Issue 60: East Coast Rev Clinic

The First Annual East Coast Rev Clinic was held March 21st through the 23rd, 2008 in Wildwood, NJ. There was a great turnout, especially considering that it was Easter weekend. A special thank you must go to Brad Weiner for organizing this event. We were all extremely fortunate to have the best in the world, John Baressi and Steve de Rooy instruct us on flying these amazing kites. All levels of experience and ability were there and everyone benefited from the weekend. I learned a great deal, especially because I had never physically laid eyes on a quad line kite before this weekend… other than what I had seen in videos on You Tube, iQuad or The Revolution Forum.

Friday was really windy, but it made it easier for me to get the kite in the air. From there, I learned the most basic feel and movements of the handles. I have to keep reminding myself to keep the adjustments very slight. I don’t know if it’s instinctive or nerves, but my movements are way too exaggerated and big. I know from what I’ve learned that a relaxed approach is best, but I guess in time, it’ll get there. It blows my mind how controllable these kites are and how you can literally stop on a dime or land whatever point you wish on someone’s nose and hold the position! Well, the “big boys” can…

We flew the B series and doubled up on the rods. Did I mention that it was really cold, but when you’re flying a Rev, the only thing you feel is the exhilarating sensation of “Revving”.

I especially enjoyed the fact that everyone was so friendly and eager to help in any and every way possible. Nobody cares to hold back on anything they know. It’s great because everyone just wants to see you succeed and fly better. All of the flyers have little tips for practicing and learning subtle aspects to hopefully achieve complete control of the Rev.

After flying all afternoon, most of us went to dinner together… good food, new friends and lots of laughing, too. Afterward, we had the good fortune to see John and Steve fly under a moonlit sky on the boardwalk of The Wildwoods…what a treat. There was hardly any wind. In fact, so little that I couldn’t even get a SLK in the air. Boy are they good!

On Saturday, we learned the best and easiest ways to assemble, disassemble and fold the Rev, along with the easiest way to wind the lines and keep them from becoming a tangled problem the next time flying. Kite safety was also addressed. It is up to us flyers to keep the flying area safe and ultimately, fun for all. The winds were blowing pretty good and we only needed the 3 wrap… I think… I started to feel like I sort of understood some of the movements for controlling the Rev and then the wind dropped down quite a bit. I, along with most of the rookies (quadlings as we are affectionately called on the Revolution Forum) could not get the vented kite up at all. So, it was time to break out the Standard 1.5s; including five of the Anniversary Edition Revs. Before the Anniversary Revs came out, Steve was flying low wind and made it look effortless. I know that the movements in light winds are supposed to be bigger or more exaggerated, but it looked like he was hardly moving. After that, it was really cool to see the “Fab Five” as I was calling the guys, flying the special Revs in a team fly. From what I heard, this was the most of the Anniversary Revs in one place ever, so far. They’re hoping to see many more together in May at the International Festival at The Wildwoods. It was another glorious day in every way. Did I mention that it was even colder than Friday, but it was hard to notice because Revving really gets the blood going and nothing else matters.

Before we left for dinner, we got to watch Scott, Drew and Antman fly the Wildwoods sign. Their precision was so cool to watch and so much fun. Saturday evening almost all of us went to dinner, again. Our friendships and bonds continued to grow and we had a great time. There was an auction and some of the luckier ones got really good deals on items like a Revolution bag and a B Series Rev. Way to go!

Easter Sunday was a beautiful day. The winds were all over the place, again making it difficult for us rookies. It turned out to be a good time to have an introduction to light wind flying. In theory, it makes a lot of sense, but I know I won’t be doing this until I can totally get the basic control and feel of the Rev. Paul L. gave me a lot of pointers and one on one time with his kite and shorter lines. Wow, is he amazing to watch, too. He, too, kept reinforcing the fact that the movements are slight and that you have to have a relaxed touch I had planned on leaving around noon, but was not finished for the day and couldn’t tear myself away from all of this fun. Paul D. helped me learn to control the basic back and forth motion, which, I think, was sort of my first experience, if you will, with a team fly.

Then, I really got to see a team fly. Nine guys joined to fly together. It is so beautiful to see the patterns, the motions and movements of each person to create one big masterpiece. What was really cool to me was to see 36 lines crossed over each other, yet in total control. The sound of the kites all moving together is truly, music to my ears. I got a real charge out of that. It was so much fun to hear the team get so amped up, laugh and just have this amazing chemistry. How wonderful it must be when the iQuad team is doing this as they’re together so much that there has to be a special synergy between them. I can’t wait to experience it either by watching or hopefully, someday flying with them. Hey, did I mention that this was the coldest morning of the weekend? It was hard to notice with all of the Rev energy around!

When I finally left; three and a half hours after I had planned, I took with me many, many wonderful memories and some great basic control skills. To learn the fundamentals from the best has most definitely laid the ground work for me to go far with my ability to master the Rev… with lots of practice, of course! Friendships have blossomed from all over the country; and you are all so very special. I can’t wait until the next clinic and any other time where I can meet up with other Revvers and hopefully, learn and laugh a whole lot more. Thank you all for your help and expertise in every way that made my weekend so memorable. If anyone is interested in seeing more photos and a few small video clips of the Team Fly, there’s a link on the Rev Forum under The East Coast Rev Clinic, Wildwood, NJ, page 8. Thank you for allowing me to share my experience with you all through my words and photographs.

Until the next clinic,

Laura Berg