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Author Topic: The Beginning - AKA's BIG DILEMMA???  (Read 1941 times)
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Trip
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2014, 12:39 PM »

You're right Schnervel.... do whatever makes you happy when it comes to kites. I've been adding kites to my kite bag for the last several months. I've bought some nice, high-end kites and middle-of-the-road. I've also bought some dual-line kites that I haven't mentioned, such as the Premier Stingray Bullseye and the GFAK Blaster Budweiser "Get Wet" kites.

Whatever floats your boat in kite flying.
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2014, 06:18 PM »

Firstly.. G'day Steve Smiley Still stick my head in to see whats going on, and chat with Adicakes weekly about kites and stuff  Cool

flew the Talon UL and the QPro SUL the other day, 2nd time in a month I've walked the bag down to the park Cool so still flying when all my ducks line up Smiley

Todd, Robert, Allan, Hi guys!

I'm in no way blaming the AKA per se but it does have a place in this discussion. I know it's not the Juggernaut we perceive it to be but it is, and should be at least, a first point of contact for some of the newly interested persons to kiting, and with that, I feel should have a reasonably clear 'my first time on this site' sort of path clearly marked.

I did a little looking through the site and credited, it does have some great resources but I just feel with some tweaking of the tabs and links (no need to reinvent the wheel) you could create a 'yellow brick road' for a beginner or someone wanting to help a beginner to start up in this game. The PDF 'How to fly a kite revised' is a terrific free resource but it's a little buried inside the tabs, all that work needs a bit more of an airing and pride of place. It is after all the burly that will bring in new blood more so than something like 'the rules for team flying' etc.

The rest of the discussion in regards to 'personal contact with random interested folk' is exactly what I hoped to hear, as that's how I've been playing for quite a while.

And to prove it... me out with my nephew, getting our zoom on with my Talon Cool


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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2014, 06:39 PM »

I just tried signing into AKA, It forgot my password, I asked for a new one, then with the new one I signed in and tried to change my new 15 digit password to something I could remember, but it wouldn't let me. Now I am locked out of my account all together. Not a very user friendly website.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2014, 07:00 PM »

I don't know... kind of given up on the AKA, I mean, I like the magazine, but there's nothing else around these parts, region 1 1/2. Unfortunately, the regional directors are totally unfamiliar with my area, and the local events (1 per year) have dropped off of the calendar the last few years.
I fly a few times each week, and am so happy when someone walks up and asks about my kites. I've learned to put the line or lines (depends on what I'm flying) in their hands before they have a chance to say no... That's the only way I know to promote kiting. If they're curious about getting their own kite, I refer them to Google, and tell them to avoid buying a kite at Wal-Mart.
Sorry AKA, after years of being a member, I've lost hope that next year's going to be better... Maybe we should just face it, kiting isn't for the masses, there are only a few people who get the kiting bug, the rest think it's just a silly waste of time....
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2014, 10:39 PM »

I agree the AKA website needs some more work.  So many people get information through the internet now, that a good and informative website might just make a difference for the AKA. I know it went through an overhaul recently, and things were getting migrated to the new AKA website.  The migration never felt finished to me.  Sometimes I wonder if the process is still going or if it has stalled. 

I think there are some good ideas in this thread, especially WinterDaze's "yellow brick road" idea for the AKA website.  I have some usability issues with the website that I would like to see fixed as well, but never got around to writing someone about it.  How can those of us with ideas or comments make suggestions to the AKA web site team (who is part of this team anyway?)?  I vaguely remember there used to be webmaster information, and possibly a contact email.  I can't find that anymore.  Does anyone know?  Does anyone from the web team or the AKA leadership check this forum? 

Hmm...I guess someone is still paying some attention to the website, because I recently used the "Contact Us" form to report a broken link.  I just checked it again now...it has been fixed.  Maybe those of us who care to help improve the AKA website should start using the "Contact Us" form more.  There is a "Web Site Concern" inquiry type. 
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« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2014, 03:08 AM »

Remember that Connor (spelling?) Rev. deal with America's Got Talent ... this sport just needs the proper mass advertisement to the masses ... however that needs a lot of $$$ ... the current notion is kiting is still that little 10 year old blond girl on the beach with a SLK.

Another comment recently from a lifeguard ... SURFING not kiting is the #1 sport  AT THE BEACH ... his partner then said to him ... c'mon Jim this guy is pretty good and it does take some level of skill ...

Its like when we retire from work ... we get this PERCEPTION of a golf bag ... and free time. We are just conditioned in certain ways from our environment and mass-media ... Rev. flyers got this Dark Side thing tag going ... actually overall its all of kiting to mainstream America today ... for a brief episode ... Connor took us out of that with a lot of skill and LUCK/TIMING being on the TV show.

APJ
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In my kite inventory of Dual Line Kites: Benson - Inner Space, Signature Kite of Top Pilots on an Old Style Gemini ; L'Atelier xt.z. ; Fearless-Tatto (SSUL), Fearless - SUL, Light & Light-Vent , Transformer TL's: (SUL & Light), Transformer 2 SUL & UL.
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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2014, 05:09 AM »

Would be nice if the AKA forum was used more frequently , but then again, some of the other kiting forums are pretty quiet too. I guess the lack of activity on the Prism forum, is the main reason they finally just shut it down. Seems people like to lurk, but very few like to join or post for some reason. In my experience, when that happens, people eventually stop visiting the forum due to the inactivity, and I have seen a couple of forums just close down because of it. I'm very surprised at the lack of activity on the Rev forum for instance, which is a very nice and well run forum, since Revs seem to be so popular.
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Skyburner Niknak , Freestylist UL,   Premier Widow NG,  Prism Zephyr  4D ,   HQ Symphony 1.8
Revolution SLE,  Revolution B Series mid vent.
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« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2014, 06:05 AM »

I'm also surprised by the general lack of activity on kiting forums.  Recently rejoined a model airplane forum and it get dozens of post daily.  I'd hazard that the population of flyers in each activity is comparable.

One difference may be that every airplane flyer must build their own models which can take hundreds of hours each to build and finish. This makes airplane flyers highly vested in their activity. Of course some kiters are just as fanatical, just not as a rule...

The active forums also seem to do a better job calling out the trolls and bullies which mess up a forum for all just to entertain a few.

Would be nice if the AKA forum was used more frequently , but then again, some of the other kiting forums are pretty quiet too. I guess the lack of activity on the Prism forum, is the main reason they finally just shut it down. Seems people like to lurk, but very few like to join or post for some reason. In my experience, when that happens, people eventually stop visiting the forum due to the inactivity, and I have seen a couple of forums just close down because of it. I'm very surprised at the lack of activity on the Rev forum for instance, which is a very nice and well run forum, since Revs seem to be so popular.
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2014, 06:19 AM »

I vaguely remember there used to be webmaster information, and possibly a contact email.  I can't find that anymore.  Does anyone know?  Does anyone from the web team or the AKA leadership check this forum? 

From the list of volunteers on the Leadership page:

Internet Presence: John Gillespie <ipc@aka.kite.org>
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Captainbob
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« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2014, 06:30 AM »

I'm also surprised by the general lack of activity on kiting forums.  Recently rejoined a model airplane forum and it get dozens of post daily.  I'd hazard that the population of flyers in each activity is comparable.

One difference may be that every airplane flyer must build their own models which can take hundreds of hours each to build and finish. This makes airplane flyers highly vested in their activity. Of course some kiters are just as fanatical, just not as a rule...

The active forums also seem to do a better job calling out the trolls and bullies which mess up a forum for all just to entertain a few.

Would be nice if the AKA forum was used more frequently , but then again, some of the other kiting forums are pretty quiet too. I guess the lack of activity on the Prism forum, is the main reason they finally just shut it down. Seems people like to lurk, but very few like to join or post for some reason. In my experience, when that happens, people eventually stop visiting the forum due to the inactivity, and I have seen a couple of forums just close down because of it. I'm very surprised at the lack of activity on the Rev forum for instance, which is a very nice and well run forum, since Revs seem to be so popular.

I posted this topic on another forum about 5 months ago, but nobody agreed, which was surprising.

As of a couple of minutes ago, I checked 3 kiting forums:

1.  On the first forum 1 user, 17 guests
2.  On the second forum  1 user   19 guests
3.  On the third forum, which is the most active, this one  8 users  58 guests.

I was on another very large forum years ago, that experienced the same issue, of most people not registering, never posting, just lurking which contributed nothing to the traffic on the forum. It costs a great deal of money to run a forum properly, pay for bandwidth, get moderators that are good, etc. etc. When only about 5-20% of the visitors to the forum contribute to the activity of the forum, the visitor traffic starts to drop. Nobody wants to visit a forum every day, to read the same posts that were there the day, and the week before. Eventually the forum is in danger of folding, which is what was happening to this forum I am discussing. The forum management decided to make membership mandatory. It was free, but unless you were a registered member, you couldn't browse the forum. The end result was, they got a huge number of visitors that suddenly became members, and activity on the forum increased dramatically.  The few people that didn't want to bother registering, probably weren't that interested anyway, so losing them was not much of an issue.

On another forum that I was on, the activity gradually dropped, year after year, and eventually it got to the point where the forum admins, decided that it no longer was a viable forum, and just closed it down. Many people were upset when that happened, but my feeling was that the zero effort they put into keeping the forum active, got a very predictable result.

By the way, I have been active in many forums for more years than I care to admit, and also a moderator on two of them, so I have seen this issue many times. Just my 2 cents.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 06:33 AM by Captainbob » Logged

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Allen Carter
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« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2014, 06:30 AM »

I'm also surprised by the general lack of activity on kiting forums.  Recently rejoined a model airplane forum and it get dozens of post daily.  I'd hazard that the population of flyers in each activity is comparable.


Not even remotely comparable. Model planes is a huge industry/hobby compared to kiting.

The reason that there are so few people posting to kite forums is that there are few people flying kites. We are a tiny little group.
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« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2014, 06:39 AM »

Specifically I was referring to CLPA which is a small 800+ worldwide member SIG. They have a dedicated forum.

https://www.facebook.com/pampacl/info
http://stunthanger.com/smf/

Agreed model airplanes as a whole is huge!

I'm also surprised by the general lack of activity on kiting forums.  Recently rejoined a model airplane forum and it get dozens of post daily.  I'd hazard that the population of flyers in each activity is comparable.



Not even remotely comparable. Model planes is a huge industry/hobby compared to kiting.

The reason that there are so few people posting to kite forums is that there are few people flying kites. We are a tiny little group.

« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 06:42 AM by stapp59 » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2014, 06:54 AM »

Let me start this with I have been an AKA member for the magazine and needing members to get club recognition, not the loftiest reasons.  I share many of the frustrations expressed here on the forum.  Since I don't compete or travel to festivals in the far flung reaches of the world AKA has had little to offer.  That having been said John Lutter (AKA president) is VERY interested in making the AKA better and more "user friendly". I'm attaching his AKA e-mail he wants to hear your thoughts.  This is not a guarantee there will be amazing change in the organization though I can guarantee change will come.

The success of the GWTW forum is certainly based on participation but let's not forget all the time and work Steve and the moderators have been willing to put in to make it successful (thanks!!!!).  Though I hate to admit it kiting will never be RC planes for rocketry and we likely will never be an olympic sport but we can still grow.  Kiting out there and getting "kites in their hands" will take it from small to not so small.

As a disclaimer I am lucky enough to fly locally with John and he is going to hear about what's being said here - he wants to know.

president@aka.kite.org
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« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2014, 07:35 AM »

Let me start this with I have been an AKA member for the magazine and needing members to get club recognition, not the loftiest reasons.  I share many of the frustrations expressed here on the forum.  Since I don't compete or travel to festivals in the far flung reaches of the world AKA has had little to offer.  That having been said John Lutter (AKA president) is VERY interested in making the AKA better and more "user friendly". I'm attaching his AKA e-mail he wants to hear your thoughts.  This is not a guarantee there will be amazing change in the organization though I can guarantee change will come.

The success of the GWTW forum is certainly based on participation but let's not forget all the time and work Steve and the moderators have been willing to put in to make it successful (thanks!!!!).  Though I hate to admit it kiting will never be RC planes for rocketry and we likely will never be an olympic sport but we can still grow.  Kiting out there and getting "kites in their hands" will take it from small to not so small.

As a disclaimer I am lucky enough to fly locally with John and he is going to hear about what's being said here - he wants to know.

president@aka.kite.org
John is a sponsor of the forum as well and I know he checks in sometimes...hopefully he has seen this thread...
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« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2014, 07:56 AM »

For now this would be my last thought ...

SLKs are no issue. You buy one ... wind at your back ... and IN GENERAL ... they go up. Whether a 100' Octopus or a $10 Cinderella kite ... just kidding but lets get to the real problem here ...

The main issue is Stunts and Revs. So just dreaming for example ... say Prism and Revolution had starter packages they can send to AKA at these events. Say for Prism knowing Stunts it included a Quantum with two straps & lines (75'X 90# and 65'X50#) for high and low winds and a step by step process along with a link for those hand control vids. ... some of you have seen them showing the TWO HANDS and the different basic tricks on the Prism site. Similar for a Rev package. Also do 50/50  raffles at the main convention to support funding for this STARTER PROGRAM, give them out as prizes using a small portion of AKA funds and then do a stunt and Rev demo at the event. These packages go out to all AKA events.

On the website on the Home Page have these as starter kits IN BOLD. Say $100 for stunts and $200 for revs.

When I told Chester's mom how to go to the next level:

1. I did not say go to the AKA site.
2. I did say go to the Prism site due to a good user-friendly website (primary reason).
3. Then order a Quantum.
4. Then order 75' X 90# line.
5. Then told her to wait for winds that were strong.
6. See that American flag wait for it to look like this ...
7. What about other lines (50#) making the kite go up easier.
8. Make sure there are no obstacles on where the wind is coming from ... etc.

You see my point. MAybe I will just stick with a $25 SLK? People want EASY ... ready to use packages ... include CDs with the the starter kit like these JB Rev. series videos.

So we are clear ... I learned 100% of my trick making with a stunt kite not from the AKA but the pilots at these events and the Internet (Mama vids as an example and RG). Ironically - if there were no AKA Competitions I never would have met these pilots and my learning curve would have been halted severely. So AKA helped out ONLY INDIRECTLY. I do honestly believe the OLD SKOOL AKA Comp formats do indirectly teach you how to fly ... but few today IMO will bring down their SUL,UL,Std. & Vents so they are wind ready. When you are at this level you are there already ... why travel 500 miles to fly in straight lines in a Precision comp?

Start helping DIRECTLY ... just a thought on these two kite packages for 2 & 4-line at AKA Events. Indirectly this can only help other non-Prism kite makers or they can also contribute starter packages.

In terms of SLKs I do see some people dragging $15 SLKs along the beach sand once in awhile in 12+ mph winds ... sometimes ... you just can't FIX stupid ... but in this case its still a QUICK FIX ...  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy.

On the boardwalk one year in Wildwood at the International I was coming back from the rest room and walking behind these two kids about 14 and 15 ... one kid said to the other ... Boy ... it would be really neat to try some of these kites ... the other being a local I guess said ... "Don't bother ... there all professionals."

Currently AKA ... Chester is NOT ...

APJ
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 08:41 AM by asburyparkjohn » Logged

In my kite inventory of Dual Line Kites: Benson - Inner Space, Signature Kite of Top Pilots on an Old Style Gemini ; L'Atelier xt.z. ; Fearless-Tatto (SSUL), Fearless - SUL, Light & Light-Vent , Transformer TL's: (SUL & Light), Transformer 2 SUL & UL.
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