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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kites => Topic started by: mcocola on July 14, 2010, 05:30 AM



Title: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: mcocola on July 14, 2010, 05:30 AM
I've been searching for a relatively inexpensive inland kite for a while now.  I have come up with a number of options none of which seem optimal.

Silver Fox UL (2.3 and 2.5) - Supposedly on the heavy end of UL kites, I'm not sure they would let me get out and fly on many of the days we have around here

French Connection UL - Not too much info around out there but by the weight it seems also like a heavier kite.

Freestylist UL - Everyone seems to like them.  I don't know about their ability in very low wind but no one seems to have them in stock and they are on the upper end of what I am willing to spend.

HQ Shadow - Seems like I would be able to fly this in the fickle winds we have around here.  Light, and people say it is trickable but it seems like it is out of production?

Desire UL - Not entirely sure about its MO but I think I have read that it is not as trickable as some but does have a lower wind range than some of the ones mentioned


What kites am I missing that warrant a look?  At this point the ability to fly often outweighs the ability to do crazy precision tricks but I would like a kite that I can grow into.

Let me know your thoughts


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: DWayne on July 14, 2010, 06:18 AM
Its hard to make a kite that flies in low wind and does more than a few basic tricks. The ones that do generally sell for a premium price. IMO the HQ Shadow is the best of the options you've listed. They aren't in production per se but HQ does a run of them now and again. Keep an eye on the swap meet or place a wanted ad there. They do come up for sale once in a while.  ;)

Denny


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: thief on July 14, 2010, 06:29 AM

What kites am I missing that warrant a look?  At this point the ability to fly often outweighs the ability to do crazy precision tricks but I would like a kite that I can grow into.

you might need to specify what you are meaning by the term "crazy precision tricks"....precision is a different world that tricks.....

you will find more of ul kites that will excel at normal flying/precision flying....the makers can get away with having a bigger sale area to catch more of those light winds....but then it is harder to do tricks with a kite with a big sail....a good number of the tricks out that need that wind to help push the kite into its positions for the tricks....

what is a price range that you are shooting for?


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: mcocola on July 14, 2010, 06:44 AM
The point I was trying to get across is that I will be the limiting factor for the kite so I don't need a kite that does everything super well.

Price range is 150-200 probably including fly lines.


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: DWayne on July 14, 2010, 06:53 AM
you will find more of ul kites that will excel at normal flying/precision flying....the makers can get away with having a bigger sale [sic] area to catch more of those light winds....but then it is harder to do tricks with a kite with a big sail....

4D vs E3, E3 is a much bigger sail and is more precise and trick capable. But won't fly in zero wind like the 4D.
Kitehouse Sissy vs Cosmic TC, Cosmic TC has much more sail area, is more precise and does way more tricks. But again, won't fly in zero wind like the Sissy.

Denny


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: DD on July 14, 2010, 07:40 AM
Where inland are you? It might be worth trying to find someone else to fly with and try their kites.
Of the ones you have chosen i would say the shadow, although the 4d is getting good reviews
just my 2 cents


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: adx1592 on July 14, 2010, 08:32 AM
My votes for the Freestylist and the Shadow. The shadow is going to take some getting used to, though...
The Ocius ul is also a veryVERY nice UL, that doesn't need weight to trick. I've flown mine in 0 wind on 50lbs doing 360's. It's a bit more money but in my opinion its one of the best UL's from Skyburner.


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: Hadge on July 14, 2010, 09:11 AM
The HQ Shadow IS curently in production, it was reintroduced for 2010 - I bought one earlier this year. It's an excellent UL/almost SUL kite. It will fly and trick down to 2mph easily, maybe a little less. It will do all the tricks you would expect from a UL up to and including Jacobs Ladders - it's great at backspins! The only downside is that it does oversteer a lot straight from the bag but this is easily cured to a great extent by a simple 2 minute bridle mod. Well worth considering for the money.

HQ SHADOW (http://www.invento-hq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1054&Itemid=40)

VIDEO (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga03RHjMBDM)


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: the*real*stoney on July 14, 2010, 09:46 AM
You might consider an STX SUL if there is one available. I have been flying inland for 25 years and own a lot of low wind kites- M2s, Aerostar, Amazing, Pizazz, Mantis UL, Ultra SUL, and French Connection and they are all good kites down to 4 mph. But when I'm looking at something like 2 or 3 mph, the STX is my "go to" kite.

Stoney 


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: mcocola on July 14, 2010, 09:49 AM
The Shadow does seem like it would be a very good mix of very-low wind performance and tricking ability for when I progress.  When you say that it will take time to get used to, are you refering to the smaller control inputs necessary? 

Also, where did you find one for sale?

Lastly, what is considered the upper wind limit on a Shadow?


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: Steven L Hall on July 14, 2010, 09:59 AM
Email or PM me.


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: mcocola on July 14, 2010, 10:34 AM
PM'd


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: DD on July 14, 2010, 10:48 AM
Email or PM me.
when in doubt ask Steve, cuz he's da man! :D

Stoney,
Stx ul, I'm guessing you mean a stx 1.8? I have one and it is great in next to no wind the only kite i have that does better is my aerostar sano ssz. Occasionally the 1.8 comes up in the swaps, I have a black one but would love another color.


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: Hadge on July 14, 2010, 11:34 AM
The Shadow does seem like it would be a very good mix of very-low wind performance and tricking ability for when I progress.  When you say that it will take time to get used to, are you refering to the smaller control inputs necessary? 

Also, where did you find one for sale?

Lastly, what is considered the upper wind limit on a Shadow?

Yes you do need to use smaller inputs, the Shadow works best with a smooooth easy style. Upper limit is quoted at 12mph but to be honest there isn't much point in using it over about 8/9 mph as you'd be better off using a standard. Taking out the internal spine weight helps a lot in really low winds but at the expense of some of the tricks.


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: mcocola on July 14, 2010, 12:00 PM
Sounds good.  Learn the hard way to give smooth inputs ;)



I put a WTB ad out there but if anyone knows someone who is selling one... send em my way!


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: tpatter on July 14, 2010, 12:25 PM
I concur with others - the Shadow is one heck of a sweet low wind trick kite in my opinion.   It likes to fly and flat spin much better than many of the others that you are considering that I've flown.

Many kites have come and gone through my bag, but that one is still there.  In fact, it is now the oldest kite that I own.


BTW - I like how the kite feels currently, but can someone post the mods that they made in order to reduce the oversteer?  I'd be interested to see how I like it.


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: Hadge on July 14, 2010, 01:04 PM
All I did to mine was to tie a knot halfway up the loop on the upper outhaul that goes around the the pigtail knots. This shortens the uphaul by about 3cm, lifting the tow point. Pull the knot at the end of the end of the loop up as far as it will go and tie a knot halfway along. This seems to have taken a lot of the oversteer out of the kite and also gives a bit more drive as it increases the AOA. Try it and see what you think, it's easy to change back if you don't like it.

(http://www.kitejan.me.uk/images/gallery/06/shadow_bridleknots.jpg)


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: crunchie on July 14, 2010, 06:45 PM
I have a Shadow and a 4D (Thanks devin!). The shadow I managed to find new with the original rainbow design last year from a Ma'N'Pa shop somewhere on the west coast (isnt the internet great!). It was stashed in the back store for some years the clerk said, the last one they had.

Even gave me a "liquidation" price since it was so old ;) Guess he didnt know how rare they are now.

The only problem... the rubber that holds the upper spar in the middle is all cracks and ready to break. The weight is rusted and not shiney clean. I guess thats what happens when its been stored for a bit too long.

My first impressions where "WTF!". I could not get this guy to fly in less than 4mph winds. And it was hyper twitchy. Shortening down the briddle helps greatly with low wind as per recommendations here on GWTW, and removing the weight helps too (doh!). So remember to do that if you are planing some really low wind flying.

The 4D is also quite fun to fly, easy to stall and flip. But do not dart on the ground with it ;)

BTW, anyone know where I can get a replacement rubber for the upper spine (Assuming I actually need it...) for the Shadow? Just because I know its going to break soon...

Crunchie


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: ko on July 14, 2010, 11:30 PM
they are plumbing fixture o-rings so any hardware or plumbing supply will stock them  personally i dont use it


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: Hadge on July 15, 2010, 12:07 AM
You should be able to buy them at your local kite store - at least you can here in the UK.  Does anyone know if the information for the Shadow is still available from the 'old' forum as I would be interested to read it?


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: mcocola on July 16, 2010, 05:00 AM
Just purchased a lightly used Shadow from a forum member.  I hope it's as versatile as everyone says  :)


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: Kantaxel on July 16, 2010, 11:49 AM
You'll like it I'm sure...........Just remember the word 'soft' and you'll be fine ;)


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: chilese on July 16, 2010, 11:53 AM
Shadow:

1 Make sure the bridle has been adjusted to a much lighter position (higher tow point).

2 Use small hand motions as the kite has lots of oversteer.

If the bridle is set correctly, the kite should fly in 2 mph winds with just minor foot motion.


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: ko on July 16, 2010, 09:23 PM
worked for me


Title: Re: Light Wind Inland Kites - Best Option Comparison?
Post by: mcocola on July 19, 2010, 05:12 PM
Took the kite out for a spin today.  Its pretty nice but I now see what you all meant about needing a bridle adjustment.  When it got gusty it had a lot of pull and went skyward in a huge hurry and when the wind was light I seemed like I was walking backward unnecessarily. 

Can someone show me what the adjusted bridle looks like (a zoomed out photo) or some description?  Thanks!