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Paul LaMasters

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Everything posted by Paul LaMasters

  1. Revolution 2 wraps, or try some skyShark tubes, (call Jon Trennepol on the phone, see what he recommends). I use original Diamonds and Rev's green race hybrid, built as a travel frame,... the green race goes into the leading edge at the junction of the down-spars (2 total used) with 'em surrounded by the diamonds, two at the center and one on the end off each outside of the LE I have another Zen with the frame made as an ultra-light, but it's the newer size formate 7/16th's instead of a quarter inch. That one had to have the caps replaced, but it flies in a fart and does amazing glides with that pronounced curvature OVER the leading edge.
  2. The Zen just takes the Rev 1 to the next level of extreme with a larger surface area overall, more material at the center Vee, easy to modify too, hybrid framing, sticks, an alternative bridle, all can be tested, compared and incorporated if so desired. Longer throw handles will help with low wind when you want to flail around w/slacked lines That's a full sized box of Altoids candy/cigarettes case for a size comparison shown,.... 19 inch titanium, grade five, 3/8" diameter tubes, bent in a pipe-bender, set-up (with "RecDot.Kites old-school method") as no-snags, without sleeving on 100 feet of 50# Skybond. My dead calm conquering handle set-up five months out of the year!
  3. My foam grips have let go/slipped a couple of times, ... fixed with two part5 minute epoxy
  4. Kitesquid (Harold Ames) made this kite with Icarex for the US Navy,... only thing is he blew it up to 21 feet instead of sixty inches wide it was framed in one inch diameter Revolution tubes, 42 of 'em https://www.richmondairforce.com/Files/DTplans.pdf flew it on 12000 feet of 300 pound spectra to do testing instead of a helium filled balloon "skin"
  5. Practice your throw with the kite off of the strings, your objective is flat, parallel with the ground and as far away from you as possible. Now angle it up slightly and try again,... where is launching too high and where is not high enough? Experiment! Maximize your distance. Magic sticks means you don't have to throw it all the way out to the end of the strings, just as far as possible and walk the rest of the slack out while the kite waits inverted on the ground, resting on the kick stand. Catching is usually done from directly overhead, but you've got it down cold as mastery when you can ride that catch up (from 2/3's height engagement) over the apex of the arc and gliding it back down to you. The less steep the arc the more skill by the pilot (or more heavily modified the kite to make this a predominate feature of it's flight dynamics, probably at a lose of something else like a Falling Leaf) Practice on longer lengths than you intend to use for your demos, ... so it looks easy and magical at crunch time. If 30 feet is easy then show me double that, still looking like a it's "your thing"? Ok, double-up again. I can catch 120s on a full sail and throw it about 70 feet. On a Zen?, in my conditions?,... well its the ending to almost all of my precision or ballet efforts in competition, even a demo unless i steer it to a friend to catch instead, sharing the glory, HA! In ideal conditions I can walk along side this catch and decide when I want to end the flight, maybe catch it behind my back, or run forward and allow the "beheader" whilst sitting Indian style. Imagine a kite that goes upwind with controlled glide, only in the most perfect of conditions, but magical if rarely known.
  6. Watching the video sends this comment, "more brake is necessary in your leader tuning". Not adding lift for forward flight (by angling the kite's leading edge towards you), No you want it square to the wind so it receives maximum pressure upon the sail. That pressure you can increase or decrease by simply moving your feet. More brake means the kite will back-up inverted, it is NOT tuned correctly until this action can take place. Now in low wind you might "seem" to be hovering or even actually slowly backing the kite inverted UP towards the top of the window. You are walking backwards to MAKE the kite fly and do these actions, nothing is effortless in a dead calm. If the kite will NOT back-up, as it appears in the video,... you did a jerk-invert-launch to enough height to go forward and gain flight. I want the opposite of those actions. FLY the kite backwards, practice an inverted launch to shoulder height and land again, NO right back in the same location. Place an empty pop can or some marker (that you can kick or step on and not break a leg, ankle or wrist falling over!) Think about walking away from your marker and returning to it. Do that a couple of times and double up that altitude, still flying the kite backwards and inverted. Get comfortable an inch above the ground inverted. Master the kite's ability to fly backwards, slide sideways and hover stationary. All of these actions should feel easy, relaxed and comfortable. if you are straining and squeezing, fighting to make it do this stuff, something needs to be adjusted. The first adjustment if neutral flight is not already programmed in, is always to add down, not inches, just a little bit. did that improve reverse flight, it should be almost difficult to go forward. (an example? you are driving on a winding mountain road, it's snowing, the wipers don't work, there's no guard rails and it's night time. The front windshield has been removed so you can lean out over the hood and see if the road is even still in front of you, both feet are smashing the brake pedal thru the floor and you are scared out of your wits. That is how fast you can go forward flight, only an inch if you allow it to move at all. The kite waits for your command at a neutral position, you could hold it there all day, relaxed and easy. That is the secret to no wind flight. Keep adding down until the forward flight is an intense demand on your part, no wind surge is gonna get you! Imagine you have to land on a trash can, forward, inverted, each wing-tip. Balanced right up there like you owned it. Well you ain't one of us until we can remove that trash can and you can do those same actions on a soda/pop can. wanna' show off?, land that kite into the hole of that empty pop can, balanced on top of fence or sign post. We'll take your picture and talk about this amazing display of control we witnessed. ADD more down and keep practicing. This is gonna' feel so weird but sally forth, you can do it too
  7. Frob, .... low wind skills, like anything else takes time on the lines. Managing your own movements to a minimum and maximizing the effort on the other (kite's end) of the strings, learning the techniques. For example, you "set" the kite in the low, or non existent wind and MAKE it fly, not handle movements at all, but engaging your feet to walk backwards, holding that pre-set angle stationary in relationship to the kite. You don't tune in more forward drive on the leaders, that is counter productive in low/no wind! No, you add DOWN until the kite will backup from an inverted position (you are very likely walking backwards to apply enough energy, to make the kite back-up). This backing-up will be look much smoother with feet applied too. "square to the wind, if you were holding a plywood sheet in a wind tunnel" Now you are well back from your starting location, it's time to recover your field. You can do it with the leading edge vertical, imagine you were shooting an arrow from your English long-bow, one arm punched way forward and the other drawn back all the way to your shoulder. Notice how that feels more comfortable if your torso is facing left and the LE is facing right? (than squared-up shoulders). You pull the bottom wing and swing it over the top of the original height wing, a tip rotation, done with authority too, powering it up and over, then alternate and do it again the other way. Climbing the ladder. Leaning or laying out the kite, parallel with the ground to maximize those floating capabilities when possible. Easier still is the LE facing down field recovery, remember all the Reverse you have tuned into the leaders? Well now is the time for it to be empowered and set free. Fly as high upright as you can and turn the LE down towards the ground, how fast you decent is a measure of gliding capabilities on your kite COMBINED with the pilot's mastery of angling the handles either more or less to control that decent. Descending as you walk forward. A well tuned glide should recover the field if you completely release the handles entirely,... aLL by ITsElF!!! 80 feet of height should net you about 240 feet of field recovery! Don't tell me you can't recover your field, the kite does it without you! Indoor or no wind kites are delicate, you can't just slam them around or things go seriously wrong. How much flexibility to fill the sail with energy?, how much stiffness so the kite tracks a straight line when told to? Flying alone allows more bend and a lighter weight overall, flying team you suddenly find you kite won't turn on it's wingtip, only centered rotations due to all the LE flex. You don't match-up with the others, add some weight and stiffness back in there!!! Longer throw handles lessen the effort necessary by the pilot in low wind, (they have an opposite effect in high wind, unnecessarily torquing your wrists, uncomfortable by the end of the day). Swing your short handles fully forward and back and examine how far the bottom leader travels. Now imagine if all of the braking action could be significantly increased. You'd work less and the kite could still dance thru slack line tricks! Lighter weight lines means less drag, but also less connection to the kite, they seem/feel more stretchy in flight. We use 50lbs/100 foot frequently at the Washington Monument and I have a set of 60 footers too. 100# is for those locations where little bits of crap stick up and snag you lines on the ground. When you just want to just yank it out, instead of walk up there and unhook it. Indoors is more personal, some like it not tangled (thicker) and some want it lighter (thin string) Take the indoor skills outside. You can't stand stationary, but that doesn't 't mean you need to run 360s perpetually either. Know you equipment, what can you change and put back again, just as an experiment? Did the test help your low wind skills improve or add anything? I moved from Chicago (by Busse woods/Schaumburg) to Ft. Lauderdale (Plantation) , then to Washington DC (Germantown). Upon arrival in the nation's capitol I found out NONE of my kites would even fly here. I watched others and drooled, finally joined kite club, eventually became an officer, still remember the first time someone asked me for advise (turned around to see who was actually being spoken to). Worked for 2-1/2 decades on my low/no wind skills, practice flying and testing modifications as direct comparisons with friends. Now I have the skills and tools necessary to make no wind my preference for conditions. When you go someplace and complain about the lack of wind, just know that not everyone feels that same sentiment, I want that first demo, I'll take mystery ballet too, I am ready, put me in next, no NOW! Work on your weaknesses, enjoy the journey of discovery too, it never ends. Someone is always better than you and somebody else looks up to you, share the field with everyone and don't let FUN interfere with the public's safety. Chase kids when you own your hover and approach their moms slowly and respectfully. Make eye contract and insure they are okay with your antics. It only takes one complaint to ruin all of our fun. Don't be THAT guy!
  8. A night lighted-up special! (with a set of Mario/Lindsay LEDs affixed) here is Mario indoors at the convention center on South Padre Island, he WoWed the crowd and fellow performers alike!
  9. Clam-shell roll-up is a technique applied on the ground, (in the beginning). It is not flying. you land the kite leading edge up, directly downwind. You step forward towards the kite as you lunge your handles forward,.... all in unison, this new found slack allows the kite to fall backwards onto the magic stick end-caps. If sufficient slack was provided, the kite will keep right on going all the way around until the strings come over the front of the trailing edge. it is rolled-up into the strings! to undo it, you step backwards aggressively as you yank the handles back towards your hips (together!). It will unroll itself from the lines and snap back to upright, ready to take off again. Now you've got style, so you know it's actually four beats of music timed to this technique. Land, roll-up, unroll, relaunch. Time to engage "crew", as the high risk is if all of the flying lines do NOT fall into the center of the kite sail (the center V) or all of 'em don't fall to the outside of the down spars. All have to be the same way, either inside the down-spars (preferred) or outside. Your crew needs to be ready as a tangle is gonna' happen if it's a mix of inside AND outside the down-spars. So you've mastered this technique (it is foolishly easy if everything is right with the length & location of the magic sticks), so do you START your routine with this high risk maneuver, or play it safe and END with it? You now own this trick to such an extent that you can throw a flat and super slow axel inches above the ground FIRST, and when it's gets half way around (leading edge is now facing you) you lunge at the kite and snap the handles aggressively (done together) to create the Roll-up from off of the ground! oh boy, now you're a bad motor scooter
  10. Have a few things you can "throw in" as necessary. 45 seconds in for Back to the Future to begin Everyone does 180 turns up the center, "climbing the ladder", .... so I do 'em in reverse I've probably got a stop sign in reverse too, (the Octagon from precision figures), whereas lots of folks do a diamond pattern flown all forward included someplace. I've got a clam-shell roll-up as a kite with magic sticks GIVES you this technique free. I've got an axel, the lower the wind the slower I can effect it. On the Zen it is timed with a sundial and changes lanes, morphing from a half axel (or a stationary held-fade) to a clam-shell or wrapping all the way around to come back out inverted completing the axel rotation. I've got a throw & catch, but I've been working on it for 20 years. Start close to the kite and work your way up to longer and longer lengths. if you can catch 120's you KNOW you can demo 90 feet successfully. If you can throw it 70 feet you KNOW you can do fifty like magnetism, complete reliability, effortless. I've made extensive modifications to my kites to get this killer glide (live in the land of no wind, a glide is essential to recover your field). B-Series & Speed series kites OWN this technique. Make the kite walk, heck you don't even fly doing this trick! You Gotta' own this for kids around the world. I've got an axel, but I do it way better towards my right than from the center out to the left (I'm left handed, go figure!). I can do half axels and gain ground at the same time in no wind. I've got a flick-flak (super reliable) but the French Bridle gives those away free, it comes out of it all by itself too, not secondary jerk is necessary. Depending on the kite, I can do a Falling Leaf,... now you don't want that killer glide built into the leading edge, as it forces the kite into recovery mode and you want it to drop like a stone from on high! (Djinn, or Phoenix OWN it) Everybody has a dive/stop, .... where are you gonna put it so it belongs there? You ought to be able to do a bike-roll across the window, if not practice HOW SLOW you can go and it will come to you I try to hide the differences in speed when possible, the kites go faster inverted than side-sliding, and it goes faster still in forward compared to any other orientation. Don't allow the public to figure out the kite's preferred direction of travel. Smile and make eye contact with the witnesses to your activities!
  11. nope, at least not from me..... surely everyone's best performances were missed on video. I'm never happy seeing my own efforts, my bride has repeatedly told me I've embarrassed "our family",.... or "what was up with that crap?". Wrong kite, wrong line lengths, missing my props for freestyle (OIOU), didn't use the right music for the conditions (do YOU have a slow indoor song & fast one for booking winds outside?) Feeling the performance is so much more rewarding than a score, at least to me. Many of my best efforts resulted in a disqualification for flying over the crowd, a judging station or completely out of bounds. High risk beats tight precision EVERY TIME on my score sheet! What'chew got for us?!?? The best performances I've seen have taped themselves and watching the tape CAN/ and SHOULD improve you own efforts. You're not supposed to watch the flyer in competition, only the kite. Heck I'm as much of a show as that darn wing though, just another reason demos are more fun than a structured environment! Demos allow you to screw around with your friends, including them or cutting in on each others time, stealing the handles, or sneaking under to grab THEIR catch! Passing off the handles between pilots or sharing one in each hand. Jumping over each other or laying on the ground doing antics. Not knowing what comes next is the TRUE excitement for me, it comes out in the performance but it will not win a competition. I surely enjoy a demo though, I'd like to go first and fly in no wind too, really show you what I've worked on for over 25 years.
  12. I've heard to diagram your routine in 5 second intervals on graph paper,... you can flip thru and see it all, nothing repeated!... what can you fly w5secs? A precision figure takes about 40-45 seconds ive seen a performances where the music was assembled /edited to match the routine, 1,000 edits in a three minute musical piece i am NEVER doing anything like that, they care way more than me, taking fun crap and making it a sweaty career, welcome to the victory lap champ! you get out what you put in, mine overflows with fun, professionalism is sorely lacking dozens of years later, I'm still out there, where are those guys working their tail feathers off, GONE, on to newer challenges. What do you come back for, if you've already accomplished it all? Every time you get a score, it's perfect! There's nothing left to challenge,.... there are more people gone than still around, hence the demise of the Eastern League.
  13. Too much credit given to guy who makes it up on site. Frob I don't think about the music, ( back to the future is an outdoor song!) certainly no pre-planned movements . nope I simply let loose and watch the crowd's reaction. Dave's original design almost flies itself, so no hard work by pilot, it glides down a wall unattended too, so trying to include that ending seems reasonable. The crowd occupies all of the wall surfaces, so I'm forced to throw the handles over their heads once contact is made. All the antics in the world won't cure a dangerous safety violation! I understand you want advise to improve,... well here's mine, be yourself with kites. Are you organized, great use that. Me? Heck no! Loose as a deck of cards in the wind, I can't apply organization, it is against everything I stand for! i am lazy, don't edit music, plan corrography, even maintenance on my wings is neglected, been described as the Charles Barkley of kiting (not a positive role model.) i am exceptionally gifted at fun, like a double PHd in it! Spectators like a friendly smile, indoors is intimate with the folks, pick one individual and focus/fly for them. A kid, cute gal, special needs individual, not someone you know. work your strengths and be yourself, listen to your music, know it well, don't follow my example, I am everything wrong with kiting!
  14. I compete, have since 1999...... but that doesn't mean I care about how I do. I just want everyone to have the same opportunities I've experienced. See what's being done, and how. Anything I can take and make my own? Is the thing I'm after "equipment specific"?,... if so what's different, that allows this thing to take place at all? I have music, but it's the same ole crap I've had for over a decade. Honestly I do better just pulling a rabbit out of a hat (sound tent chooses). I don't usually win, only if the conditions are beyond the legal limits of competition (MMB is 3-18 mph I believe). I'm awesome under a dead calm or if the portas-potties are blowing over (under 2 mph or over 28) I've got a few things I've practiced for years to throw in,... as the music fits,..... be they precision moves or slack lined tricks. A winning routine is built on straight lines, tight corners and clearly recognizable circles. The rest of your routine has to fit and belong where you put it! On the East coast you will not receive a good score if you fly a quad with two string fitting music and flight style (almost all forward and fast). Here the quad line effect is king, you better show me what that kite can do and do so tight. 15% side slides and full hovers are possible with a dually, upright or inverted. SHOW ME quad effect, back that pig up, slide diagonally and make it match your music. Are your tricks balanced (if you can only do it one way then you can't do it yet!) across the window? Do you use the window's edge, where others can't fly at all? What separated you from all others, technique, music, equipment, routine, fashion statements? Competition has taught me so much, new friends and new techniques. Everyone should have the same opportunity that was offered me. There are plenty of things to complain about during a competition too. foremost, you WATCH more than you get to actually fly. Still it's worth it to me. What is everyone else doing?, well I'm not going to do it and that's for sure! But sharing the tricks of the trade conversations, those friendships established even the ribbing that takes place before, during and afterwards. The newest, coolest stuff will be on display with somebody wiling to let you try it out! Given a choice, I will always team-fly the last position, I prefer inverted, and occasionally I've been known to see and give chase to a squirrel too!
  15. Okay I fell down twice this week at Wildwood, first 5 am Monday with the reporters cameras just started (channel 17/Philly) for pre indoor coverage, Steve Rovida graciously assisted me,. Backedup diagonally over the balls in front of the wildwood iconic signage flying my Zen on indoor handles during the indoor show jackin around, it happened again, total "turtle"~ extremities flailing in an effort to right myself trying to catch AUA with a tail Each Time splattered in laughter, no other injuries
  16. walking thru is fine, ....remember though, "we are allowed to chase spectators on the grass, just NOT the sidewalks" at the DC national mall, per the Park Service Police! So thanks, for making it so easy on us and entertaining the onlookers as you try to escape a group of dedicated quad-heads giving chase. few of us actually stake down the handles, but a stroller pulled thru a half dozen unoccupied line-sets is surely to be avoided I'm more concerned with those folks who perceive a slightly open ground area and feel they can drop their picnic basket and enjoy the day right there with the kids' strollers lined-up! Or frisbee, football, kick-ball, soccer invaders seeking an opportunity, HA not on first Sunday!!! We can't show the uniformed officers a hard boundary we have imposed, that prompts a request for documentation on a permit. No stakes in the ground or tying-off on trees, signage or heaven forbid an actual monument marker either! Gotta land all the kites and wait for the all clear sign when presidential helicopters are departing or arriving. I love flying for a crowd, so all the other associated crap is secondary in my book. Onlookers means some of pass by too close, but some of 'em can help but to stop and chat on their way.
  17. We demarcate our field with the neon yellow/orange paint bucket spill lips from a home repair store,... kind of like safety cone, but much shorter, more flexible too and you won't trip over em either stepping backwards. Typically they are laid out in a circle, with the music and our base camp at the center. As the wind shifts you just move around the circle, keeping the center point common and holding an area (w/o a permit!). Not even holding an area, just encouraging the public to respect our boundaries for their safety purposes. 25 or 30 of em fit into a backpack, or just a long bread wrap type of twisty-tie. you drop them 25 or 30 feet apart, using the staked-out 120s from the center as your guide as you walk in circle around the parameter.
  18. mounted on a revolving base seat which is then affixed to the bed of your pick-up truck, like for landing the big one on a fishing excursion but no standing necessary!
  19. kites are about enjoyment,.... just 'cause you can't do everything it's capable of, doesn't mean you can't appreciate the efforts of other pilots who have mastered more. nobody has it all down pat yet either! Pick one aspect of quad capabilities that really lights your fire and work on that for now. I'm 63, I don't jump thru lines indoors either, HA!
  20. I'm used to adjusting a link or leader line as affixed to the bridle end too, so my handle settings stay the same for all the different styles and configurations of quads I routinely enjoy. Maybe adding an extension of four inches onto the bottom of a Djinn or Reflex attachment point for the flying lines. Or cutting off several inches from the top bridle leaders on my Zen. All because I want a longer leader on the top of the handles, as long as the gap between the two attachment points. The longer the handles the longer this leader is to match. I don't use sleeving (just another tangle point!) so I need the leaders on the handles to be as long as possible. I don't want it tangling with the bottom leader, knots or flying lines though,... there's a point that is "too long". Too Short and OUCH! you've cut your pinky finger doing 3D stuff, yanking the bare spectra lines whilst trying to create acres of slack. The further out there you can reach (to yank two lines, usually the tops) the more of a profound impact you can make on the fight dynamics. The "beheader" indoors move?, you jerk the top two flying lines, duck down real low and the kite just misses your head as parallels forward with the ground, then you have to jump up in the air and allow the flying lines to pass by underneath (now both handles have crossed-over to the outside line-wrap too). Finally it goes all the way out to the end of the string and hovers inverted just inches above the ground. You either un-twist the lines now or ,... planned it first with the wrap in there!!! Tuning and length adjustments are almost always made on the bottoms for my preferences, more Brake equals more square to the wind, so I always make this adjustment first when testing or tuning for conditions. I frequently drop all four lines onto a well-placed stake too, making certain everything aligns perfectly when yanked backwards tightly, also with the handles placed into the opposite hand (of course, mark one to identify L/R laying on the ground!) to counteract the probability of one handed dominance effect. Test and tune with the left handle in the right hand, then fly with it in the correct position left handle/left hand. If you are testing or comparing frequently, you don't want a variable in any of this stuff!!!! When you buy an alternative such as a French bridle you are expected to tune the leader attachment points on that bridle to fit your current handle settings. then you don't change anything when setting up one style or the other, certainly not your preferences on the handle end!
  21. I owned that kite once, but only for a few hours of the afternoon. As a builder I found some aspects of it's production "different", particularly with the white layers on the front of the sail!
  22. Or search out "Steve Santos", he flies two Deccas at once, one-handed w/one and one "no handed" at all, plus has a cool catch at the end of his routine. Kinda' a barreled roll-up type of thing (from overhead) that is simply amazing and must have taken decades to figure out! https://kitelife.com/2005/12/01/issue-45-kites-at-the-us-open/ He and his lovely "significant other" are both cohosting the indoor at WW this year. NEW for WIKF 19 – World Indoor Kite Show! Sky Festival Productions along with facilitators Steve Santos and Sue Moskowitz is super excited to announce the inclusion of a completely new aspect of our indoor kite flying festivities, the World Indoor Kite Show! While we have always incorporated the World Indoor Kite Competition, this year we are stepping it up with a multi-faceted and generational indoor kite flying experience to take place at the Wildwoods Convention Center, East Hall, on the last day of the event, Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day).
  23. I'm the other side Wayne, test unmercifully until failure,... nobody ever got better skiing without an occasional fall on the slopes. Some were downright terrible crashes, but you've learned something along the way too,.... maybe about yourself, or the conditions that day, maybe even about your own equipment, or that cute surgical nurse for rehab? If you could change one item, what would it be? How would that impact changes things? Possible example?, owned a little Prism kite (3D), didn't connect with it at all until I rigged it for quad and flew it in utterly outrageous conditions. In between trees and power lines in a booking wind. It was totally worth the money that day and wasn't even used according to it's design. So can you fly in the full power zone with an indoor kite? sure if you can dump some pressure and preserve your smile doing it! Otherwise explore the edges of the wind window. Make up some new "yank and spank" technique for underneath the tree limbs. Lam Hoac can jump rope with/over his indoor kite, or throw it a dozen feet sitting in a chair and catch it back again. Work on your rolled-up launch, (maybe released down a smooth wall as you gently walk backwards?, I've seen 4 or 5 revolutions happen seamlessly) Kite's all aquiver?, whipped around in too much wind? Then consider another option. There's no bad weather, only a poorly equipped kite flier. Terrible conditions? Hey it's time to borrow someone else's equipment and see how it handles that abuse (OPKs rule)
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