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Author Topic: Getting down to choices (after UL or not UL)  (Read 2032 times)
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Bob D
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2011, 04:12 AM »

If you think you might want a Widow Maker, you could try posting in Wanted to see if anyone has one they might want to part with.
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mikenchico
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2011, 07:53 AM »

I think the Soul is a good second step in kiting if you are not prepared to go all the way to a custom, craftsman built kite like a Skyburner, Blue Moon, Benson, JoE, Etc. You might find a used craftsman kite in excellent condition but there is nothing quite as satisfying as a brand new kite is there? Especially for a new enthusiast. The Soul is about as close to the Craftsman built kites as you'll get with a factory manufactured kite. It hasn't been underated really, I don't think I've ever seen a negative review on it. It just falls into a price point where you can get some of the craftsman built kites for less and many of them for only a bit more.

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Ara Ararauna
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2011, 10:57 AM »

It just falls into a price point where you can get some of the craftsman built kites for less and many of them for only a bit more.

Thanks mikenchico.

So which craftsman kite specifically would you propose as a counter to Soul (be it below or slightly abovethe Soul price)?
This would be really helpful to me.
Thanks!
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In my bag...
Duals: NoName (NoBrand), Nexus (Prism), Soul (Flying Wings), Talon UL (JoE), LeQuartz (own build), Illusion Classic (Prism), Aura SUL custom (Skyburner), Sixth Sense STD (Krijn)
Singles: Conyne STD (my design)
mikenchico
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« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2011, 03:40 PM »

I'm very fond of my Widowmaker, it has been my go to kite for a long time now. And I never disliked the panel layout, but then graphics or colors are never the deciding point for me, I've long valued the beauty of function, design & construction over aesthetics. A couple others from Jon's Skyburner line worthy of consideration and actually priced under the Soul would be the Ocius at $215 and the Freestylist at $160. Both are smaller then the Soul though, and I do prefer a full size kite under most conditions, most of the members here also seem to recommend a full size kite as a second choice.

From Ken at Blue Moon Kites the Exile at $280 is a great kite and still has a loyal following. The Mongoose is the newest BMK creation and got some great reviews, it hits the $300 point and then there's the eternally popular Mamba at $309. Ken's kites have often been recognized as the best built kites made through both voting and individual impressions, I agree. Through his years of design & construction Ken has witnessed all the weak points and found simple & elegant solutions that he incorporates into every kite he builds. Every part and detail of his kites has been modified and refined to be just what is needed, never too little & never too much.

Both the Widowmaker and Exile display great drive and low workable wind ranges for standard kites, I've had both flying into the 3 mph range and lower requiring only a little work to keep them airborne. The Widowmaker handles higher winds better IMO. The Exile gets faster then I'm comfortable with unless I'm in that mood, I'll usually grab my Freestylist if the winds are up and I'm in the mood to slap a kite around the sky because it's smaller and doesn't overpower me. I don't have a lot of time on either the Mongoose or the Ocius. I enjoyed the Mongoose in higher winds a lot but the prototype I flew didn't handle our low inland winds well and wasn't that enjoyable for me even in low beach winds but Ken has since modified the bridle and the changes he made should have addressed those concerns. The Ocius is a a smaller and very responsive kite, I felt I would like it once I adjusted to its quickness and lighter pull, I found myself over controlling it in the short time I flew one, but I always do that with a smaller kite until I can tone down my heavy handedness or get it in higher winds. The Mamba is just a sweet flying kite, wonderfully graceful, being a bit of an older design it might not give away all the newest tricks the way the newer designs do but none of the newer designs have that same smoothness. Although all these are all different each is capable of doing "all the tricks".

I haven't seen or flown one but the young guy on the block, Will Sturdy has gotten some great reviews on his Saber II and they appear to be a good value in the mid $200 range. Will has learned a lot over these few years and become a very knowledgeable designer and builder judging by his posts and awards.

I can't give you a fully knowledgeable review of the imported craftsman kites, I have flown many of them and enjoyed them, but for brief test flights only. The construction I've seen has been first rate on them all. At the current exchange rates plus shipping most of them will fall above your comfort range right now.

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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
Ara Ararauna
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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2011, 01:33 AM »

Thanks mikenchico.

Your input has been great. However, I now have one more kite in my doubt list!  Sad  Cheesy
The Saber II really seems a cool kite! And the price is even $10 lower than the Soul...

I like the Soul colorfulness though...   Tongue

So I think that in time I will end up buying several other kites (since I have no colleagues around to try and share I will have to buy them to try them...  Cry  )

So I think I will stick to the Soul since I have heard/read it is a great kite and its design currently really satisfies me.

Eventually I must try the WM indeed. So many people is so crazy about it I'll have to taste this craziness.

Also the Infinity and the Saber II
Wow! this is starting to sound like a lot of money in the future... my wife is going to kill me...  Sad  Wink
Perhaps it would be cheaper to take a flight to Las Vegas and spend a couple of days with the guys there and taste as many kites as I can...  Cheesy

Cheers,

N.


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In my bag...
Duals: NoName (NoBrand), Nexus (Prism), Soul (Flying Wings), Talon UL (JoE), LeQuartz (own build), Illusion Classic (Prism), Aura SUL custom (Skyburner), Sixth Sense STD (Krijn)
Singles: Conyne STD (my design)
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