Freestyle/Trick Flying (Re: Low vs high aspect)

Subject Freestyle/Trick Flying (Re: Low vs high aspect)
From (Andy Wardley)
Date 24 Feb 1997 08:27:57 -0000
Newsgroups rec.kites
John Tavolacci wrote:
> Sure, high aspect trick kites do have a place in ones kite bag, but it
> should not be the only kite, or the first kite one should own. Owning
> a trick kite only is like driving a two seat sport car on a daily
> basis. Very limited.

I agree with what John says with the added proviso:

"...if you want to be a good all-round flier".

There's no obligation for anyone to have to learn precision, ballet, or tricks if they don't want to. There's no doubt that they will become a better flier by being all-rounded, but there's still no law that says they have to if they don't want to.

And just the same, if someone wants to drive a two seat sports car on a daily basis then that's fine. It doesn't necessarily make them a good driver (or even a bad one), but most probably a happy driver.

> Trick kites are great for tricks, and only tricks.

Depends on the kite and how you fly it :-)

> I find trick kites get real boring flopping around on the ground all
> the time.  To become a good flyer, one must develop other skills
> besides pulling off the latest trick.

There is a big misconception about Trick Flying or at least, the way that I see Trick Flying going.

Let's use precision flying as an analogy. There is nothing interesting or exciting about watching someone perform Square Cuts or a Clover Leaf figure. It's like picking your nose - it can be interesting to do, but it's nothing much to watch. But, put together a precision routine that demonstrates superb control of the kite and combines an interesting and varied program and you have a winner. Even non-kite fliers are able to appreciate the skill and artistry in a well constructed precision routine.

Now take Trick Flying. An Axel by itself is, well, as John says, it is pretty cool, but once you've seen a few (or a few thousand), the novelty wears pretty thin. After a while we become desensitized to it, just as we become bored by another square corner or straight line. What Trick Fliers must do to push forward the discipline is to extend the concept of isolated tricks into a style of flying that contains expression and character as well as definitive control of the kite. Just as the precision routine is built from basic elements into a complex and structured performance, the Trick Flier must also use the basic building blocks to create something new and structurally complete.

These days, I rarely refer to myself as a "Trick Flier" or what I do as "Trick Flying". It has this negative aura that conjurs up images of someone standing in a field doing Axels and Flat Spins all days long. This is not where I'm at and not where I'm going. "Freestyle Flying" or "Freestyle Trick Flying" is the term I prefer and for me that means the evolution of tricks and more traditional flying techniques into an expressive and technically outstanding artform. It's more radical and more trick-oriented than precision or ballet flying but it shares in the same philosophy that any trick, figure or element in isolation is nothing without the structure that encases it.

Now who was it who said "It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it"?