Issue 6: BORK – Tricks

Snap Stall Help

Hi, I’m a beginner and fly the beetle. I cannot get a good snap stall. Everytime after a return to neutral, the kite has tendence to go up. Even I walk toward, it still go up. How can it be improved? Derek


Try harder(more aggressive) faster snaps to start the stall – then moves faster toward your kite – if there is a lot of wind… initiate the stall near the edge of the wind window – as there will be less wind there and the kite will have less tendency to start flying again. Don’t concentrate on the “neutral” position. Concentrate on the SNAP. This is what flicks the wind out of the sail. Once the kite is “stunned” into a stall – keeping the lines slack will refrain it from moving forward again. (if it’s slow wind you can do this easily at the center of the wind window – if it’s fairly windy – you can do this easier near the edge of the wind window.) so make a low ground pass – past center of the window – when nearing the edge – SNAP-STALL and give slack by moving forward as necessary.

Cascade Help

I’ve been flying since Dec and I’ve conquered what you’ve mentioned in your trick line up – the hardest was certainly the cascade. What really helped me was learning it with the total Eclipse. It’s a huge lumbering kite which makes it move rather slowly. (giving me time to think and react before it’s to late). attempting to do the cascade with the Total helped me pull it off – I can now do it with almost all my kites. (Illusion, SUL Eclipse etc… it’s still a bit tricky with the smaller quicker ones – ie: Alien) but tends to be the easiest with the Eclipse models. I think because of their lower height but wider length. Also – the cascade seems to be more of a full axel than a half axel. It’s not quite a full – but is certainly more than a half… make any sense? My recommendation would be to practice it with a larger/slower kite – or Eclipse type. I started by doing a axel – then immediately pulling a 2nd axel the oppose direction… then back and forth as many times as possible… I’d count each one and hit “6” then I’d do 3-4… the next day I hit another 6… now I can get a 6+ pretty much every try. Hope this helps.  Ron (prism webmaster)

That may just be the answer I’m looking for. Nice description and recommendation. Best one I’ve seen. I’m getting all the other tricks but the flip flops then cascades. I’ll try your technique.

I have found that all the tricks are simple once you do a few. Then of course they get easier and I can do them in conjunction with other tricks. Just having the worst time with this one.

Thanks again. spyguy

Dead Launch

Hi Derek, hi folks. I think that not all of Prism kites are capable of the dead launch capability. The only prism kite I have is the Vapor and it is able to do it. And I did it a few time.

First, for the newcomers I explain dead launch. Most of you know that the dead position is when the kite is on its belly with the nose pointing upwind. Pulling on the lines will only transform the kite into a plough. By the way, this is a usefull position to safely park a kite.

Now some kites have a leading edge that is curved in three dimensions. So, when they lay on their belly, the wing tips are not touching the ground. Also, the short tail and the balance of the kite allow it to be rocked from front to back in a seesaw movement.

Thus, the way to dead launch is by giving short tugs (pull and immediate release) on both lines at once. With the Vapor I usually succeed (not always on first try) after two very well timed such tugs. After the second release, the nose is high enough to allows for the wind to go under the kite and lift it. A few fast steps backward are often required at that point (in higher winds not that much of stepping back is required, but the Vapor is a low wind kite). When done properly it is very cool. What I like the most is just give enough pull to straithen the kite on its wings tips, ready for a standard lauch (with some coin toss or other funny variations, why not?).

Be aware that this shall be attempted on proper ground. Short smooth grass is the best. Hard pack sand is good but I would be afraid of the abrasion on such a ligth weigth kite as the Vapor. After all, the leading edge are not made of sturdy dacron.

Hoping this helps. Jean (Johnny) Lemire of team S.T.A.F.F. from Montreal, Canada.


As all have said, if the leading edges curve up away from the ground when belly down then there is a strong possibility that it will.

It works with two methods dependant on the timing of the ‘two’ tugs on both lines. Either you do it right and the first tug causes air flow over the back of the kite, creating lift, with the second tug to help it on its way, or… The first tug ploughs it into the ground but you are lucky enough to ‘bounce’ the nose, if you get the timing spot on the second tug achieves the same as if you got it right first time. Otherwise its a 30ft furrow for others to fall into.

All my Prism kites DL (Illusion/3D/Vapor) and in certain winds, other kites can be ‘coaxed/forced’ into it, all dependant on the amount of curvature of the leading edge when belly down. Just make sure the ground you are going to drag your baby across is suitable, i.e. short grass, no rocks, sticks, broken bottles etc. Carl M.


The Prism Illusion, Vapor, Ozone, Fanatic and 3D will dead launch, as will the Active People Trick Tail.

The HQ Obsession will do it if you install the optional sticky-outtie-bit. The Flying Wings Beetle will do it in a moderate to high wind. The are probably a few more that will do it, but those are the ones that come to mind. Basically, any kite thats nose can be ‘rocked’ off the ground while in the belly-down-nose- towards-you-position should be able to do it on a solid surface. Have Fun, Mike M.


On Thu, 15 Oct 1998 20:54:22 GMT, wrote: The Prism Illusion, Vapor, Ozone, Fanatic and 3D will dead launch, as will the Active People Trick Tail.  you forgot a TC….

And the Stranger Level 7, and the UL Black Hole… Didier

Rotating Fades

Hey there! Through out the summer I have been working on mastering the rotating fade on the Jam Session. I first saw it done on the SL7 and learned it on that quickly. Then took what I learned there and aplied it to another kite. The Jam is one of my favorite kites and boy will it spin in a fade. I started getting it with few rotations but now I have gotten 20+ rotations at once. There seems to be few kites that like to do this but I know the Jam, Matrix, and SL7 do it. I haven’t been online for the summer so I don’t know if anyone has already posted about this. It’s good to be back. Talk to you soon. Good flying! Hunter


Hello there, This sounds pretty amazing….. I saw Carl Robertshaw do some very fast rotating fades with his matrix, looks pretty cool!!! Now, I don’t own a SL7 and I’m not planning on buying one, still I would like to know how you do this crazy thing….. Is it necessary to learn is with an SL7 first, because that one is almost designed for the trick, and than apply these skills on other kites, or is it possible to learn it from the first time with a more regular kite like a Midi or an Outer Space? And, most important, how is it done? I would be very thankful if you could give me some hints. Thanks in advance, Nick.


It helps a lot to learn on the SL7. I was teaching someone how to do this trick on an Illy. He did manage to get a few. However, when I pulled out the SL7, that seem to really show him how to do the trick.

Let me know if you nail it on the Midi without the help of the SL7 🙂 Steve Hunter


It is good to hear from you. I have heard rumors that you have been doing this trick with the Jam.

I have had some luck with the Illusion and more luck with the Alien (and the SL7 of course). The Alien does them almost as easy as the SL7. I can spin it around until the lines bind. I have also managed to spin a couple one way, stop and spin it the other way.

Rotating fades on the Illusion is a lot more difficult. I think the most that I have done is about 5 or 6 on the Illy. I loose too much altitude getting the first one around so I don’t have much air for the remaining ones.

Question, does the Jam rotate as flat as the SL7 with this trick? I find the Illy and Alien don’t rotate flat. They spin in some weird angle with the spin about 30 degrees from horizontal. Steve


Steve, I will have to try it on a Alien and Illusion. The Jam does it easier than the SL7 also. It will spin till the lines bind as well. Man will it spin. I too find that it does spin at a weird angle but the Jam doesn’t loose much altitude when you get it going good. I am still messing with other kites to see what will do it. Good to hear from you. Hunter