Dec 11, 2010: Patriot Park Las Vegas. There are only 3 of these brand new double Nagel-head style Randy Tom Masterpiece Series Revolution 1.5s. This is not mine by the way.
Winds were very light so I had trouble getting shots by myself. This nice family came by and I taught the dad the very basics. Launch, hold & settle. I took about 150 shots with the dad on the handles. These few were pretty good. That is just stunning with the airbrush work and applique.
As you can tell by the flag, the wind was starting to pick up a little. We might have had moments of 5 mph breezes.
The family had to leave and there was just enough wind for me to take these next few shots as the left-handed pilot and right-handed photographer. These are my special 40 ft long lines used only for this setup.
The top lines are close enough to the lens to get all blurry when this setup is used.
The wind was low enough that I was backing up and using repeated tugs to get the kite back up. Here is what the bottom of a flying handle looks like out of focus.
I'm laying on my stomach and shooting up to get this angle with the sun directly behind the kite.
This is Casey. She and Natalya were watching and I asked their parents if they could help me get some backlit shots. Casey and Natalya let me know that they had modeled before for me. They were excellent.
This is Natalya. She would later attempt some one-handed flying on a sport kite.
Some more close-up detail shots.
Note how all the white airbrush in the hair and on the lips appears dark when backlit. You can go back and look at the front lit shots to verify.
(Reworked photo) I set up to get some shots of the Krystal FX Special Edition, saw an eager look on Natalya's face and asked her if she would like to fly the kite one-handed. Winds were still very light. This kite was trained by Randy Greenway so well that a beginner flying one-handed was able to fly it. Well done Randy. Sweet looking kite by the way. Winds have been so light here lately that Natalya is the only one who has flown this beauty since its arrival. I'm hoping some of Randy's skills will rub off on me when I fly this.
Natalya is still flying the Krystal FX one-handed. I'm just shooting pictures.
These are my 15 ft lines. Natalya looks like a pro, doesn't she.
So this is basically the set-up I use for sport kite pictures when flying by myself, only the flying handle is in my left hand, my arm is low and the camera in my right. Natalya's grandmother was clapping her support while we were taking these shots.
Natalya tried starting the kite with a downward sweep of her arm, but felt she had more control with this upward launch. I invited Natalya, her dad and grandmother for some kite flying, but they had to leave. Hopefully next time. The 2nd busiest airport in Nevada is about 2 miles from the park. It's used for small planes, corporate jets, tourist planes and helicopters.
Cosmic TC Ghost (SUL). Designed by Christian Stahl. Sold by Kitehouse of Germany.
Listed at 2.5 meters (just over 8 feet), this is a full size sport kite.
The bridle attachments at the leading edge have many adjustments in small increments.
Photos again taken in my backyard in variable winds.
Still haven't flown it. Just got it from Denny as he is now flying his TNT set.
We've had a lot of company and/or strong winds lately. Hopefully, I'll get some airtime with this soon.
I don't really care for the panel layout in the standard version, but do really like the all-white version here.
Britt (my son) was in town and came out to help with the photo shoot.
And here are a few pictures of Britt attempting some tricks in the very temperamental winds of our tree lined yard.
It felt pretty heavy for an SUL. Of course, that seems to be the trend these days.
Friday, Nov 5, 2010. Hmmm, I wonder what's in the fuzzy bag.
Made in Seattle and Serial #495. The two lower inhauls tie together and are adjustable by changing the passthrough of the line at the center-T. Unfortunately, this line can too easily come out if not plugged. You will see a small yellow vinyl end cap in the flight photos.
It might just be a Prism Vapor SUL.
Looks like Mark Reed signed it on Oct 4, 1999.
This would be the person who made the kite although I can't quite make out the name. Anyone know?
Oh my gosh. It isn't just a Vapor. It is a Rainbow Vapor. Sorry about the motion blur.
Bambi took most of these photos. We were again in our backyard.
This is not my idea of how the photo should be cropped. But someone thought this would look better. It seems I center the photos too much.
An interesting angle.
It's in really nice condition too.
And a nice front lit shot. If you look closely at the lower part of the center-T, you will see a yellow vinyl end cap. I put these into the Vapors as the bridle line has a bad tendency to come out of the center-T if not plugged.
Friday afternoon, Oct 29, 2010 New Silverbowl Park, Nevada. Tracer UL by Mike Simmons
Took about 100 shots going for this strongly backlit shot. I love black like that.
The Tracer UL is framed in Revolution Advantage Rods. Old school to be sure. Wonderful flight.
Darren hangs up the Tracer UL for a more normally lit picture.
Kylie, Bridget and Tracer UL from left to right.
I took several pictures of the Micron stack but was really bummed when all the photos showed up with the front top spreader hanging.
Thor's Hammer. It's really big.
Somewhere around 14 foot wingspan.
There's Kent for scale. He's about 6 feet tall.
We had all gathered to get some footage for a TV commercial. Here is the cinematographer.
We could have put in other kites. But these were the ones we flew.
Thumbs up for sure Kent.
Fliers for the day. Photo by the cinematographer guy using my camera. Thanks.
October 24, 2010. An absolutely stunning California Wasp by Miguel Rodriguez. Made in May of 1996.
Overcast sky and the sun partially shining through the clouds. I put the camera on Auto and attached the 15 foot lines. Although the pictures are a little flat, the kite looks amazing to me.
Miguel had a few different stripe configurations for the CA Wasp over the years. I've always thought this overlapping setup looked the best.
The CA Wasp has severe oversteer until it gets a little speed. Then it turns into an angry, noisy plow that has to be heard to be understood. Wow.
Yes, John Barresi could always fly dual-line kites really well. Even a decade and a half ago.
October 19, 2010 in my back yard. Wind was light and variable but the clouds were great and the sun was low.
This is the Falcon Delta by G-Kites (GKPI). It is 10.5 feet across by 5 feet tall and stores in a 60 inch bag. No lines or tails come with the kite.
This is the Cool Color version of the Falcon Delta. The attachment ring has no line so to do a Larkshead Knot, you must do it past the ring on the fabric, or just tie an overhand knot for pictures as I have done. But don't fly the kite like this please unless you are a trained professional (wait, I don't get paid, so I'm not a pro. Drat!) Or, you could just add a short line with a few knots in it and then do a traditional Larkshead attachment.
Since the lawn had just been mowed, I put this shot in so you could see part of the back yard.
Obligatory backlit shot.
Sadly, there are no attachment provisions on the keel or at the wingtips for any type of tail. Bummer. Big kites like this cry for a beautiful matching tail.
Winds were shifting so we were able to get front and back lit shots within minutes of each other.
This is still a Falcon Delta, but in the Warm Color Scheme. Orange keel. Odd how the keel extends so far past the sail. Probably for better flight.
Gordie Fry is back in Las Vegas for the fall, winter and spring so he was kind enough to be the pilot for two of the kites until he had to go home.
Gordie doing a backward walk and rapid hand-over-hand pull to get the kite up for photos. Thanks Gordie.
Gordie had to leave so Bambi is now piloting these deltas in the light and variable direction winds.
My favorite picture of the Falcon Delta.
The G-Kites catalog refers to the extended billowing keel as a feature. Should have known. I guess you could attach a tail to the Velcro center spine keel area.
The kite goes together very easily as you don't break down the keel or the leading edges. Happily, you don't have to move the leading edges into place, they are already where they should be.
And here is the Rainbow color scheme of the Falcon Delta.
That's our neighbor's yard and rooftop.
An attempt at dynamic photography.
See, really nice clouds.
Looks like it's coming in for a vertical landing.
October 15, 2010 Friday Night Fly at New Silverbowl Park, Las Vegas, NV. Jim and Lynn Foster were in town and showed up for a very low wind fly. Jim & Lynn fly Revs pretty much exclusively, so I thought they should model Kent's 2 new Bazzer Bloodshot Eyes Masterpiece Revs.
Here's Lynn with the other Bazzer Rev. I only had my small Canon 990 IS Elph. So I took shots with and without flash. The sun had set but there was a hint of sunlight left on the horizon. The flash pictures were pretty bad, but these non-flash pictures came out fairly well for a pocket camera.
Jim and Lynn travel around the country a fair amount. We had a great time with them. Without much wind we flew the Focus Manta and my Benson Inner Space.
If you're wondering where the Bazzer Masterpiece Sizzle came from, look no further. Lynn made this and won 1st place ribbon at the Washington Sate International Kite Festival (WSIKF) 2005. The detail in her cutting and sewing was over the top. Revolution asked their permission to use the design and they gladly gave it. Nice job Lynn.
It's a newer Revolution Race Rod and slightly olive drab in color. Very bendy. Look at Kent's thumbs. He is putting a fair amount of torque on that rod.
Yep, that's a lot of bend. Photo taken with my trusty little Canon Elph SD990 IS.
Teaser photo of the new "Bloodshot" Bazzer Eyes. More later.
Here is Mark's new custom Widow Maker UL by Sky Burner Kites. We finally had some clouds. Those 3 areas of light blue are really translucent mylar backlit showing the sky.
There are 3 areas of mylar. The upper center and the 2 lower panels above the standoffs are a close mesh mylar which showed up light blue in the previous photo.
Winds were very light and I was once again by myself for flying and shooting pictures.
Most of these photos are of the kite backlit to show off the Fl Yellow panels at their best.
Here are the 3 mylar areas showing up as light blue.
Had to crop this one as a square format.
And one from the front, just so you can see what the kite really looks like when front-lit. Thanks for the loan Mark.
Sept 18, 2010: Patriot Park near my house. Mark loaned his new Mongoose to me for some photos. Yes, I am once again flying the kite and shooting. Even got this cool fade.
I was shooting right into the sun, so I knew 90% of these photos were going to be garbage. But I wanted to go for something extra for Ken McNeill. He's my hero.
And barring a couple of lens flare spots, this one looks pretty darned good to me. That's the tip of Shane Hill's flying handle on the left. It's what I use to fly left-handed for these shoots. The Mongoose was just being brought out of its fade here.
Here is the previous photo with the lens spots reduced. It's not a perfect Photoshop fix, but not too bad.
We have had absolutely zero clouds for weeks now. So the sky is pretty boring. At least you get to see the cool pattern Mark came up with for his Mongoose.
Hopefully, some clouds will come in for the next time this kite goes up.
That Neon Yellow never looks quite right in photos.
Nice bold pattern. Inscription done as inset lower right.
A little flat. This photo may be hitting the eject button in the next couple of days.
Friday Night Fly at New Silverbowl Park, Nevada, Sept 17, 2010. Oooohhh, that's a pretty kite.
This is a Vendetta UL by Shawn Tinkham of Viper Sport Kites. It's a 93" wingspan and based on its larger brother the 100" Venom. The Venom has the Center V split into 4 panels instead of 2 as seen here. You can see that these photos were taken within the last 30 minutes of sunlight. That's actually later than I prefer to shoot, but that's just how it turned out.
This is Darren. Not the Darren you see in a lot of these Silverbowl photos, this is the Darren who comes up every 2 weeks from Phoenix to fly with us as he is transitioning to a new job. Sadly, we won't be seeing him come spring.
Although winds were very light we were able to get in some photos and I got a chance to fly this beauty. Very, very nice.
I'm becoming addicted to the continuous mode on my Nikon 5000. It's good for a little over 3 frames/second. And I casually fired off about 200 photos. Isn't digital photography wonderful?
I have long thought that Black/Red/White was the best color combination to show boldness on a sport kite. It sure looks good here.
Darren was actually drifting the kite down with one line on each side of my head. Glad he didn't do any ear rubbing with that line. If you want a great kite, Shawn makes some outstanding ones. Here's his website: http://www.vipersportkites.com/
Friday Night Fly: Sept 10, 2010 New Silverbowl Park, NV
I brought both of my Tramontana HP HQ kites out of closet limbo. The HP stands for High Performance which translates into wrapped tapered spars instead of the heavier and flexier pultruded rods found in the regular standard. My other Tram HP came in a wonderful padded bag with a zipper which always breaks. The other kite has orange wingtips and spine sleeve. Flown here by Darren.
This a low aspect ratio, large kite which excels in side-slides and snap stalls. It has 4 fiberglass standoffs, 2 battens and a spine which resides in front of the sail by way of a sleeve which can whistle when the wind picks up.
The Tram (as it is often called) has a very long spine and is listed at 2.36 m x 1.2 m ( 7'9" x almost 4'). This is definitely low aspect ratio. Note the tag on the back, a long-time distinction of HQ kites. The Tram came out in 1995.
Flat spin tricks and cascades are very nice, but pitch based tricks aren't going to happen. Thanks for being the model stand Darren.
Friday Night Fly: August 27, 2010. The goal was to get a ground pass with the foil almost in line with the pilot. Winds gusting to 20 mph.
This was probably as close as we were going to get in the strong winds. Although I took about 100 shots going for the elusive "perfect shot".
Sadly, I have forgotten the name of our brave pilot. The foil is a 5 sq m Pansh Ace. I didn't know that, but Kent told me it was.
This was actually taken after the Krystal shots and the sun had fallen quite low.
The Krystal. This was the Team Kite for R-Sky about 7 or 8 years ago.
This was one of the very early Krystals and the first in the USA at the time. Since then, I have added a 3rd Leading Edge bridle line and some quick yo-yo stoppers. The kite was flown with and without a 20 gm keel weight.
Later, I was able to get 3 rungs of a Jacob's Ladder without the keel weight. The kite was mostly quiet until it hit the power zone. Then it just made a slight, muffled soft buzzing. Striking looks with the reflective tape between most of the panels.
I'll probably end up deleting this shot. But it does show the modifications I made. The orange bridle line limits the significant bend of the P400 leading edge rods in strong winds, which turns the kite into a tractor as far as pull goes. Now the pull is very manageable.
Ian was once again my go to pilot for this big, team style kite.
Ian trotting forward to limit the take-off speed of the Krystal in the strong wind. You can see the lines drooping.
Friday Night Fly, Aug 20, 2010. I brought out a couple of kites which hadn't been flown in a long while. This is the 8 ft. Fury by Carl Robertshaw.
It's a quiet and nimble team kite. No weights or yoyo stoppers. That's not what this kite is for.
From the backside you can see the shadows of the upper and lower spreaders forming dark arches on the backlit panels.
Ian, a long time Team Flier, was on the controls for this big team kite.
Then I brought out a Skyburner ADX. This was a pure gift from a long time GWTW Forum friend. The moon was brought in from a picture taken 1/3 of a second earlier.
I must have gotten better because I was having a blast tricking this kite around.
And backlit. The colors are bold by today's more subdued crowd, but it looks good to me. This ADX preceded the Delta Drive, Widow Maker and Ocius.
Darren was on the controls for the ADX. I'm keeping this one in the A Bag for a while. It was a blast.
Friday Night Fly, August 13, 2010 Silverbowl Park, Las Vegas, NV. Kent brought out his matching super custom Ocius kites.
These are not the normal grey panels. Nay, nay. These large panels are entirely mylar and translucent. In addition, the trailing edge reinforcement is Prismatex for that extra sparkly effect. Very, very shiny.
If you look closely, you can see the green reflected off the mylar just below the yoyo stopper, top center.
You can just see the mountain range in the background through the sail.
Kent was a trick machine with his new kites.
The black Ocius is a standard color option. The 2 customs are standard (in the air) and UL. You can see the translucency of the mylar better in this photo on the UL (lower right).
I Photoshopped out the screwdriver in the grass which was the anchor for the 2 grounded kites.
Just before sunset, Ian popped up his beautiful SkyTiger 40 quad-line foil. I flew it later, although not as well as Ian. You can see the rear flaps which allow the foil to act more like a Revolution than the modern elliptical foils.
One of the few shots that came out well with the low sun angle.
This is a super smooth foil with rear line flaps and is a cross between a foil and a Rev. 40 sq ft translates roughly into 3.7 sqm.
Our friends, Ross & Debbie, brought their 2 kids on a vacation to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. They stayed with us one night and I took the kids, Matt (15) and Andrea (17) to the park to teach them kite flying.
Matt and Andrea were naturals. Matt ended up liking and flying the Revolution while Andrea ended up liking and flying the Opium dual-line. In the 10-15 mph winds, both kites were quick and pulling hard, but the kids were excellent and coped very well. Then we went back to the house and played the board game "Settlers Of Catan" http://images.funagain.com/back/huge/18157.jpg. Andrea won and Matt took 2nd. For this photo, I asked them to take off their sunglasses. They didn't even squint. True kiters.
Well, it's 2 days later and I went for some better photos of the very difficult to shoot Ocius by Skyburner Kites.
A storm was brewing in the distance so I had this small window of opportunity with excellent clouds.
So with 15 foot lines, Shane's one-handed flying handle and some luck, these photos came out a little better.
This was the much more normal shot with the black panels showing very little detail.
One of the more dramatic angled perspective shots of the Ocius also showing the extra bridle leg going to the leading edge.
A few shots had some backlit black so a little more panel detail became visible.
That storm was soon to arrive.
Close-up of Ocius bridle clearly showing the middle leg and it looks like the keeper line is actually active in the bridle control as it is taut and affecting the 2 inner legs slightly.
August 6, 2010. Darren's new Vector Kite Bag. This is a very well thought out padded bag with the zipper following the white outline. (Although I'm not a fan of the huge advertisement on the smaller zippered pocket)
There are additional mesh pockets along the inner top and bottom. Padded carrying handles at the top and both ends, water resistant, carry strap. Carries lots of full-sized kites. Note how the bag forms a cup at the bottom (left end in this picture) to contain all kites when the zipper is opened. In addition, the zipper is on one side, not along the centerline. This way, most of the bag forms a deep bowl shape to help keep out sand and dirt. Nicely done Vector.
Ocius Standard by Skyburner Kites.
Here you can see the panel layout more clearly.
Probably the best photo to show the kite off. I've borrowed it to see if I can get some nicer shots.
Quite tricky normally, but in these winds we weren't doing too many tricks. Note the palm tree leaves in the background. You can see the extra leading edge bridle leg connected between the tow point and the half-way LE point. I'm surprised a smaller kite needs this bridle leg.
We're getting a few more kiters at the Friday Night Fly. Here our mountain boarder cruises by.
Precisionist Vented by Jeff Howard.
Even the vented kites were generating a fair amount of pull.
Nice flier this one. We even got a fade out of the old-timer.
My brother Frank is in town for a juggling convention. He came in a day early and we spent the noon hour flying at my local park. These are the kites he flew: Rev 1, Rev 1.5 and the variable vented Speed Limit.
Frank wanted to learn quad-line as he can already fly dual-line kites reasonably well. So we started with my Rev 1.5 on 40 foot lines.
Frank had some minor crashes, but very quickly got to where we were merely making small corrections.
Frank says that this is his grimace face.
We then shifted to the larger Rev 1 with 85 foot lines being controlled with custom 15" Titanium handles.
Winds were very bumpy and in the 10 to 15 mph range.
Okay, some times Frank would still have a little "incident". Note the stretch on the top most bungie. The Rev 1 is framed on the light side. Happily, the kite survived.
By this time Frank was showing fairly good control and could do reverse launches, spins and excellent vertical control.
We flew the Speed Limit dual-line after this. The first shot of this series was actually the final one. Next visit, we'll do fighter kites.
(Friday Night Fly: July 9, 2010) Prism Stowaway Delta
The panel layout, mylar, and accent tape immediately identify this as a Prism kite.
I was attempting to use the varying clouds in the background for effect. This photo almost worked.
Just a tad fuzzy. Sorry. You can read the printing on the upper wing near the nose.
We were shooting in the last 30 minutes of sunlight.
This is my favorite picture of the kite. It shows the keel through the mylar wing panel.
A few of these may get deleted later. I'm teetering on this one too.
Probably the best photo of the group. The clouds were off frame and cloned in. The colors are slightly off. Don't tell anyone.
Got a few really nice pictures of Kent's Widow Maker standard in custom color scheme.
This is the kite that had the wind brakes on the lower spreader last week.
Late afternoon lighting.
Taken after the Prism Stowaway Delta pictures. I had to make 2 layers, then really push the kite lighter, then merge to get this shot. That's why the kite looks a little bit odd.
Ozone 12 meter foil. I took about 100 pictures, but this one was the only useable photo. Available light. The pilot was a woosy and wouldn't put the huge foil up within 10 feet of the lights like I asked. Some lame excuse about the wind climbing to 2 mph and slamming the expensive foil into the lights. (This is one serious foil)
Wala XL in the Chic color scheme. Single tail attaches as a U-shape to the wingtips.
The Wala XL is a scaled up version of the very popular Wala (formerly known as the Aerobe). The kite is made by Flying Wings and comes with a 90 foot tail.
My friend Chet is visiting from New York, so he became the pilot model. Winds were in the 10-15 mph range and the kite really is meant for lighter winds, although no damage was incurred.
The Wala XL is listed as 94" across but breaks down to 36" fairly easily. I put it together in about a minute without instructions.
If the grey panels are supposed to be a beak, they would look better in yellow or mango, particularly if the nostrils were added. This is a cropped version of the previous photo which has been altered in Adobe Elements™.
I held the tail in an attempt to get an artsy rear shot. This was the best of the bunch. You can see how much the sail is deflecting in the overly strong winds.
We moved the cross spars to the far side. It was difficult to get the dihedral through the center hole to the back of the kite and I don't even know if this is a viable position, but it didn't rip and visually, I think it looks better.
In our buffety Las Vegas winds, The Wala XL was dancing all over the place. Plus, I was having Chet hold the kite very close to the bridle to get more action oriented shots.
We were in the last hour of sunlight for all of these pictures.
Glide Kites seem to be all the rage these days, so I am putting up lots of pictures of this one.
The wind would lighten up at times and the wings would expand outward. Also, the tail seems to pull the wingtips in. I would leave the tail off in lighter winds, but that makes natural sense anyway.
I should have tried the tail as a single off of the spine, but didn't think about it until later.
Chet also had his first sport kite lesson on the Opium. In the strong winds, he would sometimes get pulled around.
You either hate or love the panel layout with the eyes. I almost love it, but that grey center panel just seems off a little bit. I assume it's supposed to look like the beak of a bird.
That's all folks.
(July 2, 2010, Friday Night Fly) The "Stranger Level 7" by Andy Preston. This color scheme is called Cappuccino. All the color scheme names end in the letter "O", including Rainbo.
You can adjust the bend in the "S-Shaped" spine and the amount of bend at the wingtips. This flies like no other kite.
The HQ "Beast". This is a low-cost, wiggily framed, 9 foot kite which will do tricks. Designed and signed by Christoph Fokken.
You can see the quick adjustment loops I put in 4 of the bridle lines to lighten up the stock setting. Guess I was too lazy to move the tow point.
The leech lines are disconnected so we could have some good noise.
A beautiful Revolution 1. The sail needed to be tightened, which I did after taking these photographs.
I like the simple panel layout on this older design.
I flew the kite after taking the pictures.
The soccer players add a nice colorful background.
Everyone flies Rev 1.5 models, but the Rev 1 is a graceful kite.
The Trion by HQ.
Note the asymmetric grey panels from left to right.
The panel layout reminds me of a F-117 jet fighter. Perhaps I should draw pilots in the white panels. Or maybe, just a couple of eyeballs.
Friday Night Fly, June 25, 2010. Bambi joined me and put up our very first kite, a Team Hawaiian. She also put on a bow-tie tail.
The tail has been flown a lot. You can tell because the bow-ties are bent backwards.
I added an Andy Wardley Tri-Star bridle to the Team Hawaiian years ago. Andy told me much later that the Tri-Star should be about half-way down the 3 lines, so this one is way too close to the tow point.
The soccer ball in the background use to be a giant golf ball. That explains the golf tee it sits upon. The park use to be a driving range and the park personnel had to paint the ball to help convince golfers they could no longer hit golf balls.
There's a good look at the bridle modification. It actually works and allows the tow-point to move around a little while keeping all the legs taut.
Here are some wind brakes for the Widow Maker. This one goes on the inside left standoff. Ask me how I know.
And just a slightly different angle.
I flew the kite with and without the brakes. In the fickle winds it was hard to get a feel for the difference, but I'd guess they take off about 3 or 4 mph of apparent wind speed.
And here are both wind brakes on a custom Widow Maker standard.
Darren has a new Talon by Jest Of Eve Kites. Note the asymmetric white and grey center panels.
I really like the Fl Yellow, which many kiters refer to as Lime.
I got a few minutes on the kite, but the wind was dying below my skill level.
I like the panel layout of the Talon. But then, I also reallly like the Opium by R-Sky which uses a similar curvy, but simpler layout.
Johnny, a relative newcomer to our group has this 11 foot California Condor. Tonight we took a few shots of it.
It's a surprisingly fast kite for its size.
Slightly blurry shot, but I wanted you to see the odd clouds we had.
Look out below. You do not want to get hit by this beast.
Here's Johnny with his old school beauty.
Darren took over flying the Team Hawaiian and Johnny was still flying the California Condor. I figured it was a good time to show their relative sizes.
Ouch! That 11 foot wingspan put a temporary bend in the leading edge of the Hawaiian. And it grabbed the tail too.
That is a big kite. The Hawaiian in the background is a full 8 foot sail.
Even with the Hawaiian in front, the CA Condor looks darned big.
The kites parted and all went on their merry way.
Friday Night Fly, June 18, 2010: Say hi to Cody. He was flying this full-sized Prism Quantum and doing a pretty good job. I showed him how to adjust the bridle as the kite was pulling him around a bit.
Darren's new Widow Maker UL with mylar panels. This is the 2nd custom WM UL to have the split center leg with mylar and a color accent.
The story begins. Mike (r) and Dave (l) went over to find Mike's Sutton 252 had wandered off to the side in the very bumpy winds and fallen into a very dry scrub pine tree.
Mike hoped he could inflate the Sutton by grabbing the tail sections and have it hop off the tree. The only things in the tree were some of the bridle lines.
And it looks like it's going to work.
Almost work. A few of the bridle lines continued to stay hung up in the branches.
The man with the German Shepherd stayed the whole time watching with interest.
Darren manned the control ring, Dave had the corners and Mike climbed a garbage can to retrieve his Sutton.
And the untangling bridle lines continued for several minutes.
See. There's that guy with the dog still.
Almost. Most of the lines had been freed and the foil started a sideways journey.
Just one or two more lines. If they could bend the tree over a little.....bit.......more. (That's my shadow, lower left)
And finally the kite was free. But the bridle had to be worked on a bit by Mike. Dave holds on patiently to the foil.
About ready for relaunch.
Well, maybe a bit more adjustment.
This time for sure.
Dave realizes he forgot to reinflate the spinner tail.
Happy Ending. Foil and tail live to fly another day.
(text by Ken McNeill) NEON ANGEL: I did a small handful of these for friends in '93(?) Not a style you see much on kites, but a lot of fun. It's on the K2 platform.
The black material has a slight tint of green in it. When I shot the pictures, the green was very pronounced. I spent about 20 minutes a photo getting rid of most of the overly emphasized green.
All 6 of these kites (5 Ken McNeill's and the Wozniak) came from the Terry McPherson collection. When I told Terry Ken had a desire for the Neon Angel, Terry gave the kite to Ken as a gift, with a stop-off here in Las Vegas for photos.
Close-Up of the Neon Angel applique. You can just see the green tint in the black sail.
(text by Ken McNeill) I forgot that Terry had the very first "production" AirFX. The first prototype was a SUL version that we flew indoors. It pulled so much we broke 50 pound lines! Needles to say, the design got de-tuned just a bit. ;-) Still my favorite kite of all time.
Four of Terry's kites looked like they had never been assembled or seen the light of day. These are definitely NOS (New Old Stock).
The AirFX is Bambi's favorite kite. We now have 2 Venteds, 3 Standards and 1 UL.
Inscription: AirFX #1 made for Terry McPherson 6/94 Ken McNeill.
(text by Ken McNeill): Built on the original Bella Donna platform. This "WindDancer" was the first kite I did any applique on. It was also the first kite I sold outside my home town. Thanks Terry!
So in a few months this WindDancer will be 19 years old.
All these photos taken in my backyard in very little wind. One hand flying, yank and shoot, then take a shower due to the 100°+ weather.
I added keeper lines to a few of the kites as the long bridle lines were wrapping on the keel. Although I took the photos in the as received condition.
Good perspective view of the WindDancer.
And a very cool bag too.
(text by Ken McNeill) Custom K2 made for Terry McPherson. Again, one of the first, IIRC. Carrington sail.
These graphics were later used on the 3rd generation Mojo.
Very tall, low aspect ratio kite in immaculate condition.
(text by Ken McNeill) This is an Aerie Kiteworks "Vision", which came between the WindDancer and K2. You can probably tell I liked the graphic, because it got recycled for the Diablo, and later the Mantis with a little enhancement. (following text by Holly) The Vision was named through a contest held by the Chicago Kite Company.
Short keel, and long bridle. This is one of the kites I later added keeper lines too.
Ken McNeill uses panels as themes over several kites. If you look at the Vision, Diablo and Mantis, you can see this theme used very well.
Indaura by Dan Wozniak. This indoor kite is based on the Wren by Jeff Howard.
Dan did a fair amound of intricate panel layout and applique on these kites.
I got this one to go along with my Felix the Cat Indaura.
Friday Night Fly, June 4, 2010, Silverbowl Park. I had 3 goals. The first was to get an R-Sky shot featuring several R-Sky products. All photos from this evening have had no Photoshop work done except for cropping and Color Adjustment.
Darren had 4 R-Sky products and I had 2, although I forgot to bring the Bird.
I thought this was going to be easier, but it turned out to be fairly difficult in the bumpy winds.
So Mark is flying the Boul-X. The Frenezy is on the ground leaning against the banner. Darren is flying the Nirvana and I'm flying the Opium and taking the pictures.
Actually, this was my favorite picture, although the Frenezy is out of frame.
Photo by Bob Matteo. Bob had flown in from Colorado for a conference and arrived early, just so he could attend the Friday night fly. Good thing, as he ended up taking this and the next few pictures while I flew the Opium.
Photo by Bob Matteo. This was sort of what I was going for. We took lots and lots of pictures (hundreds, really) just to get these.
Photo by Bob Matteo. You can see Mark flying the SLK while we attempted the shoot.
Darren and I attempted to film each other for Virtual Freestyle. Then I asked him to fly my Berkeley Elixir. This was the kite I flew for my VF entry. I hope it came out. The boys on Fractured Axel get a real kick out of laughing at my VF entries.
And as the sun sets slowly in the West..... Darren stalls the Elixir for some backlit shots.
Similar but different so I put in a few of these.
The Elixir violates all the modern rules of a trick kite: It has a wiggily frame, it's a full 8 foot kite, has no tail weight, no yoyo stoppers and has curved leading edges. It's also over a decade old design.
Bob Matteo brought 2 Ichibans, but we only had time to photograph this one. Note the matching transition tails.
That is a beautiful SLK. Designed and made by Ken McNeill of Blue Moon Kites.
Had to get Bob in a few photos.
Ichiban with matching transition tails owned and flown by Bob Matteo.
We flew from 6 PM until they turned off the lights at 11 PM. I also asked Bob to re-sign my friendship Mojo UL.
The sun was getting pretty low for these final shots.
You can see the park lights have been turned on. I used the built in flash for this final picture. Thanks for coming Bob.
HQ Shadow UL (really almost an SUL). This kite was discontinued, then re-released in various color accents. New for this year, is the 2 tone blue applique. Yoyo stoppers came installed.
Although an excellent kite, the bridle still needs severe adjustment to fly in light winds. I shortened the upper inhaul lines about 1.5 inches for these shots.
These photos were taken in my backyard with Shane's flying handle and the 15' lineset. Very little wind so yank and shoot. You can see the lines drooping in most of the pictures.
A momentary gust of 2 mph allowed me to get this shot with the lines tensioned. I always attempt to put a twist in the lines for these close-up shots. It looks more dynamic.
To get these front-lit shots, I'm overcoming the minor wind by trotting backwards and shooting.
You can see the kite starting to tip backward in this reverse wind flying. I own one of the original rainbow applique models, but have sent it to my son when he requested a low wind kite.
The bag still has the velcro strip attached to a mesh pocket like on the kite I bought years ago. Although my bag was black. If you just open the tab normally, the mesh will tear where the velcro strip meets it. At least, that's what happened on mine after many, many openings. Good looking, great low wind tricks, good price and lots of oversteer. I should buy another one.
Friday, May 28th 2010 at Silverbowl Park. We had some late afternoon photo ops. Here is Darren's new Fl. Yellow (yes, I know it looks green) Deep Space by Tim Benson.
Darren had a blue Deep Space, but he fell in love with this one. Digital cameras have a tough time with this color by the way. It's close, but not quite right.
Soccer games in the background.
After watching a video of the Mamba on the GWTW Forum, I pulled out my Yellowjacket Mamba for some excellent flight time.
This kite was actually a gift from several of the GWTW Forum members several years ago. It may be the only Mamba with mylar panels. The mylar is supposed to emphasize the Yellowjacket insect theme.
The Mamba can get very quick with winds over 10 mph.
The Mamba has one of the most versatile panel layouts.
Mark has many old school kites. Here is his NSR (North Shore Radical) with vibrant pink panels.
We did a bridle adjustment and the kite flew quite well.
I tried an axel. No chance.
Not a trick, just a slow bump coming up.
Mark also had this "pre-whiskers" Tori Tako. Tako means either kite or octopus in Japanese.
Tori Tako logo. Tako is pronounced like taco.
Here's Mark posing his kite.
Old school for sure.
Ian shows me the proper respect as I ask him to pose with his beautiful 10 foot wingspan bird.
There are a few subtle purple panels in the kite.
And as night fell, 4 Night Revs flew sort of together.
Randy Tom Vampire Rose Masterpiece Rev. The airbrush work kept getting de-emphasized in the photos. So, I spent about 2 hours in Photoshop putting back in the airbrush details and adding a better background. Actually, the kite does look pretty much like this in the proper light, although with a bit less airbrush purple around the lightning and less shading on the rose. When I searched Picasa for "Vampire Rose", look what came up in the search at the link following: http://picasaweb.google.com/fairytale.raudeliunaite/FantasyGothic#5428530492616852386
Randy Tom's most recent Masterpiece Revolution. His previous "Dark Lady" had a similar vampire theme. There were 10 "Dark Lady" Revs. This is the first of the new version. Note the purple airbrush work around the lightning as it will be harder to see in the following pictures.
Since this is a black kite, we photographed it backlit. Most of the time, the purple around the lightning became much harder to see than the first picture.
Two signatures. Randy Tom signed it as did Barry Poulter, who did all the finishing work. This was my favorite picture from the shoot. I'm doing the flying and my lovely wife is on camera.
I like black on kites, but only when it's backlit.
Why would she want to eat a rose?
Can you tell? I've lost 20 lbs since my previous photo.
Talon Vented arrives in Las Vegas.
Mark, the owner, watches as his kite is captured for posterity.
Mark has already ordered his UL to complete the set.
Glad we had some clouds for the background.
Winds were low again, so this was the pop and shoot method, although Darren was doing the popping.
I brought my Trident UL so we had both Jest Of Eve models at the park.
Then we went to the front lit part of the photo shoot. Darren at the controls.
The kite would go up about 10 feet on Darren's yank, then as the kite settled, I'd fire off several shots.
I like these front lit shots better.
And the best shot of the bunch.
Premier Wolf out for it's maiden voyage.
Not quite enough wind for the big delta.
Raptor II 10.8 sq meter foil cruising by the delta in the 4 mph wind we had.
Brian was actually sitting down being dragged to get this low pass on the large foil.
Brian showing how to handle a big foil.
Yes, that's a very large foil.
Settling in for a rest.
I would be scared to fly a foil that large.
Mark holds up his "Jest of Eve" Talon standard.
With winds popping up to maybe 1 mph, I resorted to the 15 foot line set, handle and the yank'n'shoot photography method.
Picture flipped horizontally for variety.
Darren looks on as the Talon rises to 10 feet and quickly settles.
High resolution photo of most of the kite.
The 4D in the upper background was flying, barely. The Talon standard never had a chance on this very low wind day.
Dixie Escalante Electric Kite Festival, April 17, 2010. This was more about the kids being rewarded for their reading goals. Basically, 99% SLKs. (This is a composite of 2 photos, it is huge so be careful if you download it)
There was sporadic wind. But a few children made their own wind the old fashioned way, they just ran and had fun.
Bambi and I joined Todd Copeland on a small area set aside for afternoon Rok battles. I forced the T2 up in trivial wind long enough for Bambi to snap a few pictures against the snow dusted mountain.
For some reason the T2 looks ominous in this shot.
Todd Copeland (right) made this 240 sq ft foil in red, black and light grey. Then we walked forward to help the 1 mph wind.
And now it comes plummeting back to Earth rather slowly.
This was the more usual wind.
Todd alternated between his Focus Skate and his Easy Light without the top spreader. He was a double axel fiend with the Easy Light.
Bambi and I left the festival around 2 PM and headed another hour north to Zion National Park. Here, she rests her festival self-decorated hat against one of the rocks in the park.
And here are the 2 other kites on the former far side.
Top view. We'll save the hat for another festival.
"Dark Lady" Masterpiece Revolution by Randy Tom. All finishing work by Barry "Bazzer" Poulter.
I pushed the darks a little more than normal to give the grey a metallic feel.
Yes, as you can tell by the lines, I am once again the pilot and photographer. Must be getting a little better with my left hand Rev flying by now.
I put this in just to show you why I don't like to have trees and grass in the background.
It was an overcast day at times so the depth of the pictures aren't quite what I'd hoped for.
A little better having the canvas tops in the background.
A dad and his 2 daughters were nearby. With his permission I had the kids hold the kite for a few close-ups.
The skull seems to have the only air-brushing on the entire sail. If you look carefully, you can see that a Lady Bug has been caught on the web.
One of 3 Masterpiece Revs built by Amy Doran (rhymes with foreign, not Duran Duran).
(text by Amy Doran) Scarlette in Blue is a one of a kind custom Rev. The two other Scarlette kites have their own unique items.. Scarlette in Blue wears a ribbon on her hat.
Amy has supplied text for several of these pictures.
(text by Amy Doran) The Scarlette kites were never advertised. They were sold out.
(Interesting text by Amy Doran) There was one Scarlette built by Amy that was going to Nationals at Ocean Shores in 2007. Two weeks before Nationals, all of the kites were stolen. Amy built a mirrored image of the Scarlette (in turquoise) in the remaining ten days to take to Nationals. On December 13, three months later, Bend Oregon Police recovered the kites in a burglary bust. Amy has the mirrored image Turquoise *twin Scarlettes* They have yet to be flown together.
The backlit shots didn't come out quite right, just need to be patient and do this again on a clearer day.
My 2 main flying fields. Pictures taken from Google Maps.
Skydog's "Sweet Emotion" designed by Dodd Gross.
20 Minutes Before The Sun Went Behind The Clouds
This is the top of the line sport kite by Skydog. All the sport kites are named after rock songs.
Just got to take some pictures in the waning light. Still haven't really flown it.
Nose detail on rear side of kite. Very clean.
You can download the full size picture if you want to look at the build quality.
Flying Wing's Kite Bag (It's Heavy, Expensive and Very Well Made)
You get several pounds of kite bag. To include removable, padded shoulder straps, zippered rain bag, 2 triple zippered, layered pockets with lineset mesh holders, name tag slot, rubber feet, padding in the walls, tie down straps. You get the idea. It's a lot of bag.
Everything is grey or black so it's sort of hard to see everything. The yellow is a tape measure to see how long a kite you can get in the bag.
Todd Moore (2 years later) I met Todd on this very field 2 years ago at Winterblast 19. He came by and flew the Rev for a while. He is quite a skilled pilot.
Photos taken at Western Winterblast XXI, Lake Havasu, AZ. This is our friend Rob holding up a Benson Inner Space for its maiden voyage. Looks like the sail needs a little more wingtip tensioning.
Our friend Steve, walking away from the Inner Space. You can see the pucker of the sail around the LS connector. That sail just needs a bit of stretch to get the knot over the nock.
Sean & Sean with a Focus Skate SUL. Photo by my son Britt.
airWave Light & airWave Zero by Flying Wing
I'm Always Happy To Try A New Kite (Maui Jim sunglasses in case you're wondering)
221 cm = 7.25 ft (It sure felt smaller than that)
Both versions of the airWave are fairly high aspect ratio kites. Maybe that's why they will both yoyo and are pretty wild on the lines. No precision here at all.
I liked this Light version better than the Zero. But then Kent and Darren liked the Zero better.
I'm not a fan of the vertical yoyo stoppers. They catch the lines and bridle too often and don't want to let go.
For a simple panel layout, I like the look.
So that's what my bald spot looks like. (I was not taking pictures this day)
Notice the small yoyo stoppers. Yes, both of the airWave kites will yoyo.
The other kites wait in the bag wondering if they will see the sky today.
The airWave kites are very tricky, very high aspect ratio. Just don't really think of them as your typical low/no wind kites. You'll work with these when the wind is really low.
My favorite shot of the airWave Zero.
The kites have been returned for others to fly.
Prediction by Flying Wings (Bell Chiu)
That's my serious pose.
Prediction by Flying Wing (both the std and UL are prototypes as of January 2010)
Team Kite (No Yo-Yo Stoppers)
Actually, the kite will yoyo and is surprisingly tricky once you get use to the timing. I must be flying weighted kites too much as I had forgotten the slower pace of a large, unweighted kite.
50°F At The Park
Here is my accidental tip-stand, caught for posterity.
Prediction 240 UL by Bell Chiu of Flying Wing
Prediction 240 UL (Pilot Removed)
The panel layout is slowly growing on me. At first, I was neutral.
Is that 28 panels?
Prediction 240 UL In A Fade (Flying Kite One-Handed) This is one of the few kites I've been able to launch into a fade and fly around using the flying bar.
The keeper lines would move around on all 4 of these kites. Hopefully, this will be resolved on the production models.
Zen Revolution SUL (It's about what would be called a Rev 1.1 if they named it like the others) Kite flown in too strong of wind. That's why it's bending so much.
If you're going to take night pictures, have a good light source nearby.
My one-handed Rev flying still needs a lot of work. It was flip the kite up and let it settle, shoot pics while the kite is slowly sinking to the ground.
I'm holding the Rev handles in an upside down V configuration with my left hand. You can see the upper lines coming together.
When backlit, panels will "flash" to a very white glow for a second. This depends on the angle the panel makes with the sun and the bias direction of the panel.
Bazzer signature lower right.
This is the ultra smooth and capable of high speed "Ivanpah" buggy. These 3 wheelers can be used on the dry lake beds or beaches with just a tire change.
There was this puddle between 2nd and 3rd base on the baseball field. So I suggested we push the buggy into the puddle. Then I handed the camera to Kent as it is his design and build.
Photo & Buggy Build by Kent Kingston
Wakeless Kites Progressive Stack
6' 8' 10' Stack by Kevin Bayless & Tad Wakeman
A Few Photos Were Photoshopped A Bit (It seems I had the bottom train line to the rear kite wrapped around the keel causing a pinched sail. Oops.
Most Of The Time We Had The Train Lines Correct. But sometimes the kites would jumble on landing. Winds were around 15 mph.
The Kites Had Strong Pull And Good Low Frequency Buzz Off The Trailing Edges
50°F At The Park, Colder On The Mountaintops A Few Miles To The North
You Can See The Odd Angle Of The Trailing Kite Due To The Wrapped Train Line On The Keel (This was one of the photos which was touched up)
Self-Adhesive Aluminum Used As A Reinforcement
"Twisted" Bazzer's Latest Masterpiece Revolution
They never look as good from the back. Still nice though.
Good clouds along with the snow on the nearby mountaintops.
A curved Rev logo would have been perfect.
"Twisted" Masterpiece Revolution by Barry Poulter (Bazzer)