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  • Exult

    Learning from flying in unfamiliar or non-ideal situations

    By Exult

    When being removed from your comfort flying zone you might get new experiences that you couldn't imagine or predict. This blog entry is also a vacation post card from the medieval city (in the sense that ruins and buildings from that time still exist) of Visby ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visby ) in the island of Gotland ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotland ) in the Baltic Sea as well as an example of how flying during new and non-ideal conditions turned out to be educational, fun and very different from my more normal dual line flying. Most of the last section "Conclusions" is a condensed list of what I learned/experienced for the first time during the stay. This funnel makes no secret of the initial letter of the island of it's destination - i.e. this is the start of this mini vacation. Pestilence wort ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petasites_hybridus ) is growing around Visby in several places. Here to the north of the city wall. The leaves becomes rhubarb-like. In spring the flowers appears before the leaves. Before the flower buds open it looks like a small pineapple in my opinion (the photo of the buds is from the 26th of Mars). St. Lars church ruin. The walls contain passages designed for hiding out during crises and war. Yes, you are allowed to enter them during day(/evening?) time. The second photo is a view from St. Lars through an archers crenel (possibly, at least it is shaped like one on the in- and outside of the opening). Donners plats is in the central part of Visby with many restaurants etc. The dark green creeper plant in the background to the left is (most likely -but can't tell from a distance) ivy - the province plant of Gotland. This evergreen plant got lobed leaves, except for old stems where the leaves are un-lobed. The ivy is so common here so that I forgot to take any photos of it. And no, it is only ivy, not poison ivy (which seems to be a really unpleasant plant).   The trip, Visby and Visby as a (land) kiting area
    My family is here during the medieval week, more by a coincident rather than with the intention of participating by being dressed in medieval-like clothing. Everywhere in the city inside the surrounding defense wall and around, there are people dressed, perhaps every 10th to 5th person, in certain areas even more. The city has today grown beyond the defense wall, but the old part still functions and not only by tourism. There are even areas inside that are close to desolate even during summer vacation times. Medieval themed market during the medieval week. I like the mood and mysterious tone in this image. Alarming news - Gotland is dry! Let me translate part of what was written on the first page of "Gotlands Allehanda", the local newspaper: The medieval beer is finished before the medieval week is over. No it is not as bad as it sounds, I only saw one group and one hotel guest that seamed to have looked to deep into the bottle during my stay. The ground of the island is sedimented limestone, the pebbles on the beaches and the rocks are also of limestone. Fossils from the Silurian age are very common. Some rocks are high and steep - in other places softer limestone has been eroded only to leave high pillars in odd shapes. The Baltic Sea is a low salinity sea, though it is not a lake so it is not fresh water. Some species living in the salt water on Sweden's west coast (~Atlantic Ocean) has managed to adapt to the water here, but the individuals tend to be much smaller (species, adapt, individual... sounds like something from a Borg "philosophical" discussion). Swimming in these water leaves no sticky salt feeling afterwards as swimming in an ocean does. Visby as a kiting area is not perfect at least to my knowledge of what is in walking range (a couple of km) from Visby. To the south there is a high plain that ends in steep limestone cliffs (actually if looking carefully one can find a path at in intermediate height level when walking there - it is so beautiful, when I go along the path I can't stop myself, I take photo after photo...). A plain sounds nice, however there are bushes sparsely scattered here from about 2m tall all the way down to a dm high bushes. If the wind is from the sea, going over the cliff edge, the winds can be a bit turbulent (it can also be a bit turbulent in other directions, but you can "always" find a spot to fly on here). To the north of Visby there are beaches, however unfortunately they are mostly very narrow and with trees and walks/roads limiting. Some beaches are of sand, but most of them are of limestone pebbles (well an exception might be perhaps 5km to the north during the parts of the year when beaches are abandoned). To be fair, Visby is just a small bit of Gotland. People living on the East side of the island tend to think that it is very far to the west side (and vice versa...) an opinion rarely shared by "outsiders". Other places are really kite friendly. They even had kite festivals on Gotland. It might also be so that there is no coincident that you can find one of very few kite shops, Drakjohan (translation: "Johan (a personal name) the kiter"), only dedicated to kites here. The result of web searches are a bit confusing - several main pages seem to exist. One of Drakjohans specialities is to make kites out of bird's feathers! These two images show the area close the path and the start of the path. Following the path here would be to much of a diversion (perhaps another time since I've been doing kiting a bit ahead at an earlier occasion)   Maestro 3 meets water - the first non-travelling day
    So driven by my wife's request that I should "be with my family" when they do swimming and "sun worshiping", I didn't go to the bushy plain as I usually do, but to the very limited beaches north of the town. Add to this the to high wind (the LE of kite got deformed in the wind) that makes dual line slack line tricks more difficult. I had only brought one (dual) trick kite to Gotland, the Maestro 3. It is OK, it certainly does not limit my tricking, but is not my favorite kite. The wind was almost parallel to the beach, but still from the sea.  I found an opening between the trees, a bit close to the path unfortunately. Not to scare the pedestrians and occasional bicyclists by flying close I could only fly towards the water side. Standing close to the water increased the margin further. Holding the kite tight when taking an image with the other hand. The short 15m lines was the only option that worked here. Also the large turning radius that occurs by the edge of the wind window for my kites of newer design (but for none of my kites of older design (why is it so - deep sails?)) reduced the margins further. Perhaps the remedy to the lack of space would be to learn the half axle profoundly and ingrained as a reliable maneuver as an alternative to traditional turning at the edges of the wind window? I don't own a kite stake, but here it was needed. The amount of stones to hold the handles in the image were just enough. During forward flight in mid wind window, the round pebbles and the pull and slope of the beach caused the feet to slide. This meant that the situation was so that running downstream to do tricks was quite much out of the question. Doing a (snappily initiated) turtle it moved sideways in random, however seemed often to follow the contour of the beach slope, ending by slowly sinking down or sharply "unturtle" to the ground. The sideways turtle sliding is perhaps not so surprising, since the wind can't go through the sloping beach, the component of the wind normal (90 degrees) to the lines needs to follow the slope as well.
    Being one metre up from the sea level, flying the kite to the edge of the wind window I could position the kite under the horison at the wind window edge. When making the transition from the wind window edge position to a stall a couple of metres into the wind window, the kite sank quite rapidly when stalled if you didn't handle it (in spite of the wind and the fact that the bridle setting was so that the nose was slightly tilted towards me). The turning radius at the edge and the sinking stall are the things (I tell myself) that I don't like with the kite. But hey, can't the possibility of making a landing by stalling the kite in hard wind be a feature? No, I haven't really tried out this kite yet, e.g. I've only briefly tested with and without weights when the kite was very new. The decision to do the Jaws trick was not a sudden decision. In fact, last year I already did a limited attempt, but then decided it was not for me. This was during a language course for my children in Sidmouth (in Devon, UK) last summer. I almost had my Elixir crushed (it looked like) when landing at a depth of a just a few cm, when an Atlantic wave engulfed it. Here in Visby it was a completely different matter, I just noticed that it offered no problems, so I just increased how much the kite was submerged a bit more for every time I landed it in the water. Also, in my much subjective opinion, submerging the kite was beneficial for the look of it. Travelling after geological periods (Devonian in Devon and Silurian in Gotland) was not an active choice. Should I instead actively follow this hinted trend the next summer, I'd go somewhere where the sediments/sedimental rocks are from the (older) Ordovician period. If you are not familiar with the Jaws trick, the trick is performed by letting the kite sink down while stalled with the nose up and then let it return to the surface and then take off again. You can also read about this and other tricks in the Fractured Axel's Tricky Wiki. Yet another place to look for trick descriptions is in Peter Peters site ( http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/p.j.f.peters/kites/index.html ) in the tricks page ( http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/p.j.f.peters/kites/basics/funcidx.frm.html ). PP's trick list contains a brief description of each trick and how to perform it, but I'm tempted to say it is more of a reference (although it got a helpful list of which tricks to start with as a beginner). Much info is from the last years of the previous millennium in web pages that look typical for the time. The kite terminology is always useful as well. The links list however, is more of a kite museum than a set of working links.
    Kite tunnel vision - my family might agree on this image text. Notice the seaweed residues after the Jaws trick (under water landing and take off). Much more of the seaweed mess was to come. I guess the conditions for submerging it were quite ideal - hard wind so the kite didn't flip forward when taking off, low waves and a OK kite that wasn't one of my most dearest ones. The waves were reduced by a long shallow shelf stretching out from the beach. Here and there the were also boulders breaking through the surface which I guess also could help to reduce the waves. The "OK but not the dearest kite" might also need some explanation. After buying the Infinity the Maestro 3 felt comparatively redundant (however different kites always offer differences useful when learning tricks). For various reasons I'd never fly on this beach in hard wind and practice Jaws for the first time with my e.g. Infinity, Jam Session, Maestrale, Illusion, Elixir... . In a way not flying a "museum kites" wearing silk gloves adds to the usefulness of the Maestro (I wonder how I'll consider the Maestro in 10 years or so). I feel a bit bad about this. This is the only kite I got whose appearance I don't like. Many colours on a kite can be nice and one colour plus black can be nice as well, but this ... it is extra of everything. It reminds me of my one of my birthdays as a child. I made my own cake and was given full control over the ingredients, so I mixed "everything" that I liked - the result well you can guess... Perhaps this is difficult - if you design many kites and there is a requirement that each of them should have a distinct look, each kite model therefore can't be the best looking or close to best looking. Another thing I tried out was to attempt to park the kite in harder wind by using the failed Sleeping Beauty maneuver (i.e. you just leave out the take off part) in this harder wind - I just couldn't do the on ground rotation - this calls for further investigation. As described above the tricking was pretty much limited during the conditions, so I went further to the north to reach a still narrow but instead sandy beach where parts of my family also happened to be (for some more time at least). With the softer ground I dared to do some fades. Considering the quite hard wind (though slightly less than the first beach), I was a bit surprised how well it could hold the fade. Considering both the Maestro's good natured fade and turtle I might have been to hard on the judgement of this kite.
    The municipality of Gotland (and in fact at the same time the county of Gotland) must be very kind to kiters, since they obviously offer kite holders on the beach to resting kite walkers. By the end of the day I was content with myself that the wing nocks were still intact - this is something I've learnt from flying on stony beaches and rocks on earlier occasions. Not covering the wing tips/nocks with plastic caps limits the flying when flying on rocky beaches. If I hadn't forgot to bring the caps I could have allowed myself to do more groundwork. However looking at the nose I've had too much fun anyhow. The spine had almost worn through. Should one treat the nose with some hardening goo or a patch as a preventive measure before flying on hard surfaces?
    I was a bit surprised by how quickly the nose could wear out - only one to two hours of rocky beach in hard wind. Did I just go medieval on that nose (which in a way might be appropriate description given the time and place)? Could the sand beach have contributed as well? Previously I've only used my Maestro on grass and to some limited extent on sand. Could the water make things worse by making the fibre in the nose more easily slide relative to each other? Well well, should check the topic http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/6490-weekend-projects-nose-plasti-dip/ again.   Then the feared telephone call came: "Hurry home - we are going out!". At this time he kite and lines were in a mess with much seaweed and sand after a second of some not so successful tricking over water. A kite with lines is a very efficient harvesting tool for seaweed. I tried to coax the large chunks of seaweed from the line - didn't work. Tried to slide it over the sleeves on the kite side of the line - didn't work either, the chunk just stopped at the end of the line. What worked to some degree was to step on the seaweed, grab each side of the line and pull to get parts of the large chunk off. I really didn't like to put the kite in it's current shape in its sleeve and did not have the time to do the cleaning, so I took it for the 4km walk back still assembled with the wind pressing the kite to my side. After a while I reached a low jetty where the sand could be washed away. On the way back these sea birds also wanted to be on a photo. Carrying a kite through the town can't be that odd - look at how the other people were dressed. On the way home closer to the city about a third was dressed in medieval clothing. Later that evening once more on the way back home (the children were at the tournament games), going through the botanical garden and city in the dusk (very atmospheric) I really belonged to a minority wearing modern clothing. Now being the deviant, even though the kite was at the hotel.   The budget dual foil gets lured into pulling - the second and last non-travelling day
    The next day it should be even slightly more wind and the forecast from the very same morning also promised no rain. Therefore I decided to go to the high plain with my youngest daughter who joined me to try the foil out. To be more specific I was doing the walking and she had rent a bike. Also the rain that should not be, decided to join in during the walk. It was a very long time ago I tried the foil the last time and then it had problems with foil folding. One suggestion I got in KL was to try it in more wind. I had hoped to be blown out of my shoes, but was a bit disappointed, with the current wind direction. There was a forest about a few hundred meters upstream. This meant that there was no direct wind from the sea and the wind was a bit dirty.
    Is this the simplest possible "kite bag" (for a single Maestro)? Well, well it turned out that I didn't use it that day, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. The foil was instead in the backpack. A long time ago when I only had two kites I that used on regular bases (a Jam Session and a Maestrale), I used two of these bands to loosely connect the two sleeves - No, no, not tightly tensioned, I can't I can't wrinkle a kite sail if it can be avoided in any way. "The golden path to the freedom of kiting." It may not look so, but it is perfectly legal to walk here. To the right there is the sewage treatment plant and to the left?... I don't know what that fence does. The plateau can be accessed by anyone from many directions - pointless fence! What I had hoped for was something moving like a rocket over the sky, forcing the pilot to really struggle. Most of the time this wasn't the case. Largely the kite felt like an empty plastic bag at the end of the lines. Seen from the side when my daughter was piloting the lines never went above 30 degrees above the ground (and she can at least stear a dual line). However going close to the kite (a few meters downstreams) there was a very pleasant sound of speed. The old cheap foil I previously mentioned in the "What to do in high wind topic". These two photos are not from this trip. Seen from the other side of the lines almost all sensation of speed was lost. When going straight forward, the kite was quite round in shape in the direction of the spanwidth. It kind of pulsated while going forward, curling up and straightening out, without stability, speed or pull. Doing the slightest turn often resulted in some foil folding starting. Pull turns or push turns made no difference. To the kites defence it say that the foil folding was quite good-natured - the foil folding ended by itself just as quickly as it started.
    When this foil goes straight forward or turns slowly I don't give much for it's properties. It got a tendency to collapse or to curl up and never develops any real pull. Tight turning is a completely other issue - it becomes straight in an L-shaped way and starts to pull! To further investigate and see if i could get any fun aspects of this kite I did something that went against my nature as a framed dual line kiter - I gave a very large input for turning. I've never used this large input ever. The result? - It did several tight turns, but much to my surprise the kite started to pull and became stable without a hint of foil folding. The shape of the kite changed to something L-shaped. On the side you pulled, most of the kite went straight and on the other side a small inward winglet formed. Then there was a long gust and finally, YES! YES!, some (mild) fighting! This kite seems to be meant for spinning. Perhaps the bridle could be tweaked to make the foil straighter without constantly being in a turn to achieve the straighter non-curled up form? A fathers heart was much warmed after sharing this piece of knowledge to my daughter and then seeing the result, (she was still wearing her bicycle helmet after her ride) the look of her happy brutal fighting face and pose. That was until her, sigh!, interest in "Pokemon Go" took over. Patience, patience, never push my interests (maximum offering them is the way to go I believe) - she would instantly protest if I did otherwise. Since coming out of the foil folding was something that the kite largely managed by itself, I figured perhaps controlled foil folding is the trickflying of foils? Making turns with the rhythm borrowed from half axels (I'm still struggling with proper half axels with framed dual line kite though), the foil could be made to make a turn more or less on the spot with the foil folded, which then unfolded in the last part of the combo.
    Nope you wouldn't find these berries tasty. They sit on the Blackthorn/Sloe bush (Prunus Spinosa, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_spinosa ). For them to be used in cooking you should harvest them after the first frost in the autumn. I've heard that you can add them to spirit to make a sweet liqueur, however with a limited shelf life. Normally I'd say that this bush is about 2m high (although up to 4m should be possible). Here on this plateau they tend to be very low. ...Now I see it! If I started a topic for plant interested kiters only it would TOTALLY dominate!  ... For kiters I'm afraid that these plants are bad news - The twigs/thorns are not very kind to kite lines. They (well, certainly not me?) are responsible for damaging and me not fully trusting one pair of kite lines to my Fazer XL any longer. During Easter this year during a happy Fazer XL session, I wasn't patient enough to do the walk of contemplation when the lines got caught, but instead tried to solve it from where I stood.    Conclusions
    So what was the outcome of this trip? Not waiting for the ideal situations (for a dual line trick/precision flyer that do not own a vented kite), which would have meant never during this trip, I got to test/learn starts with the kite fully submerged. saw that there was a problem with the failed sleeping beauty kite parking in harder winds which further needs to be checked out, saw that the Maestro 3 sat in a turtle and fade even during harder winds, felt some nice pull from a 2-line foil for the first time, studied the problem of the instability/foil folding, came up with temporary fix to do tight turns to handle the instability/lack of pull, got ideas on how to tweak the bridle, found some way of abruptly changing the foils course by utilising some controlled foil folding. On the family side of things, they seem to be keen on getting medieval clothing for some future time. My youngest daughter also went from the Pokemon Go level of 14 to the level 15. My personal conclusion here: I'd rather Kitemon Go in "civilian" clothing! Sometimes you get enough of pretty sceneries, evocative cities and too much nature. This ugly view on the way back to the hotel offered some rest. End of vacation, the return trip to a more mundane life - tomorrow back to work...   If you made it to this very last line you are a very persistent reader - consider to wear a T-shirt with the text: "I read long and tedious blog entries".
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  • SHBKF

    Support your LKS

    By SHBKF

    Support your LKS   I started reading the kite forums with some intensity over four years ago.  I had used computers for many years even back before the days of the WWW.  It has been quite awhile since I’ve seen that initialism used in any context.  I had previously been on a few forums of interest but I was really fired up wanting to learn anything kites.   I saw mention of an initialism LKS, Local Kite Store.  Out here in the mountains of western Virginia there was no such thing.  Maybe a toy store with a few single line kites & a hobby shop that had small selection of dual line kites, both located over sixty miles away in eastern Tennessee.  It is five & one half hours, three hundred & forty-four miles, to get to my Local Kite Store, Kligs in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I try to support the kite stores that I visit with a purchase or two & enjoy talking to the people working them.  Some are active fliers, some are just working retail that happens to sell toys & kites.  I have been to a store in Mystic, Connecticut that was not much larger than a walk in closet.  Most seem to be around the size of a shoe store.  Kligs is a very large store with hundreds of kites on display.  My first serious kite came from Kitty Hawk Kites back when they had only one location.  There are many on the east coast that I still have not visited.   I always check for anything in a bargain or clearance mode & have come away with some nice items.  I have learned to ask if they have any used or demo kites also.  Scored a nice vintage Prism Alien that way as well as a Sun Oak delta & a couple Revs.   Sure, these kites may not be the color I might want or the latest but I get a deal & the sale helps the cash flow of the retailer.  I have bought many kites at full retail with no regrets knowing it might help them especially in the off season.  Support your local store. The few bucks you might save elsewhere will never make up for a small business lost forever. SHBKF
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Whump Acquired

I have been home for a few hours now from our debut performance as Team KiteLife in South Padre Island, Texas. Hosted by B&S Kites.. Bill and Susie Doan..along with the City . What an event I must say too start! Loving , HUGE crowds..along with a bunch of well known kiters that love exactly that...priceless. A job well done and hopefully a continued and long lived, positive relationship between B&S Kites, the City and the South Padre Island Kite Festival. I am sure I can speak for the whole team in saying... We are HONORED to be a part of the revival and can only hope for many more years too come. All the shared Team photos are from a wonderful woman Kathy Martinelli-Zaun. Hopefully she won't mind the share. Both she and her husband love watching pilots more than kites and boy...the pictures show. There is a ton of media for sorting. So I have included only a few shared photos from Kathy and some of my own. I will also give some encouragement towards the team members for submissions.. Now on to the good stuff... I have been crying since I got home and started actually reviewing pics. Letting expressions sink in and thinking of what has transpired over the last 6 days. It is just simply mind boggling. I am quite sure more thoughts will roll later...just helping a release. 4 pilots..of which some of which have never met..let alone flown with each other.. just went out as a Team and spanked it!   Was it perfect...No. But... it sure got my heart going!  Fast paced..non recycled movement through a 5+ minute routine. Constructed on site 2 days early by none other than J.B. himself.  The First day consisted of writing about a third of the routine and setting up. 4 guys..never flown together..Extra Vent wind... 9 hours later we were still smiling regardless of the work and mind melting task at hand. Day 2...more arm lengthening wind. We opted on writing as much as possible by using stick simulators throughout the entire day into the night. But as with any wind hungry group...ended back on the beach late that night. Meshing as much as possible. Things are starting too flow now..the potential can be felt..momentum.  Day 3.. brings more flying...writing..stick play... and honestly ...a complete blur. Did I mention the 3:30 track I must perform with INDOOR this evening with no practice! I have barely flown the thing outdoor,much less Indoor in front of several hundered people. I do remember we practiced at the Festival site...which was also next to the Convention Center hosting the Indoor Event....staring at me all day as everyone was Indoor playing before the show. The practice was coming along...but we still had hang ups and only had about 3.5 minutes of the routine written...therefore never completing the song. But alas....time for indoors. So many great performers. I will not even try mentioning names. Tickets for the event sold out. More seating was aquired, and those sold out....last I heard,over 400 people. Wow! Let the show begin.Some of the highlights for me  were.... John and Brett did a pairs routine. Scott Weider as always..tailman.... Jim Cosca and his glider performace..just magical. James Fletcher...blowing kisses at his kite and melting womens hearts. ......and then I did it!  I don't remeber crashing, but did miss my last catch for the end. Nothing spectacular other than the effort. I also acheived the smile that comes with doing it. Quite frankly, that's all that matters. The night brought on the usual kite addicts fix of team routine creation,stick paractice, and beach runs over what we reviewed.... still not there. Guess what....tomorrows show time! Day 4... Team KiteLife steps out on the field. John Barresi , Scott Benz , Eli Russell , Brett Marchel...never completed the song or the routine. Crowds building during a few dry runs. Then ....it happened. We hit our written routine mark clean...when John almost leaped from his skin..calling land... as the line insisted we continue.  We then freestyled the remaining unwritten portion into some snap 45 knock down landings. Ya! That just happened....and continued throughout the day with a few minor bumps here and there. Day 5..  We practiced more...lol We performed with a few more issues than the day before. All in all I am super stoked at what we achieved. The skies the limit and we still have both feet on the ground. That night brought some spectacular event ending flying on the beach between Team KiteLife and Team Rev Riders. Hashing out moves..switching out members and styles...just so much fun! In the summarized end of my babblings. Team KiteLife is alive and pumping! Congratulations guys....I would call that... "Whump Aquired"

mystainedskin

mystainedskin

 

I Wait All Year for a Day Like This !

February in New York can bring a huge variety of weather conditions... Of course, in the dead of winter, we get the expected freezing temperatures and snow, sometimes it's just grey, wet & generally nasty. And then there are the days like today, the calm before the next storm... 40*, bright sunshine, and a gentle onshore breeze, not enough to make you cold.  I started out with the Skyburner XL, as the wind was over 5mph when I first got there. It's kind of a crazy spot to fly, as the lines stretch almost all the way across the available dry sand, so most of the flying is done over the water. It can get a bit fun when the wind decides to die down, because the last thing you want to do is to put a kite down in the fast moving water. Almost guaranteed disaster for the kite... So, the winds did quickly die down to almost nothing. I went from the XL (more wind) to the Rev full sail (good in ~3mph wind) to the Snow Devil (good to about 1mph) to finally the Skyburner ProDancer. The ProDancer is comfortable to fly in a breeze that's too low to be measured, even in winds that low, it is very little work to keep it in the air. I stepped right up to the edge of the water & flew over the water for a good long time. I had to appreciate this, as I've been waiting since last winter for a day like today...   Another interesting kite came out to play at the beach today, but I think this guy was probably a little cold...    

RobB

RobB

 

A Nice Sunny Winter Day ?

Yeah, how often does this happen ? A crazy nice sunny day, right in the middle of Winter ? Only on a weekday ! Turns out, I had an early morning appointment that finished up early, and I didn't have anything to do for the next 2.5 hours... Except drive to the nearest beach and see what I had in that bag that's always in the back of my car. Winds were around 5mph, onshore, so it was perfect for the Widow Maker standard. It was in the 40s, but the bright sun was there, keeping me warm. Any warmer, and I would've been sweating! I have to give a shout out to @NewbieFrank, as this is his home beach. Too bad he was at work ! Too bad the powers that be felt the need to put that nasty looking fence on top of the jetty, it would've looked so much nicer without it... BTW... the distant landmass (~15 miles away) is where I more typically fly, and this beach is usually in the distant background. This shot almost captures how nice this kite actually looks in the sky ! I've only flown at this beach a few times, but the exposure is great for flying winds from the N, E, or W. Sharp eyes will notice that I'm not flying on my normal LPG line. Yes, the Yellow lines... they're not so bad as long as the wind is low. This is the only shot I got without that rusty old fence in the background. It's a really pretty beach otherwise, and not as rocky as where I usually fly.

RobB

RobB

 

Geoff's Story

While driving down the freeway I spotted someone flying a Revolution kite at Riverview Park. I had to stop to meet this person. His name is Geoff, he purchased his first quad line kite after seeing my "First Flight" video on youtube. Geoff drove to Riverview Park in hopes of running into me, using his kite as a signal in the sky. We have kept in touch for a few months and in that time he made his own kite! We are putting together measurements for new kite designs. An Arizona kite making community is born. 2016 is going to be a great year!

Flynhi

Flynhi

 

Flying over the break

With a few projects at home requiring some attention I didn't get out much to fly. BUT. I got out on New Years Day and enjoyed some of the highest wind yet! We had a howling Easterly that was in a real hurry to leave the desert behind and hit the beach, like most Aussies would've been doing at the same time. Winds were above 60km/h (approx 40 mp/h). I had flown gusts at that speed but not constant, powerful and a little worrying too. Glad to say the good old PoloVTD got a good work out and me too.   Once back at work just after New Years, we had 2 weeks of maintenance. I work in a paver making factory. I took advantage and flew most days after work for a bit. I took my two Sevens, Std and SUL, and left all my other kites at home. Hoping this would give me the opportunity to concentrate on the 2 stringers. Most days wind were on the upper of the Std's range so I kept to the edges for quite a while. I had lost a lot of feel for not only the length I was flying on but also the inputs for freestyle. To get back some touch and feel I printed out the ISK Compulsories for dual line individual and practiced the figures. I worked on straight lines, even speed across the window and tried to maintain the grid. Day 1 was pretty rough but as the days went on, the figures became less of a signature and more of a capital. Square Cuts (DI 18) is my current favourite and Circle Over Diamond (DI 03) is the toughest. Don't get me started on Stops (DI 12)....   Friday just gone, the wind just bottomed right out. I pulled out the SUL and gave it a run. Literally! I'd flow duals in zero before but only at 30 feet NOT 100! That was different. Challenging. But ultimately very rewarding. Nothing like a 720 slide to get the blood pumping. One thing that was really addictive was the absolute slow motion of an axel. The Seven is a really forgiving kite and the Mylar panels refracted the sunlight as it went through its rotation was downright sexy!    As I had both kites with me and the day was just glorious, I took a couple of pics of them together. What a stunning pair!  

SparkieRob

SparkieRob

 

Cold & Dreary...

Winter isn't so bad here... I just wish the sun would come out more. 34* F and a 8mph breeze keeps most people away from the beach. I think I saw 5 people in the 3 hours I was there this morning. 3 hours of peace & quiet, enjoying the solid on-shore winds... I could've stayed longer but the urge to eat & find a bathroom won out in the end.     The Ultrafoil 15 got tied off to a memorial bench. I flew it nice & low so I could practice flying the Rev next to it. It's great fun to steal the wind from the SLK, watch it fall, then regain it's shape and soar up again.   The other kites of the day... the SkyBurner XXL and Mid-Vent Rev. The mesh hasn't totally torn out on the Mid-vent, there might be a few more good flights in it before it gets retired to the repair pile.   Still working on flying the Rev with one hand... not much progress in that, once I get too high, I freak out and have to land quickly. I get about this high, and have to land before getting too far out of control. I've been thinking about linking the handles together with a cross of some sort in order to make 1 handed flying easier... I wonder if that's been done all ready ?    

RobB

RobB

 

The Problem With 'Hanging Out' At The Kite Shop

The weather for the weekly kite club fly was once again unfavorable.  So instead of flying we went to the kite shop to visit with other flyers and see what was new.  The problem was there was something new and I ended up taking more kites home with me.  Check out the following blog link to find out what is new in my kite bag. The Problem With 'Hanging Out' At The Kite Shop

photomom

photomom

 

Better than not Flying at all...

Happy belated New Year, Kiteheads ! Yup... not the best day to get out & fly, but it left a smile on my face for the rest of the day, anyway. It was a dreary day, about 40*. Not terribly cold, but... you know, that cold damp kinda day. The wind seemed to be blowing... well, it was, from 3 different directions and ranging in speed from 0 to 15 mph. I didn't realize this until I had set everything up and tried to get off the ground. Within minutes, there was a lull that lasted at least 5 minutes... Just stand there and wait. I'm all ready committed to this. Luckily, the wind came back, but 90* from it's original direction. Then back. Then the other way... Well, at least I got some flying in.         

RobB

RobB

 

The Last Kite Fly For 2015

This past Sunday was the last Carolina Kite Club fly for 2015.  It turned out to be one of the best days we've had in quite a while.  Temperatures were above normal and the winds were light to moderate as the day wore on.  It's not often we leave the house at 10:00 am and don't get home until sunset.  Good weather, good flying, good friends and some new flyers joining us for the first time.  So here's to the beginning of another year full of more friends and more flying. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our Last Fly of 2015

photomom

photomom