Sven

Sven

Kite addict since 1998. Still addicted!

Flying With Intent

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If you want to improve, you need to fly a lot. If you want to quantum leap your skills, you need to fly with intent!

My slogan is “Just Fly” … because that’s what it’s all about. Grab your kite, find a field and some wind and … just fly!

The more you fly the better you’ll get. There’s no doubt about it. But if you really want to improve four flying skills, you definitely should add intended flying to your toolbox!

Flying a low groundpass exactly as intended!
Flying a low groundpass exactly as intended!

So what is intended flying all about then?

Well, a quick definition is something like you decide what and where to fly in advance… and then you fly it.

Let’s start with a very simple figure.

  • Start with the kite on the ground at about 20% left of the center of the wind window.
  • Then take of and fly straight up to about 20%.
  • Then make a (punctuated) stop.
  • Next slide (kite in upright position) horizontally across the center of the wind window until the kite is at 20% right of the center.
  • Make another (punctuated) stop…
  • …before flying (backwards) toward the ground and land.

Voila!

Try to maintain the same speed throughout the whole pattern regardless of in which direction your kite is flying, forward, backward or sideways. 

Now you can repeat the pattern but going in the other direction ending up where you started.

This is only one of I’d say an unlimited patterns you can fly with intent. From the super easy ones, like the one I’ve just described above, to seriously intricate ones, still way out of my reach. 😉

If you take a look at the video below, you can see your’s truly flying this pattern at 1:08 into the video. I fly it several times until 1:46. You can see from the video that it’s far from perfect, but you get the picture.

One thing I’ve learned – both from experience and like John Barresi tould us at the Quad Clinic – you should repeat the pattern (at least) five times before you do any form for adjustments. Consistency is vital and if you try to change or adjust anything too soon your learning takes longer.

It takes concentration and focus to get it right
It takes concentration and focus to get it right

In the video you can see me flying other patterns too, some of them adding to the example above. Then there are some other … moves, like flying the kite forwards and backwards at a 90 degree angle to the ground. And at the end of the video I practice tipstabs. Up, rotate, tipstab, up, rotate, tipstab, and so on.

2 thoughts on “Flying With Intent”

  1. Though I was out on Friday evening (i.e. the day before seeing this video) doing practice on the current QLK things on my mind, I felt obliged to try these flight patterns/figures out (B.t.w. I think that those sharp corners (distinct stop/start and 90deg) adds something to the flying in this exercise but also anywhere in the wind window). Why? These (figures in the video) are figures I don’t currently practice, so I wanted to see how I performed here. Therefore I headed to the nearest and “only decent” beach/lawn (with maximum 20 minutes of travel) combo where I chose to use my fullvent B-series with three wrap (1/4 inch) rods. After a while after (not?) dealing with ground turbulence I eventually combined this exercise with a move that just have started to become a common start (at least in one direction) for some reason: (on the ground, LE up) shortly after leaving the ground do a 3/4 turn (or rotation), fly a bit to the side and land (LE up), repeat in the other direction and fly back. The sequence was soft on purpose and kind of inspired myself to move in equally soft moves. Got a bit “wild” and continued the spinning and the body movements further. Hmm.. should perhaps start listening to music while kiting? OK in the end quite far off from the initial exercise resulting in a kind of fluent exercise in double handedness. Another side note, the inspiration for the fluid pattern of redundant movement, came from a production robot at work. Sometimes it seems to spin 3/4 of a turn, when it looks like it would suffice with 1/4 of a turn.

    Flying with intent – deciding what to do before and then stick to the plan. As you know I’m not very experienced in team flying, but there is a similarity here. You *must* stick to the pattern and do the things not necessarily where it is most comfortable (in the wind window) to do it. The similarity ends when it comes to timing and syncing with other kites obviously. I’d also say that it is perfectly possible to decide in advance one or a couple of turns ahead and then do your best to realize it, but without the repetition. However I’d believe that it is more efficient with repetition, since you can adjust and improve based on your observation from say only 10s ago. Sometimes the repetition part is less straightforward (at least during my sessions). Say you stick to a long horizontal line and do 180deg team turns all over that line, but decide where only a few turns ahead. Another example: decide that everything you do is along the edges of a large rectangle. There you only do sharp 90 deg turns and occasionally 180 deg turns, but you decide when and in what order as you fly. Limit any forward flight to be propelled be sail loading – not from angling the handles. Restricted and free at the same time.
    Flying close to the ground (as during take off and landings in the video) obviously adds the challenge of less smooth and lower (ground) winds. Here I think of the piece of advice we were given during the Denmark quad clinic, to connect to the kite so that it almost starts before the actual start tug (which I for some reason forgot just when when doing the above exercise). Well, I guess a reminder to remind myself the next time… Another side note, I recently tried to feel the presence of the slightly loaded sail anywhere in the wind window before initiating a move, not only when starting. Sometimes the ground turbulence did things that “did not feel fair”, but that is OK – almost any weather condition or wind is a form of practice. So how to handle the kite when it is close to the ground?: get out of there quickly (with a single or double tug during take off) or try to manage it without hasting. Possibly you can be helped coping with turbulence by “pulsed mode flying” (a rapid series of small tugs on all four lines to propel the kite), but I rather not point with the hole hand, since I’m currently trying this out myself.

    A kite gear dream:
    It is so easy to get stuck doing the figures in your way when standing on the field and trying to come up with some figures that would be good for one’s development. To initiate the challenge it would be good to have a long list of (possibly animated) figures. A mobile phone app with a randomly selected figure form all stored figures or from a subset would be another realization of such a list.

    Thank you for the reminder of the five attempts – as you know I’ve worked on to try remember all info from the quad clinic so that it can be put to use. My ideas on why one first should repeat it five times initially: First you break any “flying around randomly” mode and then you get used to (or gets as good as you currently can be) the particular thing that you are practicing. Consider any session’s warming up period for piloting in general. It is then not strange that also each figure got a warming up period. Also five times feels more on the field than it does in one’s thought and is typically not performed if you really don’t aim for it.

    1. “…A kite gear dream:
      It is so easy to get stuck doing the figures in your way when standing on the field and trying to come up with some figures that would be good for one’s development. To initiate the challenge it would be good to have a long list of (possibly animated) figures. A mobile phone app with a randomly selected figure form all stored figures or from a subset would be another realization of such a list. …”

      Not quite what you dream of, but maybe of interest nevertheless.
      Take a look at the ISK Compulsories Book:

      http://worldsportkite.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ISK-Compulsories-Book-v3-2017-03-30final.pdf

      Scroll down to page 70 and onwards. Loads of inspiration there I’d say!

      You can also chheck out Roy Reeds site with Flash (unfortunately) animations of most of the compulsories.

      https://reeddesign.co.uk/kites/stack/

      /Sven

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