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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kites => Topic started by: chilese on June 20, 2013, 03:32 PM



Title: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: chilese on June 20, 2013, 03:32 PM
General guidelines for flying a kite in light wind.

1 Choose the best flying (not tricking) kite you have for the wind range.

2 Use 50# or 90# line.

3 Know the direction of the wind (cigarette smoke is the best indicator) (I don't smoke).
    This sounds obvious, but low wind direction can change often.

4 Set the bridle for best flying (not tricking).

5 Keep tension on at least 1 line, hopefully both.
     Never let the lines go slack unless you are setting up a trick.

6 Fly horizontal Figure 8s with a DOWNWARD turn at each end.
     This means you'll be climbing the kite through the middle of the window.

7 Walk forward anytime the kite is moving downward, although not enough
      to stall or flare the kite.

8 Stay well away from buildings, trees or other tall objects.

9 Turns should be gradual with minimal hand movement or corrections.
     Set your turn hand position, then lock your elbows against your side.
     Only change the turn radius if you are going to hit something or someone.

I'm better than I was in low wind, but not as good as I'd like to be.

My go-to setup in very low wind:
   Benson Inner Space
   50# line, either 50 or 100 feet

Please feel free to add or modify.

This is mainly for the newer fliers. It's a journey.  :)



Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: trigger on June 20, 2013, 07:39 PM
Thank you Chilese for the great information!

I started flying last year in May and found summer flying very difficult due to the lack of wind.  I quickly picked up a 4d to maximize my summer flying (and a vented Rev for the fall and winter winds).  Although a bit twitchy, I slowly learned to stay airborne.
   Although many flyers can get the most low end out of any kite, I think it is important for a beginner to have a kite that is as forgiving as possible for low winds. I recently obtained a used/new Ocius SUL to maximize my summer tricks also.  (Very happy with this kite)
   Today I flew in 2-4mph winds with 0mph mixed in and only touched earth due to tip wraps(my fault,,, I know more slack). My skills in low winds have certainly improved over time, but the kite does help.  I"ve flown my zephyr on short lines, no upper spreader and it has never been this easy. 
   I'm not trying to get everyone to buy a light wind kite, but if you are as addicted as many of us are.... ya may want to invest.

1. Look for the cleanest wind possible- my trick is hold my arm out, thumb up... if the tree/building line is just a tad bigger than your finger nail, you should be GOOD!

2. Fingers on the lines- it allows you to feel tension much better.  As i discovered today, too much slack isn't good either in low wind. Good advice Rob B gave me the other day was to "guide" the kite through the trick nice and slow(really helped me today!)

3.(should be 1)  MOVE!!!!! they are called SPORT kites... walk backwards to maintain tension and forward to gain ground.  you will NEVER do a 360 standing in one spot.

  Being a NEWB myself, maybe my perspective can help some too :)

Great idea Chilese!!!!
jim


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: indigo_wolf on June 20, 2013, 08:08 PM
From Mr. Barresi
  • Kitelife Issue 39: Milking the Breeze (http://www.kitelife.com/tutorials/issue-39-milking-the-breeze/)
  • Kitelife Issue 40: Milking the Breeze (part 2) (http://www.kitelife.com/tutorials/issue-40-milking-the-breeze-part-2/)

ATB,
Sam


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: ko on June 20, 2013, 08:49 PM
Watched J.B. fly a toxic green exile in pretty much 0-1 a few years ago not just flying but tricking  J.C. was there also He is definitely no slouch in the light air game himself... The inner space was a kite I could fly in no wind But I did not enjoy it so I passed it on and wait for 1-2 Thanks for the topic


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: Dano on June 20, 2013, 11:31 PM
I would edit guideline #3, John.

Cigars work a whole lot better.

I dont smoke either.
I Just put one in my mouth always when flying
 to know when the wind is changing direction. 

            8)


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: zippy8 on June 20, 2013, 11:33 PM
The first rule of low wind kite flying is you keep your feet moving.
The second rule of low wind kite flying is you keep your feet moving.

Mike,
avatar relevancy +1


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: Dano on June 20, 2013, 11:34 PM
The 3rd rule is don't let the cigar go out. 


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: tpatter on June 20, 2013, 11:47 PM
Slack line management is even more critical in very little wind. 

It's far easier to generate slack in little wind, but it's also much more difficult to recover from too much slack.  The wind is not there to help you out and you either have to backup, keep tricking/spinning, or just use the right amount of slack in order to maintain control.

Once you get used to it, 2-4 is like magic with a tricky SUL - slower, easier, lots of control.

Good luck!  May we all someday develop the skills to fly like JW in low winds - he's a true low wind kung fu master.


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: alien on June 21, 2013, 06:23 AM


This is mainly for the newer fliers. It's a journey.  :)








"PREACH IT JONNY"     ;D   IT TRULY IS    :-*


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: TJC on June 21, 2013, 06:30 AM
Where is the like button!!!! Great thread. Thx for starting.

Great advice here for a newbie. Checking out this weekend's weather report for New Jersey looks like i'll get a chance to to put some of these techniques to work! First stop, the smoke shop!!!!!


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: lylenc on June 21, 2013, 08:10 AM
For non-smokers, a 12" ribbon tail attached to the end of a 3' long wood/fiberglass dowel is a good wind indicator. Stake it at an angle by your kite bag so the tail just barely clears the ground (less obstruction when kite lines go over it).  Works great for detecting wind changes while learning low wind skills and for really shifty days. With experience, most wind direction changes can be felt in the lines as the kite moves in and out of the window. 


Title: Re: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: DD on June 21, 2013, 08:41 AM
Learn where any flags our banners. You can learn what you can fly based on that.


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: rudyy on June 21, 2013, 09:41 AM
I like low wind flying.  Tricks like multi lazys and 540 can be done in extremely slow motion.  For 540, I actually need to walk a couple of steps backward in very low wind to regain tension after the spin.


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: lylenc on June 24, 2013, 05:22 PM
5b Manage the slack lines. Don't step on or over them.


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: Lee S on June 24, 2013, 06:54 PM
Regarding Zippy's advice and the whole feet moving thing:

My own special advice:  It's dancing, not flying.

Change of mindset, that's all


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: tcope on June 24, 2013, 07:00 PM
If the wind is so light you don't know which direction its blowing, it's time to sit down and have a beer.


Just sayin'.


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: John Welden on June 24, 2013, 10:09 PM
I think the main thing you have to do is practice a lot.

Try to avoid thinking that it's all about the kite and you must have the lightest kite ever. If you practice enough, you'll find that you can easily fly a sorts of kites in light winds.  I was the kid in school that got picked last for team sport activities. The four foot one inch chick that weighed 200 pounds got picked before I did. That's how pathetic I am at anything physical. AND I CAN FLY IN LIGHT WIND NO PROBLEM.  :D


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: ae on June 24, 2013, 10:11 PM
Some more tips,

Flying at an angle, say 45 degrees upwards is using less wind then flying straight up. You can get away with less winds.

Ladder climbing, can keep you in the air, just fly left to right or the other way, turn up, fly to the side, turn up, and fly back etc. This is a move to keep you in the air without much movement, for example to get through lulls or when you are nearing the end of your flying space. Or just to catch your breath.

If you have the room, downward turns will need less wind then upwards turn, make use of it.

Assists your kite with body movement, backwards when flying upwards move towards the kite when flying downwards, how much depends on the kite and wind. When the kite is right at the lower range of its capability, just swinging your upper body back in the upward part of a loop and swinging forward during the downward part can make all the difference.

360s are a great way to recover lost ground, if you moved to far back.

Be mindful of not losing to much ground, try to find a balance in your flying to stay in the same general area. If you have to keep backing up all the time, its time for a lighter kite, or go grab some drinks instead.  Because you will exhaust yourself quickly.


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: Doug S on June 25, 2013, 11:29 AM
Use finger straps.  It's all about feeling the light pressure on the lines.  You will determine by feel the minimal pressure to keep your kite flying, and then adjust your forward and backward movements accordingly.  You will be amazed at how little pressure you will need to keep the kite barely moving.  When the wind is really light, very smooth pressure changes on the line is what counts.  You donít want to blow the lift off of the sail.  Fly the kite through the turns.  In a turn, you are reducing the lifting area of the sail that faces the light wind, which temporarily increases the sail loading, which in turn requires more forward speed to keep the kite flying.  The sharper the turn, the less sail area facing the light wind, the higher the temporary sail loading, the more forward speed will be needed.  So just increase the pressure on the lines to keep the kite moving through the turn, then carefully complete the turn and keep the kite moving in the desired direction.

Pockets of light wind and movements in wind direction may not be what you would expect.  Under these light wind conditions, the changes in wind direction will be the result of differential heating of the flying area and adjacent land and/or water.  On a sunny day, our flying fields usually generate thermals.  When the wind dies and the air temperature increases, a thermal is beginning to form on the field.  When the thermal breaks loose, you will feel the temperature drop slightly indicating a cool light breeze is moving in the direction of the thermal.  If the air contains enough moisture, the water will condense from the thermal and form a cumulus cloud.  The cumulus clouds form is cycles and make little cloud highways in the sky.  Have you been to a park with flags around the field on a sunny summer day with no/low wind, and then see for a moment the flags start to move and all facing a different direction?  That because the flags are pointing in the direction of the thermal that just broke free, and the thermal is being feed by the adjacent air.

Just fly your kite in the direction of the cool light breeze and enjoy the ride.  On a normal summer day, the cycle happens about every 10 to 15 minutes.  Sometimes the light breeze is just above the ground where the air is feeding a thermal and other times its right above your head in the thermal.  If your day at the field has only thermal activity for wind, you will get about 5 minutes of crazy air to fly in, and then you will have to wait for 5 to 10 minutes for the next thermal to build and break free.

In my life prior to flying stunt and single line kites, I chased thermals with RC Sailplanes.  On these light wind days, chasing and riding thermals is a blast with a single line glider kite!

Doug


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: RobB on June 28, 2013, 12:56 PM
Low wind flying ? Some of my favorite conditions ! I had the video camera with me a couple weeks ago, with the hopes of getting some VF footage, but the wind just wasn't there. What I did capture might be of some help for those that would like a visual of what it's like to fly in REALLY low wind. The wind in this entire clip is less than 1 mph. Not really wind for a tricky SUL, but a true SUL like the Skyburner ProDancer ? Not a problem ! Even my Prism Ozone would've required a lot more footwork than the PD. I really could've been using longer lines, I think these were my 65' foot 90# set, with the Norm 2 finger straps. Like was mentioned above, the finger straps help a lot. Norm makes the best straps I've ever used !
A couple of things about the video... if you're looking for tricks, I can't get the PD to do any... I think it needs to be adjusted. The wide angle makes everything look funky, too.
I just hope to share how I keep the kite in the air when the wind isn't there, it may not be right, but it works for me...

Extreme Low Wind Flying... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtPArLN03YM#ws)

Full screen & HD !


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: mikenchico on June 28, 2013, 01:29 PM
Best advice I got was from Steve Hall, in low winds your window is more vertical then horizontal. Flying too far to the side will get you in trouble, you need to keep in the center, your window is pretty narrow.

At the same time though, around here we need to keep searching those sides since the wind is always shifting. It's direction is most often changing all the time and if it's really light you don't feel it. Even if it's still the same direction you often find you've got more pressure just to the right or left. We are dealing constantly with "Rotors" as Ted calls them.

Already mentioned "Move", I call it the three step, three steps back as you gain altitude and three steps forward as you descend. No hurry, no need to break a sweat, a good UL or SUL will fly with a slow step back especially if there is already some air movement. The steps forward are to keep from backing into the fence, trees, roads, parking lot, whatever defines your boundaries. 

Also already mentioned, smooth movements, constant tension on the lines except during a trick, then get the kite powered back up as soon as possible. The biggest problem I have is when I end up on the ground, you loose a lot of field during recoveries, field that in real low wind is hard to get back short of running a 360 or dragging the kite back downwind.

A good low wind flyer never seems to move from their spot, Steve could stand his ground all day with his Tricktail UL's


Title: Re: Low Wind Flying Tips For The Newbs
Post by: alien on June 29, 2013, 06:19 AM
Low wind flying ? Some of my favorite conditions ! I had the video camera with me a couple weeks ago, with the hopes of getting some VF footage, but the wind just wasn't there. What I did capture might be of some help for those that would like a visual of what it's like to fly in REALLY low wind. The wind in this entire clip is less than 1 mph. Not really wind for a tricky SUL, but a true SUL like the Skyburner ProDancer ? Not a problem ! Even my Prism Ozone would've required a lot more footwork than the PD. I really could've been using longer lines, I think these were my 65' foot 90# set, with the Norm 2 finger straps. Like was mentioned above, the finger straps help a lot. Norm makes the best straps I've ever used !
A couple of things about the video... if you're looking for tricks, I can't get the PD to do any... I think it needs to be adjusted. The wide angle makes everything look funky, too.
I just hope to share how I keep the kite in the air when the wind isn't there, it may not be right, but it works for me...

Extreme Low Wind Flying... ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtPArLN03YM#ws[/url])

Full screen & HD !


RB,
"TAKEAWAY"
That was a production! Thankyou... ;D
That took my days woes away in a light breeze...... :-*