happysuperbutton

Newbie Bay Area friends and learning tips

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Hi Kitelifers, 

 

I'm brand spanking new hoping to make some awesome new kite friends in the San Francisco Bay area..I'm in Santa Clara and frequent the Kite Lot in Mountain view by Google, flying RC stuff secretly.

Ive done research and know there's a Bay Area kite sport league or something, and big kite groups up in Berkeley.

That's just too far for my tight schedule.

So hoping to meet some folks around closer here that will be willing to "take me under their wing" (or kite).

I'm madly interested in the Rev kites.

Actually I'm this close to dropping my wallet for the new EXP Rx kite, but at the same time, I really rather just get the Classic 1.5 and spend longer in the learning curve.

I don't mean to start anything with the kite naming here, I'm just going with what is available to me today as a new comer.  I am aware of the history of Rev and the whole rebranding debacle that happened recently (yes, I've been lurking and researching a ton on Rev kites already even though I've never touched one yet)

A mentor and flying friend on the weekends will be awesome, hoping to meet someone really soon whos willing to help guide me to my first purchase. The summer is already here and the winds are insane!

Thanks and appreciate all of you.

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riffclown    856

FIRST!!! Welcome to Kitelife.

As nice as the pretty new kites are, I'd recommend taking a good look at the used market first. This has nothing to do with Rev current offerings and everything to do with making the right choice for you. Start out with the OPK (other people's Kites) variety.. Fly a few times with local fliers who I'm sure will chime in shortly.. Then decide what you want.. You may even be able to score a field purchase of the OPK variety..

Start with a used kite of the venting level prevalent for your area.. Once you've got the feel for it, then base your next kite on what you like and dislike about your current sail. B-Series do pop up fairly often in the used market and not necessarily at a premium price.  A B-Pro will be much harder to find but that's also a different conversation entirely. If you really want a new kite check with some of the online dealers. At least one dealer is blowing out their EXP kites for $135 kite only or $189 with handles, lineset and DVD. As for the reflex springs, they aren't for everyone.. It does change the way the sail flies but not all of us consider it an improvement.. OPK should allow you to make a good choice there as well..

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dragonfish    376

Hi happysuperbutton,

Welcome to Kitelife! 

The Shoreline Kite Lot is a great place to be for sport kites. There are a number of us who frequently fly there, dual line and quad. I'm a bit surprised you haven't run into any of us. Guess you're good about being secret. Berkeley used to be a really popular flying spot, but in recent years, it seems to be shifting to Shoreline, so don't feel bad you can't make it to Berkeley. (Do check out the Berkeley Kite Festival if you can swing it the last weekend of July.) Some of us, myself included, compete with the Bay Area Sport Kite League as well, so feel free to pick our brains about it if you want to know more. 

As for kites...sounds like you've done plenty of research on Rev, but have you taken a look at the alternatives? I'm not trying to steer you away from Rev, just pointing out another avenue for research if you don't already know about it. Here's one thread: 

I'm busy this Saturday, but might be able to squeeze out an hour or two Sunday afternoon to go fly at Shoreline. You're welcome to try my Revs. 

Oh, and protip: check the Shoreline Amphitheatre concert schedule before going to the Kite Lot. Most of the area where we fly is actually parking for the amphitheatre, so there's not much room to fly once concert traffic starts coming in. This Saturday is actually a bad day to go kiteflying there. Sunday looks good though. 

 

 

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makatakam    1,472

What they said -- ditto. Try before you buy. Consider all options.

Other pro tip, watch the video tutorials available on this forum, especially assembly, line management, and basic set-up and launch. If you have already watched them, watch them again and again until you're sick of watching, and then watch them three more times. Everything JB tells you is GOSPEL, and will save you much grief. Definitely get together with Dragonfish. She knows her stuff, backwards and forwards. 

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17 hours ago, dragonfish said:

Hi happysuperbutton,

Welcome to Kitelife! 

The Shoreline Kite Lot is a great place to be for sport kites. There are a number of us who frequently fly there, dual line and quad. I'm a bit surprised you haven't run into any of us. Guess you're good about being secret. Berkeley used to be a really popular flying spot, but in recent years, it seems to be shifting to Shoreline, so don't feel bad you can't make it to Berkeley. (Do check out the Berkeley Kite Festival if you can swing it the last weekend of July.) Some of us, myself included, compete with the Bay Area Sport Kite League as well, so feel free to pick our brains about it if you want to know more. 

As for kites...sounds like you've done plenty of research on Rev, but have you taken a look at the alternatives? I'm not trying to steer you away from Rev, just pointing out another avenue for research if you don't already know about it. Here's one thread: 

I'm busy this Saturday, but might be able to squeeze out an hour or two Sunday afternoon to go fly at Shoreline. You're welcome to try my Revs. 

Oh, and protip: check the Shoreline Amphitheatre concert schedule before going to the Kite Lot. Most of the area where we fly is actually parking for the amphitheatre, so there's not much room to fly once concert traffic starts coming in. This Saturday is actually a bad day to go kiteflying there. Sunday looks good though. 

 

 

Dragonfish hello!

Thanks and yes I have read that thread prior to joining the forum to post , I like Freleine as an alternative, but with all alternatives I got interested in, there's no difference to entry price point, so might as well go with Rev right...there'll be more around I could test compared to the still-growing alternatives.

And yes I have seen many of the prism Delta fliers as well as a few revs the times that ive been there at the kite lot.

I was actually around that day flying my RC stuff at the opposite end for what I believe was also the day of the BASKL Fun Fly event day in mid April. There were like 12 revs flying solo, lots of people chatting and flying other kites too. But I had to rush off and missed the opportunity to check out  the revs or meet anyone as that period of time was really busy for me. Dust settled now though so back to the kite lot when I can.

Would be cool yeah maybe this Sunday we could arrange a first meet/look at any revs you wouldn't mind showing me. We can discuss over pm if you like !

 

15 hours ago, makatakam said:

What they said -- ditto. Try before you buy. Consider all options.

Other pro tip, watch the video tutorials available on this forum, especially assembly, line management, and basic set-up and launch. If you have already watched them, watch them again and again until you're sick of watching, and then watch them three more times. Everything JB tells you is GOSPEL, and will save you much grief. Definitely get together with Dragonfish. She knows her stuff, backwards and forwards. 

Yup haha I actually watched a lot of the "Kitelife" YouTube tutorials videos like months ago during research.

Looks easy to get in and difficult to master.

But even then I have my reservations still lol.

Excited, looking forward to meeting more of you soon.

Also now really interested in purchasing used revs as another buy-in option. The hunt begins with any willing hearts lol.

Thank you!

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dragonfish    376

Cool! So you've seen us out there. Feel free to come talk to us whenever you have time. Most kitefliers are happy to talk about kites and show you theirs. Let's discuss over PM about meeting up this Sunday. Hopefully I'm not exhausted from Saturday. Alternatively, you could just show up to Shoreline on Sunday and try your luck at running into someone. 

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Quick shoutout to dragonfish for showing me the ropes on revs today!

Winds were rather fierce at like 20mph+, but she's well experienced and had her collection with her so we flew with her vented bseries. 

Much easier to tame than dual line or parafoils I tried in the past and what I had expected going in, was easy enough getting it the the air and back down and some newbie control turns here and there haha, I had fun. No real "splats" today. I've spent lots of hours researching and reading on revs and today's quick field trip has me sold!

I'm quite interested in buying a used rev to start with, so if anyone knows anyone looking to sell a bseries, mid vent, maybe handles too, it'll be great if you could connect me! I think local would be a plus so we can skip the shipping hassle. Mostly fly in winds at around 10mph and above as anything lower I'll be occupied with rc stuff.

Thanks again dragonfish! Looking forward to flying more soon :D <-- happy rev newbie

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makatakam    1,472

I'm glad you could get out there with Dragonfish and get some idea of what Revs are like. You WILL make some hard contact with the ground as you learn so keep that in mind as you acquire your Rev. You should now be able to make a more informed choice. If you have any questions, shoot. We'll all do our best to help.

10mph and up is midvent to full vent territory, depending on experience and wind quality. I recommend starting with a midvent if you are sure you will ignore wind that's 10mph or less. If you think you may do some flying in wind less than that, then you should start with a standard sail, and get a full vent as your second kite when you are ready for it.

As I said, ask all the questions you need to. We don't bite.

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Thanks makatakam!

I have a question.

I was browsing for revs using the Kitelife Amazon widget and found this SLE

http://amzn.to/2roCSgg

Thoughts? It seems like a perfect entry price for my budget and it comes with handles, extra frames, sleeve, except lines.. but not sure how different it is from the vented bseries I tried out.

Don't think I've been able to find such a good price to entry anywhere else yet.. so curious now.

Yeah as much as I love to support revs and the hobby, just not in the best financial statement yet so any chipping of costs to entry for me (like going with used kite) is important considerations. I can't wait to go flying hahaha. I'm quite sure I'll end up with more than just one kite anyhow.

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makatakam    1,472

No price or availability when I looked today. Don't forget that lines, if new, will set you back $75 to $100. Look for an RTF (Ready To Fly) package deal. It's the best value for the money. Keep an eye on eBay. Used ones from people who didn't get into it show up frequently, and many that have just been taking up space in the garage for the last 10 years. Take your time. I know how much you want to get into it, but it will cost you twice as much as it should have if you make hasty decisions. Show up at the kite lot some more and get to know the others. Ask around. Many Rev fliers have kites that just sit in their bag taking up space. On the field is where you find the best deals. Go to a festival. Haggle with the kite retailer(s) present at the event. They always seem to be more generous on the field than back at the store.

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Hi all!!

Happy to say I've gotten my hands on my very first Rev ever!! :lol:

It's a used B-series. It came only with one 3 wrap frame. 90#/80 lines and handles. Sleeve. Works for me won't complain, RTF!

Managed to find some time to maiden it too. Here's a short video of the very very first flight I had with it after setting it up! Wind ranged like 7-13mph.

 

If you noticed something not normal about the sail, that's because I learnt afterwards from the guy I got the rev from, that I had installed the vertical spars on the wrong side of the sail. I flew with the spars on the front-side of the kite instead of the back. Oops haha.

Flew awesome though, I had a total blast and couldn't stop smiling ! Not a single hard hit the whole hour I had with it. 

After an hour I switched over to a brand new Synapse 170 too with the wife.. hah, was an absolute complete blast. I'll update later with the video of it too!!

I can't wait to fly the rev again, and get better with it!!! AND fly it with the spars on the correct side Lol.

Having a difficult time finding any free youtube video tutorial for how to execute that Rev iconic "instant stop" move, it's something I want to figure out as soon as possible to recover from any future mistakes :D if anyone knows one link please would be appreciated greatly!

 

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riffclown    856

Congratulations.. Kitelife has lots of instructional videos available..

http://kitelife.com/video-tutorials/#index

Start at the top and work your way down. They are ALL relevant.. The dive Stop is honestly just a generous and controlled application of the brakes.  Work on maneuvering the kite upside down and you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

The spars in the back thing is a common first mistake.. We'll laugh WITH you this time..

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makatakam    1,472

Cool! When the uprights are on the front it flies like an inflated bag. It resists turning, and most other inputs must be exaggerated to make it do what you want it to. Be ready for quite a bit more movement when the spars are on the back. Small moves is all it takes.

Have fun, smile and don't forget to breathe.

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dragonfish    376

Yay! Sounds like a success. Next time, stand a little farther back so your kite isn't so close to those logs on the ground there. ;)

To learn the dive stop is really just to train your brain to tell your hands to hit the brakes as the kite is zooming forward toward the ground. Many people's instinct thinks "up" and their hands give the go input, which is wrong because the kite is upside down. You have to think from the kite's perspective not the perspective from where you are standing. 

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DrZettl    43
On 2017-07-03 at 2:59 PM, dragonfish said:

To learn the dive stop is really just to train your brain to tell your hands to hit the brakes as the kite is zooming forward toward the ground.

Best advice I got for learning the divestop, is to start about "3 mistakes up".

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Exult    232

When warming up for the dive stop I do horisontal flight with the leading edge first and then do the sudden stop instead of starting out with a more dramatic vertical dive. The input is the same as when doing the dive stop to my understanding. This developed into an exercise flying from side to side, turning by making the sudden stop and then the actual 180 deg turn on the spot to fly off in the other direction (but that is another story). But bear in mind when evaluating my answer, in this aspect, I am a beginner as well.

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SHBKF    998

My earliest dive stops were done with a standard sail SLE Rev with the infamous Super Leading Edge in the sleeve.  I will say that the SLE is one tough kite because the first few were done without any brakes applied.  Fly em till they're rags I say!

Here I am about to perform a "dive stop" off to the right.  Notice my great "archer stance" technique.  Still confused by dualie flying at this point in my second Rev session.  But I did have modded leaders with lots of knots anticipating that some day I would understand & need extra braking.  Loved those days, SHBKF

1-04-13 Haystack Hill Rev 1.5 about to crash.JPG

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Thanks all for chiming in, this community is super kick-ass and warm!!

I've had a bit more time with my new Rev!! Still not a single hard hit yet, been practicing launch/land and hovers.

I have been struggling with a couple things, any tips would be super appreciated and noted in mind the next time I fly (probably this evening or tomorrow).

To preface, I've done due diligence prior to purchasing the rev (as you read in the top post) and watched all the tutorial videos by JB. (Free, YouTube not premiuum downloaded episodes)

1. Lines!!

Wrapping my lines, I follow JB's method to the T, as far as wrapping it to the holder and keeping lines separated in their own pairs. However, the three or four times I've unwrapped the lines to fly, I have had to spend time untwisting or untangling the lines. Like, a lot of time. For one, I can't tell from standing at the handles which way they have twisted, left or right, which direction is untwisting them or twisting them up even further. Tried tensioning, holding the handles as far apart as possible, hard to determine the direction to untwist. How do you guys figure out which way to turn? I even get my line pairs "inside" each other and have to untangle them by putting a handle through the other. Is there a wrong way of unwrapping the lines off the spool? I feel like I am causing these twists during my unwrapping of the lines off the spool...

2. Flight location origin!!

I am struggling staying in the spot I launch from. I very quickly end up moving back and more back, away from my starting position, until I'm out of space against the edge of the park or a fence lol. I take a step or two back to pump air into the dropping sail in attempt to keep the rev in the air/hovering. Pumping arms in place sometimes works, but I notice I'm more often needing a bigger "pump" to keep the kite from dropping...hence taking steps back. 

And I can't recover the step backs. Like I can't move forward, the kite has no tension. (Unstable wind, a few short moments 1-3mph, then jumps to 8-10 for some moments, constantly)

How do you guys manage this? Tips?

3. Flat kite when gusts ends

There's multiple times the rev faceplants while landed cause the wind takes a breather. Either forwards (belly down) or backwards (belly up). Kissing the ground. I tried JB's method of shimmying the lines to get some air under the sail but to zero success. I fear scratching the material too by dragging it around like that. So I end up having to walk it back up. When my dual line parafoil kites bite the dust, I am able to relaunch by shimmying either line, and understand how to inflate it back up catching air slowly while on the ground. Doesn't seem to transfer logic to the quad line rev. :l Tips?

 

Thanks everyone, greatly appreciate it.

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Wayne Dowler    1,430

1 - Lines: I also follow JB's method, but with a few personal twists. A. - I color code all 4 lines with a Sharpie,. Hook them to my handles the same way everytime, same on kite end. Tops and bottoms, left and right, all have their code. B. - Now I am one of the few that still use Joe H.'s original method of putting the kite over your lines. Reason is that the sides line up, right is on the right, left on left side, in relation to my handles. I also use 2 stakes, one for each handle, separating them a foot or so apart. Are you "pairing up" each side by larksheading? I have a saying that helps me - at the kite it is bottoms thru tops and at the handles, it's tops thru bottoms. Everytime!! Reason is I take my handles off every time I fly. C. - Try putting a finger between the pairs as you unwind. Again keeps the sides separated. D. - When you get the lines laid out, if still twisted - open your arms as far as you can and shake them. Most are just false twists and fall right out. At the worst, go back to where the lines are clear and walk the pairs out, a pair in each hand. Reading your description - I would bet that your handles are twirling around and doing those "pass thrus" you're describing. With my methods, the lines never have to leave the ground except to larkshead them together as pairs. Taking down is the reverse - land inverted, stake each handle, walk up to kite, turn it right side up to clear lines, lay on top and disconnect (being sure to larkshead those pairs together), roll up kite, roll up lines, disconnect handles (remember to larkshead here too), gather my stuff and leave.

2 - Recycling your ground: A. - a trick - try marking where you start and where you want to stop. (My 2 stakes were handy for this!). Launch and fly til you run out of space (your rear mark). Take your kite up as high as you can, invert it, and riding the brakes as much as you can, start walking forward towards your start mark. With a bit of practice, you'll find the correct amount of braking and speed of walking, to regain most, if not all, your original space. May take you more than one go! But learning to "recycle" your ground will go a long way to helping you discover that control so sought after!

3 - Can't help you on that, still walk myself at times!! (SHHH  - don't let anyone hear that!!!) LOL!! Remember to land inverted as much as possible - easier position to recover from IMHO!

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makatakam    1,472

What will help you the most is time on the lines. That said, watch the set up and line management tutorials again, several times. You should have no more than one or two twists in the line once the lines are tensioned. If they are out towards the kite, hold the handles close to each other and shuffle them alternatively back and forth. All the twists will come right to the handles where you can see which way they go. Pay close attention to what JB does in the videos and what he says. That's why I recommend watching them several times and then a few more times. When you lay out your lines and connect them it should only take a minute to undo any twists or cross-through lines. If you wind and unwind your lines exactly the same way each time it will minimize your problems. 

Recovering ground is difficult even for an experienced pilot if there is very little wind and changes direction constantly. Try to fly in medium, consistent wind as often as possible at the beginning. I know you want to fly whenever you have the time, but if the wind isn't fairly decent, you're better off watching the tutorials than acquiring muscle memory that you will have to "unlearn" later. Handling unruly wind is something that will just come to you with time and experience, once the kite is your friend as opposed to foe.

Watch the tutorial on recovering from the face down position. Again, this is difficult at the beginning, but with time you'll get the hang of it. Waiting until you can see the wind moving the kite a bit helps. Patience is everything in lousy winds, and you can take a break while waiting for it to help you relaunch. If you don't wait for the wind to help you a bit, you'll do a lot of back-pedaling and will just end up with extra ground to recover. I drag my Revs on grass and sand all the time when launching, relaunching from a face-down position or a crash unplanned landing, and doing inverted slides in contact with the ground and the sail handles it all pretty well. I'm sure it puts more wear on it than if it didn't touch the ground, but even the kites I've been flying for eight years now still don't show excessive wear.

I know I mentioned this before. You will put more wear on the kite(s) you use most often as you learn, but you probably will not kill them in the process. Good luck, have fun and fly with any experienced pilot you can join on the field. It will shave at least months from your learning curve.

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dragonfish    376

You've got lots of good advice already, so I'll try not to repeat too much of it. 

Lines: Never let line ends flap in the wind. That will twist them up faster than anything. If you keep your handles attached to the lines, try not to pick the handles up by the lines and let them dangle. That will also easily introduce twists. Wayne's point D is done at the kite end. The handles should stay together, i.e. don't spread your arms out when holding the handles. Picture a triangle formed by the handles at one point, two pairs of lines forming two sides, and the kite at the third side. If you spread out the lines at the kite end, and keep spreading them out as you walk toward the handles (keeping tension on the lines between you and the handles), you will bring the twisted part of the lines toward the handles, where hopefully it will be easier to see. If the lines ever don't want to separate, don't force it as you could cause more problems. Spreading out the handles is not helpful because it will cause the twisted part to move away from the handles. Untwisting is sometimes a bit of trial and error. Remember what you did so if you find it getting worse you can do the opposite. And passing handles through each other will happen, don't fret about that part. 

Flat kite: If the kite is belly down (trailing edge toward you and lines underneath), you should usually be able to recover using makatakam's advice, unless there's really no wind along the ground. If the kite is belly up (leading edge closer to you and lines above), the ground conditions at Shoreline will make it difficult. There is not much for the leading edge to catch on to provide enough resistance for you to pull the bottom wing tips up. If you ever find your kite with the belly down, leading edge toward you, and lines underneath, just go for the walk. 

Good luck. 

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Wayne Dowler    1,430

For full disclosure - I do a lot of what I do because I am a recovering stroke survivor. While not OCD, patterns and doing things again and again, over and over the same way, help me feel confident in what I'm doing. I can say this without any question - once you find a way that works - DO IT THE SAME WAY EVERY TIME - from then on! 

I can say that JB's method works - I just tweaked it to suit my tastes. The color code suits me, knowing I'm doing things the same way every time. Removing the handles frees me up to switch between the 3 different sizes I have - 13", 14", 15". All depends on wind conditions, which I use. 

Have any questions - feel free to pm me.

 

 

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makatakam    1,472

One little extra hint that I haven't seen mentioned here yet. Most flyers usually remember which lines are top and bottom this way: black = bottom or brake, b = b. If none of the sleeves are black, just put a black mark on the bottoms with a black permanent marker. If you repeat your set-up and break-down rituals consistently, you should eventually find that you can do either in around three minutes, although it's never really a race against time unless it starts raining. I leave the handles attached as I wind up my lines. If I need to switch to a different set, it's easy enough to do after the kite is set up.

If you stick with it long enough you will end up with many linesets and handles and can have two or three "dedicated" to each other, where you leave the lines attached to the handles.

In the tutorials JB shows how to shuffle the lines under the kite and turn it around so you can launch when the kite ends up face down, leading edge towards you. He makes it look much easier than it is (except for him), but with enough practice it gets easier. If you land in that position a lot you will get the practice. If you fly in unruly winds you will get a ton of practice. If you try new stuff all the time you will get lots of practice.

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      So now I'm in the market to replace them. I've had the Beetles for awhile and was wondering if any of you would chime in with first-hand experience with any new beginner models released since the Beetles.
      I'm looking for a delta, two-line stunter with a good wind range, not too quick, preferably under $80.
      Thanks in advance,
      Phil
    • By KennyK
      I wanted to take this time to officially introduce ourselves to the kiting enthusiasts out there and thank the good folks at Kitelife Magazine for allowing us to join their forum. As of May 1st this year, Kites.com officially launched with the intentions of ultimately being a central hub for kiting fanatics. Although we're still young, we are eager to get to know the "who's who" in the kite world. We offer a solid selection of single line, stunt and power kites, but are also actively looking for more suppliers who fit our business model.
      We welcome everyone to check out the site and give any suggestions and/or criticism they like. All feedback is good feedback.
      - Kites.com "Let your fun take flight!"
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