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kwmfMember Since 11 Jan 2010
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Durban, South Africa
Posted by kwmf on 25 June 2012 - 07:38 AM
Posted by kwmf on 25 June 2012 - 03:12 AM
The flight location is in a section of reclaimed land inside the harbour itself which normally one would not have access to just go and fly at. It has a reasonable range that the wind can come from and still be flyable so it's nice to be able to get on there and fly. If you take a look at https://maps.google.....00327&t=h&z=19 you can see them actually in the process of reclaiming and building that section.
Last year the Saterday had big wind (I was on my B2 vented) and Sunday was wind so low that I was the only one flying
This year we had super low wind on Saterday (thank goodness for a years worth of skills development, but even the Zen struggled at times) and low to flyable wind on Sunday. The whole weekend was spent on the full sail with a bit of Zen thrown in on Saterday at times. The best fit for line length both last year and this year was 30' lines to allow me to get close to the people and not have to worry about space issues as the winds shift and the show kites now take up part of my window or block my wind. The 30's also allow for lots of 3D work, quick figures in the sky and lets you talk to people while you play with them.
The Saterday weather was a bit bleak and while the rain mostly stayed away, so did the people. Sunday was another story - the crowds were out in full force. In addition to what show kites Greg from Windsong could get in the air (Saterday was almost an exclusive 'Steve on a Rev' day), my Rev Padawan Johnny was able to join me for his first taste of show kites and flying at an event. He's only been at it since December and he was trying to use 50' lines most of the day to give himself more time across the window, but he did well for being thrown in the deep end. It was his first application of the skills learned at our private practice environment so he was learning lots.
Coming back to the point of the post, I got to play with a lot of kids and parents on the Sunday. The wind was challenging at times, but the overall elements of pilot, wind, equipment, etc allowed me to safely engage the crowd at will. Many were actually comfortable with me doing leading edge landings on their heads, tapping them on the shoulder, etc ... either they're all brave or my flying was reasonable enough for them to trust me. The kids had a great time chasing the kite (well, I had a great time of it as well) and the parents seemed amused as well.
I engaged with so many people that I don't recall the faces at all, but the highlight of my day came after playing with one set of kids for 20 minutes and hearing the little girl proclaim rather loudly as they left - "I like kites"
That right there was a measure of a job well done .... people were smiling and the little girls day had been made. Aside from that rather touching moment, most of the kids I played with seemed to insist that their parents buy them a kite
I know JB has spoken of this before, but getting onto 30' lines and getting in with the people is good for kiting and is a very rewarding experience for the pilot as well. I love my 30's for solo work and I love them even more when I get to interact with people. For those that try this, please remember this is a zero tolerance for errors endevour ... you cannot afford one single mistake when you are millimeters from the head of general public - they will not understand or care about the challenges of what just happen, they only know it hurt like hell.
Anyway, thats story for one aspect that made for a very successful weekend. As luck would have it, an organizer for a different event has invited Windsong Kites (along with me and Johnny) to come fly at an event of theirs in August ... can I get a whoop whoop
Posted by kwmf on 22 May 2012 - 11:20 PM
The 20's don't see much use, but the rest get flown lots. My choice of length (Laser Pro is my brand) comes down to where I am flying (space available), who I am flying with (what do they have) and if I'm flying solo, what type of flying do I want to do. Because I only fly 90# line the wind speed also has some bearing on my choice of length, but that is partially tied in with what type of flying I want to do.
The 120 is the standard for team flying, but I have flown pairs on my 30, 50 and 80 as well because thats what the other guy had. For solo work, the 120 make for a much bigger window and really slow things down for you so you can think between things - I use them for big slow solo work.
The 80 set is used by me in wind where I want the bigger window but the 120 set creates too much line drag and slows things down too much for what I want to do. I can still fly the 120 in this range, but it's slow and steady and I'm in the mood for a bit more punch to my flying. Obviously this is also my 'short' long line set for when space is an issue.
The 50 set is my long short line set and probably one of my most used lengths for me. This is largely due to the depth of our beaches here (80's would often be a very tight squeeze) as well as as being used for low wind and solo work. They're quick to set up, give a reasonable wind window, still allow 3D work, fit into smaller spaces, get you closer to the objecst or people you're playing with, etc. For me they're just an awesome length to fly solo on.
The 30 set is also a very well used set for me. It makes small spaces into big spaces, is my favourite set for catches, brings you up close and personal for interactions, gives a lot of punch and flair to solo work, super fast to setup, great in light wind, teaches you lots by being able to see all the details of whats happening with the kite and is perfect for urban flying.
Your conditions, preferences and needs may vary so apply to your own conditions.
Posted by kwmf on 17 April 2012 - 11:09 PM
The only negative thing about the weekend was having them actually fly my kites. Now I no longer have a scapegoat to blame - the kites fly just fine, the problem is the operator:kid_brooding: Oh well, guess that just means I need to spend more time on the beach!
Happens to us all...
I still remembering an old school guy doing bicycle rotations with my B series and it just looked like black magic to me since I couldn't make it do anything close.
Fortunately, I have had many opportunities to pay this one forward since that day
(and if I've done my job well, they too will get to pay it forward)
Posted by kwmf on 22 February 2012 - 05:55 AM
Originally, aside from feeling a difference in weight (perhaps balance of weight may be more accurate) and materials I mentioned above ... I couldn't really identify much of a difference between the two in terms of handling. Now that I have put some flight time in on the Pro, I can feel it when I go back to the B .... and I must say I try to avoid flying the B now that I'm used to the pro
I think the Pro is a kite that most will not feel the difference with, even when flying back to back with the B, unless they have a lot of experience and a very educated hand. I am currently of the opinion you will only feel the difference after spending time on the Pro and then going back to the B series. Until you've done that, you probably won't understand or justify why there is a price difference between the two.
The standard B is by NO means a bad kite, and if you never handled a Pro or only tried it once you would probably never be unhappy with your B series at all. It's only once you've spent some flight hours on the Pro that you will long for that Pro to be in your bag instead of the B.
In terms of what I've notices in flight so far, the Pro feels tighter, smoother and hangs in a lot longer in reverse before it's unhappy about how far you're pushing it. I also had opportunity to do basic pairs with a new guy with both my B and my Pro (he has a on the same day and I could clearly see a difference in flight. Because he doesn't have speed control, follows were all flat out with him in the lead - leaving me to react to any bad inputs he made. The B series pair flew almost identically, but when I switched to the Pro I could see a difference in speed, rotation, etc which I had to start accounting for to match with him.
Do you NEED a Pro series to fly revs .... no
Is the Pro better than the B .... yes
Is the increased cost justified .... yes
Is the increased cost worth it .... only you can answer that, and it requires handle time with the Pro
If it counts for anything, I've ordered my own custom set of Pro series after putting in the flight time to learn the difference
Posted by kwmf on 10 November 2011 - 06:00 AM
Posted by kwmf on 08 November 2011 - 11:12 PM
Is there anyone who I can catch a ride with from Portland side through to Long Beach on either Thurs or Fri?
(Flying in from another country I plan to be there for all 3 days)
Posted by kwmf on 11 August 2011 - 11:55 PM
It was about this point that I was escourted out, so I wasn't able to question them any further.
Posted by kwmf on 15 July 2011 - 03:07 AM
The actual change I can do ... the time required on each setup developing a feel for it is another story - especially when I don't think I have the skill and knowledge to know exactly what I'm looking at/for
With limited flight time I prefer to hear what others have experienced and found so that I can optimise my time and have a clue what I'm looking for or trying to replicate. Make no mistake, I will get around to it at some point and I never take anyones word for things ... but I do like to have a clue during my experiments. You guys are really lucky to be able to interact, share info and play on each others setups ... for those of us who have to go the solo hard way, we like to try save ourselves what we can where we can. If you prefer, you can ship yourself, Steve de Rooy or Spence over here to accelerate my learning and free up more time for experimentation
Posted by kwmf on 02 July 2011 - 08:01 AM
Posted by kwmf on 10 May 2011 - 01:29 AM
Perhaps they are refering to temporary stretching during control inputs - almost like a bungee. I've never flown these lines so I'm only going by what the manufacturer says. As far as wear goes, I wonder if the coating serves to protect the lines from catching on things that would otherwise catch a braided line and accelerate the wear.
Like I said, I have never flown these lines so I'm not bashing them ... just curious about the manufacturer claims vs user experience. So far I'm happy with all my LPG, since I can't just test lines before I buy something since none of these are readily available ... I just go with what is commonly held to be the best way to go.
Incidentally, if anyone has a 30, 50, 60 or 80' set they don't like/want you're welcome to send them to me so I can form my own experience on it
(Same goes for Shanti Speed and if I don't like them I know a Rev pilot on some poor lines that would benifit from them)
Posted by kwmf on 21 April 2011 - 03:58 AM
Add all the tricks Watty did in his videos as (axel, fade, sweep, pancake, etc) well as any other trick stuff. Off the top of my head - clockwork, speed control, and more I'll have to think about at my next session.
Something to maybe include for each section is how to see or feel where things are going wrong and how to deal with it before total failure. Something I noticed my last time out (or is that last time IN ) was that I would often end up with my rev at too much of an angle towards me (think side hover position) and that I would start to lose power on one half of the wing. Now I know this was happenign because of some bad days at work, but it illustrates the point that you can see something going wrong and need to have a way to fix it. Currently in that case I usually re-square the sail to power up and then go from there, but I'm not sure if there is anything more elegant than that.
I'm hoping to have another session tonight and then I can give a more coherant answer.
Posted by kwmf on 22 March 2011 - 06:19 AM
The first time I realised that I actually COULD fly in wind that was just above bugger all was one fay when I pitched up at a secluded beach site after a drive to discover I usually couldn't feel the wind on the back of my neck unless there was a gust (in which case I could JUST feel it). All I was armed with was my original SLE sail with a 1/4" 3-wrap frame and I really wanted to fly. To be honest I didn't even think I could've flown my Zen in that wind and I though my only chance would have been my Indoor Rev .... but I had driven all that way and to not try would have been a definite waste of my time, so I decided to give it a go. I setup on 50' on 90# line and thought I'd use the opportunity to practice my low wind skills like in the JB tutorials if that was even possible.
I think my jaw was on the ground for the firs 5 minutes because I was actually able to keep it going and I was honestly flying in those conditions with a sail and frame that is heavier and all 'wrong' for those conditions (or rather the lack there of). I flew for about 30 minutes before packing it in due to the insane heat and humidity. If it were not for that I would have kept flying so I could reinforce that feeling and skill as much as possible.
Just last week I had the opportunity to fly my B2 (3-wrap frame) against my B series (Race frame) and my Zen (full Race frame) in conditions I again thought were below my abilities. I know you read that, but that was a good afternoon of about 3 hours flight time where once again I astounded myself.
Yesterday I once again put the SLE sail with 3-wrap frame up in light conditions and flew again in something I didn't think was that possible. This time I struggled a bit (altho I was flying and doing alright) but the reason confirmed what I previously thought to be the case - the QUALITY of the wind (not the speed) has a major influence on your ability to develop and implement the skills.
With good quality wind I can fly a heavy rev with the wrong frame in wind lower than I had ever believed I could go with my Zen. As the quality drops, so does my ability to function in those conditions. With that said, having had some good conditions to practice in, I am far more able to deal with the poorer quality winds. It really is a function of pilot skill more than the specific rev. The specifics will provide small advantages over a lesser configuration, but they are small and can be overcome by skill. I find low wind wants a smoother, lighter touch on the handles, but thats me .... I believe the art of flailing is best learnt from RevFlyer
Don't set yourself up for disappointment by expecting magic from your Pro, get in some quality low wind and then MAKE magic happen on any sail you pick up
Posted by kwmf on 07 March 2011 - 06:32 AM
Got onto the 20' lines this weekend on the most divine low wind in the early evening and am now able to launch the catch from lower down in the window. Still not as low as in the tutorial, but I was reliably getting it when I made the pull. Next time I will push it to the 30's and then back out to the 50' lines.
I still find the hardest part the setup so the kite is going to fly straight to me, but at least I can identify when I'm set for the pull or not so I only make the pull if the setup is right.
(And I still pull and throw with my right hand so have to do a little swapping after the catch)
Good weekend flying
Posted by kwmf on 27 February 2011 - 10:39 AM
Thanks man ... I for the most part I have only been able to fly on weekends when the weather and other commitments allow, and even then only for somewhere between 1-3 hours. Almost always this will only be one of the weekend days if I fly, never both. I did have about 2 years power kite experience before I got into Revs though.
You sir may ask all the questions you wish ... especially if the answers are of some use to you.
Yes, I've been flying for just over a year now (http://www.revkites....n/page__st__100), but that has been on a variety of platforms (1.5, Blast, Zen and indoors - and soon the B2) and where time allows (see comment to hyzakite). In terms of hours spent, I'm actually finding that right now I am making wonderful progress with more frequent sessions of much shorter lenghts. I've managed to locate a beach site 5 minutes from my office and can get in about 25 minutes of flight time during a lunch break. Depending on work I can get anywhere from 0 to 3 sessions in a week. This has been suplementing my lack of weekend flights and I've found I'm making nice visible progress as a result.
My most flown lenght of lines are 80, 50 and 30 foot lines with some occasional 20' and 12' flights thrown in. Until I found this beach location, my flying was almost exclusively inland, even though I live in a costal city. The beaches are just too full of people and I tend to baby my gear somewhat. having found this lunchtime spot and being desperate for some flying, I re-tasked my original SLE (now with the right frame) to beach duty and added some O-rings to the spars to keep the sand out. I also have a Blast from TK that does beach duty as well and I've flown the beach a bit more often now. All my beach flying is on 50 foot lines due to space - including the Blast.
I don't have any experienced rev pilots around I'm afraid. There are other rev owners I am aware of, but not many active ones, and the active ones are just flying for fun and not really worried about tricks, precision or team. The next most active rev pilot is my girlfriend who is coming along nicely as well. I get to spend more time in the air than her and it shows, but all she needs is the flight hours and she will catch up. Just today she was practicing inverted slides after only being told how they are done and having seen me do them - I never actually spent time teaching it to her.
With you being in London I would say make the trip to spend time with some other UK pilots every now and then ... it will accelerate your learning like you would not believe. You at least have people within the same country as you - take a friday/monday leave and go make a weekend of it - it will be the best thing you ever did for your skills.