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Steve702

Choppy wind tips

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First time quad line flyer as of this morning. Went with the EXP as it seemed ready to take a beating and figured it would spend a good amount of time meeting the ground at various speeds - an expectation I met regularly. That said, I had an absolute blast!

 

We get decent summer wind in Vegas, but even in the most open of areas it can be really choppy at times. Today it was gusting to what I’m guessing was 12-15 mph, and then almost completely drops off for 1-2 minutes at a time. Outside of just moving to the coast, any pro-tips for a quad nooby who is likely to have this be my regular wind conditions?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

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Maybe drive over to the dry lake beds or try flying on the edge of lake mead. Could take a while to figure lake mead, but could have a constant breeze in one direction as the sun hits the lake. I live inland, but learn 10x as fast when in perfect  conditions at the coast. Might have to be at the boat lauch below the haicenda at dawn and see what happens. Google wind forcasts for your area to find how the wind works there.  You live near the biggest canyon in the world, the wind should move up and down it with some consistently. Think you could have great winds there you just need to time it right. 

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I live in the Chicago area -- "The Windy City"! Unfortunately, that's a reference to its politics and not the weather. Really, Google it. The wind we do get is at best inconsistent away from Lake Michigan, and most of the time is choppy just as yours is. This is the wind I learned in. 

The best advice I can give you is to embrace it and learn to fly well in it, for when you fly afterwards with others in decent wind you will look like a pro. If you can fly in bad wind the good wind becomes very easy. It will help teach you how to stay airborne when most others are grounded. It may take a bit longer to learn, but you will be much better for it, and the satisfaction is much greater when you do fly in good wind. 

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I live in Phoenix, and I suspect we get a lot of the same type of wind.  First of all...

2 hours ago, makatakam said:

The best advice I can give you is to embrace it and learn to fly well in it,

this is exactly right - the more you just get out there and fly, even if the wind's not great, the better you will become, and then the not-so-great wind is much less of an issue.

Specifically, there are two big things I've come to embrace.  First, even on a good wind day, you can get long periods of almost no wind.  At my level, I have two distinct types of flying - one where there's enough wind to provide a little tension in the lines while I'm standing (mostly) still.  Now I can hover in all directions, fly in reverse, work on spins, clockwork, etc.  Then there's "light wind flying" - when there's not enough wind for all that stuff and I'm having to work to keep the kite flying.  JB's tutorial on light wind flying is awesome and made a big difference in my attitude - http://kitelife.com/forum/files/file/633-rev-tutorial-light-wind-flying/.  In the past, when the wind dropped, I'd stubbornly try to fly the wind I didn't have.  That just led to a lot of getting hot and irritated.  Nowadays I keep an open mind about what sort of session I'm going to have - I always have two sets of things I want to practice.  When the wind changes modes, I change practice modes and just go with it.

Second, don't get locked in to "the wind is coming from THAT direction, so the center of my wind window is in THIS direction".  The wind changes direction at least as often as it changes speed.  For me, it was important to recognize just how often that happens, to learn to feel it in the kite, and to shift with it.  Early on, I'd find myself subconsciously trying to "force" the window to be where it was when I first set up and wondering why my kite just dropped out of the sky.  Sounds stupid, I know... maybe it's the engineer in me.

I hope that helps.

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If your in Vegas, check out new silverbowl park. That’s where everyone in Vegas flies, usually on Friday nights. Next suggestion is to get a lighter frame like a 2 wrap. Vegas winds are regularly 5or lower so you have to gear for lighter wind.


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I made it out to the silver bowl parks a few times shortly after moving back, and on fridays,which I had heard about from A Wind of Change - before they left for Utah :(
Struck out a number of times, and then life got busy with kids and, well, life. Just now getting back into flying and have been meaning to make it back out there.


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I’ll definitely have to check out that light wind tutorial. I was already feeling that same frustration that you described - which seemed counterproductive to the whole idea of flying for fun and relaxation!
Thanks!



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I second the suggestion of getting a 2-wrap frame for light wind.  I'll also add that 50# line is helpful too (at least it seems that way to me 😁).  With the lighter frame, though, you'll want to sit out the heavy wind gusts by heading to the edges of the window.

If you aren't already using extended top leaders, you'll soon want to.  It seems counterintuitive that using less "forward drive" would be a good thing in light wind, but it's true.  There's an excellent discussion of the topic here: 

 

 

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