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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kites => Topic started by: skykbass on August 03, 2010, 07:22 PM



Title: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: skykbass on August 03, 2010, 07:22 PM
I own a Prism E3, and I thought that was expensive! Is a Fearless that expensive because it's handmade, or is there really that much performance difference? I imagine the answer is both, but I'm curious on comparison between the E3, which seems to have a lot of capability. By price comparison, I would think the E3 and Fearless would be like a butter knife versus a machete! :D I'm scared to tell the wife that I want a half-grand sail!


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: onlye on August 03, 2010, 07:48 PM
Great Question.  I think we all had that "general" question along the way to our addiction. 

First kite-Can a kite really cost $90? 
Second Kite-Can I really tell the difference in $100 vs $150?
Tenth Kite-Wow, I can't wait to get that $250 kite, I'm sure its worth it.
Thirtieth Kite-Wow, what a cool kite, and its only $200!

And along the way we do find that many , not all, of the more expensive kites are really worth it; better build, better looks, better details, and yes of course - Better flying.

In all honesty I have owned several $300 kites but never a $500 kite.  Guess its just the next leap.  But not sure I could convince the wife.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Ace on August 03, 2010, 07:59 PM
$500 is too much.  :o
When you look at the build quality of bench mark kites such as deepspace, gemini, Seven etc. which are all under $400 then its hard to Justify $500 for a Kite of equal or lesser quality.

There may be some exception by way of custom frames etc. but generally $500 is a no go zone for any standard well made boutique kite.
Well for me anyway ;)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: cids on August 03, 2010, 08:04 PM
 :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Dave a on August 03, 2010, 08:32 PM
Usually the badge.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: chilese on August 03, 2010, 08:42 PM
If a Synchro ever comes up when I have the funds, I'd pay $500.  :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Allen Carter on August 03, 2010, 08:57 PM
If you're serious about flying, the cost of the kites isn't a big issue (when you can afford 'em). This is a fairly cheap hobby even at the high end.

The main reason to get a really expensive kite is because it flies different than other kites. When you're gonna put hundreds of hours on a kite, paying an extra dollar an hour for a kite that really makes you smile is cheap fun.

On paper, like specifications, most kites in the $250+ range are pretty similar. In flight, they are sometimes subtly, sometimes vastly, different. Not generally differences that are easy to quantify, though we talk about them constantly. Large amounts of personal preference. The other preference is aesthetics. The number of man hours that go into some kites purely for the sake of appearances can be significant, but for many of us it's worth the bucks to have a nice looking kite. Again, this is a result of the number of hours spent on the lines. An E3 is a nice kite, but I would rather not have to look at it all day.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: John Welden on August 03, 2010, 09:05 PM
I own a Prism E3, and I thought that was expensive! Is a Fearless that expensive because it's handmade, or is there really that much performance difference? I imagine the answer is both, but I'm curious on comparison between the E3, which seems to have a lot of capability. By price comparison, I would think the E3 and Fearless would be like a butter knife versus a machete! :D I'm scared to tell the wife that I want a half-grand sail!

First off, all kites are hand made.  No one has invented a kite making machine. Most every kite is made in about the same way.  Mass produced or not, there isn't much difference.

Second, all sport kites use more or less the same materials.

It's nice to think that you can buy a Fearless and get something that will blow away your E3, but it doesn't work like that.  It's the kite flyer that makes all the difference in the world, not the kite. Could an expert flyer do more radical flying with a Fearless over an E3? Probably not.

On the other hand, it's fun to buy and own high end kites. If you want a Fearless, you'll probably be happy if you get one.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: rncembal on August 03, 2010, 09:24 PM
I think the butter knife and machete is way to broad . You can just look at a 7 inch chef knife . One a a moderate price and another high end . Made roughly the same way but all the finish details and many  components better on the high priced version. That has changed somewhat on kites and a lot of the cost is economy of scale in purchase power between mass  and boutique built. I can say from experience many years ago with the Big Brother that Mr Weldon may be correct for himself but incorrect for the majority. A great intuitive flyer will perform across a wide range of kites and have the feel to adapt. Many less   talented may find that certain kites have design imperatives that do affect their ability to achieve results. All the kite I had flown previously to the Big Brother had oversteer or understeer. My switching from 6 foot flexi stacks left me with less than stellar feel and suddenly I had a kite that I could steer. Compared to todays tricks it's laughable but I enjoyed the advent of the prefect 90 degree turn followed by the on rails ground pass wobble free.
Worth the 375 dollar price jump from mass to boutique? depends on your desire and wallet.
Rob


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: tpatter on August 03, 2010, 10:12 PM
Certainly the Fearless is far far better designed, put together, and functional in my opinion.  Once you can keep the kite in the air,  have a decent snap stall, can axel, 540, and land the kite, I'd go for the best kite that is going to help you move to more advanced tricks more easily. 

The trouble is - its hard to tell you what kite that will be since it really depends on what you like.  Certainly, many people love Lam's style of kite. 

The best thing is to figure what kite that you love to fly.  That way, you will spend lots of time flying it, practicing and getting better.  Who knows, perhaps the E3 is that kite for you right now.   


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: lasapcheong on August 03, 2010, 10:47 PM
Coincidently I found a blog article by Kent Kingston a few days ago. Very relevant read to the topic being discussed here :)

http://kitethoughtsfromthefield.blogspot.com/2010/07/cheap-kites-vs-high-end-expensive-kites.html (http://kitethoughtsfromthefield.blogspot.com/2010/07/cheap-kites-vs-high-end-expensive-kites.html)

-Darryl


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: jaybett on August 03, 2010, 11:52 PM
There is some confusion between cost versus performance. Using the knife analogy, a Euro kitchen knife can generally be had for $100.00. A specialized Japanese kitchen knife that is the same size can go for well over a $1000.00
Is a knife that costs 10 times more, really ten times better?

The cost of a Japanese knife is high, because the technique used to forge it is difficult and requires a skilled craftsman. Even in the hands of a skilled craftsman, there are many failures, before a knife is successfully made. 

Does the Japanese knife cut 10 times better then a Euro one? In general, no, but it has characteristics that top chefs want and are willing to pay for them.

Lam Hoac who makes the Fearless is a perfectionist. He estimates that it takes him twenty four hours to build one kite. How many kites does Prism make in the same time? Even among other boutique makers, I'd bet this is a slow build rate.

Does a Lam kite fly five times better then a $100 kite? In general the answer would be no, but a Lam Kite has characteristics that fan's of his kite value.

Jay


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: KaoS on August 04, 2010, 12:17 AM
Lam Hoac who makes the Fearless is a perfectionist. He estimates that it takes him twenty four hours to build one kite.
...
Even among other boutique makers, I'd bet this is a slow build rate.

24 hours??  Yep that is a S-L-O-W build.  Ken McNeil told me he can put one of his kites together in between 4 and 5 hours.  I average around 6 hours.  When I was making entry level 6 footers for a local shop (4 panels, no leech line, folded trailing edge, simple L/E/ coutouts), less than 2 hours.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: inewham on August 04, 2010, 12:40 AM
I'd gotten the impression that Lam didn't make his own kites these days and had them sewn up by someone else, am I wrong?

Re: the price, if the demand is there some people will charge what the market will stand. There seemed to be a big jump in prices when the Nirvana came along, in that case much of the price was probably due to exchange rates, import duties etc. but it didn't take other mfrs long to catch up in the US & UK.

I reached the point a while ago where I thought enough is enough. I can understand the work that goes into a kite, the cost of materials and I know no one ever got rich in kites but I just can't justify spending more than $300/200UKP on a kite that might get shredded by a dog. You may justify it by comparing with other sporting goods but it no longer makes sense to me especially when they're not really bringing anything new to the game any more.



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: zippy8 on August 04, 2010, 12:43 AM
Is a Fearless that expensive because it's handmade
Mostly, yes. There's nothing in the materials that kick the price up that much.

Quote
or is there really that much performance difference?

First you'd have to define performance, then put a dollar-per-performance-unit to it, etc. etc. In order to be able to say that the Fearless is the better kite you'd have to work out what you mean by better.

To the Man In The Street... it's probably not worth the money.
To an enthusiast who likes to play with nice toys... it's up to them.

Quote
By price comparison, I would think the E3 and Fearless would be like a butter knife versus a machete!
How about Aston Martin versus Jaguar - look roughly the same to most disinterested people, use about the same parts, do roughly the same thing but one is a lot more expensive than the other. Why ? Badge, mainly. The allure of the hand-made for another. But mostly badge.

In the grand scheme of things $500 isn't a lot of money to spend on an object that you frequently use recreationally but it's a hell of a lot to have sitting in a bag just for the hell of it. If you really take this hobby seriously then you'll almost certainly want to get your hands on something special at some stage.

Quote from: chilese
If a Synchro ever comes up when I have the funds, I'd pay $500.
Mine will be up for sale Real Soon Now™ for what I paid for it (once I remember what that was). You can have first refusal on it.

Mike.



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: RobB on August 04, 2010, 02:05 AM
Compared to other sports & recreational activities... kiting isn't expensive. A decent mountain bike starts at $2000, a lift ticket for a few hours of skiing is ~$100, the skis or snowboard setup is $1000 or more, what do golf clubs cost ? Greens fees ? Fishing poles... boats ?  There are bigger wastes of $$$ than a beautiful kite. How about a $500 night out on the town ? Nothing to show for that the next day...
Really, kiting is cheap for the number of hours that you'll get out of a $150 or a $500 kite. If you like it, buy it... it's only money, they'll print more !


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: DWayne on August 04, 2010, 04:25 AM
Two things,
1) Kite makers willing to charge that much.
2) Customers willing to pay that much.  ;)

Denny


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Francois on August 04, 2010, 04:46 AM
When I look at Mark from JoE putting a kite together on is blog I realy feel that the asking price for one of is kite is worth every penny... :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: thief on August 04, 2010, 04:50 AM
personally i would rather spend 500$ on a nice single line kite...i cannot imagine what i would have to do to make a 500$ night worth it (and me remember it!).

in the kayaking world i started off small....used 12' boat from a used sports shop.....at one point i had 9 boats in my basement that covered all the genre the sport....sold half of them to purchase one boat....a composite (fiberglas) version of a plastic kayak that i already owned....the composite boat will last me a lifetime....easily fixable....always the same shape...the plastic version last about 10 years of useful life and can change shape in the sun....so i sold 5 boats  for about 500$ each to purchase one 3500$ hull....but the composite hull is going to be my lifetime boat...and is handmade....and is a much finer craft than the plastic model...

it is all about what you want to spend...and are comfortable spending....
Surly Bikes makes a thousand dollar unicycle....and sells it........


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Kaasplank on August 04, 2010, 05:06 AM
If a Synchro ever comes up when I have the funds, I'd pay $500.  :)

In my opinion the only kite worth that amount of money :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: zippy8 on August 04, 2010, 05:45 AM
Compared to other sports & recreational activities... kiting isn't expensive.

Certainly true but this doesn't address why one kite goes for $550 and another for $165 (http://www.chicokites.com/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=33). Perhaps some people are trying to make it unnecessarily expensive.  :-[

Quote
How about a $500 night out on the town ? Nothing to show for that the next day...

Who can put a price on the stories you'll be telling for years about the tattoo.  ;)

Mike.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: RonG on August 04, 2010, 05:51 AM
The kite is worth whatever people are willing to pay for it, full stop.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Francois on August 04, 2010, 06:24 AM
The kite is worth whatever people are willing to pay for it, full stop.

Right! Same with antiques and collector item.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Moonfog on August 04, 2010, 07:10 AM
Compared to other sports & recreational activities... kiting isn't expensive. A decent mountain bike starts at $2000, a lift ticket for a few hours of skiing is ~$100, the skis or snowboard setup is $1000 or more, what do golf clubs cost ? Greens fees ? Fishing poles... boats ?  There are bigger wastes of $$$ than a beautiful kite. How about a $500 night out on the town ? Nothing to show for that the next day...
Really, kiting is cheap for the number of hours that you'll get out of a $150 or a $500 kite. If you like it, buy it... it's only money, they'll print more !

A nice justification! Is that what you try and tell the wife?!  ;) :D


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: monkey on August 04, 2010, 07:22 AM
I'd gotten the impression that Lam didn't make his own kites these days and had them sewn up by someone else, am I wrong?

Lam very definitely sews all of his kites himself. My last trip south with him he was in bridle making mode and I had bridle sections hanging all over my car for a few hours. Glad I didn't have to explain that to a cop.

"Oh him?  He's fascinated by string theory lately"


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: inewham on August 04, 2010, 07:33 AM
Lam very definitely sews all of his kites himself. My last trip south with him he was in bridle making mode and I had bridle sections hanging all over my car for a few hours.

Ah, then I acknowledge my mistake and apologise if my previous comment misled anyone.


Perhaps some people are trying to make it unnecessarily expensive.  :-[

A BMK, Benson or Robertshaw goes for around $300/£200. In terms of materials and construction they're as good as it gets and they're sewn by the designer.

$500 does seem like some one is trying something  :o


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: thief on August 04, 2010, 08:39 AM

$500 does seem like some one is trying something  :o
Ask kiteslinger....iirc he paid that for ONE of his Synchros.......

Heck...the Rev masterpieces are going for ____________$ right?


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Dolphinboy on August 04, 2010, 08:53 AM


A BMK, Benson or Robertshaw goes for around $300/£200. In terms of materials and construction they're as good as it gets and they're sewn by the designer.

$500 does seem like some one is trying something  :o

Trying what? You don't have to buy them. Please don't bash the man by saying he's some how trying something. He gets what he can get for them. He loves kites and kiting and he's not getting rich but making his passion available to others.

I am happy with his kites and it makes me feel good when I buy something from him. Knowing that my money is in small way helping support the passion he puts into the design, the build and flying too.

Go up to him at the next festival you're at, talk to him and you'll see he loves this stuff and it shows in the product. Not just the quality of the kite but the quality of the flight. It is funny how many of you like to bash a product that you have never even seen, let alone tried. If you don't like it, fair enough don't buy it.

What makes a 500 dollar kite?

An E3 is a design based on "Looking good in the store" "how many of these can we sell" and "how can we make them cheap enough to so we can include a cool looking bag?" It's a business kite, a kite store kite. Can it trick? yeah it's O K if you like that sort of kite, comes with a nice bag though. If Mark put his effort into the performance of the kite instead of the shelf appeal, it would possibly be a great kite.

A Fearless is a design based on "I want to fly the best trick kite in the world and sell them to others too". It's made by the same man who designs and flies them. Lam puts many hours into the design and then every detail of the kite when he builds them too. It's also a time consuming design to sew. Look at the tight curves in the details around the eyes or the waves. Even given all that, they are still very expensive. Is it worth $500? Yeah, for many it is. I would buy a kite from Lam for 2-3 times the price of a E3 and never regret 1 cent of the money I spent. Why? Because I would fly it more, enjoy it more and get my monies worth out of it!

He also make a less expensive kite that is easier to sew. They're still not cheap but more in line with a BMK or Benson in price.

Plus
Lam's kites ROCK! End of story.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: quincy on August 04, 2010, 08:56 AM
Ask kiteslinger....iirc he paid that for ONE of his Synchros.......

Heck...the Rev masterpieces are going for ____________$ right?

As the owner of several Rev Masterpieces, you're paying for the quality of the build (sewn/finished by Bazzer for mine) and for the idea and visual impact of the design.
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4135/4803752464_c3b72ba53c_d.jpg)

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4120/4809851313_66ec662a73_d.jpg)

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2662/3957566528_3a915f8e7a_d.jpg)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: skabt on August 04, 2010, 09:43 AM
In asia, yes worth it, each appearance cost around 100 buck .... most flier here show the kite more then flying it ..... is like a rolex or ferrari for kite ...


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: asburyparkjohn on August 04, 2010, 09:55 AM
Well said DB. I would only add that once you get above the $250 mark it's what the kite can do for you and what you want out of the kite in terms of work input/trick output ... I fly Sea Devils but most if not all of them I bought used ... I own a pair of each from the Light Version up to Full Vent and own a single SUL & UL ... The Tranformer TL with extra 5PT sticks I paid $400 and the Tattoo I paid near $500 new ... NO REGRETS ...  I fly Lam kites primarily due to the small inputs required and they require LESS WORK to trick. There also seems to be no limits on the fact that it does this trick well and that trick not so well. Yes I am aware of the reverse INSANE differential between SD and Fearless but I guess Lam being a perfectionist he wanted that trick  more easily done on the SD ... hence the Fearless? as per his advertisement?  Cost is secondary and his kites are of great construction of course. At this price level ... they better be ... It seems its territorial also with R-Sky being in Europe and being more popular there with these PILOTS few would consider the Fearless worth $500 from these area codes. To be honest the SE and Talons have not come my way EASILY to test try AT ALL ... I will fly ANYTHING ONCE.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Steve Hall on August 04, 2010, 10:53 AM
Quote
An E3 is a design based on "Looking good in the store" "how many of these can we sell" and "how can we make them cheap enough to so we can include a cool looking bag?" It's a business kite, a kite store kite. Can it trick? yeah it's O K if you like that sort of kite, comes with a nice bag though. If Mark put his effort into the performance of the kite instead of the shelf appeal, it would possibly be a great kite.

Wow!

A bit hypocritical don't you think?  Isn't it possible to defend Lam with out denigrating another designer?  Both Mark and Lam have done a good job of selling to their audiences.  Most in the business would agree no one has done a better job of that than Prism.   


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: randyg on August 04, 2010, 11:26 AM
There seemed to be a big jump in prices when the Nirvana came along, in that case much of the price was probably due to exchange rates, import duties etc. but it didn't take other mfrs long to catch up in the US & UK.

My first Nirvana cost less than $250 for whatever that's worth. It was priced very close to the Mamba I had purchased at about the same time. It was a while before the exchange rate began to climb, IIRC.

$500 is the most I ever paid for a kite and it was a 24 unit limited edition run framed with some fairly "bling worthy", at the time, rods. I still consider it the Ferrari of sportkites. It's encased in wood and glass now.  :D


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Dolphinboy on August 04, 2010, 12:02 PM
Quote
An E3 is a design based on "Looking good in the store" "how many of these can we sell" and "how can we make them cheap enough to so we can include a cool looking bag?" It's a business kite, a kite store kite. Can it trick? yeah it's O K if you like that sort of kite, comes with a nice bag though. If Mark put his effort into the performance of the kite instead of the shelf appeal, it would possibly be a great kite.

Wow!

A bit hypocritical don't you think?  Isn't it possible to defend Lam with out denigrating another designer?  Both Mark and Lam have done a good job of selling to their audiences.  Most in the business would agree no one has done a better job of that than Prism.   

Probably. I apologize for being too harsh. I think nothing bad about Mark and obviously he has done well making a product that sells. I try my best not to be disrespectful to anyone and after I reread that part, I could have made my point in a more respectful way. I think it's super important that there are affordable trick kites out there and I've had enjoyable times flying some of his kites too.

But my point is sincere. The E3 isn't designed or made to be the best. That's not where Prism was aiming and that's not wrong. But it is a fact and part of the answer to the OP.  Lam designed his Fearless with a whole different goal in mind. That is a fact too.

I still think that Prism spends way too much on the packaging of the product and less of the money on the product its self but it works business wise. Too me, the kite should be the end point and the bag shouldn't detract from the flying experience. So things like making a kite / bag combo that you have to break down the LEs every time you put it away etc. seem misguided. That's not for me and it's nothing more than my perspective. If I really liked the kite, I'd get a different sleeve for it but I'd still feel like I wasted money on the original bag laying around that should have been put into the kite. The way I see it, that's more about the image of the product than the actual performance of the kite. I believe these things based on my experience owning and using them, not to denigrate Mark.

Peace


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: tpatter on August 04, 2010, 12:43 PM
I'm confused about comments indicating that the E3, aside from price, flys and tricks as good as the Fearless.  It is just not the case and I wouldn't expect it to. 

The E3 is a good kite to learn the basics on, but I've flown the E3 and "it ain't no Fearless/Nirvana/TNT/Deepspace/SD" no matter who is flying it (in my opinion).

The E3 is really a FIRST kite, a kite like the Fearless is really a LAST kite!  :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Kitemac on August 04, 2010, 01:28 PM
The E3 is really a FIRST kite, a kite like the Fearless is really a LAST kite!  :)

Just to clarify.  Are you really saying the E3 could be considered a first kite?  I would expect a novice to have problems with the E3 and doubt if it could take any severe punishment that a newbie will hand out.

I would agree the E3 is more of an intermediate step along the lines to one of the exotic end points that exist.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Dolphinboy on August 04, 2010, 02:00 PM
Unless you're just drilling it time after time, day after day into the ground why wouldn't it hold up? It seems as durable as most cheap starter kites I've seen.

I think the main reason a E3 isn't a first kite for many is because $165 is still a lot of money to someone who just wants to try dual line flying out. Or a non kite flier. Where maybe $70-80 bucks is easier to justify. But if you find you're into it then the $125-200 range seems tolerable and is a easy next step up.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: tpatter on August 04, 2010, 02:15 PM

Just to clarify.  Are you really saying the E3 could be considered a first kite?  I would expect a novice to have problems with the E3 and doubt if it could take any severe punishment that a newbie will hand out.


I guess I meant "the first real sport kite".  I had an Ignitor (I think I paid $25) for the first 20 hours or so and then got an E2, which I flew for over a year before getting another kite.  Those first few hours are pretty painful for a kite, I would think a Beetle or something similar would be the ideal very first dual line.




Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: rxburner on August 04, 2010, 02:18 PM
$500 for a Fearless????
A bargain, I have 5..... and I think I need a couple more.
Oh yeah.... and then there are the Sea Devils.....

Prism Kites are a great place to start the journey and the trail leads us all to different destinations. I loved my E2, Elixirs, Vapor and QP. I still have a Zephyr, thank you Steve for putting me on the road, and thank you Lam for the sports car to drive on it.

Is there that much difference between an E3 and a Fearless?
That my friend is a matter of personal preference, you’re welcome to fly mine anytime and make up your own mind..
Rx


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Skippy on August 04, 2010, 02:25 PM
$500.00 breakdown:

1) Kite   = $300
2) Hype = $200  (Milk'em while you can  ;D)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: cids on August 04, 2010, 02:40 PM
 :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Dolphinboy on August 04, 2010, 02:41 PM
$500.00 breakdown:

1) Kite   = $300
2) Hype = $200  (Milk'em while you can  ;D)

I may buy a kite based on others opinions (hype?) or watching video. But I'd only buy another one based on performance. I own 4 kites made by Lam so I'm either drinking the Kool-Aide or tricking the crap out of the kites ;D


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: rxburner on August 04, 2010, 03:01 PM
$500.00 breakdown:

1) Kite   = $300
2) Hype = $200  (Milk'em while you can  ;D)

When you buy one and decide that it is indeed $200 worth of "Hype." I will gladly give you $300 for the kite.

Rx


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: inewham on August 04, 2010, 03:52 PM

Trying what? You don't have to buy them. Please don't bash the man by saying he's some how trying something. He gets what he can get for them. He loves kites and kiting and he's not getting rich but making his passion available to others.

By omitting the bit of Mike's post that I quoted you lose the fact that I was paraphrasing Mikes comment and you go on to imply some kind of slur against Lam, that isn't the case. Please don't try to read more into my post than what was actually written.

I find the debate about whether a 2 line kite (in the most generic sense) is worth $500 interesting but lets not turn this into another Fearless Fans vs. Cynics thread, thats been done to death.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: RobB on August 04, 2010, 04:03 PM
Compared to other sports & recreational activities... kiting isn't expensive. A decent mountain bike starts at $2000, a lift ticket for a few hours of skiing is ~$100, the skis or snowboard setup is $1000 or more, what do golf clubs cost ? Greens fees ? Fishing poles... boats ?  There are bigger wastes of $$$ than a beautiful kite. How about a $500 night out on the town ? Nothing to show for that the next day...
Really, kiting is cheap for the number of hours that you'll get out of a $150 or a $500 kite. If you like it, buy it... it's only money, they'll print more !

A nice justification! Is that what you try and tell the wife?!  ;) :D
Hey, whatever works... no, she put up with me racing cars, riding mountain bikes (I actually got her to let me have a hard tail and a soft tail) waterskiing, four wheeling and snowboarding over the last 23 years. She laughs when I think I'm going to be in trouble for buying another kite. I mean, a part for a mountain bike, car, a boat all cost more than a Lam kite. It's all where you decide to put your recreational dollars.

Aside from that, wasn't the Prism Vapor $500 WHEN it was in production ?


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Allen Carter on August 04, 2010, 04:59 PM

Aside from that, wasn't the Prism Vapor $500 WHEN it was in production ?



GWTW 10 years ago:


Product #  Color 

Vapor - B Blue        $395.00
Vapor - I Yellow      $395.00
Vapor - R Red         $395.00
Vapor - V Teal        $395.00
Vapor - O Orange    $395.00
Vapor BR Black Rainbow     $450.00
Vapor WR White Rainbow   $450.00
Vapor Custom  Your Color  $450.00 Allow anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks 100% deposit required.


http://web.archive.org/web/20000929093119/www.gwtw-kites.com/Vaporbyprism.html (http://web.archive.org/web/20000929093119/www.gwtw-kites.com/Vaporbyprism.html)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: tpatter on August 04, 2010, 05:15 PM
Well, that brings up a whole other issue - I often wonder why we as consumers demand cheap products (in cost) with no regard as to how that economy is achieved.

The person sewing kites in China is probably making next to nothing (by the standards of those buying the product) for their work.

I am a fan of capitalism, just not all its side-effects.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Fearless Object on August 04, 2010, 05:43 PM
You got that right Tom, at 0.19 cents an hour, this is happening right now. I was one of them before came to Canada. Now you know who is the one that making the money. At the end Rich and Poor all dead anyway. Can not the money with you. what a sad world we live in.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: KaoS on August 04, 2010, 05:51 PM
Quote
$500.00 breakdown:

1) Kite   = $300
2) Hype = $200  (Milk'em while you can  ;D)

I'm not sure how you came up with the above conclusion if you never flown one before.

I'm a FXXXXXXX owner. I flown only one kite and my conclusion is as following:

1) Kite   = $500
2) Hype = $   :D



Well, I bought one ($600 by the time it was shipped here) and flew it.  There was nothing about the build of the kite to suggest to me it was made any better or worse, or from better or worse components, than a Talon or a Deepspace, et al.

My conclusion after flying... not what I'd hoped for.  So I sold it one week later.  A fair bit of hype down the drain.

HOWEVER!!!  I'm not bagging the Fearless as a kite.  It is clearly a design that pleases a LOT of people.  But I bought mine based on the hype and was not as pleased as other people.



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: asburyparkjohn on August 04, 2010, 05:53 PM
When you really think about the real and sad question here is "How many people have flown a $50 stunt kite (not Prism) with package wrapping line on plastic handles and have quit after several flights in frustration. Took one neighbor of mine in AP after this situation and after seeing me on the beach and after hearing his tale which was similar from above I said "Trust me ... give me a $100 and I will show you the sky ... one week later ... a Prism Quantum with Spectra 75' X 90# lines (two pair) ... two years now and he's loving it ... that's the KILLER in this hobby in my opinion. Passing this HURDLE ...  being all ALONE in the beginning with a bottom end instrument of  TOTAL CHAOS.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Dolphinboy on August 04, 2010, 06:13 PM

Trying what? You don't have to buy them. Please don't bash the man by saying he's some how trying something. He gets what he can get for them. He loves kites and kiting and he's not getting rich but making his passion available to others.

By omitting the bit of Mike's post that I quoted you lose the fact that I was paraphrasing Mikes comment and you go on to imply some kind of slur against Lam, that isn't the case. Please don't try to read more into my post than what was actually written.

I find the debate about whether a 2 line kite (in the most generic sense) is worth $500 interesting but lets not turn this into another Fearless Fans vs. Cynics thread, thats been done to death.

If that's the case and you weren't just lashing out, then I am sorry. But I read you're post and Mikes quotes. And I just reread it again with the quotes & I guess I just don't understand your point then because it seems the same as the first time I read it. I'll include your entire post below so others can sort it out for themselves if anyone even cares.

Lam very definitely sews all of his kites himself. My last trip south with him he was in bridle making mode and I had bridle sections hanging all over my car for a few hours.

Ah, then I acknowledge my mistake and apologise if my previous comment misled anyone.


Perhaps some people are trying to make it unnecessarily expensive.  :-[

A BMK, Benson or Robertshaw goes for around $300/£200. In terms of materials and construction they're as good as it gets and they're sewn by the designer.

$500 does seem like some one is trying something  :o



So back on topic....
I also find $500 dual line kite debate interesting too but the Fearless was singled out in the OP and throughout so there are naturally responses referencing it. Lam also makes kites for around $300 US but not the Fearless, I think they're $450 and up.

I am a fan of several different kites from different builders. I am also keen to fly just about anything, I love seeing what different kites are about. What different designers are trying to do and how they build their kites too. That's fun ;D

I don't need to own the most expensive kite or some kite perceived the best by others. I don't care about that stuff. One of my favorite kites, the Mohawk XS, cost $200 shipped new when Rob made it. It's being made again at, I think, 250 Euro, so about $330 US + shipping. If I wasn't set up on Mohawk XSs, I would order one right now, today, at the higher price. Some people think that kite sucks, different strokes. I wouldn't spend $500 on a Rev but I understand those that do.

What I'm looking for in a kite is something that fits how I fly & what tricks I'm doing, the Mohawk XS, Fearless, Transformer all do that. But I want some variety too so keep some kites with different styles, HQ Breeze, Widowmaker, STX 1.8 among others. I try & maybe buy other kites every now & then. If they are expensive, then I'd like to try them first before I buy. I purchased several kites on reputation just to be disappointed when I tried them. If they're cheap, used or belong to someone else the disappointment is still there but it doesn't seem as bad ;) Everyone has their $$ limit too I guess. I usually sell something to buy something else these days. Business has been slow.

Like I said in a earlier post, I feel good spending my money with a builder I appreciate. Maybe even know. Supporting a small business, that is usually where I'll spend more money. I get an awesome kite and the sport overall progresses by money going to the builder / designer/ innovator so they can keep building / designing etc.



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Skippy on August 04, 2010, 06:41 PM
My point is that in today’s market there is plethora of sport kites built by skilled kite builders. Their products are built to high standards using the best of materials. Put those creations side by side and there is little to set them apart. The going price for these kites is $300 to $400 USD.

When  these skilled kite builders’ releases a special, limited build run that sets this particular kite apart from the standard production model then this offering justifiably commands special pricing, usually in the $400 to $500 range.

In the above two scenarios I am more than happy to pay what the craftsman is asking.

However, when a kite builder (any kite builder) charges what is an abnormally high price for their standard production model then, IMO that is just taking advantage of the goodwill of the people who support them in the first place.

In this scenario I prefer (and do) refuse to perpetuate what I feel is an injustice ('milking' a limited market).

If this point of view (supported by my actions) makes me a cynic, then so be it.



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: freecheese on August 04, 2010, 08:39 PM
I live pretty close to the builder, so I get some perks, but for my money I got:

A - an awesome kite which I fly almost everyday
B - various accompanying essentials
C - hours of personal instruction
D - a patient long distance phone call after I removed the bridle and couldn't figure out how to re-install it
E - a few meals
F - quite a few beers
G - a friend

This cost me something in the vicinity of $300 - $500 dollars*, I don't recall the exact price at the moment. Anyway you look at it, it was one hell of a deal.



ps- $165 for a kite which, in the end, is pretty fun to fly is also a good deal! There's nothing wrong with the E3, but when you upgrade (and you will, oh, you will...)
and find a kite that you really click with, you'll never look back.







* per kite  ::)





Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: cids on August 04, 2010, 08:45 PM
 :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: GEB on August 04, 2010, 09:03 PM
My first time visiting a kite shop as an adult was just a few years ago. I ask the owner what made one kite $50 and the other $200. He said, “The way they fly.” Never having flown a dual line I had no reference point for evaluation. After flying a few kites I began to understand the difference.
 
Then I went to a Ken McNeill class and built one of his kites. Afterwards I told him he wasn’t charging enough for his work. I believe if you were to take a close look at Lam’s work then purchase all the materials and try to build one for yourself to his standards you just might walk away thinking his price a bargain. No I am not advocating coping Lam’s work.

What about the other builders? The build quality of the Deep Space I own by Mr. Benson is as good as it gets (IMO). My Nirvana’s, though not in the same league in build quality, sure have taken a lickin and are still tickin. The most rugged kites I own though have been the Blue Moons. I haven’t broken anything on any of them yet. I am sure there are several others who would qualify as master builders whose work sells for less than $500 and I hear that echoed here. To me the bottom line is if you are serious about flying then the difference between $300 and $500 isn’t all that much. If your not serious about flying then why in the world would you buy a $500 kite!

I also have to agree with some of what has been said here that when you reach the $300 level you are in pretty good company with lots of options for your personal preferences in flying.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: skykbass on August 04, 2010, 09:45 PM
I had no idea this post would get this much attention! ??? I appreciate everybody's input, and I'm sure the E3 is probably the best thing for me at this level. I also own a 4-d which saves me from frustration alot of the time being in the midwest and all. I was lucky to acquire my mother's spyro-jet kite when I started, and after realizing the enjoyment also purchased a 20 dollar "stunt" kite from a local craft store. I couldn't get the craft store kite off the ground, but since I had the spyro-jet I was able to continue my enjoyment/growing addiction. Having something decent right from the start that will get up there and buzz around really makes a difference. So, to keep this going... What would be a good level-up from an E3?


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: GEB on August 04, 2010, 10:01 PM
Can you give us a little more information.

Price point?

What are your normal winds like? Wind speed, smooth, bumpy - Etc.

Are you more interested in freestyle vice precision or both?

Knowing some of these things will help us point you in the right direction.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: mikenchico on August 04, 2010, 10:14 PM
Frankly above the E3 it makes sense to go to that Custom Builder. For the cost of a night at the movies or dinner out over the cost of the next step up in a chinese manufactured kite you'll get the personal attention of a craftsman that will be constructing your kite themself. Price range $220 up to $500+

Now which one?  LOL


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: zippy8 on August 04, 2010, 10:49 PM
Perhaps some people are trying to make it unnecessarily expensive.  :-[
Allow me to elaborate.

The materials that go into the aforementioned $500 and $165 kites are, plus or minus, the same. You'll struggle to spend much over $300 with another North American kitemaker for one of their hand-crafted products again using the same materials. That's a big difference and I think it's right to consider quite why that difference exists. I don't think that it unreasonable to attribute at least part of this to something other than merely what happens on the end of the lines. YMMV

Back to the Prism Vapor thing.... in the debut year it did indeed cost a whopping $500 or thereabouts but, shockingly, the following year it had fallen to $359 due to "improved production techniques". (sources - BFK catalogues '96 and '97). Perhaps Prism could be convinced to pass some of these techniques along for the greater good.

Mike.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: tpatter on August 05, 2010, 12:09 AM
I had no idea this post would get this much attention! ???
....
So, to keep this going... What would be a good level-up from an E3?

What a question!?!?  :)  I guess it depends on your kite-personality type.  Are you:

The Acquisitioner - Buys every kite that he sees and can afford.  Has at least one bag of kites from all walks of life, but they all fly the same for him.  He thinks that that next kite will open all the doors.

The Collector - Like The Acquisitioner, but takes it to a whole new level.  This guy has soo many kites that he does not readily have an accurate count to within a few dozen.  Some are good, some are bad, some are old, some are new.  He flys a different kite everytime he goes flying.  He never sells any of them.

The Sadist - Keeps only a few kites at all times, selling off or giving away yesterdays darling.  This guy is usually pretty good - he keeps honing his skills and kite to an ever finer degree.  He wastes little time choosing what kite to fly, but keeps abreast of the what's going on at the top of the kite food chain. 

The Stalwart - This guy has 2-3 kites, but he's been flying the same ones (very well) for the last decade (maybe longer) and he's not moving on to another kite no matter what new tricks and styles are introduced.  He's Mr Smooth and he's got it down with his favorite flying tool for years now and that is that.

The Sampler - This guy likes variety.  He regularly flys different kites from different makers that each represent different styles.  He likes old school, new school, radical, smooth, deep turtle, shallow turtle - all different flavors, picking and choosing based on his mood.  He likes to learn new things from new kites.

The Honer - This guys just wants to fly the best kite for his natural style.  He looks around and finds a kite that meets all his needs and then trys to get everything out of it.  He can later become "The Stalwart".  He keeps looking at other kites to some mild degree, but he has found his favorite and wants to get on with honing his skills with it.


What others?







Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Kantaxel on August 05, 2010, 12:28 AM
Tom.............
You have stuck us through the heart...............can't really believe you would go here.............can't answer.................almost feel like we need to cancel the TL.............

uuuuummmmmhhh..........oh the pain...............it's horrendous..............I'm not sure I can wake up in the morning.........can you please send us Starbucks?  It would need to be here by 0530....if not, the results will be on you   :( :( :( :( :-X





Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: jaybett on August 05, 2010, 02:14 AM
Perhaps some people are trying to make it unnecessarily expensive.  :-[
Allow me to elaborate.

The materials that go into the aforementioned $500 and $165 kites are, plus or minus, the same. You'll struggle to spend much over $300 with another North American kitemaker for one of their hand-crafted products again using the same materials. That's a big difference and I think it's right to consider quite why that difference exists. I don't think that it unreasonable to attribute at least part of this to something other than merely what happens on the end of the lines. YMMV

Back to the Prism Vapor thing.... in the debut year it did indeed cost a whopping $500 or thereabouts but, shockingly, the following year it had fallen to $359 due to "improved production techniques". (sources - BFK catalogues '96 and '97). Perhaps Prism could be convinced to pass some of these techniques along for the greater good.

Mike.
Maybe I am trying to rationalize, my purchases of a Fearless. I did get to watch Lam build my first Fearless. He spent the better part of three days working on it. His standard kites, would probably be considered special edition kites by other makers.

More mainstream makers, would develop and perfect a design, and then try to figure out ways to make the most kites efficiently and inexpensively. Lam's focus seems to be on making the best kite, he can at the moment. I don't think he is ever satisfied with a design. He is constantly tweaking his designs.

Jay


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: obijuankenobe on August 05, 2010, 04:19 AM
Everyone here who hasn't read the linked blog earlier in the thread should.

That being said, I think Zippy has a point.  If you can buy a Blue Moon for 200 less than a Fearless...then the difference is lost in details that don't matter.

Take this as a counter-point:

Sail layouts can be used to direct tension and strength in certain directions at certain places on the kite where these forces are present.  Lam uses almost a single piece of panel for the sail and spends alot of time detailing (eyes or whatever)...all of which has ZERO NULL NO NADA effect on the flight of the kite.  You might even argue that this aspect of kite design is largely ignored on Lam's kites.  One could even imagine that using a single piece for each sail would save you loads of time...and material! 

So actually, you are paying for the art of the kite (completely valid) as much as you are paying for the design and materials.  Well made, yes.  But I question how much the various adornments really contribute to kite performance over eye candy.

obi

obi 


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: cids on August 05, 2010, 04:34 AM
 :)



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Francois on August 05, 2010, 04:47 AM
There seemed to be a big jump in prices when the Nirvana came along, in that case much of the price was probably due to exchange rates, import duties etc. but it didn't take other mfrs long to catch up in the US & UK.

My first Nirvana cost less than $250 for whatever that's worth. It was priced very close to the Mamba I had purchased at about the same time. It was a while before the exchange rate began to climb, IIRC.

$500 is the most I ever paid for a kite and it was a 24 unit limited edition run framed with some fairly "bling worthy", at the time, rods. I still consider it the Ferrari of sportkites. It's encased in wood and glass now.  :D

Imagine what they would be worth if they had made only 10 on them.... :D


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Moonfog on August 05, 2010, 07:02 AM
Now if it's eye-candy you be wantin' you can't go far past a Synthesis web. Darn things only sell for around 300 bucks too! There's a heck of a lot of panel cutting and gluing/ stitching going on here.  :P

(http://img173.imagevenue.com/loc171/th_15041_210577223_5b690a5b72_b_122_171lo.jpg) (http://img173.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=15041_210577223_5b690a5b72_b_122_171lo.jpg) (http://img177.imagevenue.com/loc169/th_15044_168693194_732bfd5562_b_122_169lo.jpg) (http://img177.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=15044_168693194_732bfd5562_b_122_169lo.jpg) (http://img209.imagevenue.com/loc545/th_15046_2719281054_08e5f477b2_o_122_545lo.jpg) (http://img209.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=15046_2719281054_08e5f477b2_o_122_545lo.jpg)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: doddg on August 05, 2010, 07:51 AM
If any of you decided to manufacture a  higher end kite you could contact a sail manufacturer, send them the pattern, they charge i don't know $60-80 a sail, you stick them with expensive spars  but since you are small you have to pay more per spar, more per square yard for polyester, then your time to stick them and market them, go to festivals, pay for adverts, set up your website and the list really goes on.........

You have to make a profit so now you have $100-120 in materials alone and you need to add a profit just to pay for all of those things I mentioned  and if you sell them wholesale for like $150, there is a $300 kite right there and if you are trying to make a living and not just do if for ego or fun, you might want to add more of a profit margin, and even better, sell direct without selling to shops, so there is how you get a $4-500 kite.

 It's easy to see how a kite can cost as much as they do from a small kite maker.

The larger established companies factories buy bulk materials and have more than a couple models of expensive sport kites to depend on like the small manufacturer, another words, they have bread and butter kites like single line and beginner sport kites in addition to higher end, were the real numbers are. Each of these established companies (Skydog, Prism, HQ, Flying Wings, Premier, etc...) has at least one model around$150- $200 that would impress someone in a video or win a competition.

 Higher end sport kites means smaller numbers in sales so the factory uses a smaller number of workers so less hands touch the kite and since they are charging more, they tend to use the more experienced workers who get a lot of experience in just one season! So the quality these days is very impressive.

Some of you can argue which is better but it is up to the individual. One of my friends , ( you know who you are...lol)  wouldnt be caught dead with one of these kites in his hands. Does he compete? no. Would he win? Maybe, maybe not, competition is a whole different animal. You may be able to shread in your local park no matter how much you spent, but when you yell in, everything changes......

Ask our flier Robby who loves to fly, compete and win with $150 sport kites, I think he gets a kick out of it beating $500 ones....








Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: zippy8 on August 05, 2010, 07:55 AM
If you are seriously want to become a better freestyle pilot, my advice is don't waste your time/$$$ on a hundred/two hundreds dollars new kite.
So.... the more expensive the kite, the better it flies ?  ???

Mike.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: mikenchico on August 05, 2010, 07:57 AM
Now if it's eye-candy you be wantin' you can't go far past a Synthesis web. Darn things only sell for around 300 bucks too! There's a heck of a lot of panel cutting and gluing/ stitching going on here.  :P



Not to detract from Matt's kites or workmanship but I believe his kites are a painting/dyeing process and not sewn graphics. I've communicated with him about his processes when I first saw some of his work with paints they impressed me so much, I couldn't duplicate it though.



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: cids on August 05, 2010, 08:24 AM
 :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: tpatter on August 05, 2010, 08:30 AM
Tom.............
You have stuck us through the heart...............can't really believe you would go here.............can't answer.................almost feel like we need to cancel the TL.............

uuuuummmmmhhh..........oh the pain...............it's horrendous..............I'm not sure I can wake up in the morning.........can you please send us Starbucks?  It would need to be here by 0530....if not, the results will be on you   :( :( :( :( :-X


No offense intended - I was strictly going for humor.  Besides you crossed over from collector to honer/sample some time ago!  :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Schook on August 05, 2010, 08:33 AM
If I can go back and starting all over again, I will take the Fxxxxxxx as my beginner kite and save tons of $$$.  :D :D :D

My beginner kite is a Zephyr and I flown it for a month(20 times or less).  Hour wise this was the most expensive kite.  I flown the Fearless so much that it is now the cheapest kite that I own.

If you are seriously want to become a better freestyle pilot, my advice is don't waste your time/$$$ on a hundred/two hundreds dollars new kite.


OK that does it.  I have been holding out on this but can no longer remain silent.  You all want to get more people involved in kite flying etc.  I see 3 things happen on this forum to new flyers/posters.

Neewbie: I just bought my first kite. I spent $40.00 on kite X from manufacturer MSJ, any pointers on getting started and what to work on?  I have never flown a stunt kite before what should I learn first.

Forum Collective: You bought that kite?!?  The designer is a hack and the kites are low build quality and you wont learn anything flying that POS!  What you should do it get kite (fill in the blank) from builder (fill in the blank) which you can buy for $275 - $500.  

Can you spot the 3 things yet?
You turn off the neewbie by telling them they made a poor decision on their kite purchase.
You (again) turn off the neewbie by telling them they need to spend a whole lot of money on a first kite.
The real question rarely gets answered. What should I learn first and how should I proceed?

I speak from experience as this happened to me.  I was turned off (to the forum anyway) for while as I worked on keeping the kite in the air and not meeting the ground unexpectedly.  I went through  a couple more kites each more expensive than the last, learning as I went until I did purchase a "boutique builders" kite.  Yes it did fly MUCH better than my $40 kite and I then did understand the difference.  Now I fly Sea Devils, Vendettas, Mambas and Nirvanas, rarely getting out my "lower end" kites anymore.

What is a "High End Kite" ? I think you will get a different answer from an Neewbie, Experienced, or Master flyer.  How much is a new kite worth and how much are you going to spend?  Again different answers from different users.  Does that mean an expensive kite is the best kite for everyone?  Sadly I have seen very expensive kites being flown poorly, but have also seen cheaper kites been flown rather impressively.

For what its worth, fly what you like and like what you fly.  


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: in.divi.dual on August 05, 2010, 08:36 AM
Sadly I have seen very expensive kites being flown poorly,

Have you been watching Fearless videos again ?

tut, tut.



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Schook on August 05, 2010, 08:54 AM
Sadly I have seen very expensive kites being flown poorly,

Have you been watching Fearless videos again ?

tut, tut.


Not necessarily that model in particular.
but you will notice I have never posted a video of me  ;)
 


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: DD on August 05, 2010, 09:54 AM
If I can go back and starting all over again, I will take the Fxxxxxxx as my beginner kite and save tons of $$$.  :D :D :D

My beginner kite is a Zephyr and I flown it for a month(20 times or less).  Hour wise this was the most expensive kite.  I flown the Fearless so much that it is now the cheapest kite that I own.

If you are seriously want to become a better freestyle pilot, my advice is don't waste your time/$$$ on a hundred/two hundreds dollars new kite.


Seriously lay off the koolaid and tryin to hand it out ;) and YES i have flown and owned Lams kites

we all have our favorite kites and makers but i think it a great disservice to a new flier to say they need a $300 or $500 kite !  a new flier can go a long way in flying some of 100-150 kites. Will it do everything? Maybe not but neither can the new flier

Its like saying to a new driver that they need a ferrari


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: freecheese on August 05, 2010, 11:13 AM
One could even imagine that using a single piece for each sail would save you loads of time...and material! 

I think you'd save quite a bit of material using panels, actually. Bolts of icarex are only so wide.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: rncembal on August 05, 2010, 11:19 AM
Also people need to consider that the cost is not only the materials and time to sew. What are the hours of R&D worth when divided into potential sales? What is the level of individual customer service worth? How much does it cost to promote the line with travel and performance? Ask anyone who has done any travel for kite festivals it's rare that "all your costs" are covered. The bottom line is the market will decide if the price is too high. Even in our lower priced mass produced kites sometimes the cost of the product and projected sales make it not worth doing. It would be a shame if even more boutique builders fall to that.
Rob


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: zippy8 on August 05, 2010, 12:27 PM
Quote
So.... the more expensive the kite, the better it flies ?

Based on my flying pal experiences on selecting his final kite.  Yes.
Interesting phrase - "his final kite".  ;)

Quote
He selected the Fxxxxxxx STD after he tried mine and unfortunately it is the most expensive.   :'( 
I hate to be the one to break this to you but..... initially the Fury came in a £400 version (that's $635) but it's now down to a piffling £255 ($405) so it's presumably got quite a bit worse since release. And let's not forget RonG's they-simply-must-be-awesome Machines that had a nasty habit of moving into the public domain for four figure sums.

If it really is the case that the higher the price, the better the kite then you (and your friend) are working with sub-optimal material.

Mike.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: RonG on August 05, 2010, 12:48 PM
And let's not forget RonG's they-simply-must-be-awesome Machines that had a nasty habit of moving into the public domain for four figure sums.
True, there were a few $1000+ ones, but to be fair I never *asked* that sum (nor did it ever go into my pocket).  That was a pure example of "what's it worth to you?" - all were auctions or raffles.

The few that I sold along the way I asked $300 for Standard (w/ Aerostuff) and Light, $350 for a vented.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: in.divi.dual on August 05, 2010, 01:18 PM
The few that I sold along the way I asked $300 for Standard (w/ Aerostuff) and Light, $350 for a vented.

Just think how much you could have gotten if only you'd slapped a couple of goofy eyes on 'em  :D


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: randyg on August 05, 2010, 02:08 PM
The few that I sold along the way I asked $300 for Standard (w/ Aerostuff) and Light, $350 for a vented.

Just think how much you could have gotten if only you'd slapped a couple of goofy eyes on 'em  :D
Now that right there is funny.  :D


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Gamelord on August 05, 2010, 02:13 PM
And let's not forget RonG's they-simply-must-be-awesome Machines that had a nasty habit of moving into the public domain for four figure sums.
True, there were a few $1000+ ones, but to be fair I never *asked* that sum (nor did it ever go into my pocket).  That was a pure example of "what's it worth to you?" - all were auctions or raffles.

The few that I sold along the way I asked $300 for Standard (w/ Aerostuff) and Light, $350 for a vented.

PM sent on the $300 standard. :) :) :) :) :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: cids on August 05, 2010, 03:07 PM
 :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: ghfisanotti on August 05, 2010, 05:02 PM
If I can go back and starting all over again, I will take the Fxxxxxxx as my beginner kite and save tons of $$$.  :D :D :D

My beginner kite is a Zephyr and I flown it for a month(20 times or less).  Hour wise this was the most expensive kite.  I flown the Fearless so much that it is now the cheapest kite that I own.


You really mean you started flying with a Zephyr and in a month your skills where better than the Zephyr capabilities? wow! you must be a natural!  :)

In my opinion, I'd never suggest a newbie to buy a carbon-framed kite as his first kite, it would be very frustrating for him, he would break it in the first day of flying. I'd suggest some fiber glass framed kite that he can purchase for less than $100 USD that will stand the abuse of all those crash landings. Once he has mastered the basics and is no longer crashing the kite, he can get a better intermediate kite in the 150-200 USD range to learn the basic tricks and keep the cheap one for those too windy days or to teach somebody else the basics.



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: RobB on August 05, 2010, 05:32 PM
It took me almost 2 years to move onto another kite as my goto kite from my Zephyr. I still fly it, and it still does some pretty fantastic stuff. Someone alluded to the fact that the case takes away from the kite, I think mistakenly thinking that the E3 comes in the Zephyr case, as well. Breaking down the LE isn't that hard, especially if you install speed lashings on the wingtips, and the easy to travel size can't be beat. The extra step taken in the packaging is an attribute, not a detriment. Well worth the few $$$ it adds to the final price. I think the Zephyr is a better choice for a beginner than the E3, but that's just me.
~Rob.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: cids on August 05, 2010, 06:59 PM
I'm canceling all my threads in this topic.  Please modify your responses according since there is nothing in any of my threads now.  There is nothing to be learn in this particular thread but only useless/time wasting arguments.

I'm trying to crack the Rolling Cascade in the past 2 days and I got 2 rotations.  I think I can crack the trick in a week.  :)  I'm heading to watch a Rolling Cascade tutorial and it is time well spent.  ;D




Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: DD on August 05, 2010, 07:16 PM
I'm canceling all my threads in this topic.  Please modify your responses according since there is nothing in any of my threads now.  There is nothing to be learn in this particular thread but only useless/time wasting arguments.

I'm trying to crack the Rolling Cascade in the past 2 days and I got 2 rotations.  I think I can crack the trick in a week.  :)


Why? this thread has stayed pretty civil as compared to some threads on gwtw in the past, espeically back to the old forum and rec kites . You like lam's kites and are passionate about that, there is nothing wrong with that. I also think its been a good discussion. It's tough for a new flier to understand why he needs to pay alot for a kite,  I think we are trying to explain that and some of what you pay for is in the eye of the beholder; to each his own.
I will admit you did say please for us to modify our posts, but i will decline.
To say it is nothing but time wasting arguments makes it sound like your set in your "i'm right and everyone else is wrong" ways. So much for healthy debate.

may you have smooth winds in trying to learn the rolling cascade



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Schook on August 05, 2010, 07:18 PM
There is nothing to be learn in this particular thread but only useless/time wasting arguments.


+1
It took longer than I thought to get here however.  :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: fidelio on August 05, 2010, 07:35 PM
"History, with all her volumes vast, hath but one page."  - Byron


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: GEB on August 05, 2010, 07:47 PM
Skykbass.

To answer your 2nd question - A good kite up from the E3 would be a boutique kite. There are many excellent ones to choose from. As you can see from comments under your original question people have their opinions and some times they run pretty strong.

My recommendations and observations.

1. Watch some kite videos and see how various kites look doing various types of tricks and general flying. Keep in mind some of these guys have many years experience at flying.

2. Read kite reviews and comments made about the kite makers.

3. Read between the lines on some of the comments here in your thread and on this site in general. There is plenty of good advice to be found.

4. When possible fly the kite you are interested in before buying.

5. Consider for comparison that very few drivers could drive a BMW 325 anywhere near what the car is capable of, let alone a Ferrari or Porsche. In kite terms – A year from now you will have discovered your E3 is capable of far more than you first thought.

5. I have a friend who learned to fly on an E2 from Prism. He flew it exclusively for a couple of years. He can fly circles around me with that kite and do things with it I only wish I could do with my $300 boutique kites.

6. Practice will overcome more obstacles in flying than a new kite.

7. If your goal is to compete you made need several new kites. If you are flying for fun you just need wind.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: lasapcheong on August 05, 2010, 08:02 PM

7. If your goal is to compete you made need several new kites. If you are flying for fun you just need wind.


Well said  :) . If sweet wind could be bought we all would have sold off a few boutique kites to fund for that.

-Darryl


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: JimB on August 05, 2010, 09:10 PM
Damn.

I very specifically do not do the conversion on Carl's kites.

Now look what you've done.

I hate to be the one to break this to you but..... initially the Fury came in a £400 version (that's $635) but it's now down to a piffling £255 ($405) so it's presumably got quite a bit worse since release.

Mike.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: zippy8 on August 06, 2010, 02:25 AM
"History, with all her volumes vast, hath but one page."  - Byron
What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
 - the character of Lord Darlington in Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan.

Quote from: JimB
I very specifically do not do the conversion on Carl's kites.
Sorry 'bout that  :(

I'm not sure that we're any closer to answering the original question though. Nor am I sure if there is an answer but it's always a giggle looking for one.

Mike.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: DWayne on August 06, 2010, 07:33 AM
All things considered, Lam's prices aren't out of line. A new std. Cosmic TC AeroStuff will cost about $490 delivered. Add another $50 for the vented version. A new TNT AeroStuff comp frame will run about $520 delivered.
IMO, its the nuances that make a $500 kite. That and the obsessed fliers that buy them.

Denny


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: mikenchico on August 06, 2010, 07:55 AM
... I think the Zephyr is a better choice for a beginner than the E3, but that's just me.
~Rob.


Have to disagree with you there because of the limited wind range of the Zephyr, a beginner is far too likely to fly the kite beyond it's upper range, especially when it's their only kite. Now learning how to replace spars isn't a bad thing, but having to replace spars on your first kite is. The E3 is more robust, IMO a first kite should be a standard or even more robust like a Quantum.  

As far as Lam's prices or any custom kite, what is that personal attention worth? I've seen posts where during the ordering process Lam has listened to the buyer, what tricks they may do & what they may be struggling with, what wind conditions they have etc. and then personally recommend the proper framing and even make adjustments to the bridle to suit. That level of service and access to that level of  knowledge is part of the reason to buy from one of the craftsmen.



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Moonfog on August 06, 2010, 08:20 AM
Not to detract from Matt's kites or workmanship but I believe his kites are a painting/dyeing process and not sewn graphics. I've communicated with him about his processes when I first saw some of his work with paints they impressed me so much, I couldn't duplicate it though.

Actually, that's not entirely true. I know the colour gradations were experimental dying/ painting but the 'webs' are cut from fabric. Here is a quote from the man himself on FA:

"Blownfuse wrote:
I know that Matt experimented with paint/dyes, but had some issues with durability. The way he does it now, is to either cut out the web-pattern, or (as on my kite) the "splotches" (what to call all the black bits on my kite ?), and very carefully line it up, and then glue it in place. I don´t know what wonderglue Matt uses, but it holds up, and is invisible.

But I´m not the right one to answer it really. I know Matt pops in here, from time to time, and he is the right one to explain the procedure."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"The web pattern (or inverse as on Blownfuse's Synthesis) is kite fabric. It's applied with the same stuff used to tape panels together, which for panels can hold strong enough, if done right, without the need for sewing. In this case, however, it's for graphic purposes, not structural."
_________________
Matt B.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Dolphinboy on August 06, 2010, 08:37 AM
Almost all the purchases of high end expensive kites are by people that know what they are getting in to. Sometimes they have tried the kite in question. They have weighed the price verses the various qualities of the kite and pulled the trigger on the purchase. Many are repeat customers too and are getting a different version of a kite they already own.

The maker decides what his time is worth and the buyer decides if it is worth their money.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: RobB on August 06, 2010, 09:04 AM
... I think the Zephyr is a better choice for a beginner than the E3, but that's just me.
~Rob.


Have to disagree with you there because of the limited wind range of the Zephyr, a beginner is far too likely to fly the kite beyond it's upper range, especially when it's their only kite. Now learning how to replace spars isn't a bad thing, but having to replace spars on your first kite is. The E3 is more robust, IMO a first kite should be a standard or even more robust like a Quantum.   

As far as Lam's prices or any custom kite, what is that personal attention worth? I've seen posts where during the ordering process Lam has listened to the buyer, what tricks they may do & what they may be struggling with, what wind conditions they have etc. and then personally recommend the proper framing and even make adjustments to the bridle to suit. That level of service and access to that level of  knowledge is part of the reason to buy from one of the craftsmen.


Hey there...
I was referring to a beginner as someone who has gotten past the lawn dart phase of a first timer. A Quantum is certainly a best first timer trainer. But once you get the kite under control, and want to learn tricks, the REAL top wind range for the E3 and the Zephyr are about the same. The lower range of the Zephyr is why it gets top pick from me. The quoted 25mph top range of the E3 is a mistake. Mine folded in two in 15-20mph wind because I believed the top number. Most stunt kites should be put away when the wind goes over 15mph, anyway. But the E3 shouldn't be flown in winds over 15mph ever... the spine in mine broke and ripped a 6" hole in the sail. I've heard of others who experienced the same thing. I plan on reframing the E3 to make it more robust.
Aside from that, I've put the Zephyr in the hands of a few first timers who walked up to me asking questions about the kite. Even after numerous lawn darts, the Zephyr never broke. I mean, I've trashed the kite, too, and it still comes back for more. I hesitate to fly my E3 hardly at all because I now feel like it's a fragile kite. As a matter of fact, I haven't flown it since it was returned repaired from Prism. I will say that Prism did a great job repairing it and they didn't charge me. Great folks, and great product support.
This is just my experience with the 2 kites, ~20-30 hours with the E3, and a couple hundred hours with the Zephyr.
~Rob.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: skykbass on August 06, 2010, 08:36 PM
Thanks again to everyone!!! I enjoy the passion of everyone who has put their two cents in. Nobody is right or wrong in this situation, and I appreciate all opinions. I have also heard that the E3 was a little fragile in the upper register, so I invested in a Quantum, which I also love, if only for it's high-wind arm-stretching capabilities. Indy has all kinds of winds, so I don't think a single kite could pull it off. I currently have full wind range capabilities with the 4-d, the E3, and when the winds are scary, the Quantum. I already broke the 150# set that comes with the Quantum, while out on a blustery day. I think I need some 250# lines, because that Quantum is a monster, and does appear to be nearly bullet-proof. ;D

I believe a boutique kite is in my future, but I need to log quite a few more flight hours, so I can know better of what I want. Thus far, I've preferred freestyle over precision, and I think I might be a Honer if I were to classify myself.

So, to keep this lively debate rolling on... What single boutique kite has the best wind range? Could there possibly be a kite out there with a 2-40 wind range? ???


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: DWayne on August 06, 2010, 08:56 PM
Could there possibly be a kite out there with a 2-40 wind range? ???

The fabled vented Fearless light ?

Denny


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: tpatter on August 06, 2010, 10:04 PM
Could there possibly be a kite out there with a 2-40 wind range? ???

The fabled vented Fearless light ?

Denny


Denny has the answer right here!  This kite has the widest wind range of any that I've ever flown.  It will fly from 3 to 30 while being extremely enjoyable (favorite kite) in 4-20.

I've never flown another kite that even comes close to such a wide range or being as trickable.  All my opinion, of course. YMMV, you may not like a deep turtle, easy rollups, sharp JLs,  drop-dead easy multi-lazys, risers,  give-away cometes, etc.


-Tom



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: zippy8 on August 06, 2010, 11:05 PM
A new std. Cosmic TC AeroStuff will cost about $490 delivered.
So let's look at why this specific kite is priced that way:-

1) Aerostuff adds to the price ($40 over the now Nitro'ed STD in €s)
2) exchange rate still isn't helping you Colonials (mid-May seemed to be your window of opportunity)
3) Kitehouse makes a nice kite (they really do)
4) the added gloss of "competition success" (always to be considered)

If you'd gone for the "regular" kite at the most advantageous exchange rate it'd be more like $440 $410 delivered. I must check my work more thoroughly.

Even with all this taken into account I'd call the Cosmic TC range expensive and this comes from someone who has paid for them. I've paid perhaps a bit more than I can account for because I like the damn things and I wanted one (two.... two-and-a-half....). Are they better kites than the aforementioned Prism E3 ? Yes, they damn well are -  better made, better materials (in part). Measurably worth the extra ? Almost certainly not.

But worth it in unmeasurable, fuzzy, liable to change at the drop of a hat ways - definitely.

Mike.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: zippy8 on August 06, 2010, 11:06 PM
you may not like a deep turtle, easy rollups, sharp JLs,  drop-dead easy multi-lazys, risers,  give-away cometes, etc.
That does sound vile.  ;)

Mike.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Kantaxel on August 06, 2010, 11:23 PM
Could there possibly be a kite out there with a 2-40 wind range? ???

The fabled vented Fearless light ?

Denny
Denny has the answer right here!  This kite has the widest wind range of any that I've ever flown.  It will fly from 3 to 30 while being extremely enjoyable (favorite kite) in 4-20.

I've never flown another kite that even comes close to such a wide range or being as trickable.  All my opinion, of course. YMMV, you may not like a deep turtle, easy rollups, sharp JLs,  drop-dead easy multi-lazys, risers,  give-away cometes, etc.


-Tom


Hark Hark!

It must be the Holy Grail.........come to think of it..........it's super close...........  (the sound of Monty Pyton's french horns blaring in the distance, I
say) :D :D :D



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: ae on August 11, 2010, 06:01 AM
Well, in the case of my Spectre its the material that makes it pretty expensive, custom carbon rods, high end sail cloth. that stuff comes up to about $600 all in all for the material alone.
And its just another full size stunt kite, just one that weights close to nothing. So i get extreme low wind ability for the extreme cost.
Don't forget that you have to pay for the development of a kite with the finished product as well. Some kites took a lot of protos to work liek the designer wanted, some never went past the first.
This influences the prices a kite sells for.
In some kites you clearly pay for the name of the designer as well, some are priced higher to label them as profi kites and not for the masses, or as competition kite.
Why? because such people are willing to pay more if they are happy with the kite or believe it gives them an edge.
Some are more expensive to make them more exclusive, or simply because you can.
Lots of reasons.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: mikenchico on August 11, 2010, 08:03 AM
... Some are more expensive to make them more exclusive, or simply because you can ...

Good point, I've conjectured before that the Skyburner Freestylist was under priced, after all you have a sail by Heads Up, design and construction by Jon Trennophal, same as the Ocius. There's only a small price difference in materials the Freestylist using straight wrapped rods rather then tapers but it was priced at $179 for the Nylon version and $199 for the Polyester, currently it's only $160 for the preferred Nylon version. Might it have been taken more seriously if it had been priced at $300 and Jon spent another $5.00 to add 5PT spreaders?



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: jaybett on August 12, 2010, 02:21 AM
... Some are more expensive to make them more exclusive, or simply because you can ...

 Might it have been taken more seriously if it had been priced at $300 and Jon spent another $5.00 to add 5PT spreaders?

Nice snide remark.

There seems to be a perception on this forum that Lam has made an inferior product, but has hood winked a bunch of noobs, into buying his kite at a premium price.

Lam is a superb craftsman who makes a kite with a lot of attractive features.

Just because your kite lacks in performance, don't take it out on a Lam kite.

Jay


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: zippy8 on August 12, 2010, 03:09 AM
There seems to be a perception on this forum that Lam has made an inferior product.....

Nobody in their right mind would make such an accusation and I don't recall anyone seriously making it either. It only takes a glance here (http://www.skysportdesign.com/history.htm) to see that the man knows how to put a kite together.

Quote
but has hood winked a bunch of noobs, into buying his kite at a premium price.

Not at all how I would have phrased it but his Fearless kites start at $450 which isn't where some equally highly regarded kitemakers come close to with their most expensive, fully custom, premium sparred kites. You do have to wonder what the extra money goes towards, which is what I took this thread to be about.

Mike.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: jaybett on August 12, 2010, 03:46 AM
There seems to be a perception on this forum that Lam has made an inferior product.....

Nobody in their right mind would make such an accusation and I don't recall anyone seriously making it either. It only takes a glance here ([url]http://www.skysportdesign.com/history.htm[/url]) to see that the man knows how to put a kite together.


Granted this is from another current thread.

"Yeah right, and you don't need a set - just the "Light Vented" - good for 3-28mph  Cool"  So what are all the doubters about the wind range, saying then?

I've flown a vented Fearless in winds where the leaves on trees are just moving into strong winds. A reading from an anemometer, from its location gave a reading of 22.5 mph. You have stated a reluctance to accept such data on face value, and I agree. Right next to me both times was a Fearless Vented light. 

On the exact wind range of a Fearless, I don't know, but it has the widest wind range of any kite that I have flown.

Quote
but has hood winked a bunch of noobs, into buying his kite at a premium price.

Not at all how I would have phrased it but his Fearless kites start at $450 which isn't where some equally highly regarded kitemakers come close to with their most expensive, fully custom, premium sparred kites. You do have to wonder what the extra money goes towards, which is what I took this thread to be about.

Mike.
[/quote]
One of the things, that I admire about your posts, is your depth of knowledge about kites. In your link to Lam's page, he obviously has he credentials to warrant his status as a top craftsman.

From watching Lam sew and frame one of the early Fearless's. He builds each kite as a custom. While other makers, design a top kite, they look to produce as many kites as possible and as efficiently as possible. I have no doubt that other top makers could make a kite, that would be the equal of Lam's. When they do, they call it a special edition. The R-Sky kites, and the more recent WidowMaker, were all in the price range of a Lam kite.

Jay


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: thief on August 12, 2010, 04:03 AM
From watching Lam sew and frame one of the early Fearless's. He builds each kite as a custom. While other makers, design a top kite, they look to produce as many kites as possible and as efficiently as possible. I have no doubt that other top makers could make a kite, that would be the equal of Lam's. When they do, they call it a special edition. The R-Sky kites, and the more recent WidowMaker, were all in the price range of a Lam kite.

Jay
i am going to guess that Ken McNeill, Mark of JoE, Tim Benson and others would take serious offense to that comment...


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: jaybett on August 12, 2010, 04:14 AM
From watching Lam sew and frame one of the early Fearless's. He builds each kite as a custom. While other makers, design a top kite, they look to produce as many kites as possible and as efficiently as possible. I have no doubt that other top makers could make a kite, that would be the equal of Lam's. When they do, they call it a special edition. The R-Sky kites, and the more recent WidowMaker, were all in the price range of a Lam kite.

Jay
i am going to guess that Ken McNeill, Mark of JoE, Tim Benson and others would take serious offense to that comment...
How so?

Each one of them make an excellent kite and I've been fortunate to fly all of them. I don't believe any one of them spend the amount of time making a kite that Lam does. In a way that is a compliment to them, for finding ways to produce kites more efficiently than Lam.

As I stated I believe each one of them could sew kite that is equal to or possibly exceeds Lam's. But the question is at what cost? To me that is why Lam's kite's cost more then his competitors.

Jay


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: RobB on August 12, 2010, 04:44 AM
Why does a kite have to be 'worth' the sum of it's content ? The materials to build most kites is ~$120-$150 usd, agreed ? What are the designers allowed to pay themselves ? Is that the debate ? Here it is, I'll say it... Most of the designers that build these fine kites that we love to fly.. Don't pay themselves ENOUGH !


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: zippy8 on August 12, 2010, 04:54 AM
So what are all the doubters about the wind range, saying then?
Speaking only for myself I still have trouble truly believing that the same materials and general design that everyone else uses can be made to exhibit such a different performance. I've seen video that has gone at least part of the way to allaying these doubts but.... they linger. I would suggest that this is my problem and not something anyone else should be too concerned about. I'm not even sure that I'm too worried by it.

Quote
From watching Lam sew and frame one of the early Fearless's. He builds each kite as a custom.
Can you get properly custom graphics, rather than pick a set of colours ? Betancourt used to make so ho-hum flying kites but damn some of those kites looked amazing, close up too.

Quote
I have no doubt that other top makers could make a kite, that would be the equal of Lam's. When they do, they call it a special edition.
My Robertshaw Blue Eye kites aren't special editions, they are one offs. As far as I know anyone can ask for their own one off too. Exchange rates would have to go pretty strange for any of them to hit $500 though.

Mike.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: cids on August 12, 2010, 05:09 AM
There are more behind a kite than just Icarex, carbon tubes, bridle lines and a pair of pretty eyes.  As I see it, the kite making part is easy.  The extra $$$ that you paid for is the tuning of the kite which is an art mastered by very few kite designers.

As I see it, I don't think Lam's kites are expensive giving the excellent price to fun ratio.  A $150 kite that people flown for a few times/hard to do tricks and then never came out from a kite bag is expensive.  Very very expensive.





Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: inewham on August 12, 2010, 05:17 AM
Speaking only for myself I still have trouble truly believing that the same materials and general design that everyone else uses can be made to exhibit such a different performance.

While the materials may be familiar the design is subtly different. It has a larger than average keel, although it looks normal due to the steeper angle and relatively long standoffs. It also has comparatively narrowed wing tips, the TE cuts in roughly below the LE connector.

Kites that exhibit similar design are the Mohawk, and to some extent the Psycho (particularly the shaping of the TE out near the tips). Both have high top ends compared to 'similar' kites.

Get hold of a kite with a deep sail and adjustable standoffs and change between conventional settings and big but deep keel and you can observe similar effects. You can change it from something that feels solid but pulls to something that's quite gentle and has a wider wind range.

Its already accepted wisdom that the keel tends to moderate a kites speed so its not a big leap of faith.

As ever there are trade-offs in that it does give a subtly different feel, some people like it some don't.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: obijuankenobe on August 12, 2010, 05:26 AM
From watching Lam sew and frame one of the early Fearless's. He builds each kite as a custom. While other makers, design a top kite, they look to produce as many kites as possible and as efficiently as possible. I have no doubt that other top makers could make a kite, that would be the equal of Lam's. When they do, they call it a special edition. The R-Sky kites, and the more recent WidowMaker, were all in the price range of a Lam kite.

Jay
i am going to guess that Ken McNeill, Mark of JoE, Tim Benson and others would take serious offense to that comment...
How so?

Each one of them make an excellent kite and I've been fortunate to fly all of them. I don't believe any one of them spend the amount of time making a kite that Lam does. In a way that is a compliment to them, for finding ways to produce kites more efficiently than Lam.

As I stated I believe each one of them could sew kite that is equal to or possibly exceeds Lam's. But the question is at what cost? To me that is why Lam's kite's cost more then his competitors.

Jay

This is complete bullsh#t.  Lam charges more for his time.  That's that.  He is making SULs with one f'in panel!!  Are you kidding me?  Have you seen a Talon's panel layout?  Seriously, I can't believe this stuff keeps happening here.  He is a business man as well as a kite flyer.  You all are kidding yourselves if you think otherwise.  Sheez.     

There in nothing you can say which will convince me that a one panel SUL has 450 USD worth of RnD and labor in it.  Nope.

Is he a nice guy? Absolutely.  Is he a great pilot?  One of the best.  Can he sew?  Hell yeah.  Have you seen his roks?  And his stunt kites are expensive...among the most expensive in the world

You like them, fine.  But don't go trashing on other builders in your kool-aid hissy fit.  This is nuts. 

I'd rather have a million threads about what line length to use rather than find a 5 page thread ending with these contents.  Wake up already.  You sound like naive 6th graders arguing about whose dad can beat up whose.   

obi


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: cids on August 12, 2010, 05:36 AM
Another different angle to see thing....May be the other guy charges too little for his kites ?   :)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: DWayne on August 12, 2010, 06:24 AM
And his stunt kites are expensive...the most expensive in the world

With the current exchange rates, that's simply not true.

Denny


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: obijuankenobe on August 12, 2010, 06:39 AM
Editted to correct for your objection. 

obi


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: mikenchico on August 12, 2010, 06:49 AM
... Some are more expensive to make them more exclusive, or simply because you can ...

 Might it have been taken more seriously if it had been priced at $300 and Jon spent another $5.00 to add 5PT spreaders?

Nice snide remark.

There seems to be a perception on this forum that Lam has made an inferior product, but has hood winked a bunch of noobs, into buying his kite at a premium price.

Lam is a superb craftsman who makes a kite with a lot of attractive features.

Just because your kite lacks in performance, don't take it out on a Lam kite.

Jay

I meant nothing snide with that remark, I did not allude to Lam's kites at all in that remark and if you read back you'll see I DEFENDED LAM'S PRICING EARLIER!

jeez why does everything get taken as either pro or against Lam? The thread is named "What makes a $500 Kite?" Not .... oh nevermind, I'll leave lip comments out today.

No soup for you!

I pointed out the Freestylist was a $300 kite in any other life, Jon made some cost cutting measures on the first run and brought it in for a great price, when the camo rods ran out he installed regular Skysharks. What I was alluding to was the fact that we are used to paying $300 for that kite, how many people saw $170 and figured it was on par with Jon's designs for Premier and of that quality and were not in the market for that kite. Those of us who bought them got the best deal to come down the pipe in 10 years.



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: cids on August 12, 2010, 07:39 AM

Quote
No soup for you!
:D :D :D

Soup Nazi !  This is very funny.  :D :D :D


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: jaybett on August 12, 2010, 01:47 PM
From watching Lam sew and frame one of the early Fearless's. He builds each kite as a custom. While other makers, design a top kite, they look to produce as many kites as possible and as efficiently as possible. I have no doubt that other top makers could make a kite, that would be the equal of Lam's. When they do, they call it a special edition. The R-Sky kites, and the more recent WidowMaker, were all in the price range of a Lam kite.

Jay

i am going to guess that Ken McNeill, Mark of JoE, Tim Benson and others would take serious offense to that comment...
How so?

Each one of them make an excellent kite and I've been fortunate to fly all of them. I don't believe any one of them spend the amount of time making a kite that Lam does. In a way that is a compliment to them, for finding ways to produce kites more efficiently than Lam.

As I stated I believe each one of them could sew kite that is equal to or possibly exceeds Lam's. But the question is at what cost? To me that is why Lam's kite's cost more then his competitors.

Jay

"This is complete bullsh#t.  Lam charges more for his time.  That's that." 

I believe that I have been making that argument all along?

"He is making SULs with one f'in panel!!  Are you kidding me?  Have you seen a Talon's panel layout?"

Did you read the parts of my post that you quoted?

"Seriously, I can't believe this stuff keeps happening here.  He is a business man as well as a kite flyer.  You all are kidding yourselves if you think otherwise.  Sheez."     

I don't think I implied anything else

"There in nothing you can say which will convince me that a one panel SUL has 450 USD worth of RnD and labor in it.  Nope."

I've never stated that Rnd was part of the price. We have already agreed that a Lam kite is expensive, because of the amount of time it takes him to sew a sail. What is so hard to understand about that?

"Is he a nice guy? Absolutely.  Is he a great pilot?  One of the best.  Can he sew?  Hell yeah.  Have you seen his roks?  And his stunt kites are expensive...among the most expensive in the world." 

Hmm I seem to remember when Mike was setting up his pantheon of fliers, someone arguing that Lam wasn't all that good of a pilot.

"You like them, fine.  But don't go trashing on other builders in your kool-aid hissy fit.  This is nuts." 

Again I'd suggest you read my posts before you quote them. I have kites from other makers and I appreciate them.

A point that people seem to be stumbling over is Price versus Performance. It is impossible to objectively quantify performance gains by price. At the prices of any high end kite, what a person is buying it's particular characteristics or traits.

It is also impossible to say one kite is a better then another kite because appreciating those characteristics and traits is  personal  

"I'd rather have a million threads about what line length to use rather than find a 5 page thread ending with these contents.  Wake up already.  You sound like naive 6th graders arguing about whose dad can beat up whose."

Wake up to what? Where is your more mature version of how we should be viewing this subject.    


obi

Jay


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: tpatter on August 12, 2010, 01:59 PM
Ah, this discussion!

I'd LIKE to drive a Mercedes E-class, but I don't - it's just not worth the $ TO ME.  I drive a 10 year old Subaru Outback instead and have no issues doing so - I like the car just fine.

I do not belittle Mercedes for what they ask for their car just because I don't think its worth their asking price; nor do I belittle those who are willing to pay what I assume they think is a reasonable amount for a great car.

Question: What makes a $500 kite?
Answer: Enough people willing to pay that amount for it in such numbers that you have actually heard about both the kite and its price.



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Dolphinboy on August 12, 2010, 02:04 PM
There seems to be a perception on this forum that Lam has made an inferior product.....

Nobody in their right mind would make such an accusation and I don't recall anyone seriously making it either. It only takes a glance here ([url]http://www.skysportdesign.com/history.htm[/url]) to see that the man knows how to put a kite together.

Quote
but has hood winked a bunch of noobs, into buying his kite at a premium price.

Not at all how I would have phrased it but his Fearless kites start at $450 which isn't where some equally highly regarded kitemakers come close to with their most expensive, fully custom, premium sparred kites. You do have to wonder what the extra money goes towards, which is what I took this thread to be about.

Mike.


But there are some that seriously, continuously, openly take shots and make underhanded remarks about Lam's kites, the way they look, how much they cost, the people that buy them, fly them and on and on. Negative comments are dropped in on lots of different and quite often unrelated threads. Just read. That's why the defensiveness comes out, nothing to do with other builders being inferior but just people getting fed up with all the unqualified negative comments. I find it tiresome. I think that Jay misunderstood Mike's (Chico) point about the Freestylist but I understand the feeling. Enough is enough.

The Fearless is not new and it's popular despite the price for a reason. Because of the popularity there are bound to be post, questions, opinions and yes, excitement about it too. People that don't like it, we get it, you don't think it's worth it. Have a different opinion? Fine qualify it, post it but does it have to be the troll target of choice?

It was the same thing with the Widow Maker a few years ago, people that had never flown or seen the kite constantly talking crap about it. Cluttering up threads with the continuous unqualified negativity. I like that kite too, by the way ;)

I've already said it several times, the Fearless are $450 and up but you can buy a Transformer TL for $289-$350. That's in line with just about every other similar quality kite. They are just as well made as the Fearless but cost less. Super fun too.

There are plenty of nice flying very well made kites available. I've been lucky enough to try different builders wares and have found several that I want to own and enjoy. Others may be very well made but weren't something I would want to buy. Not at any price, just not my style but I understand that others do like them and think it's money well spent.

Everyone that buys a kite decides if their is money is worth what they get in return. For the Fearless, it has been for me. Sure I wish I could buy one for less, but that's what they cost. I really like mine and fly them a lot. No regrets. The cost per use continues to drop with time and the have a nice resale value if I decide to move on to something else. 

But spend your money on what you like.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: streamhawk on August 12, 2010, 02:22 PM
What makes a $500 kite?

the fact that you paid 500 bucks for it.

There, wasn't that worth 9 pages? How much is 9 pages of reply worth?........

Bill


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Kantaxel on August 12, 2010, 02:42 PM
What makes a $500 kite?

the fact that you paid 500 bucks for it.

There, wasn't that worth 9 pages? How much is 9 pages of reply worth?........

Bill

At two cents a page..................I'd say this will be over before we hit a quarter USD   :-\


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: RobB on August 12, 2010, 04:01 PM
What makes a $500 kite?

the fact that you paid 500 bucks for it.

There, wasn't that worth 9 pages? How much is 9 pages of reply worth?........

Bill
9 pages of debate is worth alot, because it means there is interest in the hobby (sport). It's better than crickets...
 ;)


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: flat6nut on August 12, 2010, 05:17 PM
Ok time for the noob to jump in.

First off...Nowhere in the OP's origanal post was Lam's kites brought up.
Second...I actually had a Fearless on my list of kites to get souly on the fact that I really, really like the way they look. I didnt care that the price was high because I think it looks badass...and alot of other kite designs dont do it for me because of the panal layout looks to boxy for my taste. (yeah, thats a noob comment, but hey...if I am going to fly a kite for hours at a time, its gotta look good to me)
Third...The Fearless just may be knocked off my kite list because I dont want to be associated with some of you that have posted here, plus I lost a little respect for Lam with the swap meet post of his.


Finally...this is a kite forum for kites sake. God forbid we were talking politics! You people need to relax and find some better wind because you really need to chill!

Michael


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Dolphinboy on August 12, 2010, 05:37 PM
Ok time for the noob to jump in.

First off...Nowhere in the OP's origanal post was Lam's kites brought up.


Michael

Michael buddy, The Fearless is specifically mentioned in the OP. Good luck with whatever you decide on.

Peace


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: cids on August 12, 2010, 06:22 PM
Quote
First off...Nowhere in the OP's origanal post was Lam's kites brought up.
                                                              RIGHT HERE
                                                                    ::)
                                                                     v
                                                                     v
I own a Prism E3, and I thought that was expensive! Is a Fearless that expensive because it's handmade, or is there really that much performance difference? I imagine the answer is both, but I'm curious on comparison between the E3, which seems to have a lot of capability. By price comparison, I would think the E3 and Fearless would be like a butter knife versus a machete! :D I'm scared to tell the wife that I want a half-grand sail!

No soup for you too !  :D


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: adx1592 on August 12, 2010, 07:03 PM
I agree with Mike up there, I think this threads gone on much to long.
We fly what we like, regardless of price or reputation. Thats all there really is to say (just my opinion).


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: DWayne on August 12, 2010, 07:09 PM
We fly what we like, regardless of price or reputation. Thats all there really is to say (just my opinion).
That's right Devin.  ;)
Heck, there's even people that pay big bucks for R-Sky kites.  :D

Denny


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: flat6nut on August 12, 2010, 07:42 PM
Sorry kids...my "bad". It was in the OPs first post.  Hope you still get the point.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: temoniprince on August 12, 2010, 07:45 PM
We fly what we like, regardless of price or reputation. Thats all there really is to say (just my opinion).
That's right Devin.  ;)
Heck, there's even people that pay big bucks for R-Sky kites.  :D

Denny
Ahahaha do i hear 9 more pages denny lol ahahahah :D :D


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Kantaxel on August 12, 2010, 11:45 PM
Yeah Right!  If ya'll think we can grab another 4 pages out of this nonsense, then you're all much worse off than myself..........I love it when we all, including myself, whom is one of Lam's most cultist blinded followers, decide to keep this molly folly crap going......I love all the kites we own from all the boutique builders, which the number is most embarrassing to admit to...............all of us need to get a life and just go out and fly...........no matter what the price you pay or how many different models you decide to collect/own/promote...........

Sixth Graders?????  Very not so/////////Kindergartners more likely.....................barely past potty training and with absolutely no apparent discipline from your parents...........

Shameful at the least


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Kantaxel on August 12, 2010, 11:54 PM
Again.........

I thank you, and I know Lam is thanking Ya'll, too!

Our moderators pretty much suck with this thread...............why would anyone with a self professed love of kiting allow this petty bashing of any boutique builder go on and on.............

Calling you out Zippy////////Grow up

Jim


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: zippy8 on August 13, 2010, 12:04 AM
(http://www.elisanet.fi/mike.emery/Smilies/facepalm.gif)

Mike.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Flying High on August 13, 2010, 12:47 AM
This has been a great subject to follow through the good, the bad and the ugly. LOL. We all live one life -embrace it, money is not important it's about how you feel inside. If you have the means to afford a higher end kite then enjoy it and fly as much as you can. Seize the day- go fly a kite. I have to many to choose from but every morning I look to the sky and see how the winds will be for the day. You guys seem to know how to have fun-keep it up.Cheers.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: Andy S on August 13, 2010, 01:15 AM
([url]http://www.elisanet.fi/mike.emery/Smilies/facepalm.gif[/url])

Mike.


Ohhhhh the irony.


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: jaybett on August 13, 2010, 02:37 AM
Yeah Right!  If ya'll think we can grab another 4 pages out of this nonsense, then you're all much worse off than myself..........I love it when we all, including myself, whom is one of Lam's most cultist blinded followers, decide to keep this molly folly crap going......I love all the kites we own from all the boutique builders, which the number is most embarrassing to admit to...............all of us need to get a life and just go out and fly...........no matter what the price you pay or how many different models you decide to collect/own/promote...........

Sixth Graders?????  Very not so/////////Kindergartners more likely.....................barely past potty training and with absolutely no apparent discipline from your parents...........

Shameful at the least
Again.........

I thank you, and I know Lam is thanking Ya'll, too!

Our moderators pretty much suck with this thread...............why would anyone with a self professed love of kiting allow this petty bashing of any boutique builder go on and on.............

Calling you out Zippy////////Grow up

Jim
I hope that you are aware, that you are guilty of everything you complained about in your post. Plus it is incredibly inane.

Jay



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: in.divi.dual on August 13, 2010, 05:10 AM
Yeah Right!  If ya'll think we can grab another 4 pages out of this nonsense, then you're all much worse off than myself..........I love it when we all, including myself, whom is one of Lam's most cultist blinded followers, decide to keep this molly folly crap going......I love all the kites we own from all the boutique builders, which the number is most embarrassing to admit to...............all of us need to get a life and just go out and fly...........no matter what the price you pay or how many different models you decide to collect/own/promote...........

Sixth Graders?????  Very not so/////////Kindergartners more likely.....................barely past potty training and with absolutely no apparent discipline from your parents...........

Shameful at the least


Ohhhh indeed, pity poor Lam, always getting the sh!tty end of the stick, or is he ?

As an example see here (http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=3688.0)

He used to "sell" his Sea Devils "through" GWTW don't you know ... I wonder what happened there ?



Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: DWayne on August 13, 2010, 05:33 AM
I hope that you are aware, that you are guilty of everything you complained about in your post. Plus it is incredibly inane.

+1

Denny


Title: Re: What makes a 500 dollar kite?
Post by: zippy8 on August 13, 2010, 05:37 AM
Let me just add up the scores for "both sides" here.... looks like a no score draw then.  :-[

If someone feels that they have something pertinent to add to this thread, please PM me first and I'll unlock it for you. No, I won't need to see it beforehand. Probably  ;)

Mike.