Wayne Dowler

Reflex review

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Wayne Dowler    1,459

Is it different? Yes. Is it a "bad kite"? No. Just because you can't use other rods in it doesn't make it "bad". It does fly in several wind ranges. In too high a wind, you'd want a vented anyway. That's another kite = 2.  The Reflex equals almost 3 wind ranges by itself - low winds of the Zen, middle wind of the std, and the lower end of mids. Not as popular for team flying - true. Maybe not yet! It's only been around for a short time, so the popularity hasn't ramped up. Will it last forever? No. It will wear out eventually. By then if you like quads enough, it will be another kite in the bag. 

PS: the Zen went through this same thing as it was oversold as the total solution to light wind flying. It wasn't. Technique was/is more important than the kite (no it didn't hurt to have good equipment), but it wasn't the end all, be all of light wind. Many bought one expecting it to be that - sorry. (I love my Zen, but it fits my style of flying very well.) It still requires good fundamentals and good light wind technique. 

I'm no Rev apologist, I fly them. I've flown others - so far they are not in my bag - yet. Do I agree with all the decisions they've made, business or otherwise - no. But they have and do produce quality kites that can get you on the road of learning quads. Use what you bought. Take off the springs or move them to the side to see how it flies without them. Or keep them in place. Ask most of us - we have many Revs in our bags for the many different conditions we face. The Reflex is just another tool. If I could afford one, I'd probably get one.

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kwmf    76
10 hours ago, Bill Clay said:

Rev: Well you're a natural. Your skills will progress beyond those kites quickly. You need a Reflex.

:ani_whistling:

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makatakam    1,558

@Bill Clay

Do what Wayne suggested. Disengage the springs and let the sail rest against the uprights. That will make it fly like a regular Rev. If the person who told you that you were a "natural" is someone who gave you some on-the-field instruction, that person was probably being genuine. I have tried to teach some people to fly a Rev and after 30 minutes or so of instruction felt like telling them to take up basket weaving instead. Then there are those beginners in whom I have seen the "natural" instinct for it and told them that they have what it takes to make it work. Most people fall somewhere in between. 

Learning more than basic control does take time and effort on the part of the pilot -- think flying an airplane here -- no one can do everything the kite is capable of the first time out. We have all been through what you are feeling, including buyer's remorse. There is some initial frustration, but the ahaa moments that will come soon if you keep flying, will greatly outweigh the grief you are experiencing now. I began by flying on my own for a year or more before I learned of a local club and had some personal instruction. I learned more in two days with a bit of help than I learned in a year of flying by myself. Get together with someone who has experience. Hook up with someone near you. Get out to some kite festivals. Ask questions here. Watch the tutorial videos. Kite flyers are a friendly bunch and love helping new flyers get the hang of things.

Try to smile and  have fun 'cause that's what it's all about. And don't forget to breathe.

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Bill Clay    54

So now that I saw the new prototype Reflex sail, conveniently made the same size and shape of a standard 1.5 and able to fit any 1.5 frame, I really feel like I got misled and ripped off...


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kwmf    76

I saw that ... guess they realized their mistake in terms of sizing.

Wonder if they realize the mistake(s) in the product development / testing lifecycle and the value of user involvement...

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kwmf    76

BTW, If you would probably be successful if you offered the Reflex in trade for a B / B-Pro.

You would have to agree on fair value, condition, cash difference, etc ... but I think you could find someone who has a number of 1.5 sized kites who wants to try or add a reflex to their fleet.

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Wayne Dowler    1,459

Or after they sort it out - call Lolly at Rev and ask if they would consider a trade in. Tell them about wanting to customize your setup and ask. No harm in asking. Or see about selling it. Or trading it. 

Just be aware that there is no one "does it all" kite out there. Putting in different frames will extend the sail's range, but it has a limit. Most of us have several to use in different wind conditions. A full sail will not work well in wind that makes a full vent strain. Likewise, low winds won't get a vented off the ground. A good bag is to have at least a full sail and a full vent for use. Pretty much covers the  wind range, except the extremes at both ends.

The Reflex does cover the light to medium wind range. No it's not as versatile as a 1.5, with all the frame changes. 

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kwmf    76

I change kites, not frames :lol:

Even when I had limited kites, I rarely changed frames as the gain was somewhat limited to me.

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Paul LaMasters    456

Bill Clay

you need not worry, you are on the cutting edge, not hoisting 15 year old technology into the air.  Rev offered you their best product at this very moment.

The Chinese now make a kite better than the EXP, cheaper, superior in ever regard (Vertigo) so you aren't stuck with a bad purchase at all.

Now can a very new piece of technology that flies be improved?  You betcha', but it's so new many of us a playing with it ourselves. First you learn it stock, then you modify it and see if it is an improvement (gotta' have a base-line).

If you come up with something extraordinary as an improvement, you make it available to anyone who's interested.

I stole everything I know or use and it's taken me over two decades.  You spend a couple of first sundays with our club and you could experience a bunch of changes and various tuning options in a few hours.  Our rule is the newest pilot get their pick of all the kites on the line and the lucky owner gets to go set-up another for their own use. 

With enough time you won't be the weakest flier on the line and you'll have to get your own equipment.  We advise folks NOT to buy a kite for the first two years, instead use ours until you know exactly what you want and why!

you put the time in and work on an inverted hover, own that Reflex's soul!

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Bill Clay    54

I seriously appreciate everyone's feedback. I know coddling the new guy is probably not your favorite thing to do...

All I wanted to do was start the very long path toward learning how to do all the cool stuff in John B's (and others) videos and eventually getting good enough to do group flying.

I flew the 1.5 and I was hooked. Then came along the Reflex demo and I was told by Rev that was the kite I needed.

Can anyone honestly say, if you had a complete noob that was just starting out and wanted to buy their first Rev, that you would insist on them buying a Reflex...?


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John Barresi    4,002

Nope.

It'd be an EXP or Vertigo, or if they really knew they'd like what they were looking at and wanted to put in the time, a B-Series (best value with 2 frames, etc). The Reflex is not a first kite imho, it's an add on.

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riffclown    906
49 minutes ago, John Barresi said:

The Reflex is not a first kite imho, it's an add on.

100% Concur

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makatakam    1,558

@John Barresi

"Nope.

It'd be an EXP or Vertigo, or if they really knew they'd like what they were looking at and wanted to put in the time, a B-Series (best value with 2 frames, etc). The Reflex is not a first kite imho, it's an add on."

John -- I'm not so sure about that. At the Elmhurst, IL, 2nd annual kite festival held just a week ago, team 180GO! was flying demos with their team kites and Mike Stephenson had his Reflex set up as well. Two or three people were taught to fly a Rev using a Reflex as the teaching kite on 120's in light very variable wind. From my perspective I saw no difference in the beginners' abilities to handle the kite. 

I think whatever kite you start with is the correct one to start with. It is not a matter of unlearning bad habits, but a matter of learning new and different habits. Every kite I have flown, either purchased or home-made, is it's own entity and requires a different kind of caress to make it shine.

I believe we are getting too myopic and ignoring the fact that there are SOOOO many directions one can go in kiting.

My $2-worth (due to inflation) -- YMWV (Your Mileage Will Vary!)(Don't pay any attention to me, I'm crazy)

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riffclown    906

My opinion only and yours may vary greatly..

Reflex is a great sail. Also a great teaching tool.  It is also a very forgiving kite and easy to learn on but then at that point you've only learned the Reflex.

If you start with any other  Rev 1.5 sail, you'll be able to adjust your flying either way, up and down the Rev Line to include the Reflex.. You'll also be able to better understand and appreciate the sail AND frame differences.  If you've ONLY flown the Reflex, you might be in for a surprise when you grab the handles on an SUL or 1.5. It is different.. You might just yank a normal 1.5 out of the air before you adjust and get the hang of it..

The cost factor applies here as well. There's a reason there's so many threads about Rev Alternatives. You have to scroll down the page if you look up quadline kite on Amazon. I bought a HQ Kites Mojo trying to avoid the investment of a Rev. I still fly the Mojo because its twitchiness makes me correct my flying before I go between the Foils and a Rev.

That being said, learning on one of the highest cost kites in the current production line is kind of like taking first driving lessons in a Corvette ZR6. Maybe not the best of ideas  Face it, replacement rods and parts for the Reflex aren't nearly as easy to locate as the standard 1.5 stuff. It takes a bit for anyone "even a natural" to get the hang of it and most of us have cracked a spar at some point haven't we?.

 

 

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Bill Clay    54

Here is the final chapter in my Reflex saga.

Lolly happily agreed to swap my Reflex for a B-series. I received it yesterday.

It's not that I wasn't happy with the kite itself, I'm sure it's a great kite. I was more unhappy with myself for not doing enough research and making a better decision about where to start my quad journey. Lolly was very understanding and made the swap with no problem.

I apologize for plastering my drama all over this topic.

I hope to fly with any/all of you in the future. :)


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makatakam    1,558

Glad to hear Lolly helped you out with a swap. Of course, you know that the B-series will NOT make it easier to learn to fly a quad-line kite, and will increase the tendency for the kite to fall out of the sky at the edge of the window in gusty and shifting wind, so stay away from the edges until can make both up-turns and down-turns quickly. The flatter a sail is the more easily it can slide. Other than that just have fun on your quad journey. Talk to and fly with the experienced pilots in your area. Drive over to where LeMasters and the bunch he hangs out with fly, and shake them down for everything they know. Try their set-ups. If you don't ask to try them they will probably force you to anyway. After a couple of sessions with that group you'll be semi-pro in a hurry.

Have fun, smile and don't forget to breathe -- 'cause that's what it's all about anyway.

And the drama? What drama? We're here to help, and we love to do it! You'll get our opinions whether you want them or not, and we will all only agree on one thing -- JUST DO IT!

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Edmond Dragut    108
4 minutes ago, makatakam said:

Glad to hear Lolly helped you out with a swap. Of course, you know that the B-series will NOT make it easier to learn to fly a quad-line kite, and will increase the tendency for the kite to fall out of the sky at the edge of the window in gusty and shifting wind, so stay away from the edges until can make both up-turns and down-turns quickly. The flatter a sail is the more easily it can slide. Other than that just have fun on your quad journey. Talk to and fly with the experienced pilots in your area. Drive over to where LeMasters and the bunch he hangs out with fly, and shake them down for everything they know. Try their set-ups. If you don't ask to try them they will probably force you to anyway. After a couple of sessions with that group you'll be semi-pro in a hurry.

Have fun, smile and don't forget to breathe -- 'cause that's what it's all about anyway.

And the drama? What drama? We're here to help, and we love to do it! You'll get our opinions whether you want them or not, and we will all only agree on one thing -- JUST DO IT!

mark is right, i take the first lesson with him and i loved the handles setup, couple of experienced fliers disagree with that but i feel control the kite best.

i have a rev reflex and is fun but for me just if, remember for me, if the wind is at least 3 MPH and that because i am still new on quads and second i am not aggressive on movements. i like the kite to flow and reflex is do that great after you have some experience with standard sails at the edge of window.

good luck with that B-series and have fun

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Paul LaMasters    456

I just wore out one of the spring wire mechanisms on my Reflex.  It snapped off next to the spar edge going into/against the tube.  I was flying in a dead calm basically on 135 feet of 50#, on super long throw handles (to offset those stretchy lines).  When I was done for the day I say the wire was in two pieces.

I have enjoyed the kite stock, now it's time to try out some modifications, other than the addition of magic sticks.  Lolly will hopefully ship me a couple of replacement down spars before the weekend.  Foolish Hat Day and 1st Sunday club flys are at Sandy Point State Parkon the first of January.

That darn oversteer is so different in flight dynamics compared to my other kites though, it's like learning to fly a quad all over again!

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makatakam    1,558

Hey, Paul, you know that you can kill that oversteer by shortening the bottoms of the bridle by 1 to 2 inches or by lengthening all four on top, right?

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Again almost a year later after it started being offered for sale, and being discussed here on Kitelife, I think I've found the first team to be flying RXs!

Not familiar with this team's skills, but the performance with the kites don't look anything exciting like B's are in the YouTubes. :l (not sure if they're flying with springs or regular rods either)

Very scarce coverage on these new go-to Rx kites, it's the new defacto if you're new to the hobby and visit the official rev homepage without doing further research on other rev models, so, new go-to kite.

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