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Author Topic: Need to pick one kite for beginner/intermediate trick flying  (Read 6601 times)
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Tekcor1
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« on: August 26, 2012, 12:31 AM »

See, this is the thing I love about the internet. No matter what you're interested in, there's a forum for that. Complete with hardcore people who want nothing more to share their vast knowledge with the newbies. So here I am.

I own an older stunt kite that I bought off ebay a couple years ago. It's a sky dart by action kites. We went to Seaside, WA this week and I took it with us. The first day I tried to fly it and there just wasn't enough wind to get it up in the air. The second day was really windy and we had a great time flying it. It made me remember how much I enjoy flying kites, stunt kites in particular. However, this one isn't able to fly in light winds, which is primarily the wind we have around our house in Burlington, WA (about an hour north of Seattle). The other problem was that the kite was able to turn much sharper to the right than the left. Right turns were very crisp, left turns were mushy. I have no idea what causes this, but wouldn't mind figuring it out so I can keep this kite as a backup for heavier winds. Which leads me to the main point of this post.

I'd like to get a new, better kite. Here's what I'm looking for. I want one that can fly in light winds, but could handle stronger winds for our occasional trips to the beach. I honestly can't see myself flying all the time, but maybe once every couple weeks with the kids. I can only get one kite, as I have too many other hobbies that take up a lot of time and money. My budget for a kite is probably around $150. I would also like to get a kite that I can put a long tail on, say up to a 100 foot tail. This would be a purchase later though, and isn't part of the kite budget. It should also be a kite that the kids can fly (read: sturdy). My girls are 10 and 8 and have flown stunt kites with their grandma quite a few times so they aren't total beginners, but I'm sure will make an occasional hard landing. Who am I kidding. I'd like to learn more tricks and I'm sure I will put its sturdiness to a better test than they will!

Thanks for suggestions. And cool forum. Oh, one last thing. I see there's several posters here from Seattle. Where is a good place in Seattle to go and watch stunt kites fly? It would be fun to make a day trip to "the big city" and watch some really good kitists? Pilots? No sure what a kite flyer is even called.  Grin
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Tekcor1
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 01:00 AM »

And one other thing. The Richmond Washington Regional Sport Kite Competition should be held in Washington or not have Washington in the title. I saw the title to that thread and the date and thought it would be fun to check it out, until I realized it was in Virginia, not Washington state. False advertising!  Cheesy
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DWayne
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2012, 04:38 AM »

Richmond, Va. is kind of close to Washington DC.  Wink

Denny
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I always wanted to be a procrastinator..........
I just never got around to it.
Ca Ike
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2012, 05:13 AM »

There are a lot of good kites out there but your wind range is key. Kite I know personally that can handle 2-15 mph that I have in my bag are the Skyburner solus ul and prism zephyr. You really need a std/ul set though and for a beginner/returning flier looking to get a good learning kite, the best bang for your buck is the  Skyburner freestylist. They run about $350 for a std/ul set (2 kites) and are a great flying kite. Hit the Skyburner sponsor link to the right.

There are lots of other kites out there but for a set up to cover 2-25 I haven,t found a better value than the freestylist set.  If you can budget the cost you will be set for a while or until the addiction kicks into high gear ;P
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cerfvoliste
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2012, 08:46 AM »

Sounds like your looking for an "Exile," as they are no longer being made new, keep your eye on the Swap Meet.
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Wayner
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2012, 11:21 AM »

There are a lot of good kites out there but your wind range is key.

Welcome to the forum.  Wink

Your requirements of $150, light wind & higher wind are a little hard to met
•   Light wind kites are less durable and not built for lawn darts from beginners.
•   Also not able to handle sail pressure of higher winds
•   Pricy because most are special versions of high end kites.
With an UL you would need to use your Sky Dart as the learning kite for the girls

If you are looking at a new kite the BlackDog UL by Skydog is in your price range, but I have never flown one. One of the forum sponsors “Wind of Change” (list on the right) has them, but it is not listed on their website.  It is my local kite store, saw them when I was in last week.


There are lots of other kites out there but for a set up to cover 2-25 I haven,t found a better value than the freestylist set.  If you can budget the cost you will be set for a while or until the addiction kicks into high gear ;P

+ 1 on the Freestylist UL. It is a very good choice while out of your price range it is a great budget kite comparing well to $300 kites. Worth considering if you want to up your max price.


Another option is a quality used kite. Some standard kite will fly in much less wind than your Sky Dart.  These are better able to standup to the learning crashes from your new flyers and can handle your 100 tail  Grin
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Wayner
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2012, 11:31 AM »

It's a sky dart by action kites.
The problem was that the kite was able to turn much sharper to the right than the left. Right turns were very crisp, left turns were mushy. I have no idea what causes this, but wouldn't mind figuring it out
Most likely the bridle is off. Possible a knot has slipped. 
Fold the kite along its spine and align the leading edges. You can then compare the right to left.  Smiley

I would also like to get a kite that I can put a long tail on, say up to a 100 foot tail. This would be a purchase later though, and isn't part of the kite budget.
a light wind kite MAY be able to handle a 100' FLAT TAIL , but your Sky Dart or a standard kite and some wind would be needed to fly a 100 TUBE TAIL.

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Tekcor1
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2012, 12:12 AM »

Thanks to everyone for all the replies! This seems like a really friendly forum. So I guess my best plan would be to figure out what exactly is making my sky dart fly poorly and get it fixed. Then I could use that as a heavier winds kite and then just get a UL kite for a light wind flyer. So next question would be, if higher winds are off the table, and the kids could use the sky dart to fly, what kite should I look at for a light wind trick kite? Would the Freestylist UL still be the best option for me? It is a little more than I was looking to spend, but not terribly out of budget. I also wouldn't be opposed to picking up something in the swap meet section if I can find a kite in great condition for a good price. Of course, going that route would mean I will be asking on here every time a new kite is posted if I should buy that kite.  Tongue

So for now I will use the sky dart as a tail kite also for heavier winds. Which leads me to my next question. How do I attach a tail to the sky dart? When we were at Seaside we stopped at a kite shop there and I noticed that most of the stunt kites now have a loop on the end for a tail; the sky dart does not. Can I just sew on a loop?

Final question about the sky dart. I know it's an old kite, but how does it compare to newer kites. Should I be looking to upgrade it sooner rather than later, or is it an okay kite for now if I get a UL kite to fly also? It's the only stunt kite I've flown since I was a kid so I have nothing to reference it against. Would it be worth anything to sell it to put towards a new kite?

Edit: I also forgot to mention that Wayner sent me a PM with a lot of great information. I really appreciated that. He suggested a Wahoo Skyburner that I can pick up used for $130. What are the opinions on this kite for this price?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 12:25 AM by Tekcor1 » Logged
DWayne
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« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2012, 04:25 AM »

I'd say a Widow Maker UL or Exile UL would be a better choice for your conditions. It would be worth your while to drive down to Seattle one weekend and get together with some fliers there and try a few kites to see what suits you best. What I like isn't necessarily what you would like, so if possible, try before you buy. There are a lot of fliers in the Seattle area and all of them I've met would be more than willing to help you out.

Denny
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asburyparkjohn
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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2012, 08:53 AM »

Prism Zephyr. Go to E-Bay. Purchase without the case. Get a 75' X 50# line.

They run $150.00. Slightly used is OK. I always like this kite in 4-10 mph. Its a UL not a SUL.

Would supply a direct link but GWTW does not allow.

APJ
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In my kite inventory of Dual Line Kites: Benson - Inner Space, Signature Kite of Top Pilots on an Old Style Gemini ; L'Atelier xt.z. ; Fearless-Tatto (SSUL), Fearless - SUL, Light & Light-Vent , Transformer TL's: (SUL & Light), Transformer 2 SUL & UL.
DD
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 09:19 AM »

I would call Steve, our forum host and owner of gwtw/chico kites. He will give you solid advice and may have kites in stock that he would reccomend to you and maybe have some deals as well.
You may save a couple of bucks in going to ebay but having a relationship with a shop is worth a great deal more then that imho.

the wahoo is a good kite which goes down to 3mph in the std version pretty well. It's a little older design that may not do all of the 'newest tricks'. I had a std and a vent.
There is also something to be said for a kite you like the looks of too.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 09:22 AM by DD » Logged

Sine Metu!
Wayner
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2012, 02:50 PM »

It would be worth your while to drive down to Seattle one weekend and get together with some fliers there and try a few kites to see what suits you best.

..try before you buy....

+1  Best advice yet.

Sometimes works to well and you buying another kite you can not live without.  Cheesy Cheesy 
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tpatter
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2012, 03:19 PM »

If you can, I suggest that you attend the upcoming Whidbey Island Kite Festival.

http://www.whidbeykites.org/

It's always a good time and many excellent flyers with a wide variety of kites will be there.  It's one of my favorite festivals to attend - there is a recreational flying area just outside the taped flying field where you can hang out and fly kites with other flyers including competitors and others. 

I've been going for years now and even when the weather is bad, we always have fun - you will for sure have an opportunity to get all sorts of advice with first-hand observations of the kites themselves.

Also, bring your $150 - there is a swap tent available and you will find no better deals anywhere.  Last year, I saw a WidowMaker from SkyBurner for $140 and it looked as-new - I think thats a $325 kite.

-Tom
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6 kite tom
Kantaxel
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2012, 05:21 PM »

If you can, I suggest that you attend the upcoming Whidbey Island Kite Festival.

http://www.whidbeykites.org/

It's always a good time and many excellent flyers with a wide variety of kites will be there.  It's one of my favorite festivals to attend - there is a recreational flying area just outside the taped flying field where you can hang out and fly kites with other flyers including competitors and others. 

I've been going for years now and even when the weather is bad, we always have fun - you will for sure have an opportunity to get all sorts of advice with first-hand observations of the kites themselves.

Also, bring your $150 - there is a swap tent available and you will find no better deals anywhere.  Last year, I saw a WidowMaker from SkyBurner for $140 and it looked as-new - I think thats a $325 kite.

-Tom


   AA +  1  And it's a short drive for you, too.  I've been there when the wind has been nothing one day and blowing twelve the next..........I have picked up a lot of kites from 'the tent', and some of them were mind blowing deals, to boot!

Jim
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Kant Fly......might just as well buy!
red sweater
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2012, 06:04 AM »

And one other thing. The Richmond Washington Regional Sport Kite Competition should be held in Washington or not have Washington in the title.
As someone living closer to Baltimore who can't make it down to Richmond, I agree. They need to hold the event in Washington.

I saw the title to that thread and the date and thought it would be fun to check it out, until I realized it was in Virginia, not Washington state. False advertising!  Cheesy
Oh. You mean that Washington? Hmm, which one was around first, do you think?  Wink

Late to the thread from my latest vacation, but it sounds like you have a lot of good advice that isn't too contradictory. Keep an eye on that swap meet board. There should be a link to "follow" it so you get emails on new posts. The quantity is not overwhelming, but being fast to notice a post often makes the difference.
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