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Lesson #6 A look at the Axel (Read 805 times)
Sep 10th, 2008 at 9:58pm
UBNVUS   Ex Member

 
So you want to Axel, the trick that is called the “Gateway to Freestyle Flying”! There are many ways to look at the axel and many ways, and explanations on how to do it. So to be fair, I’ll just give you just my take on how I approach the Axel. Winds should be moderate to low; I find it easier with lower winds. I expect that you can fly around the window without any trouble and that you can somewhat stall the kite anywhere in the wind window, and you know how to get your hands back to neutral. We’ll be using the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions to start with since it will give you a better feel for the move, then we will work to start the Axel from the 12 o’clock position. That said, let’s get started.

First let’s fly our kite towards the right edge of the wind window and watch the kite. When it starts to slow down turn the nose up and walk a step or two towards the kite to relieve tension on the lines. This will actually stall the kite and give you a feeling of the kite not flying. Just don’t let the lines go slack, just relieve the tension on the lines. Notice that the nose of the kite will naturally turn towards the center of the window, in this case towards the left. If it doesn’t turn towards the center of the window, you’re probably going too far to the edge, remember I said to go to the right until the kite starts to slow down, not go to the edge. Now let’s do it again several times so we get a good feel of getting the kite to stall and to get our feet moving.
Now let’s add the inputs for the axel. Fly to the right and do the stall thingy we just worked on. Now keep your eyes on the kite. When the nose of the kite naturally rotates to the center of the window, wait till the nose is at the 10 o’clock position and pop your right hand and at the same time give slack with your left hand. Wow the kite did this goofy thingy and floated to the ground, try rethinking your right hand “pop”. It was actually too hard, it’s more of a medium/soft pop. Let’s try again. OK, fly to the right, stall, 10 o’clock, pop,….AUHHGG! Tip wrap! Ah, I see, you forgot to slack the left hand at the same time as the pop of the right hand. So, let’s do it again, so this time when the kite is pointed at the 11 o’clock position, start slacking the left line so you won’t get it wrapped around the tip. Pop the right hand and you should see the kite go into a nose away belly down position and continue to rotate back to the nose up stalled position just like when you started the axel. Oops! It didn’t go around and stopped in a nose away, belly down position, ( good place to pull both hands and bring the kite to a fade. But we're not working on that!! ) well, after your right hand pop, you need to bring your right hand to the neutral position to slack the line. After the pop, both lines should be slack, so if the winds are up, you may need to move forward to maintain the slack. Now let’s do it again and remember the slack and foot work! Fly to the right, stall, slack left, pop right, slack both, watch kite rotate, the kite is almost pointing at 2 o’clock, take up slack, and fly away! (Remember that different kites require different amounts of slack, so pay attention!!) Congratulations, you just did your first axel! Good job, now let’s do it again and again, and again. That’s good, now do it on the left side and do it the other way but this time pop your left hand when the kite is at the 2 o’clock position, and start slacking your right hand at the 1 o’clock position. Note: As you get used to doing the Axel, you will start working towards starting the Axel at the 12 o’clock position. Start the Axel at the 11 o’clock position, then work it to the 12 o’clock position, then do the same on the other side. Soon you will be Axeling from the 12 o’clock position in either direction.

Once you can do it on the left and right sides of the window, try axeling the kite the opposite way. On the right side of the window, pop your left hand to make it rotate to the right. The more you do this the more you will see how much slack is needed and how soft the pop can be. Good Luck, and remember to have fun !!
 
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Reply #1 - Sep 10th, 2008 at 10:58pm
WinterDaze   Ex Member

 
All I can say now is "No excuses"  8)

Next Reggie you might have to put a 'Kite Hill Prism Ballet' team together, you can be the coach!!

Taking over the world one trick at a time!

WD
 
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Reply #2 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 1:27am

tonycarl60   Ex Member

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Great lesson! So are you saying if you pop the right line, the kite kite rotates around to the left and if you pop the left line the kite rotates around to the right?

Thanks!

 
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Reply #3 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 5:57am
WinterDaze   Ex Member

 
Tony, the short answer yes! You got it!

The wing you tickle will be the one that dances over the strings, so the popping of the inside wing will have it turn nose towards you and away to the outside. Or another way of saying it, the wing you pop will come towards you and over the lines, leave it long enough and it will return to the same spot.

Does that help?

WD
 
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Reply #4 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 6:02am
Iddo   Ex Member

 
Hey Reggie,

Thanks, always the right details are in there.

Cheers,

Iddo
 
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Reply #5 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 7:17am
JaysonB   Ex Member

 
PERFECT timing Reggie! 

Ive met a bunch of new flyers latly and they all ask me "Now that i dont lawn dart what should i work on?" All i have to do now is take a look at lesson 6! Smiley  Thanks again bud you ROCK!

JaysonB
 
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Reply #6 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 7:24am
streamhawk   Ex Member

 
yet another great explanation Reg. I'd just like to say these lessons of yours are invaluable for learning, or just to go back as a refresher, reading what one does put into words, and easily understandable ones at that, is really good stuff. Thanks dude, you da man.

One question....do you find the setup that Dodd does necessary? In other words, right before the pull or pop to rotate the kite, he teaches to slightly push back first, then the pull/pop to rotate the axel. I suppose this helps in getting the high wing/low wing situation, where the higher wing is the one pulled and rotated.

Bill
 
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Reply #7 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 7:43am

Jim_kantaxel   Ex Member

*****
 
As always Reggie-right spot on.
Thanks again!
Your student,
Jim
 
Bagged:Mostly Prisms (ONE! short of everything) ... ...... ...
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Reply #8 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 9:53am
UBNVUS   Ex Member

 
Thanks all, for the comments and support, Bill, I really don't use Dodd's stuff since I have great teachers like Matthew, John and Jim. I just take what they taught me, take what works for me, then develope the lesson. As for what everyone else teaches, it's their preference. I just like to break it down to the easiest moves to get the job accomplished and then to perfect it. It's hard to perfect the Axel if you can't even do one.

Tony, WD is right on, pop right , spin left, pop left, spin right.

Iddo, Glad you liked it.

Jayson, Now you are the MAN! Less than a year and you're teaching already!! I may have to pass the torch.

Jim, As always, your input is always invaluable.

WD, My ol'friend, Jump in any time. Your input has helped so many people. Keep it up!!
 
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Reply #9 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 10:08am
JaysonB   Ex Member

 
So Reggie when are you going to start attaching some videos of you performing your "Lessons"?  Grin

JaysonB
 
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Reply #10 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:22am
benjai   Ex Member

 
Reggie - Nice choice for #6...

I thought I'd keep up my usual of chipping in on these lessons even though my first axel was a while back (still working on them though).

For me there are the standard keys to axeling - stall, then pop and slack, but from continued variation in inputs, I conclude that the absolute must is slack in the off hand (once again slack-line tricks need slack - and once again the obvious stikes the centre of my forehead). You need to understand what you want the kite to do, and then relate that to what the bridle (and hence the lines) need to do. You want the rotation to go via a flare position (nose away belly down). To get there from a flying position the kite needs to rotate about two axes simultaneously. Not only about the yaw axis (that's what I'm calling it anyhow - the one the kite turns around in a normal flying turn) and the pitch axis. So it turns out, the axel has a pitch component! And we know that to get a pitch rotation you need slack (like a flare or a backflip). The trick with the axel is that you need to do both at once, so that means slack on one wing and a pull on the other. This isn't as hard as it sounds, actually if you put slack in both lines and then pop one, the kite will start an axel. To complete the axel, the popped wing needs slack, otherwise you "choke" the rotation early and invariably spear to the ground or tip-wrap. Of course, theres a cool bail out if you spot that the kite isn't going to go much past the flare psotion - a pull on both lines will pop the kite into the fade from which a lateral roll gets you back flying for another go!

There was another thread on axels a little while back - I include my thoughts on tip-wraps for the sake of completeness.

That's all from me for now!

Enjoy.

Quote:
Sounds to me (and I'm no expert) like a lack of slack in the off hand, or incorrect timing. Here's the things I had to learn to get me head around what the axel was really about.

If you don't give slack with the off hand, it's not going to be an axel, just a pull turn.

You are trying to spin the kite around. Without slack on one side, a tug has to pull the whole kite towards you (difficult). If you give slack, the off-hand wing can go away from you when you pull on the other wing. This sets up the spinning motion.

Now the bit that got me past the tip-wrap stage...

What you are trying to do in the axel is drive the wing up and over the lines, while allowing the other wing to drop below. Think of it like this - when you launch the kite you pull the lines and scoop air into the sail giving forward drive. In the axel you do this on one side only. And because there is slack on the off-hand wing, the kite doesn't just turn, but pitches into a flare position during the rotation. Of course, you need to provide slack in both lines to complete the rotation. What I do is stall the kite and just as it starts to drop (preferably with the nose forward a bit), take a step forward. This puts slack in both lines. During the step, give one line a tug and then release. I found this a good way of making sure there is enough slack in both lines.

It was visualising driving the axeled wing up and over the lines with a sharp tug that helped me.

A final tip is that it's easier to axel the wing that is furthest away from you. So in the stall, try playing with the line tension until one wing is pushed further from you than the other. Then tug the further wing. This works because you get more time to give the slack after the pull if the wing starts further back.

Hope that helps...

I made a video a few weeks back of a practice session. There's loads of axels in there, and you can see that I wait for the kite to be stalled, falling slightly with one wing further back and the nose a little forward for the best ones. Enjoy...

VIDEO

 
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Reply #11 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 1:27pm
Folken   Ex Member

 
Thanks Reggie,
you're the man, great choice for lesson #6. I was just starting to play with the axel.

Wish you all good winds
Martin
 
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Reply #12 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 6:34pm
UBNVUS   Ex Member

 
Ben, as I said earlier in another thread. Yo must be a great flyer, if not yet, really soon. Thanks for the input, it really goes along with the lesson, and I like it when people chip in with there comments.

Thanks again!
 
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Reply #13 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 6:37pm
UBNVUS   Ex Member

 
GrinMartin, I was watching the other thread about axels, and I held back so I could see where it was going. I think that sparked my brain into thinking of how to simplify the Axel and I came up with this.

Glad you like it, but I hope it helps you on your way to being a "Freestyle Pilot"!! Smiley Grin
 
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Reply #14 - Sep 16th, 2008 at 7:19am
kitenut   Ex Member

 
Reggie, I've been trying the axel with no success.  I look forward to trying your axel lesson when I get the right wind!  I've printed it out to take to the field! Smiley

cheryl
 
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Reply #15 - Sep 18th, 2008 at 10:07pm
UBNVUS   Ex Member

 
OK Cheryl, hope yo have smooth winds when you try this. Just remember to not go all teh way to the edge of the window. just to when the kite starts to slow down. Good Luck!!
 
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Reply #16 - Sep 19th, 2008 at 6:23am
kitenut   Ex Member

 
Thanks for the tip on not going to the edge of the window.  This is what I had been doing earlier.  Yesterday I had a little bit of flying time.  I tried the first step in your lesson (I had forgotten to bring the print out.)  I got the sense of flying right (not to the edge), stepping forward and feeling the kite flatten a little bit.  I don't yet have the sense of the kite turning toward the center of the window.  I might have managed a very slow axel.  Not sure.  There was barely any wind.

However, when the wind picked up a tad I managed a Flare to fade!  It just happened  Cheesy.  And it was a beautiful thing.

Anyway, following your lesson I can see that I am getting better at stalling and experiencing slack lines.  I'm almost to the point of axeling.

Thanks for your great instruction!

Cheryl
 
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Reply #17 - Sep 19th, 2008 at 12:59pm
UBNVUS   Ex Member

 
Cheryl, sounds like you're well on your way. I'll just be quiet and let your flying do the talking.

Post your results so we can all get that warm fuzzy feeling!!
 
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Reply #18 - Sep 22nd, 2008 at 7:45am
disciple1234   Ex Member

 
Reggie... Thanks for a Million things... first, taking the time to talk to me... turning me onto the "Forum"... Taking my E2 for it's Maiden Flight... Great Advice and now Great Lessons... I just printed off 1-6 and praying that works SLOW and I'll have time to read them... not only today, but I'll carry them with me... along with "Conceptual Kiting"... Wow... You've given me alot to work on... I'd better head out... thanks again... kraig  Grin Grin
 
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Reply #19 - Sep 22nd, 2008 at 9:41am
UBNVUS   Ex Member

 
Hi Kraig, I saw your post in the introduce yourself thread. But I wasn't sure it was you. Anyways Welcome and hope you like the lessons. Like we talked on the Hill, take your time and let it all sink in. Yeah, I did kind of give you a lot to do, but just think, if you get bored at work, you can just read the lessons and visualize them before you go out and try it. BTW, Nice E2, and thanks for letting me give it a fly!! Remeber to reply to the appropriate lesson so we can monitor your progress, and mabe even help if you have a problem. There are a bunch of us ready and willing to help.

Regards!!
 
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Reply #20 - Sep 24th, 2008 at 10:05am
BODEGAVEGA   Ex Member

 
Reggie these lessons are great. on Monday I was able to pull off the axel twice, after only an hour of tip-wrap spiral of death to lawn dart combos.  Seriously though, you do make it very clear for us newbies here in lesson 6. Considering that I am very novice at this, I'm really surprised that I even did it. If I only had the time I need to practice. thanks
 
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Reply #21 - Sep 24th, 2008 at 3:06pm
UBNVUS   Ex Member

 
Beau, Well all I gotta say is Congrats! Looks like I'll be seeing you at some of the kite flies we have with lots of questions for me. That's OK, I'm always happy to help folks out with the basics.
 
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Reply #22 - Sep 24th, 2008 at 4:32pm
kitenut   Ex Member

 
OK, I tried this lesson out again--light winds (the weather web page said 10 mph but I don't think the wind was that strong) .  I was able to fly right, turn the kite up, watch it float to 10:00.  Then I did the right pop, left slack.  The kite went around with some coaxing.  So does it sound like I did an axel?

The left side of the window seems trickier.  I'll get it to the flare stage but I'm not getting it to go all the way around yet.

Anyway I'm making progress Smiley

Cheryl
 
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Reply #23 - Sep 24th, 2008 at 8:19pm
UBNVUS   Ex Member

 
Yes, It sounds like an axel. Congrats!. If you had to coax it around, you may want to try a little harder pop with the right hand and don't forget to give slack with the left hand a split second before the pop. Keep it up Cheryl, sounds like you are on your way!!! Good Job!
 
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Reply #24 - Oct 1st, 2008 at 8:06am
Folken   Ex Member

 
Hi Reggie,
was flying a standard in 2-5mph (broken LLE on the Zeph) and I practiced the axel exclusively, each time I would try one on the right side then fly to the left an try another one. Here's wath I was doing, stall the kite on the edege of the window at 12 o'clock take one or two step, then pop and slack. Wow !!! I can axel they are ugly definately not flat but they are doing a full rotation.

Wish you good winds
Martin
 
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Reply #25 - Oct 2nd, 2008 at 9:23am
UBNVUS   Ex Member

 
Martin, Thanks for the update. don't worry about how they look right now, at least you're doing them and now you can play with the inputs to flatten them out. I would suggest softening the first pop just so the kite won't do a full axel and just goes 1/2 way around just to see if your kite likes to lay flat. Some folks have way too much weight on their kites. If you have any weights on it, I would say to take them off while you practice this move. When your kite does this nose away ting try to see if the nose wants to go up or down, or just stays there. If it pitches up or down, your pop is probably too hard. The Axel if done properly should not be done at the speed of light. It should be this nice flattened out loop done so you can see all the  positions of the kite so you can make adjustments in the middle of the trick. I think of the track and feild event called the High Jump and the kite is the person and the lines are the bar, and the kite jumps over the bar old school style. Not the Fosberry Flop style. If you can visualize this, then you can see the speed of your kite doing the Axel. I never seen a High Jumper rotate over the bar in a blink of an eye, they just seem to just float and glide over the bar and thatls what you kite should look like doing an Axel. Well that's just my opinion anyway. Keep up the good work and I'll wait for a reply after you've played with the axel some more!!
 
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Reply #26 - Oct 2nd, 2008 at 11:47pm

tonycarl60   Ex Member

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I'm finally getting the hang of doing an axel thanks to your instructions. But I have noticed on most of my kites, the axels are doing a slight nose up spiral rather then a completely flat rotation. As far as I can tell, this seems to be the nature of most new school kites, and that's fine. I was wondering if adding a little nose weight instead of tail weight would flatten out the axels. I was thinking  of  trying this by adding a few wraps of solder to the spine at the nose and holding in place with some tape. Worth trying?
 
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Reply #27 - Oct 3rd, 2008 at 8:00am
UBNVUS   Ex Member

 
Tony, I'm really not visualizing the "slight spiral nose up" part, but I take it that it happens with the initial pop to start the axel. Then it flattens out to rotate through the axel. Sounds OK to me, but I wouldn't add weight to the nose, maybe just above the Center T, but I would try to stay away from weights to make one move look better, since it could affect everything else.
 
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Reply #28 - Oct 3rd, 2008 at 8:05am
UBNVUS   Ex Member

 
Martin,

OK. I mis-read your post. Try more slack with your off hand, that may flatten out the kite. If you can do a 540, you can see if the kite likes to rotate with the noves slightly up or not. I do notice some kites rotate flatter than others, but I just make the adjustments and move on.
 
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Reply #29 - Oct 15th, 2008 at 6:05am
Jeremy_BP   Ex Member

 
It would seem that no one has put this up yet, So I will. French kites aren't designed to axel flat. However, it can be done. The trick is, when you axel, not to pop and slack to let the kite do it by it's self, but to pop, and then "roll" the tension between your hands. MarkyMessiah has a better way of explaining it, so I hope he comes in.

--Jeremy
 
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Reply #30 - Feb 27th, 2010 at 10:33pm
Adrian   Ex Member

 
I started in other way............ going to the right and turning the kite outwards  Shocked. Latter on I realize that it was the other way around, It wasn't a long time ago, but now I can do it both sides in both directions. Cool
Thank you I follow you since the 1st lesson and you became a better writer.......... put all the lessons together and you have a book....... Grin
TX
Adrian
 
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Reply #31 - Feb 28th, 2010 at 1:57pm

damp_weather   Offline
Senior Member
Gatwick, UK

Posts: 437
****
 
Quote:
I started in other way............ going to the right and turning the kite outwards  Shocked.
 
Same for me.   I needed on-the-field help to learn it the other way around.  It was very instructive to learn why I couldn't originally do it axeling towards the centre.
Quote:
put all the lessons together and you have a book....... Grin

Yes Reggie, I also hope you will make it into a book, complete with step-by-step close-up pictures.
It can be so much easier to understand from words and pictures than from most videos.  
 
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Reply #32 - Mar 1st, 2010 at 1:10pm

UBNVUS   Offline
Senior Member

Posts: 490
****
 
Well DW, I don't think I'll be writing a book anytime soon, but I thought I might add some video with narration. Anyone willing to hold the camera???? Wink

Adrian, Thanks, but I think I should spread the thanks to WD, Ben, and a few others for helping to make these lessons better. How are you doing on the other lessons??
 

Reggie&&&&I'm too poor to buy, so I might as well fly!
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Reply #33 - Mar 1st, 2010 at 1:23pm
Adrian   Ex Member

 

I thought I might add some video with narration. Anyone willing to hold the camera????
I can do that, I am in NJ   Smiley

All lessons have been very instructive I can do several manuvers since you start with the writing. Thank you,

Adrian
 
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Reply #34 - Mar 1st, 2010 at 1:38pm

UBNVUS   Offline
Senior Member

Posts: 490
****
 
You'll need a good zoom lens since I'm in Seattle!!! Grin

Good job, I actually encourage feed back on the lessons so when people read them they can get a better perspective other than just mine. You should post your thoughts or comments in the lesson the comments pertain to.

Ben did a lot in the fade lesson.
 

Reggie&&&&I'm too poor to buy, so I might as well fly!
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Reply #35 - Mar 1st, 2010 at 10:46pm

anOldMan   Offline
Senior Member
Belgium

Posts: 259
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UBNVUS wrote on Mar 1st, 2010 at 1:38pm:
Good job, I actually encourage feed back on the lessons so when people read them they can get a better perspective other than just mine. You should post your thoughts or comments in the lesson the comments pertain to.

Ben did a lot in the fade lesson.


What happen to the very good lessons on the Cascade?  Shocked  Cry
 

aOm&&&&
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Reply #36 - Mar 2nd, 2010 at 6:07am
Adrian   Ex Member

 
I have to tell you that I am reading again since lesson #2 and thinks make more sense now than before (long winter in between jajaja)
Thank you for words
Adrian

PS: I am flying a Quantum, do you think that other kites allow to make trick easier?
My other kites are lighter since here in NJ sometimes we have no wind.
TX.
 
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