October 2004

October 2004
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MP4 (QuickTime)
320x240 19.6 MB

October 2004

October has come and gone (long since gone by the time I finally finished editing the video). We had some lovely autumnal days in October with fresh wind, blue skies, and a wonderful backdrop of the trees in Stoke Park, with their leaves gradually turning a vibrant shade of orange. There are more Volcanos in this month's video, along with a similar combination done in the air called an Airburst, and a variant I've christened an Airdrop.


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October's video features the same grey and orange Gemini from last month which has, by now, become my absolute all-time favourite kite ever. Apart from looking great with the custom colour scheme that I'm especially fond of, it's also setup just right for me and the way I'm flying right now. I'm really locked into the bridle in particular. It may not be to everyone's taste, but it is absolutely spot on for me and the kind of high-tech trickery I'm into at the moment, where fast and super-smooth transitions between flips, spins and wraps allow you to string together an endless sequence of tricks. The roll bars and glides are also a great help, making wrap tricks as good as guaranteed.

Back in February we talked about Mutex tricks which combine a flic-flac with a spin trick like such as a flat spin or backspin. By May we had progressed to the Duplex which combines two different spin tricks with a flic-flac, and the Triplex for three. Start throwing in wraps like we did in August and September and you have the Mutant, Duplicant, Triplicant, and so on. Eventually you run out of names (which no-one can remember anyway), and it all gets rather silly.

So I propose that this general class of tricks be known as Multiplex tricks. I think of them as sitting somewhere in the middle of the trick complexity spectrum. At one end of this spectrum we have the most simple individual trick elements like axels, flips, flat, back and lazy spins, and so on. They are the Simplex tricks that are "just one thing", like individual trick atoms. Next we have the Uniplex tricks that repeat one simplex trick over and over again. Tricks like the flic-flac, multi-axel, multi-lazy, multi-backspin (in fact, anything with "multi-" in the name) are like pure chemical elements that combine the same atom many times over, perhaps in different configurations (like the difference between corkscrew and comet multi-axels, for example). Then we have the Multiplex tricks that combine several simplex tricks into a repeating or pseudo-repeating pattern. The Jacob's Ladder is perhaps the best example, but all the Mutex, Duplex (of which the Jacob's Ladder is one), Triplex, Mutant, etc., tricks fall into this category, analogous to chemical compounds like metal alloys, water, acids, and so on. Then at the far end of the spectrum we have the Complex combinations that are effectively mini-routines that flow from one trick (simplex, uniplex or multiplex) into the next without following any particular repeating pattern. These are like the complex entities we find in day to day like: trees, people, kites, etc., that are made up of many different compounds and trace elements, that when combined in exactly the right way, conspire to produce something greater than the sum of the parts.

It all comes back to the "Yonomicon" philosophy that we talked about last month. These just happen to be the labels that I've come up with to help me think about how different tricks are made up of their consitituent parts and how they all relate to each other. They are just my names (and my own take on the philosophy), of course, but you're welcome to use them or come up with your own.

So having cleared that up, I can tell you that the video for this month features lots of Multiplex and Complex combinations, and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about :-). One particular trick compound that features heavily is the wrapped 540 lazy susan (or rather, crazy susan - more on that shortly) that forms the basis of the Volcano. First appearing in the August video, this is a backflip take off straight into the wrapped crazy 540 and unwrap. I've also started doing this in the air, rocking straight into a backflip and wrapped crazy 540, then unwrapping back out, and usually going straight into a backspin. I call this particular combination an Airburst, and you'll see a few of them in the video. There's also a variation of this which I'm also doing regularly enough to warrant naming. This is like an airburst but with a 360 crazy. So it's a backflip to wrapped crazy 360, then unwrap downwards, all in one fast and fluid move. This one I've been calling an Airdrop.

So what's the difference between a lazy susan and a crazy susan? It's a good question, and one that appeared recently on the Fractured Axel forum. As best I can remember, it was me who came up with the name "crazy susan", based on a variation of the lazy susan that I first saw Tim Benson doing. Back in the mid-1990's we were flying kites like the Box of Tricks that had very pronounced trick lines and bounced straight out of a turtle if you tried to do a lazy susan. So the technique for the crazy susan was to blam it hard into a backflip (using one of several different techniques) and then pop it hard and early on one line while the kite was still flipping back. The idea being that the inertia of the kite flipping backwards prevents it from bouncing back up, thereby allowing the pop to coax it round into a rotation. So a crazy susan is just like a lazy susan, but done faster and harder.

Anyway, it got me thinking that most of what I've been calling lazy susans are actually more like crazy susans because I'm relying on that same technique. Although the Gemini will quite happily do the gentle-pop lazy susans (as see in the Jacob's Ladder section in the video, for example), it does seem to be more positive with a slightly harder pop in the crazy style, in my hands at least. Anyway, they're one and the same things, but at different ends of (another) spectrum, like backspins vs barrel rolls, tailspins vs wap-do-waps, and so on. I've tried to distinguish between them in the text below, but trick flying, like life, is more often shades of grey than black and white.

Which brings us nicely onto the subject of the music. Those of you brave enough to listen to the video with the sound turned up will be subjected to my latest composition. Called "Chain Gang" and featuring the voice of Martin Luther King, it started out as something tongue-in-cheek, but somehow got more serious along the way. Let freedom ring!


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00.00 Opening credits
00.12 Side slide tip drag from right to left.
00.16 Fly in from left, fractured over axel to fade, 540 backspin to nosebone, backflip to wrap and over again to wrapped lazy susan and down to the tips (still wrapped).
00.22 Crossfade to a different kite in the same position (this one isn't wrapped initially), which does a volcano: backflip wrap take-off to wrapped 540 (or not quite 540 in this case) crazy susan, unwrap and half backspin to fly out.
00.27 Crossfade to kite flying down left, flaring out and up to a reverse tip landing. Drop down to the belly and pop up into a fade, half backspin, then backflip to 360 lazy susan and down to the tips. Axel take-off and fly out to the right.
00.34 Crossfade to kite flying down centre, flaring out and wrapping over for a wrapped belly launch. Pop up and unwrap into a fade, 540 backspin, backflip and wrap over into a wrapped 360 crazy susan down to the tips.
00.42 Kite flies in from top right, turns up, left axel, right axel with an extra pop to send it round again and fracture it up into a half barrel roll. Then the first airburst: backflip and wrap into a wrapped 540 crazy susan, then unwrap into fade, finishing off with a backspin or two as the picture slides down to be replaced with a backspin cascade sequence.
00.47 Meanwhile, over on the left side of the screen the kite enters from left, turns up and flies to the top and rocks into an airdrop: backflip to wrapped 360 crazy susan and unwrap downwards, then rock straight back into another airburst.
00.59 The backspin cascade sequence on the right is replaced with a power dive flaring out into a wap-do-wap down to the tips, opening out to full screen.
01.02 Bar wipe to kite in lower right, taking off, flying up to axel and then flying out to the left.
01.05 Kite enters from top right, coin slots back into the window then flies down to the lower right edge, flares out and pops up into a fade. Flare back out to flat spin, then axel revert back the other way with an extra rotation and fractured up into a fade and half barrel roll to fly up and out.
01.12 Fractured axel take off into fade. Flare out to flat spin, axel revert back with the extra fracture into a fade and barrel roll which only just makes it round with a little tweak on the way. Coming out of that we rock the kite back into another fractured axel to barrel and fly out.
01.22 Headspring take-off to fade, half barrel and backflip to 540 crazy susan. Unroll to fade, 540 backspin and backflip to 360 crazy down to tips.
01.31 Crossfade to the trees with kite entering from right, stalling, axeling over and flying back out to the right. Meanwhile a second ghostly kite enters in the background, drops down to a tip spring from one tip to the other then flies out to top right.
01.36 Third ghostly kite drops down in the foreground to a left hand axel into a ground pass out to the left.
01.37 The fourth ghostly kite (I'll let you into a secret at this point - it's actually the same kite :-) appears top right and drops down to a tip, then ollies off the tip to the other tip. Meanwhile other ghostly kites side slide and axel across the screen as if to suggest that this is some feature of the new non-linear video editing software that I can't resist over-using. :-)
01.44 Crossfade to a kite cascading down to centre stage, flaring out and up into a fade, flic-flac, backspin, then backflip to lazy susan down to tips. Yet another ghostly kite flies across and stalls into a side slide to detract you from the fact that the first kite is sitting on the ground doing nothing of interest, until it kicks back into action with an axel take-off fractured into a fade, 540 barrel roll, then backflip into another 360 lazy, this time down to a single tip. Axel across to spring the other tip going into an axel one way then back the other, then fly up and out to top left.
02.03 Bar wipe to kite in a power dive down, flaring out deep to tailbone, then popping back up into a fade and 540 backspin. Then backflip into a wrapped 360 lazy susan and unwrap down to the tips (another airdrop, this time to tips).
02.11 Bar wipe to kite flying across from left to right into an Egg Roll (unless anyone has a better name - there must be one). This is an over axel (with the right hand) fractured up into a fade and quarter barrel roll (all done mostly with the left hand in one smooth motion), flying out on the same line we took in.
02.14 Kite enters from top right, flaring out and rolling over onto its back into a mini-meteor and out to a brief stall. Then fractured axel up into a fade, then flare back out to a 360 flat spin and fly out to the left.
02.21 Kite flies down from top right into a slow motion 450 flat spin.
02.25 Crossfade to kite nose down in centre, headspring up to fade, 540 backspin and backflip into another airdrop down to the tips.
02.30 Kite appears belly down on right of screen, pops up into a fade, 540 barrel roll and backflip to wrap. Then a half lazy and unwrap up to the fade and repeat back the other way, with the 540 barrel roll, backflip to wrap, and a little more than half a wrapped lazy susan before unwrapping down the left side. Axel left hand, then right adding the extra fractured axel up into a half barrel roll and out.
02.33 While all that is going on, yours truly appears in ghostly apparition form, with a side slide from right to left, then right axel over, fly up and fracture an axel into a fade and begin a Jacob's Ladder.
02.49 Quick scene change to a double axel take-off from one kite, with a second sliding sideways across from right to left.
02.54 Another fancy cut back to the same scene, with a kite taking off into a volcano, unwrapping out to backspin, backflip and 360 lazy down to tips. Axel take-off and fly out.
03.05 Cut to kite flying in from right to left, over axel fractured into 540 backspin/barrel then backflip for a triple wrap, fly up and out to right... then enter from top left (but by the magic of computers, the kite actually comes back in before it has left), unwrap once, twice, and thrice into a 540 backspin and backflip out down to tips.
03.15 Crossfade to another volcano.
03.19 Kite enters from right, pops over into a fractured axel to fade and half barrel roll, really tweaking out the nosebone before flipping it back into a 360 lazy down to the tips.
03.22 Kite flies down in right half of screen, flic-flac, half-barrel, backflip and 360 lazy down to tips.
03.25 Right screen moves left to reveal a backflip take-off to wrapped lazy and down to tips (still wrapped) while the ghostly kite returns to pop a few axels across the screen. Then we do a wrapped fractured axel take-off and unwrap to backspins as the picture slides out to the left.
03.32 Sliding screen reveals another fractured axel take-off (unwrapped this time), half backspin, backflip to 360 lazy to the tips.
03.36 Left screen reveals a volcano with a little more than 540 in the crazy susan to bring it down to a wrapped tip. We let it drop flat for a wrapped belly pop-up, unwrapping to a backspin and then an airburst as the picture slides down.
03.38 Back on the right screen we have a very low and minimal fractured axel take-off, half backspin, backflip to 540 crazy susan, unroll back to fade, 540 backspin, backflip to 360 crazy down to tips.
03.46 Screens slide down to reveal cascade with an extra fractured axel, half barrel, backflip and crazy 360 down to tips. Fractured axel take-off, 540 backspin then backflip and drop for a spinal tap and bounce back to the tips.
03.48 Sub-screens slide down on left side containing earlier clips from the movie. The first is from around 01:24 to 01:30, the second from 02:05 to 02:10, and the third from 02:28 to 02:31.
03.58 Closing credits.