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A letter to Invento-HQ and some other old/recent stuff


Exult

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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:

Quote

 

To: Invento-HQ; Remix_Kiteshop/DB_Toys
From: "exult@a.perfectfield.se"
Date: 6/3/2016
Subject: Re: Kite wedding gift - Re: Ogone: Confirmation of your order

Dear Sir/Madam,

It turned out that there were others that also thought that the Tramontana/Prism-tail was a stunning appearance. I went to a kite festival last weekend in hope to find any dualline kiters (have not seen anyone for many years - there are very very few of them here). Since it was a festival I decided for the Tramontana/tail combo to give people something that they could understand. A bit to my surprise they handed out some prizes and I got the main one. I guess it was for appearance, but they also mentioned the constant effort of flying (well it was certainly not for building - made no secret of brands and from where I've bought them). Also there were many detailed questions from visitors.

It is totally incomprehensible why the Tramontana is hidden among the HQ retro kites! I can't find it in "http://www. a -link to a non-sponsor" ! There is no similar HQ kite that is being marketed that it could internally compete with. The handling is marvelous and the appearance is stunning. E.g. one of my friends at work refers to my Tramontana as "the nice looking kite". However if I could wish for a minor modification I'd like a little reinforcement around the hole in the sail around the centre cross.

I think it should be offered as a kite with high precision and stunning appearance and recommended to anyone beyond the lawn dart stage (however that the trickability is a bit limited, but is there to a limited extent, should be mentioned as well). Don't be shy - brag about it! The key point is that it should be evident that it makes a stunning appearance in the sky and it should be illustrated with a link to something like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciK46WvzbsU . However I think in a video intended to be promotional the turns could have been more square, some tricks added and a little groundwork to - especially very easy LE launches and cardweels are characteristic.
Tramontana is understandable and striking. I got serious in kiting after I saw a two person team flying routine at a kite festival - yes you guessed it: it was two Tramontana kites.

Now over to the Salsa 3 I bought for the wedding gift - now after testing I don't understand the kite or its purpose! I bought it because it was robust and could take a few crashes, not so tricky (might suit a beginner) and that the version 3 of a kite should mean that someone bothers about how well the kite performs. The good part first - the kite didn't break during the beginners first session. Otherwise, performance-wise, I had difficulties in finding something I liked and that would make a good beginners kite. First when making a exaggerated input beginner style of turn (like more than 1dm difference in line position - the kite went on its back (not very beginner friendly). Second when I attempted to hold a stall I just couldn't with this kite. I think that the HQ Quickstep kite is more easily controlled, cheaper and much more suited for a beginner. Is there some hidden Salsa feature that I've missed here? Personally, if I've haven't given it away I'could have investigated/exploited the turn to turtle transition, but for the kite owner receiver this is not where he is on his learning curve. Could a scaled up (version 3/4 fullsize e.g.) of the Quickstep (XL) be something to replace the Salsa?

Best Regards,
"Exult"

 

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.

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I look forward to further thoughts that you wish to share as you continue down the path of your KiteLife.  It now occurs to me that the Tramontana would be a great addition to my kite collection as I already have the tail to pull with the stunning looking kite.  I fly alone most all the time & occasionally have a few spectators.  I notice they watch the longest when I am flying dual line kites with long tails.  They also seem to enjoy stacked kites which I almost always fly with tails.  I can also relate to your comment about concentrating on dual line kites saving four line kites for a later time.  My trying to fly all types has undoubtedly slowed my progress in excelling in any one type.  But the journey is the thing for me, not my level of flying.

Your brother in the sky, SHBKF 

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Thank you very much for your interest and comments SHBKF!
When I was out today at the local field/beach for a session with my HQ Maestro 3 and Tramontana I tried the Tramontana with and without the tail - yes as usual with tail there was some extra attention from bystanders. Two of the tricks that I'm currently investigating, the fade launch and the sleeping beauty launch was to my surprise also there with the Tramontana. The sleeping beauty was a bit reluctant, possibly due to nose/line snags, but was still there. Fade launches with the Tramontana was definitely there, just advance forward enough to allow it to complete the ground-pancake to fade transition. Just before going home, after about 3.5h of non-stop kiting, I connected the tail again and then it happened: a rising fade from the ground with tail! I don't know how! After a certain time your hands start to do things more automatically without yourself being so observant - then it is time to go home. With this fade launch with a tail however, going home felt really nice (would have been even nicer knowing how I did it though). One other thing I learnt though from the two last times - sun protection! Why on earth don't I have a small packet of "sun-goo" in the kite bag?

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Just forget about that 'Sleeping Beauty' launch... don't break your kite. What's the point ? Fade launch is OK, though. I hear you about wanting to concentrate on learning to fly dual lines, but you've got the rest of your life to learn duallies. You'll need at least that long ! The great thing about four lines is that they're easy to learn, and the learning curve is fast. If I'm on a crowded beach, I choose to fly a quad line because of the confidence the kite gives me. I've been trying to learn how to fly dual lines for ~15 years, but still won't fly them in a place where there are a bunch of people hanging out, only when I'm about the only person there. 

I totally prefer to fly dual line kites, but finding the right winds and conditions can be frustrating. You can put tails on quad line kites, too, BTW...  B)

 

IMG_4947.jpg

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9 hours ago, RobB said:

Just forget about that 'Sleeping Beauty' launch... don't break your kite. What's the point ?

Sorry (and thank you for your attention as well and concern for my kite), I totally disagree. With the right kite the sleeping beauty is a simple trick. The very first session I tried it I was using an Infinity (on a lawn like ground) and I only failed once. This is for me the one exception from the rule that you need to practice practice practice to learn a trick (e.g. a half axel is still a nemesis trick). Currently now when I'm investigating the trick, its limits and which kites it works for, the rate of failure is higher. You yourself determine how much power you apply during the take off part of the trick and with the nose about 1.5dm above the ground you just don't need much power. Dead launches, related but different, is riskier I agree, but again you decide how much you input on the lines. OK I don't attempt the dead launch very much, but I more feel that I'm wearing the kite out, not so much risking snapping/ripping stuff (my exceptions: 4D and Shadow). The only time I had a high success ratio for dead launches was with a Prism Illusion on some old, soft, spongy and horisontal and (yes) dead grass.
I remember the last time I briefly discussed dead launches with anyone that understood, call me morbid if you wish, on the way home from from an old mans much expected funeral a year ago. I felt "extra deep", pondering over life and what you really want to do. I had a couple of days ago succeeded in doing the above mentioned trick for the first time and was in the middle of what later turned out to be a shopping spree of four heavily discounted and discontinued models of Prism kites (had previously only bought the Illusion - the first new kite in 15 years). I made up my mind, I don't want to miss the one remaining Elixir kite, so I got off the subway and headed for the circus/yo-yo/kite shop ("Fler bollar i luften", now only exist as a web shop).

9 hours ago, RobB said:

If I'm on a crowded beach, I choose to fly a quad line because of the confidence the kite gives me.

I know this is hubris, but I feel more confident flying a kite than driving a car. I started out with serious kiting before I got a driving license. On the beach, be early - if it gets crowded go home (no, people under the kite puts an end to learning) - or you can possibly try with shorter lines. Did that once it was a bit crowded when arriving with a HQ shadow on 15m lines. After a while by the end of the afternoon there was more wind and more room so I could switch to other kites and lines. In Sweden the beaches are only densely populated during during a few months and during the winter they are more or less forgotten (lucky me).

9 hours ago, RobB said:

The great thing about four lines is that they're easy to learn

A couple of times a long time ago I've been flying a 5m^2 Peter Lynn quad line foil. Given that I could control that to some extent/reasonably, how much would I have "for free" if I would try a Rev-like kite?

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G'day and welcome.

 

By Fade Launch, do you mean 

on back nose into the wind and rise, or

on belly nose away and POP into a Fade?

 

When I tried my Gemini, pop to a fade, thing just leaped into the air. Much higher than my others!

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Thank you for your (blog-) welcoming message SparkieRob!

16 hours ago, SparkieRob said:

By Fade Launch, do you mean 

on back nose into the wind and rise, or

on belly nose away and POP into a Fade?

The latter one, POP (from ground) into fade. Wasn't aware of that it was possible to launch it when already being in a fade on the ground.

17 hours ago, SparkieRob said:

When I tried my Gemini, pop to a fade, thing just leaped into the air. Much higher than my others!

Haven't had the opportunity to try the Gemini because I have not done the required kite travelling (in time?) to test OPKs. You have surely already tried to really give slack to enter the fade as in the above comment:

On 7/3/2016 at 11:05 PM, Exult said:

Fade launches with the Tramontana was definitely there, just advance forward enough to allow it to complete the ground-pancake to fade transition.

The jumping you wrote about makes me think of my old Jam Session, that is the one I've jumped highest with - from "ground pancake" pop lines and maintain the very slightest pressure - that did the trick for this kite. The Jam Session is the kite that I've had most time with - especially when I was working on this.


Gemini, Gemini sounds familiar like from the days I read Kite Passion in late nineties. ...hm (web search for "Gemini kite" now and limited to results before 2000)...  So, it is still sold (in a way I kind of seen this, but without much thought "processing"). Is your Gemini new or old and what would the difference be? Also saw an KL article in old KL during this search, http://kitelife.com/old-site/magazine/issue28/rgraziano28/content.php , where a Ron Graziano got interviewed (in 2002). He there mentioned old-school kites. Now this gets confusing - now we got current, old school and ultra old school? To be honest, I've not really understood the precise definition of old school.


I've been thinking in new and old terms of my kites in other ways to. When you prepare for doing a side slide by turning downwards at the end of the wind window side, the non deep sail, mostly the old kites, kind of falls through the turn. By "the turn" I mean at the wind window edge, turn downwards from nose towards the wind window edge to nose upwards. Almost all kites (Jam Session, Maestrale, Elixir, Illusion, Fazer XL, Tramontana,...) just falls through this turn with very little input required to complete the turn. The newer kites, the Infinity and the Maestro 3, just doesn't do this. The result of the downwards turn is for the newer kites more like a large radius turn, which might end in the ground if you are not prepared for it. It is not the case that these two kites can't turn sharply - it is just the behavior at the edge of wind window that I'm thinking of here. Ideas of why and how?

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On 7/9/2016 at 6:22 PM, SparkieRob said:

When I tried my Gemini, pop to a fade, thing just leaped into the air. Much higher than my others!

When trying fade launches yesterday during a low wind session with my HQ Shadow I got the same result as you described with your Gemini. It just jumped into the air without flipping on its back. Not until I pulled a bit harder during the ground pancake to in air nose down position and then released abruptly I got it to flip on it back. So a bit heavier on the lines initially and then an abrupt release flipped it on the back. Or put it in another way, pressure on the sail and a sudden release. Hope that this is of help. Could this reluctance to flip on its back be a low wind thing?

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On July 20, 2016 at 0:36 AM, Exult said:

Could this reluctance to flip on its back be a low wind thing?

Some kites just jump from pancake to fade with little effort, some really have to be pulled through to lift and turn them over, others require a lot of articulation (lift/open, pop, release) and some just don't like to make the transition at all - very different behaviors / techniques depending on design.

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My Seven will launch into a fade from ground. It needs careful tending as the winds close to the ground are a little variable...

 

When popping off the ground into a fade, yes there was some big arm movements. And steps too. I haven't tried it with my Sevens but the Gemini has the extra mass from having essentially 3 spines!

 

Glad to hear how you are doing.

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On 7/4/2016 at 5:09 AM, RobB said:

forget about that 'Sleeping Beauty' launch

This morning I was out on the local beach. After a while the wind increased so I abandoned the Illusion for the Infinity. When it was time to park the Illusion without having it to blow/tumble away I got an idea - why not start out making a Sleeping Beauty and then "fail" to have it parked in a face down nose toward you position? Although stretching it a bit (after all it is not a launch) it is another reason for getting involved in doing Sleeping Beauty like stuff.

On 7/25/2016 at 7:19 PM, John Barresi said:

very different behaviors / techniques depending on design.

An example of this also from today is that I noticed that the Infinity ground-pancake-to-fade transition required (or could be made with?) very little input - could be done mostly with your wrists on top of a quite small arm movement. However the "pendulum feeling" in the move was still there, only on a small scale and low "mass". So what do I mean by a "pendulum feeling"? Well, imagine a flag pole without a flag, grab the halyard and make it's full length rock from side to side by periodically pulling the rope. Or picture yourself on a yacht with no sails, grab the mainsheet a metre from the boom and make the boom (boom suspended in an horisontal position) rock back and fourth like a pendulum. Now the "pendulum feeling" of the pancake-flip-release is one cycle of this (the possible moving forward of yourself and catching phase of the kite is not included in this). I should go on and see if I can find the "pendulum feeling" in the pancake to fade transitions in all kites.

2 hours ago, SparkieRob said:

Glad to hear how you are doing.

Me to, it is interesting to hear about others kiting attempts, especially those that you can relate to.

fractionOfInfinity.jpg

A grey beauty against a gray sky is was I attempted to catch in this photo today. Couldn't do a full kite image, since I have no assistant and it was a bit windy. Should perhaps start to learn some basic single handed (dualline) flying to be able to take pictures with the other hand? After all, a KL blogger does quads single handed recently.

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