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Author Topic: Old School Kites  (Read 5044 times)
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Desertflier
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« on: October 25, 2012, 02:13 PM »

I am curious to know how these old school kites performed. They were on my wishlist for many years back in the day.

Would they be worth trying to find?

If you have flown any of these, your comments would be greatly appreciated. (Fast, Slow, what type of flying do they do well, what tricks if any?).

I like "Old School" kites. Especially low aspect ratio kites that are slow to med speed with little to no oversteer.  Thanks  Wink

Big Easy-  Atomic Wedgee
               MEFM

Buena Vista- Feather
                   X4i
                   Catalyst

TOTL- Devil Dog
          North Shore Radical

Air Master- Bad Boy UL

Aerie Kite Works- Air F/X
                          Air F/X SL

HQ- Tramontana

Flexifoil- Matrix

Sky Burner- Tika

Flying Wings- Pandora

 

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coop
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 02:27 PM »

The TOTL North Shore Radical is an AWESOME flying kite. Very precise, not to fast moving, very loud in a good witd. And they will axel if you hit the lines right. I have mine reframed in P300 to lower the wind range a bit. And Im thinking of reframing one in 3pt this winter. Turns on wingtips if you pull nice and tighter with alot of input. Lots of pull in a good wind. LOUD in a good wind. Get two or three going and its crazy.

The atomic Wedgee is very precise, flys great in a light breeze. The framing is G force skinny so I keep mine out of the higher winds. Doesnt require alot of input to steer. Again, it will axel if you hit the lines just right. Very tight turning, almost on center. Moderate pull in a good breeze. Has little bit of oversteer, but could be my bridle setting, I havent had it very long.

MEFM, well what can I say. Still one of my all time favs. Precise, tight tuning good pull in a nice breeze. Very smooth flyer in bumpy winds. I often fly mine when the winds are rough. Not to fast, easy to stall, just all around good time. Looks great in the sky, quiet in flight.

Tramontana, looks great in the air! precise, but tends to over steer. Lots of pull in a good wind. turns very tight when you pull hard, almost on center. Doesnt like the bumpy rough winds. Also doesnt like light breezes, its framed in pultruded carbon so its not the lightest.

I used to have an Air FX. I loved it, shouldnt have sold it. Decent pull, quiet. precise, would over steer but I got used to it. Like all of Kens kites it was just a pleasure to fly. Had a pretty wide wind range, but would "bounce" in really high winds.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 02:38 PM by coop » Logged
thief
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 03:51 PM »

I am curious to know how these old school kites performed. They were on my wishlist for many years back in the day.

Would they be worth trying to find?

If you have flown any of these, your comments would be greatly appreciated. (Fast, Slow, what type of flying do they do well, what tricks if any?).

I like "Old School" kites. Especially low aspect ratio kites that are slow to med speed with little to no oversteer.  Thanks  Wink

Big Easy-  Atomic Wedgee
               MEFM

Buena Vista- Feather
                   X4i
                   Catalyst

TOTL- Devil Dog
          North Shore Radical

Air Master- Bad Boy UL

Aerie Kite Works- Air F/X
                          Air F/X SL

HQ- Tramontana

Flexifoil- Matrix

Sky Burner- Tika

Flying Wings- Pandora

 



I have instant access to a feather, catalyst and a Velasquez tramontana for you....
Any Buena Vista kite is worth getting.......and an original design 'tana or maestrale is worth having in the bag.....
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Desertflier
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 07:09 PM »

Cool  Wink
Some good info so far.
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chilese
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 07:34 PM »

The AirFX is Bambi's favorite kite.

The Mojo (son of the AirFX) is my favorite flying kite.

We own 7 of them including the only 2 venteds I am aware of

and Production Serial #1. I do not know what the SL designation is.

2 venteds
3 standards
2 ULs (one on loan to a very good friend)

One of the standards was a gift from a good friend.
In fact one of our Mojos was a gift from another good friend,
  although it is on loan to my son as he needed a really good standard.

There is no oversteer. There is no twitchiness.

There is only a huge window (sail is broadseamed), perfect flight

and spin tricks when called upon.

If you search my website for AirFX you will find lots of photos.

Ken McNeill is the man.  Smiley
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 07:37 PM by chilese » Logged

John Chilese: Las Vegas, NV
http://picasaweb.google.com/chilesej
Desertflier
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 09:39 PM »

Yes, Ken is the Man!  Wink 

I'm so glad I was able to purchase a couple of "Blue Moon Kites" these last two years before Ken retired. Such nice kites.  Grin
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 11:36 AM »

Air Master- Bad Boy UL

While I have time on many of the kites on your list, this is one I've spent years on.

The original AirMaster and later PBSK (Peter Betancourt Sport Kites) Bad Boy is great design. It borrows elements from other early '90s curved LE kites like the Tracer and the Jordan Air series, but is it's own, rather unique, beast. A very light pulling kite, it can be hard to get used to for some folks. Very small inputs. I fly em with mostly wrist and forearm movement. Fairly fast forward speed at full throttle but excellent speed control. For a kite with so much lift, they stall very well, so the transitions from stop to start and back again are excellent. Spin is very tight. If adjusted properly and flown well the kite can be very precise. I've received a few over the years with bridles all out of whack. Probably due to folks trying to make it fly like other kites they are used to. I flew individual comps with Bad Boys for a couple of seasons. The responsiveness makes them great for flying to music.

As for slack line tricks, the Bad Boy does flatspins as well as any kite I've flown. Very flat. Very spinney.  The stall characteristics make it a great side-slide kite. Holds fades nice. Flickflack speed and size depend on framing. From large and slow on a SUL to fairly quick on a heavy kite.

The early AirMaster kites (Peters first kite business) are well made but some these days suffer from heavy or hard to replace framing. It's really just a matter of age. Many were framed in Avia GForce and I tend to think this is too stiff for the BB. Probably just a matter of preference. The PBSK versions which started in '98 are generally framed in tapered SkyShark. The Bad Boy UL framed in 3PTs is my reference standard. A great all around kite. I've owned I think 9 or 10 Bad Boys made between '96 and 2005. I still have two in my bag most of the time.

Like many "old school" kites, these are kites for flying with a few tricks thrown in, which is the opposite of what most people enjoy these days. If you don't enjoy flying, these kites' charms are wasted.


'96 Bad Boy Std.


'98 Bad Boy Std.


'99 Bad Boy UL


'02 Bad Boy SUL, UL and Vent
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 11:49 AM by Allen Carter » Logged

Allen, AKA kitehead
Desertflier
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2012, 01:16 PM »

Those Bad Boys are really nice looking kites.   Tongue
I do prefer just flying with a few tricks thrown in.
Maybe I'll get lucky and round one up.  Smiley
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damp_weather
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 03:06 PM »

Desertflier,

I do like the idea of you following your wishlist.  - Besides fulfilling old dreams, what could be learnt about sport kites by following their evolution over the years!?   But, I'm afraid that I have been at this activity for just 6 years and so am too young, kitewise, to have experienced most of what you are considering....


The only one of your list that I can comment on is the Buena Vista Catalyst, because there is one packed away somewhere that my partner and I used to fly a bit. - It was the first "high class" kite we got, which we got at "half price" as it was ex-demo and had a repair patch, and later discovered it should have GForce lower spreaders, which we refitted it with.   - In other words, despite being shop bought, we were never completely sure that the kite was setup as designed.

That said, it is beautifully made, a full size polyester sailed kite with a very simple sail pattern.  It turns well, and axels and flat spins well (which were the tricks I could do in those days).  ...But compared with most of our other (standard) kites of a similar size, it just doesn't catch the wind in the same way.  I wondered if it was that the sail was too tight.  Nowadays I suspect that it might be that the sail is too flat, in that it doesn't have the give in areas behind the leading edge as many of our modern kites do.

...Perhaps someone else can give a more definative comment.


P.S. While we never flew a Flexifoil Matrix, we did spend a windy kite precision and ballet bootcamp weekend flying Robertshaw Matrixes.  - Accurate and precise enough.  But the pull on those kites!  Took my wrist several months to recover from attempting a snap stall as a gust caught the kite.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 03:21 PM by damp_weather » Logged
zippy8
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 08:48 AM »

The early AirMaster kites (Peters first kite business) are well made but some these days suffer from heavy or hard to replace framing.
You mean like this ->
Air Master AM1.

Quote
Like many "old school" kites, these are kites for flying with a few tricks thrown in, which is the opposite of what most people enjoy these days. If you don't enjoy flying, these kites' charms are wasted.
That's well put. This big beast is an utter change of pace from what I've been flying for many years. Its repertoire is limited but what it does, it does with a panache that you don't find elsewhere these days.

Mike.
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Magpiesfooty
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 03:42 PM »

Hello There....

As a flyer from waaaayyyyy back when....  I can tell you that I have one of the first series of NSR's and I can tell you that it is my Go To, kite in most instances. If I need a predictable precision kite in nearly any wind under 20, this one is it.  Depending on which series that you are desiring, and how you want to set the different bridles that evolved over the years, you have a great many choices on how the kite can perform.  I had the original with the Easton Spars and the two spines....  The light spine was absolutely useless, but the heavy spine with the factory settings on the bridle, which I colored blue, as soon as I received it, remain today as the best all around settings for the best flying in most wind conditions... On a scale of 1 to 10 from that era... definitely a 9+ with nothing ever being a perfect 10.  I also like the HQ Tramontana 2000 and it's little brother, the Mastrale.... Both excellent kites for the mid era of precision kites.    The Mastrale is the smaller version of the Tramontana 2000 and is an excellent kite.  Fast and precise. The only kite I would compare it to performing on both levels is the old Bob Child's Wizard.  Hold on tight in high winds, it will excite the senses.   Have fun and good luck.

Magpiesfooty
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Michel
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2012, 12:20 AM »


I had the original with the Easton Spars and the two spines....

Do you have pictures perhaps ? Thanks.
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Magpiesfooty
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2012, 03:48 PM »

I will change my profile pic to the North Shore... I am not sure how to post pics here... Pics of the spines are long gone... the light spine was used to repair another kite and the heavy spar broke about a year ago and I finally had to replace it. It was difficult as there was no exact replacement.  Easton has been out of the kite business for a long time. 
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Michel
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2012, 11:42 PM »


I am not sure how to post pics here [...]


Have a look => here.  Wink
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thief
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 04:07 AM »

David email it to me and I can post a big version for ya.
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