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Author Topic: Walking downwind (line management)  (Read 1860 times)
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RudderPedals
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« on: June 13, 2011, 06:11 PM »

Today the wind gods were messing with me and I kept ending up at the end of my flying field with no room to back up.  When it comes time to walk the kite downwind to start over, what is the proper procedure for dealing with the flying lines?  Winder?  Drag them?  (Tried flying it downwind but nearly died of heart failure.)   Smiley

Also, where is the best place to hold (or carry) an assembled kite in no wind to minimize stress on components?  Leading edge?  Spine?  U or L spreader?

I don't know anyone that flies and like everything else I'm a student of YouTube.  (And this is not covered that I can find)

Thanks in advance!

~Rob
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 06:24 PM »

Dragging the kite across the field depends on the ground conditions. On good grass or smooth sand you can just drop the straps (a couple feet apart), walk to the kite and drag it down wind. If you're on a field where the lines or straps could catch or tangle on something (lots of snaggy stuff on the beaches I fly on) you have to be more careful. Usually I'll take the straps with me as I walk to the kite. At least you won't get tangles or twists and if the lines snag you can see where and deal with it. Whatever you do, don't set the straps down and walk away from them after you've moved them upwind any amount. tangles galore.

In light wind most kites like to be held by the nose or center T. In stronger wind the T is dangerous. I usually hold kites by the nose when walking, with the wind holding them in a fade position or something like that.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
RudderPedals
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 06:57 PM »

Thanks Allen.  I did most of my learning at the beach where dragging the straps wasn't a problem.  The grass field I fly at now is adequately maintained, however, dandylions love to catch my lines if there is any lateral movement.  When I let the straps drag today, they seemed to find each other and do naughty things.

When I pick the straps up and take them with the kite, things go ok as long as I move straight and minimize kite movement.  A couple times I rotated the kite on various axis with straps in hand and things got OUT of hand very quickly.  At one point I had to call in help from the uninterested significant other it was so bad. 
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kiteking
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011, 09:49 PM »

I will typically keep the handles in my hand and walk back to the kite, pick it up and proceed to the other end of the field. That way I am only dragging line across the field

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fidelio
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2011, 10:42 PM »

usually with kite in hand i drag the lines/straps down the field. i do however have multiple sets of straps and since dragging them across the field helps dirty them, i switch them out frequently, throwing them in with the laundry. they wash up great, clean and supple, as if new. if only one's conscience was as easily maintained.
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Fdeli
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 11:18 PM »

If I run out of room, I like to toss the straps apart to the sides in fustration.Wink  Usually keeps them from getting too close to each other, especially if I carry the kite in a strait line with the connection points perpendicular to the direction I am walking.
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2011, 07:04 AM »

I do like Matt above, throw the straps apart then walk to the kite and move it, glancing back now & then to watch the lines before they come together. I've tangled line sets just holding them and walking to & from the kite to relaunch, I try to walk a bit of a curve now to keep the loop apart. I've also seen quad line sets badly tangled from doing the same. Walking a kite with loops of lines dragging behind is asking for trouble IMO, they'll likely (will) start rolling and twisting. Remember if that happens they are JUST TWISTS, not KNOTS, easily undone unless you unhook the ends or pass an end or loop through another, once you've done that then they ARE KNOTS! Take your time, just keep the tangles loose with your fingers, it helps to have another to pull some of the slack out, work the tangles closer together while keeping them loose, they'll come right out with patience.

Your best bet is to learn to keep your field position, it's possible in all but the worst conditions, I don't know that I've ever seen or host Steve have to walk a kite downwind, he does easily fly kites downwind though. Even with today's tail heavy kites that don't do "Flyaway's" well you can successfully fly downwind with some finesse. Running a couple 360's can recover your field too if your up to that. So often I watch people back up with a kite until they are to the far fence then somehow they can stay in one spot flying. I figure I forgot to shower  Wink 

Methods of keeping or regaining your field position would make a good thread since so many of us fly in marginal winds.

« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 07:06 AM by mikenchico » Logged

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Allen Carter
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2011, 07:27 AM »

If I run out of room, I like to toss the straps apart to the sides in fustration.Wink 

As I was visualizing the situation before posting how-to this is exactly what I pictured myself doing.  Smiley.   At least I don't get tangles!
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Allen, AKA kitehead
RudderPedals
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2011, 07:42 AM »


Your best bet is to learn to keep your field position


That's good advice.  I think I shot myself in the foot by working on rising fades on a very light wind evening.  Before I knew it, I was at the end of my field.  I tried a couple flyaways but still lack control in that position (ie too much slack & steering issues). 

The wind was sufficient for flight but any time I tried to walk forward to recover ground the kite would sink in a stall.

I just need to do my normal behavior and throw money at the problem.  SUL here I come!  ;-)
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mikenchico
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2011, 07:55 AM »

LOL ... yeah today's kites don't do the flyaway easily, takes serious line management and you may only get 4 steps forward and need two back to get back to the top for the next try. When I loose ground it is usually due to unplanned landings, relaunches, especially in no wind eat up ground fast. I'd imagine practicing fades in marginal winds would eat it up too, especially in my case since I would recovering from numerous lawn darts.



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"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

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lylenc
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2011, 08:34 AM »

The best thing to do is to continually maintain field position. If the kite bag is at your feet to start and later is about half down your lines due to backing up, it's time to start regaining ground any time there is a puff of wind. You can usually regain a few steps each time you do a slack line trick or just focus on moving upwind and forget about tricking.

If walking the kite and lines, while walking to the kite to pick it up, go in a path that is about six feet to the side of the lines on the ground. Hold the straps in one hand on the side just walked and hold the kite by the nose in the other hand. Keep the kite in line with the original line path. Keep your arms out at about 45 degrees to keep as big a "U" in the lines as possible while walking downwind. Set the kite down, making sure there aren't any tip wraps. When walking back to the flying position, follow a third line path about six feet to the side of the two line paths on the ground, making an "N" in the lines so they don't cross over and roll over themselves. As mentioned above, watch out for snags while draging the lines; they are a recipe for bird's nest BBQ.

If walking a long distance, I usually wind up the lines and lay them out again after moving. That takes less time than dealing with even small tangles. The alternative is to do 360s, cascades, fly aways, or a series of ground passes to zig zag like a sail boat going upwind (windshield wiper) - while the kite is going left, walk ahead and to the right to add sail pressure; while the kite is going to the right, walk ahead and to the left to add sail pressure. Three or four windshield wipers should regain ground the length of your lines or more. PS: if the wind is really light, you may have to do the walking in an arc to the left and arc to the right while the kite is on the ground.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 03:03 PM by lylenc » Logged

Craig     Walla Walla, WA     Just One More!
mikenchico
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2011, 11:08 AM »

... or a series of ground passes to zig zag like a sail boat going upwind (windshield wiper) - while the kite is going left, walk ahead and to the right to add sail pressure; while the kite is going to the right, walk ahead and to the left to add sail pressure. Three or four windshield wipers should regain ground the length of your lines or more. PS: if the wind is really light, you may have to do the walking in an arc to the left and arc to the right while the kite is on the ground.

That's a new one for me, I have something new to try next time i'm out, "Windshield Wipers", I like that   Smiley

 
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"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

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RonG
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2011, 11:48 AM »

Your best bet is to learn to keep your field position, it's possible in all but the worst conditions, I don't know that I've ever seen or host Steve have to walk a kite downwind, he does easily fly kites downwind though. Even with today's tail heavy kites that don't do "Flyaway's" well you can successfully fly downwind with some finesse. Running a couple 360's can recover your field too if your up to that. So often I watch people back up with a kite until they are to the far fence then somehow they can stay in one spot flying. I figure I forgot to shower  Wink 

Methods of keeping or regaining your field position would make a good thread since so many of us fly in marginal winds.

Fly-aways are possible on pretty much every kite, tail heavy or no.  But as you suggested, once your back is against the fence there's not a lot you can do.  Better to actively manage field position and avoid that position in the first place.

"Fieldcraft" is a skill a good competitor learns out of necessity, since you have fixed boundaries that you and the kite must remain within.  It's something that everyone can benefit from, though.  It's a matter of seeing not only what's in the sky, but what's going on on the ground around you.  You learn to anticipate and correct for ground position issues before they become a problem.

First rule of thumb (for me, anyway) in marginal winds is when the kite is flying more or less downward, you're regaining field.  It becomes second nature - when the nose turns downward, the feet move forward.
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tpatter
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2011, 11:59 AM »

360 is a good way to gain ground when you are completely out of room, but if I need to do that more than every 45 minutes or so, I switch to a lighter wind kite.
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6 kite tom
RudderPedals
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2011, 12:47 PM »

All good advice.  The winds were much more manageable today and I was able to learn the flyaway to gain field position.  My Zephyr seemed to be very stable doing these, it was a snap to learn.  Turtles also come very naturally to the Z I've found, that thing will lay on it's back until you tell it not to, love it!  I was able to do some rotating turtles with multiple rotations with ease.  (Now if I could just get the darn kite to teach me how to flic flac!)

lylenc, I was messing around zigzagging (before I read your post) and had good luck with that.  Maybe Prism will add Windshield Wipers to Advanced Way To Fly II.   Smiley  The giant "N" will be a big help, too.  I think most of my tangles came from my lines moving over each other in opposite directions.  *cringe*


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