riffclown

What's the Catch? and Throw

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Reading @peterbruusmadsen's  recent post regarding catch and throw, I thought it might be a good opportunity to discuss some of the dynamics of this trick. I've been asked on occasion to help someone learn how to do both parts of this and it's not only fun, it's VERY visual.There are some practical aspects of the catch and throw that often get ignored.. Lots of important variables come into play and you have to learn to "unthink" them to become proficient at the catch and throw.

First the catch..

It's really simply destabilizing the sail from "flying"  to "falling" so it takes a specific path to you to catch. How high in the window is only one variable.. The higher overhead vertically, the less forward motion you will want to impart to make the kite come diving towards you. The optimum angle when learning this maneuver is somewhere between 65-75 degrees up in the window.. any lower and you have to consider your glide, higher and your initial string yank will likely have you stepping back to make the catch.

You can start the catch from most places in the wind window but most commonly along the vertical axis is optimal. anywhere from ground level to directly overhead is possible but they all take a bit of practice and shorter lines are much easier than longer lines for practice.. When I'm playing with this trick I usually use anywhere from 25-40 foot lines.  If the kite is higher in the window, a short sharp tug will do the job most of the time.. lower in the window requires more of a firm jerk transitioning to a pull motion.. From Ground level you have to soft pull it forward then accelerate the kite forward after it is already falling.  Each of theses angles has it's own appeal and all are worth practicing.

Once you leave the vertical axis, you have to consider the kite will side slip once you start pulling it your way. I'd suggest leaving off-axis catches to later when you've covered the vertical variables.  They are well worth exploring, just involving variables into how how you tug each top line come into play and those are better left to learning by experience.

This also brings up the topic of sail shaping and LE tension.. If the LE is curved significantly or the sail has the Reflex Springs, then your catch variables will vary greatly as now you are controlling a glide instead of a dive. It can be done with practice but as with all things kiting,, you have to decide what works for you.

The Throw.

There are multiple schools of thought here as well and they ALL have advantages and disadvantages.. Some work will in Wind, some work better in no wind. The bottom line is you want to throw the kite so that it reaches the end of the lines with the Leading Edge forward and ready for you to apply brakes and stop the kite just as you would a dive stop. Some styles of the throw glide better than others and adding twist or flex to the kite as you throw it will change how it acts in the air until you control it with your lines and handles.. Keep in mind it's at the mercy of the elements once you release it until it reached the end of your lines.

All of these throws are the same basic movement but vary in how much lateral motion you impart at the end of the throw. I start with the LE level to the ground and the kite aiming 10-20 degrees off-axis to the wind direction.I'm a lefty and I use my left hand to guide the throw and my right hand to propel the kite. (mirror these instructions if you are right-handed) I'll place my right hand at the end cap of the sail and my left hand in between the left vertical and the center of the LE. By choosing an angle instead of directly downwind the Trailing edge of the kite is naturally pulled away from me slightly. I make sure there's no part of the lines that will bind or catch or KNOT as I throw the sail outward. I have my handles in my left hand side by side with the left handle seated in the curl of my fingers ready to fly.. Time for the toss. I use my left hand to discern the angle of the toss and bring my right hand forward. just before I let go of the kite I put a little left motion on the back end. This makes the kite spear out but turn and glide a bit as it floats to the end of the lines.. as soon as I let go of the sail, I grab the other handle from my left hand and ready myself for the stop.. The explanation is far more difficult than the actual maneuver.  The more lateral motion you put into the toss the faster the sail will transition from a spear toss into a glide. The Spearing aspect will launch the sail faster and further but makes for a tricky recovery sometimes.  The harder your throw the more flex it adds to the frame initially.. at some point this breaks down and you get another try.  A Flat launch will have a very elegant appearance  but will only float so far (depending on the sail) before the inertia is gone.. The real trick here is finding what works for you and imparting the right amount of lateral motion on the initial toss to get the look, feel and range you are trying to accomplish..

I have a personal tradition of the first time I fly a kite of my own (whether purchased or home made, I always start with a throw launch. That way the first thing I can observe is how it glides.  Have fun with it and I hope these pointers will help you with adding or tweaking this maneuver for your flying fun.

 

 

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Superb info @riffclown!!

Very much looking forward to seeing this discussion evolve but I'd be remiss if I didn't post a link to the catch and throw video tutorial we have in the paid KiteLife membership section. ;)

http://kitelife.com/forum/files/file/631-rev-tutorial-3d-flying/

The hardest part of learning catch and throw is actually trying it repeatedly, regardless of the initial outcomes - bottom line, you have to mess up a lot to learn what's what - write off the first 30 or so attempts at anything as throwaways, they're supposed to look like crap. :)

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Great question.. This is one area of the throw and catch that I didn't feel worked for me.. @Paul LaMasters has done quite a bit of flying with that aspect of this trick and will hopefully share some of his experiences here. 

I know from my brief experience with the Reflex, it was a matter of once you got the kite slack on the lines and gliding, you moved downwind to meet the kite. Unlike the typical catch, this was more like a walk to a meeting instead of a dash to a catch. The throw is generally the same but you have to work heavily on your throwing speed to keep the kite from rising and stalling out on you.

Coincidentally John's B2 Launch video was the first time I saw the catch and throw.. I bought a Rev soon after I saw it just to learn that one trick.. I was already flying my Symphony conversion at the time..

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I like "catch and throw" so much I tried ALL the variances of it. Pull low. Pull high. Throw high. Throw low. I love it on 30's. Just banging one after another. I practice using my non dominant arm (left) for a different aspect to some varying results. If I can't pull it out of the sky.... 

One thing is, when you throw directly down wind be super ready to pop your breaks! Off centre seems a little smoother.

 

If you haven't tried it, give it a go. Just be careful of your fingers when you pull your top lines. 

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12 hours ago, John Barresi said:

Live video filmed at my Danish Quad Clinic last month, additional tips and tricks to consider. ;)

https://www.facebook.com/dan.frolunde/videos/10214464584674288/

 

For those that haven't had the experience, this short clip is a great example and a fairly rare insight of how John Barresi teaches. He spends a few hours finding your level and invokes sincere feedback on what you want to accomplish.. If everyone is different then he breaks out to individual coaching with each person getting the level of help they need.  If there is a strong common point requested like the catch and throw here, then a short session like this takes place.  Most importantly, John also accepts discussion and immediate feedback as long as it's beneficial to the group.  Regardless of your flying level, if you get a chance to participate in one of his clinics, jump at the chance. It's well worth the experience. You can almost feel your own skill level increasing just watching the guy fly and listening to him talk.

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Live video filmed at my Danish Quad Clinic last month, additional tips and tricks to consider.
https://www.facebook.com/dan.frolunde/videos/10214464584674288/
 
Very cool and informative video. Especially like the tip to avoid slicing your fingers :)

And of course yet another reason to regret that I first picked kite flying up after the Danish clinic was fully booked.
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I'm new flying and also messed around with the catch thingy.. tugging on the top lines at verticle. Biggest takeaway from my toying around is

Shorter lines better for this play!

I tried on 80 and 120 lines.. low wind to none conditions and it dives, but it ends up falling away from me cause of the glide and by the time it's all the way down, it's too far away from me to catch or run after hahahaha. I look like a scampering goof after my falling kite!

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I'm new flying and also messed around with the catch thingy.. tugging on the top lines at verticle. Biggest takeaway from my toying around is
Shorter lines better for this play!
I tried on 80 and 120 lines.. low wind to none conditions and it dives, but it ends up falling away from me cause of the glide and by the time it's all the way down, it's too far away from me to catch or run after hahahaha. I look like a scampering goof after my falling kite!

Been there....done that . Yes I followed advice and went short lines!
Much easier! And after a few tries I did it, the first weren’t pretty but time on the lines is proving everyone’s advice true


Sent from my iPad using KiteLife mobile app
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15 hours ago, happysuperbutton said:

I'm new flying and also messed around with the catch thingy.. tugging on the top lines at verticle. Biggest takeaway from my toying around is

Shorter lines better for this play!

I tried on 80 and 120 lines.. low wind to none conditions and it dives, but it ends up falling away from me cause of the glide and by the time it's all the way down, it's too far away from me to catch or run after hahahaha. I look like a scampering goof after my falling kite!

The catch is not too difficult on long lines. It's the throw that is nearly impossible to accomplish. You have to throw the kite hard and high and run in the opposite direction as fast as you can. I managed to do it on 80's once. Didn't even bother to try on 120's.

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on the reflex models (Rx and Classic) you pull the BOTTOM lines to effect the catch, on the other models you pull the top lines 

Practice on longer lines than you'd use in a demo or at a competition, so the kite comes back effortlessly

With magic sticks it doesn't matter if the kite goes all the way out to the end of the strings, anywhere it lands you just walk out the excess and retake the air like you meant to do that

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