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Author Topic: are prism kites really for noobies?  (Read 5289 times)
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Location: San Francisco, CA

« on: June 04, 2010, 03:17 PM »

Greetings all!

First and foremost, let me express my gratitude for this sport and to this forum. Kiting has been my biggest passion yet in life! It is so free to fly in the sky and do tricks!

However, this is my dilemma. I only flew 3 times, and each time less than an hour or so. I am not saying Im good at it, but i already know how to land, and do circles, and basic maneuvers, and I think I got back flip down too. I currently am flying a Prism Nexus. But I am not sure where its limits are, or if at all it is a good kite for beginners, because it doesnt have all the accessories like weights, yoyo stoppers, etc. I want to experience tricks, and have a slower drag, but at the same time, I want an all around kite for tough and little/no winds too. I live in California Sanfrancisco, the winds are always hectic...and crazy, whats a good kite for that?

So far, on this forum, I see people recommend custom kites offered by other manufacturers and less recommends for prism kites. I am interested to know where Prism stands in the professional kiting sport. Is it a good brand? are the only good kites in Prism ones that cost over 100 and above?

If i am looking for a good kite, what kind of choices do i have without busting over 200 bucks? or 150? Im looking for a kite around 100 dollars-140 dollars. One that will last for a while and can help me do tricks and also have support both in high and low winds.

Thanks alot guys, i hope i hear from you soon!!! 
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2010, 03:37 PM »

for those on a budget, prism makes great kites, but no kite regardless of price will meet all your criteria.

price, durability, wind range, and performance are all on a sliding scale with each one representing a trade off to another.

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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2010, 03:52 PM »

The very top end Prism is well over $100. But it is very much a high end kite. The others are competent, but not at the top end. All are made overseas except my favorite current Prism, the Quantum Pro.

The Prism Quantum Pro is an excellent kite and it comes in many configurations: SUL, UL, standard, Variable Vented.

It has been flown to 2 championships and the adjustable weight kit allows you to tune in the amount of pitch you desire.

It does need just a touch-up of the nose to avoid snags during some tricks, but that's all.

The SUL isn't really an SUL, more of a UL.

It's attractive, in my eyes and flies precision better than most modern kites, particularly when the weight kit is removed.

I own 2 of them.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 03:53 PM by chilese » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2010, 04:26 PM »

Another thing Prism has going for it is Mark Reed, not only a great designer, great flier, but is also a great guy that always (at least before Rachel) time to share his time, experience, and knowledge with anyone that asks.

You can find other Prism fans here
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 04:27 PM by kiteking » Logged

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Allen Carter
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2010, 05:07 PM »

Welcome to the Forum!

In the Prism line an excellent step up to a full size kite that has extensive capabilities would be the E3. It would take a long time to outgrow that kite. The other full size option, and the kite I prefer, is the Hypnotist. Not quite as trickable as the E3 but more durable and somewhat easier to fly. Steve sells and supports both.

Prism makes a wide range of kites from cheap to very expensive. All very good. It's one of the bigger kite companies which sometimes makes it less attractive to the hard core kite nut.

Most high end kites are made one at a time or in small batches, often to the customer's spec. Us kite nuts really like this. The small kite maker often comes out with new models or modifications more frequently than a big operation like Prism can. This feeds our addiction. Also, each kite maker has their own style, so many of us find that we like a certain brand over another. When you get into this game, the subtleties of kite design and construction become more an more evident. You develop preferences and prejudices.

One of my top three kites is currently a Prism. My first kite was also a Prism. I still have it in my bag after 12 years.


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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2010, 05:20 PM »

If i am looking for a good kite, what kind of choices do i have without busting over 200 bucks? or 150? Im looking for a kite around 100 dollars-140 dollars. One that will last for a while and can help me do tricks and also have support both in high and low winds.

Thanks alot guys, i hope i hear from you soon!!! 

You could go for a good used kite for that budget, maybe a Nirvana or an Exile could be an excellent choice if you are out of the lawn dart stage. A single kite that flies well in hi and low winds is hard to find, you should have two kites at least, a standard and an ultra light, however kites as the mentioned Exile have a wide wind range and are able to fly also in rather low winds.
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2010, 05:34 PM »

thanks so much for all your kind and valuable input, however, i would also like to know how far i am able to take the nexus? as far as i can tell, under some conditions, the nexus will only fly in mid to high winds, not as the ad says "4mph-22mph". can the nexus pull serious tricks?  Kiss thanks guys
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2010, 05:42 PM »

Here is how i explain it to some people who are new to kites( or to explain the special-ness of some of my kites and why i dont let my little nieces and nephews fly some of my kites), just my 3 cents and my opinions, ymmv
Prisms= Ford , much like the car company they were pioneers in the sport and carry on today. They make a variety of models from the focus to the mustang. You have a focus, good reliable, capable of alot for the dollars spent. The quantum i would equate to the mustang, with many variations.
When you hear of talks of benson kites, i would equates these to mercedes. They have a rich and storied history, they made and continue to make good models, with some class leaders.
You read talk on the forum about guys being in love their " 2006 Ford mustang gt roush mustang" being kickass or their "quantum pro sul". Realize models do change, technology gets updated.
There is something to be said for conditions you drive/fly in. What do you want to do while driving/flying? Go fast, corner well, have a real nice sound system, mudbogg, pull large loads, rollups, steady fades.

There is always the quest for the best car/kite (or as is more said around here; the quest for the best car/kite that will save the world). Much debate has raged on this with many sides having their "glee" clubs from time to time.

There also is much to be said of who is driving/flying; just because the equipment is capable, how much are you? I have seen many amazing things done with cars/kites that I am not capable and tip my cap to those that can do amazing things in any model of kite/car. Michael Schumacher is an amazing driver and when he drove ferraris he was amazing, I would love to drive a racecar like he does. What makes me closer to that goal?  The same thing that will be told to you here time and time again; practice, practice,practice.

I own some humvees, camaros, lambroginis, top fuel funy cars, sherman tanks and pickups trucks or at least the kite version of these cars.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, with kites and cars.

But they are like potato chips, you cant have just one,you know you want more! Cool


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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2010, 07:14 PM »

I own several Prism kites and each has it's place.

Listed below are my Prism kites and the price I paid for them.

4D ($100): Always my goto kite when nothing else will fly.
Quantum Pro SUL ($320): 2nd most flown kite.  Great for a breeze that is pulling the 4D too hard.
Zephyr ($115): Slightly higher wind need than the Quantum Pro SUL.  Have not fully connected with it yet b/c wind around here.
Hypnotist ($120): Slightly quicker and more manuverable than the Quantum.  I have babied this one in the hopes that it lasts.
Quantum ($80): First Delta I bought.  Needs a LOT of wind.  Always my goto kite if the tree tops are touching the ground!  This kite has SLAMMED into the ground many times and I have replaced many spars.  This is the only kite that has pulled hard enough to break my strings...twice!
Nexus ($50):  Have not gotten this thing up successfully yet.  Again...needs a more wind than I get here.

Yes Prism has good kites for the normal people out there.  There are dozens of other vendors but Prism will get you what you need until you are able to control a kite without thinking about it.

I am 90% to that stage now.  It was a great journey with the Prisms!

"May you live until you die, no more, no less" - Eddie Izzard

"I'm not this way because I'm an Engineer.  I am an Engineer because I'm this way."
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2010, 09:38 AM »


Yes..winds here in SF can get nuts, however past few days hasn't been too bad except the insane fog rolling over Ocean Beach and Daly City. You can try my Hypnotist, (Zephyr if wind willing). There have been a few others at Ocean Beach I've met every now and then. If you wanna meet up, the winds looks like it might be good for the weekend, hah, and I'm posting this on a saturday morning  Roll Eyes

PM me or somethin.

Vented L'organic; Vortex; DS (closeted); Quantum (modded to taz); Ocius STD, UL, UL (2pt P90), SUL; Pi (Home made kite)
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2010, 09:59 AM »

Prism's aren't just for noobies, they have a full line of kites. They are one of the best merchandisers in the business providing retailers with a wide selection and price points, all well packaged with a high perception of value to the customer. Your Nexus is a fine beginner kite, a capable kite at not too scary of a price point for the first time buyer. And it's served its purpose, you're looking to step up to the next level. Prism hopes you'll return to where you purchased your Nexus and move up the Prism line since they've proven themselves.

The Quantum is a full size beginner kite, you might skip that. The Hypnotist, IMO skip over it too. Others said it & I agree the E3 is the next step for you in the Prism line. The Zephyr, even if you wanted to up your budget, is a light wind kite, you'll end up breaking it in the Bay Area's higher winds, save it for later.

I would definitely go with a full size wing like the E3 for your next kite, as a new flier you also need something "Ready to Fly" with a line set included since your Nexus lines won't be suitable for a full wing. Another good choice in your stated price range is the Premier Widow, they have other full sized kites too but if you're looking at 'Tricks' it is the most capable.


"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see" John W Lennon

"People do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" George Bernard Shaw
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2010, 10:27 AM »


Well, you are one lucky guy, because next month across the bay is the Berkeley kite festival. Prism kites is usually one of the manufacturers there, and they have kites to try and company representatives to ask questions to. I'd recommend going and getting there early (maybe 10ish, 11 at the latest) because they tend to get busy giving lessons later in the afternoon. Revolution is usually also there, so if you want to try the dark side you can give that a try too. Some years, Mark Reed himself comes down, and you can't get a better source of what Prism can do for you than that.

I suspect many people here have had Prism or two over the years. I know I have. I still keep an original Illusion around.

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