For the next few months i trundled about in my faithfull buggy
Gaining confidence and enjoying every minute.
even got confident enough to powerslide a few times.
A wide axle would be great but not enough room to transport it..
the alternative was to fly slightly underpowered or get used to the bug stepping out
and learn to control it.
The second option was the one i took.
I am never going to be the best buggier in the uk ,probably not the best in my town but i could now powerslide and control the bug when it stepped out of line
so i was pretty pleased with myself
one particular saturday a few months back ,i had the day to myself
had it all planned ,up early , out to my local flying field and a full day of fun
oops spoke to soon !!!
wind was between 15-20 mph
up went melonman , bags of power
big grins , even bigger spins
then ooohh shiit ......
one powerslide to many
I assume the axle bolt came loose and one big gust and i almost had a crab buggy
At the time i thought i dealt with it quite well , but then the reality of what could of gone wrong with a powered up kite and a dodgy wheel.
I am now a bit more carefull and check my bug over after each outing
i also tend to fly a little under powered now as well
i may not break speed records ,but also i may not break my neck.
the speed would be great if i had bigger spaces , but in small areas the small light bug works well
and 20mph feels like 50
The buggy seemed so much easier to get used to than a board.
only had to concentrate on kite and steering not the dreaded balance as well.
it all came together fairly quickly and i was loving it .
making the most of my limited flying time with the bug and static flying the rest of the time.
the more i used the bug the more i realised how cramped i was and how bad the seat was.
i wonder if i could get hold of an extension for the downtube ?
Back to the forums ,yes they were available but rare and various reviews.
I wonder if i can have one made ? Enter stainless Dave a guy who does stainless magic were i work.
no problem says he, 2 days later my downtube has an extra 100mm on it.
this made all the difference to my cramped legs but really messed up the tow point on the bug (at this point i had no idea what this meant )
but basically it was a lot more difficult to get moving and because of the terrible seat it was not easy to move my weight around in the bug to help.
lots more hours in the buggy lots more smiles.
WANTED : SEAT UPGRADE FOR PL BUGGY
this might help
then out of the blue ,a fellow kiter who i now class as a friend also, said i have an old buggybags seat in my garage ,its off an old buggy but should do the job
he got a new one with his PL hybrid
the deal was done
the buggy was now in my opinion the muts nuts
to some it may still apear to be scrap but it taughtme a lot and got me further into this sport
the story continues .......
When i got the new shiny pl bug home and had chance to give it a look over , i realised it had issues !!
the seat was a mess , the axle was bent , i guess from the bug being jumped and the front wheel was a barrow and by that i mean off a wheelbarrow , no bearings just
a spacer running on an axle bolt.
But not one to be beaten i gave it a once over and decided to give it a go
Thats my Dad in the bug
The dog didnt come with the buggy either.
i will try and find some better pics.
The buggy did exactly what it says on the tin.
it got me rolling , not very comfortably admittedly but rolling none the less.
it was a little cramped and the seat was abismall
but it was mine
As you may of realised by reading this blog i dont like/or have buckets of money to spend.
so off to ebay for a buggy search.
needed something small that would be easy to transport/breakdown/buildup , but i also needed something that would support a guy who is partial to the odd pie !!
peter lynn or flexifoil seemed to be the buggy of choice,small light and good for small spaces.
no point in having a cruising buggy when you aint got no were to cruise.
checked out the forums and put a few wanted posts on,such as cheap ,light weight buggy wanted.
And as sure as god made little green apples ,i had numerous replies offering everything from v max , upto some of popye the welders fantastic machines
all telling me how good i would look and feel after i had parted with £500 plus.
i even got into some heated online discussions about what i needed and wanted.
A couple of guys came back with positive sensible advice and they were not trying to sell me anything either.
one guy had and still has a peter lynn xr i believe and said as long as you take it for what it is it will do fine, i think he still has the xr for when he is to old to still go on the water.
the other guy assured me that a flexi or pl would be fine for my frame as he had a flexi and at 6ft 5 who am i to argue with him.
After much searching a pl buggy came up on ebay only 20 miles away from me.
it was battered,the seat was torn and the axle was bent but for £34 it was mine.
It was probably worth more for scrap value.
A while ago my shifts changed at work and i was dreading it.
12hr days and nights what a drag.
but then i realised the benefits !
working a 24/7 shift pattern meant days off during the week so i could spend time with my better half ,but then getting
every other weekend off which was when my other half was working
VOILA ,12 hrs kiting
But then it got better ,my wife changed jobs and was working only a short distance from home.
Why dont you drop me at work and then you can use the car she says.
i dont want to mess you around i say
its up to you she says
so now i could go further afield to play
Then i got to thinking , 12hrs every 2 weeks , could i justify a buggy ?
Well i had another session with the brooza last week in a constant smooth wind,what a difference!!
the kite behaved perfectly,plenty of power and stable as well.
this goes to show how much difference flying areas can make.
It also proves how good the npws are at dealing with not so good flying conditions.
I am happy the brooza has proved its worth and so my education continues.
The bargain came in the shape of a rtf 3mtr pkd brooza.
It was in average used condition , the lines were good as were the handles although some idiot had tied the handles together with a piece of cord.
Yes this idiot had not heard or come across a strop before now
That little mystery sorted it was time for the first flight ,this was my first flight with a foil and i obviously expected it to be different from my npws
but to be honest disapointment is an under statement ,it was fast and that was all,it bow tied it was unstable and twitchy.
Was it the way i was flying it ?
Maybe wind conditions ?
Lets give it another try
Bit stronger wind , exactly the same result , put my 4mtr npw up next to it and it flew perfect although a little over powered
I tried several more times but with the same results , the npws seemed to outfly and out handle the foil
The brooza was a total loss
on a side note i am taking the brooza away with me this week to give it a last try
Just goes to show it may be cheap but not a bargain.
With the demise of the landboard and all thoughts of traction gone (i only have a motorbike for transport so not able to carry much )i decided to concentrate on static flying
and getting as much experience with the wings i had.
Melonman was fantastic to fly,a little bit of nose collapse but nothing major.
Then a voice from up high (well the midlands actually )said nose collapse ? i may have a mod for that.
Melonman was packed up and sent over to the workshop,namely BigE
thin acrylic strutts was the thought ,but to heavy he says
you do what you think best E , after all this was his creation.
The melonman mod was born ,3mm strimmer wire ,doubled and sewn into the seams at the nose and down the four panel seams.
When the wing came back it was difficult to see what had been done,it still packed away the same,nothing to remove.
It was not until i had the wing sat on the ground tethered by the brakes that i noticed the kite trying to raise its
own head without any wind,just sort of springing up and down.
In flight almost all nose collapse had gone , even when diving the wing or pushing into the wind..
i was kiteing and enjoying every minute of it.
We were now heading towards autum and winter , stronger winds , i needed a small kite for those mad wind days..
First was a peter lynn baby arc 1.3 mtr with full depower /bar.
my god this thing is like a wasp on speed , so quick and i could fly it in some massive winds .
The depower on this worked perfect for such a small wing
But the gap between 1,3mtr and 4 mtr was quite big so of course i needed a new kite to
fill the gap ......
I knew i wanted fixed brdle,i new i needed 2 to 3 mtr but which one ?
Kept looking on the yorkshire mans HARRODS (ebay )
and then the bargain got listed.
SO HERE I AM WITH MY NEW 6 MTR NPW 21
i also found a new flying field , got permission from the local farmer and i was sorted.
By this time i had mastered the 4mtr npw and was pretty comfortable with it,even mastering
sending it nose down towards the ground and at 3 or 4 feet from hitting ,slam on the brakes and stop the wing
in mid flight , hovering just above the ground , it impressed me anyway.
Plenty of hours on the melonman to get used to him , way more power than the 4mtr and a lot bigger window.
Lets see how this works with the board
A few short trips up and down the field and i think i am getting used to this.
Lean back ,let the wing support you, oh yes this is fun, once your moving its great
get the wing in the power zone lean back more power keep it in the zone
WOOOWHHH SHITTTT BIG GUST
up about 4 or 5 feet, forward about 10 or twelve feet straight down onto my hip
The wind knocked out of me but not out of the bloody melonman oh no
he proceeded to drag me across the farmers field (the farmers cow field ) and yes right through some of the
freshest, stickiest cow pats known to man.
melonman landed ,15 minutes to get breath back and confirm my legs still worked,up i got and i can confirm that all grass that cows eat does not get digested
as i picked a few pieces out of my teeth ..........
Managed to drive home in a lot of pain,not sure if i cracked ribs or not to be honest but it took a week or so before i could breath without pain.
LANDBOARD FOR SALE
With the flying mattress gone , what to do next ?
bigger wing ?
I wonder if i could get hold of another npw ?
After nagging and wearing him down (in fact he just said ok ) BigE and his best sewing machine were involved.
Q : 5 or 6 mtr
A ;5 i think
Q :any graphics ?
A :no ,just plain keep the cost down
A : dont do plain , think of something about yourself
A : WATERMELONS
I WISH .......
NO, my lifes ambition is to retire somewere warm and sit at the side of the road selling watermelons from a handcart
INTERNATIONAL MELON MAN
THE BUILD WAS ON
from one word THE MELONMAN was created
6 mtrs of power and fun
LETS TRY THIS WITH THE LANDBOARD
The main 2 replies i got to the question WHY CANT I GET MOVING were
1 get a bigger kite
2 get a depower
and a few comments about dieting lol
Then one guy who was quite persistant regarding the depower option convinced me to give it a go.
just on a side note this guy has a seriously wicked sense of humour,takes no prisoners but i would trust him implicitly
he has a lot of years experience in everything and knows the answers to all questions
But he was 1 of only a few who didnt take the MICK when i said old,retro and cheap.
Enter stage left ,PETER LYNN VENOM 10MTR
hOW DIFFICULT CAN THIS BE :
no bridles as such,gust muncher and great inland.
THIS THING IS HUGE !!!
dont be a wimp you need at least 10mph wind to get it in the air
10mph your kidding ,i will be airborn
I tried ,i failed
i tried again ,i failed with epic style
i new what i was doing wrong ,every time the power got to much i instinctively pulled on the bar,which obviously powered the kite up.
Train yourself ,FAIL
Less wind , FAIL
More wind , FALL (that hurt )
Then came the words of wisdom i had been waiting for from the oracle
IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING WRONG , STOP DOING IT
FOR SALE 10 MTR VENOM
The enhanced 4 mtr seemed like a totaly different thing to my old 2 line kite.
the power seemed full on .
i spent a few happy months with this wing and learnt some valuable lessons in kite control.
i then took the plunge and bought a cheap mountain board
No way could i get it to move ,the wind was strong enough,nice flat surface but nothing.
watched all the how to vids but no.
Lets see what the guys on the forums say !!
Hello to anyone who wants to read.This is as much for me to keep a log of were all my money has gone !!!
My name is craig , i live in the uk and have a bit of a thing about kites , sound familiar !!!
I have only been flying kites for around 4 years but only seriously for the past 2.
first got interested a while ago when on holiday and watching a bit of kite surfing.
Bought my first 2 line (what i thought was a ) powerkite.
Messed around with this wing for quite a few months then got the crazy idea of getting a landboard or some form of traction.
Enter the world of kite forums
got involved with a couple of forums and had a mooch around.
Didnt have a fortune to spend , and been a yorkshireman wouldnt spend it if i had it.
Checked out a few wings online and in sale sections and never been one to do things the easy way asked the question about older retro style kites
skytigers and the like or large 2 line kites.
2 line ,forget it , 4 line is what you need
4 lines , whats all that about then ?
much tinterweb searching later and a good 2 hours worth of knowledge later
Q : antbodys views on good quality , cheap , 4 line wings for a noob ?
A : got a flysurfer something or other ,KO bargain £900
A : get an LEI , depower
and various other answers
Now at this point ,somebody trying to sell me a bit of cloth for £900 that would not fly cause it had no string attached let alone a bar and apparently i needed a donkeys dick to fly it whilst wearing a giant nappy just confused the hell out of me.
More tinterweb research
flysurfer =top notch kit , not for noob
String = lines
donkeys dick ,does not mean hung like a seventies porn star
the giant nappy is a seat harnesss
Comment /reply to my post for retro kite
Kites dont come much more retro than an npw. BigE
yes more research , nasa power/para wing
Sounds and looks a bit different ,i have never been one to follow the masses.
i wonder if this guy has ever flown one or knows anything about them ?
Not a great time later , delivery of my first npw 4mtr ( enhanced ) one of the early BigE builds
the obsession begins !!!