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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kites => Topic started by: facesnorth on July 16, 2009, 09:12 PM



Title: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: facesnorth on July 16, 2009, 09:12 PM
I'm interested to know which dual line kite would be considered the absolute best for precision flying.  Let's name your TOP THREE, in order, and one has to be currently available, but the other 2 can be out of production (or currently available).  These kites can have excellent or zero tricking ability.  Also, they can be very cheap or very expensive, it does not matter.  I'm interested to hear your top three precision dual lines of all time.  I'd get it started myself, but my experience is too limited to be meaningful.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Gardner on July 16, 2009, 09:24 PM
Prophesy

Gardner


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: kitesyoyos on July 16, 2009, 09:29 PM
Good day,
1. Falhawk THP Platinum
2. Northshore
3. Nirvana?

Cheers,
martin


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: facesnorth on July 16, 2009, 09:33 PM
Nice, that's 3 kites already that I've never heard of.  Please include the manufacturer's name as well, if possible, because otherwise it can be hard for us noobs to look up info on the kite.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Allen Carter on July 16, 2009, 09:46 PM
There will be confusion in this thread over competition Precision flying and regular "precision" flying.


Top pick - Spectra Sport Reactor Pro - '94

Semi-modern - L'Atelier Lithium - '99

Current - I have no idea. None of the current production kites I've owned was designed specifically for precision flying.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: facesnorth on July 16, 2009, 10:13 PM
That shows my inexperience, because I don't know the difference between competition and regular precision flying.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: lasapcheong on July 16, 2009, 10:23 PM
I'm no precision flyer but is there a difference between a kite tuned for individual precision vs team precision?

The Masque Comp looks pretty good and popular might want to consider that.

-Darryl


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: zippy8 on July 16, 2009, 10:46 PM
#1 is North Shore Radical. You just can't argue with results.

The THP Platinum was used to beat the NSR so it's clearly in there of the retros. Most of them reside in France these days.  :)

Currently I'd go for the Fury if I was just cutting figures.

(that's Top of the Line, Falhawk and Kite Related Design in that order BTW)

Mike.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Adicakes on July 16, 2009, 11:16 PM
The THP Platinum was used to beat the NSR so it's clearly in there of the retros. Most of them reside in France these days.  :)

I don't personally own one, but there's a fair few Platinums in Australia too, particularly with respect to the small number of flyers here.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: chilese on July 16, 2009, 11:30 PM
The NSR is very good. But it feels heavy in comparison to.....

1 Mojo
2 Lithium (my comp precision set for 3 years so I may be biased)
3 AirFX (Mojo's daddy)


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: KaoS on July 16, 2009, 11:52 PM
AirFX


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: facesnorth on July 17, 2009, 12:28 AM
All these reply's are awesome, and please continue, but can someone elaborate one why there is a difference between competition and "regular" precision?


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: zippy8 on July 17, 2009, 01:24 AM
The NSR is very good. But it feels heavy in comparison to.....
This is Precision we're talking about here. It's not supposed to be easy.  >:(

Actually, the Aerie Air F/X is a good addition as is the Blackbird #1.

Mike


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: inewham on July 17, 2009, 01:29 AM
All these reply's are awesome, and please continue, but can someone elaborate one why there is a difference between competition and "regular" precision?

The difference between flying a set of predefined figures that are difficult to fly at the best of times but you have to do them in whatever the wind brings from a gale to a gnats breath, and just flying geometric shapes just for fun ?

e.g. IMO the BMK Mamba is great for flying precision for *fun* but too fast, lacks easy speed control for flying figures in competition (no insult to Mambas intended, I picked a kite I really like )

Any reasonably precise kite will let you fly a geometric figure but for competition you want something that is:
- slow when the wind picks up without dying when the wind drops
- solid feeling on then end of the lines, a steady pull
- very wide window
- can be stalled on demand but doesn't stall when you don't need it e.g. when cutting a sharp corner

I flew Sandpiper 95s for the couple of seasons I flew in local winter leagues; great for all the reasons above and made precision very accessible but by contrast to the Mamba mentioned above, not a lot of fun to fly 'recreationally'


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Kantaxel on July 17, 2009, 02:52 AM
I could only answer with experience from the one's I've flown...........they would be:

1) Northshore Radical

2) Prophecy

3) QPro


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Francois on July 17, 2009, 03:01 AM
R-Sky Krystal would be my pick


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: aerialis on July 17, 2009, 03:05 AM
This (http://community.aerialis.no/modules/wfsection/article.php?articleid=116) might add to your confusion!  ;)


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: anOldMan on July 17, 2009, 04:19 AM
Finally, a mention of the QPro.  :)

As a precision kite it has proven itself in competition. The must be up in the top five in this type of flying.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Jared on July 17, 2009, 02:06 PM
Isn't the Cosmic TC supposed to be the new king of competition precision flying?  It's got about 125 different settings if you take all the knots into account...


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: KeithG on July 17, 2009, 08:18 PM
Shiva by CDC
Machine by RonG
Viper and Vendetta by Shawn T.
Nirvana by R-Sky.

These five are the best I've flown for precision and out side of the Shiva they are all top level trick kites.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: fworley on July 17, 2009, 08:53 PM
Viper and Vendetta by Shawn T.
This ^^^ is spot on.

Just buy a Vendetta from Shawn and have the best of all worlds (and for not much dough)

(The UL is best)

-Frazer


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: facesnorth on July 17, 2009, 10:48 PM
So far these are the kites with 2 or more mentions:

Aerie Air F/X x3
Top of the Line Northshore Radical x3
Prophecy x2
Falhawk THP Platinum x2
Nirvana x2
L'Atelier Lithium x2
QPro x2
Vendetta x2


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: imarche on July 18, 2009, 05:01 AM
Of those I've flown, in order of preference:

1) L'Atelier Masque Comp
2) Prism QPro
3) North Shore Radical
4) STX
5) Nirvana


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: ezme6 on July 18, 2009, 07:34 AM
This ([url]http://community.aerialis.no/modules/wfsection/article.php?articleid=116[/url]) might add to your confusion!  ;)


What a terrific write up. Took a lot of work and time to put together. Thanks X10


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: chilese on July 18, 2009, 10:14 AM
I would have voted for our T2 Zero but Bambi never lets me fly it.

(http://inlinethumb54.webshots.com/43125/1092958689049870108S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://sports.webshots.com/photo/1092958689049870108lWYgtE)


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Allen Carter on July 18, 2009, 10:50 AM
I flew the pink monster quite a few times back in the day. Great kite, for sure.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Sketch on July 18, 2009, 01:05 PM
Hummmmm?
 ::) ;)
So much depends on how ANY of these popular precision kites are truly only as good as the flyer's talent behind the line set and just how well those beautiful precision kites are adjusted for the flying conditions at the moment.
Every flyer on this earth...I would ponder---out yonder, has their own favorite kite.
Soooooooooo many great kites...yet to fly n' buy (if we could had the time, talent or money, honey!! :'(


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: mikenchico on July 18, 2009, 02:31 PM
I have some very precise kites, they do precisely what you didn't expect or ask them to do  :D

Seriously though the Avenger by Jerry Sinote circa 1984(?) after the addition of some stand-offs tracks like it's on rails. But your not going to stall this kite anywhere in the window. Of kites available today that I have experience with I still find the Prism Quantum (not Pro) to have well regulated speed with good feel & drive throughout the window and very acceptable accuracy in its wind range.



Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Allen Carter on July 18, 2009, 03:27 PM
So far these are the kites with 2 or more mentions:

Aerie Air F/X x3
Top of the Line Northshore Radical x3
Prophecy x2
Falhawk THP Platinum x2
Nirvana x2
L'Atelier Lithium x2
QPro x2
Vendetta x2


Reactor Pro was mentioned twice (once in the team kite review)  :) :) :) :) :)


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: hdegive on July 19, 2009, 11:32 PM
Make that 3 for the Lithium. Well made kite too.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: drzewko on July 22, 2009, 06:14 PM
1. AeroStar - Sano SS
2. AeroStar - ZeroStar
3. LevelOne - New Age


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: ainokea on July 22, 2009, 07:29 PM
1. Spectra Edge - 2 World Cups
2. North Shore Radical - 1 World Cup
3. *Platimun AVS
4. *Platimun Pro Comp

The first 3 kites flown by 3 time consecutive World Champs, Team High Performance.

* Designed by Team High Performance, but never used in competition. (personally, the AVS is better than the Edge)
I threw in the P/C just because I feel that's it preforms a little better than the AVS in lighter winds, but still can
handle high winds.
(I was one of the test pilots during the design of the Platinum series of kites)

Ian


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Texanpilot on July 22, 2009, 08:53 PM
Not to knock the Sano (I have three of them and love them for tricking), but it's not a precision kite.  It'll do okay figures, but if you've flown some of the other listed precision kites (I have a Prophecy and QPro), you'll see a huge difference. 

I have a question, though.  What about the Jones Airfoil Mirages?  Has anyone here flown them.   I saw their website when they were re-introduced a couple of years ago, and they were being pitched as the ultimate precision wings (Of course, much of that will be advertising hype).   Of course, you couldn't hope to do any tricks with them. . . .


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: zippy8 on July 22, 2009, 11:56 PM
2. North Shore Radical - 1 World Cup

More (http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=909.0). Many more.

Quote
3. *Platimun AVS
4. *Platimun Pro Comp

* Designed by Team High Performance, but never used in competition.

Not by them maybe but they were used in competition.

And I really don't think we want to go down the road into debating the merits of each version of each kite.  :)

Mike.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: ainokea on July 23, 2009, 09:35 AM
2. North Shore Radical - 1 World Cup

More ([url]http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=909.0[/url]). Many more.

Quote
3. *Platimun AVS
4. *Platimun Pro Comp

* Designed by Team High Performance, but never used in competition.

Not by them maybe but they were used in competition.

And I really don't think we want to go down the road into debating the merits of each version of each kite.  :)

Mike.




This post was reffering to THP on what kites they used to win the W/C.
I could care less on who else used the Radical to win the W/C.

As far as the Platinum kites being used in competition, after THP broke up, I left Alan's shop and and also could care less if it was used in competition.

By the way, have you flown the Platinum kites?
It's just my opinion that those kites flew better. And I still feel that way.

Ian


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Allen Carter on July 23, 2009, 09:57 AM
Not to knock the Sano (I have three of them and love them for tricking), but it's not a precision kite.  It'll do okay figures, but if you've flown some of the other listed precision kites (I have a Prophecy and QPro), you'll see a huge difference. 


OK, so this is a good opening.   :)

Very few people actually fly figures (competition figures) for fun. As a technical challenge and skills demonstration in a comp figures are great, but very few people compete. If the original poster is looking for a comp kite most of this thread is a waste because modern comps require modern kites. If they are looking for kites that fly well, then just talking about kites that can do an easy octagon is short sighted.

I think the term precision or Precision is a lousy way to refer to the flight characteristics of a kite.

See my next post.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: RonG on July 23, 2009, 10:10 AM
Not to blow my own horn  ;) .............. but it would take an awful lot to convince me to give up the Machine as a precision kite.  It doesn't do everything perfectly, but precision is where the design started, and it's still what it does best.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: sbrown on July 23, 2009, 10:11 AM
Kitemandu Fanatic FX (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v390/skb/misc%20stuff/Jims_Kitemandu_kites/): deep 3D keel, twin tail rudders and 4 wings kept the speed constant and it went where you pointed it until you told it otherwise.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: zippy8 on July 23, 2009, 10:12 AM
I could care less on who else used the Radical to win the W/C.
...and also could care less if it was used in competition.
Just FYI, we're not really into that kind of snotty attitude in the rebooted forum.

Quote
By the way, have you flown the Platinum kites?
I had the full set of SUL, Pro Comp and AVS for a few years. I've described them in the past as the end of an evolutionary line of hardcore Precision-only kites. For me they were the last truly great kites of that type. Everything since then has been at least compromised in some way to allow slack line tricks - the Falhawks weren't - and if my life depended on cutting some figures.... I'd probably use an NSR ;) but the Platinums would be right behind.

I'd probably toss the Tandem in there too but it's a one wind range kite.

Mike.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Allen Carter on July 23, 2009, 11:07 AM
All these reply's are awesome, and please continue, but can someone elaborate one why there is a difference between competition and "regular" precision?


I made my own opportunity for my semi-annual rant about "Precision" as a word, concept, competition discipline, kite attribute, flying style, etc.
 
 ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

OK, so I think precision is a lousy term to describe a kite's flight characteristics. Problem is, it's about the only term folks tend to use around here. For lack of something better, or maybe it's just meant to be a catchall.

Precision with a capital P is the name of a type of sport kite competition. Most people think of drawing geometric figures in the sky. Even if they've never see a comp. Very few people fly that way in real life. The requirements for a Precision comp kite have changed a lot. These days you can see some of the best trick flying in the Precision Technical Routine. As you don't need to choreograph your moves to music, folks are able to incorporate tricky stuff that just wouldn't work in Ballet.

I'd say Technical is a MUCH better term than Precision in a comp context. But Precision it is, and because we are used to talking about kites that are good for flying geometric patterns when we talk about Precision comp kites, we're really not talking about what a kite needs to do well in a modern Technical Routine.

So since hardly anybody competes anymore (even when they did, comp flyers were a small percentage of the gen pop) it's safe to say very few people are spending time flying geometric shapes over and over again. So Precision with a capital P is not a great way to reference a kite's flight characteristics.

So then there's precision used as an adjective. "The kite has good precision"

You hear it all the time. What does that mean?

I suppose it could mean the kite would be appropriate for Precision competition, but since nobody flies that way in the real world it would be meaningless.

I think it's generally a short cut to something like "The kite flies straight lines easily and can do nice sharp corners"

Good to know. But what about all the other flight characteristics? I think that in general folks spend so little time flying (vs. tricking) that how the kite flies just isn't very important to them. Being able communicate about flight characteristics is pretty low on the list.

But there is so much more about they way kites fly, how they handle, what they look like in flight. I tend to think in terms of kites that fly well rather than in terms of precision. Some of my best flying kites fall down on the traditional measures like "tracks or rails" or "snappy corners" but have outstanding characteristics in other areas.

Of course, "fly well" is even more vague... 

So here's are some characteristics that I tend to think of when judging the flight quality of a kite, and then some examples.

Speed Control

Some kites seem to have two speeds: Go and Stop. They are not so happy with the in betweens. Some kites have a much wider range of controllable speed. This is of course a highly desirable attribute for flying precision figures (and for pairs & team), but a kite that responds well to speed up and slow down inputs is just more fun to fly. Much more expressive in the sky and much more fun to fly to music.

Edge Handling

Some kites get out towards the edge of the Window and get unhappy. Some kites get out there and float around in perfect control and can do all kinda fun stuff. This relates to stable  stall behavior in general, and makes for a much bigger useable window.

Exiting Stall

Some kite just seem to have to be dragged out of a stall kicking & screaming and accelerate slowly from stop. Others are like "OK, let's GO!". This isn't just the angle of attack setting providing more drive, but the overall design. More drive will get you out of a stall faster, but will make getting into the stall harder. A kite that is nimble into and out of a stall is great.

Spin Control

Related to speed control but different. Being able to speed up, slow down & change the radius of spin easily. For example, a slow tight spin, vs. a spin that just gets faster as it it gets tighter.

And of course there are other attributes. A whole bunch of stuff adds up to making a kite that's fun and expressive to fly. Sometimes sharp corners and wobble free lines aren't the most important. For instance, some of my best handling kites have to be tended on a line. I can fly them plenty steady for fun, but they might not be a good choice for competition, where you sometimes want to think ahead and let the kite fly a while. The Prophecy is a big, smooth kite, but it just doesn't do hard, sharp punch turns very easily. I can put on a great show with it, but the turns are a liability for comps. It has amazing edge handling.

So, when it comes down to it, I think people are maybe missing out when they think in terms of "precision" kites. I wouldn't categorize the Proph or a Midi as Precision kites, but they are two of the best flying kites I own. The Midi is small and quick, but with all kinda great handling qualities. This may be the kind of thing that prompted the Sano reference. A great flying kite.






Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: ainokea on July 23, 2009, 12:34 PM
I could care less on who else used the Radical to win the W/C.
...and also could care less if it was used in competition.
Just FYI, we're not really into that kind of snotty attitude in the rebooted forum.

Quote
By the way, have you flown the Platinum kites?
I had the full set of SUL, Pro Comp and AVS for a few years. I've described them in the past as the end of an evolutionary line of hardcore Precision-only kites. For me they were the last truly great kites of that type. Everything since then has been at least compromised in some way to allow slack line tricks - the Falhawks weren't - and if my life depended on cutting some figures.... I'd probably use an NSR ;) but the Platinums would be right behind.

I'd probably toss the Tandem in there too but it's a one wind range kite.

Mike.

Call it what you will, but I don't see it as having a "snotty attitude " just because I don't care about who used what kite in the W/C, or if the Platinum was used in competition. When I left HPK, I didn't care about flying competiton, or the W/C anymore, and I still don't. Those days are behind me and it was fun while it lasted, but it's over now, for me.

But I do agree with you about the Platinum kites being the end of an evolutionary line of kite. An I'm just the opposite of you, for cutting figures, I'd go with the Platinums first, then the NSR.  ;D

Ian


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: facesnorth on July 23, 2009, 11:03 PM
All these reply's are awesome, and please continue, but can someone elaborate one why there is a difference between competition and "regular" precision?

I made my own opportunity for my semi-annual rant about "Precision" as a word, concept, competition discipline, kite attribute, flying style, etc.

I'm still watching this thread closely.  Lots of good information.  Still "digesting" some of what was said, but I think I'm getting it.  I really don't have any interest, personally, in competing.  But I wouldn't mind seeing one if there ever is any around here.  I'm trying to develop an expanded sense of the kite flying world.  And it seems like most of the emphasis nowadays is on tricking.  So I want to understand the old school a little better, and see if there's any thing I'd enjoy that I may miss out on otherwise.  I can't trick yet, anyway, all I can do so far is fly around, take off, and sometimes land.  So I'm interested in learning about kites that fly well, and curious about kites that fit some of the categories you mentioned of flying well.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: tpatter on July 23, 2009, 11:14 PM
I think a specific kite flys, tricks, handles, and maneuvers well or it doesn't - no excuses.  Currently, I think there are kites out there (3 that I've owned, surely many more) that give you all you need in both the tricking and precision category with no compromises - it comes down to what "flavor" you like.  I don't think you have to make a choice - you can have it all. 

Now, if you are talking, "all time best" and you are, then I guess that factors in; but, personally, I think that it would mostly come down to the flyer and not the kite.  It's not like you can just buy precision or tricks with a kite - it takes lots of practice to get there.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: mikenchico on July 23, 2009, 11:38 PM
I'm trying to develop an expanded sense of the kite flying world.  And it seems like most of the emphasis nowadays is on tricking.  So I want to understand the old school a little better, and see if there's any thing I'd enjoy that I may miss out on otherwise. 


Buy yourself a long tail, a 48' or 96' Transition Tail (http://www.chicokites.com/store/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=20) works well, hook it on your kite and go out to your local park and fly some figures. The tail will slow whatever kite you have and increase its "Precision", you may need to move your bridle point forward for a little more drive but most kites do fine. You'll have a blast, draw some spectators & make some new friends.

That's old school, not done much anymore but still is a lot of fun and gets some attention. Just ask Chistine (http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?action=profile;u=4) (the forum princess and Steve's partner), she doesn't fly too much anymore but give her a Viper or Warrior with a matching tail and she's lost in her little private "Kite Zen" (http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=270.0) place for hours. Someday we'll have to take her to the hospital with third degree sunburn after one of those marathons.





Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: facesnorth on July 23, 2009, 11:53 PM
Currently, I think there are kites out there (3 that I've owned, surely many more) that give you all you need in both the tricking and precision category with no compromises - it comes down to what "flavor" you like.  I don't think you have to make a choice - you can have it all.


Well don't keep us waiting...  :P  What are they?

Buy yourself a long tail, a 48' or 96' Transition Tail ([url]http://www.chicokites.com/store/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=20[/url]) works well, hook it on your kite and go out to your local park and fly some figures. The tail will slow whatever kite you have and increase its "Precision", you may need to move your bridle point forward for a little more drive but most kites do fine. You'll have a blast, draw some spectators & make some new friends.

That's old school, not done much anymore but still is a lot of fun and gets some attention. Just ask Chistine ([url]http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?action=profile;u=4[/url]) (the forum princess and Steve's partner), she doesn't fly too much anymore but give her a Viper or Warrior with a matching tail and she's lost in her little private "Kite Zen" ([url]http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=270.0[/url]) place for hours. Someday we'll have to take her to the hospital with third degree sunburn after one of those marathons.


That does sound like fun and something I'm sure I will try someday.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: zippy8 on July 24, 2009, 02:34 AM
Buy yourself a long tail....

(http://www.elisanet.fi/mike.emery/Smilies/No%20no%20no.gif)

If you want to do something specific with a kite, use a specifically designed kite. The same goes for shoving a ton o' lead up the backside of a Precision kite in order to make it "trick".

Mike.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: obijuankenobe on July 24, 2009, 04:15 AM
I feel like I need to add a little here. 

Precision flying is mostly the style of the flyer.  Allen does have a point in that most folks don't fly with a precision-based style as a rule, but I would add that this is actually a very sad aspect of the current state or evolution of our sport.

I find it almost annoying to watch videos where the flying is so sloppy that you can hardly tell the pilot has control, even as a fellow kite enthusiast.  It's really a shame to see that most folks can do JLs and backspins but can't fly a straight line or a tight half axel to save their life.  Anyone can yank randomly until the kite does something 'cool', but control is something that requires practice.

While I am not the best flyer by any stretch of my imagination (unless I restrict the field to only the Trondheim area of Norway  ;) ), I fly with a precision style nearly all the time, and I couldn't fly any other way.  I get slightly annoyed with myself when I find myself unwinding twisted lines by simply spinning circles and almost always fly figures to get out instead.  When I fly, the kite makes cracking noises at every corner, and that's what got me really hooked...realizing that this very chaotic wing could be tamed into flying locked in lines and corners. 

Everyone on this forum constantly repeats the mantra that 'it's the pilot...it's the pilot' but somehow we all think precision is a kite-dependent thing.  I would suggest that just like it's easy to taz a Cosmic TC, precision can have kite-dependent aspects...but I for one can fly ANY kite in my bag with 'precision' because I concentrate on this.  It's something you have to learn to do.  Plain and simple.  You have to learn to keep pressure in the sail at all times.  You have to learn to get corners to snap.  You have to learn to hold a line.  You have to learn to get your half axels to come out in the direction you want them to. 

I am SURE there are kites that are better (even way better) than others, but if trick kiting has a progressive future (to borrow a phrase from another)...it's precision carving between tricks.  This is almost NEVER seen as far as I can tell.  That being said, RonG's videos on the machine are a noticeable exception (and why I really really want a Machine!  Ron?).   

This also has a wonderful benefit: great flying in strong winds.  There are few things more satisfying than perfect complex lines, heavy line pressure, and sharp comete landings.  I go out in strong winds just for this.

Trolling complete,
obi


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: DD on July 24, 2009, 07:38 AM
if i read what your looking for correctly, i would say you can try and find a prophecy but i would put a want out for an stx 2.1 or 2.3 available in stds and ul you may find one fairly cheap used


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: DWayne on July 24, 2009, 08:44 AM
Just buy a Vendetta. You'd be hard pressed to find a better precision kite anywhere.  ;)

http://www.vipersportkites.com/Videos/vendetta%20.avi (http://www.vipersportkites.com/Videos/vendetta%20.avi)


Denny


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: RonG on July 24, 2009, 09:23 AM
I am SURE there are kites that are better (even way better) than others, but if trick kiting has a progressive future (to borrow a phrase from another)...it's precision carving between tricks.  This is almost NEVER seen as far as I can tell.  That being said, RonG's videos on the machine are a noticeable exception (and why I really really want a Machine!  Ron?).
Guys like Debray, Ferme, and Mayet went a long way towards showing me that trick flying and precision flying were not mutually exclusive things.  They're masters at combining both into a seamless entity.

People say "precision" and it seems the first thing that pops into most people's minds is infinity downward, square cuts...i.e. pre-defined figures.  Those are useful tools for evaluating a group of fliers in a fairly objective way, but it's far from the whole story.

In articles I've written and workshops I've presented, I've used the term "flying precisely".  That's what I think of when I hear "precision".  It doesn't mean doing the most perfect octagon, it means making the kite go exactly where you intend it to go, making it do exactly what you intend it to do, and then exactly where you intend it to go next.  It means flying with obvious purpose.  Personally, getting a "freebie" anything out of a kite gives me no pleasure whatsoever.

Granted, the kite I fly doesn't really give you anything you don't ask for in a commanding tone ???


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: thief on July 24, 2009, 09:41 AM
an Aerodrone Stripes.....
an Aerodrone Speed limit for the high gusty days
an Aerodrone LiteLark for those really light wind days.

HQ Elektra was a fave of mine for precision as well..


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Allen Carter on July 24, 2009, 10:03 AM
I am SURE there are kites that are better (even way better) than others, but if trick kiting has a progressive future (to borrow a phrase from another)...it's precision carving between tricks.  This is almost NEVER seen as far as I can tell.  That being said, RonG's videos on the machine are a noticeable exception (and why I really really want a Machine!  Ron?).

People say "precision" and it seems the first thing that pops into most people's minds is infinity downward, square cuts...i.e. pre-defined figures.  Those are useful tools for evaluating a group of fliers in a fairly objective way, but it's far from the whole story.

In articles I've written and workshops I've presented, I've used the term "flying precisely".  That's what I think of when I hear "precision".  It doesn't mean doing the most perfect octagon, it means making the kite go exactly where you intend it to go, making it do exactly what you intend it to do, and then exactly where you intend it to go next.  It means flying with obvious purpose. 

Well said.

My perspective is that you don't need (or necessarily want) a "precision" kite to fly precisely. The problem is that many kites don't fly well, it's just not a design priority.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: obijuankenobe on July 24, 2009, 10:14 AM
@Ron:  Of course, Richard, Mat...these are very notable exceptions for sure.  Johannes (KiteHouse pilot) is also very tight and controlled at all times.

@Allen:  What would you give as an example of a kite 'that doesn't fly that well' because of other design priorities?

I guess this was the belabored point I was trying to make:  Trick kiting has (hopefully only temporarily) progressed so fast in the last few years that the real art of control has been somewhat overshadowed by it.  And like tricking, 'flying precisely' needs to be practiced and is something for which one strives.  You can't buy a kite that will make this happen, although some might make it a bit easier.  Ultimately, the reason why this is so important is that this is what makes stunt kiting accessible (appreciable) to those who don't fly at all.

If you regularly get asked 'what are you doing?' when you fly, you are missing it. 

obi


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: facesnorth on July 24, 2009, 10:26 AM
I think what I am asking and what I am interested in, is more about this "flying precisely" rather than competition figures.

What I don't understand is why a "precision" (I'm assuming here we're talking about competition kites, or is that "Precision"?) kite is not what you would need, or necessarily even want, in order to do so.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: obijuankenobe on July 24, 2009, 10:31 AM
What I don't understand is why a "precision" (I'm assuming here we're talking about competition kites, or is that "Precision"?) kite is not what you would need, or necessarily even want, in order to do so.

That would likely be because you don't ONLY what to fly precisely...you are going to eventually want to do a few tricks.  And real old school 'precision' kites (which many folks are listing here) were designed when tricks were a largely unexplored conceptual space, so some actually almost CAN'T trick at all.  That would be my shot at an answer to that one.

obi


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: anOldMan on July 24, 2009, 02:27 PM
If you want a precision kite that will do many of the current tricks, try the current version of the Phantom. at Crantock, I watch a person do things with the kite that I could not believe. I know that flying is a high percentage the pilot but the kite is still there. And from what I saw the Phantom is a great old school (PLUS) kite.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: thief on July 24, 2009, 05:26 PM
@Allen:  What would you give as an example of a kite 'that doesn't fly that well' because of other design priorities?
gonna duck in here:
Alien
Level 7 Stranger

and now i am running..................


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: lylenc on July 24, 2009, 07:18 PM
Fly precisely the way that makes you feel good. Don't give a hoot what anyone else thinks. If you are in Zen Mode, it's good enough.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: tpatter on July 25, 2009, 10:07 AM
Quote
Well don't keep us waiting...  :P  What are they?

Many great kites out there that trick and fly like a dream.  My favorites that I've owned are the Fearless, Nirvana, and Exile.   Eager to trick, but also hold a solid line and cut sharp corners.

I am eager to try out a Talon and Vendetta.  I'll get to try out a Talon at WSIKF this year, hopefully a V as well.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: kitegirl on July 25, 2009, 12:12 PM
I have been flying for a few years and all I do is figures in the sky. I like watching tricking but don't really want/can't trick. I tried several kites before I got my Quatum and let me tell you that is my go to kite. I have over 50 kites now but I always go to my Quatum. It does my figure eights, steps, circles and just hold steady in the sky. It does a great job pulling a tail. There are a lot of totally awesome kites out there that will do what you want. The key is "what YOU want". Everyone has their favorite or one the think is better than the other. Just like everyone has their favorite flavor of icecream. So find a kite like the Quatum not real expensive but can do the turns the stalls and it even tricks, get out there fly and find what you like to do. Then at that point you expand on you kites based on what YOU really enjoy doing. If there are any other kite flyers in your area I am sure they will let you try a couple of theirs. If not come on out here and between the flyers here in Chico we have Mambas, Jam Sessions old and new, Window Makers, Wolf, Trick Tails, we have new kites and very old school kites like the Top of the Line Hawian. There are more kites styles, makers, skill level kites then there are flyers. If you are going to WSIKF look us up will be happy to let you try some.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: Sketch on July 25, 2009, 04:46 PM
Your Quantum is a good choice all around fun kite. A few years ago...my wife picked up a "returned" Quantum at her workplace and bought it at an employee's sale for $25.00
Instead of replacing the cracked leading edge and broken lower spreader. I took some extra beefed up high wind tapered Skysharks that I bought for my QP's lower spreaders and used them in the used n abused Quantum, replaced the leading edges and ya gotta believe that now my revamped HIGH WIND QUANTUM..was used for last week ends Cannon Beach Sun-Mon-25 to 38mph heavy winds WORKOUT FUNFLY FEST.
What an improvement those Skysharks made in that already wide wind range nice flying Quantum! ;D

(Mt.Flyin'Bob!....that although both our families shared the same beach n' time at Tolavona last weekend.)
HOW DID WE EVER MISS TIE-N' ON A LINE TOGETHER THIS YEAR?Horrific that we didn't share a little wind window together. Would have been a blast to pair up with your Exile and my SilverFox UL...but those bullet winds kinda put a damper on our flyin time this year.

[attachment deleted by admin]


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: adx1592 on August 05, 2009, 06:45 AM
Get a mamba. Precision's great.
Muse is good too  :D .


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: RonG on August 05, 2009, 06:55 AM
Get a mamba. Precision's great.
Until the wind picks up.

A pretty essential quality of a precision kite is speed control, and that's something the Mamba doesn't excel at.  A lot of kite that otherwise track well and turn crisp corners would be disqualified on that count.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: adx1592 on August 05, 2009, 07:01 AM
Ive never had issues with speed control once with my mamba.
Get a nitro Frame with 200 lb line and your fine.
Plus, Ive always thought you have to work for speed control to well, maintain the same speed.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: stapp59 on August 05, 2009, 08:24 AM
Get a mamba. Precision's great.
Until the wind picks up.

A pretty essential quality of a precision kite is speed control, and that's something the Mamba doesn't excel at.  A lot of kite that otherwise track well and turn crisp corners would be disqualified on that count.

The Mamba's efficiency in low winds can translate to acceleration as the winds pick up.  Moving the inner standoffs out 1 to 3 inches towards the tips helps moderate the speed as does wind screens, heavy lines and/or some well placed vents.

Steve


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: RonG on August 05, 2009, 09:42 AM
Ive never had issues with speed control once with my mamba.
Get a nitro Frame with 200 lb line and your fine.
Plus, Ive always thought you have to work for speed control to well, maintain the same speed.

Any kite can be modified with a different frame or a heavier lineset to slow it down.  But those are not innate qualities of the kite, they are things the user has to do to the kite to change its behavior.  If you're looking for "best" precision kite, I argue that they kite should have moderate to slow speed and some measure of speed control right out of the box.  Yes, speed control is first and foremost a skill that a flier needs to develop, but I'd rather have a precision kite that makes my job easier, not harder.

The Mamba's efficiency in low winds can translate to acceleration as the winds pick up.  Moving the inner standoffs out 1 to 3 inches towards the tips helps moderate the speed as does wind screens, heavy lines and/or some well placed vents.

A "tight" sailed kite like the Mamba is very efficient at the low end of its wind range, but as you point out that's a liability as the wind picks up.  It's also a major liability in bumpy winds, since an efficient sail will show the effects of turbulence to a much greater degree.

When you say "well placed vents", are you talking about a user mod, or the vent placement on the stock vented Mamba?

No bashing intended here, Ken makes fantastic kites, but if I'm looking for a kite that facilitates precision flying my experience is that a slow, heavy truck is a better bet than a twitchy sports car.  Again, I'm not talking about flying some straight lines and snapping some corners for fun, I'm talking about a reliable piece of competition equipment.


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: inewham on August 05, 2009, 11:53 AM
I'm a big BMK fanboy but there is a tangible difference. Last week I flew in winds well into the teens, a vented Mantis, a Nirvana (RTG Bridle), a Mantis and a Machine back to back on 200lb lines. Oh and I can control the speed on a kite.

The Mantis Vent was comfortable as you'd expect. The Mamba was getting very squirrely, needed lots of work and wasn't clean and precise any more. The Nirvana needed some work and was getting a bit edgy but still cutting square corners. The Machine just chugged around like a truck and was a piece of cake to fly precisely.

While you can modify, add brakes, run around etc. a deep, loose sailed kite is just so much easier. 


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: tpatter on August 05, 2009, 12:08 PM
QPro flys really well in bad, bumpy wind with good speed control.  In fact, those are the winds that I like it best in (compared to other kites).  Some say it flys like a truck, which I guess really helps when you need a solid suspension!  :)


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: stapp59 on August 05, 2009, 01:48 PM
The Mamba's efficiency in low winds can translate to acceleration as the winds pick up.  Moving the inner standoffs out 1 to 3 inches towards the tips helps moderate the speed as does wind screens, heavy lines and/or some well placed vents.

A "tight" sailed kite like the Mamba is very efficient at the low end of its wind range, but as you point out that's a liability as the wind picks up.  It's also a major liability in bumpy winds, since an efficient sail will show the effects of turbulence to a much greater degree.

When you say "well placed vents", are you talking about a user mod, or the vent placement on the stock vented Mamba?

No bashing intended here, Ken makes fantastic kites, but if I'm looking for a kite that facilitates precision flying my experience is that a slow, heavy truck is a better bet than a twitchy sports car.  Again, I'm not talking about flying some straight lines and snapping some corners for fun, I'm talking about a reliable piece of competition equipment.

Yep, like all kite designs, the Mamba has its strengths and limitations.  In normal winds the Mamba is quite efficient, a nice Ballet kites with all the hallmarks of good precision, those tight spins and locked in fades.  It has won a number of competitions and many agree the Mamba is very enjoyable to just fly.  I do like Ken's kites  :)

I'm inland so light variable winds are the norm and Ken's kites excel in these conditions.  That said, I agree the Mamba overpowers quickly in higher winds.  As we discussed in an earlier thread, I did try untying the leech line.  With that tight sail there was little discernible difference so the leech line was retied.

Have had good success adding three 3x3" variable vents long the outer edge of the tunnel.  Kind of a cross between the stock Mamba vent and the strip vents on the Mantis and your Machine (at least what I can see in pictures of your kites). The vents added less than an ounce and the kite still flies well as a standard with the vents covered.  With the vents open and some SO tweaks the Mamba can fly up to 20 pretty comfortably. Some acceleration is still there but much less.

All things equal, speed control is a bit easier on the Mantis and Exile for that matter.

I understand why you want good speed control in competition.  I picked up a Nirvana last year and recently a Vendetta which are closer in design to your Machine I think.  Once I resurrect the Vendetta from a recent Post Office thrashing (another topic for a different thread) I look forward to some comparison flying between designs.

And the search for the one kite that does everything continues...


Title: Re: All time best kite for precision (money no object)?
Post by: RonG on August 05, 2009, 01:58 PM
I understand why you want good speed control in competition.  I picked up a Nirvana last year and recently a Vendetta which are closer in design to your Machine I think.  Once I resurrect the Vendetta from a recent Post Office thrashing (another topic for a different thread) I look forward to some comparison flying between designs.

For precision competition - and any kind of pairs or team flying - speed control is king.  Even though it's ultimately up to the flier to make it happen, you look for equipment that gives you as much of an advantage as possible.  Unfortunately, you don't get a second shot at a blown figure or ballet routine.

The Mamba and its kin (Killer Bee, for instance) are definitely efficient and capable choices for inland flying, as Chicago Fire and the Gordon brothers have consistently demonstrated.

The Nirvana is a bit closer to the Machine in manners, and the Vendetta even more so.  I'd say the Vendetta is a bit more nimble and forgiving, which makes it a great choice as an "all-arounder" kite.