March 2004

March 2004
AVI (DivX 5.0)
352x288 13.6 MB
MP4 (QuickTime)
320x240 12.9 MB

March 2004

March was a bit nicer as far as the weather was concerned, but I was still mad busy working on TT3 so didn't have a great deal of time to fly. Nevertheless, I did get some reasonable footage including some Tailspins, a Headspin, and the ubiquitous Jacob's Ladder.


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All of the March video was shot on one Sunday afternoon. It's all shot from the side to give a slightly different perspective on things, and to make it easier to see what's going on in some of the tricks like flic-flacs, mutexen, and Jacob's Ladders. The trick of the month is the Tailspin, but I also managed to catch a close relation, the Headspin in one shot.

For the Tailspin, you start in a fade, then pull both lines to flare the nose away from you (like the start of a flic-flac), but let the kite extend all the way over until it's lying on it's back again. This is what I call an under flip and should leave the nose pointing towards you, just like a fade, but with the lines running back over the trailing edge and under the kite. Then you simply pull on one line to start the kite spinning. After 360 degrees or a multiple thereof, you can pull both lines to over flip the kite back into a fade, with the lines back over the leading edge. Or if you add an extra half rotation, you end up in the turtle position. In fact, once you start a tailspin, it is just like a lazy susan and you can keep popping to keep it spinning.

I think the tailspin is what our French friends call a "Wap-de-Wap" (but I may be mistaken). This trick (or this naming of it, at least) goes back to around 1997 when Gary Pullinger and I discovered them on (I think) a Box of Tricks. However, you had to take the trick line off to stop the kite from flipping back up into a fade, and being a big fan of my trick line, it wasn't something I did that often. Then at the 2001 Euro Cup the French fliers (all flying without tricks lines) amazed everyone with their super-technical combinations, including lots of lazy susans and tailspin-like moves, that were much harder on the Gemini with its more pronounced trick line. Roger Tessa-Gambassi even joked with me by picking up my kite and trying to bite off the trick line to help me out! :-)

As a result of this change in emphasis towards new tricks, Tim changed the trick line on the Gemini to bring it in closer to the trailing edge. The judicious use of a little carefully placed weight also helps to open the Gemini up to a whole new range of tricks. So one of the most positive outcomes of the great French influence in trick and freestyle kiting of recent years, for me at least, is that it has brought some old tricks like the Lazy Susan and Tailspin right back into the thick of it. In fact, it is probably true to say that until the past few years, lazy spins have never really featured strongly in the UK trick/freestyle scene, almost certainly because of the predominance of the trick line. But of course, that has all changed now and we're seeing a new renaissance of old and new tricks integrated into ever more incredible combinations. Vive l'entente cordial! (et pardon mon francais tres mal :-)

The Headspin is another old(ish) skool trick revamped, quite similar to a trick called the Limey Twist. The way to think of the headspin is like flying down, popping the kite into a fade, and then going straight into a backspin. But instead of doing it as three separate moves, you do it all as one. The first rotation should be more like a barrel roll with the nose of the kite pointing down at the ground and the kite rotating laterally around the spine(s). Then you start to relax the lines a little and let it settle into a flattened backspin. It also starts out a lot like a corkscrew heading straight down, or a mobius from the same position. Well, check out the video and see if that makes it any clearer.

Also check out the Flashback - it's just like a coin slot done at the edge of the window where the kite naturally comes to a stop. It's also the easiest way to learn the technique required for the 540 flat spin. Just remember to pop the upper wing. In this case, the kite is out at the left of the window and I'm flaring the kite out and then popping with my right hand.

Thanks to my most excellent friend, Dom Millar, who supplied the music for this, whipped up with a demo copy of Reason, synced (by hand) with a sequence running on another machine, and some live jamming on top.


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00.00 Credits
00.07 Lazy susan down from the top, splash in the puddle with a couple of axels into a fade, half barrel roll into back flip, lazy susan, recover right and fly out.
00.15 Corkscrew down in from the top into a fade, 540 backspin, back flip and lazy susan down to a tip. Axel off the tip and fly up and out.
00.26 Double axel in from the right, then fly back out to the right.
00.31 Rolling barrel roll in from the top, then shove-it round into an extra axel and fly out to the left.
00.36 Fly in from left, up to the right.
00.39 Flying in from the left straight into a flare, then up into a backspin mutex one way, and then the other. Then flipped from the fade all the way under into a Tailspin.
00.46 Fly in up close to stall and tip stab. A nice, full axel off the tip, right round to land cleanly on both tips. An axel take-off, then two back the other way. Fly out to the right edge.
00.57 Axel back in from the right and fly up and away to the left. Carve back down and across to the right and out.
01.03 Enter from right in a small (and unsteady) slide, tap a couple of tips, then pop up a fractured axel into fade and 540 backspin, converted via back flip into a lazy susan.
01.12 Fly in from top left, flare out bottom right into fade and backspin the otherway, ending up as a barrel roll and out.
01.17 Fly down from top left to bottom right, flare out and flashback, then double axel back the other way.
01.21 Another flashback in the same place, landing out to a wingtip. Sequence repeats three more times to drive it into your subconscious minds! :-)
01.30 Fade across the window ("conveyor belt") from right to left.
01.37 Fly down into a Headspin.
01.40 Flic-flac in from right, 540 barrel roll and fly out.
01.40 Enter from right in a fade, flip under and Tailspin!... and Tailspin!... and Tailspin!...
01.52 Fly in from top left to right, flare out and pop into a fade, then flic-flac into a double backspin mutex.
01.59 Drop down into a barrel roll, back flip and lazy susan. Fly up and out.
02.05 Dropping down in a wrap, then unwrap into a half lazy susan, flip over into fade, 540 backspin, recover and fly out. Carve up, around and out.
02.16 Fly down and flare into a Jacob's Ladder, ending in a full lazy to land.
02.25 Cross-fade to kite in a fade, then flic-flac into a backspin mutex, ending with a full lazy to land.
02.35 End credits.
02.42 Safety meeting :-)