Posted by bartman, 09 August 2009 · 220 views
I've went from attending none to seeking out any that are within a reasonable travel distance. I don't know if it is the flying or just the general camaraderie of hooking up with old and new friends while there, but certainly a ton of fun.
I've already covered the Taber fun fly from this past May. This entry I'll touch on the Pincher Creek fly and a local fly that I am trying to get off the ground (no pun intended) for the summer months here.
Pincher Creek had an actual festival up to last year, but lack of volunteers pretty much killed it this year. They had four volunteers which was no where near enough to manage a festival. Cowboy and I decided to go anyway since we had already booked time and made plans. We would treat it as an "un-festival" with whomever would happen to show up.
And, a few people did show up. Maybe 10 kites in the air.
Day one started out with no wind. One of the largest wind farms in Canada at Pincher Creek and no wind! Didn't take long though and it was at a nice breezy level. Paul and I worked on some simple figure 8s. Quite rough looking and one tangle that took a few minutes to undo. I blame Cowboy for it! He likes to play "bumper kites" and I don't so bound to be some "issues".
We actually spent a lot of time untangling other people's lines. A single line kite got away and wrapped itself into Candace's four lines. That was a mess. We also helped someone with their two line on two occassions that weekend. Seemed an usual amount of time working with lines, but everyone got back in the air in the end.
Paul saved a Rev EXP from certain disaster. When he arrived another Rev flyer was having issues with his EXP (interesting side story. He bought it in 2007 at Windscape which is the festival here and JB autographed it) and was very frustrated with two years of not getting the kite to do much of anything good. He was about ready to get rid of it. Well, when the rods got to the back of the sail it was a whole new experience for him! Finally got that kite to fly right! Later he floated it over to our spot and we worked on his lines. He had something like 80 foot lines, but it was more like 81 feet, 80 feet, 80.5 feet and who knows what feet! We un-did leaders and made what adjustments we could too try and get some equalization. It was rather truck like, but enough "fix" to help with the flying. I took it up and just did a simple left hover and it worked not bad. I didn't think about it at all, just seemed a simple thing to do, but the guy says to me, "If I could just do that I would be happy!" Oh, you have so much more to look forward too! Later he bought a set of 100 foot lines from one vendor and his flying got better and better during the course of the weekend. The high winds at one point were a little rough to try and brake enough with it to slow it down, but he was having fun. Can't believe he spent two years fighting with it.
My friend Mike (my local kite guy you might say) had just got a pro series the day before so he and his wife took turns learning on it. I think his wife Andrea has pretty much claimed the Rev now! He'll need to buy a new one for himself!
So a lot of fun to be had on day one. Day two...
... was pretty much windless. We spent a lot of time sitting, talking, walking, talking and more sitting. We would get 10 minutes of wind then wait 30 for 5 minutes more. That is how the day went until 15 minutes (literally no more than 15 minutes) after Paul and his family had to pack up for home. The wind came up perfectly and I got another hour of flying in before staring into the sun got to be too much for my ol' eyes to handle.
Too much fun. Look forward to the next.
I'd been thinking of getting something going where I live to fill in some spaces after our annual official kite festival. I thought four months starting in July would be good for a fun fly in a city of 16K. I missed July and only had a short time to work on something for August, but the first local "Fun Fly" took off here recently. Not exactly a rip roaring success.
In attendance were my friend with his foil, a single line flyer who is helping organize our local effort and my "local kite guy" (3.5 hrs away local) Mike and his wife with his pro and a dual line. Two co-workers stopped to watch and my sister-in-law did some photos. The wind was almost a repeat of day two at Pincher Creek. Wait 30 minutes, fly for 5. Ballistic then nothing. Massive shifts in direction. The whole nine yards. I worked on various moves when the wind blew and visited the rest of the time.
We're going to try to come up with a few more ideas for the September Fun Fly (perhaps the after noon of the second Sunday) For October we'll run it the same day as the "One World One Sky" event on the 11th. Now that we have a bit more time to work on details and we'll keep at it hoping that people start to take notice and dig their kites out of the closet and come on out! We feel that a constant display will be the most effective in bringing kite flying back as a fun way to spend some time outdoors. The local media was not helpful in getting the word out so we'll need to work on them too.
Again, lots of fun despite poor turn out and kooky weather.
The next up, and probably my last traveling fun fly for this year, is in Edmonton on Sept 5th. The Collingwood "un-festival" as it is yet another one that failed to get off the ground as the official festival. Another lack of volunteers this year. It is just a half day affair so I'll go up early the Friday before and get some air time in with Cowboy and his family during the "off" hours. Should be fun so long as there are no more bumper kites from Cowboy!