Rev 1.5 and my boy

While I bought this Rev 1.5 for me (I wanted the added control so I can make it “dance” in the sky to my iPod), every time I’ve flown with my boy, he automatically gains control of the reins! Unfortunately, that probably also means that I’ll eventually have to pluck down more bucks so that we can each have our own. Oh well…I guess I had it coming to me!

This video, taken with my cell phone last Sunday (March 25, 2007), shows that he can fly it although if you look carefully, you’ll see that it gives him quite a pull. Just the same, that doesn’t stop him from wanting to fly it. Based upon my own experience, it’s kind of fun to get pulled along!

My first homemade kite – a Square Flake

My Square Flake in the sand
Originally uploaded by Bassoon Man.

I can’t believe it but I’ve just made my first kite – it’s called a “Square Flake” as it is made from six squares and kinda-sorta-maybe looks like a snowflake. As soon as I finished it, I went down to the beach (Doheny State Park) in order to see if I could get it airborne. As usual, there wasn’t any wind but I was able to get the kite aloft for a minute or two at a time. It really does fly! (Double click on the photo and you’ll be taken to my Flickr page where you’ll find more pictures of my Square Flake).

Of course, this means that I’ll have to make even more kites but I now know that I’m capable of doing that. All in all, I’m very excited about this “creation” and am looking forward to seeing what else I can make.

Yet another windless day

I’m beginning to wonder if there is such a thing as wind – we haven’t had any that’s sufficiently strong enough to lift a KAP rig in ages. As there is not much I can do without it, I added a weather


conditions section to this blog (located on the right side) about a week ago – it is automatically updated about once every hour. As can be seen from the latest weather conditions (as noted in this screen capture.

As you can tell, There is no wind – well, almost. The interesting thing is that the winds are so light that even the weather bureau can’t figure out what direction they’re allegedly coming from. Ugh!

Since I’ve added this information to my blog, I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen any data provided for gusts – if there is no wind, there certainly can’t be any gusts. Keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will change – and soon!

Okay, this is getting serious. . .

I’m so hooked on this new hobby that I think it would be best in order for me to learn how to make my own kites (which, obviously, is also very cost effective – and I can certainly benefit from that). I just learned about “Kite Making Retreats” (can you imagine that such things actually exist?) on a KAP forum. It appears as if a lot of the folks who enjoy KAPing also make their own kites – again for the obvious financial reasons, as well as the gratification that comes from using something that you have created yourself.

As usual, I was too late for all but one of the kite making retreats being offered this year (all of them in other states) except for one – the 2007 Junction Kite Makers Retreat. After learning of this event, being held at the end of May (over the Memorial Day weekend), I checked the cost and found it to be extremely reasonable. Sooo. . . I’ve now taken the plunge (I REALLY need some hard stress relief time) and have signed up. Of course, I’ll be a complete newbie but that shouldn’t matter.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this new form of stress relief, kite flying, is that it is relatively inexpensive and also is kind of a “purposeless” activity – after all, what point is there in putting a piece of fabric up in the air? Other than the shear enjoyment of kite flying, and watching as kites soar across the sky, there is no real purpose. That; however, is exactly what makes it so great. Sure, it’s tough (sometimes very tough) to get the real world buzz (which is more often a full-blown roar) out of one’s head, but flying a kite can sometimes dull the steady, incessant noise of life’s major problems. Another interesting element is that flying kites leads to meeting other people who have smiles on their faces which, of course, can be contagious. If for no other reason than that, flying is very gratifying. 

Junction, Texas, here I come! (BTW, I had no idea where Junction, TX is – it appears as if it’s in a rather isolated location with lots of quiet – sounds good to me.)

Le Frog and the Rev 1.5

Le Frog
Originally uploaded by Bassoon Man.

Isn’t this great – flying frogs! The one pictured here is a “small” one – only ten feet long. This lovely creature was launched on Sunday (three days ago) when my boy and I went to Huntington Beach to fly our new Rev 1.5. A video, created by my cell phone (isn’t technology great?!), was posted earlier. As noted, there wasn’t much wind so our flying experiences were limited. Just the same, I was still able to capture a few photographs as evidenced by this picture.

As previously mentioned, my boy was the one who spent most of the time trying to fly the Rev 1.5 on Sunday. I took a jaunt down to the beach the next day (Monday) with the hope that there might be enough wind for me to try but alas, that wasn’t to be. I returned yesterday fully expecting there to be no wind again but I was wrong! While there wasn’t a lot, there was a sudden change in weather and the beach was very foggy – and there was enough wind for me to actually get the Rev 1.5 airborne. To say the least, it was a blast! Of course, I’m still a beginner but the fact that I was able to get the kite up was a great accomplishment (at least for me).

The most difficult time I had was with launching the kite. Once airborne, the kite is extremely sensitive to the manner in which the lines (there are four) are manipulated. The instructions stated that it’s best to get the kite as high as possible and attempt to keep it there. That was a bit more of a challenge because once the kite reached its maximum altitude, it seemed to want to stall and come down – I had to move the kite from side to side in order to keep it aloft. Of course, this may have been due to the wind conditions but I don’t have enough experience yet to say with any certainty.