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Author Topic: SF2.3 ul or BMK MUSE Lt  (Read 4156 times)
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iwannafly
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« on: November 04, 2009, 07:29 PM »

I'm trying to figure out what I want as a second kite.

I have been looking at the Flying Wings-Silver Fox 2.3UL. Mostly because of the cost and partly because I have had the chance to fly its bigger brother. FW says it has a wind range of 1-10mph.

I was just looking at the MUSE Lt. on the Blue Moon Kite’s website. It is listed as having a wind range of 2-8mph, for about $100 more.

Is Mr. McNeill just being conservative or is FW stretching it a bit? I am confused because I have heard, rather read, that the SF 2.3 UL is not really a UL kite. What’s up with that? Huh

Custom colours, build quality and the higher price aside, which kite is the better light wind performer? I'm looking for a smooth flying kite that is not prone to line snags and does not require the strong handed approach like my Quantum. It needs to be fairly trickable so I don’t get tired of it. Also keep in mind I will probably never sell the kite. I will more than likely keep it till it flies no more.

Thoughts and opinions welcome.

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tpatter
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2009, 07:38 PM »

The Muse is a better all around kite in my opinion. 

I like the SF UL - its fun to trick, but its cheaply made, wears easily, and does not fly all that low.

The Muse Light will fly much lower (and with much more drive in the same wind) and last much longer than the SF UL.   

I am considering picking up a Muse Light myself after having flown my friends a few times.
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chilese
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2009, 07:53 PM »

Wind ratings from kite manufacturers should be taken with a large grain of salt. I once both a cheap Luna Moth because the stated wind range was 2-35 mph and the kite was only $70. (Yes, I was quite gullible).

Support the small "boutique kite" builders.

Ken's kites are designed to be your dance partner, nimble, graceful, and beautiful.

In contrast, many modern kites are designed to be beaten to perform.

And when it comes to light wind performance, a Blue Moon kite is in its element.

I am very biased on this. Ken is my favorite kitemaker.  Smiley
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anOldMan
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2009, 09:36 PM »

I own a FW 2.5 UL and a BMK Exile UL.  They are two completely different kites. The FW kite will not ,without a lot of running, fly as low as stated. The Exile will. If I had a choice between the ULs from FW or BMK, I would go with BMK. Yes it is $100 more.
But this is like Christmas. Do you want a lot of less expensive gifts that wouldn't last or one good gift that will be around for ages? With BMK, you get what you pay for and more. Smiley
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anOldMan
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2009, 10:00 PM »

The Muse is a big kite so a closer comparison would be the SF 2.5. Forget what Flyingwings says about the SF's lower wind rating. They probably need about 3 mph before they're much fun maybe a tad more. So if you get the SF UL hoping for good UL wind performance you may be disappointed. 

I have a Mantis UL (similar to the Muse) and it'll work down to about SUL territory. I'm not sure what the difference is between the Lt and Ul but Blue Moons will work down close to their stated wind range, maybe lower.

The Muse is better built and like I said Bluemoon's stated low wind ranges seem more realistic but I think that, given the choice and enough wind, I'd probably grab the SF most of the time. Purely based on how I like to fly.
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iwannafly
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2009, 05:15 AM »

If I had the money I would go straight for the Mantis UL and later the Standard as the Mantis is my first choice. I’m not sure if I should take baby steps and go through a few cheaper kites like the Silver Fox UL, go half way with the Muse Lt. or sell a kidney and go for broke with the Mantis line of kites.

If there are any more Mantis, Muse or SF owners out there, please don’t hesitate to respond. The more opinions that are expressed, the better decision I can make as to the direction I will go.

Keep it coming.

Thanks all  Smiley
Tait
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Blownfuse
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2009, 06:08 AM »

I often see the advice "start on a cheaper kite...."  I myself did some serious thinking, when I was about to invest in my first real trick-capable kite. And got the advice "start on a cheaper...", but then someone wrote "buy the one you want". It is, IMHO, not possible to buy kite that is too good. Yes, maybe I´m not skilled enough to take advantage of a real good kite, but some day I will be. And on the way to become that skilled, I won´t be caught with kite-restricted learning hold-ups. Does this make any sense ?

My advice is, buy the kite you really want, if you can afford it. In my opinion it is the financial site of things, that is the limiting factor. If I were to advice on any specific kite, of the ones that are in your consideration, I would go with the Muse. I have no personal experience with any of the mentioned kites, but has read so much good about the Muse. I know I would like a Muse myself.

All of the above is, offcourse, only viable if you can say with pretty big certainty, that you will fly kites for a long time to come. If you are decided that this will be your hobby, and you won´t get bored of it for, at least, some years to come. It would be a bad investment (an expensive kite), if you quit flying 6 months from now.

Ps. For my first trickable kite, I ended up choosing a JoE Talon UL. A big investment for sure, but have´nt regretted it a single time. And now I don´t have 1-2-3 semi-capable kites in my kitebag, that I would´nt fly anyway. So in some (twisted) sort of way, buying an expensive kite, has saved me money. In the long run...
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DD
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2009, 07:02 AM »

+1 buy the muse. I have only seen the sf in person but not flown it. I have a muse std and it is a great kite for the price. I have also flown mantis and i think if i was saving for something i would skip the mantis and get the exile. But that being said the muse is very capable.
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Sine Metu!
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2009, 07:03 AM »

I don't own a Muse, but do own an Exile, both std. and ul, and I have a buddy that has the SF 2.5, std. and ul, I've flown both his kites. The pluses on the SF are that the kite flies fairly slow, which can be a big aid in learning, and are very capable kites, and nicely priced....but, imo, the kites are not made to last for years. Ken's kites are top notch, equal to Benson's in construction, and as to your qualifications, Blue Moons are not subject to line snag, the nose is sewn in such a way that won't happen, and you'll find much, much lighter inputs compared to the Quantum. A Blue Moon will be with you much longer than the SF, only drawback I see on the BMK, at least with the Exile, it gets a bit fast at around 8-10mph, but there are other kites to fly at that point. Besides, Ken is a really good guy, support his kites! Get the Blue Moon, you'll be glad you did.

Bill
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Blownfuse
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2009, 08:04 AM »


Ps. For my first trickable kite, I ended up choosing a JoE Talon UL. A big investment for sure, but have´nt regretted it a single time. And now I don´t have 1-2-3 semi-capable kites in my kitebag, that I would´nt fly anyway. So in some (twisted) sort of way, buying an expensive kite, has saved me money. In the long run...
Just to add a little more to this very true statement. When you go to sell them you won't have a bit of problem. Wanna sell me that web-Synthesis?  Tongue

In your dreams, mate !  Cheesy  If I has anything to say, that Synthesis is staying with me, until I, or it, can´t fly anymore. And when that time comes, I hope that my daughter or maybe some grandchildren, will want to inherit it.  Wink

Ps. Sorry for OT.
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ndcmpc
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2009, 12:29 PM »

I don't have experience with the SF, but I do have a few hours on Ken's kites.  Wink

Mantis (or if you want to save a few $$s - the Muse) UL (or light - whatever you care to call it) tend to fly lower than Ken's stated wind range.  Some kite manufacturers state a wind range based on the ability of someone with a lot of experience.  Ken likes to set his ranges based on average skills so most people should be able to fly his kites in the stated wind ranges.  I say most, because you can give a brand new flyer the lightest SUL around and they will struggle with it until they gain some experience flying in extremely light conditions.

You can trust the wind range for Ken's kites and you will find that as you learn the kite, you can exceed them.

As far as durability, I am still flying the kites I bought from Ken 7-8 years ago and flying a couple of his previous brand that are probably closer to 15.  You will get a well built custom kite in your favorite colors.  I think that is worth the bit extra you pay for a Blue Moon.

Whatever you decide - get out and fly it.  Flying in very light winds is a skill that has to be developed.
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Doug
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GEB
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2009, 08:58 PM »

I have both kites you are asking about and have flown both for a couple of years now. As stated Ken is conservative in his estimates for wind range. The Muse will fly in less wind than the SF. The Muse is a much smoother flying kite and is most definitely better built. It will handle the abuse of learning tricks much better. I have several of Ken's kites and I learned tricks on his kite the Exile. I have hundreds of hours on it and aside from a one inch tear in the lower sail (my fault) it is like new. My wife is now learning tricks using the same kite. The SF is more of a French style kite. It has been called the poor man's Nirvana. Indeed it fly’s quite similar. The muse is a more graceful kite but is completely capable in the tricks department. These of course are just my opinions and experiences. To me the SF is like a Volkswagen, the Muse a Porsche.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 09:01 PM by GEB » Logged
iwannafly
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2009, 05:01 AM »

If the MUSE is like a Porsche, does that mean the bridle is at the wrong end of the kite. Wink Cheesy
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GEB
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2009, 11:59 AM »

Not exactly. But an Exile in 15 MPH winds will go 0-60 faster than a Carrera 4S.
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stapp59
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2009, 03:25 PM »

Not exactly. But an Exile in 15 MPH winds will go 0-60 faster than a Carrera 4S.

* When you are talking 15mph winds I assume you must be flying a standard frame.  A UL will be close to blowing up in those winds  Shocked *

One of the disadvantages of an efficient low wind design is quicker speed and load buildup in higher winds.

You can moderate the speed buildup on both the Mantis and Exile by moving the inner standoffs out towards the tips 1-3".  You have to add a longer trailing edge tab and additional holes on the Exile though.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 06:26 PM by stapp59 » Logged
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