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Who/What Has Inspired You to Fly?

Posted by bartman, 22 July 2010 · 466 views

  • Back in 2007 checking out an iQuad kite
  • Revs at play
  • Playing with Steve
  • Mesmerized or deep thought?
  • John thinking what here?
  • Sharing a laugh
  • it will be a 360
  • Major concentration

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.


Three words...

Pay it forward. :)

Really, it was and has been my pleasure Bart, both on forum and off... The Rev community is better for having you in it, and I try to assume to same of anyone I have the opportunity to meet or turn onto Revs for the first time.
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Bart, I love reading about your trials and tribulations. Believe it or not, most peoples early experiences ring similiar to yours. Mine included; I bought my first Rev in 92 or 93 in Rhode Island and had the benefit of a large group there who were already skilled pilots. Problem was, when not in RI, I mainly flew alone for long periods of time...years! I got good but the experience evolved ten fold when IQUAD came on the scene and brought their unique style and team format to the forefront.
I'm really happy you're coming to WSIKF. Besides the awesome time you will have, the folks from all over the WORLD you'll get to meet and trade stories with, the wealth of experience from flying with others will further your skills and ease your trepidations flying on line with others.
Keep it up Bart!!!!!!!
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Good stuff Bart, I can totally relate. I was blown away my first time too, although I hadn't heard of iQuad yet. It was a little 14 year old pipsqueak named Zach Gordon. :D

Isn't it great when flying becomes such a social activity? I'm glad you're getting more opportunities to share the joy. Have a great time at WSIKF.
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Your welcome Bart.... and man its always great to see you at events ... whats really fun is you never know when we will bump into you.

Im so happy to have met you and all the adventures we have already had and the adventures that are coming... See you soon... and pass on the love of kites to others.. They dont know what they are missin' ... heehee
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Thanks guys. I wish it would be more of a social activity here, but it just doesn't seem to catch on beyond the annual festival. No luck getting people to come to a fun fly and of all the Rev inquires and sales this year at the festival, none have made themselves know to me. Posted Image

Special note to Steve though. You've only seem me at one event ever unless you have been spying on me! Do I have an evil twin out there somewhere? Or is he maybe the good twin?

Not many days left now to WSIKF. Should be interesting!
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Every summer (>12 yrs now) we rent the same beach house in Maine for 2 weeks. There's plenty of room and wind, so we've always brought kites for me and my three boys (now 19,15,10). I have an array of worn dual-line foils and stunt kites to show for it.

I was thinking about adding to our collection this summer and came across the Rev among the kites Amazon sells. I fished around through the reviews and on to Youtube videos.. OMG, This I had to try! So we ordered up a red/white/blue 1.5SLE Fedex delivery. While we waited, we watched some of John's tutorials and got the ideas of line management and basic launch skills under control. What a relief to not have to get help to relaunch. What a relief not to be the untangler-in-chief. What a thrill to pull of your first dive-stop.

The dualies haven't even been unpacked since. Every time I took the rev out, one of my 3 boys would come ask to fly it.

I'd been looking for something my youngest and I could do together. He has ADHD, which means sports or games with complex simultaneous rules are frustrating. Hiking and other more sight-seeing outdoorsy stuff doesn't provide enough stimulation. To make things worse, I'm pretty "Type A". Rev flying really works. He loves it, he can do it for a long time, and we have a great time together.

But I'm thoroughly hooked myself. Liberty State Park is on the way home from work, so while I had daylight I would stop by and practice for 30 minutes. More recently, we've hooked up with the "Jersey Crew". "Quaa714", in particular, has adopted Jamie, giving him pointers and providing constant positive reinforcement.

Now I'm expecting my 9th kite in the mail and scouting local park fields for good spots. Everytime I see a flag or banner, or even moving treetops, I'm thinking about the wind. It's a bit of an obsession, but as they go, it's harmless and gets me outside with my boys.

I hope I get to meet some of you other folks some day. I feel almost like I know John B after family viewing of his line management and Zen Play videos.
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