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Developing a street style


Dave362
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I just got back into kiting after a long break. What got me excited about flying again was watching street kiting videos using Revoluton kites. So I picked up a NYM and have been flying it on 30 foot lines. I'm having a great time, but my technique is pretty sloppy and for now I just need to get my basics back in shape. I plan to work on basic rev skills on longer lines until I get some precision back. The ultimate goal is to fly in smaller spaces and take advantage of the landscape a bit more. The recent vids John B posted from iconic spots in the U.S really knocked me out.

I'd also like to be able to fly in zero wind. It seems the folks who are best at this style of flying have some pretty serious indoor skills. I've done a bunch of zero wind flying with 2 line kites, but never with a rev. I did manage recently to pull off some throw and catch moves, which delighted me to no end.....

So I guess I'm asking how to go about this. I'm not so much interested in flying in crowds, just on short lines and tighter spaces. I don't want my flying to be dependent on the availability of the local ball field. I'm no kid (mid 50's) but I'm pretty athletic and in good shape, and welcome the physical involvement this type of flying will demand. So any tips?

Getting involved in this forum feels a bit like being late to the party, in that so many subjects have been covered so well. Still, its fun making a post and being involved in the discussion, so thanks in advance for your time.

Take care,

Dave

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Practice flying very slowly. Anybody can boogie, but those who can fly veeeery sloooowly are in complete control. In an urban flying environment on short lines in tight places it is very easy to touch objects that you didn't want to touch that hard, that fast -- OUCH!!! = broken spar or ripped sail. Look around where you intend to fly before you set up. Be aware of nails, posts, wires (including those overhead) that bridle and lines can snag on, and blind spots where someone might step around the corner and meet your kite face-to-face.

Of course, don't be paranoid, just do it. Do it carefully.

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Use a bit of brake to take out a bit of forward drive. Some rubber end caps on the verts and LE ends will take a bit of the shock out of contacts. Depending on the environment, I find I pump my lines more than use my feet. When I fly in the car park in zero wind, it's just a casual walk no more. Unless I'm pulling a fast 720...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Also be aware of what your chosen environment will do to your wind, or lack of wind. Some locations will look cool, but the wind will be messy, turbulent and switch directions on you every few seconds.

Learn the environment and it's conditions while you build the skills. Once you have the skills for that then any environment is game.

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My home is in a small valley. Most of my four acres is cleared land with scattered trees & our house in the middle with several other out buildings nearby. Not a likely place to fly any kite but my desire to fly at home is strong. The wind is turbulent at best with direction changes the norm. I have found that short line sets make for the best choice even if there is clear space to use longer. With dualies I do the best with a five meter set which is not what I initially suspected. Ten meter lines are usable but very difficult. What I discovered was that I could side step & deal with wind direction shifts more easily when my wind window was smaller. Longer lines definitely make it harder to achieve a new angle of flight to keep up with wind shifts. Things happen more quickly with short line sets but you can make corrections faster too. Kites that some judge as too twitchy can work to your advantage if the wind is fickle. Also I was unable to fly a 1.5 Revolution kite in my yard until I made a set of magic sticks & switched to a 2 wrap frame set. My short thirty foot line set is now usable flying around the house. It allowed me to land often without ground recovery space becoming an issue & increased my ability to glide a bit more. Next I will make a five meter quad line set. That should be quite entertaining as well. But if I were just starting out again it still would have taken me some time to get this far. SHBKF

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It seems the folks who are best at this style of flying have some pretty serious indoor skills.

I'd actually argue that it's the other way around -- having serious UL wind condition experience makes you a better indoor flyer! DC is known for it's awful wind conditions, especially in the hot months, and I've found that indoor is easier when i'm not worried about a 1mph "gust" knocking my kite out of the air!

To me, the main thing is learning the correct feel on the handles for when the sail is loaded, even when the kite isn't pulling. You want to be able to maintain that feel as you pull back on the handles to generate relative wind. Once the kite has started moving forward, you can move your hands forward again, thanks to the momentum you've just given the kite. Practice moving the kite through the entire hemisphere around you. Perhaps start by putting the kitedown wind and then pulling the lines to bring the kite straight up and over your head, then letting it glide back downwind. Practice doing 360s with the kite positioned vertically a few feet off the ground.

But, as always, have fun. Nothing else matters...

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