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Lunchtime Slides, Stalls, and a Bunch of Half Axle Practice

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Happyspoon

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I ran out to fly for my lunch break yesterday :) The wind was pretty ideal so I finally started working on half axles! I got 50min of "kite assembled" time in but only about 20min of flying because of all the walking and relaunching. I should probably figure out all the ground recovery tricks sooner rather than later! I edited out all the walking an have this 20min video.

I've managed to borrow two action cams and I thought Id set one up on the kite and one on me this time. Unfortunately I forgot to check the camera pointed at the kite and it recorded a time lapse the whole time. I still got good footage from the gopro but I'm in frame for a lot of it! I'd love feedback on my form as I'm not usually so visible. I'm trying to keep my hands at the side but have flown a lot in low wind and keep forgetting. 

The first 8min is mostly stalls and slides. I need to work on snapping my left hand better but I'm starting to get it with the right. Lots of half axle practice after that especially 10-14min. I think I'm usually not giving enough slack on the lower line/not pulling on the lower line after giving slack but it is hard to tell yet. I can't wait to get better at them cause this was the most fun I've had since my first time out!!

 

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You are doing well after only a summer! You are also aiming high when going for the fade and half axel. I started out in a different order (not guaranteed to be a better one but a different one) - flying squares (well you do as well), doing ground work, turtles, landings launches - more simple tricks but striving after doing them cleanly (still do btw.) rather than doing more advanced tricks. Another approach I had when starting out was just to see what I could provoke the kite into. Can't say that this (the provoking i.e.) gave me a new set of tricks - perhaps some knowledge of a kite's general behavior and how to get out of less controlled situations was gained. On the other hand I guess any attempt on a difficult trick could do this (i.e. handling a tumbling kite). I had bought a couple of Dodd Gross kite school videos (on VHS-cassettes) and read written trick descriptions on the web (videos on the web were rare (or too bulky) at the time). One good complementary reading that would have been good to have had at the time (an impossibility since it wasn't written yet) would have been http://kitelife.com/kl-archive/tutorials/tutorials-dual-line/flying-with-intent/ - really good reading IMHO. Another thing - if much of your time is consumed by making the walk of contemplation - try learning Card Wheels. It is kind of an investment giving you more time to learn other stuff (sorry if you did but I missed it).

Tough starting out with an half axles as early as this - it is not half as difficult as an ordinary axle - quite on the contrary. Personally this is somewhat of my nemesis "move": they don't look good, are not reliable, the pop part is not performed well and attempting an half axle cascade it typically ends up on it's back after two to three cycles.

During the session this morning (local time GMT +2h, daylight saving time) I tried to mimic the turns you made at the end of the wind window when attempting the half axels. The closest I got was when I did an aggressive 180 deg push turn upwards (or rather punch turn throwing the lower arm forward) either maintaining a slight tension on the upper line or doing the push turn with a fraction of the movement that one does when one enters a snappy turtle from horisontal flight. It can actually be made to look quite striking and could perhaps be useful in turning when space is limited.

Hm..., I wonder if the fade close to the end of the video is more of a turtle (it is quick and partly outside the window so it is a bit difficult to see)? Don't let this put you off. I quite often learn (or notice) things that I didn't intend to practice initially - learning doesn't always follow a pre-determined path.

Your question regarding the contents of future videos at the end of the video is almost a bit to humble, I think this is your kite piloting and that you therefore chose what to display. However, on the other hand, I'd think practicing things like landings, figure flying, speed control, getting in and out of a turtle till it shines could add another angle to your flying. The small parts adds up to your total session. Besides if the Illusion 2K is close to the Illusion it should be well suited for precision/figure flying. But I feel a need to repeat myself - mind the LLes. I broke one just when landing a bit hard on a wing tip in light wind - didn't even intend to do a hard tip stab.

I've seen a list of recommended tricks to start out with when learning in http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/p.j.f.peters/kites/ , in the "Tricks" > "Adding difficulty levels" section (the actual trick list is under "Contents" last in the page).

A small part of me envy the stage of exploration and discovery that you are in, even though I'm grateful for the knowledge that I've had the opportunity to get (especially since there is long way ahead before I reach the goals that I've set). But most important - fly and have fun!

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     Wow Exult, thanks for such thoughtful feedback! I'm glad you are enjoying watching as I learn, I'm super happy to share the process with both current and future flyers. I know I spent awhile before getting the Quantum looking for videos of beginners learning the basics!

     I think I know what you mean about "provoking" the kite. I noticed that I could really 'wobble' the kite going across the window with subtle movements. I saw some people talking about the "less is more" school of flying and I can see how awesome developing a real solid sense of how the kite is going to respond while 'unstable' would be!

     I heard the phrase flying with intent on the forum (and thought about it a lot out on the field) but didn't realize there was such a great article linked to it! I'm going to try some of that figure flying and build a couple of multi-component routines into my next session. It would be cool to have a 10min warm-up routine that I could try each time I come out. ReedDesigns has some cool stuff too! I've seen some of the trick animations on YouTube but didn't realize how many there were :)

     Thanks for the link and comments on trick difficulty! I think I should plan on trying a routine a few times then working on ground recoveries like the cart wheel next time. If I'm ambitious or if the wind isn't right for groundworks I might try an axle or two and turtles (think you are right about the fade by the way, I'm still not 100% on trick terminology)!

    

56 minutes ago, Exult said:

 

During the session this morning (local time GMT +2h, daylight saving time) I tried to mimic the turns you made at the end of the wind window when attempting the half axels. The closest I got was when I did an aggressive 180 deg push turn upwards (or rather punch turn throwing the lower arm forward) either maintaining a slight tension on the upper line or doing the push turn with a fraction of the movement that one does when one enters a snappy turtle from horisontal flight. It can actually be made to look quite striking and could perhaps be useful in turning when space is limited.

 

 I'd love to see these at some point! I'm flattered that some of my flying was a bit inspirational ;) 

Finally, I couldn't imagine being out flying without a big grin on my face, it is too much fun. There aren't a lot of areas where repetitive practice itself is so rewarding!

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14 hours ago, Happyspoon said:

I'm super happy to share the process with both current and future flyers.

A long time ago when I started out one person was very very helpful and patient. He shared much kite knowledge through the phone (lived in another city) - time after time and was never in a hurry doing so.  Kite knowledge is "meant" to be brought forward to others.

 

14 hours ago, Happyspoon said:

I saw some people talking about the "less is more" school of flying

Occasionally being heavy on the lines feels right and might be what one would like to express(ugh, that sounded deep)/try out. Some times sense the difference between heavy and light flight (if kite, ground, lines and wind allow). But I agree, less is more is art that I strive for. When I happen to succeed with the small input way, it can give a marvelous sense of control. It is a bit like the gas pedal on a car - you don't move your foot very much, but the effect is large.

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I finally got a chance to watch your video all the way through. Looked like a nice flying session, and a great location. I think the high point of what I saw was around the 7 minute mark, you flew straight down and did a snap stall to the left, then again to the right. That looked really good. That move can easily be made into an impressive landing, or while the kite is stalled, it's a perfect spot for an axel.

The move at the end looked like a turtle, I couldn't see the kite, but your input looked like the input for a turtle. That was my first trick... fly up while pulling on both lines, and right near the top, throw slack at both lines. The kite flips onto it's back... walk towards the kite, tug either the right or the left line, and the kite will rotate around. Boom... Lazy Susan. Once the kite rotates 360*, pull both lines, the kite will return to flying position, fly away.

Two things I would suggest... I fly with my pointer fingers on the leaders for fine inputs on either line. This helps greatly during stalls & slides. Inputs when the kite is barely flying are micro inputs. Which brings me to the universal truth... more slack. Almost always, when you wonder why a trick failed, the answer is... more slack. Always walking (or at least a big step) towards the kite when you're trying a trick. Example... 1/2 axel, snap stall towards the side of the window, step forward, axel input to fly out towards the center of the window.

If you're like me, the stepping forward is tough while the kite is in the middle of a trick. I kinda lock up out of fear that I'm about to crash. Very difficult to overcome, I'm still working on that.

Last thing... patience. I worked on the axel for about a year before I really got it. It took me over a year to learn the 540. I know that I'm slow, but I didn't have anything but written advice and some uToob videos to learn from. I would read & watch,  over & over, but most of that information would fly out of my head when I got out to the beach.

I am happy to see someone else learning dual line, not the most popular, and certainly not the easiest kind of flying. Keep up with the videos, even if you don't post them, watching them in your down time will help you analyze what you're doing (right & wrong) and that will help greatly the next time you're out in the field.

Let me leave you with this...

 

and this...

 

B)

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2 hours ago, RobB said:

The kite flips onto it's back... walk towards the kite, tug either the right or the left line, and the kite will rotate around.

I have no problems doing a single Lazy with my Infinity and Maestro 3 in the matching wind for those kites. However trying to do it (in lighter wind) with my Illusion is a different matter. My addition to your Lazy suggestion is to try it out for different kites and winds. Actually, this applies for any trick. Learning it on one kite and transfer it to another.

2 hours ago, RobB said:

If you're like me, the stepping forward is tough while the kite is in the middle of a trick. I kinda lock up out of fear that I'm about to crash.

This may sound like bragging, but I have no fear. I almost always choose how hard ground contact I wish (and sometimes I wish for too much). But on the other side, running forward adds another step to an already complex movement and therefore makes things more difficult.

2 hours ago, RobB said:

but most of that information would fly out of my head when I got out to the beach

I know that it does (from my head i.e.), My latest counter action is to train the hands to do an attempt on training the move in advance using only my hands (much like I do for tennis if I've found something that was successful - well actually I use my tennis racket then, but no tennis ball).

2 hours ago, RobB said:

Last thing... patience. I worked on the axel for about a year before I really got it. It took me over a year to learn the 540. I know that I'm slow

Relax RobB, you have another slow snail on the other side of the Atlantic. Required time sounds similar to mine.

2 hours ago, RobB said:

I am happy to see someone else learning dual line, not the most popular, and certainly not the easiest kind of flying.

Yes, yes, yes RobB - you are extracting my thoughts with gigantic tweezers! And Happyspoon ... feel no pressure... :)

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Aww you folk are too much fun! Thanks for all the pointers. I love leaving this site feeling like I've had a lesson or two poured into my head :) I think patience is super important while learning like I am. I'm thrilled to feel a little improvement each time I get out there but I'm in no rush! Mostly just excited. 

 

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