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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Beginners Corner => Topic started by: DaveH on March 14, 2009, 11:01 AM



Title: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: DaveH on March 14, 2009, 11:01 AM
I've had the opportunity to help some new flyers in the last couple of years.  They always had their own kites and I couldn't help notice what kites worked well and what didn't.  Since I don't know much about what's offered in this market I figured it would be useful to develop a list of kites, and reasons for the choice, folks prefer for the new flyer.  I like the Quantum because its big enough to provide some feedback and fly in reasonable winds, stands up well to abuse and offers performance growth which doesn't penalize the initial flying experience, too sensitive, etc.  So what do you think?


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Dano on March 14, 2009, 11:25 AM
I agree completely with Dave. Prism - Quantum

Best kite in my book for a beginner, and tough as nails!

In any case, 60" is a minimum width for a good beginner kite.
 


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: roisinroisin21 on March 14, 2009, 12:22 PM
I second the quantum   Dano

Mine has the end off a fishing pole for a standoff,insulation tape to build out a canabilised top spreader and a Umbrella shaft for the center Tee. Still comes out to fly . Perfect for a begginer



Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: mikenchico on March 14, 2009, 06:23 PM
I've been saying the Quantum for years too, for the price you're getting a sweet kite. For a true beginner I would still say Quantum because of its smoothness, constant speed through the window, good presence & feedback on the lines. But now that the price of the Quantum has risen some others are approaching its value for the price range.

If you felt the flier would find a faster more radical kite to their liking and you've seen they have the basics under their belt, ie: not spinning right into the ground on launch, the Premier Wolf is another choice. It's pretty bulletproof too, but a little edgier and responsive, it's faster, a bit radical while still retaining good precision and is just plain fun.


High winds and the Wolf (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3LZYj0L9-o#lq-hq-vhq)



Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Dolphinboy on March 14, 2009, 09:20 PM
If your teaching children, especially smaller kids, the Quantum can have a bit too much pull. If the wind picks up at all it will be too much kite for some.

I like the HQ Floater for teaching children how to fly. Light pull not real fast ( under 10mph) and if the wind gusts, it won't pull their little arms out of their sockets :-* It has been very sturdy and never broken after lots of nose plants. It's no trick kite but will do some basic slack stuff. It's been replaced with another model but I'm not sure of the name.

Another kite I've used for new flyers is the NTK Pyro XS. Nice slow forward speed and light pull yet it'll do a lot more in the tricks dept. This kite is not as sturdy as a Floater or Quantum though. I've had to replace a couple of spars.

Now if your teaching tricks an Eolo Over would be great or Silver Fox 2.3 maybe the Acrobatx,  etc.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Kantaxel on March 15, 2009, 03:51 AM
I'm kinda partial to the Alpha +.  It has a lot of similarities to the Quantum, and just as robust IMO, with a vast supply of replacement parts.  It has another added feature...............an inexperienced hand will find it far easier to trick when he/she gets to that stage.  :)

Jim


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: adx1592 on March 15, 2009, 06:44 AM
I personally love the Beatle for teaching, or one of those "go fly a kite" Parastunters.
They're both capable of taking multiple blows when they're driven into the groud and the beetle has a few good tricks in its book. In my opinion it 540's well for a beginer kite. When I had the quantum, nobody wanted to fly it, they said "it was to big to learn on" and were STUCK to that idea. But whatever, to each 'is own I guess.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: mikenchico on March 15, 2009, 08:37 AM
I'm pretty sure the Pyro & Pyro XS have been discontinued. You're correct and I recommended them myself as being a fantastic value for a very capable kite.

Another good value in the Quantum's price range is the New Tech Techno, fully framed in Skyshark P200's, ready to fly. Flies well, probably as trickable as the Quantum. I don't reach for ours often but have seen it flown well by others.

New Tech Pyro XS and Techno Sport Kites (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pznlmQY7Ork#lq-hq-vhq)



Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: DWayne on March 15, 2009, 08:43 AM
I'll say the Prism Hypnotist. Everything you like about the Quantum, but in a more capable kite.

Denny


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: f86sabjf on March 15, 2009, 11:19 AM
I would have to say the old??? E2 not to easy to break and it can move up with you for a while. Prices should come down too for used ones making it an easy capable kite to get into ..


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: DD on March 15, 2009, 12:53 PM
+1 on th e2, it's my noob trainer, big wing kinda slow
although i was forced at cleveland kite fest one year to train on a psycho ???


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: WinterDaze on March 15, 2009, 03:14 PM
Vote  +1 for the Hypnotist, pretty bomb proof, mine's held together with stuff found generally in the 'make and do' box.The kicker for me though is that it comes with the DVD, the gift that keeps on giving for a beginner.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: DaveH on March 15, 2009, 06:29 PM
Interesting stuff!  I had a Techno last year.  Big and kinda slow, and you're right, quite trickable.  Good choice. I had a little kite club going at the school i worked in last year and left the Techno as a parting gift for the students.  I'll bet they're having fun with it.  A couple if 12 year old girls in that club had New Tech Big Bangs.  They had a positive experience learning on those. 
I've always thought the E2 was a bit quick, in turning speed, for learning.  But is is really tough, and once past the beginning stage is a truly forgiving trick trainer. An adult friend of mine learned on one a couple of years back.  Now he tricks it pretty well.  I keep hearing good things about the Hypno, I've got to give one a pull.  I've learned a bunch with this thread.  Nice stuff ;)


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: DaveH on March 15, 2009, 06:33 PM
Jim,
you've found the Alpha to be pretty rugged? Nice looking kite.  I flew one at the beach one year.  Flew nice too.  And you're right, easy trickin'.  The kid who owned it busted it up a bunch of times that weekend so I wasn't too sure about its durability.  Nice to hear its tough.  He was one of those ham fisted kind of kids.  Probably would have broken anything.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Kantaxel on March 15, 2009, 08:02 PM
Yeah--Ham fisted like me!  First real kite for us.....we now have three, but it has trained a bunch of friends and foes alike.  Broken every stick in it at least twice and punched six or so holes in it from newbie crashes and relaunches............Got my first axel and yo on it and with the 'rubber band technique' on the LS's and a bunch of tedlar it is up for some more abuse ;D

Jim


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Fast EDDY on March 15, 2009, 10:39 PM
  ::) GEEZE ::)

   SO Many simple to fly and Ideal over looked kites in this topic. Again we are talking about ""TRAINING"" a Newbie here and not many Instructors will take a First or second day student out in much more than 12MPH winds for kites get to ""FAST and get OVERWELMING!~!""

  Lets first start with the Premier Addiction and Jewel kites. The addiction is a softer to fly and is better suited for the ease of flight with its high Camber leading edge in the 8 to 10 Mph winds. The Jewel is also Grwat in that range.  Both come in at about 65.00 bucks if you shop around.

   The Jazz by Prism A Much smaller kite again for the beginner that will NOT over pull or over welm any student. The quantum is a Large kite and I have to say when the winds come "UP" it has Limited adustability to slow it down and Dump the air out and soften it up after a certain point...

    The New Dodd Gross kite line has a couple i have yet to fly but they just got in the shop.

    The Cherry Bomb is a decent smaller kite that turns and does figure eights for a first day person as well.

   The list of Smaller 60" ish kites goes on either with a Straighter leading edge or a Higher Camber one. There are FEW good kites that will get a Newbie past Circles and figure eights and a few others tricks. Yet a BUNCH of kites that will do ONLY that and the rest with GREAT difficulty and drive them Bonkers and to the edge and Brink of quitting...

Again we are talking about ""TRAINING"" a Newbie here and not many Instructors will take a First or Second day student out in much more than 10 to 12MPH winds for kites get to ""FAST and get OVERWELMING!~!"" I personally want students to be doing POINTING turns and not to be PULLING back and Over powering any new kite this day and age.

Keep all the New kids  YOUNG and OLD HapPY and our Limited sport Growning in the right direction...

  ED S


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: misterbleepy on March 16, 2009, 03:13 AM
My favourite would be the Benson Outer Space - here's why:

It's the kite I learnt how to fly, recover etc. on, and it effectivley taught me itself.
Cheap frame, but pretty tough anyway.
Nicely balanced flight - not too sensitive, but no enormous inputs required either.

I used it to (try to) teach my 9 year old nephew on, and he had no trouble handling it at all - not too big, fast, or hard pulling, and less twitchy than some smaller kites too.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: inewham on March 16, 2009, 07:05 AM
If they're really raw a 6ft flexi.

A beetle or whatever is great once they get past over correcting and waving their arms above their head but before reaching that stage the flexi is great:
  • It wants to stay in the air no matter how hard they try to stall it
  • It is insensitive to input so copes with massive over correcting
  • It feels exciting in inexperienced hands
  • It bounces

... then move onto the beetles etc. once they can steer
After struggling with beetles etc. misterbleepy's 6ft-er was a revelation when I gave it to my kids  8)


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: fworley on March 16, 2009, 07:11 AM

We started with some junker (needed too much wind) with plastic handles, then a Beetle (no ground recovery), then an Easy Lite (too much oversteer).

The main problem with all of these choices really was they were too small ... and quick.

I'd put a beginner on a bigger kite ... something slow and not prone to oversteer, with sufficient mass and frame to allow easy ground recovery.

The Prism Hypnotist is a good choice with its RTF packaging.

-Frazer


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: streamhawk on March 16, 2009, 09:48 AM
While I agree with many of the aforementioned choices, for the true beginner, I wouldn't overlook something like a Prism Snapshot 1.4 foil, nothing to break, can get someone in the air and doing figures in a small amount of time without the fear of crashing.

Bill


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: ko on March 16, 2009, 07:38 PM
i have to say the quantum also, i was lucky enough to start with one very exciting VERY durable now it is hard to get my girlfriend to fly anything else because she trusts it, although she is coming around to the zephyr which i never did. 1 thing that any new kite pilot should look 4 is a kite  that comes with a training video or get 1 if they dont have good help to get started, i did not and it could get frustrating  KO


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Allen Carter on March 16, 2009, 07:50 PM
I dont know if they still make the Alpha+. I owned several of them (still have one) and like 'em a lot, but the stock frame isnt very robust, at least compared to a purpose built tough kite like the Quantum. I'd train someone on the Q. over the A. Its a more modern  kite


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: DaveH on March 17, 2009, 06:26 AM
When it comes to size what often happens is the new flyer will by the cheapest kite available.  That usually means small.  If they live anywhere other than the beach it can often be hard to find enough wind to get these type of kites in the air.  And once they do they're just too twitchy.  Being an inland flyer I try to steer new flyers toward a kite that will fly well in the available local wind. 


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Bob D on March 17, 2009, 10:01 AM
When I teach people to fly I get out my Nighthawk. Before I learned about full size kites, I thought the Nighthawk was a regular sized kite. Now I know better (3/4 sized kite?) and even though it moves faster than a larger, slower kite, it'll do a bunch of stuff. It can take a lot of abuse because it's built like a tank. And it comes with lines and straps too.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: JimB on March 17, 2009, 11:17 AM
I'm still liking the Quantum.

Besides its being what I have in the bag for the purpose, it reacts slowly enough to input to not be getting out of hand so, once a newbie gets the hang of it; I can leave them to their own devices without having to worry too much about innocent bystanders.

The other thing is that it reacts correctly to input. It may not be too exciting for a seasoned flyer, but; at least it doesn't do anything too untoward for a newbie and gives a good idea of what to expect when they move up to something a bit tastier.

Plus, its got enough pull in low to medium winds to allow even a beginner to maintain control where more advanced kites can get a bit feathery on the lines.

Also, while it might be a bit much for smaller flyers when the wind gets up, it's just fine for adults and who didn't like a hard pulling kite when they were just starting out?

MSRP-wise, it's gotten a bit up there. You can still find it for a decent price if you look around though.

It's hard to beat as a basic learner/beater.

For a talented newbie, it'll get old fast but otherwise..

In the cheap/small category the Cherry Bomb is good.

Don't know how cheap those are these days or if they are still out there.

It's not bad though.

I just wanted to add:

While there are much better kites available; IMO there is still a place for the Learn-To-Destruction kite. Get it all out of their systems with something that isn't too sexy but will take a beating and make it possible to pick up good habits before moving on to the $200.00-400.00 real kite.

They may only be flying it for a Week or so but still.. it's a worthwhile investment in the long term. By that time they will either be looking to upgrade or will have quit.

YMMV


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: turbo23 on March 17, 2009, 01:23 PM
+1 for quantum, its what I started on, and prism's website provides excellent for beginners.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: indigo_wolf on March 17, 2009, 03:11 PM
I dont know if they still make the Alpha+. I owned several of them (still have one) and like 'em a lot, but the stock frame isnt very robust, at least compared to a purpose built tough kite like the Quantum. I'd train someone on the Q. over the A. Its a more modern  kite

They still make the Alpha+ .... I have a soft spot for that kite.  It's like a big galumpfally black lab in low winds. 

Didn't you have a frame mod for that kite at one point?  Could have sworn you did, but that could just be senility. 

The only thing that drove me crazy about it was that it always seemed like the lower spreaders were too short and a sudden gust popped the spreader at the center T.  A larks-headed elastic made that much easier to live with.

ATB,
Sam


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Kantaxel on March 18, 2009, 05:02 PM
The rubber band technique is a must for the ALPHA if you're going to do any tricks or crash..............need I say more?


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Allen Carter on March 18, 2009, 05:31 PM
That's a real good example of why I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner. Spreaders popping out is not nice behavior.

Yes, I flew one framed in P200s for a long time. Fun kite. In some ways the stock kite flew better but I was going for sheer durability and wind range with the reframe. I beat the snot out of that kite.  :)

Trick-wise, it's not a very modern kite. Based on the Jam session sail shape.

Turns out I still have two. One with the beefy frame and one stock. I'll have to get one out of the garage one of these days and do a bit of nostalgia.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: portley777 on March 19, 2009, 03:07 AM
I'm no Prism junkie by any means but the Quantum is a fine beginner kite. I have a friend who has one and has crashed it into all kinds of coral and crap in fresh winds...and it gets up like the terminator for more. The only issue is the collapsed packing situation in order to fit it into the neat fu(n)ky case. He assembled it a few times with the bridle connected on the wrong side of the connectors (somehow) which could have been nasty. His wife has sewn a full length case for him to avoid mishaps. It has a strong pull which he likes very much. I had a "High as a Kite Rascal" which is very tough but a POS in comparison.

Cheers,
Mike


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Dolphinboy on March 19, 2009, 03:18 PM
The only issue is the collapsed packing situation in order to fit it into the neat fu(n)ky case.

Cheers,
Mike
One of the things that's nutty about Quantum is the mandatory LE break down so it'll fit in the bag.  Not beginner friendly.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: mikenchico on March 21, 2009, 02:54 AM
The bag does extend to hold it without breaking it down, but it's a pretty funky setup with the extension being made of a light taffetta and leaving an opening that your spreaders could sneak out of. I prefer a full padded bag with Velcro to hold it half size when broken down, but it keeps costs down.

Entry level kites get those padded bags with pockets for the linesets, as your collection grows don't you dislike padded bags altogether? You can't get as many kites into the duffle with them.



Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: rxburner on March 21, 2009, 02:56 PM
The early Quantum had the built in extension, but they droped it in the later versions.

Prisim is a great place for a beginner. We should keep an eye on the E3 for the beginner that can afford more that $80.
Rx


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Tom P on March 22, 2009, 01:08 AM

If you can afford it :o... get a few kites (eventually).  Some kites are better at certain tricks than other kites... and that may be a big help in learning a particular trick.  Getting kites for different wind conditions is prudent, in the process.

Later on, you can get a nice (more expensive) polyvalent kite :P (that is more geared to be in expert hands).


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: lylenc on March 24, 2009, 06:02 PM
Rev 1.5 SLE or 3 wrap leading edge for quads. Same as for dual line kites, bigger sail is slower and more time to think before lawn darting. The 3 wrap leading edge has more flex, so it mutes some of the wobbly inputs. The SLE is more responsive to inputs and bobbles.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: kiwi49er on March 24, 2009, 06:54 PM
I teach em on one of my 2 old Prism Legacys. If the wind is up I put a tube tail on it.   You can't beat the old hemp core spines for nose impacts.



Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Grumbledown on April 28, 2009, 03:23 PM
Hey, that's me with the Wolf up there on page one!

Anyway, I want to throw in my vote for the Quantum.  It's very durable, and even though it doesn't HAND out the tricks, it still does everything I can throw at it.  It requires decent sized inputs, which I think is a good thing when you're new and haven't fine tuned the motions yet.

It's not going to fly in the lightest winds, but that's something that takes a lot of practice starting out anyway, and if you learn to keep the Quantum up when the wind starts dropping, you'll really appreciate the lighter kites later on.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: DaveH on April 29, 2009, 03:39 PM
The bag does extend to hold it without breaking it down, but it's a pretty funky setup with the extension being made of a light taffetta and leaving an opening that your spreaders could sneak out of. I prefer a full padded bag with Velcro to hold it half size when broken down, but it keeps costs down.

Prism has made some fairly odd choices, bag wise.  I can't stand the QP bag and unless you're flying the airlines, what's up with that Zepher bag? 

Anyway, I agree the E3 might be a nice choice for those willing to invest.  I've helped a number of flyers get started with the E2.  The latest editon might provide a seamless transition to modern tricking.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: ET on May 02, 2009, 06:16 PM
Level One Jump

Gets down low into "light", good enough mass for rotations, easy 2 pops, way tricky than any other beginner kite I've flown, nice build construction and quality.   


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Spz0 on May 06, 2009, 09:29 AM
NTK's Cherry bomb is a great first kite for training on (turns, precision flying, etc...) with not much pull at all, but not so good to train on freestyle tricks.  Inputs have to be very quick, due to lack of wingspan.  I enjoyed the Quantum for that.  With the bigger wingspan, it slows down the tricks and inputs considerably, making learning basic tricks easier.  I would recommend grabbing both.  I just ended up adhering some ripstop over the breakdown ferrules on the leading edge to reduce line snagging (since I never break it down) and replacing the elastic leading edge tensioners with 150# bridle line.  Even if you cover the breakdown ferrule, you can still break the kite down -- its just more of a blind process to re-insert the lower leading edge.



Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: tpatter on May 06, 2009, 10:17 AM
I would get a cheap Beetle until you can learn to keep the kite in the air, fly the window, and land safely.

Then, get a Silver Fox 2.5 UL and fly that until its worn out.

By that time, you will know what to buy next.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Kitemac on May 24, 2009, 09:39 AM
I would like to add a vote for the Beetle.  I have both the Quantum and Beetle.  There have been a number of light wind days when the Beetle was the only kite that would launch and stay up.  You will learn much more with a kite that accepts lighter wind conditions if that is all you have.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: Burke on May 25, 2009, 04:43 AM
As I saw posted earlier in this thread, newbies (or their moms) freak out when you start talking more than $10 for a kite.

Once they get past that barrier, as has been pointed out there is a wide range of kites that are very newbie capable.

Now, I myself am a relative newbie to dual line flying.  Many years ago, I started out with a Prism Vector.  An excellent kite for a newbie.  Very rugged.  One piece leading edge.  Light enough to fly in pretty low winds yet capable of handling a pretty good gust.

Sadly, I foolishly let that kite get away from me after I discovered quads.  Oh, to have another one.

Over the years since, I have toyed with the idea of trying dualies again.  I would hunt around, buy one, try it out for a bit and trade it off.  I never could find one that clicked with me.

The main problem I was having was wind range.  Where I live, from May until well into September, the winds are LOOOOWWW.  I'm talking go to your favorite kite field and practice your indoor flying low.

Everything I was trying out would not fly and I could not afford the true SULs to try out and see if I liked dual line flying, so I would sell or trade them off and try again a year or so later.

Then this weekend, I acquired the dualie I have been looking for.  It is rugged enough for a newbie to thrash around a bit, yet light enough to fly on the gentlest of breezes.  I'm talking about the Desire UL.  With the flexible solid carbon frame it can take quite a beating and keep on flying.

I took it out yesterday for the first time and flew it in almost no wind.  It was great!  Then I put it in the hands of my son-in-law, a true newbie, and he had a great time with it.

Yes, it is a bit pricey for mom to buy for her wired out little kid to try and see if they like flying kites, but for those who have tried out the Walmart specials and know we like fooling with these things but realize this $5 stunt kite is a pile of junk, something like this kite is a great beginning for someone who needs a kite capable of flying in low winds.

There, I have put in my two cents worth.


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: iwannafly on July 20, 2009, 07:14 PM
Let me start with a sorry. Not only am I new to flying, but also to forums. So if this post is misplaced - Sorry.
In reading some of the topic related to beginners, I have noticed a lot of recomendations for the Prism Quantum and a few other kites in the same price range. Problem is I can't justify the cost for a first stunt kite. I have a feeling that for the most part I'll be spear fishing at the lake or using it as a lawn dart:'(

The Beetle is a better price and seems to well recommended, but I was wondering if anyone was had a chance to fly NTK's ASTRO? I only ask about this kite because my daughter thinks it looks cool and chances are I'll have to share it with her. For the price I think would rather buy 2 of these to practice with and destroy before stepping up to something like the Quantum.

Any Ideas?


Title: Re: favorite beginner kite and why?
Post by: ko on July 20, 2009, 07:36 PM
spend 50 here on a beetle it is all you need to get started you wont want a quantum after that more like a muse or exile the beetle is a really fun little kite and will take you a long way HAVE FUN KO ps steve are host would be happy to sell u as many as you need speaking of steve HEY steve where is the donation button