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Advice on selecting kites, please?


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Hello. I've got a post in the Introductions forum that gives a little history of what brings me to the KiteLife forums. That will give a little insight into myself and my Dad, Gene, who got me involved with kites back in the 80's.

As mentioned in my post, Dad passed last year. He left behind a collection of over 170 kites. Primarily stunt kites, dating back as far as the 80's, but primarily the 90's. I intend to keep some of these, and I could use some advice now that I don't have Dad to consult anymore.  I don't want to pick them based just on color/design. I do know how to fly, but it's been a while. I want to get back into it, and broaden my horizons as far as the types I fly. I'm not well-versed on the ins-and-outs of what each kite is best for, so I'm not quite sure which to keep.

I'm attaching a PDF inventory of his collection. Feel free to educate me if you think I've identified any of them incorrectly. Dad left some notes, but not on every kite, so I relied on internet searches to fill in the rest, and I'm sure I got some wrong. Here's a list of what I'm looking for as far as what I want to actually fly, and for which I need recommendations:

A kite for strong winds - I always liked a kite that required some strength to handle
A kite for light winds/ultralight
A kite for somewhere in-between - My upper body strength is actually pretty lame. So I'm not always going to want one that requires a lot of muscle. But light wind kites sometimes just don't feel great to me. My main go-to in the past was always an original model Skyburner, because that's what Dad gave me, LOL
An indoor kite
A quad - If there are such things, both a strong & a light wind models. Quads are one type of kite I never managed to find time to learn, so I don't know if they come in both types
A rokkaku

If there's a category I'm missing that you think I should have to complete my collection of flyers, I'd love your insight. I will be keeping a few single line kites, but that's primarily going to be based on design, so I'm not looking for insight into those, unless you want to share something. Thank you!
Kite Inventory With Photos.pdf

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As for the Sport Kites, most of what you have are collector items. 

If you want an indoor kite the Wren is still one of the best out there. They are still popular at indoor festivals. 

The Tica is a keeper and the Luna Moth is just a great kite to see in the sky. 

Any of the 1.5 Revolution kites will get you started in quad flying. 

IMHO sell the others and buy some modern kites. 

I can't tell you much about the single line kites. 

Andrew

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The guildworks kites would net you some easy cash, auction em off or learn yourself and show off dad’s coolest toys.  They represent the greatest value (if the fittings are not dry rotted beyond assembly)

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hello, i am a quad kite guy so...

On quad you have all what you need to cove the most winds conditions. You have a Rev Indoor for indoor, pick a Rev I and Rev 1.5  that will be for light to medium winds pick any vented for medium up. you have a Blast and Super Blast for some speed and power pull, Sockwave and Rev II for speed. For different than Rev you have Fulcrum witch will cover low to medium winds with a bigger pull than Revs.

For some pull the quad foils you have will do the job 

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Oh my!!!!! That’s one of the most doubly....no triply....no....amazing collection of kites ever!!!! I’m literally drooling onto this iPad.........

There are some absolute classic kites in that bunch...yoweee....as I wipe more drool off......

The only discrepancy I see is #80 which isn’t an indoor....see #100...but a vented 1.5 size like some others.

Agreed on the Guildworks stuff....I sold a bunch of them to a fellow who fixed them all up real good as the fittings weren’t basically...;)

What can I say.....you have every wind and flying style (more or less) covered in this collection and many sub choices. I’m also sure you have a bunch that some of us....especially old skool fliers....have been looking for......ooops....drool again....;)

Your Dad and this collection rocked....as well I’m sure you do!!!

Much thanks for sharing this collection with us!!!!!

bt

 

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On 8/9/2021 at 4:30 PM, FierceCritter said:

I want to get back into it, and broaden my horizons as far as the types I fly. I'm not well-versed on the ins-and-outs of what each kite is best for, so I'm not quite sure which to keep.

I would keep all of them unless there was a pressing reason to sell.

Many are classic kites, some are more modern. All of them can give new insights on flying, or provide different experiences. Some of them are unique classic kites, well-known for some notable trait or another. Flying them yourself can be a valuable learning experience.

For your list of specific needs as the definite keepers that you fly actively, I'd say the Wren, Pro Dancers, some Decas, the Indoor Rev, Rev EXPs, Rev SLE, Rev Blast, a few of the vented (there are many great options) and all the Rokkakus (except 89 only because I don't like the art) would be great for everyday use. Those cover the full range of your list. Even so, personally I would find it hard to part with most of them; each satisfies a different itch. The number of overlapping ranges is a good thing, just like choosing between various outfits when any would be acceptable, choosing among the different kites can be based on your mood that day and it is nice to have options. 

It would be a pleasure to fly any of them. A few are a little dated, and you'd want to inspect the bungees and fittings on them before flying, none look bad. Even several of those kid-friendly kites (129-132, several of the smaller parafoils, etc) even if I wasn't flying I'd feel happy to hand off to a kid just to watch their faces light up as they fly.  Others are more specialty for show kites, like the wooden biplane, helicopter, and clipper ship; they are unusual and fun to see at a festival among a cloud of deltas and parafoils. 

I can see why he kept that as a collection rather than selling or giving them away. 

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WOW, just wow is all I can say!!  This is a beautiful collection!  Yes, some may be a little dated, but the history and the fact that were your dads.

I will just say this, seems I have collected more kites than I will ever need over the last year and a half.  Do I need them all, NO.  But there is something behind the purchase of everyone of them.  I bet the same is true with most of what you have.

Priceless🤨

Lon

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On 8/10/2021 at 2:13 PM, mebeatee said:

The only discrepancy I see is #80 which isn’t an indoor....see #100...but a vented 1.5 size like some others.

 

 

I'll have to take a look at it and compare it with the indoor models. Dad customized some kites, including Revs. He may have swapped out some of the sail with the venting. He also swapped out the ripstop on kites to make them ultralights, as well as the spars. I don't know if he did that with any of these, it may just have been on ones he customized for other people. Thanks for the heads-up.

 

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1 hour ago, FierceCritter said:

I'll have to take a look at it and compare it with the indoor models. Dad customized some kites, including Revs. He may have swapped out some of the sail with the venting. He also swapped out the ripstop on kites to make them ultralights, as well as the spars. I don't know if he did that with any of these, it may just have been on ones he customized for other people. Thanks for the heads-up.

 

I stand quasi corrected....not an 'Indoor 0 wind" sail" (no bridle as well)...however....doh as I have 2 and used to have 3...there was a dedicated 1.5 sul sail in that particular sail pattern. I had one that was red and blue of that era and also still have 2 1.5 sul`s....lighter sail, le material, and bridle, 2 wrap frame... Folks were flying these and Rev 1 sul indoors and the cool thing is the customization of sails/frames. I`ve vented a few revs and am thinking of venting an indoor sail like #100...;) Also all my revs have at least 2 frames with each kite and they all contain a 2 wrap for that sul feeling!!!

Also the Stinger.....#12 can be found here on page 15. I remember this kite as one that got away....there was a wonderful colour combo....and I procrastinated....

http://www.kitelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/v2-2.pdf

This and a lot of info and some reviews of your collection may be referenced here as well.....

https://kitelife.com/library/

bt

 

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A classic (Skyburner)  kite....simple as that. They may not have been as popular as some of the kites of that era....depending on where you live(d)....  Tica, Eclipse, Spectra Edge, Pro Dancer, Firedart, Air FX, Neptune, etc etc. Great old skool kites!!!!

 

bt

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15 hours ago, mebeatee said:

A classic (Skyburner)  kite....simple as that. They may not have been as popular as some of the kites of that era....depending on where you live(d)....  Tica, Eclipse, Spectra Edge, Pro Dancer, Firedart, Air FX, Neptune, etc etc. Great old skool kites!!!!

 

bt

I'm keeping an Overdrive, Afterburner, Pro Dancer, Baby Burner, and the Fulcrum. I'll ponder the Tica. I picked based on flying style/strengths first, color/design second. Not crazy about the gray on this Tica, but I'll consider it.

I currently live very near Plymouth, where Skyburner is based out of. As mentioned in my intro post, my dad spent every Wednesday at the store for years, then flew at Schoolcraft in the evening. An original Skyburner was my first kite. Sad I don't still have it. 

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23 hours ago, FierceCritter said:

...

Curious what others would think of my choices.

 

It was a lot of fun to scroll through your inventory.

Many I recognised. Many I didn’t!

Can’t go wrong with your choices. 

While you say you may not be enamoured of the colour of your Tica, it is a fine choice as a ballet style kite and was ahead of its time when introduced (the video posted by BT above brought back memories). The fittings, if some are of the original surgical tubing, may need replacement but not a huge job if not already done. The same could be said of the Wren, another great choice btw imo. 

The Pro Dancer is likewise a good choice and you have various colour schemes to chose from. Do consider in addition one of the UL versions and the Vented to give a good range of winds the kite can be flown in. (I assume that the ULs are not the SUL version, which is a timeless design still being made and sold today!). 

I also like the Luna Moth (#1 in your list), as I believe they were flown by the Poys back in the 90s and they were based in my home town of Toronto. Great looking kite that won many competitions in its day. 

Further Notes (I may have further thoughts if I spend any more time on it but off the top of my head):

-you intially mentioned a Rok and hereby remind you of it - great flying kites once trimmed properly for the particular wind. If wanna settle for a wee one, the LL Rok (#36) is a good choice

-the Ospreys shown as #2 and #3 in your list look like cute little beginner kites designed by Skyburner but possibly made by Premier.

-the NikNak (#5) was well regarded as a kite for very light wind and indoors and is more like an SUL than a UL I believe.

-the Buena Vista (#74) I am almost certain is the x4i, a splendid little wisp of a kite that is mainly indoor but also okay outdoors in zero-ish wind. Here’s Hoy’s BFK ad from back then:

http://www.bfk.com/kite/ki07013.htm

 

Thanks for posting your stuff. Your dad had a wonderful collection.

 

.

 

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13 hours ago, midibot said:

 

Can’t go wrong with your choices. 

[SNIP]lots of good input[SNIP]

 

Thanks for posting your stuff. Your dad had a wonderful collection.

 

.

 

Thanks for all your input.

I can't get into all details, but I have to limit how many of the kites I keep. I tried to pick out sets of dual and quad lines that encompassed a full range of winds, plus a couple extras, and some single lines just for fun.

Since Dad had such a close relationship with Skyburner and the Trennepohls, they hold a special place with me. So I leaned more toward those than some others I might have liked based really only on design/colors.

I have 4 sisters and a brother-in-law who also will be deciding which, if any, they will want to keep for themselves. As far as I remember, 3 of the sisters and the BIL didn't fly at all, and the last sister not nearly as much as I did with Dad. So they probably won't be keeping a lot, if any for some of them.

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A beautiful collection and legacy! I sometimes wonder what my daughter (currently 4 months old 😄) will make of my growing collection when it eventually passes on to her. I can only hope she will appreciate it as much as you clearly do your Dad's ❤️ 

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Hi and welcome @FierceCritter. Hope I'm not too late to add my 2 cents. 

The circular kite (inventory #102) looks to be of the style of an AirYo or Lee Sedgwick YFO. It's spars may have gotten separated from the sail. Look for some rods of maybe 1/8" diameter with a total length that is the circumference of the kite and flexible enough to bend into a circle. Those black tabs on the edge of the sail are "loops" that the rods would slide through. This style of kite can be set up as a single line on a "wand" or as a quad line (but not in the same way as a Revolution). Here's a picture of my YFO as a reference. 

DSC04397.JPG

Given that you've selected a few Revolution kites, I would highly recommend keeping a standard sail as well, e.g. inventory # 82, 84, or 86. Vented Revolutions are generally for higher winds. If a person can only have one, I generally recommend a standard sail. Looks like you can probably have at least 2, so I would recommend a standard and a vented. 

In the list of kites you have selected to keep, the one that says both Vented + Super Ultra Light sounds a bit like an oxymoron. Could very well be some kind of specialty setup, but I can't tell for sure from the size of the picture. I would venture a guess that a standard sail would work better in lower winds than that one though. 

Happy flying. 

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7 hours ago, dragonfish said:

Hi and welcome @FierceCritter. Hope I'm not too late to add my 2 cents. 

The circular kite (inventory #102) looks to be of the style of an AirYo or Lee Sedgwick YFO.

In the list of kites you have selected to keep, the one that says both Vented + Super Ultra Light sounds a bit like an oxymoron. Could very well be some kind of specialty setup, but I can't tell for sure from the size of the picture. I would venture a guess that a standard sail would work better in lower winds than that one though. 

Happy flying. 

Thank you so much for clearing up the mystery of the round kite!

I'm willing to bet my dad added the venting on the SUL Rev. 

Thanks for your input!

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A really nice collection of kites and nicely documented.

 

I would agree that kite 102 looks very much like a Lee Sedgwick U-FO "Ultimate Flying Object".

 

More details can be found https://windstarkites.com/UFO.htm including a video and instructions on Lee's Quad sticks handles.

 

Cheers

Stephen

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