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Author Topic: How much difference does 6-12 more inches in kite size make?  (Read 1695 times)
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Scott Blake
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« on: October 06, 2010, 12:07 AM »

Hi all,

I am looking at getting my first 'proper' stunt kite.  For background, I have a powerfoil which is ok for lowish wind and kinda fun for pull but isn't anything particularly exciting (well, unless I figure out how to get some little led lights on it to fly at night and make it look like a ufo but I digress).  I also have a Prism Micron - now this kite I like a LOT; its fast and exciting and I like the buzz noise it makes when the wind gets going.  The catch with it is there is only so much you can realistically do; to maybe make it more interesting I am considering getting some 75 foot lines to have more area to race it around in (bigger wind window).

So that brings me to wanting an actual sport/stunt kite.  I have done the usual kinds of research looking at all the names and offerings, comparing minimum wind speeds and max wind speeds, prices, extra features like stoppers or weights or adjustable leaches and of course custom colors (I really want to pick my own colors).  The one big difference I can see between my possible choices is the small tiering there is in size.  All the kites seem to look great in the air and can do an impressive array of tricks if you look through enough videos on each option.  That said, in sport/stunt kites it seems you are either 93-96 inches in wingspan or you are 84-88 inches.  For instance, Widowmakers are 93, Mambas are 94, Mongooses are 94.5 and Delta Drives are 96 (just a few grabbed at random from my list of options).  Then there is the one notch down; things like the Ocius at 84 inches or the Talon at 88.

So, for myself, I am thinking I would like smaller primarily because the larger size just seems that much more intimidating in size.  I already think the Ocius at 84 inches is positively ridiculously huge let alone adding on another full foot to get to the size of a Delta Drive for instance.  96 inches is 8 feet!!!  Hardly 'subtle' when setting up on the beach.  Its one of the main reasons I am leaning to an Ocius; its 'only' silly large rather than crazy large.

What I am curious on is, how much difference the smaller versus larger sizes really makes?  Would an Ocius really be so much faster or less stable in the same wind as a larger Mongoose lets say?  I am assuming that smaller will mean faster flying and less stable so maybe I am wrong here.  In terms of 'grace' in flight for lack of a better description, would you not be able to fly the smaller sizes 'slower' and still look nice and floatey like a bigger kite (I gather bigger ones being slower some people will say look more graceful in the air)?  Does a kite have to be large to fly slower and more graceful or is that all just up to the pilot (keep in mind here, my experience is flying a moronically fast Micron which is completely not about gracefulness in the air).

Basically, what really is the tradeoff going down by the 6-12 inches?  I would think it would be easier to transport for sure as well by going down in size but clearly since there are more kites in the larger sizes than this smaller size group, size must matter to people somehow that I am maybe missing.

As an aside, what does surprise me is the larger sized kites don't pick up lower minimum wind speeds (in comparing the same class of kite so a standard Ocius lets say vs a standard Mongoose both have 3mph minimum winds but there is a 12 inch difference in their wingspans).

I at least thing I am making my life easier by knowing I will go for a standard weight kite.  I am going to get a Prism 4D primarily for its zero wind ability (and its small and cheap so why not) which means I can then get a standard weight for the 'full size' sport kite - whether that means 84-88 inches or 94-96 inches will be determined with this discussion I am thinking.

Sorry for the long post.  Any thoughts much appreciated.
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st3307
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2010, 12:40 AM »

Hey  Scott
  there  is  alot  more  to it then   just  diffrent  size  in the   6 to  12  inch diffrence  from  wingtip to wingtip.  Hieght  of the  kite    placemnt  of    stand-offs    placemnt  of   the  weight  in it   type of bridle on the  kite   and   your  style of flying.   I  will  use   the  Ocius  and  the  Widow  Maker  as   my examples  because  they  are  the  two  kite  I have  flown   and  have a  good  feel for.  Just  for  the  record  I   have been  flying  14  years and  am  an old  school  flyer for the most part   more   spin and flat  tricks  then  pitched based  tricks.  The  Ocius   as  the  smaller  of the  tweo  kite  like  to  spin   alot  faster    then the  Widow Maker    because  it  has   less   size  to   spin on it  axis   so  that  means  that  your    axels  and  540   and     other  trick  like  that  can  be   done    with   smaller  inputs     so the  kite   can  trick faster   but  with  the  Widow  Maker  yopu  need  bigger  inputs  to  do  the same  tricks   just  because  of  the  12  inch  diffrence    and  the   Widow Mkaer   will  reward  you    even  if  you have  sloppy  input     the  Ocius  will not.    if  you  have  good     flying  technique   the  Ocius  will  fly  very  nice  persicion    as  the   Widow Maker  will     fly  nice  presicion   with  out   such  tight  inputs    smaller   kite  also    means   more  speed   so  less  time  to think  between  inputs.   but  you  have  flown  a   Micron     so  you  understand  super  fast  already   I  hope  this  helps   
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Scott Blake
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2010, 12:56 AM »

Ah, so the laws of physics means the slowest spin speed for a smaller kite is faster than its larger comparison kite?  Likewise though, the larger kite wouldn't be able to spin as quickly as the smaller kite?

I am assuming same wind speed here to keep things equal and that we have perfect flyer input ie: the slowest speed for the smaller kite is in the perfect scenario is say 5 rotations per 10 seconds while the larger one could be as slow as say 3 in 10 seconds; likewise perfect operator input the smaller one could go 10 rotations in 10 seconds while the larger one could only get to say 6 due its larger mass.

Does that sound right?
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Hadge
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2010, 03:03 AM »

Generally speaking, a 7 foot kite will fly faster, turn faster, spin faster, trick faster and require quicker inputs than an 8 foot kite. It may also feel a little more twitchy. Again generally, fliers who are into trick flying - ie tricksparty type stuff - usually go for something around 7 feet whereas those into Freestyle - ie tricks/ballet/ precision - often go for the bigger kite.

It's really a matter of preference, I have both sizes but usually prefer a 7 foot kite. Either way you will notice a BIG difference from your Micron!  Smiley
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sugarbaker
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2010, 04:46 AM »

Agreeing with what's been stated by others before me, I might add that the visual difference between a 7ft kite and an 8ft kite at the end of 100ft lines is pretty minimal (you mentioned feeling like an 8ft kite seemed huge).

When I compare my smaller ocius to my larger bmk muse I find I like the forgiveness of the larger kite. (I've been flying for a long time, but have just begun exploring the freestyle world the year). I also find that my ability to control the smaller kites when they are stalled has greatly improved by practicing with the larger kites.

I'd be willing to bet $5 that you will end up with more than one good freestyle kite before you've had the first one an entire year, so if it were me, I would start with the bigger kite.
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Scott Blake
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2010, 05:43 AM »

The Ocius is the way I am leaning; although I am willing to bet that it won't be my last kite either sugarbaker; just might be in the opposite order is my hunch  Wink  To be honest, I would like something more along the size of a 4D but more trick capable; I already think the 4D is fairly big (granted I don't have it yet but a simple tape measure gives me more than enough feel for the size).

My thought is 4D for no wind.  Something smaller like the Ocius in standard weight for better wind and maybe down the road a bigger UL.  I admit, I have not actually seen a 7 foot or 8 foot kite fly in person so its hard to tell from the videos how much faster a 7 really is than an 8; and whether in a given video a 7 was at full speed or not or an 8 was at full speed or not (side by side would be sweet to see the difference but there is no kite flying around here to speak of).  I kinda like the faster/snappier look and am thinking/hoping that you can always do things a tad slower if you want.
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mikenchico
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2010, 07:37 AM »

Since soon after I started flying the norm has been an 8 foot wingspan so I've always felt that was standard and everything else was 3/4 size or less. I prefer the larger kites most of the time, Widowmaker, Exile, Muse. As the winds pick up I prefer smaller quicker responding kites and play closer to the ground in the slower boundry layer, Freestylist, Wolf.

Overall, as stated above, there is a pretty big difference between the sizes with exceptions, the new Blue Moon Mongoose I felt was an extremely responsive and lighter feeling kite for the larger wingspan.

If you prefer smaller then is usually available from the custom builders you might look at a few of the Premier kites designed by Jon Trennepohl of Skyburner, the Wolf has an 80" wingspan and is a surpisingly precise flying kite with good tricking ability. The Jewel I have not flown but it's from the same design line as the Widowmaker, Widow, Wolf and has gotten some good reviews, 65" wingspan. For lighter winds the Nighthawk at 76"s would make a good a choice. All come "ready to fly" with a nice bag, line sets and straps at very competitive prices.

Steve here at GWTW/Chico Kites can get any of the Premier kites even though they are not currently in the catalog, just drop him an email or call.

« Last Edit: October 06, 2010, 07:55 AM by mikenchico » Logged

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Hadge
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2010, 07:52 AM »

The 4D at 58" is small in kite terms. With rare exceptions you don't get many 'serious' kites below around 75" or so. Also you need a certain amount of weight in the kite to give it enough mass to perform tricks so a bigger kite is better.  I wouldn't worry too much about Zero wind flying at the moment, thats another skill altogether. Best to get a good quality standard kite with a decent wind range rather than several smaller ones as you'll soon find yourself looking for something else, a good standard kite will last you for a long time and teach you a lot more.

The Flying Wings Soul is a very nice kite and excellent value for money...worth looking at.
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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.
Scott Blake
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2010, 08:11 AM »

Hehe, if the 4D is small in kite terms than the micron is indeed pretty tiny!

The downside of the two kites I have is you really can't learn all that much.  The speedfoil I got first as I had been taking kite surfing lessons so it seemed kinda natural to pick up.  Catch is, you don't really learn that much flying one; they are kinda crude in terms of control and totally unforgiving of not being in the wind window properly and can be impossible to recover.  Other than loops, you don't trick one thats for sure.  The Micron I love simply because its so fast and fun and I love the noise and just watching it; heck it stops people in their tracks seeing that thing zooming around and it makes me want something even faster on longer lines (but I digress).  Its great for improving your reaction times to stuff thats for sure but short of learning really fast loops and turns its pretty 'standard' I think in terms of what you can learn; I only recently started to get it to do axels but that requires a bit of luck and low wind which puts it on the verge of not flying.

Hence my current search which is coming from the 'small' side of things.  I don't doubt that a no wind kite (4D for instance) is an entirely different set of skills but I really want something for when there is no change of flying a normal kite; and I would think it would teach you a lot regardless.  So, for a hundred bucks it seems a no brainer to me.  The 'brainer' decision is the next one.  It would be nice to get to fly any/all of the options but no one has anything around here so that ain't happening.  The videos for all of them of course look brilliant and I am sure I could pick at random amongst the names mentioned and get something very good.

Doh, maybe it will come down to which one looks the nicest  Cheesy
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sugarbaker
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2010, 08:34 AM »

Where are you located?  If you are near Seattle, I would be happy to let you fly some of my kites. Actually, you may be able to find people close to you that have the kites you're interested in (wherever you are) that will let you fly them.

Let me know if you're close by and we can arrange a meet up.
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tpatter
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2010, 08:57 AM »

Some smaller trick-based kites that people really like are the Transformer, Ocius, NFX, MohawkXS, probably others that I am forgetting. 

I would say that for someone starting out, bigger is better.  Most new flyer's inputs are too big (overdone) and not sharp enough. A bigger, slower kite helps to tune this.

Having said that, I do enjoy flying both, but prefer smaller kites in higher winds - they are just easier to fly and trick for longer periods (less pull, smaller inputs, and faster trick-speed also helps when flying in high wind).

I have found that flying a smaller kite which you can trick at a faster rate does improve your flying when you move back to a larger/slower kite (everything just seems slower and easier as you have more time to hit your inputs).

Then again, don't over-analyze it, get the kite you really like and fly that one.

Good luck.

-Tom


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st3307
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2010, 10:10 AM »

yes  Scott     let  us   know were   yor  located   at  and     alot  of  us   will share    our  toys  so     we  can show  you  up   close  and  personal    about   diffrent  kites
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Scott Blake
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2010, 11:05 PM »

I am in Hong Kong, not a kite flying mecca by any stretch of the imagination.  Fortunately I get out on trips faily frequently to places that are very amenable to flying (was just down near Brisbane on the coast and will be down to Tasmania on the coast for a week in December).  Thanks for the offers though.

The wind here is so bad I am debating making that first 'big' kite a UL now actually.  If I were truly prudent I would hold off for a while, wait to get my hands on a 4D and see how that goes as it might point me in the right direction.....hmmmm, patience is a strong point for me but those darn colorizers have me hooked and thinking 'oh yea, this would look awesome in neon green/black/yellow' or whatnot.  Undecided
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WinterDaze
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2010, 06:11 AM »

Hey Scott,

If Melbourne's ever on the list, there's a few kites floating around down here, I also hear Adelaide might have one or 2 lying around  Wink drop me a line if you're ever pointed back down this way.
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