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Dual line sport kite research, any recommendations?


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 I am trying to learn about dual line kites and how different shapes and sizes perform.

 I like a kite that tracks well and isn't just a trick kite. I fly mostly at the Oregon coast, and I am not very good at judging the wind.

I have flown about 6 times total. Twice on a 20 year old sport kite that was about 5' and fast.

  After that I bought a Prism E2. I was learning stall flight, and crash recoveries. I liked how the E2 hovered and was easy to control in the stall. It also recovers easily, and takes a beating. I found the flying difficult to control, for example it seemed springy and slow responding to turns, and then I would over correct.

Is that oversteer, or just the setup, or my lack of skill?

 I also found out that even with the adjustments the 3mph low wind rating seemed unrealistic to me. I gave it away to relatives for them and their kids to beat on, and I haven't flown for about 8 years.

 I recently ordered a Widow NG after debating between that and the Widowmaker. I am looking forward to flying it.

 I am going to buy a few extra kites for friends to thrash on and to mess around with. I am considering some fiberglass framed beginner kites in the 5' range, but I have heard that the 5' kites are hard to fly in stalls and slides, but I am not sure if that is true or not.

These are the 5' kites I am looking at.

HQ Limbo 2 - leaning toward buying this one. Can anyone advise?

Premier Vision - Heard it was a little fast.

Premier Jewel - carbon frame, read that it is a smaller version of the Widow and Wolf. If that is true that should be a great kite from what I have read. Will it also not be able to stall slide and trick?

 

 Maybe a kite in the 6' size range would make more sense. That would give me something that would get used more, has more potential, and could be a backup kite for me if my main kite breaks.

These are the ones I am considering:

 Skydog Freebird - I am leaning toward buying this one. Wouldn't this get busted up more as a beginner kite compared to the fiberglass ones?

 Addiction Pro -  I heard the addiction pro was too fast.

 HQ Maestro 3 - (7.21') I was interested cause I read that it fly's well, and has precise tracking. Also Heard it fly's similar to the Widow NG. Is that true?

HQ Jive 3 - Heard it fly's similar to the Widow NG. Is that true?

Wolf NG - Might have to fly one and see how I like it.

 

 Eventually I plan to get a high wind kite like the HQ Ion. Does anyone has experience with it?

 And a low wind kite like HQ Shadow, or something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We are actually quite fortunate that our love of kites, even at the boutique level, is quite inexpensive compared to many hobbies these days.  Getting into a new field can easily run thousands of doll

What is its purpose - kids or other adults learning? Again look at wind ranges (with a grain of salt) and determine what size best suits the need. Unless small kids are the target, I'd look for as lar

Any full-sized kite that costs less than $100 (with extremely few exceptions) will fight you all the way on all of these.

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Just be aware that smaller kites, in general, need more wind to fly. Same with fiberglass, as it is heavier. Most of the dualie "trick" kites are full size - 8', they usually have decent wind ranges and can be tuned to individual tastes for specific tricks. Or some do some things better than others. 

Not been in the dual line camp much for years, but I try to keep up with current info. Really have very little opinion on any of your suggestions, but I've heard good stuff on the Widow NG. Pretty capable kite that is roughly half the cost of a Widowmaker.

Light wind is a whole different ballgame. You will find almost every manufacturer's stated wind range to be optimistic at best. Add a few mph to the low end and cut back the top end by the same. Yes, you could fly in some ranges, but should you is the question. Nothing replaces skill in these conditions, although good equipment definitely helps. Good light wind wings are usually fairly expensive due to materials used and time spent designing something that defies gravity. Add taking into account an individual's flying style, they might be considered fragile by some.

Use that Widow as your learning kite, pretty robust, good wind range, decent trickiness. Then consider others after you master that one - IMHO. YMMV

 

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Limbo 2- I have only flown it a couple of times. I would not think it would survive long being lawn darted. 

Vision- I think it much tougher than the Limbo 2. I have lawn darted its cousin, the Osprey, more time than I'll admit.  

My Osprey does double duty as a trainer kite and as a high wind kite with a tail. I think tails look better if the kite can do tight turns. 

 

9 hours ago, cjay said:

That would give me something that would get used more, has more potential, and I could practice some before thrashing the Widow.

I would skip this step. I used a Quantum for that, then switched to the Widow NG.  Depending on the amount of thrashing, the Freebird and Addiction Pro should hold up fine if they are crashed softly. I don't have experience with the other kites you mentioned. 

Shadow- I really like my Shadow. Would buy another one if something happened to mine. 

 

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You have the NG coming -- you will like it. It is a very capable kite. If you don't like it at first you will grow into it as you gain experience. It will actually force you to learn control more quickly for the simple reason that it will do what you tell it to. Bad input, bad result. Good input, good result. Many kites are like this, and those are the ones that are rated intermediate to advanced. They require that you have at least the basic skills down pat. Since you've flown before it should not be as much of a challenge as it would for a total newbie starting out with a kite that requires advanced skills. You may have a bit of difficulty at first, but if you work on the adjustments that are available to you with any trickable kite, you should have it down in no time at all. Just remember to try new stuff a bit further from the ground so you have a bit more time to recover from the many "oops" moments coming your way.

Which kite to choose is a question only you can answer. If you've done some research pick whatever appeals to you. As your skill and experience increase, and you develop your own style, it will probably have been the wrong choice, because now there is something that better suits the pilot you've become than the first kite you selected. This is true for 99% of those who fly stunt kites. Just ask them. You will still have a place in your heart for it, it just won't be the first one out of the bag most of the time.

Have fun, smile and don't forget to breathe. Ask questions here frequently. We're here to help.

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4 hours ago, Wayne Dowler said:

Just be aware that smaller kites, in general, need more wind to fly. Same with fiberglass, as it is heavier. Most of the dualie "trick" kites are full size - 8', they usually have decent wind ranges and can be tuned to individual tastes for specific tricks. Or some do some things better than others. 

Thanks for the reply. I am beginning to understand the basics of this concept. It seems that a 5 foot sized kite is mostly just for zooming around, which is also fun. And that they are more limited in tricks, stalls, and wind speed range.

4 hours ago, Wayne Dowler said:

Use that Widow as your learning kite, pretty robust, good wind range, decent trickiness. Then consider others after you master that one - IMHO. YMMV

That's the plan, but I need an extra beginner guest / loaner kite anyway, so I was trying to figure out if a 5 foot kite or 6 foot kite makes sense for that purpose.

I thought maybe a 6 would be more useful all around.

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5 hours ago, Kansas Flier said:

Limbo 2- I have only flown it a couple of times. I would not think it would survive long being lawn darted.

Thanks for the reply. How did you like the way the Limbo 2 flies compared to the Osprey?

 

5 hours ago, Kansas Flier said:

I would skip this step. I used a Quantum for that, then switched to the Widow NG

How are you liking the Widow NG compared to the Quantum? Do you still fly the Quantum?

 

5 hours ago, Kansas Flier said:

Shadow- I really like my Shadow. Would buy another one if something happened to mine

Good to know.

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2 hours ago, makatakam said:

Which kite to choose is a question only you can answer. If you've done some research pick whatever appeals to you.

Thanks for the reply. I am looking forward to using the Widow NG.

I am getting an understanding about kite capabilities and functions so I can make an informed decision about what to get for my purposes.

I might do some impulse buys also. Just trying to be practical with my extra beginner kite selection process.

 

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1 hour ago, cjay said:

That's the plan, but I need an extra beginner guest / loaner kite anyway, so I was trying to figure out if a 5 foot kite or 6 foot kite makes sense for that purpose.

What is its purpose - kids or other adults learning? Again look at wind ranges (with a grain of salt) and determine what size best suits the need. Unless small kids are the target, I'd look for as large as I could stand - usually bigger wind range.

We all go through pretty much the same ordeal, buy kites now that we out grow within a short time. Then it is hard to sell because in our minds it is almost brand new. But we have outgrown it and usually seek something better - been there, done that! Most end up with 2-3 in the end that become favorites, something for light, medium, high winds, and lines for the needs of those couple. All the rest stay in the bag or closet!

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51 minutes ago, Wayne Dowler said:

What is its purpose - kids or other adults learning?

 

Mostly for adults and mid teens. I like kites and plan to buy a number of them.

Since the 5 foot kites aren't too expensive I will buy one to try out and have around. Just trying to get an idea of what type of kites I am considering.

I think I am going to get a Freebird, and also a Jewel, or Vision.

Maybe later, an Ion, and a shadow to cover the higher and lower wind ranges.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Kansas Flier said:

Limbo 2- I have only flown it a couple of times. I would not think it would survive long being lawn darted. 

Just looked at the limbo 2 wind speed rating of 7-31 MPH.

Seems like a high wind kite like that should be fairly tough.

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4 hours ago, cjay said:

Thanks for the reply. How did you like the way the Limbo 2 flies compared to the Osprey?

It's been a while since I have flown either kite. If I recall, the Limbo 2 felt like I was flying on rails with nice turns, as compared to the Osprey's tracking ability...in my hands*, of course. I would feel a lot more comfortable handing over an Osprey to a totally-new kiter than the Limbo 2.

1 hour ago, cjay said:

Seems like a high wind kite like that should be fairly tough

I just opened three kites to compare the sticks. The Limbo 2's Leading edges are noticeably smaller in diameter than the Vision and the Freebird. The Freebird and Vision appear to have the same size rods. The Freebird's leading edges feel more flexible than the Vision's leading edges, but they are longer. The Limbo 2's leading edges are the most flexible. I think Premier changed the panel layout of the Vision since I have bought mine, I don't know if they changed the frame. The Vision and Freebird both have two piece lower spreaders. The Limbo 2 has a one piece lower spreader that is attached to the spine by an O-ring that is pulled over the center piece, then the lower spreader is twisted into place.  

4 hours ago, cjay said:

How are you liking the Widow NG compared to the Quantum? Do you still fly the Quantum?

I considered the Widow NG a step-up from the Quantum. A more accomplished flier might see them as a side step. I do like to fly the Quantum, but in good winds, I'm grabbing the NG. The Widow NG has Yo-Yo stoppers, and I have accidentally used them when trying to do another trick, the Quantum doesn't.  I do fly it from time to time, mostly when the wind higher. I will use it as my trainer kite for the adult/older teen beginner.  I would rather hand over the reigns of a Vision than a Quantum in higher winds. 

If you teach new kiters how to crash before they ever have the kite in the air, the chances of kite survival is greatly increased.

How the wind is behaving, is my main input in choosing a kite for a beginner to try.  In lighter wind, the kite might not be able to develop speed to do damage. 

 

*In my hands- I like to "Fly Around" and this activity takes up most of my flying time. I have spent more time trying tricks. I am just good enough to know that I am not good enough to give comparisons on trick-ability.

 

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That's cool you have most of the smaller kites I am considering.

I see that the freebird is a 6'2" in size and has 6mm carbon rods. The Vision and Limbo 2 are fiberglass rods and about 5' in size.

 

4 hours ago, Kansas Flier said:

the Limbo 2 felt like I was flying on rails with nice turns, as compared to the Osprey's tracking ability

That sounds like fun to fly.

 

4 hours ago, Kansas Flier said:

The Limbo 2 has a one piece lower spreader that is attached to the spine by an O-ring that is pulled over the center piece, then the lower spreader is twisted into place.  

I am not familiar with that system. I will check it out when I am in the kite shop.

 

4 hours ago, Kansas Flier said:

I like to "Fly Around" and this activity takes up most of my flying time. I have spent more time trying tricks. I am just good enough to know that I am not good enough to give comparisons on trick-ability.

That is where I am at also, so that is the information I am most interested in.

I am more interested in doing tricks that can be incorporated into the actual flying and not just the flopping around and going no where aspect.

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15 hours ago, cjay said:

That's cool you have most of the smaller kites I am considering.

I was wondering if you had wandered into my basement. 

15 hours ago, cjay said:

I am more interested in doing tricks that can be incorporated into the actual flying and not just the flopping around and going no where aspect.

I'm headed that way as well. I find that, at my skill level, that certain kites do certain tricks better and/or easier than other kites. The Widow NG can do all the tricks I can do, and is capable of a lot more. There are lots of kites that don't like to do a turtle, and there are lots of kites that are easy to pop into that position.  I have learned tricks on one kite and "translated" the moves to other kites.  Actually this just did this yesterday with the fade I had learned on a Swift two weeks ago, to be able to do a fade on the NG. The kicker- I couldn't axel the Swift, but I could put it in a fade from a flare.  

The kites I carry for new people to try out: 

Osprey- It's a tough kite. It's fast, but it will give people a feel for flying. 

Prism Nexus- Maybe not as tough as the Osprey, it will hold it's own.

Quantum- For the people who have graduated from the Osprey/Nexus, so they can get a feel for a larger kite. 

Whatever I am flying (if none of the above are available)- With a few exceptions, most everything can be fixed/replaced. 

A side note:  The only times I have ever handed the reigns to a new flier was at a kite festival. I can't recall ever breaking out the trainer kite while just flying at my local park. 

 

Flying other people's kites is probably your best bet. I have many kites that I have only flown once or twice, and I could have spent that money on better kites. 

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8 hours ago, Kansas Flier said:

I was wondering if you had wandered into my basement. 

So which is your favorite to fly for precision or tracking? Which kite do you prefer to fly the most?

 

 

8 hours ago, Kansas Flier said:

I can't recall ever breaking out the trainer kite while just flying at my local park. 

 When I go to the beach there is usually several people with me that could be flying at the same time, and plenty of space to do it. I thought it would be good to have a couple of extras, so if one goes down I can keep flying, especially if I don't have the parts to fix it. 

It is about a 4 hour drive to the beach where I go, and I don't think there is a kite shop there.

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7 hours ago, cjay said:

So which is your favorite to fly for precision or tracking? Which kite do you prefer to fly the most?

The one I prefer to fly the most? I can't answer that question(Widow NG) because the other kites might hear(but they can't read inside parentheses) and I might have a riot on my hands. If you had been in my basement, you would know that I am outnumbered. 

As for precision and tracking, I would give the nod to my HQ Bebop, but I couldn't axel or backflip the kite. The Limbo 2 would probably come in a close second. Again, I couldn't axel this kite well, and If I recall, I could backflip the kite but it didn't want to stay in that position. These two kites make me look like I am much better at precision flying than I am.  

8 hours ago, cjay said:

 I thought it would be good to have a couple of extras, so if one goes down I can keep flying,

Indeed. That was my reasoning for buying a second Widow NG. I bought the third and looking at buying a forth for the different sail colors and patterns. The one I usually take with me is the Special Edition- red, white and blue. The Widow NG tracks well for me; its trick-ability is well above my ability. 

On 8/31/2017 at 5:26 PM, cjay said:

I think I am going to get a Freebird, and also a Jewel, or Vision.

I would choose the Jewel* over the Vision, if you are buying kites for others to fly. 

If you are buying the kite for an alternative to the Widow NG for yourself to fly, I would go with the Dream On* over the Freebird. If you want to get the best kite for the money, I would look at the Widow NG as your base kite and "buy up" from there. In my opinion, there are not many large production kites that are better all around kites than then the Premier Widow NG. Once you get to the smaller production/ boutique kites, the Widow NG drops quickly from the list, and the price goes up just as fast.

*I don't own nor have flown either of these kites, but I have read great reviews on them.

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4 hours ago, Kansas Flier said:

buying a second Widow NG. I bought the third and looking at buying a forth

 Sounds like the Widows are starting to taking over your basement now, and having all the fun also.

 Have you gotten a Widowmaker yet?

I am not to the boutique kite level myself, but I do like the idea of supporting small companies that build quality products over mass produced stuff, especially since I just got my Widow NG and found a few quality control issues with it.

Such as lower spine pocket is sewn on crooked, a small section of stitching on the leading edge goes right to the edge of the fabric, and a few minor permanent stains that I don't really care about.

IMG_3686.JPG

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2 hours ago, cjay said:

 I am not to the boutique kite level myself, but I do like the idea of supporting small companies that build quality products over mass produced stuff, especially since I just got my Widow NG and found a few quality control issues with it.

Can you keep the kite in the air without lawn darting it at full speed (to avoid breaking the kite)? If so then I'd say you are at the boutique kite level since boutique kites tend to be well made with excellent flight characteristics; flying one will usually make the learning experience more enjoyable. The only downside to purchasing a boutique kite that I can think of is they tend to be more expensive (although usually with kites the extra money goes towards better parts/engineering so it's worth it).

An advanced level dual line kite usually doesn't require an advanced level pilot to fly and/or enjoy it - the rating is mostly referring to what the kite is capable of doing which a new(er) pilot can gradually grow into during the learning process. I am by no means an advanced level pilot but I can appreciate the differences between the cheap dual line kites I've flown in the past vs. the Lam Hoac handmade boutique kites I've recently purchased which seem eager and willing to work with rather than against me (with cheaper kites you usually have to work twice as hard to get the kite to do what you want it to). Ironically, many of the cheaper kites rated as beginner or intermediate require a more skilled/advanced pilot to trick/stunt using one because they are not engineered as well. This can lead to frustration when a novice level pilot decides to begin learning some tricks since they must work twice as hard to perform even basic maneuvers. 

In short: don't be intimidated by a kite's rating or let it dissuade you from purchasing one. Usually a well made/engineered kite will be more enjoyable to fly regardless of the level of the kite pilot. Personally, I'd rather spend more on a single well made kite rather than purchase 3 kites for the same price which are less enjoyable to fly and don't allow any room for growth.

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I hear what you are saying.

My point was that I doubt I could tell much difference between how a boutique kite fly's and something similar that is mass produced. 

 Another can of worms is whether someone wants to buy products made by companies that have poor quality control, and or the possibility that some of the mass produced kites were made in sweat shops.

If I had the disposable income I would have no problem ordering a bunch of custom boutique kites.

A Widow NG will suit me fine if the QC is acceptable. 

I strongly considered a Widowmaker Pro, but I am not sure if they are available or not.

Not familiar with Lam Hoc kites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, cjay said:

 Sounds like the Widows are starting to taking over your basement now, and having all the fun also.

The Widow NG's live in the closet upstairs. It's the Ospreys that live multiply in the basement. I'm not really worried about their numbers growing much because the Single Line Kite is the dominate species down there. 

I do not own any boutique/smaller production dual line kites. This will probably change soon. I figure that I'll beat on the Widow NG for a while longer as I become more consistent in my flying abilities-tricks, precision, etc. I'll second what TonyB said. If you are buying a kite for you, save your cash to buy a better-than-mass-produced kite. I do not regret buying any of the Dual Line kites I have, but I would have to admit buying higher-end kites would have been a better direction to go with the cash.  I'm not sure I would have fewer kites, those buggers would still find a way to multiply. 

Too bad about the quality issues. I believe I have that same issue with mine. The only time I ever think about it is when I'm setting up the kite. Any flight issues it might cause are dwarfed by my piloting skills, or lack of skills.  There are rubber covers that go over the tips of the leading edges. I have lost a couple of these(off different kites). Go to the store and buy a couple extras and keep them with the kite, that way you'll never lose the ones that it came with. 

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3 hours ago, cjay said:

I hear what you are saying.

My point was that I doubt I could tell much difference between how a boutique kite fly's and something similar that is mass produced. 

 Another can of worms is whether someone wants to buy products made by companies that have poor quality control, and or the possibility that some of the mass produced kites were made in sweat shops.

If I had the disposable income I would have no problem ordering a bunch of custom boutique kites.

A Widow NG will suit me fine if the QC is acceptable. 

I strongly considered a Widowmaker Pro, but I am not sure if they are available or not.

Not familiar with Lam Hoc kites.

 

I suppose it depends on what type of flying you enjoy and plan on using the kite for. If you plan on tricking/stunting then the differences between a high/low end kite would be apparent almost immediately (even to a relatively new pilot). If you plan on mostly flying in straight lines without doing any slack line stunts/tricks then the differences would still be apparent but less obvious. You'd still notice things like how much power the kite has (how hard it pulls on the lines), how it behaves in lower/higher winds, how sharply/slowly it turns, whether or not it requires small/exaggerated inputs, how precise/predictable the kite is, etc.

Lam Hoac is someone who has been competing in kite making and flying for about 30 years. He still travels all over the world to compete and has won dozens of awards while doing so. He's a world class kite pilot and he's willing to share his knowledge with fellow kite enthusiasts. If you want to know more about his kites I'd recommend searching for Sky Sport Design (his website which lists his kites, contact info and several videos of him flying). I currently own two of his kites, the dual line AC and the quad line ABS MC, and both are high quality handmade kites and a pleasure to fly :D.

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1 hour ago, TonyB said:

If you plan on tricking/stunting then the differences between a high/low end kite would be apparent almost immediately (even to a relatively new pilot).

 I plan to learn some tricking and stunting, and I will see how it grows on me, but the flying aspect with tricks mixed in as the kite is going some where appeals to me more than just having the kite flop around mostly in one place.

 Another way to look at it is, if a new kite flyer never fly's a high end kite they may never know what they were missing anyway, and would still be having fun, plus they wouldn't get spoiled and develop expensive preferences. Or maybe they would get frustrated not being able to progress because the gear was holding them back and give up.

 The Widow NG may be considered low end compared to a Lam Hoac kite, but it doesn't look low end compared to some of the kites below it's price range. 

 I went to the Sky Sport Design website and they do look pretty nice. I might consider saving for something like that or a Widowmaker pro before buying a bunch of the cheap kites.  The AC is quite a bit more expensive than the Widowmaker pro. Would be interesting to compare the build quality, materials, size and performance between them.

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8 hours ago, cjay said:

 I plan to learn some tricking and stunting, and I will see how it grows on me, but the flying aspect with tricks mixed in as the kite is going some where appeals to me more than just having the kite flop around mostly in one place.

 Another way to look at it is, if a new kite flyer never fly's a high end kite they may never know what they were missing anyway, and would still be having fun, plus they wouldn't get spoiled and develop expensive preferences. Or maybe they would get frustrated not being able to progress because the gear was holding them back and give up.

 The Widow NG may be considered low end compared to a Lam Hoac kite, but it doesn't look low end compared to some of the kites below it's price range. 

 I went to the Sky Sport Design website and they do look pretty nice. I might consider saving for something like that or a Widowmaker pro before buying a bunch of the cheap kites.  The AC is quite a bit more expensive than the Widowmaker pro. Would be interesting to compare the build quality, materials, size and performance between them.

Hmm I suppose "ignorance is bliss" might be applicable to kiting but all it takes is to watch a pro fly a single time to spoil that (at least in my case). The first time I saw a pro stunting/tricking I became hooked and wanted to learn; when I see a pro fly a kite it resembles an air ballet rather than just random flying. While I don't think there's anything wrong with more basic kiting I tend to become totally absorbed in the hobbies I pursue and I want to constantly learn, progress and improve. As with most skill-based activities having the proper tools is just as important as the knowledge of how to do so.

I've never flown the Widowmaker Pro but I've heard nothing bad about it and it seems to be highly regarded among kite enthusiasts. Most kites tend to have their own personality/characteristics which one person may love while someone else may dislike the same attribute(s). Trying before you buy (from local kite groups, etc.) is usually a good idea but I don't think you could go wrong with either a Lam Hoac kite or the Widowmaker Pro - both are capable handmade kites which you wouldn't have to worry about limiting your ability to trick/stunt with; which is subjectively "better" would be determined more by personal preference than anything else.

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From my recent experience the difference between a relatively cheap production kite and a more expensive boutique kite is nite and day. My first boutique kite was a Sky Burner Pro Dancer SUL. This kite allowed me to fly with intent in 1mph wind. The Quality of the kite at that time far exceeded all other kites in my bag, I have since added other higher priced kites to my collection that I now see the advantage of owning. Prior to the Pro Dancer I was flying 3 duel line kites. First was an Alpha + 2nd was a flying wings actobatx and 3rd was a widow NG which I have never really bonded with. My son loves the Widow NG so much I had to buy one for him so we could fly them together. I've spent dozens of hours researching kites online and have came across several really good deals on boutique kites and jumped at them. Right now my personal favorite to fly is the Lam Hoac ATM. I have the SUL and the STD for various wind ranges. I've also picked up 2 Sky Burner Solus kites used at a reasonable price. One is the Standard version and the other is the Ultra Light. Both kites are way more capable than I am. Buy what you can afford and fly them. As your kite flying hobby progresses so will the cost of the kites.


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2 hours ago, khsidekick said:

Prior to the Pro Dancer I was flying 3 duel line kites

Interesting. I had looked at those same kites. Also that your son likes the Widow NG but you not so much.

Nice collection. Any thoughts comparing the Sky burner to the Lam Hoac as far as the materials and build quality?

 

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