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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Beginners Corner => Topic started by: Quantum_Leap on May 21, 2010, 10:16 AM



Title: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: Quantum_Leap on May 21, 2010, 10:16 AM
         I am new to kiting and this forum. I have been flying for about six weeks for 5- 10 hrs a week with my two boys. We live about a half hour from the beach and I have a useable soccer field near my home. At this point the youngest is flying a Nexus with tail and is quite satisfied. My oldest started with an HQ Bolero which we unfortunately destroyed on our first outing together. I have a Quantum and I am working on Stalls, Side Slides and Recoveries. Once we all got past the the repeated nose dives, I replaced my son's Bolero with an E3 trying to keep a good mix of kites.

        After my initial research I decided on the Prism line and have been quite satisfied with the durablity and convieience of replacement parts. I plan on purchasing a second kite for myself and in keeping with my earlier logic, figured I would get a Zephr when I felt I was ready.  Since that time I have discovered this forum and learned that there are other options I should consider.

        I am looking for an "all around" kite that is a happy balance of tracking and tricking. Some lower wind capability would be a plus, currently when the wind dies down my son and I take turns on the E3. Wind range isn't a deal breaker as I am pretty sure that the kite after this will be an UL. I appreciate quality of construction and would enjoy owning a "boutique" level kite. From my research so far I have narrowed it down to the Prism Zephyr, Blue Moon Exile and Focus Hydra.
       
       The Exile seems to be closest to what I am looking for but I like the graphics of the Hydra a little better, is that silly? I still think the Zephyr is a good deal considering the case and extra lineset, noticed that I just missed a good deal in the bargain section.  Oh well, timing is everything. Anyway I would appreciate any advice or comparison / contrast from those with experience with the Kites. I am planning on attending the kite festival in Wildwood NJ and hoping to get to see some of them.

Thanks


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: tpatter on May 21, 2010, 10:35 AM
Exile - one of the 2 best kites I've ever owned.

I've never had a Hydra, but the Exile pushed my Zephyr (and many others ) out of the bag. 


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: Quantum_Leap on May 21, 2010, 10:45 AM
Oops, accidentally posted before I finished typing. Had to modify it.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: adx1592 on May 21, 2010, 11:07 AM
The exile all the way.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: RobB on May 21, 2010, 12:18 PM
I'll have to remember to bring my Exile, you can fly it next weekend. I'll be there thurs/fri/sat, leaving sun.
~Rob.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: King-J on May 21, 2010, 06:51 PM
Exile, is a great kite don't expect to get to many roll ups, some others to consider would be a Talon std or a Widow Maker.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: biglos on May 21, 2010, 07:26 PM
My vote would be for the Exile. The standard fly's pretty low especially with the kites you are looking at. It makes the Quantum and E3 feel heavy (even though I still fly them).


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: KaoS on May 21, 2010, 08:41 PM
Exile, is a great kite don't expect to get to many roll ups...

Interesting - I've not had this problem with my Exile.

@Quantum Leap.  Out of the three you're asking about, I've owned all three and still have the Exile.  The Hydra is very trick oriented and has it's own personality - it prefers you to fly it the Hydra way.  The Zephyr is a good all round kite, but the trailing edge tunnel wears out very quickly exposing the leech line.  I've repaired a few of them.  The Exile is top quality build, great at tricks, very good precision, and I'm keeping mine!

Hope this helps


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: Quantum_Leap on May 21, 2010, 09:02 PM
I'll have to remember to bring my Exile, you can fly it next weekend. I'll be there thurs/fri/sat, leaving sun.
~Rob.



That would be great, looking forward to it!  How many kites do you have?


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: Beachbum on May 21, 2010, 09:03 PM
I am planning on attending the kite festival in Wildwood NJ and hoping to get to see some of them.

1.  If they allow beer on the beach get a 24 or larger case of the local favorite beer.

2.  Walk up to a person flying a kite that looks or sounds interesting and trade him one of said beers for the lines.

3.  Repeat as neccessary until beer and/or beer funds run out.   

This is the best way to find "your" kite.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: Quantum_Leap on May 21, 2010, 09:08 PM

[/quote]
 The Hydra is very trick oriented and has it's own personality - it prefers you to fly it the Hydra way.  The Zephyr is a good all round kite, but the trailing edge tunnel wears out very quickly exposing the leech line.  I've repaired a few of them.  The Exile is top quality build, great at tricks, very good precision, and I'm keeping mine!

Hope this helps
[/quote]




That is what I wanted to know, Thanks.

Looks like Blue Moon will be taking orders again in about a month, suits my time frame perfectly.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: Quantum_Leap on May 21, 2010, 09:24 PM
Exile, is a great kite don't expect to get to many roll ups, some others to consider would be a Talon std or a Widow Maker.

Not a problem as I can't get any of my kites to roll up yet.

I really like the Talon, great looking kite, but it seems like it might be more trick oriented than I am ready for.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: tpatter on May 21, 2010, 09:51 PM

Exile, is a great kite don't expect to get to many roll ups...

...

Interesting - I've not had this problem with my Exile.


Me either - The Standard Exile will rollup with 1 barrel of weight.  With 3 (my favorite) to 5 barrels, it will rollup as good as most anything out there that I've had the pleasure to fly (including the WM).

If you are talking the UL, then I agree - that one needs some weight (5 barrels) in order to one-pop rollup like the standard.

-Tom


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: mello67 on May 21, 2010, 11:12 PM
I have the zephyr and the exile (std and ul), and have not flown a hydra. The zephyr is a good kite but as described before it will break down, mine is starting to fray as well. I would go with the exile, as you are already talking about a ul, you may consider ordering two !! ;) a std and ul. Having the same kite for all wind ranges is a great benefit. The exile is a great trick kite with precision built in also. The ul will fly in very low winds and is my go to kite for those days. The hardest part is choosing your colors. :D


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: RobB on May 22, 2010, 04:03 AM
I am planning on attending the kite festival in Wildwood NJ and hoping to get to see some of them.

1.  If they allow beer on the beach get a 24 or larger case of the local favorite beer.

2.  Walk up to a person flying a kite that looks or sounds interesting and trade him one of said beers for the lines.

3.  Repeat as neccessary until beer and/or beer funds run out.   

This is the best way to find "your" kite.

Why don't I ever see this guy on my beach ? :D


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: RobB on May 22, 2010, 04:06 AM
I'll have to remember to bring my Exile, you can fly it next weekend. I'll be there thurs/fri/sat, leaving sun.
~Rob.



That would be great, looking forward to it!  How many kites do you have?
I'm going to try to keep it to one roll-up bag for the weekend, so I'll have about 12 with me. I'm bringing a bag of single line kites, too, just as a distraction and to have something for the kids.

~Rob.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: stapp59 on May 22, 2010, 04:53 AM
There are *lots* of kites out there. 

+1 The Exile is a great choice.  Get the Std then UL as you can. 


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: King-J on May 22, 2010, 06:54 AM

Exile, is a great kite don't expect to get to many roll ups...

...

Interesting - I've not had this problem with my Exile.


Me either - The Standard Exile will rollup with 1 barrel of weight.  With 3 (my favorite) to 5 barrels, it will rollup as good as most anything out there that I've had the pleasure to fly (including the WM).

If you are talking the UL, then I agree - that one needs some weight (5 barrels) in order to one-pop rollup like the standard.

-Tom

Yes I was referring to the UL, Fly's in just a breath of air, it loves to do Jacobs Ladder, roll ups are not easily caught, will have to try Mikes std again when I head up to Chico next time.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: n893 on May 22, 2010, 07:06 AM
hi...

i'm beginner too... Zephyr was my first kite for learn tricks... it's not easy todo most of the tricks... it's like having it's own style to make proper tricks... for me it's like light wind precission kite that can do tricks,

just watch for it's tow line and LE cover... it's easy to worn of by the line... and the end LE connection super easy to break...

but i still keep my zephyr and sometime still using it... (i love the case of it hehehhe)
 ;) ;) ;)



Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: Quantum_Leap on May 22, 2010, 08:30 PM
Can someone explain the difference between the Std and the Nitro for the Exile? I assume the Nitro is lighter and/or stiffer?

Thanks for the feedback.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: Quantum_Leap on May 22, 2010, 08:34 PM
I am planning on attending the kite festival in Wildwood NJ and hoping to get to see some of them.

1.  If they allow beer on the beach get a 24 or larger case of the local favorite beer.

2.  Walk up to a person flying a kite that looks or sounds interesting and trade him one of said beers for the lines.

3.  Repeat as neccessary until beer and/or beer funds run out.   

This is the best way to find "your" kite.

Why don't I ever see this guy on my beach ? :D



I noticed I could fit quite a few cans in my speedbag just didn't leave much room for the kites.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: tpatter on May 22, 2010, 10:15 PM
Can someone explain the difference between the Std and the Nitro for the Exile? I assume the Nitro is lighter and/or stiffer?

Thanks for the feedback.


Nitro is stiffer, but I don't think its lighter.

I had an Exile with the Standard frame and also one with the Nitro.  The standard framed Exile would easily rollup with no weight at all - if I added 1 barrel to the Nitro - framed kite, then it felt similar.

All said, I preferred flying the non-nitro kite by a very slim margin, but I can't really say that it was due to the framing.  The bridles may have been different, the non-nitro kite was used to me and had seen many miles.  For whatever reason, side by side I preferred the non-nitro.  I also think the non-nitro flys in less wind (lighter frame and minus a weight), it would go in maybe 0.5 mph lower.

Having said that, if I just picked one up that day and flew it, I could tell no difference.   If I were buying one today, I'd go Mira and nitro.

 


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: RobB on May 23, 2010, 01:54 AM
Wasn't the 'Slice' color config going to be discontinued ? One of the two patterns, I think it was the 'slice'.
I thought the advantage of the Nitros was less bridle wear from the lower spreaders, and that the Nitros look super-cool. My standard has Nitros, and I'm pretty sure my UL does, too. If you spend the extra $$$ for Nitros, you'll get it back if you decided to sell the kite. Another advantage of the Exile, potential resale value, unlike the Zephyr, which people are seemingly having a hard time to give away recently.
Don't get me wrong, I think the Zephyr is a great kite, just kinda rough to spend ~$250 for it, and then to have trouble selling it for $100 when you're done with it. Sounds like the residual on an American car... :o


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: nobbl2k on May 23, 2010, 03:41 AM
Correct, it is the slice pattern, which is going to be quit.
But for the Nitros: What you are talking about are Black Diamond versions of the lower spreaders.
The Exile Std comes with 5PT Black Diamonds stock, no matter, if you choose P2X or Nitro *leading edges* and the UL comes with 3PT Black Diamond spreaders stock.
Love my Std (with Nitro le's) and my UL.  ;)


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: stapp59 on May 23, 2010, 03:55 AM
On the Exile, Ken has discontinued the Slice pattern.  The original Miro layout is still available.  The standard has a choice of P2X or Nitro LEs.  Both weigh the same but the Nitros are stiffer and will handle a  bit more winds.  Some prefer the softer flex of the P2Xs.  Personal preference as both are good tubes.  The lower spreaders are smooth Black Diamond 5PTs.

The UL is framed in 3PT leading edges and Black Diamond 3PT lower spreaders. Nice kites.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: RobB on May 23, 2010, 06:42 AM
I didn't know that Black Diamonds were standard lower spreaders on either the standard or Nitro version. I ordered mine with the Nitros, and that's all I know, I've never seen another Exile in person...


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: stapp59 on May 23, 2010, 06:51 AM
I didn't know that Black Diamonds were standard lower spreaders on either the standard or Nitro version. I ordered mine with the Nitros, and that's all I know, I've never seen another Exile in person...

Black diamonds are normal PT tubes sanded and clear coated.  Very smooth, shiny.  Exile standard has always used BD 5PTs for lower spreaders.

The choice is in leading edge tubes; P2X or Nitros.

Nitros are larger in diameter, a different tube entirely than PT series.  To confuse a bit more, Nitros are available in clear coat for lower spreader applications.  aka BD Nitros. 

Check out the Skyburner site on the right sponsor list.



Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: Quantum_Leap on May 23, 2010, 01:20 PM
Let me see if I understand...

The extra $15 will change the LE tubes from P2X to Nitro's which will give the kite a "stiffer" feel. I planned on getting a spare LS and LLE. Looks like I might want to order the Nitro and pickup P2x as my spare?


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: stapp59 on May 23, 2010, 02:21 PM
Let me see if I understand...

The extra $15 will change the LE tubes from P2X to Nitro's which will give the kite a "stiffer" feel. I planned on getting a spare LS and LLE. Looks like I might want to order the Nitro and pickup P2x as my spare?

Correct on the Nitro costing a little more and being a bit stiffer than the P2X. 

Your choice will dictate the spare parts you order for the LLE.  They should match and be replaced with the same tube type.  P2X and Nitros are hard to mix since the ferrules of the Nitro are larger in diameter.  To change from one tube type to the other will require changing all four tubes in the LEs.


Title: Re: Zephyr / Exile / Hydra ?
Post by: Quantum_Leap on May 23, 2010, 04:48 PM
Now I get it...found this at the Skyshark website,

"We also have just started producing a new larger diameter tube that is going to be called the Black Diamond Nitro. We developed this tube in cooperation with Ken McNeill of Blue Moon Kites. Ken wanted a tube that was stiffer than our current 5pt to stop any wing chatter that comes with high wind flying and to create better all around performance. So the new tube has a larger diameter, different taper, and is about 15 to 20% stiffer than our current 5pt. It is also a sanded tube. This tube can also be cut from the large end as well as the small end. This gives you the ability to change the stiffness. We may also clear coat tubes for spreaders. It's one of the stiffest tube I have ever had at 15 grams."