GWTW Forum

Kites! Kites! Kites! => Beginners Corner => Topic started by: RussRangs on December 27, 2011, 10:59 PM



Title: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: RussRangs on December 27, 2011, 10:59 PM
Hi All,

My name's Russell, I'm from Queensland, Australia. Despite this being the beginners forum, from what I can see, I the beginningest beginner there is, so sorry if this is all a bit newbish.

My 12 year old son recently found my first, and only, stunt kite, which I bought about 25 years ago, and which probably hasn't been in use for about 20 years. It's got "Skynosaur" plastered across it, so I guess that's the brand/model. I used it pretty much only on holidays to the beach. I remember flying it fairly well back then, but never did anything more than figure 8's that I can remember. So, as I said, my son found it, and insisted we try it out. I was happy to do so. It only has one lower spreader, and no stand-offs. The lower spreader is some sort of hollow tube, and I saw it was crushed on the right side. It's still in one piece, but bends at the crushed section.

So anyway, I figured we had to try. Cutting what is turning into a long story a little shorter, we had it flying with a huge flex in the spreader where the damaged section is, and the spine keeps pushing through the webbing of it's pocket on the tail end. Despite this, we had a great time, and so the Kiting bug has bitten again, and I've gone online shopping :)

I've ordered 4 kites. One for myself, two for my boys, and since there was a boxing day sale on, also ordered a quad, the HQ Mojo, as I like exploring all avenues of a sport when I get into it.

Now, as to the decisions.

My 12 year old picked up the concept of flying the Skynosaur fairly quickly, so not wanting to limit him, I went for an upper level starter, and ordered an Easy 2 by Level One. Just hope it's not too difficult for him.

In case it is a little difficult, and to start my other son (almost 15 year old), who may only be interested in part-time kiting, I also ordered a Premier Addiction, which seems to be recommended as a beginner for beginners, without being an el-cheapo. That one can be a 'family' kite for us all to start on, if need be.

For myself, not wanting to start with something that I'd outgrow too quick, but having to take budget into consideration, ordered a Prism Hypnotist. There were about 4 others I had in the shopping cart for me at various stages, but I finally settled on that one based on other opinions I'd read, and what was available in the shop I was shopping at. I also have years of experience flying boomerangs, so have a fairly good grasp on aerodynamics and wind currents. Hopefully that will put me in good stead for skipping the 'absolute beginner' kites.

Finally, as I mentioned, the Mojo. After doing the research I did on each, Quad's seem very popular now, but the videos I saw it's much more sedate than dual-liners, so it seems the dual line kites are good for action days, and the quads for relaxed days. What remains to be seem is whether I can handle learning two different flight techniques at once :)

We live on the inland side of the Great Dividing Range, and have fairly regular, strongish winds (5 - 20 kmh usually), although they can be gusty, and live on 8 acres of  hilly paddock, so plenty of room to fly whenever we want.

So, what do you think of my decisions? Have I messed up anywhere?

What I'd like opinions on from here, is what's the best way to get into starting to learn stunting? The problem I've had googling & YouTubing seems to be the assumption that anyone wanting to learn tricks starts with things like Axels and Fades, but there must be some preliminaries about controlling the lines & other things? Or is it just a matter of getting out there and seeing what the lite does, and you figure out those things naturally without having to be shown?

I've found the kite trick mindmap which seems like a nicely laid out document, the Trick Wiki, and the Reed Design site. There seems to be some foreknowledge required though to understand everything these are saying.

Any hints you can give on how to get the kids flying and maintaining there interest would be appreciated. I'm pretty sure just basic flying won't suffice for my 12 year old, as he's tough himself to Diablo fairly well, and always wants to do better tricks, and he's giving me a run for my money on my juggling skills as well.

Thanks. Russell.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: chilese on December 28, 2011, 12:10 AM
Welcome to the Forum.  :)

Your decisions are fine. Don't worry. If you stay with the sport, you will go through many, many kites. Any kite you find that falls out of favor can be sold at a discount or simply given to some deserving soul.

Find fliers in your area. Ask at the closest kite store where the kiters fly and go there. Kiters, in general, are a kind lot and they will answer your questions quickly and make suggestions to speed you on your way to the elusive goal of perfection.

If you have no fliers in the area, watch as many videos as you can. Randy Greenway has some excellent tutorials on advanced tricks.

http://v2.1.kiteclique.com/wordpress-3.0/wordpress/tutorials/randygs (http://v2.1.kiteclique.com/wordpress-3.0/wordpress/tutorials/randygs)

The Rev site has many videos to help you fly quad-line kites. Watch the videos, but the best way to learn is to fly with people who are better than you.

It's a great family activity.  :)


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: RussRangs on December 28, 2011, 12:31 AM
Thanks for that. I've seen some of Randy's videos. They are good.

Unfortunately, the nearest kite store I know of is 3 hours away. I saw on the Extreme Kites site, that some kiters an hour's drive from me, but I can't register on the site, and all of the admin contact emails are bouncing, so I can't contact any of them to hook up.

I'll continue on my google adventures then. it'll probably be a week or so before our kites arrive, so I have plenty of time to read up first :)

Russell.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: B-13 on December 28, 2011, 02:45 AM
Hi Russell,

First off, BIG WELCOME to the forum and welcome back to kiting :)
Your decisions are fine and you balanced beginner level to intermediate without exploding the purse.

For the sons i think that he chosen kites will be their entry to basics and controlling a dual line. They will and must be ONE with the wind and understand that dual lines are not intended to only figure 8 and loops  ;) but need to move/walk/run/back run on the field to keep wanted pressure in the sail at every moment. This will be second nature after sometimes, no worries bout this.

As for you and the Hypno, great choice you made on this kite. I personally started with a Hypno and finding the right winds (i found 6-8kmh good) for it, the kite will amaze you and this will be your entry to trick world. As Chilese said, you will have more kites by Feb 2012  ;D

Tips that i can give here and errors i've done when starting, is not to burn steps and to start gradually. Do think that in two weeks you will have flat axels and minutes of fades  :o
Start by keeping the kite in the air (i mean do not crash it) of course un-planned landings will appear from time to time but this should be during tricks learning.
Know your winds and set the kite right for each wind to get the best from it. Learn different part of the wind window and how to move to keep the kite stalled (not moving with nose up position) in any part of the wind window.
Learn your stalls and slides first as this is the key to perfect kite control.
After then you can begin with simple tricks.
The Hypno will be delivered to you with a DVD in which many (much more) of what we've written here is covered.
Do not rush your learning curve as you will find it more steep if you tend to run rather than walk and understand where you are...i know i know, i talk like a priest at the Sunday mass but i just want you to avoid the errors i did and i found it more difficult in correcting this after.

Of course, surfing on the forum for already discussed matters will help you a lot and one last advice is to learn and understand the kite itself (on the ground) before flying. Knowing different parts of it and what they do. How they can be adjusted and how it affects flying.

Picked a quad line myself last week and jumped into dark waters. This is another discussion we can have on another posts :)

Wishing you good luck and no matter how hard you find things in the beginning, never forget that even the best here started like this. Do not hesitate to ask for help and everyone here will help.

Happy New Year 2012 to you and the family and Enjoy kiting to the max


ps: Get the wife also in the activity, you will find this will greatly help you for future purchases ;)


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: Bob D on December 28, 2011, 03:58 AM
No matter what you're flying if you're having fun that's the only thing that matters. For a long time (years), I watched Dodd Gross's video and didn't understand how the stall and the axel worked together. I still had fun though because I just liked flying. I'm a slow learner but I eventually got it.

The basis of tricks is understanding how the kite handles when it's stalled. (Spend a lot of time at the edge of the wind window for starters.) Another important thing is managing your lines when you pop your lines to make things happen.

For starters, just go out and have fun. Don't stress and get frustrated if you're determined to learn something. You will eventually. For me, it takes longer because, like I said, I'm a slow learner.

And if your boys like to fly too, you have a great opportunity to spend time with them and that's something that's more important than learning a new trick.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: RussRangs on December 28, 2011, 11:38 AM
Thanks for the words of wisdom.

B-13, in all my years on the Internet, I don't think I've ever come across anyone from Mauritius, so a big Hi and I'd be intested in your opinion on how Your learning to fly a quad is different from the dual.

Bob, you're right. Getting out the with the kids is the main goal. Having a back yard we can fly in is a big advantage, just hope out gusty/swirly winds don't make it too frustrating. I imagine kites these days should cope with wind variability a bit better than my old kite does. Unfortunately though, the nearest beach is about 2 hours away, so we'll have to get by for now.

Russell.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: mikenchico on December 28, 2011, 03:32 PM
Often old dual line flyers have a harder time with a quad lines then somebody new to kiting. Quads are controlled with the wrists by twisting the wing where duals are controlled with the arms by changing the angle of the whole kite.

You might grab that new quad right off before you ingrain those dual line movements too deeply. Head on into the quad section for some tips on starting to fly quads.

And don't get too anxious on those tricks, fly those figure 8's for awhile and any other figure you can imagine until you are pretty comfortable flying them. See how close you can fly to the ground, etc. I won't say no crashes because if you don't crash "you are not trying hard enough" but until you can blame those crashes on "pushing the envelope" rather then "oops pulled the wrong hand".

Hope you and your sons have a great time with your kites

edit: oh and check your linesets for even lengths, the mass produced beginner and intermediate kites often have uneven lines. Just stake them or hook them to a stationary object, lay back on them near their rated strength on and off a few times and check the lengths. untie and adjust them if needed. Your beginning experiences will be much better with equal lines.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: TGunn on December 28, 2011, 06:09 PM
Russell,
   If I may suggest, you hook up with the Queensland Kiteflyers Society. They're based in Brisbane, but have members scattered throughout Queensland.

http://www.qldkiteflyerssociety.com.au/ (http://www.qldkiteflyerssociety.com.au/)

I'm from the US, but have participated in a couple kite festivals in Queensland. One in Coolum Beach, and one in Townsville. I know many of the kite flyers in your area. There's a member there that shares the same name as you, whom works for Quantas Airlines.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: RussRangs on December 29, 2011, 12:00 AM
Thanks for the local link. I knew kites were popular at Redcliffe, and that the kite festival was there, but didn't know about the QKS.

Regarding the line length, you'd think in this day of age, that providing two lines the same length wouldn't be difficult. I'll be sure to check them. Thanks for the heads up.

Russell.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: greenbulletblues on December 30, 2011, 07:53 AM
Russell,  Way to go !!!!  You will probably be pleasantly suprised at how well the new kites handle.  Much more precise and tighter turns.  You'll have a blast.  Stay with the quad, you may have to rewire your brain a little to fly that vs. the dual line, but you will have fun.
Good winds,
Jim


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: RussRangs on January 02, 2012, 11:24 PM
Ok well after an impatient long break, the guys at BrisKites are back to work, and my Kites were put in the mail today. They called to say unfortunately they are out of the Mojo, and asked if I wanted to change the quad. I figure I can live without it for a few weeks while I try out the Dual, so it's on back-order. Now I just hope it gets here before the weekend :)

I've been reading through two books I found online by the Gombergs- "Stunt Kites Manual' and 'Sport Kite Magic'. These seem to be great resources for someone in my situation who is entering the sport blind, so to speak. The first one seems to have covered all the basics I wasn't sure of, and the second is filling in the blanks on performance flying. I assume some of the info is slightly outdated, mainly about the gear such as handles etc as it doesn't seem to quite match what I've seen elsewhere, but that's OK.

One bit I read though, talks about the increased chance of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome if you put the handle loops around the back of your wrist, and the suggestion is to loop it around the middle of your palm. Is that the recommended method these days? I certainly don;t want to introduce my kids to the sport and give them poor technique which might lead to sport injuries.

Thanks. Russell.



Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: Hadge on January 03, 2012, 03:30 AM
Russell,

Check your messages, if you send me your email address I can send you a copy of a kite book written by a guy called Peter Massey.  It was available to download but last time I checked the host site had gone down but I have a copy on my computer. It's 125 pages, 12meg but was written recently so the infomation is up to date and I think you'll find it very useful.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: B-13 on January 03, 2012, 04:41 AM
Russell,

Check your messages, if you send me your email address I can send you a copy of a kite book written by a guy called Peter Massey.  It was available to download but last time I checked the host site had gone down but I have a copy on my computer. It's 125 pages, 12meg but was written recently so the infomation is up to date and I think you'll find it very useful.

Would like to have a copy too  ::)

Thanks  ;D


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: Hadge on January 03, 2012, 04:44 AM
No problem, PM me your email address and I'll send you a copy.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: RobB on January 03, 2012, 04:48 AM
Ok well after an impatient long break, the guys at BrisKites are back to work, and my Kites were put in the mail today. They called to say unfortunately they are out of the Mojo, and asked if I wanted to change the quad. I figure I can live without it for a few weeks while I try out the Dual, so it's on back-order. Now I just hope it gets here before the weekend :)

I've been reading through two books I found online by the Gombergs- "Stunt Kites Manual' and 'Sport Kite Magic'. These seem to be great resources for someone in my situation who is entering the sport blind, so to speak. The first one seems to have covered all the basics I wasn't sure of, and the second is filling in the blanks on performance flying. I assume some of the info is slightly outdated, mainly about the gear such as handles etc as it doesn't seem to quite match what I've seen elsewhere, but that's OK.

One bit I read though, talks about the increased chance of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome if you put the handle loops around the back of your wrist, and the suggestion is to loop it around the middle of your palm. Is that the recommended method these days? I certainly don;t want to introduce my kids to the sport and give them poor technique which might lead to sport injuries.

Thanks. Russell.


I don't think you have to worry about them getting injured as much as yourself. Last week I was complaining about my elbow hurting after flying a bunch, this week I came home from flying with a toe that's all black & blue, looks like I broke it. I have really bad wrists, so bad that I wear braces on both hands at night, and flying never hurt my wrists. I fly with the straps around my wrists, index fingers on the lines most of the time.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: WinterDaze on January 03, 2012, 05:35 PM
Hey Russ,

Fellow Aussie here 8), although nothings 100%  ::) this kite flying caper is pretty low impact, not many consistent repetitive movements.
If freestyle is where you think you're heading then the wind levels the freestylers prefer would provide little resistance on the lines. I actually use 2 fingers at most to contact with the kite, it needs 13+ knots to get me noticing that the kite is 'pulling' back, at 9 knots 1 finger on each hand gives you plenty of security and positive contact.

The hard pulling aspect of this sport is generally found in the more ballet/figures flying where 15-20knots is still OK to fly in, me I'm packed up by then  ;) That's why they invented bottleshops for   :-\

WD


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: RussRangs on January 03, 2012, 06:06 PM
Hi WD,

Bet there's not much kite flying happening down there this week, with those crazy temperatures you guys are having.

Funny you should mention Ballet, as I spent a bit of time this morning watching kite ballet vids on YouTube. Seems most are Quad's though, I guess because they are easier to do more precise movements with. As a visual person, I may be drawn more towards the ballet,as some of the freestyle stuff I've seen rom an observers perspective, can look like it's just an out of control kite flapping all over the sky, whereas the more spread out, timed steps of a ballet piece I think would be more appreciated by onlookers. Of course I've only seen a small cross-section of stuff so far, so it's a bit early to judge. Guess I'll just have to try everything and find out for myself :)

Russell.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: mikenchico on January 04, 2012, 12:50 AM
The Gomberg books were written a bit ago and many of the kites then pulled harder then most modern kites. Some of the kites then had enough pull to tighten the straps around your wrists to an uncomfortable level, hence the worry about damaging the carpal tunnel and median nerves, but most of the pressure is on the back of your wrist away from the tendons and nerves. As you've guessed other then a few outdated equipment references the Gomberg books are still pretty good for teaching basic flying techniques.

I've been using the finger strap grip lately, you place your pinky and ring finger into the loop, bring both sides of the strap over your middle and index fingers and grip with your thumb on your index finger. You may not have the fine control of the methods using your index finger on the line but I can't figure out how you keep your finger on the line through slack line tricks and I haven't noticed any loss of control over my previous grip which did fly off only the index finger. If you asked how others hold their straps you'll get as many different methods as you'll get answers, just try a few and see what is comfortable for you.





Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: WinterDaze on January 04, 2012, 01:42 AM
Hi WD,

Bet there's not much kite flying happening down there this week, with those crazy temperatures you guys are having.

Funny you should mention Ballet, as I spent a bit of time this morning watching kite ballet vids on YouTube. Seems most are Quad's though, I guess because they are easier to do more precise movements with. As a visual person, I may be drawn more towards the ballet,as some of the freestyle stuff I've seen rom an observers perspective, can look like it's just an out of control kite flapping all over the sky, whereas the more spread out, timed steps of a ballet piece I think would be more appreciated by onlookers. Of course I've only seen a small cross-section of stuff so far, so it's a bit early to judge. Guess I'll just have to try everything and find out for myself :)

Russell.

weather wise: Tell me about it... beyond frustrating  :-[

Flying wise: As long as you are enjoying it you're doing ok, as to crowd pleasing, I'm happy if someone turns their head when I'm flying, I don't think bleaches are needed down here anytime soon  :D


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: RussRangs on January 05, 2012, 02:07 PM
Quote from: WinterDaze link=topic=6691.msg59628#msg59628

Flying wise: As long as you are enjoying it you're doing ok, as to crowd pleasing, I'm happy if someone turns their head when I'm flying, I don't think bleaches are needed down here anytime soon  :D

Yeah true. I'm thinking from the point of view of getting my kids interested though. It needs to look good to them before they'll put any commitment into it.

Cross fingers they'll turn up today, although the Aus Post tracking is either dodgy, or it's been sitting at their end since Tuesday and hasn't left the post office yet...

Russell.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: RussRangs on January 12, 2012, 06:32 PM
Right well, 3 weeks after I ordered, and nearly 2 weeks since it was 'posted', we put a bomb under the post office yesterday, and the kites miraculously arrived today!

But, I've just opened the Hypnotist, and it seems the DVD is missing :( Is it also normal for there to be quite a few marks on the sail as well? I'm wondering if it was a display model and someone hasn't repacked all the bits into it. I go the kite together OK, but won't be able to get out and give it a try for a couple of hours.

Russell.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: B-13 on January 12, 2012, 07:01 PM
Hi Russ. The DVD missing is common from some suppliers (not the big famous ones) it does not come with the package itself and sometimes they just forget to drop it in the package at time of shipping.
Mail or phone your supplier asap and advise him of the problems you had with the kite.
Also what kind of marks are you having on the kite? Post a photo for us to see if this is normal folding marks or stains. Or just some bad marks left by someone who put a bomb under the post office it was stored before delivery lol

I myself missed the DVD on my first kite the hypnotist, i can feel your pain for this but my supplier shipped it the next day for me.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: RussRangs on January 13, 2012, 01:43 AM
The marks aren't that bad, just some black smudges in various places, so I guess it's probably just the oil or something off the rods rubbing off. Was just surprising to see when I opened it.

Only had a short time to get the Addiction in the air. This is supposed to be the most basic one I got, but boy, even that one is super twitchy compared to the old Skynasaur, although the winds this afternoon were rather erratic, which probably didn't help. I feel like I've never flown before :) Guess I've got to readjust to the new technologies. One string is a little longer than the other also it seems, which wouldn't have helped, so I'll have to make an adjustment before I try again.

Russell.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: B-13 on January 13, 2012, 02:40 AM
Russ,

That is the problem with mas production kites, some slip from QC and even the guy doing this may miss some at times :)
And did you mailed for the DVD? It is an important tool if you do not have much flyers you can meet in your region. In my case the DVD was a great help and the community here helped me gain much experience.
Lines equalizing is compulsory if you are getting into tricks. These too don't get much QC when in mass. I advise you equalize them and even stretch them before re-sleeving. I found some of my lines has the right one longer by 1cm after 4 months. This is due to my right handed habit to initialize tricks from the right hand. Os now i will swap these to the left one for some time.
If you are new to the new kite designs, then you will find them very twitchy and responsive to every single input from you. Just keep flying for fun and you will get better in some weeks.

Regarding the hypnotist, some mods i did with it were to replace the pigtail with longer leaders (1m20-1m50 long) this will protect your standoffs re-inforcements during turtles and yo-yo. Perhaps not for now but better do it now. I replaced the tensioning system with a bridle type one as for the Zephyr system and cover them with an end cap. This reduced wing tip wraps a lot as you will not get used to slack movements in the beginning.
And last but you may skip this for this moment, is i reduced the turbo leg and now it is only 3cm long. In the leader i did two knots, one with the original turbo length and another one shorter. I find this better for my style on the hypno.

Here yo go for some fun and don't worry about learning all this. Everyone here will help


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: RussRangs on January 13, 2012, 03:09 AM
And did you mailed for the DVD? It is an important tool if you do not have much flyers you can meet in your region. In my case the DVD was a great help and the community here helped me gain much experience.

A couple of the local guys have offered to help me out on that front, which I'm very grateful for.

As for the Hypnotist mods, thanks for the advice. I'll keep it in mind when I've progressed in my understanding of all things kite a bit more :)

Russell.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: B-13 on January 13, 2012, 03:31 AM
Oh forgot to add that before i fly my kite on first setup. i will measure all bridles, knots, loops length, as precise as i can and note it somewhere. This will come really handy if you ever need to make something in some years or replacing a whole bridle setup. Also the hypnotist features a clip for the lines that i got off from day one. I find this a bit scary to have a piece of metal ready to poke the sail each time you fly. It is easy and just slide the loop of of it after cutting the heat shrink covering the clip itself. Then lines attach via a larkshead knot.


Title: Re: Greetings from Aus & getting started
Post by: cerfvoliste on January 13, 2012, 04:42 PM
Hi and welcome...

My advice is to forget the Prism DVD for now (though it will be worth while later) and pick up Dodd's "Flight School" from Steve... http://www.chicokites.com/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=55 (http://www.chicokites.com/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=55)
you won't regret it!
CV