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.
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.
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".
In the mid-sixties I had a paper route in Brigham City, Utah delivering the Deseret News. It was my first experience in how to operate a small business as we were all essentially independent contractors. My route took about an hour & one half delivering 50 to 60 papers on my 3 speed English bike. The newspaper company was always trying to get us to sign up new subscribers. Incentives were given based on the number of new subscribers we recruited. The most memorable premium I ever received was a Gayla Sky Spy kite. While not my first it was a very good kite. I could stand out in the street in front of the house & launch it by propping the kite up, laying out about thirty feet of line & towing it until it cleared the roof top & got into some clean air. I considered this advanced kite technique at the time. I was fourteen.
Once in the air it was easy to go to the end of a 500' spool of line. We used the latest kite technology, Hi-Flier Megalon Super Strength kite cord made of thin light nylon. It was much better than the old cotton string of the fifties. You could splice on more line but after a while the kite could not lift more line & it would not go higher, just further away. If you had out enough line you could let go of the line & the kite would still have enough tension on it to keep flying as the line slowly slipped along the ground. It was a lot of effort to reel in a thousand feet of line using an empty Suran wrap tube. One time we even tried to use an Erector set motor to make a power winder but long extension cords were hard to come by which was the limiting factor on that effort. Eventually I got a Hi-Flier spin winder.
Certain times of the year the west wind would blow for days. I don't know why we left the kite up all night for the first time. But once we found out it was possible we would try to go for a record number of hours. The best we ever did was three days. When the kite did come down unattended we would leap on our bikes & follow the string for a couple blocks to hopefully find the tough little kite laying in a yard some ways away. Eventually there came a day when the kite was not to be found. Then I went into a dark time of no kites, but the girls kept me distracted.... SHBKF
Suddenly, it's May! The weather has been turning colder here over the last few (eight!) weeks. Work has been busy, and combined with the end of daylight savings time, it has definitely put a crimp on my flying! I finally got a chance to debut my new ribbon tails last weekend, they looked great! Unfortunately I can't show you any video, the GoPro wasn't working properly - operator error! Then I got rained on and it dawned on me that I now had to work out a way of drying 2 x 25ft tails...
The answer I settled on was pulling each tail through a folded towel, that seemed to work pretty well! I managed to put my first puncture in the sail, but my kite repair kit came to the rescue and it handily patched the small hole before it had the chance to become bigger.
I got to go out and play for about an hour the following day in about 10 - 14 km/h winds, I had a lot of fun just keeping the kite in the air and moving it around in the window. Nothing fancy. I need to go back and review all the slack line trick videos again before I go out next time, that wind speed seemed ripe for trying a lot of tricks.
My first pre-work session
May I ask for 10 more of these sessions?
Fragments to decipher - tricking that leaves questions
These sessions were all in the tricking en masse spirit. Approaching tricking from this different angle turned out to allow me to catch glimpses of tricks that if I would have worked on a trick methodically one by one, would have been several years ahead. This once again leads me into thinking of the beginning of the Trickery Flickery video ( http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/3477-trickery-flickery/ ): "Once you understand what to expect, you then start to be able to control these and then they become moves". I hope that I'll be able to benefit from the insights/samples gained. Yet, I'm not a believer in some only way that does it all. More grabbing bits and pieces of trick learning by applying several methods.
The schools in Stockholm have their sports leave during week nine this year and also at work some have left for typically a week in some ski resort. We (my family) did "our trip" during in December (less crowded then), so we remained home now. It turned out that I didn't need to go far to do sporting of the kiting kind instead.
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ My first pre-work session
Tue Feb 28 09:22:43 CET 2017
GF forecasted 4m/s
Kymera on 25m 38kg lines
OK, I've reached a new level of nerdom today. Tennis training is cancelled two weeks in a row, so therefore, I figured instead of being late to work because of playing tennis, I could do some sport kiting!
Observations from the flying were not that many during this shorter session (can't be immensely late at work). The little longer of my line sets that I most often use served me well. The winds close to the ground were a bit low and slightly turbulent. So, a bit higher up in the wind window (one time) a cascade attempt (only like two half axels or so) was unexpectedly soft and floaty. Could I hope to repeat this?
Flying with the Kymera, for me, I need to actively strive for the "tricking en masse" practice that I rather recently decided that I would try, because the figure flying with the Kymera is tempting because it looks good. The walks of shame were frequent today, but is something that needs to be accepted when trying to trick en masse - Welcome the walk of shame!
When going there I two times crossed the cross country ski tracks but I thought I was alone. However two "pre-work sport extremists" of the skiing type showed up later.
Moving backwards and forwards was somewhat restricted by ice. It was more ice on the side of the ski track that was lower than the track where one would expect the meltwater to go. Unfortunately this was the place that suited the wind direction best and was quickest to get to during the limited session time.
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ May I ask for 10 more of these sessions?
Wed Mar 1 09:04:26 CET 2017
GF forecasted 4m/s
Hydra on 25m 38kg lines
I can wish no more of a session than this (apart from that it should have been a little longer). The wind suited the Hydra perfectly and the lawn was well cut and free of ice. To describe it, from on-ground nose down, you could just force the kite onto its belly when being supported on the LE, so that a fade launch could be initiated quickly - no running up or downstream was required. The morning sun shone occasionally on my back. Today I was in the middle of the ski track surrounded by several skiers that also had discovered the nice weather.
The session felt like a step forward in the en masse tricking - tricking with little rest - keep the kite out of normal flying. I believe that I was helped by the good conditions, the little higher wind than yesterday that suited the Hydra better and also that the Hydra seems to accept much tossing around (thinking mainly of cascades here).
I got the (snap) lazy susans going (also) with the Hydra, and that felt good. The trick seem to be - don't wait after the snap turtle - just do the lazy quickly. I should experiment if I could lower the nose by moving forward however to see if I could do this trick more calmly. The exit was often a bit early so I need to work on this as well.
Today's highlight was the cascade. It could go on until I lost count and then flew away without the ending in a turtle! Realizing that the session time was limited I started to instead do the run of contemplation (well I shouldn't over emphasize the the contemplation part - the thought was simple: "Get that kite up and that quickly"). If this instead had been a "marathon session" the run of contemplation would have been pointless - frequent running would just have caused a pause of rest/inactivity. Another good thing was that a few of yesterdays softer cascades happened as well!
This tricking en masse that I currently try to do, I believe that letting go of the setting up and analysis offers a new way of learning for me. For some reason the cascades seem to go on (for today and this kite) - perhaps I can figure out why one day and then learn the difference so that the half axeling/rixeling get predictable/controllable. If I manage this, then my hands has taught me how to do do a trick (well at least on the Hydra).
One end of one of the mini battens was found to be loose - when/how did this happen?
So weren't there any not so good things today? Well the FAs and the belly launches weren't reliable. The tricking en masse leads to more walks of contemplation (but I think when learning/discovering new stuff the walks are inevitable). I also discovered that one of the near-the-wing-tip-mini-battens was only attached on one side.
When you have this perfect session going, stopping for going to work is not really at hit. On the other hand it might be more efficient per hour than my usual session, often ending in the dusk or when my wife reminds me of today's planning ( ...Now!). Talking about my wife, she didn't know that I went here before work because I left home much early. It looks like that I've sunken deeper into the kite swamp. When almost everything is going you way it is so tempting to continue the session - but NO this alternative wouldn't be reasonable today.
The number of morning skiing pre-work extremists were even higher today. I deemed the best spot for kiting was in the centre of the ski track loop. One of the skiers is can be seen in the background.
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ Fragments to decipher - tricking that leaves questions
Thu Mar 2 09:21:12 CET 2017
GF forecasted 2m/s
Hydra on 25m 38kg lines
One lesson learnt - don't put absolute trust in the forecast (even if checked just 1h before!). I'd expect that on this field 2m/s would have meant the HQ Shadow - not the Hydra.
Small intrusions and large intrusions. The GF field gets nibbled, a playground, (artificial) beach volley and areas for vegetable plants reduces useful area and makes it somewhat more difficult to find good wind. Another field just south of Stockholm has really fallen victim of some landscape architect? There a 400m large "ring of evil" has been created by planting trees in a circle covering much of the field. There is some campaign going on to save this field from other use, but whether they think anything about the trees or not I don't have a clue. I have not tried this field so I don't know, but that ring just can't be good news. Besides, it seems to be every landscape architect's duty to plant trees the instant they see water. Here in the inner parts of the archipelago the nature itself grows trees all the way down to the water making the kiting fields close to water very few. The erosion from the water is also small so the zone without vegetation (beaches i.e.) is very small as well.
When randomly doing axel-like inputs, I sometimes get a very soft axel going beyond the "natural stop", but doesn't fully double axel. Should perhaps compare this to the double axels that the (Prism) Alien does. The turtles lasted for some period for some reason. No I can't say I understand why and I didn't actively do any attempts to control the pitch of the turtle during this session.
Another trick to be deciphered from today is a rolled up fade launch. After a failed low sloppy snap lazy I ended up on the ground. The kite was rolled up in such a way that when pulling the lines it rolled up on the ground and did a fade launch! It happened twice! It is like certain codes for entering doors - You can't picture fully was happened, but you know what to do when you are standing there, it is the situation that triggers the memory/action - the next time I'll try to observe and remember more "theoretically". ... (one night's sleep passed, in the morning I think that I sorted it out how it "must" have happened): After the failed snap lazy, the kite had ended up flared on the ground with the lines (starting from the kite) going over the trailing edge, then over the leading edge and then on the ground - i.e. rolled up once (the back-flipped rotational way). The un-rolling/launch was performed by a non-hesitant but not too hard initial pull, followed by just maintaining a faint line tension (like when maintaining a fade). It was much like a fade launch, but the lines wrapped over the kite forced the nose down and under into a fade. How to repeat the snap lazy "failure" to be able to to this fancy start again?
One line under the wing and one line above being held by a yoyo-stop. Is there a way out this snag?
If the Hydra now provides me with tricks during tricking en masse that I don't fully understand yet, its bigger brother, the Jinx should be slower and could perhaps give me the time to decipher it? When checking the fortuna-forms (.com) website it seems last updated in 2014 and the offered Jinxes lacked specifications (so also the reviews in Kiteclique).
If I only could make my wife convinced about the great thing in buying an American kite (or actually any kite) again - already as it is, buying/importing a kite directly overseas would add tax and more expensive shipment compared to buying within the EU. If the trade protectionist climate would further harden and also be met with counter measures one short term effect could be that a kite import here would be even more expensive. Being very optimistic this actually could provide a temporary opening for getting the Jinx: "Darling, don't you reeeeaaaaly think that I ought to get that Jinx kite before it might risk getting more expensive?". Kites might eventually be somewhat more confined to their region of origin on either side of the Atlantic. On the other hand, making predictions is very hard, especially those about the future. Unfortunately it also seems like I moved too slowly, the Fortuna Design page was no more when checked and also when verified again. Well I guess I shouldn't be considering new kite purchases for some time now anyhow (at the time of posting this blog entry I've already failed doing so horribly). So in the end I think I'll invest more time in kite repairs to see what I think of them after the time that has passed since I last used them and having learnt more, thus postpone purchases for now.
I discovered today that the clip preventing the centre-T from moving is completely missing. Hopefully I can find the marks of the old one, so that I know where to put it. Or rather, go for a double clip - it is not the first time that I've had them sliding and damaging the sail. I guess that the rip could be repaired with a dacron patch. I wonder what type of thread that should be used for this? The image is from a later date when the ugly tape field repair had slided.
Hello there, welcome to my blog!
I've never really done one of these before... short story even shorter: I got myself a 2-line kite. Didn't know anything about kites. I found this forum and asked the following question:
I received a lot of helpful information from the locals and the thread kind of evolved into me detailing my flying experiences. It was suggested that I should do that in a blog instead, and so here we are!
I'm planning to put links to any videos that I have taken while flying. Beyond that, I'm not sure. Open to suggestions!
Probable cause and image of the worn/torn Fazer XXL LE dacron has been added below in the last log entry about the XXL.
The February log entries:
An Under Powered Fazer XXL and a Somewhat Pulling Kymera
Kind of Cascading
En Masse Tricking Leading the Way to Longer Cascading
At Last the Fazer XXL in Decent Wind - or the Session of Wear and Tear
Can you relate to any contents? Am I missing a good short cut of trick learning (is there such a thing?) somewhere? What was your subjective way into tricking or a certain trick that made you see the light? Any similarities or differences also in non directly piloting matters such as: repair, preparation, planning, duration of sessions, equipment on field...
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ An Under Powered Fazer XXL and a Somewhat Pulling Kymera
Sun Feb 5 17:38:39 CET 2017
GF forecasted 3m/s
Fazer XXL on 35m 180kg lines
Kymera on 25m 38kg lines
I'd say today's Fazer XXL session was much similar to the previous (minus the snow and cold weather). The low wind still made it under powered causing you to be very warm (flying in my shirt in about 0deg and very light snowfall). Only on a few occasions could I lean against the wind, but that required backing. This time I managed to turtle it by doing a snap stall with a second distinct hammer like input which in the same moment bounced in a large release. Also managed a sleeping beauty (aka back spin start), but decided not to try this again today because I think it is more of a higher wind trick. Next time with this kite I'm going to try it with more wind, with this little it is kind of a stale feel. A more positive view of today's XXL flying is that when you get it going in the gusts it gives a mighty feeling, the appearance is something like that of a small hang glider. Crossing the centre of the wind window in several straight lines to eventually reach to the top was also a bit like the tacks of sailing struggling against the wind (but here to reach the top in low wind). Today it was clearly under powered. I wished for more wind to to have a more connected feeling through the lines and to be able to do input with quicker response. What I don't know is how much wind that I would be able to handle with this large kite. I hope that the useful wind range will not be too narrow.
After a slowly moving person (spectator?) got out of the way I let the frustration out by making a rather aggressive pull on the lines when launching the kite. However, one line was around the sail causing the standoff to break. I then tried to repair it by taping an old small pin from a small firework rocket pin. This wasn't so successful, but I found a thicker firework pin that worked.
The TS is standing out from the plane defined by the LE and the spine. Looks funny, but it works.
I was so glad I had brought the Kymera. The light wind suited it well. No more running around to get it to the top of the window. In the gusts it quickly developed some pull and I like the feed back it gives. The large wind window felt like a liberation today. The feel of the flight is somewhat like the Tramontana in that you get it going in light wind and it tracks well, but added to this you get the trickiness of the Kymera. I used about half of the time flying with intent and making it looking good and controlled. Skipping this is not really an option - you need to tune/calibrate the input to hit those corners and there is always some turn somewhere in the window that needs some extra attention. The rest of the time I spent provoking the kite, going from trick to trick without necessarily setting it up perfectly. This session I managed to hit the lazies a little snappier than before, but I need to work more on maintaining the turtled position all the way to the end of the lazy rotation.
If having more than one kite out + lines it is not uncommon to accidentally lift the lines of the grounded/resting kite with the wing tip of the active kite. Normally these line tangles are good natured and hardly anything needs to be done at all to handle it. This time when the lines of the Kymera got picked up by the the wing tip of the Fazer XXL the tangle was worse, took something like 10 minutes to handle and the short unintentional air ride had even made a knot on the Kymera line. Normally some separation of the lines in the tangle (so that the loops of the lines can slide out of the tangle) is sufficient - not so this time untieing was required..
Time to go home...
When I came home I flew a large green kite with another colour layout than the XXL. It was in two or three shades of green and had no large black areas and and no text on the sail. Then I flew a 2m purple orchid flower slowly gliding over the sky. It's movement was smooth, constant speed, but with digitized directions, somewhat like the control that the combination four keys can offer in an old style computer games. Then my wife accidentally woke me up. Yes, of course I was dreaming. After a day like this with the nice feeling after a day of physical exercise I had rapidly fell asleep quite soon after the head hit the pillow.
I then realized, considering the radically different flight pattern of the orchid from the green kite, that I just had a quad dream.
Artists: The photo of the orchid was taken by D Ramey Logan and is Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 licenced (this should make the dream scene image share alike as well). The dream scene was drawn by Exult while trying to learn more of the vector graphics drawing program Inkscape. It can be argued whether he should give up that activity and stick to kiting instead. The clipping is from the Scream, a painting by Edvard Munch and is nowadays in the public domain.
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ Kind of Cascading
Mon Feb 12 19:00:00 CET 2017
GB forecasted 2-3m/s
Hydra on 20m 38 kg lines
Kymera on 25m, 38kg lines
A beautiful winter day. The parking lot at the beach was more occupied than empty for a change (during winter) - the tour skaters found the ice good and trustworthy and were therefore active today. There was even an iceboat far out from the beach. Due to the wind direction, close to parallel to the beach, I was again forced to fly the kites among outdoor furniture. This kind of interfered with my plans to do "en masse" tricking. The main reason was that I wanted to avoid the following recoveries and having the kite/lines getting entangled in a table, bench, etc... If I flew from the water towards the lawn the wind got gustier and if I tricked over the ice most recoveries get trickier. On ice, if the kite is "ground turtled", it only slides on its back instead of tilting up into start position. If the ice is not perfectly smooth you can sometimes make a (dead launch like) double tug to get it into start position, from where you can do a basic start. True dead launches on ice didn't work out for me the few times I tried them, though I think that they would have been rather safe on ice. Another ice interacting trick that I haven't tried before (I think) were LE launches that became very smooth.
One "sideways localised" trick suited the limited "effective space" well and that is the cascade. Typically ending on the ground in a turtle just under where you started. I don't claim the trick: I can only go a couple of cycles before the a half axle turns into a rixel (ie. the kite goes into a turtle) and I don't do the ending tug of the new top wing in the end of the half axle. The Hydra is the kite kite of my choise for the cascade practicing. So I ended up doing a lot of cascade practicing. The way to get them going a bit longer (still without the second tug of the half axle) was to make the half axels by quick tugs and kind of letting the top wing half bounce on stiff lines (alternating wing halves of course). It kind of felt crude with the feeling similar to having a thin steel wire stiffly suspended and the other side connected to a steel dank. Then, to describe the tug, drop the steel dank. (I have abandoned this method now for ... read on and you'll see)
Today's annoyance, only one wing tip had an end cap, so the Kymera nock broke (it could just still function though).
In one of these photos you can find a tour skater/traction kiter. When zooming in the image quality of this skater is unfortunately of traditional "proof of UFO quality". The foil kite was orange and black (sorry no more info).
At home, the last remaining end cap...
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ En Masse Tricking Leading the Way to Longer Cascading
Sun Feb 19 11:49:39 CET 2017
GB forecasted 4-5m/s
Hydra on 20m 38 kg lines
Kymera on 25m, 38kg lines
So how is it going with the trick en masse approach? The conditions at the beach felt much the same as last week - same direction and there was still ice. The wind felt quite light in spite of the forecast. I started out on the lawn but left because of two reasons. A mother and some children were making an open fire with twigs from a pine branch that fallen down in some high wind. The still humid wood and the green needles caused much smoke drifting over the lawn, so I was driven off the lawn. I also went towards the beach hoping to find a fraction more wind there. She made some comment regarding the smoke and I replied by calmly asking if her "charcoal" had the SIS mark (a "proof of quality" from a Swedish test institute and yes some bags of coal actually do have this mark) and further referred to the battle of Lützen (which is commonly used to describe dense fog: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lützen_(1632) ). She did not get upset, but told me that they did have a (stunt I assume) kite, but that they didn't manage to get it going very much/well. She also described seeing the kiters during the 90-ies in Fiskebäckskil (Swedish west coast) and that she had visited a Kite store (still during the 90-ies) in Gothenburg. It could have been the same shop whose owner shared so much info through the phone (I am in debt) and that I bought the HQ Maestrale from. However I never did visit Gothenburg during that period. When leaving she thanked for the getting-started/going-hints that she had gotten just from observing the kiting.
So the place and conditions and limitations were much the same as the last weekend. I therefore continued with the cascade training mostly with the Hydra. To modify the input "control noise" during the "en masse" part I did move the arms back so that I could feel a second tug in the other arm slightly after the large axel tug. I don't know how this works, but it seems to be delaying the rixeling that is the end of the cascades. (more cascade training/observations in my next blog entry).
A trick that fitted the Kymera well in the light wind was the belly launch. Angle the nose a dm to the side from the centre and then just do a quick light tug on the "shortest" line (that's all). The Kymera pops high up with the nose pointing towards 10:30/01:30 roughly. I didn't have the same luck with the Hydra, but had some difficulties in making the nose point upwards. Is this because it demands more wind or is it a "feature" of the kite? - To be tested and compared in more wind. Why didn't I try some more already in this low wind session by combining the start with backwards running or at least while pulling back (more?) on both arms?
Cape Evil photographed from the table of obstruction. You were created with the sole purpose of ruining the wind and tangle/catch the lines. It could be worse though, and it will, during summer the hordes of chaos will have their picnics of malice in order to turn the beach into a crowded mess, restricting me to off hours of doziness and into the gloomy rain of misery. And I'm a complete whiner with misanthropic tendencies today - NO MORE GRUMPINESS! Sunshine is overrated and a summer rain is not that bad at least if it is not combined with too light wind. And if I can't fly because it is crowded I got plenty of kites to repair and fix (and so does the garden and the house as well).
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ At Last the Fazer XXL in Decent Wind - or the Session of Wear and Tear
Sat Feb 25 15:55:33 CET 2017
GF forecasted 5m/s
Fazer XXL on 35m 180kg lines
No scheduled tennis next two weeks and most likely no kiting in the next few days - today I went all in. I "knew" that I would get profoundly sore muscles, but no other activities would suffer from it. I almost aimed for it since it is a receipt of that the physical exercise gave some effect (my belief - am no expert in these matters).
The ratio of pulling (as expected from this large kite) and (possibility to do) tricking was just right. Gaining ground was done by flying the kite to the top of the wind window and then backing - the opposite of a fly away (in low wind), where you let the kite glide downwards from you. Regarding the tricking I'm sure tricking purists could make an objection like "my NN (their favourite) kite tricks better" "and this kite feels murky (mushy?) in comparison". It is different, the kite gives a massive feeling and its up to you whether you appreciate it or not. The possibility to do tricking (and doing them at a somewhat rapid rate) is dependent both on your tricking skills and your physical fitness - I intend to improve in both. Sitting on the ground in high wind while steering the kite back and forth and possibly be dragged sitting would feel a little limited ( http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/6989-you-need-a-really-big-van-to-have-this-one-in-the-back-with-the-le-assembled/?do=findComment&comment=61306) - though the sound is cool.
Today when initiating the side slides it was common to overshoot the horisontal slide position ending up with the inside wing a bit higher up. Instead of trying to go on with the initial input of the FA with the outer hand I did it with the inner hand. I think this was easier, but I must look further into it. Another observation was that I got the inhaul snagged around the rear end of the spine a few times - who knows I might even add keeper lines on the bridle one day.
Has this ferrule gotten bent (and if so from axel to wing tip landings)?
The ferrules has worn through the LE dacron - I suspect the LE launches.
¤¤¤¤ Added 5th of April 2017 ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
I was very wrong and should have studied the worn LE dacron better. When looking at the upper side it was clear that it was not the LE launches that was the likely cause. The adjustable bridle catching segment ("the extra bridle line") that can be used to reduce LE vibration in harder wind had worn through the dacron in the back side of the kite. It seems like the holes (front and backside about a cm apart) in the dacron for this bridle segment were a bit too far from the LE carbon tube. Now today there was enough wind to tension the catching segment causing the edge of the back side dacron hole to take the load of this bridle segments rather than the carbon tube and therefore started to tear/wear.
¤¤¤¤ End of Edit ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
A slightly worn nose. What is the main cause: LE-launches, failed fade launches, semi successful belly landings, cart wheels... ? OK, not so much wear, but I only used the kite three times of which one was in soft snow.
The clip(s?) on the spine has moved allowing the centre-T to make a rip in the dacron of the sail. Is this the result of some less successful fade launches? Fazer XL had very badly glued clips - the inner surfaces were not even in proper contact because they were not completely smooth. I think the I ended up gluing (some lose, others to reinforce) all (about 16?) of them of the XL. Looks like I should do some preventive gluing here as well. If you look closely in the image you see the tape field-fix that prevents the centre T-from sliding. Before gluing properly I'll remove the tape residues with some propanol.
The clips around one of the LS to LE connectors had come loose, while the other had not. More clips to glue and find their proper positions of. Why do I never learn that I should mark the original position with a thin marker of all clips as the first thing to do before even going to the field the first time?
A sudden suspicion grew - this leading edge somewhat start to resemble that of a Prism Alien. Is the ferrule bent from e.g the axel to wing tip landings? I start to think about the square cube law (for structural strength versus "accelerated mass"/force) ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square-cube_law ), the inherent problems of large designs to support itself when scaling up a small design (such as a large kite) while exactly preserving the shape of all details. I end up getting lost (doesn't end up with the same result) when trying to consider the (kinetic to potential) energy of e.g. a tip stab of a small versus a scaled up large kite. Can it really be so that the energy required for breaking by bending a LLE scales in the same way as the mass when increasing the size of the kite? And how does abrasion (~small scale structural strength?) work for large kites? Imagine putting a sticker around the LE of a 4D, normal sized kite and a Fazer XXL and then do a couple of LE launches on a lawn and then on rocks? Which kite would wear out the sticker or itself quickest? How much of the wear is from kite weight and how much is from the wind load during a LE launch? ... Naaah!!! - I stick to the practical piloting aspects instead. Anyhow glad that I haven't snapped a LLE yet on the XXL - I did so about 1.5 years ago on the XL when a half unexpected tip stab turned out to be a little too hard. I should measure the span width of the XXL to see if it remains constant or if the ferrules bend with time.
After the session
So how did it go with the sore muscles the following days? Not that bad and not at all as the first time I used the Fazer XXL (then in somewhat deep snow and low wind conditions). Perhaps it then was caused by that I was completely new to the kite or the running around in snow to keep it in air in low wind? It looks like that there is little limitation in how I can use the Fazer XXL regarding the possibility to do other sports during the following days. There was no reason to put off what should have been done before so I measured the span width. 3.58m when standing up on its wing tips and 3.57m when resting on its belly (the LE flexes when the kite supports itself). When holding the LEs together in the nose and pressing the ferrules together the right nock was about 2cm from the left one. This latter comparison is a bit inconclusive - I'd expect that the left one would be the most bent one (and not the right that was the case), since the LLEs that I've broken have all been on the left side.
Thank you, readers of great stamina!
In between entry: Nobody told me there'd be days like this - Strange days indeed
Something that is not supposed to happen here happened. A collegue at work asked me if I had heard the news that there had been a shooting somewhere in the area where I live. Now that area is quite large, ~500km2 (of land area), so I didn't feel directly concerned (but the thought though...). When checking the news up, there were no casualties and the victim had "just" been shot in the leg and the two suspects had been arrested. The place of the shooting however, was somewhere like 100m to 300m from the nearest kite field (GB)! Things like this shouldn't happen here.
The Saturday after this I dropped children (including one of mine) after driving to their tennis hour and had then planned to go kiting immediately after this. It was only that I (well the car then) got hit by a rapidly backing large car. I tried to back away, but didn't dare to back quickly enough since there was so much people out at this time. I don't give much for the (absence of) the other drivers risk analysis nor how little focused on driving that person must have been. The damage done to my car wasn't so large, so that I couldn't get to the field, but the resulting paperwork and visit(s) at the repair-shop is not something I look forward to.
(If someone spotted from which song the sub header was I'd like to say I like the tune, but regarding the possibly smoke/drug accepting part I say flying with a kite is much preferable)
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ It is (gradually) coming back
Sat Jan 28 16:46:37 CET 2017
GB forcasted 2-3m/s
Kymera on 20m 38 kg lines
Didn't feel very home except for figure flying and landings (sort of 2-point and spin landings), starts (belly, fade), FA still felt distant. After about 1.5h the wind died out for a while, but then returned after 15 minutes or something and so did the FAs. Then they just worked without much thinking (like don't make a so large deal of of it). There was one conscious corrective action that payed off however - move down streams during the catch phase. Now many quite sloppily initiated close to the ground casual FAs were possible. OK, they didn't last very long, but I was happy(ier) nonetheless.
When doing 2-point like landings with the Kymera they can, if care is not taken, end up in a turtle. I believe this happen more often to me if the wind is on the upper half of the suitable range of this kite. Learning how to deal with this however, gives you control over this and also provides an extra way of entering a turtle in other places in the wind window (than close to the ground by mistake when landing). It is the second arm's input and release that sets off the turtle. When the nose is coming down. Do a quick pull turn, move forwards slightly and then make the input to stop the rotation with the other arm like you would be hitting with a very light(/narrow) hammer and then in the same light hammer fall immediately extend (or rather directly bounce) the second arm just like the light hammer fall would unexpectedly bounce back a long way. Once again it is this second hit&release that triggers the turtle (or how much it tilts backwards if the turtle isn't complete).
There were some slightly more people on the beach than normal today, but only one seemed to fully express kite joy and showed vast fascination. A little boy, possibly with Downs syndrome, first went after the kite, but eventually learned that that wasn't a thing to do. He then showed that he wanted to take control of the lines by (rather mildly) grabbing for the handles. I felt that I had to say no to this as well. That little child and his mother (I assume) stayed for an hour just watching while staying behind me to the side about 10m away. I wish that a had brought my small one line sled kite (that I actually have in my bag now and then but not today unfortunately) for them use.
Some Hydra tossing around - will order and clarity emerge?
Sun Jan 29 19:21:15 CET 2017
GB forecasted 3-5m/s
Hydra on 20m 38kg lines
Today the forecast and the wind I felt actually matched (I don't own any wind meter). There was enough wind to power the kite well and even have the mylar trailing edges to do some humming for me.
Typical tricks were axel direction changes, two/three axel short cascades that sometimes rixeled (they will for certain rixel if I add more half axels). Fade launches, frequent and unstable turtles. FAs with quite short fade duration. Is it in the tossing around, the constant transition that you find the home of this kite? This might set me off in a direction where figure flying and flying with intent will be a smaller part of the total flying time. I'd say that I'm decent with figure flying and square turns and going where you are intending. This kite haven't got any problems in flying straight and making those 90 deg corners, but because it is a kite that I use when it is a bit windier the figure flying gets more challenging (especially with not very long lines). At least with this kite I'm going to devote some time to various tossing around just to get the feel without aiming for a particular trick - vary the input and watch the output. From Trickery Flickery 35s into the video (1/3): "Once you understand what to expect you then start to be able to control these (tricks I suppose) and then they becomes moves.". So learn to what to expect and vary it. I previously had a similar idea with the Alien when passing by/performing tricking involving a brief flared position during a part of a session when I felt much in contact with the kite. I kind of got an extra input in doing this quick variations during yesterdays session when trying side slide to FA transitions.
So part of the time I'll try to have it constantly in transition (and recovery). The (percentage of) slack line training time should increase if normal flying is largely omitted. I also believe that it will look quite ugly, at least initially. It kinds of reminds me of a Frenchman that worked in the same place as I did during a summer job a long time ago. On the topic of how he learned Swedish his way was not to focus on learning vocabulary and proper grammar, but the important part was to start talking as the first thing. Preserve the spirit of this daring approach and apply it on kiting and trick combos! So an attempt of a compilation of the above: Trick practicing "en masse", instead of doing single well prepared/set up attempts with much after thought - train the muscle memory and let the insight come afterwards (if lucky) and accept if this lead you into new paths.
No I don't think that this new approach will be the single only action that will make a day and night change (and I even might give it up soon if it would not be rewarding with time). What I do believe is that it gives an different angle in learning and could provide another bit off the puzzle. If someone say something is fantastic and the only way of doing something, my alarm bell is often triggered. Another way of changing input that I used before is to learn on one kite and transfer the trick to other kites later (which is, I suspect, a hardly unique way).
As I said before turtles on the Hydra tend to be short for me (I certainly doesn't get stuck in a turtle) and when doing lazies I needed to do them with a very light hand for them not to "unturtle". I should look into if I could set more speed to the lazy by doing the tug that starts the lazy rotation when the kite is on it's way into the turtle. The idea is to be able to do this tug harder when entering the turtle rather than when the kite is "statically" in the turtle (much like I do the 540). Perhaps this is the preferred or at least the standard way of doing e.g. a snap turtle?
I suddenly got a question in the dusk: "Excuse me, can you talk and fly at the same time?". A genuinely kite positive person wanted to know more about kites and actually wanted to know where to buy kites like this. I recommended the closest thing to a local kite shop "Fler bollar i luften" (he actually had heard of the shop!) and suggested that he perhaps could start with a Nexus. However I never understood if the kite would be for him or the five(?) year old daughter of his. It is a pity that people in general seem to be shy about asking about kiting - I appreciate the chat and certainly do not mind sharing the info.
And no kite stakes today! (regarding a short sub discussion in: http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/7723-advice-for-a-beginner-to-kiting-and-2-line-kites/?do=findComment&comment=62657 )
The big day - First cold session with the Fazer XXL
Fri Jan 6 17:10:50 CET 2017
GF, forecasted 3m/s, (-11degC)
Fazer XXL on 35m 180kg lines
Today was the big day, the first time with the Fazer XXL. I therefore went to the big field with room for the lines - the closest field is not just big enough. This larger field is not next to a beach so that the wind is typically a bit less than the forecast suggests here. That was something I saw as a bonus when approaching the field not really knowing what to expect regarding the pull of the kite. This kite will most likely be the one kite whose leading edges I take apart before transport. The length of the Fazer XXL's sleeve with the LE assembled is about 2.25m and my ski bag (mostly used for kites however) is 2.15m. When seeing the kite assembled you realize that you never will find it beautiful. However I have gradually learnt to accept the appearance of it and mind it less and less. It turned out that it was a lighter wind than to my liking - I should have been on one of the "kite hills" of the field to get a bit higher wind close to the ground, but I didn't want to compete too much about the space with the skiing powerkiters there.
I had expected that the XXL also would have the corresponding oversteer as the XL. but quite quickly noticed that this wasn't the case. Yet I have shortened the upper outhaul of the XL by centimeters! The 90 deg turns of the were just a bit less instant than other kites (which is not surprising considering the size of the kite and perhaps the low wind), but there is no corresponding oversteer! I should compare the two bridles (and why not the sails at the same time?) closely one day. Perhaps one wind less day put a horisontal tight rope in the garden and let the XL and XXL hang down from the tow-points?
The LE to LS fittings couldn't take negative forces - I often needed to do the walk of contemplation because a LS had popped out. It didn't take any hard ground contact for them to disconnect. On one occasion a cart wheel caused it to pop. This was the one most important thing to address when getting home.
From the start and perhaps during the first hour I was very careful - after all this is a large kite. During the first half of the session the required force was somewhat a disappointment, but not the cardiovascular exercise that was provided by the conditions - running in the snow to keep the kite airborne and the large arm movements required made the heart pound. Later when the wind picked up somewhat, the position of the arms were more in front of me compared to when using other kites. It was kind of strange feeling having a kite that pulls noticeably and at the same time could feel a little under powered in the current wind.
I had imagined that axels would be difficult to achieve and pitch based tricks to be more accessible. Well axels were no problem. Entering a turtle was something I didn't manage to do the few times I tried - the winds were a bit to light and sometimes more or less not there. There light wind conditions gave a bit crowded feel, but to my surprise axeling was a way to turn the kite during this limited maneuverability circumstances. Tricks were most often single isolated with few trick combos. I hope this will improve in a bit more wind.
With a kite this size the trick execution took longer time. I could focus on following the kite during the axle and taking up slack during the revolution. Can this be the way to figure out the second pull of the half axle?
Fade launches worked out well unless the wind was too low and the (very) local snow depth too deep (OUUUUUPS!!! - I fell backwards, but the snow made the fall soft!). Belly launches, that suited the light wind well, worked out well. Side slides and landing the kite backwards from a high altitude were also quite accessible - the large kite kind of evened out the "noise in input" (like a large low pass filter).
When going home I talked to the remaining powerkiter. It seemed to be a nice person and I hope it wasn't the one who had previously shouted aggressively and rudely to the dog (and dog owner I presume) when the dog approached his kite. The rudeness in the shouting is really a bad move. In some board, some group, some meeting some where, some time that have the power of deciding what is a permitted activity, it is very much more likely to have dog owners than kiters represented! Well back to the topic - what we talked of was naturally kites: places (unfortunately no new near fields were reveled) and compared our activities. He was so into the powerkiting, so I saw no point in promoting duals. However when I mentioned that I knew of a very maneuverable smaller quad foil that wasn't so expensive (the Smithi Pro), he appeared interested and seemed careful to memorize this.
For how I dealt with the low temperature this day see the posts http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/7601-prism-nexus-maiden-flight/?do=findComment&comment=62116 and http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/7601-prism-nexus-maiden-flight/?do=findComment&comment=62178 .
Follow up - minor mods and physical exercise aspects:
The most urgent mod to the kite was to do something to the LS that kept popping out from the LE fitting at the slightest ground contact. A very simple solution - wind tape a couple of turns around the outer side of the LS to increase the diameter. I used some white "general purpose" tape (much like electrical insulation tape). The tape was only added to outmost part the LS so that it couldn't be seen when inserted in the LE fitting. If it would pop out (even if I don't think it will) I would see it more easily now as a white dot against the sail (from 35m away).
The second and third mod was to add small string loops to secure the sail tensioners and also the battens. I used a budget 1.5 mm synthetic line. It turned out that it was not possible to make knots that lasted (strange since the line was sold as bricklayer's cord - they must also be able to make knots) First I tried to melt the knots so that they wouldn't open. This failed because it weakened the molten/non-molten interface too much. What seemed to work was to seal the knot with hot glue (but not too much heat could be applied or the line would go weak again). If I only had ordered more of the (quite thin) sleeved 90kg dyneema line to use instead!
I got something that a rarely get when doing kiting: sore muscles and this time it was close to everywhere (e.g. it completely beats me how you can get sore abdominal muscles from kite flying!)! I don't know if this would have been better if there would have been more wind so that there would be less requirement of running around in snow (which slows you down). The only time that I got something that resembles this is from a few windy sessions with the Fazer XL, but the soreness was then less. In a way this is great news. From an hour of tennis I don't get sore muscles (possibly a very slight and modest receipt-of-activity the day after, but I don't think of it as soreness or discomfort), so to make a more complete healthy exercise/training I should add a weekly Fazer XXL session. No, not realistic, to time consuming to get to the large field, but at least some times when I happen to be there I try to add some XXL time for the sake of training - I mean this is way more fun than just jogging/running or doing push-ups etc (which therefore never gets done)...
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ Forgetting how to FA and some tricking on ice
Sun Jan 22 15:14:34 CET 2017
GB forecasted 6 m/s (didn't matter though... much less in reality)
Hydra on 20m 38 kg lines
Kymera on 25m, 38kg lines
There has been a long time since I flew something "normal" during "normal" conditions. The last time for this was with the Infinity and the Kymera in the beginning of December. The reasons for these few and "abnormal" sessions that I can recall are: a low wind session in rain, traveling, a very hard wind session and the new Fazer XXL. As the title says, I didn't get the FAs going today and I also didn't feel much in touch with the finer control. OK, even though the flying was not great I guess this was a necessary session - After a (kind of) break there is always a first session of (hopefully) coming back in form.
Can using a large kite affect how you handle normal sized ones? How much of the muscle memory carries over from one activity to another after days weeks and perhaps also more or less permanent habits? Two observations from recent tennis playing. My wife and daughter watched for some minutes when I was playing - a quite rare event since we play at different times and groups. They said something like (but not literally) that when I run it is with long steps that looks like something of an elk on the loose (you must be close to someone to hear the truth). So now to the parallel in kiting, how do you run backwards and forwards there? - You increase the length of the step and run smoothly to be able to maintain constant tension or slack.
Another tennis example: another player remarked that it seemed to be a god day for me because many aspects worked out, but that I constantly forgot to stop completely when running to the net and doing volleys (you should stand as stable as possible when aiming and be equally prepared for a ball coming on either side of you). Unfortunately, the player that kindly had praised my play that day, didn't make any reservations when I mentioned my family's elk analogy. So the kiting parallel to running to the net could be moving forwards when doing a 540 or a FA in the centre of the wind window on a somewhat windy day. After the flare of the 540 and to maintain a fade I've trained hard to maintain the forward motion (and not to stop as when doing volleys in tennis)
Does this sound exaggerated? - Well I certainly spend more time kiting than playing tennis, so if there is any cross-talk in the pattern of one's movement between these activities I'd expect kiting to dominate.
Normally the preferred wind direction is normal to the beach. But today the wind was close to parallel. I therefore got a chance to try the kite (the kite - not me) on ice. Tested some side slides while in contact with the ice (such as those shown a while ago in the "Follow us on Facebook" frame in the top right corner of the KL forum main page). The sliding on Ice was quite straight forward with the only pit fall being if the kite fell from or towards you. Due to the low friction the nocks won't only slide side-wards but can also happen to slide forwards or backwards so that the kite falls. This made normal starts difficult as well. If the kite was on it's back I needed to tow the kite on the ice until I could find a stone or a stick that someone had thrown out (and now was stuck in the ice) and use that to hold one nock so that the kite could be pulled up into start position. The sleeping beauty starts were instead helped by the smooth ice layer - there was nothing that could accidentally grab the nose when doing the "ground back spin". When thinking of it - could I have done some risk free dead launch practice on the ice (or would the hard floor like surface of the ice make dead launches impossible)?
I bought Tsutomu Hiroi's book 'Kites: Sculpting the Sky' (1978) for a couple bucks off Amazon. All the info I could find on him is his birth year (1925) and a website that states his book "... is one of the first to take kites seriously as art objects. Both sculptor and teacher, Hiroi writes about the tradition of Japanese kites, yet his own kites are flying sculptures made in modern materials. Hiroi is one of the original founders of the Japan Kite Association". -drachen.org
He signed this book in 1979, which came with pamphlets about Washington kite events. I wonder if he did a book signing in Washington, or someone ran into him at a festival? I can upload the pamphlets if anyone is curious.
Can anyone translate what he wrote in this book?
Does anyone have any info on Tsutomu?