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Author Topic: A question of Gems  (Read 1337 times)
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Moonfog
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« on: September 22, 2009, 08:39 AM »

I was recently checking Tim's site and was wondering what the flight differences/ performance differences are between the three Gems (Gem, Gem UL and Mini Gem). There doesn't seem to be a huge difference in the dimensions although the weights are obviously different. The Mini Gem seems to be a strong wind kite. Does anyone here have experience of all three? 

At this point, I have no experience with any of them but am interested in the UL. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks.
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JimB
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 11:35 AM »

I fly the recent iteration of the Gem UL and Gem standard quite a lot. The original Mini was my festival kite for a couple of years.

If I was going to have just one Gem it would be the UL.

The lighter weight allows it to go flatter in spin moves.

The wind range is surprisingly wide.

General tricking is not impaired very much in this design as long as your technique is good. Tim has made it just light enough and no more. The frame has a nice snappy feel. Great fun to fly. You have to be aggressive at the very bottom of the stated wind range - 1-15mph - and you need to have an Honest to Dog steady 1mph - hello beach - to get down that low, but it will do it if you nut up and work it.

I fly the standard at the beach, in nice smooth wind that might be starting to impair the UL a bit, otherwise; it's all UL for me.

As far as flight differences: not a whole lot. The UL feels lighter (D'uH) and takes less effort to throw around. It responds well to very light inputs.

The standard can wallow a bit in the less than optimum wind so common inland which is why I save it for nice smooth beach wind when the UL is getting to be more work than I care for to roll up.

The Mini likes a fair amount of wind. It likes it smooth too. I am getting ready to pull the trigger on a new style Mini once the dust settles out from the launch of the DSUL. It's time to re-visit that one.

Not sure how helpful that was..

I wanted to add: the Mini is much the more frenetic of the trio. It all happens faster with that little bugger. Okay.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 11:43 AM by JimB » Logged
DD
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2009, 02:00 PM »

I think Jim covered it well. The ul flies in less wind then the std but is not a sul. None of my gems have rollbars but I'm looking into installing some on the standard. The mini can be a handful but heavy line(150#,200#) will tame it some.
Now i just need to get my hands on a DSUL Tongue
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zippy8
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2009, 10:32 PM »

The lighter weight allows it to go flatter in spin moves.
I'd love to hear an explanation of the physics behind that one  Wink

Mike.

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JimB
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2009, 12:45 AM »

It's a floatier kite than the standard. It's easier to get it and keep it flat. Physics be damned.  Roll Eyes
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Moonfog
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2009, 06:38 AM »

Thanks Jim. Extremely helpful post.  Smiley

I was kind of thinking though that the Mini Gem might be used where a vented Gem might otherwise be used (if there were such a thing).  Undecided
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Adicakes
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2009, 07:09 AM »

Does anyone here have experience of all three? 

Yep, in the past 3-4 years or so, I've owned 4 Minigems, two GemULs, and 3 standards.  At the moment I have one of each in the "new generation" build (Skyshark framing, rollbars, etc.) and one standard with Structil framing.

The Minigem holds up without a worry in very big winds and doesn't pull much at all, even in those conditions.  It's quick and more prone to tip-wrapping if you're not on the ball, but once you've dialed the timings in, things work pretty well indeed.  The stock Minigem is pretty pitchy and it's also probably the best kite to torpille that I've flown.   The current model of standard Gems are also pretty pitchy and don't need any added ballast for snappy yoyos (whereas I fly the non-rollbar Structil version with 10g on the centre standoff).  They're a nice rolly, flowing kind of kite and a lot of fun to fly with semi-improvised combinations; that's what I tried to capture in SoH3.  The GemUL isn't too far removed from the standard in terms of feel, and it's a pretty robust kite considering its framing.  Flat-spin stuff is generally a bit prettier than the standard Gem because you can slow it down more easily.  The stock UL doesn't pitch as readily as the standard, and yoyos are best entered either using a backward-forward-backward motion or from a fade high in the window.  Ballast would bring the pitch performance of the UL closer to that of the standard, but as usual, trade-offs are made.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 07:16 AM by Adicakes » Logged
Bob D
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2009, 04:33 AM »

The Minigem is FAST! It's a smaller kite and you have to really keep up with it when you ask it to do something. I've rolled it up from a fade and I didn't even see it happen. If you like fast inputs this is the kite. One of the reasons might be the fact that it's got such a light pull on the lines that it doesn't take any effort to initiate something.

It DOES like higher wind but when the wind is up you have to move really fast to keep up with it.

My Widow Maker does flic-flacs that are nice and slow and measured in a more moderate wind. The Minigem needs more of a machine-gun approach when the wind is up.

This was my first high-end kite and I'm still impressed with the workmanship. Tim Benson does real nice work!
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Bob D.
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