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ACrop

Small breakthroughs

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I was flying on Friday, good mostly steady light winds and had 2 break throughs- one accidental and one just a click.

First I was playing at the outer wind window edges when I pushed too far as the wind died a tad - and suddenly my kite stalled directly overhead and started falling at me from 80' up. I had a string of thoughts "I should catch it, I know it can be done, I hope it doesn't hurt- that is silly it is a light kite, dang it is falling fast, oh sh*t it is now or never....." And suddenly it was in my hand. A feeling of silly disbelief settled in as I watched the lines settle to the grass. My first catch, had not even achieved that on 30' lines.

Later, when the wind calmed more I was trying the inverted glide forward for field recovery. My inverted glide forward has been inefficient and wobbly at best. Well this time a line from JBs light wind article came to my head like a whisper from Obi Wan to Luke:

JB: "However, when executed properly, I can gain even more field than with a dual line kite, as much as 100-300 feet of field in a single jog!"

I don't know why but the word jog struck me hard and so I tried jogging forward. The inverted kite glided forward as smooth as could be, without a wobble or bobble. I would have thought that the less controlled inputs from my jogging hands would have been a problem, but I think that the speed let the kite drift in front on slack lines. I made up 2-3x the ground that I have ever made before more smoothly than ever.

Hope it works next time and was not just a fluke....

Life is good because there is always something left to amaze you if you just find time to be amazed.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using KiteLife mobile app

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Way to go! Progress for sure!

I also went out late Friday for about 90 minutes, but unlike you, I didn't learn a thing! And believe me, I still have a lot to learn! It was a fantastic day, windy and a high of 73 degrees. I figured it would probably be the last really nice day until spring. I did get a chance to fly a new kite however (briefly). I picked up my grandson right after school and helped him with the kite I gave him for his birthday, a Prism Quantum. I really liked it.... I may have to put that on my Christmas list. I really should have spent the whole day trying to improve my kite flying skills but spent most of the day in my workshop working on another project (building a new welding table). I love flying kites but i'm not a hard core flier like many on this forum, I just have too darned many interests! The week before I built a small LP gas fired forge because i'd like to try my hand at blacksmithing / knife-making. Some days there just aren't enough hours in the day.

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Those "aha" moments are memorable, aren't they? Sometimes, they are difficult to repeat until later, but once you've done it, either intentional or accidentally, you have that satisfying feeling of accomplishment -- and that's what anything you do is all about. 

I had many, many hobbies when I was younger, and like Steve, tried to fit them all into the little spare time I had. My advice is to whittle them down to only the ones that leave a huge smile on your face.

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Flew again today and the forward glide was not a fluke! I could glide forward smoothly inverted. Happy wiggle.

However, catching the kite is proving hard, even on 30' lines. I don't seem to have. A knack for telling where it will fall. I never was good at catching pop flies.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using KiteLife mobile app

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Don't feel bad - I was a pretty good ball player, but after my stroke - no good , no more! I can throw no problem, catching is at best a sometimes thing! Only time it is reasonably reliable is indoors where I can control it more.

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Heck, if I could only have one of the two skills I would choose the one that takes me back up the field any day over the skill that lands me relaunching.

I only get a nice throw launch every now and then. The geese have found my flying field recently. They are providing extra incentive for me to keep the sail off the ground. Lots of green incentives that are not monetary.

When I do a thrown launch it always seems to launch leading edge down and catches wind pretty close to the ground, on 30' lines. That doesn't leave much airspace to catch myself before plowing into the ground. Am I doing something wrong?

Sent from my Nexus 5X using KiteLife mobile app

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10 hours ago, ACrop said:

However, catching the kite is proving hard, even on 30' lines. I don't seem to have. A knack for telling where it will fall. I never was good at catching pop flies.

The kite goes wherever it is pointing when you pull the lines unless the wind pushes it around on the way back to you

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I'm sure you are throwing it like a javelin and by the tip of the LE. It usually does end inverted, how close to earth is a function of how hard you throw. It does take some practice to get use to the amount of force needed. I've seen both young and old, succeed and fail in this. Once you get the motions down, it's just consistency after that. And like Paul said - lines get longer and you start over again! ;)

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It will take a bit longer to reach the end of the lines and give the kite a different trajectory if you angle the throw slightly more upwards than you are now. Play with it. Eventually you will begin to notice a difference in the optimum angle and amount of force for the throw depending on length of lines and wind speed, and the "effect" you wish to achieve: flat and fast for a quick dramatic stop, or a long and graceful arc and a smooth slow stop.

In some of my frames I have installed fishing sinkers, 3/16-ounce lead split-shot, one per bottom tip of each upright. This does two things. It gives the kite a longer and flatter glide away from you when recovering ground, and additional mass for throwing on longer lines (I prefer 40' or 50' for short lines). And actually -- this just came to mind -- there is a third thing it improves, and that is how flat and far around axels will move. You can pull doubles with a single hit, especially with UL kites in very low wind, on 50# lines.

Keep playing with changing things up a bit once you develop some consistency and note the difference it makes. Each variation can be useful in different conditions....your mileage WILL vary.

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