Paul LaMasters

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Paul LaMasters last won the day on July 18

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About Paul LaMasters

  • Rank
    Forum Guru
  • Birthday 01/06/1956

Profile Information

  • Favorite Kite(s)
    diamond framed custom Zen, SUL & indoor quads,
  • Flying Since
    hardcore since '93 on quads, kites in general since the mid-70s
  • Location
    Germantown, MD (Washington DC metro area)
  • Country
    United States
  • Interests
    design, illustration/photography, graphics, printing and naturally kites (mostly quads). My son is big martial artist & kite flyer, the wife and I enjoy watching Golf, NFL but cheer for different participants. I'm also a huge NBA/Bulls fan since my college room-mate (NIU/'79) is their ticket director
  • Gender
    Male

Recent Profile Visitors

2,786 profile views
  1. Bridle replacement

    Long ago, I used to make custom bridles for folks off a board (the Ryv 1.6 bridle) , the fee was a 100 feet of hi-test (100# bridle line in ONE piece) and I mailed the finished bridle out in a No10 envelope.
  2. Kite Hard Case

    traveling by car allows for many carrying options, airlines want a hard-sider for insurance coverage to be allowed, then just wait until you try to fit one of those monstrosities into a rental car with friends in tow. wheels are nice to roll around street corners, but on sand you still need a dolly or something with fat tires Unfortunately these comments and my past experience all leads to a variety of carrying cases being necessary. Double sized golf club carrier case by SBK (for stacks of baby revs), 3 single bag sized hard sided SBK carriers, an Orvis fishing pole carry-on sized case, a couple of Rev bags, a couple of soft sided bags for banners and dualies, expandable map tubes and Prism's violin styled case. Hard plastic sewage tubes for lighted kites that don't break-down, with screwed on end-caps I have wagons, both rigid and folding, folding shopping carts, a hand-towed golf cart, a beach sand tired cart and several folding shipping crates on wheels. Too much crap to carry on my back, that's for sure!
  3. Quad Time 101

    I can admit to be a collector, but I am NOT addicted to kites. Okay I will buy clothing and electronics, heck even vehicles & luggage based solely on my kites and their specific sizing or transportation needs. What good is a pair pants that don't work for kiting? Sure I have nice stuff for my NIH job, but when it gets worn sufficiently it becomes a kiting garment. So lots of pockets, velcro, buttons, fasteners, compartments, loops, not too thick a material, in case I need an outer layer of Gortex in the winter, not too long or I'll step on and fray the bottoms, not to dark of a color or it will absorb sunlight and be hot in the summer, not too light of color or it will show all the grass stains, pollen and mud or dust. Adjustable waist, belt loops worthy of equipment and tools on a man's belt. I prefer a diamond crotch area instead of the normal jeans style pinch zone when squatting down. Yes I have very specific expectations and favorite retailers who meet my needs http://www.orvis.com/p/14-pocket-expedition-poplin-pants/2J3L?item_code=2J3L1134&adv=127748&cm_mmc=plas-_-Men'sClothing-_-2J3L-_-127748&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyPn25YLP1QIVgyWBCh19LgjyEAQYASABEgLw7fD_BwE after awhile you have so many kites you can't carry 'em all. I have several masterpiece Revs that have been relinquished to alternative kite bags or the basement time-out corner. That seems unfair, so I sell a few great kites and then regret it each time. Still you can't fly em all and the ones that take too much set-up time (like a stack) just ride around in the trunk never being flown. Some times you sell to acquire replacements or upgrade. Like a b-series to the B-pro. Or the B-pro to the Phoenix, a vented Rev to a Shook Mesh. An SUL rev to a Zen. An indoor Rev to an Ashworth I am NOT addicted to kites. I did buy a tow hitch installation on my van this past week, just so I can ride back and forth between the parking meters and our flying location, once a month (on bike instead of walking like all of my friends). I am NOT addicted to kites.
  4. REV. lights

    easy to affix with sticks, I have these LEDs also, I combine one slow transitioning color changer (above) with a fast blinker (from Shooks) on each wing. The remote allows the team kites to go off and on as a group,... or as I prefer,... as a "drive by" activation point by assistants down field
  5. Reasons for Multiple Kites in Quiver/Arsenal?

    most folks never get over this fact, at least from my own experience you'll spend more money on travel to fly kites with your friends than you do on your kites! Even with a few complimentary gigs received including int'l events, I still shell out thousands annually for travel, kites are merely hundreds. I'm probably 10 to 1 and have been for a couple of decades, I can't afford to do every great festival, but the ones I attend, I expect to enjoy myself immensely whilst on-site. My bride is even more expectant, she won't sleep on a prison floor just because it is free! Can you imagine using the bathroom on the first floor and the ceiling falls on your head while you are resting on the throne with the newspaper? That happened to Janette Van Meers at the Knock in OC! My best girl likes at arrive earlier and stay later, to get the "lay of the land and enjoy the aftermath". That first and last day? Those dates are strictly for travel, set-up, unpacking, arranging the kitchen, shopping for what we forgot at home. When traveling without my Barbara beside me, I won't drive all night to get home after a long weekend of flying either.
  6. Bridle replacement

    100# hi-test bridle line by Laserpro,... it;s a 100# spectra core instead of a 40# dacron sheath. You can tie and untie it!!! The best knot is a figure of eight, it tightens from both directions and the center is four thicknesses. Practice so you can "flip one half of the loose 8 OVER itself" pulling all the slack out in the opposite direction. Doing this action allows you to place the knot very accurately (ike against the jaws of locked Forceps for example, the forceps are locked in place so you can see the sharpie marks from your bridle board) I use a silver sharpie on black hi-test. It comes in a thicker format 170# also if desired for a big dually or stacks
  7. Newbie Bay Area friends and learning tips

    I'd say to start the other way, with the leading resting on the ground, now carefully and LIGHTLY push both thumbs at the kite,..... As you walk backwards slowly. A little hand and little foot motion combined. You want the kite to fly to shoulder-height and stop completely. Now go back to the ground (forward and gravity to assist) and repeat the exercise again, go a little higher this time, STOP and slowly come back down. If the kite will no back up this way (using both minor hand & foot motions combined,) then you don't have enough DOWN in the tuning. Adjust leaders lengths until this is possible. Eventually you should be able to back-up to the top of the window, (laser straight and with one constant speed!) but you will have confidence enough almost immediately when flying a foot above the earth. Notice you can't do this stationary? Well if the wind is blowing you can do it sitting down,just that most of us can't expect that set of conditions very often, so practice "adding feet" into the equation from the outset to more quickly master this technique. If you only push one thumb, the kite will roll over (back to upright launch position), this is called a cartwheel. once you have this technique down tight, you don't have to go back to the kite and turn it over again when improperly landing (a crash). This is the first thing to provide to new pilots, then they don't need you anymore to practice. Inverted hover is just a stall, in low wind you need to move backwards and add energy to make it seem still in the air (only from the flier's perspective is it really & truly stationary)
  8. Favorite SUL?

    Pro-wren by Jeff Howard
  9. REV. lights

    I have good success with this firm... https://www.100candles.com/submersible_led_lights.htm I have the ones with a remote controller, LEds are rubber banded to the top of the magic sticks and backlight the kite
  10. Newbie Bay Area friends and learning tips

    "smooth" is the word most associated with a Shook masterpiece weave kite, wait until you fly one of those,... naturally/unfortunately it is priced accordingly too! Flies in low wind or a howling gale, at most you'd swap out the frame. The most popular one is sure winner too, it's the 75%! It's smack dab in-between a mid-vent and full vent, flies fine (fully powered up) in 6 and can go 25 or 30 the same day. Can be slicky smooth or a flailer's dream depending on tuning choices. Someday, ride Shook mesh and see for yourself. Yes, I am completely biased, I only buy kites from Bazzer or Shook, because they can both make a kite better than me! they will do what is asked of them too,if you make it financially advantagous enough. I have Eliot Shook had "his leading edge" to Bazzer's sails,... it's that much of a difference, both visually and in flight dynamics. I owe five shook models, everything from one crafted before he was legally approved as a vendor, {100%, he had to donate it the AKA auction, but at least it was offered in my color scheme (R/W/B), what a convenience! } a 40% (kind of an SUL that can do double digit winds easily) a 75% (most commonly chosen model) and a 135%(equates to a mega-vent) PLUS the latest Shook development, it is a progressive weave (75%) of strips, "thicker in the middle" of the two sail halves and thinner strips along the parameters of each. The logic behind the progressive experiments is to add a shoulder to push against. Mine has knot covers sewn over the elastics on the bottom tip edges, extra reinforcing strips at the center and on the fold areas of the leading edge sleeve, (much more durable) it's not made with a dacron material either, so technically it's an SUL, it has wear strips behind the down-spars to prevent distortion of the sail, the usual assortment of modifications are also applied. Each kite has it's strengths and weaknesses, but imagine a vented with without the weight of the venting material. Sounds like a great solution and it is! The builder takes his craft to an extraordinary level too. You design your own color scheme, no one else will ever have a duplicate of your pattern. Used ones are seldom and only offered because the owner wanted a newer one. It's double the price but sometimes in life you get exactly what you've paid for. Shook mesh kites are one of the most significant "values" in kiting in my opinion. Meeting up with other fliers broadens your horizon of experiences so easily, doesn't it? Sharing the joys of OPKs is a great way to make friends. The quad-head family is full of great folks, get some often!
  11. Newbie Bay Area friends and learning tips

    Most of the Speed series wings are all double the forward motion and backwards is significantly faster as well, when compared to a 1.5 sized platform. Supersonic should do 50-70 mph in forward and half that speed backwards. WAY quicker "power-ups also, just a flick of the wrist from dead stop to supercharger kick-in with the throttle stuck on the floor I replaced the down spars on my SS with tapered sky shark so it;s lighter in weight. You can run a "trick-line" around the parameter of the sail so you don't snag a flying line when flick-flak tricks are desired. This kite does them as fast as you CAN so you don't want a snagged flying line caught on the back of the sail.
  12. No love for the Reflex line?

    Add 16 inch magic sticks, so it will roll-up (clam-shell) too. The "catch" is done with the bottom lines (honest!) I have that exact patriotic kite pictured above and don't use it, preferring the discontinued Zen(s),.... so if anyone is interested I could make you an extraordinary deal!
  13. No love for the Reflex line?

    Classic, best of the old, slapped together with the new stuff too. Standard frames, b series panel layout for the sail,..... plus the reflex mechanism. It is not a hindrance, just different than what you are use too. More edge power, bigger window, killer glides too, who knows you may enjoy the differences. this model I've flown and enjoyed best, the big original I owe, it is not in the A bag though. (It should be noted the Zens don't fit either) honestly you can get almost the same effect as the reflex mechanism thru tuning the knots of elastic, washers etc on a stock b-series, such that a pronounced curvature is added up at the top by the leading edge, between the down spars and the sail. The end caps on the top of the down spars have to be locked down with the knots and crap secured behind. You should be able to insert your hand in the gap! want to test tuning the difference,.....? You don't even need line or handles, just "throw" the kite, it will suddenly glide away magically, like a spun frizzbee, acres of distance from just a hint of decent technique. the classic gives you this out of the box, only if you want it. Otherwise? It is just another rev 1.5 patterned after the series we all know.
  14. Mid vent a must have or a want?

    green-race equipped mid-vent is good to about 18 or 20 mph, after that you'd need a beefier frame and fully vented sail to slow down the savage beast. most of us start with a full sail and full vent, maybe a couple of extra frames also, to increase the "cross-over" abilities, for example a flexible frame in the full vent or a stiff in the full sail. maybe even a blending of the two, for a hybrid frame?,... (even easier if they are "travel frame sized" to mix and match based upon conditions and your preferences). We all have at least three kites eventually: a full sail, a mid and a vented, that is about a thousand bucks new. Or you could just buy two kites (but still spend the same amount of money, getting a an SUL full sail and Shook mesh 75%.) Then you have a vehicle choice between about 2 mph and 30. The Shook is double the price but also doubled up on the wind range,... you get what you pay for more often than not! Used or entry level is okay if that's all you can afford. I'm in a local kite club (WoW), we'd prefer you join, use our stuff and saving your lunch money for two summers, then finally by an EXPERT kite, made just for you,.... your fabric choice & colors, your design pattern, crafted for your preferred wind-range, heck even your own preferred builder to take the concept to execution. If you are with our club long enough and you will be expected to provide lessons and loaner kites too. The weakest flyer on the line gets to fly everyone's kite for a few moments and compare, then choose that one as theirs for the day based upon preferences. That kite's lucky owner gets to go set-up another kite for themselves. Someday soon, when they look down the line realizing "I'm not the weakest flier & have to have my own stuff". That might take 4 hours or fourteen months. With all this experience, drafting a wish list is easy, then consult us for guidance and pull the trigger. You know we will be forming a line to try-out your new customized ride, right?
  15. Axle help

    standing next to someone doing it correctly (and easily!) will certainly simplify your transition to excellence much faster.