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No wind / street flying


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#1 kwmf

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 01:23 AM

Hi all

Well, last weekend I finally got fed up with the lack of wind and/or opportunity to fly, so I made up a rough set of 8' lines of 90# and took my full sail outside to attempt some zero wind / street / indoor style flying.

In hindsight, I think I should have made 12' lines, but it was too late for that. It was the first time I flew a rev at night (done it with power kites) and on such short lines and with no wind at all, but I had a great time - even managed to do a few 360's since there was no wind.

My question is what things should I be working on?

I'm still developing my skills in the wind on longer lines, so I don't have the muscle memory to fly many things without thought yet. As a result my mind was racing in the moment to try figure out what I needed to do. I very quickly fell back to deciding what I wanted to do while I was on the ground, thinking about the inputs required to achieve it and then launching and trying to fly it out. This worked much better (although things were very rough and messy) and even my girlfriend managed to do a 360 and land nicely.

I'll make a rough set of 12' lines to give myself more time to think before my next attempt. Aside from that, given the fact that I'm flying with a full sail 1.5 in little to no wind with the ultimate goal of wanting to do street and maybe indoors, what would you guys suggest I work on?

Watty, I believe you're required to reply to this Posted Image

#2 REVflyer

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 04:43 AM

no wind is easier than street kiting, they are both related though

either way, work on control, imagine a tin can you want to land on, but NOT knock over! Eventually that tin can will be little kid's hand reaching from a stroller on a busy sidewalk.

How long your lines are is in relationship to your comfort level. 30 feet is way easier than 8. I'd prefer 15 feet if there's enough room, not too jerky and not so long that the slack becomes an issue. I like to think I can stand in the center of my area and take a couple of quick steps in any direction. Add that diameter to twice the string's length and you find yourself in sixty foot circle using 15 feet of line. I prefer a bridle and I'm over six feet tall, my single stride is 3 feet. See how much room one person needs? I'm still restricted to a tiny area but as the wind moves I can stay in my safe zone with the kite.

If conditions are swirling too badly I tend to seek out a wind shelter or barrier and fly behind that. I prefer a dead calm to turbulence, sometimes SAFETY is the only thing you can think about. If conditions are too dangerous then don't risk screwing-it-up for the other kite fliers around the world!

If you have room and good conditions practice the "up & over",... feelin' extra cocky?,... show it to us inverted, all the way over, you can't move your feet at all.

Throw and catches are easy on short lines. Work on making it look effortless/magical. Flick that darn thing around and see what you can make-up for yourself. What happens if you stand on 1 string while you do the throw?, or only pull one line doing the catch? I've seen a catch done inverted, a couple of times by a guy who didn't know any better. We howled and praised him.

We practice for street kiting and restricted locations by flying on a basketball court, but you only can move within the "paint area". That darn rim and the backboard are in the way, there's a wall behind that. Make that look good with an indoor or SUL. Know your surroundings, measure the distance, don't hurt anybody or damage anything (NO landing on the displays inside the Nat'l. Air & Space Museum!)

Okay now to the real street, your worst two dangers are slippery footing and gusty swirls. Be prepared to advise folks not to touch the string(s) as the kite flies by, that's a loss of control and you'd be blamed for anything that goes wrong! Inspect and correct your equipment frequently. Your tiniest movement is causing aggressive wear if it's on the pavement, walls or stationary objects in the area.

Landing on top of fence post always get people's attention, a little tail-feather shaking by the pilot has 'em laughin in time with the music, but give a kid a lesson in futility, that absolutely stops traffic! (they can chase it, just not ever reaching the darn thing is so enjoyable for all of us)

SAFETY, you can't think about anything else on the street. If you are - then maybe reconsideration is necessary!

#3 Scott_of_melnsct

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 04:56 AM

As usual, Paul is right.

As far as what to practice....the short answer is "everything you can think of, but do it on purpose". To simplify I suggest you work on that up and over. Try to keep a perfect straight line, not veering off to one side, and control the desent (spelling?) . Don't crash land, inverted rise at the last moment instead. That up and over will demand a fair amount of control from you that will transfer to all your flying.
Scott A Koenig
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"We muster to fly at a moment's notice"

#4 kwmf

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 06:40 AM

Hi guys

Thanks for the advice, I'm hoping more people jump in on this and offer their thoughts. For now I'm only flying where I have more than enough open space and lack of people around until I get more comfortable with precision. I've got no problem flying my powers around others, but I'm not precise enough to get real close to people with the Rev just yet.

It was just last week sunday that I got a good amount of time on my new vented B and I did try land on a friends palm - I wasn't entirely able to get it, but I had it undr enough control that he could stretch up a bit and grab the wingtip without any risk that I was going to lose control and smash into him.

I think 30's would be too long for me right now in no wind / indoor / street kiting, but the 8' is a little too short I think ... just from a time perspective given my present level of skill integration. I'm thinking a 12' line set should do the trick ... I'm really thankful I didn't try a 5' set like I've seen Watty use.

Keep the help coming

#5 Watty

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 05:18 PM

Hi all

Well, last weekend I finally got fed up with the lack of wind and/or opportunity to fly, so I made up a rough set of 8' lines of 90# and took my full sail outside to attempt some zero wind / street / indoor style flying.

In hindsight, I think I should have made 12' lines, but it was too late for that. It was the first time I flew a rev at night (done it with power kites) and on such short lines and with no wind at all, but I had a great time - even managed to do a few 360's since there was no wind.

My question is what things should I be working on?

I'm still developing my skills in the wind on longer lines, so I don't have the muscle memory to fly many things without thought yet. As a result my mind was racing in the moment to try figure out what I needed to do. I very quickly fell back to deciding what I wanted to do while I was on the ground, thinking about the inputs required to achieve it and then launching and trying to fly it out. This worked much better (although things were very rough and messy) and even my girlfriend managed to do a 360 and land nicely.

I'll make a rough set of 12' lines to give myself more time to think before my next attempt. Aside from that, given the fact that I'm flying with a full sail 1.5 in little to no wind with the ultimate goal of wanting to do street and maybe indoors, what would you guys suggest I work on?

Watty, I believe you're required to reply to this Posted Image


Paul covered the most important part of street kiting, and that is safety. I do not recommend street kiting in any populated area, until you feel you are really up to the task.

The best place to start would be indoors. Take whatever you want to use on the streets into a gymnasium (or whatever type of indoor space) and practice. Pop in the headphones, play around and experiment. This area is your "control". Here, the conditions are always perfect (unless someone opens a window or something), so you must use this perfect space to get accustomed to the difference in flying style.

The next step would be to take it outdoors to a place that would not normally seem ideal to fly a kite, and is not very populated. I liked to go fly my Rev 1.5 on 30' lines in the front yard. This takes away that perfect "control" space and throws in the variable of nature. The front yard is beautiful for this because, unless your front yard is park, it is somewhat confined, and the wind is inconsistent. This allows you to take what you learned indoors, and learn how to use the bits of wind to your advantage. You can often combine the style of flying indoors with flying outdoors. If there is a breeze blowing in one direction, there is no sense in fighting it. Fly to that part of the wind window and play there. A lot of the time, street kiting can be all about keeping up with the changing wind, and changing with it. The heavier the wind, the more difficult this is.

After you can confidently fly in these two spots while listening to music and not thinking about where your hands are, or whatever, then you might be ready to fly in town. If you are flying around people, you do not want your mind to be focusing on where your hands are, but where the kite is, where all the people are, and how you are going to fly without touching anyone.

Now onto line sets,
The shorty-short lines can pull off some crazy cool stuff, but can be very difficult to manage, and really limit how much space you have to fly around obstacles. Lately, I have been using 20 foot line sets indoors the majority of the time, because they give me a lot more room to fly precise maneuvers. Unfortunately, a lot of indoor flying venues do not have enough room for a 20' line set.

For street kiting, there is an extra variable to keep in mind for selecting line sets. This is the wind. Shorter lines will be easier to use in heavier swirling winds because you can move from different parts of the wind window more quickly. If the wind suddenly starts blowing into your face, it is much easier to turn around on 8 foot lines than it is on 30 foot lines. Honestly, if I can get away with it, I love to use 30 foot lines for street kiting. This length gives me plenty of room to play. unfortunately, there are those situations as Paul mentioned earlier where the wind is a tad crazy. The 30 foot lines could become a problem in these conditions.

I hope this helps,
~Spencer "Watty" Watson

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#6 kwmf

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 11:36 PM

Hi Spence

Glad you decided to drop in on this one. My front yard is a tad small, even for the shortest of lines, but I have a sufficiently sized park on the other side of my road - so my "other" front yard is a park Posted Image

The park isn't really suited to flyinging 80'+ lines because we tend to have lots of big trees in our parks here (I fly sports fields mostly) but would be fine up to the 30' mark I rekon. I don't have access to a suitable indoor venue yet, but I'm looking. I took the kite outside that night because I was just tired of wind too low for me to fly in. Occasionally wind would come up and I'd use it, but I mostly kept my orientation with my back to the wind to help me out a bit while I was experimenting.

I think for the moment, I'm going to be outdoors on 8-12' line while I learn this. I'm definately going to experiment, but what drills would you suggest I run to get used to flying. From earlier comments I'm going to practice up and over with a stop and turn around on the other side to land right side up so I can go back and forth. I also found that when doing the 360's I had to co-ordinate my left/right turning (to try fly a straight line) with my side sliding to counter gravity - so that seems like a good thing to practice as well.

Any other drills, lines, shapes, etc to practice would be most welcome.

Steve

#7 Watty

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 07:22 AM

I think for the moment, I'm going to be outdoors on 8-12' line while I learn this. I'm definately going to experiment, but what drills would you suggest I run to get used to flying. From earlier comments I'm going to practice up and over with a stop and turn around on the other side to land right side up so I can go back and forth. I also found that when doing the 360's I had to co-ordinate my left/right turning (to try fly a straight line) with my side sliding to counter gravity - so that seems like a good thing to practice as well.

Any other drills, lines, shapes, etc to practice would be most welcome.

Steve

Hello Steve,

Well, I'm not really a big driller, never really used drills, I usually end up starting to do them, but then I get bored with it.

But there are some things that you could practice:
Samurai Slide - flying in a 360 with the kite in a partial inverted slide. your hands should be spread apart, one out toward the kite, and one at your hip. This will allow the kite to glide without having to walk back nearly as much. Be aware that if you are street kiting, you want to use this wisely, because it can be difficult to instantly stop the kite during the slide, so you only want to use it when there is no one near the path of the kite.

Toss and catch - This is a big one. Using an indoor style toss and catch can be very handy. Leave the kite standing upright, and pull down on the top two lines. This makes it much easier to move locations if you need to. Here's a video tutorial on some different tosses and catches:

Some other stuff you could work on, could be flying a reverse 360 and reverse up-and-over (plus the normal up-and-over). Something that comes to mind, but I'm not sure how it could practically be put into a drill, is to stay aware of your surroundings of what is a person, and what is not. You must be able to distinguish what is safe to land on, and what will get angry if you try to land on it. You also must be aware of what is behind you always, because you are usually moving backwards. I've had times where the only way I could keep the kite from falling into the river filled with bird poo in the park downtown, was to quickly walk backwards up a set of stairs.

Most things, I don't think can really be taught by drills. The best way of leaning, in my opinion, is to experiment. If you accidentally do something cool, see if you can do it again. As I mentioned in an earlier post, just put in the headphones, and have fun. Learning will come naturally.


~Spencer "Watty" Watson

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#8 REVflyer

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 07:41 AM

practice landing on a fence post, when you can do that consistently from either end go to something that isn't so stationary or solidly mounted. Like a tin can. I've seen folks land into the hole of the Coke can and not knock it over!

Practice getting comfortable with the kite inverted too, that always looks cool.




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