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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kite Reviews => Topic started by: chilese on September 21, 2010, 04:16 PM



Title: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: chilese on September 21, 2010, 04:16 PM
I have now flown Mark's Mongoose on 2 occasions.
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_3waCPW86CRA/TJWg9s-1xkI/AAAAAAAAgSU/emcm9lkeUVs/s144/3384%20Mongoose%20fade.jpg) (http://picasaweb.google.com/chilesej/2010Kites#5518493900319606338)

If you just go by specs, the Mongoose is very similar in size to a Mantis and about 4 inches shorter in height than a Mamba. I have very little time on a Mantis, so can't really comment on a comparison to it. I do have a fair amount of time on my Mamba and the Mongoose is more forgiving, builds up speed less quickly and tricks a bit quicker. They both track very well.

Build Quality: Ken McNeill
Panel Layout: 18 panels (same as the Mamba) but with a bold "lightning bolt" cutting throught the "normal" panels (I have already spent too much time with the colorizer for this one)

The first time I flew the Mongoose was Friday night in low wind. There were 3 kites in the air at the time:
1 Talon UL
2 Vendetta UL (incorrectly originally stated as WM UL)
3 Mongoose std

Yesindeedy, the Mongoose with that Nitro frame exposes a lot of rigid sail and was flying gracefully in UL conditions. The Mongoose has a fairly long spine which must act as an excellent stabilizer, as there are no standoffs near the wingtips to add tracking as on the Mamba.

First and foremost, this kite is meant to fly. It feels a bit like the offspring of the AirFX and Mamba. Certainly a worthy heritage. I found myself wanting to practice my lines and figures, which have really deteriorated over the last several years.

Tricks:

The question on all you flippers and floppers on the Forum. I flew the kite with stock bridle, no yoyo stoppers and 2 of the 4 tail weights. This is not a jerk-and-watch-it-do-something-kite. The set up needs to be more deliberate and the lines tended more throughout the trick. It's almost more of flying the kite through the trick with just enough slack to get it through some transitions.

I was able to do a few roll-ups and unwind from the over rotated Jacob's Ladder entry. The kite does barrel-rolls instead of backspins. Darren did some Comete cycles on it. They were slow enough to recognize each input, which I liked. The kite will easily do 1 or 2 pop cascades slowly. In fact all tricks are done at a leisurely pace where you can watch what is happening. The timing is very different than a Talon type kite.

Hopefully Darren can add to this aspect as he is a much better trickster than myself.

New Trick:

Darren did it once, but we didn't know what happened at the time. I've done it twice since then. On the 2nd occasion I flew the Mongoose, winds were around 8 mph and I figured out what Darren had accidentally done that was so cool. The trick works better on lines under 100 feet and close to the ground. Basically it's a fairly flat axel to rolled-up position. I've never seen it before, although I'm sure one of you experts has done it.

1 Get the Mongoose close to the ground.
2 Start an axel, but keep the lines tended closely
3 As the wingtip comes around toward you
4 Bring the lines above the wingtip
5 Let the Mongoose continue around to finish the axel
6 As the nose points toward you
7 Raise the nose of the kite between the lines
8 You now have a rolled-up kite with a twist in the lines to help keep the lines near the nose, which helps since this kite had no yoyo stoppers.

I did it twice, on purpose, once I figured out what had happened to Darren. It's very cool and should allow kites that don't yoyo to get into a wound up flying position.

I'm open to comments on this trick as it is new to me.

Conclusion:

If you want a great flying, well built custom kite that will do tricks slowly and on purpose, this will fit the bill perfectly. It does not hand out tricks, but it will reward you with them when done the way it wants them done.

I'm looking forward to more time on it as this kite demands more of a learning curve in the tricks department. As far as flying, my lines and corners are coming back.

Mark might not get his kite back for a long time.  ;)


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: adx1592 on September 21, 2010, 05:17 PM
The kite does barrel-rolls instead of backspins.

I Agree with everything except the statement above. The Mongoose will certainly do backspins.  :)

Thanks for the review John! I still love the pics.


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: chilese on September 21, 2010, 05:20 PM
I should have added "in my hands" the kite does barrel rolls.

I'll attempt some backspins next chance I get.

How many weights did you have on the Mongoose? Mine had 2.


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: fidelio on September 21, 2010, 08:19 PM
it provides plenty of feedback on the lines even in the lightest wind. without more wind i'd reserve more specific comment.

widowmaker ul didn't make it into the air friday with the broken spar, the other kite the other darren was flying was the vendetta ul.

nice kite though, the mongoose.


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: chilese on September 22, 2010, 01:34 AM
Devin, I just watched the Mongoose video you did on the BMK website.

I saw several barrel-rolls during the vid and wish I could trick like that, but I didn't see any backspins.

Did you get any video of the Mongoose doing a backspin?


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: inewham on September 22, 2010, 02:48 AM
New Trick:

Darren did it once, but we didn't know what happened at the time. I've done it twice since then.

We need video  :)

I saw several barrel-rolls during the vid and wish I could trick like that, but I didn't see any backspins.

I guess you mean the backspins aren't flat - even the flattest looking BS isn't really that flat when you see it from the side. Generally people don't worry too much about how flat they are these days  ;)  Blame the French influence on kiting but its not like one line is locked onto the LE.


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: adx1592 on September 22, 2010, 05:27 AM
I second the statements above, which is probably why this convo is being had. Well that solved that one, thanks Mr N.

John, I fly it with 3 weights (probably should of said that earlier), all the way at the bottom of the spine.


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: mikenchico on September 22, 2010, 07:19 AM
Another Backspin/Barrel Roll discusion?

I've always felt a True BS had the kites wings rotating around on a horizontal plane, that is the nose will rotate 360 degrees pointing away from you half way through the trick, much like a Lazy Susan but started nose toward you. The Tricks Party (http://fracturedaxel.co.uk/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Backspin) definiton places the lines on top of the wing throughout so the kite can't roll over.

I figured a Barrel Roll has the wings rotating around the spine, the nose will remain pointed at you throughout the trick. But the Tricks Party (http://fracturedaxel.co.uk/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Barrel+Roll) definition of a Barrel Roll is only half a rotation, being similar to the the last movement in a Jacobs Ladder.

Since the Tricks Party definition of the Backspin continues after the definition to include the Barrel Roll as a backspin although it is a completely different trick by their own definition nothing makes any sense to me.



Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: chilese on September 22, 2010, 01:35 PM
I maintain the Mongoose does Barrel Rolls, not Backspins.

I defer to the excellent animation by Roy Reed for the Backspin:

http://reeddesign.co.uk/tricks/backspin.html (http://reeddesign.co.uk/tricks/backspin.html)

To be a backspin, the belly of the kite must always face upward.

As Mike mentioned, it's basically a Lazy Susan starting in the fade position.


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: JimB on September 22, 2010, 09:36 PM
This sounds like something Bill Rogers and Ari Contzius did a video of Years back.

Anyone have a link?

New Trick:

Darren did it once, but we didn't know what happened at the time. I've done it twice since then.

We need video  :)



Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: Bob D on September 23, 2010, 12:15 PM
There was some mention of the Mongoose flying more comfortably than the Exile over 8-10 mph. From what John's written, it doesn't sound like it flies like the Exile though. (I was flying my Exile yesterday in just about nothing and it didn't seem to mind my sloppy inputs; the Mongoose seems to need good flying technique. Right?)

So my question is this: Is it a better alternative to the Exile?


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: DWayne on September 23, 2010, 04:11 PM
A back spin use to be called a roto-fade. It starts from a fade and does a flat spin. I didn't see any of those in the Mongoose video. Sorry Devin. They look like barrel rolls to me.

Denny


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: ndcmpc on September 23, 2010, 04:59 PM
On some kites the difference between doing a barrel roll and backspin is the offside line slack.  Don't give it enough slack and it will barrel roll.  Give it lots of slack and it will backspin.

Not saying this is what is happening with the Mongoose, but give it a try.  Some kites like more slack.


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: jaybett on September 24, 2010, 01:49 AM
There was some mention of the Mongoose flying more comfortably than the Exile over 8-10 mph. From what John's written, it doesn't sound like it flies like the Exile though. (I was flying my Exile yesterday in just about nothing and it didn't seem to mind my sloppy inputs; the Mongoose seems to need good flying technique. Right?)

So my question is this: Is it a better alternative to the Exile?

My understanding is that the Mongoose, was more in line with the Mantis/Muse line, then the Exile.

Steve Tapp, impression of the kite was that it flew like a full size Exile.

One of Ken's intention with the Mongoose was to have a kite, that could fly in higher then normal winds for a Blue Moon Kite. A desire that many of us share.

Jay


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: stapp59 on September 24, 2010, 02:45 AM
The Mongoose is full size like the Mantis/Muse and correspondingly slower paced in overall speed and tricks than smaller kites.  It speeds up less then its brethren as the wind increases which is nice, especially for figures. Precision is right up there with the Mamba/Mantis.

It will fly up to around 18 or so before being overpowered and starting to bend those Nitro spreaders  ???  There is room for a vent in the lineup  ;D

The comfortable tricking wind range is subject to flier  ;)

The Mongoose is not a yank and spank trick kite.  None of Ken's kites are; just don't tell Devin that ;)  Tricks are slower and more deliberate in line with it's overall feel.  Tricks are just as accessible as the Exile and in many ways a bit more accessible than the Mantis.

I think the Mongoose does the Mantis one better on being an excellent all rounder and I have two full sets of Mantids.

The Mongoose does not replace the Exile which is smaller and while similar, they do have different personalities, I like them both.

It will be fun to fly the Mongoose and Exile side by side and compare notes.

Ken has another winner with the Mongoose.


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: cbs2010 on November 12, 2010, 08:27 PM
Any further comparisons between the  Mongoose and the Exile ?

Would one be better suited for a new flier wanting to learn tricks ?

Cheers
C


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: inewham on November 13, 2010, 01:11 AM
Despite its size the Mongoose does many tricks faster and in some cases easier but I'd say the Exile is a little more forgiving and easier to fly.
If you've not flown many other kites you should adapt quickly to the way the Mongoose flies but if you're already accustomed to the way 'post Nirvana' kites fly it takes a little adjustment.
The Mongoose thrives on a little more wind, the Exile does well in lighter winds - what are your local conditions like?


I'm part way through writing a review myself but we've had gales and just as we get to the w/e I've sprained my wrist so no flying today  :(
 


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: jaydub on November 13, 2010, 02:11 AM
Review here.

http://v2.1.kiteclique.com/wordpress-3.0/wordpress/uncategorized/blue-moon-kites-mongoose-review-by-glen-warren (http://v2.1.kiteclique.com/wordpress-3.0/wordpress/uncategorized/blue-moon-kites-mongoose-review-by-glen-warren)


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: cbs2010 on November 13, 2010, 03:15 PM
I mostly have inland light wind - 4-8kph to no wind.

Might be moving further inland which would be generally gusty.

I have the quantum, nexus and the 4d.


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: inewham on November 13, 2010, 03:41 PM
In that case I'd go with the Exile; it handles turbulent inland winds well (my local spot is a park with lots of tall trees) and it flies well in low winds. With heavy lines it is forgiving in gusty winds but does become hard work in > 10mph winds.

The Mongoose felt like it had an on/off switch driving then not on the same park and wouldn't go as low as my Exile.


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: tpatter on November 13, 2010, 04:41 PM
In that case I'd go with the Exile; it handles turbulent inland winds well (my local spot is a park with lots of tall trees) and it flies well in low winds. With heavy lines it is forgiving in gusty winds but does become hard work in > 10mph winds.

The Mongoose felt like it had an on/off switch driving then not on the same park and wouldn't go as low as my Exile.

In my limited time on the Mongoose, I would entirely agree with with this. 

The Exile was my go-to kite for a long time so I was surprised when I first picked up the lines on the Mongoose and gave it a go.  The winds were very low (near the low end of the kites abilities), but I know that my Exile would have flown much better in that same low wind.  Then again, once the wind picks up, the Exile loses some of its charm which I understand that the Mongoose retains.  I find the Exile very sweet up to 8-10 or so which I think meets most peoples needs just fine.

I do wish that I could have tried the Mongoose in higher winds, but I never got the opportunity. 

It tricked in a similar way to the Exile to my mind, just not as fast (very slowly actually, but again, at least partially due to the wind) and it just felt like a bigger kite overall to me.  It was easy to backspin, half-axel, axel, yoyo, etc and you can tell that both kites are made by the same designer by the way that they fly.  I think that due to its size and freestyle-bent, then Exile is just more agile at tricking in low wind.

Not to confuse you further, but the Muse is really my favorite of his kites.


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: cbs2010 on November 13, 2010, 04:53 PM
Lol.

Thanks looks like I'll lean more to the exile when the time comes.

Muse huh? I guess it's discontinued?


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: mikenchico on November 13, 2010, 05:23 PM
yep and Ken put out "Last call" (http://www.bluemoonkites.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=171) on it's big brother the Mantis  :(





Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: tpatter on November 13, 2010, 05:33 PM
You can't go wrong with either choice - all of his kites are excellent flyers.

I didn't realize that the Mantis was being retired - I've met many folks who keep that kite in their A-bag. 


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: cbs2010 on November 13, 2010, 07:00 PM
Tpatter, what is your present go to kite ?


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: stapp59 on November 14, 2010, 06:26 AM
For those with early builds of the Mongoose, Ken issued a bridle tweak to shorten the uphaul by 1/2".  It helps the low end, overall drive, and smooths out any oversteer.  The uphaul should measure 22 1/2" from the frame to the knot.

Will have to have a fly off with the Exile and Mongoose on the low end wind range.  Both are pretty good as I recall.

Concerning the Mantis, it has been in my A bag for several years now.  The Mongoose is an able replacement I think.  Tricks are more accessible and it has a more even pace throughout the wind range.

Of course as mentioned, all of Ken's kites are nice  :)


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: cbs2010 on November 17, 2010, 04:24 PM
Man....

After most recommending the Exile UL over the Mongoose UL ya think it would be a clear cut choice.  On Ken's mongoose forum it seems many prefer the mongoose over the exile.

The quandry???  Some say for inland turbulent gusty winds the exile is better and some say the mongoose is. 

It may sound 2D but I much prefer my colorizer creation for the mongoose over the exile, yet I have a feeling the exile will be better for low winds- but is it significant ?

Perhaps on those ultra low wind days I should just be content with my 4d. 

Just thinking outloud.


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: DD on November 17, 2010, 05:27 PM
life is too short flying kites you don't like to look at :D


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: cbs2010 on November 17, 2010, 05:33 PM
Good point. Let's examine the spiritual side of flying. ;)


Title: Re: Mongoose Mini-Review
Post by: inewham on November 18, 2010, 12:24 AM
The quandry???  Some say for inland turbulent gusty winds the exile is better and some say the mongoose is. 

Really we're splitting hairs comparing them - you're unlikely to be disappointed with either.