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Blog Entries posted by RobB

  1. RobB
    This is the Second Annual Long Beach Island festival. Last year was such a fun festival, that it was really tugging at me to go to this year's fest. Traffic wasn't too bad for a Friday before a holiday weekend. I got into town about an hour before dark, and ran down to the beach with my bag, eager to take advantage of the smooth onshore 10mph breeze. 

    There were a surprising number of kites in the air, I guess I missed the first full day. I guess I'll have to take off the whole day next year and get here earlier !

    So... there was a wedding going on while the kites were flying overhead. I wonder if they planned the wedding to be under the kites, or if they were really surprised to see this going on right next to and over them.

    I came across this guy, flying the heck out of this kite. I never did find out what kind of kite that is. Saber ? Machine ? something Euro ?
    I was tossed as to flying 4 lines or two, as the wind was around 10mph. I stop flying duallies and fly the Revs right about at 10. Hmmmm..... what to fly ?

    The Skyburner Solus won the grab...
    Looking forward to tomorrow, even though the forecast looks kinda wet. Hey, there's a 40% chance that it won't rain. Here's hoping !
  2. RobB
    Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I have posted anything here. I have been consumed by work & life over the last few months, without much if any time to get the kites out. Not a huge deal, as this is the off-season for kite flying where I live (at least in my book.).
    I have had a few brief moments to get out and fly on the way home from work. Quick, half hour sessions do a stressed mind a world of good. Recently, a friend of ours in the kiting community passed away (BobbyB) and I took a little time at the end of my day to fly one of his kites and think about things. Just a picture perfect day with lab-grade winds... couldn't ask for anything more, other than having not heard of the passing of a friend earlier in the day. Anyway, here's Bobby's kite basking in the late day sun...

    Most of my free time is spent keeping the 3 kids busy, enjoying summertime activities. We recently took a day trip out to Montauk, and I brought the KAP backpack, hoping to get some shots of the cliffs & the lighthouse. Unfortunately, the wind was low & iffy, so I was lucky to get the kite alone in the air for a little while...

    The girls are at the age that they enjoy the SLKs still...

    We took turns flying the Ultrafoil 15...

    We took a long weekend trip up to Vermont a couple weeks ago. Vermont ? Sounds like a terrible place to fly a kite, right ?
    You just have to have the right kinda kite ! The Plutz3 was awesome in the lack of wind in the mountains & woods. I flew that Plutz in one weekend more than I had ever flown it. The girls also learned how to fly a glider & had a great time !

    Yes, I fly gliders with a wand. That's how I learned & don't really get how people fly them on a loose line without tripping over it & getting all knotted up...

    So, hopefully there will be a lot more flying to report next time, as Kite Season will be officially underway around here in about 10 days. Looking forward to that LBI kite festival, too, this year will be the 3rd Annual.
  3. RobB
    Yup, it's happened. My boy is officially a Duallie pilot ! I am so happy, so proud. Words can not express how happy I am to have someone to fly with. This empty beach with such wonderful wind, and after years of flying alone... I've got someone to fly with who is truly enthusiastic about the kites, and is eager to learn more...

    I started out today's lesson with a kite that I didn't care if it got trashed, the Prism I2K. Not exactly a beginner's kite, but it was the least of the kites in the bag I had today. Not really true... notice the big-ish foils in the background. We started by flying those. I wanted to see if he liked power... nope, they were boring to him since the wind wasn't too high, and he's flown smaller foils before. We'll revisit those when the wind picks up...

    I nearly fell over when Mick demonstrated good form & control. He was eager to learn new stuff, so we worked on shapes and punch turns. Horizontal ground passes, all that good stuff.

    He even took the camera for a while... I was showing him some stuff and he was holding the camera. It was a nice surprise when I dumped the camera and found shots that he took.

    Yes, it's still a little warm here. He was barefootin' it, but still needed a sweatshirt. BeachFootin' it, according to him...

    He was doing fine, so I had to pull out something a little more fun to fly... WidowMaker Spider was a fun choice ! I think he's still boggled about slack line tricks, but it was still fun to fly figures.

    Yeah, my heart skipped a beat. This wasn't a nose-plant, but it was close. Eh, whatever... these kites are tough. Besides, nothing can compare to the value of having a new kiting companion. I've taught many people how to fly, but Mick is by far the most rewarding, and hopefully this has just begun. 

    Yeah, this has been a long time coming...
  4. RobB
    I've been waiting for this since the end of May... the beginning of Kite Season ! I haven't flown much of anything since Memorial Day. If you count flying the SLKs that I keep in the car, OK, a few times...

    Yes, that's where my profile pic came from.
    People around here are programmed to go to the beach between Memorial Day & Labor Day. An Island with millions of people, and only ~100 miles long and 15 miles wide at it's widest. Yes, we have ~600 miles of coastline, but most of that is inaccessible unless you have a boat. So, nothing but crowded beaches in the easy to reach spots. I don't like to fly with anyone in my flight zone, unless they're also kite people, and tuned in. The general public around here is too tuned out to realize that it might not be a good idea to wander through the flight area.. maybe walk around ? Nah, this looks like a good place to setup a chair & umbrella... But, luckily, Labor Day & later, all the way until next May... the beaches are EMPTY ! Everyone goes back to the rock that they climbed out from under, and kites can once again rule the beach.
    I am excited to try out the Red Kymera, that I was so lucky to win in last month's drawing. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the original green one that I've had since they came out. Unfortunately, the maiden flight of Red will have to wait, since the weatherfolks say that it's going to be ultra-super-mega-vent four line flying weather here this weekend...

    Yup, thanks, NOAA ! That's OK, the winds will probably be good for flying for the next 36-40 hours, I plan to put some color in the sky before it gets too rough...  The wind is all ready solid over 10mph, which is ruling out dual lines (for me), but I have a couple of cool SLKs to fly that I haven't seen in the air yet, and my Full Vent 1.5 is freshly repaired, better than new, ready to go.
    I'll follow up to this, the start of Kite Season is so exciting, sorry, couldn't wait until the green flag dropped... dizzy with anticipation !
  5. RobB
    Crazy thing, March is known for being pretty windy, and has been, except for when I get a chance to fly. The last two Sundays have been just about dead calm. Nice & warm, almost getting too hot all ready. 
    Oh well, I take what I can get, and light wind flying is one of my favorite flying disciplines. Everything is nice & slow, there's almost too much time to think about what you're doing. It's important to have a 'true SUL' kite for this type of flying. A trick SUL could fly, but it would be a lot of work to keep it in the air, and you really need some amount of wind to do most tricks. 'True SUL' kites are easier to get flying, but really difficult to do many tricks. My favorite, the ProDancer SUL frustrates me because I can really only do one trick, the Axel. Maybe a wonky 1/2 axel, some of the time. 
    Anyway... I got some video that shows a lot of the kite & pilot. I thought it might be interesting to those who like low wind flying, it will certainly be boring to those who like fast-paced tricking, Power Kiting, or Speed Kites !

  6. RobB
    February in New York can bring a huge variety of weather conditions... Of course, in the dead of winter, we get the expected freezing temperatures and snow, sometimes it's just grey, wet & generally nasty. And then there are the days like today, the calm before the next storm... 40*, bright sunshine, and a gentle onshore breeze, not enough to make you cold. 

    I started out with the Skyburner XL, as the wind was over 5mph when I first got there.

    It's kind of a crazy spot to fly, as the lines stretch almost all the way across the available dry sand, so most of the flying is done over the water. It can get a bit fun when the wind decides to die down, because the last thing you want to do is to put a kite down in the fast moving water. Almost guaranteed disaster for the kite...

    So, the winds did quickly die down to almost nothing. I went from the XL (more wind) to the Rev full sail (good in ~3mph wind) to the Snow Devil (good to about 1mph) to finally the Skyburner ProDancer. The ProDancer is comfortable to fly in a breeze that's too low to be measured, even in winds that low, it is very little work to keep it in the air. I stepped right up to the edge of the water & flew over the water for a good long time. I had to appreciate this, as I've been waiting since last winter for a day like today...

    Another interesting kite came out to play at the beach today, but I think this guy was probably a little cold...
  7. RobB
    Yeah, how often does this happen ? A crazy nice sunny day, right in the middle of Winter ? Only on a weekday ! Turns out, I had an early morning appointment that finished up early, and I didn't have anything to do for the next 2.5 hours... Except drive to the nearest beach and see what I had in that bag that's always in the back of my car. Winds were around 5mph, onshore, so it was perfect for the Widow Maker standard. It was in the 40s, but the bright sun was there, keeping me warm. Any warmer, and I would've been sweating! I have to give a shout out to @NewbieFrank, as this is his home beach. Too bad he was at work !

    Too bad the powers that be felt the need to put that nasty looking fence on top of the jetty, it would've looked so much nicer without it...
    BTW... the distant landmass (~15 miles away) is where I more typically fly, and this beach is usually in the distant background.

    This shot almost captures how nice this kite actually looks in the sky !

    I've only flown at this beach a few times, but the exposure is great for flying winds from the N, E, or W.

    Sharp eyes will notice that I'm not flying on my normal LPG line. Yes, the Yellow lines... they're not so bad as long as the wind is low.

    This is the only shot I got without that rusty old fence in the background. It's a really pretty beach otherwise, and not as rocky as where I usually fly.
  8. RobB
    Happy belated New Year, Kiteheads !
    Yup... not the best day to get out & fly, but it left a smile on my face for the rest of the day, anyway. It was a dreary day, about 40*. Not terribly cold, but... you know, that cold damp kinda day. The wind seemed to be blowing... well, it was, from 3 different directions and ranging in speed from 0 to 15 mph. I didn't realize this until I had set everything up and tried to get off the ground. Within minutes, there was a lull that lasted at least 5 minutes... Just stand there and wait. I'm all ready committed to this. Luckily, the wind came back, but 90* from it's original direction. Then back. Then the other way... Well, at least I got some flying in. 
  9. RobB
    Winter isn't so bad here... I just wish the sun would come out more. 34* F and a 8mph breeze keeps most people away from the beach. I think I saw 5 people in the 3 hours I was there this morning. 3 hours of peace & quiet, enjoying the solid on-shore winds... I could've stayed longer but the urge to eat & find a bathroom won out in the end.  

    The Ultrafoil 15 got tied off to a memorial bench. I flew it nice & low so I could practice flying the Rev next to it. It's great fun to steal the wind from the SLK, watch it fall, then regain it's shape and soar up again.

    The other kites of the day... the SkyBurner XXL and Mid-Vent Rev. The mesh hasn't totally torn out on the Mid-vent, there might be a few more good flights in it before it gets retired to the repair pile.

    Still working on flying the Rev with one hand... not much progress in that, once I get too high, I freak out and have to land quickly.

    I get about this high, and have to land before getting too far out of control. I've been thinking about linking the handles together with a cross of some sort in order to make 1 handed flying easier... I wonder if that's been done all ready ?
  10. RobB
    I got a surprise in the mail early this Fall, a demo kite from a new builder, the Enigma. Sadly, I had very little time to fly this Fall, and when I did sneak out for a fly, the wind didn't cooperate. Well, that was until recently... I got out in some low wind and almost pulled out one of my favorite SULs, but figured I would see how the Enigma would perform in winds around 2mph. I was happily surprised to find myself flying pretty easily in those low winds, the Enigma just hung in there, seemingly defying gravity.
    I am looking forward to getting more time flying this kite, with only a couple hours on the lines so far, I am still learning it's inputs and haven't explored the many available adjustments. So far, predictable & stable are the words I would use to describe it... more later after I've flown it more !
  11. RobB
    Hey Everyone...
    Just starting this up, checking out this new feature on Kitelife.
    I haven't flown anywhere near as much as I would've liked this Fall, but had a few memorable outings. I caught up with one of our new members last weekend, Frank, who seems to have the Kite Bug really bad ! There wasn't really much wind to fly in, but we got a little air time. It was really good to see another enthusiast on my normally kite-free beaches !
    I got out Thanksgiving weekend as well, but for a little different kind of flying...

    Yup, some lazy flying after the Thanksgiving feast. Notice the red cup... Kite 'church' is not complete without sacrament ! Anyway, the big Delta looked pretty cool with the 75' Prism tail, flying low, almost touching the ground.
    Well... that's about all the flying to report for now, but I'm headed out to see if NOAA was correct in the 5-7mph east wind prediction... fingers crossed ! Oh, did I mention that it's 65*  & sunny in December ?   
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