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Author Topic: Learning to trick on your own  (Read 2040 times)
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Dolphinboy
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« on: June 19, 2010, 11:05 PM »

There have been some comments from time to time from fliers that are more or less isolated. All alone on your kite tricking island with no one to learn tricks from.

I'm one of those lonely kite trick learners Sad Or was one because I'm not so bad anymore. Hey, I'm no Debray but I've come a long, long way. I do know some other fliers now that I get together with from time to time but that wasn't the case when I began to learn slack line tricks and through most of my learning process. I can't think of even one trick that someone taught me, in person, that is.

Anyway, I know it can be frustrating when you just can't get the inputs for a trick. Even after I'd learned some pretty complex tricks I still couldn't get others that seemed like they should be so much easier. I don't even want to say how long it took to get some things down.

So on my three year slack line tricking anniversary, I have some advice and a few things that helped me out there all alone   Smiley

Hang in there and keep watching all the video you can.
I know video isn't the same as having someone standing there coaching you in person, but it's better than not having it by a huge margin. And it's really all you've got so watch all you can. Then practice what you saw. Repeat and repeat and.................. untill your spouse wants to break the dvd player. Then keep at it some more.

Try something different.
Try different inputs, timings, movements etc., or keep trying something different until you hit it. Often the inputs turn out to be quite different than you originally thought. So don't get stuck with an idea in your mind that doesn't work.

Try different tricks.
If you just can't get it, there are plenty of other tricks to learn. Obviously you need certain tricks to do others and combos but there is still lots of stuff to work on. You can always go back to your nemesis.

Move your feet.
Rarely can you just stand there and trick but this is something I see quite often when people are trying to learn. They just stand there. If a trick requires slack step toward the kite as you hit the inputs. Step back as you take up slack. This works miracles.

Try a different kite.
Try the trick you're learning on different kites if you can, this helped me tremendously. Some kites just lend themselves to getting a trick better than others. Then you'll be surprised how easily it transfers over to another kite. This is contradictory to what some say about using one kite to learn. I see their point and think it's probably true in some respects but like I said, some kites just work better for certain tricks and when you're on your own, anything that helps is a plus. This isn't a deal breaker, so don't think you need some new kite just to learn a trick. If you've seen someone hit the trick in a video with your kite, well there you go, it'll do it.

Keep going back to the tricks you've learned.
I screwed this up big time as I kept after the next cool trick. I lost stuff I just didn't keep "in my trick bag" by not continuing to do them. Plus doing a trick successfully makes you feel good and gives you confidence to try other things.

Don't loose the Fun.
I fly trick kites for fun and enjoyment, if I'm getting frustrated I'll just stop trying for a while and have fun doing what I can. You can always go back and try again later. This isn't some rainbows and unicorns thing, I just think that enjoying what you're doing translates into more success. The reason I keep tricking kites is that I love it. I love the challenge of seeing a cool trick and then going out and learning it.

Help others.
If you get the chance, help others that aren't as far along as yourself. I think this has actually made me better by forcing me to break down the steps / inputs while explaining it to someone else. It's the same thing out there on your own, you really need to break the trick down to understand how it's done. Plus it always makes me smile when someone I'm helping gets it. I can teach someone something that took me a year to learn in 10 minutes. That's cool.

Take advantage of good wind.
This is huge for me. The wind sucks here so when it's smooth I can make lots of progress and amazingly tricking is so much easier in good wind. If you live where the wind is good, well then that's a big bonus for you.

If it looks good, it is good.
There's more than one way to skin a trick. Many tricks can be done with varied inputs / approaches in different styles. I'm sure there are tricks I've taught myself that have people wondering where I could have learned it like that or why I do it that way. Now you know, I don't know any better but hey, it looks good, right?

Remember.
To keep it in perspective. Most of those people you watch and admire in the videos have been at it for many years. It takes time to get good and believe me they screwed up too. This is a tough one for me, I'm always thinking I should just go out and get it. It can take time and lots of practice.

I still have lots to learn and many tricks that I could do much cleaner, consistent and better looking but I've also taught myself a lot too. Believe me, if I can do so can you.

Thanks to:

Randy G
Dodd
Prism
Rob
Eolo

For all your hard work on instructional videos, I don't know where I would have gotten the info I needed with out your tutorials. And everyone that's posted your videos online too.
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James -
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tpatter
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2010, 11:20 PM »

Excellent post James.

I really like "try something different".  I can't tell you how many times I worked like a dog with no success, then thought it through, made a small change, and presto.  Usually at that point I wonder why it took me so darn long to vary what I was doing in the first place. 

-Tom
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6 kite tom
Beachbum
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2010, 12:37 AM »

Excellent post James.

I really like "try something different".  I can't tell you how many times I worked like a dog with no success, then thought it through, made a small change, and presto.  Usually at that point I wonder why it took me so darn long to vary what I was doing in the first place. 

-Tom

+1 Very nice indeed.  This should be considered for sticky material.  I can only think of one more thing to add, and it ties in with the "Don't lose the fun" portion.


Don't give up.
There are going to be many Eureka! moments as we learn, enjoy them.
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Hadge
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2010, 02:23 AM »

First class post!

It sounds like we have both been travelling a very similar road, I recognise all the signposts well! It's hard work learning on your own, but it does come in time and it sounds like things are getting easier for both of us now - if only I could remember to move my feet more!!.  Hopefully your post will inspire those who have just started the journey.

Nice one James.
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2010, 04:47 AM »

Excellent Dolphinboy, good advice and encouragement for all or most  fliers. Almost all of us went down this road.
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RobB
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2010, 06:42 AM »

Yeah, I enjoyed this post, too. I fly on my own, and it sounds like a familiar experience. The forums and online videos are the reason I'm still making any progress, albeit slow. I learn 1 or 2 tricks per year, but things are finally starting to come together into long strings of tricks, and that is tremendously satisfying. Thanks for the post, I think I'll bookmark this one...
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ko
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 07:04 AM »

thanx james, VERY nicely done! great advice and insight
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have fun kurt
Dolphinboy
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 10:27 AM »

Thanks, The one big point I was getting at is, there are a bunch of us out there and many have shown with time and practice that one can become a decent trickster on your own. It may take longer but you'll have the satisfaction of having met the challenge.

I do recommend finding someone to fly with on occasion even if you need to travel a ways. It's fun getting a chance to be around people with the same interest in tricking and it gives a burst of motivation too.

Peace
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James -
Grants Pass, Oregon
A few kite videos YouTube / Vimeo (Yes, I am a Slacker)
lylenc
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2010, 11:01 AM »

Great post. I'm alone most of the time, too. Pug was getting to the point he could teach me, but he moved on to other hobbies, so I'm alone again.

The only other thing I can think of for the list is: Happy Accidents. They are actually a combination of the things mentioned above - vary inputs, keep it fun, good wind, and so on.

I struggled with the backspin for about three months spread out over two seasons. The few times I got a backspin, I couldn't figure out what I did right that time versus all the other times that failed. Often, I'd move on the other tricks I knew to keep it fun. One day, I got lazy and messed up a trick I knew with a late input. The result was a backspin - the light bulb went on - finally. That one moment of satisfaction wiped out a lot of frustrations - priceless. Zen!
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Craig     Walla Walla, WA     Just One More!
Dolphinboy
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2010, 09:02 AM »

Quote
This should be considered for sticky material. 
+1 on sticky material.  Grin
Great post James. Excellent insight and words of encouragement.  Smiley
If I could add something to this it would be to buy at least a 7 foot kite or bigger to slow everything down. I fooled around way too long with 6 footers.  Angry

Excellent point Norm, A full sized slower kite really does help too. It just gives more time for inputs/ reactions. As you start to get "it" time will seem to slow down for you and faster kites won't seem as fast. I really like the Eolo Over as a trick trainer, that kite is tricky and has a slower forward speed.
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James -
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rxburner
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2010, 03:52 PM »

I do recommend finding someone to fly with on occasion even if you need to travel a ways. It's fun getting a chance to be around people with the same interest in tricking and it gives a burst of motivation too.
Peace

Hmm..  Hmm... yeah dude...

best wind in "A" town has been between 8 AM and Noon....
Rx
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sirrom
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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2010, 07:38 PM »

Hey James

Great piece James.  I'm sorry I wasn't there for you all those years.  I also noticed you forgot my name on your list or was that just a senior moment.

I am off to Lincoln City in the morning.  I hope to remember that thing you wanted.  Remember I am old but only one ticket.

I will see you and RX over the 4th in CC.  We do need to get together in "A" sometime between the CC trips.
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Brett
Dolphinboy
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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2010, 08:28 PM »

Quote
Hmm..  Hmm... yeah dude...

best wind in "A" town has been between 8 AM and Noon....
Rx

Yeah, Andrew now that you live closer I do need to get over there more often, especially since the wind has been extra poor here this year. I'll be at the Fun Fly on Saturday and Sunday. We snagged a room across the road.

I didn't know you or Brett when I was learning and now it's cool that we can get together at least at the Fun Flys & I'll try and make "A" town soon but it's still an hour + drive for me so I just need to plan a little ahead.


Hey James

Great piece James.  I'm sorry I wasn't there for you all those years.  I also noticed you forgot my name on your list or was that just a senior moment.

I am off to Lincoln City in the morning.  I hope to remember that thing you wanted.  Remember I am old but only one ticket.

I will see you and RX over the 4th in CC.  We do need to get together in "A" sometime between the CC trips.

Brett you know I owe you big time for the favor you're doing me. So next week after work is on, right?

I'll see both you guys at the FF too.
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James -
Grants Pass, Oregon
A few kite videos YouTube / Vimeo (Yes, I am a Slacker)
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