Issue 59: REVisions – Clinics and more!

As I am writing this (a little late as usual but, as I’m now the editor, I can only complain to myself on this) the East Coast Rev Clinic has wrapped up. Alas, I was unable to go because as I mention in the first sentence, I’m the editor and this is the weekend before we go live, thus, I’m a little busy to say the least. The West Coast version, held just down the road from the World Kite Museum  in Long Beach, Washington, which I attended as part of iQuad, is written up elsewhere in this issue and I suspect we’ll write up the East Coast one next issue, but, there are also more to come. We’ll be having a one day one at Grand Haven this year (which will likely mirror the first one day one we gave at Kite Party 6), plus we’ll be throwing a 2 day affair in England, immediately after the Portsmouth festival and in the same location.

So far they have been an absolute blast to be a part of. Rev flyers of all skill levels have come out in droves and from what I can tell, anyone that flew managed to leave these clinics with some better flying under their belts and some excellent stories on how much fun they had while they were there. I guess you can’t ask for much more out of a workshop. We manage to touch in on individual flying skills such as hovering with authority, handle tunings, reverse flight and from there we go onto some of the basics of flying quad team. Further information on the one in England can be found below :

And, while I write about Kite Party 8 elsewhere in this issue as well, I’ll mention here that it was really overwhelming to see as many Revs out as there was. What a treat, the sheer growth in the Rev community over the last two years has been really amazing to watch. I mused with a friend the other day that 13 years ago when I started flying Revs, I was lucky to find one other flyer out flying one every few months. This makes for a hard way to learn how to fly a Rev, but, with perseverance, you can do it. These days, I go out to our local park and there is at least 4 people out on any given day with Revs and often more. With that many people out, the learning curve for everyone leaps quickly and I know this is happening in kite parks all over North America lately. It’s a different world for Revs all of a sudden and I’m as pleased as punch about it.

I’ll share one very common tip with respect to both of the workshops I attended, and I’m pretty sure Steve and John found the same on the East Coast. With respect to handle tuning, and specifically with B-series length leaders on the handles, I will always always always start my top knots at the very front of the leader. In ideal winds, with the ideal kite, this is the place where controlled movement needed with team flying will start from. You can add lift if it’s light out simply by moving back one knot at a time but, if you start from the front, you’ll have a much better idea of how much lift you will need, if you need any  at all. The key is that you are looking for a balanced kite in the sky, one that’s not prone to move forwards (or, drop like a rock) with your hands in a natural, relaxed grip. From that balanced point, all moves on a rev become significantly easier. I guarantee it. And while we’re speaking of handles, sometime soon I intend to rewrite my original article for Kitelife that dealt with reconfiguring your handles but, for now, I’ll link to it below with the suggestion that you can ditch my advice about making the top and bottom leaders equal and go for roughly 6-7 inches on the top and 1-1.5 inches on the bottom. Geez, was that really 16 issues ago? Well, as they say, time flies when you are having fun.

As I mentioned last month, this year is also Rev’s 20th anniversary of making kites. There’s not many 20 year old sport kites designs that are still being manufactured with very few changes over those years. That’s certainly worth having a party over isn’t it? So far, we’ll be having birthday parties in a few locations over the year, with the first being in Japan at the end of April at Uchinada Beach. Next up will be Wildwood for their annual Memorial Day weekend kite festival, We’ll hit the West Coast at Berkeley’s late July and finally, a huge gathering in Bristol, England on the last weekend of August.  If you make one “big” kite event this year as a Rev flyer, aim for Bristol. You’ll find more quad teams in one place than has ever been assembled before and with a little luck, will get upwards of 60 revs in the air at once. You can find further details (including an ever growing list of Bristol participants) regarding this and any of the upcoming events in the Rev forum :

One last topic to touch on in this issue and thats competition. As we’re now into the spring, this means competition will be happening at some of the festivals in your area pretty soon. Go out, and give it a try if you are so inclined. It can be a lot of fun and learning even the most basic of the precision figures will do a world of good for your flying skill. Better yet, get a partner together and push for a quad pairs event at your next festival. This is the first year that it’s eligible to be an event at the Nationals this fall in Gettysberg, PA but, that won’t happen unless we can show some results from competitions around the country. So, go on, get out, and have some fun and we’ll see you at Gettysberg in September…

I suspect next month’s column will be a look at iQuad’s upcoming trip to Japan. We’re slated to spend 12 days over there from late April till early May, taking in a festival in Fujisaki and then over to Uchinada Beach. We’re going well armed with camcorders and still cameras so you can expect a pretty large assortment of both once we return, and then we turn around and head east in North America to pitch up both at Grand Haven and Wildwood in late May. It’s going to be a busy couple of months I suspect. Also, Geezer has made some noise about interviewing the Hazickis about 20 years with Revolution so look for that in one of the upcoming issues.

For now, I’d best start learning some Japanese, so, sayonara

David Hathaway