Blogs

Featured Entries

  • 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".
    • 1 comment
    • 544 views
  • 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
    • 1 comment
    • 449 views
 

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

 

October Check-In

The last month has been interesting for kiting! The weather continues to worsen and I find myself having to be much better prepared to go fly. Compared to last fall as a non-kiter I’m now much more sensitive to weather! I didn’t realize how gusty the winds get once summer ends. The erratic rain is less of a problem (at least for the kite), but it isn’t super satisfying to come home soaking wet J. Worth it though, and nothing a raincoat can’t solve. I’ve also moved from walking to the point into a driving routine, and my car’s trunk is colonized by kites and lines. On to flying  I’ve been focused on a couple key things each time I hit the field. ·       Stalls- Getting the hang of these, except for stalls while traveling upwards. I’m not 100% with stalls yet, especially on low wind bridle settings and in winds over 10mph but I’m feeling good. ·       Slides- o   I’m good with initiating slides at the edge of the window but less good the closer to the middle I get. I have come close to starting slides from an axle but it still feels pretty random. o    I’m pretty solid at holding a slide, but not at ‘pulling’ the kite past the middle of the window to keep sliding. I have pretty much no practice sliding from the center to the edge of the window. ·       Axles- I’m trying to develop a solid feel for the range of inputs that all result in an axle.   It seems like you don't have to be totally stalled to do an axle, but you do have to be able to give the kite lots of slack after tugging. Being stalled lets you really push back the wing which I think sets the kite up better but I'm nott toally sure yet I think the 'sharpness' of the pull makes much more of a difference than the intensity. I can axle with one finger no problem this way. On the other side, a longer pull almost always ends in a wingtip snag/wrap. Even when the tip doesn't wrap, long pulls rarely get the kite to rotate all the way around.  I think the intensity of the axle input determines how quickly the kite rotates, and how far the kite falls (or rises) during the axle. I’ve noticed that in low wind you can actually lift the kite with an aggressive enough axle. I’ve been saved from the lack of ground-level wind a number of times with a nice fast axle! ·       Fractured axle-to-fades- I know what I’m supposed to do, and I know thee ‘lock in’ feeling of a well-executed FA. Flatter axles would help, as would better timing for the pull (my videos show me this is my biggest problem). I’m also still learning how much slack is ‘just right’ so the nose doesn’t over-flip.  ·       Cartwheels- I think I’m good with these now, though they aren’t pretty yet. At least I’m doing the walk of contemplation less. ·       Fade launches- It might be that I’m always practicing in pretty low wind but I'm finding fade launches tricky. It seems like as long as I pull out of the fade the instant i enter it that I can fly off most of the time. I'm pretty bad at maintaining the fade near the ground still though. ·       Half axles- phew, what a challenge still. I still don’t really get how they should feel. I can pull the top wing down into a ‘flare’ like position (but with the nose pointed to the edge of the window). I can even sometimes then pull to rotate the nose around the other way, and even fly the kite out of it sometimes. But it doesn’t feel or look anything like a half axle. I met a flyer at the point who is great with slack line tricks!! I watched him for awhile and felt like just doing that taught me lots. I think my problem is that I'm not 'snappy' enough with the input, just tlike with the axle. I tend to try and pull the kite right into a flare which I think means I'm pulling for too long. I feel like I was getting closer in this last session (with my I2K) until I broke a lower leading edge... I think it must have been broken when I got the kite as it was a soft crash (landed on both wingtips but with some sideways momentum) that popped it. New parts are waiting across the border for me and I can pick them up today in Blaine ·       Air recoveries- Exult’s blog talks a lot about “provoking the kite”, and how it gives one a chance to feel how the kite responds to inputs from a variety of positions. I’ve noticed that when the kite starts to tumble, 9/10 times it can be fixed by walking backwards a few meters! If that doesn’t work I try tugging one line then repeating the backwards walking. I have no idea how to save the kite when the line snags on a tip, but at least I can guide the kite gently to the ground when it happens. Between the ground recoveries, air recoveries, and axles I’m in the air and actively practicing 5X more than when I first started leaning the axle. I’ve really noticed this in the videos! Previously I might get 10min of good footage per hour of flying. Now almost the entire hour is usable. Reviewing this footage has been so instrumental in improving my skills so it is nice to increase its information density! I’m also spending more and more time in a stall/slide and less with the sail ‘powered up’. I'm slowly improving with flip tricks too! I can finally turtle, both while flying upward and a 'snap turtle' while flying horizontally. I'm still not great at maintaining a turtle. I went out a few times to try night kiting! My BF brought home a couple packs of LED fingers from the dollar store which worked really well! They are a bit over 6g each so they don’t add too much to the weight of the kite. That said, with one clipped to the spine and one on each wingtip the kite controls pretty differently! I did my first (cruddy) multi axles within minutes of being airborne and weighted. I’m now playing with keeping one clipped to the spine in medium and stronger winds. I also want to play with nose vs spine weights!     Finally, I'm playing around a bit with the way I film and edit my flying videos. If I put a camera close to me as well as one behind the kite I can make some 'overlays' that better show off my hand movements. I don't think I'll do this every time but I learn a lot about what I'm doing wrong when watching these!  

Happyspoon

Happyspoon

 

Fall 2016 is HERE

Fall weather in PHX - 96 F / 72 F with very little wind. B series standard is great for these conditions. Progress is slow and steady. Next step is leading with the brakes. Nothing but great weather for the next 7 months.

Flynhi

Flynhi

 

LBI Kite Festival 2016...

This is the Second Annual Long Beach Island festival. Last year was such a fun festival, that it was really tugging at me to go to this year's fest. Traffic wasn't too bad for a Friday before a holiday weekend. I got into town about an hour before dark, and ran down to the beach with my bag, eager to take advantage of the smooth onshore 10mph breeze.  There were a surprising number of kites in the air, I guess I missed the first full day. I guess I'll have to take off the whole day next year and get here earlier ! So... there was a wedding going on while the kites were flying overhead. I wonder if they planned the wedding to be under the kites, or if they were really surprised to see this going on right next to and over them. I came across this guy, flying the heck out of this kite. I never did find out what kind of kite that is. Saber ? Machine ? something Euro ? I was tossed as to flying 4 lines or two, as the wind was around 10mph. I stop flying duallies and fly the Revs right about at 10. Hmmmm..... what to fly ? The Skyburner Solus won the grab... Looking forward to tomorrow, even though the forecast looks kinda wet. Hey, there's a 40% chance that it won't rain. Here's hoping !

RobB

RobB