ValkingBlog: Improve your launches, practice kiting...


Because there is more to life than just work...

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Improve your launches, practice kiting...

Well the new harness is in. I've been using an adapted waist belt, but I found a nice new full body harness on eBay( ) and it arrived a few days ago. Now after this past weekend going to St. Augustine and flying Crescent Beach, I know I need practice. Reason: I adjusted my wing's trimmers to a slower setting. I have been flying since last year at the fastest trim setting and, to some, this is a bad thing. Well flying all those faster set flights has trained me to use the brakes a bit more than the average bear on launch and with the trimmers set slower it took some getting used to (I was braking too much and putting the wing right back down). Not knowing it at the time, this cost me a few blown attempts to launch. One gets very winded blowing launches.
Good news is that a fellow I know from the yahoo groups was there, never met him before that day, and he immediately saw what the problem was and made a suggestion. Use less brakes...
So I did and the launch went well. In fact, with the trimmers set slower, the wing's flight characteristics were so much better than I flew previously, it's like I have a new wing. And I love it. But now I have to work on my ingrained tendency to use more brakes. So, kiting. Kiting is a lot of fun. It's just like the name says, you go fly the wing like a kite. Of course it's a giant kite, nobody's likely to have a kite like this wherever you go to do it. This is a BIG kite at 33 square meters. Sometimes bigger IS better. Almost always gets a positive response though.
Especially if you end up getting a little air in a gust or something. I've had this happen, one minute kiting, a second later a gust and you're 5 feet in the air.
Happily this is usually only for a second or two, and you usually wear a nice bike helmet, (I use a snowboarding one) and the effect doesn't most times land you on your ass. It can be scary though...(grin) Here's an old pic of me kiting.

I know, it's not very flattering, but hey, you get the idea.
So now I need to do more of it, a lot more. Good thing is with the new industrial harness it won't hurt as much, those straps (actually just rope) on the improvised rig could really dig in. And that can put a crimp in your style... Owchie!


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