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Author Topic: Low wind is killing me  (Read 4010 times)
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danadams
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« on: July 15, 2010, 09:35 AM »

Greetings all... I am new to sport kites and am very frustrated that I can never find the wind to get the kite up and going as I am inland. I have a Prism Quantum that was purchased on recomendation as a great indestructable beginner kite. The 3mph rating has to be a figment of the imagination of the marketing team at Prism.
So, I am looking for a kite that I can get up in a low breeze that won't break the first time I nose dive. I would like something that will advance with me for awhile and can be my low wind go-to.
I found a Ticket by Cavaliers du Ciel at a great price but am aprehensive as it is rated for 2mp, only 1 less than the Quantum which seems to need 5 or better... it is 3oz lighter but 12" smaller.
I would like to spend less than 150 since it may bite the farm due to lighter weight and my lack of skill however if a highly durable light weight suitable for beginners and well into intermediate exists I am flexable. Any thoughts, recomendations? I am fine with used as well...

I know I need to learn how to set up the kite(s) for variable conditions. Any good resources?

THANKS.
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DD
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 10:33 AM »

Welcome to the forum and to sport kites!
I too fly inland mostly so i feel your pain. Others may jump in here but here are some thoughts:
Where are you flying? You may find other fliers around that you can meet and try their kites. OPK; other people's kites are great for test drives. Even more specfic, is there a better location near you to fly? Trees, buildings, etc will disrupt wind. There is also something to be said for when you fly, I find that about 2pm is when the wind is best around here. You will become obessed with watching trees and flags to gauge wind.
What weight and length line are you flying with? Heavier line is great in heavier wind, but when the wind drops shorter and lighter pound line are the way to go. I wouldnt go lighter then 50#, unless you have a light touch. I use a 50' 50# line on low wind days.
Does the kite have extra weight you can take off? I dont believe the std quantum does but its something that gets overlooked with some kites. Tails need to come off too in light winds.
Move your feet. In the lightest wind you will have to back peddle some to wait for the next puff. Just make sure you pay attention to what you walk into! You can then turn the kite downward when airborne and walk towards it to gain some ground.
Beyond all that I would look at 4D or a shadow for low wind flying. No they arent bulletproof but what you trade in durabilty you gain in low wind ability.
Lastly, there just might not be enough wind. You can still practice taking off, trying a trick and then landing. Eventually you will learn to coax more out of the kite in lower wind, it requires patience and practice
Just my 2 cents, ymmv
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 10:34 AM by DD » Logged

Sine Metu!
Kitemac
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 12:00 PM »

I had both a Quantum and Beetle to learn on.  The Quantum does need some decent wind to launch and fly around with.  The Beetle has a low end of 3 mph which I think is realistic.  There have been many days that the Quantum was grounded with the Beetle being able to fly around.

If you are in the lawn dart stage the Beetle can also take a hard hit.  Many light weight kites will not.

Steve does carry them in the online store. If you decide to go this route you may need to replace the line set.  The provided polyester stinks and I used a light weight spectra set. 
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adx1592
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010, 12:23 PM »

Welcome!
I'd use the Quantum to solidify yourself in higher winds, and then get a SF2.3 or a NikNak for light winds. Use some lighter line too and mooooveee when you fly!
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-Devin Cobleigh-Morrison
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 12:53 PM »

I'll contradict what was said about the Beetle, don't waste your money on a Beetle. It's no ultra light and won't do tricks. I know some like them but to me, they are not even fun to fly around. So if you just want to fly around in light wind, do a few flat spin type tricks and sit in a fade, get a 4D or a used 3D. They will fly in way less wind.

If you want to learn slack line tricks you'll need to spend more and / or watch the swap meet. For a new trickier UL for less than $150 you'll probably be limited to the Silver Foxes or the Acrobatx UL. The Acrobatx UL will work in lower wind than the SFs which are more like a light than a UL. It's fun too and will do many tricks.

The other thing is ULs are not as tuff as your quantum. None of them are, they make them lighter by reducing the reinforcements, using thinner spars etc..
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James -
Grants Pass, Oregon
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stapp59
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 01:36 PM »

Also keep in mind the quality of the wind at your field.  Inland wind is well known to be bumpy, turbulent, inconsistent and often difficult to fly in.  Find the biggest field you can and stay far downwind of trees, buildings and other obstacles.  A smooth 3mph wind is amazingly more effective and easier to fly in than a crappy 3mph wind. 

A good smooth 3mph is probably the low range for the Quantum in my experience.  With the Quantum try moving the bridle tow point up a bit closer to the upper 'tab' on the bridle.  This will pull the nose forward, increase the angle of attack, and give you a little more lift in light breezes.

You'll likely want a UL for the lighter wind days and there are several threads already on some of the possibilities...
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danadams
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 04:42 PM »

Thank you all for your replies! As I sit on my patio in the slightest of breezes I am thinking I will go ahead and get a low wind kite. Until fall there might be 2 or 3 days that I can fly the Quantum unless I feel like doing an Edison round in a thunder storm.

I'm thinking a low wind trickable kite (including slack line) may be the way to go so I don't have to upgrade both kites in a matter of months. If I do this I know I will have to take it easy and not nose dive with any force and keep the UL out of any real wind untill I have a clue and a few skills.

Any and all futher suggestions welcome.

I booked a "work trip" to the beach next week and plan on giving the Quantum a workout. Wish me luck.

By the way, any suggestions for good instructional books or DVDs?

Thanks again! Cheers
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adx1592
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2010, 05:57 PM »

The freestyle pilot is good, and so is 'trick or treat'

If you're taking suggestions on Light wind kites, its more money, but the Ocius UL is awesome!
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-Devin Cobleigh-Morrison
Kitemac
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2010, 06:19 PM »

When I knew nothing about kiting I found Flight School (Dodd Gross) to be good.
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the*real*stoney
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2010, 09:42 PM »

I've noticed numerous complaints this season about low wind and I have also noticed that the inland winds in my area are pretty unreliable too. I am thinking that there was a shift in the jet stream about 6 months ago when it moved south and stuck over the southern states. This is quite different from what we experienced in 2007, 08, and 09. One of the noticeable problems in this area has been frequent wind shifts. 3 or 4 mph out of the northeast and east accompanied by sudden still air, followed by 90 to 180 degree shifts which, in turn stop and shift back to the NE or east. It's very frustrating to deal with those conditions. The current wind situation will continue until a hurricane stirs the upper atmosphere and forces the jet stream back to the north. As much as I hate shifting winds, I am not going to pray for a hurricane. The up side - if there is one- is that the adverse conditions will make us better fliers.

Stoney     
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Hadge
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2010, 01:31 AM »

When I knew nothing about kiting I found Flight School (Dodd Gross) to be good.


+1 on Flight School. Takes you from the very basics right through to some fairly advanced combinations.
Trick or Treat is a great DVD once you have a bit of experiance but an absolute beginner might find it a bit overwelming.

I fly inland, and when I started my best find was the HQ Jive ( the old blue model) which would fly down to a genuine 4mph ( maybe 3 if you move around a bit) right up to 20mph+ but was also pretty tough when you had the ineviable crashes and cheap to repair as it uses simple cheap 5mm/6mm carbon. Good little kite which I still use often.

You can download an excellent book on kite flying from HERE
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 01:39 AM by Hadge » Logged

Age and cunning will always overcome youth and skill!

In the bag - HQ Shadow, Prism 4D, Flying Wings Soul Mid Vent, HQ Jive (1), Spiderkites Zodarion, 'Paw' modded HQ Maestro ll, HQ Delta Hawk.
rxburner
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2010, 03:58 PM »

For the beginner, Prism has some great kites. You already have the Quantum, look for a used Flashlight and an Alien, and you will be set for all wind conditions.
My favorite UL is the Sea Devil.
Rx

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« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 04:07 PM by rxburner » Logged
Bob D
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2010, 04:35 AM »

I live inland too. Before I knew about GWTW I flew my Prism Flashlight and did most of my learning with that. That was the first kite I learned to axel with. I broke a lot of leading edges learning to cartwheel but replacement parts are very easy to get, easy to replace and not too expensive. The 4D might be a better choice the Flashlight isn't bad either. Try the Swap Meet or Wanted to see if anyone has one to part with.
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Bob D.
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2010, 08:54 AM »

I've noticed numerous complaints this season about low wind and I have also noticed that the inland winds in my area are pretty unreliable too. I am thinking that there was a shift in the jet stream about 6 months ago when it moved south and stuck over the southern states. This is quite different from what we experienced in 2007, 08, and 09. One of the noticeable problems in this area has been frequent wind shifts. 3 or 4 mph out of the northeast and east accompanied by sudden still air, followed by 90 to 180 degree shifts which, in turn stop and shift back to the NE or east. It's very frustrating to deal with those conditions. The current wind situation will continue until a hurricane stirs the upper atmosphere and forces the jet stream back to the north. As much as I hate shifting winds, I am not going to pray for a hurricane. The up side - if there is one- is that the adverse conditions will make us better fliers.

Stoney     

I hadn't really considered this, Stoney, but I think you're onto something.  It seems like when I started flying two years ago, with kites that really weren't appropriate for inland winds, I had more success than I've been having lately, with higher quality kites more appropriate to the wind range.  I was starting to think I was losing skill!
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vertigo2u
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2010, 07:06 AM »

I just got a Ocius UL and my problems with low wind are over.  The other night I swear the wnd was gone and I was flying... all you need is a little tug and up she goes.  It will pick up any wind around and fly.  So light and the pull is great.  When the wind is gone it's a great time to practice landings and take off's.
The Ocius will keep you flying when others are not... Cry
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Kite Bag:  Solus ul, Solus std, Pro Dancer SUL, Widow Maker,Widow Maker UL, Ocius SUL, Vision,Vison 5 stack
Baby "Zoomer". Symphony 1.8 para foil...
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