SOTM October is about two types of flatspin tricks - the fade-to-slot and "plain" slot machine - performed in alternating directions.

The kite enters frame with a taz machine already started in a diagonally downward angle. The taz is interrupted to bring the kite into a skewed fade which is the setup for the first of three fade-to-slot iterations. Each fade-to-slot is done by pushing the kite out of the angled fade and into a flare, and as the flare is still moving, lightly pop the top wing for the flatspin rotation. Each slot ends with the kite horizontal, the setup for a gentle fractured axel which puts the kite into a fade for the next fade-to-slot. To alternate the direction of each flatspin, skew the fade with micro-adjustments of line tension. Following the first half of the sequence, I fly a "standard" slot cascade to continue the flatspin theme.

The key to success with this sort of sequence is a light touch and a feeling of staying connected to the kite. The fractured axels are best done by guiding the kite via the lines, rather than popping the lines. In this sequence, aim for just enough slack to allow the flatspins to rotation freely; all other parts can be kept tight. Light-to-moderate winds will also help substantially.

'Till next time,

A.

MXS Aero coming soon

SOTM September is a medium length sequence that combines a comete, some flatspins, and a variation of the Jacob's Ladder.

The sequence opens with a snappy comete initiated from an upward curving flight path, and exiting in the same direction. The MXS powers up after exiting the comete, but pressure is quickly dumped with a snap lazy flowing into a fractured axel which puts the kite into a fade. The pause here is a punctuation mark in the sequence, similar to a comma in written text, creating some breathing space between what's happened, and what's about to follow.

The fade is angled to setup the flatspin exit and kept moving quickly back into a fade and lateral roll to start the Jacob's Ladder (JL) portion of the sequence. The first segment of the JL is followed by two backspins, flowing into the second half of the JL initiated with the opposite hand. From here, I move into a series of old school descending flic flacs, before a lateral roll to vertical flight.

This SOTM highlights the value of mixing left and right-handed tricks. The comete, snap lazy, and flatspin parts are right-hand dominant, while the fractured axel and backspins are lead by the left-hand. Try to mix up your left and right hand dominance in sequences, if just to add variety.

'Till next time,

A.

SOTM August looks at changing up the pacing and strength of tricks mid-sequence, a great way to add a dynamic element to your flying.

The sequence begins with an MXS flying quite fast, diagonally downwards into frame. Flight is interrupted by a snap multilazy performed with very firm inputs to ensure the lazy rotations are assertive. After two rotations, a half axel marks the point at which the sequence pacing changes from fast and snappy, to a slower, much lighter touch. The half axel sets the kite up for a multi-slot, and I'm careful to keep the inputs gentle and smooth throughout each of the three slot machines. The multi-slot looks best when you stay closely connected to the kite with finely-tuned slack management -- aim to guide the kite through the rotations rather than pop, release and hope.  Another half axel finishes the sequence and the kite resumes flight for the next set of tricks.

'Till next time,
A.

SOTM July is a fairly lengthy sequence that will really test your success rate for each of its component tricks.

The sequence begins with an MXS entering shot from a comete off-screen, transitioning to a rolling susan that is hit harder and later than usual to get a full rotation. With the nose upward, I quickly axel to a horizontal position, then perform an over-rotated slot machine and roll it fluidly into a fade for the next segment. As is most often the case when I'm flying, the kite doesn't hang around in the fade - it promptly transitions into three backspins, a backflip and a hard lazy susan input for 1.5 rotations.

The kite is pulled into a skewed fade which provides an excellent setup for the fade-to-flatspin, one of my favourite building blocks. The flatspin ends with the kite horizontal, facing rightwards, then transitions into something (very roughly) like a fractured taz, and rolls out to a multilazy lewis before flying straight up out of frame.

'Till next time,
A.