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Author Topic: Prism E3 vs. Other High End Board Favorite Kites  (Read 9487 times)
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Kitemac
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« on: July 16, 2009, 07:23 AM »

I never knew about Blue Moon, Benson, STX etc. until I visited this forum.  What makes these high end kites better than a Prism E3?  I fully expect quality of construction to be better but do they actually fly better?

I thought the E3 was the ultimate end point for my hobby but want to understand why others have made different choices.
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DWayne
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2009, 07:31 AM »

The difference between flying a Prism E3 and something like a Benson Deep Space is like the difference between driving an International Pick up truck and a Porsche 911 Targa. They'll both get you there. But what a difference in the experience.

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Bob D
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 10:00 AM »

Prism makes nice kites. My first two kites were Prisms. Now that I've been spoiled by L'Atelier, Blue Moon, Benson, R-Sky, Sky Sport Design and Sky Burner, there's no going back.

Several things to consider: how they fly, innovation, attention to detail, and crafstmanship.

They may not all fly the same but they all PERFORM! I can do amazing cascades, 540s, and slot machines with the Widow Maker and Deep Space. My Fearless excels at jacobs ladders. The Exile flies amazing under 9 mph and is able to do just about anything you want. I'm a hack but they all make me look good.

How they fly?

They all have their own personality. You may prefer one and may not like another. I enjoy exploring their strengths and flying something different. The Deep Space needs faster inputs and has more wrist snapping than big arm moves. For me, the Exile becomes much harder to trick than the Deep Space over 8-9ish MPH but it's great below that. Some people like Nirvanas and others try them and decide it doesn't suit their flying style. If you like the way the E3 flies and are happy with it, stick with it until you get a hankerin' for something else.

How they're made is another story. Lam Hoac will amaze you with his choice of materials, sewing, and meticulous attention to detail. The same can be said about the Widow Maker Spider that Pam Kirk and Mike Dennis sewed for Sky Burner. R-Sky has a unique system for their variable vent for the Nirvana. They sew a pocket that the shield slides into and has velcro attachment points to keep it in place on the screening. The Benson Deep Space was the first to use roll bars. Talk about innovation!

I don't have a Jest Of Eve Talon but I've heard that they're in the same class. Sure the E3 is nice but see if you can find someone in your area who has any of these kites and you'll appreciate the difference!


And if you're ever in northern New Jersey, let me know and we can meet up and I'll let you try a few!
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 10:10 AM by bobdros » Logged

Bob D.
chilese
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2009, 10:15 AM »

Just because a kite is made in a small shop doesn't mean everyone will like it more than a mass-produced kite. People have their own peculiarities. In addition, the mass-produced kites have come up in quality over the last few years.

If you love an m-p kite, great. There is nothing wrong with getting enjoyment in that way. I have many kites of both varieties. As Bambi says, "Each kite has it's own personality."

Beyond price, boutique kites usually give you a few extras:
1 Quality
2 Choice of colors
3 The name of the person who stands behind their product

I consider kites like the E3 to be bridging in nature. You have gotten way past the lawn dart stage, you know how you like your kites to fly and can adjust the bridles toward that end.

The Law Of Diminishing Returns applies to kites.

$10 can buy you a kite
$50 can buy you a kite that flies well
$150 can buy you a kite that flies and tricks well

But to get that last 10%, you'll need to spend another $100-$200. Is it worth it? In most cases yes, in some cases no. That's why there is a Swap Meet section to the Forum.  Smiley
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2009, 10:48 AM »

The E2 was a very successful "mass market" sport kite. It's design was seeming somewhat outdated compared to other kites (including prism's higher-end Zephyr & QPro). The E3 is a modest update to the design, improving some capabilities. It's a very good kite in the sub-$200 range.

New designs often give easier access to some tricks or some different mix of capabilities, but what it really comes down to is that kites often have very distinct "personalities". Most flyers with even fairly modest experience can fly three different kites and tell you what they like or don't like about them right away. Another person, or the same person after a few more years experience, would have different tastes.

The reason little companies like Blue Moon or Jest of Eve continue to succeed is they put out a variety of kites with their own "personality" Sure, the kites are very capable and well made, but they are also unique.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2009, 11:28 AM »

I thought the E3 was the ultimate end point for my hobby but want to understand why others have made different choices.

 Cheesy  I think this misconception is only a result of Prism's wonderful marketing.  They really sell their wares as though they really are the only high end kite maker in the world.  They try to elevate all their kites to status of fine instruments almost to the point of being disingenuous.  I find some of the text on their website so over the top that it borders on comical.  I find it also quite telling that up till very recently, the opening page was a scene in the mountains, flying FOILS, arms outstretched.  At least they fixed that.  The best of Prism kite technology is likely their speed bag...a very good product I use every time I fly.

The bottom line for me is a choice between mass production and kites made by an artisan kite builder/flyer/designer.  You are paying for a master's time, skill, and care...and making it possible for a guy/gal to squeak out a living (albeit a rather modest one) doing what they love.  When you get to the high end of our little hobby, Prism kites just can't hold a candle to the (Benson, Jest of Eve, Kitehouse, Blue Moon, etc.) master-crafted kites.  These kites aren't sold so much by marketing as by performance and reputation among folks that know.

obi
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"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." L daVinci
Gamelord
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2009, 11:53 AM »

That being said Ob1, I have seen Mr. Reed do things on a normal Quantum (not the Qpro) that I could only dream of doing on my highest end kite.  Even though Prism kites are considered to be "mass production" kites, truth is that they are very nice kites and arguably the nicest kites you can purchase from a mass production company....and they do look pretty darn good (beauty is of course in the eyes of the beholder).

Truth to it all is that the ability of a kite to perform comes down to the pilot.  It doesn't matter how good the kite is made, it doesn't matter what material is used, doesn't even matter how the stitching is done.  If a pilot is a good enough pilot, they can make "just about" any kite perform like a high end $300.00 kite.  The E3 can jacobs ladder just as easy as the Exile.  As far as it's ability to perform (certain) tricks, the E3 is just as good a kite as some of the high end boutique kites.  Just because it is mass produced doesn't mean that it can't perform.  With a good enough pilot, the E3 is capable of doing some pretty amazing things that would impress even the best of the best.

That's not to say that flying a high end Blue Moon kite is not going to be just the same as the lower priced kites on the market.  Truth is that the Blue Moon is probably going to be easier to do the same (certain) tricks - or it will do them smoother with less work.  I know that my Widow Maker does make me look like a much better pilot than I really am....but then again, pulling up to the party in a Lamborghini would be much more impressive than pulling up in a Toyota Celica. Smiley Smiley Smiley

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obijuankenobe
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2009, 12:28 PM »

Certainly to a large extent, I agree with regard to pilot skill.  But put a competent pilot of a Prism E3 and a competent pilot of a Cosmic TC in a head to head competition (or in a wide variety of wind conditions), the competent Prism pilot is at a major disadvantage in most or all respects because the Cosmic is a much better design given the current list of 'reachable' and 'repeatable' tricks.

Maybe a BMW vs. a Toyota in a closed circuit race is a more apt comparison  Wink.  Driving the BMW, I would lose badly to a competent race car driver in a Celica every time.  Two race drivers...the BMW wins every time.  But as a first new car...a Toyota Celica is a great place to start.  I guess what I might be suggesting is 'buy a used BMW'??  (Sorry, I took that too far, didn't I?  Cheesy)

obi 
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"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." L daVinci
ezme6
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2009, 12:59 PM »

I agree with gamelord. Pilot skills is more important, keep your E3 until it is trashed out or you feel like spending some bigger money. I have some really high end kites and I am still a hack.
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2009, 01:11 PM »

The kite certainly cannot trick itself, but I think that if you want to learn advanced tricks that you should be using a kite that was designed to readily do them - you will get there faster in my opinion.

I guess the E3 fits that bill, although there must have been something wrong with the one that I tried to fly.  I couldn't do anything with it, but my E2 flew and tricked well.

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Beachbum
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2009, 01:25 PM »

I have to say Kitemac is entering into a very interesting time when it comes to exploring and flying kites.

4 years ago I believed the Elixir was still the best out there.  I had no idea about the existence of R-Sky, L'atelier, and other French designs.

Hell at that time I believed the Gemini was still that last greatest thing to come out of the U.K. I had no clue about the existence of the Deep Space.

So you do have to give it up for Prism and other makers that can Mass produce. 

My opinion is to keep your E3 since it truly is one of the best Prism has to produce and use your time to study up on what people are capable of doing now and using vids (Randy Greenway's site is a start) to improve.  Finally try to find other fliers and try their gear.  I admit that when I first flew (And bought) a Transfer XTR I had no idea what I doing when it came to the new school of flying.
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Kitemac
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2009, 08:14 AM »

One point of clarification - the E3 being the end point was still in the future.  I do not have a E3.  The best Prism I have is a Quantum.  My skills are still being developed.

I have never seen or flown one of the higher end kites.  I wonder how many people who own the high end kites actually fly any better than if they had a E3 or equivalent kite.

Thanks for the feedback it does provide some food for thought on where the end point should be.
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Beachbum
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2009, 09:13 AM »

There really is not a definitive end point, for example look to the right at the ads.  There are 3 high end kite builders (BMK, Focus, Jest of Eve) whose kites are very different from each other.

The higher end kites, though based around the fact they are designed to do most things good, still have their own personalities.

But to answer your last post, yes, there are high end kites that can teach you more than an E3.  The catch is that there is not a kite that works for everyone. (Attainable at least, search "Machine" or "Instigator")
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2009, 09:19 AM »

No endpoint.

It's like a person's taste in music. It changes on it's own over time, and every now and then something new comes along and shakes things up.

" I wonder how many people who own the high end kites actually fly any better than if they had a E3 or equivalent kite."

If you took away someone's Nirvana or Deep Space and gave them an E3, they wouldn't be any worse a flyer, they'd just be flying a different kite. If all they ever flew was an E3, they probably would not be doing some of the tricks they would have learned on other kites. The E2/3 is dead easy for some things and somewhat harder for others. Same is true for most kites, but the areas they shine in differs.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2009, 11:57 AM »

Well said Allen.  Wink
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