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A helluva fight over a forest

Sometimes flying a large Rokkaku alone in a waaaay too strong wind is, well, unadvisable. However, when you gotta fly, you gotta! - and here is a story about a fight over a forest :smile:


Ljubljana Marshes are usually a great place to fly kites, with sparse obstacles and gentel wind, but this time a huge river of ~40 km/h wind ran some 50 m above ground. While the wind at the ground level was strong, it seemed manageable ... right until the Picavet was attached and the kite was let up.

As soon as the Rok was caught in that stream, everything seemed lost ... Had to let it higher and higher for there was no way to hold it; the line was burning through the gloves and crushing fingers, and I had no anchor (yes, I know).

Then this bale of hay came to the rescue - three times around it and the kite was secured. While this solved the immediate problem of losing the kite and the camera, the problem of getting it down was still pressing - I couldn't even walk the kite down, much less pull it with my weak hands ...

The only way to get it back was for me to literally sit on the line (with most of my weight!) to bring it closer to the ground, then walk utterly awkwardly around the bale, letting it go, and repeat. Every such turn brought the kite a couple of meters down - while I had ~250 m of line out. Took me almost an hour to bring the Rok down into the softer wind ... I was totally exhausted, my squeezed fingers hurt, my arms marked with burns from the slipping line.


But all in all - even with the Picavet totally tangled because of all the crazy dancing, I got some pretty decent photos of the largest remnant of raised bog forest in Ljubljana Marshes. You can check out the full story on our website, and here are a couple of photos of this strange place (please ignore the tilt :wink: ):



  • You deserve a medal for your efforts - well done!

  • Great story and good pictures. Ljubljana is a great place to fly and do KAP.
    Large ROKs can get overpowered in moderate to high wind speeds and place tremendous forces on the line.
    Glad you were able to safely recover both the KAP rig and kite safely.
    Like the ingenuity of making due with you what you have to anchor the kite line!
    Fully understand the "pressure" to fly and get good pictures. Wind speeds can certainly increase as heights exceed 200 meters.
    As posted on this forum I always use the Stratospool for KAP which provides a built in anchor, leverage to pull in a kite in high wind and a way to tie off a kite to walk down a kite if needed. Recommend searching on "stratospool" on this forum for lots of good information.
    Takes time to build a Stratospool, but if you fly kites a lot... they provide a great help and boost in safety.
    Skunked in Zurich
    Stratospool Build 2018

  • @NZflier - :-)))) ... thanks! ;-)

    @Wind Watcher - thank you ... the main problem is that we usually fly a group, at least two people together, but with the lockdown and movement restriction (to one's municipality) the kite club kinda disintegrated - we now fly separately and with whatever equipment one had when the lockdown started (I somehow ended up with the double picavet designed for two cameras, and only one camera) :-) ... stratospools are cool, of course, yet even a simple anchor would definitely prevent all that drama ...

    And it's true - volare necessere est, vivere non est ... ;-)

  • Fully understand.....I fly solo KAP 99% of the more reason I like the Stratospool to provide extra safety and control when solo KAPing.

  • @KAP_Jasa,
    "We now fly separately and with whatever equipment one had when the lockdown started."
    Is that why you ended up flying the Rokkaku in such a strong wind instead of something else?

  • @montagdude - yes :-)
    I mean, I use the old blue Rok as a personal KAP lifter, but if things had been normal, we'd fly a delta or a sled ...

  • That's a story worthy of Windwatcher!!
    Fly High

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