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Author Topic: Beginner FAQ  (Read 1539 times)
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Ca Ike
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« on: June 03, 2012, 04:18 PM »

I've been rereading a lot of the beginner threads and there are a few things the get asked constantly so I figured its time to start a FAQ thread aimed at the beginner/new flier.  Please add anything I miss.

"What should i get for my first kite"

For a first kite you need to decide on a couple of thing first.  What you plan do with  your kiting. Will it be full on freestyle or figures with maybe a few tricks eventually. What your budget will allow.  As a beginner you want to get the most capable kite you can afford for what you want to do.  Here's a partial list of kites and what they do best.

Small kites (under 6') best for basic flying skills
Premier vision,SR2, Jewel
PRism Jazz, nexxus
HQ bebop, bolero, Limbo
Flying wings Beetle, Rock on,
Skydog little wing, THunderstruck, Freebird

Kites for basic - entry level tricks (7'+)
Premier Wolf, addiction, trick & Track
PRism Quantum
HQ Salsa, Jive, Maestro 2
Flying wings Alpha+, insync,
Skydog Dream on

Advanced kites tough enough for beginners (full basic-advanced tricks)
Premier wolf, widow
Prism Hypnotist
Skyburner Freestylist
Skydog Black dog
flying wings Acrobatix

What line length should I have?
This can vary depending on kite size, flying space and opionions.  A good range is 80-100 feet and most beginner kites come with what tends to be best for that kite in the mid to upper end of its wind range and what works in the majority of flying conditions.

My kite won't stay up even though there is wind
THis could be several things.  Wind too low for the kites range, kite not adjusted right (follow manufactures instructions) and bad winds due to obstructions or weather are the most common.  Remember, just because the weather report says you have 10 mph winds doesn't mean you have 10 mph at your flying field.

The wind is X (low) mph but my kite won't fly even though it says it should fly.
This is asked a LOT and the 2 biggest reasons are kite set up and flyer.  Beginners tend to think that if it says a kite will fly in 3mph then it should fly without much effort.  However this is wrong.  All kites have a low end rating but to fly it in that particular wind requires a different set up and skill. Most beginner kites come set up for the mid - upper end of the wind range.  Proper adjustment, lighter/shorter line set and most important "footwork" will be required to fly in the low end of a kites range.  Walking backwards and "pumping" the lines will help get and keep your kite airborn in light winds

When should I "upgrade to a better kite?
Upgrading all depends on the flyer, starting kite and budget.  As you learn you will reach a point where you will want to explore more aspects of kiting (light wind, more advanced tricks).  YOu should by this time have a good handle on basic flying skills (figures, landings, recoveries) with minimal crashes or "beyond the nose plant stage" as we like to say and a fair start on basic trick elements (stalls, slides, fade, backflip, ETC). ALso a good understanding of your equipment. When you reach this point it comes down to what you can afford and if your current kite is capable of the "next level".  Some kites such as Prism's Hypnotist can take you from first flight to advanced freestyle without needing to upgrade too soon so then it becomes a question of when you can afford to step into the realm of high end , Competition grade, "boutique" kites or expand with kites that are more capable in the extreme low or high winds.

Upgrading is not just buying another kite but buying the kite and all the gear to fly it.  HIgh end kites allow the flyer to tailor their set up to their own preference (line type, straps, flying style, etc)

My winds ar usually low should I start with a UL?
First find out what your average winds are.  If they average between 3-10 mph then start with a full size standard frame kite (8'+) as most will fly with a bit of footwork in 4-5 mph and a lot of footwork in 3.  Learn how to adjust it for low wind and make sure you get a light wind line set (50'-75'x65#) to use when the wind is low.  This will teach you a lot about kite and line control without risking constant breakage as most ul's are by design more fragile.  You can add a UL to your kite set in a relatively short time as light wind skill tends to develop quickly along with your understanding of kite control and crash avoidance when learning to fly a standard kite at the low end of its range.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 12:04 AM by Ca Ike » Logged
vertigo2u
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012, 05:17 PM »

Good stuff Tony,

You hit all the points. 

I'd like to add.  Big Difference  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes between Premier Kites that carry JT's  Roll Eyes  name   Huh and Sky Burner Kites. 

Where is the kite made Huh

Why it's worth spending a few dollars more for a TNT ?? @ Quality  makes a happier flyer out of someone faster.  One can grow into a kite.
 
You were so right about that after you start you add to what you have.  Kites,line sets,straps. Hadn't realized I had so many line sets.  Just got some more. 

Once invested in this sport . The wind is cheap and free.

But as a newbie.  BEWARE OF SAVING A BUCK ... spend the extra.

TNT,JoE,Skyburner,Bluemoon,  Stay with quality you'll learn faster.

BUY A .............. "WIND METER"  Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin


« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 05:20 PM by vertigo2u » Logged

Kite Bag:  Solus ul, Solus std, Pro Dancer SUL, Widow Maker,Widow Maker UL, Ocius SUL, Vision,Vison 5 stack
Baby "Zoomer". Symphony 1.8 para foil...
Ca Ike
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 05:32 PM »

Good stuff Tony,

You hit all the points. 

I'd like to add.  Big Difference  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes between Premier Kites that carry JT's  Roll Eyes  name   Huh and Sky Burner Kites. 

Where is the kite made Huh

Why it's worth spending a few dollars more for a TNT ?? @ Quality  makes a happier flyer out of someone faster.  One can grow into a kite.
 
You were so right about that after you start you add to what you have.  Kites,line sets,straps. Hadn't realized I had so many line sets.  Just got some more. 

Once invested in this sport . The wind is cheap and free.

But as a newbie.  BEWARE OF SAVING A BUCK ... spend the extra.

TNT,JoE,Skyburner,Bluemoon,  Stay with quality you'll learn faster.

BUY A .............. "WIND METER"  Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin



The price of high end kites more often than not turns new fliers away from kiting.  Pushing someone that has never flown to a $300+ kite to start with is not a good idea.  Pushing them to a quality starter kite is.  YOu don't have to spend lots of money to get quality starter kite that will grow with a new flier but you do have to spend a fair amount to get a good flying kite.  Its more important to get them started with a good flying kite than an expensive kite.  THe expensive kites end up in the bags all on their own once the bug has bitten Tongue
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Chadster73
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2012, 06:58 PM »

Great Info Ca_ Ike.  +1 on the Skyburner Freestylist!  Top quality/high end craftsmanship for a sub-$200 kite.  Very capable for tricking, responds very, very well!  Awsome thread!
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TxFlier
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2012, 07:39 PM »

Great post, Ike!  This will definitely make it easier for the new fliers who will come and ask about kites and such.  Makes it convenient to have all in one place.
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Wayner
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2012, 10:54 PM »

Great idea.

I agree in avoiding $300 kites, since new kite buyers need to learn how to fly and avoid crashing. Only a smaller group will move forward into trick flying and how many of us started with a $300 kite? Keeping the entry cost low with bring more people into the sport.


"What should i get for my first kite" (possible changes)
 
We should add small foils. Seeing more at our weekly fly.
Small kites (under 6') are OK for basic flying skills, but a lager wing is better for control and precision. Can we identify them separately from entry level trick kites?

What line length should I have? (small rewrite)
Most beginner kites come with line. If not, a good range is 80-100 feet, but can vary depending on kite size, flying space and line strength required

My kite won't stay up even though there is wind (addition)
Check if you kite has bridle adjustments. If so move to the top knot.

The wind is X (low) mph but my kite won't fly even though it says it should fly. (addition)
Practice, practice, practice of the skills listed will lower your required wind range

When should I "upgrade to a better kite?(addition)
Spending enought time with your current kite to develop your own flying style will help in identify what kite is best fit when upgrading.

Should I "get an UL?" (new topic)
What is your wind conditions and skill level?
  - Many UL are realy a light standard and not best suited to low wind levels.
  - UL are more fragile and not sutied for beginners

“Kites are a good investment and cheaper than many other sports” (new topic)
  - A well built kite can last for decades
  - Wind is free
  - Al the cost are upfront.
  - Save your first kite for used when your friends come out fly
  - other ideas?
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2012, 11:13 PM »

ITs only a partial list of starter kites and I didn't list foils since most beginners ask about framed kites and even small foils can be powerful but they are a good option for the very basic flying.  TBH I don't consider small kites good trick trainers mainly because they either don't trick or are so fast it requires real skill to trick them.  IMo they are best as basic flying trainers so I sparated them and bunched in trick trainers in the 7+ category.

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madhabitz
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2012, 11:18 PM »

Still disagreeing with you on line length for a newbie. 85-100ft is way too long until you have an idea of what is happening. 65ft. is great and the walk isn't nearly as long. It's also just plain easier line length to manage.
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2012, 11:50 PM »

Still disagreeing with you on line length for a newbie. 85-100ft is way too long until you have an idea of what is happening. 65ft. is great and the walk isn't nearly as long. It's also just plain easier line length to manage.
  On a kite like the Mamba that has a consistant speed that may work for you.  In your case though 80 feet will be a bit long for the room you have in places you can fly locally so thats a different circumstance to consider and is what you find works best for you.  When you have the room I still suggest trying longer lines especially since you have made a big improvement in your kite control Smiley 

AS a general rule 80-100 feet gives a good window size, enough time for a beginner to react to mistakes and also gives more control in the mid to high end of the wind range where most beginners will fly.   Learning tricks is also easier on longer lines since it takes less effort and movement to get slack in the lines. Between 65 and 80 feet time to react almost doubles and that extra time also gives more time to think about what to do next.  IT does vary depending on the kite and flying room though as mentioned. 
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 12:00 AM by Ca Ike » Logged
madhabitz
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2012, 12:50 AM »

A newbie is just trying to stay in the air. 80-100 feet is harder than 65 feet. Longer is also way more frustrating. Longer is way more walking.
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haight
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2012, 12:54 AM »

fighting a losing battle...
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2012, 01:11 AM »

A newbie is just trying to stay in the air. 80-100 feet is harder than 65 feet. Longer is also way more frustrating. Longer is way more walking.
THis is meant to be a general thing dealing with most common situations.  The particular beginner can make there own adjustments if they prefer based on other opinions or their own situation.   I'm just trying to put the most common advice given in one spot.  ITs not just my opinion I'm using but info from a lot of different threads and different kite instructions out there.

Added the ul question to the OP thanks Wayner.
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martijn
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2012, 09:08 AM »

A newbie is just trying to stay in the air. 80-100 feet is harder than 65 feet. Longer is also way more frustrating. Longer is way more walking.

when i began flying trick kites i used short lines say 75 feet, ( 25 mtr )
but i learned on a gemini, def NOT my kite though, but that is a differ discussion Wink it was too fast and inputs too small for my ( later ) taste
later on i started using longer lines 100 feet + and even 120 + ....i agree, '' walk of shame '' distance was a long way, but it benefits fysic health though... but it annoyed me so much, my learnig curve increased, because i wanted to avoid the walk.... my inputs became neater and makes me aware of what inputs needed for certain tricks etc....so it increased my flying-technique as well Smiley
last but for me the biggest benefit...longer lines will slow down a kite and you have more time to '' read '' your kite, pro's for any newbie!!!

just my 2 cents Grin
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madhabitz
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2012, 11:23 AM »

lol..... that's a good take on it Martin.
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martijn
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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2012, 04:26 AM »

what came in mind recently.....

what is the definition of a beginner/newbie??!!

some just want to fly straight lines and corners etc....
some are more eager and want to become really good....

all starters have to begin somewere....

while typing this...i forgot actually what is my point here Cheesy

i think it's up to the beginner asking themselves....what he or she want to achieve....

if your goal to be good and better ( eager/competitive attitude ) and starting into competition level flying, even if your level is not even close to other competitors
start with good basic material and longer ( than average ) lines, for upscaling your skill level in less time, than playing on your local field learning yourself.... fly with others, ask them all you want to know and driving fellow kiters '' crazy ''  Cheesy

if your goal is, flying kites will be fun and a nice free time hobby and you are less competitive orientated personality....choice is still '' free '' what material suits with your preference/ finance etc....
i would suggest pick a decent allround kite ( not too small ) and pick some shorter lines, it benefits your achieved '' fun-factor ''

this is just a point of view, not a judgement of right or wrong....
maybe you can resume all this, by asking as a newbie into kiting yourself 2 things: what kind of beginner am i and what will be my goal to achieve??
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