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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/25/2009 in Blog Entries

  1. 9 points
    I have been home for a few hours now from our debut performance as Team KiteLife in South Padre Island, Texas. Hosted by B&S Kites.. Bill and Susie Doan..along with the City . What an event I must say too start! Loving , HUGE crowds..along with a bunch of well known kiters that love exactly that...priceless. A job well done and hopefully a continued and long lived, positive relationship between B&S Kites, the City and the South Padre Island Kite Festival. I am sure I can speak for the whole team in saying... We are HONORED to be a part of the revival and can only hope for many more years too come. All the shared Team photos are from a wonderful woman Kathy Martinelli-Zaun. Hopefully she won't mind the share. Both she and her husband love watching pilots more than kites and boy...the pictures show. There is a ton of media for sorting. So I have included only a few shared photos from Kathy and some of my own. I will also give some encouragement towards the team members for submissions.. Now on to the good stuff... I have been crying since I got home and started actually reviewing pics. Letting expressions sink in and thinking of what has transpired over the last 6 days. It is just simply mind boggling. I am quite sure more thoughts will roll later...just helping a release. 4 pilots..of which some of which have never met..let alone flown with each other.. just went out as a Team and spanked it! Was it perfect...No. But... it sure got my heart going! Fast paced..non recycled movement through a 5+ minute routine. Constructed on site 2 days early by none other than J.B. himself. The First day consisted of writing about a third of the routine and setting up. 4 guys..never flown together..Extra Vent wind... 9 hours later we were still smiling regardless of the work and mind melting task at hand. Day 2...more arm lengthening wind. We opted on writing as much as possible by using stick simulators throughout the entire day into the night. But as with any wind hungry group...ended back on the beach late that night. Meshing as much as possible. Things are starting too flow now..the potential can be felt..momentum. Day 3.. brings more flying...writing..stick play... and honestly ...a complete blur. Did I mention the 3:30 track I must perform with INDOOR this evening with no practice! I have barely flown the thing outdoor,much less Indoor in front of several hundered people. I do remember we practiced at the Festival site...which was also next to the Convention Center hosting the Indoor Event....staring at me all day as everyone was Indoor playing before the show. The practice was coming along...but we still had hang ups and only had about 3.5 minutes of the routine written...therefore never completing the song. But alas....time for indoors. So many great performers. I will not even try mentioning names. Tickets for the event sold out. More seating was aquired, and those sold out....last I heard,over 400 people. Wow! Let the show begin.Some of the highlights for me were.... John and Brett did a pairs routine. Scott Weider as always..tailman.... Jim Cosca and his glider performace..just magical. James Fletcher...blowing kisses at his kite and melting womens hearts. ......and then I did it! I don't remeber crashing, but did miss my last catch for the end. Nothing spectacular other than the effort. I also acheived the smile that comes with doing it. Quite frankly, that's all that matters. The night brought on the usual kite addicts fix of team routine creation,stick paractice, and beach runs over what we reviewed.... still not there. Guess what....tomorrows show time! Day 4... Team KiteLife steps out on the field. John Barresi , Scott Benz , Eli Russell , Brett Marchel...never completed the song or the routine. Crowds building during a few dry runs. Then ....it happened. We hit our written routine mark clean...when John almost leaped from his skin..calling land... as the line insisted we continue. We then freestyled the remaining unwritten portion into some snap 45 knock down landings. Ya! That just happened....and continued throughout the day with a few minor bumps here and there. Day 5.. We practiced more...lol We performed with a few more issues than the day before. All in all I am super stoked at what we achieved. The skies the limit and we still have both feet on the ground. That night brought some spectacular event ending flying on the beach between Team KiteLife and Team Rev Riders. Hashing out moves..switching out members and styles...just so much fun! In the summarized end of my babblings. Team KiteLife is alive and pumping! Congratulations guys....I would call that... "Whump Aquired"
  2. 8 points
    Reading the forums & watching videos you eventually notice that some kites have achieved an almost mythic reputation. But there are those that dismiss them too. Kite fashion moves on to the next latest greatest kite. But still you wonder about these special ones. The RSky Nirvana is one of those kites. New ones are pricey & used ones don't seem to be sold often. But somehow I wound up with one described as a SUL. I believe it is called a Nirvana WW. Didn't know what that stood for until I consulted with one of my kite mentors. Rob said "Wow, that's a purty kite ! A Nirvana Without Wind ? I am no Nirvana expert, but I would guess it to be a Second Edition." The complete kite weighs 195 grams, 6-7/8 ounces. Tip to tip is 92" & the spine measures 34-1/2". The tunnels are 11" deep & the leading edge length is 59". Being a kite that large & that light, it is a true Super Ultra Light. Easter afternoon was overcast, temperature in the sixties with light wind out of the southeast at a measured 2 to 4 mph with occasional puffs reading 5. Average reading after ten minutes was 3 mph. I have tried to fly many different kites in similar conditions. Most times it is simply an exercise in keeping the kite in the air & moving. Certainly no attempts at slack line maneuvers & landing often to wait for the next puff of wind. Only a couple of my kites really work in these inland sketchy conditions so this would be a real test. I thought I would probably fly around a bit using up a lot of ground stroking the kite. But I have one other kite that is full size & similar weight so I thought it would fly okay. I unrolled the same line set I use for the PD SUL, 100' x 90# with Norm's finger straps. Alright! an easy launch with the kite climbing effortlessly up into the more active air that starts about ten feet above the terrain. The kite flew very straight, carved nice circles & exhibited no oversteer, none. Wasn't too long ago I could not even have judged a kite for oversteer. Flew figures for a few minutes then went to the zenith. I turned downward & walked downwind to slow the kite. It behaved just like the SkyBurner Pro Dancer SUL. It glided wonderfully. I could have run downwind & it would have still glided elegantly. That's a good sign I thought. It occurred to me that all the PD flying will translate to this one. I held my hands low & a bit behind me. I threw my hands forward & stepped toward the kite. It flared just like the Sea Devil & a moderate tug pulled it around to a fade, first try! Now that's a big deal for me at my level of flying. Held the fade nicely bobbing a bit but I was in control. I rolled out & climbed a little bit, flipped over & did it again. Dang! this kite is gonna be good. I proceeded to go through a few other slack line items I am working on. And that's how the next two hours went. I was finally flying an SUL that even I could trick a little bit in very sketchy inland conditions. It also was easy to fly the window 90 degrees to each side with very little walking backwards. For the first time ever I noticed I was using more of the field giving slack to the kite then I had to use to keep it flying. I was walking backward using up what was usually precious ground in order to have more room to give slack to the kite. This kite will fly very slowly & still behave. I guess you would say I like it. I have found Nirvana. SHBKF
  3. 7 points
    It’s not really a kite shop but sort of looks like one. I call mine the kite dungeon. There is a troll living under the staircase. In some of my early visits to kite stores, with broken kites in hand, I noticed they had large tables or counters to lay kites out on as they repaired them. Later I saw a video of a famous kite builder framing a kite suspended from the ceiling on a cord with a clip on the end. So I made a four by eight table out of two sheets of plywood screwed together sitting on a couple scrounged bath room vanity cabinets. As I worked on stacks I started putting up clamps on mason’s twine attached to the ceiling joists. I believe I have fourteen on sixteen inch centers in a pretty straight line now. Then I started moving in shelving with boxes for the various parts & nails along the tops of the walls to hang the growing hoard of kites in their sleeves. Once in a while other hobbies invade the space but the kites eventually chase them out. Sometimes I wonder if I have as much fun maintaining the kites as I do flying them. After the recent beach trip I assembled each kite I flew, cleaned it gently & carefully packed it for it’s next adventure. Yesterday I finished increasing the Micron stack to eight & tonight I will complete the new Rev 1.5 three stack. Now that’s a power kite.
  4. 7 points
    With not a lot of flight time comes, for me, a level of desertion. Motorvation leaves. Inspiration dries up. Inclination goes. I begin to contemplate selling off kites that I don't fly. Then the day breaks and a new source of inspiration presents itself. My oldest girl, 10, has a group of friends that knock on our door every weekend and they all go to the park to ride, play, skate and generally just hang out. This past weekend was no different. There was a gentle breeze so she asked if she could take her kite. She is really good like that to ask, of course the answer is yes. I tell her if she doesn't want to share her kite with the rough kids to say I said she couldn't. Anyway, she is gone for maybe half an hour. I spy her little delta floating on the breeze. Suddenly she is back and looks a little upset. Apparently some other kids were making fun of her "little" kite. I start to tell her not to bother with them when she gets this twinkle in her eye. "Dad, can I fly your big one?" she asks with a widening smile. Yep, I know exactly what she means and how she feels. So I give her a brief demo how to set it up just to remind her, she is always helping me set up though. I tell her to set up on the other side and let them come to her... So she does. And they do. I peak out the window to see a little crowd of her friends standing around her fly this massive, to them, kite. A 3 meter (10 foot) delta with a 15 meter (50 foot) tail. She came back all smiles and gave me a big hug. "They had never seen one THAT big. Thanks dad." Awww, bless her.
  5. 6 points
    I was inspired by the information shared in recent posts regarding the existence of something called a "Nail Board" to help tie accurate "Knot Systems" such as bridles, leader lines for handles and potentially other applications. I decided that what I am about to share is too lengthy for a forum post so I have posted this as a blog instead. I hope you find it useful. SF Nail Board Instructions for Knot Tying A Nail Board consists of a “flat board” with physical markers defining the spacing between knots tied in a line for a specific purpose. “Bridles” and “Leader Lines for Handles” are good examples but there may be other line applications that a Nail Board can be used for. Summary: A Nail Board serves two purposes that provide an advantage to using a tape measure or rule for tying lines with knots that require precise and symmetric spacing: 1. The location of each knot can be consistently and accurately marked. 2. The line material can be pulled under light tension when making the marks using the physical markers. This allows the spacing of the knots to remain proportional when stretched during wind-loaded flying conditions. What a Nail Board does not do for you: You can’t tie single or multiple loops from the dimensions on the board; the dimensions on the board are “final” dimensions of the “knot system” you are tying. Prior to tying looped knots you must determine the length of line that is required to tie the loops, or other knots, to fit the final dimensions of the physical markers on the Nail Board. Details: Knot Tying vs Knot Marking. The process of tying the knots is separate from the marking of their location. Each type of line material has a specific diameter and each knot and type of knot takes a specific length of line to tie. This must be determined beforehand. The actual line required to tie a knot system is defined as: Line spacing defined between the knots + “length to tie” for all knots in the system. Calculating the length of your line to tie a loop knot (“Length to Tie”): Mark a 12” length of the line with which you will be tying a knot. Call this “D1” Note: in the picture I used blue tape as a mark only for the purpose of illustration. I use a white “cloth marking pencil” to make my marks which does not show up well in a photograph. Tape is not a good material to use for marks since it can slip on the line while tying. Tie the specific knot that you will be tying. I have used an overhand knot for this example to form a loop. The marks that you previously made should be behind the knot by ~1”. The marks should match each other below the knot. Make sure that the knot is “Well Formed”. All lays are parallel with each other as the knot is formed; no crossing between the lays. Pull the knot taught with force after tying; I use my forceps in the top of the loop and pull very hard on the opposite end. Now measure the distance from your marks to the top of the loop. Call it “D2” Length to Tie = D1 – 2 x D2 . this will be the “Length to Tie” for this line and this loop knot. The length to tie a loop per knot for my material is 1 1/8” believe it or knot (100# bridle line) Here is an example: In this example there are two loops. The total length of the knot system is 3” (2 ¼” + ¾”). The length of line required without knot consideration is 6”. There are two knots in this loop system, one at the bottom and one towards the top, which will take 1 1/8” each for my line material. The total length of line to tie both knots in this system is 6” + 1 1/8” + 1 1/8” = 8 1/4”. For a single knot (not a loop) in a line the “Length to Tie” is simply: Length to Tie = D1 –D2 after you have performed the same experiment with a single knot in one line. How to use the “Length to Tie” The “Length to Tie” must be added to the line dimensions when you are tying your knots. After they are tied, they should fit back on the Nail Board and be under slight tension. Conclusion: Following these procedures and using a Nail Board should result in very accurate knot placement for your projects. When tying more than one identical knot systems, they will end up being perfectly symmetric. Materials and tools required to make "my" board are: #18 x 3/4” wire brads. 36” x 5 ½ x 3/4” Pine Board (premium grade, flat, actual measured dimensions shown) Drill press with depth stop capability (not required but adds precision and protects the drill bit). 3/64” drill bit (available for Dremel tools or other sources) Long Straight edge rule 4 ft (for drawing straight lines on the wood) Tape measure for measurements of marker placements.
  6. 6 points
    Summary: A static deflection test was previously performed on several carbon tubes allowing them to be compared based solely on “stiffness”, or the “spring constant” for each tube. A link to the discussion can be found here: http://kitelife.com/forum/topic/7329-carbon-tubing-comparison/ Experienced Rev fliers have responded with comments regarding the “reflex”, or response of the carbon tube frame being more important than the “stiffness” or weight of the frame. Experienced fliers select a preferred frame based on wind conditions and the selection of sail type (vent options: none, mid, full). Additionally, modifications may have been made to the “stock” sail design to improve performance of the kite. The data presented here represents the dynamic properties of a carbon tube independent of a sail. The Data: Let's get right to the data! Here is a link to the current Excel spreadsheet with both static and dynamic test results for the rods that I have tested. A copy of the table is included in this post but does not let you sort by manufacturer or characteristic. http://www.donkush.com/CarbonTubeProperties.xls here is a copy sorted by 1st Amplitude 5” Perturbation: Here is a copy of the worksheet "Deflection and Reflex comp" which compares dynamic measurements with the commonly used Rev 3-wrap rod with silver label: A positive % means that the test value for that tube was greater than the Rev 3-wrap test value. Likewise, a negative % means the test value was less than the Rev 3-wrap test value. Discussion: Specifications for carbon tubing that you purchase for the purpose of constructing or modifying a frame combination yourself only include tube ID and OD dimensions, and an overall weight. Some tubes and frame sets will only provide a model ID and no other information. The more experienced kite flier or builder will be interested in more information than this. Hopefully the tests that I have conducted will be useful to you although you will see from the pictures that I don’t have a NIST certified lab. I was able to conduct these tests with readily available household items (for me these were readily available ) and a little ingenuity. Description of the Carbon Tubing Response Test: A 31” tube was secured at one end of a test table by a ferrule allowing a full 31” section of tubing to be deflected and oscillate. The 31” length was deflected by 5”, released, and allowed to oscillate until it settled. The amplitude of the first vibration response was measured in inches. The frequency of vibration was measured in HZ (cycles per second), and the settling time was measured in seconds. (settling time is defined as the time it took for the tube to stop vibrating after the initial disturbance). Test Table Picture: The measurements were taken using audio technology. A small wire (whisker) was fastened to the end of each tube that was tested and a small microphone was placed exactly in-line with the stationary tube. As the tube oscillated past the microphone it recorded the impact of the whisker. Since the audio was sampled at 44.1 KHz the data is quite precise. Frequencies and settling times were analyzed using audio editing software. Data Sheet Picture: A data sheet was used for each rod tested. The data was recorded and then entered into the excel spreadsheet that has been posted. Sonic Performance Pictures: Multiple tests were performed on each rod and the results were averaged. Here is an example of a rev 3-wrap rod showing 3 response tests: Here is a picture of one test with markers drawn at each impact of the microphone. Two impacts define the Period in seconds. 1/Period defines frequency in Cycles per Second known as Hz (see highlighted and circled value in the picture). In the case of a 3 wrap rev rod the Period is .062 seconds on average and the frequency is (1/.062) or 16.129 Hz: The first amplitude deflection however was measured manually. A toothpick was held perpendicular to the testing table and at the end of the tube. The toothpick was adjusted until the tube barely touched it during the first amplitude deflection. I don’t have a picture demonstrating this test but here is a picture of a sample test sheet showing where the first reflex of an example test sheet for the 3-wrap rev rod where the first amplitude was marked. It is at the end of the perpendicular line drawn from the Centerline (CL): What does this all mean? Hopefully this information is useful to you and can inspire further discussions regarding frame preferences and sail choice in the forum. I will offer my initial interpretations of the data with hesitation because I know that many of you will have your own observations... Again, Wind Speed, Sail Choice, and Sail Modifications are all factors in the kite’s response and performance. Frequency test: The frequency test results are very similar between each rod with the exception of the SS P400 and the Rev 3-wrap Green-stripe. Almost all the rods oscillate at a slightly lower frequency than the Rev 3-wrap. The frequency value could indicate how quickly the rod, when used in a sail, will try to return to a static position after a disturbance. Perhaps a point for discussion… 1st Amplitude Response from 5”: This test possibly indicates how “springy” a tube is. A large 1st amplitude would indicate that the rod wants to flex easily. Perhaps this would give you a very “bouncy” experience when used in a sail. Silver Race rod test results would indicate that they would seem considerably less bouncy than the 3-wrap. The SS P-90 is the bounciest of all which I would agree from my experience. Settling Time: This test would also seem to indicate how quickly a rod will return to a static condition after a disturbance. It adds another dimension to the frequency characteristic that describes how quickly the amplitudes during oscillation diminish to zero. Race Rods and SS PX tubes have a shorter Settling Time than the 3-wrap standard; this has me curious now and perhaps my first question back in the forum: For those of you with SS P-3X frames, how do you compare this frame to the Rev 3-wrap? The SS P400 seems like it wants to vibrate forever! Well, I will end this blog now and look forward to continued discussions in the forum. S.F.
  7. 6 points
    I've been waiting for this since the end of May... the beginning of Kite Season ! I haven't flown much of anything since Memorial Day. If you count flying the SLKs that I keep in the car, OK, a few times... Yes, that's where my profile pic came from. People around here are programmed to go to the beach between Memorial Day & Labor Day. An Island with millions of people, and only ~100 miles long and 15 miles wide at it's widest. Yes, we have ~600 miles of coastline, but most of that is inaccessible unless you have a boat. So, nothing but crowded beaches in the easy to reach spots. I don't like to fly with anyone in my flight zone, unless they're also kite people, and tuned in. The general public around here is too tuned out to realize that it might not be a good idea to wander through the flight area.. maybe walk around ? Nah, this looks like a good place to setup a chair & umbrella... But, luckily, Labor Day & later, all the way until next May... the beaches are EMPTY ! Everyone goes back to the rock that they climbed out from under, and kites can once again rule the beach. I am excited to try out the Red Kymera, that I was so lucky to win in last month's drawing. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the original green one that I've had since they came out. Unfortunately, the maiden flight of Red will have to wait, since the weatherfolks say that it's going to be ultra-super-mega-vent four line flying weather here this weekend... Yup, thanks, NOAA ! That's OK, the winds will probably be good for flying for the next 36-40 hours, I plan to put some color in the sky before it gets too rough... The wind is all ready solid over 10mph, which is ruling out dual lines (for me), but I have a couple of cool SLKs to fly that I haven't seen in the air yet, and my Full Vent 1.5 is freshly repaired, better than new, ready to go. I'll follow up to this, the start of Kite Season is so exciting, sorry, couldn't wait until the green flag dropped... dizzy with anticipation !
  8. 6 points
    Boxing Day 2015. I was going through the recyclable bin in search of some instructions that were reported missing from my littlest girl's "Frozen" Lego set. I kid you not! I noticed a guy with his two kids and a kite at the park. I paused to watch, like any kiter would do. I watched them struggle to get it into the air. I saw the kids lose interest. I had a déjà vu from exactly 4 years back. Quickly told my wife I was just going to help them out and over I went. Went and introduced myself and offered some assistance which he readily accepted. I gave the kite a once over. It was a cheapo dualile, would've cost $20 at most. Plastic sail, cheap lines. First I gave him a basic run through, let out all the lines when it's down on the ground not in the air. Give to the kite if you heading South to the ground. Small hand movements not massive arm yanks. After a couple of minutes of successful flying, there was a gust that just stretched out the sail in a very unkind way. I quickly ran ran back to my house and grabbed my SKD Seven Std and 80 foot lines. Quickly set up, explaining what AND why I was doing. A quick flight to make sure the bridle was dialled in. Then handed over the straps. All the frustration just melted away from his face. Sure we didn't do any tricking, just flew around. But! He was flying and not struggling. His kids called out to him that it was time to go so he handed me the straps back and I flew a few figures, stalls and slides for a bit of fun. We talked while I packed up. All about kites. I think I opened his eyes to a lot more than a $20 dollar kite. Then, and there is always a then, he asked me how much my Seven was. The smile didn't disappear totally from his face when I told him... I explained that it was an investment over a few years. Break the cost of kites down over a few years and most people see the value. I pointed him towards Kitelife.com as a portal into kiting. Gave him a website for a kite shop here in Oz. Gave him my details. Hopefully there was enough of a spark to keep going. Only time will tell.
  9. 6 points
    Sometimes we leave on a vacation having no idea where we'll wind up or how long we'll be gone. It is a powerful kind of freedom that our vast country provides. So we decide one evening to load a little gear into the RoadTrek the next morning & head up to a small town on the Ohio called Madison. We chose to leave with minimal preparation planning to buy anything we might have forgotten along the way. After a couple evenings on the road we decide we will venture onward. There was something in a store that we wanted. Wall Drug is in western South Dakota. I like to drive. When I left home that first morning I actually thought about not taking any kites. Maybe try to buy a few along the way was my logic. But at the last moment I just had to grab a few. I chose from some laying on the kite table. Tornados were threatening in the mid west so we were watching the storm patterns in order to avoid severe weather. We have had some crazy times on previous trips. We stopped for the night in western Illinois. Stayed in a campground that was surrounded by fields of ankle high corn. The wind was blowing from the west at a good pace with some gusting. Time for high wind kites. Pulled out the Micron, attached it's tail & entertained the neighbors with the humming & buzzing little gem. The wind picked up a bit. Usually, where I live, the evening brings calm conditions. But wind started gusting higher causing the lines to sing & the leading edges began deforming. So out comes the B2 mid vent with a 50' x 50# line set with 11" handles. I could launch & fly around a bit but the turbulance from numerous small trees made sustained flight tough. I walked around trying to fly myself into a better spot without any real improvement. It looked like there might be a bit of a wind tunnel where the entrance road came into the campground near our site. I was lazy. I did not bother to wind up my lines to walk across a seeminly harmless stretch of taller grass carrying the kite & dragging the lines. Not too good. So I parked the kite at a good launch site & dealt with the line issue. I knew the lines should straighten out if I kept my head & did the right things. There was a good snarl of loops & knots at the twenty foot area of the line set. I staked the handles & gently teased out the snarl in no time. "Dang, I must be starting to get some of this kite knowledge I've read about!" I thought. The wind blew down the road, through an opening in the trees & out over the pristine corn field. The small flying window was about 30 x 30 so I practiced small manevers & positional hovering. The B2 mid vent is a wonderful kite. After a half hour I heard a toot of the horn signaling me to return to the campsite. Life is good. Next morning we stopped at Antique Archeology then battled the wind driving across Iowa. It would be a couple more days before there was time to fly again. SHBKF
  10. 6 points
    The 10th Annual Morro Bay Kite Festival, organized by Shaun Farmer of Farmer's Kites and Surreys, was held on April 23-24, 2016. Friday morning, I picked up Penny Lingenfelter from the airport, and we headed south for Morro Bay. As we were driving through Gilroy, we were hit by a huge downpour where I could barely see out the windshield. What is it with rain and kite trips this year? At least it has only been during the driving days and not the flying days. We arrived in Morro Bay with plenty of daylight left, checked in to our motel, and went to hang out with the rest of the kite fliers who had arrived for the festival. Saturday morning, after getting breakfast from a really good bakery in town (I don't even know what it's called, everyone just refers to it as "the bakery"), we headed on out to the beach. Setting up camp. Uh oh. The marked off flying field was way too short. The back boundary had not been marked yet, but some of the people flying on longer lines were already standing far enough back that their feet were getting wet from the surf. And, tide was still coming in! So, the camps got moved, the field boundary got moved, and the back boundary was still as far into the water as you wanted to go. Throughout the day, a number of fliers, especially the teams, would end up with their feet in the water when a large wave came in. We had a good mix of individual, pairs, and team dual line and Rev demos throughout the day. If you look closely at the next picture, you can see the yellow caution tape near the ground that was the field boundary, and the wet sand indicating how far in the largest sneaker wave came. It got within 20 or 30 feet of the sound table at the inland edge of the field. On another note, can you find the Vickis? Ron Gibian had a couple of his single line kites up as well. Saturday night there was a Rib Fundraiser Dinner where the kitefliers got to eat for free. The ribs were delicious. I hope they do it again next year. Sunday came, and we got ready to do it all over again. We went to the bakery for breakfast again, and hit the beach again. As the second day of the festival started, the wind picked up and just kept picking up. Some of the large kite display before the wind got out of hand. I also noticed there was a High Surf Advisory and a Wind Advisory in effect on Sunday. They probably were in effect on Saturday as well, but I didn't take note. However, Sunday was a lot windier. It was already blowing around 20mph around noon, and 25mph+ before 1pm. You could see the sand blowing over the beach. Revs on the ground were quickly getting covered with sand. And, any time I bent down to do something, I was getting a face full of sand no matter if I was facing the wind or turned the other way. The audience was quickly disappearing too, a big change from Saturday when it felt like there was the most attendance we had seen at this festival. With the challenging conditions, we ended up wrapping up the festival early. The kitefliers got out of the wind and some of us hung out for a bit since it was still relatively early in the day. Then it was time to drive home. Well, now we had to drive in this wind! I had a 200 mile drive to get home, and I'd say at least half of that was through 20mph or so crosswinds and headwinds. (I checked windfinder reports after I got home to get a sense of the wind speeds on my route.) I made it home safely, but I've got sand everywhere now.
  11. 6 points
    Friday, March 11, 2016 I set off early in the morning with a fellow kiteflier on our 400 mile drive down to Huntington Beach for Kite Party 14, my first Kite Party. It was raining for most of the drive as a storm was moving south at the same time we were. When we reached the LA area, the rain was so heavy it was hard to believe that the forecast for the weekend called for sun and good kite flying wind. By the time we reached Huntington Beach though, there were slivers of blue sky poking through, and the rain had mostly let up. We paid a visit to Kite Connection on the Huntington Beach pier to meet the owner Dave, who is also the organizer of Kite Party, then said hi to the early arrival kitefliers who were still flying on the beach despite the rain that had passed through earlier. We finished off the day with dinner at Fred's Cantina, where we met more kitefliers who had arrived for Kite Party. Saturday, March 12, 2016 Saturday morning, I awoke to blue sky and light wind. What a difference from the day before. Kitefliers began to gather on the beach for Kite Party. There were two roped off fields for the registered kitefliers to fly in, one for sport kites and one for single line kites. Fliers set up "camp" (chairs, banners, sunshades, assembled kites, etc.) along some of the edges of the fields. There was a fliers meeting where everyone gave a quick introduction, and then Kite Party was on. Since Kite Party was a party, and not a festival, the roped off fields were for everyone to fly in, and there was no schedule. There were always many people flying in a small space, so sharing space was important. In fact, lines were limited to 75' for sport kites. There was a lot of Rev team flying (yes, on 75' lines), which I participated in quite a bit. I took a few opportunities to walk around to the single line field to take some pictures. Jose Sainz set up a banner display in one corner. In the afternoon, we did a memorial fly for Ron Despojado. More than 30 Rev fliers participated, and the line of kites and pilots stretched from one side of the field to the other. We spelled "RON" and made a few balls. With that many pilots spread across the field, instructions had to be passed down the line from one end to the other. After the sun set, we all migrated over to Lamppost Pizza for dinner and the kite auction. Sunday, March 13, 2016 Sunday was much of the same, albeit with a slightly slower start due to the Daylight Savings Time time change. I decided to set up a dualie, but by the time I did and walked around looking for a place to fly, I was feeling claustrophobic with all the kites already flying. I can fly a Rev in close quarters no problem, but I am not quite comfortable enough with dualies to do that yet, so I left my WidowMaker by my kite bag and went off to fly my Rev again. I did find a brief opportunity around lunch time to fly my WidowMaker, so I didn't set it up for nothing. One of the major attractions on the single line field on Sunday was this dragon. I also took a walk on the Huntington Beach pier to get some pictures from a different angle. Somehow most of the sport kites were on the ground when I took the next picture. Kite Party ended with dinner right next to the beach at Zack's, where we said our goodbyes. Monday, March 14, 2016 Monday morning, I looked out the hotel window and saw gray sky and wet ground once again. At least the drive back was mostly dry. We really lucked out with the weather during Kite Party. Ron must have been looking out for us from above.
  12. 6 points
    February has been quite a month. Working six days a week passes the time quickly. I finally had a day when it wasn't bad weather and coincided with a day off. As I headed out Sunday afternoon I checked the thermometer, sixty degrees. Checked the lowest recorded temperature and it read zero. I had not reset it since the beginning of the month. The breeze was blowing gently in my little valley so there was hope for stronger wind at my nearest flight area about five miles away. Grabbed a few kite bags & headed out. It had been quite some time since I had flown any kite and over three months since I had flown quad. So I started with a kite I had not flown before. I had high hopes for Will Sturdy's Saber II & I was not disappointed. I assembled it & leaned it against the rear of the car. Unrolled some 90# x 100' lines with Norm's straps on the ends. It launched nicely off the back of the car in a light breeze & immediately it showed fine precision. Even a flailer like me could do nice wide ground passes & figures in the variable wind. It flew a little slower than other kites I've flown of that quality & I liked that about it. Somehow it seemed like I had more time to think about the next move. I tried a few slack line moves. "Dang! this kite is just right for me", I thought. But maybe I am just making progress & it is more me now than the particular kite. I don't really know at this point. Regardless, I was not disappointed. I especially like to do a back flip launch to fade, rise a little & roll out. I will fly this one as my standard for a bit of time while going to the Sea Devil light or Solus UL as a light wind kite. I will also carry the Pro Dancer SUL for the puffy light air days. After a few years of collecting kites I have many other fine standards to choose from but the Saber goes back to some of my first flights when a friend let me fly his in a snow shower three years ago. Below image is the Saber II. Next up, why not fly another kite I had not flown before. I laid out a set of 50# x 50' quad lines, attached some 11" handles & set up the little B2. The wind moved up a notch & I thought, "This is gonna be fun." So I like fast kites. Short lines make them seem even quicker. After a half hour of screaming across the little arc of lines, doing several mad spins, smiling a bunch, I parked it & went back to the Saber. Flew the dualie until it hummed & quivered. Landed it, weighted the nose down & got out one of my favorites. The Sedgwick Rev 1 had a black race leading edge & Zen verticals in it so I thought I'd give it a go on 90# x 85' lines . Not too good! The wind was ten or so with gusts to fifteen. Flew it carefully but it was obviously being overpowered with the big sail & the light frame. Luckily I did not break it. Time for THE DARK ONE. So some of my kites are named. My full vent Rev B 1.5 has dark blue & black stripes with a black center. It looks almost meanacing in the sky. A gusty wind is where it really shines. The wind began varying widely & a few times I flew to the side of the window with the lines singing as large long gusts nearly blew my Tilley off. Last I flew the Christmas kite, my Prism Bora 7. It is a looker & would have been willing to fly with all the line out. Had a few spectators that day so I tried extra hard. Round here I am the best flier, the worst flier, the only flier. SHBKF
  13. 6 points
    Live it. Share it. Feed it. Live it A passion, no matter the type, cannot help but be exuded from your pores. It doesn't control your life but definitely guides the choices made within it. Kiting. You know when the winds are sweetest. You know the markers. The trees that sway in the right direction. You change your travel route home from work to take advantage. Your passion is infectious to those around you. Share it. You seek out like minded souls. Seeking knowledge, tips and tricks. You scour the forums for any scrap of info that helps you along. You invite friends to come out and fly. To see what it's all about. You offer them to try your kites. Feed it. You offer advice on the forums. To your new friends. You pass on tips that have worked. Tips that you have come up with. You check in with friends to see how they are coming along. You organise mini flies. You begin to branch out to mix things up. Live it. Share it. Feed it. We have all been the "new guy". Wide eyed with a ton of questions. Their enthusiasm is infectious. Re-invigorating even the jaded individual. That enthusiasm will carry. You. Me. All of us. But we must culture it. Nurture it. Practise it. We are all hard core pilots. If only for a brief time of the week, or month, or year. Live the passion all year long. Share the passion with everyone, they may be a like minded soul. Feed the passion in your brothers and sisters. I genuinely care for all my kiting friends. I would happily fly with all of you. Share my bag of birds gladly. Willingly. Enthusiastically.
  14. 5 points
    This is the Second Annual Long Beach Island festival. Last year was such a fun festival, that it was really tugging at me to go to this year's fest. Traffic wasn't too bad for a Friday before a holiday weekend. I got into town about an hour before dark, and ran down to the beach with my bag, eager to take advantage of the smooth onshore 10mph breeze. There were a surprising number of kites in the air, I guess I missed the first full day. I guess I'll have to take off the whole day next year and get here earlier ! So... there was a wedding going on while the kites were flying overhead. I wonder if they planned the wedding to be under the kites, or if they were really surprised to see this going on right next to and over them. I came across this guy, flying the heck out of this kite. I never did find out what kind of kite that is. Saber ? Machine ? something Euro ? I was tossed as to flying 4 lines or two, as the wind was around 10mph. I stop flying duallies and fly the Revs right about at 10. Hmmmm..... what to fly ? The Skyburner Solus won the grab... Looking forward to tomorrow, even though the forecast looks kinda wet. Hey, there's a 40% chance that it won't rain. Here's hoping !
  15. 5 points
    Support your LKS I started reading the kite forums with some intensity over four years ago. I had used computers for many years even back before the days of the WWW. It has been quite awhile since I’ve seen that initialism used in any context. I had previously been on a few forums of interest but I was really fired up wanting to learn anything kites. I saw mention of an initialism LKS, Local Kite Store. Out here in the mountains of western Virginia there was no such thing. Maybe a toy store with a few single line kites & a hobby shop that had small selection of dual line kites, both located over sixty miles away in eastern Tennessee. It is five & one half hours, three hundred & forty-four miles, to get to my Local Kite Store, Kligs in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I try to support the kite stores that I visit with a purchase or two & enjoy talking to the people working them. Some are active fliers, some are just working retail that happens to sell toys & kites. I have been to a store in Mystic, Connecticut that was not much larger than a walk in closet. Most seem to be around the size of a shoe store. Kligs is a very large store with hundreds of kites on display. My first serious kite came from Kitty Hawk Kites back when they had only one location. There are many on the east coast that I still have not visited. I always check for anything in a bargain or clearance mode & have come away with some nice items. I have learned to ask if they have any used or demo kites also. Scored a nice vintage Prism Alien that way as well as a Sun Oak delta & a couple Revs. Sure, these kites may not be the color I might want or the latest but I get a deal & the sale helps the cash flow of the retailer. I have bought many kites at full retail with no regrets knowing it might help them especially in the off season. Support your local store. The few bucks you might save elsewhere will never make up for a small business lost forever. SHBKF
  16. 5 points
    The leaves are gone now. As I gaze out the bay window, looking for wind in the hollow, I see the tops of the tall white pines gently waving, calling. Down to the dungeon I go, pondering which kites to select this day. Some days I only take one type of kite like maybe just foils. Other days I select to sort of force myself to fly something that has challenged me previously. Plenty of times I will just take one or two of my latest favorites. Additionally there are also at least five kites living in the kite cart which would be enough to cover all local winds anyway. In three hours I will generally fly three different kites. Wind changes come as often as my whims so it is unusual for me to fly only one. If I would concentrate on just one wing I would probably make more progress. Five miles away there is a large open area of a stalled housing development. Mowed a couple times a year it works for me. Hop in the Cruze, turn on the jump drive tunes & listen to Tom Petty sing about Melinda as I get going. Approaching the field I see a flag gently rustling on it’s pole & I begin to smile….SHBKF
  17. 5 points
    It has been a little over 3 months since my last entry. Wow! Time flies doesn't it! Work was booooming and I was taking advantage of all the extra shift hours available. However. I miss spending time with the things that make me happy. The important things. My growing family. My friends. My kites. My son, our middle child, just turned 8. Growing into a fine young boy. Around 2 years ago, when he was 6 and this still blows me away, said "he wanted a kite just like mine but different". After talking with him for a while to find out exactly what he was after, yep he wanted a Rev. So I set him up on Watties colouriser. http://kitepaint.com/#!/ He played with it for a while, came up with some pretty cool designs too. We chatted about different kites. I told him that he could earn extra money by doing jobs and that if he stuck with it I would match him dollar for dollar. After explaining what that meant, he had a quiet grin of determination. Then it hit me. He might get a Pro before I do!! He did all sorts of jobs to keep topping up the kite fund. Some were easy, some were not. He went without lots of treats to put that money to it as well. I began taking him out flying with me. His attention span got better and a kind of stillness would come over him when we flew. We sat down a month before his 8th birthday and did the numbers. He was about 6 months from a B Series, poor little fella wanted it sooner than that. I had a quiet word to my wife, then began to feel him out for a scheme. He had gone off his technicolor dream coat rev, thank me later Baz! He was liking the older style Blue Grey B Series. Which is good as it would match my Red and Grey B's. We got a Travel frame package ready to fly. It came just before his party so he could show all his mates. We have had a couple of flights on his new sail. The winds were a little light for the 3 wrap travel frame but he had fun. I would like to say a big thanks to Kevin Sanders as he sent my boy a set of his handles and a stake. A much lay appreciated gift. Now, once he's got the hang of it, I'm putting him on some 30's and we are going to the streets!!!
  18. 5 points
    Some nice weather and participation for a quickly put together meeting in Pontiac, Illinois. More here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1021888567902282/
  19. 5 points
    And my favorite video so far by teammate @mystainedskin (Scott Benz)...
  20. 5 points
    Steve Anderson, one of my fellow Illinois Kite Enthusiast (IKE) members, posted online that he hoped to get out and fly with a few fellow members over the weekend. Steve is a member of the 180GO! Revolution kite flying team. So when he wants to fly I try to participate. Because I learn a whole bunch from him. As it turned out on this 45 degree day it was only Steve and myself. Steve had recently participated in the local UMake kite building workshop. And had his newly made Swallowtail Delta ready for its maiden flight. I arrived at the flying field early and assembled my mid-vent B Pro Rev. Flew a bit until Steve showed. I was then able to document his new kite's final assembly and first launch. He then assembled his Shook Mesh and we spent about an hour flying. Including what we refer to around here as our leisurely "DuKane" (DuPage and Kane County) style. That is while leaned back in our portable folding chairs. (My wife, Karen showed up to grab these photos.) I'm looking forward to the rest of the 2016 kite flying season. This will be my second full summer flying Revs. Last summer I had two goals. To fly with my arms held lower and to perfect my downward turns while near the ground. Mission accomplished on both. In fact I hardly turn upward at all anymore. This year I hope to get in more team flying. Concentrate on some of my position holding skills in the ball. And speed control while following in line. Also to work on bicycle spins. Plus all the other good stuff. Bill
  21. 5 points
    Crazy thing, March is known for being pretty windy, and has been, except for when I get a chance to fly. The last two Sundays have been just about dead calm. Nice & warm, almost getting too hot all ready. Oh well, I take what I can get, and light wind flying is one of my favorite flying disciplines. Everything is nice & slow, there's almost too much time to think about what you're doing. It's important to have a 'true SUL' kite for this type of flying. A trick SUL could fly, but it would be a lot of work to keep it in the air, and you really need some amount of wind to do most tricks. 'True SUL' kites are easier to get flying, but really difficult to do many tricks. My favorite, the ProDancer SUL frustrates me because I can really only do one trick, the Axel. Maybe a wonky 1/2 axel, some of the time. Anyway... I got some video that shows a lot of the kite & pilot. I thought it might be interesting to those who like low wind flying, it will certainly be boring to those who like fast-paced tricking, Power Kiting, or Speed Kites !
  22. 5 points
    With a few projects at home requiring some attention I didn't get out much to fly. BUT. I got out on New Years Day and enjoyed some of the highest wind yet! We had a howling Easterly that was in a real hurry to leave the desert behind and hit the beach, like most Aussies would've been doing at the same time. Winds were above 60km/h (approx 40 mp/h). I had flown gusts at that speed but not constant, powerful and a little worrying too. Glad to say the good old PoloVTD got a good work out and me too. Once back at work just after New Years, we had 2 weeks of maintenance. I work in a paver making factory. I took advantage and flew most days after work for a bit. I took my two Sevens, Std and SUL, and left all my other kites at home. Hoping this would give me the opportunity to concentrate on the 2 stringers. Most days wind were on the upper of the Std's range so I kept to the edges for quite a while. I had lost a lot of feel for not only the length I was flying on but also the inputs for freestyle. To get back some touch and feel I printed out the ISK Compulsories for dual line individual and practiced the figures. I worked on straight lines, even speed across the window and tried to maintain the grid. Day 1 was pretty rough but as the days went on, the figures became less of a signature and more of a capital. Square Cuts (DI 18) is my current favourite and Circle Over Diamond (DI 03) is the toughest. Don't get me started on Stops (DI 12).... Friday just gone, the wind just bottomed right out. I pulled out the SUL and gave it a run. Literally! I'd flow duals in zero before but only at 30 feet NOT 100! That was different. Challenging. But ultimately very rewarding. Nothing like a 720 slide to get the blood pumping. One thing that was really addictive was the absolute slow motion of an axel. The Seven is a really forgiving kite and the Mylar panels refracted the sunlight as it went through its rotation was downright sexy! As I had both kites with me and the day was just glorious, I took a couple of pics of them together. What a stunning pair!
  23. 5 points
  24. 5 points
    Hey Everyone... Just starting this up, checking out this new feature on Kitelife. I haven't flown anywhere near as much as I would've liked this Fall, but had a few memorable outings. I caught up with one of our new members last weekend, Frank, who seems to have the Kite Bug really bad ! There wasn't really much wind to fly in, but we got a little air time. It was really good to see another enthusiast on my normally kite-free beaches ! I got out Thanksgiving weekend as well, but for a little different kind of flying... Yup, some lazy flying after the Thanksgiving feast. Notice the red cup... Kite 'church' is not complete without sacrament ! Anyway, the big Delta looked pretty cool with the 75' Prism tail, flying low, almost touching the ground. Well... that's about all the flying to report for now, but I'm headed out to see if NOAA was correct in the 5-7mph east wind prediction... fingers crossed ! Oh, did I mention that it's 65* & sunny in December ?
  25. 4 points
    I've been asked about what I use to do particular things for kite making. Thought it'd be a good opportunity to share a quick overview of pretty much everything I use. Some are more obvious than others. My kite making tools.. I use a sewing machine (obviously) 2 - 6' Long Metal rulers 2 - 3' Long Metal Rulers 1 - 18" Ruler (metal) 1 - 12" Ruler (metal) A Fiskars Rotary cutter. A Paper Cutter (Office Style) The normal assortment of Scissors (Including a heavy duty pair for cutting plastic) Masking Tape, Double-Sided Tape, A Dremel tool for cutting spars and these two pieces of Lumber. All my strips, diamonds, LE, Mesh etc are made on these two boards.. One is also my updated Bridle Board. The other board is my full template for LE's (including Fold protection and wear strips. I have another marked out 72" LEs and another for 96" LEs. I also have an industrial style metal hole punch I use to punch the holes for the bungees. These tools are pretty much the entirety of what I use to make a kite.
  26. 4 points
    Diamonds in the dark Decided I wanted to take my seaming technique to a feasible limit. Using the same materials as the Midnight Royal and Yonder, I went with a diamond pattern and worked it through nearly the entire sail yielding over 450 panels. Encouraged by the mock up, I pressed forward. Once the sides were nearly done I realized how much actual area I had lost with the 1/4' overlap.. i decided to wedge some poly at the top to give it a bit of a retro look. Ready to join the center and make this a flyable sail at this point.. More to come soon.
  27. 4 points
    Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I have posted anything here. I have been consumed by work & life over the last few months, without much if any time to get the kites out. Not a huge deal, as this is the off-season for kite flying where I live (at least in my book.). I have had a few brief moments to get out and fly on the way home from work. Quick, half hour sessions do a stressed mind a world of good. Recently, a friend of ours in the kiting community passed away (BobbyB) and I took a little time at the end of my day to fly one of his kites and think about things. Just a picture perfect day with lab-grade winds... couldn't ask for anything more, other than having not heard of the passing of a friend earlier in the day. Anyway, here's Bobby's kite basking in the late day sun... Most of my free time is spent keeping the 3 kids busy, enjoying summertime activities. We recently took a day trip out to Montauk, and I brought the KAP backpack, hoping to get some shots of the cliffs & the lighthouse. Unfortunately, the wind was low & iffy, so I was lucky to get the kite alone in the air for a little while... The girls are at the age that they enjoy the SLKs still... We took turns flying the Ultrafoil 15... We took a long weekend trip up to Vermont a couple weeks ago. Vermont ? Sounds like a terrible place to fly a kite, right ? You just have to have the right kinda kite ! The Plutz3 was awesome in the lack of wind in the mountains & woods. I flew that Plutz in one weekend more than I had ever flown it. The girls also learned how to fly a glider & had a great time ! Yes, I fly gliders with a wand. That's how I learned & don't really get how people fly them on a loose line without tripping over it & getting all knotted up... So, hopefully there will be a lot more flying to report next time, as Kite Season will be officially underway around here in about 10 days. Looking forward to that LBI kite festival, too, this year will be the 3rd Annual.
  28. 4 points
    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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GDQGAZunEg (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...
  29. 4 points
    Just a short post to talk about getting a new kite! I found a green prism quantum on craigslist while away for work for $60 The owner said it had been flown once but everything seemed brand new including the lines so I'm guessing it was just opened up once or twice indoors. I took it out yesterday and this morning, and it flies great. Interestingly, when flipping through the manual I found out that you can tune the lower yokes on the bridle for "radical" or "forgiving" flight. Both quantums had been set for 'forgiving'. It is crazy what a difference it makes switching things to radical makes. I'm pretty sure I could snap stall in properly strong wind with these settings! I wish I had paid more attention as another flyer at the point mentioned 'cinching up' those yokes once but it was before I knew what they really meant! Here's 6 minutes of me flying yesterday evening with the new settings. I'm still digesting all the ways the kite feels different with these settings but I'll update this post as I have thoughts. It feels like there is a bit of a delay between my input and the kite's reaction, but the response itself is actually more precise. I think this is because the kite 'wobbles' out of plane a lot more easily on this setting. So far I've only tried the radical setting in conjunction with the 'nose forward' light wind bridle setting but I'll try other combinations this weekend I'm sure! Edit: Here is the 'standard' wind bridle (still on radical settings otherwise)!
  30. 4 points
    The last month has been interesting for kiting! The weather continues to worsen and I find myself having to be much better prepared to go fly. Compared to last fall as a non-kiter I’m now much more sensitive to weather! I didn’t realize how gusty the winds get once summer ends. The erratic rain is less of a problem (at least for the kite), but it isn’t super satisfying to come home soaking wet J. Worth it though, and nothing a raincoat can’t solve. I’ve also moved from walking to the point into a driving routine, and my car’s trunk is colonized by kites and lines. On to flying I’ve been focused on a couple key things each time I hit the field. · Stalls- Getting the hang of these, except for stalls while traveling upwards. I’m not 100% with stalls yet, especially on low wind bridle settings and in winds over 10mph but I’m feeling good. · Slides- o I’m good with initiating slides at the edge of the window but less good the closer to the middle I get. I have come close to starting slides from an axle but it still feels pretty random. o I’m pretty solid at holding a slide, but not at ‘pulling’ the kite past the middle of the window to keep sliding. I have pretty much no practice sliding from the center to the edge of the window. · Axles- I’m trying to develop a solid feel for the range of inputs that all result in an axle. It seems like you don't have to be totally stalled to do an axle, but you do have to be able to give the kite lots of slack after tugging. Being stalled lets you really push back the wing which I think sets the kite up better but I'm nott toally sure yet I think the 'sharpness' of the pull makes much more of a difference than the intensity. I can axle with one finger no problem this way. On the other side, a longer pull almost always ends in a wingtip snag/wrap. Even when the tip doesn't wrap, long pulls rarely get the kite to rotate all the way around. I think the intensity of the axle input determines how quickly the kite rotates, and how far the kite falls (or rises) during the axle. I’ve noticed that in low wind you can actually lift the kite with an aggressive enough axle. I’ve been saved from the lack of ground-level wind a number of times with a nice fast axle! · Fractured axle-to-fades- I know what I’m supposed to do, and I know thee ‘lock in’ feeling of a well-executed FA. Flatter axles would help, as would better timing for the pull (my videos show me this is my biggest problem). I’m also still learning how much slack is ‘just right’ so the nose doesn’t over-flip. · Cartwheels- I think I’m good with these now, though they aren’t pretty yet. At least I’m doing the walk of contemplation less. · Fade launches- It might be that I’m always practicing in pretty low wind but I'm finding fade launches tricky. It seems like as long as I pull out of the fade the instant i enter it that I can fly off most of the time. I'm pretty bad at maintaining the fade near the ground still though. · Half axles- phew, what a challenge still. I still don’t really get how they should feel. I can pull the top wing down into a ‘flare’ like position (but with the nose pointed to the edge of the window). I can even sometimes then pull to rotate the nose around the other way, and even fly the kite out of it sometimes. But it doesn’t feel or look anything like a half axle. I met a flyer at the point who is great with slack line tricks!! I watched him for awhile and felt like just doing that taught me lots. I think my problem is that I'm not 'snappy' enough with the input, just tlike with the axle. I tend to try and pull the kite right into a flare which I think means I'm pulling for too long. I feel like I was getting closer in this last session (with my I2K) until I broke a lower leading edge... I think it must have been broken when I got the kite as it was a soft crash (landed on both wingtips but with some sideways momentum) that popped it. New parts are waiting across the border for me and I can pick them up today in Blaine · Air recoveries- Exult’s blog talks a lot about “provoking the kite”, and how it gives one a chance to feel how the kite responds to inputs from a variety of positions. I’ve noticed that when the kite starts to tumble, 9/10 times it can be fixed by walking backwards a few meters! If that doesn’t work I try tugging one line then repeating the backwards walking. I have no idea how to save the kite when the line snags on a tip, but at least I can guide the kite gently to the ground when it happens. Between the ground recoveries, air recoveries, and axles I’m in the air and actively practicing 5X more than when I first started leaning the axle. I’ve really noticed this in the videos! Previously I might get 10min of good footage per hour of flying. Now almost the entire hour is usable. Reviewing this footage has been so instrumental in improving my skills so it is nice to increase its information density! I’m also spending more and more time in a stall/slide and less with the sail ‘powered up’. I'm slowly improving with flip tricks too! I can finally turtle, both while flying upward and a 'snap turtle' while flying horizontally. I'm still not great at maintaining a turtle. I went out a few times to try night kiting! My BF brought home a couple packs of LED fingers from the dollar store which worked really well! They are a bit over 6g each so they don’t add too much to the weight of the kite. That said, with one clipped to the spine and one on each wingtip the kite controls pretty differently! I did my first (cruddy) multi axles within minutes of being airborne and weighted. I’m now playing with keeping one clipped to the spine in medium and stronger winds. I also want to play with nose vs spine weights! Finally, I'm playing around a bit with the way I film and edit my flying videos. If I put a camera close to me as well as one behind the kite I can make some 'overlays' that better show off my hand movements. I don't think I'll do this every time but I learn a lot about what I'm doing wrong when watching these!
  31. 4 points
    Yup, it's happened. My boy is officially a Duallie pilot ! I am so happy, so proud. Words can not express how happy I am to have someone to fly with. This empty beach with such wonderful wind, and after years of flying alone... I've got someone to fly with who is truly enthusiastic about the kites, and is eager to learn more... I started out today's lesson with a kite that I didn't care if it got trashed, the Prism I2K. Not exactly a beginner's kite, but it was the least of the kites in the bag I had today. Not really true... notice the big-ish foils in the background. We started by flying those. I wanted to see if he liked power... nope, they were boring to him since the wind wasn't too high, and he's flown smaller foils before. We'll revisit those when the wind picks up... I nearly fell over when Mick demonstrated good form & control. He was eager to learn new stuff, so we worked on shapes and punch turns. Horizontal ground passes, all that good stuff. He even took the camera for a while... I was showing him some stuff and he was holding the camera. It was a nice surprise when I dumped the camera and found shots that he took. Yes, it's still a little warm here. He was barefootin' it, but still needed a sweatshirt. BeachFootin' it, according to him... He was doing fine, so I had to pull out something a little more fun to fly... WidowMaker Spider was a fun choice ! I think he's still boggled about slack line tricks, but it was still fun to fly figures. Yeah, my heart skipped a beat. This wasn't a nose-plant, but it was close. Eh, whatever... these kites are tough. Besides, nothing can compare to the value of having a new kiting companion. I've taught many people how to fly, but Mick is by far the most rewarding, and hopefully this has just begun. Yeah, this has been a long time coming...
  32. 4 points
    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. Conclusions 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".
  33. 4 points
  34. 4 points
    I've gotten behind in posting on the blog. So here's the beginning of catching up. Playing Catch-Up
  35. 4 points
    Other fliers talk about their “A bag, B bag, Rev roll up bag, single line bag” and so on. This is what’s usually in the trunk of my car. The Cruze is a fairly small car with a trunk you’d expect. If you want to carry large dualies with the leading edge tubes together you have to lower the rear seat back to let them poke through. So you can see I have the Quantum & the Zephyr broken down. The 4D is in a 3D case that allows full length storage. You would also notice I like Prism kites. Four of these kites were among the first kites I bought three years ago. The 75’ tube tail, the Quantum & the Bora 7 are fairly recent. With this selection of kites I can fly just about any wind & mood I might encounter. Sometimes the Revolution Roll-up bag is in the trunk & it fits nicely but that’s another topic. These are the kites that are always with me & they may be enough. I would not be unhappy if they were the only ones I had. For a while they were my main kites. But it is still a substantial investment as this collection of kites cost almost exactly eight hundred dollars. So my “A bag” consists of fancier kites but these are always ready, just in case. SHBKF (specifications in comments below)
  36. 4 points
    Winter isn't so bad here... I just wish the sun would come out more. 34* F and a 8mph breeze keeps most people away from the beach. I think I saw 5 people in the 3 hours I was there this morning. 3 hours of peace & quiet, enjoying the solid on-shore winds... I could've stayed longer but the urge to eat & find a bathroom won out in the end. The Ultrafoil 15 got tied off to a memorial bench. I flew it nice & low so I could practice flying the Rev next to it. It's great fun to steal the wind from the SLK, watch it fall, then regain it's shape and soar up again. The other kites of the day... the SkyBurner XXL and Mid-Vent Rev. The mesh hasn't totally torn out on the Mid-vent, there might be a few more good flights in it before it gets retired to the repair pile. Still working on flying the Rev with one hand... not much progress in that, once I get too high, I freak out and have to land quickly. I get about this high, and have to land before getting too far out of control. I've been thinking about linking the handles together with a cross of some sort in order to make 1 handed flying easier... I wonder if that's been done all ready ?
  37. 4 points
  38. 4 points
    Believe it or not, I don't actually fly locally very much... Sometimes though, I get the itch and wander out to one of my favorite Portland haunts. They all have one thing in common, pretty variable winds of anywhere from 0-8 mph with changing directions... Fact is, that stuff really gets me off and I'm very much at home with it. This time out I went to Eastbank Esplenade, on the east side of the Willamette River, immediately north of the Hawthorne Bridge - $1 per hour parking, all concrete or asphalt and mostly covered by two overpasses (I-5) so it works even when it's raining.
  39. 4 points
    I got started in kites not that long ago. Coming up 4 years this Christmas. I took the kids across the road to the park to fly the el cheap-o fluoro yellow SLK octopus after lunch. They had fun for a few minutes then they got bored. I thought this is a good thing to do but there has to be more to it. That night I went online to look at kites. Saw all the usual delta shaped dual line kites. Then I came across a "sport wing". What the heck is a sport wing I thought. There was a link to a YouTube video. I clicked on it and down the rabbit hole I went... It was JB ripping it up down on the beach on a blue & grey B2 Standard. I must've watch this 20 times that night. I had made up my mind. I had to get one of these! After a bit of mucking around, and a few false starts, I got my very own Revolution kite. A lime & blue EXP. Due to these not being very popular here in Oz, it wasn't my first choice of colours but I have grown to love them now. Man, that thing was terribly frustrating and incredibly joyful at the same time. Eventually I got the hang of it. I got lots help and tips from other pilots on this and the Rev forum. I then got some more kites. Then more. And pretty soon I had a full wind range. Which helps as when I have the time to fly, sometimes the wind isn't cooperating. Big wind. Small wind. No wind. Now I'm getting a bunch of duals and SLK's too. Kiting, and the greater kiting community, have really changed my view on life. Before kites, I wouldn't have lent out a $50 tool. Now I let people fly my kites worth much more than that. When I fly, I am released from the stress and troubles of everyday. No matter what my week has entailed, throw a bit of ripstop around for a bit and I'm golden for another week. I hope many people get out of their passion what I get out of kites. It's not just something I do, it a way of life.
  40. 4 points
    For the longest time, I was my own worst "block" to advancing my skill set. Starting out I quickly learned when I could fly and when I couldn't. As my skills came along I fell into the "comfort zone" and basically stuck to that wind range. Sure, as I got a vented sail I would venture out in the higher winds but still stuck to what I was comfortable flying in. Comfortable. I was stagnating. I started to wonder if this was it. I began to make those excuses we all have done. Not enough wind. Too variable. Too tired. Then my work and family responsibilities began to creep in. It became easy to go "next time". Then I began to alter my perceptions. My mind set. I had light wind kites so I had the low wind equipment. I saw others fly in ultra low winds so I new it could be done. I stopped making excuses and started to apply my skills to fly outside my comfort range. I got over myself. Half an hour every day after work and one week I began to feel very comfortable in low low winds. Eventually was able to fly in Zero. And with that came a mental change. If I can fly in nothing then I can fly in anything. Anytime. Just like that! Low winds are no longer no fly days, they are a chance to advance my skills. Dirty air is now a challenge not an obstacle. Dont accept the conditions, adapt to them.
  41. 3 points
    While driving down the freeway I spotted someone flying a Revolution kite at Riverview Park. I had to stop to meet this person. His name is Geoff, he purchased his first quad line kite after seeing my "First Flight" video on youtube. Geoff drove to Riverview Park in hopes of running into me, using his kite as a signal in the sky. We have kept in touch for a few months and in that time he made his own kite! We are putting together measurements for new kite designs. An Arizona kite making community is born. 2016 is going to be a great year!
  42. 3 points
    Since the new year, I've turned my attention to materials other than tails.. Nothing wrong with the tails constructions but I wanted a new perspective.. and that perspective was perspective.. Angled shapes started out as a lazy harlequin pattern in complimentary colors. Because of the pattern it became the Jester. This was my first run at edge joining materials that were not already hemmed. The Jester followed by a vanishing point perspective in dissimilar materials. Because of keeping the grain of the fabric somewhat aligned for Midnight Royal Taboo, those strips fit together in a B2 sized kite I call Yonder. (Those that participated in my Christmas riddle got the reference right away) Finally I went back to the Jester color scheme and created a new kite experiment with 2 perspective.. I suppose this was also inspired the cubic look of some of the @Polo design. The sail shape tens to lend itself to the dual perspective images in a somewhat natural progression. . Going with the Jest from Jester and the obvious checkerboard effect, Jest Checking In is laid out and ready for sewing. Enjoying the way it truly bends the eyes, I decide to move the vanishing point to the bottom and the center instead of the top. While I have to finish one kite before I lay out another, I did use the small endpieces you see in the Jest Checking In picture to mock up a 70 panel version. Nothing precision here, just wanted to see if the pattern will stay consistent. It was pointed out tp me the points of the pattern don't line up perfectly. and I will acknowledge that fact. My goal here isn't perfection but effect. It has to look right at the end of the lines.. the overlap for the long angular strips (in all three kites since the Jester) is 1/4" those angle just don't line up when you slice and overlap them in a different direction.. but at 100ft the effect is still there so I'm happy with it.. I have a bit more of the orange and blue so a large triple perspective will probably be next but I want to finish what's laid out before going down that route..
  43. 3 points
    We've broken the record for the longest streak of extreme heat in our area. Needless to say, we haven't been flying in quite a while. We Want To Fly!!
  44. 3 points
    Father's Day was a beautiful day to fly kites, lower temperatures, lower humidity and higher winds. But not too high. And we had some new kites to fly. Happy Father's Day
  45. 3 points
    Flew my Rev B-Pro mid-vent today. https://www.flickr.com/gp/basicbill/6536H8 Bill
  46. 3 points
  47. 3 points
    We have had a few pretty days here in the valleys of western Virginia. It even hit eighty degrees for a bit this afternoon. So spring fever has everyone in a good mood round here. Then you feel a nice warm breeze blow late in the evening. And after a lot of work you may somehow get to the point that you're saying to yourself "Why am I doing this? Might as well spend some of the hard earned money, on a, on aahhh, another kite!" Just one more, don't really need one but why not. So it goes when you have this addiction. Later, at home, you check KiteLife to see what's going on. There's a post about a kite that has been for sale for a bit & now it's been endorsed by a Master Flier. It's one you have always been curious about. And it just happens to be a SUL version which will be perfect for the summer lulls that follow spring in these parts. Nice looking, excellent condition, good price & a great seller. What are you waiting for? Jump on that thing before someone else goes through the same thought process. Right. It's similar to the sequence of rationalizing another great kite that has occurred right here in this chair more than a few times. So it should ship in a day or two. Does all this sound somewhat familiar? Or maybe I'm alone in all this kite quest thing. SHBKF 3-14-2016 So it arrived today....
  48. 3 points
    We traveled to Florida to attend Kitemania South. The weather didn't cooperate all that much but the company was great. We brought light and medium wind kites and, of course, the winds were "blowing a gale". And then there was the rain. We're planning on going again next year. Hopefully we'll have the right kites and better weather. This Is Not A Festival
  49. 3 points
    I have flown many different kites in the past few years. I would like to think that they were all logical choices for my place on the path at the time. Some were chosen with my limited knowledge as the next great thing & others were purchased with raw emotion and/or true randomness. Thanksgiving week I stayed at a beachfront campsite where I could actually step out the door & launch a kite in my front yard. It was less than a hundred steps to cross the dunes & stand on the shore. That is likely to be as good as it’s ever going to get. So first up was the Sky Burner Widow Maker standard. Opened up my little Prism fanny pack & big surprise. Did not bring my go to line sets for a couple of the dualies I planned to fly. But I did have enough variety & came to the realization that I could borrow pairs of lines from the many quad line sets that were in the Rev Roll-up bag. Flew the WM for a bit but the wind was little light for my taste so I switched to the Sky Burner Solus EC ultra-light. That is the only kite I have ever custom ordered. I think it’s a real beauty. It is the same color scheme as the one in the Sky Burner promotional video I first viewed before I ordered it. The big kite has a few Prismatex panels & is gorgeous glowing in the sunlight flashing colors across the sky. Saw a few people stop & stare momentarily. Flew mostly on 90# x 65’ lines as there was limited space to fly kites. Either the tide was up or the beach was busy with tourists like me. Wind came from the North or Northeast so it was blowing down the length of the beach most of the time. At night it usually blew faintly from the South. Other dual line kites flown that week were the Pro Dancer SUL, the Prism 4D, the Sky Sport Design Sea Devil Light & Tekken DOA SUL . Two days were strong winds & the rest were zero to light. On the strong wind days, probably 15 mph +, I flew the Revolution 1.5B full vent & a Shook Mesh 75%. Flew the Rev 1 & the Zen also but on the lighter wind days. I will comment more about actually flying the kites later.
  50. 3 points
    So it's four in the morning, cold & raining here in the mountains of Virginia. And I am reading KiteLife & thinking about kites. I thought kites might be an interesting thing to get into again a few years ago. Knew they were an old passion but did not think they would dominate me as they have. So now, for what it's worth, I will attempt to have a place to ramble on about my thoughts & efforts along the way. Just got back from an extended beach trip. Even the beach has less than great conditions many days but all the inland flailing I've done payed off & flight was continuously possible out on the sand. Got some new kites but did not fly them. Flew vented kites the first few days & then SUL's as the conditions changed. But that's past & I think I will just talk about the moments of kite flying as they occur. Later....
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