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ofted42

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Posts posted by ofted42

  1. Hello all,

    First, thanks to all who gave me advice on my last thread here as to where to go from my Prism Quantum. I started flying kites beginning of last summer and used the Quantum for a few months but felt like I could be doing more with something a bit more responsive. After all the advice I bit the bullet and ordered a Skyburner Widowmaker.

    Which brings us to the point. Keep in mind that I'm new to a high end two line kite, and I wasn't doing anything fancy with the Quantum. Mostly snap stalls, once in a while I'd get part of a side slide, and maybe an axel here or there.

    I was able to get out quite a few times with the widowmaker, and while I immediately noticed a difference in control and precision, I appear to be stumped. I've been trying to get some snap stalls with limited success and my side slides really suck. Besides those, whenever I try an axel or any other type of simpler trick like fades, the kite just seems to lose all lift and fall randomly toward the ground like a leaf. Lines go slack and down she goes. I've tried in high winds, lower winds, all sorts of conditions. This is at the beach as well, so the wind is very consistent off the lake. I've studied videos and watched the hand movements carefully, but no matter how closely I try to duplicate them it just seems to fall out of the sky in a tangled mess. This is somewhat frustrating, and while I of course don't expect to be making the thing dance without lots of practice, it seems like a kite that can flip all over in light winds and stay up shouldn't be challenged by my simple tricks I'm attempting. Obviously I'm doing something fundamentally wrong, but darned if I can figure it out.

    Any pointers would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Kris

    • Like 2
  2. Well, I talked to Jon today and he was really helpful. He sent a diagram over for the bridle lengths and I measured them when I got home. Looks like the outside ones might be long by around 3/4", not a lot but we'll see if he thinks that's enough to throw things off. If so he's already offered to either have it sent back on their dime and rebridle it or send me a completely new one to put on. I can see why Skyburner has been in business this long. Whatever I decide to get eventually for an ultralight kite, you can be it'll be from them.

    • Like 1
  3. I should probably clarify, my comments before weren't a knock against Skyburner in any way, I'm thrilled with their service so far. Once I get this thing set up I'm sure it'll be great, and I've already been telling people about Skyburner and their service. The waiting for a month remark wasn't a dig either, rather wait for something that's a quality product than some junk off the shelf. Definitely made the right choice.

  4. Yeah, I reset the bridle back to the way it was. My Quantum and Jazz both came with misadjusted bridles too, I had to reset them once I understood what was going on. I e-mailed Jon and got a response already, he wants me to send it back for analysis. I'm going to give him a call, maybe we can figure it out without having to lose it for another week or two, already took almost a month to get it in the first place.

  5. I checked your post at the "other place", thanks for the suggestion ;) I e-mailed Jon and asked for some advice, it did seem odd to me that it seemed to fly worse than my Quantum. maybe I'll take a trip to the beach tonight and see how it goes with more consistent wind.

    The bridle is definitely different than what I've seen up to now with the double adjustable knots and such. Looks like you can adjust this thing every which way but loose, and probably screw it up royally in the process!

  6. Well, finally got to take it out yesterday. Wind was probably around 4-6 mph, which is light, but I've seen widowmakers fly fairly well light winds. I noticed a few things once I got it airborne.

    • when the wind would lighten up then catch the kite again, it would do a sort of "bounce" or "pulse" on the lines, like it was catching and losing the wind. Kind of a light jerky pull over and over. Never had my quantum do that, so I figured it might be adjusted for heavier winds
    • After moving the nose toward me by moving the bridle knot up about 1/2" it helped, but still seemed very passive and bouncy
    • I'd heard so much about the responsiveness of the widowmaker I was surprised when all I could get were very slow lazy turns no matter how aggressive I tried to make them. My Quantum will turn on a dime.
    • I seem to have a big problem with oversteer. I thought maybe it was the quantum, but the widowmaker was doing it too. I'll try and do a snap stall and it just keeps rotating. Worse when I try and do a turn at the edge of the window for a side slide, it overrotates and ends up going back the way it originally was. Seems to do it no matter how much I snap the opposite direction. That one's on me, but I figured the widowmaker would at least help

    Since the wind was low I'll wait and see, but it didn't feel much different than my Quantum so far. In fact, dare I say it, I like how my Quantum feels better out of the two right now.

    The point of all this is, any pointers on bridle adjustment, etc. would be much appreciated. The bouncing, jerking motion was very odd, almost like it was unstable in the air. I'm sure this'll be a great kite once I get used to it, but so far I'm somewhat stumped.

    Thanks

  7. Finally found a place that had a speedbag in stock. I agree with you cajun, if they had to charge a bit more it'd be nice to have a good bag. Maybe they figure at this level people are going to have their own bags to put them in and they figure it's a waste to make a nice one for it.

    Better hold off on the kite stuff now, if my wife knew what I spent on the kite and bag I think she'd stick the kite somewhere very uncomfortable.

  8. True, that's why I mentioned that it was a small nitpick. I was thinking the same thing about what percentage of the price goes into the bag vs the kite. I'm sure the kite will be fantastic once I get to try it.

    Speaking of bags, I really like the look of the Prism Speedbag to start storing my kites, but can't find one in stock anywhere. Were they discontinued? Anyone know where a person can pick one up?

  9. Well, got the widowmaker on Saturday and put it together. What a difference from the Quantum I've been using! Even when something is expensive, I've been used to having to tweak some things, maybe fix some small things. Not with this kite! The knots for tensioning the tips were in the perfect place, the stitching looks immaculate, and the spars and rods in the sail fit together so smoothly it's almost unbelievable. Nice to see a place that really takes pride in what they do and takes care of the little details. Now if I can just get some time when it's not rainy, still, or there aren't kids needing to be carted around, I can actually try it.

    The one thing I was a bit disappointed in was the bag that it came in. Spending this much on a kite, I would expect something a bit nicer than a rough nylon tube with some velcro crudely stitched on the end. I really like the way prism and flying wings do theirs. Still, small nitpick, and the bag doesn't affect how the kite flies anyway.

  10. Well, took the plunge yesterday and ordered a widowmaker and 75' lineset for it. Now I'll be checking the front door every day until it gets here. Might still have to pick up that zephyr though...

    Thanks everyone for all the input, it really helped! I'll report back once I get her and see how she goes.

    • Like 3
  11. Yeah, there are some pretty ones. Probably dumb, but the ones I'm looking at seriously aren't great looking to me, which is holding me back. Should care more about how it flies. So after all this feedback I'm thinking:

    Skyburner Ocius

    Skyburner Widowmaker (pricey)

    Kymera

    Sturdy Impulse (pricey)

    Premier Widow

    Prism Zephyr

    Flying Wings Soul

    So now I have a harder decision to make. I'm really tempted by the widowmaker, but that's a good chunk of change.

    Thanks for the help everyone, I have some thinking to do.

  12. Man, all this info has made this harder, not easier. So many good choices out there. The more I look into Skyburner, the more I like their kites, but the Solus is just too rich for my blood. I'm actually seriously thinking about the freestylist at this point, seems like a really good kite for the money. the widowmaker looks great too, but again the price is pretty high. Maybe I'll draw one out of a hat and go with that, seems like it's hard to go wrong with any of them. Thanks again for the input everyone.

  13. Okay, Silver fox is off the list. Right now I think we're down to the Soul or Kymera. I would do used, but there's actually a somewhat local shop that can order just about anything that I'd like to support if possible. I'm sure I could get a sweet one used for that price, but from what I've read the Soul, Kymera, etc. are pretty capable themselves.

    Looks like I have some thinking to do, but any more suggestions would be great.

    Thanks

    • Like 1
  14. As an aside, ever since I've found the Kymera, I've been wondering what kinds of things John did as a professional designing his own kite that made it different from what was out there. What was a must have, what wasn't he happy with that others were offering, stitching, weights, etc. I'd love to know.

  15. Thanks Hadge, that's what I was looking for. Right now something big and slow sounds perfect to give me time to work on my inputs for tricks. Figures it's the most expensive one on my list.

    The QPro sounds good, but I'd heard the same thing about it needing more precise inputs. Maybe something to think about for later when I'm not still trying to figure out what does what.

  16. Thanks for the offer. Not sure about the quantum pro, I've heard a lot of mixed reviews from those who are inexperienced like I am. I was told they're great if you really know what you're doing, if not not so much. I've heard the Infinity and Soul are pretty forgiving for newer people, hence the interest.

    I forgot to mention, I know someone will chime in and say to try them and get the one I like, which would be ideal, but around here no one has kites like these. Wish they did.

  17. I've heard that a lot about the E3, people were really excited about it but almost no one seems to like it without lots of modifications.

    I've looked at the Ocius, but right now am looking for more of a standard type kite to use when we go to the beach. I'm sure at some point I'll pick up a light wind kite and it'll probably be the HQ Shadow. Seems like a great kite for the price, the Ocius is noticeably more expensive.

    The Zephyr is pretty much on the list because of the price. For around $200 with lines included it's hard to beat, but from what I've heard the other three are a fairly big step up. Right now I think it'll be either the Kymera, Soul, or Infinity, just need to get some more info, especially on the infinity.

    Thanks!

  18. Hello all,

    Long time reader, first time poster. Being in my mid-30's with three kids, I was looking for a new hobby that I could share with them as they got older but also give me some time to myself. I saw someone flying a kite one day and thought, "duh". About 6 months ago I got my first dual line kite, a Prism Quantum. I've had a great time with it so far, but I'm finding myself thinking more and more that a lot of the things I'm trying to make it do would be easier with something a bit more high end. Quick turns seem to oversteer pretty easily, and snap stalls have a hard time sticking. It almost seems like the frame is flexing so much that it has a hard time recovering. Side slides are rough too, it always seems to want to fall one way or the other. It's also seems like a heavy kite, and needs a lot of wind to stay up, which is lacking around here quite a bit of the time.

    Long and short of it is, I think I'm ready to step up to something a bit more serious. I've been doing a lot of research and would like to keep it near the $200 mark. Seems like you can get a lot of bang for your buck at that price. Based on suggestions I've seen here and reviews I've found, I've narrowed it down to:

    HQ Infinity - Heard some good things and it's intriguing, but kind of an unknown for me. Can't find much info

    Prism Zephyr - Seems to have a lot of great reviews and heard it can do lighter winds, but have heard some horror stories too.

    JB Kymera - Looks great, people who have it seem to love it, but I've heard it can be a handful for people new to freestyle because of its speed. I could be way off, if so please tell me!

    FW Soul - REally like the look and seems to have great reviews, but I've heard some iffy things about the standoffs on the wings and the stitching on the leading edge.

    FW Silver Fox - good price, but I think the others would be a better choice for not much more

    It's hard to find any good reviews of the Soul or Infinity, but I've generally heard good things. Figuring there are those around here who have tried all of them or at least a few, I figured I'd ask for opinions on what might be a good one to step up to. Right now I'm sort of leaning toward the Infinity or Soul, but my mind is still open.

    Thanks!

    Kris

    • Like 1
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