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damp_weather
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How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:52 pm

What would be a good way of demonstrating dual-line sport kiting to one to half a dozen or so non-kiters or non-dual liners at a time? There’s no ghetto-blaster available, and no kite festivals nearby. Usually the flying spot precludes using 40 metre lines.

What has worked for you?


The background to my question is that over the past few years, there have been 3 or 4 occasions when I have been asked to give an informal demo. The aim was to give them a feeling of what dual line sport delta kite flying was all about. (Maybe it shouldn’t have been the aim?) So for the last two occasions, I tried to give a history in the demo – starting off with basic turns, then figures, then introducing the stall and axel, flare and 540, multi-axels, controlled stalls from half-way up the window down to two-point landings, half-axel, cascade, slots then the backflip and lazy Susan, and so on (fades, joining tricks together). – The audience is very polite and show their appreciation, but my feeling is that they get bored within 10 minutes. And letting them have time on the kite just convinces them that it’s probably very skillful, but they not keen for more, even when they have gone from repeatedly crashing to mastering take-off and level flight after ~10 minutes. – From the last occasion, the most positive feeling I got from them was at the end when one asked about how to take-off with the kite nose-away, belly down, and I managed to demonstrate the ground pancake to fade take-off by pulling on the lines ~6 feet away from the kite and 6 feet from them.


In contrast some weeks ago a group of half a dozen attendees on an office “team building” course, asked me to take the kites out on a very stormy day: winds 18mph gusting to ~40mph, and they stuck it for 30 minutes, even the ones who didn’t have a go on a kite. You could feel the happiness and enthusiasm coming off them. We had in the air one 1.2m foil and a vented and heavily wah-padded and nappied dual line delta (no time to assemble more kites before we had to continue with the course).


I am posting the question on this forum, as the demonstrations are to people living in England, and what they expect, and what they actually enjoy, may be a cultural thing.
 
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:53 am

Just anecdotal, but my strong feeling is that people generally don't "get" trick flying, whereas they really appreciate precision/team flying. We very often have people approaching us when we're pair/team-practicing, saying they really enjoyed seeing it, and that it looked fantastic, etc.

So maybe don't aim too high in the tricks aspect, but focus more on the basic flying/precision part?

Just my tuppence!
 
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:41 am

+1
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:47 pm

+1

Gee, never thought I'd be agreeing with Pete ;)

Tricks need you to 'get your eye in' before you can appreciate all but the simplest. Make em clean and smooth and a simple trick will have more people 'get it' than a poorly executed multi-something or other.

I appreciate precision is difficult to make interesting with only one kite.
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:17 pm

Keithgrif wrote:
I appreciate precision is difficult to make interesting with only one kite.


You can always learn how to fly three at the same time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJV0tyE1sOc
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damp_weather
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:35 am

Ara Ararauna wrote:
You can always learn how to fly three at the same time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJV0tyE1sOc

…The Ray Bethall video – It was one of the two that inspired us for what could be done in a display when we first started flying, around 2006/07. The other was Matthew McGee’s QPro SUL video at Golden Gardens Park Seattle. (You can tell that both videos are old from their relatively bad picture quality by today’s standard.) - Taking your suggestion seriously for a moment, even if I did eventually learn to fly 3 kites at once, there usually wouldn't be the space for the long lines.

I have been thinking back to the real life displays that left me with the “Wow!” feeling. There were two in particular. One was someone (a European invited flyer I think) flying a Kamikaze Butterfly at the 2010 Malmesbury kite festival. Lots of fast swoops, sharp stops and reverses near the ground, and precise turns. Don’t recall who you were, but you left a very good impression. The other was Chris Goff with his “Feel Good Inc” routine. In 2007 we saw him fly to the same Gorillaz music multiple times at several different festivals along the South Coast, and each performance was a bit different. You can get an idea of what he did by searching against “Chris Goff Portsmouth 2007” on youtube. At the performance that sticks in my mind he was perfect – tricking to the music. For example, at the start of “Windmill, windmill for the land” he did backspins in time, and then in keeping with the windmill turning theme and the way the music rises and falls did backspins while doing a 360.
…But even flying like that could be done, I’d still be without a music player...
Last edited by damp_weather on Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:48 am

Keithgrif wrote:
+1

Gee, never thought I'd be agreeing with Pete ;)

Tricks need you to 'get your eye in' before you can appreciate all but the simplest. Make em clean and smooth and a simple trick will have more people 'get it' than a poorly executed multi-something or other.

I appreciate precision is difficult to make interesting with only one kite.


Thank you all for your advice.

(So put aside the historical commentary and introducing flying methods and tricks in the sequence they were discovered.)

(At a STACK bootcamp Keith and the other coaches taught us to have routines with a spectacular start and a spectacular finish, because the beginning and ending are the bits that people particularly remember. – Will have to try to take that lesson on board.)

In the absence of loud accompanying music, I think I should come up with a routine with simple moves, that has its own rhythm/beat that is obvious to viewers. (Hopefully this should make precision with just one kite more appealing.) The sorts of things I am thinking of include:
1) a pass across the window with a few slots regularly spaced, so they look very deliberate.
2) flying vertically upwards with regularly spaced stalls and even flight in between.
3) horizontal pass to tip stab near the edge of the window, and then hold the tip stand a few seconds to make it obvious
4) pass across the window into downward turn into side slide as far back across the window as I can get.
5) vertical or diagonal straight line up the window followed by a nice slow cascade or comete vertically downwards (have to rediscover how to do the comete for this, or improve my cascades)
- As requests for a demo come along on average once every 18 months, there’ll be a year or so in which to get somewhere on this.

...That's where my thoughts are up to at the moment. Feedback welcomed.
Last edited by damp_weather on Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
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Ara Ararauna
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:41 am

damp_weather wrote:
- Taking your suggestion seriously for a moment, even if I did eventually learn to fly 3 kites at once, there usually wouldn't be the space for the long lines.


I was indeed half joking and half serious, but you are right, it takes up a lot of space.

As a really serious comment, one thing that occurred to me when starting to fly kites was the following.
When I got my first dual-line I saw the freestyle flyers and thought: "I'll never go into that type of flying. Too chaotic. I can't make out anything of what they are doing and it looks like sloppy flying. I will only do precision."
I should have applied to myself that say of "Never say never".

So what made me change. When I started to understand each trick I was able to appreciate what the difficulties and beauty of it all were.
So keeping it simple could be one way. However, another would be to fly a UL or SUL in low wind.

Two of the videos that have made me really go WOW! have been for slow moving, yet complex, difficult and "spectacular" flying.
I think we could make it analog to slow motion videos that you all produce for us newbies to make us understand and learn how a trick is achieved.

So, since you cannot slowmo in real life, you can fly UL/SUL in low wind.
The two videos I can recall as having marked me are the following:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toJAJzCrP5I
and:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK04jzq7G0Q

Hope this helps!
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damp_weather
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:04 pm

Ara Ararauna wrote:
As a really serious comment, one thing that occurred to me when starting to fly kites was the following.
When I got my first dual-line I saw the freestyle flyers and thought: "I'll never go into that type of flying. Too chaotic. I can't make out anything of what they are doing and it looks like sloppy flying. I will only do precision."
I should have applied to myself that say of "Never say never".

So what made me change. When I started to understand each trick I was able to appreciate what the difficulties and beauty of it all were.
So keeping it simple could be one way. However, another would be to fly a UL or SUL in low wind.

Two of the videos that have made me really go WOW! have been for slow moving, yet complex, difficult and "spectacular" flying.
I think we could make it analog to slow motion videos that you all produce for us newbies to make us understand and learn how a trick is achieved.

So, since you cannot slowmo in real life, you can fly UL/SUL in low wind.
The two videos I can recall as having marked me are the following:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toJAJzCrP5I
and:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK04jzq7G0Q

Hope this helps!
CHeers.

Ara, It does help.
Regarding your first video, you might know that I'm already a Skyburner and Devin fan, particularly during and since the development of the Ocius SUL. Regarding the second - this Skyfall video is particularly impressive - thank you.

The low wind video that caught my eye was - “A morning in Venice” showing Samuel Roger and Laura Mastromauro flying the NSE WW – I downloaded a good quality "venezia.avi" copy of this when it first came out. Don't know of a website for downloading this now. But a small version is on the R-Sky website.


We didn’t have the same feeling as you about freestyle when we first started out. Don’t know why. Might have been because we had the “A” team (Fivers) for stunt kites: Piero, Dave (Popeye), Craig, Pete (711jrp) and others flying practically on our doorstep – at Purley near London ~12 miles up the road, but no precision and ballet flying nearby. Perhaps it was because one of the first videos we were exposed to was the “official Deep Space promo “ video (see http://www.bensonkites.com/media/videos.html) – it was my other half who was the motivating force and video finder in those days. Anyway, for whatever reason, with us, our aims from the start included learning tricks. It was months later, as we found tricks so difficult, that we turned to precision and ballet, where we could get good coaching from STACK and Close Encounters.


Lex and others write about people not getting tricks. In years gone by, precision has saved my face on many occasions. One particularly memorable one was when I was trying to master the lazy susan – a trick I still have trouble with. On that day, every single time I tried, the kite would pitch rotate in the Lazy Susan rotation, resulting in tip wraps – this happened 6 times or more. Some teenage boys nearby started taking the piss, ending up with “Give me a go”. As the bottom of the last tangle (I was getting plenty of practice at untangling the tip wrap during the kite’s ignominious descent), I switched to a sharp corner into horizontal flight and a square cornered near perfect staircase up the window followed by a fast square. They shut up and walked off.

In recent years I haven’t had that sort of experience. The most teasing has been “Just give up! There’s no wind!” from the local boys, and they have given up shouting that now. The reason is probably that my regular flying site of the last two years is somehow in a wind shadow. There is perhaps one session in 3 or 4 where the wind gets above 4mph. Consequently the locals see all that I do in slow motion. – They come over to pass the time of day and say complementary things even though I may not have been practicing precision. They seem to “get it”. But it isn’t them that ask me for the informal demos – It is people who know I fly kites, but haven’t seen me do it.
 
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:47 am

Half axels...steady Fades...Flick flacks...these are still digestible by the new mind.

Sharp corners, half axels, and tip stand landings will please the crowd all day long.

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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:08 am

ObijuanKenobe wrote:
Half axels...steady Fades...Flick flacks...these are still digestible by the new mind.

Sharp corners, half axels, and tip stand landings will please the crowd all day long.

obi


Backflips followed by lazys also intrigue spectators as do yoyos
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:32 pm

onlookers usually get the wrong point of view from side or from under the kite, trick flying does not look impressive from there get them to stand behind.
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Thu May 01, 2014 11:00 pm

Also - I get more looks from flying my Talon than I do my SF...probably because it's slower and people can follow what's going on
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Fri May 02, 2014 5:24 pm

SkyRags wrote:
Also - I get more looks from flying my Talon than I do my SF...probably because it's slower and people can follow what's going on


Or maybe its because the Talon is just such a stunning looking kite.
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Re: How to do demonstrations/sessions with non-flyers?

Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:38 am

Hawkerhunter wrote:
SkyRags wrote:
Also - I get more looks from flying my Talon than I do my SF...probably because it's slower and people can follow what's going on


Or maybe its because the Talon is just such a stunning looking kite.



That could be construed as a somewhat backhanded comment if it wasn't for the fact that the Talon DOES look cool - even in monochrome
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