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Stone in Shoe Bob

Member Since 16 Jan 2007
Offline Last Active Dec 16 2014 07:14 AM
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#82064 Dunstable Kite Festival (UK)

Posted by Stone in Shoe Bob on 18 July 2011 - 11:48 AM

. . . . .
Of other note, Daniel Hoath (aged 8) made his 'proper' festival debut, flying team in a Flying Squad arena display on Sunday.
. . . . .

Sorry Andy, I think you are something like 5 years late with that one. I saw him do a solo with his Rev II on my first trip to Rougham. If I remember right the weather was rough that w/e too. True star performer even then.


#81632 next kite

Posted by Stone in Shoe Bob on 03 July 2011 - 01:39 PM

Go with Watty's advice

If you are serious about this Rev flying malarky and you want to fly with others, you will need to get all of the 1.5 bases covered before you start thinking about the more "exotic" Revs. With your sle, a full-vent and a selection sticks you should pretty much be there. An Extra-Vent is a bit extreme at this stage but if you live in a particularly windy part of the world it may be an option for Rev #3. A mid-vent is a nice luxury but it is definatly an extravagance this early in the game.


#81137 Vented Rev With Race Rods

Posted by Stone in Shoe Bob on 21 June 2011 - 08:01 AM

That was another question I meant to ask, when most people say "vented rev with racerods" are they talking about full or midvent.

Further to Watty's answer. Don't even think about mid-vent until you have the full vent sorted. Right now your priority should be about extending your wind range and there is enough overlap between full sail and full vent to put the mid-vent into the "nice but not essential" category, you will get way more bangs for your buck with a full vent.

I'm not saying don't buy a mid vent, I am just saying not yet.


#68345 100 Rev fly at 2010 WSIKF (Aug 16-22)

Posted by Stone in Shoe Bob on 13 April 2010 - 09:19 AM

I have a few questions about the self assessment of our level as a Rev flyer. What would a level 1 flier be able to do, and what about level 2 and so on? Are there certain skills that are indicators of one's level? And are there certain essential skills without which one would be a fool to try join in the mega fly, and, if so, what are they?

thanks,
Erin

I think that perhaps you are looking at this the wrong way, dare I say it, but I think you are taking it all way to seriously? A while back Felix kicked of a discussion about a proposed International Register of Maga-team Rev fliers. That may, or may not, still be on the cards, but it looks like John is running this show and I get the distinct impression that things are going to be run way more informally than “graded fliers”.

From what I have read so far it doesn’t look like this is going to be in the arena, this is just going to be a group if like minded mates playing on the beach. My advice would be go along to a few of the earlier “workshops” and give it a go, dip your toe in the water and see how it feels. If you still don’t think you are up to it, have a word with someone you know and trust. Though it is my guess that the workshops will be used as informal auditions, and that those that are not up to the job, will get a discreet tap on the shoulder, way before they get a chance to do any serious damage.

Take a look in my sig line, “Rev Fliers Do it with Friends.” go along and have fun with a few friends, okay a lot of friends, and break that record. I sure wish I was joining you.


#68045 100 Rev fly at 2010 WSIKF (Aug 16-22)

Posted by Stone in Shoe Bob on 05 April 2010 - 02:22 PM

To clarify, I believe what Felix is referring to here is essentially some marching band style exercises, just to get a feel for what we'll be doing in the sky.

Definitely for the body work, but potentially with our bodies acting as the kites as well, just so we can see it happen.

It wouldn't be excessive time-wise, just enough to build a little familiarity...

So to hit home again, who is amiable (or opposed) to doing these types of drills?

Just in case there is any doubt, like this,-
http://www.youtube.c...4...eam-videos/

Just keep piling it on.

Honestly, this is too much. It is un-nerving for anyone who has had no chance to fly in a group before......

Don’t sweat it Bart, this will be time well spent John is not piling it on here, it will all help, trust me on this one. And when it’s all over I look forward to reading your post in this thread.

Trust me it will make sense.


#67011 Easter Blackheath 2010

Posted by Stone in Shoe Bob on 10 March 2010 - 06:32 AM

So, if c50 fliers step up to the mark I would be delighted to 'claim repute' and make an approach...

Felix

Circa 50 flyers ? ? ? It's not so long a go 10 fliers in a line was considered a "significant Rev showing". Oh how times have changed. :rolleyes:


#65643 A Make-Weight’s View of the Mega Grid.

Posted by Stone in Shoe Bob on 07 February 2010 - 01:22 PM

What I have learned from the experience.

  • It is not difficult, just scary.
    I may have under estimated my ability with a Rev when I walked into the Portsmouth arena but I certainly didn’t when I walked out. I reckon that if I had had a stick with me and had waived it over The Solent we could all have walked across to The Isle of White for a repeat performance. I was now A Team Flyer. :ani_yahoo:

    It took a long while for the penny to drop and for me to regain a grip on reality. The truth of the matter is that there was no great display of Rev flying skill in that mega-fly by me or anyone else for that matter, it was all reasonably basic stuff done at a manageable pace. There’s none of the high speed tight timing moves you will see in some of the top team’s routines. Okay I’m not saying it wasn’t spectacular, but it was spectacular in the same way a Mexican wave is spectacular. Most healthy adults can stand up and sit down, nothing spectacular in that, but get 30 or 40,000 people in a stadium doing it and it starts to become impressive.
  • It is not quite so scary in there, as it looks from the outside.
    Firstly, whilst stood in the grid it is actually less claustrophobic than you would imagine. You have more elbow room, than in non grid team flying where you stand shoulder to shoulder. If you look at the blip.tv video you will see that there is something like a kite’s width between the columns in the sky. Then, if you look at John’s image here, you will notice that all of the columns are flying more or less in the centre of their own window, unlike a conventional, shoulder to shoulder line up where the whole team flies in a common window and those on the end of the line have to fly off centre.

    Secondly, the video is shot from some way behind the grid and though it gives the best spectators eye view it is a different point of view than from inside the grid, if you look at John’s image here, you will see that, someone standing inside the grid is looking square on to the kites and therefore gets a truer view of their relative positions than is apparent from further back where perspective compresses the height of grid. Add to that, the fact that inside the grid you can see your own lines and apart from the Leader’s Benefit, there is not a lot of wrapping going on and I would hope you can see that although you do need to keep your wits about you it is really not quite as scary as it looks.
    Then there are the regular calls of “back to grid”. That call is a sort of emotional tea break and an opportunity for a bit of mental regrouping.
  • In this game, size really doesn’t matter (grid size that is).
    No matter how big the grid is the most you will have to worry about is yours and four other kites, the one above the one below, the one to your left and the one to your right, anything else is somebody else’s problem.

My Advice to Other Potential Make-Weights.
And as they say on all good reality TV shows (if there is such a thing), “In no particular order”

  • Playing with a bit of non grid team is good because it will get you used to listening to and interpreting calls. I don’t want to get all sexist here and go upsetting anybody, but it has to be said, probably around 75%, maybe more, of us potential make-weights are blokes and lets be honest here lads, our brains don’t do multi tasking, so we need to work with those calls until they become second nature.
  • If we can, we need to mix it up, we need to fly with others, not just our mates at our home field, we need to spread the word and share the joy. We need to do it so that so that we can learn how to do it. That is why informal gatherings like the one at Ainsdale, November ’09 and February ’10 in Washington are so important. These are an opportunity for us potential make-weights to try the grid, for new callers to practice that skill and for experienced callers to develop the concept, all in relative privacy away from the public gaze of a festival arena.
  • If it all goes pear shaped at one of these informal gatherings and trust me sooner or later, it will, don’t go loosing any sleep over it, don’t go thinking you are not up to the job, remember this is practice and that is what we are there for. When you step up to do this in a public arena, if TWM have done their bit, you should be flying with skilled pilots who know what they are doing and you will be amazed at just how much this helps you to up your game.
  • Remember, we may all be amateurs, but we need to act like professionals. I have already said it takes a while to build the grid in the arena. If we behave professionally, remember the chain of command, and do as we are asked, setting up becomes part of the show. If we don’t things go wrong, we will look like a bunch of amateurs and Joe and Josephine Public will get bored.
  • Finally – If you do get the invite, think very carefully before you turn it down, it may be scary but, trust me it’s the best kick I’ve ever had with all my clothes on. If you don’t get an invite, don’t hang back and watch from behind the arena rope, if you know something about handling a Rev, and if you’ve read this far I’m guessing you do, a team this big is always going to be grateful for ground crew, the pay is lousy and you get the worst view of the show on the field but there’s always You Tube and you get the opportunity to say “I was there I was part of that”.



#65642 A Make-Weight’s View of the Mega Grid.

Posted by Stone in Shoe Bob on 07 February 2010 - 01:19 PM

A Make-Weight’s View of the Mega Grid.
I set off for the Portsmouth weekend excited at the show I was expecting to see. I don’t know if it was so obvious to some of the non-Brits but here in the UK there was defiantly a feeling that something big was going to happen and I had volunteered for ground crew so that one day I could say I had been part of it. The original plan was for the established teams to fly the grid and a then if time allowed, something much simpler but more inclusive was pencilled in for the Sunday.

Conditions that weekend were excellent, the teams flew the grid on the Saturday (I believe for the first time in a public arena) and flushed with their success decided to up the anti on Sunday. I was asked to step in to help to bring the numbers up. I didn’t believe I was up to it but Stephen did and told me my country needed me. What could a man do?

We were very lucky that year at Portsmouth, there were three festival arenas, the main display arena, a single-line arena and a dedicated Revolution Arena that served as, base camp, practice arena and marshalling area. The dedicated arena was invaluable. Those who have not seen the grid in action in real life may find it difficult to appreciate the scale of the exercise, fitting a 6x8 grid of fliers into an arena and still having room left for their kites, all on 120ft lines was not going to be easy, I’m sure glad it wasn’t my problem to solve.

Normally, at a festival teams will either, fly their kites into the arena or they will have them setup somewhere around the arena rope and then move to the centre to do their display. Either way time between one team’s display and the next is usually minimal. With a mega grid of this scale, let alone the 100+ that we are aiming for, this is never going to happen. That afternoon we built the grid in the Rev Arena, to be honest I’m not sure if it was the full grid, but certainly a very large chunk of it. Then we wrapped our lines around our handles and set off past the Single-Line Arena to the main Display Arena. Evan as we walked to the main arena passers by were starting to sense something was going on, after all it’s not every day you see near on 50 peeps with kites bigger than they are, plus wives, girlfriends, significant others and kids all walking in the same direction.

When I arrived at the display arena there was a duel line display in progress and some of the earlier arrivals had started to set out their kites along the sides of the arena. There may have been one or two minor adjustments in the main arena but the majority of us had already been assigned grid positions in the practice arena. Because I was so nervous, Stephen had placed me in the bottom row, front of the grid on the ground between two very experienced fliers Jeanette (Too Much Fun) on my right and Simon (Flying Squad) on my left. Simon had been asked to keep an eye on me and to relay instructions if I went wrong or got lost. Although, clearly not all if any of the teams were six strong, as a general rule of thumb, the top teams formed their own columns, so there was a Flying Squad column, a Decorator’s column, an iQuad column and so on.

Getting all those kites set up and into the sky, was a major logistical exercise that probably took longer than the actual display, but that was probably not a bad thing, the compares were doing a great job bigging us up and creating a sense of anticipation and there was quite an audience building up along the arena rope. As I remember it, columns at or near the centre were positioned first then other columns were launched and added to the sides to build the grid in the sky. However I also remember being one of the last to get my kite set up. As I was at the bottom of column six, near the centre of the grid these two memories appear to contradict each other. The apparent contradiction can be cleared up in this video, I wouldn’t recommend it for watching the mega-fly, but for those that haven’t actually seen the grid in action, the first 2-3 mins, though edited, is the best example I can find of the grid being built.

On the field Stephen was running the show and there was a chain of command running out through the established teams. Somewhere behind me JB was ushering people and kites into position and I was a little worried he was going to want me to move, Simon had gone to sort something out with Stephen and I didn’t want to do anything without Stephen or Simon’s say so. At or around the 1:20 mark in the build video you can see the last few kites join the bottom of the grid, (I’m in there) and one kite, I believe that’s Stephen’s slide up between columns 2&3 to take his place at the top of column 3.

At the start of the mega-fly proper, around the 2:40 mark we are better closing that video and opening this one, it is I believe the best video I have seen of the actual mega-fly.

The first thing you will notice is that Stephen moves the rows individually, top row slide left, 2 slide right, 3 slide left and so on. By the time we got to “6 right, Go” two thoughts spring to mind, first, “Oh Shit! I’m in here, doing it, this is way past the point of no return”, there may also have been a short prayer in there as well, and then, “Row 6, Column 6, that’s Evens, Evens.” It may not be obvious unless you have actually flown in a grid but what Stephen did was to make sure that everybody knew what row they were in without having to think about it, a call of “odds left, evens right” would have had many of us counting. At the 0:40 you will notice the vertical threads are done en mass, individual column moves were not necessary as the grid had, more or less, been built by column so we already knew what column we were in.

Beyond that, to be honest, most of the actual mega-fly is pretty much a blur of adrenalin, intense concentration and “OMG, if this does all goes pear shaped and ends up as a big ball of spaghetti, please god don’t’ let it be my fault”. Though there is one thing I remember. I made a mistake and what’s more, I know of at least two others (names withheld to protect the guilty) who totally independently made exactly the same mistake. For me it happened about a third of the way through the display, for a moment, a split second, I took my eye off my kite to take a look at the bigger picture. Trust me on this one, I know it is tempting, but DON’T D IT, wait for the video on You Tube.

What I do remember is the very end of the display, two columns at a time, starting with the two end columns, turned to face out, then radared down to the ground. By the time we got to columns 3&6 arena space was at a premium and we had to land our kites over the lines of those that had already landed and the celebrations were already well underway. As I bent to put my handles over my ground stake, I paused for maybe half a second, I was a little reluctant to stand up again, I was aware I had a smile on my face, nothing wrong with that you may say, the trouble is, this was no ordinary smile this was the sort of smile normally only found on the face of a window licker. I reckon it took at least three days to wipe that smile of my face.


#65641 A Make-Weight’s View of the Mega Grid.

Posted by Stone in Shoe Bob on 07 February 2010 - 01:18 PM

Over in Felix’s thread International Register of 'Revolution' Team Fliers he asked if we thought that a register of potential mega-fly participants would be a good Idea. I think there was a clear consensus of opinion well before the end of the second page, there are now nearly 200 posts and there are now a number of sub questions being discussed. One Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks back now, (yes I have been working on this for that long), Stephen asked me to write something for the forum about my experience of the grid as an inexperienced team flyer, to address one of the sub questions running in Felix’s thread.

Before I go on to tell of my experience in The Grid and to share what I have learned from the experience, I think I ought to clarify a few points.

  • Throughout the earlier discussions I had been very conscious of the fact that I may have been shouting well above my weight. I am not a member of any team and my experience flying in the grid limited. I flew on the Sunday at Portsmouth 2008, I was then pulled from the grid the following weekend at Bristol, let's make no bones about it, because I wasn’t up to it on the day. And I have flown in a small grid at my local festival. Beyond that, maybe a couple of times at informal gatherings, such as the recent one at Ainsdale. But WTF in the land of the blind the one eyed man is King.
  • Although I am writing this at Stephen’s request and it was me that suggested that Felix, John & Stephen aka The Three Wise Men (TWM)*, disappear off into cyber space and get this thing sorted, all opinions expressed here are my own, formed from my own experience and are not reached with the benefit of any inside knowledge.
  • Whilst I do not want to pre-empt the deliberations of said TWM, I don’t think you need to be a rocket scientist or Mensa candidate to appreciate that in order to achieve the magic 100 mega-fly the register will have to include more than just members of the established teams. More to the point, if it could be done with just established team members there would be no need for the Register, they already know who the top teams are and how to contact them. It is us potential make-weights that they need to identify, and keep track of.

I have already said that this missive has taken a quite while to research and write and it has now grown way longer than a typical forum post. Fortunately it splits quite conveniently into three more manageable chunks, this one, what I am trying to do and why, the main section, my take on the nuts and bolts of how the grid works and how it feels to be in there, then the final section, will be, what I have learned from the experience and my advice to anyone joining a grid for the first time.

In later instalments I shall be referring to videos hosted elsewhere on the net, when you come across a link I recommend you open it in a new tab, then immediately pause it and return to this thread and carry on reading as I shall be making time specific references.

* - well the whole project was conceived over the Christmas period after all.


#61215 Up North (down South, back East, out West) UK Rev gathering"

Posted by Stone in Shoe Bob on 17 November 2009 - 11:53 AM

Sadly I can't make it this weekend.. but I have checked out the weather forecast and :blink: oh dear.... 60mph winds and heavy rain!!!

Good luck and enjoy! (more time in the pub then)

Hezz

Looks like the best of the weather will be Friday afternoon and 9mph Sunday lunchtime just when we will be thinking of heading home. I think I may have to ask the wife for extra pocket money this week it look like I will be getting through a lot of lemonade.


#7797 Australia

Posted by Stone in Shoe Bob on 23 August 2007 - 10:53 AM

There are two of us currently flying in the Cairns area of Far North Queensland (hopoefully a third soon!)

Cairns ML pairs champions then. :clap2: