Saturday 1 September 2018

Cougar alert!

No, not that one ...

... and not that one either ...

This one!

Why is Flying Fish flying a HQ Cougar, which is basically a power kite and far from a team kite? Well, as you may be aware, we're always looking out for something a bit different to fly as a pair. And recently, we've been thinking more about 'asymmetric' pairs of kites, where the kites are not the same, but still fit together in some way. Our recent Scorpion 2-stack combined with a single Scorpion is an example of that.

Back to the Cougar, in our very early days of kite-flying, when we were really exploring what's around and what we liked, we bought ourselves a HQ Little Beast, a small power kite with a wing span of 2.20m.

The Cougar is its larger sibling, with a wingspan of 2.67m, and the thought struck us: why not try flying a Cougar together with a Little Beast? The kites differ in size, but are clearly linked together due to the same sail patterns. As Cougars are not produced anymore, we had to rely on the second-hand market, but it didn't take long to find one in excellent condition, and for a very reasonable price. So here's the happy couple!

We weren't quite sure what to expect from them flying together. After all, they're different sizes, they handle differently, etc.

But, to our surprise, it only took a bit of tweaking the Little Beast bridle to make them fly more or less at the same speed. And as long we don't try to fly sharp corners, they flew pretty well together!

We need to work with them more, get used to what they can and can't do together, but we definitely have another unusual pair of kites for our festival quiver. Have to think of how we can make use of the kites being different; for instance, come up with a story where the two play different roles, and then find some appropriate music for that story.

Now one thing I didn't tell you: when I bought the Cougar, the seller threw in a complete set of stacking lines for free. So, obviously, we just had to try out stacking the Little Beast and Cougar (would be rude not to, wouldn't it?)

Using the strongest dual line set we have (175daN), we launched the 'Stacked Cougar', and up she went!

Pulled like a truck, and the wind was only around the 8-10mph mark ...

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