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Author Topic: Consensus on "good" kites?  (Read 2519 times)
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Tmadz
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2013, 10:43 AM »

Less filling! Tastes great!
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jwwilson
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« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2013, 09:45 PM »

From your suggestions, I changed the categories to be more in line with the normal stuff, but I kept my own sub-header "flair". The stunt kites are now listed on the kites page as well: http://www.caniflymykite.com/kites

As Wayner mentioned, most people here (me excluded) are pretty hardcore fliers and know what is going on...you all obviously aren't the target audience of the kites section as it is now, but your expert input is great! It is more for people like me who don't really know what is going on but might want to get into flying. If you can imagine from the newbie's point of view, if you stumbled upon the kites page, would you find it potentially useful/helpful/intriguing?
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2013, 10:31 PM »

From a new flier perspective your page is going to be really confusing.  You rate the skill level of the beetle higher than the quantum which could make people think the beetle is a more advanced kite than it is.  This is why they use classification by wind range as well as flyer skill level, and amount of pull rather than power.  THe beetle is easier to learn basic flying on but doesn't go beyond the beginner level where the quantum is just as easy to learn on but will take a flyer to the intermediate level.  You should rethink those ratings big time as it seems you are trying to fix something that isn't broken or simplify it where it doesn't need to be.  There have been a few places that tried to do what your trying and it was a dismal failure with people wondering why a $400 kite is considered a low skill and a $30 kite considered a high skill.  MOst people understand the difference between beginner and advanced skill levels but not everyone understands wind speed ranges so if you are going to simplify then just simplify the wind rating and use something like " wind range moderate to high"  YOu will also need to include a ratings key graph along the lines of

2--low---5, 6--moderate---15, 16--high--25 to give people a way to associate your rating with actual wind speed measurements.  THats the top question asked in person and on forums is what wind rating means.

As a knowledgable flyer I would tell anyone coming to me with info from your site that you are not giving a proper picture of what the kite is geared toward and have to go into the same explanation as I would if  they didn't read your site.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 10:33 PM by Ca Ike » Logged
thief
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2013, 05:10 AM »

As Wayner mentioned, most people here (me excluded) are pretty hardcore fliers and know what is going on...you all obviously aren't the target audience of the kites section as it is now, but your expert input is great! It is more for people like me who don't really know what is going on but might want to get into flying. If you can imagine from the newbie's point of view, if you stumbled upon the kites page, would you find it potentially useful/helpful/intriguing?

I will admit not to be hard core but spent 9 years working in (then running) a physical brick and mortar kite shop and website...and have been running my own site for 5 years...

Honestly the rating systems that you have remind me an awful lot of what Into The Wind has in the catalog.....I have always felt that their charts do not do justice either...giving price/wind/speed (wholly dependent on windspeed) as a 1 out of 5 mark it really does not explain much...like Ca Ike suggested break out what the ratings mean....give real wind speeds and a way to understand the speed in real life...
Prices...just put the price range you find for the kites at shops/websites....all of these ratings are relative to the reader...

you might be setting this up for the new flyer but that does not mean that an advanced/moderately experience/mediocre flyer might come upon it and follow the information there and then be not in agreement with the info you provide....
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mikenchico
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« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2013, 07:40 AM »

The Beetle is a good beginner kite as far as durability, they are nearly bullet proof and they also have a good low end wind capability ... but Rhonda bought one of them for her first kite and never "Got It", she bought a Quantum next and was flying like she had been for years. The larger, sturdier kite made a huge difference for her, the constant drive and having the speed regulated by the pleasing buzz of the trailing edge also played right into what the beginner needs. I liked the Beetle fine, but I'm experienced and was able to adjust my flying style quickly to the smaller, less quick or frantic movements it needs. I'll still ask to grab the lines on the Quantum when Rhonda brings it out, not so much the Beetle. Plus the Quantum will pull around a 50' or 100' tail with ease which opens up the opportunity for a little skywriting.

Oh and the Beetle will trick, just ask Steve, it was his first kite and he learned his first tricks on it.
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red sweater
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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2013, 07:57 AM »

From a new flier perspective your page is going to be really confusing.  You rate the skill level of the beetle higher than the quantum which could make people think the beetle is a more advanced kite than it is.  This is why they use classification by wind range as well as flyer skill level, and amount of pull rather than power.  THe beetle is easier to learn basic flying on but doesn't go beyond the beginner level where the quantum is just as easy to learn on but will take a flyer to the intermediate level.  You should rethink those ratings big time as it seems you are trying to fix something that isn't broken or simplify it where it doesn't need to be.  There have been a few places that tried to do what your trying and it was a dismal failure with people wondering why a $400 kite is considered a low skill and a $30 kite considered a high skill.  MOst people understand the difference between beginner and advanced skill levels but not everyone understands wind speed ranges so if you are going to simplify then just simplify the wind rating and use something like " wind range moderate to high"  YOu will also need to include a ratings key graph along the lines of

2--low---5, 6--moderate---15, 16--high--25 to give people a way to associate your rating with actual wind speed measurements.  THats the top question asked in person and on forums is what wind rating means.

As a knowledgable flyer I would tell anyone coming to me with info from your site that you are not giving a proper picture of what the kite is geared toward and have to go into the same explanation as I would if  they didn't read your site.

Not to pile on, but I strongly suggest you take this advice. The presentation of the "data" (can it be called data if it's subjective?) is very confusing. On some of them, I can't even tell if more stars is better or not. People can handle numbers if they're in units they are familiar with. That is, give price in dollars (MSRP, or range of a few retailers, including Amazon/REI/etc., not just kite stores (they'll be more likely to use retailers they are already familiar with)), give wind range in mph (or kph, whichever is popular with your region -- I'm assuming US, but that might not be the case). Even Prism's skill scale (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) is a lot better than stars. There is such a thing as overwhelming beginners with data, but this is nowhere near that threshold. They can handle it, and most would even want it.
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Wayner
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« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2013, 02:31 PM »

The Beetle is a good beginner kite as far as durability, they are nearly bullet proof and they also have a good low end wind capability ... but Rhonda bought one of them for her first kite and never "Got It", she bought a Quantum next and was flying like she had been for years. The larger, sturdier kite made a huge difference for her, the constant drive and having the speed regulated by the pleasing buzz of the trailing edge also played right into what the beginner needs. I liked the Beetle fine, but I'm experienced and was able to adjust my flying style quickly to the smaller, less quick or frantic movements it needs. I'll still ask to grab the lines on the Quantum when Rhonda brings it out, not so much the Beetle. Plus the Quantum will pull around a 50' or 100' tail with ease which opens up the opportunity for a little skywriting.

Oh and the Beetle will trick, just ask Steve, it was his first kite and he learned his first tricks on it.

Mike's great story expalined my point of finding the right level entry kite.   

Most people start with a CHEAP kite, when it does not fly well, it ends their kite flying days. Embarrassed
Buy a quality but resaonable (ie not $300+ kite. Those will come later) kite that will last for years (maybe decades) and you may have a kite flyer for life.  Grin

I like the concept of your website. Trying to keep the quality high enought for someone to have a fun time very time they fly the kite.
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chilese
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« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2013, 03:29 PM »

The public might be more easily swayed by a $ chart for each category.
Beginners understand money much more than rating systems.
Good luck.  Smiley

Sport kites for example.

less than $50: Don't waste your money.

$50-$100:  A good beginner kite. 5 foot wingspan. Complete with lines, tail and case.
                  Harder to fly than more expensive kites, but more durable.

$100-$150: A kite in the 6-7 foot range with durability and some ability to do tricks.

$150-$200: The upper end of mass-produced kites. Made with better materials.
                    Will typically fly in less wind than the cheaper kites.

$200-$250: Kites made by custom kitemakers. These kites are usually made to a
                     higher quality level with better materials. They are actually more
                     fragile at their limits than cheaper kites at their limits.

>$250:  You will get to choose the colors for your kite. You will also know the
                     name of the people making your kites. These kites can have a
                     bit of personality and are usually only purchased by fliers who
                     already know what they are getting.
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jwwilson
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« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2013, 10:38 PM »

I can't believe the amount of feedback and work some of you are putting in to your replies. I really appreciate it!

I worked a bit tonight on moving over to more obvious and less vague values for the attributes (I.E. no more stars). I have the initial values laid out in my kite spreadsheet and have an idea of what it will look like on the web page. Next steps: make the HTML/code changes and push them live, figure out the legend for each attribute and where to position the legend it on the site. I may link to it on another page, unless I can fit it cleanly at the top or bottom. Even without it though, I think the new attribute values are much more clear.

@chilese I am intrigued by this idea too. For sure I'm adding the average price to the kites. Maybe I can incorporate something like this in the future.

Here is the updated spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Agb3h78JkdG_dEpPRXk5MUp0b3prLU1NTWVXOGlfaEE&single=true&gid=0&output=html

btw - I searched around on the forums, and found a lot of mixed feelings on the Beetle! I'm keeping it in there for now.
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2013, 11:59 PM »

Much better info now.
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madhabitz
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« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2013, 02:06 AM »

Getting better Smiley

So now I have a couple more questions. This forum is pretty big on supporting the kite shops. I love Amazon and a lot of kite shops (legit ones) offer kites thru them. However, I would love to see direct links to these shops, either by listing all the shops that offer each kite or some other criteria. Tall order, I know. Not sure if you are aware, but our forum host recently began offering Prism kites exclusively. A database similar to the one you have for wind would be cool. Type in a zip code and find all the physical shops within 200 miles.

Also wanted to know what the column labeled "order" is about.

Nancy
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« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2013, 10:37 PM »

I've put up the kites page with the new attributes, an intro paragraph, and legend. Let me know what you think! www.caniflymykite.com/kites

@Nancy I want to keep the page clean and compact, so I didn't put more than one seller. I figured most people have and use amazon accounts, trust them, plus if the site ever takes off (it currently gets <10 visitors / day), I can hopefully cover the cost of hosting.

I do agree that your kite store search idea would be very cool and, as you said, a tall order. I noticed earlier today that kite.org has a kite merchant locator tool: http://kite.org/community/merchant-members/

And the "order" column is just for me to keep track of which kites to display in the code on the back end.
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2013, 12:21 AM »

Pushing amazon is akin to pushing evilbay IMO.  But since they do have that referral pay incentive it makes for a possible way to make some money for your efforts, though you will likely make nothing no matter how many use that link. Prism doesn't really consider amazon an official dealer ironically and they aren't listed on their dealer page.  In fact a lot of manufacturers don't and will not honor warrantees if purchased through amazon which is why amazon does their own guarantee thing.  Just be wary that pushing amazon may bring fall back on you when someone that uses your link gets screwed.  I run into issues all the time when my customers buy from amazon and cant get warrantee coverage from the manufacturer.

The layout is decent but I have one last suggestion. Put the Video links first then the manufacturer, then amazon.  Thats the order a visitor would most likely do so having it set up that way already makes it that much easier.
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jaydub
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« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2013, 02:25 AM »

Your Quantum video is of a Quantum Pro.  These are two completely different kites.  The Pro is a much higher end kite than the Quantum, which is a heavier and more robust kite.

I've not flown any of the three dual line kites, but I suspect none of them would satisfy advanced fliers.  I suspect they are all beginner's kites really, but I'd take input from those with direct experience of them.
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red sweater
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« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2013, 06:48 AM »

The manufacturer link for the Quantum has replaced the hyphens with m-dashes, leading to a 404 error. Strange error.
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