Shadow flying controlable kites
Subject: Shadow flying controlable kites
From: Ron Reich
"Don't Let The Sun Get In Your Eyes"
"Don't Let The Kite Stay On The Ground"
"When The Shadows Are Bright"
"And The Wind Starts To Blow"
"Get Out Your Favorite Kite"
"Here's The Type Of Show"
So I'm not a Poet, Who cares? I used to be a kiteflyer,
Now I have more memories than abilities. It doesn't take skill
or cost anything to share those memories and experiences so here
we go again.
The next time you are on the field with your kite, take
notice of where the sun is. If you are lucky, the sun will be
somewhere above mid sky straight down wind from you. If you were
to fly your kite normally, you would be looking straight into the
sun. Look for the shadow of the kite on the ground. When the
kite is below the sun the shadow will be in front of you. When
the kite is above the sun the shadow will be behind you. The
easiest situation for learning to shadow fly is when the sun is
just about to the top of the wind window.
Fly the kite on a ground pass to a position just under the
sun, then turn it to go straight up at the sun. Notice that the
shadow of the kite is coming straight toward you on the ground.
As the shadow passes you, raise your hands over your head and
turn your body to the same side the shadow passes. Keep your
eyes on the shadow. Your hand position now will be as though
your were the victim of a stick up. Your upper arms should be
straight out parallel to the ground and your forearms straight up
perpendicular to the ground.
The control of the kite is actually quite simple and
straight forward. With your back now to the kite and your eyes
on the shadow, the thought to keep in your mind is that if the
kites shadow is to your right you will need to push your right
hand into the wind which results in pulling on the right side of
the kite. As you will see by the shadow, the kite will turn up.
Similarly, if the kites shadow is to your left you will want to
push toward the shadow (into the wind) to get the kite to turn
up. The best learning action is to alternate pushing right and
left causing the kite shadow to weave back and forth in front of
CAUTION !! CAUTION !!
CAUTION !!! Don't attempt this on a crowded field. Your
back is to the kite and you will undoubtedly lose control the
first few time you try it. Furthermore, you should not try this
the first time in winds greater than 10 mph.
Once you get the hang of it, try to maneuver the shadow to
hover near where you are standing so that you can step on it.
Spectators standing up wind will soon get the idea of what you
are doing and be entertained by any antics that you can do with
Shadow flying is a real challenge for teams. I have
actually had my team flying formation and doing turns and the
like while flying the shadows.
If you try it let me know what happens and if you have any
question on the subject please don't hesitate to ask.
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