how did YOU learn your "bag of tricks" ??
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are you self taught ? did you learn mostly from flying with friends or others? The internet ? books ? all of the above ?
how long have you been flying ?
share some secrets  :P I've got a lot to learn  :P
Keys to my "success".. (success defined as least time spent attemtpting to learn a new trick)

For the most part self taught or video based review. 
I have been flying since the mid 90s but only as casual hobby until just recently in early 2013 where now I am overly addicted to building and trick flying and can't seem to stop anytime soon. I think I am averaging 12-15 hours a week now flying.  Seems more like a part time job rather than a hobby as before!!!  ;)

I try to fly with another person - I fly with my oldest son who can provide another interpretation of a video based trick tutorial and provides moral support when frustration sets in.

I try to fly with the intention of refining existing tricks and introducing a new trick minimally - Every time I focused on one trick only my day flying was not fun at times, especially when winds were terrible.  I used to practice ground based tricks when winds were lowsy but there were times that if I focused on one trick that required good steady winds my day would be ruined immediately and then ultimately ending any potential practice on what I already knew and making those moves cleaner.

I carry a tablet loaded with reference videos from the internet -  This allows me to reference the trick I am trying to learn or just simply refresh the old brain as to what heck I was trying to do when i decided to go flying that day.   :D

By no means does any of this information guarentee any success nor is it any bible to kite flying but just my own personal input to maybe help you out.  May you find steady winds!

PS Here is my current bag of tricks where 4 months ago I knew none at all.

Half Axel
Backflip (Turtle)
Fade (33 secs current record haha)
Lazy Susan
Flic Flac
Snap Stall / Stop
Rolling Susan
2 Point Landing (Low altitude ground trick only, cost me two lower LEs trying higher speed power dives...  :'()
Yoyo Take Off
Side Slide
Jacob's Ladder
Taz Machine (sorta lol, still not smooth enough to look as good as it should)
Multi Lazy
Double Axel
Multi Yoyo (double wrap only, sometimes triple when its falling out of the sky lol)
Sixth Sense STD Pro has made many of these tricks possible for me also.
I think that the best way to learn tricks is some combination of the below:
* watch the Randy and Mamas videos, and audioRobs for the comete
* fly a ton until you can completely control your kite 
* fly with others that can trick, observe them, and ask for tips
* practice practice practice

Once you get a trick, its seems easy after that, you wonder what took you so long!


I like to mix in what I know with what I'm learning.  I think this is good because you don't get bored from failing at the new trick and you also learn to combine the new trick with what you can already do which I think helps to learn it.  Also, the 'reflection time' allows you to vary your attempt in order to improve it.

Also, you never stop learning to make it smoother and cleaner.  Total control and grace before, after, and during the trick makes it seem like magic.

Good luck!

Allen Carter:
Most of the kites I enjoy flying have a fairly limited "bag of tricks" so over 15 years I've ended up with a bag of tricks very much like my favorite kites. I've learned by watching videos, generally only for the technique. When to do what and how much. Watching someone (and their kite) in real life teaches you a whole lot more about what makes a trick look good and how combinations fit together and how what a particular flyer does is very different from what you might do. There's more than one way to skin a cat and there is more than one way to do any given trick. Understanding those differences can teach you a lot.

Watching someone (and their kite), if they are good, helps a lot with understanding what looks right and what looks sloppy. Clean, precise, execution, speed control, improvisation, intentionality are the intangibles you don't get from a lot of videos.

Of course this is a mostly solitary activity (even on a field full of flyers, it's just you and your kite) so how you enjoy what you do is most important. If you really get a kick out of a certain move, even though it's not "correct", then enjoy it. Building up a personal style is based on a lot of "I want to do it THIS way"

Developing a satisfying style is important for long term engagement with sport kiting. A style or personality in your flying may be obvious to others at some point, but is an internal thing first and foremost. Do what you want to do and make it your own.

So, because I like to fly specific types of kites in a specific way, my bag of tricks is rather limited. One thing about having few tools, you get pretty good with them.

The tricks I would be happy to do in front of a crowd as part of a routine would be:

Flat, slow axels
Flat, slow 540s
Side slides
Flick flacks

When just fooling around with a newer kite, I enjoy:

Lazy Suzys
Jacobs Ladders
Backspins or barrel rolls

I've owned a wide range of modern kites and at one time or another I've practiced a number of modern tricks but i tend to get bored with current kites. They don't fit with the way I like to fly, with my style.

Everything that I've learned to do on a kite I've taught myself in the trick category. Jon T helped me (ok, made me) fly precision when I was little and I was so small back then I didn't quite get the concept of discipline, or I probably wouldn't of flown a square until I came back to kiting after a few year break.

The best thing I can tell you is outside of absorbing whatever you can, just dont give up on anything. Thats really all I can say. Eyes on the prize. PrizeS?

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