Rae

Need Help Deciding on Glider/Urban Kite

24 posts in this topic

Hi!

This is a sort of continuation of a post where I was looking for kites that can be flown without a lot of physical activity (I'm disabled and I'm not able to run back and forth doing lots of setups for relaunching) but that has more interest than a standard single line kite. I'm exploring the idea of quads although cost figures into it but I was introduced to gliders/ultralight/urban kites and I'm in love!

I need help choosing a kite. I live in a small city but we have some nice park areas nearby and of course parking lots, etc. There are nice parks by the lake and some fields I can think of that are an easy driving distance. My husband and I live in a small apartment.

I don't know if it's possible to find a glider that I can fly around my apartment and also be OK outside in light to no wind. I really only need it to be OK up to about 8mph b/c I have other kites I can fly at that wind speed. I'm already interested in the Prism Zero G but it looks a little large for a living room :) I read the recent article in kitelife,com (the link was given to me in my other thread) and I've looked at each of the kites there. The end of the article says that most of the kites in the article are available from the site sponsor kite stores to the right of the article but after searching three time from the top to bottom of the page, I couldn't find the list.

So I have two questions...is/are there any specific kite/glider(s) that you LOVE, would recommend, have more flying potential (ie easy to learn on but have potential for learning "tricks"), any that you wouldn't ever fly outside (or inside), any more or less durable, or anything else you can think of that I should know. (that was the first question :D ). The second question is, where do I find these gliders? Any idea where the sponsor listings are? (I have googled almost all of the kites and the results are really varied. Several have plans available but I think I'd rather buy one than make it after reading on a couple of them how difficult they are to make correctly, so I'd prefer a commercial source.

Thanks so much in advance. And, thanks for helping me find something fun that I can do, even with my loss of "abilities" and acquisition of "dis-abilities". It's helping give a little piece of me back again...and that truly is priceless.

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Whew - lots of questions, but good ones!!

1st - I don't like parking lots or roadways much!! Too rough on my kites!! You'll wear out your leading edge or the tips where the leading edge ends!! Grass is much better!! Indoors, any place seems to be ok, I use an indoor soccer field when empty!!

2nd - Recommended kites! That's a loaded question, everyone has their own "wants" from what they use!! I would suggest 2 kites - one for indoors and one out!!

a - an iFlite for indoors! Small for living rooms and kitchens, but also comfortable in larger spaces!! Available through Windswept Kites! Cost is only $32.00 delivered to your mailbox!! Internet store that has a ph# on the website to talk with Rob Banks in person!! Works too, so he calls back as he has time!! Service was excellent from him!!

b - Outdoors is a little more tricky! Lots of great choices here!! The Zero-G, Skate, Wala, Horvath's Hybrids, etc!!! The Zero-G and Skate and Wala are offered through Into the Wind, a store out of Boulder, Colorado!! They have a catalog you can get and drool over!! I really think the Wala is a good first choice, can be used in or out (it has instructions included for the changes needed), is really well built to take any abuse, and ready to fly with line included!!

PS: I know where you're coming from, I've been through a stroke, 2 heart attacks, both hips replaced!! So this glider thing has me hooked big time!! There's lots of choices out there, pick wisely and enjoy!! If you have more questions, feel free to ask!!

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While you are talking to Rob Banks, ask him if he has any Guildworks Gliders.

He did have some in the Yard Sale recently, and they are very hard to get. I've been flying mine for years, and

love it. The Guildworks and Plutz designs are much more interesting than the flat ones, I think. I don't know why gliders are just getting popular now, these have been around for a long time.

~Rob.

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Rob - when about where they in the yard sale?? I got my iFlite and his last Plutz 2, and am interested in the Will Sturdy design, the Chiroptera!! I've not seen any Guildwork's stuff yet!! I'll check out the yard sale to see if there are any left!!

Edit: just checked and I see he has 1 Bi-plane left, it needs some parts and still is expensive at $150.00!! But it does look a lot different!!

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Hi Rae, the list of vendors would be the ads along the right side of the article page...

http://www.kitelife.com/industry-news/the-glider-craze/

Some of the gliders are speciality (not mass-produced), the stores will typically carry the factory stuff like Zero-G, Wala, Skate and Hybrid.

However, if you're after one of the others, let us know and we can surely try to help you find a source. ;)

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One thing that you may want to keep in mind is that indoor flying requires a ton of foot work. The gliders are totally awesome but you do have to work your feet and body to move around to get them to fly. The footwork can be minimal on some but much more necessary on others. The Chiroptera will climb very nicely and floats excellent with minimal footwork but the Wala, Wala XL, I-Flight and Zero G will require much more footwork to keep them airborne. It is not stressful work meaning you won't be using massive muscle to fly, but you will need to walk around quite a bit while flying.

Outdoors in minimal winds it is quite different. These kites can basically park in the air and fly in as little as 1-2 mph winds.

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If you fly on a wand, a glider should require zero footwork. It's not a good indoor glider if you have to move any to keep it in the air. I never fly anyplace big like an auditorium, but I can glide away from me 15'-20', spin, do an up & over... all without moving one step. Maybe using a wand is considered cheating, but that's the way my Guildworks gliders came equipped, and that's how I've flown them. So much cleaner than leaving the hoop & line all over the floor, too.

BTW, the last time I looked through the 'yard sale', I thought Rob had a GW glider listed. Because Guildworks is no longer making kites (as far as I know), they bring top $$$. I've seen some Decas go for eye popping numbers.

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I second Rob's sentiments regarding a wand... If you're really immobile, a 3 foot stick will fly *light(er)weight* gliders with a little practice.

Just recently, I worked with a gentleman who only had effective movement from the elbow out and he was able to fly the Zen.

With full arm mobility, the possibilities really increase.

With upper body mobility as well as arm (and the wand), you can fly most anything, it just takes a little practice and patience.

Now add 3-5 steps one way, then the other, you're off and running... It's really about efficiency of movement. ;)

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Awesome info everyone! Very cool stuff. After continuing reading on my own last night, I had pretty much narrowed it down to (I think...) three kites...the iflite, the Prism Zero G and the Wala. I can't get them all right now but I'm hoping to save my pennies, start with the iflite, then the Prism and go from there.

I have a couple of questions about the iflite. It comes in a vented style that they just say is supposed to enhance the glide but I'm really unclear if it's a better choice for me and why it is or isn't a good choice. I also don't know if it changes it's wind rating at all. Second question is, does anyone have any idea if the pink version of the iflite is pale, bright or ??? I've not been able to find video or pics of the pink iflite but I did see a video of the vented iflite in flight. While it was great to watch, it left me with the same questions above.

Thanks everyone. I'm getting really excited!

EDIT: I found pics of the pink iflite and it's a bright pink not pale. So one question answered. Now, just need to know about the vent!

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For what it's worth, I can (and do) fly my iFlite sitting watching TV ... no footwork required.

While I don't own a vent and have never flown one ... I don't see the need for it if you have proper line control. I have a very small fishing swivel in the bridle of my one iFlite to give it some mass to throw around when I am seated, as a bonus it keeps the nose down at near stall speed glides.

It's a great time to be in the market for a single line glider ... there are so many nice choices out there.

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I second the wand, especially if you thread your flying line through it. Then, one hand can manipulate the wand while the other hand pulls in and lets out line.

(A button or other stopper on the end of the line will prevent it from "getting away".)

You will need guides or some other kind of smooth ring at each end of the wand to prevent line abrasion.

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--Pete - that can be solved if you've got an old fishing rod to use!! Thread the line through the pole's eyes to avoid wear!! It does tangle if you get too crazy with your movements, but overall a good way to go if you got one lying around, unused!! Also have used old hollow spars, no tangles and line wear is minimal, unless you use really fine, light line!! For one of my bigger gliders, I'm using the bottom section of a flyrod, reel seat cutoff, eyes removed, line threaded through the blank. and an outside ferrule to eliminate wear on the line!! Bonus - nice cushy grip from the cork!! I use 30# spectra with my iFlite and top of a spinning rod for a little extra leverage!! Works good on my Plutz too!! I also put a small keyring on the operators end to keep from loosing the line through the eyes, and put it on one of my fingers so it won't get lost!! All my lines are preset lengths, except the biggest! Haven't decided if I should or not!! Really depends on flying area size!!

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Here's the wand that come with the Guildworks kites, it would be pretty easy to make one of these yourself...

And yes, I keep a glider hanging on the wall for the moment the mood strikes to fly...

post-786-0-53452100-1334409720_thumb.jpg

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Ok everyone, you've got me hooked now on this "indoor UL" kiting kick OOo Nooo. I went to the Windswept site to check out the iflite, but when I sent an email to info@windsweptkites.com I got an error message saying that it had to be a normal email address. I would love to see the different versions of it and color choices. And, where can I find the Wala? Is this also a small kite, like the iflite? This is just my 1st day here, and I'm HOOKED big time. I leave tomorrow on a business trip to Indianapolis, IN. and will take a dual line kite down, which I haven't used yet. I'd like to find a shop or someone down there. Wish me luck and thanks again for a FANTASTIC site.

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Are you on FB? You can talk to Rob Banks on there!! He's also on the GWTW site and his screen name is "thief"! I'm sure too that there should be a ph# to call him, I'll look!

The Wala is much larger than the iFlite, but is very versatile as both an indoor or outdoor kite! With a couple of minor adjustments (instructions are included with the kite) you can use it for both!! Built like a tank, makes it a little heavy for indoor, but that rugged build helps it survive rough outdoor use!! The Wala should be available from any kite store that handles products from Flying Wings!!

The iFlite at this time only comes in 2 colors - white or pink!! Hand made in Singapore by Patrick Tan!! Lovely little kite, you can fly it in your living room or take it to a bigger venue and it's right at home!!

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Highline Kites has also just started stocking iFlites, west coast...

http://www.highlinekites.com

Side note, I bought my first kite from 20 years ago, and we now handle his web site. :)

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I saw the Plutz, the Wala, the Zero G, and the Emong on the Highline site, but no iFlites. I will say the Highline is a great store to deal with, Tom has helped me get a number of my rainbow Prism kites, and he's a super nice guy.

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Yep, have to agree with Rob - no iFlites posted yet!! Maybe a call will turn up something??

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Rob over at Windswept kites is definitely a good dude. He recently set me up with a Chiroptera, might even be the last one, until they make more.....

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Aye, can't go wrong with either vendor - Highline or Windswept, both are run by top notch people. :)

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Rob over at Windswept kites is definitely a good dude. He recently set me up with a Chiroptera, might even be the last one, until they make more.....

Getting my own, direct from Will!! Get my color choice too! Gliders are a good thing, yeah!!

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Hi guys, just got off the phone with Tom over at Highline. I asked about the "iflight" and he says HE HAS THEM.. He only has them in white, but they are ready to be put on his website by tonight or tomorrow, I"m getting one for sure.

Thanks to all you guys here, I found out about this great flying indoor. .

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Welcome to the growing iFlite community!! If you are on FB, there is a page devoted to just the iFlite and has suggestions for line, wands, weights, etc....! It's called - iFlite - Windless Wonder! Lots of fun to be had with that one!! :ani_yahoo:

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