This session I planned to:
Test the new Level One, One Eleven.
Practice QLK (B-series mid vent) with long (40m) lines.
Test the new Smithi Pro kite.
Thu Mar 29 11:00:00 CEST 2018
GF, forecasted 3-4m/s, but was a bit varying
Level One, One Eleven on 35m 75kg lines B-series 1.5 on 40m 40kg lines
Spiderkites, Smithi Pro also on 40m 40kg lines
Disclaimer: Do not consider this to be two proper reviews - it is just a first impression of the One Eleven and the Smithi Pro during a three kite session.
The One Eleven
One Eleven, a 2.6m span width kite with a weight per area being very close to that of the HQ Shadow.
Though rarely using as long lines as 35m, I felt that this line length suited this large kite of 2.6m (8.53ft) well. I'd say that this kite extends the flight properties of my kite collection. There the closest thing would be the Tramontana. A very subjective description of the feeling when piloting the One Eleven (that unfortunately sounds piecewise negative): A very precise (and very light) barn door that moves on rails with close to zero radius turns. Very close and long powered ground passes could be performed, because I felt so much in control.
It tricks, but perhaps needless to say, tricking is performed with large hand movements, but without feeling ridiculously large. Another thing is the sound level, if my Hydra and Kymera sometimes gently hums for me, the One Eleven is more like a construction site angle grinder or a starting truck. Though to be fair I must say that I never attempted to tighten the leech line. The effect is striking when the sound stops or starts e.g. when doing a "snap" stall, initiating/ending a side slide, landing/starting, etc... I put the quote marks around "snap" because it is not so snappy - you can't aggressively tear this light kite it out of flight. Instead you need to be careful to extend the arms or move forward when doing the snapstall.
Spiral wound carbon fibre tubes - who needs them? This large kite use only two one piece loong 5.5mm tubes in the LEs - No possibility to disassemble the LE to make a half length LE package. Even the LS is loong, it is a one piece tube that you fold along the spine for transport. The kite doesn't fit into any of my (two) kite bags. You can't really be tough on the kite when when doing ground work. Nope no tubes broke, but one side of the (single piece) LS popped out of the equally slim fitting. Perhaps this will be as input taming for groundwork as my 4D was for general flight input? I kind of like this approach with the slim fittings on this kite though.
In a way, and this may sound strange, this kite makes me think of the Prism 4D. It is not only the colours that match, but also the narrow spar diameter (5.5mm tubes) in relation to the size of the kite. So let's see how close in a weight to area sense the One Eleven is to a couple of other kites. The areas used below are projected areas extracted from photos of assembled kites (by the number of the pixels of the kite), while the weight is from on-line kite data, mostly from the manufacturers sites.
4D (1.47m): 70.9g / 0.355m2 = 200g/m2
Shadow (2.07m): 195g / 0.603m2 = 323g/m2
One Eleven (2.6m): 280g / 0.833m2 = 336g/m2
Infinity (2.46m): 362g / 0.732m2 = 495g/m2
Nope, from these numbers the One Eleven seems to be more like a large Shadow than a 4D.
Another 4D comparison is the IMO unnecessary end caps on the stand offs that just falls off and gets stuck in the unnecessary large stand off fittings sitting on the LS. A small glue dot on the 4D stand off side that goes into the LS stand off fitting should reduce any possible risk of carbon fibres fraying/splitting? One Eleven starts in the configuration that my 4D happened to end in - there are no small end caps on the stand off here by design (and the LS stand off fittings are small instead).
I was a bit worried when unboxing the kite since the TS seemed to be too short - there were creases along the LE. I contacted Level One to get the correct line length. They responded promptly. If anything, it was actually a slightly longer than the nominal length. My worries seemed to be exaggerated. In the wind already on the ground the creases were largely gone. In the air the sail was like a smooth glittering silk/milk bubble!
For this large and light kite one compromise/sacrifice has been the required length of the kite (tyvek) sleeve. There are no mid LE fittings so that the leading edges can't be disassembled - this comes with the bonus of no extra weight for them. This is fine with me. I kind of appreciate when getting something different - a clear personality of the kite. Perhaps I'll add external straps to hold the sleeve on one of the kite bags. The only out-of-the-box working "kite" bag for this long kite is the ski bag. On the plus side is that the One Eleven sleeve is quite narrow.
Wing tips and tyvek bag of the One Eleven.
The mid vent
I couldn't get hold of a lime/yellow B-series mid vent that would have matched the B-series full sail and full vent sails better, since the type became rare and discontinued. The ski tracks behind the mid vent are a bit surprising. These tracks have survived this late in the year (mid Mars), though there is little shade there - they must have put on much snow on these tracks.
I can't remember if I have used the 40m line set before (initially I wasn't even sure I had one). However the lines had all been adjusted to the same length. Then I saw that two lines were covering the other two lines (perhaps I had used it for dual DLKs last summer?). They can't have been much used though, because when winding the line up I got the Climax yellow left index finger tip that is characteristic of a new line.
For the varying wind of the day I chose to use the B-series 1.5 mid vent. The two feather tubes were often too flexible for the wind, so I switched to three feathers. The motto for the day was: you don't need to do something fancy to improve. Just break your habits, make a turn&wump sequence that you don't usually do and make it shine. Stomp the bugs out of your flying one after one. Don't be lazy - don't do the inverted hoover when the wind drops, though the inverted hover would be easier to hold.
Though the ground appeared dry and warm, the kite stake screw driver couldn't easily be put into the ground today, because a few cm below the surface, the ground was still frozen - using this phillips screwdriver as a drill to get through the semi-frozen ground was the way to go. In the image another way of handling the frozen ground from a two week earlier session is displayed - Just put the stake through the hard snow/ice hybrid.
The Smithi Pro
So finally it was time to test the kite that I have had in mind for so long time. Except for some youtube videos and some general data about the kite, I didn't really know what to expect.
The Smithi Pro - the foil that can go backwards and hover but then requires quite active input.
To this point I've only tried two other foils: my 5m2 Peter Lynn Peel foil ( https://web.archive.org/web/20010303105904/http://www.kmd-sportdrakar.com:80/Peel4linor.html ) a couple of times (about five I'd say) in the end of the nineties and a budget not so very well working two line foil. I wasn't very thrilled by the Peel flight properties. Compared to my HQ Jam Session and HQ Maerstrale (which were the kites I flew at this time) it felt like a slow sleeping mattress with two brakes in the TE (OK I'm terribly unfair here, after all this Peter Lynn foil was a power kite, not a trick kite and my (foil) time at the lines was much limited). Nonetheless, I used it for it intended purpose (traction) at least two times. I did one (two?) practice sessions on skies on the Gärdet (full name: Ladugårdsgärdet) field in Stockholm. I then tended to end downwind to my initial starting point, but "cheated" and took the bus (line 69 - a bus line with a quite large share of tourists) back home again. With this much limited experience I went on a weekend chartered bus trip to Sälen (in the Swedish mountain range fjällen). There I proceeded beyond the end of the ski lift towards the top to try the traction foil out again. The wind was OK and the forward speed was low/moderate, which was good because of the many very low trees (spruce or birch tree - I can't remember - this was 1999 after all). After a while I got unexpected company, the snow mobile ridden rescue team showed up and asked if everything was OK (which it was). Perhaps they had mistaken the traction foil for a crashing paraglider?? I'd say that this top tour was the end(?) and height of any traction adventures. Non the less this kite might still be the most important one of them all - It was during this weekend that I saw my wife for the first time. Ohh, did I just get slightly off today's topic?
So how was the Smithi Pro compared to the framed (Rev) quads? Nope, it is not the same thing - it is, big surprise, a (quad) foil. Maintaining hovers demands more active input (like DLK slides???), the kite (in my rookie foil hands) tended to choose either to fly forwards or backwards. Yes backward flight is possible, to my understanding a kind of hallmark of the Smithi Pro. The air ram intakes are so that the backwards flight is possible. However anything but the slowest of side slides would fold a wing tip. The trickiest one was to fly side slide upwards - this always folded it. The above sounds too negative since I judge this foil seen through the glasses of framed Revkites. The above being said, it is a very maneuverable kite on its own:
In the sales text it said that the Smithi Pro wouldn't pull so hard and that one should use light lines to enhance the low wind performance of the kite. According to Christoph Fokken (the designer), the Smithi Pro got better low wind performance than the larger Smithi due to the materials used in the kite. Well today wasn't the day to calmly explore the low wind properties.
When I got the recommendation to go for the smaller Smithi Pro due to the low wind capabilities of the kite to better fit the low wind in my area, I felt a sting of disappointment fearing that I hardly would feel the pull. There was no need to worry - I got a pleasant and forceful pull without any worries that I'd snap any frames or change delicate properties by permanently stretching the sail or just having a general feeling that I just shouldn't. I did not want any more pull though, since I only got 40kg lines out today. Now I need to wait for the regular power kiters to show up here on some future session, so that I can do some kite control showing off (I hope).
There is one test I'd like to do with this kite and that is to add (tape) something flexible to the wing tips to postpone the collapse when attempting side sliding. For this test I'd use the plastic foil construction tape since it leaves no residues. Whatever flexible beam used of whatever width, should be flexible enough not to crack and while possibly even so soft that it can follow the shape of the foil. Another approach could be to add a 1.5mm (?) carbon rod along the LE and the wing tip?
Unboxing/inspection of the Smithi Pro in progress.
Mars 2018, ITW Kymera 25m lines
One, lately a bit rare , pre-work session on a piece wise slippery field. This morning offered a sun dog scenery along with a faint halo.
My current DLK main focus is to get the flic flac going/start/getting a tiny bit reliable. Considering that the FAs are not 100% it is actually more than one thing that is being practiced in parallel. Sometimes even one rung of a JL just happens to come out of it (typically if the light pop when flared was uneven and you happen to end up in a turtle). It is kind of a continuation of last springs "tricking en masse" (~keep the kite unstable and let it tumble around without the lines getting tangled) project, but perhaps/hopefully some more intent shows though.
This focus (and also the, to date, three quarter of year of QLKing) means that other tricks get less attention, so I guess that (if the above would get successful), the next project could be to make earlier tricks (now more neglected) to co-exist - all available simultaneously.
First image: Notice the sun dog and a faint halo around the sun.
Second and third image: I like the mood of the greenish toned winter. In addition the green themed Kymera goes well along with it. However I can't say if the reddish or the blueish image from the same session is the truest one.
Beginner flic flac problems:
Feet stopping when they should be running downwind typically during the flare after the first fade.
Sometimes the kite just gets towed instead of exiting the fade (to flare) - it is getting rarer now though.
Sometimes the short tug that ends the flare is un-even and "un-planned tumbling" is initiated.
Not really knowing the details to look for or feel that should trigger the movements when doing the trick (but I just recollected the hint about looking for the spine in http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/8554-zephyr/?do=findComment&comment=69059 , so that is something to try).
Sad news: my Infinity starts to get worn.
Good thing: In the often light winter winds the green (for some reason I currently seem to fancy green) ITW Kymera is a good option for the flic-flac training. Even though the Infinity was the kite that first allowed me to do a few flic-flacs, the Kymera allows me to get the same training in somewhat lighter winds.
These finger straps are OK once when they are on, but it is tricky with gloved hands to get fingers in since the straps have a tendency to go flat. The now not so cold weather allows the easiest approach to get the finger straps on and off - just take the gloves on/off when before/after the walk of shame/contemplation.
Sat Feb 17 18:00:00 CET 2018
Golf course, forecasted 1m/s, in reality possibly no wind
Vapor on 15m 20kg lines
One February afternoon my wife turned hopeful - there was a thin layer of snow - perhaps it would be possible to do some cross country skiing again. Towards the end of the day me and my wife left for the wintry golf course. I wasn't so sure, so I left the skies at home and "only" brought my Prism Vapor. We went by two cars because my wife feared that I for some reason could get stuck while doing kiting (toootally unfair...). When arriving at the parking there were unusually few other cars there - I guess that few had made the same optimistic assumption about the possibility for skiing. She is very enthusiastic about this type of skiing and her whole being kind of shines up during and after skiing. It turned out that the snow layer was just sufficient and I would have gotten more time for the kiting if I would have put the Vapor in a back pack and had gone to the (largest) field by skies - instead I walked, carefully avoiding going near or on the tracks not to annoy the skiers.
I have not gotten to know the Vapor properly yet (which is another way of saying that it has been somewhat neglected), so I really handle it with silk gloves. I realized that I should have rehearsed the assembly instructions before the session (especially about the trick line), but I had to hurry up anyhow since it was towards the end of the day. When doing the 360ies I could hardly feel any differences in how much backwards you needed to move for any part of the circle, so this was very close to a no wind situation.
Finding the way home - the traditional way.
I realize that this blog entry is not so much a report about the kiting, but more in what context the kiting session took place. Most memorable for me is the mood of the nature and session. And frankly it wasn't very much of a session. I felt that I needed to work quite hard for the 360ies. The up and overs had a similar problem. For them it seemed like 15m lines were too long. When pulling downwards when the kite is on its way to the top the hands get too close to the ground. Next time I really should try shorter lines.
When the few enthusiastic skiers circulating the field were almost all gone I realized that it really was time to head for home. I guess that this was a situation that I could have gotten acquainted with the map-app of my not yet familiar phone, but I instead opted for moving before it got dark. My wife had already left (she accepts my kiting but is not an enthusiast herself) for her car, while I had continued with the kiting. I was a little concerned because it was getting dark and she is the one that knows the area best. I was quite glad that I had my footprints to follow - the ski tracks went in "all directions" so they were not much of a help. I watched the footprints carefully and didn't let go of them more or less until I saw the silhouette of the car.
Wed Jan 10 11:03:35 CET 2018
A tennis court in a sports hotel in Schladming in the Austrian Alps
Prism 4D on about 3m (10 ft set, but with adjustable length) 20kg lines
(The 4D was the only kite that fitted into the suitcase - brought it just in case...)
This reminds me of a Swedish proverb: "Som en åsna mellan två hötappar" - like a donkey between two hay feeding stations. This means here that there is a problem of choosing a preferred activity. The surface of this tennis court was a bit odd. The first time I played tennis during the trip I didn't realize that that the smooth surface was made up of green rubber gravel. Those handles were not as quick to adjust as I had hoped for unfortunately. Perhaps one should add a little knob on the handles to wind the line around to make the process evening the length simpler?
Line tension, line tension and line tension or should I rather say that technique, technique and reliability training was the theme of the week. On vacation in the alps the key occupation has been skiing of course, but the circumstances provided opportunities to do tennis and kiting as well. The reason for the opportunity for the tennis and kiting? Waiting for a teenager daughter not really appreciating any morning I had a chance to use the always free tennis courts of the hotel.
Before starting with the kiting session I'd like to point out one similarity between all three sport activities and that is the constant aim of improvement in technique and reliability. Furthermore I'd say that kiting (which is the activity I spend most time doing) has introduced/evolved an ability (I hope) to find the most important thing learnt from a session and then to take a short note of that. If you have this goal of not wasting lessons learned, it comes natural to think through the previous session(s) and have an idea of what to think of and what to practice the next time. I believe one reason for starting out with the notes and written preparations is that on the field there are no other persons to learn from. Well, when learning from videos, as others have already pointed out, it can be difficult to remember it once you are out on the field. Then resorting to watching videos is not what you would like to spend time on there - field time is precious.
My belief is that you teach yourself mainly (with the possible exception of introductions etc.), and only occasionally you get some nugget of spot-on info from others. Another reason is limited session time. If you never made any notes, never read them through/thought them through and never did any (tennis) swing rehearsal the evening before the weekly 1h session, much of the session might have passed before you get to practice the current issues and think the thoughts you had the last time.
Preparation and indoor location
Well for this session I didn't have much prepared since I've never flown indoors before, but have only done some low wind sessions with a minimal line length of 6m (20ft). Almost always when I play tennis (indoors) it is before work and I'm in a rush leaving no time to ask for permission to use a free tennis court for kiting. I only had two things to practice that I had decided before - the 360deg (the kite goes around you) and the up and overs (you guessed it, the kite goes up and over you).
I didn't really know what line length to use other than that that they should be shorter than 6m (20ft) "since it was indoors". I was also encouraged here to go short by the "Kaiju" line length of 2.13m (7ft), but at the same time being a bit conservative by making it slightly longer. When measuring the lines after the session I had ended up on 3m (well 2.98m + handle length).
The handles were quickly made (while packing for the trip) by cutting a paint stirrer stick and making a few strokes with the file. The evening before the session I started out with the 6m lines and tried to make the length extending from the winder equal by winding in the same way - didn't work, needed to wind taking some short turns (normal to the original wind direction) as well, to make the line length somewhat even. Since it took some time to get the an equal line length, I never came to change the line length during the session. Finished up with the rubber bands to hold the line to the handle. I had planned to make a slidable cover using a wide heat shrink tube. The idea was booth to keep the lines in place and make a small well defined exit for the lines from the handle. Turned out that the widest dimension of heat shrink tube I had was just a fraction too small. If you would try to use heat shrink tubing anywhere near Dyneema/spectra/polyethene/polyethylene lines (which also can include bridle lines!) you should be aware that they start to melt at about 130deg and one common temperature for shrinking of heat shrink tubes is about 125degC. From experience I know that it is a bad idea to add wear resistance to the bridle line on a Rev around the (original) bridle line where it goes over the LE nock by shrinking a heat shrink tube around it - the core of the bridle line melted. It worked however for another bridle line of other material (the core fibres were black and never melted - carbon?).
Asking if it was OK to use the tennis courts at the hotel for kiting always ended in the same way. I had to explain that indoor kiting was possible and showing the packed/folded kite. No one however, could say if it was a good or bad idea, just "go and ask that other person (hotel employee)" - so I didn't in the end.
Using the initial setting with the nose neutral or slightly backwards, the kite didn't even take off. Changed to almost maximum nose toward pilot setting which made the take off possible.
Nose towards pilot - required for take off.
To this point when doing (and/or attempting) 360deg outdoors on 6m or 15m lines I've found that when doing the backwards running around in circles, running in a direction that makes the kite to fly into tensioned lines, i.e. in the leading side of the temporary wind window, works. This time I instead tried the suggested method here (KL) of extending the arms while rotating and then combine it with only a little jogging/walking in circles. Yes, this was calmer, but I don't know if this was from the line length or if it was from the arms extended way of doing it. The most common way to fail? - failing to maintain line tension. More practice required.
The first parts of the up and overs went fine, but ending it was another matter. Following the advice to pull downwards when the kite was above was almost intuitive and most often went well. The problem was to turn to the side when finishing the up and over. The turn lagged so much so that the kite hit the floor most of the times. I pulled more aggressively in the ending turn but really never got any control here. I'm sure that this aggressive pull is the wrong way of doing it, should try it more times with a moderate pull. What would happen if one instead would have attempted to land on the wing tips? Perhaps it is the heavy nose forward setting that is contributing to the slow turn?
The floor surface consisted of a quite densely packed rubber gravel in a thin layer, a type that I've never seen before, yet somewhat surprisingly, slightly more slippery than "my" normal indoor tennis court. The short lines could just be used to roll the kite up (lying on its back) from the ground to relaunch position, without slipping on the tips of the standoffs. This was possible if the kite was given (pitch) rotational speed when getting to the launch position. To get it into launch position more easily, perhaps some high friction layer could be added on the wing tips and where the stand offs goes through the sail?
The rubber bands on the adjustable lengths handles had an unexpected use. They had a good enough grip onto the floor so that they the kite could be placed on its wingtips ready in launch position. Very good since none of the methods of starts where the kite was tossed worked out for me. Had more luck when starting the kite from ground in a flared position. I then got it in a 2-point start position in a kind of quick rotation direct from the initial pull on one line.
Nope the kite is not leaning against the net here. Instead it is hanging on the handles whose rubber bands had enough friction to balance the kite.
How much physical exercise was an indoor kiting session compared to tennis? Well that depends on what you attempt to do and how, but both activities makes you thirsty.
Thoughts and preparations for the next time
Maintaining line tension is the thing, also try to see when the tension can be reduced, perhaps that can help making that ending turn of the up and overs better?
Continue to work on pancake landings pop-up launches. In particular the pancake to (2-point) launch position.
Study videos of throw launches. Is some weight somewhere along the spine required here?
Try other line lengths than 3m.
The area and the trip and more skiing
Being a ski resort in the Alps, Schladming offers beautiful views of the mountains obviously. By the end of the week we still hadn't tried all the available ski slopes. The scale of it was impressive. E.g. they had arranged with dams looking like mini lakes in the mountains to supply the water to the everywhere present snow guns.
This has been the place for Word Ski championship in (as can be seen in the huge yellow sign) 2013.
Schladming town from above
Ski "high way" to the next slope.
A ski lift and a view over Schladming.
Those mean looking ski stands were moving on floor rails as well.
I appreciate the culinary differences. The portions were typically large and hunger a distant idea. Odd stuff: pancake soup, omnipresent gulash soup, a fondness of horse radish (spicy), germknödel (fat warm steamed bun with plum jam, a bit sweet mix between a lunch and a desert) and (less appreciated) alcohol being served in restaurants in the ski slopes. I mean I don't mind any category of alcohol containing drinks in general, but mixing downhill skiing and jagertee/beer is not really a good idea.
One day we took the train to Salzburg ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salzburg ) for a four hour visit in the old town mainly (really short yes). I remarked to my family, that this time we were like a flock of hurried tourists at home in the old town of Stockholm. Mozart balls (chocolate, pistachio marzipan and nougat) were being sold "everywhere".
A fountain in the Mirabell garden.
The Mozart residence.
The Swedish nature might be less extreme than the Alps (at least in terms of the mountain areas) but it still offers beauty. The below images is from a cross country ski trip on the local golf course one week after coming home. Daytime during summer those those fields are a no-go area due to the many golfers. But I have also ruled them out as kiting fields because they are not very large, probably giving too turbulent winds. Perhaps these fields would be good for low wind (less turbulent?) session during off golf season?
Tracks from humans (on skiis), a hare and a dog(?).
Layers of mist.
A shortcut between two more "official" tracks.
Though a bit destructive, as a kiter I can't help thinking of how it would be to fly a low/zero wind kite through those mist layers.
Mon Dec 25 13:00:00 CET 2017
GB, Forecasted 4m/s (gusts 8m/s)
Cross Kites Speedwing X1
25m 38kg lines
Looks small (113cm span), but is capable of surprising you (much like the Monty Python monster rabbit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCI18qAoKq4 ?). Looks wrinkled as well? Don't worry - once in the air everything gets smooth.
Conditions/background: Quite OK wind, but I still wouldn't hesitate to trick trickable kites. Rain on frozen ground... My flick flack exercising earlier during the day felt a bit stalled, so switching to something completely new felt like a fresh breeze.
Much is speedy about this kite:
Assembly is just one spreader. No standoffs. No battens. No bridle/standoff tangle.
Nose back/forward bridle adjustment is only one knotted line/larks head.
Speed (obviously) forward and angular speed (though not necessarily very tight/small radius).
So, except for the above, what is this kite anyhow? - A no spine speed kite with a deep (strange looking) bridle! Bought it mostly to see and learn how it was made.
First launch, nose angle was medium setting - no problems to launch. No problems to control - until getting close to the edge of the wind window. Kite just tumbled out of control to the ground. No standoffs - didn't even try to avoid the walk of contemplation therefore. I guess there could be two reasons for the difficulties here. If you have no spine, you don't have this flatter area around the spine to fly on when the flow around the wing tip fails to function at the edge of the wind window (think of the varying angles of attack along the span of an ordinary DLK). For the Speedwing the whole wing seems to fail at once it appears. Add to this that you are likely to have some momentum forward (due to the high speed) when you enter the edge of the wind window, driving you a longer bit into it than when using trick kites. Also when the sail fails, there are no standoffs that holds it in place, so you can more or less pull the lines and frame, but there is little effect on the sail once it goes non-filled. As you might have guessed, stalling and tricking - no success there. Stayed away from the edges and more trick attempts and had no further problems when using the medium nose back/forward angle setting.
A larks head knot under a bridle setting knot gets you the best of two worlds. First an easy launch. Once in the air the kite starts to pull and the larks head slides out to the outmost knot. Now you are in nose back "speed kite mode".
It felt "fresh", speedy and a pull that "shouldn't" be in such as small kite, but I wanted more, so I adjusted the nose back. The following start then failed - just tumbling around with no forward drive. Then (I'm proud to say) I got an idea. Why not adjust the nose forward to the medium setting, but instead put the larks head just under the mid one of the overhand knots in the nose. During the launch the nose was enough forward to give a simple launch, but in the air when the kite started to pull, the larks head slided down to the outmost knot giving the kite a nose back speed kite like angle - and this just worked out of the box (I'm sure such a simple and efficient fix must be a standard launching method?)!
The turns got tighter after the adjustment, but don't make them to tight to preserve full pull/speed. In gusts the lines begun to sing (even in the centre of the wind window) and the sail gave a swosh like sound (much like when powering up a Rev QLK without having a flapping trailing edge). Normally for DLK trick kites I get the singing when "parking" them at the edge of the wind window (for the Speedwing I just avoided the edge because the kite had just fallen out of the air there previously).
The kite was quite easy to control, not at all like my few and very short attempts with the Atrax. Even some limited (and quick) figure flying was possible: straight lines, 180 deg turns, squares, circles, figure eights. After a while I begun to think how to land it. Stalling didn't seem to be easy, so I flung my arms forward to kill the forward drive. It worked well, say 5m from the ground it kind of entered a mode resembling the tumbling start when the nose had been adjusted in this nose most backwards position. To recover from the tumbling it was sufficient to pull one line rather much for a moment. I guess the angle of the kite to the wind changed so it got some at least sideways drive. How the nose of the kite caught up with the direction the kite was going in I didn't get even at the time. Returning to the landing attempts, I just flung the arms forward once again but without making any tumbling recovery attempt. The kite then tumbled to the ground.
The disassembly was even quicker. When the kite had tumbled down to land, the only spreader had already slid out of the fitting on one side.
Much wind a problem? - No I look forward to more of it! The kite is small so it could be in the bag as some kind of high wind insurance, though I should have some slightly longer and stronger lines as well for the really windy days. And who knows, getting enough experience with the Speedwing, I might later even learn the Spiderkites Atrax. I was quite happy with the session - 20 much interesting minutes where much was not familiar.
Sat Sep 30 16:38:39 CEST 2017
GF, forecasted 3-4m/s
Fazer XL and XXL stacked on 35m 180kg lines
Two 23m (75 ft) prism tube tails
To carry stuff
After the soon 3 months on QLKing I decided to end that test/project and return to DLKs (and "at the same time" continue with QLKs). During the QLK time I got kind of "transportation spoiled". I only had two kites to carry around: B-series 1.5 std and full vent. The full vent venting holes are patched with removable thin sheets of cellophane attached with (centimeter wide strips of) tape.* Included in the package was two, three and four wrap spars, so these two kites could handle (well could be used by me to practice at least) all the wind conditions that I met during this period. The two quite small QLK kite sleeves were tied together using the strings already on the sleeves (the strings normally used to close the bags i.e.) and hung comfortably over the shoulder and backpack during transport - it wasn't even necessary with a kite bag. Today however the ski bag was the available option to carry the Fazers, the tails and the QLKs and a few line sets. Suddenly a 5.5 kg (12 lb) ski bag was hanging on the shoulder again.
* The second iteration of cellophane/tape patching would be to make the tape strips towards the LE somewhat wider. The reason for this is that sometimes I need to press it at the start of the session and possibly one more time to make it stick well. Hopefully the wider tape closer to the LE would improve things. The tape used here is intended for large sheets of polyethene/polyethylene used here because the glue has never left any residues for me.
Preparation, making and repair
This the first time I pilot a stack or see any stacks of more lines than one. Some info on how I made it can be found in in http://kitelife.com/forum/gallery/image/6234-stack-work-in-progress/ :
The stack was made earlier during the summer. The kites themselves have also been resting for more than half a year. Part of the reason has been broken stand offs that had snapped/cracked. The reason why only the Fazer stand offs are the only ones that snap for me is due to the often long line lengths making it difficult to see if a line is wrapped around a wing. You also typically pull harder when starting, meaning that if the line happen to be around the wing the stand off is more likely to break.
This Fazer XL stand off was damaged during a start resulting in delamination and snapping fibre (bundles).
Could tape keep the fibre bundles together and work as a mold during the repair?
Nope, the tape mold approach didn't work out well. The resulting surface was very rough - best seen in the shadow edge. And, I really dislike sanding down glass fibre - itchy, itchy, itchy!
The Fazer XXL's stand off was instead repaired using heat shrink tubing. Here the heat shrink tube and epoxy repair had to be split into a two step process, because the cracks were long and the tubing could not be slid over the ends of the standoff. Look closely and you can see that the first step is already finished.
No sanding required when heat shrink tubing was used. The pin was not absolutely straight afterwards. Using some kind of a alignment jig would likely have produced a straighter result. To the right you can see the hot air gun used to shrink the tube.
The dog in the background might look cute, but is really internally about to explode:
"The BALL, the BALL - STUPID!!! Can't you see the BALL stuuupiiid??!!".
She might not be of much use when it comes to get work done in outdoors (making you feel bad for not playing with her constantly), but at least fanatically returns any tennis ball shot if you work on your serves in the garden. When playing with (stealing from) the German shepherd she wins by outmaneuvering, even though the German shepherd runs faster when running in straight line on a field. A very never ending playful dog!
I decided to try to repair the stand off rods themselves instead of making new ones. I believe that there are several benefits in getting better with epoxy and fibre repairs (or other plastic fibre composites?): if spares/spars break at the wrong time and you don't have spares you have a way out, the feeling "I did this" instead of buying, if your kite ever would require no longer available rods, doing composite repairs could offer a way out. I also consider (/an idea could be) to increase the strength in LE of DLKs just to make it more robust when tip stabbing etc. or if I ever would come to the kite surgery of making a frame lighter. Spars are often uniform throught out the length, while the loads are not. You can have an extra high load in LE connectors or just below the LLE/LS-connector e.g. When it comes to keeping the fibres (somewhat) together, squeezing out excess epoxy, speeding up the curing of the epoxi and minimizing the after work, heat shrink tubing rules and tape "sucks" (to my somewhat limited experience). A requirement is that there is enough room so that you can slide the heat shrink tubing on and it shrinks enough. Tape however is good for masking - covering places where you don't want any epoxy.
A common type of heat shrink tubing shrinks to half of its original size (1:2). You can however get hold of (in shops like (Farnell, RS components, ELFA, etc...) sorts that does 1:4 and 1:6 shrinkage at various temperatures.
Out on the field
The wind was a bit on the lower side for the somewhat heavy Fazers. I had to work a bit to keep them in the air. After briefly testing the XXL just to verify that I remembered the DLK (Fazer) control well enough (after the DLK pause) I assembled and connected the XL to the XXL. The result was surprising - it just worked out of the box! I didn't feel that it was necessary to do any tweaking. On the other hand one of the to sources of how to do the stack lines was KL so the bridle should be just fine.
In the stack the XXL nose was tilted backwards about a centimeter relative to the XL. The stack line connectors on the Fazer XL were prepared for further adjustments, but it didn't seem necessary.
The XL had a slight tendency to wobble a bit during most starts, but was quite well behaved otherwise - unless you are "asking for it". Perhaps not so strange oversteer has always been a "hallmark" of the (my?) XL. It is not such a bad thing once I learned to handle it. During windier days I'd say the XL got the temperament of a leaping calf that suddenly can grab you and make you end up three steps downwind. Only one time during this session I was a bit surprised when the stack fell out of the sky after a snap stall.
Unless provoked, the kites flew synced, albeit the XL got some oversteer.
The main goal of the day was to get the stack working and if it did, try it with the tails. In the a bit low wind and new circumstances I limited the flying to figure flying (how much more than that can you do with a stack b.t.w.?). Only a few times I had the privilege of being dragged by the stack. The most trick like I accomplished was a cart wheel, which demanded a bit more persuasion than usual to work with the stack of different sized kites. Side slides were also possible. Well another thing, but I don't know if you can call it trick-like, was when running quickly backwards to stabilize the stack in the low wind during a start, which caused me to fall backwards like some fall in a Laurel and Hardy movie:
Even though I somersaulted backwards on the ground over one of the shoulders it didn't hurt. I guess the pull from the kite limited the speed of the fall.
Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the stack in flight. The tails were attached to the bridle of the XXL where the LS meet the LE. Visually it would have given the same effect if the tails were attached to the wingtips of the XL. The perspective I had of the kite almost made it look like one kite except if the XL was oversteering/wobbling. Otherwise the size of the stack, long lines, double tails and slow flight gave it kind of dignified look. The effect of the double tail when doing tight loops was however a bit of a disappointment (slow turns of forward travel looked great though). The inner wing tip and tail hardly moved. Moving the tails inwards to somewhere closer to the stand offs could be one way to make the tight loops look better. Another way to make the loops look better could be to attach one tail to each spine (should at least be interesting to see from the side). Perhaps tight loops with the current position also looks better from the side, but piloting the kite meant that I hadn't that view.
The position of the tails can be adjusted to make the tight loops look better. Forward flight looked good (as seen from the pilots view).
The Fazers are quite robust (heavy). One project I consider (i.e. I like the idea but it is not very likely to be implemented) is to make an extra set lower spreaders to use in lighter winds. The diameter of the current ones are 10 mm for the XL and 12 mm for the XXL. Preferably, if it would be good if it would be possible to get hold of thin walled tubes of the same or larger diameter so that the stiffness of the tubes didn't go down too much. What I really would like to do when I "grow up" as a kiter (if you can ever do that with kites) is learn how to handle my sewing machine well and for some reason get an enormous amount of spare time. Then I'd do a kite based on a truss construction ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truss , https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forth_Bridge ) instead of single spars. A starter project could be weight reduced spreaders for the Fazers. The weight of the Fazer XL spreaders, 1 TS +2 LS, (according to a very old scale) are 190g for the Fazer XL (680g for the whole kite incl. the stack bridle connectors, total weight according to the Fazer XL datasheet is 615g) and the spreaders of the Fazer XXL are 410g (1305g or 46oz for the whole kite including stack lines and end caps, literally "~xxx g" in the Fazer XXL datasheet). A truss shaped spreader could have a smaller cross section area, while the larger total diameter prevents them from flexing out sideways during compressive load. The, still dreaming, project after that would be the all truss and all mylar sail kites. On the other hand (still sticking to large kites) acquiring another large kite (like Topas 3.0 or Hot Stripe XL?) could get the diameter of the spars down and hopefully the kite up more easily in low winds. No I haven't done much research here - sometimes you just want a kite.
No I don't think that I'll fly this stack very often. I miss the tricking possibilities to much. My plan is to get somewhat more acquainted with the control and also to see how much wind I can handle. For next years kite festival the stack is a possible contribution, provided I can find a good place with good winds a bit from the centre of the festival and with not to many people around. Although there have been no good multi line kites during at the festival the two last years (which equals to the times I have been there) I like to increase the competitiveness (yes there are a few prices) by always offering something new and most likely put a tail on it. Does this approach have a light scent of crowd-pleasing? During the last festival I handled it in the following way: Before the price ceremony I flew dual DLKs with tails and after the ceremony I did DLK (one kite) tricking to also demonstrate that aspect of kiting as well. If there would be room for the Fazer stack at the next festival I'd say that the odds look good - the bystander interaction today consisted of three chats, while the usual number could be a chat perhaps every third time.
When walking of the field after the 4h stacked session it instead felt like after long day of outdoor (garden/house) work. It was early to bed that night. A slight muscle soreness remained for a few days after as a receipt of that kiting can offer good physical exercise.
Sun Aug 6 13:00:00 CEST 2017
GF, forecasted (not applicable - didn't seem to match)
Rev B-series standard, 2 wrap tubes most of the time
Lines 25m, 60kg (front) and 40kg (rear)
Today's winds were a bit erratic and mostly weak. It was cloudy and the ground was a bit moist from recent rain. When I came to the field I realized that I had forgotten the kite stake at home (an old screwdriver with red tape wound around the handle). Normally I never deal with them, but then "normally" until some months ago meant one DLK. I find kite stakes handy in two cases. When having the DLK lines connected with a bar (as when doing two DLKs) relaunching the kite can be tricky if the kite has happened to tumble on the ground a bit - I have never managed to do a cart wheel with a bar handle. The other standard and obvious use of a kite stake is when keeping the QLK on the ground set up for an easy relaunch.
During a dip in wind period (wind below walking speed) I took a break, sat comfortably on the usually annoying beach outdoor furniture (is somewhat in the way of kiting) and watched the sky - a grey mass of Cumulonimbus like clouds was approaching from the southwest.
The wind picked up somewhat again - another chance to get going again. Today's intended focus was the clock work and flying squares in a clock work like way, but with straight paths with sudden starts/stops in between the 90 deg turns. Some work remains to be done here... A little detail, when flying the squares (clockwise) the largest deviation from the intended path starts in the top right corner. The top right corner I've traditionally used to do a 3/4 CCW turn to untwist the lines when flying DLKs. I've later practiced to instead make the 1/4 CW turn in the top right corner (which I was not used to) look good. Are DLK and QLK that close so that old weaknesses comes back and influence the other activity?
In every session I include inverted flight going upwards as suggested by @Paul LaMasters :
Thank you for this good and really long lasting exercise suggestion! I'm still very much looking for those railroad tracks somewhere.
The Cumulonimbus clouds delivered their load. Shortly before that, the wind had picked up somewhat for a while - perhaps it was the type of wind that heavy rainfall creates when the downwards wind inside the cloud (that is driven by the rain itself) is forced sideways by the ground. Initially I tried to disregard the light rainfall, but a wet/heavy kite in mostly low wind proved to be difficult and then it really started to rain - cats and dogs! Quickly wind up the lines and bring the whole kite still assembled to the car.
Minor field unboxing event residue (the label i.e.).
So low and a bit funny winds, no kite stake and then driven of the field by heavy rainfall, where to look for the positive angle? You can find them!:
The low wind. For the first time I switched to the 2wrap frame - yes a bit of an unboxing event. I much appreciated the added ease of keeping it in the air and the more reachable flex that can propel the kite forward when adding tension to the lines.
No kite stake. Another thing that got necessary to practice was the flat launch of the type with kite face down on the ground and the LE away from you. This position was today the starting/parking position available with no kite stake. I was helped in this by the low wind and smooth lawn.
The wet weather. No one was was competing for the lawn/beach area. People seem to be very influenced by the weather when choosing activity. When the rainfall became heavy, it was also a natural situation to test the method of getting the whole QLK in the car as suggested by @SHBKF in http://kitelife.com/forum/gallery/image/6080-reflex-in-sierra/ . It worked!
Hurry, hurry to the car - no time to dissassemble the kite. Did lower the tip under the dashboard so that I could use the right wing mirror before driving home.
Always look on the bright side of Life!
My first pre-work session
May I ask for 10 more of these sessions?
Fragments to decipher - tricking that leaves questions
These sessions were all in the tricking en masse spirit. Approaching tricking from this different angle turned out to allow me to catch glimpses of tricks that if I would have worked on a trick methodically one by one, would have been several years ahead. This once again leads me into thinking of the beginning of the Trickery Flickery video ( http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/3477-trickery-flickery/ ): "Once you understand what to expect, you then start to be able to control these and then they become moves". I hope that I'll be able to benefit from the insights/samples gained. Yet, I'm not a believer in some only way that does it all. More grabbing bits and pieces of trick learning by applying several methods.
The schools in Stockholm have their sports leave during week nine this year and also at work some have left for typically a week in some ski resort. We (my family) did "our trip" during in December (less crowded then), so we remained home now. It turned out that I didn't need to go far to do sporting of the kiting kind instead.
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ My first pre-work session
Tue Feb 28 09:22:43 CET 2017
GF forecasted 4m/s
Kymera on 25m 38kg lines
OK, I've reached a new level of nerdom today. Tennis training is cancelled two weeks in a row, so therefore, I figured instead of being late to work because of playing tennis, I could do some sport kiting!
Observations from the flying were not that many during this shorter session (can't be immensely late at work). The little longer of my line sets that I most often use served me well. The winds close to the ground were a bit low and slightly turbulent. So, a bit higher up in the wind window (one time) a cascade attempt (only like two half axels or so) was unexpectedly soft and floaty. Could I hope to repeat this?
Flying with the Kymera, for me, I need to actively strive for the "tricking en masse" practice that I rather recently decided that I would try, because the figure flying with the Kymera is tempting because it looks good. The walks of shame were frequent today, but is something that needs to be accepted when trying to trick en masse - Welcome the walk of shame!
When going there I two times crossed the cross country ski tracks but I thought I was alone. However two "pre-work sport extremists" of the skiing type showed up later.
Moving backwards and forwards was somewhat restricted by ice. It was more ice on the side of the ski track that was lower than the track where one would expect the meltwater to go. Unfortunately this was the place that suited the wind direction best and was quickest to get to during the limited session time.
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ May I ask for 10 more of these sessions?
Wed Mar 1 09:04:26 CET 2017
GF forecasted 4m/s
Hydra on 25m 38kg lines
I can wish no more of a session than this (apart from that it should have been a little longer). The wind suited the Hydra perfectly and the lawn was well cut and free of ice. To describe it, from on-ground nose down, you could just force the kite onto its belly when being supported on the LE, so that a fade launch could be initiated quickly - no running up or downstream was required. The morning sun shone occasionally on my back. Today I was in the middle of the ski track surrounded by several skiers that also had discovered the nice weather.
The session felt like a step forward in the en masse tricking - tricking with little rest - keep the kite out of normal flying. I believe that I was helped by the good conditions, the little higher wind than yesterday that suited the Hydra better and also that the Hydra seems to accept much tossing around (thinking mainly of cascades here).
I got the (snap) lazy susans going (also) with the Hydra, and that felt good. The trick seem to be - don't wait after the snap turtle - just do the lazy quickly. I should experiment if I could lower the nose by moving forward however to see if I could do this trick more calmly. The exit was often a bit early so I need to work on this as well.
Today's highlight was the cascade. It could go on until I lost count and then flew away without the ending in a turtle! Realizing that the session time was limited I started to instead do the run of contemplation (well I shouldn't over emphasize the the contemplation part - the thought was simple: "Get that kite up and that quickly"). If this instead had been a "marathon session" the run of contemplation would have been pointless - frequent running would just have caused a pause of rest/inactivity. Another good thing was that a few of yesterdays softer cascades happened as well!
This tricking en masse that I currently try to do, I believe that letting go of the setting up and analysis offers a new way of learning for me. For some reason the cascades seem to go on (for today and this kite) - perhaps I can figure out why one day and then learn the difference so that the half axeling/rixeling get predictable/controllable. If I manage this, then my hands has taught me how to do do a trick (well at least on the Hydra).
One end of one of the mini battens was found to be loose - when/how did this happen?
So weren't there any not so good things today? Well the FAs and the belly launches weren't reliable. The tricking en masse leads to more walks of contemplation (but I think when learning/discovering new stuff the walks are inevitable). I also discovered that one of the near-the-wing-tip-mini-battens was only attached on one side.
When you have this perfect session going, stopping for going to work is not really at hit. On the other hand it might be more efficient per hour than my usual session, often ending in the dusk or when my wife reminds me of today's planning ( ...Now!). Talking about my wife, she didn't know that I went here before work because I left home much early. It looks like that I've sunken deeper into the kite swamp. When almost everything is going you way it is so tempting to continue the session - but NO this alternative wouldn't be reasonable today.
The number of morning skiing pre-work extremists were even higher today. I deemed the best spot for kiting was in the centre of the ski track loop. One of the skiers is can be seen in the background.
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ Fragments to decipher - tricking that leaves questions
Thu Mar 2 09:21:12 CET 2017
GF forecasted 2m/s
Hydra on 25m 38kg lines
One lesson learnt - don't put absolute trust in the forecast (even if checked just 1h before!). I'd expect that on this field 2m/s would have meant the HQ Shadow - not the Hydra.
Small intrusions and large intrusions. The GF field gets nibbled, a playground, (artificial) beach volley and areas for vegetable plants reduces useful area and makes it somewhat more difficult to find good wind. Another field just south of Stockholm has really fallen victim of some landscape architect? There a 400m large "ring of evil" has been created by planting trees in a circle covering much of the field. There is some campaign going on to save this field from other use, but whether they think anything about the trees or not I don't have a clue. I have not tried this field so I don't know, but that ring just can't be good news. Besides, it seems to be every landscape architect's duty to plant trees the instant they see water. Here in the inner parts of the archipelago the nature itself grows trees all the way down to the water making the kiting fields close to water very few. The erosion from the water is also small so the zone without vegetation (beaches i.e.) is very small as well.
When randomly doing axel-like inputs, I sometimes get a very soft axel going beyond the "natural stop", but doesn't fully double axel. Should perhaps compare this to the double axels that the (Prism) Alien does. The turtles lasted for some period for some reason. No I can't say I understand why and I didn't actively do any attempts to control the pitch of the turtle during this session.
Another trick to be deciphered from today is a rolled up fade launch. After a failed low sloppy snap lazy I ended up on the ground. The kite was rolled up in such a way that when pulling the lines it rolled up on the ground and did a fade launch! It happened twice! It is like certain codes for entering doors - You can't picture fully was happened, but you know what to do when you are standing there, it is the situation that triggers the memory/action - the next time I'll try to observe and remember more "theoretically". ... (one night's sleep passed, in the morning I think that I sorted it out how it "must" have happened): After the failed snap lazy, the kite had ended up flared on the ground with the lines (starting from the kite) going over the trailing edge, then over the leading edge and then on the ground - i.e. rolled up once (the back-flipped rotational way). The un-rolling/launch was performed by a non-hesitant but not too hard initial pull, followed by just maintaining a faint line tension (like when maintaining a fade). It was much like a fade launch, but the lines wrapped over the kite forced the nose down and under into a fade. How to repeat the snap lazy "failure" to be able to to this fancy start again?
One line under the wing and one line above being held by a yoyo-stop. Is there a way out this snag?
If the Hydra now provides me with tricks during tricking en masse that I don't fully understand yet, its bigger brother, the Jinx should be slower and could perhaps give me the time to decipher it? When checking the fortuna-forms (.com) website it seems last updated in 2014 and the offered Jinxes lacked specifications (so also the reviews in Kiteclique).
If I only could make my wife convinced about the great thing in buying an American kite (or actually any kite) again - already as it is, buying/importing a kite directly overseas would add tax and more expensive shipment compared to buying within the EU. If the trade protectionist climate would further harden and also be met with counter measures one short term effect could be that a kite import here would be even more expensive. Being very optimistic this actually could provide a temporary opening for getting the Jinx: "Darling, don't you reeeeaaaaly think that I ought to get that Jinx kite before it might risk getting more expensive?". Kites might eventually be somewhat more confined to their region of origin on either side of the Atlantic. On the other hand, making predictions is very hard, especially those about the future. Unfortunately it also seems like I moved too slowly, the Fortuna Design page was no more when checked and also when verified again. Well I guess I shouldn't be considering new kite purchases for some time now anyhow (at the time of posting this blog entry I've already failed doing so horribly). So in the end I think I'll invest more time in kite repairs to see what I think of them after the time that has passed since I last used them and having learnt more, thus postpone purchases for now.
I discovered today that the clip preventing the centre-T from moving is completely missing. Hopefully I can find the marks of the old one, so that I know where to put it. Or rather, go for a double clip - it is not the first time that I've had them sliding and damaging the sail. I guess that the rip could be repaired with a dacron patch. I wonder what type of thread that should be used for this? The image is from a later date when the ugly tape field repair had slided.
Probable cause and image of the worn/torn Fazer XXL LE dacron has been added below in the last log entry about the XXL.
The February log entries:
An Under Powered Fazer XXL and a Somewhat Pulling Kymera
Kind of Cascading
En Masse Tricking Leading the Way to Longer Cascading
At Last the Fazer XXL in Decent Wind - or the Session of Wear and Tear
Can you relate to any contents? Am I missing a good short cut of trick learning (is there such a thing?) somewhere? What was your subjective way into tricking or a certain trick that made you see the light? Any similarities or differences also in non directly piloting matters such as: repair, preparation, planning, duration of sessions, equipment on field...
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ An Under Powered Fazer XXL and a Somewhat Pulling Kymera
Sun Feb 5 17:38:39 CET 2017
GF forecasted 3m/s
Fazer XXL on 35m 180kg lines
Kymera on 25m 38kg lines
I'd say today's Fazer XXL session was much similar to the previous (minus the snow and cold weather). The low wind still made it under powered causing you to be very warm (flying in my shirt in about 0deg and very light snowfall). Only on a few occasions could I lean against the wind, but that required backing. This time I managed to turtle it by doing a snap stall with a second distinct hammer like input which in the same moment bounced in a large release. Also managed a sleeping beauty (aka back spin start), but decided not to try this again today because I think it is more of a higher wind trick. Next time with this kite I'm going to try it with more wind, with this little it is kind of a stale feel. A more positive view of today's XXL flying is that when you get it going in the gusts it gives a mighty feeling, the appearance is something like that of a small hang glider. Crossing the centre of the wind window in several straight lines to eventually reach to the top was also a bit like the tacks of sailing struggling against the wind (but here to reach the top in low wind). Today it was clearly under powered. I wished for more wind to to have a more connected feeling through the lines and to be able to do input with quicker response. What I don't know is how much wind that I would be able to handle with this large kite. I hope that the useful wind range will not be too narrow.
After a slowly moving person (spectator?) got out of the way I let the frustration out by making a rather aggressive pull on the lines when launching the kite. However, one line was around the sail causing the standoff to break. I then tried to repair it by taping an old small pin from a small firework rocket pin. This wasn't so successful, but I found a thicker firework pin that worked.
The TS is standing out from the plane defined by the LE and the spine. Looks funny, but it works.
I was so glad I had brought the Kymera. The light wind suited it well. No more running around to get it to the top of the window. In the gusts it quickly developed some pull and I like the feed back it gives. The large wind window felt like a liberation today. The feel of the flight is somewhat like the Tramontana in that you get it going in light wind and it tracks well, but added to this you get the trickiness of the Kymera. I used about half of the time flying with intent and making it looking good and controlled. Skipping this is not really an option - you need to tune/calibrate the input to hit those corners and there is always some turn somewhere in the window that needs some extra attention. The rest of the time I spent provoking the kite, going from trick to trick without necessarily setting it up perfectly. This session I managed to hit the lazies a little snappier than before, but I need to work more on maintaining the turtled position all the way to the end of the lazy rotation.
If having more than one kite out + lines it is not uncommon to accidentally lift the lines of the grounded/resting kite with the wing tip of the active kite. Normally these line tangles are good natured and hardly anything needs to be done at all to handle it. This time when the lines of the Kymera got picked up by the the wing tip of the Fazer XXL the tangle was worse, took something like 10 minutes to handle and the short unintentional air ride had even made a knot on the Kymera line. Normally some separation of the lines in the tangle (so that the loops of the lines can slide out of the tangle) is sufficient - not so this time untieing was required..
Time to go home...
When I came home I flew a large green kite with another colour layout than the XXL. It was in two or three shades of green and had no large black areas and and no text on the sail. Then I flew a 2m purple orchid flower slowly gliding over the sky. It's movement was smooth, constant speed, but with digitized directions, somewhat like the control that the combination four keys can offer in an old style computer games. Then my wife accidentally woke me up. Yes, of course I was dreaming. After a day like this with the nice feeling after a day of physical exercise I had rapidly fell asleep quite soon after the head hit the pillow.
I then realized, considering the radically different flight pattern of the orchid from the green kite, that I just had a quad dream.
Artists: The photo of the orchid was taken by D Ramey Logan and is Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 licenced (this should make the dream scene image share alike as well). The dream scene was drawn by Exult while trying to learn more of the vector graphics drawing program Inkscape. It can be argued whether he should give up that activity and stick to kiting instead. The clipping is from the Scream, a painting by Edvard Munch and is nowadays in the public domain.
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ Kind of Cascading
Mon Feb 12 19:00:00 CET 2017
GB forecasted 2-3m/s
Hydra on 20m 38 kg lines
Kymera on 25m, 38kg lines
A beautiful winter day. The parking lot at the beach was more occupied than empty for a change (during winter) - the tour skaters found the ice good and trustworthy and were therefore active today. There was even an iceboat far out from the beach. Due to the wind direction, close to parallel to the beach, I was again forced to fly the kites among outdoor furniture. This kind of interfered with my plans to do "en masse" tricking. The main reason was that I wanted to avoid the following recoveries and having the kite/lines getting entangled in a table, bench, etc... If I flew from the water towards the lawn the wind got gustier and if I tricked over the ice most recoveries get trickier. On ice, if the kite is "ground turtled", it only slides on its back instead of tilting up into start position. If the ice is not perfectly smooth you can sometimes make a (dead launch like) double tug to get it into start position, from where you can do a basic start. True dead launches on ice didn't work out for me the few times I tried them, though I think that they would have been rather safe on ice. Another ice interacting trick that I haven't tried before (I think) were LE launches that became very smooth.
One "sideways localised" trick suited the limited "effective space" well and that is the cascade. Typically ending on the ground in a turtle just under where you started. I don't claim the trick: I can only go a couple of cycles before the a half axle turns into a rixel (ie. the kite goes into a turtle) and I don't do the ending tug of the new top wing in the end of the half axle. The Hydra is the kite kite of my choise for the cascade practicing. So I ended up doing a lot of cascade practicing. The way to get them going a bit longer (still without the second tug of the half axle) was to make the half axels by quick tugs and kind of letting the top wing half bounce on stiff lines (alternating wing halves of course). It kind of felt crude with the feeling similar to having a thin steel wire stiffly suspended and the other side connected to a steel dank. Then, to describe the tug, drop the steel dank. (I have abandoned this method now for ... read on and you'll see)
Today's annoyance, only one wing tip had an end cap, so the Kymera nock broke (it could just still function though).
In one of these photos you can find a tour skater/traction kiter. When zooming in the image quality of this skater is unfortunately of traditional "proof of UFO quality". The foil kite was orange and black (sorry no more info).
At home, the last remaining end cap...
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ En Masse Tricking Leading the Way to Longer Cascading
Sun Feb 19 11:49:39 CET 2017
GB forecasted 4-5m/s
Hydra on 20m 38 kg lines
Kymera on 25m, 38kg lines
So how is it going with the trick en masse approach? The conditions at the beach felt much the same as last week - same direction and there was still ice. The wind felt quite light in spite of the forecast. I started out on the lawn but left because of two reasons. A mother and some children were making an open fire with twigs from a pine branch that fallen down in some high wind. The still humid wood and the green needles caused much smoke drifting over the lawn, so I was driven off the lawn. I also went towards the beach hoping to find a fraction more wind there. She made some comment regarding the smoke and I replied by calmly asking if her "charcoal" had the SIS mark (a "proof of quality" from a Swedish test institute and yes some bags of coal actually do have this mark) and further referred to the battle of Lützen (which is commonly used to describe dense fog: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lützen_(1632) ). She did not get upset, but told me that they did have a (stunt I assume) kite, but that they didn't manage to get it going very much/well. She also described seeing the kiters during the 90-ies in Fiskebäckskil (Swedish west coast) and that she had visited a Kite store (still during the 90-ies) in Gothenburg. It could have been the same shop whose owner shared so much info through the phone (I am in debt) and that I bought the HQ Maestrale from. However I never did visit Gothenburg during that period. When leaving she thanked for the getting-started/going-hints that she had gotten just from observing the kiting.
So the place and conditions and limitations were much the same as the last weekend. I therefore continued with the cascade training mostly with the Hydra. To modify the input "control noise" during the "en masse" part I did move the arms back so that I could feel a second tug in the other arm slightly after the large axel tug. I don't know how this works, but it seems to be delaying the rixeling that is the end of the cascades. (more cascade training/observations in my next blog entry).
A trick that fitted the Kymera well in the light wind was the belly launch. Angle the nose a dm to the side from the centre and then just do a quick light tug on the "shortest" line (that's all). The Kymera pops high up with the nose pointing towards 10:30/01:30 roughly. I didn't have the same luck with the Hydra, but had some difficulties in making the nose point upwards. Is this because it demands more wind or is it a "feature" of the kite? - To be tested and compared in more wind. Why didn't I try some more already in this low wind session by combining the start with backwards running or at least while pulling back (more?) on both arms?
Cape Evil photographed from the table of obstruction. You were created with the sole purpose of ruining the wind and tangle/catch the lines. It could be worse though, and it will, during summer the hordes of chaos will have their picnics of malice in order to turn the beach into a crowded mess, restricting me to off hours of doziness and into the gloomy rain of misery. And I'm a complete whiner with misanthropic tendencies today - NO MORE GRUMPINESS! Sunshine is overrated and a summer rain is not that bad at least if it is not combined with too light wind. And if I can't fly because it is crowded I got plenty of kites to repair and fix (and so does the garden and the house as well).
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ At Last the Fazer XXL in Decent Wind - or the Session of Wear and Tear
Sat Feb 25 15:55:33 CET 2017
GF forecasted 5m/s
Fazer XXL on 35m 180kg lines
No scheduled tennis next two weeks and most likely no kiting in the next few days - today I went all in. I "knew" that I would get profoundly sore muscles, but no other activities would suffer from it. I almost aimed for it since it is a receipt of that the physical exercise gave some effect (my belief - am no expert in these matters).
The ratio of pulling (as expected from this large kite) and (possibility to do) tricking was just right. Gaining ground was done by flying the kite to the top of the wind window and then backing - the opposite of a fly away (in low wind), where you let the kite glide downwards from you. Regarding the tricking I'm sure tricking purists could make an objection like "my NN (their favourite) kite tricks better" "and this kite feels murky (mushy?) in comparison". It is different, the kite gives a massive feeling and its up to you whether you appreciate it or not. The possibility to do tricking (and doing them at a somewhat rapid rate) is dependent both on your tricking skills and your physical fitness - I intend to improve in both. Sitting on the ground in high wind while steering the kite back and forth and possibly be dragged sitting would feel a little limited ( http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/6989-you-need-a-really-big-van-to-have-this-one-in-the-back-with-the-le-assembled/?do=findComment&comment=61306) - though the sound is cool.
Today when initiating the side slides it was common to overshoot the horisontal slide position ending up with the inside wing a bit higher up. Instead of trying to go on with the initial input of the FA with the outer hand I did it with the inner hand. I think this was easier, but I must look further into it. Another observation was that I got the inhaul snagged around the rear end of the spine a few times - who knows I might even add keeper lines on the bridle one day.
Has this ferrule gotten bent (and if so from axel to wing tip landings)?
The ferrules has worn through the LE dacron - I suspect the LE launches.
¤¤¤¤ Added 5th of April 2017 ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
I was very wrong and should have studied the worn LE dacron better. When looking at the upper side it was clear that it was not the LE launches that was the likely cause. The adjustable bridle catching segment ("the extra bridle line") that can be used to reduce LE vibration in harder wind had worn through the dacron in the back side of the kite. It seems like the holes (front and backside about a cm apart) in the dacron for this bridle segment were a bit too far from the LE carbon tube. Now today there was enough wind to tension the catching segment causing the edge of the back side dacron hole to take the load of this bridle segments rather than the carbon tube and therefore started to tear/wear.
¤¤¤¤ End of Edit ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
A slightly worn nose. What is the main cause: LE-launches, failed fade launches, semi successful belly landings, cart wheels... ? OK, not so much wear, but I only used the kite three times of which one was in soft snow.
The clip(s?) on the spine has moved allowing the centre-T to make a rip in the dacron of the sail. Is this the result of some less successful fade launches? Fazer XL had very badly glued clips - the inner surfaces were not even in proper contact because they were not completely smooth. I think the I ended up gluing (some lose, others to reinforce) all (about 16?) of them of the XL. Looks like I should do some preventive gluing here as well. If you look closely in the image you see the tape field-fix that prevents the centre T-from sliding. Before gluing properly I'll remove the tape residues with some propanol.
The clips around one of the LS to LE connectors had come loose, while the other had not. More clips to glue and find their proper positions of. Why do I never learn that I should mark the original position with a thin marker of all clips as the first thing to do before even going to the field the first time?
A sudden suspicion grew - this leading edge somewhat start to resemble that of a Prism Alien. Is the ferrule bent from e.g the axel to wing tip landings? I start to think about the square cube law (for structural strength versus "accelerated mass"/force) ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square-cube_law ), the inherent problems of large designs to support itself when scaling up a small design (such as a large kite) while exactly preserving the shape of all details. I end up getting lost (doesn't end up with the same result) when trying to consider the (kinetic to potential) energy of e.g. a tip stab of a small versus a scaled up large kite. Can it really be so that the energy required for breaking by bending a LLE scales in the same way as the mass when increasing the size of the kite? And how does abrasion (~small scale structural strength?) work for large kites? Imagine putting a sticker around the LE of a 4D, normal sized kite and a Fazer XXL and then do a couple of LE launches on a lawn and then on rocks? Which kite would wear out the sticker or itself quickest? How much of the wear is from kite weight and how much is from the wind load during a LE launch? ... Naaah!!! - I stick to the practical piloting aspects instead. Anyhow glad that I haven't snapped a LLE yet on the XXL - I did so about 1.5 years ago on the XL when a half unexpected tip stab turned out to be a little too hard. I should measure the span width of the XXL to see if it remains constant or if the ferrules bend with time.
After the session
So how did it go with the sore muscles the following days? Not that bad and not at all as the first time I used the Fazer XXL (then in somewhat deep snow and low wind conditions). Perhaps it then was caused by that I was completely new to the kite or the running around in snow to keep it in air in low wind? It looks like that there is little limitation in how I can use the Fazer XXL regarding the possibility to do other sports during the following days. There was no reason to put off what should have been done before so I measured the span width. 3.58m when standing up on its wing tips and 3.57m when resting on its belly (the LE flexes when the kite supports itself). When holding the LEs together in the nose and pressing the ferrules together the right nock was about 2cm from the left one. This latter comparison is a bit inconclusive - I'd expect that the left one would be the most bent one (and not the right that was the case), since the LLEs that I've broken have all been on the left side.
Thank you, readers of great stamina!
In between entry: Nobody told me there'd be days like this - Strange days indeed
Something that is not supposed to happen here happened. A collegue at work asked me if I had heard the news that there had been a shooting somewhere in the area where I live. Now that area is quite large, ~500km2 (of land area), so I didn't feel directly concerned (but the thought though...). When checking the news up, there were no casualties and the victim had "just" been shot in the leg and the two suspects had been arrested. The place of the shooting however, was somewhere like 100m to 300m from the nearest kite field (GB)! Things like this shouldn't happen here.
The Saturday after this I dropped children (including one of mine) after driving to their tennis hour and had then planned to go kiting immediately after this. It was only that I (well the car then) got hit by a rapidly backing large car. I tried to back away, but didn't dare to back quickly enough since there was so much people out at this time. I don't give much for the (absence of) the other drivers risk analysis nor how little focused on driving that person must have been. The damage done to my car wasn't so large, so that I couldn't get to the field, but the resulting paperwork and visit(s) at the repair-shop is not something I look forward to.
(If someone spotted from which song the sub header was I'd like to say I like the tune, but regarding the possibly smoke/drug accepting part I say flying with a kite is much preferable)
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ It is (gradually) coming back
Sat Jan 28 16:46:37 CET 2017
GB forcasted 2-3m/s
Kymera on 20m 38 kg lines
Didn't feel very home except for figure flying and landings (sort of 2-point and spin landings), starts (belly, fade), FA still felt distant. After about 1.5h the wind died out for a while, but then returned after 15 minutes or something and so did the FAs. Then they just worked without much thinking (like don't make a so large deal of of it). There was one conscious corrective action that payed off however - move down streams during the catch phase. Now many quite sloppily initiated close to the ground casual FAs were possible. OK, they didn't last very long, but I was happy(ier) nonetheless.
When doing 2-point like landings with the Kymera they can, if care is not taken, end up in a turtle. I believe this happen more often to me if the wind is on the upper half of the suitable range of this kite. Learning how to deal with this however, gives you control over this and also provides an extra way of entering a turtle in other places in the wind window (than close to the ground by mistake when landing). It is the second arm's input and release that sets off the turtle. When the nose is coming down. Do a quick pull turn, move forwards slightly and then make the input to stop the rotation with the other arm like you would be hitting with a very light(/narrow) hammer and then in the same light hammer fall immediately extend (or rather directly bounce) the second arm just like the light hammer fall would unexpectedly bounce back a long way. Once again it is this second hit&release that triggers the turtle (or how much it tilts backwards if the turtle isn't complete).
There were some slightly more people on the beach than normal today, but only one seemed to fully express kite joy and showed vast fascination. A little boy, possibly with Downs syndrome, first went after the kite, but eventually learned that that wasn't a thing to do. He then showed that he wanted to take control of the lines by (rather mildly) grabbing for the handles. I felt that I had to say no to this as well. That little child and his mother (I assume) stayed for an hour just watching while staying behind me to the side about 10m away. I wish that a had brought my small one line sled kite (that I actually have in my bag now and then but not today unfortunately) for them use.
Some Hydra tossing around - will order and clarity emerge?
Sun Jan 29 19:21:15 CET 2017
GB forecasted 3-5m/s
Hydra on 20m 38kg lines
Today the forecast and the wind I felt actually matched (I don't own any wind meter). There was enough wind to power the kite well and even have the mylar trailing edges to do some humming for me.
Typical tricks were axel direction changes, two/three axel short cascades that sometimes rixeled (they will for certain rixel if I add more half axels). Fade launches, frequent and unstable turtles. FAs with quite short fade duration. Is it in the tossing around, the constant transition that you find the home of this kite? This might set me off in a direction where figure flying and flying with intent will be a smaller part of the total flying time. I'd say that I'm decent with figure flying and square turns and going where you are intending. This kite haven't got any problems in flying straight and making those 90 deg corners, but because it is a kite that I use when it is a bit windier the figure flying gets more challenging (especially with not very long lines). At least with this kite I'm going to devote some time to various tossing around just to get the feel without aiming for a particular trick - vary the input and watch the output. From Trickery Flickery 35s into the video (1/3): "Once you understand what to expect you then start to be able to control these (tricks I suppose) and then they becomes moves.". So learn to what to expect and vary it. I previously had a similar idea with the Alien when passing by/performing tricking involving a brief flared position during a part of a session when I felt much in contact with the kite. I kind of got an extra input in doing this quick variations during yesterdays session when trying side slide to FA transitions.
So part of the time I'll try to have it constantly in transition (and recovery). The (percentage of) slack line training time should increase if normal flying is largely omitted. I also believe that it will look quite ugly, at least initially. It kinds of reminds me of a Frenchman that worked in the same place as I did during a summer job a long time ago. On the topic of how he learned Swedish his way was not to focus on learning vocabulary and proper grammar, but the important part was to start talking as the first thing. Preserve the spirit of this daring approach and apply it on kiting and trick combos! So an attempt of a compilation of the above: Trick practicing "en masse", instead of doing single well prepared/set up attempts with much after thought - train the muscle memory and let the insight come afterwards (if lucky) and accept if this lead you into new paths.
No I don't think that this new approach will be the single only action that will make a day and night change (and I even might give it up soon if it would not be rewarding with time). What I do believe is that it gives an different angle in learning and could provide another bit off the puzzle. If someone say something is fantastic and the only way of doing something, my alarm bell is often triggered. Another way of changing input that I used before is to learn on one kite and transfer the trick to other kites later (which is, I suspect, a hardly unique way).
As I said before turtles on the Hydra tend to be short for me (I certainly doesn't get stuck in a turtle) and when doing lazies I needed to do them with a very light hand for them not to "unturtle". I should look into if I could set more speed to the lazy by doing the tug that starts the lazy rotation when the kite is on it's way into the turtle. The idea is to be able to do this tug harder when entering the turtle rather than when the kite is "statically" in the turtle (much like I do the 540). Perhaps this is the preferred or at least the standard way of doing e.g. a snap turtle?
I suddenly got a question in the dusk: "Excuse me, can you talk and fly at the same time?". A genuinely kite positive person wanted to know more about kites and actually wanted to know where to buy kites like this. I recommended the closest thing to a local kite shop "Fler bollar i luften" (he actually had heard of the shop!) and suggested that he perhaps could start with a Nexus. However I never understood if the kite would be for him or the five(?) year old daughter of his. It is a pity that people in general seem to be shy about asking about kiting - I appreciate the chat and certainly do not mind sharing the info.
And no kite stakes today! (regarding a short sub discussion in: http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/7723-advice-for-a-beginner-to-kiting-and-2-line-kites/?do=findComment&comment=62657 )
The big day - First cold session with the Fazer XXL
Fri Jan 6 17:10:50 CET 2017
GF, forecasted 3m/s, (-11degC)
Fazer XXL on 35m 180kg lines
Today was the big day, the first time with the Fazer XXL. I therefore went to the big field with room for the lines - the closest field is not just big enough. This larger field is not next to a beach so that the wind is typically a bit less than the forecast suggests here. That was something I saw as a bonus when approaching the field not really knowing what to expect regarding the pull of the kite. This kite will most likely be the one kite whose leading edges I take apart before transport. The length of the Fazer XXL's sleeve with the LE assembled is about 2.25m and my ski bag (mostly used for kites however) is 2.15m. When seeing the kite assembled you realize that you never will find it beautiful. However I have gradually learnt to accept the appearance of it and mind it less and less. It turned out that it was a lighter wind than to my liking - I should have been on one of the "kite hills" of the field to get a bit higher wind close to the ground, but I didn't want to compete too much about the space with the skiing powerkiters there.
I had expected that the XXL also would have the corresponding oversteer as the XL. but quite quickly noticed that this wasn't the case. Yet I have shortened the upper outhaul of the XL by centimeters! The 90 deg turns of the were just a bit less instant than other kites (which is not surprising considering the size of the kite and perhaps the low wind), but there is no corresponding oversteer! I should compare the two bridles (and why not the sails at the same time?) closely one day. Perhaps one wind less day put a horisontal tight rope in the garden and let the XL and XXL hang down from the tow-points?
The LE to LS fittings couldn't take negative forces - I often needed to do the walk of contemplation because a LS had popped out. It didn't take any hard ground contact for them to disconnect. On one occasion a cart wheel caused it to pop. This was the one most important thing to address when getting home.
From the start and perhaps during the first hour I was very careful - after all this is a large kite. During the first half of the session the required force was somewhat a disappointment, but not the cardiovascular exercise that was provided by the conditions - running in the snow to keep the kite airborne and the large arm movements required made the heart pound. Later when the wind picked up somewhat, the position of the arms were more in front of me compared to when using other kites. It was kind of strange feeling having a kite that pulls noticeably and at the same time could feel a little under powered in the current wind.
I had imagined that axels would be difficult to achieve and pitch based tricks to be more accessible. Well axels were no problem. Entering a turtle was something I didn't manage to do the few times I tried - the winds were a bit to light and sometimes more or less not there. There light wind conditions gave a bit crowded feel, but to my surprise axeling was a way to turn the kite during this limited maneuverability circumstances. Tricks were most often single isolated with few trick combos. I hope this will improve in a bit more wind.
With a kite this size the trick execution took longer time. I could focus on following the kite during the axle and taking up slack during the revolution. Can this be the way to figure out the second pull of the half axle?
Fade launches worked out well unless the wind was too low and the (very) local snow depth too deep (OUUUUUPS!!! - I fell backwards, but the snow made the fall soft!). Belly launches, that suited the light wind well, worked out well. Side slides and landing the kite backwards from a high altitude were also quite accessible - the large kite kind of evened out the "noise in input" (like a large low pass filter).
When going home I talked to the remaining powerkiter. It seemed to be a nice person and I hope it wasn't the one who had previously shouted aggressively and rudely to the dog (and dog owner I presume) when the dog approached his kite. The rudeness in the shouting is really a bad move. In some board, some group, some meeting some where, some time that have the power of deciding what is a permitted activity, it is very much more likely to have dog owners than kiters represented! Well back to the topic - what we talked of was naturally kites: places (unfortunately no new near fields were reveled) and compared our activities. He was so into the powerkiting, so I saw no point in promoting duals. However when I mentioned that I knew of a very maneuverable smaller quad foil that wasn't so expensive (the Smithi Pro), he appeared interested and seemed careful to memorize this.
For how I dealt with the low temperature this day see the posts http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/7601-prism-nexus-maiden-flight/?do=findComment&comment=62116 and http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/7601-prism-nexus-maiden-flight/?do=findComment&comment=62178 .
Follow up - minor mods and physical exercise aspects:
The most urgent mod to the kite was to do something to the LS that kept popping out from the LE fitting at the slightest ground contact. A very simple solution - wind tape a couple of turns around the outer side of the LS to increase the diameter. I used some white "general purpose" tape (much like electrical insulation tape). The tape was only added to outmost part the LS so that it couldn't be seen when inserted in the LE fitting. If it would pop out (even if I don't think it will) I would see it more easily now as a white dot against the sail (from 35m away).
The second and third mod was to add small string loops to secure the sail tensioners and also the battens. I used a budget 1.5 mm synthetic line. It turned out that it was not possible to make knots that lasted (strange since the line was sold as bricklayer's cord - they must also be able to make knots) First I tried to melt the knots so that they wouldn't open. This failed because it weakened the molten/non-molten interface too much. What seemed to work was to seal the knot with hot glue (but not too much heat could be applied or the line would go weak again). If I only had ordered more of the (quite thin) sleeved 90kg dyneema line to use instead!
I got something that a rarely get when doing kiting: sore muscles and this time it was close to everywhere (e.g. it completely beats me how you can get sore abdominal muscles from kite flying!)! I don't know if this would have been better if there would have been more wind so that there would be less requirement of running around in snow (which slows you down). The only time that I got something that resembles this is from a few windy sessions with the Fazer XL, but the soreness was then less. In a way this is great news. From an hour of tennis I don't get sore muscles (possibly a very slight and modest receipt-of-activity the day after, but I don't think of it as soreness or discomfort), so to make a more complete healthy exercise/training I should add a weekly Fazer XXL session. No, not realistic, to time consuming to get to the large field, but at least some times when I happen to be there I try to add some XXL time for the sake of training - I mean this is way more fun than just jogging/running or doing push-ups etc (which therefore never gets done)...
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ Forgetting how to FA and some tricking on ice
Sun Jan 22 15:14:34 CET 2017
GB forecasted 6 m/s (didn't matter though... much less in reality)
Hydra on 20m 38 kg lines
Kymera on 25m, 38kg lines
There has been a long time since I flew something "normal" during "normal" conditions. The last time for this was with the Infinity and the Kymera in the beginning of December. The reasons for these few and "abnormal" sessions that I can recall are: a low wind session in rain, traveling, a very hard wind session and the new Fazer XXL. As the title says, I didn't get the FAs going today and I also didn't feel much in touch with the finer control. OK, even though the flying was not great I guess this was a necessary session - After a (kind of) break there is always a first session of (hopefully) coming back in form.
Can using a large kite affect how you handle normal sized ones? How much of the muscle memory carries over from one activity to another after days weeks and perhaps also more or less permanent habits? Two observations from recent tennis playing. My wife and daughter watched for some minutes when I was playing - a quite rare event since we play at different times and groups. They said something like (but not literally) that when I run it is with long steps that looks like something of an elk on the loose (you must be close to someone to hear the truth). So now to the parallel in kiting, how do you run backwards and forwards there? - You increase the length of the step and run smoothly to be able to maintain constant tension or slack.
Another tennis example: another player remarked that it seemed to be a god day for me because many aspects worked out, but that I constantly forgot to stop completely when running to the net and doing volleys (you should stand as stable as possible when aiming and be equally prepared for a ball coming on either side of you). Unfortunately, the player that kindly had praised my play that day, didn't make any reservations when I mentioned my family's elk analogy. So the kiting parallel to running to the net could be moving forwards when doing a 540 or a FA in the centre of the wind window on a somewhat windy day. After the flare of the 540 and to maintain a fade I've trained hard to maintain the forward motion (and not to stop as when doing volleys in tennis)
Does this sound exaggerated? - Well I certainly spend more time kiting than playing tennis, so if there is any cross-talk in the pattern of one's movement between these activities I'd expect kiting to dominate.
Normally the preferred wind direction is normal to the beach. But today the wind was close to parallel. I therefore got a chance to try the kite (the kite - not me) on ice. Tested some side slides while in contact with the ice (such as those shown a while ago in the "Follow us on Facebook" frame in the top right corner of the KL forum main page). The sliding on Ice was quite straight forward with the only pit fall being if the kite fell from or towards you. Due to the low friction the nocks won't only slide side-wards but can also happen to slide forwards or backwards so that the kite falls. This made normal starts difficult as well. If the kite was on it's back I needed to tow the kite on the ice until I could find a stone or a stick that someone had thrown out (and now was stuck in the ice) and use that to hold one nock so that the kite could be pulled up into start position. The sleeping beauty starts were instead helped by the smooth ice layer - there was nothing that could accidentally grab the nose when doing the "ground back spin". When thinking of it - could I have done some risk free dead launch practice on the ice (or would the hard floor like surface of the ice make dead launches impossible)?
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!
Hello, the second dump of flight logs can be found in a comment towards the end - keep on scrolling downwards!
Blog entry - Header for a longer period (e.g. autumn/winter 2016)
Blog comment - Dump of several flight log entries along with a conclusion section
Flight log entry - A part of the of the blog comment dump corresponding to a days activity
Dumps of my flight logs are made here in the form of comments to this blog entry (or header). The (at least initial idea) is to keep the log entries short for two reasons: 1. Not to drown the reader in text (though admittingly this has been so far a failure), but to have a rather high focus on the flight observations/reasoning. 2. Keep it short so that it gets done (as my father used to say: "The best is the enemy of the good"). The comments/"log dumps" will already have been edited for increased readability. If I find that something is recurrent, a trend can be distinguished or it for some other reason of clarity and efficiency I take the liberty of editing this header. If it turns out that this log worked out, I even might include some conclusions here as well.
A promising forecast vs. field for the two main kiting sites:
And yes, your comments are welcome among my "log dump comments". More or less any comment related to what the log is about could work. What came across your mind while reading? Hints would be an extra bonus, but not is not required.
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".
Added 21st of June 2018:
So in a way @RobB was right, the repair didn’t last. Well there was no catastrophic failure, but a new fissure emerged (still using the tube though). Today I'd increase the glass fibre content. For images and the second iteration of the tube repair including heat shrink tubing (and more) see:
# Original blog entry from 2016 below ####
After a too hard ground contact with my HQ Infinity there was a set of small about 1.5cm (~1/2 inch) long fissures parallel to the axis on the inner end of one of the lower spreaders. This is a description of how I repaired it - not necessarily the best way. If you consider to use other fibres I've written down what I learn't in a comment to the previous blog entry "An Infinity...". Feel free to comment in (close to) any way.
Nitrile gloves (epoxy is not healthy)
Glass fibre - here is long fibre strand used (but I suppose a thin mesh/fabric would do)
Scissors and a hobby knife
Nice to have/possibly needed:
Hot air gun
Heat shrink tube
No snug fit - The fissures caused a play when connected to the other LS via the (normal) DT-15 connector rod. Also click on the image to see the small fissures that should be visible in the image then).
Using a wire to compress the expanded/stretched opening while pre-gluing it with a small amount of CA-glue. Verify that this part goes well enough before proceeding. When I tried it the result at this stage wasn't perfect, but it tuned out quite OK in the end.
Sanding the surface to remove varnish (if any?) - is this a necessary step? Tape the parts of the spar that you don't want to apply any epoxy to.
The simplest way to extract the glass fibre strands was by cutting parallel to the strands to be extracted. Limiting to one cut minimised the number of itch inducing short glass fibres on the loose. Before cutting the strand loose from the fabric, put a droplet of CA-glue on either side of it to keep it together, before cutting through the strand/CA-glue. A 3dm long strand was extracted. The damage to the welding sheet was reduced by making the cut in the double layer fabric close to the end and then sealing the hole with a strip of gaffer tape. The sealing of the hole also reduces the number of exposed fibre ends. The way I tried initially to cut one strand end and then pull the strand out step by step using a needle, only resulted in a several places broken strand - not recommended.
No the image does not show a broken fiddle stick - it is another old broken (pultruded) carbon tube (used for a practice repair) - here with a CA-glued strand attached. You could of course use tape to attach the strand as well.
Wear rather thin nitrile gloves (really not worn or with holes in them though) when handling the epoxy so that you don't lose precision. Be in a well ventilated area or outdoors. Now mix a blob of epoxy with the spatula.
Coat the area on the spar with epoxy by smearing it out. Soak the strand in epoxy by dragging it a couple of times through the epoxy puddle. Now roll the soaked strand around the tube to be repaired. Connect also the free side of the strand, so that it doesn't attempt to unroll itself. Add some more epoxy and/or smear/make it uniform. Let the epoxy harden.
Cut and/or sand points of the repair that you suspect will point out from the second layer of epoxy. Mix some new epoxy (not much required) and apply the second layer. When the epoxy is almost hardened, remove the tape.
The tape closest to the repair might need to be cut using a hobby knife. If the epoxy remains (already solidified but) slightly sticky longer than your liking, have a go with the hot air gun gently for a couple of minutes. At this stage the repair was finished.
I was a bit concerned that the diameter of the tube after the repair would be a bit to large. When connecting the two lower spreaders together, the spreaders could be wiggled so that the outer tip could be moved (like a flapping bird) about 1cm relative to the other spreader. However when comparing this to my (still intact) Maestro 3 the amount of play was very similar. If it would have been necessary to handle I would have tried to put some heat shrink tube around the connector part of the other LS to act as a cylindrical shim making the spreader to spreader connection play free.
So far I've tried the Inifinity only one time after the repair in quite light wind due to the winds lately and I might have gone slightly less risk taking after the incident. Will it last? - only time will tell. However if it would break I would comment on this blog post and try with a higher content of glass fibre if feasible to repair. The next time I think I would have two strands in parallel to increase the amount of glass fibre in the repair.
Perhaps a next project could be to see if it is possible to repair some old broken lower leading edges of my Prism Illusion (Avia Sport G-Force UL)? Yes, this repair could have some unfortunate effect on flight behavior, especially since it is far from the centre of the kite and also might affect the curvature of the leading edge. However, the Illusion spars just snapped in two pieces when they broke, so some other approach is required to repair them than the above - a thin walled carbon tube that fits nicely into the Avia spar and a very fine fibre mesh would very nice to have here.
(A spin-off from this project - now I got a nice long glass fibre source for sealing the spigot of the wooden stove. No definitely not the epoxy for that - got a special heat resistant type of goo for this.)
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...
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.