I guess you’re quite familiar with the expression “wind window” but if not, you can learn more here. And like I say in the excerpt, as soon as I get the kite off the ground and up in the air, I start to explore the wind window.
As the wind changes – speed and direction – so does the wind window. If the wind picks up, the wind window will grow accordingly. The opposite happens should the wind drop; the wind window shrinks. When the wind is changing direction, the wind window changes with it.
So paying attention to the wind and its fluctuations will make you able to “read” the wind window and act/fly accordingly.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how to do this in a more methodologically (is that a real word?) way. Not just fly the kite randomly all around the wind window, but rather establish a few patterns in the air that in addition to explore the wind window also will improve your flying skills.
So I’ve made a handful of sketches on how to do this. I’ve ended up with four different elements that should give me the required information about the wind window and … other stuff.
And what “other stuff” am I talking about you may ask. Well, speed control is another aspect, because I try – my best – to keep my kite flying at a constant speed. Much harder than you think, actually!
It will also improve my flying skills. You know, rather than do whatever comes falling into my mind, I follow a pattern. Let’s say my kite is to stop at an exact point in the wind window. Then it’s my job to stop it on that exact point. Not above, not below, not to the left nor to the right, but precisely on that exact point! I must prepare to fly the kite accurately to that exact point and stop it dead exactly where it’s supposed to stop. I must fly the kite, the kite is not supposed to fly me. (If you see what I mean.)
If i bring a video camera, do (at least) five repetitions and record it all. Then go through the video and look for a pattern of repeated mistakes. If I find one (or more) such patterns, it will probably pinpoint a weakness that I need to improve.
Read more about the five reps practice method by following this link. …and of course, it’s fun to push the envelope a little every now and then!
In the video below you can take a look at three such elements. And if you have any thoughts, questions or comments to this, please drop me a line in the comments section below!