When being removed from your comfort flying zone you might get new experiences that you couldn't imagine or predict. This blog entry is also a vacation post card from the medieval city (in the sense that ruins and buildings from that time still exist) of Visby ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visby ) in the island of Gotland ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotland ) in the Baltic Sea as well as an example of how flying during new and non-ideal conditions turned out to be educational, fun and very different from my more normal dual line flying. Most of the last section "Conclusions" is a condensed list of what I learned/experienced for the first time during the stay.
This funnel makes no secret of the initial letter of the island of it's destination - i.e. this is the start of this mini vacation.
Pestilence wort ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petasites_hybridus ) is growing around Visby in several places. Here to the north of the city wall. The leaves becomes rhubarb-like. In spring the flowers appears before the leaves. Before the flower buds open it looks like a small pineapple in my opinion (the photo of the buds is from the 26th of Mars).
St. Lars church ruin. The walls contain passages designed for hiding out during crises and war. Yes, you are allowed to enter them during day(/evening?) time. The second photo is a view from St. Lars through an archers crenel (possibly, at least it is shaped like one on the in- and outside of the opening).
Donners plats is in the central part of Visby with many restaurants etc. The dark green creeper plant in the background to the left is (most likely -but can't tell from a distance) ivy - the province plant of Gotland. This evergreen plant got lobed leaves, except for old stems where the leaves are un-lobed. The ivy is so common here so that I forgot to take any photos of it. And no, it is only ivy, not poison ivy (which seems to be a really unpleasant plant).
The trip, Visby and Visby as a (land) kiting area
My family is here during the medieval week, more by a coincident rather than with the intention of participating by being dressed in medieval-like clothing. Everywhere in the city inside the surrounding defense wall and around, there are people dressed, perhaps every 10th to 5th person, in certain areas even more. The city has today grown beyond the defense wall, but the old part still functions and not only by tourism. There are even areas inside that are close to desolate even during summer vacation times.
Medieval themed market during the medieval week.
I like the mood and mysterious tone in this image.
Alarming news - Gotland is dry! Let me translate part of what was written on the first page of "Gotlands Allehanda", the local newspaper: The medieval beer is finished before the medieval week is over. No it is not as bad as it sounds, I only saw one group and one hotel guest that seamed to have looked to deep into the bottle during my stay.
The ground of the island is sedimented limestone, the pebbles on the beaches and the rocks are also of limestone. Fossils from the Silurian age are very common. Some rocks are high and steep - in other places softer limestone has been eroded only to leave high pillars in odd shapes. The Baltic Sea is a low salinity sea, though it is not a lake so it is not fresh water. Some species living in the salt water on Sweden's west coast (~Atlantic Ocean) has managed to adapt to the water here, but the individuals tend to be much smaller (species, adapt, individual... sounds like something from a Borg "philosophical" discussion). Swimming in these water leaves no sticky salt feeling afterwards as swimming in an ocean does.
Visby as a kiting area is not perfect at least to my knowledge of what is in walking range (a couple of km) from Visby. To the south there is a high plain that ends in steep limestone cliffs (actually if looking carefully one can find a path at in intermediate height level when walking there - it is so beautiful, when I go along the path I can't stop myself, I take photo after photo...). A plain sounds nice, however there are bushes sparsely scattered here from about 2m tall all the way down to a dm high bushes. If the wind is from the sea, going over the cliff edge, the winds can be a bit turbulent (it can also be a bit turbulent in other directions, but you can "always" find a spot to fly on here). To the north of Visby there are beaches, however unfortunately they are mostly very narrow and with trees and walks/roads limiting. Some beaches are of sand, but most of them are of limestone pebbles (well an exception might be perhaps 5km to the north during the parts of the year when beaches are abandoned). To be fair, Visby is just a small bit of Gotland. People living on the East side of the island tend to think that it is very far to the west side (and vice versa...) an opinion rarely shared by "outsiders". Other places are really kite friendly. They even had kite festivals on Gotland. It might also be so that there is no coincident that you can find one of very few kite shops, Drakjohan (translation: "Johan (a personal name) the kiter"), only dedicated to kites here. The result of web searches are a bit confusing - several main pages seem to exist. One of Drakjohans specialities is to make kites out of bird's feathers!
These two images show the area close the path and the start of the path. Following the path here would be to much of a diversion (perhaps another time since I've been doing kiting a bit ahead at an earlier occasion)
Maestro 3 meets water - the first non-travelling day
So driven by my wife's request that I should "be with my family" when they do swimming and "sun worshiping", I didn't go to the bushy plain as I usually do, but to the very limited beaches north of the town. Add to this the to high wind (the LE of kite got deformed in the wind) that makes dual line slack line tricks more difficult. I had only brought one (dual) trick kite to Gotland, the Maestro 3. It is OK, it certainly does not limit my tricking, but is not my favorite kite. The wind was almost parallel to the beach, but still from the sea. I found an opening between the trees, a bit close to the path unfortunately. Not to scare the pedestrians and occasional bicyclists by flying close I could only fly towards the water side. Standing close to the water increased the margin further.
Holding the kite tight when taking an image with the other hand.
The short 15m lines was the only option that worked here. Also the large turning radius that occurs by the edge of the wind window for my kites of newer design (but for none of my kites of older design (why is it so - deep sails?)) reduced the margins further. Perhaps the remedy to the lack of space would be to learn the half axle profoundly and ingrained as a reliable maneuver as an alternative to traditional turning at the edges of the wind window?
I don't own a kite stake, but here it was needed. The amount of stones to hold the handles in the image were just enough.
During forward flight in mid wind window, the round pebbles and the pull and slope of the beach caused the feet to slide. This meant that the situation was so that running downstream to do tricks was quite much out of the question. Doing a (snappily initiated) turtle it moved sideways in random, however seemed often to follow the contour of the beach slope, ending by slowly sinking down or sharply "unturtle" to the ground. The sideways turtle sliding is perhaps not so surprising, since the wind can't go through the sloping beach, the component of the wind normal (90 degrees) to the lines needs to follow the slope as well.
Being one metre up from the sea level, flying the kite to the edge of the wind window I could position the kite under the horison at the wind window edge. When making the transition from the wind window edge position to a stall a couple of metres into the wind window, the kite sank quite rapidly when stalled if you didn't handle it (in spite of the wind and the fact that the bridle setting was so that the nose was slightly tilted towards me). The turning radius at the edge and the sinking stall are the things (I tell myself) that I don't like with the kite. But hey, can't the possibility of making a landing by stalling the kite in hard wind be a feature? No, I haven't really tried out this kite yet, e.g. I've only briefly tested with and without weights when the kite was very new.
The decision to do the Jaws trick was not a sudden decision. In fact, last year I already did a limited attempt, but then decided it was not for me. This was during a language course for my children in Sidmouth (in Devon, UK) last summer. I almost had my Elixir crushed (it looked like) when landing at a depth of a just a few cm, when an Atlantic wave engulfed it. Here in Visby it was a completely different matter, I just noticed that it offered no problems, so I just increased how much the kite was submerged a bit more for every time I landed it in the water. Also, in my much subjective opinion, submerging the kite was beneficial for the look of it. Travelling after geological periods (Devonian in Devon and Silurian in Gotland) was not an active choice. Should I instead actively follow this hinted trend the next summer, I'd go somewhere where the sediments/sedimental rocks are from the (older) Ordovician period.
If you are not familiar with the Jaws trick, the trick is performed by letting the kite sink down while stalled with the nose up and then let it return to the surface and then take off again. You can also read about this and other tricks in the Fractured Axel's Tricky Wiki. Yet another place to look for trick descriptions is in Peter Peters site ( http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/p.j.f.peters/kites/index.html ) in the tricks page ( http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/p.j.f.peters/kites/basics/funcidx.frm.html ). PP's trick list contains a brief description of each trick and how to perform it, but I'm tempted to say it is more of a reference (although it got a helpful list of which tricks to start with as a beginner). Much info is from the last years of the previous millennium in web pages that look typical for the time. The kite terminology is always useful as well. The links list however, is more of a kite museum than a set of working links.
Kite tunnel vision - my family might agree on this image text. Notice the seaweed residues after the Jaws trick (under water landing and take off). Much more of the seaweed mess was to come.
I guess the conditions for submerging it were quite ideal - hard wind so the kite didn't flip forward when taking off, low waves and a OK kite that wasn't one of my most dearest ones. The waves were reduced by a long shallow shelf stretching out from the beach. Here and there the were also boulders breaking through the surface which I guess also could help to reduce the waves. The "OK but not the dearest kite" might also need some explanation. After buying the Infinity the Maestro 3 felt comparatively redundant (however different kites always offer differences useful when learning tricks). For various reasons I'd never fly on this beach in hard wind and practice Jaws for the first time with my e.g. Infinity, Jam Session, Maestrale, Illusion, Elixir... . In a way not flying a "museum kites" wearing silk gloves adds to the usefulness of the Maestro (I wonder how I'll consider the Maestro in 10 years or so).
I feel a bit bad about this. This is the only kite I got whose appearance I don't like. Many colours on a kite can be nice and one colour plus black can be nice as well, but this ... it is extra of everything. It reminds me of my one of my birthdays as a child. I made my own cake and was given full control over the ingredients, so I mixed "everything" that I liked - the result well you can guess... Perhaps this is difficult - if you design many kites and there is a requirement that each of them should have a distinct look, each kite model therefore can't be the best looking or close to best looking.
Another thing I tried out was to attempt to park the kite in harder wind by using the failed Sleeping Beauty maneuver (i.e. you just leave out the take off part) in this harder wind - I just couldn't do the on ground rotation - this calls for further investigation.
As described above the tricking was pretty much limited during the conditions, so I went further to the north to reach a still narrow but instead sandy beach where parts of my family also happened to be (for some more time at least). With the softer ground I dared to do some fades. Considering the quite hard wind (though slightly less than the first beach), I was a bit surprised how well it could hold the fade. Considering both the Maestro's good natured fade and turtle I might have been to hard on the judgement of this kite.
The municipality of Gotland (and in fact at the same time the county of Gotland) must be very kind to kiters, since they obviously offer kite holders on the beach to resting kite walkers.
By the end of the day I was content with myself that the wing nocks were still intact - this is something I've learnt from flying on stony beaches and rocks on earlier occasions. Not covering the wing tips/nocks with plastic caps limits the flying when flying on rocky beaches. If I hadn't forgot to bring the caps I could have allowed myself to do more groundwork. However looking at the nose I've had too much fun anyhow. The spine had almost worn through. Should one treat the nose with some hardening goo or a patch as a preventive measure before flying on hard surfaces?
I was a bit surprised by how quickly the nose could wear out - only one to two hours of rocky beach in hard wind. Did I just go medieval on that nose (which in a way might be appropriate description given the time and place)? Could the sand beach have contributed as well? Previously I've only used my Maestro on grass and to some limited extent on sand. Could the water make things worse by making the fibre in the nose more easily slide relative to each other? Well well, should check the topic http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/6490-weekend-projects-nose-plasti-dip/ again.
Then the feared telephone call came: "Hurry home - we are going out!". At this time he kite and lines were in a mess with much seaweed and sand after a second of some not so successful tricking over water. A kite with lines is a very efficient harvesting tool for seaweed. I tried to coax the large chunks of seaweed from the line - didn't work. Tried to slide it over the sleeves on the kite side of the line - didn't work either, the chunk just stopped at the end of the line. What worked to some degree was to step on the seaweed, grab each side of the line and pull to get parts of the large chunk off. I really didn't like to put the kite in it's current shape in its sleeve and did not have the time to do the cleaning, so I took it for the 4km walk back still assembled with the wind pressing the kite to my side. After a while I reached a low jetty where the sand could be washed away.
On the way back these sea birds also wanted to be on a photo.
Carrying a kite through the town can't be that odd - look at how the other people were dressed. On the way home closer to the city about a third was dressed in medieval clothing. Later that evening once more on the way back home (the children were at the tournament games), going through the botanical garden and city in the dusk (very atmospheric) I really belonged to a minority wearing modern clothing. Now being the deviant, even though the kite was at the hotel.
The budget dual foil gets lured into pulling - the second and last non-travelling day
The next day it should be even slightly more wind and the forecast from the very same morning also promised no rain. Therefore I decided to go to the high plain with my youngest daughter who joined me to try the foil out. To be more specific I was doing the walking and she had rent a bike. Also the rain that should not be, decided to join in during the walk. It was a very long time ago I tried the foil the last time and then it had problems with foil folding. One suggestion I got in KL was to try it in more wind. I had hoped to be blown out of my shoes, but was a bit disappointed, with the current wind direction. There was a forest about a few hundred meters upstream. This meant that there was no direct wind from the sea and the wind was a bit dirty.
Is this the simplest possible "kite bag" (for a single Maestro)? Well, well it turned out that I didn't use it that day, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. The foil was instead in the backpack. A long time ago when I only had two kites I that used on regular bases (a Jam Session and a Maestrale), I used two of these bands to loosely connect the two sleeves - No, no, not tightly tensioned, I can't I can't wrinkle a kite sail if it can be avoided in any way.
"The golden path to the freedom of kiting." It may not look so, but it is perfectly legal to walk here. To the right there is the sewage treatment plant and to the left?... I don't know what that fence does. The plateau can be accessed by anyone from many directions - pointless fence!
What I had hoped for was something moving like a rocket over the sky, forcing the pilot to really struggle. Most of the time this wasn't the case. Largely the kite felt like an empty plastic bag at the end of the lines. Seen from the side when my daughter was piloting the lines never went above 30 degrees above the ground (and she can at least stear a dual line). However going close to the kite (a few meters downstreams) there was a very pleasant sound of speed.
The old cheap foil I previously mentioned in the "What to do in high wind topic". These two photos are not from this trip.
Seen from the other side of the lines almost all sensation of speed was lost. When going straight forward, the kite was quite round in shape in the direction of the spanwidth. It kind of pulsated while going forward, curling up and straightening out, without stability, speed or pull. Doing the slightest turn often resulted in some foil folding starting. Pull turns or push turns made no difference. To the kites defence it say that the foil folding was quite good-natured - the foil folding ended by itself just as quickly as it started.
When this foil goes straight forward or turns slowly I don't give much for it's properties. It got a tendency to collapse or to curl up and never develops any real pull. Tight turning is a completely other issue - it becomes straight in an L-shaped way and starts to pull!
To further investigate and see if i could get any fun aspects of this kite I did something that went against my nature as a framed dual line kiter - I gave a very large input for turning. I've never used this large input ever. The result? - It did several tight turns, but much to my surprise the kite started to pull and became stable without a hint of foil folding. The shape of the kite changed to something L-shaped. On the side you pulled, most of the kite went straight and on the other side a small inward winglet formed. Then there was a long gust and finally, YES! YES!, some (mild) fighting! This kite seems to be meant for spinning. Perhaps the bridle could be tweaked to make the foil straighter without constantly being in a turn to achieve the straighter non-curled up form? A fathers heart was much warmed after sharing this piece of knowledge to my daughter and then seeing the result, (she was still wearing her bicycle helmet after her ride) the look of her happy brutal fighting face and pose. That was until her, sigh!, interest in "Pokemon Go" took over. Patience, patience, never push my interests (maximum offering them is the way to go I believe) - she would instantly protest if I did otherwise.
Since coming out of the foil folding was something that the kite largely managed by itself, I figured perhaps controlled foil folding is the trickflying of foils? Making turns with the rhythm borrowed from half axels (I'm still struggling with proper half axels with framed dual line kite though), the foil could be made to make a turn more or less on the spot with the foil folded, which then unfolded in the last part of the combo.
Nope you wouldn't find these berries tasty. They sit on the Blackthorn/Sloe bush (Prunus Spinosa, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_spinosa ). For them to be used in cooking you should harvest them after the first frost in the autumn. I've heard that you can add them to spirit to make a sweet liqueur, however with a limited shelf life. Normally I'd say that this bush is about 2m high (although up to 4m should be possible). Here on this plateau they tend to be very low. ...Now I see it! If I started a topic for plant interested kiters only it would TOTALLY dominate! ... For kiters I'm afraid that these plants are bad news - The twigs/thorns are not very kind to kite lines. They (well, certainly not me?) are responsible for damaging and me not fully trusting one pair of kite lines to my Fazer XL any longer. During Easter this year during a happy Fazer XL session, I wasn't patient enough to do the walk of contemplation when the lines got caught, but instead tried to solve it from where I stood.
So what was the outcome of this trip? Not waiting for the ideal situations (for a dual line trick/precision flyer that do not own a vented kite), which would have meant never during this trip, I got to test/learn starts with the kite fully submerged. saw that there was a problem with the failed sleeping beauty kite parking in harder winds which further needs to be checked out, saw that the Maestro 3 sat in a turtle and fade even during harder winds, felt some nice pull from a 2-line foil for the first time, studied the problem of the instability/foil folding, came up with temporary fix to do tight turns to handle the instability/lack of pull, got ideas on how to tweak the bridle, found some way of abruptly changing the foils course by utilising some controlled foil folding.
On the family side of things, they seem to be keen on getting medieval clothing for some future time. My youngest daughter also went from the Pokemon Go level of 14 to the level 15. My personal conclusion here: I'd rather Kitemon Go in "civilian" clothing!
Sometimes you get enough of pretty sceneries, evocative cities and too much nature. This ugly view on the way back to the hotel offered some rest.
End of vacation, the return trip to a more mundane life - tomorrow back to work...
If you made it to this very last line you are a very persistent reader - consider to wear a T-shirt with the text:
"I read long and tedious blog entries".
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.
Extreme heat calls for extra care and that is why we are taking the Cool Cabana with us to the beach each time we fly. All it takes is one day of over-exposure to the heat to make us come to this conclusion. And it seems the heat chases away the wind. But being stubborn, we got some kites in the sky
The Cool Cabana and No Wind
Warning: The horsing around is omnipresent in this blog entry. If you are easily annoyed by silly contents that is scattered through this text you are hereby warned.
Sunday afternoon after almost 2 days of cold rain the winds were really good for the local field/beach. The breeze was perfect, even (T-shirt) warm. I decided to get my HQ Infinity out. We have only seen each other about five times in kiting fields so far. There is a freshness about the situation. This is the first kite for me where all the spars are wrapped and and at the same time is equipped with an adjustable weight.
The mysterious Infinity late on its first evening here after its long voyage. Could this be the one?
The wind was so that the kite could maintain a pancake on the ground, while going from the position with nose on the ground trailing edge upwards to ground pancake was a bit difficult. I'd say that the wind was quite ideal for fade launches. I'd also say that compared to my other (oldie) kites maintaining the fade feels easier. It is however difficult to separate ones own progress from the properties of the kite.
So, the wind made putting the kite in a "ground pancake" (by tilting forwards as above) for the fade launch a bit time consuming. Card wheels are very often useful when launching a kite, but unfortunately as thrilling as cold porridge. Therefore I decided to try launching the kite in a way I've never tried before: let the kite fall backwards instead so it gets in a ground fade position, pull on one side so the kite flips around and in some way can be launched. Now to the surprise, something that never has happened before - a trick succeeded in the first attempt! In fact, it only failed once in this afternoon evening! When looking it up later the name of the trick turned out to be a sleeping beauty (sleeping beauty by DPmama74: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VANxs3rZd5E ). Once again I don't know whether it is me or the kite that can do this trick easily (suspect the kite though).
Although I've tried it on other kites and on other occasions and managed a few times, the lazy Susans was now there for the most of the time. Not always but to a degree that I had not experienced before. I also noticed that the turtles did not sink so rapidly - hm ... should compare this to other kites.
First dinner with the Infinity - a long wonderful but yet so short evening. The air was dense from expectation. (yes, the Swedish midsummer nights are bright).
Ménage à trois: "No, Jam Session return to your sleeve! - It is not infidelity, this is Infinity!
To condense the tricking of the last session the Infinity, compared to my other older kites, seem to assist me in the in these tricks (yes a very limited list of tricks, but the tricks that I'm currently working with):
* Fade/fade launch
* Sleeping Beauty
* Lazy Susan
This thing about the wrapped spars is a bit new to me, the pultruded ones has been the standard for so many years. The main exception being the Prism Illusion, where the lower leading edges are just very fragile. However the infinity is not the most light wind kite (with weight at least) so this kite could be more durable? How much can these spars really take? Dynamic DT15? A secret code was obviously written on the lower spreaders of the Infinity.
Getting a bit too carried away by my barnstorming text of fiery rhetoric pitch for being heavy on input on the lines (in Home > Sport Kites > Beginners > Breaking Spars, Very Common?) I kind of entered a more careless daring mode. After a while, during a heavy on the lines type of lazy Susan close to the ground, the kite instead exited the turtle and rapidly banged a wing tip into the ground. After this the kite felt a tiny fraction slightly more flexible and there was a small group of about 1.5cm (~1/2 inch) long fissures on one of the lower leading edges closest to the centre-T. All fissures being parallel to the axis of the spreader. I decided to go on (I hear the forums collective "NO!!!"-cries of horror), but with gentler handling. I now think I know how much a DT15 can and can't take since I now has experienced being within and at/beyond the limit.
The Infinity after the session that caused the fissures in one of the LS's inner tube end.
Pink Floyd - The Post War Dream: "Was it you for you? Was it me?
Did I watch too much TV?
Is there a hint of accusation in your eyes?"
Also notice the deep sail that should make (I assume) the kite to track well (OK, but not immensely impressive after turning with tail weight at least).
As I said this is still the early days with the Infinity. I've only tried the Infinity with the weight yet and has been starting from this spring very spoilt with tracking from the Tramontana. I should try it out without the weight and be observant on how tracking is affected. There are so many nice features, so many bridle settings that can be adjusted, the leading edge connectors are covered to reduce snags, there is a well centered thick patch to protect the sail from the top spreader, yo-yo stoppers, adjustable leech line, keeper lines to avoid having the bridle being caught on the end of the spine and there is even the slack lines that help the LE to preserve its shape and to prevent it to vibrate during higher winds.
I have one minor complaint, the sleeve is a bit narrow. A detail you may think, but I don't want to add wrinkles to the sail. This kite is best oriented in the sleeve with the nose up.
A bit too narrow sleeve.
The First Letter to the Infinity
During your convalescence I've been flying with my HQ Maestro 3 - fear not because with it's sail pattern it is sure not a beauty. However the tricks we experienced were still there (fades, sleeping beauties and lazy Susans), though the lazy Susans were not as mighty as yours. The sleeping beauty success ratio was a bit lower, mainly because I started to experiment with inputs. Infinity, I hope you'll recover soon, so we can perfect the lazies and make them reliable, so we can test smooth soft sleeping beauties and more aggressive ones and so that we can start to work on those back spins. And Infinity what would happen to your personality without the tail weight?
The Second Letter to the Infinity
I keep practicing the tricks I learnt/discovered/evolved/refined with you. The Tramontana now can fade launch and sometimes do the sleeping beauty thanks to the inspiration I got from you. I miss you, I want you back, so now I've bought a nice double syringe of epoxy to have you here soon. There is also a woven glass fibre welding blanket from which I can salvage some strands of glass fibre. Perhaps a spiral wound glass fibre epoxy composite can make you complete and even stronger than before?
Epoxy and woven glass fibre sheet.
Added 21st of Mars 2017 00:47:
I didn't think it was appropriate (at the time I was new KL member) - now I post with less self criticism (if possible). The music video that I mainly had in mind when writing this "new Infinity blog post" was:
(Lisa Ekdahl "Vem vet"/"Who knows"). The black and white video well matches the grey Infinity. Tonight I was on a musical concert (for the first time in 15 years or so). First it was a dinner included and then the the lady Lisa Ekdahl was giving a concert. In 1994 her greatest (yes this one) hit was written, but at the time my economy kept me from buying her CD. That little person (a head shorter than others on the scene) had such a presence (like an HQ Tramontana in the sky?). Yes, you are probably right when you think it has gone a little over the the top... One more kind of kite related thing, the person that got a HQ salsa kite as a wedding gift showed interest in the artist. He is a saxophone player and immediately got hold of the musical notes for "Who knows" when hearing of my coming concert visit, but I had already bought the tickets half a year ago, so he unfortunately couldn't join us...
We celebrated Independence Day with a kite club fly of red/white/blue kites. There was a large variety of kites in the sky which made quite a show for people on the beach and people touring Fort Macon.
A Hot Independence Day Weekend
Being relatively new here I'm not yet familiar with all the features/functions of this site. I kind of "discovered" the blog section quite recently and then figured out that ... hm... those earlier lengthy posts (like http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/7093-welcome-exult/#comment-57515 or http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/5459-what-do-do-in-high-wind/?page=4#comment-57785 ) might better had been put in a KL-blog instead? Even after a month I'm still in the process of finding my way around here.
Agenda (as of now at least): I aim to cover parts of my dual line stunt kiting here by now and then sporadically writing reasonably well edited posts and blog posts that I would like to read myself. English is not my native language though. It is not only finding expressions that are spot on (which can slow down somewhat), but also avoiding unintended alternative meanings of words. E.g. the name I first intended instead of Exult turned out to be dubious I believe. Quite often I check what happens to the kite when you make a short flick on the lines in various situations without much subsequent feed back and try to see what the kite wants to do. Therefore I thought "Fling" would serve as a good descriptive forum name that describes the kites movement after the short tug. However, after carefully looking it up, it turned out that the alternative meaning might make it a good name in some other type of forum, which is very far from what I intended.
Reason for limiting to dual lines is because that is what I happen to do and know. Currently I feel a four line would distract to much in learning tricks at my current level and also from to some more extent for apply the contents of John Barresi's "Kite Flying with Intent" ( http://kitelife.com/kl-archive/flying-with-intent/ ) for my dual line kites. Later when reasonably through (???) with this I'd perhaps feel more ready for a 4-line challenge. Another aspect is, in a time that still feels distant, I imagine that 4-line kiting might add a few more kite active years. Dual line slack line tricks can certainly demand that you rapidly run downstreams, which at an age no longer might be possible.
When I come to think of it, there is more old but reasonably recent stuff that could make it into this blog, like this (second) e-mail to Invento-HQ and a kite retailer/source of mine:
There was no reply. OK, HQ is not a kite forum and might need to focus on working to get the bacon on the table.
Sometimes we leave on a vacation having no idea where we'll wind up or how long we'll be gone. It is a powerful kind of freedom that our vast country provides. So we decide one evening to load a little gear into the RoadTrek the next morning & head up to a small town on the Ohio called Madison. We chose to leave with minimal preparation planning to buy anything we might have forgotten along the way. After a couple evenings on the road we decide we will venture onward. There was something in a store that we wanted. Wall Drug is in western South Dakota. I like to drive. When I left home that first morning I actually thought about not taking any kites. Maybe try to buy a few along the way was my logic. But at the last moment I just had to grab a few. I chose from some laying on the kite table. Tornados were threatening in the mid west so we were watching the storm patterns in order to avoid severe weather. We have had some crazy times on previous trips.
We stopped for the night in western Illinois. Stayed in a campground that was surrounded by fields of ankle high corn. The wind was blowing from the west at a good pace with some gusting. Time for high wind kites. Pulled out the Micron, attached it's tail & entertained the neighbors with the humming & buzzing little gem. The wind picked up a bit. Usually, where I live, the evening brings calm conditions. But wind started gusting higher causing the lines to sing & the leading edges began deforming.
So out comes the B2 mid vent with a 50' x 50# line set with 11" handles. I could launch & fly around a bit but the turbulance from numerous small trees made sustained flight tough. I walked around trying to fly myself into a better spot without any real improvement. It looked like there might be a bit of a wind tunnel where the entrance road came into the campground near our site. I was lazy. I did not bother to wind up my lines to walk across a seeminly harmless stretch of taller grass carrying the kite & dragging the lines. Not too good. So I parked the kite at a good launch site & dealt with the line issue. I knew the lines should straighten out if I kept my head & did the right things. There was a good snarl of loops & knots at the twenty foot area of the line set. I staked the handles & gently teased out the snarl in no time. "Dang, I must be starting to get some of this kite knowledge I've read about!" I thought. The wind blew down the road, through an opening in the trees & out over the pristine corn field. The small flying window was about 30 x 30 so I practiced small manevers & positional hovering. The B2 mid vent is a wonderful kite. After a half hour I heard a toot of the horn signaling me to return to the campsite. Life is good. Next morning we stopped at Antique Archeology then battled the wind driving across Iowa. It would be a couple more days before there was time to fly again. SHBKF
Oops, a bit overdue on this one.
Memorial Day weekend brought around the San Ramon Art and Wind Festival. It is a Sunday-Monday festival, this year held on May 29-30, 2016.
Sunday started off on a good note, with temperatures not terribly hot, and there was wind! Bumpy, inland wind with lots of "holes" typical of that location, but nevertheless there was wind. Sport kite fliers flew demos most of the day, interspersed with some other attractions. Penny Lingenfelter put on a show with kids from the audience, giving them kites to fly and briefing them on the story they were acting out before taking center stage.
We also ran bol races, where older kids got to pull bols into the wind and attempt to run to the finish line.
A couple of giant octopus kites also went up.
Here is Team AirZone getting ready to perform. You can see the octopus still being put away on the ground.
We ended the day with a quad line megafly as we like to do.
Unfortunately, we were not as lucky on Monday. Temperatures were already picking up in the morning, and on top of that, there was no wind. But the show must go on. For the first few hours, demo fliers were flying on short lines, some even flying their indoor routines on indoor kites. I got creative and flew a mystery ballet with a single line glider.
Since it was Memorial Day, we also had a red, white, and blue fly, with people running their kites across the field to get some lift. One guy tied three cube kites (red, white, and blue; I believe they were Shanti cubes) to a banner pole and was using it as a giant wand to fly the kites.
Banner display that was put up on Monday.
We did finally get some wind later in the afternoon, so we were able to fly the routines we typically fly at outdoor festivals. Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head home.