Stoked in the Park
In January 2004 I started taking a video camera out with me when I
went flying. Over the course of the year I filmed a series of movies,
one for each month except December when the weather was too miserable
to film any decent footage. Filmed mostly in Stoke Park, the series
became known as "Stoked in the Park".
Can't decide which to watch first? Well the latest are
generally the greatest, so you might want to start with
November, October or September. If you want the gnarliest,
most technical tricks, or if you want to see a sneak preview of
the new Benson Kite, then go for August. July
features the Airbow, a quad
line freestyle kite, which may or may not be your thing. June also has some unusual tricks, and May has some lovely sunsets. But looking at
the server logs, most people have downloaded January, followed by February, March, and so on. This leads me to
suspect that most people go for the first link, then maybe the
second, and third before getting bored. But given that the
later videos are generally better than the earlier ones, I've
started listing them in reverse date order (most recent first)
to see if that balances out the viewing figures.
The weather in November was, on the whole, quite awful. But there
was one fantastic day with clear blue skies and decent winds. It
was one of only a few days in November when I actually flew a kite,
but it's quality not quantity that counts. On this particular day
I had a wonderful time and shot some great footage, including lots
of Airbursts and other complex wrapped crazy susan combinations.
October has come and gone (long since gone by the time I
finally finished editing the video). We had some lovely
autumnal days in October with fresh wind, blue skies, and a
wonderful backdrop of the trees in Stoke Park, with their leaves
gradually turning a vibrant shade of orange. There are more
Volcanos in this month's video, along with a similar
combination done in the air called an Airburst, and a
variant I've christened an Airdrop.
It's September and the summer is all but over. I'm back in Stoke Park,
flying a new Gemini fresh out of the Benson workshop (thanks Tim!). There
are more mutant combinations this month, including the Stairway to Heaven.
There's also the Wrap'n'Tickle and an example of a manic multi-backspin
which has recently been christened an Asteroid
For August, we're giving you a sneak preview of
the "C Class" prototype in the
pipeline. The first part of the video is shot in Cornwall
where I'm flying test model 4C1. The second part is filmed in
my usual spot in Stoke Park, where I'm flying a slightly later
(but near identical) prototype 4C5. Featured tricks include the
, variations on the Mutant
, a number of
tricks, and some interesting ways of getting off
the ground, including the Volcano
and Dead Flapjack
July's video features the Airbow
the quad line trick/freestyle kite I conceived and designed with Tim
Benson for Benson Kites
. The Airbow
can be flown like a dual line kite, using large arm movements to carve the
kite around the sky. It can also be flown like a traditional quad line
kite, using small hand movements to adjust the handle orientation for
hovering, flying backwards and spinning. But what makes the Airbow
unique is the range of tricks that can be performed including Axels,
Flat Spins, Flic-Flacs, Yo-Yos and Barrel Rolls.
Back to Stoke Park for June's video. Despite various patches of nice
weather during June, personal circumstances kept me out of the park
and away from my kites more than I would have liked. Nevertheless, I
did manage to scrape together some half-decent footage of some nice
Wrap Tricks including a (very engineered) Full Burrito Launch.
The video for May was filmed on location at Middle Wallop kite
festival and features a beautiful sunset backdrop and some technical
Mutex, Duplex and Triplex combinations, among
other things, to keep you entertained. This is the longest kite
movie in the series so far and, dare I say it, perhaps the best?
Well, it's definately worth a look for the sunsets if nothing else...
April was a funny month for a number of reasons. Work, the weather,
and various other distractions conspired to keep me out of the park
for much of the month. However I did have a couple of nice days when
I got some decent footage to work from. Tricks of the month are the
Multi-Axel Corkscrew and the Backspin Cascade. I also
go into some detail about how to master the multi-pop axel technique
and why it is so important to many advanced tricks.
March was a bit nicer as far as the weather was concerned, but I was still mad
busy working on TT3 so didn't have a great deal of time to fly. Nevertheless,
I did get some reasonable footage including some Tailspins, a
Headspin, and the ubiquitous Jacob's Ladder.
February was pretty miserable in this part of the World, and I was
too busy with other things to get much flying or filming done.
Nevertheless, this clip shows nice tricks including multi backspins,
lazy susan, Jacob's ladders and the trick of the month - the
Here's me flying a Gemini Ultralight in Stoke Park, Guildford, UK.
The wind was light, but steady, and the sun was shining in clear blue
skies. Trick of the month is an Acid Bath - a combination of
barrel roll, backflip and acid drop.