Thursday, April 16, 2009

Filing and Paying, then Flying and Playing

Yesterday I celebrated getting my taxes filed on time by immediately heading out to fly with Don in brisk conditions at Kahana, in order to wipe my brain clean from the harmful effects of thinking about taxes for a week. Student Larry and his grandson Jesse hiked up with us.

It was blowing pretty hard at low launch so I set up really low in the pocket. I was embarrassed to have Larry there to see me blow my first launch, by somehow allowing a brake handle to slip out of my grip as the wing was starting to come up. If the wing is already overhead when that happens, you can often just control the wing with weightshift and fly it away from the hill as you recover the handle, but I had only barely raised the wing from the ground this time, so it just flipped over onto the trees on my right. Now I was glad to have Larry there, as he kindly pitched in to help me detree the wing and lay it out to try again. I was also glad to note that Don hadn't seen that little mishap - but later on he told me he saw the whole thing just he was pulling into the bay.

At the LZ afterwards, we enjoyed some nice cold beverages, and thanks to the clever folks at Sierra Nevada, I managed to effectively Torpedo the remaining brain cells that had been infected by the tax nightmare. I predict that more Torpedoes will be coming soon to a landing zone near you.

As Don was folding up he was approached by a guy named Anton who started flying in Switzerland a few years ago, but never finished his course. He joined us for some Torpedoes and shared his story. He's been living on the Big Island for a few years and just moved to Oahu. His instructor in Switzerland was one of the earliest pioneers of both paragliding and kitesurfing, Andrea Kuhn. Anton told us he learned to fly using Andrea's unique control bar setup - check it out in the video (around the 1:40 minute mark). Also check out Andrea gliding with a board on his feet and then landing in the lake to do some kitesurfing (at around the 7:00 minute mark). My only question is, when is Fireman Dave going to try that?

1 comment:

Alex said...

Thinking over how I dropped that brake handle and blew the first launch attempt, this title variation just occurred to me:

Flailing and Praying