Issue 2: Fugedaboudit!

Well… Fugedaboudit isn’t even the word ! Kitelife has blown UP ! I’m so happy to see the logical progression of Kiting and the Internet taking shape in this way. I’ve written content for some very popular magazines and kite flying primers, but I must say this is the most fulfilling.

<rant on>

In order for any e’Zine to blossom, it must use the real time interactivity of the net. Unlike print and broadcast media, here you have the opportunity to immediately add your opinions and input. Stand up and be counted. It’s fine if you don’t have time to write for the ’Zine, not everyone can. It’s good to learn from others, but it’s NOT OK to leech information. Everyone CAN give something back. We’ll edit it. We’ll use the data in some way. Trust me. ASK A QUESTION ! – – We have assembled a phenomenal staff of volunteers who have been categorized as expert in their areas. We can find an answer for you, or discuss it, with a higher signal to noise ratio than on other previously available Internet media.

It has been proposed, that once someone “official” produces commentary on something, it is assumed accurate by those people who read it or view it. This perception propagates itself exponentially on the Internet. Concepts and opinions travel much faster on rec.kites and personal web pages than ever before. Question it. Participate. Question it. Okay?

<rant off>

Now, as funny as it seems after my little diatribe on supposition of accuracy, I’ll continue my ongoing effort to credit and document the freestyle fliers responsible for originating dual line kite tricks. Last month, we began discussing Sport Kite tricks and their origins and nomenclature. I requested that any contrary opinions be passed along via E-Mail. Through the wonderful power that is the Internet, I have these modifications:

The Ollie should most probably be credited to John Barresi, not John Morrison

The trick I inaccurately reported as Up the Fountain is actually just the Fountain. The worst part about that particular flub, is that I knew that.

We continue this month with some additional popular moves:

Slot Machine – A trick I first saw Dodd Gross do in Newport, Rhode Island. Dodd admits to not “inventing” or discovering this trick, but he did bring it to the East Coast. If anyone knows the history behind the nomenclature here, I would love to hear it.

Rev Axel – OK. This is as official as I can get. When Sandy Wagner ( DecaBoy to you and me ) was still flying a custom Rev II in competition early in 1994, Sandy successfully axeled a rev using extended quad handles. Ultimately, after some time spent perfecting it, he was able to do it, and teach it to others on regular stock Rev II handles. Very cool trick… But that’s probably ’cause I can’t fly quad worth a damn.

Corkscrew – I almost tend to not want to include tricks that are combinations. I think a combination of a tip stab, into an Ollie, back into a Cascade, to a pancake landing is just…. A COOL COMBINATION OF TRICKS ! – – Unless the trick takes some level of specialized control. Andy Wardley’s Corkscrew, for example, requires the incredible timing necessary to repeatedly Axel a kite multiple times in the same direction without missing a beat, especially when he does it to “Sweet Home Alabama”.

Jeff Burka, a very well known kite person and friend offered this bit of advice on deciding who gets credit for a particular trick:

<reprinted with permission>

As for the Axel, yes, that’s credited to Steve Thomas. A number of us probably created the trick fairly simultaneously (I can tell you that I did my first Axel on 11/25/92, the day I finished and first flew my first 3/4 tracer). I was also doing ’em with my JA Pro the following spring, and first posted about ’em to r.k the following summer, referring to them as “helicopter turns”, I believe).

Steve gets credit though, because he:

a) used ’em in competition *successfully*
b) gave ’em a good name
c) figured out the actual step break down, meaning that he could (1) get just about any kite to do it and (2) teach anybody to do it.
d) promoted the trick!

I wonder if he knew just how much he would be changing stunt kiting…!

Jeff makes a good point. We have battled over origins before, not only in the kiting world, but even about things like the radio and electric light bulb. I think I like using these criteria for accepting the originator/inventor of a new kite move.

What do you think? E-Mail me and and we can discuss it.

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Author:Jason Benedict

Jason Benedict was a top flier on the Eastern League for many years, as well as announcer for Sky Festival Productions... Jason also flew for Active People when they were promoting the TrickTail.

When he isn't holding seminars, competing, or announcing, Jason heads up the Network Services Group for Fordham University Law School.

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