Steering a Peel

Steering a Peel

Post by Andrew Beatt » Sat, 29 Oct 1994 05:26:06

Someone asked my by Email if I find it difficult to displace my arms by
enough to up-turn a Peel whilst sat in a buggy.  I answered:

Yes.  Particularly with the big ones, sometimes it feels as if your arms
just arn't long enough.  If you think you've got it bad, then try it with
buggy hooks, where your movement is even more restricted.  The technique
is to steer with both the buggy and your arms together.  I recall being
in the desert where I'd get going on an easy reach, with the kite in a
comfortable position in the sky.  I'd adjust by steering by a foot or so
with no significant movement in the kite in the gentle wind.  I would
actually turn the kite by steering the buggy away from it, which would
provide enough pressure to flip it over.

Another important technique is to hook your elbow round the line (I have
4mm rope for the first meter or so, so it is slightly less uncomfortable
that having Spectra dig into my arm) to give you an additional couple of feet
of movement.

I recall when I was playing with the 15m Peel that in a decent wind I was
limited by my strength rather than my reach.  To turn it hard, I would
stand side-on to the kite, point one arm at the kite and pull the other
back in a movement that mimicked that of an archer.  This gave me strength
and control, but I was completely unable to bring my hand back any further
than the centre of my chest.  The technique in this situation proved to
be to take a couple of quick steps towards the kite, to release the pressure
to let me fully extend my arm away from the kite, so that one arm was pointing
directly towards the kite and one was directly away from it.  This was
sufficient to make event the 15 turn quite sharply.

It is also important to learn how tightly you can down-turn a Peel.  When
you are in the normal situation that the kite is at the edge of the window,
less than a wing-span away from the ground, the wind is failing you and it
just doesn't want to get up, you would be surprised at how often you can
recover with a down-turn.  If you pull it very hard into the down-turn,
applying as much pressure as you can on the lower line whilst pushing
forward on the upper line, then the kite will turn as hard as it can, with
the outer tip deflating and collapsing, allowing it to turn about a point
within it's own span.  You may well brush the ground, but only with the
deflated tip and the kite will recover, ready to power through the centre
of the wind :-)

Andrew
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