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Recommendations for low wind Int/Adv Stunt Kite


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Hello all,

I just got back into kitting after a long hiatus.  I was on the Oregon Coast and picked up a Prism Quantum and instantly remembered how much I love stunt kites.  I live in Montana which has pretty variable wind but most of the time it is at the low end of the spectrum.  Even though I have been able to fly the Qunatum in low winds it is quite sluggish.  I am wondering what the current consensus is on a recommendation for trick kite for Intermediate flyers is for low winds.  I want to try and progress to the next level in terms of tricks and I am not sure that I will be able to fly enough with the Quantum to get the flight time in to practice.

Thoughts?

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I had a Zephyr and liked it very much for low wind. I was just beginning to learn the basics, but I was an intermediate quad flyer at the time, so I had some experience with low wind and technique. The kite likes 2-4 mph. Below that, it's work like most others, but the 2-4 is sweet.

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Lots of good low wind stuff - but some have limited trick ability in light winds. Ask before committing to buy anything - you might have higher expectations than something can deliver in those conditions. ;) Send a PM to @RobB. - one of our dualie gurus, he's flown a bunch of different kites in many conditions. I trust his opinion on anything dualie!

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The Shadow will fly in lighter winds than the Zephyr, 2-4 mph winds no problem but not everyone likes the handling of the Shadow, it needs a delicate touch to get the best from it.  The 4D will fly in virtually nothing, but gets very twitchy and lively  over about 5mph. works best on shorter lines than supplied.

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 Even though I have been able to fly the Qunatum in low winds it is quite sluggish.  I am wondering what the current consensus is on a recommendation for trick kite for Intermediate flyers is for low winds.  I want to try and progress to the next level in terms of tricks and I am not sure that I will be able to fly enough with the Quantum to get the flight time in to practice.

The Quantum is a heavy kite, and its low end range is mid range for many std kites. So the question is really what wind speeds are you dealing with.

Inland wind is tricky and bumpy, and the lower it gets, less low wind kites are able to handle it. Getting an SUL for an intermediate flier on low inland winds is something I would recommend against. For flying around and doing the odd trick, like Axles, Fades, possibly a Backspin or 540's and Flic Flacs, you need something light and sturdy, which is hard to come by, maybe the Shadow, or the Zephyr. Having said all that, there are a few kites I would recommend if you see yourself investing in trick learning, but non are HQ or Prism. Those would be towards the boutique type kites, and they are worth the investment, if you see yourself investing in trick learning.

Good luck!

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What would you recommend? Boutique wise? Winds where I live are usually in the 2-5 mph range. Skyburner appears to make some really nice and affordable options below the $350 mark.

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The Sky Burner line seems to be on hold as they are putting a new one together, I guess. Build quality is quite renowned. The Aura UL is low and tricks nicely. The Solus UL could be a nice choice too.
From Lam Hoac there's an assortment of UL and tricky SUL kites in that range, which I'm sure many would whole heartedly recommend, I'm just not that sure I'm a fan of his kool-aid...

I'm more about European ones. And there are plenty to fit every taste. Nirvana N3E LW, Seven UL, DeepSpace UL, TNT UL, Aventador UL and on and on. And of course the open source kites are amazing and can be built to top quality in not that expensive price tags. My personal favorite is the Sixth Sense pro, which goes down very nicely to 3mph. Currently I'm in the process of building myself a Vortex UL, which should be quite pitchy and low in its wind range.

As I said, good luck... Trying to pick one
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I have both the 4D and Zephyr and fly inland a lot. Love them both but they are totally different kites. Of the two I would recommend looking for a used Zephyr and save some cash. While you are getting good on that you can take your time researching more expensive boutique types. That is what I am doing. The Zephyr has tons of tricks in it. Check out the vids on you tube.


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My boy has had a used zephr for about a year now and I bought a new wind meter at the start of summer as well. We've found the zephyr cam fly around 3.5-4 mph sustained with dips briefly into  the 2.5mph range. It likes 4-5 He's not all that experienced at low wind flying so that should be factored in as well. We've been plagued for that last year and a half with either too much wind or not enough at  every festilval we've been to. The zephyr fills the bill for general low wind flying but I'm also on the lookout for something in the 0-1 to 5ish range as well. I know of an old Nirvana sul for sale used but the sail is a little beat up, ugly tape repair needing redoing ect. but is availiable for about 100$. perhaphs if you have the $ a newer version might be what you need. We also have an atm sul but find it needs about 1-2 mph more wind than the zephyr to fly any kind of decent. results may vary due to a flyers ability level. The key with the zephyr is to make sure the bridle adjustment is set to the low wind setting. It seems to be a tough little kite for the money and can fly in more wind if you adjust the bridle.

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I was thinking of a zephyr or shadow.  Something in that realm



The Zypher is a foot wider (235cm compared to 207cm) so it should be a bit more friendly in its speed of tricks. Usually the bigger the kite the slower it tricks. Usually. The Shadow has a reported lower bottom end but it's only by 1-2mph which is really not a lot.

I think they both come ready to fly with straps.
Which one do you like the look of?


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The absolute low end for the Zephyr is achieved by removing the upper spreader, removing the tail weights, and adjusting the bridle. Before doing all that I find that it likes > 4 the best. That's why I like having the 4D also, for the 0-4 days, much less low wind skill required to keep it in the air. In the right conditions both hold a fade well.


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Great information in this post. As we discussed in PM... This discussion seems to parallel pretty well. I read the reference to the ATM S UL needing more wind than the Zephyr. There must be something wrong with the adjustments on that, as Lam makes the best SUL trick kites that I've flown. I forgot to mention the ATM, as I have no experience with them. If you can't get it to fly in 2-5mph winds... Contact Lam. Something's not right.

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Didn't know about the spreader, will have to try that, have not used the kite with the tail weight yet, when the wind picks up we go to other kites. My boy says the atm turns tighter and or faster than the zephyr so he like that when the wind picks up a smidge. I've looked the bridle over quite a bit on the atm but it doesn't look like its adjustable anywhere or at least its not obvious to me. When I orderd the atm from andy it arrived in a bag marked ul, so I wondered if I'd gotten the right kite, that was about two years ago, so I emailed lam to check that the kite was actually a sul by verifying the rods in it were the correct ones and it checked out ok so they just had the bags mixed up I'll keep beating my brains out and try to get it to fly for him in slower winds, all good fun.

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For the Zephyr the tail weight helps me with the flipiness of the kite. Makes it easier to roll up, back flip, etc. For tighter turns adjusting the bridle to a nose back in higher winds helps a lot. Then I have to actually correct for oversteer.


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We haven't gotten around to using the tail weight yet because when I bought it used it didn't have one or its bag for that matter, so I finally got around to ordering a bag last may and ordered the tailweight for it too. My boy is just starting out trying to learn some tricks and we've been spending most of the time learning the kite in slow winds but not too much trick work.Just haven't gotten around to trying out the tailweight. All true about adjusting the bridle for higher winds and tighter turns though but when the wind picks up we'll go to the atm or his std fw 2.5 silverfox at around six mph. It's mostly his choice. thanks everyone for all the info, winds are pretty light this morn, we may go see what the kite will do without the spreader. Many other things need doing- have to see what I can put off. :)

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Great info I am gonna look at getting a Zephyr.  Once I get better then I will look into a boutique kite.  I don't want to trash a super nice kite while learning tricks and low wind flying.  I am pretty rusty but stuff is coming back.

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We went out and flew the zephyr a little today to see what would happen if I took out the upper spreader. It flew just as well without as with but the wind range didn't change much as far as we could tell, I checked with the meter and it was 3.5-5 mph. I did some checking into the frame to see if anything was changed from original. I found a place in the lower LE on one side that had been spliced and another splice in the spine about two inches from the nose. the spine was a p300, the LE was p100 and the lower spreaders were 3pt. I emailed prizm to see if that is stock. I'm pretty sure the LE and lower spreaders were right but not too sure about the spine, maybe it wouldn't make much difference if it was a heavier spine. Maybe I should replace the spliced pieces as the splice rod inside the frame might be whats adding weight.

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I'm not sure about the Z, but the QPro has a two-piece spine. The Z flies best in low winds with the bridle knots adjusted towards the nose, no weight, no upper spreader and 50' lines. You should really only drop the upper spreader in winds under 3mph, as the kite isn't as strong with it out. 

I never fly my Z with the weight, the kite doesn't need it to roll up, and I always thought it threw the balance of the kite off. The only thing I changed was the length of lines that I flew on. Any flying with the Z in winds under 3mph is just flying, there aren't many tricks. Keeping the kite in the air is the biggest trick...

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Great info I am gonna look at getting a Zephyr.  Once I get better then I will look into a boutique kite.  I don't want to trash a super nice kite while learning tricks and low wind flying.  I am pretty rusty but stuff is coming back.




BTW, there's a used Zephyr on Facebook for sale.

We went out and flew the zephyr a little today to see what would happen if I took out the upper spreader. It flew just as well without as with but the wind range didn't change much as far as we could tell, I checked with the meter and it was 3.5-5 mph.


In my experience the upper spreader removal works best to get lower wind range on full kites that have heavy, 5mm spars there. But as Rob pointed out, it compromises the frame's structural integrity.

What's the frame on your ATM?

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