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Author Topic: Well I ordered my new kite!  (Read 1910 times)
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DonB
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« on: December 22, 2010, 01:09 PM »

There was a suggestion on another thread that I go with a large slow kite because of my obviously glacial senior citizen reflexes. Well, a quick check with the sun dial out in the garden satisfied me that wouldn't be a problem Tongue , so I ended up getting a Level One Jumping Jack Flash Excalibur Std. With a little luck it should be here next week.  Cool

My first choice was a JJF Matzel Edition but Level One didn't respond to my inquiries and the cost through a kite shop was prohibitive. Next choice was a shop demo plain vanilla JJF at a very good price.  When my initial email didn't get a response I phoned the shop, the owner said he would check stock and email me back right away...that was the last I heard of him.  Angry

Although I was hesitant on the price, I really liked the TNT, however again no response to my inquiries, that was enough to settle it. Same story with some other vendors and kite stores. Disappointing but sure makes it easier to pare down the choices!

There were several possible used kites available, most thanks to a very helpful forum member who sent me a nice pdf list. In the end the prices just weren't low enough to take me in that direction.

I settled on a Jumping Jack Flash Excalibur Std.



I haven't been able to fly the it which of course does present some risk.  In fact except for 1-2 times at the now defunct local kite shop kite fly I haven't flown at all in the last dozen or so years. Living in a small town far from any large city means no access to kite shops or other flyers which would enable me to test fly some kites.

A very generous forum member offered to send me some nice kites to try out which I haven't done for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I don't have a base line to compare them to. But more importantly I don't have any flying experience with 'new skewl' kites and my flying skills are no doubt quite rusty (if not fossilised). It's going to take some time before I'd feel comfortable enough with my flying to start whipping someone else's expensive kites around the sky. I also thought it best to be solid with enough maneuvers so the my own sloppy flying doesn't bias my experience of different kites.

So why the Excalibur?

Well the looks are acceptable if not great (looks are important to me!) The quality should be good if perhaps not sterling. It looks graceful enough in flight. It appears to be a good polyvalent flyer. At 2.05m x .92m it's quite agile (I used to love flying my Little Sister which would dance around with a flick of the wrist compared to my Phantom which felt ponderous), but not too quick.

From what I've read and been able to see in videos it's fairly sensitive and doesn't require large inputs (I'm into finesse rather than jerk it around the sky flying). It doesn't seem to be particularly challenging to fly; there's a lot of discussion about it in a German kite forum, several flyers agreed it was a good beginner's kite and no one objected.

I was leaning towards the UL but in the end went for the STD for more useful wind range and hopefully a little better durability. I thought about the plain vanilla JJF but am hoping the Excalibur version provides somewhat more consistent, precise, predictable response to facilitate learning some new stuff.

Well that's no doubt a lot more than you wanted to know!

Thanks for reading,

db
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 01:41 PM by DonB » Logged
mikenchico
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2010, 02:10 PM »

Well maybe not perfect, perfect is when you buy from our host Steve here at GWTW/Chico Kites. I had a short fly on a standard JJF and really enjoyed the kite, I don't see any reason you won't enjoy it too. It'll easily get you back into flying, preform well beyond your older kites and let you start working on some of this newfangled slack line stuff you've probably been reading about. I found it easy to do the few beginner class tricks I could do and an enjoyable kite to just carve a few figures in the sky, which still covers about 75% of my flying time. If you find the sport is providing what you're looking for Jon, Ken, Lam and the others will be happy hook you up with your next kite (and there will be more  Wink )
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"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
glider
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2010, 03:10 PM »

JJFs are great kites, particularly the UL, very under rated.

Dave
Portland, OR
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Dave Gibson
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2010, 03:35 PM »

good choice!!!!
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My kite bag

Widow maker  STD
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Delta Drive  STD
INAK SUL
Trick and Track
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levelone Thor's Hammer
inewham
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2010, 04:24 PM »

Good choice, responsive well made kite and good looking too  Cool

Enjoy!
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DonB
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2010, 05:04 PM »

Well maybe not perfect, perfect is when you buy from our host Steve here at GWTW/Chico Kites. I had a short fly on a standard JJF and really enjoyed the kite, I don't see any reason you won't enjoy it too. It'll easily get you back into flying...

Thanks for the encouraging words Mikenchico!  During my research I did look at what GWTW had to offer but there wasn't anything there that excited me. Maybe next time!

JJFs are great kites, particularly the UL, very under rated.

Thanks Dave.  On that German kite forum they seems to be very highly thought of.  Not so much in the states, go figure!

Noticed you're from Portland, brings back some of my fondest kiting memories spending time with my Dad at a big kite festival in Seaside. One night they had a night kite fly scheduled but a big storm came up with strong winds and driving rain. My Dad and I went out anyways,  with lights on one of my Benson Bantams.  The little Bantam just screamed back and forth across the sky and was a bear to hold onto.  After flying around for a while I got it down rather ungracefully and we noticed a bunch of the party goers on the porches of the beach view rooms cheering us on. Smiley It was a great trip, it fun to be able to play with your Dad when you're old enough to have your own grandchildren

good choice!!!!
.

Thanks Dave, it's great to have the positive feedback!

Good choice, responsive well made kite and good looking too  Cool
Enjoy!

Thank you very much Ian! Your comments and reviews were really helpful to me during the decision process. I really appreciate the time and effort you make to share your knowledge and experience.

db
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JimB
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2010, 10:22 PM »

I think you will be amazed at how good kites have gotten.

Not a bad choice at all.

Enjoy.

Wink
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DonB
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2010, 01:07 PM »

I think you will be amazed at how good kites have gotten.

Thanks for the encouraging comments Jim, I'm looking forward to finding out!

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The poll results have been overwhelmingly positive so far which is nice to see.  To me the 2 neutral ("interesting to see...") reflects that there is some risk in the choice which of course there is. The 1 'should have gotten' I'll just ignore since the voter didn't comment on what I should've gotten. 

Thanks to everyone who has voted.
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