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frob last won the day on February 7

frob had the most liked content!

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About frob

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  • Birthday April 18

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    Like asking me to choose my favorite child.
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  1. frob

    Covid 19

    Statistically, not much. There's probably not a surge of criminals buying easily traced weapons from online shops that require your actual address just to take advantage of a paperwork backlog. While some criminals do use firearms, under one in ten thousand firearms in the US are used in crime. So possibly just one of those 9k in the backlog. Most used in crime come either from another crime like theft, or are borrowed / loaned / given rather than purchased for committing a crime, so if it is ever used in crime, it probably won't be by the person buying it, or even by the second owner, as most go through multiple people before getting into criminal hands. Sport shooting and target practice is popular, even included in Olympic sports. Besides, we should all go fly kites instead.
  2. frob

    Covid 19

    My indoor location is unavailable. I can work from home and am expected to keep my existing work load, so all I gain is the brief commute time. Normally I have a short commute so there is little additional free time. So my 2x per week morning indoor sessions are canceled, and I really enjoy my weekend flights. I have taken some evening flights when winds were good, but I am feeling withdrawal overall.
  3. Far too variable for a number like 17 hours, or even a number like 23 practice days or 200 hours of practice. Depends on the person, depends on what you mean by "the tricks and basics", depends on when they practice, how often they practice, the conditions during the practice, how long they practice, depends on if the practice is highly focused or casual, depends on what they are practicing, depends on the kites they are using, depends on more factors besides. Some have a natural order. You can't really learn to stall until you've got great control of the kite. Acrobatic tricks require the skills of not just control, but to recover the kite during a loss of control (which many tricks require, especially while learning). You can reach a level of basic control in anywhere from minutes to hours. You can be competent with several hours to several dozen hours (depending on all kinds of factors) but truly mastering it takes many hundred hours of practice in many varied conditions. For one person getting the first accomplishments may mean a weekend of intense training on the beach - - 20+ hours in ideal conditions with experts occasionally offering tips. For another, several years of 50+ one hour sessions going to a local park alone, unaided by anyone and with very limited self review or focus. Does that mean it takes a weekend or years? The kite you are flying also can make a difference. Some kites are better suited for precision and team flying, some kites are better suited to tricks and acrobatics, some kites can do both fairly well, some kites can do neither very well. Getting more time on the line is always a safe answer. No matter the skill, keep practicing it. The more you fly the more experience you gain, the more it will cement existing skills, and the easier new skills will come. I have found recording the session and critically reviewing it to be helpful. Find moments you succeeded, moments you nearly succeeded, moments you hesitated, moments you attempted something and failed spectacularly, and study every single one of them. Post links so others can also review it and offer suggestions. Meeting with another skilled pilot who can help you can be very helpful. Some people are better teachers than others. Track your progress. Make notes of how many hours you were flying, how long you worked on specific skills, the conditions, and assorted other notes. When sharing with others the answers may not be the ones you want, you may be told to practice basics and fundamentals when you want to practice more intense stuff, like someone being told to practice dribbling and passing a basketball when they only want to master a slam dunk. But no matter the sport, experts still have to practice the fundamentals and keep them sharp, from world-class athletes doing sessions passing the ball, Olympic medalist gymnasts still spend time focusing on handstands and handsprings. And pro kite fliers spend some of their flying time thinking about basics like ensuring their flight lines are straight and turning angles are perfect. Maybe. Different kites have different levels they can handle. If you have the budget to buy more expensive kites, or to fly indoor kites and potentially break them outdoors. Also, not all kites are suitable for all kinds of flying. A Pro Dancer is a great light wind kite for precision team formations, the Level One Badass is a great light wind kite for acrobatic tricks, both are great in very low winds but the two are far from interchangeable. Whether a purchase is worth it for you depends on you, your budget, and your interest. If you can reasonably afford it and your interest is strong enough, sure it is probably worth it for you. If you cannot reasonably afford it right now, wait. If you aren't sure your interest is strong enough for several hundred bucks in more kites, wait. A good way to answer is to determine if it is your or your kite. Is the kite you are using capable of the skill you are trying, or is it your own skill that is holding you back? Spending more money on better gear won't help you if you are unable to use it, and better gear is generally more expensive or time consuming to repair; in that case keep on the equipment you have now. However, if you've progressed to the point where you need better equipment, either because your current gear is unable to handle it or because the different equipment is better suited to the task, then get the equipment.
  4. Easy solution: bring more kites.
  5. An opportunity to get into kite making. If the winner isn't interested in making things with the fabric, this would be a good one to have a list of fallback ##s
  6. Only two? Many people here bring out a bag of kites that cover the entire range, from still air to raging gale. No matter the condition they are prepared.
  7. Several, they're just not Hadziki wings, they're power kites. Flexifoil's Blurr, Blade, and Rage. Prism's Tensor series. Several of Peter Lynn's quads. None work the same as the Djinn's bridle because the wing design is different. Even so, they change how the force is distributed across the sail.
  8. Quite a few models have them. The Rev is an exception at its price point, nearly everything at that cost is adjustable. For single and dual line kites it is the way to adjust the pitch, giving faster or slower flight, more or less forward drive. A quick adjustment for strong or weak winds changes the feel, letting you match the conditions. Adjustable knots can also change the distribution of force. This is what most quad bridle adjustments do. Visually a few millimeters is not much, but on the kite it can be enough to destabilize flight, or to turn an okay flier into an amazing flier. You can slow down the kite for a gentle relaxing cruise, or crank it up to racing speeds and twitchy control.
  9. It's always sad to me when businesses close with the retirement of the owner, instead of becoming self-sustaining entities. David Gomberg has been a fixture within the community, and both David and Susan's influence will be missed.
  10. Yes, comparing the videos there is far more footwork and motion in this latest than in the first or second clip, and in the comments in the video I can now identify times where even more foot power and foot direction was needed. That's why I put in those big captions. The difference is now I know. Before I could not see or feel it.
  11. Holding an inverted hover indoors isn't difficult for me, that's about keeping the pace up to hold it aloft. This has been about making an active transition from forward to reverse indoor. My next phase indoor will be converting "I can have controlled reverse indoor", to "I can always fly in reverse indoor." I love the mantra: An amateur practices until they can get it right, a professional practices until they cannot get it wrong. Outdoors I'm confident (until I have 2000 spectators, then my brain freaks out), I can do the soda can wingtip landing, and I love flying with teams when I can be with them. My current difficulty is holding a position even when the wind doesn't want to cooperate; at SPI in the group flies I lost some control on one instance after holding an inverted diagonal hover in a ball for an extended time in light wind, and more than once had difficulty moving and staying at the very top of the window in light wind. John's calls were reaching right up to the very top of the window and I had been experimenting with adding even more brake; so even fully pulling back my 15" handles so the line and the handle were basically touching the entire length still couldn't gain and hold the position. As mentioned on the last page, doing it even when the And as for dropping handles occasionally, I spent about 2 hours at SPI pre-event working with the other Paul on some precision work, and my own sudden tugs were sometimes enough to pull it from my grip. It was a bit embarrassing, but he said not to change the position of the grip since it allows better feel and reaction. When working with Brett on quad axels, I similarly lost the grip a few times, so I think I'm there with the gentle grip.
  12. Practice day six of this. I can now feel and see a transition. Here is an edited video this time, five minutes long, with some comments I added for what I suspect at various points. I'll still take comments on those if you see something different. There is a moment of transition where one of several options tend to happen: Top side moves in reverse, bottom side stays put. Usually this seems to need more pressure. Kite doesn't have power to move, slides down or stays stationary. Needs more foot power for pressure. Kite moves in reverse, but bottom wing reverses rapidly and swings up, turning the kite to face the ground. I have discovered I need to push forward drive hard on the bottom side while pushing reverse on the top side. Top side moves more rapidly into reverse pulling the kite back to level, or entire top half of wing pulls in toward me. Too much pull on the top side of the wing. Or, SUCCESS, sail catches the air and moves in reverse. That moment happens at the apex of a stall. If it has too much momentum #3 or #4 will happen. If it doesn't have pressure #1 or #2 happens. If I turn too strong or too weak #2, 3, or 4 happens. If I get all of them right, the center body of the sail inflates and the kite moves powerfully in reverse. In today's practice I could frequently, but not always and not reliably, fly in reverse. I can also feel and see the transition point that was invisible to me before. I think a few days of feeling the different conditions and gaining a more intuitive / automatic feel for the required motion should bring me to reliably completing the action. It's a small addition I think, but it was hard to overcome so it feels like a huge success.
  13. For the first, yes, I believe but don't know for certain that the sail billowing a little made some of the difference. I don't know if it is essential. The sail including the leading edge are under tension already due to doing most of Watty's suggested mods. In addition, I've followed the Djinn's method of clipping the elastic on the leading edge internally, plus I've used some tubing (the stuff of 'water weenies') on the two endcaps so it doesn't slide around. The leading edge is quite curved, and the material tight along the spars ready to cup at the slightest motion. For the second, neither. I usually fly indoors twice a week before work, and outdoors on Saturday. I enjoy it and want to improve my skills. That's just in comparison to light wind flying, trying a similar backing up motion.
  14. Okay, day four of my full practice devoted to this. Here is the unedited video from half of it. My best success was at 9:50 in that clip, managing not once around, but somewhat over twice around. While I've been toying with this reverse flight on-and-off for months, here are these summary four days dedicated exclusively to reverse flight: Day 1- 0 full reverse 360s, 1 good partial of 3/4 turn, 1 good half-turn reverse, a bunch of 'falling backward' Day 2- 0 full reverse 360s, 4 good partial turns, many 'falling backward'. Day 3- 0 full reverse 360s, perhaps 5 good partial turns, many 'falling backward'. Day 4- four full reverse 360s, perhaps 5 good partial turns, several reverse floats back to the ground. Today's big change was to dramatically increase the force I use to load the sail. Usually moving forward I can do a gentle sustained force that keeps it barely loaded, and if I let up slightly it shifts to a forward float or glide. During these successes I found I was pulling back to load the sail about 2x or even 3x what I do for forward flight. The other big change was directing the force. The top half I need to pull back in full reverse, the bottom half I need to apply nearly-full forward drive, otherwise it would destabilize or rotate around like an inverted hover or full rotation, subject to continuous minor correction. This feels different than the same motion outdoor, which very nearly holds neutral on the low-hanging side with the top half pulled back to hold the sail vertical. A new problem today was, I think, coming from maintaining the vertical direction while in reverse. In outdoor, because it's holding a vertical angle, the arms require a "drawn bow-and-arrow" posture to maintain a straight line. In this practice, the motion ended up laying the kite flat. While it made flying more difficult, recovering from it felt like the same motion as an axle, a big tug to the side and it swings back around. One thing I noticed was when loading the sail during the successes and the partial-successes, there was a kind of click or pop into place. Maybe a term would be "indoor whump", or maybe "engaged" or "pressurized"? When it hit the right combination of load and velocity, there was a notable shift that came in as a pop or click that I could feel strongly, almost as though it went from the sail being pulled then suddenly kicked into being engaged or driven, like when powered by a sudden gust but at an indoor scale. There was a notable tug at that instant. When I felt that kick in, the kite was suddenly substantially more responsive and joined up with the commands I wanted to give. Again, the amount of sail loading was roughly double the sail loading I use for forward motion. I suspect that's the point I've got to hit for this to become reliable. When that engagement kicked in and then left again, it stalled. I found I could shift back to forward drive or otherwise recover during that moment of stall, rather than dropping down to a landing or pulling in for a recovery catch. Anyway, looking forward to comments people may have.
  15. Another morning practice, not much improvement for sustained reverse indoors. I feel it was easier giving more force, less float. I've tried more variations of twisting, lead with the chin, also lead with the hips as was suggested, and also a variation I'd call walking to the side and dragging the kite along by force. With that I was able to drag it through a half rotation around the court, but it would either destabilize to a rocking motion or de-power and drop. Even so, still not there yet. I think I'll post a vid of Thursday's practice, too.
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