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
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
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.
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?
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.
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.