Taking advantage of a perfect day, I headed out to the field yesterday. Besides just playing around I wanted to work on my turning or changing direction skills. I seem to be having trouble getting this.
Standing still with the kite overhead I can get lift and have the kite pick me up and turn me. That isn’t so bad although it usually takes a couple tries to get the kite coming across with the right pull to get lift. So I still need some work there so I can get it on the first try every time. I am not sure if I am not being aggressive enough when turning the kite but it seems like that might be it. Although I have had times when I have felt a lot of pull without moving the kite very much at all so it might just be timing or the position of my bar too. If you have any ideas post a comment. It will help everyone out.
The next thing I have been working on is trying to turn the kite and my body in one motion in order to change direction. I have had some success but usually end up downwind of the kite and end up waiting for the kite to blow back downwind of me in order to get going again. I usually bring the kite up to slow down my speed and maybe I shouldn’t do that. Maybe I need to keep the kite at a lower angle so it can move downwind with me but I am afraid I would have to much speed on my skis to make the turn. I have noticed this is much easier in certain snow conditions. It is harder to make a real tight turn in the wet or deep fluff than on the hard-pack or ice. I would love to hear your comments on this.
I have also played around with jumping as a way to change direction. This is where I have had the least success. First I don’t usually get the kite around with enough lift to get me off the ground. When I do I usually end up with the kite in a quick dive and either put it in the ground or close to it and have to bring it back up quickly and lose my momentum in the process. When trying to avoid this I end up with the kite behind me – on the opposite side of the direction I am heading. This means I have to stop and bring it back around again. I think this is probably something that is just going to take practice to get the timing and bar direction down. It seems the trick is in the kite steering as you are coming around. It is hard to think about the steering when you are flying through the air and trying to watch the ground and the kite at the same time – especially since they aren’t exactly in your field of view at the same time. And if they are, it probably isn’t good.
It isn’t difficult to get a kite up and start cruising across the snow but the rest takes time. I guess patience is part of this sport. If you have any tips or ideas on turning and directional change post a comment. Don’t worry, no one has to know who you are.