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#1 badinfluence

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 09:40 AM

I am basically a beginer when it comes to 0-3mph outdoor wind flying and have read alot of the forums and watched alot of the tutorials and i am trying to determine if a shorter lineset would be the best thing for me to basically get the hang of 0-3mph outdoor flying? I have read JB uses 30' lines and Watty uses 5',8', or 20' lines in light wind and make it look effortless. I have a set of 30' 50# lines that i have tried numerous times to fly my 1.5 JB with race rods in 0-3mph outdoor winds and all i get is a launch and then a mess of the lines.Seems like just way too much slack in the lines and i have tried running around to keep the slack tight and upper line tight but is seems there is just way too much line to work with. I am thinking a 15' lineset would help with less line to fall slack. Am i correct? Should i start out even shorter until i understand the concept? I have a Zen on the way in a few weeks to help with my problem but i dont think it will be the total solution and would be a shame to have a Zen and not be able to fly it correctly. Any input would be greaty appriciated!

Edited by wind junkie, 25 October 2010 - 09:58 AM.


#2 REVflyer

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 10:18 AM

technique is just as important as equipment, ... shorter lines will help but things also things happen quicker and the window is vastly reduced as your lengths shorten. The zen is a big kite, so naturally longer lines are going to be imperative wen compared to a 1point5 sized format.

Field recovery, the float, and YES moving your own feet and positioning the kite for maximum wind pressure, all are adding to your success in low wind. Stationary flying won't work, neither will lots of forward drive in your tuning set-up, because the kite needs to get square against the wind for maximum pressure. Pulling in the bottoms actually is the first thing you should try, after insuring all you lines are identical lengths.

Longer throw handles will help, as will removing the bridle entirely, both of these things are making the kite more responsive (some fliers would go so far as to say "twitchy also!")

Practice in low wind enough times and soon it will be your preference! Lots of drama is available when it's NOT windy outside.

#3 John F

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 08:45 AM

I am basically a beginer when it comes to 0-3mph outdoor wind flying and have read alot of the forums and watched alot of the tutorials and i am trying to determine if a shorter lineset would be the best thing for me to basically get the hang of 0-3mph outdoor flying? I have read JB uses 30' lines and Watty uses 5',8', or 20' lines in light wind and make it look effortless. I have a set of 30' 50# lines that i have tried numerous times to fly my 1.5 JB with race rods in 0-3mph outdoor winds and all i get is a launch and then a mess of the lines.Seems like just way too much slack in the lines and i have tried running around to keep the slack tight and upper line tight but is seems there is just way too much line to work with. I am thinking a 15' lineset would help with less line to fall slack. Am i correct? Should i start out even shorter until i understand the concept? I have a Zen on the way in a few weeks to help with my problem but i dont think it will be the total solution and would be a shame to have a Zen and not be able to fly it correctly. Any input would be greaty appriciated!



A suggestion would be to get good size space/field. Launch the kite downwind and keep stepping backwards at about 1 to 2 mph (easy pace) and then fly the kite in the middle half of the window. If the wind is 2 then by backing straight down wind you have about 4. This will give you the feel. Then start playing moving out of the window. Then work yourself to a 360 remember always move down the line of the lines. I find low wind technique is getting to know the correct feel through the lines. As you get better you will start slowing down and not running. Watch some Scott Weider indoor video and you will see. Same principles apply.


The Zen is no magic kite. It has a little more lift but you still need to learn to keep pressure on the sail.

#4 badinfluence

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 06:04 PM

are you saying to try just keep walking backwards slowly? For the most part at 5mph and up winds have no problem keeping a rev in the air and I basically use all of the light wind techniques i see JB and everyone using but it seems at 0-4mph i just continue to launch and crash and cannot keep enough tension on the lines, even running around like a fool half out of breath and frustrated. Still having fun but it gets frustrating quickly. Am i on the right track with this???Posted Image

#5 ahofer

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 02:06 AM

Well, I'm no light-wind master, but two things seem to help for me- be sure to raise the upper end of the kite when the leading edge is vertical. Stay ahead of the changes in rotation so that you keep the upper edge (whichever it is) ahead of the trailing edge as the kite changes rotation. If you look at the most recent video JB put up, you"ll see the kite laid out almost flat lengthwise at points. The other thing is gaining ground whenever the kite is at or near inverted, using the brakes to extend the kite's glide forward. You can extend these forward glides if you work from the edge of the window and glide towards the center.

The good flyers seem to gain all their altitude with Short tugs and no movement backward. My ratio of tugging to stepping is improving, but not like that.
When I was young, my bologna had a first name. Now my bodywash has an "Objective".

#6 REVflyer

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 05:20 AM

not necessarily backwards walking
but always enough movement to keep the kite powered up ("loaded" as some refer to it)

For example, imagine your intent was an up & over. You'd fly up towards the top of the window, then sorta' sit down as you yank and spank the kite to glide past that point and over towards mother earth exactly on the opposite side of the field. Eventually you should be able to do this without any movement of your feet at all! Your torso, arms and handles are moving mightily though,... the point is that you are adding energy as necessary to maintain flight. Flying backwards is the same thing, except the kite doesn't want to go in that direction, so even more energy is necessary.

Okay, another thing you can work on is the throw and catch. In no wind it's pretty magical, as the kite will glide in direct proportion to the amount of effort by the pilot, if you need more distance you may need to change out the leading edge to get more mass (means the pilot has to work even harder still but the throw will go further and YOU don't have to run to take up all the slack). You can catch the kite on short lines and then throw it away from you in the direction that will most effectively re-power the kite. Since both handles are in one hand, you're already prepared to paste it inverted at the end of the throw.

Now add these two techniques together. go pick-up the kite and throw it, then wait until it's pasted inverted and try your up and over again, but this time working on inverted fight. Now you need those feet my friend. Backing up inverted in no wind means you really need some extra energy.

The float is nice in the short term, but the single most important part of low -wind flying is field recovery. Fly the kite high, to the top of the wind, then rotate the leading edge down pushing your thumbs towards the kite, controlling the decent angle and speed. What happens if you walk backwards during the ascent? (it will go higher!) Now that the kite is high you simply reverse direction and walk forward with the kite inverted. you should be able to do this with a slow motion, not all flailing and jerking.

To test your glide ratio, take the kite high and then literally throw the handles out in front of you when the leading edge is parallel with the ground inverted. Watch how far the kite glides away (magic sticks make the frame and sail tighter, more structure = more distance)

I can walk forward recovering the field doing axels, but I have many thousands of hours in a dead calm and it's extremely dangerous to stand too close to me during these efforts (HA! the flailing idiot!)

#7 badinfluence

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 11:22 AM

if you manage to get it up and get it inverted and keep the lines fairly snug without much slack, at the bottom of the float before it crashes into the ground, what is the technique for getting it turned right up and powered up again for the "launch and float again"???

#8 ahofer

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 12:48 PM

If you are me, you hopelessly waive your hands and tangle line around your ears. YMMV :-)
When I was young, my bologna had a first name. Now my bodywash has an "Objective".

#9 REVflyer

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 03:42 AM

if you manage to get it up (add more energy!) and get it inverted (stop the kite, rotate it 180 degrees, stop the kite,... now it's inverted) and keep the lines fairly snug (walk, if necessary) without much slack,
* this is a vertical field recovery technique, and although the float could also be used for this purpose I would separate them into 2 different things for you to work on.


* the float is an "across the window" technique,
one hand is pulled back and the other thrust forward, (kind of like shooting an arrow with a bow). You are laying the kite out flat, parallel with the ground and pointed towards the horizon point (with the leading edge). All bridle designs restrict this movement or play to varying degrees. To get it perfectly flat you'll need to fly w/o any bridle at all! The French bridle is very much more restrictive than the stock factory one, although other benefits may outweigh this fact, at least in my personal opinion. You add some energy and the mass of the kite propels it forward some more for free. The kite has more lift when it's turned on it's side rather than parallel to your shoulders. Look how much longer wind can push on the sail if it's upright. Easy enough to test. Fly out to the edge, rotate to leading edge up and hover,... see how the kite descends? Now go to the same place and place the leading edge on it's edge, lay it out as far as possible. Guess what, the darn thing will rise or remain in position. It's a miracle, it even works when you are stationary if you position it more towards the center of the window.

Okay, so back to the question

... at the bottom of the float before it crashes into the ground, what is the technique for getting it turned right up and powered up again for the "launch and float again"??

Push both thumbs (beyond a stationary hover), so the kite is backing up, then slightly tap one handle, thumb forward and the kite will rotate around. You really need to be able to stop the kite on command, tiny movements/adjustments, adding your own energy if necessary. YOUR perspective of a hover may be very different from the spectator's standing perpendicular to you!

The very first thing you should "master" is the cartwheel. You need to be able to roll the kite over without any sliding, from an inverted position. Stand it up slowly onto the wingtip's edge and balance it. After you can cartwheel you'll seldom ever be in such a position that you need to walk back down to the kite and set it up over again. Rolling over repositions you for forward flight.

In decent wind you can cartwheel by simply looking down the lines and identifying which handle is on top. Push that handle's thumb forward, towards the kite. It will roll over,... . but at the halfway point in the rotation you need to "return to neutral" with the executing hand. Neutral is wherever you make it, grip position and leader tuning, both handles are close together (like the fat parts of your thumbs are touching) and the handles are even with each other. Neutral is as personal as your putting stroke. Whatever works for you must be correct!

If there's not enough wind for this slight action to be effective then you have to add more energy. Instead of just pushing that thumb forward you'll also sweep the entire handle back, (down and towards your kneecap). Again though, I need to stress the "return to neutral" at the halfway point in the rotation (unless you want it bouncing across the field, winding wraps into the lines merrily along the way!)

The next step is, instead of using one handle to roll it over, you'll engage both thumbs in unison and back it up (inverted instead) Back it up to waist-high and then slowly lower it to the ground (boring, but you must practice this repeatedly until it is unconscious thought!!!!) When that looks smooth, then double the height and repeat the process. Do this half a dozen times each and every time you set-up your kite. Learn that slow and graceful crap we all take for granted, then you can flail and chase spectators. The precision figures are great instructional tools (boring to be sure, but excellent practice)

With more experience you can blend these two techniques, like with a diagonal float or backing-up into a diagonally directed descending field recovery.

The cartwheel is the introduction to the bicycle( rolling across the wind window)
TUNING:
Establish your grip position, (relax too, this is supposed to be fun!) Where do you want your hands, so it's comfortable? Now, with the kite resting on it's leading edge (inverted) keep adding DOWN (shortening your bottom leader's/flying line positioning) until the kite will back-up inverted. In low wind you may very well be walking briskly backwards to add sufficient energy. Watch John's or Scottie's low wind videos on Utube, etc. They are not flying with two feet struck in concrete.

There's no getting around putting in the time to learn low wind techniques. I moved from Ft. Lauderdale, before that lived in Chicago,... when I arrived in Washington DC none of my kites would even fly. That was in 1993. Since then, no wind has become my preferred set of conditions (Huntington Beach and Treasure Island are 2 more favorite sets of conditions HA!)

#10 badinfluence

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 06:10 AM

Revflyer, my falut, i was calling it the float but i meant having the kite inverted and it sinking back down to the ground. I think what i have been working on latley is what sounds like you are telling me to master if i am correct. when the kite is flying in a sideways hover, which is where it catches the most wind, if you let the top handle forward the upper edge goes into a spin and you can almost pull on the bottom edge at the right time and get a power up. I have only been able to do this in 7-10mph winds but it sounds like that is what you are telling me is i key to light wind sucess as well. One thing you hit on that i was not doing was applying so much brake to try and stop the kite and the other thing was i was allways concerned with was walking forward when i got the kite inverted to gain ground but i never tried to walk backwards with the kite inverted to get any brakes. That makes sense why i get the kite inverted and its coming down and i cant do anything but watch it hit the ground. I should be able to fly inverted by walking backwards or even make it fly upwards inverted by walking backwards and putting wind in the sail. Does line length have anything to do with this being easier or harder? I will be printing out your advice and keeping it with me!

#11 REVflyer

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:05 AM

Revflyer, my fault, i was calling it the float but i meant having the kite inverted and it sinking back down to the ground. I think what i have been working on lately is what sounds like you are telling me to master if i am correct. when the kite is flying in a sideways hover, which is where it catches the most wind, if you let the top handle forward the upper edge goes into a spin (NO SPINning, control!) and you can almost pull on the bottom edge at the right time and get a power up. (there's a "relationship" between the two handles) I have only been able to do this in 7-10mph winds but it sounds like that is what you are telling me is it's a key to light wind success as well. One thing you hit on that i was not doing was applying so much brake to try and stop the kite and the other thing was i was always concerned with was walking forward when i got the kite inverted to gain ground but i never tried to walk backwards with the kite inverted to get any brakes.
Brakes are always a factor, with more hours it will seem normal to have lots, but in the beginning it seems almost counterproductive

That makes sense why i get the kite inverted and its coming down and i cant do anything but watch it hit the ground. I should be able to fly inverted by walking backwards or even make it fly upwards inverted by walking backwards and putting wind in the sail. Does line length have anything to do with this being easier or harder? I will be printing out your advice and keeping it with me!



line lengths are like anything, a compromise. Longer lines allow a bigger area for you to work within, everything takes longer so you have time to consider your next action and naturally, you're further away from the crappy swirls of wind on ground level too. Longer lines means more effort to keep tension though, (or regain it if you flail like me).

Short lines are fun to be "all over the place", things happen instantly, a single step backwards re-powers the sail, a sudden jerk dumps the pressure. You can fly upwind, do up & overs, jump over the kite as it returns to you, crazy actions are possible.

Both of these choices will force you to adjust and adapt. Static positioning of the flier means you have enough wind to fly, but can you do all the precision these conditions allow? Everything is tied together, that's why we are such a family. We share our knowledge, equipment and passion with folks all over the world.

#12 badinfluence

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 06:14 PM

"We share our knowledge, equipment and passion with folks all over the world....."


That statement is simply awesome. Thanks for the help! Ill keep you posted on my progress...

#13 Beaufort

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 12:40 AM

Wow what an informative post!

I have few questions; i hope you can answer for me, thanks.

* the float is an "across the window" technique,
one hand is pulled back and the other thrust forward, (kind of like shooting an arrow with a bow). You are laying the kite out flat, parallel with the ground and pointed towards the horizon point (with the leading edge).

Should I imagine the kite flying forward from top of the window diagonally from one top corner to the opposite bottom corner of the wind window?

All bridle designs restrict this movement or play to varying degrees. To get it perfectly flat you'll need to fly w/o any bridle at all! The French bridle is very much more restrictive than the stock factory one, although other benefits may outweigh this fact, at least in my personal opinion. You add some energy and the mass of the kite propels it forward some more for free. The kite has more lift when it's turned on it's side rather than parallel to your shoulders.

So thats the tips pointing to 6 and 12 o clock, right?


Look how much longer wind can push on the sail if it's upright. Easy enough to test. Fly out to the edge, rotate to leading edge up and hover,... see how the kite descends? Now go to the same place and place the leading edge on it's edge,

"Tip stand" position, right?

lay it out as far as possible. Guess what, the darn thing will rise or remain in position. It's a miracle, it even works when you are stationary if you position it more towards the center of the window.



Look forward to go out and try this! :P It puzzles me that the kite has more lift in some positions, as you should think that the sail area is the same, as long as you can "angle it" as needed, I would have guessed that all positions could provide similar lift....

Thanks!

#14 Beaufort

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 01:15 AM

I am not sure if it has been already been mentioned, but STEADY wind is crucial when it comes to light wind flying. Steady 3 mph can be a lot easier to deal with than unsteady 5 mph....

My experience from dual line flying is that short lines, is no big advantage in light wind flying outdoors. Very short lines are very different animals, so this alone is a thing to overcome... Longer lines gives a certain fluid feeling and feedback and appears slower compared to shorter lines, and in my experience this improved feedback and slowness is a benefit in low wind flying. :kid_content:




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