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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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January log-2 - Strange days indeed

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 )

Exult

Exult

 

January log part one - Fazer XXL premiere and a FA flop

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)?

Exult

Exult

 

Sharing the Sky

Riverview Park is directly under the flight path for Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, 8 miles away. 
It is fun to share the sky with the big birds. Link to the 4k version of this instagram video.

Flynhi

Flynhi

 

Something interesting written in a 1978 kite book

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?

Flynhi

Flynhi

 

New LKS

So my nearest big time kite store was too far to go to very often.  There is now a nice kite in a store nearby.  Might never sell but that's okay too.  SHBKF

SHBKF

SHBKF

 

Support your LKS

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

SHBKF

SHBKF

 

Carbon Tubing Dynamic Response Test

Summary: A static deflection test was previously performed on several carbon tubes allowing them to be compared based solely on “stiffness”, or the “spring constant” for each tube.  A link to the discussion can be found here: http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/7329-carbon-tubing-comparison/ Experienced Rev fliers have responded with comments regarding the “reflex”, or response of the carbon tube frame being more important than the “stiffness” or weight of the frame.  Experienced fliers select a preferred frame based on wind conditions and the selection of sail type (vent options: none, mid, full).  Additionally, modifications may have been made to the “stock” sail design to improve performance of the kite.  The data presented here represents the dynamic properties of a carbon tube independent of a sail. The Data:   Let's get right to the data!  Here is a link to the current Excel spreadsheet with both static and dynamic test results for the rods that I have tested.  A copy of the table is included in this post but does not let you sort by manufacturer or characteristic.   http://www.donkush.com/CarbonTubeProperties.xls here is a copy sorted by 1st Amplitude 5” Perturbation: Here is a copy of the worksheet "Deflection and Reflex comp" which compares dynamic measurements with the commonly used Rev 3-wrap rod with silver label: A positive % means that the test value for that tube was greater than the Rev 3-wrap test value.  Likewise, a negative % means the test value was less than the Rev 3-wrap test value. Discussion: Specifications for carbon tubing that you purchase for the purpose of constructing or modifying a frame combination yourself only include tube ID and OD dimensions, and an overall weight. Some tubes and frame sets will only provide a model ID and no other information.   The more experienced kite flier or builder will be interested in more information than this.  Hopefully the tests that I have conducted will be useful to you although you will see from the pictures that I don’t have a NIST certified lab.  I was able to conduct these tests with readily available household items (for me these were readily available ) and a little ingenuity. Description of the Carbon Tubing Response Test: A 31” tube was secured at one end of a test table by a ferrule allowing a full 31” section of tubing to be deflected and oscillate.  The 31” length was deflected by 5”, released, and allowed to oscillate until it settled.  The amplitude of the first vibration response was measured in inches.  The frequency of vibration was measured in HZ (cycles per second), and the settling time was measured in seconds.  (settling time is defined as the time it took for the tube to stop vibrating after the initial disturbance). Test Table Picture: The measurements were taken using audio technology.  A small wire (whisker) was fastened to the end of each tube that was tested and a small microphone was placed exactly in-line with the stationary tube. As the tube oscillated past the microphone it recorded the impact of the whisker.  Since the audio was sampled at 44.1 KHz the data is quite precise.  Frequencies and settling times were analyzed using audio editing software. Data Sheet Picture: A data sheet was used for each rod tested.  The data was recorded and then entered into the excel spreadsheet that has been posted. Sonic Performance Pictures: Multiple tests were performed on each rod and the results were averaged.  Here is an example of a rev 3-wrap rod showing 3 response tests: Here is a picture of one test with markers drawn at each impact of the microphone.  Two impacts define the Period in seconds.  1/Period defines frequency in Cycles per Second known as Hz (see highlighted and circled value in the picture).  In the case of a 3 wrap rev rod the Period is .062 seconds on average and the frequency is (1/.062) or 16.129 Hz: The first amplitude deflection however was measured manually.  A toothpick was held perpendicular to the testing table and at the end of the tube.  The toothpick was adjusted until the tube barely touched it during the first amplitude deflection. I don’t have a picture demonstrating this test but here is a picture of a sample test sheet showing where the first reflex of an example test sheet for the 3-wrap rev rod where the first amplitude was marked.  It is at the end of the perpendicular line drawn from the Centerline (CL): What does this all mean? Hopefully this information is useful to you and can inspire further discussions regarding frame preferences and sail choice in the forum.  I will offer my initial interpretations of the data with hesitation because I know that many of you will have your own observations... Again, Wind Speed, Sail Choice, and Sail Modifications are all factors in the kite’s response and performance.  Frequency test: The frequency test results are very similar between each rod with the exception of the SS P400 and the Rev 3-wrap Green-stripe.  Almost all the rods oscillate at a slightly lower frequency than the Rev 3-wrap.  The frequency value could indicate how quickly the rod, when used in a sail, will try to return to a static position after a disturbance.  Perhaps a point for discussion… 1st Amplitude Response from 5”: This test possibly indicates how “springy” a tube is.  A large 1st amplitude would indicate that the rod wants to flex easily.  Perhaps this would give you a very “bouncy” experience when used in a sail.  Silver Race rod test results would indicate that they would seem considerably less bouncy than the 3-wrap.  The SS P-90 is the bounciest of all which I would agree from my experience.  Settling Time: This test would also seem to indicate how quickly a rod will return to a static condition after a disturbance.  It adds another dimension to the frequency characteristic that describes how quickly the amplitudes during oscillation diminish to zero.  Race Rods and SS PX tubes have a shorter Settling Time than the 3-wrap standard;  this has me curious now and perhaps my first question back in the forum: For those of you with SS P-3X frames, how do you compare this frame to the Rev 3-wrap?  The SS P400 seems like it wants to vibrate forever!    Well, I will end this blog now and look forward to continued discussions in the forum. S.F.  

SegelFlieger

SegelFlieger

 

Winter Solstice

This small dragon kite was purchased at the 2014 Lotto International Kite Festival in Oostende, Belgium. Yesterday was the first time it flew in America. Enjoy the Winter Solstice, everyone!

Flynhi

Flynhi

 

The Meaning of a Field or The Long Session of Memories

Sun Oct 16 18:26:55 CEST 2016
GF forecasted 4m/s
Hydra on 20m 38kg and 25m 38kg lines
Kymera in 25m 38Kg lines This blog entry blobbed and expanded and wouldn't fit into the "chunky log" format any longer, so therefore I broke it out from that log. Although KL is a forum for kiting, kiting always takes place in some kind of a context. In this blog entry I have started from the field and from what I saw and allowed myself to associate memories in one or several steps. It also serves as a personal example of a place of importance. This day I had a quite long session, from the time I first entered the field to the time I finally left nine hours passed (with lunch break however). Afterwards there was a nice exhausted feeling like after a days garden/outdoors work or from winter activities. This cloudy almost dream like autumn weather also helped in bringing back much memories from an area that I've returned to during different phases of my life.   The morning session Todays heros - the Hydra and Kymera - I'm still very much in the process of getting acquainted with them.
In the background you can see "Filmhuset" (~House of motion pictures/film). There are many film related activities going on here. Part of Stockhom's university institutions, media related, is situated there, there are film archives and library, the film institute is also situated here. They hand out grants to support Swedish film making and distribution. Another activity of theirs is to run the Cinemateket activity. Films that are no longer on the repertoire and are considered to be of interest are shown again here. The most memorable movies that I've seen here are Metropolis by Fritz Lang and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" - by Milos Forman. I've seen the latter one four times. One time was in Milos Forman's home country, the former Czechoslovakia republic, during an inter rail trip in Europe 1990 (or was it 1991?). One thing that was different then was that there was an short informational pre-film that to a large extent appeared just to show that people with mental disabilities did exist. I could only speculate on why.
The Metropolis version I saw (quite unprepared and didn't really know what to expect) was the Giorgio Moroder tinted version with modern music - This was a hit! For those interested on Youtube there is a Fritz Lang interview ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or0j1mY_rug ) and a documentary about decaying film (the physical celluid strips i.e.), search of Metropolis film fragments around the world, tinting and music ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaVp1cFERUY ). No no no, this is not a review or a full comparison (it is way too early at this point I'm just not familiar enough with the kites) - just some initial observations. I got some impressions and observed some differences. The Kymera was more a lighter wind flyer with a larger window and the Hydra a trickier kite that encouraged you to toss it around. Even if the Kymera was a good flyer it could easily make a transition into "trick mode". I wonder if part of the well flying properties of the Kymera is due to the billow, this is something that I've not seen in my other kites. If one leave trick/precision kites for comparison for a moment, the billow makes the kite more sail/wing like in appearance. When tossing them around I had several line snags. Both bridles had very long "pig tails" (later learned that they were called leaders) - about a metre (to protect the sail during wrapped flying I suppose). I wonder if the increased mass of these could cause them to be flung outwards around the wing tip? In front of the hill is where I saw the two Tramontana routine by the end of the nineties, that impressed me so much so that I got into kiting seriously.
The pink building to the left is called the fortress. From here the king could see how his tropes practiced pitched battles. Much later somewhere here, while my father still was a child, my grand father had been summoned for some home defense activity. He then got a sudden fatal heart (?) failure (why don't you ask for the details when you still can?). The hill to the right of the "fortress" is the most common place you end up in when doing kiting. Unfortunately it is quite popular among dogs as well.
Here I imagine is also a place where it was close that I never would have been born. My late father had with a couple of friends  built an early hang glider of the Rogallo type. Then my father got towed after a car - a not so healthy activity. I don't know where, but the road makes this place a good candidate. As a small child I saw that creation when being stored in an assembled condition. The fabric was red and white and the frame was made of aluminium. With some imagination similar to the Kymera in the foreground (allowing the grey to represent the aluminum), but with a higher content of red. Cascade Hello World - I've made my first (half axel cascade) using the Hydra, without really being able to make a good proper single half axle (it is that darn pop up move on the second wing tip that refuses (and I've stopped bothering for now) to work for me. Only by pulling on the top wing I did a cascade of seven half axel cycles. No, this should really be 3.5 cycles (takes two half axels to complete a cycle). Could it be so that not giving too much slack can cause some pop up like pull on the wing that ends up highest after the main half axle pull (thus delaying the rixeling of the kite)?
Most of the time I flew the Hydra because it was windier than how the forecast usually feels for this field and due to assembly problems of the Kymera (what a disgrace), most likely due to my refusal to RTFM. Even worse, on Youtube there is a recurrent KL video "Dual Line Tutorial - Assembly and Disassembly (stunt kite)" ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgHexOZ2LRY ). I have frequently got this as a automatic suggestion from Youtube - I have refused to watch this video since I "KNOW" how to assemble a stunt kite - arggg...! Now I need to resort to rubber bands to tension the sail. B.t.w. rubber bands are useful so I always have an abundance of them. Most of the time I use them to keep the lines wound up around the winder and also to keep the LSs and the TS together when the kite is in it's sleeve. I think that the ritual minimises the risk of forgetting a spreader - especially if the kite is disassembled in the dark. Both kites becomes a bit "talkative" in the gusts trailing edge flapping (humming). There are no leech lines in neither kite, but the trailing edge of the Hydra is stiffer and can therefore take more wind since it is made of mylar. On the other hand the Hydra is most likely used when it is more wind... Today the card flips worked out better with the Hydra, possibly due to the heavier frame. For the 540s, the Kymera had a really nice nice feeling (made me think of Jam Session in a way). The lazies felt tricky on the Hydra today, a bit less stable than I remembered from the first (windy/gusty) time I tried it. Later, weeks after this session was finished, I got some more insight into lazies/turtles during some sessions with the Kymera. I experienced that also the Kymera quite easily "de-turtled" during lazies compared to much that I've been flying lately (and more or less leaned the lazy on): Maestro 3, Infinity and Shadow. All the three latter just maintains the turtled position by themselves during the lazy. Kymera is more like that you need to control the turtle pitch by moving forward before initiating the lazy rotation - which means that there are no difficulties in leaving the turtle. There are always always things (aspects of tricking/flying) to investigate.   The lunch break
The kiting needs to wait for a while - I'm heading for a brunch with my family. During autumn walks I often can't stop myself - I take pictures of large and small things. On the way to the brunch I passed a place where a "crime" once was committed. As a student a long time ago I was being "cheered up" after an acute heart ache (embarrassing now yes) by a friend that arranged an in the forest grill session. He brought some sausages and started a open fire here on the ground to grill them. Now from the part forest rich non-densely populated part of Sweden where he came from starting an open fire on the ground was something perfectly natural to do. However, here to the east of Stockholm 28km^2 of the land is a national urban park (Ekoparken) and it is absolutely guaranteed that you may not have outdoors open fires directly on the ground. There was little wind that day, no leaves on the trees and plenty of smoke to reveal our activities. I wonder how it looked like from the tower? Although the event was started with the best of intention, I then felt double miserable, since I assumed that any remaining cash (the budget of students are often much limited) would need to be spent on fines.
Otherwise during no-risk-of-fire periods you may start open fires, well without damaging rocks then. This comes with an even larger "package" - the so called "Allemans rätten" (everyone's right)- you may access even private land. There are several do and don'ts here. Of course you many not enter someones garden e.t.c., log trees and treading on crops. However you may pick berries, mushrooms and flowers provided that they are not rare (defined in lists). You may sleep in a tent (for 24h?) in a place without the land owners permission. There are other things you may not do as well if you don't own the land: take branches/twigs from trees, fishing from (small?) private lakes (including cray fish), tap birch sap ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birch_sap )... However lack of parking places can limit access to nature (which may not be in the land owners interest to do anything about). They can change status of land (expensive though) and build houses or place pastures with scary looking horses or cows so that areas are cut off. Nonetheless, he idea of not being allowed (as in other countries) to use your feet to get you "everywhere" feels strange to me. Well what was the topic ...... kites of course .
This place is a lot fancier compared to when I visiting as a child (or didn't we just visit the restaurant?). Here my family focus on the important stuff - the dessert and candy. Yes, the tower is kind of a combined broadcasting facility, restaurant and tourist attraction.
This area got a lot of embassies and museums. Two of my favorite ones, which I visited a lot as a child, are the National Maritime Museum and the Technical Museum. Outside and to a certain extent inside the Museum) I also learnt to sail during a course with Optimist sailing dinghy, which my mother brought me to (much gratitude). Though the theoretical knowledge how to adjust the sails I got from a poster that happened to be placed in the bathroom of my best childhood friend - you can learn in close to any situation. I never sailed in that bay again, but did visit it much with an inflatable motorized dinghy. Djurgårdsbrunnskanalen/viken (the canal and bay) is a very nice area for walking or going through by boat ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djurgårdsbrunnskanalen ). 
Two years ago me, my youngest daughter and her cousin went to the Technical Museum. That day there was also a maker fair there (so the children got an opportunity to practice some soldering i.a.). So after hours on a museum how do you clear your head efficient when you have a large field nearby? You guessed it - we continued with kiting! Why on earth are there not more days like this? Days like this are not forgotten.
Yes this is the place for the action that I've returned to many times. However, before I started seriously with kites I started out non-seriously. To the left there was a non-serious flying competition (still a long time ago). The winner would be the one that amused/entertained the audience and bribed the jury in the best way. I built a large dual line kite of bamboo sticks and black garbage bags. The lines were made of fishing lines. One model rocket was supposed to slide along one of the lines. When it reached the switch in the other rocket should fire downwards long the other line. OK this wasn't perhaps a very healthy activity, but the handles sat on a bar a bit out from me and I wore something looking as a wide construction helmet. How did it go? - not so well, I couldn't control the kite (it actually felt like it turned the wrong way (if that is possible), but I at least got a bottle of sweet arrack liquor (that traditionally go with pea soup on Thursdays https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punsch ) for the idea or as a comforting price?
More on rockets: a few years earlier in senior high school I made a project where model rockets were built (but the engines not: https://www.estesrockets.com/ ) and the height was calculated. The computer I had available at the time was my Sinclair Spectrum 48k computer. The program calculated new values of drag, mass and motion every (simulated) 0.01s (a quite arbitrarily number that I didn't do much to investigate the best value of) in the simulation. The most tricky part was launch and the measurement of the actual height. Theory and practice are two different things - there were several difficulties associated with the launch: too little launch current, communication with the helpers that performed the measurement (no we didn't have mobile phones at the time) and that most rockets were tricky to see when the were at their highest. Were did we do the tests - you guessed on the field, a bit more close to the tower than distant from it.
Ferry boats to Finland, Åland and Estonia departs from here. Also cargo is handled here. This view makes me think of the last time I saw my first balsa tissue model ( http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FnPmDSfs0VM/UaCH_uclECI/AAAAAAAACYI/W9x0DTJvqYc/s1600/Sonny.jpg -  I could find the drawing - isn't the www fantastic? ) - a free flying glider. The building of it was much assisted by my father, but the model was used, used, repaired, used again (sounds like my Jam Session). The originally white tissue was repaired, then replaced with red tissue, the fin was replaced, the nose weight replaced... I towed it up with the line, it unhooked at it's apogee, but instead of normally gliding downwards some thermal winds must have caught it because it just kept soaring and then set a straight path towards the silos. The last I saw of it was a small red (the original white tissue had been replaced by red in an earlier repair) dot near the top of the Silos. The evening before, the day it disappeared I had made an orange address note in a type writer and put it on the side of the fuselage, but it served no purpose. The morning after, me and my mother took a long walk on the other side of the water to look for the model, but the model was no ware to be seen.
The area that now is used for container cargo was until 1952 a bay where sea planes were anchoraged. There was a an airport for seaplanes here with passenger traffic to several destinations. When verifying/reading up on it before posting I got the slightly disturbing info that the name of one of the pilots here was Herman Göring before he made a darker career elsewhere ( http://www.svd.se/harifran-gick-flygen-fore-bromma-och-arlanda-3XQ1 ). Now this should not come as a complete surprise since he found his wife in Sweden. The times were different then my father used to remind me: when buying shoes you could have them X-rayed when testing them, radioactive aftershave was sold and funny ideas about the importance of the color of the hair and how peoples heads were shaped were widespread and accepted. When just being a small child and sitting on the lawn in front of his home my father was suddenly approached by a lady who said: "You don't look so Swedish". He didn't think this was a major thing at the time to my understanding but never forgot it. According to him at this time this was not at all a positive thing to say during this time and was an example of the ideas of that time. If this had anything to do with his dislike of any kind of flag waving, rituals and marches I do not know.
At least one time each autumn I try to walk in this area - it gives me a kind of relaxed peace of mind and sense of belonging. Actually I prefer this walk slightly later than this time of year when the treas are even more colorful, possibly even past that peak of color. The moments when I don't have anyone in view it kind of feels like memories from a long time ago are just as valid as recent ones.
No you can't say that "there is a dog buried here" - an English corresponding saying is "I smell rat". In fact there are many many dogs buried here. Not only dogs but cats, parrots and a circus horse as well.
Continuing the walk in these less crowded parts of Djurgården you eventually reach a bench with a view. If you look closely, close to the centre of the bench/table image on the other side you can see a red building with a green roof. This is Boghammar Marin, a shipyard for medium sized boats - typically no larger than ferry boats for in archipelago traffic.
To the right of the shipyard there is a lawn/park just at the sea. There I did my first successful dual line kiting sessions in perhaps 1984 or so. Without any to learn from and no internet I initially and unsuccessfully tried less open fields that had worked for SLKs without any success for this dual. I never progressed beyond figure square flying and hadn't heard of any tricks (and a can't remember if I even made any proper landings)- so I don't count this when answering the "kiting since" question. I still got this kite, though I need to verify that it is complete. Notice the dust layer - this kite has not been flown in about 30 years.
About the same time the tanker war had started. The High Speed Patrol Boat was exported in large numbers - civilian equipment yes, but then fitted with weapons. A new term was phrased(/became widely known?) the "boghammers" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boghammar ).
Several years ago when going to Stora Karlsö I was surprised to see the Boghammar sign. It turned out that also this ferry boat was made by them. Stora Karlsö ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stora_Karlsö or https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stora_Karlsö ) is situated outside the Gotland coast in the Baltic sea. It previously was a home for the families of the keepers of the light house i.a.. To describe it's nature I'd say that start with Gotland but then make it more extreme: the cliffs, the lime stone formations and the fossils. It is also home for a large share of the population of sea birds (and I'm not thinking of the Seagulls). The reason being the side of the steep cliffs offering so many places for nests. The maximum number of (human) guests at a certain time is limited. B.t.w. when going from Visby to Klintehamn where the ferry boat for Stora Karlsö departures from, you pass the atmospheric kite shop of Drak-Johan.   The Afternoon session
This version of a snag is something that I haven't seen before. Well if it would be too common I'll remove that label. I was approached by an interested bystander. He was of the rare and much interested type that wanted to know "everything". He was from Portugal and had earlier built and flown 2-line kites. He seemed fascinated by any aspect except possibly for just keeping them in the air. Therefore pointed him to the nearest (nowadays online) store that sells (Prism) kites to get more modern kites and showed him the KL forum. When switching between kites and transferring the lines I continued to explain and mentioned that the name of the knot was larks head in English as well as in Swedish (word by word translation). He then mentioned that he as a child used to hunt larks for food using a slingshot. When I asked if that was no awfully difficult he answered (appearing both humble and proud): "Well, that is not for everyone". The owner of my most frequent lunch restaurant is also from Portugal. According to him he had seen this as a child, but not been involved in it himself. On the other hand he seemed familiar with how the flock responded to the first shot and the delay before you got a second chance. I don't know if any larks live in flocks or if it was so that people then were not so fussy about which species of bird they caught.
Power kiting foils is typically the type of kites that you see here. However I haven't as today seen any buggies or land boards as you can't (yes) see in this photo. What I've seen so far is people training how to use the kites. What you can see here is at least the red (to the right) and green (to the left) foils. In school during sports days we sometimes ended up here. On already then old style skates offering little support to the ankles, skating was the activity here. This round track is long and somewhat winding. Though the field appears to be flat, the small slopes gives an interesting aspect to skating. Last year (at least) they also had maintained tracks for cross country skis.
By the end of the day when I had finished doing my kiting I'd hoped to talk to the powerkiters and therefore headed in their direction. Hmm... could no longer see any in the dusk. Suddenly I thought I could see a white one instead of the green and red ones. No? Was I mistaken? Then I saw a man walking with a really large back pack and a correspondingly large chunk of fabric. I recognised him before he recogised me. It turned out to be one of the younger of my late fathers former colleges. He explained his activities here today by that he needed to practice handling of the paraglider. The actual use was limited to a few trips each year. He also told me that since he wasn't so large the paraglider was "only" 25m2 (or was it 28m2?). Anyhow with the right technique it seems to be possible to handle really large foils (however here for a different purpose than the kiting). Conclusions for the day, some areas are meaningful and filled with contents, and also that:
The land, sea and sky can be used both for wonderful and terrible things!  

Exult

Exult

 

December in the Desert

I hope all of you enjoyed 2016 thus far. We have a lot to look forward to in 2017. This month will bring very little wind and lots of sunshine. More content is on the way. Here is a 4k version of the instagram video:   

Flynhi

Flynhi

 

B2 Thanksgiving

Once or twice a month the winds will be enough to break out the B2 Mid vent, Thanksgiving weather was ideal. Arizona is great for winter flying. The dandelions are racing through the skies. Click here for a 4K version of the Instagram video:   

Flynhi

Flynhi

 

Virtual Freestyle Practice, New Camera, and "Push Axels"

Phew, it has been busy these past couple weeks. Changing weather and a bad flu really cut into my flying but I've still managed to get out a bit!. I've been trying to accomplish four things while on the field: 1) Fractured Axel practice. I'd like to get much more consistent with them which I think involves two things. First is to make sure the kit is in the middle of the axle before pulling for the fade. I can do this in the middle of the window, but I miss most attempts when trying this near the edge. I think this has something to do with the asymmetry already present in the lines when flying at the edge of the window? I have to think about it a bit more though. The other thing I need to do is Give.More.Slack. Every time I watch the footage of my sessions I can see line tension screwing up the trick. I think I err on the side of too little slack because I'm usually practicing in lower wind and don't want to have to regain ground lost when I take up slack. When there is finally enough wind to sustain a fade with the Quantum though I just don't give enough.  2) Virtual Freestyle practice. Less than a week left to get an entry in! I'm trying to get an entry that starts with the kite on the ground, includes at least one fractured axel and one nice slide, and ends with the kite deliberately (not crashed) on the ground within 1min 30sec. This has been hard! I'm starting to 'check in' with the ground, landing more frequently which is helping for sure.  3) Axels. I've been working on more deliberate control of my axels. This has involved trying them with the nose pointed every direction 'above' horizontal, and with both wings. I'm still not usually giving a snappy enough tug or enough slack for the kite to come all the way around but I've learned to bail out of them into horizontal flight and maintain/gain momentum in the process which is good for low wind flight. I've also been working a bit on 'Push Axels' -- Axels started from a 180  90 degree push turn instead of a stall.  I don't think they look quite as good but they are very fluid,and very easy to do.  Exult sent me this link to a great trick list that has a lot of insight in the descriptions. From that list I turned what I thought had been constant failures at Half Axels into repeatable successes with Rixels! This is the most reliable way I have right now of getting into a turtle. Finally, my BF bought me a new camera! He got a super deal on a new GoPro Hero 5 my anniversary, Xmas, and Birthday gift. Worth it!!!! The videos included here are all from the GoPro. This first one is probably  the least exciting! It was filmed at 2.7k but converted to 1080p cause Windows movie maker doesn't do higher res. It has a lot of Fractured Axel attempts, and some Virtual Freestyle practice. It also has a few Rixels and one snap turtle The next videos are done with GoPro studio. It is OK, but I like Windows Movie Maker more. Oh well! This Push Axels video is filmed at 2.7k and uploaded to Youtube, which downscales it to 1440p. This video was mostly me screwing around with the camera as there was no wind all morning. It is in 1440p resolution but 4:3 aspect ratio. with the gopro this means much more sky is visible. I'm not sure how I feel about this aspect ratio! Nice to see more of the sky, but I don't like black boarders.  Finally, here are two virtual freestyle attempts plus a couple half axels  This was filmed at 2.7k which was used to crop a 1080p frame. It is a great way to keep the kite in frame the whole time, but I already miss the higher resolution of the full 2.7k image.  I can't wait to play with this camera in more appropriate winds! There's no upper spreader in my kites for almost all of these This week will be much of the same, VF attempts, FAs, and as many axels as I can while getting to know this camera. I might have to learn howto fly with gloves on soon though, getting cold!!  

Happyspoon

Happyspoon

 

Seasons

Today provided great rain (0.05 in), cool air (65 F), and a bit of wind (6-22 MPH). Kite control is coming more naturally. The next step is to tame arm movement. The zooming in and out edits on this video make me a bit dizzy. Does anyone else experience this?

Flynhi

Flynhi

 

Enjoy Autumn

(This video is only view-able through this blog entry, or by sharing this link: https://youtu.be/2-WtSRIEUU0 ) Flying has brought nothing but joy and inspiration in the past year. Tracking the weather while outdoors is good for the spirit. The November sun brings plenty of heat to the valley. We wait for the skies to send a few good breezes. Enjoy Autumn!

Flynhi

Flynhi

 

Bridle Adjustments, Wow (featuring, new green quantum)

Just a short post to talk about getting a new kite! I found a green prism quantum on craigslist while away for work for $60  The owner said it had been flown once but everything seemed brand new including the lines so I'm guessing it was just opened up once or twice indoors. I took it out yesterday and this morning, and it flies great.  Interestingly, when flipping through the manual I found out that you can tune the lower yokes on the bridle for "radical" or "forgiving" flight. Both quantums had been set for 'forgiving'. It is crazy what a difference it makes switching things to radical makes. I'm pretty sure I could snap stall in properly strong  wind with these settings! I wish I had paid more attention as another flyer at the point mentioned 'cinching up' those yokes once but it was before I knew what they really meant! Here's 6 minutes of me flying yesterday evening with the new settings. I'm still digesting all the ways the kite feels different with these settings but I'll update this post as I have thoughts. It feels like there is a bit of a delay between my input and the kite's reaction, but the response itself is actually more precise. I think this is because the kite 'wobbles' out of plane a lot more easily on this setting.  So far I've only tried the radical setting in conjunction with the 'nose forward' light wind bridle setting but I'll try other combinations this weekend I'm sure! Edit: Here is the 'standard' wind bridle (still on radical settings otherwise)!  

Happyspoon

Happyspoon