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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Beginners Corner => Topic started by: madhabitz on August 27, 2011, 12:46 PM



Title: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on August 27, 2011, 12:46 PM
Hi all,

I've been meaning to participate in the forum for a couple of months, now, but everytime I'd check out the place, I'd only read a couple of posts before getting sidetracked by all the excellent information, links, videos, etc.

I played with dime store diamond kites as a kid-- they cost about ten cents and were made of paper and had wooden sticks, but they flew great and could be counted on to last the short-lived windy season where I lived. I guess I've had a bit of an interest in kites my whole adult life, but never really did anything about it other than collecting a few books on the subject. I finally bought a couple of toy store kites a few years ago and would fly them from time to time, but that's about it until I stumbled upon a YouTube video of some dual line flying about a year and a half ago.

I couldn't believe it-- it was so magical to watch this thing (so birdlike) dance to music. I began researching the whole thing a bit more, then finally decided to hit the Wind and Art festival in San Ramon (CA) this last May. Oh man, I had to have a kite. No two ways about it... and I had to have one that day. I ended up buying the Prism Nexus (like so many newbies, eh?). I managed to find a small space among a couple of other dual line kiters and proceeded to play lawn darts for an hour. Heh.... the newbie ten-year-old next to me could actually keep his kite in the air for as long as he wanted.... the little snot. ;-)

Oh man, that Nexus is one zippy little kite. I couldn't imagine ever being able to learn anything on it. How could anyone learn on this booger? I went out with it many times over the next couple of weeks, but didn't think I was learning anything. I finally decided I needed something slower, so following Ike's advice in a post to another newbie (yeah, I know now that his name is Anthony, but he'll likely always be Ike to me), I ordered a Hypnotist from Steve. I also ordered Dodd's video. (an aside here: I couldn't believe how helpful Steve was... and how fast my order arrived (the next day, a Saturday!))

Armed with both Dodd's video and the one that came with the Hypnotist (Mark Reed's), plus all of the YouTube videos, I tried to figure some of this stuff out. The one thing I wanted to do was to land the danged thing. On purpose. I wasn't making any headway, it seemed. Then I saw the recommendation to fly with 20ft lines. That helped so much! Not only was my perpetual Walk of Shame shortened, but I could SEE the lines and kinda/sorta what they were doing. I was able to figure out how to unwrap the wingtips and get the thing lined up to take off again. After flying with the short lines for a couple of weeks, I began to crash onto leading edges instead of the nose (most of the time). It felt like my first mark of progress, but I still wanted to land. On Purpose. During this same period of time, I tried the Nexus again. This is when I realized I really was progressing, because I found out I could actually fly slower. It wasn't just the kite. Hmmm....

Last month I tried out the longer lines again and loved it. I've been able to land ON PURPOSE ::woot!:: many times now and even did my first genuine snap stall (also On Purpose). Just last week I did that thing where the kite was on its belly, nose pointed away. I tugged and it flipped into a fade, I tugged again with one hand and dang, if it didn't roll over and I was able to launch it into the air from there. I did it three times in a row!! I guess it must've been a pretty funny sight to see granny grinning her head off and pumping her fists.

I have so far to go, but the getting there is pretty fun. I'd love to start meeting up with other flyers in the Bay area-- wish work didn't get in the way.

I'm already thinking about my next kite. Like most newbies, I thought at first that much of my frustrations could be fixed with a better kite, but after awhile I realized that the Hypnotist and even the Nexus could take me pretty far in the learning game. I still want another kite, but I think that's just the nature of the more-is-better mentality. I'd been throwing loose change into jars for the last few years and just counted it all out the other day. Now it's burning a hole in my pocket, because it added up to more than $550! The problem is in deciding which kite to get. The WidowMaker is a leading contender, but there are so many I'd love to have. Should I go for a Deep Space? Talon? Sea Devil? The new Solus? I also love single-line kites, so maybe I should content myself awhile longer and buy a herd of giant Ghost Deltas.

Gotta head off to work now; will check back tonight. Chilese, leave my grammar alone (heh).

Nancy


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: AKA_MrBill on August 27, 2011, 02:14 PM
First and foremost, Welcome to the forum Nancy!  ;D

The funny thing is, my first and second kites were the Prism Nexus and Hypnotist, in that order.

Both are great learning kites. The Hypno can teach you more than the Nexus, but keep it around for infecting new flyers.

One thing to consider, when you really think you are ready, is to re-frame your Hypno with lighter spars. Search this site for links and instructions. It should cost less than $50 to do it. But, wait until you are really ready, the Hypno is fairly rugged and can handle the learning process better with the heavier spars.

Another alternative when you are ready for your next kite is to take a look at the kites made by Ken McNeill at Blue Moon Kites.
He builds with an incredible attention to detail and quality. On top of that, his kite are excellent, and the price is VERY REASONABLE!
I just picked up a used Exile and love it after just a couple flights.

BTW, right near you in Berkeley is a great kite park, Cesar Chavez State Park. If you go, you may see my son flying my Hypno. It is his now and he is becoming an addict. (Oh no, what have I done?) :D

Bill


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: King-J on August 27, 2011, 06:37 PM
Welcome to the forum, two places to visit would be the monthly fly in Chico and the monthly fly in Ripon, were you can actually try out some different kites, first Sunday of the month for Chico and the second Sunday for Ripon, we all would be glad to keep you hooked on kiting


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: DonCrash on August 27, 2011, 11:24 PM
Welcome Nancy,

Let's add another place shall we.
Shoreline Park in Mountain View (it's actually gonna be my stop for tomorrow, sunday): http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.430211,-122.076398&sll=37.5319,-121.97829&sspn=0.26116,0.21618&num=1&t=h&vpsrc=0&gl=us&z=17 (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.430211,-122.076398&sll=37.5319,-121.97829&sspn=0.26116,0.21618&num=1&t=h&vpsrc=0&gl=us&z=17)
Despite there's a ranger post, its free to get in the area

As mentioned above, Cesar Chavez in Berkeley: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.870653,-122.318666&sll=37.42999,-122.075744&sspn=0.003834,0.006781&num=1&t=h&vpsrc=0&gl=us&z=16 (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.870653,-122.318666&sll=37.42999,-122.075744&sspn=0.003834,0.006781&num=1&t=h&vpsrc=0&gl=us&z=16)


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on August 28, 2011, 02:32 AM
Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the warm welcome. I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to this thread-- had to run to work, then couldn't get a connection. Now I've got to hit the sack, because I'm due back to work early in the morning. If I sound whiney..... well, I guess I am. ;-)

Bill, I agree with you about the Hypnotist teaching me. That thing is dying to have me learn how to do this stuff. It's unreal some of the tricks it performs. I was telling someone recently that it did a tipstab all by itself... did it 3 times in a row. Magical, really, though now I know that wind currents right then had a bit to do with it. It got even better just the other day-- a whole series of maneuvers-- started with some kind of axel, then went into this sort of barrel roll-thing, then a flickflack or two, a backwards summer-salt, then a tip stand as a finale.  I was helpless to do anything but stand there watching in awe.

I think I read the thread about reframing the Hypnotist, but didn't understand much of it at the time. I'm so happy you brought it up, because I'd forgotten all about it. You can be sure I will follow up, because it would be so cool to have a lighter kite.

It's great that you got your son hooked on kiting-- I bet he's having a ball. I was able to go to the Berkeley Kite Festival-- it's a really neat place and it would be great fun to fly there again without the huge crowd.

King-J: I am dying to hit the Chico and Ripon fly-days, so thanks for the invite! Chico is a pretty good drive from where I am (about 180 miles), but it's my intention to actually get there one of these days. I will get to Ripon when the heat comes down. I grew up in Fresno, so you'd think I'd be used to it. Nope.

Don, I found a post or two where Shoreline Park was mentioned, so I took off one afternoon and spent a couple of hours there. The wind was great-- so steady compared to what I deal with here. Have a great time tomorrow (today?)!

Nancy






Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: Allen Carter on August 28, 2011, 08:06 AM
Welcome to our weird little world!

There are a number of "regulars" at Shoreline who are very helpful, and like any good kite field it's the people that make it more than just a big place with wind.


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: Bob D on August 29, 2011, 08:36 AM
If you're thinking about a new, high-end kite, any of those you mentioned would be good. I have a Deep Space, Widow Maker, and Blue Moon Exile so I can tell you about those. The DS was my first really high-end kite and it's a great kite in almost any wind. The only trouble I have is getting it to turtle deep enough to lazy susan. Tim Benson's Trick or Treat DVD is great at showing you the inputs needed to make it work. The Widow Maker is another great kite with a wide wind range and does almost anything you want. The Exile is another good kite but it starts to pull hard as the wind picks up at speeds that the DS and WM are still trickable in.

If I had to pick one, I'd pick the Deep Space.

Whatever you get, any of the high end kites will give you the trickability that you can grow into. Pick the one that looks the nicest to you and enjoy it!


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on August 29, 2011, 02:22 PM
Welcome to our weird little world!

There are a number of "regulars" at Shoreline who are very helpful, and like any good kite field it's the people that make it more than just a big place with wind.

I can't even begin to tell you guys how much I've missed being with others while trying to learn, for exactly the reason you mentioned: the people. In the weeks I've been doing this, aside from the two festivals, I've only run into one other kite person. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself.... but then he spent an hour telling me about his psychosis (plural/psychoses?) and all the drugs he takes for them. LOL, he really was a nice person and I wasn't afraid of him, but I didn't learn a whole lot about kiting. 

So, what are all y'all doing on Thursday? ;-)

Nancy


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on August 29, 2011, 03:05 PM
If you're thinking about a new, high-end kite, any of those you mentioned would be good. I have a Deep Space, Widow Maker, and Blue Moon Exile so I can tell you about those. The DS was my first really high-end kite and it's a great kite in almost any wind. The only trouble I have is getting it to turtle deep enough to lazy susan. Tim Benson's Trick or Treat DVD is great at showing you the inputs needed to make it work. The Widow Maker is another great kite with a wide wind range and does almost anything you want. The Exile is another good kite but it starts to pull hard as the wind picks up at speeds that the DS and WM are still trickable in.

If I had to pick one, I'd pick the Deep Space.

Whatever you get, any of the high end kites will give you the trickability that you can grow into. Pick the one that looks the nicest to you and enjoy it!

It's so fun and also a bit frustrating to try and decide on a new kite. I've read forum posts and watched videos like crazy, but I'm still changing my mind every few days. I was about decided on the WidowMaker, because so many like it so much and because it feels like it'd do just what I need it to do. I love the original colors (red/black/white), but know that I'd tire of them after awhile-- I'd want to look at something a bit .... less, for want of a better word. The static lines and being able to only have pieces colored in pairs is quite limiting. Graphics shouldn't be so important, I know, but they are.

I LOVE the graphics possibilities of the Exile-- played with the colorizer for an hour or two and came up with a ton of really pleasing ideas. Researching the kite, though, it felt like I'd be better off with something more forgiving of someone with still so much learning to do. Pulling too hard would be another reason, so thanks for that tidbit. I've read nothing but wonderful things about Ken, so it would be fun to have one of his kites someday.

When I read about the DeepSpace, there's always such reverence attached to the words. ;-)  Is it that good or is it hype built up because it's such a big deal to order a kite from that far away? Truly, the company does seem like a class act. I really like the graphics possibilities. I will look into getting the DVD-- thanks for that!

Decisions decisions. I do kind of like the idea of re-framing my Hypnotist as suggested earlier, then spend my money on a herd of Ghosts. lol... not really kidding. ;-)

Thanks so much for the input!

Nancy



Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: Allen Carter on August 29, 2011, 03:13 PM

So, what are all y'all doing on Thursday? ;-)

Nancy


Thursday is my after work flying day (when it actually happens) 5:30 to sunset. The regular crew is usually around too.



Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on August 29, 2011, 04:19 PM

Thursday is my after work flying day (when it actually happens) 5:30 to sunset. The regular crew is usually around too.


Seriously? I've got Thursday off-- would you mind if I joined you guys?


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: Allen Carter on August 29, 2011, 04:28 PM
The more the merrier!

I'll bring a few kites....




Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on August 29, 2011, 05:09 PM
The more the merrier!

I'll bring a few kites....




Thank you!!


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: DonCrash on August 29, 2011, 07:04 PM
Thursday huh, If I've got nothing to do, I'm planning to be there, but I'm usually gone by 3ish  :(

Which is why I've never see Allen there... ::)


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: Allen Carter on August 29, 2011, 08:44 PM
No, that's why I've never seen YOU there.    ::)


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: kitebug on August 29, 2011, 08:59 PM
The Bay Area Sport Kite League, and NCKC. Will be at Ocean Beach on SEP 10th, for the Golden Gate Challenge.

Come check it out and hang and fly with us!

www.baskl.org (http://www.baskl.org) then click on schedule for more Info.

good winds! Kitebug


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: DonCrash on August 30, 2011, 07:47 AM
No, that's why I've never seen YOU there.    ::)

hahaha...  :D  :P  ;D

The field might set fire if the day happens; a giant crater shall appear in the mid of the grass area, and kite demons flying dual-lines with kevlar will pop out running around in a frenzy  ???


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on August 30, 2011, 10:14 PM
Thursday huh, If I've got nothing to do, I'm planning to be there, but I'm usually gone by 3ish  :(

Because of the heavy commuter traffic, I'd planned to head that way pretty early-- maybe I'll get to meet you too!


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on August 30, 2011, 10:16 PM
The Bay Area Sport Kite League, and NCKC. Will be at Ocean Beach on SET 10th, for the Golden Gate Challenge.

Come check it out and hang and fly with us!

Awesome, I've marked the date-- thanks!


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: AKA_MrBill on August 31, 2011, 12:14 PM
I should be able to get to Cesar Chavez park this Saturday in the mid to late afternoon with my wife and son. I'll have my Exile, Nexus and Micron with me (maybe even my Flashlight), he'll have his Hypnotist. If any of you spot us, feel free to come by and introduce yourselves.

BTW, where at CC park do you recommend to fly? I've only been there the one time and we flew just south of what looks like an old smoke stack or well tank (old and rusty). It is right in the east center of the park.


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on August 31, 2011, 05:14 PM
I should be able to get to Cesar Chavez park this Saturday in the mid to late afternoon with my wife and son. I'll have my Exile, Nexus and Micron with me (maybe even my Flashlight), he'll have his Hypnotist. If any of you spot us, feel free to come by and introduce yourselves.

BTW, where at CC park do you recommend to fly? I've only been there the one time and we flew just south of what looks like an old smoke stack or well tank (old and rusty). It is right in the east center of the park.

Oh man, I'd love to go, but I have to work. Check out DonCrash's post (4th one from the top on the first page of this thread) with the Google map link for the park (also one for Shoreline). It's great-- shows just where to be.


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: DonCrash on September 01, 2011, 12:26 AM
The Cesar Chavez park gang usually hang about the area next to the culdesac of the parking lot; it's the same location where Highline Kites would park their minitruck in the afternoon of weekends. It is where I fly as well. We all have our folding chairs there as well.

Have fun this weekend, camping trip is taking me first this saturday.


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: Allen Carter on September 02, 2011, 09:42 AM
We have a new kite nut in our midst!

Nancy has got the bug, and got it bad.   :)

She's also got really good fundamentals down after a lot of time on that little Nexus and that big Hypnotist. Steady hands (some very solid stalls!) and good taste in kites (she liked my Midi).

Great to meet you and fly some kites Nancy!

See you again soon.



Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on September 02, 2011, 06:49 PM
Allen, I don't have the words to convey how terrific you were yesterday. It's very apparent that you haven't lost the memory of how it feels being the new guy-- you understood how tickled I was to be there and you understood how awkward a body feels to make mistakes in front of someone else. You are a kind and gentle guy with the soul of someone born to teach, someone with infinite patience. (anybody tear-jerking yet?) Okay, I'm waxing a tad poetic, but I swear it's all true!

I drew the long straw yesterday, that's for sure. I couldn't believe you really truly let me fly your kites. I did LOVE the Midi. A lot. I covet the Midi in fact. Both of your kites were exactly what I've had in my head-- what I've been wanting to feel, but didn't even know it. Solid. Precise. Incredibly elegant.

I would love to meet up out there again someday, but you have to promise to let me know if you'd really prefer to just fly your kites rather than spend your little bit of free time on my stuff.

Thanks again, Allen. Amazing restraint to not mention that I ran your kite right into the really solid fence (right after quietly asking me to miss the tree-- loads of diplomatic restraint there, too). Oh man, I about died, but I am glad the kite's okay. It's okay, right?

Thank you!!!

Nancy


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on September 02, 2011, 06:57 PM
Thursday huh, If I've got nothing to do, I'm planning to be there, but I'm usually gone by 3ish  :(

Well, I'm sorry to say I missed you yesterday-- I wasn't able to get there until about 2:45pm, but the weird thing is, until just before I was ready to go, I *thought* I'd spent several hours with you (lol). There was a guy flying his kite and I called out "are you Don?" He said "yep," so I went over and shook his hand (lol) and we chatted for quite awhile. Then just before leaving, I heard someone say to him, "see you later, Cecil."  I turned to him and said, "you're Cecil, not Don?" lol....

Maybe another time, eh?

Nancy


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: DonCrash on September 02, 2011, 08:52 PM
Cecil impersonated me?   ???    :D

its alrite Nancy, there's plenty of times to meet up. I was there helping my lil' sister buggy. So me and her was there for quite a while


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: Allen Carter on September 02, 2011, 09:00 PM
Cecil is one of those "call me anything you want, just don't call me late for dinner" kind of guys.  :)

He's also just about the most hard core kite guy I know. He's out there all the time!


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: JimB on September 02, 2011, 09:21 PM
Cecil also happens to be a great guy. :)


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: Allen Carter on September 02, 2011, 09:39 PM
That's what I was getting at.  ;)


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on September 02, 2011, 09:42 PM
Cecil impersonated me?   ???    :D

its alrite Nancy, there's plenty of times to meet up. I was there helping my lil' sister buggy. So me and her was there for quite a while

Looking back, I don't think he actually heard me say your name-- probably thought "yep" had a 50% chance of being the right answer to whatever I asked (I was kind of far away). Hey, I bet I spent some of my time watching you yesterday and didn't even know it.

@Allen and JimB: Yup, Cecil is harcore for sure, but he was fun.


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: AKA_MrBill on September 03, 2011, 02:41 PM
I'll be at CC park around 4:30p. Look for the big, bald guy flying a Exile like he doesn't really know what he's doin', cuz I don't :)


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: Ca Ike on September 07, 2011, 12:13 AM
WElcome to the addiction Nancy.  I'm glad my advice, as well as others here helped you out.  It's also nice to see more women getting into kiting.  There is also another woman from the prism forums (Hawaiigirl) that is relocating to the bay area that I have flown with.  The excitement of a new flier never gets old to me and you two of the best guys in Allen and Don out there to learn from.  Your welcome to join us at our fun fly in ripon as well, always the 2nd sunday of the month.

~ANthony


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on September 07, 2011, 12:45 PM
I'll be at CC park around 4:30p. Look for the big, bald guy flying a Exile like he doesn't really know what he's doin', cuz I don't :)

Heh.... welcome to my world. I'm sorry I missed seeing you there. Did you get any pictures?



WElcome to the addiction Nancy.  I'm glad my advice, as well as others here helped you out.  It's also nice to see more women getting into kiting.  There is also another woman from the prism forums (Hawaiigirl) that is relocating to the bay area that I have flown with.  The excitement of a new flier never gets old to me and you two of the best guys in Allen and Don out there to learn from.  Your welcome to join us at our fun fly in ripon as well, always the 2nd sunday of the month.

Thanks Anthony! I've loved how the group is so into teaching the new ones-- that's as it should be, but don't always find. The weather should be cooling off by next month, so if I can swing the day off, I'll be in Ripon for sure.

Nancy  <----- off to work. again.



Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: AKA_MrBill on September 07, 2011, 02:48 PM
I'll be at CC park around 4:30p. Look for the big, bald guy flying a Exile like he doesn't really know what he's doin', cuz I don't :)

Heh.... welcome to my world. I'm sorry I missed seeing you there. Did you get any pictures?


Sorry, I brought my camera out, but was pre-occupied with flying, ;) or something that looked like flying.

Were you flying by the cul-de-sac? It looked fairly crowded over there, so we ventured on to the fields to the north west. The air was really bumpy because of the tree line behind us, but what the heck. I live in Sacramento, I'm used to bumpy air. I could have used a vented kite though.

I was able to pull off a couple of good snap stalls despite the wind. The one thing that really jazzed me was pulling off a dead launch, that was my first time doing that and not having to do the walk of shame.  ;D

The funniest part of the day was watching my wife, who normally is a decent flyer for a nube, keep pounding my old Hypno, now my son's kite, into the ground because she accidentally had the straps on the wrong hands. (The replacement spine is being delivered today.)

Priceless moment of the day? The look on my sons face when I let him fly the Micron with the bridle set for medium wind. Talk about "saucer eyes"!  ???



Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: DonCrash on September 09, 2011, 06:43 PM
Don't suppose any of you guys planning to stop by BASKL's event tomorrow?  :)


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: AKA_MrBill on September 09, 2011, 07:51 PM
Don't suppose any of you guys planning to stop by BASKL's event tomorrow?  :)

Nope, but I will be at CC park again in the afternoon.


Title: Re: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)
Post by: madhabitz on September 10, 2011, 12:46 AM
MrBill, I didn't mean to mislead you-- I wasn't able to get to Berkeley when you were there. I was just wishing that I could have and missed being able to meet up with you and yours. It sounds like all y'all had a great time.

Don, I got the day off, so I plan on going to the BASKL thing. You going?

For anyone interested in attending, you can read all about it at http://www.baskl.org/ (http://www.baskl.org/) (click on the SCHEDULE link on the left of the webpage).