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Brad Morris

Spin vrs Bicycle Question

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Have only been flying a few months but I am flying alot (Thanks to Coronavirus!). I joined the REV38 club to help me focus when I am out flying. I am on level 3 which has me doing 2 CCW, slide across the window and then 2 CW spins. Here's my problem. I am not able to keep the kite "level" when doing those spins. I loose altitude. A little the first rev and much the second rev. Yes, the more the wind the less loss but should I be loosing any? As I read I am hearing everyone just using the thumb and holding it in there, maybe starting up just a bit first but Its not working for me. I can do the bicycle fairly well and keep it in the same altitude but for that I am using thumbs, brake and arms. Am I expecting too much when doing spins? I have no one to fly with and watch or ask questions so sorry in advance!!

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Practice 180 degree turns one inch above the ground,

you're after "raising(backing up) the bottom wing" instead of driving the top wing forward. 

When this is second nature and you don't think about it, your turns or spins will never descend ever again

driving the top wing forward is a two string technique, used to power back towards the center of the wind window, quads need no such assistance, remember your practice sessions, an inch above the ground?

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The way that spin is presented in Level 3 will always cause you to lose some altitude, especially out on the edge of the window as in that Level 3 pattern.  It's presented as being just wrist motion, but there's got to be some arm motion (i.e. "bicycle") to really keep the spin in place.  Just do that.

The only way that spin works as presented is if you really snap it hard, let the kite float through the spin, and catch it when you're ready to stop.  That will work, and you can get good at it, but it's based more on hope than control.  I prefer to learn the control.

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Agreed. He teaches it along with his "snap spin" done exclusively with the wrists and done quickly. That motion will always cause a drop, with a greater drop the slower you do it.

I tried working through his steps, but on level four threw it away. Joe did a great thing as a designer 35 years ago and was a great pilot, still good at it, but his skill is better as a salesman than an instructor. Collectively we need more educational training, and step by step is good, but those instructions are lacking. 

The bicycle is a continuous transition. You need to be comfortable holding the kite in any orientation, and then learn to transition between them. The bicycle turn can then be taken as slowly as you want, transitioning from one hovering orientation to the next.

It is more like pedaling and bike which I believe is where the name comes from. Just like pedals require large motion in knees and hips, slow bicycle turns require motion in shoulders and elbows. At the left facing and right facing direction one arm should be drawn back and the other extended. For me in most wind the upper side is drawn back near my elbow or even behind it, then pushed back out and on the other end of rotation, my opposite hand is back by the elbow. Done slowly it is a big body motion. Done quickly it might be a small distance back to the wrist or forearm, but certainly is not the twist of the wrist the video describes. 

 

Just watched that clip again and shuddered at at.  Calls it "multispins", done entirely with the wrist, stating you do an aggressive 3/4 spin and let momentum carry it through the turn. He also says the motion requires strong wind and needs a vertical pop to stay up (0:30, and 0:55) warning if you don't have both strong winds and a quick pop to stay up it will fall.  I also noticed he mostly shows his hands but doesn't show the kite.  In the few moments he does show the kite, 0:40-0:41, 0:48-0:50, and 1:03-1:05 there is a SIGNIFICANT drop in the air.  He describes it as doing the spins QUICKLY and relying on momentum to keep the kite up, then correcting to recover and regain altitude.  

Here is an old (free) article with a video near the bottom, notice the arm motion is fully to the elbow in order to maintain height at the left-facing and right-facing positions. And here is the (paid) tutorial from this site, that breaks it down in turns of hover to hover to hover, again showing large motion of the arms. In contrast, all these instructions say to go SLOWLY, as slow as you need, to maintain a solid hover at every position. Instead of using speed and momentum to rush through, they recommend first mastering a hover in any direction. Own your hover.

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21 hours ago, frob said:

That motion will always cause a drop, with a greater drop the slower you do it.

Exactly. 

On 5/19/2020 at 9:51 PM, Brad Morris said:

I am not able to keep the kite "level" when doing those spins.

I should have said this before, but I went through the exact same thing as you on that level 3 pattern.  I decided I wasn't happy with the spin as he described it, so I went with more of a bicycle.  Like @frob, I dropped the whole thing soon after that.  That said, I saw your Level 3 video - you used some arm motion after all and did pretty well.  30 foot lines will make that one pretty tough at first.

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Thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciated it. Ended up putting in a bit of bicycling but tried not to. In the end he did not “dock” me for it so ... onward! Stay tuned, I am sure there will be more questions! 

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With the bicycle or traveling bicycle, you need to have top hand in "archers stance' as a reflex not as a thought. The traveling bicycle is a dance, a combination of arms and legs to keep the kite powered up thru out the cycle. I akin it the breast stroke, just keeping the kite above the water level. Reverse spins with just enough brake to keep it level. As your upper trailing wing passes through the top of the window, scoop just enough wind to bump the wing over the level. Scoop, release , repeat.  Your paddling the kite on the threshold of rising or falling.The move is much more like a white water kayak stroke than anything in bicycling. To do them slow you need steady wind and brake the top hand through the rotation. Or you can jam through, flying the leading edge forward with sharp brake inputs which never ends up looking good. Longer lines help,my traveling on 120's is way better than on 30's.

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I find it very interesting how each of you have a different perspective on the bicycle, describing it slightly different but with the same result.  I am finding it is little things that make the difference. Each one has helped me. Thank You! Wish I could have one of you standing next to me for about an hour. Would probably save me a month of practice!!!! (BUT.... I do enjoy the practice!)

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58 minutes ago, Brad Morris said:

I find it very interesting how each of you have a different perspective on the bicycle, describing it slightly different but with the same result.  I am finding it is little things that make the difference. Each one has helped me. Thank You! Wish I could have one of you standing next to me for about an hour. Would probably save me a month of practice!!!! (BUT.... I do enjoy the practice!)

Exactly!!! What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for everyone. Use what works for you!

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we all "steal" from each other, those that are best at most things spend the most time working on it or around others doing so.

I'm a good flyer in crap conditions 'cause we have 'em more other than most people. (the weather forecast for instance? Take that offered wind reading and divide it by THREE for the local area)

I know good technique in construction 'cause I'm surrounded by impressive builders, even though it's too much time commitment for me, doesn't mean my bride isn't willing to pay someone to do it my way if requested.

Fly with the masters and see what you can incorporate as your own, '..... yeah it won't look like "theirs" for years, maybe e never!  But it ain't NASCAR, nobody is hiding anything (under a tarp except Lam!).  They show you how to do it, offer their device for you to try and encourage you towards your own flavor of success.

Figuring it out on. your own is cool, but seeing it done perfectly right in front of you is okay too.  We learn differently just as instructions are given differently towards the same goal.

Nothing beats practice hours, but if you only did so under the watchful eyes of a master?,...  in a couple of months you'd be completely unrecognizable!

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