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Author Topic: Soul Standard Update: I Had Several Potential Titles  (Read 5354 times)
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chilese
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« on: June 27, 2009, 01:52 PM »

TITLE 1: Well Hello Mr. Soul
TITLE 2: I Was In The Right Place, But It Must Have Been The Wrong Kite
TITLE 3: Well Heeled, The Soul

Last night at the Friday Fly I finally flew the Soul Standard in slowly dwindling winds from 8 mph down to about 3 mph. In 90F weather and on 100 foot lines, conditions were GO.

In the past, I had tried the Soul in winds around 20 mph. I reported that the frame was wiggling so much that the kite should have exploded. That was about all I could report. Months later I flew a Vented Soul in winds around 5 mph. Not much to tell except the kite didn't want to fly.

Well, when the wind conditions meet the kites wind range WOW. I was doing pitch tricks more easily and completely than I'd ever done. Yoyos were smooth and could be done fast or slow and I even came close to doing some of the more difficult tricks whose names I can't even match correctly to what I was doing.

I still don't care for the double yoyo stoppers which fold out of the way for team flight too easily for my liking. But beyond that..... smooth, totally quiet fairly straight lines and a sweet ability to transition into tricks. If I ever said anything negative about the Soul before (I don't remember what I said, if anything, on the old Forum), time for the update.

The Soul is a very good, well rounded sport kite. I understand it is made by Bell's personal crew and not by the factory which turns out the Silver Fox and AcrobatX kites. There is a high standard in the build quality. The looks are okay in my book, not great, but that's a personal thing. The retail price at $240 seems high, but hey. The Soul can easily be added to kites which fly and trick better than I can make them do.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 06:03 PM by chilese » Logged

John Chilese: Las Vegas, NV
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2009, 03:23 PM »

You looked like a pro last night.  Smiley Watching you throw that kite around, I was very impressed.  Smiley And that kite you let me fly, your right, it does track very well. I had fun flying it, thanks.  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2009, 12:04 PM »

I think the Soul is one of the most under-rated kites in the high end kite market (and it does belong in the high end kite market classification).  It can not only do more than I can throw at it, but it does them all amazingly fantastic looking, no hacking or chopping - smooth, flat and very graceful.  It is a beauty to watch when in the hands of a truly skilled pilot.  It's also the only kite I have ever been able to get a rising turtle out of.

I think a lot of people have been put off by the kite being produced by Flying wings...and that is a true shame because the Soul is such an awesome trick kite and a pleasure to fly.
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Dave a
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2009, 03:24 PM »

I think the Soul is one of the most under-rated kites in the high end kite market (and it does belong in the high end kite market classification).  It can not only do more than I can throw at it, but it does them all amazingly fantastic looking, no hacking or chopping - smooth, flat and very graceful.  It is a beauty to watch when in the hands of a truly skilled pilot.  It's also the only kite I have ever been able to get a rising turtle out of.

I think a lot of people have been put off by the kite being produced by Flying wings...and that is a true shame because the Soul is such an awesome trick kite and a pleasure to fly.

Spot on.
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fidelio
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2009, 12:16 AM »

i wrote a review of this kite for kent.  Lips sealed
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Fdeli
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 05:18 AM »

 I would have one if my I could .How different does it fly from the SF's? I have 2.3 UL and like it very much. It will rise in the turtle position also .Dave
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Gamelord
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 12:30 PM »

Darren,

If the mod's don't mind at all, it would be fine with me for you to post your review on here - if it would help others find out more about the Soul and its abilities.  It really is an under-rated kite and hasn't got near the justice it deserves.
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fidelio
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009, 06:49 PM »

okie dokey
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Fdeli
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2009, 07:08 PM »

John, I love the pic! Nice timing.
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Say Good Night Dick
chilese
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2009, 07:42 PM »

Dumb luck is my speciality.  Cool
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John Chilese: Las Vegas, NV
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Steve
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2009, 07:42 PM »

Darren,

If the mod's don't mind at all, it would be fine with me for you to post your review on here - if it would help others find out more about the Soul and its abilities.  It really is an under-rated kite and hasn't got near the justice it deserves.

Not a problem. Post away.
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Steve ... Ancient One
-look to the sky with imagination, grasp the wind with outstretched arms and take flight
fidelio
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2009, 07:43 PM »

Flying Wings Soul

Highlights:
The Flying Wings Soul flew much better than expected. Fills sail nicely. Capable performer. Surprising high and low wind range performance.

To be completely honest, I wasn't expecting to like the Soul very much based on comments I'd heard from others. However, it won me over. When I showed up at the field I anticipated flying it for a half hour or so then pulling out one of my other kites (nirvana, deep space, quantum pro, etc) but instead I found myself with the Soul for the rest of the evening, well into the night (at our lit field). At each turn I was pleasantly surprised with the Soul.

My first flying impressions were rather ambivalent towards the kite, but this wouldn't last long. In the first 15 minutes I moved the bridle setting on the upper outhaul using the factory knots to the setting which leaned the nose of the kite farthest away. The kite also comes with two sets of outer standoffs, one shorter than the other. The longer of the two matching the inner standoffs. When I got the kite the shorter ones were installed but I quickly moved to the longer pair.

The reasons for my adjustments were because the kite felt a bit loose in the air. It fluttered about without much feedback through the lines, with a behaviour which I describe as bouncing off the air. It would tug at the lines one second then no pull the next. The bad news is Las Vegas has perpetually bumpy winds which can bring out the worst in a kite. The great news for the Soul though is that with the adjustments mentioned the attitude of the kite totally changed, able to deal with the bumpy winds gracefully.

Once finding the proper adjustment for wind conditions the Soul's sail filled nicely, providing a solid feel on the end of the lines. The bump and bounce went away and it became easy to tell what the kite was communicating. There was a nice, even steady pull on the lines. The Soul will fly clean straight lines, and turn promptly when asked without any over steer. In addition to flying well, the kite stalls well also. Snap stalls were precise and controllable, and side slides smooth and stable. In terms of precision, the kite is very predictable.

The Soul, for a kite with a full eight foot wingspan, fly's freestyle very well. It would fly to the limits of my capabilities without much trouble. Backspins, jacobs ladders, flic flacs, 540's, slot machines, rollups, and clean half axels were all easily there. With a bit more time on the kite, I feel cometes and wap-do-waps as well. Both are tricks I managed with the kite, just very dirty. However both are tricks I still need plenty of practice on. One basic function the Soul performs very well, which leads to many other tricks, is that it transitions very well into a fade. I'd go so far as to say it's a strong point of this kite. Since so many tricks require you to fade the kite somewhere in the trick, it's an important one to get (it) right and the Soul does it particularly well.

The Soul also sits in the turtle position where it's easily recoverable. Many kites out there can get themselves into a turtle which at least given my capabilities, exhibit a behaviour which to me seems like a bored cat. Once a bored cat turns away from looking at you, it may be possible through an aggressive overture to regain its attention but it quickly returns to ignoring you. Kites like this float back to the ground in the turtle position before I can regain flight. I'm pleased to say the Soul is not one of these kites. The nose sits just deep enough to provide a great level of control in the turtle. Utilizing the shorter standoffs, for the first time ever I managed a rising turtle. A manoeuvre which the shorter standoffs seem to be supplied specifically to enable. After having moved to the longer standoff, while not able to get a rising turtle, control in the turtle position was still easy and predictable. I've flown more expensive freestyle kites from bigger name companies whose kites don't turtle as well.

When the wind picked up the Soul gained some forward speed, but the amount of pull remained reasonable, positive, but not overpowering. The frame felt sturdy, without any appreciable flexing. On the other end of the spectrum the Soul stayed aloft into ultralight territory, remaining trickable in what I would guess to be 3-5mph.

The effort Flying Wings has put forth with the Soul is evident in its construction details. All the usual snag points have been covered including the upper and lower leading edges, nose and standoff connectors on the back of the sail are all smooth. The nose is particularly smooth in the example I flew. Tip wraps were still occasionally an issue, not because of the snag points but rather the shape of the kite itself keeps the wingtip pointed away from you on the ground instead of pointing straight at you. It doesn't mean you'll have to walk to the kite to clear it, but you might spend a little more time clearing it than on some other kites. Another nice touch in terms of construction detail is on one particular section of the bridle, there's a piece of clear tubing. It appears to be in place to eliminate wear on the lower spreader from the bridle rubbing on it. The Soul also comes with double yoyo stoppers on each side, which also prefer to point towards the rear of the kite, freeing the leading edge for tip drags or reducing the possibility of shearing off a stopper in an aggressive ground recovery. I'd like to have seen a more positive method for tensioning the leading edges than the old tie it yourself method. The nocks have a knot recess in them and would be nice if they were used. Instead the instructions say to just make it all taut and put an end cap over things. I tied my own knots and fit them into the nocks. The leading edges are sewn with a straight seam instead of a multistitch zig zag or serpentine stitch like most other kites. I don't know if this would be an issue over the long run, but it's different enough from the norm to be mentioned. Flying Wings is known for poor standoff connectors at the sail and the Soul is no different. Otherwise the construction is well done, including extra Mylar and Dacron reinforcement under the nose.

Overall I was very impressed with the Flying Wings Soul. It gets into and holds a fade as well as any kite I've flown. It was more entertaining and capable than expected and a quite fun to fly. More time with the Flying Wings Soul is something I'm looking forward to.

Darren M. Las Vegas, Nevada
June 2009
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Fdeli
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2009, 09:25 PM »

I've mostly gone over to the Dark Side these days, but the Flying Wings Soul has been my go-to dual line trick kite for several months now. I don't care for the graphics, but I buy most kites in spite of the graphics (maybe 3 or 4 times over the years I've bought kites for the graphics). I do like its silhouette and proportions, though.

I wouldn't be concerned about the use of a straight stitch on the leading edge. As Andrew Beattie said: "Real men use straight stitch - only!" Zig zags and serpentine stitches can help camouflage a wandering stitch line, but a straight stitch hides nothing.

I've had a few CA glue failures here and there, but I can't think of a single kite maker that I've bought from over the years that hasn't had the occasional glue failure- even 'boutique' kites.

I agree about Flying Wings' standoff hardware, the plastic they use it too brittle; similar to the dreadful stuff Sky Shark used to make. It's nice to see them use APA fittings for the LEs, too bad they don't go all out and use Jacos for the standoffs. 

Lately I've been experimenting with a 'Shape Shifter' modification to the standoffs, to avoid switching the standoff lengths. It was a quick and easy modification, with the inspiration from Paul Shirey and excellent guide by Steve Tapp.
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