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Author Topic: Does the fact that you can get custom items help?  (Read 686 times)
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thief
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« on: January 10, 2017, 08:43 AM »

So was chatting with a friend about this the other day...

We realized that if we had not found the ability to have kites, windsocks, banners etc...made to our liking we might not have dived in so deep into this kite world.

  • Would you/are you happy with stock offerings from the industry?
  • Do you need to have something slightly different to make you smile? 
  • Do you need to have something that is totally different than everyone elses?

This goes across all items.....sport kites....single line...banners....what have you....
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fidelio
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 11:15 AM »

other design changes aren't necessary but i very much like to choose colors.
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 11:55 AM »

…For me, this splits into two issues:
1)   Something that does what I want.
2)   Something that is beautiful and individual.

Something that does what I want.  Well, I think my starting point is that sport kite flying is comparatively new and immature.  Thinking of other aspects of life:
a)   even just a few years ago I would go for a customised PC to get what I needed, but the industry is improving so that we are getting closer and closer to something that does all I want from an off-the-shelf item.
b)   The motor car is very mature, and I wouldn’t think of getting a custom product as the mass-produced showroom item already does more than I want and costs a lot less than a custom-made vehicle.

But my limited experience of mass-produced kites has been that the quality control is not yet good enough to guarantee getting a kite that does all the tricks as supplied new.  And there is not enough documentation to be able to use it to make quality checks and adjustments.  So failing that we fall back on craft-built boutique kites where we know the kite will have been set up right as new.


Something that is beautiful and individual.  This often isn’t a deal-breaker.  To me some of the most beautiful dual line kites were mass produced – such as the HQ Silent Dart or Prism E2 in Jungle colour scheme.  I also like some of the custom colour scheme kites we either ordered directly or bought 2nd hand. – But then “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” (as witnessed by the “Dodgy applique kite competition” thread in another (UK) forum)

...So I/we don't need to have something that looks different, but it is nice to have.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 01:27 PM by damp_weather » Logged
Allen Carter
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 02:05 PM »

If kiting were just the "industry", or "an industry" then it would not have as much appeal to me. The fact that a very large portion of kiting is people making stuff to fly is part of the appeal.

It's the people element. Even an "industry" kite company is often just a few people, who are often accessible and involved in the kite community. The further kites get from that "people" element the less interesting they get. Either the art or the craft or the tech (often all three) becomes less than expected or desired or required. So we are fortunate that it's not as much of "an industry" as other toys and tools are.

So, it's not so much "custom" as "good". A Blue Moon or Brasington in colors chosen by the maker may not be custom but it is very, very good.

But choice does have a lot to do with  hobby (or passion, obsession, whatever). If there had not been such availability of second hand kites, if all I could get were "current" kites, I would probably have burned out of this ten years ago. Very few modern kites appeal to me, and the fact that many more kites were made in the previous decade or two provides a good range of choice. Sadly, as time goes on, that pool is drying up. Fewer people involved means more kites in closets, less people actively trading, etc.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 02:12 PM by Allen Carter » Logged

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makatakam
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 05:30 PM »

I believe that if you become good enough of a driver of cars so that the standard showroom model is no longer acceptable or fun, then you get a custom. Of course, most people are not race car drivers on the pro circuit. By the same token, most of the people you see at kite festivals flying 14 hours per day are definitely what I would consider "pro" material, and in need of pro-grade custom kites if they wish to attain even more. They are as far beyond the recreational kite flyer in skill level as the professional race car driver is compared to the average driver on the street.

Personally, if I can tell the difference in performance or the design is more appealing, then let it be custom and let it be mine.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 05:32 PM by makatakam » Logged

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WinterDaze
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 09:24 PM »

I just hate rainbow coloured kites
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 04:17 AM »

The kite niche isn't really an "industry" to me. When I got into it I had no idea that the vendors who sold the better and more expensive kites were usually only a few people making the kites. Since design and panel color selection isn't my strong suit I look to the people who know what they're doing. My first kites were Prisms and I liked the way they looked and the descriptions in the catalogue I would get every year. And then I found the Benson, R-Sky, Sky Burner, and Blue Moon kites. I appreciate the design of each one. My only specialty kite is my Window Maker Spider. I didn't ask for the color choices for the design  but I loved it from the moment I saw it (because the designers have a better eye for that than me). And it's one of my favorite kites to fly.
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Bob D.
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2017, 10:38 AM »

Okay, guess I have to weigh in on my own post now.  Wanted to give a chance to some others....

I started off just in awe of kites in general, and loved the idea of them. I had quad line traction foils...single line kites...dual lines...three lines...quad lines...i had everything...I thought it was all awesome...
Every printed magazine that came out, and photo folder of festivals that I could find i drooled over...and wanted it all...then i hit a point where i realized that there were limitations.

I will admit that I was in a very special situation of working at a good kite shop that had access to everything we wanted...and am still as I have had my own kite website that is focused on handmade kites, and have had the site for 9years now. I had to keep my foot in the door as I enjoy interacting with kite people as much as the kites...most of you guys Wink rock!

I bought the first mountain board in Rhode Island so that I could get pulled around on it, but did not have the space to do so (I had previously been thinking about getting a buggy, but I was sure glad i didn't)..when i realized that I sold my traction kites...I did get into Blokarting for a bit, but do not have one of those handy anymore either...

I got into sport kites...
dual lines...had a bunch in the mid to late 90s that i loved..but tricks were coming out about then and I found that between college and working at the shop I didn't have time to put in to learn the tricks that others were doing...also being in college i did not have much disposable income and was REALLY lucky that I was allowed to run a tab at the shop...so..i went through my dual line kites and dumped most..i kept the AzizA(s) -and even found more of them - as those were the ones that I enjoyed the most flying..yank and spank and this kite rocks at it...but even with the newer sport kites coming out i was not enamored in them much.

Quads (and others) well..i did get into Guildwork kites early on and have a bunch of them...i had a couple custom made, but then have parted ways with most of them as well....

The only area of kites that I have been consistent with has been single lines...i got a few to entertain myself early on, cuz you know you have to have one when you cannot fly your sport kites...
i found a bunch of production kites in my bag and that was good.   In the late 90s early 00s there was a push in our local flyers to lift line laundry....and so i got into that, but because i was able to i had custom colored stuff made....big stuff....and a few years later, even though it was custom made for me i parted with it because it was too much of a hassle for me to handle on my own. 
I was really lucky and stumbled across a yard sale (literally) of a guy who had owned two kite shops and was liquidating....i was paying 80% off on the price sticker of kites that were already 5-10 years old...lots of White Bird kites came to my bags from there...and i found myself still loving single line kites, but really liking ones that i could easily and quickly get out of a bag and fly.   I wanted to paint the sky....my boss was buying Stanfields that take 30 minutes to assemble (if you are lucky) and are f'ing gorgeous, but i realized that i wanted simplicity....and I could fly her kites when i wanted to.
I started paring down my production kites and searching....and searching and searching...

This is where i will admit:
if the offerings of kites were limited to production pieces i would have tapped out years ago.   I would probably have a small bag of kites in the corner of my basement instead of a multitude of that like i do now.

I have found myself going after pieces from specific kite makers.   I learned this from my old boss who did the same thing - she would purchase a nice big pieces a couple of times a year...and i still got to fly them!   I do have my favorite kite makers who i try to follow their offerings if they have any....

So, now I have my "holy grail" kite list to search for...and every once in awhile I add a kite to the list..and more rarely i take one off that I have gotten or will never be able to get.
I am limiting myself to lower quantities by each maker...I no longer need to find 20 White Bird dragons...a couple of them will do fine.....

I have a bit more (not much) disposable income than when I was in college....and about as much time to fly if not greatly less so i am very picky what i bring out to fly on a given day....this means that I also really enjoy the ease of quick assemble and quick flight when i out there.....

tl:dr
If i was not able to find special custom kites years ago I would not be where i am today, mired in ripstop....
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2017, 07:28 AM »

Does the fact that you can get custom items help?

  • Would you/are you happy with stock offerings from the industry?
  • Do you need to have something slightly different to make you smile? 
  • Do you need to have something that is totally different than everyone elses?

I don't think I own any custom kites, other than the simple ones I have made myself. I have a few non-mass produced kites, but they were not customized for me. So, no, custom kites have not helped in the kite invasion in my basement. Not that I wouldn't mind having custom kites, but I think the small builders and large manufacturers do a better job with color combinations and materials used than I could, i.e. I leave those decisions to the people that (should) know what they are doing, people that know what works.

The "stock offerings" can be hit or miss, I think there is plenty of design varieties out there, lots of very cool, mass produced kites from which to choose. It is disappointing when a kite, that looks great and should fly well, doesn't because of poor build quality.

I don't need anything different to make me smile, but I guess I do smile more when I fly the simple kites that I have made. I do like to see custom/unique kites, most of them are impressive. Sure, it would be nice to have kites that are different than anyone else's kites, but I am limited by funds and my own imagination...and room in the basement.


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Lex B
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2017, 09:46 AM »

I buy only what I like.
Usualy I make what I like [90% of all my kites]
Guess I need something different (-;
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2017, 11:36 AM »

Absolutely - custom to me is always better quality. Custom also allows me to choose the right tool for the right job. As in golf - the right tool for the right job - sometimes more money needs to be spent for better results. This sport is not any different.

Since I am 62 now and still fly stunt kites I need a stunt kite with small inputs, less footwork, high quality and a wide wind range. Do I really need to mention his name?

In terms of single line kites since my beach now is PACKED I really JUST purchase fly and stick type kites in the sky such as Brasington's deltas, etc. Simple 60 second assemblies yet of the highest stitching. I did purchase for example an EMMA White Ghost kite but after two seasons there are tears due to faulty stitching.

I only go custom, avoid China imports and at times critique the kite if being built privately to my modifications such as certain leading edges, lower spreaders, etc. for stunts.

These types of kites also have good resale value when you are done with these kites.

Custom = 100% of the time. No exceptions currently whether dual or SLK.

APJ
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bt
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« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 10:19 PM »



  • Would you/are you happy with stock offerings from the industry?
  • Do you need to have something slightly different to make you smile? 
  • Do you need to have something that is totally different than everyone elses?

[/quote]

There are some wonderful stock offerings out there....however there have been times when that years stock offerings weren't so wonderful.
So yes the option of customizing the graphics/colours was/is nice otherwise I wouldn't buy that particular kite. I would keep the stock frame and bridles on single and dual line kites.
I have custom kites from makers who only make custom kites....again graphics/colours....they do the framing/bridling. I have also customized....vented some revs and of course all my revs have multiple frames.
Over the years as I zeroed in on why and how I fly kites and what kites to fly, I'm sure I have purchased many more "customized" kites than if I was to stick with the run of the mill offerings.
Not to say they are not good by any means but generally I want to paint the sky with what I want to paint with.
bt
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