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About this blog

My personal blog related to chasing speed, breaking records and everything kiting.
Find out more about who I am and subscribe to my blog by hitting "Follow This".

Entries in this blog

.Joel

Videography 2016/17 Season

Last season two of my passions intersected, flying drones and flying kites.  I love power kites and i've been flying them for over 10 years now, however drones are a recent passion in the last 3 years that i've picked up and started to enjoy.  I used to call them multi-rotors, but the mainstream public's declaration of calling them drones has now washed off on me.  During our Kingston trip I finally had the opportunity to really intersect the two passions, and this year i'm hoping to take things a little further with my video production.

To start with i've purchased some Joby Gorillapods, and these things are really versatile.  I was planning to review them, however I dislike unboxing reviews as they really don't prove much going down the path in terms of use for a product like a gorillapod.  So i'll come back to reviewing them after i've had the opportunity to really use them.  Initial thoughts however is that the large Gorillapod SLR-Zoom is a tank, it's solid.  The Gorilapod magnetic, feels a bit like a fragile toy.  The Joby ballhead feels solid, I would of liked a secondary type of safety on it in case it releases, however I'll just wrap the neckstrap around the legs for now.

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Something else I picked up was the Pico Dolly, now this thing for product video etc is amazing.  It's also incredibly amazing as a slider cam when you can't be bothered hauling a full 1.5M slider and setting it up on two tripods.  All you need is a smooth surface, a walking path, a car bonnet, hard packed sand, anything that you can smoothly roll the wheels over and produce a cinematic sliding effect.

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So the collection from last season has grown a bit, and here it is below.  
I'm considering a DJI Osmo Mobile to use with the iPhone7 Plus, and a couple of additional SJCam's to mount on to people at the Extreme Kites meets.

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PS: If you didn't see my video from last year here it is, I've refined a lot of techniques and learnt some new angles and ideas since then I hope to be able to reproduce in the next event video.

 

Thanks for reading, hit that like button if you enjoyed this blog entry so I know to add more! :good: 
Comment below if you think you would like me to create a couple of tutorials the gear, settings and how i use it for different results.

.Joel

MK1 Nearly Complete

So I've had a small win overnight, bidding on a Flexifoil Blade MK1 3.3M in the colours I like for this series.  Here's some shots below of the kite from the auction, it'll be on its way to @koma's place shortly and added to the stash :good: 

If anyone knows what colour options the 2.6M came in let me know, it's the last one missing in the series and so far I can only find that there was an aqua/black colour scheme :dontknow: 

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.Joel

My Latest Mystery Box!

There's been some amazing prices on second hand gear in Australia, and indeed globally the past year.  Last August I managed to pickup a pristine condition Peter Lynn nGen here in Australia that had been flown less than 6 times since its original purchase.  So this has continued to me nearly finishing my complete set of Flexifoil Blade MK1's, and the Flexifoil Blade 4.9 in every edition from MK1 to MK5 :wub: 

So continuing this nostalgic trend, a few weeks back a Blade MK1 7.2M appeared on a local classifieds site, as part of a collection of old kites.  Sensing that the individual selling the gear didn't want to separate as they were cheap already I sent a message saying I would take the lot, despite only really wanting the Flexfoil Blade MK1.  I paid for the kites, he dropped them off to @Jason at BrisKites for me who bundled them up and shipped them to me here in Melbourne, Australia.  What can I say, he's a nice bloke that runs that kite shop despite the shit I give him on the forum :itwasme:

So the mystery box of kites arrived, and here's what was in it... if you have any idea what years each kite was released feel free to throw that in the comment below :victory:

Flexifoil Blade MK1, the kite I originally was chasing from the collection.
flexifoil-blade-mk1-7.2m.jpg

 

Peter Lynn Waterfoil 3.6M
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Peter Lynn Arc 1120
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Peter Lynn Guerilla II 15M Arc
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The next time @nigel and I get out for a photo day I'll take some photos of them all flying :good: 
 

.Joel

Code That Shits Me

<Rant Mode>
I've been putting a new section together for Extreme Kites which I personally think is going to be another incredible resource over time, it'll be announced on the XK News Blog shortly.  I would have released it earlier but after getting it to about 90% ready for launch I did a "minor" update between versions on the website to apply some new patches.  Well it totally borked the new section, seeing as documentation is fucking scarce on some things finally today we had a break through!

Worked fine on Monday....

<section data-controller='core.front.core.lightboxedImages' >
  {{$images = $record->customFieldDisplayByKey('gpsimgs', 'raw');}}
  {{$images = explode( ',', $images);}}
  {{foreach $images as $image}}
    {{$url = \IPS\File::get( 'cms_Records', $image )->url;}}
    <a class='ipsAttachLink ipsAttachLink_image' href='$url' >
      <img src='$url' class='ipsImage ispImage_thumbnailed' alt='$url' style='max-height: 34px'/>
    </a>
  {{endforeach}}
</section>


Works fine on Thursday....

<section data-controller='core.front.core.lightboxedImages' >
  {{$images = $record->customFieldDisplayByKey('gpsimgs', 'raw');}}
  {{foreach $images as $image_url}}
    <a class='ipsAttachLink ipsAttachLink_image' href='{$image_url}' >
      <img src='{$image_url}' class='ipsImage ispImage_thumbnailed' alt='$url' style='max-height: 34px'/>
    </a>	
  {{endforeach}}
</section>


And for anyone that knows what the i'm ranting about above.... well you just worked out what the new section is as well ;)  I'm heading for Kingston SE in 48 hours, so we'll see if I can get this completed before then otherwise it's something to do each night from the Cabin until it's finished.

 

.Joel

Smashed Flat

Kingston 2016 is on the horizon, we need as much time as possible in the new buggies to get familiar before we head off in hunt of some new records.  For @nigel this was his first time on a beach with his new GT-Rapide ++, for @bakersdozen this was the first time he was out in his own buggy!  So a couple of firsts for everyone to start, and one for me to finish :D 

We met at Nigel's place a bit after 9am, my GT on the rear rack, Nigel's GT in the back along with Mark's (bakersdozen) gear and off to Sandy Point.  Upon arrival the wind seemed a bit light, however once you went over the hill you felt a good 15 knots comfortably with it pushing a little higher at different stretches of the beach.  I choose to take out a Peter Lynn Phantom2 12M as I had flown the 6M and 9M, however yet to have tried the 12M.  Nigel choose some smaller foils earlier on then settled on his 10M Peter Lynn Scorpion and Mark on a 7M Ozone Frenzy for the day.  

Billy Cart Style...

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Nigel on his GT-Rapide ++

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Moon walking...

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Mark trying out a race buggy...

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Nigel on a 10M Peter Lynn Scorpion + GT-Race Rapide ++

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Camera on?

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My GT-Rapide ++ with Extreme Kites seat.

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Nigel scudding.

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The day's kite choices... 

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After an awsome day's kiting I decided to "billycart" the buggy back to the cars, I usually do this to get to the beach on a weekday when it's empty and there's nobody around.  However in the past coming back to the cars has always been on midis etc, this time I had the 17" rims on the GT.  I sat on the back rest, put my feet in the seat and grabbed on to the tow strap and went.  Usually I drag a foot on the ground or two to slow down, however the buggy picked up a bit more speed so I decided to just ride it out.  As I came around the corner I had complete under-steer, my eyes instead of paying attention ahead I slipped up and fixated on the object I was trying to avoid, a dead tree trunk.  In doing so I didn't look ahead and after avoiding the tree trunk ended up as I was turning hard right going over a large grass mound with the right rear wheel.  As my whole body was already fighting the lean to the left that extra lift of the rear wheel at speed just threw me clean off the buggy and smashing me flat in to the ground.  First thing I did was make sure I could move my legs, then my arms, then I realised I was winded as I was struggling hard to breath.  Nigel had run over and was telling me to stay down, Mark comes around the corner and goes "I could head that from back there."  Eventually with enough air back in the lungs I bleeted out "Mark you're an Ambo, check me out" then lay back flat on the grass.  He came up, then started checking me out, got to my ribs and I started cursing in pain.  We're not sure if they're bruised or worse, but sure as hell my chest absolutely aches. That's the first time in 10+ years i've been thrown off the buggy doing that, everyone had their own "first" for the day :D 

Parting advice, if you're going to injure yourself do it with enough time to heal before Kingston :D 

 

.Joel

Why GT-Race?

5600a56cc4984_gt-rapide.thumb.jpg.80e128There's been a lot of attention lately towards GT-Race buggies in Australia and I'm unashamedly responsible.  Earlier this year @nigel and I discussed to great length and in detail finally making our move towards owning the best production race buggies available.   Our decision came about by the competitive blood between us when we're out kiting together, it's nearly a diagnosable medical condition and something that we've enjoyed for over 10 years together.  

Back in July our original plan was to order the XXTreme Apexx, a buggy we've seen first hand up close when @domenic first purchased his in 2008.  We put up a discussion in the Buy & Sell on Extreme Kites to also feel if anyone else was interested, the end result was @igeighty was also showing interest.  With three confirmed individuals I approached XXTreme in the Netherlands with our intent on purchasing three Apexx buggies and having them shipped to Australia. Without creating undesired consequences of sharing our unfavourable experience lets just say that communication during this process was incredibly poor.

Delays in communication mean idle fingers wander, and wander they did stumbling upon GT-Race's website.  We took a closer look at the information available online, then spoke with two GT-Race owners (one being in Mark Van den Berg the Dutch National Champion) and then finally approached @GT-Race (Martin Faber) directly.  From the outset Martin's communication pre-order was amazing in the speed of which he delivered answers to our questions, the manner in which he fielded our questions and overall the secure atmosphere he created surrounding the purchase by never leaving any query unanswered.  

After a week of comparison, reading, searching, discussing with pilots of both buggies the three of us decided that the logical choice in this situation was the GT-Race Rapide.  If the Apexx was the gold standard in 2008 the Rapide presented as years of evolution on this original idea.  On the surface areas of difference which we felt drew us closer to the Rapide were features such as the integrated backrest, fork lock and flat foot plates.  However when going further in to detail we felt the way the headstock connected to the downtube and facilitated the mudguard was a better solution, also the rear axle joint system made for quicker assembly and disassembly.  Beyond that we liked little changes like how Martin had stepped the downtube welds and used 20mm head stock bolts that counter-sunk in to the fork.  Overall the three of us felt that whilst the Apex was an incredible buggy the Rapide was just that few steps ahead having continued to evolve in increments.  

With our decision made we approached Martin and placed the order, however we were surprised to note that the Rapide ++ was due for release and that we would be in the first 10 built to receive the ++ version.  In short, the ++ version brings together Martin's extensive build experience on the FL, refines it and makes further evolves the manufacturing process to produce a better finished product.  It's not so much an evolution in features as it is an evolution in Martin's manufacturing process.

With this in place and Martin now building 3 custom Rapide ++ buggies for us @roblukin stepped in to the mix.  Originally his plan was to order an Outlaw from Peter Lynn New Zealand, however again you would have more success trying to arrange your affairs through two paper cups and a piece of string than any other form of communication.  So again we turned to Martin and explained Rob's personal situation, his strengths and weaknesses regarding his physical condition and physical disabilities he has to manage as part of his buggying process.  Virtually instantly Martin stepped it up a gear, and then the goal to manufacture a modified GT-Race Radical for Rob became the goal.  There was some considerable discussion, about cutting some weight from the buggy, changing slightly part of the materials used and the manufacturing using those changed specifications.  Over the course of a week everything was discussed and a 4th Buggy was ordered.

GT-Race's strength isn't only about producing the highest quality, most technically advanced production buggies.  GT-Race's strength is also the personalised customer service that Martin Faber spends each weeknight providing and each weekend turning orders in to fulfilment.  Presently there are 4 GT-Race buggies being manufactured, assembled, checked over and packed to make their way to Australia.  

Kite Buggying in Australia is back on a growth trajectory since we launched the new Extreme Kites website in June this year, GT-Race is going to be front and centre of many Australian achievements going forward.

.Joel

Who am I?

joel-buggy_jump.thumb.png.b15b1490ca3e39My name is Joel Theodore, I live in Australia and I have been kiting since 2003.  Throughout my journey I have experienced and enjoyed a variety of kiting disciplines, starting with a kite buggy and learning ground based freestyle then moving to aerial freestyle and buggy jumping.  After a few years I moved on to Kiteboarding and enjoyed many seasons on the water, however after a bit of a break i'm back in the buggy and this time chasing my goal of outright speed.

In 2006 I joined Extreme Kites and my involvement over the years with the community grew.  In 2011 I took on ownership of Extreme Kites to preserve the website in an endeavour to keep the Land Kiting community in Australia together.  After a few of life's events and some time away in 2014 the flame to chase speed records has re-ignighted.  

In 2015 I launched the new Extreme Kites website with the help of a newly appointed Team and moved ownership to my private company, this has enabled me to lay back a bit and enjoy partaking in the community in a more relaxed role.  My role here is now Website Support where I code, develop and create new and exciting features for the Extreme Kites community.  

My goals going forward for Extreme Kites are that it continues to foster a positive, welcoming and warm community spirit for those entering the world of kiting.  Over the years I have seen various websites, communities, blogs and social media platforms come and go, however for more than a decade Extreme Kites has stood by and supported the spread of kiting knowledge.  I believe information for those interested in kiting should be made public and available, it shouldn't be hidden behind paywalls and closed groups unable to be found.  The easier we make information accessible here the greater the community benefits, so I hope the time I spend on improving Extreme Kites enhances your experience here with the community.

See you around the website or when I'm out with a kite in my hands.

 

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