One day, Andy, a pilot, was kiting his wing when he heard a clear but low voice say, “Hello.” Andy questioned, “What?” You must listen carefully, and I will guide you toward being One with my fabric and the air that you fly through, the wing softly mumbled as it reverberated through his risers and brakes. I am going to instruct you in a language known as Winglish, which is a form of body language.
Andy, distracted by his thoughts about the unanticipated communication, allowed the wing to slowly descend to the ground below. He tried to communicate with the wing by asking questions to himself in his brain, but the wing did not respond. In the end, he decided to throw in the towel and get back to work on his practise. After the wing had once more gained altitude, he was greeted with “Hello again, Friend.” Only through your risers and brakes can I connect with you at this time.
Andy had never been very good at kiting and had a hard time learning how to anticipate what would happen while he was flying. When he was learning the fundamentals of kiting, his instructor helped him improve his braking technique so that he could maintain control of the kite and keep the wing in the air. It wasn’t uncommon for the instructor to say “left brake” multiple times before Andy could respond to the situation when the wing shifted to the left. In the beginning, he would take too long to react, and the wing would end up falling to the left. After some time, Andy eventually began to learn how to react quickly enough to catch the movement of the wings. Despite this, there were a great number of instances in which his reactions were too slow.
Andy started kiting once more when he suddenly overheard someone say, “The key to kiting is not just utilising your eyes.” Only through your risers and brakes will others be able to understand what you are saying in Winglish. In order to hear Winglish, you will first need to relax your entire body and tune in to the subtle shifts in the riser tension and brakes. Since Winglish is a physical language, the only way to understand it is through moving your body in the appropriate manner.
The wind picked its speed unexpectedly and shifted its direction very slightly. Feel the pull changing on your harness, the wing warned. Andy observed that the pull did alter the sensation he was getting from his harness. After the wing began to move to the right, he took appropriate action by applying some pressure to the brake on the right side of the vehicle. Because his pull came too late and was a little too strong, the wing overreacted to the left side and caused him to fall back to the ground.
After Andy had given the wing another loft, the message continued, “You see, I have a delayed reaction to the wind when it shifts.” In Winglish, the only way for me to alert you to the change is by referring to your risers and brakes. Before I make a move, I will always try to give you advance notice of the change, but you have not been listening.
Andy had the traditional mindset that his eyes were his most valuable asset when it came to kiting. In contrast, he focused more of his attention than he had in the past on the sensations he was getting from the harness and the brakes. He waited for the wing to talk to him before continuing his wait. Andy finally realised after hearing, “Your arms are too stiff, and this makes your entire body rigid,” that both his arms and body were, in fact, too tense. He focused his attention on loosening up his arms and his entire body. The sound coming from the wing’s communication became a lot clearer suddenly, as if by magic.
The wing continued to speak, Put your hands over your eyes and see if you can sense the wing moving to the side. Andy burst out laughing at first. However, in order to continue this incredible adventure, he gave it a shot. At first, the wing remained directly above him, but then he became aware that it was shifting to the side. When I moved to the side, you were supposed to be able to discern which side it was, but the wing asked nonetheless. Andy confirmed that he had peeped around the corner and checked to see which side the wing had gone to, although he did say that he had a good idea of which side the wing had shifted to. The wing chuckled and remarked, “You will get this yet,” after he finished laughing. Your body will become more attached to me after you have experienced this feeling a few times. As a result of your increased level of relaxation, your kiting has already developed a greater sense of connection. Andy inquired about the sensations that he would personally experience in the harness as the wing moved to the side. The wing responded that Winglish is far too complicated to express in such a straightforward manner. The impression I get is much more widespread than that. As long as your mind continues to pay attention, your body will pick it up.
Andy kited for a bit while he tried to understand what the Winglish was saying. He made an effort to become less tense, focusing particularly on his arms. In addition to this, he started to feel and become aware of the pull that the wing was exerting on his risers and harness. He became aware that right before the wing moved to the side, he would feel it in the harness. This helped him anticipate the movement. He shut his eyes and gradually became aware of being able to feel the wing moving in either direction. When the wing rushed forward, right before it collapsed, he had the epiphany that the amount of lift it produced would decrease. When this occurred for the first few times, the wing would yell “Going, going, gone!” as the wing surged and folded. Andy quickly acquired the ability to recognise the lessening lift that was associated with a surge so that he could seize them prior to their destabilisation.
After what seemed like an eternity, the wing finally addressed Andy, saying, “Andy, you have finally mastered my tongue.” The reality is that I am speaking with you through your body, and the words that you are hearing in your head are not a part of the language that we are using. Whenever you go flying or kiteboarding, I will continue to communicate with you in Winglish. And if you keep making full use of all of your senses, we will be able to look out for one another.
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