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Big Wind

Posted by bartman, 10 April 2009 · 193 views

I've tried the lower end on the wind scale so today I had a chance to dabble at the higher end. I can't say the stronger wind was my cup-o-tea. I went with the B-Series vented right off and the Race Rods. That lasted for about ten minutes before the wind got even stronger. I moved to the four wrap and kept letting the brake out a couple knots at a time until I could manage some control. Forward was difficult, but at least I wasn't getting dragged around like my friend with his two line foil. It was still tiring.

I continued to work on inverted hovers and inverted slides. Even with my favored vented the wild wind and gusts made it hard for me to maintain much stability inverted hovering or sliding. I don't think I could react fast enough was half the problem. I had a few windows where I could get a good slide going or a good hover before being jacked around again with the wind and fighting just to keep the kite under some control.

The nice thing is, for the most part, I did keep control even in the high winds. I don't think I could have done it a year ago so that is progress of a sort. With the high wind I also got some really wide slides which was pretty cool too!

The big thing I really wanted to do today was an axel. Now, I know it probably would not have happened and probably the kite would have spent a lot of time on the ground, but I had studied the tutorial by JB and I had the basic idea in my head of what I would need to do. Unfortunately it didn't happen. There probably is a way to get enough slack in high winds to pull this off, but there was no way I was figuring it out today. My game plan was to get a nice sliding going then jump in with the step forward, handle back/handle forward and just see what happened. Today I couldn't get any slack so I thought it best to save the attempt for when the wind is a bit more reasonable. I don't recall ever seeing an axel in high wind and if it is possible it is something for the pros, not me.

So, I was content with inverted hovering and sliding and just trying to see how much I could control with the wind what it was. In the end I think I did have moments of good control One of my friends came out to take pictures and I was able to keep the kite in position for extended periods of time while she shot. I'm hoping she captured something cool!

My kite flying friend Ken said he was all for heading off to Alberta in early May for a fun fly there one Saturday so that trip looks like it's a go too. Should be fun. Hoping tomorrow the wind is a bit less wild and I can work on fumbling the axel. I have Ken on stand-by to pick up the kite!


Sounds like you're always making progress, Bart! :D
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Awesome, thanks for the update Bart... I think your experiences will be very useful for others.

Be sure and add a link to your blog in your signature, if you haven't already. ;)

Keep it up!
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Hey buddy - i find i can usually pull of an axel in higher winds by taking the kite right to the edge of the wind window. You still need to walk (or run) forwards to give it enough slack but worth a go. Lighter winds are definitely easier when you should be able to do it right in front of you by just stepping forwards a bit. Glad the weather's warming up for you at last, you made it through the winter!!!!
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Yeah, I can see where it would work on the edge. I don't think that is optimal for learning however. I tried it today with barely enough wind to even move the kite and it went pretty much like I expected. It did flatten out and it did a 180 before landing on the ground. I'm fine with that. I mainly just wanted to get a "feel" for the control aspect of it. It's something new and I must still think through every aspect of it at this stage. I was also on my short lines which I did not like so the entry slide was messy as well. My slides aren't textbook anyway so you could say "worse than ideal" set up for this. Probably not the best trick to try and learn at this stage when I could be working on holding hovers all over the sky, but if I don't change it up a bit and add new things to learn it will get boring for me.
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