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6 hours ago, Twin Roses said:

but rather walking in and giving slack when faced with a potential crash.  Science-wise, that totally makes sense, but I'm sure my instinct will be to pull.  Thanks for the heads-up on that one, will try to get that ingrained

One thing I found helpful was to walk toward the kite when the nose was pointing down. When flying shapes, this slows the kite down. You'll be walking toward the kite a lot- slides, snap stalls, gaining ground in lighter winds, landings(planned and unplanned), and tricks(intentional and unintentional).

I would suggest that you search Youtube for videos on ground recovery. Knowing how to cartwheel will add to your flying time.  

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Remember that if you want to fly together at the same time, you should have identical equipment. Different kites move at different speeds in the same wind and will encompass a different sized wind win

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