TonyB

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About TonyB

  • Rank
    Newbie

Profile Information

  • Favorite Kite(s)
    Lam Hoac ABS MC, AC
  • Location
    Richland, WA
  • Country
    United States
  • Gender
    Male

Recent Profile Visitors

79 profile views
  1. Does Anyone Still Fly Lam's ABS Quadline?

    I've only flown the ABS MC for a few hours since it arrived but so far my impressions are positive. The first time I flew it the winds were fairly low (0-3 MPH) so I did have to be pretty active to keep it airborne but the next time out the winds were pretty high (10-20 MPH). The second time flying it I used heavier rods (DT-10's rather than the DT-8's) and it flew well despite being an SUL designed for 2-12 MPH winds. When the winds started gusting to 20+ MPH I packed it up since I was using only 50# lines and didn't want to damage the kite. As far as performance goes it handled well and was quite responsive. I'm still a rookie pilot so I was mostly just practicing basic maneuvers and wasn't doing anything too fancy. I'm happy with the purchase and I've been enjoying learning to fly a quad line kite since the ABS MC is my first. However, this also means I can't really compare it to anything else due to my lack of experience.
  2. Fluke's journey

    Not that I'm aware of. It is possible to contact Lam Hoac directly via email. Search for Sky Sport Design if you'd like to see his site which has his contact info posted.
  3. Fluke's journey

    How soon do you need the new kite by? If you're willing to wait a few months I'd recommend the upcoming version of the Silver Fox being redesigned by Lam Hoac (a boutique kite maker that creates high-end kites). Flying Wings hired Lam Hoac to redesign the Silver Fox so you'd be getting an amazing kite for about half the price boutique kites normally sell for (under $200). Here's a video of Lam Hoac flying a prototype version of the kite:
  4. KARMA 9/21/2017: Revolution Rainbow Radical

    I'm in. I don't own a Rev but that looks like an amazing kite and it'd be nice to have another quad line kite to share with others when I go flying (currently only own one). Very cool of you to be so generous, makatakam, and good luck to everyone.
  5. Wind up or down

    I wouldn't be surprised if he also had to walk uphill both ways when setting up the kite.
  6. He's in BC, Canada. If you do visit I'd be happy to let you fly the few kites I do own so you can form your own opinions (weather permitting of course - many times the winds are nearly non-existent here).
  7. Beginner kite selection information guide

    Thanks for taking the time to combine the various bits of useful information you've discovered, well done! There is only one thing I noticed that may be a bit misleading: Generally, most dedicated stunt kites do have a high precision rating since stunting tends to require it (flying low to the ground, giving inputs to the kite when the leading edge is at the proper position in order to execute stunts, various types of landing and relaunching very quickly without damaging the kite, predictably performing various figures/patterns/combinations, etc.). However, it's not guaranteed that a dedicated stunt kite will have high precision so it is worth noting such (that if precision flying is the main goal to not assume a stunt kite will be the best choice since it may or may not be).
  8. I decided on the AC after doing quite a bit of research on stunt kites (forum discussions, online videos, reading reviews, etc.) and wherever I looked I kept seeing Lam Hoac mentioned so his kites were in a small list of kites I was considering purchasing (I was also considering the Silver Fox 2.5, Widowmaker Pro, Duende 240). While I did not fly the AC before purchasing it I did, however, call Lam Hoac and have a rather lengthy discussion over the phone. Lam was not only very helpful in answering questions but he also offered to directly teach me in person and let me fly various kites so I could see/feel the differences myself (he lives about a 6 hour drive from me). It became apparent that he has a passion for kite making/flying and he cares more about sharing his experience and knowledge to ensure other kite enthusiasts get the most out of their time flying rather than just attempting to make a quick profit. He has basically devoted his life to kites and flying; he goes flying every chance he gets to test new ideas, improve upon his designs, participate in kite festivals/competitions, etc. Initially I was somewhat hesitant to spend over $400 on a single kite but then I considered what I was paying for and whether or not it was a good value. $400 for something that is handmade vs. mass produced in a factory, made by an expert who has devoted his life to kite making/flying, something that has been improved upon for 30 years in order to engineer a kite that is enjoyable to fly for both a beginner or expert, a kite that works with you rather than against you, and lastly a kite that is made by someone who stands by their product and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure you get the most out of the kite flying experience even after the purchase.
  9. Hmm I suppose "ignorance is bliss" might be applicable to kiting but all it takes is to watch a pro fly a single time to spoil that (at least in my case). The first time I saw a pro stunting/tricking I became hooked and wanted to learn; when I see a pro fly a kite it resembles an air ballet rather than just random flying. While I don't think there's anything wrong with more basic kiting I tend to become totally absorbed in the hobbies I pursue and I want to constantly learn, progress and improve. As with most skill-based activities having the proper tools is just as important as the knowledge of how to do so. I've never flown the Widowmaker Pro but I've heard nothing bad about it and it seems to be highly regarded among kite enthusiasts. Most kites tend to have their own personality/characteristics which one person may love while someone else may dislike the same attribute(s). Trying before you buy (from local kite groups, etc.) is usually a good idea but I don't think you could go wrong with either a Lam Hoac kite or the Widowmaker Pro - both are capable handmade kites which you wouldn't have to worry about limiting your ability to trick/stunt with; which is subjectively "better" would be determined more by personal preference than anything else.
  10. I suppose it depends on what type of flying you enjoy and plan on using the kite for. If you plan on tricking/stunting then the differences between a high/low end kite would be apparent almost immediately (even to a relatively new pilot). If you plan on mostly flying in straight lines without doing any slack line stunts/tricks then the differences would still be apparent but less obvious. You'd still notice things like how much power the kite has (how hard it pulls on the lines), how it behaves in lower/higher winds, how sharply/slowly it turns, whether or not it requires small/exaggerated inputs, how precise/predictable the kite is, etc. Lam Hoac is someone who has been competing in kite making and flying for about 30 years. He still travels all over the world to compete and has won dozens of awards while doing so. He's a world class kite pilot and he's willing to share his knowledge with fellow kite enthusiasts. If you want to know more about his kites I'd recommend searching for Sky Sport Design (his website which lists his kites, contact info and several videos of him flying). I currently own two of his kites, the dual line AC and the quad line ABS MC, and both are high quality handmade kites and a pleasure to fly .
  11. Can you keep the kite in the air without lawn darting it at full speed (to avoid breaking the kite)? If so then I'd say you are at the boutique kite level since boutique kites tend to be well made with excellent flight characteristics; flying one will usually make the learning experience more enjoyable. The only downside to purchasing a boutique kite that I can think of is they tend to be more expensive (although usually with kites the extra money goes towards better parts/engineering so it's worth it). An advanced level dual line kite usually doesn't require an advanced level pilot to fly and/or enjoy it - the rating is mostly referring to what the kite is capable of doing which a new(er) pilot can gradually grow into during the learning process. I am by no means an advanced level pilot but I can appreciate the differences between the cheap dual line kites I've flown in the past vs. the Lam Hoac handmade boutique kites I've recently purchased which seem eager and willing to work with rather than against me (with cheaper kites you usually have to work twice as hard to get the kite to do what you want it to). Ironically, many of the cheaper kites rated as beginner or intermediate require a more skilled/advanced pilot to trick/stunt using one because they are not engineered as well. This can lead to frustration when a novice level pilot decides to begin learning some tricks since they must work twice as hard to perform even basic maneuvers. In short: don't be intimidated by a kite's rating or let it dissuade you from purchasing one. Usually a well made/engineered kite will be more enjoyable to fly regardless of the level of the kite pilot. Personally, I'd rather spend more on a single well made kite rather than purchase 3 kites for the same price which are less enjoyable to fly and don't allow any room for growth.
  12. Lam Hoac's New AC

    Congrats on the new kite! I also received my AC from Lam recently but so far I've only managed to fly two days for a few hours total (the winds have been nearly non-existent this past week). From the little time I've spent flying it I can already tell the kite is a major improvement over the relatively cheap dual line stunt kites I've flown in the past; the AC is just so eager to perform (rather than having to constantly fight it) which makes it a joy to fly :). In my opinion it's worth it to buy one high-end kite that makes flying enjoyable the entire time rather than purchasing several low-end kites which will not be as enjoyable to fly and likely end up either sitting in storage or sold -- that is: as long as the person at least knows the basics of flying so they don't destroy their high-end kite the first time flying it . One of the things which makes purchasing a kite from Lam worth it is that he goes out of his way to ensure the customer is not only satisfied but he'll answer any questions, give advice, teach new kite pilots in person, etc. even after the purchase is made. It's obvious that kite flying is a passion of his and he wants to share that passion with others - it's not just about maximizing profits. I'm hoping to be able to take a trip up to Canada soon since Lam offered to teach me some things and he also called me several times after the purchase to ensure that I knew how to properly setup the kite and that I didn't have any other questions. He also just seemed genuinely interested in discussing kites and kite flying in general. I posted this photo in a different thread but here's my AC SUL and my ABS MC SUL:
  13. Was the Zephyr defective or...?
  14. TonyB

  15. Does Anyone Still Fly Lam's ABS Quadline?

    I recently purchased the latest version of Lam's ABS kite: the ABS MC (master control) SUL for $280. It arrives on Monday and I'll give some feedback once I've had a chance to test it out.