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Author Topic: Looking at buying the Flying Wings Beetle as my first stunt kite-questions?  (Read 5770 times)
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mattmallen
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2011, 08:36 AM »

bigpappo1 - I am in west phoenix (Glendale at 65th and Cactus).

It is funny that the Quantum has come up in this conversation!  I was actually logging on today to ask you all about it.  I found one online for $59 which is only a few dollars more than the Beetle and it is a larger kite which I have read are easier for beginners.  How does everyone feel about this?  How about build quality between the Prism Quantum and the Beetle?
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Kantaxel
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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2011, 08:59 AM »

bigpappo1 - I am in west phoenix (Glendale at 65th and Cactus).

It is funny that the Quantum has come up in this conversation!  I was actually logging on today to ask you all about it.  I found one online for $59 which is only a few dollars more than the Beetle and it is a larger kite which I have read are easier for beginners.  How does everyone feel about this?  How about build quality between the Prism Quantum and the Beetle?

The Quantum wins on build quality and as the Beetle is, a really rugged specimen.................but for just a few more dollars one could get the Hypnotist by Prism and get a full size kite that will take you all the way...................or you could give up and buy all three and decide for yourself........ personally, our first acqusition was three Beetles and an Alpha + which is another  option..........................still have them all and the beetles are in great shape and stack very well..............the ALPHA has had every stick broken at least twice and has more tedlar tape on it than any kite I've ever seen............but it still flys and tricks pretty darn good, too.

Jim
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Kant Fly......might just as well buy!
jeepersjoey
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2011, 06:16 PM »

I agree..the Beetle is a one of the better low-end kite.  Better served for kids who cannot concentrate longer than 5 minutes.

I started on the Quantum.  I got EXTREMELY discouraged because the thing is a tank and needs lots of wind to fly.  My next three kites were low wind and things got significantly better once I jumped to the Quantum Pro SUL.

Hated the Nexus.  Tried several times to keep it in the air and struggled with it each time.  Somehow I worked my way into a 5-stack Nexus and it is kinda fun.  Now I have a 6-stack (5 + original)

My opinion...yours will DEFINITELY be different!
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mikenchico
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2011, 11:22 PM »

I found the Beetle to a fine kite, but I was an experienced flier already, Rhonda bought it as her first kite and she had little luck flying it. Once she got her Quantum she could miraculously fly easily. But if you don't have smooth reliable 5 mph + winds in your area the Beetle is the most economical choice I know of. Better lines then those supplied will make your experience much better because of the smaller size & drive. I would normally agree with John to just fly with the supplied lines on a larger kite but smaller kites really feel large diameter draggy lines and show a dramitic improvement when you slap on a quality set.

But by the time you invest another $30 in a quality lineset you're approaching the price of a mid range 7' kite that may perform fine with the supplied lineset and likely be a more satisfactory kite. I don't have any experience with the kite but the Acrobatix ends up costing the same as a Beetle + Lines and has the same 3 mph low end wind rating with an extended high end.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 11:38 PM by mikenchico » Logged

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bigpappo1
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« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2011, 11:01 AM »

Matt
The wind is a little funky here in AZ. either light or a gale. There's some good info here and while the Beetle and Quantum both have advantages and disadvantages you might be better off spending a tad more and getting something a little better probably going to save you money in the long run. There's a ton of great kites out there and if Steve has any of these left, it might fit your requirements for awhile. This kite has good wind range for Az. 2-12, it's full size, has roll bars, and tricks up to an intermediate level maybe farther. The kite is well made, tough and loves to fade, roll up, and backspin. I've had just about every kite out there and still fly my FC some. If the frame gets loose after awhile you can replace the fittings which was the biggest complaint of the FC series. Usually new pilots and UL's don't mix very well, but this kite would be beefy enough. Same goes for the Silver Fox UL, the Acrobatx is a little hard to tame though. Let me know and maybe we can fly sometime.

http://www.gwtwforum.com/index.php?topic=4433.0
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 11:21 AM by bigpappo1 » Logged
Dolphinboy
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« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2011, 06:53 PM »

The Acrobatx can be a handful but if the new flier wants to learn tricking, it's a night and day better trick kite than a beetle. It's just a plain better kite than the beetle.

I like the idea of the French Connection UL. I owned a standard and although I didn't ever connect well with it, it is a real modern trick kite and has many tricks up it's sleeve. The UL with line set is a pretty sweet deal @ 85 bucks.

I don't know if Steve still sells Premier, but they have some very good beginner kites too that also trick a bit, some very well. Premier kites are very well made / designed for the price.
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Stogiez
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« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2011, 09:28 PM »

Hi Matt,

I would recommend against the buying the Beetle.  I bought one as my first dual-line and I can say it is my least favorite kite.

First off, I would say that most of the previous comments from the long-time kiters are true.  But there are some caveats.

Advantage: the nose piece.  You can ram that kite into the ground all day long.  It can take a beating.

Disadvantages:
Lines: the intro lines that come with the kite are not very good IMHO.  They are regular poly lines and can stretch.  Other comments were made to upgrade the lines.   $40 New kite + $20 upgraded lines

Intro kite package comes with plastic handles instead of straps.  $40 New kite + $20 upgraded lines + $5 straps

Wind rated to 15 mph per factory specs.  When you get above 15 mph you need wind range booster kit.  $40 New kite + $20 upgraded lines + $5 straps + $12 wind booster kit = A much better kite than the Beetle for the money spent.

If you are getting into heavy gusts, and you don't have the booster kit--on sharp, hard turns--the leading edges will flex right out of the nose piece.  The booster kit is nothing more than an upper spreader and snap on connectors.

The ends of the leading edges have twine on them--"so you can re-tighten the tension on the sail once it comes loose".  That is what the retailer told me when I called back about it.  The ends should have bungee cord to keep the ends in place.

There are many other aspects to the Beetle that IMHO, makes the Beetle a poor choice for a beginner kite.  I would not even sell/give it to anyone, because then it may turn them off of kites.

A person new to kites should not have to stretch lines, measure, re-tie, upgrade lines, install additional parts, or rebuild (I did) anything.

For a smaller, beginner kite, I would recommend the Skydog Little Wing.  Same size as the Beetle (roughly), flies better, not as nervous/twitchy in the air as the Beetle, and it flies easy in lower winds, and can handle the stronger winds.  All of that and it costs less, and is a better overall kite.

And no--I do not sell kites.

I hope this helps.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 05:51 PM by Stogiez » Logged

A few SLKs, a few Dualies, and a couple of Quads.  Still trying to learn more.
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