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frob last won the day on July 27

frob had the most liked content!

About frob

  • Birthday April 18

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    Like asking me to choose my favorite child.
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    Austin Texas
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    United States

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  1. Another day, another practice. Trying to add a stall at the top as well makes it look less like it's bobbing out of water, but makes it even that much more tiring. Stalls at the top and the bottom need a tug on each for the power/depower/power/depower cycle. Turning clockwise is slightly harder than turning counterclockwise. Also I noticed I was powering with alternating arms, more power on the bottom when climbing, more power on the top when powering downward. It may be just because I'm focusing the practice on this high-energy move, but I'm only able to go around 20 minutes rather than the 45+ I could maintain before. That might be why I only see people doing one or two rounds of them rather than practice. Or it might just be the nature of practice is difficult. Oh well. Thoughts from the crowd? What areas do you see for improvement?
  2. New Tech is still running, they are my local shop. Kites are a smaller part of their shop, they love kites but stay in business by selling assorted sporting goods. I don't think they do much with their website, they aren't much of a web company. If they aren't replying, call them directly. (512) 250-9454 is the main store number, rather than the kites in the back.
  3. Same reply I gave you on Reddit. 😀 It really is a hard thing to recommend as there are many wind conditions plus your own skills and style. If possible make the drive to try other people's kites. You can quickly find out how you like soft vs firm, forgiving vs precise, noisy vs quiet, and other differences. Otherwise there's a bunch of options, all good but up to personal taste. Like clothes you ultimately want a variety for all conditions and for a range of moods.
  4. Another day another practice. Feeling my way through what I feel like I want to see, I think I've got something that gives a little sharper corners on the bottom. This may be even less efficient, plus it kills forward momentum, but I think it looks nicer. (Toward the end of the clip I'm getting the corners more consistently.) I'm still not happy with it, but at least it's got corners now.
  5. Sounds like both needed more wind. Try again on a stronger day and compare experiences.
  6. Thanks! You can get there too if you'd like. I've posted lots of video clips and tons of questions across several years. Not being near the kite groups means more effort to work with people, but I've found the community is very supportive with feedback overall. I've got some old recordings from 2016 struggling outdoor to consistently reverse without flipping, and working through the various basic team fly maneuvers. I joined this site back in 2017, and some of my earlier posts have video links. Five years later and I'm doing demos and traveling to kite festivals where I'm excited to be inside the ring. This one is a blast from the past for me, almost exactly four years ago: Now I'm here looking at fancy indoor flying techniques.
  7. Well, it's been quiet in here for a few months, so time to post. My current practice topic for indoor is a 360 zigzag (not sure if there's a better name for it). You can see some progression from earlier indoor sessions on YouTube, but here's the current one: I know the swoopy-ness at the bottom is an issue, and I'm not sure what to do about it yet. I think more experiments about how and when to apply power will improve it. Even though I try keep it pulled back, I find that sometimes I slip back into letting the bottom hand go out a little instead of tucked in tight. I've found letting the bottom hand out helps with depowering, pulling it back re-powers, so maybe there's something there for efficiency even though it doesn't keep the kite upright. Unlike slower more floaty actions, these zig-zags make my arms tire out quickly. I'm not sure if that's just the nature of the motion since people only do a round or two, or if there are some efficiencies I'm just missing. Hopefully a few more morning sessions will make it easier. Simply getting out there and doing it is a good way to build the muscles, and reviewing it on video helps me get a better view. Even so, if you recognize something else or have some suggestions, please let me know so I don't spend my time reinventing it. Thanks for your constructive feedback.
  8. Ohh, a discontinued Q Pro. They're sometimes talked about as a competition kite.
  9. Woot, one week left until somebody gets some sleek new lines. Please pick me random number generator, all my 120's are getting scratchy and old.
  10. Repeating some terminology from above so hopefully you (and those who follow after) can use terms a little better. Spectra and Dyneema are trademark names for the underlying polyethylene material. ALL the line sets discussed above (Matrix line, Laser Pro Gold, Shanti Skybond, Shanti Warp Speed) ALL of them are line sets made from the underlying polyethylene material. Different companies form the material into different weaves and different coatings, so their various brand names differentiate them. You can also buy generic non-branded Spectra and Dyneema. My first experience was with SpiderLine Spectra line, and I've still got some of that blue stuff in my kite bag. Spectra and Dyneema are trademarks for the polyethylene fibers, and the fibers are used in many products including kite lines, fishing lines, and ropes. Laser Pro Gold, Shanti Skybond, Shanti Warp Speed, Level One Matrix, all of these are trademark names for individual brands of kite line with their own particular fiber layout, weave, and coatings. You can also get Spectra and Dyneema lines from other manufacturers, either as store brands or no-name brands. As a parallel, you might have a manufacturer buy DuPont branded fiberglass or 3M branded fiberglass, or fiberglass from a smaller less-known company. Then you could turn that fiberglass into Owens Corning R3 Fiberglass insulation, or turn that fiberglass into Goodwinds Fiberglass Rods, or turn that fiberglass into USBody Fiberglass Automotive Body Panels. One set of names refers to the underlying materials, another set of names refers to their finished kite line products. A difficulty is that the companies use distribution networks rather than selling directly to consumers. You need to find stores that sell the products or are authorized to sell it and order through them. Even if they don't have bulk spools listed on their web site they likely either have spools of it in the stock room or can order some to be shipped directly to your home with drop shipping. The Kite Shoppe sells LPG but doesn't sell bulk on their website. Call. (They're a site sponsor.) Highline Kites also sell Skybond and generic Spectra/Dynema, call about buying spools. (They're also a site sponsor.) KiteForge now is an authorized LPG reseller, probably fastest to send John a direct message asking about a spool. A Wind Of Change sells bulk spools on their website: bulk LPG, Skybond, and Warp Speed. Kites And Fun Things sells Shanti Skybond, Warp Speed, and generic Spectra/Dyneema, call about a spool. Flying Smiles you're already familiar with, they can get a lot of things. Many other kite stores stock it or are authorized resellers for the various brands and can order it special for you.
  11. Not directly, no. Having friends can help you get to shore, and then someone with a dry phone can call emergency systems. It is critical that you know how to self-rescue for anything on open water. Since it seems you're asking about kiteboarding, go with friends, always wear proper safety gear, and always make sure you know what you're doing BEFORE you go out. Learn how to fly, control your kite, depower, repower, and otherwise control everything while on dry ground, then add the complexity of doing it on water with the help of experienced friends. Know your safety equipment and be proficient at using it. Repeating a third time because it is absolutely critical: Practice how to self-rescue before you enter water. It should be practiced until it is automatic. Know how to depower, regain equipment while swimming supported by a life vest, and relaunch. These kites come with multiple safety systems, be comfortable releasing the bar, immediately grabbing the chicken loop, and then immediately grabbing the leash eject. You need to have it down pat so that even if you're out of control, confused, head underwater, or otherwise in a panic you can engage each safety immediately and without hesitation.
  12. I would keep all of them unless there was a pressing reason to sell. Many are classic kites, some are more modern. All of them can give new insights on flying, or provide different experiences. Some of them are unique classic kites, well-known for some notable trait or another. Flying them yourself can be a valuable learning experience. For your list of specific needs as the definite keepers that you fly actively, I'd say the Wren, Pro Dancers, some Decas, the Indoor Rev, Rev EXPs, Rev SLE, Rev Blast, a few of the vented (there are many great options) and all the Rokkakus (except 89 only because I don't like the art) would be great for everyday use. Those cover the full range of your list. Even so, personally I would find it hard to part with most of them; each satisfies a different itch. The number of overlapping ranges is a good thing, just like choosing between various outfits when any would be acceptable, choosing among the different kites can be based on your mood that day and it is nice to have options. It would be a pleasure to fly any of them. A few are a little dated, and you'd want to inspect the bungees and fittings on them before flying, none look bad. Even several of those kid-friendly kites (129-132, several of the smaller parafoils, etc) even if I wasn't flying I'd feel happy to hand off to a kid just to watch their faces light up as they fly. Others are more specialty for show kites, like the wooden biplane, helicopter, and clipper ship; they are unusual and fun to see at a festival among a cloud of deltas and parafoils. I can see why he kept that as a collection rather than selling or giving them away.
  13. At that size the kite will lift quite a lot, but it depends tremendously on the wind. On a light wind day the kite will struggle to stay aloft even without a tail. On a strong wind day with gusts at 15 or 20 MPH you'll probably be wanting to anchor the kite down due to strong pull. From what I can see, the Stratosphere has six attachment points, but that doesn't mean all six should be loaded down. It should have no problem holding a few tube tails. Adding line laundry in addition to the tails will depend entirely on the wind. The added weight from moving to 150# dacron to 200# or 250# dacron shouldn't be an issue in good wind. In light wind where it could matter you would also be struggling to keep the kite up anyway, and it wouldn't be a matter of tails dragging it down.
  14. And part of today's practice focused on trying to flip from forward flight into reverse flight as smooth as possible. I still sometimes find myself with my lower hand extended a bit, and sometimes find the upper lines going slack or rarely having the thing collapse, but it's getting less frequent. I think I'll keep it my focus until I can reliably do a smooth turn that starts to approach a bicycle or traveling bicycle, just a smooth turn from flying in one direction forward into flying the same direction in reverse, then smoothly flying back again.
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