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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kites => Topic started by: KiteVoice on February 07, 2012, 11:43 AM



Title: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 07, 2012, 11:43 AM
I’ve got some birthday money in my pocket and am thinking about spending it on my first ultra-light kite. I’m looking for some advice from fliers more experienced than I.

I’ve been flying a Flying Wings Alpha+ for the past couple seasons and am happy with it. In case you're not familiar, it’s essentially the Beetle’s big brother. I’m certainly no sport kite expert but am now usually able to avoid unintended “landings.” At this point, I'm more of a precision flier than a trick flier (but that might be mostly because I haven't learned any tricks yet!). What I need is something to use outdoors in Indiana when the Alpha+ won’t fly.

My budget would allow me to buy a new or used kite priced at under $200. That unfortunately rules out new versions of Ken McNeill’s and Jon Trennepohl’s excellent kites (I'd love to have a UL Mamba or a Pro Dancer SUL). I’d be willing to buy a good used UL BMK or Skyburner kite at the right price but they seem difficult to find. I’ve been watching online kite classified ads and haven’t seen any.

If I must buy new, that probably limits me to kites such as the following:
•   New Tech’s Paladin UL
•   Flying Wings’ Acrobatx UL
•   Flying Wings’ Silver Fox UL
•   HQ’s Shadow UL
•   Prism’s 4D (although I’d prefer a larger kite than the 4D)

I’d be grateful for any thoughts you could pass along, including suggestions for kites I might not have considered. Thanks in advance.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Hadge on February 07, 2012, 11:59 AM
I can't comment on all of the kites on your list. The FW Silver Fox UL is more of a light standard than a proper UL. I have a Shadow and it's a very nice kite at a great price, a proper UL in fact almost a SUL - it will fly and trick from about 1 1/2 -2 mph and quite tricky although some find it a bit twitchy, it's something you get use to. It's also pretty strong for a UL and if you do break anything it's cheap to fix - no super expensive spars. There are better UL's on the market for more money, but at the price it's hard to beat. There was one in the swap meet a couple of weeks ago, I don't know if it sold,

Yep, it's still there for $60! you won't be disappointed  :) ( and it's the nice purple tattoo one that we never got in the UK ! :( )


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: kepople on February 07, 2012, 12:23 PM
Sent you a pm


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Imafloater on February 07, 2012, 01:03 PM
For my 2 cents give the Acrobatx UL some serious consideration. This is in your price range and I've seen it do all what you want. I'm learning tricks the Acro is making it alot easier. My flying buddies are real pros and trick it like nobodies business. Kite easily handles wide range of winds from 1or 2 up to good 9-10. For what it's worth I also ordered slightly heavier rods from Steve should boost it up to around 15 mph. Just my 2 cents but this has become a 'go to' kite for several of us.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: thief on February 07, 2012, 03:48 PM
Skydancer: check out the swap meet...there are some sweet deals in there on SUL kites....
I know that Windsweptkites.com's Yard Sale has a couple as well....


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: ko on February 07, 2012, 04:00 PM
my 1 cent is this, buy a standard Exile it will fly in UL winds and you can use the other thing for flying when it gets windy It is also tougher than most UL's


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Ca Ike on February 07, 2012, 04:23 PM
Lightnvariable has a Widowmaker UL on the swap.  IMO you won't find a better UL, Comparable, but not better.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Gamelord on February 07, 2012, 05:55 PM
I agree, the WM UL is awesome.  For the price, if that Shadow is still available, I'd snatch it up for sure!


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 07, 2012, 06:05 PM
I have a Shadow and it's a very nice kite at a great price, a proper UL in fact almost a SUL ... There was one in the swap meet a couple of weeks ago, I don't know if it sold ... Yep, it's still there for $60!

Turns out there was an error in the Shadow listing. The seller actually wants $140 for it, which might still be a good price but it's not the steal $60 would have been!


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 07, 2012, 06:09 PM
For my 2 cents give the Acrobatx UL some serious consideration.
Thanks. I've seen positive comments about the Acrobatx elsewhere on the forum, as well.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 07, 2012, 06:10 PM
my 1 cent is this, buy a standard Exile it will fly in UL winds and you can use the other thing for flying when it gets windy It is also tougher than most UL's
Thanks for your penny! Unfortunately, the Exile is beyond my budget right now.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 07, 2012, 06:11 PM
Lightnvariable has a Widowmaker UL on the swap.  IMO you won't find a better UL, Comparable, but not better.
I'm sure it's a great kite and would love to have one, but even that used deal is beyond my budget right now.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: justinpwheeler on February 07, 2012, 07:03 PM
PM'd you.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: ko on February 07, 2012, 07:40 PM
DocZ has a REALLY nice Exile for sale PM him if you are interested, hes a good guy. maybe you can talk him down a bit. but it is at a pretty good price now whatever you end up with ----HAVE FUN !!


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: emegaz on February 07, 2012, 07:58 PM
I'd have to agree that the WM ul is a terrific kite. The shadow for me wasn't so great. Alot of others like it though. I'd save up for the WM ul. But that's just my opinion.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Dolphinboy on February 08, 2012, 10:01 AM

If I must buy new, that probably limits me to kites such as the following:
•   New Tech’s Paladin UL - Never flown it
•   Flying Wings’ Acrobatx UL - Very good trick UL kite
•   Flying Wings’ Silver Fox UL - Nice kite kind of heavy for a UL
•   HQ’s Shadow UL - Very light and fun but squirly
•   Prism’s 4D (although I’d prefer a larger kite than the 4D) - Very light but very trick challenged
 
If you want to get in to tricking, then out of the above, I'd pick the Acrobatx UL or the Shadow. I like the Acrobatx UL better of the 2. If you just want to be able to fly in light wind then the 4D would probably take the least amount of wind. It is small though. I don't know anything about the Paladin UL.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: tpatter on February 08, 2012, 10:55 AM
I agree with with DolphinBoy - if you are looking for a new trick kite at less than $200, then the Acrobatx UL or SF UL are very very hard to beat and are well within your budget so you can also pick up a nice lineset.  Don't skimp on the linesets IMO - a nice kite on bad lines is not so nice.

I would be sure to get the UL version of the Acrobatx, I did not care at all for the standard.  I am not sure what the differences are, but it seemed like a completely different kite.




Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 08, 2012, 12:03 PM
... if you are looking for a new trick kite at less than $200, then the Acrobatx UL or SF UL are very very hard to beat and are well within your budget ...

Thanks for the reply. You raise a question, the answer to which might be valuable to other relatively new flyers as well. I've come to understand that some kites fly precision figures well but do not do tricks well. What about the reverse? Is it more difficult to fly precision figures with a kite that tricks well?


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 08, 2012, 12:04 PM

If I must buy new, that probably limits me to kites such as the following:
•   New Tech’s Paladin UL - Never flown it
•   Flying Wings’ Acrobatx UL - Very good trick UL kite
•   Flying Wings’ Silver Fox UL - Nice kite kind of heavy for a UL
•   HQ’s Shadow UL - Very light and fun but squirly
•   Prism’s 4D (although I’d prefer a larger kite than the 4D) - Very light but very trick challenged
 
If you want to get in to tricking, then out of the above, I'd pick the Acrobatx UL or the Shadow.

Very helpful response. Thanks!


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 08, 2012, 12:05 PM
I'd have to agree that the WM ul is a terrific kite. The shadow for me wasn't so great. Alot of others like it though. I'd save up for the WM ul. But that's just my opinion.

Thanks for the input.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 08, 2012, 12:06 PM
DocZ has a REALLY nice Exile for sale PM him if you are interested, hes a good guy. maybe you can talk him down a bit. but it is at a pretty good price now whatever you end up with ----HAVE FUN !!

Thanks. That Exile does look like a good option.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: RobB on February 08, 2012, 12:09 PM
... if you are looking for a new trick kite at less than $200, then the Acrobatx UL or SF UL are very very hard to beat and are well within your budget ...

Thanks for the reply. You raise a question, the answer to which might be valuable to other relatively new flyers as well. I've come to understand that some kites fly precision figures well but do not do tricks well. What about the reverse? Is it more difficult to fly precision figures with a kite that tricks well?
Kites that trick well are usually pretty sloppy fliers...



Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 08, 2012, 12:14 PM

Kites that trick well are usually pretty sloppy fliers...

I suspected as much. Thanks.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: tpatter on February 08, 2012, 12:47 PM
... if you are looking for a new trick kite at less than $200, then the Acrobatx UL or SF UL are very very hard to beat and are well within your budget ...

Thanks for the reply. You raise a question, the answer to which might be valuable to other relatively new flyers as well. I've come to understand that some kites fly precision figures well but do not do tricks well. What about the reverse? Is it more difficult to fly precision figures with a kite that tricks well?

It depends on what you are looking for I guess.  I find my favorite kites to excel at both well beyond my current flying abilities.  My biggest priorities are excellent tricks and excellent precision.  I am willing to give up a bit in super-flat rotational stuff as long as the kite can slot, taz, and combo well. 

One thing that I have found is that I generally much prefer kites with a deeper sail.  They just seem to trick much better and fly more precisely in a wider variety of wind conditions.

All my opinion, others differ, etc - but I think that there are some kites out there where you can have it all, although thats tougher in the under $200 mark.




Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 08, 2012, 12:57 PM
I find my favorite kites to excel at both well beyond my current flying abilities.  My biggest priorities are excellent tricks and excellent precision.  I am willing to give up a bit in super-flat rotational stuff as long as the kite can slot, taz, and combo well.

Well, this will give you an idea of how new I am at this: the terms, "slot, taz, and combo" mean nothing to me in this context!

That being the case, it's probably true that any kite will trick or fly precisely beyond my flying abilities!

That said, I think my main goal right now is learning to fly precision figures well. Once I have more of those under my belt, I'm interested in learning some slack-line tricks but that's not my first priority.

Let me take a moment to repeat how much I appreciate all the responses in this forum!


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: tpatter on February 08, 2012, 05:35 PM
SkyDancer,

Think about picking up the Exile on the Swap now.  The Exile standard would fly lower than my Silver Fox 2.5 UL.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KaoS on February 08, 2012, 07:38 PM

If you want to get in to tricking, then out of the above, I'd pick the Acrobatx UL or the Shadow. I like the Acrobatx UL better of the 2.

SkyDancer, you've probably worked out there's a different opinion for each and every flyer out there.
 
Just goes to show different strokes for different folks... I like the Shadow better of the 2  ;D  BUT only because it flies in lighter winds than the Acrobatx ... and the difference is only slight.  On the other hand, the Acrobatx is probably more likely to withstand an unexpected crash than the Shadow.

For what it's worth, I've tried LOTS of ULs and SULs over the past few years from reasonably inexpensive to phenomenally expensive, and each kite has had its good points and almost none have had glaringly bad points.  Are you clear in your own mind if you want a kite to fly in light to moderate winds, or in zero to light winds.  If it is light to moderate, then a second hand Widowmaker (best!) or Exile standard would be a great choice, the Widowmaker UL or Exile UL an even better choice.

If you are aiming for a zero to light wind kite, this is where the Shadow fits (along with the ProDancer SUL you mentioned, and the 4D).  The Shadow is very light for it's size, so it launches well and pulls firmly on the lines, but likes a delicate touch to keep things smooth.  The 4D is even lighter and quite a bit smaller, so requires an even more delicate touch.

Good luck working out what fits your needs (and budget)



Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 08, 2012, 08:43 PM
SkyDancer, you've probably worked out there's a different opinion for each and every flyer out there.

Yep. Still, every reply to this thread has been helpful. I hope other readers have found this thread helpful as well.
 
Quote
Are you clear in your own mind if you want a kite to fly in light to moderate winds, or in zero to light winds.

This is a very good question. My main goal is simple ... be able to fly on days when the Alpha+ won't fly. The Alpha+ is "rated" from 4 mph to 27 mph and I've had fair success with in in 6-7 mph wind. So I guess anything that will fly fairly easily in 2-5 mph would be good. Even though that's not as low as, say, a PDSUL, it will still get my flying when Indiana's winds don't support the Alpha+

Quote
... likes a delicate touch to keep things smooth.  The 4D is even lighter and quite a bit smaller, so requires an even more delicate touch.

I'm wondering whether a kite that requires a delicate touch is the best choice for a two-season Alpha+ flyer!


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: RobB on February 09, 2012, 04:19 AM
Flying in light wind requires a gentle touch, no matter which kite you end up with. The 4D just asks more of the pilot because it's 1/2 size. Anyone can fly the 4D in next to zero wind, at any skill level, though. Flying it well is another story. My choice (out of a dozen or more SULs) in low to no wind flying is the Prism Ozone. Being that they're out of production, you would have to buy one second hand. It would run somewhere around the price of a new 4D, maybe a few dollars more. Just post a 'wanted' add, I'm sure one would shake loose.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: onlye on February 09, 2012, 05:19 AM
I need to lighten my bags.  Here are a few I am considering selling.  (Ouch, so hard to sell a loved one)

All would be in your price range, though the Delta will be right at the top.

Anyone that has thoughts on these please share - I will not be offended by negative opinions.  You aren't "killing" a sale for me.

*HQ-Shadow - Great reviews and I want to like it but haven't click with it

*Delta Drive-Skyburner - Killer kite

*HQ-City Session - Well used.  My early favorite "light" kite

*Level One-C21 Extreme - Very good UL choice.  Medium size, light wind, not "twitchy"

you can PM or email me  e@onlye.org


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: ko on February 09, 2012, 06:45 PM
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-urW2f-rv7XU/S2DovG0sCRI/AAAAAAAACJE/GTkaG2erQPY/s400/skymaster%2520001.jpg)


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 09, 2012, 06:49 PM
I need to lighten my bags.  Here are a few I am considering selling.  (Ouch, so hard to sell a loved one)

Thanks for chiming in and adding options to my list of kites to consider!


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 09, 2012, 06:50 PM
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-urW2f-rv7XU/S2DovG0sCRI/AAAAAAAACJE/GTkaG2erQPY/s400/skymaster%2520001.jpg)

Nice looking kite. What is it?


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Ca Ike on February 09, 2012, 06:54 PM
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-urW2f-rv7XU/S2DovG0sCRI/AAAAAAAACJE/GTkaG2erQPY/s400/skymaster%2520001.jpg)

Nice looking kite. What is it?
That would be either a fearless light, transformer ul or a sea devil light though I've never seen those graphics on one before so I can't tell which it is.  THey run about $350 ish new and $250-$350 used DOC.  Though I don't really get along with Lams kites THe fearless id probably the one that agrees with me the most


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 09, 2012, 06:56 PM
A local kite flyer just made an interesting suggestion (off the forum): Buy a Premier Widow (a lot like a Sky Burner Widow Maker but not exactly) and re-frame it with P-100 tubes to create something between a Widow standard and a (not officially existent) Widow UL. Seems like a pretty interesting idea. It would get me a new kite that's similar to a WM, just a bit heavier than a WM UL, for much less than even a used WM.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Ca Ike on February 09, 2012, 06:58 PM
A local kite flyer just made an interesting suggestion (off the forum): Buy a Premier Widow (a lot like a Sky Burner Widow Maker but not exactly) and re-frame it with P-100 tubes to create something between a Widow standard and a (not officially existent) Widow UL. Seems like a pretty interesting idea. It would get me a new kite that's similar to a WM, just a bit heavier than a WM UL, for much less than even a used WM.
IT works but by the time you get the kite and the stuff to reframe it you might as well just by a used widowmaker.  You can get them for a decent price used.   Besides, reframing a kite isn't just putting in lighter sticks, you have to consider the balance as well and you can really screwe up a kite if you frame it wrong. Not to mention some ul kites have a slightly different cut to the sail


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: kepople on February 09, 2012, 08:29 PM
Also, a UL has more items replaced than just the frame.
I was looking over the Deep Space UL page today and man its really a lot different than a std DS.

On the wolf note, for the money, that is one great kite. Very nimble, and looks great. Also can handle some wind, since its much smaller than a Widow or widowmaker.
If they made a UL version of it, I would get one.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: ko on February 09, 2012, 10:02 PM
skymaster ul by lam it was the model before the sea devil


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Gamelord on February 10, 2012, 11:44 AM
Another option if you are looking, the Skydog Black Dog UL.  This won kite of the year at the 2010 KTAI and can be purchased around $120.00


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Ca Ike on February 10, 2012, 03:56 PM
Another option if you are looking, the Skydog Black Dog UL.  This won kite of the year at the 2010 KTAI and can be purchased around $120.00
WOuld like to fly one of these just to see what the hype is about.  IMO that award is meaningless if the kite and flier don't get along  8)


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Wayner on February 10, 2012, 04:28 PM
Another option if you are looking, the Skydog Black Dog UL.  This won kite of the year at the 2010 KTAI and can be purchased around $120.00
WOuld like to fly one of these just to see what the hype is about.  IMO that award is meaningless if the kite and flier don't get along  8)

Sadly no kite gets along with every fly; or a flyer with every kite.  :-[

This fact is making Sky Dancer choice so difficult.  :(

Sky Dancer. You can not go wrong with any of these choices.
I would suggest you base it on what is most important to you.
  • Price?
  • Lowest wind speed?
  • Kite Color?


For me, got the Shadow 2 years ago, WM UL last year. Both kites and I are getting along very well.  :)


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Ca Ike on February 10, 2012, 04:35 PM
So true Wayner.  THe best advice any of us can give is find local fliers and ask to borrow the lines for a few minutes.  THere used to be a lot of fliers in indiana on this forum


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on February 10, 2012, 04:46 PM
So true Wayner.  THe best advice any of us can give is find local fliers and ask to borrow the )for a few minutes.  THere used to be a lot of fliers in indiana on this forum

Fortunately, I've gotten to know quite a few Indiana flyers via the Hoosier Kiteflier's Society and other nearby clubs. I'll probably delay a decision until flying season returns and I have a chance to fly some of their kites. I already know many of their kites, however. They're mostly higher-end than I'm looking for (a lot of Sky Burner and BMK). Few of them fly the less expensive kites. Perhaps that should tell me something!


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Ca Ike on February 10, 2012, 05:37 PM
So true Wayner.  THe best advice any of us can give is find local fliers and ask to borrow the )for a few minutes.  THere used to be a lot of fliers in indiana on this forum

Fortunately, I've gotten to know quite a few Indiana flyers via the Hoosier Kiteflier's Society and other nearby clubs. I'll probably delay a decision until flying season returns and I have a chance to fly some of their kites. I already know many of their kites, however. They're mostly higher-end than I'm looking for (a lot of Sky Burner and BMK). Few of them fly the less expensive kites. Perhaps that should tell me something!
Reasonable price doesn't mean a bad kite.  We've all started out on budget kites and got to high end boutique kites as the funds allow.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Stogiez on February 10, 2012, 06:57 PM
I've got a Black Dog UL and I enjoy flying it, but sadly--my kite skills are not enough to definitely say that it can go down to what it is rated at.  Or how well it tricks.

I'm still an advanced beginner, but I do enjoy it.

I wonder why no one else has mentioned this one.

And yes--an award may not mean much if the flyer does not click with it, but then again, neither does a price tag.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: Danno419 on February 12, 2012, 09:20 AM
So true Wayner.  THe best advice any of us can give is find local fliers and ask to borrow the )for a few minutes.  THere used to be a lot of fliers in indiana on this forum

Fortunately, I've gotten to know quite a few Indiana flyers via the Hoosier Kiteflier's Society and other nearby clubs. I'll probably delay a decision until flying season returns and I have a chance to fly some of their kites. I already know many of their kites, however. They're mostly higher-end than I'm looking for (a lot of Sky Burner and BMK). Few of them fly the less expensive kites. Perhaps that should tell me something!

You're on the right track here.
fly as many as you can... like other things in life... you'll know when you have the right one in your hands.


Title: Re: First Ultra-light (UL) Kite Advice
Post by: KiteVoice on June 25, 2012, 07:21 PM
Thanks again for all the replies and info. Update: I bought Devin's UL Ocius. Only had a couple chances to fly it so far, but I think the Ocius and I will get along fine.