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Where and what to buy


hallthor
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Hi!
As a kid I was building kites and flying simple stunt kites with my brother, but lost track of this great hobby. Now that I have kids myself I got inspired to start flying again, not just with the kids but for my own soul as well. I was thinking about starting with two lines and see where the wind takes me from there.

I live in Sweden now and shops are basically nonexistent around here, even ordering online within Sweden seems to not exist, so where is a good place to buy within Europe? And what would kites should I be looking at to get a good balance of fun to fly, room for growth and economy?

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Hello @hallthor,

Another Swede – that is not every day one shows up on KL! I agree that there are not so many options here, but we are not completely without shops.

You can get a Prism Quantum from “Fler Bollar i Luften” an HQ Yukon from “Drakjohan” (I bought a HQ Photon (a fighter kite) from him two weeks ago btw) and also from “Skånehobby”. If you want real fancy kites try Sportkitedesign (though it seems like SKD “ is currently taking a break and not taking orders”).

OK, so abroad I have tried: Metropolis Drachen, Drachenmarkt, Bilboquet, Spiderkites, Elliot, Andykites and Kiteworld. I have never been disappointed with the delivered goods.

I’m currently waiting for a delivery after a recent order from Polokites (but custom kite orders tend to take a while compared to something that is already in stock).

I have not tested De Paddestoel, Korvokites, Space Kites, Kitehouse or Feine-Drachen yet (I’m sure I have omitted several shops here unfortunately).

You can also buy used gear/kites from Fractured Axel (For Sale & Wanted) and Drachenforum (Börse).

On 9/12/2021 at 7:29 PM, hallthor said:

Now that I have kids myself I got inspired to start flying again

Funny, kids had the opposite effect on me. With few exceptions I took a 15 year break from kites when the children were small...

Good luck with your return to your hobby!

Added 19th Sept 2021:

I forgot (in addition to Kite-Lab/Thomas Horvath as mentioned by @Bunduki Vlieger) to mention the shop Kitebg. I have not yet tried their services though. Perhaps not a very large stunt kite relevant assortment. On the other hand gokitinggr, (to my understanding) the corresponding Youtube channel, is much varied.

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Thanks, I just started spending too much time checking out all those shops ;) Seems like I can find something fitting reading some more here!

My youngest is 7 now and is really handling his 2 line mat very well and having lots of fun with it, so I hope we can grow in this together...

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5 hours ago, Exult said:

Hello @hallthor,

Another Swede – that is not every day one shows up on KL! I agree that there are not so many options here, but we are not completely without shops.

You can get a Prism Quantum from “Fler Bollar i Luften” an HQ Yukon from “Drakjohan” (I bought a HQ Photon (a fighter kite) from him two weeks ago btw) and also from “Skånehobby”. If you want real fancy kites try Sportkitedesign (though it seems like SKD “ is currently taking a break and not taking orders”).

OK, so abroad I have tried: Metropolis Drachen, Drachenmarkt, Bilboquet, Spiderkites, Elliot, Andykites and Kiteworld. I have never been disappointed with the delivered goods.

I’m currently waiting for a delivery after a recent order from Polokites (but custom kite orders tend to take a while compared to something that is already in stock).

I have not tested De Paddestoel, Korvokites, Space Kites, Kitehouse or Feine-Drachen yet (I’m sure I have omitted several shops here unfortunately).

You can also buy used gear/kites from Fractured Axel (For Sale & Wanted) and Drachenforum (Börse).

Funny, kids had the opposite effect on me. With few exceptions I took a 15 year break from kites when the children were small...

Good luck with your return to your hobby!

Just been. Looking at the shops you have detailed, very helpful thankyou.

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11 hours ago, Exult said:

I’m currently waiting for a delivery after a recent order from Polokites (but custom kite orders tend to take a while compared to something that is already in stock).

I have not tested De Paddestoel, Korvokites, Space Kites, Kitehouse or Feine-Drachen yet (I’m sure I have omitted several shops here unfortunately).

Hi :-)

Metropolis Drachen in Germany have excellent service. You can call them anytime for help!

Drachenmarkt is offline at the moment.

Feine Drachen sells Quads from China for small money. Always the first address for entry into 4-line . There you can get a R2F package with handles and lines.

Paddestoel in The Netherlands has a great selection, good service - but are always a tad more expensive.

Korvokites from Germany builds you everything in excellent quality from 1-, 2- and 4-lines. One of my favorite kite builders!

Space Kites from Germany is a very good manufacturer with a very good reputation - but long delivery times.

Besides Polo from France there is also Los Hermanos from Spain. They build besides SLK still the excellent Detox. (Next to Djinn my favorite Quad).

Finally, there is Thomas Horvath in Switzerland, who builds incredible zero wind kites.

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Not at all. 

For a beginner, it can sometimes be a little more challenging to start with a quad - which I personally have not experienced.

If you watch all the excellent video tutorials by John Barresi (https://kitelife.com/video-tutorials/) or the videos by Joe Hadzicki (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPGoYYsZNoOIHIjpdTNkKgQ), then you already have a good basis for the start. It is even better if you have a quad pilot nearby who will take you along, teach you and let you fly a few different kites.

For your first quad, a used one is always recommended for practice. Most used kites do not come with a line or handles (only the sail). 

For lines we recommend for the beginning: approx. 25 meter 90 lb (1kg = 0.5 lb = 1kp = 0,981daN)
Handles gladly also used - but with knot ladder.

For the sail it is important that you choose it according to your prevailing wind conditions/range. A sail can have different ventilations: SUL for little wind, Semi Vented for light wind with sudden gusts or XT for very much & constant wind at the coast.

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On 9/12/2021 at 9:19 PM, Exult said:

You can get a Prism Quantum from “Fler Bollar i Luften” an HQ Yukon from “Drakjohan”

Wouldn't the HQ Maestro be more the comparable kite to the Prism?

Is there any difference in how much abuse those kites can take - I'm pretty sure I will manage some exceptional crashes in the beginning ;)

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In case you are living in the Stockholm area, I have a few kites that could be beneficial for you to try:

  • The HQ Quickstep 2. A small kite that turns left and right while feeling somewhat like a larger kite. Go on practice until you have it built into the muscle memory that you always slack the lines before hitting the ground (perhaps you already do?). This kite has survived other beginners, also total beginners. Not a trick kite.
  • HQ Maestro 3. The kite you considered.
  • Spiderkites Smithi Pro. A very manoeuvrable small foil (flies even backwards) that can be used for learning quadline kiting without breaking any spars (because there are none). Can also be piloted as a 2-line kite, especially when making the brake lines longer.

 

On 9/13/2021 at 7:08 PM, hallthor said:

Would it be a stupid idea to start out with a quad?

Nope, but the ”give slack on the lines before the kite meets the ground”, ”powering up of the kite by tensioning the line(s)” and the wind window can be learnt (with some differences) with a DLK (dual line kite) and even a fighter kite (dirigible single line).
 

20 hours ago, mebeatee said:

Learning to crash....very softly...was the best "trick" I ever learnt!!!!!!

Yes when having that one down the consideration to get a robust beginner kite is gone to a large extent. Almost a slack line trick. I think that the first thing on the first session should be about having the kite meeting the ground, in whatever manner, with slack lines. In light wind, make small jumps (one or a couple spine-lengths up) and then land. When you have this down, proceed to make the kite fly forwards in a more ”normal” manner.

There are other risks to the kite than the more obvious crashes. Long lines as favoured by beginners means that it is hard to see the kite well before taking off. The fabric in the sail can get torn if getting caught on a small woody plant. A stand-off might snap if one of the lines accidentally would be around one kite instead of going directly towards the pilot. Do the walk of contemplation all the way to the kite before every take off until you get hold of this and continue to be suspicious every time, especially if the landing was “unplanned”.

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