Bob Childs 1990
The Broken Yo-Yo launch trick was the product of several hours of experimentation,
making a terrible mess of my lines, trying to come up with some new stuff
To me the best tricks are the ones that have never been seen before and
possess a degree of risk as well as a major thrill factor. Christened
the Broken Yo-Yo because of the way the kite rolls down the lines but
doesn't come back, this move provides all of these elements.
The Broken Yo-Yo has been performed with many delta shaped sport kites
equipped with standoffs.
1. With the kite in a launch position
straight downwind from the pilot, stake the handles in the ground and
approach the kite.
2. Lay the nose of the kite on the
ground pointing toward the handles and directly between the flying lines.
3. Roll the kite, tail over nose one
or two times, effectively wrapping the kite with the flying lines. The
lines should wrap around each wing along the leading edge between the
upper and lower spreaders. Be careful not to snag them on the leading
4. Use the arrow nock on the standoffs
(or homemade equivalent) as a guide to run the lines through. This allows
the pressure from the lines to be supported by the kite's frame and not
the skin. Note that on larger kites, you may have to beef up the standoffs
to handle the extra pressure.
5. Stand the kite up on into a launch
position and tag the flying lines (now coming from under the kite's trailing
edge) over the top spreader connectors to hold the kite in an upright
position. Modern connectors have a low profile and may need to be modified.
Return to the handles.
*NOTE: If your kite is equipped with
a Bone Relauncher, do not tag the lines behind the leading edge connectors,
but instead leave the kite resting on the Bone pointed upwind, lines coming
directly from the trailing edge. With only a tug the kite can be launched.
6. With a smooth motion, lean the kite
forward 45 degrees until the lines pop off the leading edge connectors.
A quick, even pull will swoop the kite into the air. Keep an even hold
and the kite will climb as it unwraps down the lines.
7. As the kite rotates from its final
wrap, it will stall at the end of the lines, ready for forward flight.
When you have mastered the Broken Yo-Yo with one or two wraps, try three
or more. Remember, most advanced tricks require finesse and control, so
do not force this maneuver or the Broken Yo-Yo will end in a broken kite.
Bob Childs 1990
I used this launch maneuver throughout my 1990/91 competition season
as part of a dramatic launch sequence. It was created, however, as a result
of being lazy and trying to find a way to launch the kite after crashing
without having to walk the lines and set up the kite.
In 1989, production sport kites first became available with standoffs.
This was a celebrated improvement as the pilot no longer had to walk to
the kite and stand it up each time to launch. The kite could now be lifted
to launch position aided by the standoffs. They also provided the catalyst
for several innovative new tricks such as the Turtle.
Imagine the kite on the ground directly downwind from the pilot balancing
on its nose. Now imagine taking one step forward thus allowing the kite
to lay down on its back (nose toward the pilot). This is the perfect start
position for the Turtle.
The next step is to pull slowly with the right fly line to cock one wingtip
slightly upwind. Now intensify the motion pulling the wing quickly into
the wind. This action will cause the kite to spin on its back, one wing
rising into the wind, and the kite then flipping over onto its belly (nose
toward the pilot). Of course, having done this, the kite is now in a dead
position and you will have to walk down and reset the kite. Practice this
action a couple of times before proceeding.
The only tricky part of this maneuver is timing a symmetrical quick-pull
of both fly lines at the point when the kite is flipping over onto its
belly. As you have intensified the pull of the right fly line and the
kite has started to flip over, step backward pulling together on both
lines while the nose of the kite is still lifted. This action will launch
the kite skyward. A delayed reaction will cause the kite to belly-flop
hard into the ground. Timing is the key.
Turntable (now called "lazy Susan")
Bob Childs 1992
My Favorite 1992 routine used a Jabberwocky in what was nearly a total
freestyle/trick ballet. It started by tossing the nose of the kite from
my hand into the air, drifting downwind on its back until it reached the
end of the line slack. At that point, the kite rolled down the lines in
a 5 wrap Broken Yo-Yo before flying away.
This routine, which also made use of "back window flying" maneuvers
(flying in the window upwind of the pilot) and "line climbing"
techniques (gripping the lines in changing positions between kite and
handles), was the perfect showcase to perform the Turntable.
After initiating and stabilizing a Feather (a maneuver that sends the
kite onto its back while in flight), firmly draw-in and hold the right
fly line. Remaining on its back, the kite will rotate 360 degrees returning
to its original position.
Once the kite has finished the rotation, return the right line to the
neutral position, then try an opposite rotation by pulling the left line.
I enjoy executing a series of alternating direction Turntables, cascading
down to a Pivotal Position landing. I performed this combination of maneuvers
for my final competition at the 1993 AKA convention.
Bob Childs 1993
My Favorite type of maneuvers are those that are smooth and graceful
yet push the limits of control. I would say the theme of my competition
style is "controlling what appears out of control with fluid movement."
Pivotal Position is the action of landing a kite backward on one wingtip
and then spinning it around forward still standing on that one wingtip.
This is achieved from a Feather position (a maneuver that sends the kite
onto its back while in flight). After initiating a Feather, some kites
can be made to swing gently side to side as a falling leaf may rock and
swing on its way to the ground.
To perform a Pivotal Position, execute a feather directly downwind and
near the ground (about 20 ft). Start the kite rocking by nursing the fly
lines slightly in and out / left and right. The closer the kite gets to
the ground, the more it should rock until finally the kite rocks high
enough that you can step in and stab one of the wingtips on the ground.
The kite will hold still on one wingtip with the nose pointing away from
the pilot (and showing its back).
To spin the kite forward, drop the nose of the kite slightly until it
starts rotating. Timing is critical to lift the nose at the right moment
before the kite noses into the ground. Properly executed, the nose will
drop only enough to start the rotation, then rise to hold the kite in
place on its wingtip as the rest of the kite rotates 180 degrees. The
kite then stands on one wingtip facing the pilot ready to fly away.