Issue 36: Kite Reviews


To the General Public:

Okay folks, the KITELIFE KITE REVIEW TEAM is open for business.  We are actively soliciting kites to test and review.  We’d prefer to test and review new kites directly from the manufacturer. Why? Because we’ll only review “production” kites in new, unmodified condition – and a kite that comes directly from the kite-maker is the best guarantee of that condition. We’ll evaluate the kite specifically with the buying public in mind. We’ll work hard to be as “Fair and Accurate” as possible in our evaluations.  And as a part of that “fair” portion of the team’s objectives, we’ll evaluate the kite specifically for the kite’s logical position in the marketplace. No, we’re not going to compare “this kite” with “that kite” ­ each kite, and each review, should stand alone. Done that way, we stand the best chance of an impartial review on each kite.  Yes, we’ll certainly stress those kite features we find especially worthwhile in Kitelife’s reviews, and we’ll also publish any shortcomings we discover, too. We figure that’s fair and accurate, and it’s also the kind of information that the buying public specifically wants to read in a Kitelife Kite Review!

If you’re a manufacturer, distributor, or even a one-person “cottage” kite-maker with a kite to review, please click the link at the bottom and send us an email.  We’ll get back to you quickly.  The process is pretty easy, taking two to six weeks to complete – and we’ll publish the review in Kitelife. Put pretty simply – you send us a kite to review, we’ll test and review it, and either return the kite directly to you or give it away in a drawing – your choice.  Kitelife will charge you no money and Kitelife will keep no kites.  None!

Done “right,” and we’re quite determined to do it that way ­ everybody wins! The Kite-makers win through free publicity for their kites! Kitelife magazine wins through increased readership in our online magazine! And the buying public wins by being able to read fair, accurate, and impartial reviews of  kites they can actually buy in kite-shops!

If you’re a kite-maker who has a kite that’s either production-ready or already on the market that you feel needs to be reviewed, please contact us by clicking the link below!  And ­ Thank you!

To the Kitelife Readers:

Welcome, we’re pleased to announce the formation of the Kitelife Review Team… The purpose and goal of which is to acquire, test, photograph, review, and then return or give away production kites. The intent in doing this is for Kitelife to be able to provide YOU, the readers, with as a more profuse variety of fair, accurate and impartial information about any particular kite as we can cram into a review ­ no more, and certainly no less…

The team currently consists of six very competent and respected kite fliers from around the country. They cover a broad spectrum of kite genres, including specialists in single-line kites (SLKs), dual-line sport kites, quad-line kites, and Fighter kites. All of them have competed in AKA sanctioned competitions within the last year, although competition experience was NOT a part of the selection criteria. Their overall expertise and attitude in their own particular “genres” of kite-flying was sought instead, along with their demonstrated ability to evaluate a kite fairly and accurately, as well as reporting the results in readable, understandable, language.

Yes, we’re definitely stressing “fairness” and “accuracy” and “impartiality,” so a word or two about all that “stuff” is in order here. Much about a kite can be determined as an “objective” value. Build-quality is one example – and some flight characteristics can also fall into the “objective” realm, such as a kite’s ability to perform specific maneuvers or “tricks.” Some portions of flying are definitely ”subjective,” however. Whether a sail is pretty or ugly, what your own preference in flying style might be, or how easily certain maneuvers are performed by a specific pilot, can all fall into the realm of “subjective” evaluations. There’s even a kind of “grey area” where some parts can be quantified, but some other portions are quite subjective. Anyway – Yes, there’s room in Kitelife’s reviews for the “subjective” information too. To stick to purely objective information would be to give you ­ the buying / flying public – less than you need to evaluate a kite. We figure “completeness” is also a part of a review’s aims, too!

I will NOT get into the names and biographies and the kiting “resumes” of Kitelife’s reviewers in this discussion. The reasons?

  • For one thing, Kitelife’s strong focus will be on the “fairness” and “accuracy” and “impartiality” of the reviews, as already noted. Believe me, our reviewers have spent a hefty amount of time and energy in putting together the standards, guidelines, and procedures to meet those goals and objectives. So, done properly, good and accurate tests of any kite should also yield good and accurate reviews, right?
  • For another thing, Kitelife is not particularly interested in engaging a debate regarding why “this” person was picked and “that” person was not. Some of that is likely to happen in any case, but we’ve worked long and hard to find extremely competent people and involve them up to their eye-balls in Kitelife’s procedures and principle, we believe we’ve found a solid set of reviewers. Well, it’s time for them to “prove themselves” to you by testing and reviewing a few kites now.

Frankly, we’ll always do the very best we can to give you solid Review information. But it’s always up to you to evaluate a kite in light of your own needs, goals, and pleasures in kiting. That’s the way it’s always been, and always will be… We simply want to make more detailed and practical information regarding various products.

With over 60 collective years among our core staff, we pride ourselves in the ability to provide a balanced outlook and keen eye for good products.

You are certainly encouraged to let us know how successful Kitelife is in the reviewing process as things progress.

  • One way to do that is to click on my name at the bottom of this article and tell us what you think of all this.
  • Another way is to go to the Kitelife Review of Carl Robertshaw’s new Fury in this very issue and check the review out. It’ll give you an idea of the kind of information you can expect to get in every Kitelife review. Besides ­ for those who really HAVE to know, it’ll give you a strong hint about who one of the reviewers is.

All right,… By all rights, this blurb should have been some kind of a formal “Press Release..” Sorry folks, but I’m not one of those PR kinds of people. I hope I’ve given you good information anyway. If not, YOU are encouraged to use the link below to tell me so, too.

Fair Wind and Good Friends ­

Dave “geezer” Shattuck