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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Beginners Corner => Topic started by: northwavesailor on August 15, 2013, 11:13 AM



Title: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?: Wolf update + WSIKF
Post by: northwavesailor on August 15, 2013, 11:13 AM
I have been out of the kite world for some time and last was active in the 80's using Rainbow six packs, 6' Flexifoil Stacker and a Hawaiian Spin Off.

I took out these kites last week to the Oregon coast and, while still a blast, things have   changed in the stunt kite world!

I have read a ton on this forum and am considering: Premier Wolf, Premier Widow or the big $$$, made in the USA, Widow Maker. I 'think' I can fly my old school kites OK, but this was before all the new tricks I now see on YouTube videos.

Bottom line: Is the Wolf a good kite (for $100 +/-) for me to get back into kiting or should I shell out a little more dough for the Widow or Widow Maker?

I am planing on making it to Long Beach next weekend and will see more options there including the Revolutions

Thanks,

John


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: adx1592 on August 15, 2013, 11:47 AM
If you're past that crashing stage and were before you took the hiatus, I would certainly look into a higher end kite or a kite like the Widow NG from premier. I prefer the Ocius and the Solus lines myself, but I like the WM line as well. There are also plenty of other good kites out there too for a bit less money then the WMs and a bit more then the Widow NG as well. The flying wings Duende always really interested me as well. Either way you really can't go wrong with Skyburners service and quality. I've been a good friend and Jon and Marieanne since I was 4 years old and they're awesome people that will do what it takes to get the right equipment in your hands and keep you a satisfied flyer.

Good luck with your choice!


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: tpatter on August 15, 2013, 12:19 PM
I've owned all 3: Wolf, Widow, Widow Maker.

In my experience, the Widow Maker was by far the best of the 3, no question.  The Wolf is just too small, although I liked it for high wind, slap it around flying.  My Widow never flew anywhere near as smoothly, predictably, or in wind as low as the WM.   

This was when the Wolf and W first came out, perhaps they have changed since then.  I'm just saying that I don't think they compare well at all to the WM.


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: Crescent City on August 15, 2013, 01:31 PM
I agree with TPatter, the skyburner kites all give a lot of value for the money and the WM is many peoples favorite all time kite.  Right now I only have one flyable kite and its the Wolf.  NOT as good as the WM but a third of the price and possibly the toughest most robust kite out there.  Needs nice wind to fly but IMMENSLEY trickable.  I beat my kites up and also let anyone fly them and the wolf is still going....plus its an awesome kite in strong wind. 

So my recommendation.......if you have good coastal wind go for the Wolf or Widow.  If you need an ul spend the money for the Widowmaker and you'll be happy for a long long time.

I live on the coast and have the luxury of lab wind and love my Wolf (thanks Brett!)




Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: mikenchico on August 15, 2013, 02:30 PM
Yep, agree with Tom desirability order starting from the best follows the price range

1: Widowmaker
2: Premier Widow
3: Wolf

But it does depend on what you really intend to do. If your serious about learning tricks the Widowmaker is a good kite, if your really want to invest in a good kite even if tricks are not at the top of your list the Widowmaker is still a good investment since it'll fly figures quite well, better then many kites that are designed with tricking as a top priority.

The Premier Widow costs about half the price of the Widowmaker when you take into account that it comes with satisfactory lines where you'll have to buy lines in addition to the Widowmaker. It's very close in design to the Widowmaker using some less expensive materials and off shore construction so it's not as refined as the Widowmaker and gives up a little performance.

If you just want to have fun at the beach or your local park on odd weekends and you have winds above 4-5 MPH regularly then the Wolf is a fun kite. Like Tom, I have a blast with it in higher unruly winds and it has proven itself to be near bulletproof having withstood some pretty serious abuse from me in winds I wouldn't fly or enjoy my larger kites in. But unless you have pretty smooth winds above 4 MPH you'll struggle with it at the low end.

Here's a 4th choice, mid price like the Premier Widow - The Skyburner Freestylist at only $170. It has the same excellent craftsmanship found in the Widowmaker being fully made in the USA by the same craftsmen. Sails constructed by Heads Up using a quality Nylon rather then the costly Polyester, then framed & bridled by Jon T the designer. A bit smaller then the Widowmaker or Widow, it uses straight Skyshark spars rather then the more expensive tapered spars but that's how Jon designed it. Like the Widowmaker you'll still need to purchase lines bringing it into the $200 range total cost. I enjoy mine a lot, it has a good wind range going almost as low as the Widowmaker and I'll fly it in higher winds then I enjoy flying my Widowmakers in.



Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: northwavesailor on August 15, 2013, 09:55 PM
Thanks for the  opinions, replies and guidance!

I saw Tom's YouTube video with his 8 yo flying a WM, so I can see why he would go for this great Sky Burner kite!

As I have been away from stunt kiting for some years, I may just start with a sub $300 kite to be sure I get out flying more and it doesn't gather dust on a shelf in my garage for 20 years! I may snag a WM if the kite bug bites and I continue to fly. It looks like a killer kite and made in the USA.

The reason I got away from stunt kites back in the early 90's was due to another severe wind sport addiction............windsurfing the Columbia River Gorge. Ironically, we refer to the kite boarders as 'the dark side'!

Looking forward to The Long Beach festival.

Thanks for the help!


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: ko on August 16, 2013, 06:41 PM
if you are going to Long Bch you might want to try a few O.P's kites before you buy.There are a lot of great kites out now. The Widow Maker is a fantastic kite but a little dated IMO but still a great kite.


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: northwavesailor on August 16, 2013, 08:22 PM
Hi KO,

I guess I don't know what 'O'P' kites are?


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: Desertflier on August 16, 2013, 08:49 PM
Other peoples.    ;) 


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: northwavesailor on August 16, 2013, 09:48 PM
OK...........'other people's kites'

In my best Homer Simpson................ "DOAH!"


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: ko on August 16, 2013, 09:58 PM
sorry about that


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: northwavesailor on August 16, 2013, 10:03 PM
KO,

Was that a Maxwell Smart: "Sorry about that, chief"?


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: northwavesailor on August 19, 2013, 09:15 PM
Update:

With a thumb up from both 'Crescent City' & 'Mikenchico' regarding the durability and flyability (is that a word?) of the least expensive option I was considering, the Premier Wolf, I bought one!

As I have been away from stunt kites for quite a few years and any of these options would be a totally different kite for me to fly, I figured I'd start with a $100  kite and see what I can do with it. If the 'slack line' learning curve is steep, I won't worry as much about crashing the Wolf. They are still making and selling many great kites costing real $$$, but I need to be sure I am serious about flying stunt kites more than a few days a year before spending real dough.

If the bug bites, as it did back in the 80's, I can always step up to a modern top shelf kite!


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: Ca Ike on August 19, 2013, 11:34 PM
You should head out to kite hill in seattle and ask to try out a few high end kites.  I'm sure Tom , Dihong and other that fly there would be happy to let you have a go.  Being a small kite the wolf will have a steep learning curve just because its a fast kite. 


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?
Post by: mikenchico on August 20, 2013, 12:00 AM
Well if you're here at Long Beach for WSIKF or coming out later this week that should get you excited about flying again. There are not as many of us dual line flyers as there were 20 years ago but we sure have better kites available to us than we had in the 80's and early 90's.

You have some sweet kites from that early period though. The Flexifoils are still available and there's never been anything else quite like a Flexi, that Spinoff is a legendary kite that started many of us on the addiction, and a Rainbow six pack will still draw a crowd. Don't retire them completely.

We're at WSIKF for the week and have 2 Widowmakers, 2 Freestylists, a Wolf and a Nighthawk from Jon T in the bag, along with a few Blue Moons from Ken a couple Mamba's, an Exile, a Muse and a 61/49. The dual bag is rounded out with a few from Prism, a Quantum, a Micron and a Switch, and a couple from Flexi a 6' & 8'. We had to travel light this year and the choices were made to keep me and Rhonda happy and to have some we knew we could put into the hands of some less experienced flyers without worry.



Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?: update
Post by: pyroflyer on August 22, 2013, 09:46 AM
I would suggest the Widow Maker also. Great kite, great quality, flies in light winds. Made here in the good ole US of A. The Widow NG is a good choice if you want something in that price range also. I think it flies better than the Older Widow for sure.. The Wolf is a bit small for my likes as far as comparing it to the other two. Bottom line is if you can afford the Widow Maker it's a really good kite.


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?: update + WSIKF
Post by: northwavesailor on August 22, 2013, 10:07 AM
Hi Pyroflyer,

It isn't really a matter of what I CAN afford, it's more of a matter of if I will get back into stunt kites as I did back in the 80's. I bought the Wolf as I didn't want a great kite, like the WM, to spend possibly 10-20+ years in my garage only to be sold for $1 at an estate sale after I leave this pebble!

If I DO get back into it, there are lots of great kites I would love to try and buy, the WM being among them.

Windsurfing (and chasing wind!)takes most of my free 'windy' time but stunt kites could fill the gap between November and April!

We plan to go to the WSIKF Sunday (after a day in The Columbia River Gorge windsurfing, Saturday???) and see what the 'new school' dual and quad line kite flying is about.


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?: update
Post by: Ca Ike on August 22, 2013, 10:42 PM
There are a lot of forum members at wiskf so you can meet a lot of people that will help you out.  Want to try a rev hit up one of the many rev fliers there and enjoy Penny lingenfelters skits.  Want to try a dual hit up one of the many dual fliers there.  Also hit up magnusen park aka kite hill in seatle to meet more fliers with kites to try.


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?: update
Post by: northwavesailor on August 25, 2013, 11:22 AM
We made it to the WSIKF Saturday and the weather was FANTASTIC! Wind was perhaps a  little light for most (some) flyers but still lots o' kites and line laundry a plenty.

While walking in, we saw 3 dual line kites flying together and were excited to see Ray Bethel doing his thing! What a way to start a Saturday in Long Beach.

I then met 'Mr. Revolution', Joe Hadzichi, and took a basic, and somewhat humbling, intro Rev lesson. I think getting the basics from the man who started the rev thing was a bit intimidating and dual line habits are hard to break, at least for me! He was fantastic teacher and a very nice, humble guy who JUST happened to change the sport of stunt kiting. I think I was too star struck to just relax and 'get it'

Perhaps most dual line flyers have a hard time adjusting to the Revolution's 4 lines and control. I am taken by what CAN be done with these kites and may try another go with one, but am not quite ready to buy one.................quite yet.

 Late in the day with almost no wind, I saw a woman fling a Revolution Zen model that she had custom made in rainbow colors with black between the cells and it was BY FAR the best looking Rev (IMO) we saw all day. Don't know how much I'd use an ultra light Zen, but perhaps with some vents it would have a pretty good range, but man did it look good, like a stained glass widow backlit late in the day.

Didn't want my maiden flight of the Wolf to be at a kite festival so I'll get it out soon and see what it can (and can't) do before I decide if a Revolution is for me.


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?: update + WSIKF
Post by: Ca Ike on August 25, 2013, 12:30 PM
No reason you can't do both :)  a lot of us do.  That sounds like it might have been Penny's zen you saw.  She's another rev flyer thats great to learn from and a hoot to hang around with.


Title: Re: Re: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?: update + WSIKF
Post by: trigger on August 25, 2013, 01:05 PM
I know star struck... Mark Reed showed me how to fly a Zero G at the michigan kite festival... Before i knew it Jon T was over talkin to us....

 i fly both,  duals on light wind days and vented rev on windy days.


Sent from my SCH-S720C using Tapatalk 2


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?: update + WSIKF
Post by: northwavesailor on August 25, 2013, 02:30 PM
No reason you can't do both :)  a lot of us do.  That sounds like it might have been Penny's zen you saw.  She's another rev flyer thats great to learn from and a hoot to hang around with.

If it was Penny's, great, I'm afraid I didn't ask her name but had to tell her the Zen Rev was BY FAR the nicest we saw amongst the many flying!

Not picking at the Rev's stock color options, some are pretty nice, but quite a few are pretty basic. If I'm spending $300-$500+(custom) it's going to be a kite that looks great (IMO) and Penny's was fabulous.


Title: Re: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?: update + WSIKF
Post by: skb on August 25, 2013, 07:05 PM
Quote
[...] Late in the day with almost no wind, I saw a woman fling a Revolution Zen model that she had custom made in rainbow colors with black between the cells and it was BY FAR the best looking Rev (IMO) we saw all day. Don't know how much I'd use an ultra light Zen, but perhaps with some vents it would have a pretty good range, but man did it look good, like a stained glass widow backlit late in the day.

That sounds like Sari's kite. She has a set of matching black-framed Revs.
(http://i.imgur.com/86c4OV2.jpg)


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?: update + WSIKF
Post by: northwavesailor on August 25, 2013, 07:24 PM
Yup!  I would think that would be Sari's Rev I saw..............man, was that a nice looking kite in the evening back lit light!

A kite that nice could get me into the quad-line Rev camp!

Until I got the hang of it, I would be like the guy showing up at the mountain with the latest top $$$ gear.................and can't ski!


Title: Re: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?: update + WSIKF
Post by: northwavesailor on September 08, 2013, 09:56 PM
At long last I FINALLY got out and flew the Premier Wolf.................WOW..........this is not my grandfathers stunt kite! Coming from a Hawaiian Spinoff, Flexi stacker and 6 pack of Rainbows these 'new school' kites really respond to inputs. Can't be sure what I did (perhaps my own made up 'tricks'?) but just getting the feel of what it does and can do was a blast.

A big thanks to Theresa from The Kite Shoppe for pointing me in the right direction to a Vancouver flying spot with good NW winds late on a Sunday afternoon (Frenchman's Bar park) Next time we'll head down to Delta Park in Portland to learn a trick or 2 from those that know how to do them properly! 

Picked up a used like new Skyburner Delta Drive UL for lighter days and hope to get it up soon on a lighter day. I love the looks of the new Lam Hoac ATM and hope The Kite Shoppe has one soon for this rookie to try and hopefully buy!