Issue 8: 4play

4 Lines — One Roof

Flying quad indoors is quite different from anything else. Indoor flying actually started with quadline a long time ago when people like Dave Brittain and Lee Sedgwick started pushing the envelope of what could be done with a Revolution.

Although I have never seen Lee fly indoors, he began doing things with his Rev that nobody else had done. Back then they were calling it 3D flying. He began doing things on short lines like up and overs, or pulling the kite to him and catching it. He would kick, smack, and throw his kite around on 10 or 15 feet of line. This was outdoors mind you, but it the set the stage for what was to come next.

Others started doing this and people began to realize that this would work well with a Rev in very low winds. Dave Brittain began to do it in gymnasiums or wherever else he could find the space and began to do it with a stack of three Revs. He was able to do this for hours at a time and people began to see that some kites could be flown indoors with very little effort.

At first, quadliners were the kites for indoors. The combination of large sail area and minimal and light frames made them ideal. They were mostly flat, so they could float. From there, designers began to build kites for lighter and lighter winds. In America, competitors on the East Coast demanded kites that could fly in almost no wind at all. Along came Dean Jordan with the “Millenium”. This was truly the first dual line, full size kite that could be flown indoors rather than just yanked around till you were out of breath.

But even with the advent of some awesome dual liners for indoors, quadliners still hold a place for indoor flying in the bags of many people who do not fly quad outdoors. Although Curtiss Mitchell is a past Masters Champion in dual line ballet, indoors people wait anxiously to see what he will do with a Synergy quadline.

Watching Curtiss and Lam Hoac indoors lets you know very quickly why quad is the thing to do indoors. The maneuverability makes space issues easier to deal with. Changing direction in a split second even with no wind makes it easier to respond to musical changes. Most of all the tricks these kites can do indoors is stunning. Seeing Lam jump over his own kite and then grab the handles and continue to fly is truly shocking. Watching Curtiss bounce his Synergy off his hip into a flat spin makes any stunt kite flier smile.

Quad kites almost seem made for indoors. They will float, yet still respond precisely to the slights touch of the handles. They go up and over smoothly, and then right back again in reverse. Reverse is almost as easy indoors as forward is. This is a huge advantage when you realize you have run out room wherever it is you are flying.

So what is the trick to flying quad indoors? There really isn’t one. Simply enough you just have to learn to fly slowly. There is little feel on the lines, but what is there is important. If you can fly in very light wind, you can fly indoors. And believe it or not, you don’t get dizzy because your eyes concentrate on the kite, not all the background stuff that is spinning as you spin.

Wherever you fly, try it with 4 lines. You won’t regret it.