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What are your current most rewarding indoor/outdoor “negligible” wind short line drills?


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What are you focusing on now? Which exercises or figures are you returning to? What is learned from them? A post of yours regarding a certain exercise might include (baked in) answers to a few of these questions:

  • What are you working on now/recently?
  • What did you learn and how did you do it?
  • What do you think your hands/body were doing (if you were successful)?
  • Why is it a good exercise for you?
  • What was the feeling? Come on don’t be shy – even the silliest comparison/analogy/image might talk to someone.
  • What were the necessary steps/skills/realizations before this exercise?
  • What kite and line length do you prefer to use for the drill?
  • What are the most favourable conditions to start out doing the exercise?
  • Are there any other exercises or context in any form of kiting where your recently gained wisdoms are applicable to, like medium wind kiting with longer lines or perhaps kiting with another number of lines?

If you didn’t post the exercise, but instead tried to follow the advice given, how did it go, are there any remaining question marks? Can something be described in another way? Perhaps you want to repeat an exercise suggestion, but in your way? It is fine to return to this topic if you realize something more about a drill/exercise half a year later or so, whether you originally posted the suggested exercise or not. 1, 2 or 4 lines are all fine, but consider to clarify if not obvious. Typically used line length?

Without knowing it, you might be holding a piece of somebody's puzzle or provide an exercise that unlocks another ability for someone. Expressing something for someone else clarifies it for yourself as well. Sing it out!!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • What are you working on now/recently?

Most recently for indoor quads it was getting consistent with reverse 360. You can see my posts here on the channel with this as my first video asking for help trying to unlock it back in February, and compare that with my entry in Windless 2021 this month, about ten months later. You'll notice that even though I've got a back injury in the recent Windless video, I can now transition into a reverse 360 from just about any orientation/position, and I can usually stay in it as long as I want, such as until I get dizzy. 

Currently I'm working on cementing and solidifying all my current indoor skills. I want to make the transition from "I can do it right" over to "I don't get it wrong". 

  • What did you learn and how did you do it?
  • What do you think your hands/body were doing (if you were successful)?

For the reverse 360, there were a three big keys.

The first was a "properly" adjusted sail. Even though I had earlier adjusted the kite per Watty's indoor modification guide of increasing tension and tuning bridles, I found this had a huge effect. Tighter leading edge tension made this easier, even tighter than my first adjustment attempts. Completely removing the lower leaders and lengthening the upper leaders was also essential for me.

The second was the feel of the indoor sail fully loading. This requires both a mix of foot power to put air in the sail, and hand position to ensure the lines are engaged. If the sail doesn't fully engage it won't stay in reverse. Consistently getting that initial air pressure load was a big challenge for me, it doesn't come for (mostly) free like it does outdoors. The kite's previous motion and momentum, the kite's speed and drag (how it is cutting through the air versus gliding through versus catching like a parachute), springiness on the leading edge spar, the air motion in the room, these are all sail loading inputs in addition to the pilot's motion. I cannot put into words how that sail loading actually feels, and each attempt is a unique combination of conditions requiring a different input.

The last was keeping that fully-loaded sail engaged the entire time. Too much foot power is wasted and can make the kite harder to control, too little and the kite drops. Keeping the kite balanced under load in reverse requires continuous adjustment. Trying to fly 360's reverse square to the ground is the easiest position, trying to maintain it at an angle is trickier, and I cannot describe it other than developing a feel for what motions and tensions cause the kite to depower.

In trying to overcome the difficulties I actually spent several outdoor sessions flying reverse side-to-side while being mindful of how different loads felt, how the different loads affected speed, and how different hand positions affected it.  I practiced flipping from forward flight to reverse flight in the same direction, and reversing direction. Even though all grip orientations work, because different people recommend different things I learned to fly in all the grips from a strict up/down handle orientation, a 45' grip, 90' grip, T-shape grip, all the way out to a more flailing 'freestyle' motion, and at different heights. I experimented with flying in all of them (which also helped me fly outdoor) to gain a physical feeling and better intellectual understanding.

It took a lot to unlock this, but I learned a ton in the process.



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15 hours ago, frob said:

I think that your windless video gives a very relaxed effortless impression that plays well with the soft music. Smoooth!!

15 hours ago, frob said:

I cannot put into words how that sail loading actually feels...

Agree on feeling the pressure when backing the kite is important – Comment aimed at breaking the silly-analogy-barrier of the initial post: I for some reason at an early stage of indoor piloting imagined the backing kite being a slowly moving powerful locomotive.

15 hours ago, frob said:

Even though I had earlier adjusted the kite per Watty's indoor modification guide of increasing tension and tuning bridles, I found this had a huge effect.

Also did the “Watty adjustments” at an early stage. I can’t compare/remember/refer to how it was before them because I knew too little no wind piloting at the time after the first few sessions. I think initially, the first sessions, everything goes wrong no matter what the adjustments. So therefore I wonder what are the effects of increasing the tension of the LE? Easier to reverse the kite and more?

15 hours ago, frob said:

In trying to overcome the difficulties I actually spent several outdoor sessions flying reverse side-to-side while being mindful of how different loads felt...

That’s nice when gaining experience by transferring drills to other circumstances. Yesterday I went the other way and tried an no wind “mini-figure” on 25m lines (82ft) using and 1.5 B-series mid vent. Since the context was so different the mini-figure turned out to be more difficult than expected (and therefore good as an exercise). When switching to 15m lines (49ft) it felt more familiar and was easier again.

I think it is worth mentioning in the context of reversed 360-ies how to initiate reverse flight by turning upwards from horizontal flying to having the LE horizontally and then start the backing downwards first. A variation of the theme (as displayed in the video) is to fly horizontally forwards and then change direction while just maintaining the orientation of the kite.

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Regarding the tension mods... 

As shipped the kite had almost no tension. The leading edge was completely slack, and the verticals had only the slightest tension.

My tension increase on the verticals requires a bit of leverage to install them. After the second round, putting endcaps on the leading edge now requires a significant ark (maybe 15-20 degrees) to get the slack to slip it on. Now the sail is taut even at rest. 

The effects are dramatic. In order to fly there must be tension on the sail. For a loose sail you must be supplying effort not just to keep it moving, but also to keep it tight. When you drop pressure the leading edge recoils a bit requiring a burst of extra energy to recover and get back flying. You can do it, but it takes more power so subtlety is out. This gives a burst flying effect, which matches what happens when you first fly: big tug, stall, tug, stall, versus low continuous pressure. 

I also have 1/4" internal diameter nylon tubing over the lower endcaps so it stays put on the ground. I replace the little nylon nub occasionally, just a half inch or inch of tube. Without anything it will slide around on the gym floor. It needs something to give traction as the stock caps are slippery on hard floors. 

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Just be careful not to overdo any adjustments. You want the sail smooth, but don't introduce any new wrinkles. Usually you work to remove horizontal wrinkles and not add any vertical ones. Overdoing adjustments will put undo strain on your sail. 

Besides caps or tubing on the verts, may I suggest one more thing. I added a piece of insignia tape over the holes punched into the sail where the bunji goes. Keeps them from pulling through or elongating the holes.


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Would this be tight enough? I have arranged the light (left right) so that crests/folds should be more visible:


I’m a bit lost here - what tension should I expect to be the best for a no/low wind kite? Losing contact with the sail by too much slack obviously doesn’t sound good for the control. On the other side the sails on yachts and low speed (thin) airfoils typically got a camber towards the LE. Shouldn’t reducing the tension create more billow/camber and therefore function more efficiently as a wing? Is a camber formed by the LE flexing (by tensioning by bungee pre-tensioning or by tugging the lines) or could it instead be sewn into the sail? Two (non-QLK) kites with a billow that stands out are: the Speedwing (pulls much) and the Kymera (the wind window feels wider than my other DLKs).

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Looks tight enough to me.Tightening the LE bungees actually creates that billow you want. A straight LE leaves the sail flat and tends to "slide" thru the air, not trapping any air. Almost every factory kite needs this slight adjustment to the LE. Just don't introduce any vertical wrinkles, good sign of overtightening...

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Speeding the kite up – not yourself so much, while focusing on the pressure

This exercise is about finding the handle angle/adjustment when the kite functions like an efficient wing moving forward with a high glide ratio (I’d guess) by maximizing the pressure you feel in your hands. This is essential for no/low wind powered flight with tight lines both when traveling in a straight path (forwards and backwards) or during various turns of the kite (thus exceptions are: ground gaining glides, catches&throws, hovers, axels…). The exercise is also good as a session warning up exercise as a preparation for the turns, figures and start and stops of the session. Without a basic ability to fly the quad as an efficient moving wing generating lift, no-wind kiting is not so fun in the long run, very exhausting and offer mostly poor control.


How to start out doing this exercise

“Zoom around” with the kite doing no specific figures, but keep the kite going forward constantly. Leave the sharp turns and starts and stops to later. Adjust the angle of the handles by applying maximum brake until, but not beyond the point when the speed forwards would drop. Focus on the pressure that you now get in your hands – both when going straight forward and in turns. Try to maintain a constant pressure both by moving around on the ground and by using your arms. Test that you are at the maximum pressure for various kite speeds) e.g. by making the tiniest adjustments in the pressure of your ring fingers e.g.


Then compare propelling the kite with constant velocity and by cyclic tugging of the lines (“leaping mode”)

You (and your hands) moving away from the kite in the direction of the lines is what counts as a motor source. After a while, do single or series of light tugs (like one every second) on all four lines without (intending) changing the angle of the handles (much). When I looking carefully what happens here, the trailing edge *and* the down spars actually flexes out slightly when tugging on all four lines. The small corresponding tilting of the handle when tugging is a natural effect of holding the handles as close to the top leader as possible. Feel and observe the response in the sail/lines with the kite heading in various directions.

Added 6th of February-2021: Don’t be afraid to also cause the LE to flex rather much when tugging. It is kind of a receipt of that you are doing well. (always pulling softly on the lines is like playing the piano with certain keys removed)


Getting the kite moving so that it can function as a wing

With the kite travelling parallel to the ground as when doing 360ies (or when initiating forward horizontal movement): If the kite is not moving forward enough (to function well as a wing), briefly let go of the trailing edge just a fraction to get to get it moving (and/or make a light short tug on the lines). The input is much like the input than you do on one side in a minor course correction (e.g. when going parallel and close to the ground). Instead of very lightly releasing of the brake on the one side you want to bring forward, now release brakes on both sides briefly (like 0.5s). Before the kite is going forwards you need to be backing a bit faster from the kite.


If on longer lines, also use the upper parts of the “wind” half-sphere window

While at it moving yourself around, let the kite be (and remain) in places where you don’t tend to position it so frequently otherwise. I have a tendency in almost all forms of dual and quad kiting to be closer to the ground (looking horizontally is more comfortable than looking upwards). Though for the (short) 4.6m (15ft) lines, the zenith (top of sphere) is easy to reach and space so limited, that this “kite is close to ground tendency” is less pronounced. Getting used to being high up is also useful for getting up and overs on the 8.2m (27ft) lines that will not drive my hands too low towards the ground.


I most often use the the Rev Indoor for no/low wind doing street kiting on 8.2m 40kg lines (27ft 88pound) . Sometimes I use the Rev B-series 1.5 std when no/low wind street kiting, but not for any long sessions. At least when starting with the “finding the pressure exercise”, the Rev Indoor provides the most obvious pressure (variations) feedback (because being an indoor kite I suppose). On the other hand the Rev 1.5 std gives much more physical exercise in low wind.

Ok, this post was a bit lengthy, but there are many aspects of the brake heavy efficient use of the sail. This is applicable to most things you’ll doing during the session.

Edited by Exult
Added opinions about occasionally tugging harder on the lines.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Learning to control the powered state by light wind

The “powered control” during “pulsed mode forward flight” tugging (as discussed in the previous post) on the lines can also be approached from a different direction. As a believer in approaching learning from many directions, contexts, conditions and kites I can see a value in piloting the Rev Indoor also in (quite) light wind, making it just slightly over powered (giving a lump-of-butter-in-the-frying-pan feeling of little-input-in-much-output-out, but still hopefully in control). You can then get used to this powered state of the Rev Indoor without needing to focus on pumping the kite/tugging on the lines.

The “light wind” I refer to here doesn’t make 360ies close to the ground difficult, but is enough to bend the Rev Indoor LE when flying forwards a bit up from the ground. So the next time these low wind conditions are offered, don’t curse them for not being proper indoor conditions, instead rejoice that you now can practice this aspect of kite piloting – beneficial both for indoor and (std) outdoor quad-line kiting.

I’ve heard expressions like "flying brake heavy", "load the sail" (

) or "feeling the pressure". The latest expression I’ve heard is “flying on brakes” on a power kiting forum ( https://kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2401189  :

What it means is to generate the maximum power from that kite you have to keep some pressure on the brake lines.”         (more than only to avoid trailing edge fluttering I would believe).

There is no separate set of laws of nature for an indoor kite, just the requirement that you must be a little more efficient in the usage of the wind (that you in this case mostly generate yourself). I sense a similarity here, both for power and indoor kiting the kite should generate pull (and/or make efficient use of the wing) and is most often moving forward. Artistic hovers – not so much in either discipline. However in no/low wind the conditions around the (indoor) kite will rapidly change with your tugging the lines and changing tempo/power input and of course you need to constantly compensate for this.

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Wing pivot circle + 180 deg team/down turn – repeat, repeat, repeat...

A figure to learn by cycling through it again and again...


The Pre-drill  - Just Going Back and Forth Left to Right...

A “pre-drill” is just to go horizontally left-right-left and turning by doing 180 deg down turns ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD1JAGY06ZE&feature=youtu.be ). Not so horizontal straight paths? - Just keep going! Happened to come close the limit of the available area (edge of the “field” or parking or a wall)? - Adjust the length of the horizontal paths/and position of the 180deg turns so that you can return (yourself) to the centre of the available area.


Adding the Wing Tip Pivot Circle

Since this figure repeats, reaching the “five repetitions” doesn’t take a very long time.

Next add the wing pivot circle between the two 180deg turns. The centre of the added circle should be the top wing tip (of the horizontal path) ideally. Pull lower/outer wing forward without changing the handle angle much – just let the the lower half trailing edge out the slightest. When you have just started the upwards turn of the circle a little, add some pressure on both left and right handle to sort of lift the kite through the going upwards part of the circle. Kind of just lifting the kite over the top of the circle.

If needed to get up more from the ground, deform the circle so that the going up part becomes a bit longer (larger radius) by making the pull on both sides more similar. Set the goal to (after many sessions?) be able to also do the figure quickly, snappy, precisely and feeling the pull from your efficient drive of the kite. Of course the circle can be replaced with a square, rhomb, etc... as a variation.

Personally I now work with the speed/snappiness and making a quick horizontal exit from the circle. Then when going left to right, for some reason, I tend to deviate somewhat upwards at the end of the circle. What do you think is the most challenging part of this exercise?

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On 2/19/2021 at 11:39 AM, Exult said:


There is no separate set of laws of nature for an indoor kite, just the requirement that you must be a little more efficient in the usage of the wind (that you in this case mostly generate yourself). 


Interested in the idea of flying the indoor rev outdoors as a means of extending opportunities to fly into a wider range of conditions. So am appreciating thoughts and comments which encourage this as a future possibility for me (indoors itself I have not explored and I am unlikely to acquire a kite for that purpose alone. Although I have not ruled it out.)

Much of this stuff is over my head (so to speak) but it is fun and instructive to try and follow.

Carry on...


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