I contacted my friend Chris earlier this week and convinced him to spend part of his Sunday (today) flying kites with me. He had never flown a dual-line kite before but I assured him that I could get him flying and warned him that the first half hour might be a little bit frustrating. We met at the beach today, I demonstrated a few of the basics and then handed him the straps.
I've never seen anything like it. He decided to completely skip the entire "lawn darts" phase and was competently zooming around the wind window for better than 5 minutes after his first launch. When he did finally make an unscheduled landing, I showed him the cartwheel, which he mastered instantly. Without any coaching at all, he was able to stall the kite and walk it down for a perfect 2-point landing. He even did some side slides without realizing that was something impressive.
After a while he announced, "I want to learn a trick -- what would be a good 'first trick'?"
Uhhh...you mean something other than the Cartwheel, Two-Point Landing and Side Slide?
"Oh...those are tricks?"
So, without bothering to do a demo this time, I described the procedure for doing a back flip. He did a few of those and then happened to let one over-rotate. The kite rolled up and he caught the yo-yo stoppers. At this point, he didn't quite realize what had happened. I talked him through the procedure to un-roll (of course, he did that perfectly, too). He got a really big grin on his face when he saw that kite un-roll. At that point, after a grand total of one hour of kite flying, he became a yo-yo monster. I kept track for a few minutes and estimated that he was hitting about 70% of them.
My mission now is to convince him to get back out on the beach in the near future. I figure that if I can get him to fly for a few more hours, he'll be able to give me some pointers to improve my flying