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Author Topic: Kite Videos, Learning & Optical Illusions  (Read 998 times)
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Location: Queensland, Australia

« on: January 05, 2012, 04:54 PM »

Hi All,

Thought I'd start a new topic, not with any particular question, but more of an observation. I've been reading about the many types of tricks, while waiting for my kites to turn up, and of course have gotten to the point where it's all jumbled together Smiley

So what I've just done, was decided to focus on one specific trick, and see if I can get the concept sorted in my head. I decided to look at the Fade. Now, I had up a web site with a list of tutorial vids. The text description on the vid said the kite is belly up, tail pointing away from the flyer. I misread this as nose-pointing away, and started watching the video, and that's when I realised there's a problem with 2D video vs 3D reality.

Watching the video, due to the optical illusion created by the shape of the kite outlines, projected onto a flat 2D surface of the monitor, my brain was trying to interpret the video, assuming and seeing, the node pointing away from the flyer. It was only as I was trying to decipher the discrepancy between the nose pointing away, but the strings over the leading edge, they I had to make the mental mind shift to see the kite invert itself, so what I was actually seeing was correct. With this new perspective, I realised some of the other more advanced vids I've been watching have been confusing for the same reason, as my brain doesn't have the experience flying to have a point of reference for which side of the kite I'm actually looking at, at any given point in time.

I'm wondering if anyone ele has noticed this, and whether it's been a problem for people, or whether it's just because I'm trying to learn virtually before I have any real hand-on time?

Just thought it was interesting, and something other newbies like me should watch out for.

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Location: Sechelt, B.C., Canada

« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 10:00 PM »

Excellent topic and observation(s)!!
I remember watching and learning from the old but still great Dodd Gross flight school series, Prism's Way to Fly, Trickery Flickery (??) et al on VHS tapes going wtf??? The 2D/3D thing was confusing at times and sometimes the speed of the maneuver was daunting. Lots of rewinding going on....
On one of Dodd's vids he had a small kite suspended and he then maneuvered the kite with his hands when explaining the moves of said trick. This was extremely helpful....but still lots of rewinding.
My dual line trick phase fell off when I started flying quads and fighters....this being mid 1990's btw....and my dual line flying now is strictly old school, but the fact still remains the perception of a trick can be confusing especially with some of the crazy and speedy maneuvers happening these days.
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 02:58 AM »

No, it is not just you or the fact that you are watching videos.

There is a perception gap that doesn't close until you have a rough idea of what is actually happening with the kite.

The first time I saw an axel it seemed to me as if the kite had turned itself inside out.

Very weird. Smiley

You have the right of it: keep visualizing and conceptualizing. It is just as important as the time spent flying kites to your progression as a flyer.

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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 03:45 AM »

I believe this is one reason folks like asymmetric sail patterns.

The funny thing is when the illusion flips while you are watching.  You can actually make that happen when you understand what your brain is doing to compensate for the lack of depth.

It's like that spinning dancer gift you see on random websites.  That spinning dancer is reversible as well, once you get the hang of it.


"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." L daVinci
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 02:23 PM »


Nah not just you Smiley

Not sure if you've run into one of these yet, but...

The video's shot from behind the kite back towards the pilot are even worse Huh for this effect. Funny how easily your brain can let go of an apparently logical chain of events sometimes.

If it helps, try not to over think too much at this point, just enjoy the stuff that's not clear just yet, it won't be long before you'll actually start mentally preempting the next inputs.

On a side note, I find the side on shots can be very useful in seeing the 'travel' a kite goes through during sequences. A good clean yoyo or a 540 side on are things of beauty  Cool

Best of luck,



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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 04:57 PM »

It's all part of learning to speak 'kite tricks' and I think its present on screen and in reality.

I distinctly remember watching other people (and myself) trick their kites and thinking that the kite looked 'inside out' at times - I was often confused about its orientation.

Once you spend alot of time looking at them flip around and you know how its moving, you can see it.  Still, I see a different combo like the one deBray does where he unrolls and them immediately rolls the other way into a yo fade and I do a double-take not quite believing what I just saw!  Smiley

6 kite tom
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2012, 11:20 PM »

It took me an extra 3 years to learn the Backspin because I didn't clue in that once the kite is on its back and nose pointing towards you, the right line is now on your left and vice-versa.
I kept pulling the wrong line.  Embarrassed

I finally realized that is the same problem I've had with the 540, the kite was always surprising and confusing me when it spun the opposite direction I was expecting. Duh ... when flying down the lines are reversed. Still can't do them but I have hope now that I have a better understanding of what is going to happen.


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

"People do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" George Bernard Shaw
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Location: Queensland, Australia

« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012, 12:11 AM »

Thanks for the feedback folks. Glad I'm not the only one experiencing this. Still awaiting my kites. Why AusPost can't send a parcel 200km within 4+ days I have no idea....

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