Monday 29 May 2023

Double Micron!

A number of years ago, we tried flying our Prism Micron 5-stack together with our singleton. It was fun to do for an hour or so, but of course not something for a halfway serious routine, so we never persevered with it. 

Until very recently, when we were given a bunch of kites, among which was a 'Prism Micron'.

Doubtful whether this really is a Prism kite, as there were no identifying labels anywhere on the kite .... maybe it's a home-made copy?

Copy or not, we tried flying it, and it turned out to be very very twitchy, clearly more so than the Prism Micron we already had.

Nevertheless, of course we had to try flying them together ...

And that showed yet again how twitchy the 'Micron copy' was relative to the Prism Micron. Just following was a real challenge, and so was taking pictures of the kites together while flying them. 

This picture really captured a rare moment when the 'Micron copy' flew in a nearly straight line!

Let's just conclude that they're not exactly team kites (of course, we knew that!) and that you won't see us flying our pair of Microns at a festival any time soon ...

Sunday 21 May 2023

Matrix: Flexi vs Carl - part 4

Final chapter in our pairing up of Flexifoil and Carl Robershaw Matrix kites! Following our pairing up of Flexi and CR UL/SULStandard and Super-vented kites, the final pair were the Vented versions. 

First on the lines, as usual, the Flexi Matrix

Flew fine, given the rather variable wind, but showed some oversteer: crisp corners were difficult to execute without a wobble.

Then the CR Matrix

Felt more crisp, and clearly less oversteer.

So next step, obviously, is to fly them side-by-side.

They weren't perfectly matched, and the difference in oversteer was more noticeable, flying them next to each other. Of the various Flexi-CR pairs we flew recently, these are the most different in terms of sail, as the surface area and the placing of the mesh panels is quite different between the two vented Matrices.

This was the final pairing, and it was fun and interesting to get a feel for them this way. Generally, the CR Matrices felt a bit more 'direct' on the lines than their Flexi counterparts. Quite possibly because the Flexi kites were clearly older, and with many more flight hours than the CR kites; the Flexi sails were clearly 'baggiers', the CR sails 'crispier' 

Wednesday 17 May 2023

Streatham Common Kite Day

Streatham Common Kite Day is back! After an absence of three years, mostly due to covid, we flew there again for the first time since 2019

The usual line-up was brought together again for the arena displays:

And as to the wind .... well, typically Streatham! Very light (up to 4mph max) and infuriatingly changing direction a lot quickly; think 180+ degrees in less than half a minute .... Which meant that the choreography of most of our routines went out the window, and the main focus simply became prevention of landing .... 

Who were struggling with the wind conditions?

First of Carl Wright, the one-man Team Spectrum, flying (as long as the wind allowed) 2-kite and 3-kite routines (and, yes, including 'Chi Mai', my all-time favourite of his routines!).

Fracture was present, in a slightly changed formation. At one time, they were flying to live music, played by a local band, rather than their own routine music, making up the moves and patterns as they went along.

Twisted Bridle, our sister pair within the L-katz team, flew one-routine slots, and it was good to see them in an arena again. 

And then us, Flying Fish, of course. Basically flying our current technical routine to the 'Carmina mix', we've recently been using for that. Because of some difficulties with the PA system, we had to change the music for our make-it-up-as-we-go-along routine several times, but as it isn't a fixed choreography to music, it didn't really matter. 

Put Twisted Bridle and Flying Fish together, and you get L-katz. We flew our usual set of choreographed routines to 'Gloria Estefan' and 'Targaryen Theme'. As much as the wind allowed us, that is, because the choreography often turned into keeping the kites flying while not running out of arena ... 

Of course, if you put Fracture and L-katz together at a kite festival, a mega-team is unavoidable! We've flown in mega-teams at Streatham before, in 2015 and 2019, and in both cases, the mega-team consisted of six flyers and kites. This time, due to Carl Wright joining in as well, we had an eight-strong line-up, to my knowledge the largest mega-team ever at Streatham!

Even though we really struggled to keep things going, we did fly basic patterns and gave the public an idea of what flying eight kites together looks like. And we must have done something right: after we finished the last of the two mega-team performances, one member of the public told me we'd brought her to tears .... Seeing eight kites flying together in formation was so beautiful that it made her cry ...

And that is what flying at a kite festival is all about!!

Picture credits: Helen Ribchester (Flying Fish); Paul Hill, Carl Wright (L-katz, mega-team)