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Regarding the tension mods...
As shipped the kite had almost no tension. The leading edge was completely slack, and the verticals had only the slightest tension.
My tension increase on the verticals requires a bit of leverage to install them. After the second round, putting endcaps on the leading edge now requires a significant ark (maybe 15-20 degrees) to get the slack to slip it on. Now the sail is taut even at rest.
I also have 1/4" internal diameter nylon tubing over the lower endcaps so it stays put on the ground. I replace the little nylon nub occasionally, just a half inch or inch of tube,
I think that your windless video gives a very relaxed effortless impression that plays well with the soft music. Smoooth!!
Agree on feeling the pressure when backing the kite is important – Comment aimed at breaking the silly-analogy-barrier of the initial post: I for some reason at an early stage of indoor piloting imagined the backing kite being a slowly moving powerful locomotive.
Also did the “Watty adjustments” at an early stage. I can’t compare/remember/refer to how it was before them because I knew too little no wind piloting at the time after the first few sessions. I think initially, the first sessions, everything goes wrong no matter what the adjustments. So therefore I wonder what are the effects of increasing the tension of the LE? Easier to reverse the kite and more?
That’s nice when gaining experience by transferring drills to other circumstances. Yesterday I went the other way and tried an no wind “mini-figure” on 25m lines (82ft) using and 1.5 B-series mid vent. Since the context was so different the mini-figure turned out to be more difficult than expected (and therefore good as an exercise). When switching to 15m lines (49ft) it felt more familiar and was easier again.
I think it is worth mentioning in the context of reversed 360-ies how to initiate reverse flight by turning upwards from horizontal flying to having the LE horizontally and then start the backing downwards first. A variation of the theme (as displayed in the video) is to fly horizontally forwards and then change direction while just maintaining the orientation of the kite.
What are you working on now/recently?
Most recently for indoor quads it was getting consistent with reverse 360. You can see my posts here on the channel with this as my first video asking for help trying to unlock it back in February, and compare that with my entry in Windless 2021 this month, about ten months later. You'll notice that even though I've got a back injury in the recent Windless video, I can now transition into a reverse 360 from just about any orientation/position, and I can usually stay in it as long as I want, such as until I get dizzy.
Currently I'm working on cementing and solidifying all my current indoor skills. I want to make the transition from "I can do it right" over to "I don't get it wrong".
What did you learn and how did you do it?
What do you think your hands/body were doing (if you were successful)?
For the reverse 360, there were a three big keys.
The first was a "properly" adjusted sail. Even though I had earlier adjusted the kite per Watty's indoor modification guide of increasing tension and tuning bridles, I found this had a huge effect. Tighter leading edge tension made this easier, even tighter than my first adjustment attempts. Completely removing the lower leaders and lengthening the upper leaders was also essential for me.
The second was the feel of the indoor sail fully loading. This requires both a mix of foot power to put air in the sail, and hand position to ensure the lines are engaged. If the sail doesn't fully engage it won't stay in reverse. Consistently getting that initial air pressure load was a big challenge for me, it doesn't come for (mostly) free like it does indoors. The kite's previous motion and momentum, the kite's speed and drag (how it is cutting through the air versus gliding through versus catching like a parachute), springiness on the leading edge spar, the air motion in the room, these are all sail loading inputs in addition to the pilot's motion. I cannot put into words how that sail loading actually feels, and each attempt is a unique combination of conditions requiring a different input.
The last was keeping that fully-loaded sail engaged the entire time. Too much foot power is wasted and can make the kite harder to control, too little and the kite drops. Keeping the kite balanced under load in reverse requires continuous adjustment. Trying to fly 360's reverse square to the ground is the easiest position, trying to maintain it at an angle is trickier, and I cannot describe it other than developing a feel for what motions and tensions cause the kite to depower.
In trying to overcome the difficulties I actually spent several outdoor sessions flying reverse side-to-side while being mindful of how different loads felt, how the different loads affected speed, and how different hand positions affected it. I practiced flipping from forward flight to reverse flight in the same direction, and reversing direction. Even though all grip orientations work, because different people recommend different things I learned to fly in all the grips from a strict up/down handle orientation, a 45' grip, 90' grip, T-shape grip, all the way out to a more flailing 'freestyle' motion, and at different heights. I experimented with flying in all of them (which also helped me fly outdoor) to gain a physical feeling and better intellectual understanding.
It took a lot to unlock this, but I learned a ton in the process.
Dark side be with you !!!
I started with a Chinese copy of Supersonic and trust me was a fast kite but after i pass the point where i figure out the crashing of the kite everything started to make sense. back hoover, turns, reverse launch, sudden stop and from there...by passers start to look at the kite. on that moment because of the knowledge and control over the kite you may provoke then to look making close passes to them, a dive where the kite is buzzing or simply 10 spins right followed by 10 left. A more dramatic impression will be if you add a small tail to the kite, a fuzzy one or simply buy 2 colors of ribbons and combine them. with more control over the kite you will be able to use 35-40 fits lines that will make you to be closer to people and may engage them with basic conversation lines like " what a beautiful day" while keeping the kite in to a hover at a low level.
From that moment people will start to engage you more and more with different questions and information requests and some will ask you to try it. Be prepared to elegantly decline now when corona is still very active and a close contact may not be avoided for a first safety fly.
good luck and mostly have fun enjoying yourself