GWTW Forum

Kites! Kites! Kites! => Beginners Corner => Topic started by: Bob D on March 10, 2010, 04:52 AM



Title: Great all around kites
Post by: Bob D on March 10, 2010, 04:52 AM
I flew with JimB yesterday at LSP and I got to thinking about the best all around kites for common folk, like me. Watching Jim fly and constantly hit tricks regardless of the kite made me think that I'm much more kite dependent because my abilities pale in comparison to his. Some kites require the flyer to have the right inputs or it won't do what you want it to do. Others will do the tricks even if the inputs aren't quite right.

Jim is pulling off 540s and Jacobs Ladders time after time after time and I get too much slack in my JLs and I can't get the nose to come up with my 540s when I fly my xt.r and NFX Sport. I had better luck with my Exile but my tricks are still not all that clean. (I know, "time and practice.")

The Exile is a great all around kite because it will pause and wait for your next input. I feel the same way about my Fearless and Widow Maker. Even though my inputs aren't the best and I'm still learning (need to move more and use more body english apparently), some kites will still do the trick - even if it looks sloppy.

I like the R-Sky's but they seem like that the people who can get the most out of them have already honed their abilities to the point where they aren't kite dependent (like me.) I'm keeping them because one day I WILL be able to fly them.

Meanwhile, today's sunny and in the 50s. I'm taking 40 minutes or so at lunch to go to my nearby soccer field with my Exile.


Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: KeithG on March 10, 2010, 09:08 AM
Once you find a kite that you really like and that "fits" you then time and practice really are the key. There will come a point that you will be able to take what you can do on the one kite and do it on others.

You are correct about different kites needing different inputs but I have found that its not as big a difference as you may first think. In time you will find that you can make little changes to the way you fly different kites to get what you want out of them not big changes, unless you're flying something like an SL7. You will find "your style" of flying and be able to adjust for what ever kite you want to fly. How much time and practice? depends on things like your natural ability and how much you are willing to get out a work on the things you like to do. I've been flying about 12 years, I would say around the 2 year mark I was able to switch between kites and just make little adjustments to get the things I wanted out of them. Some people can do it much faster than I did, again it depends partly on you motivation factor.


Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: RonG on March 10, 2010, 09:50 AM
Once you get in tune with whatever kite you're flying, everything seems to slow down and wait for the next input.  Seriously.


Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: Allen Carter on March 10, 2010, 11:02 AM
Even after 12 years, I'm still generally uncomfortable with a new kite. I hesitate to fly OPKs, especially on a crowded field. I need more time on some kites than others. There are kites that are easier to fly. I'd say the Exile is certainly an easy kite. I have an Exile UL on loan from a friend and enjoyed every minute of my first flight with it. Other kites sometimes need an hour or two before the big grins happen. Often, it's those kites that I like more in the long run though. Sometimes just for the challenge, but more often because they do certain things really well or differently compared to a kite that does everything OK.



Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: JimB on March 10, 2010, 11:51 AM
Bob,

Next time we'll work on getting your sequences and muscle memory in order.

I wont even take a kite out. That way I wont be tempted to wander off flying.  :D

it's important to be very clear on what you are practicing. Just going for a trick in a hit or miss style can lead to improper reflexes and muscle memories.

You don't want to ingrain the bad stuff. You want to ingrain the good stuff, especially as you are progressing very nicely as a flier.

It's getting time to clean up that technique, if you want to make the jump to the next level.

Flying a lot of different kites at this stage is counterproductive.

Now is the time to settle down, pick one kite, and refine your flying skills.

If you want to fly Nirvanas there is no time like the present. Just learn them inside out.

You know I love the Transfer, but let's face it; it's a brute of a kite in any flavor.

I think you would find the Nirvana a little easier to pick up.

The Exile is a great kite for learning stuff on. It's not quite as much of a production to throw around as some of the French stuff.

You also have the Deep Space which is very flicky requiring a lot less movement to throw around, great for lazy guys like me.  ::)

But, if you want to fly Nivs then start now. By the end of the Summer they will have become second nature.

Just give me a heads up. We can set up a regular time to meet somehow.

I'm no RonG, but I am in the neighborhood and willing to work with you if you'd like.

Good to fly with you as always.





Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: Steve on March 10, 2010, 12:15 PM
Quote
Now is the time to settle down, pick one kite, and refine your flying skills.

Hmm ... seems 'somebody' gave me that same advice years ago.  It made a HUGE difference.


Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: tpatter on March 10, 2010, 01:15 PM
I don't think it takes 10,000 hours to learn to fly a sport kite reasonably well, but this is an interesting article.

Malcolm Gladwell says that if you want to shine, put in 10,000 hours
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article4969415.ece (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article4969415.ece)



Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: Bob D on March 10, 2010, 01:25 PM
Great article! It DOES take a lot of time to get really good at something. In season, I'm probably only getting out to LSP twice a month - not a lot - because it's an hour and 40 minutes to home. But I'd be crazy not take Jim up on his offer! We'll definitely have to work something out!

I've been watching RandyG's videos and trying the hit or miss technique and I try to figure out what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong. (Good example is the wind breaks on the stand offs and not the lower spreader. Did I "assume" incorrectly with the lower spreader?)

It's all fun.


Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: JimB on March 10, 2010, 03:09 PM
No Bob, you did not get the wind brakes wrong.

It is just that the alternative set up I showed you has less impact on a kites pitch capabilities and as you were working on tricks with pitch components..

Nothing wrong with hit or miss if you just want to fool around, but if you want to get better it is hugely important to back up a bit, clarify the goal, and be disciplined and systematic in your approach to learning what you need to learn.

Cold.

If you learn it cold wrong it leads to all sorts of problems that take a long time to fix down the road.

Now is the time to go over the fundamentals and make sure your technique is solid so you have a good base to progress from.



Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: Kantaxel on March 10, 2010, 05:16 PM
Quote
Now is the time to settle down, pick one kite, and refine your flying skills.

Hmm ... seems 'somebody' gave me that same advice years ago.  It made a HUGE difference.

Hmmh.........same here...............just haven't found the right kite ;).....RIGHT!! :-\


Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: Bob D on March 11, 2010, 04:01 AM
For years I flew by myself not knowing there were any other kite flyers. I had Flight School IV but I had trouble discovering what exactly "slack line" meant and pressure on the sail.

Then the internet came around and I discovered GWTW and learned all about stunt kites. I then found out that I missed out on the crew that flew at LSP by a few years. So I still flew by myself and fooled around trying to decipher what worked, what didn't work and maybe the reason why.

Okay, I'm ready for the next step. If I can fly a Nirvana, I could probably fly anything. And THEN the easy to fly kites (Exile, WM, and Fearless) will be even more fun!

Now we have to work out when to meet. (Around work, family, etc.)


Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: DaveH on March 11, 2010, 06:37 AM
Good choice with the Nirvana ;)
A completely honest kite.  I like working on new things with kites like the N. Its high level of consistency eliminates variables.


Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: RobB on March 12, 2010, 10:57 AM
Hey BobD...
I used to think the Exile was the kite that gave away the tricks, especially compared to the QPros that I had. Then I flew the Sea Devil, and that has been one of my goto kites for a couple years. It still is, but I'm moving over to the Fearless line, now. Another kite that is worth noting is the Four Winds Designs Nebula. It really gives up the tricks, and is very tollerent of sloppy inputs.
If I ever get over to LSP to fly with you guys, you are welcome to try these out.
By the way, I still fly my Exile UL on a regular basis. There's something to it that I haven't seen in any other kites, yet.
~Rob.


Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: DaveH on March 12, 2010, 12:49 PM
ummmm,
dumb question,  Whats LSP?


Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: JimB on March 12, 2010, 01:08 PM
Liberty State Park.

Right behind the Statue of Liberty in Jersey City, NJ.

Great place to fly a kite.


Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: xuzme720 on March 12, 2010, 02:32 PM
Oh man! I bet!

<so jealous> :(


Title: Re: Great all around kites
Post by: Beaufort on March 13, 2010, 07:43 AM
Hey BobD...
I used to think the Exile was the kite that gave away the tricks, especially compared to the QPros that I had. Then I flew the Sea Devil, and that has been one of my goto kites for a couple years. It still is, but I'm moving over to the Fearless line, now. Another kite that is worth noting is the Four Winds Designs Nebula. It really gives up the tricks, and is very tollerent of sloppy inputs.
If I ever get over to LSP to fly with you guys, you are welcome to try these out.
By the way, I still fly my Exile UL on a regular basis. There's something to it that I haven't seen in any other kites, yet.
~Rob.

Just to elaborate a little: The Exile is very nice indeed. It is smooth, and a nice flying kite. But it is also a bit slowly reacting compared to a Qpro or a Nirvana. Less direct. It is better in low winds but worse in higher. The Qpro is a better/quicker pitcher than the Nirvana, and for sure much better for tight turns. The Nirvana is a better spinner, and a dream for Taz machines and JL's.  Just my humble opinion ;-)