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Author Topic: If you don't lawn dart your Micron, is it safe to buy a 'good' large kite?  (Read 2524 times)
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Scott Blake
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« on: October 07, 2010, 09:56 AM »

Hi all,

I just wanted to flesh out this idea a bit - that being rather than go and get an xyz 'boutique' brand kite, get a Nexus or even a Quantum to learn on.  I don't think I would smash things to bits on a bigger kite having now gotten quite comfortable with the very fast Micron but maybe that is a bad assumption to make?  If it is, then smashing up a 60-100 dollar kite is probably prudent compared to the 220-300 dollar ones.  Its not that 200 and some dollars is going to break me but I would feel like a sad bunny smashing up something nice due to being a poor flyer.  The downside of this is of course that you don't get to buy one of the nice ones right off and you kinda end up with a spare kite you might not use down the road.  The upside is its cheap to break and might help point me in the direction of what I would really be wanting in a 'good' kite; UL or not, bigger or not etc etc.

Thoughts?  Oh, and the rational side of my brain thinks it does make sense, but those damn colorizers got me all excited on the 'good' kites!   Smiley
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tpatter
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010, 10:15 AM »

I think it is safe, but it also seems like most folks buy a few cheaper kites before they make the jump to a boutique kite.

I started with the Silver Fox 2.5 UL - nice kite, not very expensive, and it tricks very well.  It is big and slow and locks into position almost like a lego-block (turtle, fade, nice solid half-axel) so it makes learning tricks easier.  Steve sells them here on GWTW.

Some folks prefer the 2.3 - its smaller, faster, but still easy to trick and fly.

These kites are a nice trade-off between flight characteristics, build quality, and price.  It will look pretty ratty after 1-2 years, but then you can get a boutique kite.  Smiley

-Tom
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6 kite tom
glider
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2010, 10:26 AM »

My 2 cents... Pick a kite that suits your wind conditions.  For the inland flying I do, I would have to wait for just the right weekend, which could be months between outings if the only kite I had was a Quantum.  There just isn't sufficient wind here many of the weekends I head out to the field.  It can be frustrating trying to fly in light wind conditions when all you have is a standard weight kite.

If you have plenty of wind, say 4 -10 mph consistently, then I'd say your plan is a good one.  It'll be a great step up from the Micron.  Sure you'll outgrow the Quantum the first time you touch a BMK, but then you'll have the Quantum for your friends to crash.

If you have low wind, you may want to consider a kite that you can fly in say 1-5 mph range.  Those tend to be a bit more spendy, but you can sometimes find very nice SULs on the swap here.  (Is there really an Ozone for sale for only $110?)  Light wind, old school kites often come up for sale.  There's lots of old shool fun to be had before jumping into flippy tricks.

Dave
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Scott Blake
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010, 10:52 AM »

I am thinking I want a 4D for those days we have no wind.  Today being a perfect example.  You would think being by the ocean I would always have something but nope.
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mikenchico
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 12:00 PM »

I'd say it's safe for "fly around" like you do with the Micron, but if you start pursuing the realm of freestyle tricking you are going to lawn dart.

The "boutique" kites are plenty rugged, more so then a comparably spec'ed mass produced kite due to the fact that you are not going to get a "Seconds" spar in there (it happens) and all the seams will be sewn with proper overlap and the stitching right down the center. Of course kites like the Nexus, Quantum, Hypnotist are using a much heavier frame and they have these shock absorber things that lessen the shock to the sail in a hard nose plant so they may be able to take a really hard blow better.

I still feel you're safe, but get a Standard though, UL's have much more fragile spars that don't take kindly to nose plants, wingtip stabs etc. The reliable lower range of kites like the Exile & Widowmaker standards make them feel like an UL in comparison to a Nexus, Quantum, Hypnotist.

Get the "Throw your arms forward when the kite is powering toward the ground" thing ingrained and you'll be fine. Do that by practicing some Flare's early in your learning curve. Fly the kite at the ground in lower winds, as you approach it (stay high the first few times and work closer as your comfortable)throw your arms forward, take a step forward if necessary, and watch the kite flatten out nose away from you. Done close to the ground you can let the kite land/settle in this position. Otherwise a small pop with one hand will rotate the kite nose toward you then a smooth pull with both hands will bring it up and start it flying again. The other option is a Flare to Fade and Half Barrel Roll back to flight. That's another thread.

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Victrinia Ridgeway
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2010, 02:17 PM »

http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=4116.msg37384#msg37384

Killed a Fox today... you should give it a read Scott. lol

Also... Nice tip Mike... I'll practice that myself.

Victrinia
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lylenc
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2010, 05:07 PM »

  You would think being by the ocean I would always have something but nope.

I had two days of SUL winds at Lincoln City, OR last week. However, they were steady in speed and direction - sweet. It still beats my usual inland flying conditions: light and variable. I flew an Aerobe for about ten minutes one morning, but the wind "kicked" up to about 2 mph, so I switched to the SUL and then it stayed 1 mph +/- about 0.5 mph the rest of the two days.

It was more footwork and pumping than I desired, but still sweet. At the other end, we had a couple of Rev II days and a Vented Rev II day. Not much in between for standard kites that week. I suck at the standard wind range and was hoping for lots of practice.

As far as your question: they are all good large kites, whether mass produced or small shop. The ones that fit your flying style preferences are the best, if you know what your preferences are yet. That takes flying a variety of your or other people's kites to figure out. Some people like a kite with drive and pull while others like light and floaty ... not to mention the many other variables. Your home's most frequent flying conditions, age, and physical fitness will probably influence your preferences.
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Craig     Walla Walla, WA     Just One More!
normofthenorth
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2010, 03:05 PM »

You are ready. Being "safe" is another matter. And being comfortable enough with the possibility of breaking an expensive rod -- comfy enough to push the envelope and try tricks as fast as you'd like -- is probably a third matter.

When I was starting out -- way good enough not to lawn dart EXCEPT when I was trying to learn tricks -- I bought a used Prism Total Eclipse at a great price. It needed a little repair, which I did. I flew it and loved the experience. THEN I priced the replacement spars!! From then on, I wasn't having as much fun flying it, so I sold it and bought some less expensive kites with less expensive spars.

YMMV, since this is all about emotions, really. Personally, I'm very impressed with how nicely some of the NOT expensive, non-boutique kites fly, and trick, but I've never liked paying twice as much for something that works 20% better, even though I do appreciate the 20% better (and I've GOT the "twice as much", too!). . .
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Norm in Toronto
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2010, 07:47 PM »

Errrr.... Norm... I'm curious... what is YMMV mean?  Smiley
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Scott Blake
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2010, 10:55 PM »

ymmv = your mileage may vary  Smiley

So, I pondered and analyzed and watched videos and pondered some more.

In the end, not that I know my style but I have a feel for what I want to be able to do, I went with a 4D (for the days we have no wind and was my plan all along) and an Acrobatx standard.  I talked with Steve about it pre ordering and the Quantum I was pondering was probably not going to suit - I said it looked slow and heavy and tough to trick which was confirmed by Steve saying it was designed as a more old school kind of kite.  The Silver Fox was mentioned but by that price point I figured I was most of the way to an Ocious.  I figure for 85 bucks, I can fearlessly abuse the Acrobatx and see what I can learn and at worst its a spare.  Heck, if it works out well, it could be a good kite for stronger winds and my next kite could then be a higher end UL.

Will see how it works out, its not like 85 bucks can really be a horrible decision short of my lawndarting it and exploding it on my first flight.  A few good days on my next vacation and it will pay for itself even if I don't get to use it around home beforehand (our wind has been sucking lately).
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lylenc
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2010, 09:31 AM »

We have four types of wind here:

Sucking

Sucks

Suckier

Suckiest
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Craig     Walla Walla, WA     Just One More!
normofthenorth
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2010, 09:56 AM »

As long as you can afford new "sticks", you can probably fix it even if it explodes. If the broken stick tears the sail, it can almost always be repaired quickly, easily, durably, and pretty invisibly, with CA ("crazy") glue and Scotch tape.

The technique is outlined elsewhere, but basically you re-join the torn fabric as perfectly as possible with Scotch tape (clear packing tape is nice), then flip it over, and apply a tiny bead of CA glue to the join. When it's dry/cured, you peel off the tape, and Go Fly a Kite!

Occasionally, a spine rod will punch through the nose or tail, which might need a bit more repair work.
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Norm in Toronto
tpatter
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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2010, 11:39 AM »

Related to this, boutique kites are often easier to fix when something does go wrong. You can easily find the parts, the maker is available to answer questions, and the kite is just designed to more easily be repaired.  For example, on all the boutique kites that I have owned, you can easily remove and reattach the bridle without disassembling the kite. I've had other kites that require you to remove the leading edges in order to remove the bridle.
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6 kite tom
Victrinia Ridgeway
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2010, 05:25 PM »

I have a 3D... and 4D is just the next iteration... It's best use is as an indoor... though you can fly it out. It comes with 20 foot lines because it's normal use is inside. Not sure I would ever fly it outside in all but the lightest winds... so if you have consistently low wind, that would work... but definitly take it down if it starts picking up. The carbon spars look more like toothpicks than spars... and don't crash it if at all possible...lol It's a fragile little thing. Smiley

I was looking at the Acrobatx myself today... but I decided to see if I could just get a replacement sail for me SF... If not... I may make it a template for building a stunt kite of my own, as I would be able to canabalize a lot of it for that purpose.  Cool

I look forward to hearing how you like you new kites... both are good ones, that's for certain.

V
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2010, 09:48 AM »

I have an Acrobatix....that seldom gets flown....I can't fly it in light wind. It's like a Quantum...needs at least 7-8 minimum. But maybe....thats just me.   Cheesy


Chris
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