shirillz731

Looking for the next step

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Hello, I currently have a premier osprey. It's nice for the beach but I don't have enough wind at home for it most days due to the kite itself and the fact that the replacement lines I bought for it may be too heavy and long. Anyway, I like the dual line, framed stunt kites as well as the revolutions, but the light wind/indoor rev is too expensive for all the kiting I do, and I might not have enough wind here for the EXP. Any recommendations? I was thinking about the 4-D, but maybe I should go for the rev exp or the rev indoor.... Also, any recommendations about what lines to use on the osprey? Should they be short for low wind? This way I can still fly it and it won't become obsolete. Thanks!

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Welcome to kitelife. Before long you will have several replies from very experienced kite flyers. I'm still in the process of learning myself. For light winds I've had to buy kites made for light winds in my area. Usually less than 3 and never consistent. I use 50 lb line and have a few different lengths, I usually use 50 foot lines to practice with, but have 30 and 100 as well. As far as advice for kites goes way more experienced flyers will be giving you advice soon. Good luck


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Had to look the Premier Osprey up (as is the case with most kites and all Premier kites): a 60in/152cm kite with glass fibre tubes.
I think the the typical next step would be to choose between an intermediate or more towards the (full size?) DLK "expert" models (dependent upon how much you are prepared spend) of a well known brand, but not a boutique grade (I don't own any so far b.t.w. but then I like to try many models and aspects of kiting) kite yet. If you have learnt not to pull the lines when trying to avoid a crash, but your reflexes tell you that non-powered ground contact (if the kite is falling like a leave e.g.) is perfectly safe, then go for the good kite. Even if you are not there and don't mind occasional CA-glueing, carbon fibre spars sawing and sail tapeing you could still go with the better model (a path I went along myself a long time ago). Also a full size kite is probably easier to control but is in my experience a bit more sensitive during "sudden ground contact".
 
Do yourself, the next person you are going to train on your old kite and and any multiline kiter around you a favour. When getting hold of a proper line set - feel the difference before and after you switched to the (good) polyethene lines. Also you don't need to fear that you would accidentally chop someone else's lines off would your lines cross any other multi line kiter's lines.

No, the 4D is not probably the natural next step kite, rather a complement to your (lower?) medium wind range (full size?) next kite. It didn't initially feel "like a real kite", but took me quite long before I learnt to appreciate it. On the other hand, whatever you use you tend to get used to. But bear in mind that one session on gravel might tear a hole in its nose. It is a very light kite where little material has been used.

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Welcome @shirillz731 I too am on the journey to finding a good low wind kite. That journey is just about over now that I have asked the right questions and received a lot of answers. It is now my job to take all the information I have received and put it all together. I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions on this forum. So before getting to involved in an answer as of right now, I would say a good start would be reading the topics that I posted. These topics have all been started within the last month or so by me and others and cover a lot of information regarding low wind.

Low Wind Topics------->

General Sport Kite:

Silver Fox Series by Flying Wings Designed by Lam Hoac!!

Silver Fox UL/ Acrobatx UL??

Zephyr good for use as low wind kite??

Low Wind Kite Suggestions

Favorite SUL?

 

I think a general rule for lines is that the longer the line the larger the wind window. So when flying low wind I believe you would want 85-100' lines, maybe longer. I have also read a lot of individuals going with shorter lines, but I think this is mainly for tricking. The more important aspect is the weight of the line. I would say anywhere from 50# to 90# is good. I have read pros and cons with both...50# being easier to snap and knot, while 90# might be on the bit to heavy side. My consensus is that 90#, and thereabouts, is a good all around line for low wind. There are two topics that I can think of that give a good amount of information between them regarding different aspects of lines.

 

Line Topics----->

Beginners

Flukes Journey

Line Length for Beginners

 

As for quads, there is a forum designated to quad flying, so I would post a question there if you are seriously thinking of going that way. I'm sure Wayne Dowler will step in on this...very knowledgeable individual. 

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I'm interested to see what replies you get as well. I'm in nearly the same camp as you and was going to start this very same thread - Bought a ~60" fiberglass kite while at the beach, had a blast in the near-steady 10-15 mph winds there, only to bring it home (inland MD) and find there are very few days it's flyable here.

In my (so far limited) reading, lightweight and beginner-friendly kites are seeming to be somewhat mutually exclusive. Since I'm still not out of the frequent unplanned landing stage, I was strongly considering something in the entry-level carbon frame + spectra lines category, like the Prism Quantum, though that's hardly a light wind kite either. I'd be glad to see what others say about the 4D, as I was considering it too.

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Today - just about any kite is going to be carbon fiber framed - stronger and overall lighter than fiberglass. You will find better fittings too on more modern kites. The reason so many light wind kites are so expensive, is that the materials used are exotic, not the usual run of the mill stuff. Plus somebody spent a bunch of time figuring out how to defeat gravity! My Rev Zen sold for $440 new - not cheap! It's a trade off between the good boutique kites made especially for these conditions, or settling for something close and working on your skills so that when you can get that better kite, you appreciate it! So you're looking at a special breed of kite .....! 

All that being said - there isn't anything "wrong" with the 4-D. Smaller, easy to transport, flown on lighter lines - it is a different feel in your hands, but not necessarily a bad one, just different. I still own a 3-D from back in the 90s, used it as my travel kite, took to work,  whenever I felt a need to fly, etc. Smaller and light and needed a light touch, not a ham-handed one. 

Doing research is great, but until you fly that kite in your hands, in your conditions, it is all a guessing game. Some connect with whatever it is they might fly, others just can't stand some stuff, they just don't enjoy that particular "feel". When I started searching for a light/no wind kite, I ended up going through several - why? Because they had abilities, but I had no skill.

Whatever you decide on - there is NO substitute for this - Time on the Lines!! I don't call it practice, but that is what it amounts to! Every time out, learning more about the equipment (how it works, adjustments, etc) and how YOU interact with it! The only way to further your skill set is to get out and fly! And there is nothing wrong with having several kites to do the different jobs asked of them. Most dual line fliers end up with at least 3 - something for light, medium, and higher winds. And a bunch of lines to mix and match accordingly. 

Nice thing is after accumulating your kit - the wind blows for free!!

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Extremely common questions in the arena of DLK are

the Low Cost Low Wind kite.  (The word low typically applies to one or the othe,r never both)

the unicorn of the "do everything" kite. (Simply does not exist. Performance parameters are typically a balance of numerous factors. Each one affects the others in different and often negative ways)

The bottom line is you typically get about what you pay for and if you are determined to get just one kite, you should decide the singular set of conditions you will be flying in. Once this particular item is determined, the low cost low wind question usually follows, and is often followed by how to extend the wind range without buying another kite.

Yhere is no substitute or 3rd party opinion that can compensate for time spent on the handles, whether it's your kite or someone elses.

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you may do a compromise, try to buy a Rev 1 from sell section or e-Bay. that will go up to 150-175$ maybe. you will have a kite for 3 to 15 MPH winds but...invest another 95$ in 2 wraps or some 100-150 SkyShark  frame and replace the original 4 wraps of Rev 1. This will lower the wind speed for Rev 1 and will start to act like a Zen, use 50 Lbs lines from 40 to 120 fits depending the wind and have fun. Pay attention if the wind become stronger then 5 MPH to change to the original frame  and use 90-100 LBS lines. this is my setup for low wind when i do not feel to fly the White Zen 

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Hi, shirillz731, and welcome to the forum.

The Premier Osprey is an entry-level dual line kite with a 5-foot wingspan and weighs almost 6.5 ounces because it has tubular fiberglass spars. This, and the ripstop nylon sail material make it quite heavy for its size. It comes with 80 to 85 feet of 100-lb test line, and the recommended wind range is 5-18 miles per hour. It will be easiest to fly for a beginner in the 7-15mph range. It is not designed for low-wind flying, but instead to survive the bumps and bruises that a novice will inflict upon it. It is not designed to fly the tricks common to dual line kites, so learning to trick with this kite will be very difficult, assuming you would want to. To be able to fly in very low wind you will need a different kite. A full size performance kite that you can fly in low wind and trick with will cost $150 and up because of all around better and therefore more expensive materials used. The Osprey is not designed to do anything other than just fly around doing just basic figures. No matter what you do it will just not be any fun in wind less that 5mph. Remember, the whole point in flying kites is to have fun. Using shorter lines will make it move faster, which you don't want when just starting out. I recommend lines of 100-lb test at a length of 50-60 feet once you can fly without crashing using the lines you have now, unless they are more than 150-lb test. Shoot for wind in the 8-12mph range until you feel you can control it fairly well.

Good luck in your endeavors. Have fun, smile and don't forget to breathe.

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You guys might be misunderstanding me a bit. I believe the wind rarely gets above 5mph at my home( I'll have to try checking more accurately but that's what I believe). I am not wanting to have to work on a kite, nor do I want to break the bank because I have many other hobbies and this won't be my biggest. If you have any recommendations for wind in Pennsylvania, then that would be great. If you believe the 4-D would not be the right choice, then what else can you suggest? 

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1 hour ago, shirillz731 said:

You guys might be misunderstanding me a bit. I am not wanting to have to work on a kite, nor do I want to break the bank because I have many other hobbies and this won't be my biggest. If you believe the 4-D would not be the right choice, then what else can you suggest? 

Not misunderstanding at all. I was in the exact same position wanting the exact same thing...actually I was looking for a kite that would fly in winds of 3-7 mph. Something that I can fly when my heavier Prism Quantum struggles to stay aloft. The 4D was the first kite I looked at, but decided against it due to its size and frailty, thus my search began. This is why I would take a look at the topics I posted here for you, because all of the same things you want, I have already asked about. 

No kite igoing to stay aloft in 0-5 without working at it a little. So the question becomes what kite will stay aloft the easiest. I think for your situation, which is 0-5 mph winds and not wanting to work overly hard to keep the kite aloft, the Prism 4D may be your best option. Another kite suggestion would be the Flying Wings Acrobatx. This is a kite that I came across in my research that I received good feedback about. Plus @ about $130 including tax from AWindOfChange.com, its not a bad choice for what you get. And you can actually pick this kite up from eBay brand new for $110 w/ free shipping. 

So thats two quality low wind kite suggestions. 

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A Wind of change has the Acrobatx for less than $90 right now.


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3 minutes ago, khsidekick said:

A Wind of change has the Acrobatx for less than $90 right now.

That's for the Standard, you have to add the $37 for the UL...roughly $130 out the door for the UL. 

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26 minutes ago, JaseRicco said:

No kite igoing to stay aloft in 0-5 without working at it a little

My boys widowmaker pro sul will fly in 2 mph without moving your feet. Very little pumping and milking the wind with arm movement only. 1 mph if you step back a little as in one step every 3-4 seconds.But that's what 313$ will buy you. another is the fw zero, not a full size kite but fly's in the same wind as the wm. 0-7 mph for about 100$ or so. Its also an indoor kite as well.There's also the into the wind swift for around 100$ or so, his first low wind kite.pretty fragile stuff those kites. fly's about the same wind as the zephyr but is not much for tricks. good luck with your new zephyr, it should serve you well. A nice robust ul kite.  these should be accurate wind speeds as long as my wind meter didn't lie to me:}

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Oh yes, one other thing you might do, shirillz731 is maybe give Andy at Ocean shores Kites a call. He knows just about every kite there is. He's a store owner but most on this forum will give him credit for being an all round joe. he's never steared us wrong. There's other kite stores like the kite shoppe, I don't know them, but they could be of some help.

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22 hours ago, shirillz731 said:

I currently have a premier osprey. ... Any recommendations?

I like the Ospery.  I would suggest going with a bigger kite. I find a larger(7'+) kite like the Premier Widow NG is easier to fly in lighter wind than the Osprey. If you want a good light wind(3-10MPH) flier, I would suggest the Skydog UL. 

I would also like to second(or third, forth,...) the advice of flying the Osprey until you have pretty much quit playing lawn darts and learned to crash softly. 

As for line, I do most all my flying on 75' 100# Skybond.  

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On the topic of "Lawn Darts":

Panic! Kite is going to crash - what to do?!?! 

Let it!! That's right - let it! Stop pulling and learn to "Give to the Kite!"! All that pulling does is drive that kite into the ground harder! Step forward, create slack, and take all the "oomph" out, letting the kite fall as gently as you can. Better to need to set things upright, than to go down and find something broken and ruin your day.

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A UL/SUL might be limiting, only having a narrow wind range. Are the typical winds so that you most of the times are able to cancel out or out-walk the wind if you walk fast? If not, consider going for a standard wind range. You could choose a standard wind range kite, but geared towards the lower end (e.g. 7ft+ spanwidth with a large sail area). And as @Wayne Dowler said above, carbon fibre will get you lower weight as well (than your current kite).

Added 30 minutes later: Should it be rather be cancelling the wind by light jogging? Opinions?

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Where in PA are you? Near the ocean or way inland? Double check the average wind speed for your area. Remember, summer winds are the lightest of the year, pretty much everywhere. Come September, things normally improve. Look at used kites to get more bang for the buck. 

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nobody here recommend you something expensive but the circumstances you described of your area ask for expensive kites. flyers explain you why: materials, frames,lines. what other hobbies you have? if we will know will give you one of the best analogy to kiting.

fishing analogy: big hook-big catch also applicable to line strength and rod,no way to catch a minnow. car analogy: a lot of horse power faster 0 to 100 MPH on same time more gas consumption,not a good choice for city commuter.

any condition have pro and cons,some on costs some on performance. one for all was not invented yet and how long we will have gravitation, air and water will not be.

low wind kites dual,and/or quads ? 4-D, Swift are for dual, Rev Indoor and Zen are for quads. if you just want something to fly is one but if you want something to fly good and nice this are some of the best options. 

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SW Va wind meter says "why bother" its 90 and the flag ducks in the yard are laughing at me. But... if I look at it as a workout and have non alcoholic hydration... ha, who am I kidding! Time for a beach trip! I bought a new rev with diamond rods (UL setup that I love) but unless it wants to try to stay in the air without me doing fifty feet, not happening. Honeydo's bring karma for future flying! At least at my home! Good luck choosing, kites come and go, there's always another kite in your future so enjoy them all and keep the ones that make you smile the most. I do.

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Aye, any kite requires some degree of footwork in the lightest winds, can't be helped.

What can be helped how the kite handles (stability / trick), how well it creates sail pressure (flight) with an even draw on both lines and durability relative to your skill, balanced against what you're willing to spend - speaking generally, there is quite a difference as you go up every $100 or so.

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