push turn - Was starting to play with this.
  5. combination turn - On the to do list, but I am reasonably sure I understand how it works.
  6. stall - On the to do list, but I am reasonably sure I understand how it works.
  7. turtle (I added) - I will look this one up!
  8. snap stall - On the to do list, but I am reasonably sure I understand how it works.
  9. axel - I spent most of last night watching videos trying to understand this.
  10. Everything else on your list can wait until I have got to here!

So what you are saying is that I have managed to break one of the only parts that you have not?  I guess I can add advanced crashing to my list of achievements!

I will continue trying to digest the rest of the information you have given me after a coffee.  A. Very. Strong. Coffee!

Thank you! J.

 

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Hi Rob,

I saw a number of different suggestions for the stake, including screwdrivers.  I have some odds and ends out in the shed that I think I can use to make one.

Regarding parts: I worked on the premise that the bit I broke is potentially something I will break again, so I ordered two!  The repair kit has a range of parts with the exception of the rods, so unless I break one of those I think I will be sorted for a while.  (you know what I'm gunna break next?)

More kites? Hmm I might have a problem getting that one past the Mrs... she found out how much I paid for the Quantum!

Thank you!  J.

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I believe a kite stake is a must have item. I can't imagine setting up my kite without one. Already mentioned, a screwdriver will work until you find one the suits your fancy. Having purchased lots of spare parts that I have never used, I suggest a back up kite (or 2 [or more ;-)]) to keep you flying while parts are in the mail.
Pull turns, push turns, push-pull turns and ground recoveries to start. First trick? Lazy Susan....
And DON'T JUST STAND IN ONE PLACE!

No Matter Where You Go, There You Are.

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Read the disclaimer please :D Stakes can be very cheaply made but safety first...

 

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Hi Cerfvoliste!

As mentioned, I think the backup kite may have to wait a little while for the financial heat to cool off a bit!

I will investigate a stake.

Push-pulls are next on the list once I am back flying again.

I will add lazy susan to the list!

Having watched a lot of videos last night, I can see that I need to move a lot more!

Thank you!  J.

 

Edit: Looked up Lazy Susan:  First I guess I need to learn how to turtle!

Edited by jasonmcmahon76
Turtle!

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Hi Riffclown, thank you for the idea for the golf ball stake... I will have a look through some designs and see what others have come up with.  The troll doll stake in one of Dodd's videos was quite amusing!

J.

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Best way to talk the Mrs. into letting you get a back up kite is to let her fly the kite you have.

Sent from my SM-G920W8 using KiteLife mobile app

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A fellow Aussie!
G'day mate!!!

Ground recoveries. Practice them every time you go out. Until you don't need them...

Stalls. They are building blocks to tricks and safe landings.

Definitely fly with a stake to allow those little walks to "inspect the kite"... Although I don't use one to set up initially.

Quiet hands. Use a small input rather than yanking on the lines.

Rob.


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9 hours ago, jasonmcmahon76 said:

Hi Exult,

Sorry, my manners ought to improve...: Hello and welcome!

9 hours ago, jasonmcmahon76 said:

Sun protection?  I'm Australian!

OK, admittingly a little superfluous information there...

9 hours ago, jasonmcmahon76 said:

It is interesting that you have never needed kite stakes.

I said that the need was rare. However it is true that I've never owned or used a kite stake of any kind. I don't see them valuable enough to occupy space in my back pockets, where I usually have the phone and possibly the winder. These pockets are good - stuff there don't interfere with arms/hands/lines while flying.

9 hours ago, jasonmcmahon76 said:

basic launch - Yeah, I got this down!

Also try to launch and fly only 50cm up (then a metre...) in the air and stop - you are now practicing stalls!

9 hours ago, jasonmcmahon76 said:

push turn - Was starting to play with this.

A thought, although a pull turn initially feels more natural than a push turn, a push turn doesn't immediately speed the kite up (and that could be an advantage). On the other hand I've not hear anyone starting out with push turns.

10 hours ago, jasonmcmahon76 said:

turtle (I added) - I will look this one up!

The easiest way to start, but also the least typical later when you learnt more is to fly to the top of the window, pull the lines so that the handles almost touch the ground and then immediately stand up and "reach for the sky" with your arms straight up.  Later you'll see that there are other ways to initiate a turtle that is way quicker and demands less input.

 

10 hours ago, jasonmcmahon76 said:

stall - On the to do list, but I am reasonably sure I understand how it works.

Hmm... I can't say that I fully understand* them. You can do two really quick inputs (one with each arm) and that works. You can also do a slower type and that also works. You can time the input of left and right (or vice versa) to make the sail crack and kind of whip the air out of the sail. *On the other hand - I don't understand a turn either.

10 hours ago, jasonmcmahon76 said:

axel - I spent most of last night watching videos trying to understand this.

It will come - enjoy learning other stuff in the mean time (and b.t.w. even those earlier moves/tricks can always be improved and might need rehearsal).

10 hours ago, jasonmcmahon76 said:

I guess I can add advanced crashing to my list of achievements!

I'd say that you have specialized at least... but there is always room for an improvement and becoming a generalist:)!

10 hours ago, RobB said:

Get more kites, too. Nothing worse than being grounded when there's good wind.

For the second kite, choose one that works well in a slightly other wind range. I've never tried a Quantum, but what I've heard it is a robust kite, so my guess would be that you should go for one that requires a bit less wind.

8 hours ago, Daougie said:

Best way to talk the Mrs. into letting you get a back up kite is to let her fly the kite you have.

I'd say that that is Mrs. dependent. My wife is very kite understanding, but have never shown the slightest interest in grabbing the lines. Try arguing by something like perhaps: it will get me out of the sofa and get me more exercise, it is way cheaper than real world piloting and does not consume fuel and the fine motoric skills needed demands low intake of alcohol.

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9 hours ago, Daougie said:

Best way to talk the Mrs. into letting you get a back up kite is to let her fly the kite you have.

Sent from my SM-G920W8 using KiteLife mobile app
 

Historically she has left all the flying to me... it's just not her thing.

But I will be researching another kite soon enough, I'm sure!

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4 hours ago, SparkieRob said:

A fellow Aussie!
G'day mate!!!

Ground recoveries. Practice them every time you go out. Until you don't need them...

Stalls. They are building blocks to tricks and safe landings.

Definitely fly with a stake to allow those little walks to "inspect the kite"... Although I don't use one to set up initially.

Quiet hands. Use a small input rather than yanking on the lines.

Rob.


Sent from my iPhone using KiteLife mobile app

G'day mate!  Farreekin' hot where you are too?

If "ground recovery" is a euphemism for "crash", then I'm all over that!

My replacement parts are in the mail, hopefully can start work on stalls next week!

Quiet hands, definitely a tip for most forms of flying!

J.

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It's bucketing down here in Perth! Not very summery at all!

When you are about to crash into Mother Earth, give to the kite. Fight the instinct to pull. Push your hands forward. Walk forward. This takes a lot of the drive out of the kite and will slow down the kite and hopefully reduce the impact speed.

A good bit of kit is a quality set of lines. The ones that would've come with the Quantum will be a generic type. A set of high quality lines will feel less spongy, more direct and will cut out any delay between input and kite reaction.


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59 minutes ago, Exult said:

Sorry, my manners ought to improve...: Hello and welcome!

OK, admittingly a little superfluous information there...

I said that the need was rare. However it is true that I've never owned or used a kite stake of any kind. I don't see them valuable enough to occupy space in my back pockets, where I usually have the phone and possibly the winder. These pockets are good - stuff there don't interfere with arms/hands/lines while flying.

Also try to launch and fly only 50cm up (then a metre...) in the air and stop - you are now practicing stalls!

A thought, although a pull turn initially feels more natural than a push turn, a push turn doesn't immediately speed the kite up (and that could be an advantage). On the other hand I've not hear anyone starting out with push turns.

The easiest way to start, but also the least typical later when you learnt more is to fly to the top of the window, pull the lines so that the handles almost touch the ground and then immediately stand up and "reach for the sky" with your arms straight up.  Later you'll see that there are other ways to initiate a turtle that is way quicker and demands less input.

 

Hmm... I can't say that I fully understand* them. You can do two really quick inputs (one with each arm) and that works. You can also do a slower type and that also works. You can time the input of left and right (or vice versa) to make the sail crack and kind of whip the air out of the sail. *On the other hand - I don't understand a turn either.

It will come - enjoy learning other stuff in the mean time (and b.t.w. even those earlier moves/tricks can always be improved and might need rehearsal).

I'd say that you have specialized at least... but there is always room for an improvement and becoming a generalist:)!

For the second kite, choose one that works well in a slightly other wind range. I've never tried a Quantum, but what I've heard it is a robust kite, so my guess would be that you should go for one that requires a bit less wind.

I'd say that that is Mrs. dependent. My wife is very kite understanding, but have never shown the slightest interest in grabbing the lines. Try arguing by something like perhaps: it will get me out of the sofa and get me more exercise, it is way cheaper than real world piloting and does not consume fuel and the fine motoric skills needed demands low intake of alcohol.

Thankyou!

When I said I understand how stalls or snap stalls work, I mean that I think I have an understanding of the inputs that I need to do to get the kite to do them.  Not so much the actual theory behind them.   Obviously I may be eating my words next week once I'm back in the air and actually attempt to do them.

I agree that my second kite will probably be something in a lower wind range.  Just like RC gliders, you end up with a range to suit a variety of conditions.

I hear you regarding the costs of real world flying!  At least mine is tax deductible now.

For a moment I thought that you meant that the fine motor skills of kite flying demanded a low intake of alcohol! hahah

 

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14 minutes ago, SparkieRob said:

It's bucketing down here in Perth! Not very summery at all!

When you are about to crash into Mother Earth, give to the kite. Fight the instinct to pull. Push your hands forward. Walk forward. This takes a lot of the drive out of the kite and will slow down the kite and hopefully reduce the impact speed.

A good bit of kit is a quality set of lines. The ones that would've come with the Quantum will be a generic type. A set of high quality lines will feel less spongy, more direct and will cut out any delay between input and kite reaction.


Sent from my iPhone using KiteLife mobile app

Ah, Perth.  Nice place, been there a few times for the Air Race.  It was hot in Melbourne today.  Cooling down now though.

I will give to the kite. One day.

I think the Quantum comes with Dyneema lines?   What kind would be better?

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Kind of depends what's available. Prism have Modulos lines which reportedly are quite good. I can vouch for LPG (laser pro gold) as I have a "few" sets of. I have some Vector lines which are good but not as good as LPG. Skybond is a great line too, the preferred lines of Team Kitelife!

I think the Quantum comes with #150 x 80foot. Heavy lines but the Q is a heavy kite.


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18 minutes ago, SparkieRob said:

Kind of depends what's available. Prism have Modulos lines which reportedly are quite good. I can vouch for LPG (laser pro gold) as I have a "few" sets of. I have some Vector lines which are good but not as good as LPG. Skybond is a great line too, the preferred lines of Team Kitelife!

I think the Quantum comes with #150 x 80foot. Heavy lines but the Q is a heavy kite.


Sent from my iPhone using KiteLife mobile app

Amazed at how much is involved with this sport!  I'll stick with what I got for the time being.

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Noob question:  The Quantum has a diamond shaped velcro patch where the top spreader crosses the spine.  What's that all about?

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Noob question:  The Quantum has a diamond shaped velcro patch where the top spreader crosses the spine.  What's that all about?

That's a wear patch. The upper spreader rubs on the sail during flight and manoeuvres and the wear patch is less delicate and will last longer.


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