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Sub
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Hints and Tips on competition flying

Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:30 pm

Please can some of the flyers with more experience in competition part with a few tips.
Not asking for your winning secrets, just some common advice on some of the more obvious problems.

The first, unpredictable wind. I found it quite off putting being thrown in front of everyone in totally unpredictable winds. Usually at home I pick my days to fly, smooth sea breezes, at speeds my Cosmic's seem to love. At Bristol the wind was all over the place. Yet there must be something to do as Bryan, Piero, Chris, Dave, you all seem to be getting in there and making the most of it.
 
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Re: Hints and Tips on competition flying

Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:52 pm

1) practice is sh*t winds. IF you only fly in 'perfect' conditions then you will never cope with real conditions away from the coast

2) Practice some more

3) Learn to improv to music, and use a variety of it, you never know what you might get. (yes you are supposed to be flying TO the music in a trickout, and the best routines use it well).

4) Practice some more.
Keith
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mobius
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Re: Hints and Tips on competition flying

Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:15 am

Sub wrote:
Please can some of the flyers with more experience in competition part with a few tips.
Not asking for your winning secrets, just some common advice on some of the more obvious problems.

The first, unpredictable wind. I found it quite off putting being thrown in front of everyone in totally unpredictable winds. Usually at home I pick my days to fly, smooth sea breezes, at speeds my Cosmic's seem to love. At Bristol the wind was all over the place. Yet there must be something to do as Bryan, Piero, Chris, Dave, you all seem to be getting in there and making the most of it.


The wind was awful.. but then again it generally is at Ashton Court due to it's location surround by trees, large inflatable slides and coffee stalls. We certainly struggled on Saturday when the wind decided to suddenly drop off. However this is how it is in competition. Generally, it is the same for everyone and you don't have to be perfect to win.. you just have to cope better than the rest.

So firstly.. go and fly whatever the conditions. If you have a full range of kites, there should be no reason why you can't get out and fly. In strong winds you will find it hard to trick, so you need to experiment in adding more weight to give more drag and add more momentum in the spins. In light winds you need to learn how to move on the ground to power the kite. Both are not easy to master.. but you'll only get there if you start trying.

Secondly.. before you go in to the arena.. try to gauge what exactly the wind is doing. Is it consistent? Is it increasing and decreasing in regular 3 minute intervals? What set-ups are your competitors using.. how well did they do with it? The set-up you pick might have to be a compromise.

Thirdly.. when in the arena... use your 'warm-up' period wisely. If the wind has previously been inconsistent and suddenly becomes something you can handle.. don't hang about.. start your routine. If it is gusting and swinging, use the maximum time available to try to wait for it to calm down. Most wind conditions oscillate in this way.. so starting at the point when they are just becoming favourable is part skill and part luck. (might not be applicable for Trick Outs)

Fourthly.. when in your routine you might have to improvise something different to what you've practiced if you suddenly get a strong gust. If this happens, try not to panic so you can think quickly and clearly. Remain calm and instead focus on the next trick. Remember, in bad conditions you can not be expected to be perfect and therefore it can be a damage limitation exercise. Don't make unnecessary errors by taking unnecessary risks.

Fifthly.. use the whole arena you have available to you. You might find that a particular corner has the cleanest wind. Try to work this out in your warm up.

Hope this helps
Dave Morley
 
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Re: Hints and Tips on competition flying

Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:26 am

Adrian and I were talking about this on the way home... A couple of thoughts we had, specific to Trick Outs:

a) Don't over-reach (especially in dodgy wind conditions). An easier trick done really well looks better than a hard trick completely botched.

b) Have a few 30-second set pieces you can pull out and execute without thinking. Leave options for flourishes if the conditions suit it and you're feeling confident.
 
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Re: Hints and Tips on competition flying

Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:57 pm

Good question Emil... and these guys know what they're on about. Dave wrote a couple of cracking pieces on writing and performing ballets for IRB competition a while back - should be still around somewhere.

For me though, there's a bunch of issues...

Arena flying (flying in front of people generally) - No mistakes - period. If that means dumming down a bit, that's just fine. Make everything you do look like it was done on purpose. Clean entry and exit to everything. For the most part, freestyle flying - brilliant or otherwise means next to nothing to anyone other than other freestylers. Artistry and definition come into play quite heavily in the best of demonstrations.

Competition flying. (IRB or Tricks Party) There's a couple of options really, fly for yourself and enjoy what you are doing, or fly for the judges and enjoy the results a bit more. Either way, it's all about not making mistakes again.

Freestyle. See now, it's a different thing all together and much more subjective. VF, Trick Outs, Jaffa Cups etc. etc. are all about what fits at that time. On your own on the beach or in the field, you can just lose yourself in the flow. Being able to get to that state of mind whilst flying in front of people is where the challenge is. Competitive freestyle is just a minefield of differering opinions kite knowledge from the judges perspective, what-ever is en-vogue etc. etc. Like Andy said though, if you can keep it clean, defined AND flowing you'll likely do better than screwing over stuff that might be technically more challenging.

As for as flying in difficult conditions, ^^^ what they said.

Bryan
 
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Re: Hints and Tips on competition flying

Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:29 pm

Hi Emil

the wind was really a problem on Sunday. How could we compete against each other while I was flying an UL and you a vented 20 yards apart :) I totally had the wrong kite in my hands and wish I had changed to the standard DS. I must admit that the music didn't even enter into my mind as I was concentrating too much on not showing myself up :) I found that nerves are a big thing to master and trying to remember what trick to perform next is even harder. I will definately have to get a few tricks together into a routine and hope that all goes well next time. Oh for the dreaded wing wrap :(

darren
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Re: Hints and Tips on competition flying

Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:15 pm

Commentators eye,
What the guys have said. + Arenacraft, the non-flying stuff.
Walk the arena early before you set up. Moles, turds, puddles, ruts, toffee wrappers, refections from vehicles/buildings etc. If you have a kite with you, you WILL be sidetracked. Also as Dave said in warm-up. NB Those of us who flew in Guernsey know that gooseturds are camouflaged and lethal.
Footwear - Bambi on Ice is not a cool look - nor are bloodied feet from sharp shells on beaches.
Clothing - Velcro, open buttons and zips, lace hooks etc. all become bondage-wear at the most inopportune times. At the other extreme, Mankinis are never appropriate.
Phones/mp3s/fags - Will go off, fall out, obstruct movements only in the arena. Keys conspire to find new ways to ruin your day.
Headwear - You wanted wind so don't feign surprise when your fedora blows off. Not all fliers can use staples to keep their hat on!! Wear sunglasses with straps.
Volunteer to line judge - You quickly get to feel "part of it" and comfortable inside the rope. You get to see other fliers coping methods in context (especially other disciplines). Probably should be first on list, as you don't have to be competing.
All the above can be done in advance, leaving you more in tune to flying.
Try to get some practice upwind of arena, not just in available space.
Don't be afraid to ask ANYTHING. The guys above do/don't do so much automatically now without thinking. Some things are just quirks - even kitegods need humouring!!
love'n'joy
Lloyd
Flying; aiming at the ground, and failing miserably.