Issue 67: REVisions – Gearing Up for WSIKF

As George Gershwin once said…  “Summertime, And the livin’ is easy”. As a Monkey always says, “Is it time for WSIKF yet?” I remember the first time I went to WSIKF quite clearly. I didn’t know very many people at that point, but, I was warmly welcomed into a bunch of flyers regardless, and I spent much of those 4 days teaching other people how to fly Revs (as well as absorbing a lot of new information myself!). I’ve done this many times at WSIKF and I’ll undoubtedly do more of that this summer tho, these days I tend to take on people who already can fly and are looking for specific help on specific aspects of Rev flying. Or, has been the way the last couple of summers (excluding last summer when I mysteriously ended up in England!), it’s been spent flying team and gradually easing people into THAT experience of Rev flying.

This summer’s trip? I expect more of the same however this summer, we’ll be experimenting a little more and trying to establish a new record for “most revs at once” in North America.

We’ll be utilizing the grid system with any large numbers of flyers and the hope is to get beyond 40 flyers by the weekend. I’m aiming to arrive for Monday morning or Sunday evening and I’ll be staying straight through to the end as will Steve, John and Bazzer, with others drifting in all week long. I can’t wait!

We should have a specific area of the beach we’ll be in and judging by a recent report in from John Farrell, the beach will be huge this time around. I’m pretty sure we’ll be easy to find. I also know we have people coming from all over the US this year, from the south of Texas to the eastern end of New Jersey. You should be there as well!

Just as a refresher, if you are coming to WSIKF, grab a quick read through these older articles and you’ll have a clear idea on how the grid will work out :

Also, one other tip that I find often helps people out. If you watch any of the videos littering youtube of grid flying, you’ll notice you will spend large amounts of time in a hover, with the leading edge facing up. In lighter winds, this can become a little tricky, so, what I tend to do beforehand is to hike my top lines in one knot for a little extra forward. It DOES help, trust me!

Also, for those traveling to WSIKF and looking for some different challenges, keep in mind that the Northwest Sport Kite League (NWSKL) holds a competition over the Friday/Saturday. Maybe it’s time some of you stepped into the ring? Perhaps not, I know some people are intent on never competing (and believe me, I’m 100% cool with that, I felt the same way for many years!), but WSIKF is a fun place to try this out, even if you simply enter mystery ballet.

WSIKF discussion –

I’ve said this before in this space many times over, but, it always bears repeating. Learning the Multi Line Compulsory figures will do absolute marvels for your overall flying ability. I prefer Roy Reed’s excellent site to view these as they include animations to make them all that much clearer.

Compulsories/Figures –

And honestly, I’ll often warm up when I go out flying by randomly choosing a few of these and working my way through them. If you are flying with someone else, take a try at the pairs figures, or, even the team ones. They will provide a challenge, and a specifically focused exercise for your flying time.

There’s been numerous hints over the last 18 months or so about a new kite coming out of the Rev factory “sometime soon” and a few astute readers have either glimpsed early test models in a smattering of pictures and a  smaller number have actually tried a prototype or two. I know I flew one briefly when we were down at Lincoln City recently… I also know iQuad flew a set of them at the Brookings Festival this past weekend (alas, I was not there, it’s a 14 hour drive for me, so I opted to go over to the island to the Parksville Festival instead!) But, does that mean I can reveal anything about the new kite yet? NOPE! But, soon, very soon, perhaps as soon as WSIKF soon, I think we’ll see a bunch more information become available. If at all possible, I’ll extensively write about them in the next Kitelife issue. Promise.

I’ll leave you with this to wrap up. All those years ago when I started flying Revs, people helped me out, they taught me little things that made life easier. Recently in Vancouver, we had a new person show up down at the field after watching the fun of the megafly at the Pacific Rim Kite Festival a few weeks earlier on, and I made it a point to specifically go down to Vanier to offer some guidance and ideas. So, your mission for this summer is simple.

Go teach someone how to fly a Revolution. A kid, a family member, some random person in a crowd, really just about anyone. Maybe even your monster-inlaw! Everyone benefits from this, a new kite flyer is born, and you will learn a lot about flying as well. Once you have to try and break down into words what you are doing, you’ll find your own flying will improve as well!

See you there,

David Hathaway