Who/What Has Inspired You to Fly?
Posted by bartman, 22 July 2010 · 302 views
Was it something or someone that got you into this Revolution obsession or did you pick it up on your own and just love it? Let's hear your story!
My story was long in the making with my initial exposure to the Rev based strictly on seeing an ad in some magazine (maybe Kitelines?) when I was still flurting with my short lived interest in dual line kites. A four line kite sounded interesting so without much thought I ordered a black and lime Rev I. Seems to me it had 90 foot lines that seemed as thick as nylon rope compared to what is used today.
This was all back in the days before the Internet was in widespread use so the only regular kiting information I would receive came from magazines or books I could find on the subject. Getting any kind of personal help with learning to fly, while living in the middle of no where, was an impossibility. If I couldn't cypher it from what I read it didn't happen with the kite. Sadly, this lead to general frustration and between that, life getting in the way of life and other interests consuming all my time the Rev I was shelved.
Flash forward to 2006 (yes it really was a long dry spell) to the Windscape Kite Festival held here. One of the celebrity flyers had a Rev and he was doing some pretty cool stuff. I think it may have been Lam Hoac, but I was only at the festival for a couple hours and I don't even know if I brought a kite along. I was impressed, but was still heavily involved in other interests to do anything about it.
Then in 2007 I saw an article in the local paper regarding the upcoming Windscape Festival and the featured photo was of four Rev kites and some team called iQuad. I decided that this would be the year I would make more time to attend the festival. I had just bought my first house in the city earlier that year and was looking for entertainment that wouldn't cost a bunch of money and the festival seemed like the ideal, low cost distraction. I even planned to take my Rev out of the closet and try to fly it again after so long a break from it.
I did not expect to see what I saw when the event organizer thanked everyone for coming and gave the signal for iQuad to open the festival. In two words, I was blown away! I never would have imagined what these kites could do as a group when experienced pilots got behind the controls. This was light years beyond anything in that Rev I VHS training tape I had! The world of kites passed me by years ago!
So, I did the logical thing and took my kite as far away as possible to try and fly it. I didn't fly much. I was embarassed. I spent the majority of the time watching everyone else and leaving the kite parked.
At the end of the day, when the majority of people had left, I was spending a bit more time with my kite and letting one of the festival organizers take a turn with it when we were interrupted by John Barresi and Steve de Rooy (of iQuad for those reading from my Facebook page who may not know these guys www.teamiquad.com) who made their way over to me to ask if they could fly that Rev I. John said they had been admiring it from across the field all day since it was the first Rev they had learned on as well. Admiring my kite?!
Of course I was honoured that these guys would want to have a go on my Rev I and quickly turned over the handles and watched them do things with my kite that it had never done before. John wanted to know if it was okay for him to make some tuning adjustments. Sure... I don't think I was able to fly it again afterwards! I'm not sure what the adjustments were anymore, but I am guessing John gave it more brake because I couldn't get it off the ground!
Those who know me personally know that I am actually quite shy until I get to know someone so I would never have approached any of iQuad on my own. Thankfully John and Steve are more outgoing and came to me. The next day I felt somewhat more comfortable to ask John more questions and learn more about the new (to me) "1.5 Revs" that iQuad was flying. I left the field at the end of the festival thinking three things all related to what I couldn't do. In my mind I was most wowed by the inverted slide and the bicycle. Those were the first two, "if I could only do that" mentality. The third was flying with others in some type of controlled fashion which I considered more "pie in the sky" mentality than reachable.
I did exchange a few emails with John after that. I was debating upgrading to the new B-Series that John told me about, but with the recent house purchase cash was tight. To fund the new kite I sold my Rev I (big mistake, but that's another story) and my dual line kite and accessories.
So begun my new journey. It was (and still is) not without its bumps and it still took until 2009 for me to start seeing progress in my flying, but things have been so much better this time with the Internet to connect with others for encouragement when things go wrong.
As for the three things I just wanted to do? Well, I can now do a reasonably good inverted slide and I can do a reasonable looking bicycle and I have flown with others, but what is really special now happens in less than a month, when I throw shyness to the wind and stand with other pilots (the majority of which far outweigh me in skill) from around the world at WSIKF.
I'll see John and Steve again (the first time since first meeting them) and more than likely will have a chance to fly with them. What a change right there from me hiding away from the world in 2007 to this.
So, for me, John and Steve were my inspiration to "get back into it" and put work into it this time so I could reach those three things I wanted to do and more.
I can't help but wonder what I may have been doing during this years WSIKF week instead had John and Steve not walked across that field to fly my kite. That simple gesture openned up a world to me of new friends and new adventures I had never considered or knew existed.