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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Beginners Corner => Topic started by: Ara Ararauna on December 03, 2011, 03:39 PM



Title: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: Ara Ararauna on December 03, 2011, 03:39 PM
Hi,

After all the great info that I have received from many of you in the "To UL or not to UL..." topic, I'm now getting to final choices.
I have configured my list of kites to have them in front of me and sorted by price (not by preference).
You can see the list at:
http://goo.gl/Kw4bR (http://goo.gl/Kw4bR)

My preferences at this point seem to be the following:
* Toxic (R-Sky)
* Soul (Flying Wings)
* Black Pearl STD (Level One)

Because of price range and because of design (remember I'm currently flying a Nexus).

I have been thinking about a good question that B-13 asked which is what I think my flying style is or will be.
I think I like entering the tricks world but I will be one of those that likes to have each trick recognisable and not do forty tricks one after the other frantically.
Also I think I will like some precision and smooth (but fastish) flying.

On the other hand, as I said, in my area I have gusty winds, although in summer I've been told we have pretty steady breezes at the beach (I have still not been able to taste them since I only started flying in October).
For example, today we were having: low 0-1km/h; avg. 7km/h; gusts 22-24km/h

So what would you doctors say is my best medicine?  ;)

Thanks!



Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: chilese on December 03, 2011, 04:03 PM
You didn't tell us which one you thought looked the best to you.


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: Hadge on December 03, 2011, 04:11 PM
Not heard to much about the Toxic - R-sky build quality has been a bit so-so in the past.
The Black Pearl is one of the latest must have kites, nice but expensive.

My choice personally would be the Soul - I have one and it's a great kite, Build quality is excellent, smooth as a hot knife through butter, vary capable, decent precision, standard will go down to about 4mph up to about 15-18mph before it really starts to pull, easy to fly- it doesn't need any special inputs.  A very under-rated kite and a good price too. I wish I could get another one but it's yet another kite we can't easily get in the UK.

Have you looked at the HQ Infinity? Another very good all round kite.

A couple of reviews.

R-Sky Toxic (http://fracturedaxel.co.uk/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=10467&p=117065&hilit=toxic#p117065)

Flying Wings Soul (http://kitethoughtsfromthefield.blogspot.com/2009/07/soul-from-flying-wings-is-latest-high.html)


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: emegaz on December 03, 2011, 08:10 PM
I've flown the Black Pearl UL, Deepspace and Infinity STD. Id say the Infinty would be more friendly to a beginner. The Black Pearl is nice but it does require more work then the Infinity.


Quote
I think I like entering the tricks world but I will be one of those that likes to have each trick recognisable and not do forty tricks one after the other frantically.

I dont think the deepspace would suit you then.


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: RobB on December 03, 2011, 08:34 PM
The Widow Maker is your best bet. For the winds you describe, it fits great. The WM flies like you describe, tricky when you want, precise if you want, and always forgiving. I bought mine because I always wanted to try one, not because I liked the way it looked. Turns out to be my most flown kite (out of over 50) to the point where I hardly fly anything else. I got over the looks issue, and actually find the pattern easier to follow than most when the kite is in different positions.

Sky Burner Widow Maker... August 2011. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvnmuzaTYpg#ws)


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: Ara Ararauna on December 04, 2011, 12:07 AM
You didn't tell us which one you thought looked the best to you.


Hi Chilese,

Well, from the 11 kites I list in the link I provide (http://goo.gl/Kw4bR (http://goo.gl/Kw4bR)), I do say I prefer three:
* Toxic (R-Sky)
* Soul (Flying Wings)
* Black Pearl STD (Level One)

However, the WM (although I don't like the pattern) seems to keep "haunting" me constantly through many flyers...  ;)

What is your recommendation Chilese. I have seen you give very clean and sharp advise  :)





Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: Ara Ararauna on December 04, 2011, 12:21 AM
BTW,

Maybe, my choice of those three is absolutely a wrong match with my definition of style.  :)
So feel free to contradict me as RobB has done  ;)

Thanks,

N.


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: chilese on December 04, 2011, 01:13 AM
I have not flown all of the kites on your list.

And what I like may not be what you like.

Of the kites I have flown I like (in no particular order)

Exile
Soul
Black Pearl
Widow Maker
Talon
Infinity

Another thing to consider is if you would ever go for a complete set: UL, std, vented.

The Talon and Infinity can be had in all 3 configurations.

And then you get to consider:

Do you want custom colors? That would rule out the Infinity.

The choices are the fun part.

Don't get what I like. Get what you think you would like.
Although I would suggest not getting the Hypnotist, Silver Fox or Zephyr. But then, I would add the Quantum Pro, although old by many people's standards, it is still an outstanding kite and available in multiple configurations.

And as Allen Carter has often said, even if you don't like a kite, you can sell it on the Swap Meet and you have merely rented it.

Come to Las Vegas for a Friday night fly. Between several of us, we have all those kites.  :)

I am also biased. I have more Ken McNeill kites than any other manufacturer (if you don't count stacks as separate kites).


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: Ara Ararauna on December 04, 2011, 05:07 AM
Thanks Chilise!  :)

I'll think about the combinations Std, UL, Vented & color options.
Indeed these are points to consider.

Thanks.


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: Ara Ararauna on December 04, 2011, 05:13 AM
BTW, I wished I could join you in Las Vegas.
It would surely be awesome and I would learn so much.
Although it is a bit far from Barcelona, if I ever go there I'll drop you a message.  :)

Cheers!

N.


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: Hadge on December 04, 2011, 06:18 AM

Another thing to consider is if you would ever go for a complete set: UL, std, vented.

The Talon and Infinity can be had in all 3 configurations.


As far as I know at the moment there isn't an Infinity UL - at least not an official one.  There are a couple of standards that have been modified the UL spec and I know HQ have been toying around with their own. I have heard a whisper of a rumour that there may be an Infinity UL next year which would make sense as it would complete a very nice set of kites.


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: chilese on December 04, 2011, 11:29 AM
Oops.

I left out the Infinity from the list of kites I've flown and liked.

The Infinity is a lot of kite for the money.

Sorry. I'll go correct the list.  ???


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: Ara Ararauna on December 04, 2011, 02:38 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm starting to get convinced that the kite I want is a Soul (in yellow/orange)  :)

I've read really good reviews about it being precise and controllable, but still very good for tricks. So it kind of sounds good to me for the definition I provided of my flying style. And I really like its design.

I only have a doubt which I would appreciate getting some comments on:

Would it be like, "strange" to have a Soul as a second kite after a Nexus?

I mean, would I be "atypical"?
Could it hinder my learning in anyway?

My second option is starting to be the WidowMaker just because I see so many fliers recommend it. Although it is a bit more expensive (I would rather stay under the $250 limit as much as possible) and the design really does not appeal to me (neither outline shape nor sail pattern).

The Infinity is nice but the sail is a bit dull...
(You can tell I'm still no good flyer since I tend to give more importance to design than to practical flying issues, but I guess I must also be motivated to fly)

I envy all of you in the US with such active kite clubs. Here I have nobody to chat with and no fellows that can let me try out other models and get a better idea of what they are like. I guess this is why I'm bothering you so much...  :-[  :(

Any further help will be appreciated.  :)
Thanks!


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: KaoS on December 04, 2011, 03:38 PM
Out of the three you mentioned, I'd say Soul, Soul, Soul.  Highly underrated, very capable kite.  Good build quality, great trickster, better than average in the UL and Vented models.

HOWEVER...

I L-O-V-E my Widowmaker more than my Soul.  But it is more expensive to buy.

Either of these will be a great step up from what you're flying now.  You won't be disappointed by either of them


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: Wayner on December 04, 2011, 04:16 PM
Would it be like, "strange" to have a Soul as a second kite after a Nexus?
You will laugh out loud as you find out how much more trickable a high end kite is.


The Infinity is nice but the sail is a bit dull...
This is the kite I fly the most and find the Infinity sail, while lacking color is the most interesting of any kite I own. Plus I would buy an UL if ever sold. Like the Soul it is a great value and worth consideration.

 
I envy all of you in the US with such active kite clubs. Here I have nobody to chat with and no fellows that can let me try out other models and get a better idea of what they are like.

I have the great opportunity to attend the Friday night fly in Las Vegas. It is wonderful to fly many of these high end kites.  I'm ready to buy an UL but I still can not decide, as all are great kites.

To me, you are chosing a flying partner to spend months or years together developing your skills and learning new tricks.

So feel comfortable with any choice you make knowing you can not go wrong.   :)



Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: Bob D on December 05, 2011, 04:12 AM
If you think you might want a Widow Maker, you could try posting in Wanted to see if anyone has one they might want to part with.


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: mikenchico on December 05, 2011, 07:53 AM
I think the Soul is a good second step in kiting if you are not prepared to go all the way to a custom, craftsman built kite like a Skyburner, Blue Moon, Benson, JoE, Etc. You might find a used craftsman kite in excellent condition but there is nothing quite as satisfying as a brand new kite is there? Especially for a new enthusiast. The Soul is about as close to the Craftsman built kites as you'll get with a factory manufactured kite. It hasn't been underated really, I don't think I've ever seen a negative review on it. It just falls into a price point where you can get some of the craftsman built kites for less and many of them for only a bit more.



Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: Ara Ararauna on December 05, 2011, 10:57 AM
It just falls into a price point where you can get some of the craftsman built kites for less and many of them for only a bit more.

Thanks mikenchico.

So which craftsman kite specifically would you propose as a counter to Soul (be it below or slightly abovethe Soul price)?
This would be really helpful to me.
Thanks!


Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: mikenchico on December 05, 2011, 03:40 PM
I'm very fond of my Widowmaker, it has been my go to kite for a long time now. And I never disliked the panel layout, but then graphics or colors are never the deciding point for me, I've long valued the beauty of function, design & construction over aesthetics. A couple others from Jon's Skyburner line worthy of consideration and actually priced under the Soul would be the Ocius at $215 and the Freestylist at $160. Both are smaller then the Soul though, and I do prefer a full size kite under most conditions, most of the members here also seem to recommend a full size kite as a second choice.

From Ken at Blue Moon Kites the Exile at $280 is a great kite and still has a loyal following. The Mongoose is the newest BMK creation and got some great reviews, it hits the $300 point and then there's the eternally popular Mamba at $309. Ken's kites have often been recognized as the best built kites made through both voting and individual impressions, I agree. Through his years of design & construction Ken has witnessed all the weak points and found simple & elegant solutions that he incorporates into every kite he builds. Every part and detail of his kites has been modified and refined to be just what is needed, never too little & never too much.

Both the Widowmaker and Exile display great drive and low workable wind ranges for standard kites, I've had both flying into the 3 mph range and lower requiring only a little work to keep them airborne. The Widowmaker handles higher winds better IMO. The Exile gets faster then I'm comfortable with unless I'm in that mood, I'll usually grab my Freestylist if the winds are up and I'm in the mood to slap a kite around the sky because it's smaller and doesn't overpower me. I don't have a lot of time on either the Mongoose or the Ocius. I enjoyed the Mongoose in higher winds a lot but the prototype I flew didn't handle our low inland winds well and wasn't that enjoyable for me even in low beach winds but Ken has since modified the bridle and the changes he made should have addressed those concerns. The Ocius is a a smaller and very responsive kite, I felt I would like it once I adjusted to its quickness and lighter pull, I found myself over controlling it in the short time I flew one, but I always do that with a smaller kite until I can tone down my heavy handedness or get it in higher winds. The Mamba is just a sweet flying kite, wonderfully graceful, being a bit of an older design it might not give away all the newest tricks the way the newer designs do but none of the newer designs have that same smoothness. Although all these are all different each is capable of doing "all the tricks".

I haven't seen or flown one but the young guy on the block, Will Sturdy has gotten some great reviews on his Saber II and they appear to be a good value in the mid $200 range. Will has learned a lot over these few years and become a very knowledgeable designer and builder judging by his posts and awards.

I can't give you a fully knowledgeable review of the imported craftsman kites, I have flown many of them and enjoyed them, but for brief test flights only. The construction I've seen has been first rate on them all. At the current exchange rates plus shipping most of them will fall above your comfort range right now.



Title: Re: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)
Post by: Ara Ararauna on December 06, 2011, 01:33 AM
Thanks mikenchico.

Your input has been great. However, I now have one more kite in my doubt list!  :(  :D
The Saber II really seems a cool kite! And the price is even $10 lower than the Soul...

I like the Soul colorfulness though...   :P

So I think that in time I will end up buying several other kites (since I have no colleagues around to try and share I will have to buy them to try them...  :'(  )

So I think I will stick to the Soul since I have heard/read it is a great kite and its design currently really satisfies me.

Eventually I must try the WM indeed. So many people is so crazy about it I'll have to taste this craziness.

Also the Infinity and the Saber II
Wow! this is starting to sound like a lot of money in the future... my wife is going to kill me...  :(  ;)
Perhaps it would be cheaper to take a flight to Las Vegas and spend a couple of days with the guys there and taste as many kites as I can...  :D

Cheers,

N.