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Author Topic: Newbie from Northern CA (EastBay)  (Read 3777 times)
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madhabitz
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« on: August 27, 2011, 12:46 PM »

Hi all,

I've been meaning to participate in the forum for a couple of months, now, but everytime I'd check out the place, I'd only read a couple of posts before getting sidetracked by all the excellent information, links, videos, etc.

I played with dime store diamond kites as a kid-- they cost about ten cents and were made of paper and had wooden sticks, but they flew great and could be counted on to last the short-lived windy season where I lived. I guess I've had a bit of an interest in kites my whole adult life, but never really did anything about it other than collecting a few books on the subject. I finally bought a couple of toy store kites a few years ago and would fly them from time to time, but that's about it until I stumbled upon a YouTube video of some dual line flying about a year and a half ago.

I couldn't believe it-- it was so magical to watch this thing (so birdlike) dance to music. I began researching the whole thing a bit more, then finally decided to hit the Wind and Art festival in San Ramon (CA) this last May. Oh man, I had to have a kite. No two ways about it... and I had to have one that day. I ended up buying the Prism Nexus (like so many newbies, eh?). I managed to find a small space among a couple of other dual line kiters and proceeded to play lawn darts for an hour. Heh.... the newbie ten-year-old next to me could actually keep his kite in the air for as long as he wanted.... the little snot. ;-)

Oh man, that Nexus is one zippy little kite. I couldn't imagine ever being able to learn anything on it. How could anyone learn on this booger? I went out with it many times over the next couple of weeks, but didn't think I was learning anything. I finally decided I needed something slower, so following Ike's advice in a post to another newbie (yeah, I know now that his name is Anthony, but he'll likely always be Ike to me), I ordered a Hypnotist from Steve. I also ordered Dodd's video. (an aside here: I couldn't believe how helpful Steve was... and how fast my order arrived (the next day, a Saturday!))

Armed with both Dodd's video and the one that came with the Hypnotist (Mark Reed's), plus all of the YouTube videos, I tried to figure some of this stuff out. The one thing I wanted to do was to land the danged thing. On purpose. I wasn't making any headway, it seemed. Then I saw the recommendation to fly with 20ft lines. That helped so much! Not only was my perpetual Walk of Shame shortened, but I could SEE the lines and kinda/sorta what they were doing. I was able to figure out how to unwrap the wingtips and get the thing lined up to take off again. After flying with the short lines for a couple of weeks, I began to crash onto leading edges instead of the nose (most of the time). It felt like my first mark of progress, but I still wanted to land. On Purpose. During this same period of time, I tried the Nexus again. This is when I realized I really was progressing, because I found out I could actually fly slower. It wasn't just the kite. Hmmm....

Last month I tried out the longer lines again and loved it. I've been able to land ON PURPOSE ::woot!:: many times now and even did my first genuine snap stall (also On Purpose). Just last week I did that thing where the kite was on its belly, nose pointed away. I tugged and it flipped into a fade, I tugged again with one hand and dang, if it didn't roll over and I was able to launch it into the air from there. I did it three times in a row!! I guess it must've been a pretty funny sight to see granny grinning her head off and pumping her fists.

I have so far to go, but the getting there is pretty fun. I'd love to start meeting up with other flyers in the Bay area-- wish work didn't get in the way.

I'm already thinking about my next kite. Like most newbies, I thought at first that much of my frustrations could be fixed with a better kite, but after awhile I realized that the Hypnotist and even the Nexus could take me pretty far in the learning game. I still want another kite, but I think that's just the nature of the more-is-better mentality. I'd been throwing loose change into jars for the last few years and just counted it all out the other day. Now it's burning a hole in my pocket, because it added up to more than $550! The problem is in deciding which kite to get. The WidowMaker is a leading contender, but there are so many I'd love to have. Should I go for a Deep Space? Talon? Sea Devil? The new Solus? I also love single-line kites, so maybe I should content myself awhile longer and buy a herd of giant Ghost Deltas.

Gotta head off to work now; will check back tonight. Chilese, leave my grammar alone (heh).

Nancy
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 12:53 PM by madhabitz » Logged

"I haven't failed. I've just found ten-thousand ways that won't work."   -Thomas Edison
AKA_MrBill
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2011, 02:14 PM »

First and foremost, Welcome to the forum Nancy!  Grin

The funny thing is, my first and second kites were the Prism Nexus and Hypnotist, in that order.

Both are great learning kites. The Hypno can teach you more than the Nexus, but keep it around for infecting new flyers.

One thing to consider, when you really think you are ready, is to re-frame your Hypno with lighter spars. Search this site for links and instructions. It should cost less than $50 to do it. But, wait until you are really ready, the Hypno is fairly rugged and can handle the learning process better with the heavier spars.

Another alternative when you are ready for your next kite is to take a look at the kites made by Ken McNeill at Blue Moon Kites.
He builds with an incredible attention to detail and quality. On top of that, his kite are excellent, and the price is VERY REASONABLE!
I just picked up a used Exile and love it after just a couple flights.

BTW, right near you in Berkeley is a great kite park, Cesar Chavez State Park. If you go, you may see my son flying my Hypno. It is his now and he is becoming an addict. (Oh no, what have I done?) Cheesy

Bill
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King-J
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2011, 06:37 PM »

Welcome to the forum, two places to visit would be the monthly fly in Chico and the monthly fly in Ripon, were you can actually try out some different kites, first Sunday of the month for Chico and the second Sunday for Ripon, we all would be glad to keep you hooked on kiting
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My Family, With More To Be Born                          
DonCrash
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2011, 11:24 PM »

Welcome Nancy,

Let's add another place shall we.
Shoreline Park in Mountain View (it's actually gonna be my stop for tomorrow, sunday): http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.430211,-122.076398&sll=37.5319,-121.97829&sspn=0.26116,0.21618&num=1&t=h&vpsrc=0&gl=us&z=17
Despite there's a ranger post, its free to get in the area

As mentioned above, Cesar Chavez in Berkeley: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.870653,-122.318666&sll=37.42999,-122.075744&sspn=0.003834,0.006781&num=1&t=h&vpsrc=0&gl=us&z=16
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Vented L'organic; Vortex; DS (closeted); Quantum (modded to taz); Ocius STD, UL, UL (2pt P90), SUL; Pi (Home made kite)
madhabitz
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2011, 02:32 AM »

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the warm welcome. I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to this thread-- had to run to work, then couldn't get a connection. Now I've got to hit the sack, because I'm due back to work early in the morning. If I sound whiney..... well, I guess I am. ;-)

Bill, I agree with you about the Hypnotist teaching me. That thing is dying to have me learn how to do this stuff. It's unreal some of the tricks it performs. I was telling someone recently that it did a tipstab all by itself... did it 3 times in a row. Magical, really, though now I know that wind currents right then had a bit to do with it. It got even better just the other day-- a whole series of maneuvers-- started with some kind of axel, then went into this sort of barrel roll-thing, then a flickflack or two, a backwards summer-salt, then a tip stand as a finale.  I was helpless to do anything but stand there watching in awe.

I think I read the thread about reframing the Hypnotist, but didn't understand much of it at the time. I'm so happy you brought it up, because I'd forgotten all about it. You can be sure I will follow up, because it would be so cool to have a lighter kite.

It's great that you got your son hooked on kiting-- I bet he's having a ball. I was able to go to the Berkeley Kite Festival-- it's a really neat place and it would be great fun to fly there again without the huge crowd.

King-J: I am dying to hit the Chico and Ripon fly-days, so thanks for the invite! Chico is a pretty good drive from where I am (about 180 miles), but it's my intention to actually get there one of these days. I will get to Ripon when the heat comes down. I grew up in Fresno, so you'd think I'd be used to it. Nope.

Don, I found a post or two where Shoreline Park was mentioned, so I took off one afternoon and spent a couple of hours there. The wind was great-- so steady compared to what I deal with here. Have a great time tomorrow (today?)!

Nancy




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Allen Carter
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2011, 08:06 AM »

Welcome to our weird little world!

There are a number of "regulars" at Shoreline who are very helpful, and like any good kite field it's the people that make it more than just a big place with wind.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
Bob D
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2011, 08:36 AM »

If you're thinking about a new, high-end kite, any of those you mentioned would be good. I have a Deep Space, Widow Maker, and Blue Moon Exile so I can tell you about those. The DS was my first really high-end kite and it's a great kite in almost any wind. The only trouble I have is getting it to turtle deep enough to lazy susan. Tim Benson's Trick or Treat DVD is great at showing you the inputs needed to make it work. The Widow Maker is another great kite with a wide wind range and does almost anything you want. The Exile is another good kite but it starts to pull hard as the wind picks up at speeds that the DS and WM are still trickable in.

If I had to pick one, I'd pick the Deep Space.

Whatever you get, any of the high end kites will give you the trickability that you can grow into. Pick the one that looks the nicest to you and enjoy it!
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Bob D.
madhabitz
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2011, 02:22 PM »

Welcome to our weird little world!

There are a number of "regulars" at Shoreline who are very helpful, and like any good kite field it's the people that make it more than just a big place with wind.

I can't even begin to tell you guys how much I've missed being with others while trying to learn, for exactly the reason you mentioned: the people. In the weeks I've been doing this, aside from the two festivals, I've only run into one other kite person. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself.... but then he spent an hour telling me about his psychosis (plural/psychoses?) and all the drugs he takes for them. LOL, he really was a nice person and I wasn't afraid of him, but I didn't learn a whole lot about kiting. 

So, what are all y'all doing on Thursday? ;-)

Nancy
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madhabitz
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2011, 03:05 PM »

If you're thinking about a new, high-end kite, any of those you mentioned would be good. I have a Deep Space, Widow Maker, and Blue Moon Exile so I can tell you about those. The DS was my first really high-end kite and it's a great kite in almost any wind. The only trouble I have is getting it to turtle deep enough to lazy susan. Tim Benson's Trick or Treat DVD is great at showing you the inputs needed to make it work. The Widow Maker is another great kite with a wide wind range and does almost anything you want. The Exile is another good kite but it starts to pull hard as the wind picks up at speeds that the DS and WM are still trickable in.

If I had to pick one, I'd pick the Deep Space.

Whatever you get, any of the high end kites will give you the trickability that you can grow into. Pick the one that looks the nicest to you and enjoy it!

It's so fun and also a bit frustrating to try and decide on a new kite. I've read forum posts and watched videos like crazy, but I'm still changing my mind every few days. I was about decided on the WidowMaker, because so many like it so much and because it feels like it'd do just what I need it to do. I love the original colors (red/black/white), but know that I'd tire of them after awhile-- I'd want to look at something a bit .... less, for want of a better word. The static lines and being able to only have pieces colored in pairs is quite limiting. Graphics shouldn't be so important, I know, but they are.

I LOVE the graphics possibilities of the Exile-- played with the colorizer for an hour or two and came up with a ton of really pleasing ideas. Researching the kite, though, it felt like I'd be better off with something more forgiving of someone with still so much learning to do. Pulling too hard would be another reason, so thanks for that tidbit. I've read nothing but wonderful things about Ken, so it would be fun to have one of his kites someday.

When I read about the DeepSpace, there's always such reverence attached to the words. ;-)  Is it that good or is it hype built up because it's such a big deal to order a kite from that far away? Truly, the company does seem like a class act. I really like the graphics possibilities. I will look into getting the DVD-- thanks for that!

Decisions decisions. I do kind of like the idea of re-framing my Hypnotist as suggested earlier, then spend my money on a herd of Ghosts. lol... not really kidding. ;-)

Thanks so much for the input!

Nancy

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Allen Carter
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2011, 03:13 PM »


So, what are all y'all doing on Thursday? ;-)

Nancy


Thursday is my after work flying day (when it actually happens) 5:30 to sunset. The regular crew is usually around too.

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Allen, AKA kitehead
madhabitz
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2011, 04:19 PM »


Thursday is my after work flying day (when it actually happens) 5:30 to sunset. The regular crew is usually around too.


Seriously? I've got Thursday off-- would you mind if I joined you guys?
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2011, 04:28 PM »

The more the merrier!

I'll bring a few kites....


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Allen, AKA kitehead
madhabitz
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2011, 05:09 PM »

The more the merrier!

I'll bring a few kites....




Thank you!!
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DonCrash
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2011, 07:04 PM »

Thursday huh, If I've got nothing to do, I'm planning to be there, but I'm usually gone by 3ish  Sad

Which is why I've never see Allen there... Roll Eyes
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Vented L'organic; Vortex; DS (closeted); Quantum (modded to taz); Ocius STD, UL, UL (2pt P90), SUL; Pi (Home made kite)
Allen Carter
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2011, 08:44 PM »

No, that's why I've never seen YOU there.    Roll Eyes
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Allen, AKA kitehead
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