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Author Topic: Wolf or Widow.........or Widow Maker?: Wolf update + WSIKF  (Read 2494 times)
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northwavesailor
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« on: August 15, 2013, 11:13 AM »

I have been out of the kite world for some time and last was active in the 80's using Rainbow six packs, 6' Flexifoil Stacker and a Hawaiian Spin Off.

I took out these kites last week to the Oregon coast and, while still a blast, things have   changed in the stunt kite world!

I have read a ton on this forum and am considering: Premier Wolf, Premier Widow or the big $$$, made in the USA, Widow Maker. I 'think' I can fly my old school kites OK, but this was before all the new tricks I now see on YouTube videos.

Bottom line: Is the Wolf a good kite (for $100 +/-) for me to get back into kiting or should I shell out a little more dough for the Widow or Widow Maker?

I am planing on making it to Long Beach next weekend and will see more options there including the Revolutions

Thanks,

John
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 09:23 AM by northwavesailor » Logged
adx1592
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 11:47 AM »

If you're past that crashing stage and were before you took the hiatus, I would certainly look into a higher end kite or a kite like the Widow NG from premier. I prefer the Ocius and the Solus lines myself, but I like the WM line as well. There are also plenty of other good kites out there too for a bit less money then the WMs and a bit more then the Widow NG as well. The flying wings Duende always really interested me as well. Either way you really can't go wrong with Skyburners service and quality. I've been a good friend and Jon and Marieanne since I was 4 years old and they're awesome people that will do what it takes to get the right equipment in your hands and keep you a satisfied flyer.

Good luck with your choice!
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-Devin Cobleigh-Morrison
tpatter
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 12:19 PM »

I've owned all 3: Wolf, Widow, Widow Maker.

In my experience, the Widow Maker was by far the best of the 3, no question.  The Wolf is just too small, although I liked it for high wind, slap it around flying.  My Widow never flew anywhere near as smoothly, predictably, or in wind as low as the WM.   

This was when the Wolf and W first came out, perhaps they have changed since then.  I'm just saying that I don't think they compare well at all to the WM.
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6 kite tom
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 01:31 PM »

I agree with TPatter, the skyburner kites all give a lot of value for the money and the WM is many peoples favorite all time kite.  Right now I only have one flyable kite and its the Wolf.  NOT as good as the WM but a third of the price and possibly the toughest most robust kite out there.  Needs nice wind to fly but IMMENSLEY trickable.  I beat my kites up and also let anyone fly them and the wolf is still going....plus its an awesome kite in strong wind. 

So my recommendation.......if you have good coastal wind go for the Wolf or Widow.  If you need an ul spend the money for the Widowmaker and you'll be happy for a long long time.

I live on the coast and have the luxury of lab wind and love my Wolf (thanks Brett!)


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mikenchico
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 02:30 PM »

Yep, agree with Tom desirability order starting from the best follows the price range

1: Widowmaker
2: Premier Widow
3: Wolf

But it does depend on what you really intend to do. If your serious about learning tricks the Widowmaker is a good kite, if your really want to invest in a good kite even if tricks are not at the top of your list the Widowmaker is still a good investment since it'll fly figures quite well, better then many kites that are designed with tricking as a top priority.

The Premier Widow costs about half the price of the Widowmaker when you take into account that it comes with satisfactory lines where you'll have to buy lines in addition to the Widowmaker. It's very close in design to the Widowmaker using some less expensive materials and off shore construction so it's not as refined as the Widowmaker and gives up a little performance.

If you just want to have fun at the beach or your local park on odd weekends and you have winds above 4-5 MPH regularly then the Wolf is a fun kite. Like Tom, I have a blast with it in higher unruly winds and it has proven itself to be near bulletproof having withstood some pretty serious abuse from me in winds I wouldn't fly or enjoy my larger kites in. But unless you have pretty smooth winds above 4 MPH you'll struggle with it at the low end.

Here's a 4th choice, mid price like the Premier Widow - The Skyburner Freestylist at only $170. It has the same excellent craftsmanship found in the Widowmaker being fully made in the USA by the same craftsmen. Sails constructed by Heads Up using a quality Nylon rather then the costly Polyester, then framed & bridled by Jon T the designer. A bit smaller then the Widowmaker or Widow, it uses straight Skyshark spars rather then the more expensive tapered spars but that's how Jon designed it. Like the Widowmaker you'll still need to purchase lines bringing it into the $200 range total cost. I enjoy mine a lot, it has a good wind range going almost as low as the Widowmaker and I'll fly it in higher winds then I enjoy flying my Widowmakers in.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 02:37 PM by mikenchico » Logged

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northwavesailor
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 09:55 PM »

Thanks for the  opinions, replies and guidance!

I saw Tom's YouTube video with his 8 yo flying a WM, so I can see why he would go for this great Sky Burner kite!

As I have been away from stunt kiting for some years, I may just start with a sub $300 kite to be sure I get out flying more and it doesn't gather dust on a shelf in my garage for 20 years! I may snag a WM if the kite bug bites and I continue to fly. It looks like a killer kite and made in the USA.

The reason I got away from stunt kites back in the early 90's was due to another severe wind sport addiction............windsurfing the Columbia River Gorge. Ironically, we refer to the kite boarders as 'the dark side'!

Looking forward to The Long Beach festival.

Thanks for the help!
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ko
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2013, 06:41 PM »

if you are going to Long Bch you might want to try a few O.P's kites before you buy.There are a lot of great kites out now. The Widow Maker is a fantastic kite but a little dated IMO but still a great kite.
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have fun kurt
northwavesailor
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2013, 08:22 PM »

Hi KO,

I guess I don't know what 'O'P' kites are?
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Desertflier
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 08:49 PM »

Other peoples.    Wink 
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All gave some, some gave all- U.S. Army Vet
northwavesailor
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2013, 09:48 PM »

OK...........'other people's kites'

In my best Homer Simpson................ "DOAH!"
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ko
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2013, 09:58 PM »

sorry about that
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have fun kurt
northwavesailor
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2013, 10:03 PM »

KO,

Was that a Maxwell Smart: "Sorry about that, chief"?
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northwavesailor
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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2013, 09:15 PM »

Update:

With a thumb up from both 'Crescent City' & 'Mikenchico' regarding the durability and flyability (is that a word?) of the least expensive option I was considering, the Premier Wolf, I bought one!

As I have been away from stunt kites for quite a few years and any of these options would be a totally different kite for me to fly, I figured I'd start with a $100  kite and see what I can do with it. If the 'slack line' learning curve is steep, I won't worry as much about crashing the Wolf. They are still making and selling many great kites costing real $$$, but I need to be sure I am serious about flying stunt kites more than a few days a year before spending real dough.

If the bug bites, as it did back in the 80's, I can always step up to a modern top shelf kite!
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2013, 11:34 PM »

You should head out to kite hill in seattle and ask to try out a few high end kites.  I'm sure Tom , Dihong and other that fly there would be happy to let you have a go.  Being a small kite the wolf will have a steep learning curve just because its a fast kite. 
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mikenchico
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2013, 12:00 AM »

Well if you're here at Long Beach for WSIKF or coming out later this week that should get you excited about flying again. There are not as many of us dual line flyers as there were 20 years ago but we sure have better kites available to us than we had in the 80's and early 90's.

You have some sweet kites from that early period though. The Flexifoils are still available and there's never been anything else quite like a Flexi, that Spinoff is a legendary kite that started many of us on the addiction, and a Rainbow six pack will still draw a crowd. Don't retire them completely.

We're at WSIKF for the week and have 2 Widowmakers, 2 Freestylists, a Wolf and a Nighthawk from Jon T in the bag, along with a few Blue Moons from Ken a couple Mamba's, an Exile, a Muse and a 61/49. The dual bag is rounded out with a few from Prism, a Quantum, a Micron and a Switch, and a couple from Flexi a 6' & 8'. We had to travel light this year and the choices were made to keep me and Rhonda happy and to have some we knew we could put into the hands of some less experienced flyers without worry.

« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 12:21 AM by mikenchico » Logged

"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

"People do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" George Bernard Shaw
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