GWTW Forum

Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kites => Topic started by: r_o_b_s_o_n on June 01, 2009, 09:58 PM

Title: low winds... Zephyr vs. i2k
Post by: r_o_b_s_o_n on June 01, 2009, 09:58 PM

first, I should introduce my self as this is my first post to the forum!!  My name is Geoff, from Victoria BC.  I got my first kite a couple years ago... not knowing anything about modern kite flying...  I started with a Prism Quantum, and have added a large foil... an i2k, and most recently I bought a zephyr that had only been flown 3 times...  any way, that brings me to my question. 

The zephyr is supposedly supposed to fly in 1mph of wind.  The i2k is rated at 2mph... now I know the #'s aren't exact...  but I've been finding it much easier to fly the i2k in lighter winds than the Zephyr.  I'd say I need at least 4mph to fly the zephyr, while I can easily get by with 2-3 with the i2k.  I've been using the supplied #50 lines, which might be a bit long @ 75' I would like to try some 30-40' lines...  but why am I having so much trouble flying a kite that is 'supposed' to do better in low winds?  I've tried all settings on the bridle between mid-way and the upper knot... does the zephyr really not perform as well in light winds as it's supposed to... or am I doing something wrong?


Title: Re: low winds... Zephyr vs. i2k
Post by: tpatter on June 01, 2009, 10:14 PM
Welcome to the forum!  :)

I think what you are seeing is typical.  You can fly the Zephyr in 3-4 mph of wind, but anything less than that is some work.   Once you get more experience with it you can fly it a bit lower, but I would not describe it as "floaty".

If you want true low-wind bliss, check out Blue Moons kites.

Title: Re: low winds... Zephyr vs. i2k
Post by: steve.hobart on June 01, 2009, 10:44 PM
Hi Geoff,

I endorse the previous comments. My experience with my Zephyr is comfortable flying and tricling starts around 3mph. Taking out the weight and upper spreader and running backwards helps to lower the wind range, but there are other kites out there who go lower without having to do this..

I usually fly my zeph in 3-8 mph. It's more of a light standard than an ultralight IMHO. Im not surprised that the I2K goes lower.

steve :)

Title: Re: low winds... Zephyr vs. i2k
Post by: Bob D on June 02, 2009, 04:20 AM
That's pretty much the consensus. The Zephyr's advertised to go lower than it actually does. Don't knock yourself out too much over it though. At 1-3 mph you're going to be flying something with 2 PTs and you'll have to change your flying style so you don't snap a leading edge with a pop. (That's from experience.) You also probably won't have the mass to do too much with a 2 PT frame too.

At 3-4 mph they Zephyr is probably a decent kite for lighter wind. Enjoy it!

Title: Re: low winds... Zephyr vs. i2k
Post by: RobB on June 02, 2009, 07:25 PM
Hey Geoff...

Flying the Zephyr on 50# 50' lines, the upper spreader removed, and the knots adjusted all the way toward the nose will allow you to fly it in low wind (1-2mph), but it's not pleasant, unless you're out there for a workout. Keep your eyes open for an Ozone if you want to fly those low winds, and still have fun. I have alot of Prisms, but their current low wind kites are lacking these days. I don't like the QPro SUL or the 3D, I own both.
I really enjoy the HQ Shadow and Exile UL for the winds that the Zephyr is supposed to enjoy. Don't get me wrong, I flew the threads out of my Zephyr, it has proved to be a very durable (never broke a stick or a nock) and convenient kite. That little case is always with me in my car, and still gets air time. I have been considering putting other kites in the gun case recently, though. The Prisms are all going in the 'B' bag except for the QPro standard and vent.


Title: Re: low winds... Zephyr vs. i2k
Post by: r_o_b_s_o_n on June 04, 2009, 10:50 PM
thanks for the thoughts guys!!

I've definitely found that the Zephyr likes more wind after flying it a few times....

i'm looking forward to getting some more hours on the zeph!!

Title: Re: low winds... Zephyr vs. i2k
Post by: zippy8 on June 05, 2009, 01:52 AM
The zephyr is supposedly supposed to fly in 1mph of wind. 
You do realise that you can't actually feel 1mph of wind (at least at any pressures and temperatures you'd normally experience).

Having played with a Zephyr for a while now it's not a UL, it's just an L, as you've been told. If the wind was below what I could feel I wouldn't even remove it from its sleeve (I don't bother with the case). It's not a kite I fancy running too many 360s with it. Once the wind gets up to the gentle range it's just fine.

If you seriously intend to fly in less wind than can be felt or accurately measured with a handheld windmeter then you'll need something a bit more exotic than the Zephyr.

And the I2K is rubbish.  :-[


Title: Re: low winds... Zephyr vs. i2k
Post by: steve.hobart on June 05, 2009, 03:59 AM

If you want to be able to fly comfortably in winds of 1 mph, I suggest you consider something like l'Atelier's Double Zero. This is actually an indoor kite and can be flown (with much practice!) indoors or in zero wind by gently moving around. In 1 mph it is a joy to fly and can be flown without having to run around madly.



Title: Re: low winds... Zephyr vs. i2k
Post by: Gamelord on June 05, 2009, 12:07 PM
One of the things to remember when reading about stated wind ranges by manufacturers on different kites is:

1) The pilot using the kite in the different wind ranges is usually beyond the skills of the normal pilot and is capable of doing things with the kite that an average pilot could only dream of doing.

2) The kite is very capable of flying in 1mph winds.....but the manufacturer doesn't really tell you the rest of the info.  Was the pilot running like mad to get it up in the air, did it stay up in 1 mph winds or did it just pop off the ground, float for a second and then drop like a rock....are they tricking in those winds or just gliding the kite with gravity.

The same goes for the upper wind ranges.  Is the kite barely hanging on and about to explode on the edge of the window in the stated upper wind range or is it actually being flown....  Is the upper wind range where the kite did explode, marking the max wind or is the stated wind where the manufacturer would like you to stop flying the kite.  Too many different situations apply to the minimum and maximum winds posted by different manufacturers.

3) Are the stated winds "coastal" winds or "Inland".  Many kites can fly in a constant steady beautiful light wind breeze but will fall out of the air in a gusty on/off type of wind that inland flyers seem to get more of.  Winds that fluctuate between 1 and 5 mph are much different than winds that are a steady smooth constant 3 mph.  Because of this, one pilot may say they fly easily in 3 mph where another says they need a minimum of 5 to even get the kite off the ground.

There are so many different scenarios when it comes to wind ranges that it makes it difficult to state a kites performance based solely on wind range alone.  I have been out many times when I would fly my Innerspace (indoor kite) and working to keep it in the air and another pilot next to me was flying a UL and not working nearly as hard.  We changed kites and discovered that it was the pilots skills that made the difference, not the

The more you fly in light winds, the better you will get overall and the easier it will be to fly in lighter wind conditions.  When I first started, I wouldn't even be able to get the kites up in the air in the same winds that I am now flying and tricking in.

The Zephyr never was "listed" as an ultra light kite but more of a kite designed to perform in the lighter wind ranges of the standard kite class.  It does trick very nicely in the 4-5 mph range and is beautiful to fly.  If the winds decrease below 4 or increase over 8-10, the Zephyr loses a lot of its appeal (IMO).

Maybe some day kite manufacturers will list two wind ranges.  One for min & max winds (we will call this the "marketing" wind range), the other for min tricking and max tricking winds (we will call this the "Fun" wind range)

I always tell people to take the posted wind ranges with a grain of salt - usually adding 1-2 mph on the bottom end and taking off about 3-7 mph from the top end.

Hope that helps you as well as anyone else out there looking for kites for specific winds.

Title: Re: low winds... Zephyr vs. i2k
Post by: steve.hobart on June 05, 2009, 06:34 PM
nicely said.


steve :)