(The text of the compulsory book)
These are my comments on the compulsory book. They follow the CB paragraphs
Priority however are, in my opinion the following issues:
differences in scores for compulsories (same compulsory, same
different judges) show an great increase over the last 5 or 6 years (my scoring
monitors those differences now for more than 9 years) scores start to look more like
of a lottery than the result of judging.
discussions over how figures should be flown and judged repeat
themselves (going back 13 years) without really being solved, and for "new" figures
remarkably similar questions as to "old" ones.
That is why I included a note about the old grid
( you can find an explanation of the old grid, and its relation with the
windwindow here )
The above is also the first reason to strongly advice to change the "value" of
compulsories from 60 to 40% (max.)
The second reason being the relation between the 1 1/2 to 2 min time for
compulsories and the 3 or 5 min of the technical routine.
I have added a small list of existing figures, that, in my opinion are (better)
suited for competition than the ones on the list now (a bit depending on the way
they are defined, "gridwise). More can be found on my,
and you can also find on the extended "Stack" list I made (which contains
more figures than the be familiar with some of the AKA sport kite committee
members) as well as new figures I designed in 1998 for my "common rules".
A way to have a look at figures, almost real, is possible too on the 3D page .
You can walk around on the field, see figures from behind or top (there are
predefined viewpoints) and click away (click "grid?) all lines in the sky. It would be
possible to program new figures, to have some idea how they look like..
(you will need a plug-in for your browser; Cortona 4, from Parallel Graphics works
with almost all browsers, even IE)
We all know, the map is not the world. On a "normal" map the North pole is just as wide as
the equator, and we all know that isn't so. (Still it surprises some people they don't fly over L.A. if they
go from New York to Tokyo, or that the distance between Amsterdam and Moscou is less than
Most of the time we can work well with the flat, paper model of the world. And if the "normal" version
map does not work, f.i. to plot the shortest sailing routes another version is used.
The "map" that is used for the compulsory figures however is no map at all! It is a recipe for the real
world. For competition it is turned into a large (virtual) projection screen, with lines on it, and the way the
shadow of the kite follows the paper diagram is judged. .
The grid is "real", the world (the sky) is flat.
For the pilot it is almost impossible to check if the 'shadow' follows the diagram, for the judges it
looks almost possible, if they are a great distance away (back), in theory at infinity. There is no
need for the judges to try to see what the pilot is seeing!
In my opinion it can be done simpler and better.
To start with the pilot "in real life". There are the wind, the ground, the lines,
specify the position and moves of the kite unambiguously. The two angles that the
with the wind direction, and with the ground give two coordinates (called "polar
usually) that specify the kite's position (like 30deg to the right, 15deg high). A
horizontal line is
defined as flying a path where the angle between kite-lines and ground does not
vertical where the angle between kite-lines and wind direction does not change.
(and we forget
about the word "straight" of course)
Just like with maps, there are several ways to "map" curved flying paths on flat
paper into a diagram; the way I proposed (and used in World Cup 1998) gives
accurate information for pilots and judges, as well as an impression of what can be
expected to be seen, but of course other ways are possible.
As long as the differences and similarities between diagram and reality are
If compulsories are defined using the coordinate system I described, then the
pilot can reasonably easy check if the kite follows the prescribed path, and if the
judges stay close by (the pilot) they can check too. It does not make a difference if
the pilot moves while flying the compulsory (as with the current system) nor if wind
direction changes. Length of lines does not matter. The size of a team does not
matter either, nor the way they 'spread out' over the field (as with the current
system). There is no difference between wind window and "grid" since the grid
depicts (models) the wind window itself.
But the definition of compulsories, and what they are testing needs changing.
Comments on the compulsory book
Wind window and precision grid
- "semicircular plane" that's half a cylinder;
"greatest height a kite can reach at every angle in front of a stationary flier" is
Maybe this definition should be changed, although it is not used in this book.
- don't see any use of this, especially the height of this 'center' is odd
- the grid: get rid of it (see note)
if not, then the following questions need answers (for about 15 years now):
where is the grid? Is the center <0> at the place of the flyer at "IN"? And what
with a pair
or team? Does it move with the flyer (would make judging very difficult), does it
wind changes (same). Does it changes size with different line lengths (at least that
And the "sub-optimal conditions": if I understand the relation of grid and wind
walking backwards makes no difference, only sideways (and only if the place of the
grid is fixed
during a compulsory of course) but at least this remark suggest the place of the grid
on the field
is fixed, while the competitor moves..
The use of color in the diagrams is not very consistent (individual versus
turning them into grayscale versions leaves out significant details. I include on of
(pair figure below)
The size of the 4line kites in the diagrams is too small (given the line length
use) It gives a wrong impression about the relative sizes of components of the
especially for the judges.
Critical components and explanations
only two components, and each worth 30% (only International? Still the AKA
Elephant syndrom?) lays a heavy burden on designers of figures, and writers of
complicates score-databases, scoring sheets and programs, and it did not get scores
compulsories any closer (World Cup)
So I don't think multiplying the number of raw scores given will improve either
flying, and in general the CE's for most figures do not really say anything about
what is to be
tested in a figure.
It might be wise to explicitly give an explanation of what is to be tested with a
figure, as a
guide for both flyers and judges, especially for pair and teams, where being (or
flying as) a pair
or team can be part of the test.
A big problem is that, just as with the 'old' figures, there actually is only a
100 and 0 points. Neither this book, nor the judges book gives any clue how to
imperfection. I introduced "margins of error" a long time ago and that worked and
with both flyers as well as -beginning- judges. Stating the actual to-test-item might
judging too; if a competitor "avoids" the test, by changing -slightly- parts of the
should be lower. (see also comments on pair figures)
Glossary of terms
- "moving the figure in the window" ? Probably "grid"?
"Changing its size" isn't that depending on line length?
- no flown lines will ever be straight in reality, so this can only be meant as
"lines on the
grid" Then a vertical will only start perpendicular to the horizon (that is "reality")
but will not
end straight above the flyer as in reality it always will
- a(-nother) definition of "crash" is wanted here, and maybe of "controlled
Front (belly, bridle side) of the kite should (could) be a separate item
- should not the remark about "ground not being horizontal" be valid for ALL
- if the leading edge IS the nose, should not many lines on the multi line
- I am not sure this defines an axel, this definition also allows a move with the
- "speed control" either is meant as an even speed throughout the figure, or
for pairs and teams both for separate flying paths as well as between the kites. If
is mentioned in the explanation (emphasis on figure element) which of those two (or
- diagonal is neither vertical nor horizontal? Or does it have a specific direction?
and N-S "multi-line" can be ommitted.
And in general
why "multi-line" (and "dual-line") since two lines is "multi" too? (in
will not conflict with "master" and "two/2" not with "discipline")
what to do (how to judge) kites without a leading edge?
In my comments on figures I generally assume the old grid is maintained.
For all figures my advice is look at them with "hard to fly, easy to judge, fun to
watch" (I wrote
that line for the first time, in 1993, and I think it is still valid) in mind, and add to it
"discriminating well between the good and the better flyer". If every flyer gets the
for a compulsory, it is of no use for a competition. Ideally a beginner should score
and a master should score 95, with great effort and a bit of luck. "Well defined"
Also to state what is to be tested with that figure, and if defaults like even
speed are not
to be followed (like, as obvious example "Quadouble S") to explicitly state the
- a test of walking ability, not flying ability. Useless
- The circle is on the diagram, what exactly is "critical" about it . A circle is a
Closed in reality (same point in 3 dimensions) or "on the grid" (very hard to judge)
The same goes for IN/OUT at the same point. (and what is worse, missing the
point and having the OUT at the same -wrong- point or the OUT on another -the
- why are the defaults (speed control, place in the grid) mentioned as "other
- you have to do a difficult circle, and a tricky landing, and yet the verticals are
- you are done "executing a landing" when the kite is on the ground, so what is
close to the ground"? And as far as I can see there is only one right
angle (as in
90deg angle?) Beginners figure, not very suited for competition
- Without a proper, well know (amongst judges) definition this is a tricky figure.
Also how to
judge multiple "axels" of very different quality within one figure? Can all the "axels"
flown cleanly, given the in and out lines of the axels?
- Danger, where? Who is going to judge that? Should not be judged! "Parallel
add something to it, but not enough to make it a usable figure.
- not for competition
- not really suited for competition. "Equal size of IN and OUT horizontal lines"
should not be
there; especially in this figure it will be very hard to judge anyway.
- the original figure without the landing was good enough as a test. Of course
there still is
that problem of the start: if the grid <0> point is at the flyers position at "IN" the
does not exist. (lies outside the wind window)
- have a look at the old description, (or ask the designer) the two center parallel
the given distance, and the equal size of the arcs are the critical points
- there is more than one stall, and, indeed, one has to launch the kite to do the
as "other component"?
Most pilots as well as judges don't realize the kite has to go down half a kite
the last two stalls to keep the nose "on line" Adding "snap" adds little or nothing.
"speed control" ; it has to differ from default, you can not do a stall with even
With pair and team figures I assume there is only one grid, not one for each
means that a number of figures (where the kites fly the same figure parallel) loose a
degree of difficulty if the distance between the pilots is kept the same as the kites
need to have.
That would not be the case if the angle between lines and wind direction would be
defining the figure.
Only some descriptions mention "timing" no description mentions
that is a major part of the test of a lot of figures. In fact with the current
figures can be flown completely separate without a penalty!
- as DI1
- as DI2
- why "speed control" , what are the "other angles". See remark about
- as DI4
- "timing" is not explained; may conflict with "speed control". Have a look at the
description. This figure does not work with just calls from the leader, #2 flyer must
her/himself, as part of a "pair"test.
- walking allowed, so not really a difficult figure for a pair, just usable with string
- simultaneous moves are essential here, as is symmetry. Neither one is
- the squares are the test, not the parallel lines. Define "timing"
- the second meaning of "speed control" here? It does not state that both kites
downward stretch simultaneous!
A shorter diagonal, and defining the little circles as "spin" might help too (see
old book for
def. of loop, spin and roll). A dangerous figure, but don't mention it.
- have a look at the old description. Define "timing". Only the two diagonal lines
(need to be) parallel. Again, just flying this on calls of the leader will not work (very
- Define "timing". If done right, speed control, that is different speed of the two
essential, not the circles itself
- as DI12. I would emphasize symmetry and "simultaneous" here, but maybe one
leave out one of the stalls.
- "simultaneous" is the missing word here. Good enough for competition, one of
that works with 3,4,5,6. Not as good as "Speed Up, Domino Down" I think.
- equal simultaneous squares. Becomes quickly a lot easier with bigger squares.
simple (not very discriminating)
- very uneven degree of difficulty for odd versus even numbered teams. As such
- quickly becomes more difficult for larger teams."Simultaneous turns" missing
- Easy with proper distance between team members (and most teams are
nowadaysto do the calls) see DP6
- no use for 3,5,6. With a bit shorter rectangles nice for demo and practice, not
- forces even a four person team to get kites touching. The phrase "Kites come
the middle of the diagonal descent." is hard to understand (maybe "shoulder", not
would be better?). If I understand it well, and kites get "shoulder to shoulder" ONLY
diagonal descent, it has to be flown totally different, than it used to be. I would not
figure in competition, in this form.
- useless as, even if it works, it only does so for 4 person teams
- even with "timing" defined too simple
- where is that diagonal line kites should form on the descent? One of the nicest
now is nothing
- even with four, and the circle size defined (bigger) it might do in competition,
but it will
work in demo's. The specification for the placements of kites for 3 or 5 person
teams does not
work here, for 3 it is too easy, so not suited for serious competition.
One of the main consequences of the grid definition, combined with -most- four
in -almost any- wind is the time competitors have to walk, sideways, and so leave
out a lot of
the difficulty of the figures. Even more so for pair and teams. Size of the kites in the
should be altered to give a better view on relative size of components.
- define the wanted quality of the rotationS, skip "parallel lines", shorten in and
- a bit too many elements to make judging easy, one step less; for strong wind.
- forget speed control (as extra), add STOP and rotate, not really complex for the
- nice and simple. Forget "launch and land" , that's clear. Not really
the very good and perfect flyer, but will work in most competitions.
- Does not add much to the list. Diagonal flown nose first would be better (if the
a leading edge..) second yellow kite turned the wrong way.
- perfect figure for "relative size of components" . Figure should be a bit bigger
relation to size of kite). Fine
- "Follow the Flow" was definitively more challenging. "Relative size etc." should
Hard to judge the "sloppiness" if not flown well. To be exchanged
- forget speed control. Weighting all 16 elements in a final score isn't easy. Not
- should just have kept The Lollypop
- as with more figures, it is hard to find three scorable elements in an
otherwise"competitive" figure. Forget position and relative placement. The
horizontal a 20%
lower will make judging easier .
- plenty of time to walk, not the test that is suggested. Skip.
- wrong description.( half-) circles (shape and size) are important, speed isn't.
flight. Touch allowed, not necessary. Spacing: Joke?
- straight horizontal, the same for both flyers, is essential, as is rotations without
Speed control in rotations too.
There is no way in escaping the challenge in this figure, and as such ideal for
but maybe too hard for beginners.
- the whole idea is lost if the arcs are not flown simultaneously. spacing is
be specified (at least half a kite -length leading edge- in between) Size does not
control" not needed if simultaneous is specified.
- very "walkable" figure. Just two kites, no "pair" test
- fine figure, but not that easy to judge. Timing should be specified
- see indiv. figure. no real pair test
- too many elements. right circles can be left out, horizontal lines shorter. Add
(on the field usually only the diagram is used)
- both kites make all the turns simultaneously I assume? A bit complicated, hard
scores. would change "spacing" for " parallel lines" as critical
- slightly bigger circles bottom at about 10%. Simultaneous.!
- does not add anything to the list. to be exchanged
- in this form add symmetry as critical. Would be easier to judge (and slightly
easier to fly)
if done parallel (15% apart). Watch linelenght/size!
- time for something round or for some close flying. skip.
- there was a good reason in the original for the "tilted" descent. Timing/sim.
should be improved
- one of the few that would work well with kites without a leading edge. again
- with an odd-numbered team how much up, how much down? Rotations at the
- only possible with a lot of walking, if at all (start) nice demo if a bit smaller, not
- see other comments on same figure
- the IN place does not exist, but if size does not matter? Any rhythm?
- kites will touch so inbuilt penalty, hard for bigger teams. specify speed control
- nice, but who is turning when?
- kites are bigger than 7.5% so they touch. adding "IN" might help. shouldn't
they leave the
left top side of the square at the same time too?
- for three or five? "Iris" works better. skip.
Have a look at:
Two and a half square
Square and circle
Circle and slide
Double double U
Team graduated circles
Knit one, Purl one
Turn in Turn
Circle and square
Follow the flow
Hans Jansen op de Haar