Kiting, kiting, and more kiting. The entire month of February revolved around kiting my wing.
Practicing forwards in no wind…
And unintentionally kite surfing across the back yard…
When I first learned to paraglide, I hated kiting. It was the most frustrating thing I had ever done. After three days straight of being dragged on my ass, slammed down on my face, and line burn – I was not a happy camper.
Once I got it figured out, however, I started to love kiting. And now it’s a nice, mellow, love-hate relationship (love being the predominant feeling) depending on the weather and how much energy I have when I pull my wing out.
Kiting was the main focus this month, because the kiting is going to be more strenuous on my shoulder than the actual act of flying is. Plus it’s a back-to-basics thing. More advanced ground handling translates to better control of the wing on launch and in flight. Become one with the wing! 😉
Once I’m in the air and in my seat, my shoulder pretty much gets a break – unless you count keeping my hands elevated in my toggles, and some movement here and there. But that doesn’t seem to cause any discomfort.
Forward launches however… Now those hurt. My shoulder goes weeks without a twinge of pain…and then one forward launch later and all of a sudden I’m looking at my shoulder to make sure my arm is still connected and it hasn’t fallen off!
And this is without a motor on.
So what do I do? I keep training. I keep working out and strengthening my shoulder, and I keep freaking kiting. Until either it doesn’t bother me, or I get so good at working with the wing that it takes less work to get it overhead, thereby lessening the shoulder twinge.
Back to basics… with a lot of ibuprofen!