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Lon

HQ Shadow vs Prism 4-D

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I am hoping that you may be able to help me with your thoughts on these two and low wind performance!!

Thank you!!

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From my experience with the 4D, I can tell you it is more comparable to the Kite Forge Kaiju. Both will fly in little to no wind, but neither are true tricking kites like the Shadow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have a 4D and agree that it flies in little or no wind and it handles gusts well. I can make it do a fair few tricks but I find it is easy to snag a line.

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If this is a which is better question, they're 2 different kites. The Shadow is considerably larger, and in my opinion, more fun to fly as long as there's 1-2mph of wind. The 4d will fly easily in less wind, but it's so light and small that it's really easy to over-input the little kite. I really liked my Shadow, but it was quirky (you have to spend many hours to learn the kite and what it wants), and I had a number of kites that flew in the same wind that I liked more, so I let it fly to someone else. The 4d was pretty well abused by my son while he was learning to fly, so it hasn't been flown much in the last few years. Not that it couldn't fly, but just haven't been in the mood to fly a tiny kite.

I think most people would get more out of the Kaiju than either of the 2 kites mentioned, BTW.

But that Shadow is a pretty kite, no ?

P1070304.jpg   P1080432.jpg

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30 minutes ago, RobB said:

I really liked my Shadow, but it was quirky (you have to spend many hours to learn the kite and what it wants), and I had a number of kites that flew in the same wind that I liked more, so I let it fly to someone else.

Thanks for your thoughts guys and as I have looked a little more, as RobB pointed out, not really the same kite.

RobB, what other ones might you suggest that you preferred in the same wind?  I was considering a Shadow that I might be able to get for around $160, but if there might be better choices, I'm all ears.

Because of my newbie status, I am looking for something to fly in light winds, but hopefully not easily damaged:dizzy: Ya, right!!

Thanks guy's!!

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The Kite Forge Kaiju is a much better kite than the 4d in that price range, I think. The only thing about it that doesn't agree with me is that it's a little small, but bigger than the 4d.

A Lam Hoac ATM UL might also be worth taking a look at, it doesn't cost much over the price point, but I would prefer that to the Shadow. There really isn't much more that I could suggest at the sub-$200 price point.

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Comparing the Prism 4D and the HQ Shadow, it was somewhat easier to do 360ies (flying around you in low wind) with the 4D than with the HQ Shadow. Actually I should really express it like this, for me the 4D had a higher success ratio for the 360ies. The 4D requires slightly less wind. Otherwise I agree with TubaKite in that that the HQ Shadow is easier to trick. It took about ten sessions to accept the 4D and consider it to be a “real kite”. What I found was difficult to accept in the beginning were the small inputs required and the low mass of the frame when tricking. To “toss around” the kite when the ”rotational mass” (i.e. the moment of inertia) was very low was frustrating. As a background, most of my general DLK style at the time had elements of (or was more limited to) tricking by flicking/lashing the arms/hands with a pre determined input, which is quite far from what is required for the 4D.

But sometimes in kiting, some kites that feels strange and you don’t like very much initially, pave the way to new insights and open up/unlock (features in) other kites. I don’t say that it necessarily needed to have been the 4D here to do that (like demanding reduced inputs). The reason for getting the 4D when looking for a low wind kite was mainly that the local juggling/circus/kite shop only sold Prism kites.

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a lot of good info in the "Favorite  SUL"  post up above...if you're like a lot of newbies, myself included you are mainly concerned with learning to fly, trick, and now keep flying at all times,  i dont know about you but i like bigger kites for now and also less expensive trainers. but i will eventually get myself trained and start filling up my A Bag...i bought an ITW Echo thats about as light a kite as possible and still seem like a substatial kite at 6' and 4 oz. its nice  on 80' of 50lb...probly need about 3-5 mph to really get the fun started...ive had it up to maybe 8mph  at which time i get a prism zephyr going and later the big brother of the Echo, the Hydra. some days it goes in reverse order...occasionally it starts with the zephyr and goes both up and down. its not unusual to have multiple kites staked  wherever they stopped flying. luckily i'm flying alone unless my wife is able to fly, then it can be a real cluster****, pardon my french. the HQ Shadow has a following so its probly a good kite. at 6oz and a 82" wing span you can kind of see where it fits in...its rated for 2-12mph...sounds handy even useful...as you can see i'm running out of real info so  i'll finish with the kite review that sold me on the Echo, and i quote:

 

"NOT QUITE WHAT I HOPED"

"I was hoping for a kite that would fly in lighter winds than my Prism 4d and my Prodancer SUL. This wont but it is more stable than my 4d, spins better and does spin stalls better. it is stiffer and has more mass thus allowing it to trick sort of kind of. it actually needs about 3-4 mph similar to the prodancer in order for you to not run around significantly while the 4d will fly pretty well in 1-2mph winds."

review by Steve Olson  3/29/2017

i dont know who Steve is but i kind of hear the ring of truth to his post. he  already has the 4d and Prodancer, kind of knocks the 4d for its lightness but praises it for low wind ability...obviously he's looking for a kite that feels as good as the Prodancer but flys in lower winds...i wish he had compared the Echo to the Prodancer in terms of flying quality...anyway he gave it 4 out of 5 stars. at $139 i got the Echo and i love it right off the bat but, Steve Olson, you sold me on the Prodancer...it will join my Zephyr,  E3 and Hydra in the A bag. good luck Lon, remember you only have too many kites when you have one you dont like

 

BobL

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Ah, yeah... there's something wrong with his ProDancer. There aren't many if any kites that will fly in less wind than a 4d or ProDancer. The ProDancer will fly in less than 1mph of wind, easily. I didn't mention the PD because it is almost double the price point, and it is really kind of a niche kite. The most wind I would fly mine is would be 5mph, and it is a difficult kite to trick. The two things about it that I like... it's big (twice the size of the 4d) and it flies in basically no wind.

I haven't flown the ITW Echo, but it's based on the Focus Echo, which was well-regarded. I've seen them flown indoors, but never got a chance on the handles.

 

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I love to fly the PD SUL on 30 ft lines in almost no wind. And yes like Rob said it will fly in 1 mph with little effort. 360’s are easier on the 30 foot lines except I usually fly on the beach and dry sand makes it a little more difficult. I have not flown the Echo but have a 4D, but don’t fly it much. Several times I’ve thought about buying an Echo but have other kites for that wind range, Sky burner Delta Drive UL and a Mamba UL so don’t really have a need for another. I haven’t tried the Kaiju outdoors but enjoy it indoors more than the 4D.

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This is about all I can get out of the ProDancer, for me it's not much on the tricks. The biggest trick is being able to fly when you can't even feel the wind ! The big kite allows you to fly on longer lines in low winds, some people fly 100s or 120s. I don't have that kind of room on my beach, 80s are about the longest I can deal with...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6L3WFQuzgwg

 

This is the 4d in just about the same winds, definitely less than 2mph...

Some people can get more tricks out of it, this was the first time I flew it, and I don't think I flew it much more. My son learned how to fly dual line on it, mostly because it was the smallest kite that I had other than a Micron, and he was pretty small at the time. I found it important to fly the 4d on 30' or shorter lines, the 50s that it comes with were too much for the kite, I thought. I cut the stock lines after only a few minutes of flying, this is what it looks like on the 30' set that I made, the 20' set was good for street flying.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raiIRRDBQNU

 

This is the only video I could find of the Shadow... please forgive the quality, the video is over 10 years old and it was before I really figured out what the kite wanted for inputs. It should be enough to give you an idea of how the kite flies, though.

 

https://vimeo.com/376436196

 

 

 

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I made a st of 100 foot 50lb lines just for the Pro Dancer. It will side slide easier than any other kite that I own for sure.

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Thanks for your thoughts and help guy's.  I think I will go ahead and give the shadow a try!!

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Not flown either but I think the Shadow is the better choice. Maybe a 2pt or zero Sky Shark LS instead of the Dynamic T12 could get you up in 1 mph. Kite Guys in Alberta still have the Sky Dog Black Dog ul just under $150.00 U.S. Like my Black Dog standard a lot. Tough kite that'll go up in 3 mph. Read reviews that thought the ul was the better of the 2. Some liked it more then the Shadow. $150.00 seems like a lot for that kite though. In hindsight due to most days being bumpy I'd probably have been happier with a Shadow vs Zephyr or Pro Dancer. Last winter got a AC sul. More fragile than a Shadow and I have been overly cautious with it.Took till this fall to bond with the kite and fly without hesitation. I can finally go up in 1 mph on 75' x 50# without much footwork at all. Only broken 1 spreader so far and for me that's pretty freaking(freaking - translated from the French ***** ) good. Still think 20/25 mph is the hardest to trick in but dang the low winds are frustrating to learn. Lately I've become a convert. That low wind stuff is sweet,sweet, sweet. Eventually 😡!!!

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 i wholeheartedly agree with you on Lons choice.. i would jump at a chance for a classic like the Shadow...i would guess hes looking at a used one...or maybe theres an old dusty one behind the counter at some circus/juggling/ kite store in northern canada. we'll have to wait to hear how the story ends...in the meantime i found some good thoughts in a kite review on the ATM SUL over at kiteclique. its a long review so i'll  just quote the general stuff that applies to all kites:

Sky Sport Design "ATM" SUL  Review by Tom Paterson

..."so how low does it go? I'm going to say low enough, but folks dont seem to like that answer. For sure i can fly a 3oz [actually 2 1/2 oz] kite like the 4D in lower winds, but youre going to do nothing but fly- as in no-real-tricks. the atm sul gives the full-on trick repertoire in winds from 3-12mph. you can fly lower with a bit more effort and go higher than 12 if pressed"... i'm interrupting here to emphasize "full-on trick repertoire experience"  who doesn't want that?! i'm sure any kite that delivers that at 3-12mph will be forgiven if at 0-2 mph "its not quite what i hoped for". he goes on:

..."is 2-3mph low enoughfor a SUL? for me, i'll always take the trade of having a fully capable SUL and have to work a little harder at the lower end, so i'd say yes because i think maintaining tricks is the right compromise." 

for some of you more experienced fliers this info may seem obvious but for me its brand new...these 3 levels of low wind kites: 4Dish (pronounced for-d-ish), meaning flies-no-tricks), prodancerish, meaning flies- some- tricks and atmish, meaning flies-all-tricks each separated by another mph of wind is a big help...for christmas my wife will prob get a prodancer in pink while i'll prob get an atm  in sul colors

 

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11 hours ago, BobL said:

4Dish (pronounced for-d-ish), meaning flies-no-tricks), prodancerish, meaning flies- some- tricks

I beg to differ, that is an exaggeration. After a downwards turn at the edge of the wind window you can quite easily make nice flat axels with the 4D. Other tricks could be there with a bit of more effort/luck on occasion for me (OK, OK, OK, the thing that I never thought was going to happen has happened – I have been almost exclusively on the dark side for about two years or so I need to *think back on* and try to remember how the DLK stuff was). Besides, to my understanding (though I never even seen a Pro Dancer), @RobB instead found that the trick repertoire of the PD was very limited: https://kitelife.com/forum/blogs/entry/75-light-wind-flying-in-the-windy-month/ .

 

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you're right, of course the 4D did kinda get a raw deal in my oversimplification and i've spent some time this morning as penance looking for vids of the 4D tricking...found one pretty good one filmed  on Kite Hill in Seattle. kind of a coincidence that the pilot was Tom Paterson...i think the same one from my quotes yesterday reviewing the ATM SUL...life is funny...stuff like that. i'm going to try to upload the vid, something i've been struggling with here at Kitelife...could use a little advice if its no trouble. my only real beef with the 4D is the small size, i just like bigger kites right now. just bought a new one- ATM SUL in white gray and black, from Lam Hoac himself, his last one he said. i've met the nicest people in kiting and Lam is one of them...invited me to come up to Vancouver to fly with him. i will def be doing that even tho its a 5 hour trip...one of my sons lives an hour south of Lam.

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hey success  but thats not the right post...this is...

 

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Nice 4D videos! That was way more tricking than I thought was possible with the 4D, especially in the above first video ”4D little kite in flight”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=109&v=5dfA0NLuyWI&feature=emb_logo

From reading the Youtube Alex Belov background info/initial comment one can see that the bridle has been modified. The dynamic bridle of that 4D had been replaced with a 3-point bridle as shown in ”4D kite Set UP” (below video). In the video it also seems like a leech line in the TE has been added:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8C8EEoHKFQ&list=UU2TPphKeYJ3RtYpSLOp2j7A

Since the Prodancer was mentioned I can’t help to link to a a favourite video(/post). Dual line tricking is not mandatory for an impressive show:

https://kitelife.com/forum/topic/8173-favorite-sul/?do=findComment&comment=65913

When dealing with DLKs it is easy to end up only focusing on the tricks.

I just saw an old post where there was a video where the Prodancer actually did trick by making a backspin and also entering a fade (end of video):

https://kitelife.com/forum/topic/5849-whats-your-favorite-light-wind-kite/?do=findComment&comment=43537

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9 hours ago, Exult said:

When dealing with DLKs it is easy to end up only focusing on the tricks.

Yup that's been me for a couple years now. I could axle the PD but I'm not agile enough to get it out of a fade or turtle. Kite would float away on me. Did teach me a lot on how to keep a sail loaded though. Tom P is a grade A pilot. One of those folks that if he were somewhere without a kite and the wind was perfect he could improvise. Probably cut up some cardboard. Find some knitting yarn and do 20 flic flacs in a row. Not sure how well that kite does in 5 to 7 mph. Most reviews I've read say it gets fast and twitchy. Then again it is how one adjusts to a kite instead of making a kite adjust to you. Some of us want to fly what we know. Some of us want  to explore more. Some for a thrill. Some to relax and enjoy. 4D could satisfy more than 1 mindset. Not in a very wide wind window though IMO. Pretty good looking thing to boot.

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@ Exult:  i was surprised too, those were the  first 4D videos i 'd seen at the time...very impressive, and the prodancer videos as well,,, i've watched JB's several times, trying to learn how to get a kite fired up like he does  (is that what he means by whump?)  man, so much to learn/look forward to. like you said Breezin, the 4D could satisfy more than 1 mindset...no need for criticism on my part.  if i can post another vid...

 

 

 

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I have very little SUL experience, but I do have a Level One Amazing that I picked up at Kite Party I ('03).  How does the Amazing compare to the kites already discussed?

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seems to be in that class of indoor/outdoor kites like the Kaiju,4D and Echo...have you got any specs on it? i saw that Level One did a remake just for outdoor flying  calling it the Amazing Matrix,  made it stiffer and probly heavier, both seem to fly well. is it for sale?

posting videos is like axeling...once you figure it out you cant stop

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, BobL said:

seems to be in that class of indoor/outdoor kites like the Kaiju,4D and Echo...have you got any specs on it? i saw that Level One did a remake just for outdoor flying  calling it the Amazing Matrix,  made it stiffer and probly heavier, both seem to fly well. is it for sale?

 

I wasn't planning to sell it.  If you have a serious interest, you can PM me 

The Amazing was redesigned in 2011 and is now sold in 2 versions.
https://www.levelonekites.com/2line/amazing/#cc-m-product-12563846487

                            Original                         New "indoor"                         New "outdoor"
Frame             SkyShark 2pt                  SkyShark 2pt          4.5mm, 5.0mm, 5.5mm & 6.0mm
Sail               Icarex and Mylar           Skytex 27 + Icarex                Skytex 27 + Icarex
Span                   2.00 m                              2.15 m                                     2.15 m
Height                1.07 m                              1.09 m                                     1.09 m
Weight                135 g                                190 g                                        240 g
Wind range           ??                                   0-5 kph                                 3-18 km/h

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