GWTW Forum

Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kites => Topic started by: chilese on February 03, 2012, 04:41 PM

Title: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: chilese on February 03, 2012, 04:41 PM
Way back in the fall of 2001, I entered my first competition. I had been flying less than a month, paid a late fee and begged my way into the Berkeley Kite Competition held by BASKL. Took 8th out of 9 with my Team Hawaiian.

But of larger note, got to meet the man, Mark Reed and buy my first of many Prism Berkeley Special Editions. Spoilerz™ were extra.

I loved how the kite looked, but it had a turning radius of an 18 wheeler. It kept crashing. I flew other people's I2Ks, and those seemed fine. Rather than copy their bridle or even check anything, I built my own bridle based on the Airdynamics T2. The kite flew fine after that. Remember, I had only been flying a few months when all this transpired.

I should take that beauty out and give it another chance.

15 photos follow for skb, zippy8 and anyone else who was around way back then:

( (

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: Gardner on February 03, 2012, 05:20 PM
I enjoyed  -- and still do fly -- fly that kite from time to time.  In fact, I liked it so much I bought three more -- a spectrum, fire, and an all-cloth version ???.  Using my own mods and those porovided by Mark the 2K is a wonderful kite to fly.

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: Allen Carter on February 03, 2012, 10:44 PM
I was around way back then, and I remember your various macrame bridles...

The i2K was a nice kite, but it was behind the times in some ways. A high tech old skool kite, sort of...

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: Lee S on February 03, 2012, 11:23 PM
I was around back then :o I owned the April variant of that kite, purple and black. For the benefit of those not quite that old, Prism made a different color combination each month for about the first year, with several kite festival specials in addition. I think they made like 30 a month.

I never cared for Spoilerz. I thought they made the kite handle heavy and fly slow. Even then, if the I was faced with higher wind conditions I'd just switch to a smaller kite, or one I kept tuned for higher wind. The velcro sticky dots were a really awful idea if you flew on sand all the time. They'd start to peel and sand would stick to the exposed adhesive.

I sold mine off years ago, but I miss it sometimes. Someone in the swap meet had a purple/black one a few months back. Almost....... but I do have too many kites still.

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: John Welden on February 04, 2012, 08:21 AM
Thanks to JimB, I'm one out of about no one that has an I2K SUL.  :P :P

Really fun kite.

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: Bodega Bay Flyer on February 04, 2012, 09:34 AM
Let's all bring ours to Kite Party and have a Mega Fly : )

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: zippy8 on February 04, 2012, 07:55 PM
I am moderately tempted to chime in on this thread and express an opinion but let me just leave with you this little gem from the Marketing Department of the Prism Kite Corporation, a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes*.

* points are available.

[attachment deleted by admin to converve server storage space]

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: Gardner on February 04, 2012, 10:21 PM
While I like this kite a great deal (see earlier post) I do have early memories that are unpleasant. My first I2K was in the first batch produce in Nov. 2000.  The kite was more or less announced at the 2000 KTAI show in January. There were some times delays in  between.  While this was a "princess" kite, the K2 was the tip-wrap "queen".  And in some instances, over-steer was her consort.

I thin it was on my second flight in December of that year, I was out flying the Princess and had worked some over-steer out when the crash happened. I all started with a trip wrap about 10 feet off the ground; then the kite shed the wrap and dove nose-first   it was a high speed nose-plant -- into the ground, breaking the spine at the center-T.

The damage was done by the broken tail section  of the spine which slit the sail from the trailing edge up to the nose of the kite.

The damage was so severe Prism was unable to repair the sail: however, I bought an un-numbered blemished one and a new spine from Prism.  It took maybe 4 months to get that kite tuned.

Would you believe it is the first and only kite I could ever to a double axel with  only one pop.  The othere three 2Ks are smooth flying kites.

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: steve.hobart on February 05, 2012, 12:16 AM
This was the only prism kite that I just didn't get...I gave up on it and moved it on.

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: JimB on February 09, 2012, 02:37 AM
Zippy posting to an I2K thread a head of me?

What is The World™ coming to?

skb and I had rather a lot of correspondence going back and forth on this one; although to be fair only because I sent him one causing him to be sucked into the I2K vortex.

The original Illy was touchy, easy to break, easy to love, and easy to hate.

The I2K was not so easy to break, but had the rest in spades.

I can't even remember all the stuff we had to do to keep the bridle in top nick. It took some doing. That I remember.

It did have some virtues however, the Spoilerz™ being one of them. I personally came to the conclusion that they were essential to the kite, if you were going to fly it above around 6mph or so.

The Spoilerz made flying in 15mph much more like flying in 6mph.

It's a wonderful kite for stalling about the window doing flat spin stuff.

It requires spotless technique if one is going to avoid tip wraps.

It has a smooth, sophisticated, feel to it in flight that was more common in years past.

It really helped to get to see Mark fly one at the time and not only with sussing out the I2K.

I really do believe the I2K was the last kite from Prism that Mark designed primarily for himself.

No kite has ever been preceded by more hype, and anticipation, than this baby right here. And the waiting period stretched on and on forever. Inevitably many were less than whealmed.

This kite represents the point in time when many long-time members of The Prism Glee Club™ lost their taste for that particular brand of Koolaid.

Or... it represents the point in time when the term, The Prism Glee Club™, came into common usage as a pejorative. Depending.

I also think it represents the point in time when Mark Reed fundamentally changed the way he viewed the market for his kites.

I got a lot out of the I2K. It was hard work, but just the same..

I still have one or two about, still fly 'em even.

Quite a few people like them rather a lot, especially in the PNW. Or they did. It would be interesting to know how many people out that way still fly their I2K's.

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: Bob D on February 10, 2012, 04:25 PM
Back when my only two kites were a Prism Ion and a Flashlight, I'd look at the I2K in the Prism catalog and dream of getting one. I had no idea that there were such problems and I'm glad that my first high end kite was a Benson. I still appreciate what Prism has done to market to the mainstream though. New fliers need to get sucked into it so that they graduate to the higher end kites and support the hobby.

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: zippy8 on February 11, 2012, 12:31 AM
Points to skb, and a tip o' the propeller beanie to JimB for a balanced review of the evidence.
The strong, mostly negative, reaction to the Illusion 2000 really needs to be placed in context. The original Illusion maintained a stellar reputation throughout its production run in spite of certain frailty issues. The design and construction changes made '96-to-'97, '97-to-'98 and '98-to-'99 all improved the kite without substantially changing the kite's character. It was not unusual for these kites to be thought as amongst the best in the world ( A '98 was for a time my kite of choice. It was a physical manifestation of what Prism was at the time - an innovative company making products to match anything available.

Towards the end of '99 word leaked out that an entirely new Illusion was being worked on accompanied by the twin monsters of hype and anticipation revving their engines. At KTAI 2000 the new Illusion was on display ( but it wouldn't be until towards the end of the year that they got into the hands of customers and not until early 2001 that Europe got to see them.

My first experience with one was quite possibly the first to make it to Europe in Cervia in 2001, the property of a highly enthusiastic member of the Prism Glee Squad© who had personally imported it. It was a dog. It was poor excuse for a kite and a stain on the name Illusion. The owner, having spent more time on the kite and a lot of money, thought even less of it.

Over the rest of the year I was able to borrow a few other kites for long term loans (people seemed to have no problem letting them go....) and each one was Not Good, but often in a different way. Some made odd noises, some needed a gale to take off, none of them flew well in comparison with kites of the day. I tried the revised frame and bridle, the all fabric sail, I put in the hours.

At some point you've just got to come to the conclusion that summat's up. I did. I wasn't alone.

Now there were then and remain today people that claim to "like" the I2K which just goes to prove the old adage that "there's nowt so queer as folk (". I really wanted to like this kite and so did many others. It simply wasn't good enough. Or indeed, good at all. :-[

And then putting rainbow fabric on one is especially going out of your way to tick me off.  :o


Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: RobB on October 15, 2012, 08:01 AM
Well, I finally got to fly my I2K with Spoilerz installed. Even in a dirty, nasty, offshore 15mph wind, the kite was really well behaved, and I was surprised that I was able to get some tricks out of it. Flat spins, axels, side slides were very strong, but there were troubles with flic-flacs and backspins. Probably me just not being used to the kite. It's not an easy kite to fly, that's for sure.
Thanks to Jim & Steve for helping me out, getting the Spoilerz for my I2K. That was the first time I had fun flying it, usually I would end up frustrated with the 'tip-wrap machine' !



Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: JimB on October 15, 2012, 10:06 AM
Backspins on the I2K will be tough with the kite in standard trim and with the Spoilerz™.

The I2K came out at the point where designers (and fliers) were just catching up to the backspin and what it took to get a kite to do them.

If you really needed to backspin back then, you wanted an L7, A51, or, Gem.

Of course, as fliers became proficient at backspinning it became possible on many of the older designs.

Funny how that happens. It's the old, " that kite won't do this, oh Yes it will" syndrome. Of course it generally takes some futzing.

On the I2K:

Firstly, move the inner stand offs all the way in.

Secondly, slide the outer standoffs in  until they are essentially doing nothing, ie; to the point that the sail is not being pushed out at all by them. Or maybe just a bit.

Thirdly, you will probably want to set the bridle a bit light.

Once you figure them out on this kite they will be very flat.

These changes to the sail profile make for a very mushy flying kite.

It will backspin however.

This is one of the reasons this kite has a rep as a bad flier. Everybody just had to get this thing to backspin.

With the standoffs centered and in the middle settings it flies pretty well.

This kite is not anywhere near a modern stunt kite in terms of polyvalence.

It will flic flac but once you have set it up for Spoilerz™ with the bridle moved substantially above the stock setting it'd be tough and will not have the control at any time of a more modern design.

Just a note for anyone using Spoilerz™:

Move the bridle well up and adjust down. Like WAY UP.

It is very hard on the bridle if you get it wrong and have the bridle too low to begin with. Better to err on the safe side.

And just to add, IMO the design goal for this kite was a true 2-20mph wind range and the ability to stall forever anywhere in the window.

That is pretty much what you get.

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: Jannie on January 13, 2013, 07:20 PM
I truly loved my I2K, I can just about say it was my first serious stunt kite and I flew it constantly, I named her Eloise and talked about her often here on the forum, I've been away a long time now. I wore out the sail, tore a few holes in her and bought a spare sail at the Prism Garage Sale but it wasn't the same and about a year or two later I sold her. I have one now, new condition thanks to Geezer, it looks just like Eloise. I loved putting that kite into a fade and just keeping it there for a really long time, and I thought axles were dreamy with that kite. I also found it was amazingly good in light wind with 50# lines and I know for a fact that I flew it in 20 mile winds, both with and without the spoilers but was afraid the whole time that I'd break the kite. So many good memories with that kite. After that my next main kite was the Elixir, a totally different animal that I also flew to shreds and replaced the sail. Dead launching kites has done more damage to sails because of broken spars, but I did them anyway.

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: Jannie on January 13, 2013, 09:05 PM
Hi there, it's been a really long time, I've recently had a few connections with Steve Hall on Facebook and Kirven Ridgely in North Carolina I think.

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: Jannie on January 13, 2013, 09:13 PM
Do you still wear a Tilleys and a tiedye t shirt when flying?

Title: Re: I2K, Spoilerz™ and Controversy
Post by: chilese on January 14, 2013, 01:35 AM
All good people come back to Forums that wait.  :)