Issue 31: Indoor Inspirations

Have you seen Indoor No-wind kite flying yet? Have you tried it?

No? Well, hopefully you’ve all had the opportunity to read the article on Debbie and Lee Park’s* indoor fly shows in the last issue of the American Kitefliers Association’s (AKA) magazine. As gymnasts who have added kites to their repitore, they put on an astounding kite show!

Of course we don’t all have to be gymnast to indoor fly. Whether it’s a little show or a big show, it’s still a kite show. But we are lucky that they have joined kite flying. They are a prime example of where indoor kiting can go.Whether it’s a little show or a big show, it’s still a kite show! Of course we don’t all have to be a gymnast to indoor fly, but we are so lucky that they have joined kite flying! They are a prime example of one of the directions indoor kiting can go.

When I ask outdoor kitefliers, “What do you think about Indoor flying?” The most common responses are: “It sounds like a lot of hard work.” ” I don’t have time for that.” And “Who wants to move backwards in a circle all the time?” These are just a few of the misconceptions I have heard from people about indoor kite flying.

I hear these responses and the first thing I always picture in my mind is young Joey Cheetum sitting on his bed flying his dual line. The second thing I think of is how light and easy flying the Revolution Indoor kite is. It feels like nothing on the end of my lines at all. Ok, ok, then I think about all the hard work I put into getting my flying to look that easy. Of course, I learned on the Rev. 1.5 standard, and still do fly it for most indoor shows. It’s a very challenging kite to make indoor flying look easy. The Rev. indoor is truly light and easy.

Yes, it does take practice, but I’m here to tell you even 4 minutes of no-wind flying will leave you with the same wonderful feeling you have after being at the beach for a whole weekend! That’s not work, that’s play!

Once you learn to fly indoors, walking backwards is not the only move you will be doing. You can walk forward, sideways, or even sit down and fly.

Still, when you first pick up the kite to learn, you are not balancing a kite in the air, you are dragging a dead weight around any way you can to try and keep it up. But each and every time you go back to try again it is easier. Soon you can move forward on the learning curve to the control of the kite, rather then simply concentrate on keeping it up.

Control? Yup, that age-old question; “Once you get it up, and keep it up, can you control it?”

To begin with, knowing how to fly a Revolution outside is not much help inside. It’s a little help, but not much. So what does it take? It takes persistence and a sense of balance. But that sense of balance has to be learned. That’s what takes practice. The practice you put into it creates that all-important muscle memory which makes the re-action, or as I like to say with a quad “pre-action” happen. Pre-action? Pre-action is movement without hesitation, performed at the handles ¼ of a move before it actually occurs at the kite. You see the secret to keeping a kite up indoors is to keep it moving. Stalling your kite is great, as long as you know how to get it moving afterwards to save it from falling out of the air after the stall.

Indoor quad beginners:
Start with 10 –12 ft. of line. Every two feet of line changes the fly style. The longer the lines, the slower moving the kite is. This gives you more reaction time. If you have Indoor handles great. If not, lower your hands on the SUL handles. Keep moving away from the kite. Usually if the kite comes down, it’s because you’ve hesitated in your body movement. Be aware of the math: You + Stall = Kite Falls.

Better yet, have someone else assist you when you start.
An assistant is a perk, it saves time and frustration and he or she can add wonderful input. As the flyer, you are concentrating on the kite, not your body. Sometimes an onlooker can tell you what they see happening when you complete a move successfully, or what is happening when you run into problems. Remember to be nice to your assistant!

Don’t overdue, don’t give up, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it! The rewards of indoor flying are totally worth it.

Oh, and some of those outdoor flyers who grumbled and mumbled about indoor flying being too much work. Some have not only tried it, but also continued on to compete indoors! See, there’s hope!

Here are a few indoor flying tips for experienced indoor flyers.

How about those reverses?

1) The One-handed Reverse Overhead is a piece of cake. Turning your handles top’s down, bottoms up – and pushing your thumbs up as you move your extended arm in an arch overhead. That extension on your arm is important. It gives you a large power arch.

2) The Reverse Overhead.
The best move I learned all year was from Scott Weiderman at the AKA convention. Start your kite in a “reverse across” for a 360. On tip, tips leading. (facing 9:00, reverse 360) Change the angle of your handles so that you take it up and reverse it across or in a straight reverse overhead arch. Bottoms of your handles are pointing up Putting pressure on your thumbs, force the tops of your handles up until you reach neutral. End with you handles in front of you facing forward. Sweet! This move should really be appreciated by master kite flyers!

3) Reverse launch into a reverse overhead arc from behind you. Now that’s a mouthful. (Any suggestions on a name for this move?)

Start with the kite’s leading edge down on the floor-behind you. Extend both arms out to your sides and behind you as far as you can reach. Tops of the handles are pointed at the kite, bottom handles pointed out to the side and slightly up. Walk forward about 7 steps to create the lift for this move. Pull your handles “up and in” to meet over your head. Continue to push the top of the handles down to bring the kite to a forward standing position in front of you.

If you have any questions, or fun indoor information to share, contact me. I’d love to hear from you.

Best breezes,

Penny Lingenfelter
Indoor/Outdoor Revolution Kiteflyer
Flying like I mean it with Laser Pro Gold and Revolution.