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Author Topic: UL/SUL suggestion for unsteady winds  (Read 2655 times)
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Tmadz
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« on: February 22, 2013, 04:38 AM »

I am beginning a new business venture that is going to require lots of time, but I have a couple of parks very close that I can run to for some needed sanity time. The problem is they are ringed by trees, so I don't expect to have any clean winds.  As a result, I am looking for a UL/SUL to fly most of the time that will be tolerant of those reduced winds. I gather that's an oxymoron. I searched the forum and heard great things about the Shadow, but also was possibly interested in the Ocius. I'm currently saving up for a WM std. Am I barking up the wrong tree?
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Hadge
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 05:05 AM »

The Shadow is a great kite, although it is sold as a UL it is virtually a SUL as it will fly from a little above 1mph and go up to around 8mph before it starts to feel uncomfortable.  It's pretty tough too, I've had mine 3 years and only broken one LLE - it split at the ferrule and I didn't even notice until I packed up! Most tricks are in there with only one pop yoyo's being difficult, beautiful 540's and it's a backspin monster!!

The downside is that some folks find it very twitchy straight from the bag, it only needs very small inputs and can oversteer a lot, also as the bridle is tied from unsleeved dyneema line the knots have a habit of slipping.  The good news is that Norm P has developed a bridle that removes almost all of the oversteer without effecting the trick capability and makes it a much nicer kite to fly.

You will struggle to find a better, trickier UL/SUL for the money - better kites are out there but at a price.

If any Shadow owners want to try an experiment - I've fitted mine with a P200 spine with a 5gram weight top and bottom and it seems to make it better at flic flacs and lets you do one pop yoyo's.  Yes it is slightly heavier but has more inertia.  It would be interesting to get a second opinion.

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RobB
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 05:09 AM »

Well, it's not like any kite is going to excell under those conditions. A single line glider keeps coming to my mind. Being that the Shadow and Ocius are about the same $$$, I would choose the Skyburner product, just because they make a fine kite, American made, and from what I see, it looks more capable than the Shadow. The only edge the Shadow might have would be the design, I love the way my Shadow looks, but you can't get the rainbow pattern anymore.


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hawkerhunter
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 06:55 AM »

Hi Tmadz

My advise if you can find one is the Talon UL. This kite flies with similar characteristics as the Talon standard but in lighter winds.


talon by hawkerhunter, on Flickr

It may be more than you want to pay but I cannot praise this kite enough. Marc Clements has said that he considers the Talon UL his best creation. Ive had mine for about 4 months now and it has brought my flying on no end. Everyone should have one of these IMO.

Steve
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zippy8
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 07:49 AM »

The problem is they are ringed by trees, so I don't expect to have any clean winds.  As a result, I am looking for a UL/SUL to fly most of the time that will be tolerant of those reduced winds.

If you really are reduced to continually flying in a wind shadow and the turbulence that comes with it then perhaps a smaller kite that you can~will have to pull around would suit you but can also handle some wind and take the inevitable near-ground experiences that come with your flying location.

That'd be one of these then.

Nothing wrong with the other suggestions BTW but they'd probably deserve better wind conditions than you're offering.

Mike.
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goestoeleven
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 08:07 AM »

Tmadz . . . . I'll say this despite the danger that I'll get trashed in this thread for being a quad-head . . . .

I'll loan you one of my Rev SULs . . . .  Wink

We'll get you over to the dark side yet . . . c'mon, you know you want to . . . . we have cookies, and they are delicious.

When's the shop opening up?

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ko
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 08:54 AM »

Mikes Idea Or if you can get no or very low wind conditions between the trees go with an indoor kite. There are many and they will keep you flying
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have fun kurt
vertigo2u
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 09:12 AM »

Tmadz,
First,do not pass up anything Free from Norm. ASK for money. Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

I'll send you my Ocius Sul to try when the weather changes... You'll understand Rob's comments better.  Quailty is an important factor in a Sul.  The weight. 
Also, If the wind is completely gone.  Order an I-Nak or Nik Nak.  They will fly and trick.

 Devin's new "Aura" is really the ultimate answer. Tongue Tongue Kiss Kiss Kiss Tongue Kiss

It may be ready before spring... Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh 
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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...
RobB
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 09:47 AM »

The NikNak (my first REAL SUL) will fly in zero wind, but I found it to be twitchy in anything over ~3mph, and it doesn't really have tricks like the modern SULs have. Joe's right, Devin's got that new Aura that looks very promising. I really liked what I saw in the Ocius, many people posted impressive videos of it. The 4D will fly in the conditions you describe, but I didn't suggest it because it's so twitchy and small. I think of it as a good kite for a kid, my son loves his & it takes his punishment like a champ.
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Tmadz
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2013, 11:12 AM »

All good suggestions guys. Thanks. I will say these parks are bordered on one side by a river running N-S so I hope to be able to get some wind depending on the direction. Not the Mississippi, but not a creek either.

I found the thread about Norms modified bridle for the Shadow and the comments were favorable. That's what started me looking. I prefer the rainbow and purple though.

Vertigo, thank you. That is a very kind offer and I might take you up on it. It would give me an excuse to visit Jon T's shop. I'm opening a local branch of a MI based business. The colors are black and orange with a B and I know there's one right near Skyburner headquarters. I was looking to get Jon to help me design a WM in those colors. Also, I didn't realize the Ocius was so close to the Shadow in price.

I love the look of the Talon, but a bit out of my range right now. Maybe someday. I'm just worried if they prefer beach winds.

PS. I have to admit the strength of these winter winds certainly has me thinking about Rev full vent for next winter.
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Wayner
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2013, 11:33 AM »

My neighborhood park lined with trees and two story houses it has a soccer field in the middle and a UL should work find.

Flying in low wind requires new skills. Flying an SUL is very limiting in trick ability. So is learning new skills going to create joy or frustration?

Rob idea of a glider is a good simple option. Thses are kites that you can become proficient quickly. Most of the members of our Friday night fly have switched to gliders from SUL. I'm still a SUL holdout, but it's taken a long time to develop my low wind skills.
 
The Talon UL is excellent but requires more wind that the other UL listed here. The higher wind requirement is not a criticism. This is a UL that performs as well as a std without sacrifices other UL make.

Never cared for the 4D. It is a small kite. This makes it very twitchy and hard to trick. But if you fly it a lot you will develop the skill to control it.

Hadge's review of the Shadow is spot on. This was the 1st UL I bought and it was twitchy for me. The Shadow is an advanced kite, can't believe what I can do with it now that my skills have improved. Norm's bridle is a good option it solve the twitchiness and it provides stronger feedback thought the line.

The Ocuis is an advanced freestyle kite. The Ocuis loves to do combos and being a smaller kite it love to do them quickly. Because of that, its not well suited for beginners IMHO. I don't own one as its to advanced for me.  I like precision and the Ocuis does not have any, its lack of control allows for those  fast combos. Plus it dumps sail pressure easily, making it a difficult kite to learn on. Amazing to watch skilled pilots fly them. Hope someday to have the skill level to fly this baby.  The SUL version is the tricky for an SUL. It has a stiff frame compared to the other SULs I have flown.

+1 on Rob experence with the NikNak. Wish I still had mine.

Two other choices are the WM UL and the Freestylist. UL. Both EASY  to fly (having strong feedback on the lines and precision.) and are true ULs. They are close to the Shadow winds range. When I was first starting I found the Shadow twitchy so I preferred these kites. The Freestylist is a good option at a lower prices than the WM UL.

Good luck with the new business, and good winds.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 11:42 AM by Wayner » Logged
vertigo2u
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 12:14 PM »

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Just got in from Running the "Snow Blower" 11hp. Heavy Snow. We had three neighborhood machines going.  Look on line.  Then I started to laugh  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy and the pain went away...  Smiley Smiley

Thanks Norm  Kiss Kiss Kiss.... You have no idea how I needed that .. Grin Grin Grin Grin

On a serious Note:  It will be fun learning a new trick.  Weather should clear soon.

The Pelican is a nice Wallpaper.

What city are you moving the business too in Michigan ??

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Kite Bag:  Solus ul, Solus std, Pro Dancer SUL, Widow Maker,Widow Maker UL, Ocius SUL, Vision,Vison 5 stack
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tpatter
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 12:25 PM »

I'd say it depends on what your goals are.

If you want to fly and not trick all that much except for perhaps rotational stuff like 540 and slots, etc, then there are many kites that do that pretty well in near-no wind including many indoor kites.  With these kites, its more of a coaxing affair.  The issue is that they are not very tricky and do not generally like to be man-handled.

If you want it to fly more like a standard kite, then there are less choices in my opinion.   I like to trick a kite nearly all the time that its in the air and my favorite UL/SUL works well with that strategy even in near-no wind.  It has enough mass to throw it around and tricks like the backspin, multi lazy, and even the JL to some degree cause the kite to generate enough air disturbance that it will literally float/hover itself.  So, as long as you keep tricking, it will stay in the air even when there is not sufficient wind to fly squares.  I also like some yoyo ability - one pop preferred.  Again, many SULs don't do that well, although 2 pop usually works.

No all kites will float while tricking, but many will certainly for the backspin and multi lazy, although the JL is much less common - many kites lose altitude on that one and you will be briskly walking backwards.

For my $, I like the following:

Transformer SUL - Not a SUL in the 4D sense, but this kite tricks better than most standards and has a large wind range - no compromises at all.  If you are looking for a UL/SUL as your post says, this would be the one I would suggest.

TNT Zero - Very much a 'true' SUL - this one has taken the place of my 4D for no-wind flying.  It does rotational stuff amazingly well and is not twitchy at all like most light-weight kites.  Its flys and feels like a regular kite.  It flys well in low wind and does most tricks, but I much prefer the way that the Trans tricks overall.  I choose this one when the wind is so low that I will be peppering my flying with 360s due to no wind lulls.  It has a nice combination of low weight, but also remains chuckable.

Shadow - I really like this kite, but it does have a light-touch feel to it which some flyers don't care for.  It is a smooth flyer and tricks well and easily, but it will require some getting used to in order for it to perform well for you in doing tricks.



Good luck,
Tom
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6 kite tom
Tmadz
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2013, 01:54 PM »

I like learning the tricking. I got a Premier Widow from that Jon T reframed to a resemble a UL. I have actually been able to learn more and faster with it, but I have to work on smooth input and hand quickness. Would going for a SUL/extra light UL mess me up? I thought that it might be a good tool to hone my inputs. I've gotten good at rotational tricks and am learning more about lines and bridles.

I forgot about the freestylist. I think I'll call Jon and talk to him. I try to keep my money as local as possible and American if I can.

I'm not moving my business, but opening an IL location with them.

Thanks again guys for all of the input.
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RobB
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2013, 03:16 PM »

No, learning to fly an UL or SUL in light winds will help your flying across the board. It did for me, and if I had to choose just one kind of flying, it would be in 1-3mph winds, hands down. I'm becoming quite a wind snob, and switch to the quad or single liners in double digit winds.
There is quite a rush in flying winds that kites shouldn't be able to fly in...

BTW... good luck with your new venture.
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