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Fade to Backspin


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Maybe its me, or the widow, but I can't seem to A) get my widow to hold a fade, and B) get a damn backspin!

I had the principle of the backspin down, and was getting use to the sweeping pull (and pulling off a few here and there), but now I can't seem to get it. I know its got to do with my fade position, but thats the hard thing here -- my Quantum can hold a steady fade better than my Widow. The Widow - when popped into a fade from a flare - just wants to "over fade" and bang! Starts with the flic flac'in... I'm minding the slack the best I can, but its so touchy, that it just wants to recover. I've tried a fade from an axel, but thats a little harder to achieve in the middle of the window, so Im stuck pulling those off closer to the edge, which messes with my backspin as well.

Time for another lesson John. lol

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Went out this morning with T's genesis UL (so..in...love...with...that...kite...) and worked on fades.

I figured out that the problem is with the wind intensity and my slack. After playing around with the UL, I moved to the Widow, and was able to more accurately sense the inputs and slack. The winds were around 6-10Mph. I pulled off a backspin accidentally (attempting to recover from a flic flack in the fade position). When I made me last fade on the flic flack and attempted to recover, my fade was severely cocked, and wham-o -- a backspin.

SO..... I just need to practice fades over and over and over and over until I can hold them steady in heavier winds -- THEN..... work on precisely getting the kite to an 'off-horizontal' fade, over and over,,, and over and over,,, and,,, well,, you know......

maybe I'll give this a break and work on cascades before I lose it.


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LOL - love the wax-on...wax-off!!!

One of the biggest hurdles for me when learning the fade was how I was putting the kite into the fade. Fade launch was the most difficult for me as the kite would rotate into the fade and I could never hold it. I would pop it up and have to do a half rotate and flip it into flight because if I tried to hold it in the fade for any length of time the kite would either be too deep in the fade and see-saw back and nose plant or be sideways and well...walk of shame. To get a rising fade was impossible and I realized that it was computer generated and nothing more than trickery...ok....that was before I had the beacon of light go off one day.

How I learned to do the fade launch is that I was "Popping" the kite off the ground and into the fade. Real easy right...set the kite up belly down, nose away, tight lines and give both hands a good firm pop, throw tons of slack and let it rotate....NOPE.

The issue was in my POP! I discovered it isn't really a violent pop at all but more like a smooth - almost slow - stroke. I needed to slowly and gracefully "Coax" the kite off the ground into the fade instead of "popping" it off the ground. The movement is more like a smooth sweeping stroke and as soon as the kite backs up off the ground, give slack and then CATCH! The fade launch is very smooth and fluid, no sharp pop like pulls at all. A smooth stroke will bring the kite up very controlled and allow you to catch the kite with the lines instead of violently snapping the kite off the ground and - GIVING THE KITE SO MUCH SPEED IN THE ROTATION THAT IT FLIPS INTO A VERY DEEP FADE - when you try to "catch" the kite while it does this, it just yanks the kite back into a flic-flac and you have no control.

My hand movements is like this:

Hands slightly in front of my sides, lines tight, kite set up on the ground for the fade launch.

Smoothly sweep my hands back so that the kite coaxes easily off the ground

Once the kite starts to lift, sweep my hands back out in front of me and lean forward, hands stretched out in front pretty far

As the kite starts to flip into the fade, hands come together about an inch apart from each other and come straight back to my chest to catch the kite in the fade

I move my body (usually backwards) to keep the kite in the fade or make it rise.

**the whole procedure is almost like making two sweeping circles with your hands, one circle down to your sides, the other circle out in front and ending up at your chest**

For a backspin, take the lower wing and give a firm "Lawnmower" type stroke while throwing slack at the other line.

The same goes for the Axle to Fade, it isn't really a sharp snapping pop but more of a coax into the fade position. Once you can "catch" the kite in the fade and have it controlled, just "lawnmower tug" the low wing and you have a backspin. The secret is catching the kite in the fade... Short lawnmower tug and the kite goes into a half rotation and starts the Jacobs Ladder. Just pop the kite back over and then another short lawnmower tug and you have the full Jacobs. B)

Hope this helps you out and that I described it in a way that makes sense.

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Definitely helps. Thanks for the description. B)

The thing I need to really work on is the uneven fade position. I go to get it in that position, and all of a sudden my anxiety level goes from 1 to 11, and I forget how to use my hands -- forget that my left is my right, and right is left -- forget to tug the low wing -- forget which hand is in control of the low wing, forget the lawnmower sweep. I think you get the picture. lol I think that because its a trick that needs to be executed within 1 second or less (being as the uneven fade is not something you can hold steady), I get a little ahead of myself and mess it up every time.

Remember the movie "Groundhog Day"? Baby steps!! lol

My mind works a little wierd when I get into complex situations. It kind of shuts down, and runs on instinct. Thats not good for when I am learning new tricks that have multiple variables to take into account -- takes me a little longer than usual to memorize movements, and make them 2nd nature.

Same thing goes with the Cascade. Looks a lot easier than it is accomplished for me. Half axels? easy peazy lemon squeezy, but to link them together?? Thats a sequence that I will be learning for months to come.

Some tricks (like the Cascade) I feel I could accomplish better by watching someone in real life do them, and others (like backspins) I know myself that I'm my best teacher, and I'll have to suffer through the motions til I grasp them.

I'll most certainly take that advice you gave to the field. Thats what happens most the time, the fade rocks into a flic flac. With the Widow especially, its a VERRRRY subtle input kite, and Im just giving too much juice with my movements. I think that also having a wrist brace on (strained my wrist at work) is having a little to do with it. Screwing with my chi -- my balance. lol

Thanks m8. :)


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I hope it helps you out. To get it to work and get the feel, first try the fade launch but instead of trying to do the trick full on, try your "baby steps" and see just how light of a hand you can get the trick to work. Start out with so little hand movement that there is no way the kite will flip, then try a little more, then a little more until you figure out the absolute least amount of pull (coaxing - line sweeping) needed for the kite to flip off the ground and into the fade. I think when you find this "LEAST" amount setting, the fade launch will be done and you will have a perfect fade launch.

This is best done in the lightest of winds and in the center of the window. If done in strong winds then you take the chance of getting the kite into a half fade and driving it nose first into the ground. It isn't 'that' bad because the kite will be going so slow and be so close to the ground (and your movement will be so soft) that the kite should have minimal speed and not do any damage at all....but still, best to practice this in lighter winds until you get it figured out.

Let us all know how it goes for you. Best of luck.

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Bridle design of the Widow is definitely different than the lvl one Genesis. The Widow doesnt catch the fade as well as the Genesis. Lighter winds are key though, thats for sure. Im just gonna lay off the backspin till my fades are 127% perfect. I think by that time I will have earned enough to buy a competition class kite.

<-- Will paint your house for kite money!

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If it weren't such a hassle to get out there I'd be out there a hell of a lot more often than I am. lol Traffic, coming from Oregon City, is not the greatest most the time. That and I drive a Jeep which gets 15Mpg if Im lucky. lol

I think after my wedding (July 3rd) Im going to make getting out to Delta pk a weekly thing. Most likely Sundays.


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I think I asked you this on another forum but dont remember... Are you flying your widow with the weight? I took the weight off mine and its still plenty pitchy for really tight, fast, rollups. Removing the weight makes it a bit less touchy. My opinion is you're just hitting it too hard, and as Kent said, probably popping more than sweeping. Now here's an alternative to the one wing low BS entry: from a stable fade, just let one wing back a few inches by gently moving one hand toward the kite. Once the wing is back a bit pull for the backspin with the same hand. Its a great setup for a BS and makes a very pretty rotation. I always use this setup on kites like my Nirvana, or QP. Nice too, becasue you can establish your fade, take a couple of breaths and then enter the backspin. Anyway, its what works for me. Best of luck!


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Hey Dave. I have taken the tail weight off. :) In fact, I rarely, if ever (save high winds) put it on. I find it too heavy in general.

What I did do, was replace the nock end ferrules with hollow core ferrules. saved about 2 grams per side. That has helped considerably with oversteer.

Next I am replacing the ferrule at the base of the spine with a hollow core as well. My hope is that it will balance out the kite. If it knocks the balance out of whack, I was thinking of grabbing (or making) some 1 gram weights to attach to the tail section around the ferrule to compensate.

Also yes, I was making my inputs way to large. I've been noticing that the more I fly. I've been working on my push turns, from 90 degree turns to 45 degree turns. I'm getting better (and getting use to) locking in those turns, but there is still some oversteer/tracking issues, even when my inputs are lessened. So really, the last thing to try is the tail section ferrule, and I think that'll be all of my modifications to the Widow. It'll just be a matter of getting use to the way she flies after that.

Then,, practice practice practice practice practice... :kid_drool:


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