GWTW Forum

Kites! Kites! Kites! => Beginners Corner => Topic started by: tommymcmillan on April 06, 2014, 09:37 PM

Title: slideing
Post by: tommymcmillan on April 06, 2014, 09:37 PM
Need help with learning to do the side slide. Can't seem to nail when to do the input to initiate the slide any advice/help is greatly appreciated.

Title: Re: slideing
Post by: RobB on April 07, 2014, 04:25 AM
Hey there...
A quick downturn from the edge of the wind window to setup the slide, then careful tending of the lines as you slide across.
Hope this helps... (


Title: Re: slideing
Post by: SparkieRob on April 07, 2014, 04:47 AM
The trick is to release your turn a bit early and hopefully end up horizontal into the slide. Get your stall going and keep trying. I found that going from left to right was easier to get.

Nice clip Rob.

Title: Re: slideing
Post by: Allen Carter on April 07, 2014, 09:55 AM
Slides, like any stall, are hard to do in medium to high wind. In light wind, when the kite really doesn't want to fly as much, they tend to come pretty naturally. Small kites and really tricky kites tend to be harder to slide than bigger or more "old school" kites.

People talk about "inputs" and such, but getting into a slide is really just stopping a turn a bit more abruptly than usual.

Here's the setup without stalling the kite (normal flight). Fly towards the edge of the window and before the kite loses all power do a down turn and fly back across the window. The hand movements to get a nice turn with a steady entry and exit would be: Hands together in front of you to make the kite fly straight, pulling back on one hand to make the kite turn, then returning that had to the starting position. The kite does a nice controlled, powered turn to reverse direction. One hand stays put in front of you, the other moves back, then forward to make the turn. In doing a normal turn your hand will come forward at a controlled speed to end the turn cleanly and keep the kite flying straight. The only difference to make the kite stall into a slide is the bring that hand forward a bit more quickly.

So, pull back to initiate a nice downward turn, but instead of moving your hand forward smoothly to finish the turn (probably pretty instinctive after learning to fly and do turns) when the kite is maybe half or 2/3 through the turn move the hand forward more quickly. This spills air from the wing and stalls the kite. We all did this a LOT when learning how to fly, then overcame it and learned how to do nice steady turns.

The timing of when to move that hand forward and how fast depends on the kite and the force of the wind. It tends to be pretty unremarkable, not a "pop" or anything, just bringing your hands back together a bit quicker than you would if you were flying out of the turn. A smooth movement makes the kite stall steady, not shaky. Failure mode is either a kite that doesn't stall and just makes a shaky turn, or one that stalls and over rotates and the kite powers up again going the wrong way or float/flops to the ground.

Make sure you end up with both hands together in front of you, just like for straight flight. If the kite does stall you want to have your hands in front of you to learn how to control the stall and keep the slide going.

So, the initial timing is the first thing to learn, then how to control the slide. The timing of the down turn and release should leave you with a kite with is stalled with the nose not quite pointed straight up. The nose should be a little bit towards the center of the window (easier to see as the wingtip pointing toward the center is a bit lower than the other. The kite is tilted just a bit, not perfectly level. This helps keep the momentum from the turn and puts the kite in a position to be pushed along sideways by the wind. The best way to learn to control this situation is to keep one hand locked steady and move the other hand a little bit. Makes sense when doing the whole move to keep the one hand still, through the turn and into the slide. When learning, I actually put the elbow against my side and really just locked the steady hand in place and initiated and tended the slide with the other.

So the wingtip that is heading back into the window is fixed, and the wingtip trailing can be pulled closer to you to add lift or pushed away to increase stall. Little movements with that wing are what do the trick. The other requirement to keep the kite stalled depends on the wind. In light wind you'll often need to be walking backwards, in stronger wind walking forward. You almost always have to move your feet for a successful slide. Every now and then the wind will be just right for the kite you are flying and you can stand there with a silly grin on your face as the kite scoots sideways, but that's the exception rather then the rule, especially as the kite moves further towards the middle of the window where the wind pressure increases on the sail. a step or to forward is most common.

Title: Re: slideing
Post by: JimB on April 07, 2014, 03:22 PM
I'm going to mention something that no one else has.

Getting the kite out past the edge of the window a little by stepping back and pulling on the lines, and then turning the kite down into the slide, really helps in getting the kite moving back towards the center of the window.

When a kite is stalled out near or even past the edge the wind is hitting the sail obliquely which causes the kite to be pushed sideways.

Makes life so much simpler.

Also, if the wind is up this may be the only way to get the kite to slide in the first place. In this case be prepared to move in diagonally towards the center along with the kite to maintain the stall.

The reason you don't have to do this so much in light wind is because of the reduced size of the wind window: the edge is basically right in front of you.

The fact is you will get a much stronger slide in slightly higher winds. You just have to be fast enough on your feet to keep the kite stalled and moving.

The ability to move in on the kite is the limiting factor on how high a wind you can slide (or stall) a kite in.

"Feets don't fail me now!"

So just how fast are 'ya?



Title: Re: slideing
Post by: Ca Ike on April 07, 2014, 05:52 PM
The entry is key to getting momentum set up but its the line management that is really important.  Once in the slide the leading hand/arm never moves.  All adjustments are made with the trailing arm/hand.  Here's a vid of my slide practice from a couple years back.  Shows my screw ups as well as my successes but you can also see me in the vid and see what my hands are doing.

Slidin' on Vimeo (

Title: Re: slideing
Post by: Kantaxel on April 08, 2014, 12:16 PM
I am always amazed by the sliding Matthew does in this vid. (by far my favorite-all time) (

Watching Mr. Mark  Reed is truly a marvel.  He looks as though he's asleep when he's doing it. He doesn't move his feet at all in low winds...does it all with his hands.