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frob

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frob last won the day on January 2

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About frob

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday April 18

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  • Favorite Kite(s)
    Like asking me to choose my favorite child.
  • Flying Since
    1984
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    United States

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  1. frob

    Storing kites

    Short term? Agreed with Zuul, in a bag in my vehicle, ready to take out onto the field. Long term, would be a double-check that all elastics are de-tensioned, then laying down somewhere I know they'll stay dry, cool, and otherwise protected. But really, that's just a sad situation since the kite was meant to be flown. Retired, mounted on a wall in a place of honor for all to see.
  2. frob

    SPI 2020, pre-party?

    Now the suspenseful part, forecasts are starting to appear for the days. They're still wildly variable until we get to the days immediately before, but still interesting to see what's forecast. W: 18-37 MPH, 20% chance of thunderstorms, 25% rain Th: 18-45 MPH, 10% chance of rain F: 5-16 MPH, 25% chance of rain Sa: 17-40 MPH, 5% chance of rain Su: 13-29 MPH, 3% chance of thunderstorms, 5% chance of rain. The thunderstorm risks stink, but at least there will plenty of wind. The HV may even get some quality air time. @DTill I hope your beautiful pinstripe kite bag has gear for it. I seem to recall reading higher wind kites may still be a gap for you. When we meet upon the sand -- I'm sure we will -- if you need to borrow something speak up. While I don't have much duplicate gear in the high wind range, it's fun to see the HV and XV Djinn together midair.
  3. Old ones exist, but it is a discontinued model. It is akin to asking about buying a new 2015 vehicle. You can hunt down lightly used ones, and a store might have an old one gathering dust rather than sold, but they are no longer produced and becoming ever less available. Read this post. For only a little more than those used to cost, get a Djinn. They're like the B Series Pro, but a bit better, with better fasteners and metal end caps, a bit more responsive, more high wind options, etc.
  4. frob

    SPI 2020, pre-party?

    I wish I could take more days off work and afford hotels for that long. Mid-day 29th through late on the 2nd. Even though the festival is Friday and Saturday, there is casual flying there on Sunday and later. I'll stay as late as I can, but will need to leave before sundown to get back to real life.
  5. Antelope Island was Team iQuad's final performance location, if I remember correctly. There was a small kite event with the annual roundup events some years. I don't know if that still gets organized. It is cold in the winter, but the beach is survivable. I remember one winter I was out there with my family, all of us bundled in the cold, when a van came out to the nearly empty beach, and photographers set up for a bikini clad woman and some photos against the water and sand. She jumped from the van, ran out for the shot, and ran back. I figure the cold of winter is one way to get an empty beach. 🤔
  6. Born and raised there, sadly needed to move back in 2015. There is plenty of wind, especially if you are willing to drive 30-60 minutes. Consider many people make a multi-hour trek to beaches, you could drive a quarter of the way to Wendover and stop anywhere along the highway for similar winds with a shortish drive. There are parks with good winds, and plenty of places with turbulent winds. I had a favorite spot near my home, the terraced soccer fields behind the Olympic skating oval, that often had something moving. Various parks have wind funnels you can find, and urban flying works (in the summer) as buildings make their own winds. If you can take a drive there are canyon winds, mountain ridges in the summer especially by ski resorts, and the desert dunes, both public land and rec areas like the Little Sahara. There are places with regular reliable winds, like beaches on Antelope Island. Both the desert and the island often have amazing wind, and for many people it's a shorter drive than other people's beaches. You are right that the full vent won't leave your bag as often, but often in April and May there will be days you want it, or even wish for an XV or HV kite. Most days I used a full sail or mid vent. The more venting the less you will fly it, but eventually you will be standing in 40 MPH gusts either having a blast or wishing for the hardcore vent kite. That kite may only leave the bag twice a year, but when you need it, you really need it. I've made a trips out to Antelope Island when the wind forecast is good, and it often is smooth from blowing east across 30 miles of water plus a hundred miles of salt flats before that. It is a bit cold this time of year, but bundle up and you can make a day of it after checking the forecast.
  7. I had a similar issue. I couldn't get it, took video of it and shared asking for help. People watched the videos, looked at both my hands and the kite, and frustratingly replied like the one above: the only fix is inverted practice. So I spent Saturday after Saturday on it, flying inverted. Climb up inverted, make shapes in reverse, do every pattern in reverse. It took maybe 20-30 hours but then I discovered it became easy, but still rough. Many hours of focused practice and now my spectators say I am amazing at it, but I'm still slow and shaky relative to the pros. Slow, deliberate, methodical, boring practice. Just like many hobbyist musicians hate doing scales slowly and precisely preferring to play fun songs fast and loud, many hobbyist kite fliers love to flying fast and furious rather than developing technique and finesse. Go slow, get each step perfect, then repeat. And repeat again. Remember the difference between an amateur and a professional: the amateur only practices until they can get it right; the professional practices until they cannot do it wrong.
  8. frob

    SPI 2020, pre-party?

    Tides will complicate night flying, but something may be possible. I'm a little skeptical given my past experiences, but there is always a chance. The tides will work for the festival, but the water will be there like always: Tide forecasts (rounded) and dawn/dusk: Wednesday: 3:15 AM high 0.9 ft; 11:30 low 0.2 ft; 7:10 pm high 1 ft; Dawn 7:14, dusk 6:10 Thursday: 1 AM low 0.7 ft; 5:10 AM high 0.7 ft; Noon low 0.4 ft; 6:55 high 0.9 ft; Dawn 7:13, dusk 6:11 Friday: 2:AM low 0.5 ft; 7:30 AM high 0.7 ft; 12:20 low 0.6 ft; 6:36 high 0.9 ft; Dawn 7:13, dusk 6:12 Saturday: 2:30 AM low 0.3 ft; 6:00 PM high 0.9ft; Dawn 7:12, dusk 6:13 Sunday: low 3:00 0 ft; high 1:30 0.9 ft; Dawn 7:12, dusk:6:13 Also a note for the future: SPI has been soliciting proposals to develop the flats, driven by their "Convention and Visitor’s Advisory Board". The Sierra Club has been fighting it because of creatures and habitat, some locals have been fighting it since it's the only bay-side public beach. The city's published goal is to encourage profitable water sports in the bay (kayaking, wind-surfing, and personal watercraft, including rental businesses), and they want bids for developments accommodating 7,000 spectators, at least 2000 covered amphitheater-style bay-facing seats, plus boardwalks with shops, and places to launch watercraft. The plan wants to start building within three years. So enjoy the flats while they last. :-(
  9. frob

    SPI 2020, pre-party?

    Yes, different from what I have seen and flown in Lincoln City. The public participation is different. At Lincoln City people wander through like an open house, some pull out kites, some just watch, some shop on the walkway. Here it is mostly sitting around the roped area in your lawn chair to watch. During the event I have flown out a short way on the flats a few hundred feet away, but it was always solo. Watching the same demos repeat for two days gets old, but I would pay special attention to the group flys. Sometimes they were downwind and I could watch everything, sometimes not, and sometimes I would sit on a chair and just watch. I would love to make it a pair. They do interact with the crowd as time permits. My daughter talks about 'that time Fletch captured me with his kite when everyone was setting up', but overall B&S has a strict boundary the masses must stay behind. After the indoor session everyone is on the floor with a line of questions, comments, and thanks. The outdoor days are demo after demo continuously, cycling through each team or individual the entire day. As for kite lights, I'm 0 for 3 on that, evening winds have not been great on the beach. I will have lights with me, and might become 1 for 4 out there. I have had better luck on night flys inland at home.
  10. frob

    SPI 2020, pre-party?

    I guess I'll schedule some early time, and hopefully meet up some people from the wrong side of the tracks on Wednesday. Paul's expected demo: While they're distracted watching the kites, have a partner pick their pockets. This ensures a steady supply of future kites. ;-)
  11. Having moved to Texas back in 2016, I've had three experiences at the SPI kite fest, a great show each year. It's Thursday night, Friday, and Saturday. Three years ago I couldn't stay any extra days but learned about the typical after-party too late. Two years ago, that Sunday had a TKL clinic which was informative. Last year, there were a few kite followers and about 15-20 people on the flats on Sunday with the after-party. This year, because of work scheduling I've got the option to show up early Wednesday but probably don't have the option to stay through Sunday. Is there much of a before-party? Should I plan for a good group day, or plan to be alone in the air, or wait to arrive on Thursday? I'm assuming with various teams arriving at least the invited fliers (many here on the site) will be spending a bit of time on the beach, but I'd hate to disturb anyone who is putting finishing touches on demo routines.
  12. frob

    higher wind quad

    It would work. The "up to 25" may mean different things to different people. Most kites have a range of about 10 or 15 MPH. Lighter kites have a smaller range as they are more fragile, stronger heavy kites can have a bigger range. Stronger winds than the sail is designed for will stretch the fabric and risk breaking the spars. Weaker winds are difficult to fly in. It is all a bunch of trade-offs. Each brand of quad line kites has vented models inside that wind range. Many people carry a sail for 5-15 range. One may be 10-25 range, and maybe still another for 0-5 or 3-10, or strong winds from 30-45. The numbers on a web site are suggestions but vary by the human on the line and their skill and ability. The Rev spider is good for 10-25. Weaker winds are possible if you're skilled and willing to do leg work. Stronger winds will stretch the fabric. It is a good second kite for beginners, or a first kite if you regularly have stronger winds.
  13. frob

    Handles

    I prefer long handles. They mean that smaller hand motions translate to a larger line motion, and allow a farther maximum difference from neutral. Consider if your neutral position is right in the middle balance point (it probably isn't, but let's imagine) then a 13" handle gives a max of 6.5" either way. A 15" gives you 7.5" of possible adjustment, a 17" gives you 8.5" of possible adjustment as you move your hands. If you are about tiny motions and precise hand gestures I imagine the difference will be more important. If you like to flail your arms I expect the difference will be less significant.
  14. I don't see the link right now, but they made a video showing it. The new springs can be slid around for adjustment. Placement of the spring relative to the velcro changes the tension. Attaching it low relative to the velcro gives lower tension, attaching it high puts more tension on the spring. That translates to a deeper shape on the sail, which affects the glide.
  15. Yes, they were taped on originally, a bit of wire with no real adjustment possible. The recently introduced new springs are standalone clips that can be repositioned to adjust the glide or removed completely. Better design overall I think. If you want them you could remove them when packing up, and if you like the glide effect you can fine tune it. If you don't want them, slip them off. My only reflex has become my loaner kite, getting less love than it probably ought. I would love to try all those other kite designs, at least enough to feel what makes them unique.
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