Paul LaMasters

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Paul LaMasters last won the day on September 19

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About Paul LaMasters

  • Rank
    Power User
  • Birthday 01/06/1956

Profile Information

  • Favorite Kite(s)
    diamond framed custom Zen, SUL & indoor quads,
  • Flying Since
    hardcore since '93 on quads, kites in general since the mid-70s
  • Location
    Germantown, MD (Washington DC metro area)
  • Country
    United States
  • Interests
    design, illustration/photography, graphics, printing and naturally kites (mostly quads). My son is big martial artist & kite flyer, the wife and I enjoy watching Golf, NFL but cheer for different participants. I'm also a huge NBA/Bulls fan since my college room-mate (NIU/'79) is their ticket director
  • Gender

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  1. Paul LaMasters

    Turtling 🐢

    no video of me, but the master of this technique is Scott Weider, It is entered as a half Axel type of movement (which is a "fade" based upon this discussion, if held in position, with leading edge facing the pilot and the flying lines dangling underneath),... from there (with more practice) This fade can instantly transition into a "clam-shell roll-up" if done close enough to the ground. The is video of this but I couldn't find it
  2. Paul LaMasters

    Turtling 🐢

    my quad fades have the leading edge facing/closer towards me, with the lines hanging underneath, a turtle is the opposite (facing away,... w/lines over the trailing edge) whatever they are termed A rising fade is something I've still gotta' work on some more though, HA!!!!!
  3. Paul LaMasters

    Turtling 🐢

    the Spirit quad also does this move pretty easily too, can "ride it" all the way to the ground, or snap back out of it, like exiting a flick-flak
  4. Paul LaMasters

    New member from Central Oregon

    Riff, I had to change out the end-caps for a Rev Zen test, so it could carry the latest Diamond Reflex tubes..... Yes, make all of 'em match whichever way you choose to go, don't be like me with a big bag of extra crap (in different diameters, lengths, stiffnesses, etc)!
  5. Paul LaMasters

    New member from Central Oregon

    Full vent has interchangeable 1/4" diameter tubes which fit with your existing kite,... that would be the major advantage in my book. Make certain you acquire 2 wraps or something light PLUS 3 or 4 wraps as something heavy/stiff. The CLX-150's from Skyshark are popular on the East coast as a light weight tube with good response when returning from flexed. "Hybrid travel framing" tubes option will also allow a greater level of customization w/o undue\excessive costs. P-90s or P-100s with some 300s at the junctions. A light weight frame in a full vent is fun to flail around alone as it instantly powers back up with a steady double digit wind speed available. By like token, you could "frame stiff" and fly that same frame in the full sail for better tracking or flying in a group setting. The best frames are likely unavailable..... the original Diamond tubes from Revolution & the Green Race w/o the green stripe/tipped label. The Spider uses a different/larger diameter tube (5/16th's) so that choice would eventually necessitate carrying two different diameters as you can vary stiffness for the local conditions that day. Fear not, we all started with one kite, it was perfect regardless of the conditions too! Eventually we go more and more kites until the layers of conditions for which they were appropriate overlapped each other. I must have six or seven kites just for a dead calm outside. We get those about 5 months out of the year, indoor conditions but with an unlimited ceiling we call it! There are lots of choices for 1/4 inch diameter tubes that fit the 1.5 sized platform.
  6. Paul LaMasters

    New member from Central Oregon

    bobbins running out & slicing thru all the fabric layers (when back-or-front cutting) are mistakes we all make, you fix 'em is WHY a retreat is so beneficial! Or to sit with a master willing to share and pick their brain. You can make a kite with perfect stitches and every single material thing "the best that money can buy". Nobody will ever care more than you, about your kite. Are you willing to put in the time for exquisite results? I am not, I'd rather fly than build and have someone build it "my way" even if it costs extra is my current method of operation. Darkest layers go in front (facing the pilot in flight) and many folks "mount their appliqué efforts" onto a white background (you can see the lines traced easily on it, very translucent) Back-cutting is also an art, you need consistent pushing thru the layers to be removed and NOT taking anything beyond that with your scissors. Do you prevent full closure of the sides on the scissors to help? Is the bottom edge (that slides between layers) of the scissors rounded off, so you don't poke thru the wrong layer? Can you maintain the width of the overlap? Does you unthreading effort "look good"? Even seen a Lam Hoac kite? His stitches transition from zip-zag to straight in a barely perceived fashion, each narrower than the previous width, just as an example. He cares more than about anybody, you pay for that level of concern too. how do you connect two pieces of slippery fabric, such that you can control the input and steering of the materials thru the sewing machine? Some folks wet it, some use spray glue, some masking tape, the "randy Tom method" is very effect but wastes tremendous amount of fabric. Some double face tape and sew thru both layers and the adhesive,... heck there's even a tape for "no-sew" construction techniques (VHB 9460 by 3M, Very high bond). Again, attend a retreat and learn all the choices, see how they are used by those practitioners and if any are adaptable to your own personal preferences. Enjoy, ask questions and share your journey w/us. best regards, -plm
  7. Paul LaMasters

    New member from Central Oregon

    Go for it, but don't expect to save money until you are deep into kite building thing! The Rev shape is basically all straight lines, some reinforcements where necessary, a proper wrapped carbon frame and good lines to fly on, + handles! My first sewing project was this shaped quad-line too. Eventually I learned some folks can do "design and building" better than me, but I still direct the symphony even if I can't adequately play any of those instruments (by comparison!) Shook, Bazzer, McNeill, Reed, Hoac,... all of the best builders use Icarex as their fabric of choice. It is more difficult to sew than most other materials, certainly more so than anything fabric which your gal might have experience with,... that said it just adjusting the machine to sew "super slippery" material. It is expensive and fails catastrophically, but it doesn't stretch nearly as much or carry water's weight in tough conditions. I'd recommend attending a builder's retreat first, so you can see lots of options for how things are accomplished. "Steal the best, dump the rest" is my Motto. I sat next to Eliot Shook and we marveled at the tricks of building known by the KiteSquid (Harold Ames). Eventually Eliot went on to greatness as a source of masterpiece quad-lined kites, but Harold had a profound impact upon him intitially. Practice until everything looks like it is perfect. Spend more time on the design aspects,.... construction and the actual part of it called sewing is only 10% of the total effort. Pushing the envelope? relates to changes which may or may not prove beneficial,.. but you need enough time on the lines to feel these comparisons. what is the objective you are trying to accomplish? did it help or hurt? Change only one thing at a time so you can control the scientific variables. Did that change add "oversteer" or lessen it, just as an example? Start with a beat-up used kite so you can see what you need to address and copy what works. It will be abused is some areas and pretty pristine in others. See if there's something you could do to address these concerns. I am certain I could send you a sail (that was returned to me after seeking repairs). A note was affixed, it said "you should not be allowed to play with nice toys". four kites were resurrected, the other one could be yours, but it is not flyable, just for measurements as a starting point. Enjoy the journey of making it yourselves and insure you both learn how to fly together too. That way you have a design partner for a cooperative project. Those are almost more fun that the smile on your face during that first maiden flight!
  8. Paul LaMasters

    New member from Central Oregon

    save some more dough and skip directly to an acquisition of a Shook Mesh Masterpiece 75% as your next kite if you are after decent-to-big wind ranges. The sail is strips of fabric with gaps/holes in between. Lighter in weight than a full vent or an extraVent because the weight of the screening material is vastly higher than the Icarex sail material alone. I recommend a frame from Jon Trennepol (Skyshark called a CLX-150 or a travel frame of P-300 and P-90/or 100s). Ligher weight means a bigger wind range, like a 5-30 mph spread, depending on the framing choices. A light flexible frame is fun to flail around with alone, 'cause it instantly refills with pressure (after dumping it ~ doing tricks and such). A more rigid frame "tracks" better when flying in a group setting. Flexible wants to "turn in it's center", whilst a more rigid frame wants to rotate on a wing-tip. Does that make sense? The CLX frame is a fatter diameter (5/16s with plugs to fit Rev- End -Caps, so the leading edge has some curvature, ..... over the top ..... like a frisbee-shape instead of a dinner plate's edge on view. What does that matter?,.. that curvature GLIDES thru the air, as opposed to just falling like a rock. Some tricks, like a "Falling Leaf" want that glide removed,.... some like a throw&catch want the glide as pronounced as possible. The fatter wall diameter doesn't mean it can't flex and store energy. It is responsive and not at all a heavy solution. It will not replace a set of original Diamonds though (HA!) The Shook is made to your own specifications, no one else can have your color pattern. The 75% number represents a percentage, as compared to a mid-vent or a fully vented sail,... This one is in between them, but in reality it covers both wind ranges completely. Darn it, it should! they cost 600 bucks plus. But, its like buying a kite that is almost always perfect for today's conditions, even if they change during the occasion. Eliot makes 'em to your spec, call him (Flying Smiles Kites) and discuss your needs/desires/concerns/exceptations,... Sail comes in a variety of configurations: 40%, 75%, 100% and the 135%. Are you wanting a Dacron or nylon leading edge sleeve (why), a couple of bridle choices (Cath uses the French and Eliot is on a stocker), even magic sticks in a couple of lengths (16's are better) and LED lighting options, so light in weight you don't have to remove 'em. Simple seconds to install, water-proof and absolutely out of the way if you want to do "Clam-Shell Roll-ups" on the ground in the dark! You need 4 quad kites or more eventually; an indoor/SUL, a full sail, a Shook 75% and a Vicky-type, a few interchangeable frames for them, some different handle lengths, (longer for dead calm, so the action necessary to MAKE it fly,..... is in your hands, more so than in your whole body/or feet). Some different line lengths and strengths..... I recommend Skybond, it's thin, slippery and durable,... I carry 50#, 100# and 170#, but in the land of no-wind (Washington DC) the 50# lines are used more frequently. Don't waste a ton of dough on other solutions, and I pay retail+ myself, so I'm not compensated for this endorsement, just another happy customer if you are truly hooked get the Shook!
  9. Paul LaMasters

    Travel Frames

    extra travel framed spars is never a mistake, to carry to the field! invariably, the one that breaks (either with a ferule or w/o) is the one you don't have any more of handy
  10. Paul LaMasters

    Long Beach Island kite festival, 2018

    LBI#4 was a great time with wildy appreciate crowds and super hard working volunteers too, everything you could want was there, you just hard to seek it out, indoor, kids activities, team, inflatables, dualies, gliders, quads, SLKs, comps (but only the good ones!) For MMB as an example, Scott Weider, Jim Cosca and myself were the judges and we sat in the crowd with the folks, sharing the score cards before filling in our numbers. When done, we asked those around us "who won to you?" Marc Conklin was their selected (and our official champion), defeating Smitty, Lisa, Laura and Karl Berg. Each flier has a unique flight style, musical points and showmanship, thousands cheered 'em on. Indoor was amazing, again I chose to Judge and getting a great seat helped me see what is possible when you want it bad enough,...... they did! Go to a festival, share the experience with other like-minded individuals. This one rocked totally!!!! if you can get there for number five in 2019, you should join us!
  11. Paul LaMasters

    Travel Frames

    Assemble each travel frame "stick" with a couple of wraps of electrical tape, so the pieces stay together, until you don't want them to,.... A travel frame is stiffer. than a regular tubed set, so a three wrap travel is very much like 4 wraps. you can vary the stiffness to suit personal preferences. I like 4 diamonds and two green race, with the race members at the junction of the leading edge and the top of the down spar. I need that area rigid and I want the outer 3rds and the center portions of the leading edge to be more flexible. YMMV
  12. Paul LaMasters

    Newbie Journey, Rev learning tips

    many times I make the indoor lengths on site, to fit the structure's specific size limitations. Personally? I want lines as long as possible, that might be 6 feet (Air & Space Museum, DC) or 35 (a convention center at Wildwood or SPI's for example) depends on the venue we have available. You will develop your own style eventually, copying better pilots for some things and adding your own spin to other aspects. The joy of indoor flying is seeing what is possible and then making your own efforts even better. "take the best & dump the rest". Nope, I can't do everything indoors, but I can have a bunch of fun doing my own thing, MY WAY, ha!
  13. Paul LaMasters

    Ocean City Sept 19-20

    Perfect weather day and night Wednesday thru Saturday, off the ocean, "Shook Mesh kites wind" almost exclusively team 120s, filled w/energy in sky and spirit, bobbing along to music, lights, tails, strobes and weaving ourselves into a unit, couple rain occasions to finish out the week! Home tomorrow which is always sad. Just beat to death tired, hellva show until then though,.... until next April when we return again. Thanks sweetie, you are the bestest wife ever!
  14. Paul LaMasters

    LE tabs (service available for Revs)

    from tension on the lines and leading edge of kite facing up-right,...... thumbs up, step back, lower your hands, hold the handles softer and closer together too. Relax, this is fun, breath, learn the cartwheel technique first so you can roll-over from inverted. only four moves are possible,.. 1 both thumbs @ nose= forward (NOT up), 2 both thumbs @kite=reverse (NOT down) 3, one thumb @nose =clockwise rotation (not a left turn!) 4, other thumb @nose=counter-clockwise rotation (not right turn) So the kite doesn't go up and down, and it can't go left or right, the controls are minor influence to major impact at the kite. Try softer,... and add in some body position movements and your feet don't have to be stationary either! you'll love the quads because they can fly anywhere anytime any conditions,... you just gotta want it bad enough!
  15. Paul LaMasters

    Ocean City Sept 19-20

    Maybe to the night-fly April, .....We will be there Wednesday, not in the condo either (so less crap to lug!). What time are the kids down? I could probably be convinced btw 8:00 pm-10:00 if I have an afternoon nap first. 3rd street & boardwalk I think? (Barbara handles those lodging details). Paul Dugard and I will both be there Thursday whenever, if you can join us 243 kiters signed on/up so crowds will be treated to a great show see ya there!