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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kites => Topic started by: DonB on December 13, 2010, 06:03 PM



Title: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: DonB on December 13, 2010, 06:03 PM
I'm getting back to kite flying after a loooong (12 yr) absence and could use some help deciding what kite to get. My favorite kite was a Little Sister, made in France by Wolfe Designs as I recall.  It was quite sensitive to subtle inputs, quick, agile, very little pull, clear feedback, sufficiently precise, and very quiet.  The qualities of the Little Sister interest me but I would like a kite a somewhat more forgiving than it was as my 66 year old reflexes are not that quick  :o .  I'd also like better low wind performance.

Two kites that have caught my eye are the Mongoose and Talon.  I've read all the reviews and forum comments I could find and watched numerous videos of both kites and no doubt either would be more than enough kite for me for a long time.  

If anyone has experience flying both I would very much like to hear what you feel are the differences between the two and any other comments you feel might be useful.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Don





Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: kiteclique on December 13, 2010, 06:44 PM

Mongoose reviews here

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

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)

and Talon here

http://v2.1.kiteclique.com/wordpress-3.0/wordpress/misc/jest-of-eve-talon-by-bryan-beasley (http://v2.1.kiteclique.com/wordpress-3.0/wordpress/misc/jest-of-eve-talon-by-bryan-beasley)

You really can't go wrong with either - both impeccably made. The Mongoose will offer the precision you mention though and will fly in lower winds.

The Talon has lighter inputs and is a more radical / freestyle oriented flier.

-Frazer


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: cids on December 13, 2010, 07:21 PM
I think you need a big trick kite...at less 250cm in width. 


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: DonB on December 13, 2010, 07:28 PM

Mongoose reviews here...

and Talon here...

The Mongoose will offer the precision you mention though and will fly in lower winds.

The Talon has lighter inputs and is a more radical / freestyle oriented flier.

-Frazer



Thank you very much for the response Frazer.

The reviews you mentioned helped me narrow down to these kites (and also the Mamba),  but unfortunately I couldn't get an idea of the differences from them. I really appreciate you're pointing out some differences,  it's helpful information.

I think you need a big trick kite...at less 250cm in width.

Thanks for commenting cids.  Care to share your reasons for the suggestion and some examples?

Don


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: cids on December 13, 2010, 07:37 PM
Bigger kite usually fly slower, it gives you more time to react/to plan your next move.  If you have slow hands, then bigger kite is more suitable for you.  Lately I'm watching some K2 videos.  It looks very delicious. :)


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: tpatter on December 13, 2010, 08:19 PM
I've only flown both briefly, but I think Frazer pretty much nailed it.  The Mongoose is a smooth and precise flyer that does tricks pretty well.  The Talon is trick monster that flys pretty well.


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: DonB on December 13, 2010, 08:26 PM
Bigger kite usually fly slower, it gives you more time to react/to plan your next move.  If you have slow hands, then bigger kite is more suitable for you.  Lately I'm watching some K2 videos.  It looks very delicious. :)

Thanks cids but I don't think my reflexes are that slow! I did have an opportunity to fly a run of the mill 3/4 a while ago, it was the first time flying in over a decade and I had no problem making it dance so I don't think reflexes will be a problem.

I used to have a Phantom and also a Big Brother full size kites and found them rather boring, I prefer something quicker and more agile.

BTW, I checked out some K2 vids, nice kite, just not what I had in mind.

I've only flown both briefly, but I think Frazer pretty much nailed it.  The Mongoose is a smooth and precise flyer that does tricks pretty well.  The Talon is trick monster that flys pretty well.

Thanks tpatter, I just wish I could get a chance to fly them.  :(

Cheers,

Don


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: inewham on December 14, 2010, 12:16 AM
My favorite kite was a Little Sister, made in France by Wolfe Designs as I recall.  It was quite sensitive to subtle inputs, quick, agile, very little pull, clear feedback, sufficiently precise, and very quiet.

I've flown some Talons and own a Mongoose: That description sounds more like a Talon to me.

If you want low wind performance you might also consider an Exile or a Talon UL, both are particularly nice kites.

Where are you? maybe you could get a try of someone else's?


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: DonB on December 14, 2010, 12:29 AM

I've flown some Talons and own a Mongoose: That description sounds more like a Talon to me.

If you want low wind performance you might also consider an Exile or a Talon UL, both are particularly nice kites.

Where are you? maybe you could get a try of someone else's?

Thank you for your response Ian.  I am considering the Talon UL based on what I've read about, it's good to hear more positive feedback on it.  I'm on the far south-east coast of Australia in a small town a long ways from any major city so getting a try is unfortunately quite unlikely. 

Don


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: inewham on December 14, 2010, 01:36 AM
I'm on the far south-east coast of Australia in a small town a long ways from any major city so getting a try is unfortunately quite unlikely. 

Ah, I can see that you might have a problem there  :)

In that case FWIW I doubt you'd be dissapointed with either, both incredibly well made and really nice to fly.

I flew most in the late 90's and both kites have a hint of the way kites flew back then still in them. If you were asking for something like a Nirvana you might be in for a completely different experience but both of these kites shouldn't be too much of a surprise apart from the increase in 'trick abilty'.


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: Svolazzo on December 14, 2010, 02:28 AM

BTW, I checked out some K2 vids, nice kite, just not what I had in mind.

Don

May I ask why? I have a K2 STD and Nirvana SE both STD and UL and I have to say that K2 is a great kite slow, tricky, precise, forgiving, for sure at the same level of a Nirvana, maybe a little better IMHO. I never flown a Talon or a Mongoose, I have 2 Mantis STD and UL and one Exile STD. The Talon being smaller should be faster and possibly harder to control for a new flier but it's definately a great kite in the hands of an experienced pilot, the Mantis and Exile are great and well done kites, but K2 is better for the reasons I told, always IMHO.

Paolo


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: inewham on December 14, 2010, 03:27 AM
Not answering for Don but from a personal perspective one of the big differences you notice between kites of the 90's (Don's previous experience) and 'Modern' i.e. post Nirvana kites is the way they turn.

Kites used to be called radical as an indication of how fast/tight they'd spin. A kite from that era will perform a fast tight pull turn and can be easily spin stalled. A post Nirvana kite, while it can do a snappy and accurate punch or combo turn typically does a huge pull turn and doesn't spin stall.

If you have flown older kites this can make your first experience of a post Nirvana kite feel a bit underwhelming

Kites that still do tight pull turns and have that 'radical' (in the old sense) feel include the Mamba and Mongoose, both kites Don has enquired about here and elsewhere. The DS and Gemini spin nicely and they're kites that have influenced Mark's design of the Talon.

I didn't watch the whole K2 video, I'm at work but another issue with video of 'modern' kites is simply the fact that people go straight into lots of JLs, yo-yos etc and we never get an impression of what they're like to just fly.
Great for showing how cool your skills are but not so good for conveying an impression of how something just flies (maybe I'm getting old)


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: fidelio on December 14, 2010, 03:47 AM
there's nothing which says you can't buy one in the summer and the other in the winter. :)

i own a talon ul and have flown the mongoose in light winds a little. i've even had my hands on a little sister but just for a little bit.

the mongoose is likely to be something more of what you'd recognize in terms of flight characteristic. while not my style, every blue moon kite i've ever flown have all shared the same amazing ability to grab onto any little bit of wind and make the most of it. if it flies at all, the sail feels full and playful. the mongoose from the short time i've spent with it, exhibits this behavior. few if any kites simply fly better than a blue moon.

the talon feels smaller on the lines, reacts to changes in direction adeptly, and if you're freestyle minded, a tremendous joy to fly. like a fighter jet, it forsakes utmost efficiency for stunning performance.

since you asked about the differences in how they fly hopefully my description isn't too esoteric but the mongoose feels (to me) to fly around the center of its mass, where the talon flies more towards the wingtips.

if buying both was a possibility the mongoose would be a better bridge from what you know to the talon, rather than the other way round.

tastes differ so the above should be taken as one opinion and nothing more.


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: WinterDaze on December 14, 2010, 01:33 PM
Fidelo

since you asked about the differences in how they fly hopefully my description isn't too esoteric but the mongoose feels (to me) to fly around the center of its mass, where the talon flies more towards the wingtips.


And to throw another little piece of info...

Fidelo, the above comment may now not be sooo accurate, Marks newest Talons (I'm calling it the 2.0) are coming out with 5PT LS's, and I'd say it's enough to move it back to a more 'trad' feel, not as 'Talony' as the earlier version...

Some might say it's evolved (just a little bit ;))

(Under full disclosure I'm more partial to the 7PT option so I fly the New Talon as a hybrid).


Oh and DonB, believe it or not but there's 6 Talons in the Melbourne area that I know of, if you find yourself down at the big smoke drop me a PM and we'll see what can be done :)


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: DonB on December 14, 2010, 03:40 PM
I flew most in the late 90's and both kites have a hint of the way kites flew back then still in them. If you were asking for something like a Nirvana you might be in for a completely different experience but both of these kites shouldn't be too much of a surprise apart from the increase in 'trick abilty'.

Not answering for Don but from a personal perspective one of the big differences you notice between kites of the 90's (Don's previous experience) and 'Modern' i.e. post Nirvana kites is the way they turn...

Thanks again Ian, learning a lot from your comments.

May I ask why? ... I have to say that K2 is a great kite slow, tricky, precise, forgiving

Thanks for the comments Paolo,  however I just don't find 'slow' attractive.  The Little Sister was quick, sensitive, and nowhere near as forgiving as my larger kites.  My slower, more forgiving larger kites never came out of the bag as long as there was enough wind for the LS.


there's nothing which says you can't buy one in the summer and the other in the winter. :)

I think my bank account would have quite a bit to say about it. :o



i own a talon ul and have flown the mongoose in light winds a little. i've even had my hands on a little sister but just for a little bit ... since you asked about the differences in how they fly hopefully my description isn't too esoteric but the mongoose feels (to me) to fly around the center of its mass, where the talon flies more towards the wingtips.

Thanks for the helpful comments Fidelio.  I could say if it's accurate technically but your characterization of the differences makes sense.  In the videos they clearly behave very differently, from what I've seen the aesthetics of the Mongoose's flight are more attractive. 

Fidelo

since you asked about the differences in how they fly hopefully my description isn't too esoteric but the mongoose feels (to me) to fly around the center of its mass, where the talon flies more towards the wingtips.


And to throw another little piece of info...

Fidelo, the above comment may now not be sooo accurate, Marks newest Talons (I'm calling it the 2.0) are coming out with 5PT LS's, and I'd say it's enough to move it back to a more 'trad' feel, not as 'Talony' as the earlier version...

Oh and DonB, believe it or not but there's 6 Talons in the Melbourne area that I know of, if you find yourself down at the big smoke drop me a PM and we'll see what can be done :)

Intesting stuff Winterdaze, thank for sharing it.  Do you think the change effects the flight aesthetics or just the feel?  Thanks for the offer on the Talons. I've thought of taking a trip to Sydney or Melbourne (I'm about half way between them near Merimbula) to hopefully sample some goodies.

***


I really appreciate all the replies.  The comments and questions raised have helped to clarify my thoughts.  I've gone back and rewatched the videos on

Cheers,

Don


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: tpatter on December 14, 2010, 03:47 PM
Quote
Thanks for the comments Paolo,  however I just don't find 'slow' attractive.  The Little Sister was quick, sensitive, and nowhere near as forgiving as my larger kites.  My slower, more forgiving larger kites never came out of the bag as long as there was enough wind for the LS.

If you like a kite that is agile and can trick as fast as you like while also being very forgiving, take a look at the Transformer - its like driving a highly tuned sports car.


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: ezme6 on December 14, 2010, 04:21 PM
Transformer TTL....you won't need another kite.
 Flys good in 4mph on up, and it looks back at you too  8)


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: DonB on December 14, 2010, 04:32 PM
If you like a kite that is agile and can trick as fast as you like while also being very forgiving, take a look at the Transformer - its like driving a highly tuned sports car.

Thanks Tom,  it does sound really nice, too bad about the ugly graphics.  :)  If I still lived on Bainbridge Island I'd come over to kite hill and see if I could get a test flight.  Nice writeup on it in your Transformer thread.

Transformer TTL....you won't need another kite.
 Flys good in 4mph on up, and it looks back at you too  8)

Thanks Ezme6, I really didn't care for the 'looking back' bit!



Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: WinterDaze on December 14, 2010, 04:50 PM


Intesting stuff Winterdaze, thank for sharing it.  Do you think the change effects the flight aesthetics or just the feel?  Thanks for the offer on the Talons. I've thought of taking a trip to Sydney or Melbourne (I'm about half way between them near Merimbula) to hopefully sample some goodies.

***


Hey Don,


Merimbula, that would have to be a great place to fly kites  8) I think either head down south (and SW) or up to Brissy as good places to aim... I'm not sure about Sydney for a freestyle following, happy to be corrected though, also look at kite festivals, they tend to attract a few of us to most of them...

Now to Talon flight characteristics...

 Hmmm, tricky for me as my first one was a very early version and I beat that up bad, so I think me and that one, over 2+ years, had somewhat evolved together. The new one (about a month old) is tighter so there's a bit in that I'm thinking, but with a change to the LLE as well (tapered Black Diamond Nitros) the lower mass has changed a bit, has it gained or lost anything? I don't think so, is it different (from my old one)? Yes. By much? A medium sized little bit...    ::)

I guess I took about 2-3 hours to shift most of the muscle memory round, the outcome is that I'm not looking to pull the old one out in a hurry... I like the new one...


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: Ace on December 14, 2010, 05:38 PM
Merimbula is a graet place to fly! Good memories holidaying there a couple of yers ago. Also got a kite shop there (hope it's still there) and regular fly's every week. :)


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: DonB on December 14, 2010, 06:02 PM
Thanks Winterdaze,  there is a lot of nice beach around that is pretty empty.

Merimbula is a graet place to fly! Good memories holidaying there a couple of yers ago. Also got a kite shop there (hope it's still there) and regular fly's every week. :)

Hi Ace.  Unfortunately the kite shop closed a couple of years ago. A couple times I went to the kite fly's, was surprised that it only took a few minutes before the body remembered what to do after a 10 year break!  The AKS site mentions a monthly kite fly a little ways up the coast in Tathra, I'm going to call tonight and see if it's on next week.

Cheers,

Don


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: DonB on December 14, 2010, 06:40 PM
Hi Barry, thanks for the info.

... the cost of a single K2 landed in Australia was over $600.00 AUD 
:o :o :o

Glad I didn't have my heart set on a K2!

Don, after reading through this thread I cannot but help thinking have you considered the Benson Deep Space. If not, would be worth looking into before you commit.

If you make it to Melbourne we can arrange for a range of kites for you try. Hope we meet up one day.



I did take a look at the DS but decided against it for a number of reasons, none of which may be particularly valid. Things like the graphic design, a less than positive experience with my Phantom (I finally figured out the sail wasn't symetrical), etc. Not being able to fly the kites leaves me looking for reasons to exclude choices since I can't base my decision on hands-on experience.  I could drive myself nuts with too many choices.

One kite that has caught my eye since I started this thread is the JJF, in Excalibur UL or Matzel flavour. From what I've read and seen in videos it seems like a possible fit. Anyone have comments on this one?

My first new kite will let me see how much I get back into kiting.  If I do start looking for more kites I would take you up on your kind offer.

Cheers,

Don



Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: inewham on December 15, 2010, 12:34 AM
If you're looking for a *fast* kite do be aware that one of the great things about the Mongoose is its speed control, the fact that it doesn't get silly fast and pull your arms off as the wind increases...

Given that you're choosing based on videos and recommendations, why not buy 2nd hand and maybe try 2 or even 3 for the price of a new kite? Much less of a risk that way.

I'm sure there must be a few for sale in Australia so you can avoid all the import duties and taxes too


Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: DonB on December 15, 2010, 01:49 AM
Thanks again for your comments Ian.


If you're looking for a *fast* kite do be aware that one of the great things about the Mongoose is its speed control, the fact that it doesn't get silly fast and pull your arms off as the wind increases...

That speed control is a plus factor. There's a lot I like about the Mongoose, besides, I came up with a really striking 'Redback' design for one after a couple hours on the colourizer.  8)

Given that you're choosing based on videos and recommendations, why not buy 2nd hand and maybe try 2 or even 3 for the price of a new kite? Much less of a risk that way.

I'm sure there must be a few for sale in Australia so you can avoid all the import duties and taxes too

I looked around on eBay Oz & US and all the forums I could find for used kites before I started this thread.  I haven't found any yet in Oz, there are a couple on another forum but one bloke only has 4 posts, and the other wants almost 80% of new cost when shipping is factored in.  I'll keep looking but it doesn't look too promising.  :(

One thing that occurred to me while looking at used kites is that if the kite I get just doesn't work out I can probably sell or trade for something else without taking too big of a loss as long as the kite I get is seen as desirable. 



Title: Re: Mongoose/Talon
Post by: Svolazzo on December 15, 2010, 06:28 AM
I have to say that K2 is a great kite slow, tricky, precise, forgiving, for sure at the same level of a Nirvana, maybe a little better IMHO.

The K2 is a fine looking kite, but after looking into purchasing one earlier this year I have to report that the purchasing process is a P.I.A. (no PayPal). By the time all requirements to process payment were met, the cost of a single K2 landed in Australia was over $600.00 AUD  :(. Taking into account the many fine kites on the market today that can be purchased in the $300 to $400 AUD price range all up, the K2 pricing is way past the pause_and_think_about_it zone.

Barry.

If that is the price I can only agree with you, the actual price here in italy is 289 (389 AU$) that's in the range you stated, but the payment way chosen by CHS and shipping upside down adds a lot of money indeed, too much for me too. It's a real pity because the K2 is really a great kite. I bought mine used (less than 1 year of life, in great shape) for 180 shipped (242 AU$)

Paolo